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Strictly's Rhys Stephenson on "quite tough" judges' critiques

The CBBC presenter has landed in the bottom two twice so far in Strictly Come Dancing 2021

Rhys Stephenson
Published: Sunday, 28th November 2021 at 11:51 am

Strictly Come Dancing's Rhys Stephenson has spoken about the feedback he's received from the judges throughout the competition, saying that he thinks they've been "quite tough" on him and professional partner Nancy Xu.


The CBBC presenter spoke to for an exclusive interview after landing in the bottom two with his Jive to Footloose by Kenny Loggins.

When asked what he thought about the Strictly Come Dancing judges' critiques over the course of the competition, Stephenson said: "I do think the judges have been quite tough with us.

"But then it's that kind of thing where I felt that but I thought, 'Let me keep that to myself and if other people are saying it at least I know there might be some truth in it and I'm not just being dramatic.' And a lot of people have said that they think we've been judged quite harshly."

He continued: "It is sometimes a bit frustrating because sometimes it affects my thought of the dance. The Paso Doble was one of my favourites and I think I really struggle now to watch it because I put too much thought on what the judges said. Whereas if I look at it, I'm like actually that was really good."

However, Rhys noted: "But at the same time, I think there is a kindness in it with the judges. I think in their minds, it will be cruel to look at someone that they really see has a lot of potential and not give the tips that they want to give. If they did see me doing things and just went, 'Oh, that was great, that was good,' and it was but they knew there was something I could have done to really elevate it but they didn't say that, that would have been cruel in itself."

Rhys Stephenson dances with Nancy Xu

Rhys Stephenson dances with Nancy Xu on Strictly Come Dancing Week 10

The presenter concluded: "So I see what the judges are doing, they are providing a really important service for me and it is always our of love and care, but I guess because there are other people and we're all at different stages in our development, when you compare it with other contestants, it always does look a bit harsh but I know in truth that they are doing it for a good reason."


Stephenson was placed in the middle of the Strictly Come Dancing leaderboard this week after performing a waltz to Whitney Houston's You Light Up My Life.

Strictly Come Dancing continues on BBC One on Sunday night. Want something else to watch? Check out our full TV Guide or visit our Entertainment hub for the latest news. 

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