strictly-judges-2017

Craig Revel Horwood claims Strictly's Shirley Ballas is 'this year's villain'

He also claimed that her criticism is "frighteningly technical"

Gemma Strong

Craig Revel Horwood might have gained a reputation for his sharp put-downs and blunt critiques on Strictly Come Dancing, but the 52-year-old judge has said it is Shirley Ballas who has taken on the role of "this year's villain". Speaking to the Sun, Craig also accused Shirley of being "frighteningly technical with her criticism", adding: "I know the audience might struggle with that." Some of the head judge's critiques have included technical terms such as "syncopated Cuban breaks" and "fifth position breaks". Her judging style does seem to have divided the audience, with some viewers believing her to be "too harsh" with her remarks, while other say she delivers "fair constructive criticism".

Craig Revel Horwood said Shirley Ballas' critiques are "frighteningly technical"

It comes after Craig found himself in hot water this week, after giving Aston Merrygold a score of just four points during last week’s show. Fans hit out at the Strictly judge, saying that the low scoring triggered Aston’s shock exit from the competition. But Craig denied claims he had sabotaged Aston's chances, saying: "That's rubbish. I gave a list of what was wrong with it on the night. And Mollie did a better dance in the dance-off." He added: "We didn't put him in the bottom two, the audience did."

Aston Merrygold and Janette Manrara exited the competition on Sunday

STORY: Mollie King finally addresses rumours of a romance with Strictly's AJ Pritchard

Craig also took to Twitter to defend his decision to keep Mollie King and AJ Pritchard in the dance competition. "Dear all, the judges vote on the dance-off alone NOT past performances or potential performances in the future," he wrote. "If you wanna have ur say VOTE." Ahead of Saturday's show, Aston was the bookies’ second favourite to win the coveted glitterball trophy. He was the highest-scoring celebrity of the series so far, having topped the leaderboard twice, and his odds of elimination stood at 100-1.

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