Strictly Come Dancing head judge Shirley Ballas has slammed fans for taking her to task over the marks and comments she gives to contestants on the show.
The 58-year-old ballroom star has come under fire for a number of questionable decisions since taking over from Len Goodman in the panel hot seat, including sending JLS star Aston Merrigold early in last year’s run and focusing on Seann Walsh’s hair during this series.
But that criticism seems to have ramped up following last week’s departure of Vick Hope, with the Capital FM DJ hinting Shirley ‘hated’ her.
“It was from week one that people were suggesting there was something there, I don’t know,” Vick told her radio show listeners.
“It’s been consistent and Saturday night I really felt it was just weird.
“I’ve not really been spoken to like that. She relished in it.”
However, it appears Shirley is having none of it, directing the blame for those celebs who have to leave back at those watching at home – because it is the viewers who select the bottom two couples.
“It’s all down to the public vote and I would appreciate it if I didn’t get 50,000 tweets being horrible because I sent someone home,” she is reported to have told the Daily Star Sunday.
Suggesting those contestants that have been booted off have been the right ones to leave, she added: “Perhaps they shouldn’t have been there in the first place – do you know what I’m saying?”
She also added: “I try to be positive and not to hurt anybody and put anyone’s confidence down.”
Vick’s pro dancer partner Graziano Di Prima backed Shirley in the row, highlighting her insight benefits from her experience as an “amazing” teacher.
“It’s her work, if you see on the show she really looked to the legs and the feet, the timing and everything. So for people who never dance before, you understand the feeling more than the technique.”
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