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Strictly’s Danny John-Jules last on leaderboard amid reports of row with partner

Amy Dowden and Danny John-Jules (Guy Levy/PA)
Amy Dowden and Danny John-Jules (Guy Levy/PA)

Danny John-Jules is at risk of being eliminated from Strictly Come Dancing after a mediocre score placed him at the bottom of the leaderboard.

The Red Dwarf star, 58, was this week at the centre of reports he had been involved in a disagreement in the dance studio with his professional partner Amy Dowden on Wednesday.

Dowden reportedly walked out of a session, before the pair resolved the row and returned to training.

Strictly Come Dancing 2018
Danny John-Jules danced a Caribbean-themed samba to Feels Like Home by Sigala, Fuse ODG, Sean Paul and Kent Jones (Guy Levy/PA)

The couple appeared on the Strictly dance floor to perform a Caribbean-themed samba to Feels Like Home by Sigala, Fuse ODG, Sean Paul and Kent Jones.

Before the performance, John-Jules said the routine would be a tribute to his Windrush heritage.

Although the judges were not unanimously critical of his performance, they gave John-Jules just 27 out of a possible total of 40, placing him bottom of the leaderboard and three points behind Kate Silverton and Aljaz Skorjanec, who placed second to last.

The score puts him at risk of being in Sunday night’s dance-off.

Last weekend, the Death In Paradise star ended up at the bottom of the leaderboard with 22 points after he and Dowden failed to impress with their quickstep.

Earlier in the competition, they had been riding high and were awarded the first 10 of the series.

While the pair improved on that score this week, the judges were not entirely complimentary.

Strictly Come Dancing 2018
Danny John-Jules was this week at the centre of reports that he had been involved in a disagreement in the dance studio with Amy Dowden (Guy Levy/PA)

Following their routine, Craig Revel Horwood was the most critical.

He said: “I thought it was very spiky, very stiff. It lacked fluidity. There is too much energy in your dancing and I never say that about dancers, ever.

“You need to sort of chill out, darling. You are a brilliant dancer, don’t get me wrong. I absolutely love your dancing, it just needs to calm down.”

Dame Darcey Bussell was more positive, praising Dowden for pushing John-Jules in the studio: “Well, no mistakes, my goodness, no mistakes. A fabulous amount of dance content.

“Well done Amy, you have really worked him hard. I would love to see more undulating body action, a nice, softer bounce because you do have this amazing enthusiasm, as the boys said.

“It could be directed in the right way because it does get a bit hard. You are much stronger than you think and it does come out hard. At the end of the day you are a performer.”

Head judge Shirley Ballas added: “Compared to last week that was a miracle. When you came out at the beginning and you did your hip roll, that’s what fluid is.

“I actually found your bounce to be quite good. But when you hit the bounce you must continue. Otherwise you are on a great track.”

Elsewhere, Silverton received a total score of 30 with a quickstep, her highest of the series so far, while Pussycat Doll Ashley Roberts scored a total of 39 for a couples’ choice contemporary routine in memory of her late father.

Strictly Come Dancing continues on BBC One at 7.50pm on Sunday.

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