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Jamie Laing opens up about JJ Chalmers and Amy Dowden's controversial Strictly exit

He and partner Karen were in the dance-off last week

Eve Crosbie

Following a nail-biting dance-off on Sunday night, Jamie Laing and dance partner Karen Hauer managed to score themselves a place in the Strictly Come Dancing live semi-final.

MORE: Strictly's Amy Dowden and JJ Chalmers have sweetest reunion following exit from show

The couple, who performed their Jive to Everybody's Talking About Jamie, narrowly missed elimination as the judges opted to send home ex-marine JJ Chalmers and Amy Dowden instead. The decision proved a controversial one, with many viewers taking to Twitter to express their disappointment. And now Jamie, 32, has broken his silence.

Speaking to HELLO!, Jamie admitted that he "felt bad" that viewers had been left so upset by the judges' decision, but was "thankful" that he was still in the competition.

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WATCH: JJ Chalmers and Amy Dowden voted off Strictly Come Dancing

"I'm sure there probably would be people out there upset if I went and JJ stayed. But you take the rough with smooth. I feel bad that people wanted JJ to stay but I don't really know what else to say."

Jamie Laing and Karen Hauer celebrate winning the dance off

JJ Chalmers and Amy Dowden became the 6th couple to leave the competition

"It was an amazing dance-off and someone had to go," he continued. "For both JJ and I being non-dancers and getting to the quarter final, that's an incredible feat so we're both pretty proud of where we've got to.

"I'm not a dancer and I'm not a judge, but I think [the judges] have done this for many years so they know what they're looking for. It was probably a coin toss. It was one of those things and it was going to be either me or him that went. But they decided to pick him and I'm thankful that I'm still here.

MORE: Strictly star Karen Hauer and David Webb's surprising split - details

MORE: Strictly's Janette Manrara visibly emotional as she celebrates first-ever quarter-final

"I have no idea if he was better than me on the night. I just listen to what the judges have to say and kind of go, 'okay'. And JJ is one of the most wonderful people in the entire world and so is Amy. They're complete rockstars."

The Made in Chelsea star also revealed that he had reached out to the pair following their controversial exit: "I spoke to [JJ and Amy] afterwards and I said to them, 'Look, guys, I'm so sorry, what an amazing dance that was, you guys are incredible'. But this is a competition at the end of the day and someone had to go."

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For Musicals Week, Jamie and Karen performed their Jive to Everybody's Talking About Jamie

On Sunday night's show Jamie and professional partner Karen found themselves in the dance-off for the third time. The judging panel found themselves split, with Craig Revel Horwood voting to save Jamie, while Motsi Mabuse made a case for JJ and Amy.

The deciding vote was left to head judge Shirley Ballas, who chose to save Jamie and Karen. Shirley said: "Both couples lifted their game, I adored both performances very, very much, and both couples made small mistakes, both couples.

"But on a more powerful and through difficulty of choreography and through sheer determination, I'm going to save Jamie."

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