Clara Amfo ‘secretly thrilled’ by bad comments from Strictly judge Craig Revel Horwood

Clara Amfo ‘secretly thrilled’ by bad comments from Strictly judge Craig Revel Horwood


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Kevin Clifton, 38, came to the defence of self-confessed Strictly Come Dancing superfan Clara Amfo, 36, after she found herself being “hammered” with constructive criticism from the judges on Saturday night. After dancing the Samba to That’s The Way (I Like It) by KC and The Sunshine Band, the TV critics were left questioning some mistakes with her footwork.

I always look forward Clara and Aljaz coming out because I know I’m going to love their performances

Kevin Clifton

Head Judge Shirley Ballas claimed it was her “weakest performance so far” as there was “too much fumbling” for her liking, whereas Craig Revel Horwood critiqued not only her feet, but her timing.

But Kevin wasn’t onboard with some of the remarks, believing that if Clara was being picked up for her mistakes, other contestants should have been treated the same way.

Speaking on his podcast, he gushed over the Radio 1 DJ’s energy: “Clara goes out and performs, it’s so joyous to watch and she’s one of the ones I look forward to the most!

“I always look forward Clara and Aljaz [Skorjanec] coming out because I know I’m going to love their performances, they won’t just give me a safe group of steps, they will give me a performance, they’ll give me story and I’ll enjoy watching them!”

“Yeah OK, she did a couple of things wrong, but so did a couple of other couples and they didn’t get hammered for it,” he noted.

His co-star Lauren Oakley weighed in with some reasoning: “I don’t think going wrong is something that should be ignored but it could be mentioned as somewhere to improve.”

Kevin agreed as he replied: “Tell the other couples as well where they went wrong if you’re going to do it to Clara!”

“I’m not sating it should be a 10 or anything but she got hammered, everyone else is getting nines and 10s!”

But while the criticism many have looked bad from the out-set, Lauren wondered if Clara secretly thrived off it.

“Do you remember during the first week Clara wanted a bad comment from Craig because she’s such a Strictly fan?” she giggled.

“She almost looked secretly thrilled!”

Kevin laughed as he revealed his hopes for her future on the BBC show: “I hope they come bak from this, go forward and don’t worry too much and hopefully won’t go wrong in the next dance.

“But I hope it doesn’t knock the attack out of the performance and the energy from them.”

Kevin also rushed to the defence of another dancer on the show after he voiced his opinions of the “unfair” criticism of Maisie Smith over the past couple of weeks, when she was subjected to the dance-off against Max George in Week 3.

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But this time it wasn’t the judges he was targeting, it was the viewers.

Live tweeting throughout the show, Kevin was shocked when Maisie and Gorka were called into the dance-off.

A fan replied: “I don’t understand why every year the public are bitchy. And say they don’t like someone as a person.

“It isn’t a personality contest. It is a dancing contest. I for one love #Strictly. Nerves etc can make people come across as awkward.”

Kevin pointed out that female contestants usually get most of the negative attention.

“It’s usually a female who the audience PERCEIVE to be confident and will get unfairly labelled cocky or arrogant,” he responded.

“Cos a lot of people don’t like confident females apparently.”

A second viewer agreed with him: “This is what I said… if it was a guy IMO he would be praised for committing and showing confidence in his dancing.”

Strictly Come Dancing continues on Saturday at 7:15pm on BBC One.

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