Strictly Come Dancing's Shirley Ballas Stands Strong Amid Catherine Tyldesley's Exit Backlash

She has insisted that the blame lies as much with Strictly viewers as anyone else.

Strictly Come Dancing judge Shirley Ballas has refused to back down amid criticism over her decision to send home Catherine Tyldesley this weekend.

In Sunday night’s Strictly results show, Shirley had the deciding vote in the latest elimination, which saw Catherine facing BBC Breakfast presenter Mike Bushell in the dance-off.

Ultimately, Shirley opted to save Mike, a decision which has since been heavily criticised by fans.

Shirley Ballas
Shirley Ballas
Jeff Spicer via Getty Images

Speaking to The Sun on Monday night, Shirley insisted that the backlash had done nothing to make her doubt her decision, maintaining that she had no regrets about eliminating Catherine.

“Every time someone goes out someone gets upset. I have one question – why was Catherine in the bottom two? I stand by my decision,” she explained.

“You can’t complain if it ends up like that. It’s about what they do there and then. And I know I absolutely made the right decision. Every week we could have the same conversation.”

Catherine Tyldesley at this year's Strictly red carpet launch
Catherine Tyldesley at this year's Strictly red carpet launch
Ian West - PA Images via Getty Images

Shirley’s fellow judge Craig Revel Horwood recently made similar comments claiming that if viewers want certain contestants to stay in the competition, they need to vote for them so they avoid the dance-off.

You have to remember that it’s the audience at home that are putting them in the bottom two as well. It’s not just the judges, we have 50% of the vote so I blame the people that aren’t voting,” he insisted.

“They’ll all whinge online and be abusive and then you ask them ‘did you vote?’ ‘oh no I didn’t vote’ so if you’re that worried about it, vote.”

Catherine’s exit is the second divisive elimination of this year’s series, with Dev Griffin’s departure being met with a similar backlash, which even led to professional dancer Dianne Buswell urging her fans to stop sending death threats to Shirley.


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