Strictly's Fleur East can't wipe the smile off her face as she heads to rehearsals

24 mins read


Singer Fleur East might be at the centre of the sexism row on Strictly Come Dancing this week, alongside judge Shirley Ballas. 

But on Tuesday, Fleur, 34, was seen keeping positive and smiling as she made her way to rehearsals in London. 

Her co-stars, Tony Adams and Katya Jones, were seen heading to rehearsals on Wednesday.

Beaming! Strictly's Fleur East couldn't wipe the smile off her face as she headed to rehearsals on Tuesday in London, amid the sexism row

Beaming! Strictly’s Fleur East couldn’t wipe the smile off her face as she headed to rehearsals on Tuesday in London, amid the sexism row

Fleur kept things casual in a pair of black leggings, which she teamed with a black crop top and a yellow and khaki puffer jacket.   

She wore a pair of cream and orange high-top sneakers and carried a bag over her shoulder. 

Tony Adams, 56, was also seen making his way to rehearsals with his professional dance partner, Katya Jones. 

Time to practice: Tony Adams, 56, was also seen making his way to rehearsals with his professional dance partner, Katya Jones

Time to practice: Tony Adams, 56, was also seen making his way to rehearsals with his professional dance partner, Katya Jones

Relaxed: He kept casual in a pair of baggy blue jeans and a grey sweater and held what appeared to be a cup of tea as he made his way inside

Relaxed: He kept casual in a pair of baggy blue jeans and a grey sweater and held what appeared to be a cup of tea as he made his way inside

Good spirits: The former professional footballer turned manager was in high spirits, after wowing fans with his sexy samba on the weekend and Full Monty routine

Good spirits: The former professional footballer turned manager was in high spirits, after wowing fans with his sexy samba on the weekend and Full Monty routine

He kept casual in a pair of baggy blue jeans and a grey sweater and held what appeared to be a cup of tea as he made his way inside. 

The former professional footballer turned manager was in high spirits, after wowing fans with his sexy samba on the weekend and Full Monty routine. 

Despite finishing bottom with just 18 points on Saturday, the star was saved from elimination by viewers.

Professional dancer Nikita Kuzmin was also seen making his way to rehearsals on Wednesday, flashing the sign of the horns as he made his way inside.

He carried a Louis Vuitton bag over his shoulder and wore a long, black coat. 

Saved: Despite finishing bottom with just 18 points on Saturday, the star was saved from elimination by viewers

Saved: Despite finishing bottom with just 18 points on Saturday, the star was saved from elimination by viewers

Dance off: Sunday's result show saw Fleur East and Richie Anderson voted into the dance off

Dance off: Sunday’s result show saw Fleur East and Richie Anderson voted into the dance off

Familiar face: Professional dancer Nikita Kuzmin was also seen making his way to rehearsals on Wednesday, flashing the sign of the horns as he made his way inside

Details: He carried a Louis Vuitton bag over his shoulder and wore a long, black coat

Familiar face: Professional dancer Nikita Kuzmin was also seen making his way to rehearsals on Wednesday, flashing the sign of the horns as he made his way inside

Kym Marsh, 46, was seen leaving rehearsals in Manchester earlier this week. 

Kym is patterned with Italian hunk Graziano di Prima, 28, on Strictly who she seems to have a great bond with on and off the dance-floor.

She recently revealed she had been diagnosed with vertigo and admitted it may in fact ruin her chances of winning.

Another day down: Kym Marsh, 46, was seen leaving rehearsals in Manchester earlier this week

Another day down: Kym Marsh, 46, was seen leaving rehearsals in Manchester earlier this week

Co-stars: Kym is patterned with Italian hunk Graziano di Prima, 28, on Strictly who she seems to have a great bond with on and off the dance-floor

Co-stars: Kym is patterned with Italian hunk Graziano di Prima, 28, on Strictly who she seems to have a great bond with on and off the dance-floor

Concerned: She recently revealed she had been diagnosed with vertigo and admitted it may in fact ruin her chances of winning

Concerned: She recently revealed she had been diagnosed with vertigo and admitted it may in fact ruin her chances of winning

Last week, Kym took on the Viennese Waltz during Saturday’s show, leaving the judges impressed by how well the actress got the dance down.

