Sunday 22 September 2019

Strictly’s Brendan defends Charlotte: She has no X Factor experience

The professional dancer has been sticking up for his partner, although he admitted he has been “a bit mouthy” to the judges.

Strictly Come Dancing
Strictly Come Dancing

By Lucy Mapstone, Press Association Deputy Entertainment Editor

Strictly Come Dancing’s Brendan Cole has jumped to the defence of his celebrity partner Charlotte Hawkins once again, and said she is doing well considering she is “not one of the people from X Factor”.

The professional dancer caused waves on the BBC One programme on Saturday night as he defended Hawkins against head judge Shirley Ballas when she critiqued their routine, after also hitting back at the judges the previous week.

Following their dance during movie week, a Top Gun-themed tango, the former Queen of Latin had barely got to the end of her sentence before Cole interrupted: “I’m really sorry, but there was no rise and fall.”

She told him to look back over the footage, to which Cole firmly responded: “I will, my dear.”

Appearing alongside Good Morning Britain presenter Hawkins on the ITV programme on Monday, Cole said: “I’ve watched the tape back, I’ve seen it – there is no rise and fall in it.

“You could argue with anybody, you could say Aston (Merrygold) didn’t do a proper cha cha, but he did an amazing cha cha.”

Cole added: “What Charlotte did on Saturday was a phenomenal dance compared to what we’d done before and given the fact she’s not one of the people from X Factor.”

This year’s series currently has two former X Factor contestants – ex-JLS member Merrygold, and 2008 champion Alexandra Burke.

He said Hawkins made a “massive” improvement from her dance the previous weekend, which saw her receive just 12 points from the judges, the lowest score of the series so far.

Asked by Good Morning Britain host Piers Morgan what he thought about being told he needed to be more respectful to the chief of the panel by judge Bruno Tonioli, Cole said: “Well, I think they’re all a bit upset with me because I was a bit mouthy the week before.

“I’m going to take a step back, it’s about Charlotte and we need to make it about Charlotte.”

Hawkins said: “I was really touched that, you know, you’d been standing up for me.

“It is disappointing when you come back fighting, tried really, really hard and you’re doing a dance in training and you think it feels great, (then) you come to do it and the judges don’t recognise that – it is hard.”

Following their Top Gun dance, they received 17 points from the judges, coming third from the bottom.

However, they were spared an early exit from the competition, as Reverend Richard Coles became the latest to be eliminated after losing the dance-off against Sunday Brunch presenter Simon Rimmer.

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