'DWTS': Are the judges being tough on Jennifer Grey (to level the playing field)?

dwts-hough-greyBefore the first steps had been taken in the ballroom this season, 53 percent of PopWatchers picked Jennifer Grey and Derek Hough as the favorites to take home the mirrorball trophy. The couple has lived up to the hype, but in recent weeks, Grey has begun stumbling on the dance floor. At the very end of last night’s Rock Week paso doble to Pink’s “So What” (watch it below), she lost her balance on a turn, then her timing, and propelled herself down to Derek’s knee after the music had ended (but right on cue with some dramatic puffs of steam that complemented the pyrotechnics!). The judges pounced. Now, I agree that her angry paso doble wasn’t as visually stunning as it could’ve been — her legs did look a bit weird as she stomped her way across the dance floor — but a 6, Carrie Ann? I can’t figure that out. Carrie Ann seemed… overly angry. It was as though she took it personally that the contestant she openly admitted was this season’s “Chosen One” had the nerve to screw up. “Jennifer, you need to calm down a little bit. You were out of control,” she said, way to seriously for a celebrity dance competition.* As Annie Barrett noted in her recap, “I had trouble telling whether Jen’s facial expression during the dance conveyed anger or pain, but I’m not sure I saw that.” Carrie Ann continued, telling Jennifer that she should know her limits next time, and try to stay in them. Len and Bruno each gave the couple a 7: Len was the most levelheaded, explaining that the paso is about balance and while Jennifer had the attack, aggression, and attitude, she sacrificed control of her movements; Bruno likened her to a woman on the edge of a nervous breakdown.

Jennifer and Derek accepted their marks. Do you think they deserved them? What would you have scored them? And has Jennifer slipping on the leaderboard made you more or less likely to vote for her? 

* She could have said that to Derek after he grabbed his crotch during the dance marathon.

More Dancing With the Stars:
Week 6 Performance Recap: Rocky Horror
‘DWTS': Annie’s Week 6 Crazy Costume Watch photo gallery!
Derek Hough on rehearsal footage flare-ups, being ‘in jeopardy,’ and Len’s bizarre lenience towards props

Comments (110 total) Add your comment
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  • Chris

    Her dance was awful last night. She deserved the low scores. Sadly Palin did better than her and I’m so ready for Palin, Teen Activist to go home.

    • christy

      I loved the dance up until the bobble. To each his/her own. :)

    • Danny B

      Actually, it wasn’t

      • CHO

        Agreed. Jennifer’s dance was good.It wasn’t great, but no one’s dance was “great” last night, and everyone’s entitled to an off night now and then.

    • DiMi

      I don’t think it was awful; it just wasn’t her best dance. The judges are running the risk that she will be sent home, and then they won’t have a single great dancer. I can’t believe Carrie Ann – who I usually like – gave her a six, when she gave terrible performances higher scores.

      Jennifer Grey is more than twice Bristol Palin’s age, and her choreography is much harder, but Bristol is getting scored above her? It’s just insane. They want to keep that tea party audience at all costs, including the integrity of the show.

    • bristolbasher

      no, palin didn’t do better – her “dance” was overly simple – not even a tango really. Go back and take a look at what a tango should be – I suggest Jennifer’s from two weeks ago.

      • jmm

        The dance Bristol did this week was ballroom standard tango, the dance Jennifer did a few weeks ago was the Argentine tango – two very different dances. I do agree that Derek is giving Jennifer difficult choreography though.

  • Angela

    They are doing the same thing they did to Brooke Burke. They are judging her at a different level than the others, because she has the potential to be the best. Yes, they are being a little too hard on her, but she needs to get everything under control if she wants to win the competition. Otherwise, Brandy is going to take that Mirror Ball trophy away from her.

    • CHO

      Brandy’s dancing is so horrible she shouldn’t even be in the running for the trophy. Shows how much of an agenda this show has.

  • Kathy D

    I feel the judges contradict themselves all the time. First they’ll tell a person they need to “step it up”, “get out of your comfort zone”, then like last night with Jennifer, they’re telling her to calm down & stay within her limits. DO THEY EVEN KNOW HOW TO JUDGE? Make up your minds for crying out loud. I’ve seen this happen over & over thru the years of DWTS. So which is judges? do you want people to stretch themselves or stay within their limits?

