Strictly ‘fix’ row as Shirley Ballas ‘reads scores from blank sheet of paper’

Strictly fans felt sure that they were seeing a ‘fix’ in action this evening after a technical foul-up saw judge Shirley Ballas reading the results from a scrap of paper.

The head judge was given the job of reading out the scores of the lindyhop-athon, where the whole group of dancers performed simultaneously.

Once the dance was over Shirley started reading the scores from an iPad, but then put that aside after it appeared to malfunction and said"After an amazing performance, and thank you all for that, I’ve conferred with my fellow adjudicators…

"Hold on we’ve lost the board. But anyway I’ll keep going."

Strictly 'fix' row as Shirley Ballas 'reads scores from blank sheet of paper'

(Image: BBC)

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Fellow judge Craig Revel Horwood was handed the sheet of paper by a producer and duly passed it to Shirley, who then announced: "Getting seven points, will be Ashley!”

But then Darcey, correcting her, quietly said: "Seventh place is for Lauren, read from the bottom"

In the confusion, Shirley announced the fifth place spot was for "Charles and Dianne," which left Karen Clifton looking over at her pro colleague in bemusement.

Strictly 'fix' row as Shirley Ballas 'reads scores from blank sheet of paper'

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(Image: BBC)

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They explained the situation to her, and she corrected herself, saying it was Charles and Karen in that spot, while Joe and Dianne were in third place.

Eventually Bruno decided to take over.

Bruno attempted to make sense of the chaos, by saying "We apologise the board went all berserk so we have to read off the paper. So we start on seventh place. Sorry.”

There was an immediate social media outcry as dozens of viewers were convinced that the ‘technical error’ was the cover for a rearrangement of the scores by the show’s producers.

There have been several conspiracy heroes swirling around this year’s Strictly, with Twitter users discussing a rumoured attempt to keep Seann and Katya in longer than they deserved to be in order to chase ratings, and two different – and mutually contradictory – theories about the scoring of Joe Sugg’s dances.

None of them are likely to be true, but the speculation is all part of the fun of Strictly.

Strictly Come Dancing continues at 7.20pm on Sunday on BBC1.

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