Len Goodman is known for doling out harsher criticism and lower scores than his fellow “Dancing With the Stars” judges.
So when the typically conservative-scoring Goodman flipped up a higher paddle than both Carrie Ann Inaba and Bruno Tonioli on Monday (May 3) night, our collective jaws dropped.
The lucky recipient of the unlikely score was Chad Ochocinco, who impressed the judges last week with an Argentine tango. Goodman told him then, “You either grow or you go, and you grew!” The NFL player scored straight eights.
This week we saw in Ochocino’s practice clips that the competitive athlete in him craves more — and that he was ambitiously aiming for 10s this week. While fellow competitor Evan Lysacek attained that goal with a perfect score, Ochocinco achieved perhaps an equally impressive feat when Goodman gave him a nine for his Viennese waltz — while Inaba and Tonioli held back with eights.
Ochocinco received praise from all the judges, including a nod from Tonioli for being “so graceful and so gentle” and praise from Inaba for being “tender.” But it was Goodman who gave the kind of effusive praise we’re used to seeing from the fiery Italian to his left.
“Remember this night, May 3, 2010. The day you became a contender!” exclaimed Goodman.
To be honest, we’ll more likely remember May 3 as the night when Goodman outscored and out-praised his fellow judges.
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Photo credit: ABC