Tom Bergeron: “Dancing” Crowd Wasn’t Booing Sarah Palin


It was the boo heard beyond the ballroom.

And it had nothing to with Sarah Palin’s presence in the audience Monday at “Dancing with the Stars’” live taping, said the show’s host, Tom Bergeron.

In the wake of reports that DWTS viewers believed ballroom audience members panned Mama Grizzly’s front row appearance to cheer on her daughter Bristol, producers for the hit ABC reality competition plan to air footage Tuesday proving that the crowd was actually upset with the judges’ scores for leaders Jennifer Grey and dancing pro Derek Hough, Bergeron told EW.

“Thank God we had a camera on the grassy knoll,” Bergeron said. “You’ll see the judges basically taking on the audience. They were upset they gave Jennifer Grey an 8.”

During Monday’s episode, the off-camera boos occurred moments before Bergeron interviewed the former vice presidential candidate.

"Before a hockey game, you're not going to chew out the refs before your team is on the ice. They're great," Palin said on-air when asked for her take on the show’s judges.

Bergeron told EW boo-gate was the “ballroom equivalent of the Shirley Sherrod tape,” a reference to the U.S. Department of Agriculture employee who was fired when out-of-context clips from a NAACP speech she gave hit the Internet.

“That’s the great thing about live TV. You never know what’s going to happen,” he told EW. “As innocuous as it may be, sitting down and talking to the mom of one of the contestants, regardless of her notoriety, it’s turned into this major imbroglio. You gotta love that.”

Selected Reading: EW, E!, Associated Press

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