Dancing With The Stars judge Bruno Tonioli had some blunt advice for recently ousted cast member Lolo Jones; get over it, and move on. The judge made the comment to a TMZ photographer this past Friday.
The 58-year-old was on his way to an undisclosed location in Los Angeles when the photographer got his attention and asked how he felt about Jones’s elimination earlier that week. He expressed his condolences at her having to leave the show and said he sympathized with how she felt, but added that she needed to stop complaining about it and start moving past it. He went on to state that the former Olympian had been involved in live shows before, so she should have been aware that sometimes things do not go exactly as planned. Tonioli was referring to Jones’ slip-up in her Monday night performance, which she shared with new season dance professional Keoikantse “Keo” Motsepe. The Italian judge praised Jones’ attempt to brush off the mistake and keep going, but says she should not have expected the mishap to just disappear. He then stated his admiration for how gracefully the woman took her elimination, but the competition is now over for her and she should treat it as such. He finished the interview with a colloquial “sh*t happens”, and went on his way.
Tonioli has made somewhat of a name for himself over the years for his unorthodox commentary. In 2011, he sparked an outrage on the DWTS set after he uttered several profane comments regarding the sexual nature of contestant Karina Smirnoff’s dance with former Karate Kid star Ralph Macchio. Not only were there gasps and boos from the audience, Smirnoff herself angrily suggested producers get the judge a muzzle in order to prevent him from making such uncouth comments. Although the judge quickly tried to cover up his words by stating he did not mean them the way they came out, he faced extreme public scrutiny and his future on the show was temporarily debated.
Jones has been making her feelings regarding her recent elimination extremely well-known to the public, taking to social media to express her grief and sorrow at losing the competition. She wrote a post on Facebook shortly after the results were announced, in which she said she was looking to God to help soften her heart and heal her. She went on to say that the constant rejection from the public was making her put up emotional walls, and being ridiculed once more after her failed performance was not helping this matter in the slightest. The post ended with Jones expressing the feeling that she was tired of feeling like a loser, and tired of never being able to say she had succeeded at anything in the public eye. She recalled having Olympic flashbacks while she was dancing on Monday night, and stated she instantly became fearful that she would fail the dance and be subject to similar embarrassment as when she lost the Olympics, something she claims people still do to this day.
It remains to be seen how Lolo Jones feels regarding Bruno Tonioli’s recent comments regarding her DWTS elimination. Neither she nor her representatives have yet given any comment on the matter.
by Rebecca Grace