Layton Williams 'better than the dancers' as former BBC Strictly pro fumes show has 'gone too far!'

Layton Williams and Nikita Kuzmin

Layton Williams and Nikita Kuzmin wowed with a Charleston in the semi-finals

Alex Davies

By Alex Davies

Published: 13/12/2023

- 11:56

The 29-year-old actor is gearing up for the Strictly finale at the weekend

Layton William's spot in the Strictly Come Dancing finale has come under fire by one of the show's former professional dancers.

After topping the semi-finals leaderboard, Williams and pro partner Nikita Kuzmin have three routines to contend with on Saturday evening as they target the Glitterball Trophy.

However, Williams has had to deal with an abundance of criticism throughout his time on the show - despite his impressive routines - due to his background in musical theatre.

He faced backlash for bagging the first 40 of the series at the expense of Ellie Leach and even slapped back at "so-called" Strictly fans in a recent social media spat after progressing to the final.

Williams has been fiercely defended by Kuzmin and other members of the Strictly cast, and admitted he asked bosses for "more money" for therapy sessions ahead of his stint as he pre-empted the controversy.

Now, former Strictly pro James Jordan has waded into the debate and while he admitted he felt Williams's spot in the finale muddies the water of what Strictly is all about, doesn't pin the blame on the actor.

WATCH HERE: The full list of songs and routines for Strictly 2023 finale

Reflecting on the semis, Jordan branded Williams and Kuzmin's Charleston "epic" and "perfection" before he addressed the backlash.

"I know there are people at home that are going to say, 'But he's a professional dancer', and I get that! But you've still got to admire the fact it was, in my opinion, the best dance that's ever been on Strictly, I thought it was that good," he said.

However, he went on to muse if Williams's show-stopping performance is "what Strictly is supposed to be" given his training.

He questioned: "Is that what Strictly has come to where we've got fully trained dancers on the show? For me, it's not what Strictly is supposed to be."

Jordan even suggested that future celebrities who are asked to take part should turn down the chance "unless you're a trained dancer".

"I'm not saying it makes a mockery of the show, I'm saying it makes it a bit confusing," he added the Hello! YouTube Channel before saying that professionals on the show "know" they couldn't pull off routines as well as him.

"Even the professionals aren't as good him," Jordan added before he took aim at show bosses for getting Williams on-board to begin with.

"If he wins the show, good luck to him... But I don't think it's right, I think it's gone too far now."

James Jordan

James Jordan has had his say on Layton's Strictly finale spot


Williams's inclusion in the finale line-up is the only factor from the Strictly finale which has irked some before it's even begun.

A number of fans claimed Annabel Croft was "robbed" of her spot in the finale after losing out in the semi-final dance-off to Bobby Brazier.

Brazier managed to anger Strictly fans again a few days later when he opted to revisit his emotional Couple's Choice as his chosen routine for Saturday.

Several members of the Strictly fandom slammed the inclusion of the Couple's Choice, especially given Leach and Williams had opted for an American Smooth and Argentine Tango, respectively.

You may like