Kaitlyn Bristowe and Artem Chigvintsev Think Carrie Ann Inaba Is Harder on Them Than Other Couples

Christy Piña
·3-min read

From Woman's Day

Among the pairs still standing on this season of Dancing With the Stars are Kaitlyn Bristowe and Artem Chigvintsev, who don't seem very happy with long-time DWTS judge Carrie Ann Inaba. The couple spoke to Entertainment Tonight after their Nov. 2 performances — a jive and samba relay — which received mostly positive feedback from all the judges. . . except Inaba. She insisted that Bristowe performed a "lift" with her partner, not her own jump, and said she was going to "fight for" that argument. This wasn't the first time Inaba gave the pair un-constructive criticism. After Bristowe and Chigvintsev's performance during Villains Night on Oct. 26, the judge said she felt Bristowe "gave up" and lost her "spirit."

"At this point it starts being a little personal," Chigvintsev told ET. " I feel it's definitely, maybe not a different standard, but I feel like it's different expectations. I don't know. I'm watching back the dance itself, it's like, 'Oh, you can kick sharper!' Well, I can say that about everybody who dances on the show today. I don't know. It's really odd."

Bristowe agreed with her partner, adding that she'd want to have Inaba on her podcast, "Off the Vine," to ask her a few questions. "It's always reassuring to talk to other people and have them asking those same questions because we come back, and we're like, 'Huh?'" she told ET. "We're good at accepting constructive criticism. We're like, 'OK, great, now let's apply it. Thank you for the wonderful feedback.' With this one it's like, 'Huh? OK?'"

Photo credit: Eric McCandless
Photo credit: Eric McCandless

More than anything, however, Bristowe said she just wants to understand the intention of Inaba's comments. Does she believe in the couple and want them to do their best or does it possibly have something to do with Bristowe being a part of the Bachelor Nation? (Inaba was especially hard on Bachelorette Hannah Brown last season.) "How are we supposed to take it and bring it into our next rehearsal? What do you want us to channel and use from it? It's very hard to understand that," Bristowe told the publication. "Derek [Hough] says things and I'm like, 'Great! Oh my gosh, I could work on that. Let's use that next time.' Same with Bruno [Tonioli]. And when Carrie says things, I'm like, 'What do you want us to do with that?'"

With the excessive (and seemingly unhelpful) criticism, Bristowe and Chigvintsev worry about what Inaba's comments mean for the remainder of their run this season. "At this point right now we just feel like we're never going to make her happy. It feels really discouraging, in a sense, to come back next week," Chigvintsev said, adding that he doesn't want the critiques to the affect the energy Bristowe brings to the stage every week. "I was literally wanting to have earmuffs and put it on top of [Kaitlyn's] head."

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