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Strictly's Shirley Ballas shows support for Ashley Roberts after fans question her full marks in Blackpool

The former Pussycat Dolls star received full marks for her Jive in Blackpool

Hanna Fillingham

Ashley Roberts and Pasha Kovalev were the first couple on this year's Strictly Come Dancing to receive full marks on Saturday night's special Blackpool show. And while many viewers at home adored her performance as much as the four judges did, some were quick to accuse her for having an unfair advantage due to her previous dance training. Ashley had taken to Twitter to share her excitement, but was quickly greeted with mixed reactions. One wrote: "Yes you danced well but it's unfair to the rest of the contestants who had no previous dance experience," while another said: "It's good because you are both professional dancers."

Ashley Roberts recieved mixed reactions for her full score on Strictly

However, other fans, including Strictly's Head Judge Shirley Ballas, were quick to praise the singer. One said: "Wow! Truly amazing dance. You blew me away tonight. The 40 was well deserved," while another added: "Absolutely fantastic! I look forward to seeing you perform every week." Shirley, meanwhile, told Ashley: "Beautifully said x," in response to her post. Ashley had written: "OMG!! That was so much FUN!! To make it to Blackpool and get a 40 in the tower!!! Beyond grateful and beaming with pride. Ahhh. What a fantastic night!! Thanks to my AMAZING partner @pashakovalev, you are the best!!"

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Ashley and Pasha impressed the judges with their Jive in Blackpool

Ashley has previously defended her dance experience at the start of the competition. Speaking at the Strictly press launch, the 36-year-old said: "People obviously know what I did with the Dolls. We were running around the world, booty-popping for days. This is a new skill, and I'm just really grateful to be here." She added: "I'm very excited to be learning a new skill. Hopefully, I'll go out there and do alright – we'll see, this is going to be new for me."

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HELLO!'s Strictly columnist and former pro dancer Brendan Cole also had nothing but positive things to say about Ashley's dancing. In his latest column, Brendan had his say on Ashley's performance in Blackpool. He said: "What this girl has is an ability to deliver clean, slick actions, attention to detail and an ability to perform. She is a dancer on a mission to show she can still improve and once again, Pasha is rising to his partner's ability and pushing her. 10-10-10-10 from the judges… spot on."

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Ashley spoke to HELLO! during her training

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