STRICTLY reject Nina Wadia has slammed the show for the “shocking and horrible” judges’ scoring that saw her get the boot.
The ex-EastEnders actor directed most of her anger at the panel’s “Mr Nasty” Craig Revel Horwood, who gave her a measly three points for her tango in week two.
Nina, 52, says she was stunned when, during the same show, he gave double the points to Loose Women star Judi Love, despite saying her dancing was “a technical disaster."
She said: “If you have a competition, have a level playing field. Give everybody a chance, or if not that, then at least mark accordingly.
“You can’t give someone like me a three when I’ve tried so hard and tried something so technically difficult, then at the same time give someone else who’s had a bit of a mistake a seven just because they looked good doing it.
“I don’t understand the marking system at all. I don’t think the marking system makes any sense. I thought, ‘OK, this is only week two, you know, you make a little mistake, you’re only human’.
“The way it was marked down, it was shocking, actually shocking.
“It’s such an odd experience where you get thrown into a world you’re not used to, with the make-up and hair and clothes and the over-the-top stuff.
“When you’re in that world and suddenly you’re out of it, it’s like, ‘I just got started, guys — that’s horrible’.”
Nina, who is best known for starring in 1990s sketch show Goodness Gracious Me and for playing Zainab Masood in EastEnders from 2007 to 2013, got off to a flying start on the first live show.
Against the odds, she performed an impressive samba — a notoriously difficult dance — with pro partner Neil Jones.
They scored 24 points — including five from Craig — which saw them secure a respectable position half way up the leader board.
It came as a surprise to Nina, who had initially joked that the producers were trying to get her to fall at the first hurdle by giving her the tricky challenge.
When her debut dance was announced on the first show of the new series, Nina was visibly shocked and the audience actually booed to show their disapproval.
And viewers took to Twitter, with comments such as: “I can’t believe Nina is doing the SAMBA week 1 . . . That’s just cruel #Strictly.” And: “Nina and Neil getting the Samba, the dance of death, on week one.”
‘WHY DID THEY GIVE ME THE HARDEST DANCE FIRST?
Speaking on the Strictly Between Us Instagram Live with Amy Day and Benjy Potter, Nina said: “When we were told that our first dance was the samba I turned to Neil and I said, ‘Do they not want me in this competition?Why have they given me the hardest dance to do first?’
“And he said, ‘Well, let’s prove them wrong and just bring it’. So we did, and now I love the samba.”
As there was no public vote after the first live show, all the celebrities and their pro partners automatically went through to week two.
Nina was buoyed by her first performance and score, so she was confident about taking on the tango for the first public vote.
But after her dance, Craig gave her a three, and her total points — 18 — left her languishing at the bottom of the leader board that week.
Nina said: “I thought, ‘OK, fine, I’ll give that a go and I’ll do my best’.
“Then it literally went from being on this absolute high to, ‘You’ve made a mistake now and we’ll give you a three’, and I thought, ‘That’s a bit harsh’.”
During her appraisal by the judges, a solemn-looking Nina heard Craig slate her performance, to a chorus of boos from the audience.
He said: “The footwork was extremely ropey. I don’t think this was your dance, my love.”
Yet when he gave his verdict on Judi’s samba, in which she thrilled the audience with her wild twerking, he told her: “It was a technical disaster, darling. I love you.”
He then giving her double the points he gave Nina. She and Neil ended up in the bottom two places, along with Katie McGlynn and her pro dance partner Gorka Marquez.
‘THE PUBLIC WROTE SUCH LOVELY STUFF’
She was devastated when the judges decided she should go home following the dance-off.
The decision bewildered Nina, especially when Craig said: “Both couples clearly upped their game from the first time they danced. Nina, you got every step right.”
But he still voted to keep Katie and Gorka instead.
In fact, of the four judges, only Anton Du Beke voted to save Nina and Neil, saying they had “upped their game and performed the best” in the dance-off.
"At the time, a crestfallen Nina said on the show: “It’s been really fun, thank you so much.”
Then when she appeared on Strictly’s spin-off show It Takes Two just a day later, she continued to bite her tongue and put on a brave face.
She said: “I was gutted, for sure. I had so much more to give and I wanted to spend so much more time with Neil — more than my husband!”
She added: “I actually really enjoyed the tango. I had great fun doing it, so I was really, really disappointed because it’s technically a very hard dance to do. But it is what it is.”
Many of the public disagreed with the judges, and immediately took to social media to voice their views.
'THEY WROTE SUCH LOVELY STUFF'
One of them told Nina: “You were robbed,” and another tweeted: “Absolutely no way!!! Wrong decision and I am gutted.”
Another said: “I’m really disappointed as she’s been good and not fair she gone out first! Neil never gets that far with his partners but like anywhere, judges have their favourites.”
The comments reinforced the idea that the dance duo had been robbed of their place in week three, but they also gave Nina some comfort as she struggled to come to terms with what had happened.
Although she insisted she had loved her time on the show and had gained a new-found love of dancing, she said she would now have to take a step back from her Strictly experience.
She added: “What’s got me through the exit is the fact the public felt so passionately about what happened.
“They wrote such lovely stuff and I just wanted to take this opportunity to say thank you to everyone who’s been so kind and said, ‘We love that you threw yourself into it’.
“It was just so hard because it was something I was so passionate about. I just need to disassociate myself from the show itself and just go and enjoy dancing.”
- Strictly Between Us with Benjy Potter and Amy Day is on Instagram Live at 6pm on Sundays.
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