Speaking on Ronan Kemp’s Capital Radio Breakfast on Monday, Hope – who left the competition with professional partner Graziano Di Prima after a dance-off with Seann Walsh and Katya Jones – has claimed that producers spoke to the Strictly judges before the panel gave their verdicts on who should leave the contest.
“It was very strange because after the dance-off the judges have to give their decisions but there was a bit of a conflab with some producers and then they gave their decisions,” she said. “It was just stunned silence in the studio, it was a really weird atmosphere.”
A spokesperson from Strictly Come Dancing told RadioTimes.com that any suggestion of interference from producers in the judging process was completely unfounded.
“It is categorically untrue to imply that producers tell the judges how to score or who to save,” they told us. “Each judge votes on each dance independently, based on its merits and in their expert opinion alone.
“The judges use an electronic voting pad to transmit their score or choice of who to save to the production gallery which is then locked in and cannot be changed.
“Only after this does a producer speak to the judges, advising them on how long they have to speak and reminding them to give a reason for their decisions.The process was exactly the same this weekend.”
A clip from Kemp’s radio show in which he and Hope have the discussion has since been removed from Twitter.
During their discussion, Hope also addressed the suggestion that head judge Shirley Ballas might have something in particular against her, saying: “I wish I knew.”
“I think I’ve got to be careful what I say here because you never know what someone’s thinking and it was from week one that people were suggesting there was something there.
“I don’t know but it’s been consistent and Saturday night I really felt – it was just weird, wasn’t it? – I’ve never been spoken to like that, she really relished in it.”
On Sunday night’s show, Judges Darcey Bussell, Shirley Ballas and guest panellist Alfonso Ribeiro voted to save Seann and Kayta, with Craig Revel Horwood opting to save Hope.
“I’ve had the time of my life so I want to thank everyone for being the best possible people I could spend all this time with,” Hope told Strictly host Tess Daly after her elimination, adding her thanks to professional dancer Graziano: “you’ve been so patient with me and helped me so much, I’ve loved every last second of it so thank you.”
Strictly Come Dancing continues next Saturday with a Halloween Special, airing at 6:50pm on BBC1