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Strictly Come Dancing Halloween Week: Fleur East told she needs grace

Fleur East and Shirley Ballas
Fleur East was told by head judge Shirley Ballas she lacked grace on the dancefloor. (BBC)

Strictly Come Dancing contestant Fleur East was told by the judges she lacked grace and elegance, after performing a Salsa on her birthday.

The former X Factor star celebrated her 34th birthday in Halloween Week as she performed an energetic Salsa to Beyonce's Break My Soul, scoring a respectable 32 out of 40.

East said dancing to her hero Beyonce was the "best birthday gift ever" and admitted she "loved" performing the Salsa.

Read more: Strictly's Tony Adams apologises for heckling Shirley Ballas

But head judge Shirley Ballas told her: "Well our birthday girl, it had reminiscence of the Cha Cha Cha, it had rhythm. Moving forward I would like to see a little bit more finesse, a little bit more grace but there is no disputing your power."

Craig Revel Horwood agreed: "It was just a little bit messy for me. There's no elegance, it's got to be really smooth." But he also admitted it was a "powerful" performance.

Anton Du Beke warned her: "I love that on the edge energy, but you have to be ice like in the mind or it goes too far. That was on the cusp. Just be aware."

But Motsi Mabuse challenged the other judges, telling East: "You bring a different type of energy and maybe we're not used to seeing a woman so strong on the dancefloor. Maybe time for a change?"

East was not put off by the judges' criticism, especially after the rest of the Strictly cast sang Happy Birthday live on the show and presented her with a cake with her and dance partner Vito Coppola's picture printed on top.

Strictly Come Dancing Fleur East & Vito Coppola
Strictly Come Dancing's Fleur East was warned by the judges to control her powerful performances. (BBC)

She said: "I'm always Beyonce in my head - when I'm walking down the street, in the mirror in my room... so that was incredible."

Head judge Ballas was previously trolled by viewers for criticising East's performance when she was on the dance off in Movies Week.

The singer and radio DJ said afterwards: "Oh my goodness, I couldn’t believe it. There’s a lot of heat in the cha cha chat room. And I think it’s really unfair, actually.

Fleur East
Fleur East celebrated her birthday on the Halloween show. (BBC)

“I have the utmost respect for all the judges. But Shirley...if you’ve not seen her dance, she’s incredible.

Read more: Strictly Come Dancing's Jayde Adams says women on the show treated unfairly

“So, any time I stand there I’m like ‘Just give me the notes, what do I have to do?’”

Watch: Who is Stritcly's Fleur East?