Ellie Simmonds, 27, was seen leaving rehearsals on Tuesday. 

She wore black activewear and a long puffer coat and went makeup free. 

She was seen talking to James Bye, 38, who turned up late for rehearsals. 

Working hard: Ellie Simmonds, 27, was seen leaving rehearsals on Tuesday

Working hard: Ellie Simmonds, 27, was seen leaving rehearsals on Tuesday

Late: She was seen talking to James Bye, 38, who turned up late for rehearsals

Late: She was seen talking to James Bye, 38, who turned up late for rehearsals

Buzzing: James was beaming after he practiced his new routine for the week

Buzzing: James was beaming after he practiced his new routine for the week

What time do you call this? James and Ellie appeared to share a laugh about the time he showed up for training

Low-key: He showed up for rehearsals in a bright green sweater and trousers

What time do you call this? James and Ellie appeared to share a laugh about the time he showed up for training

Hug it out! The pair shared a hug as they crossed paths

Hug it out! The pair shared a hug as they crossed paths

Another famous face: Amy Dowden was also seen on set, with the professional ballroom dancer wearing all black

Another famous face: Amy Dowden was also seen on set, with the professional ballroom dancer wearing all black

Comedian Ellie Taylor, 38, also enjoyed some late rehearsals for the show on Tuesday but looked thrilled despite the long hours.

‘Well, cover me in fake tan and roll me in sequins! I’m absolutely over the moon to be a part of Strictly 2022!’ she said in a statement recently about joining the show.

Sunday’s result show saw Fleur East and Richie Anderson voted into the dance off, with Radio 2 star Richie becoming the second celebrity to leave the BBC show. 

Confident? Amy looked radiant as she stepped out

Confident? Amy looked radiant as she stepped out

Late one! Johannes Radebe wore a blazer and grey sweatpants as he left late night rehearsals on Tuesday

Late one! Johannes Radebe wore a blazer and grey sweatpants as he left late night rehearsals on Tuesday

In the know: He is a professional dancer and choreographer

In the know: He is a professional dancer and choreographer

Putting in the work! Comedian Ellie Taylor, 38, also enjoyed some late rehearsals for the show on Tuesday

Putting in the work! Comedian Ellie Taylor, 38, also enjoyed some late rehearsals for the show on Tuesday

'Well, cover me in fake tan and roll me in sequins! I'm absolutely over the moon to be a part of Strictly 2022!' she said in a statement recently about joining the show

Cheery: She appeared in high spirits despite the tough hours

‘Well, cover me in fake tan and roll me in sequins! I’m absolutely over the moon to be a part of Strictly 2022!’ she said in a statement recently about joining the show

Pop of colour: Ellie wore dark leggings with a green plaid shirt and a denim jacket

Pop of colour: Ellie wore dark leggings with a green plaid shirt and a denim jacket

Fleur was beaming as she made her way to rehearsals this week, despite the sexism row on the show.

Sunday night saw the public vote singer Fleur East into the the dance off alongside Radio 2 star Richie Anderson.

While Shirley Ballas’ three co-judges voted to save Fleur, Shirley admitted she would have saved Richie, leading to accusations of sexism from viewers.

Earlier this week, some fans rushed to defend Shirley, 62, amid the social media pile on from the ‘uber woke’ brigade. 

Casual: Fleur kept things casual in a pair of black leggings, which she teamed with a black crop top and a yellow and khaki puffer jacket

Casual: Fleur kept things casual in a pair of black leggings, which she teamed with a black crop top and a yellow and khaki puffer jacket

Making headlines: Sunday night saw the public vote singer Fleur East into the the dance off alongside Radio 2 star Richie Anderson

Drama: While Shirley Ballas' three co-judges voted to save Fleur, Shirley admitted she would have saved Richie, leading to accusations of sexism from viewers

Making headlines: Sunday night saw the public vote singer Fleur East into the the dance off alongside Radio 2 star Richie Anderson

They pointed out that her role on the show is to be a judge and offer criticism to help the celebrities improve. 

