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Strictly the Truth: James Jordan on controversial judges' scores

Strictly pro James Jordan is back with his candid take on week two

James Jordan on Strictly the Truth
Emmy Griffiths
Emmy GriffithsTV & Film Editor
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Former Strictly pro James Jordan joins HELLO! to discuss week two of Strictly Come Dancing 2023, where our new line-up of celebs and their dancing partners took to the dance floor in the hopes of avoiding the dreaded Dance Off, with viewers sadly saying goodbye to Les Dennis and Nancy Xu after they landed in the bottom two alongside Nikita Kanda and Gorka Marquez.

Fans took to X, formerly known as Twitter, to discuss the show - including whether the judges’ scores were too harsh and if certain celebs were undermarked or overmarked - so what does our resident columnist James have to say about it all? Watch the latest in Strictly the Truth below… 

Why the judges were right with 'harsh' Nigel Harman critique | STRICTLY THE TRUTH | HELLO!

In his new video series, James opened up about the "extremely high" level of competition throughout the competition, despite there being a few stars who didn’t reach their full potential, including Layton Williams!

Nikita Kuzmin and Layton Williams dancing a quickstep© Guy Levy
Nikita and Layton during week two

Despite topping the leaderboard, Layton and Nikita still only received a score of 36 instead of a perfect 40 - but why was this the case, when judges didn’t give any sort of critique? James explained: "I've never got it. I've never understood it. That could be his best dance! And then what happens is, they get to do it again in the finale and they’ll get straight tens. It’ll be exactly the same, or sometimes not as good as the first time they do it. I am a firm believer if it's worth the ten, give a ten.

Nigel Harman and Katya Jones on Strictly© Guy Levy
Nigel Harman and Katya Jones on Strictly

"I think there's something there where maybe they're told you can't give tens in week two. Your guess is as good as mine. I think it was worth the ten… The only critique I had was when he's in frame, he was a little bit stiff in the frame, it’s a little bit wooden. It's still worth the ten. The only reason I'm being ultra, ultra picky is because he's a fully trained professional dancer." 

Like with Layton, James also praised the judges for giving Nigel Harmon what viewers on X called a 'harsh' critique, saying: "This is my feeling on it. That was not harsh. They were just giving constructive criticism. They gave him a lot more constructive criticism than most other people, so I would take it as a positive. 

Shirley Ballas on Strictly© Guy Levy
Shirley Ballas on Strictly

"Why are they doing that? Because they know he can do it. I love Shirley when she's like that. She can't win really because last year I think she was quite harsh on the women, and people go, 'Oh, she just doesn't like women. She loves the men.’ And then this year she actually seems to be harsh on the men, so now they go, 'Oh, she just doesn't like men!' So whatever she does, she can't actually win."

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