Known for his rambling, racy and often raunchy ballroom critiques, the sharp-tongued Bruno Tonioli may have crossed a line on Dancing with the Stars Monday when he told Ralph Macchio he was “too rough on your [expletive]” during his sexy salsa routine with Karina Smirnoff. The comments were bleeped during the telecast, but everyone inside the ballroom heard them loud and clear.
“It felt kind of dirty and disrespectful and inappropriate,” Smirnoff told PEOPLE backstage after Monday’s show. “It is a family show after all. It was uncalled for.”
The audience and Tonioli s fellow judges reacted very negatively to his comments, with Carrie Ann Inaba asking to “put a muzzle on him.”
Smirnoff, standing across from the judges’ podium with Macchio, was stunned by the remark and replied, “real classy.”
Tonioli tried to explain that he said what he said because Smirnoff was wearing a leopard print cat suit costume. But neither Smirnoff nor Macchio are buying it.
“It wasn t his best moment,” Macchio said.
“This is a hiccup. It is what it is,” says Smirnoff, who isn t looking for an apology from Tonioli. Indeed she has a better solution – that he should have his mouth washed out “with bleach.”