Alongside claims she favours male contestants on the show, Shirley has been accused of having ‘favourites whether they have ability or not’, with many arguing that Fleur had been the superior dancer to Richie.

Shirley is a three time Latin American Champion, 10-time US Latin American Champion, and multiple-times British National Champion, with many fans pointing out her extensive experience in defence of the star. 

‘Shirley is purely giving constructive criticism. A dance examiner gives constructive comments. How otherwise can anyone better themselves or correct their mistakes. Shirley is a fantastic judge,’ tweeted one fan on Monday.

Criticism: Fans rushed to defend Strictly Come Dancing's Shirley Ballas after the show's head judge was accused of sexism in a furious social media pile on

Criticism: Fans rushed to defend Strictly Come Dancing’s Shirley Ballas after the show’s head judge was accused of sexism in a furious social media pile on

‘Shirley is a judge is there to do her job, yet Craig marks down and no one says anything. Richie and Fleur’s dances were not as good as others, stop making it into something it isn’t,’ another agreed.

One pointed out: ‘I don’t always agree with your comments, likewise I sometimes don’t agree with Anton’s and Motsi’s and I rarely agree with Craig! However I don’t have the necessary skills and experience to tell any of you that you are wrong.’

Shirley’s critique of Fleur’s American Smooth routine to Part Of Your World from The Little Mermaid on Saturday night’s show was full of praise.

Calling the dance ‘consistent,’ Shirley told the singer: ‘The most beautiful thing I saw today Fleur was the fact you were so sensual and so feminine and so graceful and that part I really really enjoyed,’ adding there was ‘beautiful chemistry between the two of you.’

Saved: Shirley, who landed the head judge role in 2017, is at the centre of a new fix role as Twitter users demand she is sacked over her critique of this series' celebrity contestants

Saved: Shirley, who landed the head judge role in 2017, is at the centre of a new fix role as Twitter users demand she is sacked over her critique of this series’ celebrity contestants

Judging: Now, fans have defended the judge, 62, against the'uber woke' brigade, pointing out her role on the show is to be a judge and offer criticism to help the celebrities improve

Judging: Now, fans have defended the judge, 62, against the ‘uber woke’ brigade, pointing out her role on the show is to be a judge and offer criticism to help the celebrities improve

She then said she agreed with her fellow judge Motsi Mabuse and said ‘it’s time to get onto the smaller details.’

Many tweeters pointed out Shirley’s balanced critique of Fleur, with one posting: ‘Shirley gave excellent, detailed and helpful critique.’

‘Moreover, critique that she can take forwards to future dances, because the same things will apply again. Just because she didn’t go “blah blah, lovely, lovely.” You take it as cruel. It also helps the public to understand.’

Shirley herself referenced the backlash in a tweet on Monday, writing: ‘I have received many apologies over the weekend regarding hurtful messages I’ve received on social media.

‘All apologies are accepted and from now on let’s all respect each other and enjoy the show. Love to you all’.

Several fans came to her defence, with one writing: ‘Some of the comments were disgraceful, I’m pleased to hear you have getting many apologies.

‘There is no need for insults & abuse, you are doing the job you have trained for many years in & you are the expert Shirley.’

Another said: ‘Poor @ShirleyBallas all weekend I’ve read vile hurtful comments for her just doing her job. @BBCStrictly is an entertainment show, why can’t people just enjoy it for what is is. You got this @ShirleyBallas’.

Meanwhile her fellow judge Anton Du Beke defended the judging process on Strictly during a conversation with Kaye Adams, who was voted off the show in its first week.

