The BBC dance competition has had its fair share of drama on and off the dancefloor!
Dev Griffin’s shock elimination
Radio One DJ Dev Griffin and his pro dance partner Dianne Buswell were booted off Strictly Come Dancing at the weekend, following a public vote which came down to a decision from the judges – making him the third to leave the show, despite getting nines in the previous week’s dance and arguably one of the show’s best dancers.
Fans of the show are so furious with the decision they’ve have launched a petition to force the BBC to release the voting results from Saturday night’s show, accusing the four judges of scoring contestants “erratically” and claims that the “voting phone lines failed” for some contestants and not others, which they believe resulted in the shock dance-off.
“Two contestants with some of the largest online fan bases – Dev and Emma – found themselves in the dance off… The number of people saying they were voting for Dev and Dianne and Emma Weymouth and Aljiaz Skorjanec on the night was much higher than for other celebs,” the petition adds, before calling for more “transparency” about whether or not the broadcaster influenced Sunday’s results.
Seann Walsh and Katya Jones’ snog
Arguably, the most controversial moment in Strictly history; in 2018, pictures were unveiled of Seann Walsh and Katya Jones snogging in the streets.
While Strictly couples often get together romantically, this was worse as it happend on Seann’s girlfriend (at the time) Rebecca Humphries‘ birthday, and Katya was married to fellow Strictly pro Neil Jones at the time.
Both Seann and Katya tweeted apologies after the story broke, putting it down to a drunken mistake, but Rebecca tweeted her own version of events, which made it clear Seann failed to apologise to her in real life.
While Katya and Neil stayed together for a while, just before the 2019 series launched, they announced they were ending their marriage.
Brendan Cole’s axing
Before the 2018 series had even announced its line-up, it was revealed Brendan Cole had been axed from the show – despite appearing as a professional dancer on all 15 previous series.
It was never really explained why he was let go, but many believed it to have something to do with his run-ins with new head judge Shirley Ballas, and Brendan wasn’t quiet in his upset.
In an emotional interview on Lorraine, he said: “I’m a little bit in shock. I’m quite emotional, a bit raw about it.
“It’s an editorial decision. I’m sure I’ll never know the ins and outs. I’m a very strong character within the show, I have my strong views.”
Aston Merrygold’s shock exit
Dev wasn’t the first person to be booted off Strictly in a shock elimination.
In 2017, JLS star Aston Merrygold was an early favourite to win and got huge marks every week for his dances.
However, he somehow ended up in the bottom two against Mollie King – and Shirley chose the Saturdays singer.
Twitter went into meltdown at the decision, and former Strictly pro James Jordan lashed out at the “disgusting” decision.
Will Young’s abrupt exit
Former Pop Idol winner Will Young was one of the favourites to win Strictly in 2016, having starred in many musicals previously.
However, after just a few weeks, he quit the show with no explanation.
Many put it down to his upset at head judge Len Goodman’s critique of his salsa, or that he’d fallen out with dance partner Karen Clifton, but he’s since said he was suffering from PTSD and addiction.
Arlene Phillips’ sacking
After five years on the programme’s judging panel, Arlene Phillips was let go from the show, and traded in for former celebrity winner Alesha Dixon – despite the Britain’s Got Talent judge probably learning a lot of her technique from Arlene herself.
The BBC was accused of ageism and Arlene’s upset was even brought up in the House of Commons by MP Harriet Harman.
Anton Du Beke’s ‘banter’
He may look like butter wouldn’t melt but in 2009, Anton Du Beke made a huge error, when he used a racial slur to describe his celebrity dance partner Laila Rouass.
He insisted that the whole thing was “just banter”, but many viewers were extremely offended, and the situation became even worse when then-host Sir Bruce Forsyth defended him by saying: “We used to have a sense of humour about this. You go back 25, 30, 40 years and there has always been a bit of humour about the whole thing.”