Strictly Come Dancing bosses defend show against 'racism' claims

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Strictly Come Dancing bosses have defended the show follow claims of 'racism'.

It was EastEnders star Tameka Empson who left in Sunday night's Strictly Come Dancing 2016 results after dancing off against Laura Whitmore.

After Saturday's show Tameka and Laura both looked to be in a strong position based on the judges' marks.

However Judge Rinder, Lesley Joseph, Anastacia, Naga Munchetty and Ed Balls all leap frogged the pair once the viewer vote was added, leaving them in the bottom two dance off.

It wasn't a unanimous vote on who to save from the panel - Darcey backed Tameka but Bruno and Craig backed Laura - leaving head judge Len Goodman to decide.

Len said: “In my opinion neither should be in the dance off but that’s the nature of the thing. But I’ve got to go with the couple that I felt did the more polished performance and that’s Laura and Giovanni.”

As a result it was Tameka and her pro partner Gorka Marquez who found themselves leaving the competition.

This led to another flurry of claims that Strictly viewers are racist, coming a week after Melvin Odoom's controversial exit last weekend.

However speaking to the Guardian newspaper, a spokesperson for the BBC said it was up to the public to keep their favourite in.

“Judges judge the dancing and the dancing alone, not anything else,” they added, pointing out how all but 3 of the 14 series have seen either black or mixed race winners or runners-up.

Strictly has also seen support from a number of viewers hitting back at the cries of racism.

One viewer suggested that whatever the result, some would be complaining.

"Melvin went out so Strictly is racist but if Anastacia went out they'd be xenophobic," they commented.

Strictly returns to BBC One next Saturday and Sunday night.

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