Strictly fans have been saying for a while now that former Pussycat Doll Ashley Roberts has too much formal dance training to take part in the pro-am contest and now reigning champion Joe McFadden has weighed in on the issue.
Holby City actor Joe, 43, British viewers would prefer a winner who has had to work hard over one with a professional dance background.
Joe notably had no grounding in dance when he took part in Strictly last year and one of the factors that helped him win the public’s affection was the evident growth he demonstrated as the series progressed.
Ashley’s samba proved divisive among the judges
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Speaking to the Daily Mail, Joe said “I think it’s a British thing that you like to see people sweating. You like to see them working at maximum effort,
“It’s different in America, when the best dancer wins Dancing With The Stars – Nicole Scherzinger won it there.”
Ashley divided the judges last week with a samba that Bruno thought sensuous, but Craig found staccato.
She found herself in the bottom two, in a dance-off against cricketer Graeme Swann to retain her place in the competition.
Joe and Katya lifted the glitterball trophy against stiff competition from the likes of Debbie McGee and Mollie King
(Image: BBC/Guy Levy)
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Ashley was asked about the backlash against her previous dancing experience on This Morning earlier this month.
The Pussycat Dolls singer, who previously scored a perfect 40 at Blackpool, defended her position on the show.
She said: "With the Pussycat Dolls it was a lot of booty pop, hip-hop dancing stuff which was over ten years ago.
Ashley maintains that the kind of routines she did with the Pussycat Dolls have no bearing on the dances she performs with Pasha
(Image: Ken McKay/ITV/REX/Shutterstock)
"But [this] is such a different style of dance, I mean, the way that they transfer the weight and from the ankles to the knees to the shoulders.
"It’s so elegant and classy, and so precise. I mean, listen, I did have this dance experience but I am learning and I’m in the studio every week with Pash giving it my all."
Joe concluded: ‘The right person will win it because it’s the person the people who vote want to win. If it’s Ashley Roberts who has dance experience, that’s just fine.’
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