The Strictly Come Dancing judges’ decision to save Mike Bushell over Catherine Tyldesley in the dance-off this weekend has raised eyebrows, not least over comments they previously made about hoping to keep him in the competition.
In Sunday’s results show, the judges were divided over whether to save Mike or Catherine, with the deciding vote falling to Head Judge Shirley Ballas.
However, her choice to send Catherine home has been criticised by some viewers, not least because the judges recently told Jonathan Ross they wanted to keep Mike in the competition until at least Blackpool Week.
Craig Revel Horwood told the presenter in Saturday’s instalment of his ITV talk show: “I’d secretly like him to get to Blackpool, I don’t know why but I would.”
The comment has since come back to haunt him, with many viewers claiming this is what motivated the panel – specifically Craig and Shirley – to keep the BBC Breakfast star in the competition:
However, during an appearance on Heart Breakfast on Monday morning, Craig stood by his decision to save Mike.
“We have to judge the dance off only, not what happened previously or what is to become, and you can only judge what you see in that one minute thirty and in my opinion Mike had the cleaner dance,” he explained.
“It’s quite simple and you know if it was another day or if Catherine was doing a rumba for instance, against his tango, then she would have won it. But you know it’s what happens on the day.”
He added: “And 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. 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.”
HuffPost UK has contacted the BBC for comment.
Strictly returns on Saturday night at 7pm on BBC One.