Shirley Ballas and Nigel Harman comp image

Strictly fans left fuming at Shirley’s ‘nasty and brutal’ comments to Nigel Harman

'Unnecessarily harsh'

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Following Saturday night’s (September 30) episode, Strictly fans are unhappy with judge Shirley Ballas‘ critique of contestant Nigel Harman.

For week two, Nigel and his partner Katya Jones performed a Viennese Waltz to Stephen Sanchez’s song Until I Found You.

Despite receiving a score of seven from three of the judges on the panel, Shirley gave a slightly lower score of six following her harsh critique.

The judges scores for Nigel Harman and Katya Jones
Shirley gave Nigel a lower score of 6 (Credit: BBC)

Shirley said Nigel’s dance should be ‘much flatter than all the other dances’

Despite saying Nigel had “graceful arms” and a “lovely connection” with Katya, Shirley insisted that the “basic foot action” of the dance should be “much flatter than all the other dances.”

Shirley stated there was too much “bopping up and down” and “technical errors.” Receiving immediate boos from the audience, it was clear not everyone agreed with Shirley. However, that didn’t stop her from continuing on with her comments, explaining that his fleckerl footwork was “incorrect” and that the upper part of their spin was “off.”

Praising the pair for their energy, she said Nigel should “concentrate on some really simple footwork.”

Shirley’s comments were so harsh, in fact, that Craig Revel Horwood called her out for being so “picky.”

Shirley Ballas on Strictly
Craig called Shirley out for being so “picky” (Credit: BBC)

Fans fume over Shirley’s critique

It appears social media are in huge disagreement with Shirley’s comments as fans take to X, formerly known as Twitter, to express their thoughts.

Nigel Harman and Katya Jones on Strictly
Viewers do not agree with Shirley’s harsh critique (Credit: BBC)

Bloody hell why was Shirley so nasty and brutal with Nigel. Has something happened behind the scenes or something?! Rude AF,” one user wrote. “Any reason Shirley decided to be a [bleep] to Nigel?” another person shared.

Why was Shirley so mean to Nigel??? Like she said it’s only week *two*, what was the reason to be so harsh?!” a third fan remarked. “I think my online votes will most definitely go to Nigel. Shirley was being way to picky. Do they not know more harsh they are to them the more it will make them vote for them,” a fourth wrote.

Shirley was so unnecessarily harsh with Nigel Harman,” a fifth viewer shared.

Read more: Strictly 2023: Our top five contestants so far – and the scoreboard doesn’t lie

Nigel & Katya Viennese Waltz to Until I Found You by Stephen Sanchez ✨ BBC Strictly 2023

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Fabio Magnocavallo
Freelance Writer