How Katie McGlynn's Strictly rehearsal ordeal and lack of training led to Gorka exit

By Kyle O'Sullivan

Katie McGlynn's turbulent Strictly Come Dancing journey has come to an end already.

The former Coronation Street actress was the second celeb to booted out of the competition after losing the dreaded dance-off to Loose Women favourite Judi Love.

During their short time in the series, Katie was plagued with rumours of a feud between her and pro dancer partner Gorka Marquez after recent speculation they "don't get along".

There were also claims of 'tension' between the pair, something Katie appeared to cool during her exit chat and Gorka also hit back over just days ago.

One thing that undeniably put a strain on their ability to dance together was Katie's hectic filming schedule on Hollyoaks, which meant she was putting in far less time in the training room than her rivals.

Even Gorka's partner, former Strictly contestant Gemma Atkinson, appeared to make a subtle dig at the fact the couple weren't able to rehearse very often.

Katie and Gorka are the second couple to be eliminated (BBC / Guy Levy)

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Former Emmerdale star Gemma, who met Gorka while dancing with Alijaz in the 2017 series, discussed their lack of practise while paying tribute to her man and his celeb partner after they were knocked out.

"@katiexmcglynn you should be SO proud of yourself," Gemma wrote on Instagram, before revealing how they did not spend a lot of time in the dance studio.

"Doing those dances with practically no rehearsal time at all is incredible! I struggled with 8hrs a day never mind 3hrs! You did ace! The best team. You did yourself and Gorks Proud!"

Katie's hectic schedule playing havoc with training has been a recurring point of conflict which has ran from the start of the series.

In the opening weeks, rumours began to swirl that tensions were rising backstage with Strictly bosses over Katie's filming commitments playing Becky Quentin on Hollyoaks.

A Strictly insider told The Sun : "Tensions seem to be rising as the actor struggles to juggle her two major commitments.

"There is no suggestion that Katie herself is to blame. She is being pulled in one direction by Hollyoaks and in the other by Strictly.

"But there’s no doubt she is exhausted by her schedule and she isn’t getting in as much practice as she would like with Gorka, who’s even arranged rehearsal sessions in Manchester to make life easier for her."

The pair did not impress the judges (PA)
Gorka and Katie struggled with a lack of training time (@katiexmcglynn)

But BBC bosses made it clear production didn’t blame Katie for the situation.

A spokeswoman said: "The suggestion that Strictly production is disappointed in Katie for any reason is categorically untrue."

Last month they made an appearance on This Morning, with Katie revealing she was "enjoying" training with Gorka but her Hollyoaks commitments were stopping them training as much as they would have liked.

"Obviously, we've had a hectic schedule this week because I've been filming a lot at Hollyoaks so we've just been scrambling for time," confessed Katie.

"But when we have [the time], we've just been prioritising the steps and going through it and having a laugh. I think we have got a similar sense of humour."

Gorka also expressed his joy at being partnered up with Katie but admitted they were not doing enough hours.

When asked about difficulty fitting training in, Gorka added: "It's difficult because I want to give all the time that I can for her. To make her feel confident, feel relaxed, not worrying about anything.

"But obviously [with Katie] being so busy, it's very difficult but she's doing well. We're getting there."

Katie and Gorka appeared on This Morning together (REX)

Ahead of their first dance, Tango, Gorka said he was impressed by Katie's effort but pointed out they needed more time to rehearse.

"All the work is done now is time to enjoy our first dance in the Strictly floor. I am so amazed by your work ethic and your commitment to give it all," he wrote on Instagram.

"If you achieve what you did with no experience and no hours to train can’t wait to see the rest! LFG!!!"

Unfortunately, the couple found themselves in bottom two in the second week and narrowly came through the first dreaded dance-off.

Giving her thoughts, body language expert Judi James said they sound like a supportive couple but they looked as if they were expecting the worst.

She told The Mirror: "When they stood in front of the judges, Gorka did produce some reassurance gestures, rubbing and squeezing her arm as though trying to motivate and comfort her but they probably used less eye contact than some of the other dance couples and Gorka often looked more as though he was standing to attention with one arm behind his back."

She added: "It’s rumoured that Katie has a busy schedule and this could mean she has less rehearsal time than some of the other competitors. If this is true it could be that Gorka is keen to suggest it’s not his fault if she hasn’t reached the kind of potential she obviously has."

The couple have been given the boot (BBC)

The couple put on a united front and came back out to put on another great show on Saturday, but they found themselves facing elimination once again.

The judges were split on their decision but head judge Shirley Ballas put the final nail in the coffin and sent Katie and Gorka home over Judi and her dance partner Graziano Di Prima.

"I have absolutely loved my time, I am so happy I got to be Cruella, and dance with this amazing guy, I have loved every second of it," Katie told host Tess Daly.

Turning to Gorka, she added: "Thank you for being an amazing partner, we have laughed so much, and I get to walk away with an amazing friend.

"Thanks so much for teaching me in your funny ways, we have had so much fun."

Praising Katie back, Gorka revealing she loved her time on the show show made their partnership and time on the series "enjoyable and easy".

"I have loved it, the love that she has for the show," he explained.

"I think talking for myself, and all the pros, when we come to the show, it isn’t just about someone who can dance, it is someone who wants to learn, who wants to improve, and makes us love what we do, and makes our job enjoyable and easy.

"That’s what I had with Katie and I will never forget this experience, it’s been incredible."

*Strictly Come Dancing It Takes Two airs tonight on BBC Two at 6.30pm

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