Coming off the high of last summer's second-place finish at the Women's World Cup, U.S. goalkeeper Hope Solo and partner Maksim Chmerkovskiy made it to the semi-finals of televised celebrity ballroom dancing spectacle Dancing with the Stars before being eliminated.
Between gossip mongers pushing stories of problems between Solo and Chmerkovskiy and the show's judges upsetting the goalkeeper with their harsh critiques early on in the competition, it was clear that this wasn't always a fun experience for Solo even before it was over. But in her first interview since the end of the competition, Hope said that the show's criticisms of her ran deeper than opinions on dance technique. She told Anderson Cooper:
"I was told I had too much muscle and I was too intense and wasn't very dainty. Well, hello -- you cast a female professional athlete. Help me get better as a dancer. There's no hard feelings at all. I understand that it's television."
Six of the show's 13 winners have been athletes, but only two of those winners have been female athletes: Kristi Yamaguchi and Shawn Johnson. And the figure skater and Olympic gymnast are much more in line with the judges' narrow vision for "dainty" female dancers than the 5'9" shot stopper, who recently showed off her impressive form in ESPN The Magazine body (read: naked) issue. However, in season four of the show, former boxer Laila Ali (who is 5'10") was also paired with Chmerkovskiy, finished third in the competition and received the first perfect "10" from judge Len Goodman for their rumba dance.
It does seem Solo has calmed down a bit since her reaction to the judging of her final performances got her branded as a "sore loser," though. From People:
In a video recap of Monday's performances, Solo, 30, complained about her scores: "Sevens? The same thing I got in week one. Kiss my booty," she said, adding, "The scores at this point, the judges at this point mean nothing." The pair were also heard swearing about the judges as they awaited their second set of scores: "F——— 'em," they said, with Solo also tossing in that she didn't even want to look at the panel.
Solo also told Cooper that she was "a little naive" going into the "reality show." It sounds like the same (as well as a few other choice words Hope already used) can be said for the show's producers.
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- Maksim Chmerkovskiy
- Hope Solo
- Anderson Cooper