Strictly fans convinced Shirley was asked to tone it down as she gives Fleur high score

Some fans of Strictly Come Dancing have become convinced that head judge Shirley Ballas has been told to "tone down" her criticism as she gave singer Fleur East a rather high score on Saturday 22 October evening.

The claims comes just weeks after Shirley, 62, sparked backlash after she voted to save Richie Anderson over Fleur in the dance off, causing some viewers to accuse her of favouring the male celebrity contestants.

The former professional dancer has also been accused of unfairly targeting comedian and actress Ellie Taylor, as some fans argue that she has been deliberately penalising her and holding her to a different standard.

However, as today's show aired, many accused Shirley of being far too lenient over her scoring of Fleur a nine.

This left some viewers arguing she may have told to "tone down" her criticism.

Taking to social media, one fan wrote: "Come off it Shirley. That was not a 9 performance by any means. You’ve obviously been told to tone it down on Fleur. You are now coming across as fake and disingenuous."

Another argued: "Fleur has Shirley’s PR team to thank for that 9."

A third added: "Shirley giving Fleur a 9??? Yeah she’s definitely scared of the social media backlash lmao."

While a fourth posted: "@bbcstrictly- see @ShirleyBallas has had the memo from above to make it up to Fleur – but too obvious and uncomfortable."

Despite this, the other judges also expressed praise for Fleur's jive to ABBA's Waterloo, with Motsi Mabuse saying that she was worried about the jive for Fleur but added it showed the singer’s rhythm.

And while Craig Revel Horwood said that her dancing was "slightly heavy-footed" he did praise her energy and the routine itself.

And it's not just Fleur who's been pouring her energy into her dance performances.

Her Strictly co-star Hamza Yassin recently spoke out on the gruelling training the celebrity contestants undergo each week for the live performances.

Opening up on Good Morning Britain with his professional dance partner Jowita Przystal, 28, on Wednesday 19 October, the 32 year old presenter shared how he's lost 1 stone as a result of their routines.

Speaking about his weight loss, Hamza told presenters Richard Madeley and Susanna Reid that he's lost eight and a half kilos, which equates to 1.3 stone.

"Nine hours a day we're trying to train. It's hard on the body, the knees and legs are hurting" the TV presenter revealed.

Hamza and Jowita's hard work has certainly been paying off as the pair achieved three scores of ten and one score of nine on Saturday 15 October night.

This caused them to top the leaderboard with a total score of 39 out of 40. The pair's performance consisted of a salsa to a remixed version of Ecuador by Sash.


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