Faye Tozer didn't think she would "ever be considered" for 'Strictly Come Dancing' because of her previous dance experience.

Faye Tozer and Giovanni Pernice

Faye Tozer and Giovanni Pernice

The Steps singer is a trained choreographer and has starred in musicals 'Tell Me on a Sunday' and 'Rhinestone Mondays', among others, so the 43-year-old star - who has progressed to next weekend's 'Strictly' final alongside Ashley Roberts, Joe Sugg, and Stacey Dooley - was surprised to receive an offer to be on the Latin and ballroom programme.

She said: "I didn't think I would ever be considered for 'Strictly' because I come from a dancing pop group.

"I didn't think that I would ever get the chance to be on there."

Former Pussycat Dolls singer Ashley has come under fire for competing on the show, despite having dancing experience, but Faye insists she and the 37-year-old singer do not have ballroom or Latin dancing experience.

She added to The Sun newspaper: "There's always somebody with more experience than others but the thing we have in common is that none of us have ever done the ballroom or the Latin and some people are just natural movers.

"They want to have some sort of standard and level because if everybody couldn't manage it every week you wouldn't be able to create such a beautiful and amazing show."

Faye and Ashley topped the leaderboard on last weekend's semi-final, but Lauren Steadman and AJ Pritchard were sent home following a total score of 54 out of a possible 80 after their two dances, which left them bottom on the leaderboard.

This comes after 'Strictly' host Tess Daly shot to Ashley's defence last week - insisting she trains "as hard, if not harder" than the other 'Strictly' contestants.

The TV presenter said: "She's got experience in a girl band dancing as a pop star.

"But ballroom dancing is a very different discipline. You never saw the Pussycat Dolls doing a Viennese Waltz, for example.

"It demands a different set of skills.

"She trains as hard, if not harder than anyone else. She's in the studio 12 hours a day, they all are."