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Strictly the Truth: James Jordan on how judge scores were 'a mockery’ following Nigel’s dance mishap

Former Strictly pro James Jordan’s latest video column is here

James Jordan on Strictly the Truth
Emmy Griffiths
TV & Film Editor
23 October 2023
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Strictly the Truth is back as we’re joined by former dancing pro James Jordan - who is breaking down everything that happened during week 5 of Strictly Come Dancing! The latest episode saw Ellie and Vito wow with a red-hot Paso Doble, Layton and Nikita land the series’ hit score with their Salsa, and we bid farewell to Eddie and Karen. 

With many highs and lows in the episode, there was one decision from the judges that James called "a mockery". Find out more… 

Chatting on his video series Strictly the Truth, James shared his critique about all of the dances - but wasn’t at all happy with Nigel Harman and Katya Jones’ scores after they received 29 points from the judges, despite a mistake mishap. 

James said: "It’s nonsensical… I'd love to sit in front of the judges and say, can you justify that to me? Justify it to me, because you might think you can pull the wool over the public's eyes, but you can't. They've been watching it for 20 years! They know what's right and what's wrong. They're not stupid." 

"[Nigel and Katya] go up to Claudia's room," he continued. "He knows he's messed up. He's apologising to Katya at the end of the routine, bless him. I feel gutted for him. I love them. I didn't want them to go wrong, but you've got to mark what you see. They went up, they got their scores. 

Strictly stars and their children

Gemma Atkinson and Gorka Marquez sit on the sofa with the children
Gorka Marquez, Gemma Atkinson and their children
  • Strictly pro Gorka Marquez and former Strictly contestant Gemma Atkinson share two children, Mia, four, and baby Thiago. 
  • Strictly: It Takes Two host Janette Manrara and her dancer husband Aljaz Skorjanec are parents to baby girl Lyra.
  • Strictly winners Kevin Clifton and Stacey Dooley welcomed baby Minnie in January 2023.
  • Former Strictly pros James and Ola Jordan share a daughter, three-year-old Ella.
  • Former pro Pasha Kovalev and Rachel Riley share two daughters, Maven, three, and Noa, one.
  • Strictly judge and ex-pro Anton du Beke and his wife Hannah share adorable six-year-old twins George and Henrietta.
  • Former Strictly star Artem Chigvintsev and Nikki Bella became parents to son Matteo in July 2000.
  • Professional dancer Natalie Lowe and her husband James Knibbs welcomed their son Jack in December 2020. 
  • Ben Cohen and former Strictly dancer Kristina Rihanoff met in series 11 and now share a six-year-old daughter, Milena.
  • Ex-Strictly pro Brendan Cole and his wife Zoe Hobbs are parents to Aurelia, age 10, and Dante, five.

"He turned to Claudia and went, 'Wow, we should go wrong more often!' Even he’s laughing at what the judges have scored him. Even he thinks it's a mockery. It's a mockery! It makes a mockery of the judges sitting there. There's no point in them sitting there. Let's get rid of the judges and just let the public vote for who they want to because they didn't do their job. 

"They’re supposed to be marking a Foxtrot and they gave it seven, eight and he did no Foxtrot moves correctly. Mad. And I like them. So it's really bizarre."

James also spoke about Eddie and Karen’s exit, saying he thought it was surprising that all four judges chose to save Zara and Graziano over Eddie and Karen. He said: "It was definitely the right decision that he was in the bottom two with Zara. I think the public got that right, but the judges didn't get their part right. 

"They have one job at that point to judge the dance-off, not who they think's been the best over the series. If they were judging the dance on the night, I would say they probably got it right because Eddie made quite a lot of mistakes in his dance on Saturday. And then on Sunday, he came out, made no mistakes, was a much better routine… But in my opinion, the judges got the dance-off wrong. They sent the wrong person home. But it was four to zero.

Tess Daly, Eddie Kadi and Karen Hauer on Strictly Come Dancing© Guy Levy
Tess Daly, Eddie Kadi and Karen Hauer on Strictly Come Dancing

"They were unanimous with their decision… The fact that Eddie didn't get any of the judges' votes, I found very strange. He's got more natural ability. He had a more difficult dance. He had more content in his routine.// The fact that it was unanimous, I find it really bizarre. It wasn't unanimous. For me, it was clear that Eddie was better." 

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