Strictly ‘favouritism’ row erupts as Shirley’s ‘winner’ exposed

Shirley Ballas discusses balancing Strictly and teaching dance

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Since the latest series of Strictly Come Dancing began, the judges have come under fire over some of their scores and criticism of the celebrities’ routines. Some viewers believe head judge Shirley Ballas, Motsi Mabuse, Anton du Beke and Craig Revel Horwood, have “favourites” in the BBC competition. Speaking exclusively to, body language expert Darren Stanton has shared his thoughts on who the judges “favour” the most in the competition.

On behalf of Betfair Bingo, Darren said: “I think Motsi has taken a particular liking to Fleur [East] after giving her lots of high scores.

“Despite being told to reign it in during the show’s early stages and then being criticised for not being passionate enough, Fleur has developed in recent weeks.

“She seems to be a very dominant and powerful presence, who is capable of reaching the final.

“When it comes to Shirley, I believe Kym [Marsh] could potentially be her favourite.

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“For some reason, the two resonate very well.

“Although she has received criticism from Shirley in the past, it’s clear Kym listens to the judges’ advice and implements it into her performance.”

Last weekend, Tyler West and Molly Rainford landed in the bottom two, meaning they had to perform again.

After facing the dance-off, the judges decided to save Molly, and so Tyler and his dance partner Dianne Buswell were sent home.

Turning his attention to who could be at risk this weekend, Darren believes Molly and Ellie Taylor could go head-to-head.

“In my opinion, Ellie could be in the danger zone this weekend,” he said.

“Although she has achieved some high scores and great comments in recent weeks, her performance is quite sporadic.

“As well as being top of the leaderboard, she has also found herself close to the dance-off.

“I also believe she does not seem to have the same levels of synchronisation and connection with Johannes, compared to the other contestants and their partners.

“There is definitely a correlation between the level of rapport and the level of performance.

“While some of the other contestants have struggled in other aspects of the competition, their overall connection with their dance partner has developed week after week, which has helped enhance their overall performance.

“I do not see the same level of rapport between Ellie and Johannes, therefore my prediction is they will not survive another week.”

“I also believe Molly’s place in the competition isn’t safe,” the expert added.

“The reasons for this are quite similar to Ellie, as Molly has found a self in hot water more often than not.

“Although extremely passionate and hardworking, she has nearly been at the point of being voted out on a number of occasions.

“On the weeks that Molly has performed badly and found herself in the dance-off, she has received negative feedback from the judges.

“It’s clear the criticism is obviously playing on her mind and affecting her confidence.”

Strictly Come Dancing returns on Saturday at 7.15pm on BBC One.

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