Strictly Come Dancing bosses have been forced to defend their voting system after an alleged Facebook post emerged from a member of staff at Longleat - claiming bosses of the stateley home had agreed to reimburse calls made to save Emma.
It quickly emerged that this could have given Viscountess Emma Weymouth – who lives in Longleat House in Wiltshire – an unfair advantage. A claim that was dismissed by a Strictly spokesperson.
According to Digital Spy, the team behind the hit show said, “The BBC takes fairness extremely seriously and this has had no impact on the public vote.”
Longleat Enterprise – who own the Stateley home – have also responded to the scandal and claimed no such deal was ever “sanctioned” and “no one acted on” the message.
In a statement given to The Sun, Longleat said, “It was not our policy or practice to reimburse people for votes.
“The message was only sent to 109 people. No one sought payment from Longleat or any team member, so no one acted on the message and it had no effect on the actual votes.”
Emma and partner Aljaz Skorjanec – who is married to fellow Strictly pro Janette Manrara – found themselves in the bottom two earlier this month and narrowly avoided being sent home when Dev Griffin and his partner Dianne Buswell were booted off the show instead.
It was a decision so “controversial” – according to social media users on Twitter – that Head Judge Shirley Ballas received “death threats” over it.
Emma and Aljaz took to the dance floor on Saturday night during the Strictly Halloween Special and attempted their first dance with lifts in it.
“It’s very quick and we’re doing some tricks,” Emma told Rylan on It Takes Two on Friday night. “It’s a good thing I trust you [Aljaz] because it’s quite adventurous.”
It seems the judges liked it as the duo scored a very acceptable 30 points and sadly it was ex-Corrie star Catherine Tyldesley that became the next star to be knocked out of the contest after a dance off with Mike Bushell.