What’s that we hear; a big sigh of relief?
Steve Backshall was the eighth celeb voted off ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ this weekend, and if rumours are to be believed, the wildlife presenter is likely to be RELIEVED rather than devastated.
The backstage gossip mill went into overdrive a couple of weeks ago when it was claimed Steve had lodged a complaint about his professional partner Ola Jordan on the grounds of BULLYING.
So finding himself in the bottom two on Sunday’s results show was probably a blessing for Steve, who competed in the Dreaded Dance Off against Sunetra Sarker and her pro Brendan Cole.
Unusually for this series of ‘Strictly’, the public actually agreed with the judges, with the bottom two on the judges’ leaderboard winding up in the dance off. So that was shocker in itself.
Although Darcey Bussell chose to save Steve and Ola, all three other judges saved Sunetra, with head judge Len Goodman opting to go with the “cleanest” performance and Bruno Tonioli saying Sunetra and Brendan had “much more grace, elegance and style” in their waltz compared to Steve’s jive.
In their exit interviews Steve and Ola played nicely and dished out the compliments. Steve said: “I’ll be gutted to go but the first thing I have to say is to this extraordinary lady, walking out on Blackpool Ballroom floor with all that nostalgia and history, with a dancer of your calibre, being taught to dance by you is an experience I’ll never forget and I am so, so privileged by that.”
Ola said: “You were absolutely brilliant to teach and work with. You struggled a lot with your injuries and you worked so hard, you gave me 100% in training, so thank you very much for being so wonderful.”
But behind the scenes it’s a different story, with the pair receiving a whole load of bad press about their allegedly horrendous relationship, with Steve apparently asking for a CHAPERONE, as he didn’t want to be alone with his “bullying” professional partner.
A couple of weeks ago a source told to Daily Mail: “Ola’s harsh treatment has flattened [Steve] and made him lose confidence – she was very rude and impatient”.
Ola’s husband James Jordan stirred up even more controversy when he claimed on Twitter that the BBC leaked the story about Steve’s complaint in one of his rants about the show.
It took a whole week for Steve and Ola to address the rumours, with Ola saying: “It’s not very nice and I work hard on the show and I’ve been on it a long time, but I’m a tough cookie. I’ve had a lovely reaction from the public, there’s a lot of support out there for us. I want to win so we’re working hard.”
Steve added: “We’ve been training really hard, I think we have pretty much the same work ethic and attack everything with the same sort of vigour and it’s going great. She is fierce, but in a way that we both want to achieve.”
As Steve also told the Sun he’d been finding it “claustrophobic” working in the studio, we’re not totally convinced that all was rosy backstage.
We reckon Steve probably breathed a big sigh of relief this weekend, as a source told the Mirror a few days ago that Steve and Ola’s “reconciliation” was just for the cameras and the TV presenter was actually desperate to leave the show: “Steve has been telling people he can’t wait to get back to the day job, he really isn’t enjoying himself and has been really troubled by the show process”.
If that’s all true, then Steve must be sipping a congratulatory drink in the bar right about now.
This is the most backstage DRAMA packed ‘Strictly’ ever, with rumours flying about Gregg Wallace, Simon Webb and Thom Evans all surely contributing to their exits or bottom two placings.
We’re left wondering who’s going to be the subject of the next batch of rumours.
[ Strictly 2014: Thom Evans And Iveta Lukosiute In Shock Exit, Were Romance Rumours To Blame? ]
[ Strictly 2014: Simon Webbe and Kristina Rihanoff In Bottom Two, Due To Cheating Rumours? ]
[ Strictly 2014: Gregg Wallace Is First Celeb Voted Off, Were Backstage Dramas To Blame? ]