Bruno Tonioli speaks out over Strictly Come Dancing 'fix' claims

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Bruno Tonioli has spoken out about the weekend's Strictly Come Dancing controversy.

On Saturday night the then four celebs on this year's line up each danced two new routines with their pro partners in a bid to make the final.

The marks from the judges for the celebrities' latest dances were added together and combined with the results of the viewer vote. Those in the bottom were Claudia Fragapane and Danny Mac.

After dancing again, the judges decided to save Danny as Claudia became the next celeb to leave the competition.

Many weren't happy with the result, with some claiming that the judges had overmarked Ore Oduba to keep him in the competition.

Others accused the judges of trying to get Claudia out as she was not on next year's live tour like the rest of the remaining couples.

“I’ve said for the last eight weeks that they’ve tried to push Ore," former pro James Jordan told The Sun newspaper. "I don’t know why — maybe because he’s a BBC presenter?

“It’s clearly wrong. His dance was definitely not a ten, I would have given him a nine. The best dance of the night was performed by Claudia. Her quickstep was faultless yet she’s bottom of the judges’ leader board."

Speaking on ITV's Lorraine this morning, Bruno insisted that Ore was deserving of his marks.

"I really was not expecting this guy to deliver performances at that level," the judge said. “What’s exciting is he is always different."

And he said of the controversy surrounding the result: "When it gets to this stage, they’re all so good, someone has to go. It’s like picking between diamonds and emeralds. It’s always very, very sad, I just hated it as well.

“We have to make a choice and the public contribute to that choice and that’s what happened, but [Claudia] did incredibly well, she was wonderful but that’s how it plays.”

A spokesperson for the BBC said in response to the fix claims: “Each judge scores each dance independently, based on its merits and in their expert opinion.”

And a Strictly source added: “The BBC has no interest in orchestrating a winner or dictating who the finalists should be and ultimately the public will choose their winner next weekend.”

Strictly Come Dancing 2016's final airs next weekend on BBC One on Saturday night.

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