Shirley Ballas reacts to claims she’s ‘softer’ to male Strictly stars

Strictly: Shirley Ballas ‘emotional’ as she discusses trolls’ comments

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Shirley Ballas has come under fire from Strictly Come Dancing fans with some arguing she is “softer” towards male contestants. The head judge has hit back at criticism saying she 55 years of experience and viewers “don’t have to agree” with her critiques.

The Strictly star addressed the negative feedback after she found herself in the middle of some judging controversy in this series.

On Saturday’s show she deducted a point from Ellie Simmonds and Nikita Kuzmin for an ‘illegal’ lift during their Paso Doble which some viewers felt was too strict.

The judge was also lambasted in some quarters for her decision to vote off Fleur East and Vito Coppola when they faced the dance-off.

Fans have even called for Shirley to be taken off the judging panel altogether.

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One fan tweeted: “How do we vote you off?” to which Shirley replied: “Hi Tim I’m not sure. But enjoy the show and have a lovely day.”

Amid a barrage of negative tweets and comments online, Shirley shared how some fans had reflected on their behaviour.

She told her 79,000 followers: “I have received many apologies over the weekend regarding hurtful messages I’ve received on social media.

“All apologies are accepted and from now on let’s all respect each other and enjoy the show.

She sincerely ended her announcement: “Love to you all.”

Now she has addressed claims she is kinder in her critiques of the male contestants, telling “I take my job seriously. I’m honoured and humbled to be able to be the head judge on Strictly Come Dancing,

“I am honoured and humbled to have been in my own industry for 55 years and to be able to get out there and give the best critique of the couples along their way during the show and hoping that it will inspire them to be the best that they can be.”

She continued: “You don’t have to agree with me. I don’t have to agree with the panel. They don’t have to agree with me. That’s okay.

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“But we can still talk to each other in a human-like fashion.”

A body language expert believes the judge has deliberately got more strict this year.

Speaking to, Darren Stanton said: “Shirley has noticeably changed her judging style already in this series.

“She is always fairly upbeat and positive, but we saw her giving some really critical responses and feedback to certain contestants, especially Matt Goss and Ellie Taylor.

“When she delivered her feedback to Matt, she came down on him heavily, prompting Matt to be taken aback.!”

This week, the Strictly Come Dancing stars will be embracing Halloween as they put on a spooktacular performance.

Strictly Come Dancing airs at 6.50pm on BBC One and BBC iPlayer

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