Melvin Odoom defends Strictly Come Dancing amid racism row: 'It has nothing to do with race' EXCLUSIVE

In just two short weeks, this series of Strictly Come Dancing has faced more controversy than any other series to come before it, with viewers blasting BBC voters as “racist” after Melvin Odoom and Tameka Empson became the first two celebrities to be eliminated from the competition.

Irish Laura Whitmore and American Anastacia have also been in the bottom two over the past two weeks, leaving many wondering whether ethnicity and nationality played a factor when viewers cast their votes.

Melvin and his professional partner, Janette
Melvin and his professional partner, Janette

Now Melvin Odoom has defended Strictly, insisting that race has absolutely nothing to do with this year’s shock eliminations.

Speaking exclusively to Yahoo Celebrity UK at Specsaver’s Spectacle Wearer Of The Year Awards, Melvin said: “If there was a racist issue we wouldn’t be there in the first place, so I think it has nothing to do with that.

“I think people are just trying to find a story out of nothing, essentially.

Tameka has sadly left the competition
Tameka has sadly left the competition

“Every single person on that show is amazing, whoever leaves is going to be a big story. With Laura and Tameka, their dance-off for me was like: ‘Whoever loses, this is going to be a sad outcome.’

“I just want everyone to get along and do well.”

Melvin also took the opportunity to defend Anastacia, who faced backlash after the dance-off was cancelled due to her ill health and Melvin was immediately eliminated for getting the least amount of votes.

Melvin didn't get to compete in a dance-off
Melvin didn’t get to compete in a dance-off

He explained: “For me, it was a great experience, I’ve been wanting to do it for two years so to even be on there dancing was an achievement.

“My mum was so proud of me and to get her tickets to Strictly was like winning the whole competition.

“Anastacia’s health comes first and I love her as much as I love the other constestants so for me, that’s the important thing.”