Strictly’s Arlene backs Katya and Seann to stay — and warns judges not to comment
ARLENE PHILLIPS has backed the decision to keep Seann Walsh and Katya Jones in Strictly Come Dancing after the pair were snapped ‘snogging like teenagers’.
The former Strictly Come Dancing judge (pictured) pointed out we don’t know what the relationships of now-dumped Seann and married Katya were really like behind the scenes, suggesting the latter might even have an open relationship with hubby Neil.
She also warned this year’s judges to stick to giving their views on the dancing and not comment on this year’s instance of the Strictly ‘curse’.
In comments made to ITV’s Lorraine today, Arlene said: ‘I absolutely think [Seann and Katya] should be allowed to dance. They are consenting adults.’
She added: ‘I’m not condoning what they did at all, but it’s a dance competition… Katya is such a brilliant choreographer and teacher. Whatever she does is going to be “wow”.’
Speaking about Seann and Katya cheating on their partners, Arlene was open-minded, saying: ‘Many people in a very strong relationship, it doesn’t matter how close you get or how physical you are, they go home.
‘We all love Neil and Katya, there is a togetherness. In truth who knows what their relationship [is like]? I know many people who have open relationships, and we know nothing about Seann’s relationship with his girlfriend.’
She also seemed to hint that Katya might have known what she was doing when she and Seann made such a public demonstration of affection by kissing in the streets of Soho last week.
‘Those pro dancers know there’s cameras on them everywhere,’ she said. ‘None of us know the absolute details of what happened.’
And she described the non-professional dancers as being like ‘putty in the hands’ of their pro partners.
‘There is something about somebody who is teaching you. These very strong female partners teaching their male partners, and vice versa,’ she said.
‘There is an intensity, and they are thrown together for hour upon hour, physically close… There is constant touching and feeling.’
But Arlene specifically warned off this year’s judging panel — made up of Shirley Ballas, Bruno Tonioli, Darcey Bussell and Craig Revel Horwood — from commenting on the clinch.
‘They have to be professional,’ she said. ‘They are hired as professional judges, they are hired to do that, they are not moral code judges. It’s about the dances, technique and storytelling.’
Ballas seemed to agree when quizzed by Phillip Schofield about whether there had been talk of ditching Seann and Katya from the show.
‘That’s not my job,’ she said. ‘I’m there as an adjudicator to judge the dancing only, and I think they’re going to dance on Saturday, I believe, and we shall be judging the dancing.
‘I’m sure the country is ready — we had a spectacular week last week, everybody enjoyed it and this week will be just as great, I’m sure.’
That may be so, but it sounds like Seann and Katya have toned down their sensual dancing for this weekend — opting for a fun Charleston after previous provocative tango and Paso Doble routines.
The pair have come in for a fair amount of criticism since news of their passionate embrace broke and Seann was very publicly dumped and accused of being ‘controlling’ by his former girlfriend Rebecca Humphries.
Speculation mounted that the programme’s bosses wanted them to leave, but it seems Seann and Katya will take to the dancefloor on Saturday for their fourth dance of the series, having both issued apologies for their drunken actions.
Author: Anna Thomson