Dancing With The Stars 2019: Craig Revel Horwood Couldn't Care Less What You Think About Him
We caught up with the controversial judge to chat about his particular style of judging, which seems to be rubbing people the wrong way.
"Some people mention 'bully' which is totally ridiculous," Craig told 10 daily. "Bullies go out of their way to put fear into people, I have nothing to gain from bullying anyone."
Craig's straight-forward, blunt critiques of the celebrities are often compared to another harsh judge, Simon Cowell, but Craig also brushes those aside, saying that unlike Cowell, he has nothing monetary to gain by pushing the celebs.
"I'm hardly going to take Denise Scott on a Tango tour of the world, I'm not going to make money out of [the show] so what is the point in bullying people?"
If you ask Craig, he'll tell you he got his start in the performance world "quite late". Around the age of 14, he joined a theatre group in his home of Ballarat before studying ballet for a year. He studied under Tony Bartuccio, one of Australia's top choreographers, before starting his career in musical theatre at 17-years-old.
After working on the stage for over a decade, Craig was approached to be part of the first year of Strictly Come Dancing -- the UK's version of Dancing with the Stars -- where he's been on the judging panel for the last 15 years. Since then, he's also appeared on Dancing with the Stars New Zealand before finally joining the Aussie version this year.
Despite riling up the audience both in the studio and at home, Craig says it doesn't bother him whatsoever.
"Anyone at home can look back on any part of that dance and try and disagree with me," he said, "and I bet 100 percent would agree with me, they just don't like the way I say it."
"There are enough people on that judging panel to love, nurture and embrace, aren't there?"
Considering Craig's been on the judging desk for many years, he also had a few opinions about his current crew, Tristan MacManus and Sharna Burgess.
"They're a lot younger than the others and the others weren't on the show as dancers," Craig said.
Both Tristan and Sharna have competed on the other side of the judges' table, with Tristan appearing on the US and UK versions of the show, while Sharna won a season of the US version and was a runner-up three times.
"Tristan and Sharna have actually been through the process, they feel a bit more empathy for the contestants whereas I can say the truth without that emotional connection," Craig said. "You can't be judgemental if you're emotional."
When asked about his tendency to refer to celebs as velociraptors, Ken dolls or -- in the case of Denise Scott -- the Hunchback of Notre Dame, Craig admitted it's just the easiest way to deliver critique for everyone to understand.
"I've got 70 seconds to watch a dance routine and then come up with what's wrong with it that'll help that person through to the next week so they don't make an idiot of themselves and make the same mistakes twice," he explained, "that's why sometimes I have to spell it out."
"If you get that animal imagery you think 'Oh yeah! I need to straighten my knees'. If I said 'Your hip rotation and your Contra Check' I have to back it up with something the couch potatoes at home have a clue about," he continued.
While he's using his limited feedback time to fire off visceral imagery the celebs will pick up, Craig also fires a barrage of technical feedback he hopes the professional partner will hold on to.
"It's up to the professional dancer to decipher what I said and make the celebs better dancers in the future, that's the point!"
As for the boos and the jeers from the audience, Craig is very clear: "I couldn't care less."
When fans of the celebs decipher his judgement as nastiness and fire back insults of their own, Craig told us he simply asks them how much professional dance training they've had, "and I know they'll keep watching because they care enough to make a comment."
"It's only my opinion, I don't know why it upsets people!" Craig laughed, "and if you don't like it then text in and get that person through!"
"They have 50 percent of the power, I think they forget it doesn't matter what I say, they can either believe it or not but I'm only trying to help their favourite celeb get through to the next round," Craig said.
"In fact... I'm doing them a favour!"
Make sure not to miss any of Craig's incredible critiques as the series ramps up.