James Jordan claims Strictly judges softened Ellie Simmonds dance critique

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James Jordan has claimed the Strictly Come Dancing judges "softened" their critique of Ellie Simmonds' first dance.

The former BBC star, 44, appeared on Steph's Packed Lunch on Monday (September 26) alongside his wife Ola where he backed his previous criticism of the Paralympian needing to "straighten her legs" in her performance.

He also claimed the show's judges had "not critiqued Ellie the same as everybody else".

READ MORE:BBC Strictly Come Dancing's first live show ratings 'fall from last year' in big drop

James said: "I'm sure Ellie would want to be critiqued the same as everybody else and I'm pretty sure about that, because I know I would.

"She's on there representing dwarfism, which I think is an amazing thing.

"But, I'm still going to critique her the same as everybody else and I actually believe that the judges didn't critique her the same as everybody else and I think that's a mistake because if you're going to have these people on there – which I think is great – then critique them the same."

Of Ellie's performance, James had previously tweeted he "loved it".

He also said she needed to "try and consciously straighten her legs as much as possible" and believe in herself but "apart from that it was great and she’s an inspiration".

Defending his Twitter comments to host Steph McGovern, James later added: "I still stand by [my tweet] because it's how people interpret it.

"I meant it with no malice whatsoever and if it's offended people, they've chosen to be offended by it.

"There was no offense made by it so that's there choice."

Ellie is the first ever dwarf to compete on Strictly Come Dancing.

Partnered with Nikita Kuzmin, the pair performed a cha cha cha to Dance by DNCE during Saturday night's premiere episode.

The pair received an impressive score of 26 out of 40 from the judges for their routine, leaving them in the middle of the leaderboard.

Steph's Packed Lunch airs at 12.30 pm on weekdays on Channel 4. Strictly Come Dancing continues on Saturday (October 1) on BBC One.


  • Helen Skelton reveals her ballroom dancing experience as she prepares for BBC Strictly

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  • Brutal Strictly fans think they already know who will be booted off the show first

  • Steph’s Packed Lunch
  • Strictly Come Dancing
  • James Jordan

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