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Former Strictly star Dan Walker insists BBC show 'isn't a dance competition'

Former Strictly Come Dancing contestant Dan Walker says the show "isn't a dance competition" and he has spoken out on the shock exits this year.

The ex BBC Breakfast presenter, who competed in Strictly last year with pro partner Nadiya Bychkova and made it to the quarter finals, spoke to the Mirror on the Pride of Britain red carpet. Viewers have been left shocked this series after impressive dancers such as Fleur East, Molly Rainford and Kym Marsh have landed in the dance-off.

The judges were also stunned when Richie Anderson was kicked out in week three despite impressing with his Lion King Samba. "Well, it's not a dance competition is it? It's half a popularity contest, it's an entertainment show and it doesn't matter how good you are on the dance floor, you've got to connect with the audience," Dan told The Mirror.

Read More: Strictly Come Dancing result sees James Bye go as Fleur East dealt birthday blow

"Look at how Tony [Adams] and Katya [Jones] have done - he's just been fantastic and I think he's got a few more weeks in him. It's just entertainment.

"At a time when we just need to sit down and watch telly and have a bit of fun, Tony provides that. Once people saw him as England captain, this brilliant footballer, trouble with alcohol at the end of his career and he's come through the other side and he's very thankful for that and what he can do with that.

Jowita Przystal and Hamza Yassin on Strictly Come Dancing (Guy Levy/BBC/PA Wire)

"Listen, as someone who wasn't the best dancer, I can recognise someone who also wasn't the best dancer in the world - he's brilliant to watch and he's fantastic entertainment."

While Dan reckons there is a lot of good talent in this year's competition, there's one stand-out star - Hamza Yassin. "This year I think there's been loads of the guys that I think [are good]. Helen's been fantastic, Helen Skelton. I think Graziano's done a brilliant job with Kym, Nikita's been so creative with Ellie Simmonds, Johannes and the other Ellie are a really good combination.

"There's some really good dancers but Hamza's unstoppable, he's going to win it. When the names on Strictly come out there's always some people who say, 'Who's that? Dunno who they are.' I think quite a few people have gone, 'I don't know who he is' to 'I would die for him!' in five weeks. And that's the magic of it!

"I think Jowita's done a lovely job with him and it's a great couple. Just to see him - who's a really humble man - growing into it and becoming a little bit more confident and he's just got so much talent. It's him or Helen who's going to win it."

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