Erin Andrews Fends Off 'Ballroom Bimbo' Slam; Addresses Romance Rumors With Maks

Erin Andrews and Maksim Chmerkovskiy on 'Dancing with the Stars' Erin Andrews and Maksim Chmerkovskiy on 'Dancing with the Stars'

As if tackling the waltz and the cha cha cha weren’t hard enough, “Dancing with the Stars” beauty Erin Andrews has now found herself fending off criticism for her involvement in the show – from a fellow female journalist.

Rosie DiManno, a columnist for the Toronto Star, wrote an editorial which slammed the ESPN analyst for joining ABC’s crop of “Stars,” labeling her a “ballroom bimbo.”

“[Erin] made a fool out of herself and a sham of her profession,” DiManno penned. “I want to grab [her] by the shoulders and shout: ‘What are you thinking, woman?!’”

“I’m appalled by the damage she’s doing to her profession and her own reputation as a journalist,” she added.

In a new interview with SportsIllustrated.com, Erin defended herself and fired back at DiManno.

“What am I doing to be a bimbo? I don’t understand what I’m doing wrong,” Erin said. “I guess it’s OK for an NFL player and a gold medalist to do the show and be taken seriously, but nobody else is allowed… I don’t know what damage I’m doing. I’m basically killing myself to not embarrass myself.”

For any critics who suggest Erin doesn’t belong in the ballroom, she said her and partner Maksim Chmerkovskiy’s scores on the show thus far might suggest otherwise.

“I’ve been in the top three in scoring each week, behind an athlete and a professional dancer and singer,” Erin added.

Unfortunately for Erin, DiManno’s barbs have been the least of her worries in the wake of the death threats she has received since “Dancing” debuted and her much-publicized stalker case.

As it turns out, she’s used her time on “DWTS” as a distraction.

“Before the news of the [death threats] came out, I was really starting to say, ‘Wow, things are going good. It’s nice not to talk about everything that happened last summer all the time.’ But then when this happened, I thought, ‘Thank goodness I’m here and around all these people, because I don’t have time to sit and cry about it,’” she told SI.com. “I have to be in the dance studio, in front of a camera. I have to get my routine done and ready to go. It’s good for me to be busy and it’s good for me to be around a group of people who are used to being in the public eye because they know how you’re feeling, which is nice.”

On a much lighter note, she also addressed the rumors of a newfound romance with “Dancing” partner Maks, which People even put on the cover of their latest issue with the headline “Their Hot Romance.”

So what does she have to say about her reported boyfriend?

“Our official word is that we thank People for letting us know about this hot romance because we didn’t know we had it,” she concluded.

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