Chaz Bono: 'Dancing' Judges' Animal Comments Are 'Disrespectful'

The contestant says it's "disrespectful" to be compared to animals


Maksim Chmerkovskiy isn’t the only one upset with the judges on Dancing with the Stars.

Chaz Bono and Lacey Schwimmer, who once again scored the lowest (with only 19 points) for their Phantom of the Opera tango, feel particularly wounded by the judges’ use of animal comparisons in critiquing the couple.

Bruno Tonioli offered this reaction to their routine: “It was like watching a cute little penguin try to be a big, menacing bird of prey. “It has to be menacing, dark, dangerous, hypnotic … like a panther stalking.”

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“I always go out there and give my best and I feel like I’ve improved week to week and I don’t feel like this week was any different,” Bono, 42, told PEOPLE after Monday’s show.

“They called you an animal,” Schwimmer said. “They said you have a bad personality … I think it’s fair to say he’s not a favorite.”

Bono elaborated about the “disrespectful” animal comparisons. “I’ve been called an Ewok, a cute and cuddly bear, now tonight a penguin,” he said. “It’s disrespectful to me. ”

“It’s rude and unnecessary, and as his friend I’m embarrassed,” Schwimmer said. “We are both anti-bullying … And having the judges refer to him as animals or dis his personality, it’s unnecessary. It’s rude and it’s going back on everything that people are trying to fix. It’s disappointing that it has to be here and it has to be one of my friends.”

Schwimmer says she was so upset about what the judges said that she couldn’t hold back tears. “I cried today because I was so hurt, and I was so embarrassed that they had said that,” she said. “I’m glad that Maks stood up, because I was about to jump on that table and rip their heads off.”

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