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Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
Susan Knox

Strictly's Shirley Ballas makes U-turn on Ellie Simmonds after savage criticism

Strictly Come Dancing judge Shirley Ballas made an unexpected U-turn on her thoughts on Ellie Simmonds as she showered the contestant with praise following some harsh criticism last week.

The opinionated judge, 62, praised the contestant following her latest performance with professional dance partner Nikita after slamming their previous performance.

Sitting in the hot seat tonight, Shirley described Ellie's performance as 'marvellous' as she celebrated her 'magnificent turns and twirls' and the head judge also complimented Nikita on his impressive lifts.

Shirley's change in attitude comes after she sparked outrage online following Ellie's performance last week criticised her heel leads as she danced with Johannes Radebe earlier in the series.

Later on, Ellie Simmonds and her partner Nikita took to the stage, and Shirley had some savage criticism to dish out.

Shirley showered Ellie with praise following her latest performance (BBC)

Whilst Ellie T received severe criticism for her heel leads, Ellie S was not given such harsh criticism by the head judge and angry fans fumed on social media over what happened. A seemingly annoyed Nikita seemed to call Shirley out as he clapped back at the judge.

Following their dance and critique, the pair headed upstairs to chat with Claudia Winkleman as Nikita took the moment to address a comment made by Shirley earlier in the programme. Comedienne Ellie Taylor was marked down by Shirley for her poor footwork.

"Just a little bit confused because Shirley said previously to Ellie T that there must be everything right with the feet in the ballroom," Nikita said as comedienne Ellie clapped in the background.

Ellie and Nikita impressed the judges (BBC)

His comment seemed to hint that he felt he and Ellie Simmonds had not been undermarked for their dance, despite facing the same issue with their footwork.

Following her harsh words, Strictly fans flocked to Twitter to call for Shirley to be replaced.

"Shirley Ballas should be removed from the panel," one angry fan mused on Twitter, with another adding: "I'm sorry, but can the producers replace Shirley next year?"

Shirley described Ellie's performance as 'marvellous' (BBC)

"Once again Shirley is dragging Strictly down with her obvious dislike of certain people. How can a "Head Judge" be so biased and so unprofessional that she allows her (not so hidden) personal feelings to affect the way she judges? It's wrong and unfair," another complained.

While someone else tweeted: "Time for Shirley to be demoted from Head judge. Obvious that Craig should be it as the only one to be impartial, objective and fair. Tells it as it is without the over the top fluff."

*Strictly Come Dancing's result show airs on Sunday evening on BBC One.

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