Woz apologizes for calling Dancing producers 'liars'

After calling the producers of Dancing with the Stars "liars" and claiming that the voting is rigged, Apple Inc. co-founder Steve Wozniak has apologized, calling himself a "heel" and a "loudmouth."

Wozniak, one of 12 remaining celebrity contestants on the ABC program, spelled out his suspicions in an e-mail posted to his Facebook page after Monday night's program.

"The producers play games to get viewers and don't disclose the numbers," Wozniak said in the e-mail, which has since been deleted, but was quoted by CNET. "If they disclosed the numbers, it would be less of a game, but still suspect. If tomorrow, they claim I'm in the bottom 2 dance teams, including viewer votes, I believe that it's an outright lie."

Wozniak claimed that the producers wanted him at the bottom to boost ratings. "I'm sure they want me in this dance-off to get higher Tuesday ratings, and they have preplanned it so that I win," he said in the e-mail. "If my leg acts up tomorrow, they will either have to announce another pair as being the lowest or send me home, and I don't think they will give me up."

On Tuesday night's results show, Wozniak and his professional partner, Karina Smirnoff, were one of the two couples with the lowest combined scores after the first two weeks of dancing. However, Wozniak and Smirnoff won the "dance-off" against Belinda Carlisle, former lead singer for the Go-Go's, and her partner, Jonathan Roberts.

Before the results show aired, however, Wozniak had retracted his earlier accusations and posted an apologetic e-mail.

"I have been around the Internet conspiracy theory forums for too long," Wozniak admitted at the top of his apology. "Yesterday I wrote my suspicions of the secret Dancing With The Stars audience vote tabulations. I wrote that the producers were liars, simply because I truly believed in that possibility, not because I had a shred of evidence. I hurt a lot of honest people."

Wozniak said that after the producers explained how votes are tabulated, showed him the equipment and described what anti-fraud measure are taken to guarantee the legitimacy voting, he took back his accusations. "Conrad [Green] and the other producers are not liars. They are extremely honest people in my mind," Wozniak said.

"I feel like a heel who stuck his shoe in his mouth, no puns intended," he added. "My last hope is that you can see inside of me and know that I am telling the truth from the bottom of my heart, and forgive the loudmouth emotional notes I wrote earlier."

This isn't the first time that Wozniak has taken a swing at the show. After his debut dance last week, he said the three on-air judges were "not in tune with what the public likes" and downplayed their relevance.

Wozniak and the other 11 celebrities will next dance on Monday, March 23, when the show airs at 8 p.m. ET.

This story, "Woz apologizes for calling Dancing producers 'liars'" was originally published by Computerworld.

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