The former Bachelorette, 35, and the choreographer, 52, haven’t seen eye to eye throughout season 29 of the ABC dance competition, which kicked off in September. During the November 2 episode, Bristowe and Artem Chigvintsev gave their routine their all, but it still wasn’t enough for Inaba. While fans have quickly come to Bristowe’s defense, she encouraged them to reign it in.
“I know that Carrie Ann was getting heat on social media for being hard on me and I’m like, ‘Make it stop!’ Because this is a TV show, right?” the Canada native said on a recent episode of her “Off the Vine” podcast. “Carrie Ann is totally allowed her opinions. I’m allowed to not agree with them or feel hurt by them, but it doesn’t mean people need to go and bully on her. I heard that she feels bullied and that makes me feel so terrible because I’ve been bullied so hard online … Don’t go bullying her because she’s being hard on me. That’s her decision and she’s a judge. That’s why she’s paid the big bucks to be a judge on that show, right?”
After the last episode of DWTS, viewers took to social media to discuss the differences in Bristowe’s scores and those of her fellow competitors. Some fans even wondered if Inaba was harder on Chigvintsev, 38, because of their past romance. After seeing some of the backlash online, the Hawaii native took aim at those who chose to attack her professional opinions.
“I still get bullied. … I can’t believe it still happens as adults,” she said during the November 3 episode of The Talk. “I want to tell people who bully: It doesn’t make me change the way I judge. I’m not about to change because you try to bully me. It only makes me stand stronger in my convictions and what I believe in.”
Following their recent disappointing scores, Bristowe and the Russian ballroom pro admitted to Entertainment Tonight that Inaba’s judging was starting to feel “a little personal.” Despite her questions about the feedback she’s received, the former spin instructor doesn’t think Inaba deserves to be trolled.
“I want everybody to not be mean to Carrie Ann even if she’s harsh on me,” Bristowe said on her podcast, adding that it makes her “sick” to see negative comments about the DWTS judge. “You can ask why. You can wonder why or be like, ‘Why are you doing this?’ But don’t be mean. That’s all I have to say.”
Dancing With the Stars airs on ABC Mondays at 8 p.m. ET.
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