Sunday 25 February 2018

Anthony Ogogo challenges judges to enter boxing ring after Strictly exit

Anthony Ogogo and partner Oti Mabuse lost out to chef Ainsley Harriott and Natalie Lowe in the dance off (BBC/PA Wire)
Anthony Ogogo and partner Oti Mabuse lost out to chef Ainsley Harriott and Natalie Lowe in the dance off (BBC/PA Wire)

Anthony Ogogo said he would like to take on the Strictly judges in the boxing ring after they were "harsh" on him as he became the second contestant to leave this year's competition.

The Olympic boxer, 26, failed to punch above his weight as he performed a paso doble to Eye Of The Tiger from the movie Rocky.

Ogogo and partner Oti Mabuse lost out to chef Ainsley Harriott and Natalie Lowe in the dance off.

Of judges Len Goodman, Craig Revel Horwood and Bruno Tonioli, he said: "I think get Len, Craig and Bruno in the ring, I'll take them all on together."

But he excused Darcey Bussell, as she had told him he was too good to go in week three.

On Saturday night's show, Tonioli said: "I'm going to be very rough on you because you're fit, you're young and you should apply yourself... it was all over the place. It was crash, bang, wallop, but the paso doble lacked total artistry."

While Goodman and Bussell gave him credit for improvement and enthusiasm, the judges gave him a total score of 19 - the same as the previous week.

Ogogo complained: "I do think the judges were quite critical of me, quite harsh with me. I think from the get-go, from the first week I think I was scored quite harshly. I'm not a dancer, I've never danced before - but I was trying my absolute best, and week one I had a jive which is a really, really difficult technique, a difficult routine. And they just criticised.

"And when they criticise me on one week, I'd go back and me and Oti would work really hard at putting right what we'd got wrong. But when I came back, there was no sense of well done on correcting... it was just, they were finding more things to highlight."

Speaking of other celebrity dancers who were low on the leader board, he said that despite lacking "technical brilliance", the others "were getting a 'well done, it was good, you brought the energy'. Whereas if I was in the same situation, my feet weren't good enough, your hands were wrong and your arms were wrong. I couldn't really win".

On the results show, Revel Horwood, Bussell and Tonioli voted to save Harriott and Lowe after they performed their cha cha to Boogie Wonderland from the movie Happy Feet - with head judge Goodman confirming he would also have voted for Harriott.

Ogogo also spoke out about being pitted against celebrities with a dance background, saying viewers could have seen more of a "journey" if he had stayed in the competition.

He said: "I think when you're up against Jay McGuinness, who's done ballet, and Helen George who's done ballet, and Peter Andre who's been a pop star - it's very, very hard to compete with those guys.

"People want to see entertaining dances, they want to see people do well, but also I think people like to see a journey. And I think my journey could have - if given more of an opportunity by the powers that be - I think my journey could have been good.

"I think by week five or six, people would have been able to appreciate the full journey from never dancing before on week one doing a jive, to week six doing whatever I was going to do, and hopefully we would have saw a transformation.

"But obviously it wasn't to be... I've never danced before, I was up against professionally trained dancers, and I gave it a good go."

Press Association

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