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Jessica Sansome & Sophie Brownson

BBC Strictly Come Dancing's Nikita Kuzmin addresses fan concern after 'illegal lift' drama

Strictly Come Dancing star Nikita Kuzmin has reassured his concerned fans after he 'disappeared' following criticism of his dance with Ellie Simmonds.

The Ukrainian dancer and the Paralympic swimming champ impressed viewers with their performance to the theme tune from The Apprentice on Saturday's show, Manchester Evening News reports. To celebrate the BBC’s centenary, dancers on the show performed routines to classic BBC theme songs and the theme songs of popular programmes including Blue Peter, Grange Hill, Line of Duty.

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Ellie and Nikita secured a score of 30 points for their dramatic paso double - but it didn't come without critique.

Head judge Shirley Ballas said: "Your laser vision at the very beginning, I could see that you were totally into this, you brought a lovely sense of mood."

However, the 62-year-old added that she deducted one point for an "illegal lift" during the routine.

"I only have one little complaint," she said. "I do, I'm so sorry. I do have to deduct one point for an assisted lift at the beginning because that's not allowed. But other than that you were absolutely phenomenal."

Her co-judge Craig Revel Horwood was in agreement, calling it an "illegal lift" as he criticised the move. He claimed it would have been fine if it had just been a quick maneuver to get Ellie from the table to the floor but said it 'lasted too long.'

But the comment didn't go down well with viewers. One viewer, @MrBradPreston, said: "I don’t understand the comment about the illegal lift. How else was Ellie supposed to get off the table?"

Meanwhile, another viewer noticed Nikita seemed to go missing for the rest of the show after the critique sparking concern among fans. Viewers are used to seeing the professional dancers and the celebrities alongside Claudia Winkleman in between performances but 24-year-old Nikita didn't seem to appear.

Worried fan, @ladylucisadventures, said: "Anyone know if @nikita__kuzmin is ok? Haven't seen him on set all night."

But seeing the comment, Nikita put concerns to rest and replied: "Just ripped my pants because of this paso [crying laughing emojis]. So had to get them sown for the third time! Thank you."


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