Strictly Come Dancing's Oti Mabuse fears she will be marked down because of her skin colour

Stephanie Soteriou

Strictly Come Dancing professional Oti Mabuse has opened up about her fears of being “marked down” in the BBC One dance competition because of the colour of her skin, admitting that her race makes her “work harder”.

Oti, a professional Latin and ballroom dancer from South Africa, confessed that she feels the fact that she is “different” could “lead to the judges not marking [her] right” in a candid new interview.

Oti fears being marked down because of her race. Copyright: [Rex]
Oti fears being marked down because of her race. Copyright: [Rex]

Speaking to Pride magazine, the star explained: “I don’t look like the others, but I train day and night to be at the top of my game. I don’t have the same body movements, or the same body type, but I work really hard.

“I like to be so good, that no-one can have anything to say about me; my dancing speaks for itself.”

She continued: “When you are different, that can lead to judges not marking you right because they think you look ‘odd’ – and that’s in any competition.

“I work very hard to make sure that won’t happen. I’m determined to not let my skin colour or the fact that I come from Africa be a hindrance.”

Strictly was once again accused of racism following Aston Merrygold’s shock elimination. Copyright: [BBC]
Strictly was once again accused of racism following Aston Merrygold’s shock elimination. Copyright: [BBC]

Oti’s comments come after the show was once again accused of racism following JLS star Aston Merrygold’s shock elimination at the weekend.

Aston found himself in the dance-off against The Saturdays’ Mollie King after judge Craig Revel-Horwood “unfairly” gave his Saturday night dance a four out of 10, with many of Aston’s fans taking to Twitter to claim that Aston had left the competition because of his race:

This isn’t the first time that Strictly has been accused of racism, with the popular show finding itself at the centre of a racism storm last year after viewers noticed that the first three celebrities to leave the competition were ethnic minorities.

Melvin Odoom, Tameka Empson, and Naga Munchetty were the first to bid farewell to the dancefloor in 2016, and when Holby City actress Chizzy Akudolu became the first to be eliminated from this series fans were quick to claim that “history is repeating itself”.

Oti is partnered with Jonnie in this year’s series. Copyright: [BBC]
Oti is partnered with Jonnie in this year’s series. Copyright: [BBC]

In the current series of the show, Oti is partnered with Paralympic athlete Jonnie Peacock, with the dancer reaching week three of the competition with Anthony Ogogo in 2015, her first year on the programme, and finishing as runner-up last year with celebrity partner Danny Mac.

Yahoo Celeb UK have contacted Strictly’s reps for comment.

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