Mischa Barton does not have happy memories of her time on Dancing with the Stars. The O.C. actress, who competed on the 22nd season of the ABC celebrity ballroom competition earlier this year, told the Ringer that she turned down multiple offers to compete on the show before finally signing on to dance with pro partner Artem Chigvintsev last spring. Now, Mischa compares DWTS to The Hunger Games and says she was happy to get eliminated and part ways with Chigvintsev just two weeks into the competition.
“I had no idea it would be so bad,” Barton told the Ringer.
“I got told off by my dancer. I was supposed to control the costumes — I was told that I could do the design aspect of it, that’s kind of the reason why I agreed to do it. That didn’t happen. It wasn’t collaborative like a choreographer on a film set. I was so confused by it. It was like The Hunger Games. It was all a popularity contest. It was awful. I was so glad to get kicked off.”
This is not the first time Mischa Barton has slammed the popular celebrity dancing show. Mischa previously told Entertainment Tonight that after she received the lowest scores of all the contestants in the first two weeks of competition, her confidence took a beating with the judges’ brutal comments. On opening night, longtime DWTS judge Bruno Tonioli told Barton she looked like she was “sedated,” while head honcho Len Goodman criticized Mischa’s moves, saying what she was doing did not even look like dancing. Barton appeared to be on the verge of tears after she got the judges’ commentary following her first two dances.
“I’m not a quitter but at the same time, I was like, ‘I don’t know!'” Barton told ET of her doubts about continuing on Dancing with the Stars.
On her blog for People, Mischa also wondered if her pro partner’s prediction about the bad feedback they would receive may have “willed” it into happening.
“Artem had prepared me for that kind of feedback – maybe a little too much,” Barton wrote.
“Once I told him I could handle a tough critique, he definitely did not hold back. I respond well to criticism, but there is a balance between criticism and support that we are still working to find. I do wonder if Artem constantly preparing me to hear the worst from the judges sort of willed their feedback into being.”
During her brief stint on DWTS, Mischa also slammed the show’s unflattering introductory packages, telling TV Guide viewers weren’t getting the full story on what went on behind the scenes. Mischa insisted she was having fun on the show, despite the negative way her rehearsals with Chigvintsev were presented.
“I’m just getting hip to the game,” Barton explained. “Once you get a certain level of knowledge, you can really start to enjoy it. In the beginning, it can be really stressful, but we’re really having fun now. Everyone learns at their own pace…We have a blast in the studio. People just don’t see what a great time we’re having.”
Mischa Barton was one of the most polarizing contestants ever on Dancing with the Stars. But while Mischa was booted from the show in a blink of an eye, it may have not been fast enough for some DWTS staffers. A show insider told Radar Online that Barton was rude to Dancing with the Stars employees. The source described Barton as “the most self-entitled and rude celebrity that the employees of the show have ever had to work with.”
[Featured Image by Araya Diaz/Getty Images for Paul Wilmot]