Strictly Come Dancing judge Motsi Mabuse has defended head judge Shirley Ballas from her attackers in the wake of the controversial, narrow decision to eliminate Ranvir Singh at the semi-final stage of the BBC One dance contest.
Ballas held the casting vote on Sunday and chose to save Jamie Laing and his professional partner Karen Hauer, which meant Ranvir and partner Giovanni Pernice left the show, exciting the anger of her broad fanbase.
Mabuse defended Ballas via Instagram with a post on Monday night: “Attacking her is Attacking me !!! Everyone that is part of my community knows that we support, we love and we spread love ❤️!!! SUPPORT OTHER WOMEN. PERIOD.!!”
She accompanied the post with a video herself and Ballas holding hands.
Mabuse’s post was immediately popular with Strictly Come Dancing fans. One commented: “She had a really crappy decision to make. Ranvir might not be in the final, but she’s definitely not a loser. She’s come off the show a different person than when she started. @shirleyballas doesn’t need to be attacked.”
Ballas said, as she cast her deciding vote: “Well again, this is very difficult because I’ve grown to love both couples. I’m getting quite emotional now. Musicality, determination, conviction from both teams, they just gave their all. But I just feel that one couple had a little more determination, a little bit more ‘I’m not leaving without that trophy’ and with that in mind I’m saving Jamie and Karen.”
Among the celebrities to call the decision a “travesty” included her GMB colleague Piers Morgan and former contestant Vince Cable, while former Strictly judge Arlene Phillips said: “Big fan . Sorry to see her go.”
Ranvir has had an amazing journey on Strictly, which she spoke about on It Takes Two on Monday, and she has earned a substantial fanbase who were unhappy with her elimination at the semi-final stage.
The Strictly Come Dancing final screens on BBC One on Saturday 19th December.