Strictly star SLAMS show judges saying they need to be HARSHER on Ellie Simmonds | The Sun

FORMER Strictly Come Dancing star James Jordan has said the judges need to be harsher in their comments about Ellie Simmonds.

The professional dancer, 44, hit headlines over the weekend following his critiques of the dances in the opening weekend of the popular BBC One dancing competition.

Fans hit back at the former pro when he advised Paralympian gold medallist to "straighten her legs as much as possible" when she’s dancing.

James has since defended his comments and said his critique was purely to help improve her dance skills.

“I specifically put on there [Twitter] that I can see her dance sometimes with bent legs, I can see her bending her legs," James said on Steph’s Packed Lunch on Channel 4.

"I’m not saying her legs are going to go dead straight, I never said that, but she needs to be consciously thinking about extending her leg.

"She’s actually bending into it when it should be straight.”


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The former Strictly pro – who is married to ballroom dancer Ola Jordan – believes the judges failed to critique Ellie the same as the other contestants – branding it a "mistake".

He continued: “I’m sure Ellie would want to be critiqued.

"This is just people jumping on the bandwagon… She is on there representing dwarfism which I think it’s an amazing thing and I actually found her dance, out of everybody’s, really heart-warming.

"But I’m still going to critique her the same as everybody else and I actually believe the judges didn’t critique her the same as everybody else, which I think is a mistake.

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"If you’re going to have these people on there, which I think is great, critique them the same.”

Asked whether he regrets his Tweet about Ellie, James said: “I still stand by it… I meant it with no malice whatsoever and if it’s offended people they’ve chosen to be offended by it.”

James is often outspoken on the subject of Strictly and he and wife Ola, 39, recently gave their view on the fix claims already circling the show.

It comes after it was revealed that EIGHT of the stars picked for this year's celebrity line-up already have dance experience.

Speaking to HELLO!, Ola said: "I think the contestants look good. They all look young and fit enough.

"A lot of them would probably have a background in dancing, like the actors or singers."

Husband James added: "Like Fleur East, she's going to be very good.

"She's going to have rhythm. She's in the music industry, and with the kind of stuff she does where she dances, she's going to be very good. Matt Goss I think is going to be good too." 

The couple also thought that footy legend Tony Adams doesn't stand a chance on the dancefloor.

Poking fun at the Arsenal hero, Ola said: "I don't know if Tony Adams will be very good – footballers aren't normally very good!"

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While James continued: "When people say 'sportspeople are really good', that's normally back in the day when you didn't have trained dancers on the show. Now there are trained dancers on Strictly, the sports people don't come across as well. 

"The only thing they have going for them is maybe their work ethic. They work hard and push themselves." 

Steph’s Packed Lunch airs weekdays at 12.30pm on Channel 4 and All 4.

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