Betsey Johnson Talks Boa Mishap, “Mean Judge” on Dancing With the Stars

Betsey Johnson and Tony Dovolani
Betsey Johnson opened up about her boa mishap during her first dance and the "mean judge" on Dancing With the Stars Adam Taylor/ABC/Getty Images

Betsey Johnson has already learned her first lesson on Dancing With the Stars — don't let a prop get in the way! The fashion designer stopped cold during her performance to "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" with her professional partner Tony Dovolani earlier this week when she couldn't get her boa off a clothing rack. The result? The pair received a low score of 20 out of 40.

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"I learned afterwards from the mean judge that you only stop if seriously injured," the 72-year-old told Women's Wear Daily. "As much as I screwed up, my fans loved me for it. I ended the dance with a Gloria Gaynor kind of cartwheel and split to say, 'I Will Survive.'" (The star didn't specify which judge was the "mean" one, but all four — Carrie Ann Inaba, Len Goodman, Bruno Tonioli, and Julianne Hough — gave both positive and negative feedback to her, with Tonioli noting that she should just "let it go.")

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Johnson and Dovolani were visibly upset about their performance, which put them in the bottom two during results night Tuesday. Perhaps thanks to her colorful attitude or spunk, however, the star made it through to the next round. Olympian Lolo Jones and new pro Keo Motsepe weren't as lucky. 

Contestants this year vary from '90s TV star Alfonso Ribeiro to Duck Dynasty's Sadie Robertson, both of whom received rave reviews from the judges. Johnson is one of the oldest stars to participate, which she thinks may affect how long she stays in the game.

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"It's a TV show. It's a business. It should be about the young," she told WWD. "I wish it could be truly a public fan vote because that would be totally fair and square."

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