Strictly Come Dancing bosses have killed off conspiracy theories claiming Oti Mabuse would not be partnered this year by bringing in a last minute replacement for Jamie Laing.
Made In Chelsea star Jamie was forced to quit Strictly last week after suffering a painful foot injury while recording this year's live launch show.
During the pre-recorded episode, Jamie was filmed being partnered with professional dancer Oti before going on to take part in the first group dance.
But during the performance, Jamie said his "foot popped" and, after speaking to medics, was ruled out of this year's show.
However, Jamie's sudden departure from the show left one professional dancer without a partner. And unqualified rumours among fans on social media had already been rife that he had been paired up with Oti.
I'm worried for Oti because Motsi is a judge.
Fans were then quick to jumpy to conclusions and wonder whether this was all just a convenient way of ensuring Oti wasn't going to end up being critiqued on this year's show by Strictly's new judge - her sister Motsi Mabuse!
One TV critic tweeted: "Gutting for Jamie, but if he was partnered with Oti Mabuse this is a very convenient injury for the BBC.
"Unless they bring in a replacement for Jamie, Oti will now not be judged by her sister."
Another viewer said: "Anyone else find it a bit odd that people complained about Motsi having to judge and score Oti and now Oti’s partner is ‘injured’ and they aren’t competing anymore?"
A third added: "So if no one is brought in to replace Jamie then Oti won't have to be judged by Motsi.
The whispers about a possible 'conspiracy' were not helped by Strictly not announcing celebrity replacement for Jamie for days... but bosses have finally put paid to the theory!
Earlier today, Strictly announced that Emmerdale actor Kelvin Fletcher will be replacing Jamie as Oti's dance partner, meaning Oti WILL end up facing her sister Motsi each week.
But fans still have their concerns.
One has since tweeted: "I’m worried for Oti because Motsi is a judge and my Mum used to help out at Cub Scouts when I was seven and I never won anything
But just a few weeks ago, Motsi was clear when addressing the issue of the perceived problem from some quarters of 'favouritism'.
She is reported to have told The Sun: "I really need to be fair and she’ll get what everybody else is getting.
"We’re on different paths and it’s important.
"I don’t think anybody should be bigger than the show and it’s important that everybody is very professional."
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