Strictly’s Craig Revel Horwood reveals surprising contestant he’s backing to win show after judges favouritism row


STRICTLY COME Dancing judge Craig Revel Horwood has revealed the surprise contestant he thinks will make the final.

Craig, 57, is convinced that former Coronation Street star Kym Marsh – who was in the bottom two last weekend – is this series’ underdog and will “come back fighting”.

Strictly’s Craig Revel Horwood has revealed the surprise contestant he is backing

Panellist Craig thinks Kym Marsh will ‘come back fighting’

Craig said Hamza Yassin is a ‘frontrunner’ after his showstopping salsa on Saturday

Panellist Craig also revealed that Countryfile star Hamza Yassin, 32, is on track to secure a place in the final after impressing the judges with his showstopping salsa on Saturday night.

Speaking exclusive to SE about who he sees going all the way to the final, Craig said: ” There are a few frontrunners, there is Salsa King Hamza, who was amazing last week.

“Doing lifts above his head and with Jowita, he was absolutely amazing.

“So I could see him getting through, as long as you have the public vote on your side.

“He has natural rhythm; he is gifted and he’s brave.”

When asked who the underdog of the series is, Craig said: “I think Kim as she’s ended up in the bottom and I think that’s spurred her on.

“So, I think she’s going to come back and show everyone what she’s made of.

“I think there are fabulous people in the competition – Kym has come up the ranks I thought, technically she was so much better, so I’m looking forward to watching what she can pull out the bag for the following weeks to come.

“But there are some amazing people there, but of course it is still very early, I think we need to lose about four more.

“I need to see them dance and then I can say who should get the boot.”

It comes after panellist Shirely Ballas, 62, came under fire recently amid unfounded suggestions she is “sexist.”

Viewers raged on social media, accusing the head judge of bias and calling for her to go.

It was claimed she was unable to “celebrate the young, female celebrities” and “felt threatened by” and was “overly critical” of attractive women dancers.

One viewer fumed on Twitter: “Sexist Shirley would rather save men darting around in animal costumes than the technically-skilled and beautiful dancer Fleur?”

Another blasted: “Shirley Ballas should be removed from the panel. She’s setting a bad example. Her views are outdated and sexist. Please let this be her last year, or preferably week.”

More than a thousand people liked the comment.

Shirley was also criticised for being harsh on comedian Ellie Taylor, 38, during Saturday’s Movie Week show and baffled fans when she said she would have given Fleur East the boot over in favour of Radio 2’s Richie Anderson, 34.

Craig said they need to ‘lose’ another four contestants before the competition really heats up

Shirely Ballas came under fire recently amid unfounded suggestions she is ‘sexist’