Adam Peaty has defended his Argentine Tango on last weekend’s Strictly Come Dancing after some viewers thought he “almost kissed” his dance partner Katya Jones at the end of the routine.
After the Olympic swimmer and the professional dancer embraced when they’d finished their routine, viewers didn’t waste any time in sharing the moment on social media.
— Catrin Newman (@catrinnewman) October 16, 2021
Even Adam’s girlfriend Eiri Munro shared her reaction to the moment in a lighthearted TikTok clip of her pretending to cry.
She captioned the short video: “Watching your boyfriend almost kiss another woman live on TV”, adding “finding out 10 million people also watched it live”.
Adam Peaty’s girlfriend is on TikTok and has a great sense of humour about the whole thing pic.twitter.com/nsFUZrCq73
— Dora Somerville (@doraexploring) October 16, 2021
In an interview with Zoe Ball on her Radio 2 Breakfast Show, Adam defended the steamy routine and its final moments, insisting that they were simply “being believable”.
“It’s being believable, isn’t it?” he said. “You don’t want to do a dance like that and not do it justice because you haven’t switched on right at the end.
“So it’s being believable, and that’s what I think some people get carried away with. But, hey ho, that’s life, isn’t it?”
Katya also responded to the claims by some viewers that they almost kissed, making it clear that they were just acting.
“The choreographers who help us, because the judges kept saying we’re not connecting the emotion to the dance, there’s got to be more connection,” she explained.
“So they were very specific about keeping the intensity throughout the entire dance and at the end just keeping that intensity. So we made them proud!”
The day after their performance, Adam hit out at the reaction, labelling it “gossip” that had “real life consequences”.
“My favourite dance so far,” he tweeted. “Thank you to everyone who has sent supporting messages! I loved it.
“To everyone who wants to see what they want, your comments have real life consequences.
“I will not be overcome or lowered by your gossip. Protect your energy.”
The swimmer also posted a cryptic Instagram message to his 570k followers on his Instagram Story, writing: “You soon realise who the real ones are.”
Strictly Come Dancing 2021 continues on Saturday (October 23) at 7.05pm on BBC One.
This article originally appeared on HuffPost UK and has been updated.