Strictly address ‘favouritism row’ after Zara McDermott’s dance-off save

Strictly: Zara McDermott performs first dance of the series

Strictly Come Dancing hopefuls Bobby Brazier and Zara McDermott are reportedly seen as the “BBC favourites” by their co-stars.

Last weekend, Zara, 26, and her professional partner Graziano Di Prima, 29, were saved by the judges following a dance-off with Eddie Kadi and Karen Hauer.

The decision is said to have raised eyebrows backstage amongst the cast, although a Strictly source tells this is far from the case.

A show insider told The Sun: “Bobby and Zara are very much seen as ‘BBC favourites’ by their Strictly co-stars.

“After she was saved there were more than a few eyebrows raised backstage.”

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Another source told the publication that Zara is “very much a golden girl for the BBC” and claimed there is “an element of jealously” about her getting through to another week.

“And by giving Bobby a whirl on Strictly they can gauge his popularity outside the soap [EastEnders],” they added.

Despite the claims, a Strictly source told “All of the judges are hugely experienced individuals who judge on dance and dance alone in the main show and in the dance offs.

“Any conspiracy theories suggesting otherwise are simply untrue.”

Both EastEnders star Bobby, 20, and documentary maker Zara are rising stars on the BBC, but have had opposite journeys on the show so far.

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Zara has found herself in the dance-off two times and last week was saved again by the judges against Eddie and Karen.

The decision sparked a mixed reaction online, as one viewer wrote: “Ridiculous! Eddie actually danced. Zara was literally carried through #Strictly #StrictlyComeDancing #Scd.”

A second commented: “For the first time this series I think the judges made the wrong decision. Was Eddie’s samba good? No.

“But it was SO much better than Zara’s dance imo. I disagree with the judges.”

A third added: “Nah that’s not right Eddie improved his dance and Zara messed up the lift because it didn’t last as long. Eddie should have been saved #strictly.”

“I think Zara’s doing really well in this but for some reason she’s not getting the public’s support #StrictlyComeDancing #Strictly,” a fourth typed.

A fifth added: “I have a real soft spot for Zara. She is not a performer of any sort and as Shirley said she’s doing lots of things this week that she didn’t do last week. And that’s what it’s all about really isn’t it. #Strictly.”

Meanwhile, Bobby has so far avoided the dance-off and continues to impress the judges with his moves.

Last week, he and partner Dianne Buswell were awarded 30 out of 40 for their Viennese Waltz.

Strictly Come Dancing continues Saturday at 6.40pm on BBC One.

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