Graeme Swann wasn’t able to compete with Ashley Roberts in Sunday night’s Strictly Come Dancing dance-off, but maybe lacking 25 years of practice might have something to do with it.
The cricketer seemed to be taking a sly dig at the former Pussycat Dolls popstar as he exited the BBC celebrity dance contest.
As he was ‘rudely’ (more on that later) voted off by judges, Tess Daly remarked that’s he’d done remarkably well for ‘a novice’.
“Well secretly, I had 25 years of ballroom experience, but I kept that to myself. No, I was a novice coming in to this,” he replied.
‘To be honest let’s face it when you get down to the nitty gritty of this competition, I was on borrowed time, unless I learned to fly or something I wasn’t going to get past here.’
Ashley has been dancing since she was three years old, however Swann also added that he would have ‘voted for Ashley and Pasha as well’.
But while the skill levels on display were something of a yawning chasm between the couples, viewers felt that the judges on the night were unnecessarily harsh in their comments as they cast their votes.
Rather than simply announcing their decisions, both Craig Revel Horwood and Bruno Tonioli felt the need to rub salt in the wound.
Horwood said: “For me, it’s a no-brainer, and the couple I’d like to save is Ashley and Pasha.”
Tonioli went a bit further still, saying: “No disrespect, but it’s evident. The overall much, much stronger, on every level, I mean come on… it’s Ashley. It’s evident.”
Viewers quickly headed to Twitter to call both judges out.
The judges didn’t have to go off about how easy of a choice it is to choose Ashley but they really did and I find it unnecessary? We know you prefer her, do you need to say it. Poor Graeme didn’t have a chance but did you have to accentuate that point so much?? #Strictly
— Sophie 🍂 (@SophiexHorayne) November 25, 2018
Horrible judges putting Graham down, there was no need for that. Ashley looked so smug, she wasn't a complete beginner like him #Strictly
— Margaret N (@MaggieYorks) November 25, 2018
Judges were so rude to in the dance off! Especially Bruno , totally uncalled for & very unprofessional and disrespectful, poor Graeme! This is good old friendly Strictly, Not Xfactor #Strictly
— JAMΞS (@LightFuryDoctor) November 25, 2018
It means that Graeme and partner Oti Mabuse will miss out on musicals week this coming Saturday night.