Shirley Ballas gets emotional about Strictly sexism allegations

Strictly: Shirley Ballas ‘emotional’ as she discusses trolls’ comments

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On Wednesday’s instalment of Loose Women, the panellists welcomed Strictly Come Dancing star Shirley Ballas onto the show. During their discussion, they mentioned the recent backlash she’s received following sexism allegations. Getting emotional while speaking about some of the comments she’s seen, the 62-year-old defended her decisions.

Last weekend saw radio host Richie Anderson and singer Fleur East in the dance-off after failing to impress viewers at home with their routines for Movie Week.

In the end, it was Fleur and her Strictly partner Vito Coppola who was saved by judges Craig Revel Horwood, Motsi Mabuse and Anton Du Beke which resulted in Richie being sent home.

However, when presenter Tess Daly asked head judge Shirley if she would have agreed with their decision, she admitted she would have chosen Richie and Giovanni to stay instead.

Her comments sparked outrage among viewers with many accusing the judge of being sexist and having blatant male favourites in the competition.

Receiving a mass amount of online abuse and hate from fans of the show, the 62-year-old appeared on Loose Women to defend her decisions on the BBC competition.

Panellist Kelle Bryan commented that as Shirley loves her job, it must have been a hard week receiving all the backlash last weekend.

The judge, who joined the show in 2017, said that she appreciates the audience who have been watching Strictly for 20 years but added as they’re watching on TV they can only see half of what she does.

She commented: “I can see everything that’s going on. I love that they have an opinion. It’s just when it goes overboard it starts to become nasty.”

With Jane mentioning the nasty comments, she mentioned that as she’s from the dancing industry she must be quite robust.

Shirley replied: “It is a tough industry and has been a tough industry all my life. So Saturdays, oh I’m getting emotional already.

“Saturdays are always a bit like going to Disneyland, it’s the ultimate job, it’s what you really enjoy and I do read everything. I know people say don’t read it but I think it’s quite important to me.

“I like to feel like I’ve helped so many people who have had mental health issues over the years and different things but it is really hurtful.

“Some of the language is so explicit I couldn’t even retweet them, they’re so explicit it’s just unfathomable how people think about it.”

Saying that Strictly Come Dancing is a beautiful show that’s there to entertain people, the head judge told the panel she’s there to do a job.

She continued: “I haven’t got a mean bone in my body, I’ve got a son who dances and I’m just not a mean person, but when it’s put in front of my 45 years of experience come in.

“You don’t have to agree with me, I don’t have to agree with the panel, they don’t have to agree with me, that’s ok. But we can still talk to each other in a human-like fashion.

Admitting she was going to rant about the sexist allegations made against Shirley, panellist Jane Moore confessed the Loose Women ladies also go through the same thing.

She said: “Sometimes we say something that if men said it on a debate show nobody would take any notice whatsoever and it becomes this big thing.”

Mentioning Shirley decided to save Kaye Adams in the dance-off in the first public vote, Jane highlighted nobody had anything to say about her decision then.

The Loose Women star added it’s her job as a professional to say what she sees before comparing her remarks to fellow judge Craig Revel Horwood.

Jane continued: “You might say, ‘oh you’re a handsome man’ and Craig will go, ‘oh darling I couldn’t take my eyes off your trousers’ or whatever. Then everybody goes haha that’s so funny, because it’s a man!”

Strictly Come Dancing continues this Saturday on BBC One at 6:30pm

Loose Women airs weekdays on ITV at 12:30pm.

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