Strictly Come Dancing accused of ‘con’ after fallen Fleur East is spared last waltz

Fleur East beat Eastenders actor James Bye following her dance-off performance on Sunday (Strictly Come Dancing /YouTube)
Fleur East beat Eastenders actor James Bye following her dance-off performance on Sunday (Strictly Come Dancing /YouTube)

The BBC insisted on Thursday that Fleur East had been allowed to restart her Strictly Come Dancing dance-off performance after a fall as the “dance had not started”.

The 35-year-old former X Factor star suffered a tumble after “an incident with a prop”, dragging her professional partner Vito Coppola down with her, during Sunday’s results show.

The pair were checked over by medics before being allowed to restart and the incident was not broadcast. East, 35, from Walthamstow, and Coppola, 30, were voted through to the next round, with EastEnders actor James Bye kicked out.

It led to claims on social media that the BBC was “conning” viewers because the couple should not have been given a second go on a “live” show.

But the BBC defended its actions, saying East and Coppola needed to be checked over as a “matter of urgency.”

In a statement, it said: “As they had not begun to dance before the incident occurred, it was decided they could start the performance again, once it was confirmed they were fit to do so.”

The dance-off was pre-recorded on Saturday night, with Bye, 38, partnered by pro dancer Amy Dowden, 32. East and Coppola performed a salsa routine to Beyoncé’s Break My Soul, triumphing over Bye and Dowden, who became the fifth couple to leave the show.

Following the final performances, judge Craig Revel Horwood said it was his “responsibility” as a judge to “save the better dancer”, meanwhile Motsi Mabuse said there were “different levels of dancing on the dance floor”.