A number of Strictly Come Dancing fans have criticised the judging panel tonight, arguing that they "undermarked" a performance by actor Nigel Harman and professional partner Katya Jones.


This week, they presented their Couple's Choice dance set to Just the Way You Are by Bruno Mars, which had special meaning to Nigel as he dedicated it to his family.

He explained: "It's about love and there's a lyric in it that says, 'you're amazing just the way you are' and on a personal level with [wife] Luce and my daughter, they're just amazing, just the way they are – they don't have to be anything and it's a good message to share."

The performance received glowing praise from the judges, which left some viewers surprised that it scored only 34 points overall – including 8s from a complimentary Craig Revel Horwood and Motsi Mabuse.

"You told a beautiful story, both of you," said Mabuse in her feedback. "We could relate... I was captured with the movement. Nigel, you always look so stylish when you move... there's no awkward moments."

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She wrapped up by saying: "I loved absolutely everything about that."

It's the kind of statement you might think warrants a perfect 10, but alas, it was not to be the case.

Revel Horwood admitted that "it didn't blow me away" – alluding to his lower-than-expected score – but later commented that it was "beautifully" understated with an "absolutely gorgeous" move, which built viewer expectations for a stronger mark.

Shirley Ballas noted that it was "mistake free" and praised the "very difficult choreography" which was "executed extremely well" – she gave the dance a 9, as did Anton Du Beke, which viewers deemed more appropriate.

A few users of X (formerly Twitter) argued that the judging criteria was inconsistent, referencing this week's dance by Angela Rippon and Kai Widdrington as one they felt came under less scrutiny in the scoring.

Others made the case that this wasn't the first time that Nigel and Katya had been undermarked, with fans often finding themselves at odds with what the panel decides.

While Nigel and Katya won't be topping the Strictly Come Dancing leaderboard this week, this evident viewer support could well get them through the nerve-wracking vote and send them on to Blackpool Week.

Tune into the results show on Sunday evening to find out what happens!

Strictly Come Dancing continues tomorrow at 7:20pm on BBC One. Check out more of our Entertainment coverage or visit our TV Guide and Streaming Guide to find out what's on.

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