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14/10/2019 14:59 BST | Updated 14/10/2019 15:15 BST

Strictly Come Dancing's Shirley Ballas Defends Dev Griffin's Controversial Exit

The Radio 1 DJ and his partner Dianne Buswell were voted off the show on Sunday – much to the outrage of viewers.

Strictly Come Dancing’s head judge Shirley Ballas has responded to the controversy surrounding Dev Griffin’s shock exit from the competition

The Radio 1 DJ and his professional partner Dianne Buswell crashed out of the BBC ballroom show on Sunday night, after landing in the dance-off with Viscountess Emma Weymouth and Aljaz Skorjanec. 

Fans were left furious at Dev’s placement in the bottom two couples, with many blaming the way the judges were marking on Saturday night for his subsequent exit. 

BBC
Dev and Dianne were voted off Strictly Come Dancing on Sunday

Shirley addressed the surprise of Dev’s exit during an appearance on Loose Women on Monday, blaming the result on viewers at home for not voting for him and Dianne. 

Comparing his elimination to the time when her son crashed out of the US version of Strictly with his celebrity partner under similar circumstances, she said: “I thought to myself as a dancer, ‘He’s going to make that final’. Got to week five, got 7s across the board, good criticisms from the judges and then people didn’t vote and he went out. 

“Dianne brought those memories flooding back, because he was devastated, because the professionals work so hard. She puts life and soul into her partner, so I understood why she was a little bit upset, but people have to get out there to vote.

“We do our job, but as you can see, there were many people who were saved with lower scores. It’s that middle of the leaderboard when you think people are safe.”

BBC
Strictly's Head Judge Shirley Ballas

Shirley continued: “Lots of people wrote to me and said he has so much talent – we have to do it right there in that split-second of a minute and 20, you have to make a decision.

“The three judges were unanimous so it wasn’t down to me, it was unanimous and then I just agreed.”

While Shirley called on viewers to ensure they vote for their favourites, some fans complained of not being able to get through to vote for Dev on the phone on Saturday night. 

The BBC has yet to respond to HuffPost UK’s request for comment on the matter. 

BBC
The Strictly Come Dancing judges have come in for criticism from viewers

During her Loose Women appearance, Shirley also backed rival show Dancing On Ice, following the news they are to feature their first same-sex pairing on the next series

The ITV skating competition has beaten Strictly to make TV history, after the BBC ballroom show previously resisted the inclusion of same-sex couples. 

“I have to say for me, it’s movement to music, of two people, it doesn’t matter whether it’s two men, two women,” Shirley said. 

“For me it’s absolutely natural, but they did rather pip it to the post. I think it’s magnificent. The world is a changing place. Dance is a beautiful art form that you can do to music and good luck to all that take part.”

Loose Women airs weekdays at 12.30pm on ITV. Strictly Come Dancing continues on Saturday at 6.40pm on BBC One. 

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