According to the Chicago Sun Times, Dancing with the Starsstaffers have become "concerned" that Leachman is still in the competition despite having finished in last or next-to-last place in the judges' scoring of all of the ABC reality competition's first six performance rounds.
"We thought it would be fun to have Cloris on... and expected her to maybe make it through one or two weeks. But now it's gone from people being amused -- similar to the way it was with Jerry Springer -- to being downright concerned," an unidentified Dancing with the Stars staffer told the Sun Times in a Thursday report.
"Everyone assumed it would be Cloris and not Toni Braxton who would be eliminated [Tuesday]," the staffer continued. "There was even some gallows humor going around today [in which] people joked it must be a whole lot of CBS, NBC and Fox executives getting everyone they know to vote for Cloris -- to try and wreck the show."
However according to the Sun-Times, it's not just Leachman's mere continued participation that has the show's cast and crew upset -- it's also her unpredictable behavior, which has included everything from cursing the judges and trying to "bribe" them with cash to grabbing Dancing with the Stars co-host Samantha Harris' cue cards and interfering in her backstage interviews with the rest of the season's cast.
Both Harris and the show's judges are "sick and tired" of Leachman's "attempts to dominate everything," according to the Sun-Times source.
"After we were off the air, Samantha, Susan and a lot of others were saying they had had it with Cloris," the Dancing with the Stars staffer told the Sun Times.
One of those "others" was apparently fellow competitor Susan Lucci, according to the staffer.
"[She's] fit to be tied. She is working so hard and is outraged that others have been eliminated who are far better than Cloris," the staffer said about Lucci. "It's all about [Leachman's] obnoxious schtick... There are deep concerns that [viewers] are going to tune out, thinking this has become a big joke and not the serious though entertaining dance competition it's supposed to be."
Harris denied the report when contacted by Entertainment Tonight.
"I adore Cloris Leachman and have had so much fun working with her this season," Harris toldET. "She even peeks into my dressing room each night, on the way to the set, to say hi. She's wonderfully entertaining and I love how she keeps us all on our toes! This story could not be further from the truth."
(Photo credit ABC)
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