David James

Strictly's David James fights back after judge Bruno Tonioli's comments

David James is partnered with Strictly pro Nadiya Bychkova

Aisha Nozari

David James has opened up about the judges' criticism of him following his performance on Saturday night's Strictly, and the ex-footballer wasn't happy with a remark made by Bruno Tonioli, which he felt was unclear.

On Tuesday night's It Takes Two, host Rylan asked: "Craig called you lame, lackluster. Ten was the lowest score of the night, but it was also the lowest score ever on Strictly for a Pasodoble. You said that you'd fallen in love with this dance. What was it like to go out there, perform this dance that you'd fallen in love with, and then have the judges just literally come for you?"

David has been keeping his fans updated with his Strictly journey

James gave a measured response, saying: "This is the thing. These guys are – and have been – at the top of their field. And if someone's going to criticise you, you want to know what the problem is. The ladies came out and they said about the passion and all that, and I didn't even realise that Shirley had said something good."

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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David James almost left the show on Saturday 

Rylan then added: "Bruno said he'd seen better shaping on aircraft safety demos. Did you at that point think: 'Where's the emergency exit?'"

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"I didn't know what he was referring to. That's the point. If it was a specific part of the move, I'd have gone: 'Yeah fine.' That was the frustration for me, for us, that the criticism was not reflective in our opinion of the whole dance."

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David faced athlete James Cracknell in Saturday's Strictly dance-off, and sadly the Olympic rower was sent packing. When asked by Tess about his time on the show, James said: “Definitely enjoyed the last three days of the last week as I got to grips with the steps and started to enjoy it. I’m enjoying it anyway, the luxury of being with someone so good and learning off them. I’m a way better dancer than I was two weeks ago. Luba’s been amazing with being so patient with a couple of left feet."

James' dance partner Luba was asked if she had any words for James and said: “I would like to say a huge thank you with all my heart to make this journey so amazing. You inspired me every day and I hope you inspire many more other people to start dancing.”

After both couples had danced a second time the judges delivered their verdicts: Craig Revel Horwood chose to save David and Nadiya. Craig said: “Well for me in that dance off one couple improved beyond compare and that couple is the couple I would like to save, David and Nadiya.”

Motsi Mabuse chose to save David and Nadiya. Motsi said: “I felt a stronger performance, a stronger intention, clearer actions. I’m going to save David.” Bruno Tonioli chose to save David and Nadiya, while head Judge Shirley Ballas said she would also have chosen to save David and Nadiya.

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