Strictly’s Shirley Ballas criticised by pro dancer over ‘nasty’ feedback

saw the judges make a tough decision after the semi-final dance-off. Fleur East and Will Mellor were in the bottom two, with using her deciding vote to save Fleur. The head judge has since been criticised by a professional dancer for her comments, particularly towards actor Will.

Actor Will Mellor failed to impress the judges with his Paso Doble during one of the last legs of the competition.

You are reading: Strictly’s Shirley Ballas criticised by pro dancer over ‘nasty’ feedback

Will looked elated after his performance with professional partner Nancy Xu, but Shirley was quick to point out some errors.

She started off: “There was quite a few things missing for me in this dance. You had the arrogance part.

“You came out and you delivered a good, strong message, I’m going to give you that.

“But Paso Doble is very much built, and always has been, on an oval shape. It collapsed every time you picked her up.

Strictly: Will and Nancy with Shirley

Strictly: Will and Nancy listened to Shirley (Image: BBC)

Strictly: Will Mellor

Strictly: Will Mellor danced the Paso Doble (Image: BBC)

“The arms were too straight when they were out to the side. These are basic fundamentals from the very beginning.

“And when you choose to use a cape at the beginning, you have to extend it. It can’t feel as if it’s a little scarf around your neck.”

While fellow judge Craig Revel Horwood agreed with her feedback, pro dancer Gary Edwards said he understood why Will felt defeated.

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The dance expert told “When you have gone through the whole series, they have dealt with a lot.

“They have got through all their own insecurities and they think ‘I have got this far, I’m nearly there.

Strictly: Shirley and Motsi

Strictly: Shirley and Motsi demonstrated the frame (Image: BBC)

“So when someone does that to you it’s not just a kick. It’s almost like goodnight, goodbye.

“If you want to bring someone down you attack their confidence and at this point, you have got to think carefully how you criticise someone.”

He felt the judges needed to give more general guidance rather than focusing on dances the contestants will never perform again.

He said: “When you say ‘Next time you do the Paso Doble’… will they do that dance again?

“What’s the point? What they should be criticising on the dance side is a generalisation.


Strictly: Will Mellor and Nancy Xu

Strictly: Will Mellor and Nancy Xu left the competition (Image: BBC)

“You should never attack someone quite so personally, it destroyed him.

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“I think that was an issue with him anyway and it would have been even worse next time.

“I think Shirley got a bit nasty across the board. Craig is the judge of the season for me.

“In the past, he has been the nasty one but I think he’s been saying things that will help them the following week.”

Gary continued to call out Shirley for her comments, saying: “I don’t like seeing criticisms that they are going to get no benefit from.

“I think Shirley went a bit over the top, unless she’s purposely challenging their confidence levels.

“Some of Shirley’s comments would really start affecting people by now.

“I think the problem with Will was confidence so the comments he got would have destroyed him next week anyway.”

Shirley did praise Will for giving “100 percent of [his] heart.”

The Strictly Come Dancing final airs on BBC One on Saturday from 7.05pm.

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