Strictly pro dancer Brendan Cole is not backing down after his spat with head judge Shirley Ballas on Saturday night.
Cole took offence when Ballas criticised his tango with celebrity partner Charlotte Hawkins for featuring too much “rise and fall”, and when Ballas suggested he play the routine back again to check, he retorted “I will, dear, I will”, much to the dismay of fellow judge Bruno Tonioli who called his remarks “disrespectful”.
Well Cole has indeed watched the dance for himself – and he’s standing by his initial assessment.
“I’ve watched the tape back, I’ve seen it, there is no rise and fall in it,” he told Piers Morgan on Good Morning Britain. “You could argue with anybody, you could say Aston didn’t do a proper cha cha – he did an amazing cha cha – what Charlotte did on Saturday was a phenomenal dance compared to what we’ve done before and given the fact that she’s not one of the [celebrity contestants] from X Factor…”
Cole was remaining protective of his dance partner Hawkins – Morgan’s fellow presenter, who was sitting on the GMB sofa alongside him – after she bounced back from a disastrous performance in the previous week.
“I loved what she did, I loved dancing it. This is the problem, it felt so good dancing it and then you get somebody saying ‘rise and fall’…”
And responding to the claims that he had been “disrespectful” to Shirley, the famously outspoken Cole said he would be “take a step back” in future weeks.
“I think they were all a bit upset with me because I was a bit mouthy the week before and I’m going to take a step back,” he said. “It’s about Charlotte and we need to make it about Charlotte.”
Hawkins meanwhile said she’d been grateful for Cole’s support, admitting that Ballas’s criticism had stung.
“I was really touched that you’d been standing up for me,” she told him. “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 really great and you come to do it and the judges just don’t recognise that. It is hard.”