Strictly Come Dancing is facing fresh claims of “racist” voting, after Naga Munchetty’s departure from the show on Sunday night – but analysis by RadioTimes.com reveals a different story.
Some viewers cried foul when Munchetty became the third non-white contestant to exit the competition in the first three eliminations, following Melvin Odoom and Tameka Empson out the door and leaving BBC sports presenter Ore Oduba as the only celebrity from an ethnic minority still in the running.
Haven't said it until now but how racist are the #strictly voters?
— Thom (@thom3003) October 16, 2016
Okay so the viewing voting public are really racist or? #Strictly (First TWO weeks black people voted out then third week Naga Munchetty?)
— Mair (@MairSaysNo) October 16, 2016
But figures from the show’s previous 13 series do not, at least historically, appear to support the idea of racist voting.
In fact, the 29 non-white celebrities who have competed across the previous 13 series of Strictly have actually lasted on average longer in the competition than their white counterparts.
Eighteen of those 29 contestants (62%) made it past the halfway point, and only six were knocked out in the first three eliminations of their series.
On average, non-white contestants made it through 7.8 weeks of the competition – especially impressive given that some of the earlier series were much shorter, with Natasha Kaplinsky triumphing in 2004 after a run of just eight weeks.
Strictly has produced three non-white winners – Louis Smith (2012), Mark Ramprakash (2006) and Alesha Dixon (2007) – and four runners-up: Denise Lewis (2005), Colin Jackson (2006), Ricky Whittle (2009) and Natalie Gumede (2013).
The past two years have also seen greater diversity amongst contestants, with over a quarter coming from ethnic minorities.
All in all, the statistics seem to paint a positive picture of the show and its viewers, perhaps suggesting that the results of the last three weeks are simply a blip.
Meanwhile, the three scores of a perfect ten picked up by Ore Oduba for his performance in the jive on Saturday night, suggest he may have a long way yet to go before his Strictly journey comes to an end.