Strictly viewers will find out tonight if scandal-hit Seann Walsh and Katya Jones will remain in the competition – as fans argue about the judges’ reaction to their first dance since being photographed cheating.
The comedian and the professional dancer finished in the top half of the leaderboard yesterday after being pictured kissing, despite Jones being married to another dancer on the show, and Walsh being in a relationship at the time. After performing their Charleston on Saturday, they were given 28 points from the judges, one of the highest scores of the night, putting them in fourth place overall.
Those points will be combined with votes from the public to determine which two couples will end up in the bottom two and face the dance-off, where one pair will then leave the show.
Following the cheating revelations, Walsh was publicly dumped by his long-term girlfriend. Rebecca Humphries released a statement accusing the comedian of “controlling” and “aggressive” behavior in the run-up to the kiss, which occurred on her birthday.
Both Walsh and his dance partner apologized for their actions, which prompted speculation they might leave Strictly Come Dancing. However, they stayed in the competition and 11.9 million viewers tuned in to watch them dance to Bills by Lunchmoney Lewis.
Earlier in the week, judge Craig Revel Horwood labeled it their “Dance of Shame”.
No overt reference to the scandal was made during the Saturday night show and the couple received cheers from the audience as they attempted tricky lifts, including one where Jones stood on Walsh’s shoulders. The judges were largely impressed, with head judge Shirley Ballas saying the “whole routine was totally entertaining, you got one tiny kick wrong in the middle, but I loved it”.
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Some fans writing on social media felt Walsh and Jones had been through the wringer enough following their adulterous kiss.”I have never voted on @bbcstrictly but tonight I will be voting for @Mrs_katjones and @seannwalsh. What happened has nothing to do with the show and they don’t deserve to end their journey under a cloud like this,” wrote a user named Charlotte.
Considering what a difficult week Seann and Katya have had and how awkward dancing that must have been in front of a live studio and tv audience I’d have given them 10.
User Andrew Robert Lee said: “Considering what a difficult week Seann and Katya have had and how awkward dancing that must have been in front of a live studio and tv audience I’d have given them 10. “However, others felt the pair had been overmarked in a bid to keep them in the show. Holly Grinter wrote: “Completely overmarked!!! Riddled with mistakes.”
Judges have over marked as the only hope of them staying in is to be higher up the score board.— Nicola Kirkland overmarked October 13, 2018
Another user, Hayley Parry-Dafis replied in agreement, saying: “It’s just to keep them out the bottom two to keep the ratings”.
Nicola Kirkland wrote: “Judges have over marked as the only hope of them staying in is to be higher up the score board.” Hosts Claudia Winkleman and Tess Daly made a light-hearted reference to the affair as they opened the show.
Daly told the audience: “For the last seven days, our couples have been eating, sleeping, breathing, dancing.” Winkleman said: “Apart from that, it’s been a quiet week…”, to which Daly added: “Other than the odd headline.”
An inadvertent joke appeared to have been made when a subtitle mistake happened during the duo’s debrief of the judges’ marks.
As the pair reflected on being awarded a six, the subtitle read: “you look so happy with that sex and then…”.
Documentary maker Stacey Dooley and her partner Kevin Clifton topped the leaderboard for their foxtrot, which was highly-praised by the judges and saw them take their first nine points of the competition.
Meanwhile, the man who hurled acid on presenter and fellow Strictly contestant Katie Piper has been released from prison.