Layton Williams breaks silence on Shirley Ballas rift rumours as he speaks out on dance-off controversy

Layton Williams breaks silence on Shirley Ballas rift rumours as he speaks out on dance-off controversy

WATCH NOW: Layton Williams sees off Angela Scanlon in Strictly dance-off

Alex Davies

By Alex Davies

Published: 28/11/2023

- 16:00

The Strictly head judge opted to save Angela Scanlon over Layton Williams this past weekend

Layton Williams has addressed concern he and head judge Shirley Ballas are at loggerheads after the latter sparked feud rumours over the weekend.

After landing in the Strictly dance-off against Angela Scanlon, Williams was saved by judges Anton du Beke, Motsi Mabuse and Craig Revel Horwood.

However, despite her vote being redundant, Ballas told Strictly host Tess Daly she would've kept Scanlon in the competition and sent Williams and his pro partner Nikita Kuzmin home.

The dance-off verdict led to controversy among the Strictly fandom with a number throwing their support behind Scanlon - including former celeb star Amanda Abbington.

It also resulted in Scanlon breaking down in tears on It Takes Two with dance partner Carlos Gu - who himself admitted to feeling "robbed" by the decision.

However, Williams is now looking ahead to the quarter-finals on Saturday and has done his best to pour water on any speculation he is feuding with the head Strictly judge.

Shirley Ballas

Shirley Ballas voted to save Angela Scanlon


In a televised interview on Tuesday, Williams said of this past Saturday evening: "Very happy to be through. It was... a NIGHT, but we move!"

Interviewer Rochelle Humes said the criticism was "unjust" before asking if Williams thinks he's been dealt a "tougher hand" because he's "already quite good".

"I feel like they've [the judges] been giving us our critiques on our ability the whole ride," Williams said. "It wasn't our best, best performance so it was kind of fair. We just took it on the chin a little bit."

"I think judges always give us positive feedback, we take what they say and we think about it," Kuzmin weighed in before Williams referred to Ballas specifically.

Insisting there is no bad blood, Williams said: "Shirley has been on board, that 10 paddle has been out a few times, so we heart Shirley!"

Humes's ITV co-host Craig Doyle wanted to make things clear as he asked once again if the duo were okay with Ballas to which the pair insisted: "Absolutely!"

Elsewhere in their interview, Williams responded to the trolling he's received since appearing on Strictly.

He's already spoken out about the online targeting he receives after admitting he asks bosses for "more money" in order to attend therapy sessions.

Layton Williams and Nikita Kuzmin

Layton Williams and Nikita Kuzmin addressed Week 10's dance-off and Shirley Ballas's comments


On Tuesday, he told This Morning viewers: "It's just kind of one of those things that I had in my mind and I thought it might (happen) but then... I don't know... it's like, 'Really? Are we still there?'

"I think it's because I'm more effeminate sometimes, I like to wear this and do whatever I want and the team are really behind us. Then it's like, 'Can you not just dress as a man?' and, 'Please just put a suit on', and it's like relax!"

Kuzmin supported his celeb dance partner as he weighed in: "We get a bit defensive of our partners and just to see sometimes people speaking things or saying things they shouldn't be saying.

"Sometimes things also get to him, and that's a personal side, I find it sad and unnecessary because, at the end of the day, we just want to make people happy, we just want to put on a show."

Williams and Kuzmin will be taking on the Paso Doble in Musicals Week as they hope to avoid the dreaded dance-off for the second time.

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