‘Vote if you don’t want them in the bottom two’ Shirley Ballas slams Strictly fix claims

Shirley Ballas, head judge of the Strictly Come Dancing panel, has told Dan Walker and Louise Minchin on BBC Breakfast about the death threats and personal abuse she’s been receiving during this series of the show, which she says is the “worst” she’s received since joining the show.

In an interview on BBC Breakfast, Ballas described the personal attacks levelled at her social media accounts during this run of Strictly, which have included death threats.

“I’ve had more online bullying this time than I’ve had in any series of Strictly. Particularly direct messaging. More so from the younger fans.

“If their chosen one gets sent away, it’s, ‘I hate you’, ‘Die’, ‘Go kill yourself’. Those types of messages in my direct message box.”

Despite the vitriol aimed at her, Ballas said all this anger makes her more concerned for others rather than herself.


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“But my concern is not all so much for myself, it’s for the younger people out there.

“If they do that type of bullying online what do they do in the workplace, what do they do at the schools? My concern is always for the younger generation.”

Ballas related the personal nature of these attacks and briefly stopped short of dictating one particular message, before deciding to share it.

“It’s so personal. It’s about your body, it’s about your face. It’s about so many things. 

“I couldn’t even repeat them, some of the things that are said… I will actually. One person said, ‘You have got a chest like a Seville orange, it looks like it’s been eaten by a thousand slugs. Go crawl back under that rock.’”

Ballas explained she is completely impartial in the process of sending a contestant home and how unwarranted the abuse is.

“We’re talking really personal. This is because you send somebody home. And that’s my job. I have no favourites. I love them all. May the best man win.

“The BBC put on an absolutely spectacular show and people should focus on that. We have to send somebody home. And if you put them in the bottom two, that’s my job.”

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Taken aback at the ferocity of the abuse, Dan Walker replied: “It’s an entertainment show isn’t it?”

Ballas then responded with the perfect way to stop a fan favourite from being in the bottom two, which involves using a phone in a more positive way.

“It is! Vote if you don’t want them in the bottom two!”

Michelle Visage was the latest contestant to leave this weekend and Ballas had nothing but praise for her.


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“We’re all in love with Michelle. And it was so sad that we had to let anybody go at all.”

She even hinted the stern Craig was not so stern when it came to deciding who was next to leave.

“Even Craig was quivering in his boots there because we love her so much. It’s hard from here on, it gets tougher and tougher.”

There was also further elaboration on why Michelle’s time on the show had to come to a conclusion.

“Her message was great. I love the message. She had precision but there wasn’t a lot of dancing between her and Giovanni and I think that’s how the panel agreed to send her home.”

Strictly Come Dancing continues on Saturday at 7pm.

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