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Strictly's Janette Manrara defends Dan Walker's place in quarter final

The It Takes Two presenter is back for HELLO!'s Strictly Insider!

janette defends dan
Francesca Shillcock
Senior Features Writer
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Strictly Come Dancing star Janette Manrara has spoken out in defence of Dan Walker following his defiant statement after making it through to this week's quarter finals.

MORE: Strictly's Dan Walker hits back at 'fix' allegations with defiant post

Speaking to HELLO! for this week's Strictly Insider episode, the It Takes Two presenter insisted that Dan's journey is what the show is all about, adding it was "sad" that the sports journalist felt he had to speak out.

Strictly Come Dancing 2021: Janette Manrara DEFENDS Dan Walker and gives top tips for quarter finals

WATCH: Janette chats to HELLO! for this week's Strictly's Insider

"It is [a shame] because I think what Strictly is about is taking people who have not done something like this before, have not necessarily danced before or performed, and putting them on and making them shine. And Dan is exactly what that is. He's never done anything like this before and you've seen the growth that he's developed throughout the [series]."

"If there's anyone that's had a journey this series, I think it's definitely been Dan." The professional dancer added: "It is a bit sad, but people are voting for him so obviously people like him! You're always going to get these awful trolls online that are going to try and ruin somebody's joy and celebration but I think the way Dan's going about it is perfect.

"He's saying 'I don't really care [what they say] I'm enjoying myself, I'm getting better and learning, and doing it for my professional partner.' And the way he's tackling that whole aspect of people being tough of him is brilliant."

MORE: Janette Manrara reveals the moment she first fell in love with husband Aljaž Škorjanec

MORE: Strictly's Janette Manrara fights back tears as she is treated to the ultimate surprise by Aljaz Skorjanec

dan rhumba© Photo: BBC

Dan performed a Rhumba on Saturday night

Janette, who insists she's "neutral on having favourites" due to her work as an It Takes Two presenter, also opened up about waving goodbye to Tilly and Nikita, who were sadly voted off by the judges after their performance in the dance-off against Rhys and Nancy.

"I'm obviously super gutted for Tilly and Nikita. I think they were such an amazing couple, and I just love the two of them so much but happy that Rhys and Nancy are still in."

She added: "To be honest with you, it's a surprise every week because it could be anyone. It goes up and down and as we've seen with AJ, she was at the bottom [of the leaderboard] with her Paso Doble and then smashed her Waltz. You just don't know! But it really is a great competition this and I think that's why they feel [the pressure]." 

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