'Strictly' fix row: Motsi Mabuse dismisses claims dance-off is rigged

Motsi Mabuse is returning for her third series as a judge on 'Strictly Come Dancing'. (Lia Toby/Getty Images)
Motsi Mabuse has dismissed claims that 'Strictly Come Dancing' is fixed. (Getty Images)

Strictly Come Dancing judge Motsi Mabuse has dismissed claims the contest is fixed after her comments on the latest elimination were misinterpreted.

This week saw Loose Women star Judi Love and Graziano Di Prima sent home after competing in the dance-off against Olympic swimmer Adam Peaty and Katya Jones.

Asked who she would be sending home on Sunday night's show Mabuse said: “I have to say that dance off was really great, it was great to watch both couples dancing on the dancefloor.

“The decision was made for me and so I have to say that the couple that I will be saving is Adam and Katya.”

Watch: Who is Strictly's Adam Peaty?

But after some viewers speculated she had implied it was not her decision to make the 40-year-old dance school owner tweeted that she had regretted phrasing her choice that way.

Read more: 'Strictly's Giovanni Pernice sobs as he and Rose Ayling-Ellis get series first perfect 40

Mabuse tweeted: "What was So obvious to me , because the mistakes where so clear !! In times of some crazy conspiracy theories …….. lol."

One viewer commented: "Motsi: 'The decision was made for me...' - that's sus!! So the rumours were true? The producers told the judges to send Judi home and save Adam? #Strictly #Strictly2021"

And another wrote: "Did Motsi just say “the decision has been made for me”? Little bit fishy if you ask me. #Strictly #StrictlyComeDancing."

The Strictly fix claims come as comedian Julian Clary — who reached the final of the second series of the celebrity dance competition in 2004 — claimed the dance-off had been introduced by producers to prevent popularity championing over dance skills.

Contestants Julian Clary and Erin Boag during the final of BBC show Strictly Come Dancing at Blackpool Tower in Blackpool.
Julian Clary competed in the 'Strictly Come Dancing' final in 2004. (PA)

Clary, 62, told The Times: "It was all done on the public vote then and I don’t think they wanted me in the final.

"I wasn’t very good. There were better dancers than me. Now they have the dance-off thing.

"They’ve sussed a way to control it.”

The Mail On Sunday reported that it had obtained leaked voting figures revealing that McFly's Tom Fletcher had received the highest number of public votes the previous week, with 19.1 per cent.

McFly's Tom Fletcher says his kids cringe when he tries to dance with wife Giovanna at home. (BBC)
Figures leaked to the Mail On Sunday suggest McFly's Tom Fletcher has received the highest share of the public vote on 'Strictly'. (BBC)

The boyband singer and his partner Amy Dowden scored just 29/40 from the judges for their devilish Halloween Tango to AC/DC's 'Highway To Hell'. That equalled the score of Peaty and Jones, who competed in the dance-off.

The second largest share of the viewer votes according to the leaked figures went to EastEnders star Rose Ayling-Ellis and her professional partner Giovanni Pernice with 18.2 per cent.

The couple scored the first perfect score of the series in Halloween Week, being awarded 40/40 for their own Tango.

Programme Name: Strictly Come Dancing 2021 - TX: 30/10/2021 - Episode: Strictly Come Dancing - TX6 LIVE SHOW (No. n/a) - Picture Shows: **LIVE SHOW** John Whaite, Johannes Radebe - (C) BBC - Photographer: Kieron McCarron
John Whaite and Johannes Radebe have topped the leaderboard, but do not have the highest share of the public vote. (BBC)

Peaty and Jones were apparently the third most popular couple with the public, garnering a 16.4 per cent share of the vote the previous week.

And former Great British Bake Off  champion John Whaite and Johannes Radebe had the fourth largest share of the public vote, with 10.4 per cent.

Programme Name: Strictly Come Dancing 2021 - TX: 30/10/2021 - Episode: Strictly Come Dancing - TX6 LIVE SHOW (No. n/a) - Picture Shows: **LIVE SHOW** Kai Widdrington, AJ Odudu - (C) BBC - Photographer: Kieron McCarron
TV presenter AJ Odudu and partner Kai Widdrington currently have the joint highest average judges' score. (BBC)

TV presenter AJ Odudu and her partner Kai Widdrington are currently equal with Whaite and Radebe for the highest average judges' score so far.

Read more: Dan Walker dressed up as a lobster for Strictly as he doesn't 'celebrate Halloween'

And CBeebies presenter Rhys Stephenson and Nancy Xu - who landed in the dance-off in Week 5 - have the third highest average judges' score of the series, just ahead of Ayling-Ellis and Pernice.

Watch: Who's judging this year's Strictly?