Strictly’s Shirley Ballas defends Ashley Roberts from ‘pro dancer’ claims

Strictly Come Dancing judge Shirley Ballas has defended Ashley Roberts from claims she’s a ‘pro dancer’.


Ashley is one of four celebrities left in the competition for Strictly’s grand final this Saturday.

But she only just made it, appearing in the bottom two dance off for the previous three weeks.

Ashley found herself having to dance again for the judges despite scoring top marks, last week achieving a perfect 40.

Viewers have been failing to get behind the Pussycat Doll singer and former Dancing On Ice judge, with criticism that she’s already a ‘professional’ with years of dance experience.

Appearing on ITV’s Loose Women, Shirley said: “She is not a pro ballroom or Latin dancer. She has had to learn the ropes like everyone else.”

She added: “I think that’s why we have this kind of show. Everybody brings something different to the table– entertainment, musicality, lifts, this that and the other. Everybody has a journey and at the end of the day it will be down to the public to pick the winner.”


Meanwhile, Ashley’s fellow finalist Faye Tozer has confessed she didn’t expect to be asked to do the show because of her past dance experience.

“I didn’t think I would ever be considered for Strictly because I come from a dancing pop group,” admitted Faye. “I didn’t think that I would ever get the chance to be on there.”

However she defended signing up to The Sun newspaper: “There’s always somebody with more experience than others but the thing we have in common is that none of us have ever done the ballroom or the Latin and some people are just natural movers.

“They want to have some sort of standard and level because if everybody couldn’t manage it every week you wouldn’t be able to create such a beautiful and amazing show.”

After 13 amazing weeks of glitter, glamour and sensational performances, Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman present the Strictly Come Dancing Final live on BBC One this Saturday night.

Alongside Ashley and Faye, those in the final are Stacey Dooley & Kevin Clifton and Joe Sugg & Dianne Buswell.


The four couples will each perform three times in the final: A past dance chosen by the judges, their favourite dance from the series and of course a brand new show dance routine.

Viewer votes alone will decide the Strictly Come Dancing 2018 winner this Saturday, 15 December from 6.30pm on BBC One.