Maksim Chmerkovskiy Has Words For Len Goodman Over That ‘Dancing With The Stars’ Scoring Fiasco

Last week on Dancing With the Stars, it seemed Len Goodman and guest panelist Maksim Chmerkovskiy were nothing short of chummy. Glamour‘s Jessica Radloff mused the men behind the judges table must have taken a “crazy cocktail” to make them so agreeable: on the performances and the scores. But the night wouldn’t end without a point of controversy.

It started with one apparent point of agreement between Goodman and Chmerkovskiy: the stunning waltz by Nyle DiMarco and his switch-up partner Sharna Burgess. Goodman flashed his trademark smile as he held up a “10” paddle, marking the first perfect score of the season. Chmerkovskiy and Bruno Tonioli followed suit, leaving Burgess and DiMarco with an apparent score of 39/40.

Except that wasn’t the case. As the paddles turned, the screen flashed the lower marks of “9” from Maksim and Bruno. Erin Andrews and Tom Bergeron later explained that regardless of what paddle was held up, the judges’ previously entered scores were official.

But Chmerkovskiy told Entertainment Tonight that the scores were indeed three 10s — there had been no quick change of mind in the few moments between the dance’s conclusion and when the paddles went up. Maksim blamed Goodman, who tallies all the scores, for writing them down incorrectly.

“[DiMarco] did get three 10s. [Goodman] is what? 130 going on 150? So he can’t hear very well. We’re screaming, ’10! 10! 10!’ but he wrote down 9.”

But DiMarco had no issues with the scores, telling the outlet he was happy to get the highest score of the night regardless of the confusion on the points.

If Len Goodman was at all bothered by Maksim Chmerkovskiy’s criticism, he could have some company in Keo Motsepe, who was paired with Kim Fields for the week. Maks objected to technical aspects of the dance but said he has no problem being tough on one of the show’s newer professional dancers.

“I’m his friend. I hope he’s still mine, but he definitely has to step up. I did this job for 10 years. I’m proud of this position, and if you’re going to come and replace me, basically, you better bring what I used to bring.”

Motsepe’s regular partner, Fuller House star Jodie Sweetin, got her best scores of the season so far when she was paired with Maksim’s brother Valentin. Glamour noted that Sweetin seemed to need “Val’s intensity and laser focus.” In a pre-performance package, Val was shown being very hard on Sweetin during rehearsals.

Keo Motsepe 'Dancing With the Stars'
Keo Motsepe is a ballroom dance champion and Jodie Sweetin's partner on 'Dancing With the Stars.' (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)

While Goodman may not be “130,” as Maksim’s curt assessment would suggest, the respected dance judge is marking a milestone Monday. Parade noted he’s turning 72 on April 25, more than a decade after first joining Dancing With the Stars. He does double-duty as judge on Strictly Come Dancing in the U.K., along with Tonioli.

DWTS Len Goodman Bruno Tonioli
Bruno Tonioli and Len Goodman judge dance competitions on both sides of the Atlantic, including 'Dancing With the Stars' and 'Strictly Come Dancing.' (Photo by Eamonn M. McCormack/Getty Images)

Monday night is “Famous Dances” night, and all of the celebs will be back with their regular partners. Sweetin had some tense moments during rehearsal as she suffered a foot injury that could have affected her ability to take the stage. The pair was doing a version of a dance made famous by Pink.

Last Monday, no one was eliminated, but the scores count towards tonight’s tally. Although DiMarco got a 37/40 last week, Sweetin was not far behind with 35/40. This season has several strong competitors, including musician Wanya Morris.

Dancing With the Stars airs Monday nights at 8 p.m. on ABC.

[Photo by Simon Burchell/Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images]