Artem Chigvintsev Says Carrie Ann Inaba's 'DWTS' Criticism of Kaitlyn Bristowe Feels 'Personal' (Exclusive)

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Artem Chigvintsev and Kaitlyn Bristowe are beyond frustrated by the negative feedback they've been receiving from judge Carrie Ann Inaba on this season of Dancing With the Stars

The duo spoke with ET's Lauren Zima on Monday night after their jive and relay performances, which received mostly positive comments from the judges. Carrie Ann, however, insisted she was going to "fight for" the argument that Kaitlyn had performed a "lift" with her partner, Artem, instead of her own jump. This comes after last week's criticism from Carrie Ann, who said she felt Kaitlyn "gave up" and lost her "spirit" on the dance floor. 

"At this point it starts being a little personal, I feel like," Artem tells ET. "I feel it's definitely, maybe not a different standard, but I feel like it's different expectations. I don't know. I'm watching back the dance itself, it's like, 'Oh, you can kick sharper!' Well, I can say that about everybody who dances on the show today. I don't know. It's really odd."

Kaitlyn is similarly stumped by the negative critiques, joking, "I would love to have her on the podcast, ask her a few questions. I don't know! I don't know! It's always reassuring to talk to other people and have them asking those same questions because we come back and we're like, 'Huh?' We're good at accepting constructive criticism. We're like, 'OK, great, now let's apply it. Thank you for the wonderful feedback.' With this one it's like, 'Huh? OK?'"

The former Bachelorette adds that she is mostly confused by Carrie Ann's intentions with her comments. 

"I just want to know where it comes from. Is it from a place where you believe in us and you want us to do better?" she asks. "Is it coming from a place of, 'I was hard on Hannah [Brown] and you're another Bachelor girl'? Where is it coming from and how are we supposed to take it and bring it into our next rehearsal? What do you want us to channel and use from it? It's very hard to understand that. Derek [Hough] says things and I'm like, 'Great! Oh my gosh, I could work on that. Let's use that next time.' Same with Bruno [Tonioli]. And when Carrie says things, I'm like, 'What do you want us to do with that?'"

Artem doesn't want Carrie Ann's comments to affect the energy Kaitlyn brings each week to her performances. 

"At this point right now we just feel like we're never going to make her happy. It feels really discouraging, in a sense, to come back next week," he says. "I was literally wanting to have ear muffs and put it on top of [Kaitlyn's] head." 

Dancing With the Stars airs Mondays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC. Tune into Entertainment Tonight this week to hear more from the other season 29 contestants. Check your local listings here.

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