'Dancing with the Stars' Week 2: Controversies Abound
Laurel Brown
Laurel Brown
Senior Writer, BuddyTV
The show's about dancing right?

Anyone following the news from Dancing with the Stars this week would be hard-pressed to remember that dancing -- and not controversy -- is the attempted focus of the program. Sure the celebrities bring gossip and popularity contests to the dance floor, but, in the end, the dancing is supposed to reign supreme.

Not so much this week.

Thanks to a couple of non-dancing events during Monday night's performance show, DWTS has stayed in media headlines throughout the week. The troubles began with a jive by Michael Bolton and Chelsie Hightower. Bolton's lackluster performance began in a doghouse and didn't improve much from there.

None of the judges were impressed, but Bruno Tonioli took his criticism to new heights. From his first words ("I am a dog lover, but you make it so hard for me.") to his opinion of the dance ("You did it all very, very badly. I think this is probably the worst jive in 11 seasons.") to his shockingly low score of 3, Bruno spared nothing. Even mean old Len Goodman noted that Bruno's comments were a little harsh.

Michael Bolton did not take kindly to Bruno's criticism. Michael complained that Bruno's comments were "inappropriate and disrespectful." He then demanded an apology during a Good Morning America interview (not going to happen) and pointed out his 90-year-old mother's disappointment.

Click here to see Michael Bolton's Good Morning America interview.

For more entertainment, click here to see Tom Bergeron joke about the Bolton situation on Lopez Tonight.

It was the presence of another mother that was the focus of another DWTS controversy this week. Sarah Palin, political persona and mother of contestant Bristol Palin, arrived to support her daughter. Dancing with the Stars took the opportunity to give host Tom Bergeron a short interview with the famous Alaskan. Unfortunately for those who really just want the dancing, the interview's timing was terrible.

Just before the interview, contestants Jennifer Grey and Derek Hough had danced a jive to rave reviews and high audience appreciation. Alas, the stingy judges awarded no scores above 8, prompting a fair amount of booing from an overly-invested crowd.

However it appeared in the studio, the cause of the booing was inconclusive to TV viewers. Booing was clearly audible (and remarked upon) during a backstage interview with the dancers. Then DWTS cut to the Bergeron-Palin interview. To many, this made Sarah Palin appear to be the object of the audience's ire.

A re-edited clip of "Boogate," shown during the next evening's Results Show, attempted to calm the resulting Internet and news storm. It kind of worked. But it did not completely stop the collective voices of bloggers, pundits and "news" reporters (CNN, MSNBC, FoxNews...) from applauding the boos, booing the boos or pointing out the unimportance of the boos (depending on audience and/or political leanings).

It may be safe to conclude that the judges, yet again, angered others to the point of rebuttal. But a political firestorm makes for way more sensational headlines. And after all, without controversy, dancing is all we have left.

What do you think? Is all this controversy good for DWTS, or should we just focus on the dancing?

(Image courtesy of ABC)