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Strictly ‘favouritism’ row erupts as judges slammed over elimination


Since the latest series of Strictly Come Dancing began, the judges have come under fire over some of their scores and feedback. Some viewers believe head judge Shirley Ballas, Motsi Mabuse, Anton du Beke and Craig Revel Horwood, have “favourites” in the BBC competition.

Speaking exclusively to Express.co.uk, dance professor Dr Jill Rose Jacobs said that while she agreed with the judges’ scoring, she believes they have “favourite” dancers.

On behalf of Heart Bingo, the expert explained: “Overall, I do feel that the judges do get it right and score correctly.

“However, favouritism also has a part in the competition and viewers are picking up on this.

“Ellie’s scores for her Rumba performance this past Saturday evening varied from three to seven.

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“However, earlier in the show, when Tyler West’s performed a Cha Cha Cha to Beetle Juice, similarly styled and deviated from tradition and into the Halloween novelty, the routine was praised by the judges and scored a 10.”

Dr Jill also shared her thoughts on Ellie Eimmonds’ elimination last weekend.

She believes that if the judges hadn’t marked her and Nikita Kuzmin’s routine so highly, then she would still be in the competition.

“Last week, Ellie Simmonds poorly performed a Scooby-Doo-themed Foxtrot which found favour with the judges however the viewers noticed and felt differently,” the expert said. “Which resulted in Ellie’s elimination from the show.

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“I believe if the judges hadn’t overmarked her initial scores, the public would have felt differently, and Ellie would have danced another week.

“Personally, I cried to see Ellie Simmonds’ elimination. Ellie has not been my favourite contestant, but her performance this week showed improvements in technique, elongated lines, coordinated footwork, and expressivity.

“Due to her athletic training, she was one of the few celebrities who weren’t getting completely tired and injured week after week.”

Last weekend, Ellie landed in the bottom two against Molly Rainford.

After the duo performed again, the judges had to vote for who they wanted to see again.

However, after a majority vote, the panel chose to save Molly and Carlos Gu, meaning Ellie and Nikita were sent home.

Strictly Come Dancing airs on Saturday at 7.45pm on BBC One.





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Abbie Bray

By Abbie Bray

Abbie Bray is a TV reporter at Express.co.uk. She worked as a TV reporter for another national publication before moving to Express in March 2021. Previously, Abbie worked for regional Reach publication, Devon Live before making the move to London. She loves to write about all things Vera, Shetland and Death in Paradise.

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