When Layton was first announced for the current season of Strictly, many fans questioned whether or not he had an unfair advantage given he’s already a seasoned performer in London’s West End, appearing in shows like Thriller Live, Billy Elliott and Everybody’s Talking About Jamie.
As the series has progressed, the online abuse aimed at Layton appears to have intensified, to the point it was called out by both his dance partner Nikita Kuzmin and Strictly judge Motsi Mabuse during Saturday’s live show.
This live show also saw Layton and Nikita bagging the first perfect score of the series when Craig Revel Horwood finally brought out his 10 paddle for the pair’s Moulin Rouge!-inspired Paso Doble.
After the show, Layton wrote on X: “Fighting back from the bottom 2 is rough but what a perfect routine for it.”
Heaping praise on Nikita while alluding to his detractors, he added: “All credit has to go to the most amazing dance partner and teacher ever. Think what you want about me, but give him his flowers plz.”
Over on Instagram, Layton also responded directly to one Strictly viewer who compared his involvement to “Usain Bolt being in the 100 metres in your sports day”.
“I’d have to disagree,” Layton wrote back. “I see your point but I feel it’s more like Usain Bolt trying to run a marathon. A very different vibe. Anyways, it’s all love and I’m here to have fun just like everyone else.”
This week, each of the four remaining couples will perform twice, with Layton and Nikita set to tackle both the Charleston and the Rumba.
Watch their Paso Doble routine for yourself in the video below: