Nigel Harman’s Strictly Come Dancing performance ‘belonged’ in the Blackpool Tower Ballroom, according to Katya Jones.
Over the weekend, the 50-year-old actor and his professional partner finished second from the bottom of the standings with their dance to Duke Ellington’s It Don’t Mean A Thing.
Their score of 31 points out of a potential 40 left the former EastEnders actor noticeably upset, but Katya has backed him up.
She wrote: ‘What a place to Quickstep! 🤩 It wasn’t until we physically arrived to Blackpool when it hit us – we made it to to week 9 !!! And we will be dancing in the Tower Ballroom! 🗼😲 so proud of us !
‘I’m so honoured we got to close the show with such a fantastic number. It really felt like it belonged there! I had the best seat in the house at that piano watching Nigel shine !!! ✨🥰
‘Immensely proud. Thank you Blackpool!’
Her remarks follow the release of a video on X (Twitter) showing him storming off the stage as soon as the cameras stopped running on Saturday night, clearly upset at the low score.
An audience member who shared the clip wrote: ‘Are #Strictly judges proud of themselves? Nigel’s been broken tonight, couldn’t even face the keep dancing once theme & cameras stopped.
Are #Strictly judges proud of themselves Nigel's been broken tonight, couldn't even face the keep dancing once theme & cameras stopped. Taken away someone's love of dance & confidence should not be what show is about. #StrictlyComeDancing pic.twitter.com/9dxqb4x3dq
— LostInFilms🎬 (@Lost_In_Films_) November 18, 2023
‘Taken away someone’s love of dance & confidence should not be what show is about. (sic)’
Other fans concurred, claiming that the judges were overly severe on him following his routine.
‘Poor Nigel feel for him. The judges we unnecessarily nasty last night whilst others made mistakes and they tip toed around them,’ one person replied.
‘I feel so bad for Nigel, you could tell how upset he was at the comments. The judges are always so harsh on him,’ a second viewer added. ‘I thought the quickstep this week really suited him, he’s an amazing dancer and honestly would be fantastic in the West End.’
Someone else, however, suggested that his dissatisfaction was with himself rather than with the judges.
They wrote: ‘It’s got nothing to do with what the judges said. it’s the fact that he probably nailed that dance in rehearsals all week and then when it mattered most made a mistake.’
And another viewer said: ‘Ridiculous. He’s a grown man and he did make some mistakes. I saw them. He keeps making mistakes. I like him and when he’s good he’s very good, but he should be able to take criticism.’
Nigel, who calls himself The Meditating Actor on Instagram, posted a daily mindfulness post on Monday morning, encouraging fans to ‘focus on emotions’.
He wrote: ‘Today’s meditation explores how practising gratitude regularly can help cultivate a more positive mindset and increase feelings of well-being and contentment.’
He asked people to focus on what they are ‘grateful for’ while doing breathing exercises.
Nigel will have another chance to wow the judges this weekend after Angela Rippon became the seventh star to exit the contest after her American Smooth scored a 28.
After beating Bobby Brazier in the dance off, she wrote on X (Twitter): ‘Well, what an adventure it has been.
‘I’m not sure I have the words quite yet to describe just how incredible Strictly is but I am so proud to have made it to Blackpool week. Thank you all so much for your kind messages, comments and support over the past couple of months.’