  • Kathy D

    that should have said, “which is it judges”?

  • Sally

    Carrie scored Jennifer a 6. The exact same score she gave Bristol a week early with the gorilla stupidity. Pretty much tells you right there – yes the judges are being MUCH too easy on Bristol and much too harsh on Jennifer. Though I think they are even worse with Kurt – they have never liked him.

    • Lorie


    • Leisa

      I AGREE!!!

    • Jeanne021556

      I also agree with your comment

    • alana

      they were way too harsh on kurt last night

    • jodipo

      agree 100%

    • mojoe

      Also agree; I’ve watche K. Werner play football for over a decade – class act, really trying hard and doing well-I don’t get it.

    • Caroline


    • DiMi

      I agree, too.

      • Kathy


  • christy

    Apparently in response to a lot of irritated/questioning tweets, Carrie Ann tweeted this morning that her scores for Jennifer took into account her “ability.”
    The reason this isn’t fair is that the judges have unrealistic expectations of Jennifer.
    Yes, she starred in DD 25 years ago. But, she’s 50 years old (and hard work can only increase stamina so much), completed physical rehab less than a year ago for a plate in her spine, had her cancerous thyroid removed 9 months ago, and has never performed anywhere live.
    I personally think both the judges and Derek need to stop pushing Jennifer so hard.

    • Jenny

      Then maybe she shouldn’t have been on the show in the first place. He health should come first.

      • Rika

        Christy wasn’t saying that Grey deserved to be coddled because of these issues; she was saying that the issues level the playing field, and so her hard work shouldn’t be devalued compared to the other dancers. Besides, the scores ought to be based on the quality of a dance performance on a given week, not on who “did much better than last week,” or “has learned so much since the first week.”

        I can’t remember if it was Len or Bruno whose eyebrows shot up when Carrie Ann posted her score of 6, but it was an interesting commentary. Then again, didn’t she refer to an illegal lift? That would have meant a one-point deduction from a previous score of 7.

      • christy

        Thanks, Rika. You’re correct – I wasn’t saying she should be coddled, only that these issues affect her supposed “ability.” It doesn’t seem to me that Carrie Ann understands Jennifer’s real “ability,” if that’s how she’s scoring.

      • DiMi

        Jenny, they wouldn’t allow her on the show without clearance from her doctors. Why do you have to be so nasty? People are just pointing out that she shouldn’t be compared to 25 year olds because she’s 50!


  • JT

    I feel that the judges are definitely grading on a curve, and Jennifer/Derek are suffering for it, while Bristol/Mark are getting undeservedly higher marks for some truly dreadful performances. I will continue to cast my votes for Jennifer & Derek.

    • Danny B

      Bristol’s choreography is very dumbed down. All they did was walk across the dance floor holding hands basically.

      • Rika

        I didn’t see all the supposed connection to the music that the judges talked about. She looked like she did a competent job with the choreography, but I didn’t sense a shred of energy or dramatic tension. Ditto Audrina–she looked as plastic as ever to me, regardless of what the judges said.

    • weez

      I agree totaly. Bristol should have gone home weeks ago.

    • Suzy

      Agreed! Jennifer Grey’s skill is head and shoulders beyond anyone else’s on this show. In order to make it interesting, they are critical of her – inappropriately. Inaba was out of line, period. Condescending. Am getting tired of this nonsense.

  • Mary

    I think they were way to hard of Kurt, I liked his dance, Jennifer was all over the place. Bristol or Kyle needs to go. My favs are Audrina and Tony.

    • mojoe

      Agree, Mary – why so harsh on Kurt Warner, another guest with zero dance experience trying so hard? I guess they should hire/sign “stars” of somewhat equal ability or professional dancers to judge.

  • Amy

    They scored them way too low based on that one mistake. The rest of the dance was very entertaining to watch and had lots of energy. Despite the messed up ending, I still enjoyed this dance much more than Brandy and Maks’s dance, which was boring. There was some definite bias going on last night with the judges for most of the other contestants as well. I don’t vote for DWTS, but Jennifer remains one of my favorites. The low scores don’t affect how I feel about her dancing, as I thought they were unfair.

