Viewers of Strictly Come Dancing were outraged by the judges’ comments on Layton Williams in week three.
This series, the Everybody’s Talking About Jamie actress, 29, is paired with Ukrainian pro Nikita Kuzmin, 25, and their adorable relationship has already won everyone’s hearts.
Layton and Nikita’s quickstep received four nines from the judges in just week two, but the judges weren’t as impressed with their Movie Week routine, which received four sevens.
Following that, viewers accused the panel of being ‘picky’ and ‘mean’ with the West End performer, who scored a 28 for his Grease-inspired Viennese Waltz (done in a stunning outfit).
Motsi Mabuse began by warning Layton that his middle was ‘too open’ and to ‘mind the feet.’
‘When you dance, there’s an expectation that’s always going to be there,’ she explained to the couple.
‘We expect more because you’ve shown us more.’
‘No mistaking, you’re fabulous, I don’t think I need to go on,’ added head judge Shirley Ballas.
‘But, I think this evening proved just how difficult it is to do ballroom dancing, particularly when you have to come together,’ she said.
She then chastised Layton for ‘a couple of footwork faults’.
According to Anton Du Beke, there was “a lot to love,” and Layton “performed the part” of Rizzo “beautifully.”
However, he thought Layton’s stance was ‘flat’ and made the dance seem ‘lumpy’.
According to resident Mr Nasty Craig, Layon ‘came out with much too much assault,’ making the dance ‘jagged’ and ‘lacking elegance.’
‘What we’re looking for in this dance is something that is very smooth and very graceful, where you don’t even see the transitions,’ he said.
‘I thought the rotation was fantastic and your energy is wonderful,’ he concluded.
Layton had a smile on his face as he responded to the judges’ comments.
‘Honestly, it’s a lot when it all comes together but I totally take the comments on board, like, fair play, you were right, soz,’ he laughed.
That didn’t stop viewers from rallying behind him.
One wrote: ‘3… bad dances so far but layton’s gorgeous viennese waltz is the one they pick apart and mark down?’
Think the judges are being a bit harsh and picky with Layton #Strictly
— MsArleneB (@MsArlene_B) October 7, 2023
i understand the judges criticise more when the celebs are really good…but it’s week 3. layton got about 95% criticism and 5% compliments there when he’s been better than everyone else by a MILE so far #strictly
— leah (@flickersuggs) October 7, 2023
giving layton & zara the same score… makes sense anton #Strictly
— joey (he/they) 🏳️🌈🇺🇦 (@lmfaoitsjoeyy) October 7, 2023
Layton was done DIRTY with those scores #Strictly
— Lauren (@theatrebirdy) October 7, 2023
loved layton’s and nikita’s dance so much why did the judges spend 10 years dragging him though #strictly
— jordan 🦖 (@lakesiderflctn) October 7, 2023
Another said: ‘loved layton’s and nikita’s dance so much, why did the judges spend 10 years dragging him though’.
‘Layton was done DIRTY with those scores’, declared another.
Others pointed out anomalies in the panel’s assessment, such as Anton awarding a seven to both Zara McDermott and Layton.
One viewer tweeted: ‘like i know everyone expects more from layton cause of his experience, but like … come on, it was way better than the first 3’.
Layton supporters were keen to lift his spirits, hailing his week 3 routine a ‘week 8 dance’.
‘i understand the judges criticise more when the celebs are really good…but it’s week 3. layton got about 95% criticism and 5% compliments there when he’s been better than everyone else by a MILE so far’, penned another angry fan.
Will Layton’s Strictly army see him through to the fourth week? Only time will tell…
Strictly Come Dancing continues Sunday on BBC One and iPlayer.