‘Strictly Come Dancing’ fans are kicking off at Shirley Ballas, following her decision to axe Aston Merrygold from the show over the weekend.
On Sunday (5 November), the decision fell to Shirley to decide whether to eliminate Aston or competitor Mollie King after the dance-off, when the rest of the judging panel failed to reach a decision.
Ultimately, she chose to give Aston his marching orders, but viewers were not happy, with many criticising Shirley for sending home a contestant who had been a favourite throughout the contest.
While some called her judging credentials into question, a handful even suggested her choosing to send Aston home had been a personal decision…
Aston got 39 last week and goes this week?! One of the best dancers goes?! Flipping ridiculous- Shirley is a terrible judge!! #strictly
Seriously what is wrong with Shirley Balls…..she should hang her head in shame for that decision. #bellend #Strictly
I’ve been a big fan of Shirley Ballas… until tonight. Sending Aston home was the wrong decision. It should have been Mollie. #Strictly
#Strictly Can we vote Shirley Ballas off please!.. I’m so angry with her for voting Aston off. Wrong decision!! Wrong wrong wrong! !!
I knew Shirley wouldn’t save Aston as she doesn’t like that he adds his own style to his dances. #Strictly #StrictlyComeDancing
No, no, no. Wrong choice Shirley, a choice made purely to wield your ‘head judge’ title, #bringbacklen #Strictly
Well that was a stupid decision Shirley. Aston is a great dancer. The other couple were so dull. Not impressive judging. #Strictly
#Strictly. Shirley Ballas WTF! I can’t believe you made that decision but I guess it makes it easier for your favourite dancer to win
#Strictly Deprived us of one of the best dancers for the next few weeks. Totally lost respect for Craig and Shirley.
I’m so confused as to how Aston is out of #Strictly what marking scheme are Craig and Shirley using? Sadly, it won’t be as good a show.
Wrong decision Shirley Ballas don’t think she liked Aston really sad to see him go #Strictly
However, not all ‘Strictly’ fans are unanimous in their criticism of Shirley, with many pointing out that if more viewers had picked up the phone to vote for Aston, he wouldn’t have wound up in the bottom in the first place.
I think Shirley Ballas knows more about dancing than most people on here. She preferred Mollie in the dance off, simple.#Strictly
#Strictly “It’s Craig’s fault”, “It’s Shirley’s fault”. Nope,it’s your fault for not voting ‘cos you thought they were safe. Always happens
If you didn’t want Mollie & Aston in the bottom 2 you should of voted Don’t Blame Shirley she is just doing her job!#strictly
If it wasnt for the public vote #Aston would not have been in the dance off, no point moaning about Shirley #Strictly
All these people loving Aston, he wasn’t good tonight, best dancer tonight went through well done Craig and Shirley #Strictly
Can’t believe how much abuse Shirley is getting on the #strictly tag. Christ Almighty people, it’s only a dancing show!
Just because Shirley didn’t save Aston and he’s your favourite doesn’t mean it’s a fix or Shirley hates him?? #Strictly
One critic who was not happy with the outcome of the dance-off was former judge Alesha Dixon, but she slammed her ex-colleague Craig Revel Horwood than newbie Shirley.
She criticised Craig for giving Aston such a low score during this week’s live show, writing on her Twitter page: “Craig giving Aston a 4 basically put the nail in the coffin! Ridiculous! Can’t believe one of the best dancers has left so soon!”
Shortly after his exit aired, Aston – who had been a favourite to win the show prior to his departure – posted a statement on his Instagram page, insisting that he had no hard feelings about bowing out so early.
He wrote: “Thank you so much for letting me be apart of such a great year I’ve made some amazing new homies!! Class of 17 you are all f***ing brilliant.”
The remaining nine couples will return to the ‘Strictly’ dance floor on Saturday night (4 November) on BBC One.