Hero Image

BBC Strictly Come Dancing star blasts Craig Revel Horwood over Layton Williams' performance

Former Strictly star Kevin Clifton made a dig about Craig Revel Horwood's voting technique.

The professional dancer, who presents the Choreography Corner segment on Strictly spin off It Takes Two, hit out at the judge over his votes at the weekend. Kevin decided to step away from the BBC dance competition in 2020 after seven years on the show. He departed on good terms and wanted to "move on and focus on other areas of my life and career."

Yet he has been keeping a close eye on Strictly Come Dancing in his new role. Kevin offers an insight into the technicalities behind the dances performed on the show and on Monday night he discussed Layton Williams and Nikita Kuzmin's performance from the weekend.

The duo wowed the judges and divided audiences when they performed their pole-based couple's choice routine to Christina Aguilera's Ain't No Other Man. The judges were obsessed with the duo's creativity as they received a whopping 39 points. Shirley Ballas, Motsi Mabuse and Anton Du Beke all scored 10 points.

However Craig Revel Horwood gave the pair a 9 and told Layton: "This is a little bit of a dilemma for me because I loved it, number one, but it wasn’t entirely in sync. That being said, you are one of the most incredible dancers that I have seen on this show over the 20 years I’ve been doing it."

During It Takes Two, host Fleur East asked Kevin his thoughts on the dance. She said: "Split opinions on whether Layton and Nikita were in sync, but Motsi loved the timing. What are your thoughts on this dance?"

Kevin quipped: "When you say split opinions, I think it was Craig versus everyone else in the country. I, like everyone in the country, thought it was sensational. I thought it was amazing. For 99.9% of it they were in sync. I really had to look at the clip to find a place that they weren't."

He then showed a slow clip of the dance and added: "I mean we have had to slow that down just to demonstrate it because this was absolutely phenomenal. For me it was a 10 all day long and like I was saying last week it comes down to subjectivity. You have to decide is that enough to take away from the dance, enough to not give it a 10. For everyone else in existence no, but for Craig apparently yes.”

Following the performance judge Shirley Ballas said: "It takes a lot to impress me but this is really a creative genius, it really is, on every level." However, viewers were left divided over the fact Layton and Nikita danced around a pole. The duo spun around it several times, used it as support after attempting a split, and grinded together on it. It was the first time a couple pole danced in the show's history.

Some viewers flocked to X, formerly Twitter , to share their opinions, with some loving it. One person said: "1000% here for Layton and Nikita bringing pole-dancing to the home of the ballroom on prime time BBC ". Another added: "Slay the house down boots. @LaytonWilliams ICONIC! Pole dancing on @bbcstrictly."

A third said: "Has anyone done pole-work like that on strictly before? give layton and nikita straight tens for the attempt alone #strictly". A final added: "A POLE A POLE!?!?!?!?!? IM IN LOVE." However, others were not so impressed. "Not sure pole dancing is right for #Strictly Layton." Another added: "I thought the pole bit at the start was completely unnecessary and looked a bit messy if I am honest… rest was amazing though." Without mincing their words, a third viewer said: "That weird pole dancing, strip show horror does not deserve a place on the Blackpool ballroom floor #Strictly."

Follow Mirror Celebs on Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Threads.