Strictly Come Dancing star Kai Widdrington has defended his dance partner Angela Rippon amid “fix” claims.
Last week, after finding herself in the bottom two again, Rippon went head-to-head in a dance-off with newsreader Krishnan Guru Murthy.
Three of the four judges chose to eliminate Guru Murth, while Rippon made it through to the Blackpool show and viewers were not happy.
Angry fans took to social media to share their frustrations.
Over the weekend, one user wrote: “Can’t believe that the judges voted to keep Angela Rippon in again. It’s looking suspiciously like a fix! #Strictly.”
Another said: “Shirley Ballas is the only one that voted correctly as she would’ve saved Krishnan. Angela Rippon nearly fell over. What a fix!”
“So @krishgm Krishnan improves on Dance off, Angela Rippon makes mistake but he goes home? No justice in that!! TOTAL FIX #StrictlyComeDancing #strictly,” commented another fan.
After the show, Rippon appeared on It Takes Two to discuss her dance-off routine.
When asked about her performance, she said: “The dance was quite different from anything we’ve done before. People expect it to be a strong face with a strong body and technical footwork, but there’s passionate and timing and that’s what we sort of cracked.”
Defiant Angela Rippon and Kai Widdrington send message to Strictly fans after dance-off controversy
Speaking about their chance of going to Blackpool and the dance-off, Widdrington added: “Angela’s been there before, we were there the week before.
“There was no way on earth I was letting you go home even if we completely fell off the [side of the dancefloor].
“We did enough, we had a good score. I think you deserved your place at Blackpool so.”
But this isn’t the first time viewers have claimed a “fix”.
Fans have previously highlighted veteran British broadcaster Rippon’s connection to the show – including presenting Come Dancing, the original ballroom dance competition that gave Strictly its name.
Rippon,79, who made history as the show’s oldest participant when the 2023 lineup was revealed, began her journalism career with the BBC when she was 21. She continues to co-present the BBC One consumer show Rip Off alongside Gloria Hunniford and Julia Somerville.
Week 7 also saw Rippon in the bottom two up against Adam Thomas – who was later eliminated. After the results were announced, fans quickly took to X/Twitter to share their thoughts.
‘Strictly’ star Adam Thomas was eliminated from the series
“Just saw the Strictly Come Dancing results show tonight, and I smell a fix – all four judges saved Angela Rippon, who was by far the weakest contestant this week. Why they saved her? Two reasons – her age, and that she used to host the original Come Dancing,” one user said.
However, in a statement to The Independent, a Strictly source shut down such claims and said: “All of the judges are hugely experienced individuals who judge on dance and dance alone in the main show and in the dance offs. Any conspiracy theories suggesting otherwise are simply untrue”.
Strictly Come Dancing’s live shows air on Saturday nights on BBC One.