Nyle DiMarco On ‘DWTS’ Scoring Error: ‘I Take It As A Compliment’

Nyle DiMarco is a definite frontrunner on this season’s Dancing With the Stars—even if the judges can’t seem to keep his scores straight. For the second time this season, Nyle was inadvertently told he scored a “10” only to have the score changed to a “9” due to an error at the judges’ table. DiMarco’s fans were not at all happy when his score was reduced on Icons Night just two weeks after he had two 10s taken from him.

After Nyle’s foxtrot to the U2 song “Beautiful Day” with pro partner Peta Murgatroyd, judges Carrie Ann Inaba, Len Goodman, and Bruno Tonioli whipped out their scoring paddles, with Bruno declaring that he was giving the deaf America’s Next Top Model alum a perfect 10. But host Tom Bergeron chimed in that he had some bad news: Bruno had written a 9 on his paper ahead of time, so that was Nyle’s official score.

According to TV Guide, DWTS on-sets sources explained that the judges write down their scores and hand them off to producers a few minutes before they pull out their paddles so that the score tally graphics can be ready. The original written score stands, even if the judge changes his or her mind. Still, Bruno seemed absolutely stunned when Bergeron told him he had written a 9 down.

Backstage after the scoring snafu, Nyle DiMarco told reporters he wasn’t exactly sure what happened, but that he wasn’t worried about it.

“I have no idea what happened,” DiMarco said, “but I’m going to take it as a compliment. I still got two 9s and a 10.”

Nyle’s attitude is pretty great, considering the same thing happened to him just two weeks ago. That time, his perfect 10 Viennese waltz scores from Tonioli and guest judge Maksim Chmerkovskiy were reduced to 9s. After that mix-up, Nyle told Entertainment Weekly he considered the mistake to be a positive sign.

“Honestly, I think what probably happened is that’s what they really wanted to give me but I’m not sure how to describe it,” DiMarco said. “Subconsciously they wanted to give me those 10s. Who knows? It’s still better for me next week.”

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Needless to say, many Dancing With the Stars fans cried foul over the most recent scoring snafu, especially since it was the second time this season it has happened to Nyle DiMarco and no one else.

While Paddlegate seems to be plaguing this season of Dancing With the Stars, Nyle DiMarco took this week to ground himself after he came off as a bit cocky last week. After Nyle told DWTS producers that he considered pro dancer Val Chmerkovskiy—and not the other celebs—to be his only real competition, judge Len Goodman slammed him for “annoying people” with that kind of talk. What Nyle really meant was that he aspired to be as good as a pro dancer.

DiMarco told backstage reporters that he dealt with some backlash after last week’s comments so he was happy that he was better able to explain himself this week. Nyle also said that it is important for him to represent the deaf community in a good light.

“I think it’s definitely important to have a good relationship with [fans],” Nyle said. “Some of them did make negative comments. That was hard for me. I wanted to explain myself, but I needed Dancing with the Stars to help me and I’m glad they included that moment of redemption [this week.].”

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Take a look at the video below to see Nyle DiMarco get a 10 taken away from him—again.

[Photo by Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images]