Nicky Byrne has defended Denise Van Outen on Strictly Come Dancing over claims she has an unfair advantage.
Denise has come under attack since the show started for her previous dancing experience, but has always insisted she's not more trained than any of the other competitors.
Nicky left the show in last night's Strictly results against Denise, and he confessed he knew he'd go even before the pair danced again.
He said: “Anyone else but Denise, you might have an inkling of a hope that you could have challenged... but unless Denise physically fell over then I knew it was game over. Even then they’d have judged it on what she’s already done.
“If it is a straight dance competition, then Denise should win. I couldn’t have asked for a better send-off because at least I was beaten by the best dancer.”
Speaking to The Sun after his exit however, Nicky was full of praise for the West End performer.
He said: “Denise doesn’t deserve any stick, everyone has something.
“I’ve performed in front of thousands and thousands of people for years in Westlife, so has Kimberley in Girls Aloud. Everyone has something to bring to the table.
“It’s not just a dance competition. If it was, Denise would win it because she has had maybe a bit of extra time compared to everybody else. But it’s not that, you’ve got to cope under pressure and learn new dances every single week in a short amount of time.
“Everybody has their own little positives and negatives — that’s what makes it such a nice variety show.”
Denise yesterday hit back at the haters, saying: "My message to the public would be to judge me fairly on the night, in the way it should be judged, on the dancing, and be aware of how hard I’ve worked.”
Her pro partner James Jordan added: “Lisa Riley is dance-trained, so is Dani Harmer and Kimberley.
“Everyone says Denise is a ‘professional dancer’. I can assure you she is not because I am the one who trains with her. The reason we put in so many hours is because we have to.”