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Strictly fans brand Shirley Ballas “cruel” after Chizzy Akudolu criticism

Poor Chizzy

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New Strictly judge Shirley Ballas has fallen out of favour with the show’s audience after laying into Chizzy Akudolu’s performance on Saturday night’s episode.

Together with professional dancer Pasha Kovalev, who she is partnered with, Chizzy performed a foxtrot to the song I’m a Woman from Smokey Joe’s Cafe.

Shirley was less than impressed with the performance, though, saying: “A little disappointing for me today Chizzy, you know how much I adore you.

“But the Foxtrot for me is like the Rolls-Royce of all the ballroom dances. It has glide, swing, it’s smooth along the floor.

“I found it a little too lumpy for my taste. Although Chizzy I adore your personality I want a bit more sophistication in this.”

Although Chizzy seemed to be enjoying herself during the performance, flashing the trademark grin that her fans love her for, she looked worried as Shirley delivered her damning review.

Read more: Shirley Ballas makes blunder on first live Strictly show

However, she was quick to bounce back with a cheeky joke in response to Shirley’s “Rolls-Royce” comment.

“I’m more of a Beetle girl to be honest, not a Rolls-Royce, too expensive for me,” she told the judge.

Fans were quick to rush to Chizzy’s defence on Twitter – branding Shirley “cruel” and questioning whether the Holby City star deserved such scathing feedback.

Another wrote that they were “not sure on this new judge”, adding that they wanted Len Goodman – who has retired from the show – to come back.

While a third branded her a “monster” – bit harsh!

Another claimed she was turning into Len.

Craig Revel Horwood – known to be one of the harsher judges – was actually more forgiving than Shirley, telling Chizzy she had “an amazing sense of musicality” and adding that she was “great to watch”.

Read more: Martine McCutcheon reveals the REAL reason she won’t do Strictly

However, he did have some constructive criticism: “I would like to see more Foxtrot and less musical theatre in this particular piece. It would have been nice if it had a bit more grace to it.

Bruno Tonioli declared Chizzy’s performance was “too sassy too soon”, claiming the traditional dance routine was “unrecognisable” but encouraged her to “keep the sassiness going”.

Darcey Bussell had more kind words for Chizzy, adding: “When you come out you come to seek a performance and that is what we love.”

Chizzy scored a total of 16 for her dance, with Shirley only giving her a four.