Could there be drama brewing behind-the-scenes on Season 23 of “Dancing With the Stars?” Lead judge Len Goodman — a known stickler for proper routines — returned to the show Monday with harsh critiques for many of the couples still in it to win it in Week 7.
Len was especially hard on Gleb Savchenko and Jana Kramer, who struggled to maintain their poise in the ballroom following a perfect score in Week 6. The Bromley, England, native suggested that their routine was not a true samba, which Gleb, 33, refuted during judging and continues to disagree with after the fact.
In an interview with People magazine, the professional dancer and “DWTS” contestant said that Len “should spend more time” on the “DWTS” set before making such judgments about he and Jana’s skills. Gleb told the publication that he was not entirely wrong, but maintained that their Week 7 routine felt like a “fine balance” between a show number and a samba.
“There is a fine balance between a show number and just a samba,” Gleb said. “No one wants to see a minute and forty seconds of just samba, especially when you’re dealing with someone who’s never danced before. Jana did an amazing job and I’m so proud of her. She killed it.”
During the show Len, 72, picked apart the routine performed by Jana and Gleb — dubbed team Glamer — suggesting that it was not a true Samba. Gleb attempted to get a word in during judging, but was shut down by the dancing pro. During a backstage interview with co-host Erin Andrews, Gleb hinted that he and Jana may be switching things up in future routines in the hopes of creating something that’s more pleasing to both “DWTS” judges and viewers. He claimed that the competitors are not being judged on their dancing, but rather what makes good television.
“I think we have to mix it up a little because it’s not a dance competition, it’s a TV show,” Gleb said prompting Len to respond with, “No. It’s a dance competition.”
Despite Len’s controversial assessment of their skills, Jana, 32, and Gleb remain serious contenders in the Season 23 “DWTS” competition. In Week 6 they were awarded a perfect score of 40 points for their performance during Latin night. Prior to their perfect score, the dancing duo continually received compliments from judges about their chemistry and continued improvement since Week 1.
Len has not responded to Gleb’s latest dig. It’s unclear if and/or how this feud will play out during the remainder of “DWTS” Season 23. Tune in to ABC on Monday, Oct. 31, for more.