Ashley Roberts is feeling "upset" and "unwanted" on Strictly Come Dancing after receiving a backlash over her dance background.
The former Pussycat Doll has ended up in the bottom two twice, despite frequently topping the leaderboard.
The 37-year-old feels distressed because it was the BBC who approached her to star on the show, knowing full well about her professional dance history.
A source told the Mail On Sunday: "Ashley feels she is not wanted on the show and it is terribly sad for her.
"She is particularly upset because she wasn’t the one who went to the BBC, begging to be signed up for Strictly.
Ashley Roberts and Pasha Kovalev on Saturday’s Strictly Come Dancing
(Image: Guy Levy/BBC/PA Wire)
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"They approached her, knowing full well what she had done in the past. This has been so sad for Ashley. Imagine going to work when people don’t want you there."
Many viewers have turned against Ashley and partner Pasha Kovalev’s continuing participation in the show because of her experience, rather than her personality.
Her sunny disposition and positive attitude won over Brits when she starred on I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! in 2012.
However, it appears many Strictly fans believe she has an unfair advantage over total novices, such as Joe Sugg and Lauren Stedman, because she used to work as a professional dancer.
Ashley was upset to end up in the dance-off last week
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Ashley trained in modern dance, including ballet, tap, modern and lyrical, since she was a child and working professionally as a dancer before joining the pop group.
She moved from Arizona to Los Angeles to pursue a dance career, appearing in videos for P!nk, Aaron Carter, Josh Groban and Counting Crows.
The blonde has also been a judge on Dancing On Ice in 2013-2014, as well as served as a guest judge on American TV series Dance Your Ass Off.
When she was first announced as a contestant, Ashley insisted learning ballroom and Latin would be a huge challenge for her: "The ballroom and Latin world is so different in how they carry their bodies, how they transfer their weight, whereas with hip hop and jazz you almost get to come up with the creative movement yourself.
Ashley insisted ballroom and Latin were a huge challenge for her
(Image: Guy Levy/BBC/PA Wire)
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"Ballroom is very specific, so it’s very challenging."
Meanwhile, Strictly co-host Tess Daly defended Ashley after she ended up in the bottom two for a second time last weekend.
The presenter told Metro.co.uk: "I think cut her a little slack, she’s an absolute sweetheart and doesn’t deserve that.
"I actually feel sorry for Ashley because she was in tears on Sunday night, when she was in the bottom two."
Ashley performing with The Pussycat Dolls in 2007
(Image: CARL DE SOUZA/AFP/Getty Images)
Since the 16th series started in September, Ashley has had the highest scoring dance of the night eight times.
Ashley isn’t the only contestant receiving public criticism over her background.
Steps singer Faye Tozer’s extensive CV claims she has training in 12 different dance styles, including Bollywood, Burlesque, Salsa, Jazz, Tap and Folk.
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