The new season of ABC’s competition series “Dancing with the Stars” just premiered last night, but it has already generated a controversy that’s being called “Handgate.”
The controversy blew up after bull rider Bonner Bolton’s hand slipped into an awkward spot as he stood next to pro dance partner Sharna Burgess, who quickly moved Bolton’s hand to a more appropriate location.
Video clips of the incident began springing up on social media along with comments about the obvious chemistry between the dance partners. You can watch a clip of the moment in a Twitter post by clicking here.
Both Bolton and Burgess have acknowledged an attraction, but they both played down the incident.
E! News quotes Burgess saying: “I think everyone made such a big deal out of it tonight that both of us were a little bit speechless. … I’ve never blushed on this show, ever in my life, and I legit blushed tonight because I didn’t know what to say. Obviously we have chemistry. We’re not going to stand here and lie and say we don’t, but everyone made such a big deal tonight that I didn’t really know what to say to it.”
Bolton offered an explanation to Entertainment Tonight, admitting: “There was some hand placement that went south, so to speak.” The cowboy added that the moment was “totally unintentional.”
He explained to ET: “I was just stargazed by Nick and Peta’s performance and I was looking at the TV screen. I felt her bump into me yet I wasn’t really looking at what was bumping into me.”