Strictly: Shirley Ballas shuts down claim she’s responsible for Fleur East being in dance-off

Strictly Come Dancing judge Shirley Ballas has shut down critics for suggesting she was responsible for Fleur East landing in the dance-off.

During Saturday night’s show, singer East, who scored the first 40 of the series the week before, scored 35 points for her Rumba.

But despite appearing in the middle of the leaderboard (and just three points lower than Will Mellor, who had the highest score of the night with 38), East found herself in the bottom two on Sunday (27 November) against Ellie Taylor.

All four judges voted to save East and her partner Vito Coppola over Taylor and Johannes Radebe, who’d been at the bottom of the leaderboard with just 25 marks during the live show.

However, on Twitter, one viewer suggested that it was head judge Ballas’s “overmarking” of Mellor and Hamza Yassin that had landed East in the bottom for the third time this series.

“THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU OVERMARK WILL MELLOR AND HAMZA YASSIN AND YOU UNDERMARK MOLLY RAINFORD AND FLEUR EAST!” they tweeted.

Ballas shot back: “No dear this is what happens WHEN YOU DONT VOTE. Full stop the end. Enjoy the rest of the show.”

This content is not available due to your privacy preferences.
Update your settings here to see it.

In her emotional exit speech during Sunday night’s show, a teary-eyed Taylor heaped praise on her partner Radebe.

“You are as wonderful as everyone said you would be, and I’ve said you’re like human sunshine and you really really are,” she said. “You see people and you saw me, at every point.

“It’s been an absolute privilege to dance with you JoJo, I don’t know what runs through your body but it’s not blood, it’s rhythm and it’s music, and to watch you perform is incredible.”

East and Coppola (right) found themselves in the bottom two for the third time on Sunday (BBC/Guy Levy)
East and Coppola (right) found themselves in the bottom two for the third time on Sunday (BBC/Guy Levy)

The remaining couples to go through to next week’s show will compete alongside Kym Marsh, who was forced to miss Saturday night’s show after testing positive for Covid.

Next week’s Musicals Week special will take place on Friday (2 November) rather than the usual Saturday night slot, due to the World Cup.

Strictly Come Dancing continues Friday 2 November at 8pm on BBC One.