On Saturday (4 November), Craig gave the former JLS singer just four points for his Viennese Waltz routine, and despite having previously been a favourite to win, he found himself in the bottom two the following night, eventually being booted out of the contest.
This decision was met with a backlash from viewers, as well as former judge Alesha Dixon, who claimed Craig’s low score was the “final nail in the coffin” for Aston.
Craig has now hit back at this, insisting that if viewers had voted more for Aston, he wouldn’t have been in the bottom two at all.
He told The Sun: “We didn’t put him in the bottom two, the audience did.”
Addressing claims that he deliberately gave Aston a low score to get him out, Craig continued: “That’s rubbish. I gave a list of what was wrong with it on the night. And Mollie did a better dance in the dance-off.”
While Craig has now spoken out, it was Head Judge Shirley Ballas who took most of the heat from ‘Strictly’ viewers, as it was her final decision that saw Aston given his marching orders.
Shortly after his exit aired, Aston posted a statement on his Instagram page, insisting that he had no hard feelings about bowing out so early.
He wrote: “Thank you so much for letting me be apart of such a great year I’ve made some amazing new homies!! Class of 17 you are all f***ing brilliant.”
The remaining nine couples will return to the ‘Strictly’ dance floor on Saturday night (4 November) on BBC One.