Fans of the show have taken to blogs and comment areas to openly criticise Michaels following the African-American dancer's departure last Thursday, after she appeared to suggest that she is not a fan of black male performers.
Responding to the controversy, Michaels told Pop Eater: "It's just ridiculous, honestly. I actually twittered because there was so much negativity coming at me, because they think I was coming at him for really stupid reasons.
"I had to make clear that I as a judge, as a person, don't care what somebody looks like. I couldn't care less what colour their skin is, or how big they are, what their weight is. I look at their performance. I look at their integrity as an artist. I look at their technicality. I look strictly at that. People are trying to find something that isn't there. They're digging into the wrong areas."
Michaels also admitted to feeling "angry" at the criticism levelled at her, which she believed to be unjustified.
"I want to tell them, 'You don't know me. You don't know me at all'," she added. "Some of the finest dancers that have worked for me are black men and my assistants are black men.
"People are trying to grab at anything to make a reason why I'm critiquing him as harsh as I do and, it's - I keep getting this rap, 'I don't like black male dancers', and anybody who knows me knows that's just hilarious. We crack up."
Speaking to DS earlier this week, Torbert stated that he was "grateful" for negative comments from Michaels and the other judges as they made him work harder.