Strictly’s Nancy Xu snubbed after Les Dennis exit ‘Katya would have been better’

Les Dennis announced as first Strictly contestant to leave

James Jordan made a thinly veiled dig at Nancy Xu when he gave his verdict on Les Dennis becoming the first celebrity to leave Strictly Come Dancing 2023.

The dancer, 45, lamented that while he wanted Les to stay in the competition because he “loves him”, he thought the comedian “didn’t deserve” to go through and may have been better suited to another pro, such as Katya Jones.

He said on HELLO! Magazine’s Strictly The Truth: “I’m not trying to put blame on anyone here, but [his routine] wasn’t entertaining.

“When you watch the likes of Ann Widdecombe or John Sergeant, it was still fun to watch. [Les] wasn’t just bad dancing, it wasn’t entertaining and that’s why the public haven’t voted.

“I’m going to put it out there and say he probably would have had a better chance with someone like Katya. To be able to take someone that is a total non-dancer and make it entertaining, there is a skill and an art in that, and Katya has it.”

READ MORE: Les Dennis’ ‘clashes’ with Strictly star which caused ‘tension’ behind scenes

This year, Katya is paired with EastEnders and Holby City star Nigel Harman. In previous years, she danced alongside the likes of Ed Balls, Tony Adams and Mike Bushell.

On Sunday, judges Shirley Ballas, Motsi Mabuse, Craig Revel Horwood and Anton Du Beke voted unanimously for Les to leave the competition.

He ended up in the dreaded dance-off against BBC presenter Nikita Kanda after placing at the bottom of the leaderboard for two weeks running.

In his exit speech, the father-of-three had nothing but praise for Nancy. He said: “I’ve had the best time, this lady has been amazing, a great teacher, she’s really put me through my paces.”

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Turning to Nancy, Les continued: “I did as well as I could for you, I hope! That lot up there, I’m going to miss you so much.

“I really appreciate and understand the judge’s point of view, thank you so much (To Shirley) for giving me a 10 for entertainment. I hope I’ve entertained, that’s what I came here for.”

Nancy then chimed in: “It’s been a journey. This is such a short but sweet journey. A lot of challenges as we all know, but to see you every day improve yourself. I respect you so, so much.”

Strictly Come Dancing will continue on Saturday where the remaining contestants will perform routines from the silver screen in Movie Week.

It will air at 6.20pm on BBC One and BBC iPlayer.

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