'Strictly Come Dancing' judge Shirley Ballas says Layton Williams was "lucky" to survive a dance-off with Angela Scanlon.

Shirley Ballas has opened up about Layton Williams' dance-off

Shirley Ballas has opened up about Layton Williams' dance-off

The actor ended up in the bottom two on week 10 after failing to impress with his American Smooth routine, but he was given a last-minute reprieve when Shirley's fellow judges Motsi Mabuse, Craig Revel-Horwood and Anton Du Beke voted to save him over Angela.

Speaking on 'Strictly' spin-off show, Shirley explained: "He was lucky that the other three [judges] saved him.

"It wasn't how I had taught American Smooth for 50 years. There were lots of things and elements missing."

Layton survived and is now preparing to compete in the grand final alongside Ellie Leach and Bobby Brazier on Saturday (16.12.23) and Shirley insists she's thrilled to see him make it to the end.

She added: "I'm glad he's here now and I'm very very excited to see him in the final."

In her critique of Layton's performance as he faced the dance-off, Shirley admitted his routine wasn't "true to the dance". She explained: "Well important for me always when it comes to Ballroom and Latin is the character of the dance, that it's true to the dance, timing and quality and I would have voted for Angela and [her professional partner] Carlos [Gu]."

Layton recently opened up about the social media trolling he's been suffering since joining the BBC show - admitting the criticism online is “so draining”. The telly star - who is partnered with Nikita Kuzmin, 25 - insisted he lucky to have a "thick skin" as he attempts to brush off all of the negativity ahead of competing in the grand final.

After a fan told haters to leave Layton alone, the 29-year-old actor replied in a post on X - formerly known as Twitter - writing: "Luckily I have thick skin but it's so draining that so-called 'Strictly fans' go out of their way to drag me down to lift others up. "Their fave couples would be SO embarrassed by their comments and so should they. They'll never dim my shine, Big love.”