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Michael Bolton's Elimination Leads to "Dancing" Judge Feud

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    NEWSLETTERS

    The biggest surprise in Tuesday night's "Dancing With the Stars" was not the Michael Bolton was mercifully kicked off the reality show, but that his terrible dancing actually led to a rare feud between the show's judges.

    Though they always bicker like a married couple, judges Bruno Tonioli and Len Goodman turned it up several tense notches over Tonioli's treatment of Bolton following the singer's terrible dance Monday night.

    Tonioli had said he "hated" the Bolton dance, saying it was the "worst" jive in the show's 11 seasons and then gave a rare (and very low) score of a 3.

    "It was too harsh," Goodman said angrily of Tonioli's comments as Tonioli angrily called Goodman's words "lies."

    All of this happened as third judge Carrie Ann Inaba fanned herself with her hands as if trying to cool the tense, televised situation.

    Goodman's support didn't help Bolton, who was later dismissed from the show due to his low judges' score which even viewer support couldn't help. The entirely miserable Bolton did give a shot before leaving, saying that Tonioli was "disrespectful and inappropriate" with his comments.

    Even Tom Bergeron scolded Tonioli, telling him he was "a little hard on Michael Bolton last night."

    Slamming Tonioli was a nice bit of dignity for the wildly-successful soul singer who had, just 24 hours earlier, literally crawled out of a dog house to do a terrible dance on national television.

    But it was a lot of hypocritical piling onto Tonioli, who has been far harsher in the past. So has Goodman, who had told Bolton Monday night that the dog act only lacked a "pooper-scooper."

    But apparently Tonioli kicked the wrong dog one too many times when the dog was already down.

    However, his comments were hardly offensive on a Simon Cowell scale. Cowell probably says 20 harsher things before he pours the milk on his breakfast cereal.

    Tonioli was unrepentant, giving one final dog slam to Bolton Tuesday night.

    "I felt Rin Tin Tin could have done a better jive," he said.

    Update: "Dancing" producers have sided with Tonioli in the feud.

    "Bruno's role as a judge is to give his honest opinions on the quality of the dances he's judging, which is what he did in this case," producers told People in a statement Wednesday. "While we respect the feelings of our celebrities and dancers, we don't feel Bruno should be expected to apologize for doing his job."