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Chaz Bono Eliminated, But Not Bitter

Chaz Bono Eliminated, But Not Bitter


Chaz Bono and Lacey Schwimmer were eliminated from Dancing With The Stars last night, and despite "disrespectful" comments from judges, Bono says he isn't leaving the show "bitter or angry."

On Monday night's show, the duo received the lowest score of 19 and judge Bruno Tonioli described Bono as "a cute little penguin trying to be a big menacing bird of prey." Tonioli had also compared Bono to an Ewok. During an interview today on Good Morning America, Bono revealed how annoyed he was with the commments.

"I got a lot of references from him [Tonioli] about things that would indicate the fact that I'm overweight, you know, a roundness," Bono said. "I was called a basketball, a penguin, an Ewok, and I just didn't appreciate it. If you want to critique my dancing and give me some constructive advice so I can try to improve the next time that I'm there, that would be great. But I don't really know how to be less penguish, and so I kind of took offense to that."

The selection of Bono to compete on the ABC series also drew criticism from conservatives, but Bono says he found the negative comments to be a motivating factor to work harder. Overall, his participation on the series was seen as a unifying moment for the LGBT community, which organized viewing parties and encouraged voting. Bono was widely commended for promoting transgender visibility.

GLAAD's Acting President Mike Thompson summed up Bono's impact in a statement released to the media: "Chaz bravely put on his dancing shoes and became a fan favorite, showing millions of viewers that he's like any other guy. Though it's sad to see him go, Chaz has helped countless people better understand what it means to be transgender. He should be commended for both his courage and determination. We hope Chaz's time on Dancing with the Stars is just the beginning in a long line of transgender-inclusive programming across the media."

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