Shirley Ballas makes feelings clear on Layton Williams BBC Strictly finale spot after voting to boot him off

Shirley Ballas makes feelings clear on Layton Williams BBC Strictly finale spot after voting to boot him off

WATCH NOW: Shirley Ballas shares thoughts on Layton Williams being in Strictly final

Alex Davies

By Alex Davies

Published: 15/12/2023

- 09:02

Updated: 15/12/2023

- 10:14

The Strictly head judge voted to boot Layton off the show in Week 10

Shirley Ballas has made her stance on Layton Williams' Strictly Come Dancing finale spot clear after she opted to try and vote him off the series earlier this year.

Williams has been one of the year's standout performers but the finalist almost lost his spot in the BBC contest when he faced Angela Scanlon in the Week 10 dance-off.

Only Ballas - who has the deciding vote in the result of a tie - decided to try and boot Williams out but he managed to stay in the competition after Anton du Beke, Craig Revel Horwood and Motsi Mabuse decided to send Scanlon home.

Ballas' comments at the time sparked feud rumours but Williams and pro partner Nikita Kuzmin were quick to slap them down soon after.

Ever since, Williams has gone on to wow audiences with his routines, bagging the first 40 of the series on the way to securing his spot in the finale.

And a lot of those 10s have come courtesy of Ballas who told Janette Manrara how she feels about seeing Williams make it to the final despite her dance-off verdict.

Janette Manrara

Janette Manrara quizzed Shirley Ballas on Layton's finale spot


"Are you happy he's still part of the competition now?" Manrara probed on Thursday's It Takes Two.

"I am delighted he's part of the competition," Ballas emphatically replied.

"When I had to almost vote him off - and he was lucky that the other three saved him - it was without fear or favour.

"It was an American Smooth, it wasn't how I'd taught American Smooth for let's say 50 years and there were lots of things and elements that were missing.

"But I am glad that he's here now and I'm very excited to see him in the final."

Looking ahead to Saturday's finale, Ballas was asked if she had any advice for the 29-year-old actor.

"He's got three dances and I'm absolutely certain that his freestyle will be off the charts," Ballas replied.

"But I want to see improvement in his Quickstep, I want to see it really calm, I want to see it smooth, and I want to see some beautiful footwork because I believe we gave him nines, he's heading for 10s and he can really streamline his Quickstep so I think that he can do it.

Layton Williams and Nikita Kuzmin

Layton Williams and Nikita Kuzmin bagged a spot in the finale last week


"I'm very excited, he's got to stay very, very focussed because if you go too quick over the top, you get all excited (and) all nervous and you can tilt your balance and things can happen."

Williams will have an almighty uphill battle to claim the Glitterball Trophy, however, as the odds are firmly in Ellie Leach's favour.

While new data emerged prior to the finale which suggests Williams could usurp Leach to the top spot, the odds remain sided with the Coronation Street star.

Bobby Brazier will join the pair in the finale to make up the final three.

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