Over the course of 16 seasons of “DWTS,” Len has regularly disagreed with his co-judges, Carrie Ann Inaba and Bruno Tonioli. Where the other two tend to be effusive and emotional, Len Goodman is the staid and serious judge. It can be hard to please him.
Derek Hough has had more trouble dealing with Len than many of the professional dancers. That’s because Len really, really doesn’t like Derek’s avant-garde choreography. The trio dance that Derek performed with Kellie and Tristan was very much an example of this issue. Len hated the dance.
This wouldn’t have been a big deal, except Len loudly and completely disagreed with the other judges. While Carrie Ann shrieked and danced and hugged Kellie after the dance and Bruno effused in his customary happy style, Len simply frowned.
Then he started talking. More precisely, Len started yelling.
He thought the whole dance was flash without any substance. Len criticized the performers for giving him a paso doble with no recognizable moves. When the other judges tried to disagree, Len stood and yelled louder. He even, at one point, referred to Bruno Tonioli as an a*s.
Usually, when one of the judges goes on one of these rants, it can be laughed off quickly and easily. Tom Bergeron, in particular, is quite gifted at defusing judge tension. But not so much this time. Len didn’t even respond to Tom’s “I don’t know you anymore” joke. It was awkward.
The awkwardness didn’t ease even when it came time for the scores. Although Carrie Ann and Bruno proudly held up their “10” paddles, a scowling Len offered a lowly “7.”
Thank goodness the show got to cut to a commercial break after that. Len Goodman needed time to cool down, if nothing else. To keep going would have merely embarrassed the judge further.