  • Sara

    The judges/judging are the reasons I stopped watching this show. When they starting giving 10’s in the second week, I was done. And then those people they OVERpraise in the beginning are the ones that they try to knock down towards the end. It’s just really the judges trying to manipulate how America thinks and feels about certain contestants.

  • orville

    Yes, Jennifer did seem a little too amped up and twitchy like she had chugged a half dozen Red Bulls, but a 6 for a little bobble toward the end? No. If you’re going to give a 6 to someone who “mucked about” in a gorilla suit and then pretty much forgot the rest of the routine, you can’t give the same score for what happened last night.

  • sara

    I think the judges’ inconsistent marks are part of the show – built in to create tension and controversy. You have to take it for what it is. There was no other excuse for Jennifer’s or even Michael Bolton’s ridiculously low scores. The intro “Bristol Palin, teen activist” cracks me up every time. “Bristol Palin, Holier-Than-Thou-Unmarried-Teen-Mom” would be waaaay more accurate.

    • Mike

      LOL. That’s a 10!!!

    • Sara Someone

      Sara why so mean when it comes to Bristol Palin??????????? She didn’t request that moniker the show put that on her. As for the unmarried teen mom, there are alot of young teen moms and I’m sure you wouldn’t be so judgemental if it were Brandy who was also a teen mom and pregnant then got married. As for her dancing, she is doing her best for someone with no experience. Let’s face it Jennifer and Brandy both have dance experience. Jennifer whose dad is the great dancer Joel Grey and Brandy who has been a singer and dancer. Give Rick, Kurt, Audrina, Kyle and Bristol some credit for what they have done with very little experience and stop being so mean. I would love to see you try this.

      • ol

        Ya, I don’t get the hate for Bristol either. But you got some of your information wrong. Jennifer does not have dance experience (Dirty Dancing does not count, it was a movie). Just because her dad was a great dancer doesn’t mean she is (she did not study dance under him or go into dancing like him). Brandy was not a teen mother either, she was in her early twenties.

      • DiMi

        I don’t think that anybody hates Bristol Palin. She’s a sweet young lady. I think we find it unfair and hypocritical that she is on the show:
        1. We don’t think it’s an achievement to be the child of somebody famous and have a baby as a single teenager.
        Forget politics; I don’t think any famous person’s child deserves to be considered a “star” without earning it and I don’t think any teenager should be considered a star just for having a baby. I think it sends a terrible message.
        2. The term “teen activist” to describe a young woman who had premarital sex and a baby but is teaching abstinence to others just seems ridiculous and hypocritical. Again, she’s preaching abstinence, but she’s famous because she had sex and a baby. Again, terrible message to teens.

      • blah

        DiMi: I agree with your first point, but I don’t really agree with your second point. If she’s preaching abstinence by saying “hey, you should abstain because look what happened to me, I got knocked up”, I don’t see that as hypocritical if it’s presented that way. Who knows more about preaching something to others than someone who has actually been through it. Like a former drug addict preaching to people about the evils of drugs. Or a former drunk driver preaching to people about the dangers of drunk driving.

      • mojoe


      • Trina

        Brandy is not a dancer. Take a look at her videos. She just most stands or walks back and forth. The thought that Brandy has dance experience is a misconception

    • bristolbasher

      Oh, just say it like it is – Bristol Palin – Dancing with the Skanks

      • mojoe

        You sound like a lovely person (not)- get a life and you won’t be bristolbasher. Skank – you’re a nasty piece of work.

  • Andrew

    They are not evening the playing field. Jennifer gave her worst performance last night.

  • Sue

    Jennifer deserved at least “8’s” last night. How can they score Audrina higher than her. Audrina had next to no passion at all during her Paso. Jennifer was robbed. It’s too bad that she did so well during her first dances. I think it’s better to do okay, at first, and then pull out all the stops. She’s had so much to live up to. The judges are not being fair.

  • MMM

    Carrie Ann embarrassed herself last night. The judges should stop being so obvious with who they “like” and “don’t like.” While it’s all entertainment, the judges should take their own advice and get some “balance” concerning their criteria. Some people can handle being trashed by stepping it up, others lose their confidence. I fear Jennifer may be in the latter category. I don’t usually vote, but last night I voted all allowed votes via phone and internet for her. I have to admit I love Derek Hough’s choreography and watching him dance and the show is never the same once he’s gone.

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