shirley-speaking

Strictly's Shirley Ballas: Accidents, wardrobe malfunctions and why it was right to let Anneka go

Strictly Come Dancing's head judge shares her week three insights...

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It was another eventful night on Sunday, with Anneka and Kevin waving goodbye to their chances of Strictly victory after three weeks, some low scores, and one spectacular dress. As ever, HELLO! columnist Shirley Ballas  has been on hand to share her opinions and insights into everything that went on, both on-screen and behind-the-scenes.

This week, that's meant spills, slips, and a wardrobe malfunction that could have turned out very badly! But the show must go on, and here's what the head judge had to say about all of it… 

Shirley's column

I think the right person went. I'm not sure Anneka felt like that, though. She seemed disappointed but it was the right result for sure. It might have looked like we were laughing at her routine on Saturday, but that's not what happened. Just before she came out, I slipped off the cushion on my chair and fell to the left, my hand landed where it probably shouldn't have and Bruno had to push me back into my seat. I just got back into place in time, so we were laughing about that when Anneka came out.

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I think David thought he was going to leave, you could tell by the look on his face, but all four of us saved him. I'd like to think he won't be in the dance-off every time. He did make some strides this week for sure, his personality started to shine through. He didn't quite have enough of an American-style Viennese waltz in there but what I did see shows promise. His frame is getting better and the biggest thing of all is that he's starting to get in touch with his inner emotion. Once he does that, then he can touch the public and when you touch them, they'll vote for you. Magic Mike is such an entertainer and that's endearing to the public. His dance was mad as a hatter but he's entertaining and the way he puts himself forward is just second to none. I was a bit disappointed with Karim, though. I didn't think it had enough Samba content and I expected a lot more from him.

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I stand by the ten I gave to Kelvin because it was a Charleston number where anything goes and he danced it exquisitely, it was connected and together. That doesn't mean he's going to get a ten next week. If he gets the Tango he might be back down to a six. But his number was absolutely off the charts for week three, it was amazing and I wasn't the only one who gave him a ten, Bruno did as well. The others gave him a nine so we are within a mark of each other. That's why I say it's never too early for a ten from Shirley, because he deserves that. I mean, what beginner do you see dance like that in week three?

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On a personal note, I've found Michelle really helpful and inspiring this week. She shared with me that she's had her breast implants taken out and as I am about to have mine removed, she gave me some information about doctors and things I should be aware of. She's been a great help at a time that's a bit nerve-wracking for me. She was just lovely.

The minute Craig made the comment about [Anton wearing false teeth], Motsi and I nudged each other under the table and under my breath I said to Motsi, 'They're his own teeth!' Then Bruno picked up on it and everyone fell about laughing. But I think Craig was very embarrassed and he couldn't apologise enough. It was extremely funny because Anton has got a great smile and Craig's been looking at it for 15 years so how the hell did he make that mistake?! I didn't see them afterwards but it wouldn't surprise me if Craig had apologised.

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Dianne really had a nasty fall on her head earlier this week and that's something that could break your neck or give you a concussion. I think she was just fortunate as to the way she landed. She was dazed and dazzled but there wasn't any long-term damage and she certainly came back on fire giving it her all because that number was exquisite as well. Katya slipped a couple of times but she's got a wicked sense of humour so she will have said that she did it on purpose as a joke.

READ: Anneka Rice is the second celebrity to leave Strictly Come Dancing

It's not all plain sailing behind the scenes. Sometimes outfits don't work, hair pieces fall out or a heel on your shoe breaks. On Saturday, it was my zip. I had this beautiful bespoke dress made by a lady called Jennifer Claire. When I tried it on with my dresser Alexandra we had a problem with the zip, but the designer didn't want to put a heavier zip in a chiffon dress. So when we came to get ready, Alex pulled the zip and it ripped - but we only had seven minutes for me to get downstairs and be ready to go. We had to find the needle and cotton but Alexandra was feeling nervous and jittery and couldn't sew it fast enough. The director was shouting, 'Seven minutes, six minutes…" and we had to get the director to shout for three or four ladies to come up from wardrobe and try to sew this dress. They did it while I was running down and I made it by the skin of my teeth, but live TV waits for nobody!

We had another incident at one point when they were changing the set during a VT. Bruno went to get a drink of water and the top fell off - water went all over him, all of the chair all over my dress. People were rushing up, trying to get everyone's chair in the right place, it was a disaster!

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It's not only the judges who have behind the scenes wobbles. David gets very nervous, but you've got to be able to control your nerves. Saffron looks cool as a cucumber during the whole day. For a non-dancer, she really manages to keep her emotions in check. I think Catherine upped her game completely, she did remarkably well with her Rumba. Johannes does an amazing job and he's so appreciative when he gets through or when you give him a compliment, he actually tears up and gets very moved. I did think the chemistry of the week belonged to Alex and Neil and they also are pretty consistent which is a good place to be.

MORE: Shirley Ballas' honesty about the cosmetic treatments she's had is so refreshing

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It's too early to tell who could win because this isn't only about dancing, it's about whether the audience can connect at home, it's about whether you have the stamina: it's almost like living with your partner for three months. How will your endurance be? How do you pick up the steps? Don't forget some weeks they're going to have two dances or group dances and they got to learn more things. We're still in the baby stages of the show yet...

Tune in next week to see what Shirley has to say!

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