Strictly race row erupts as Fleur and Richie land in bottom two

Strictly: Richie Anderson voted off show

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On Sunday night’s Strictly Come Dancing, Richie Anderson and his professional partner Giovanni Pernice were sent home after landing in the bottom two with X Factor star Fleur East and her dance partner Vito Coppola. However, following the show, some Strictly fans called out the voting system. And while some said it was a “fix”, others felt there could be a “racism” aspect to Richie and Fleur landing in the dance-off.

On Saturday night, Fleur and Vito performed the American Smooth to The Little Mermaid’s Part Of Your World.

While Richie and Giovanni performed a Samba to Lion King’s Hakuna Matata.

Referencing Disney’s new reboot of The Little Mermaid, Fleur said ahead of her performance: “Ariel is going to be played by a woman of colour.

“I remember there not really being a princess that looked like me, so this means so much more than just the dance.”

However, despite Fleur discussing the importance of representation, some Strictly fans continued to call out the voting system.

Taking to social media to share their thoughts, Frankie wrote: “So depressed by the bottom two in the dance-off last night on #Strictly. No WAY should it have been Fleur or Richie.

“I’ve said it for years and I’ll say it again: it is 100% racism (whether conscious or subconscious) driving the British public’s votes.”

Mark Siddall asked: “Well, that was quite the INCORRECT bottom two (do the British public hate Disney?!) and thank goodness three of the judges CORRECTLY saved Fleur.”

Luce went on to question whether Fleur’s Little Mermaid-themed routine played a part in her landing in the bottom two.

She wrote: “Catching up on Saturday’s show and I’m wondering if fleur was in the bottom two because of the Little Mermaid live-action backlash now…..” (sic)

While Samar added: “I’m sorry, I love Strictly. But the voting public’s racism always ruins these early weeks. Absolutely ridiculous that Fleur was in the bottom two when others with ZERO ability walked straight through. And everyone knows it. Fleur knew it. Motsi knew it. #Strictly.”

“Motsi basically called it when she said ‘the public voted for this’. Absolutely insane that she was there. And Richie too,” Harriet Evans replied.

Anton Simpson said: “The fact that #Strictly viewers didn’t vote for two amazing black dancers over two white dancers who deserved to be in the bottom way more should be the main focus here.”

However, fan Dally stood up for the voting, explaining: “I don’t think it’s racism. People tend to vote for the best and the weaker ones they like in the early stages, so middle-ranking ones are at risk. About halfway through the public start vote in accordance with each contestant’s abilities. Same every year.” (sic)

When it came to the voting, judges Craig Revel Horwood, Motsi Mabuse and Anton du Beke all chose to save Fleur, while head judge Shirley Ballas admitted she would have saved Richie.

Motsi also pointed out when giving her feedback, that it was the public who had voted for the pair to be in the dance-off.

She said: “I think it’s heart-wrenching because I think both of you do not deserve to be here, but this is how the public voted.”

Anton continued: “Well, I thought that was a well danced, dance off, I thought both couples performed well.”

He went on to tell host Tess Daly that Fleur and Vito had better “artistry” in their performance. has reached out to the BBC for comment.

Strictly Come Dancing returns on Saturday at 6.30pm on BBC One.

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