Speaking on BBC Radio Scotland, Kaye was keen to know why Shirley has history in voting to save a difference pair to her fellow judges after the dance off, asking Anton about her decision to save Richie over Fleur:

‘Shirley and the other three judges seemed to go in different directions – is that all pantomime?’

‘No, no, because we can’t confer!’ Anton replied. ‘The judging part of it is a really important part of the show and we don’t confer.’

Co-star: Meanwhile her fellow judge Anton Du Beke defended the judging process on Strictly, stating 'You know, you have your own basic principles about what you judge on'

Co-star: Meanwhile her fellow judge Anton Du Beke defended the judging process on Strictly, stating ‘You know, you have your own basic principles about what you judge on’

‘We do what we do individually and then, after the show’s finished, then we can chat and go, “Oh, why did you go for that?” he explained.

‘But during the process, we can’t even look at each other. It’s really important that we don’t make any sort of contact together because then it could be seen as deciding the results amongst ourselves.’

He continued: ‘I’m very aware that I can’t glance towards Shirley and raise my eyebrows. I look straight forward and I make my decision and we all do the same thing. There’s no conferring at all and it’s really important.

Anton then went on to refer to Kaye’s own elimination, where he and the other judges did not agree with Shirley that she should be saved and she was ultimately sent home over Bros star Matt Goss.

‘Shirley decided what she decided. You know, you have your own basic principles about what you judge on and you make your decision based on those, really, and so she’d obviously seen something in you that…

‘That you didn’t?’ Kaye interrupted. ‘That the other three judges absolutely did not,’ Anton stated. ‘But it was so close.’

Shirley’s decision to save Richie over Fleur prompted one outraged viewer to tweet on Sunday night: ‘Sexist Shirley would have saved Richie over Fleur. Ffs, Richie’s dance had negligible Samba content and he fannied around the judges’ tables for half the dance.

‘Fleur’s dance was elegant and beautiful. She has no credibility as a judge.’

One viewer wrote: ‘Shirley seems to have completely lost the plot this season. She is downright rude, sexist and blatantly has her favourites whether they have ability or not. I am rapidly losing all respect for her!!!’

In her defence: Shirley herself referenced the backlash in a tweet on Monday, writing:'I have received many apologies over the weekend regarding hurtful messages

In her defence: Shirley herself referenced the backlash in a tweet on Monday, writing: ‘I have received many apologies over the weekend regarding hurtful messages

Switch up: Some called for Shirley to be removed from the judging panel after she lost credibility in their eyes

Switch up: Some called for Shirley to be removed from the judging panel after she lost credibility in their eyes

The pile on continued as another posted: ‘The way Shirley speaks to the women is unacceptable. She clearly has an issue with young attractive women and this affects her judge.

‘Furthermore, the suggestive tone she uses to the make celebrities is sexist. All been happening since she began. BBC, you have just lost 2 viewers.’

‘Shirley Ballas should be removed from the panel, she’s setting a bad example,’ another viewer declared. ‘She cannot celebrate the young, female celebrities. Her views are outdated and sexist. Please let this be her last year, or preferably week on, #Strictly.’

Another Strictly fan posted: ‘I have said this before, but if Anton made similar comments about the female dancers there would be uproar. I do think Motsi and Shirley need to rein in the sexist comments towards male dancers.’

While someone else shared: ‘Shirley’s scoring has been wild and almost random, and others have said it seems sexist and vindictive. I guess that’s why there are four judges.’

Another viewer posted: ‘I’m not confused, she was definitely sexist in her praise tonight and who wants to see her openly drooling over all the men ffs! If the male judges behaved like that to the female contestants they’d be in all sorts of trouble. Shirley, be more professional and less creepy.’

And another audience member tweeted: ‘Can we stop the sexist comments to the male celebrities! #shirley #craig #willmellor #mattgoss.’

Strictly has also been rocked with fresh race row claims as fans slam the show’s public voting result which sent Fleur and Richie into the dance off as ‘outrageous’.

