STRICTLY star Ashley Roberts has revealed she felt gutted to be in the dance off again this weekend as Neil Jones begged viewers to stop punishing her.
The former Pussycat Dolls star, 37, said it “wasn’t a good feeling” to find out she had to battle to stay in the despite topping the leaderboard on Saturday
Ashley wowed the judges on Saturday night and got a clean sweep of 10s for her American Smooth routine with dance partner Pasha Kovalev.
It left her top of the leader board, but she still found herself in the bottom two as furious fans refused to back her over claims her previous dance experience has given her an unfair advantage.
During an appearance on spin-off show It Tales Two tonight, Ashley revealed she was gutted.
She said: “I really wanted to come back fighting and to show how passionate we are and how much we want to be there…
“I had mentally prepared myself just in case we were in the bottom two. I had to do that. I had to battle it out…
“It’s not a good feeling, I really wanted to be in the final but we’ve got to out battle it out to get there.”
The show also featured an appearance from Strictly pro Neil, 35, who addressed the controversy and urged viewers to give Ashley a chance.
Speaking about her previous dance experience, he said: “She’s a dancer, but she’s never danced Latin and ballroom before. It’s like ballet, I’ve never danced ballet.
“So this week a little bit less on Ashley, she’s trying really hard, she’s looking great.”
Ashley has been near the top of the leader board on the show every week, but fans have consistently voted her into the dance off.
She found herself fighting for her place for a third week in a row on Sunday and viewers were furious when she escaped getting the boot once again.
Ashley was viciously trolled online, with many declaring she doesn’t deserve her place in the line-up because she has an unfair advantage because of her dance background.
After the dance-off on Sunday night, viewers were fuming that Ashley survived and many mocked her “sulky” face as she was told she’d landed a place in the final.
Referring to Ashley’s dance experience from her days in her pop group, one Strictly fan tweeted a picture of the seemingly unhappy star, writing: “When you can’t possibly understand why you’ve been in the dance off when you’re a professional dancer with years of experience.”
Another viewer wrote: “lol, that was the sulkiest finalist face I’ve ever seen just then from Ashley, just after they said next week it’s the viewers’ votes alone that count #Strictly.”
One other Strictly fan remarked: “Ashley’s face at the end says exactly why people aren’t voting for her. That look could have killed the others.”
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The singer recently defended herself following her on-screen tears when she ended up in the bottom two on the show.
During an appearance on It Takes Two with her professional partner Pasha Kovalev, Ashley spoke out about her feelings.
Explaining how she felt being in the dance off multiple times, she told host Zoe Ball: “Everybody’s working so hard and we’ve gotten so far in this competition.
“We’ve put our guts, our sweat, our heart out on that dance floor every Saturday night and I think it just hits me because I don’t want to let Pash down.
“I also just want to go out there and do the best that I can.”
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