One viewer wrote on Twitter: ‘Neither of those couples should have been anywhere NEAR the bottom two, but of course the British public are racist.’

Another posted: ‘Good dancers voted out early every season due to racist voting,’ another chimed in while a third said: ‘Racism 100 per cent, there’s no other explanation. It’s obvious.’

‘Motsi knows that the British public are racist, and got as close as she could to saying it outright,’ a third stated.

One added: ‘So depressed by the bottom two in the dance-off last night on Strictly. No WAY should it have been Fleur or Richie. I’ve said it for years and I’ll say it again: it is 100% racism (whether conscious or subconscious) driving the British public’s votes.’

Richie and Fleur were in the middle of the leaderboard before the public vote, which saw them land the bottom two.

STRICTLY COME DANCING 2022: WHO ARE THE CONTESTANTS?

KYM MARSH

Age: 46

Profession: Coronation Street star and presenter

Kym says: ‘I’m so delighted that this year they have! I’m a huge fan of the show and can’t believe I’m going to go from watching at home in my pyjamas to actually dancing in front of the judges in a glittery dress.’

RICHIE ANDERSON 

Age: 34

Profession: Radio presenter 

Richie says: ‘This is a dream come true! I cannot wait to get in those sparkles and sequins and shimmy across the most famous dance floor in the world!’

ELLIE SIMMONDS 

Age: 27

Profession: Former athlete 

Ellie says: ‘To be asked to be part of the Strictly family is just so exciting and I cannot wait, it’s going to so much fun.’

TYLER WEST 

Age: 26

Profession: Radio DJ

Tyler says: ‘It’s a show that means so much to me and my family and I can’t wait to seriously shake a leg on that shiny dance floor… with a side of sequins.’

ELLIE TAYLOR

 

Age: 38

Profession: Comedian

Ellie says: ‘Well, cover me in fake tan and roll me in sequins! I’m absolutely over the moon to be a part of Strictly 2022!’

TONY ADAMS MBE 

Age: 55 

Profession: Retired footballer and manager

Tony says:  ‘To say I’m excited is an understatement – the lure of the sequins and the call of the salsa has me swapping my battered old football boots for a set of Strictly soft shoes’

JAMES BYE

Age: 38

Profession: EastEnders actor

James says ‘I’m not known for my shimmy or my twinkle toes – in fact my kids regularly laugh at my dad dancing but it’s an honour to be asked and I’m going to give it my best shot.’

WILL MELLOR

Age: 46

Profession: Actor

Will says: ‘I know it will be a huge challenge but that’s what life is all about. This is also my Mum’s favourite show and she’s had a really tough few years so I’m doing this is for her as well. Bring it on!’

 JAYDE ADAMS

Age: 37

Profession: Comedian

Jayde says: ‘I’ve been a massive fan of the show for years. I feel like I’m watching myself in a dream and I can’t believe I’ve manifested this.’

MATT GOSS

Age: 53

Profession: Singer

Matt says: ‘I’ve been reclusive, I come and work and then go back to America. I thought, it’s time for me to come home and get out of my own way’

 MOLLY RAINFORD

 Age: 21

Profession: Singer 

Molly says: ‘I already know it’s gonna be an experience of a lifetime and I can’t wait to meet the rest of the Strictly family I’ll be sharing it with.’

FLEUR EAST

Age: 34 

Profession: Singer

Fleur says: ‘I’m equally nervous and thrilled to be part of this year’s Strictly line up. I’m excited to learn new skills and I want to soak up every moment of this magical experience.’

 HAMZA YASSIN

Age: 35

Profession: Wildlife cameraman and presenter

Hamza says: ‘I am absolutely over the moon to be joining Strictly 2022. Never in a million years did I think I’d be on such a cool show.’

HELEN SKELTON

 Age: 39

Profession: TV and radio broadcaster

Helen says: ‘I’m really excited to get stuck into a fun adventure. My family and friends have always loved the show and can’t wait for me to get started’

 

 

 

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