Judi Love has spoken out in defence of fellow Strictly Come Dancing star Adam Peaty after some viewers said he appeared to lean in and “almost kiss” his dance partner Katya Jones on Saturday night’s live show.
The pair caused a stir at the end of their Argentine Tango when they shared a close embrace, with Adam’s girlfriend Eiri Munro even sharing her good humoured reaction to the moment in a TikTok clip.
After Adam hit out at the social media chatter branding it “gossip”, Judi addressed the matter on Monday’s Loose Women, explaining the reasons why Adam and Katya would have appeared close at the end of the performance.
She said: “I think what people need to understand, when you’re a dancer, you are a performer, you’re an actress, you’re an actor, you’re a dancer - you’re everything in that moment. At the end, people don’t realise you have to hold a pose.”
Judi, who is partnered with Graziano Di Prima on Strictly, continued: “So, they’re amazing. They’re amazing dancers, amazing performance and that’s what I saw – a performance that was executed and held in that position for camera, and for audience.”
Judi’s fellow Loose Women panellist Ruth Langsford, who was a contestant on Strictly in 2017, also said: “You have to hold at the end of your dances.
“I remember the Tango I did with Anton [Du Beke], it was very like this,” Ruth said, gesturing with her hand to demonstrate the closeness, “for the audience, who are hopefully applauding, for the camera angles.
“You almost want to go ‘thank goodness that’s over’, but you’re told to do that.”
On Sunday, Adam hit out at the reaction to the end of his and Katya’s dance, suggesting it had “real life consequences”.
He tweeted: “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.”
My favourite dance so far 🇦🇷 Thankyou 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 ⚡️🖤 pic.twitter.com/qa8TamcNDY
— Adam Peaty MBE (@adam_peaty) October 17, 2021
Adam’s partner Eiri had also shared a meme about the moment on TikTok, which saw her pretending to cry and was captioned “watching your boyfriend almost kiss another woman live on TV”.
As the ‘crying’ intensifies, Eiri throws her head back, adding: “Finding out 10 million people also watched it live”.
Loose Women airs weekdays at 12.30pm on ITV, with Strictly Come dancing continuing on Saturday at 7.10pm on BBC One.
This article originally appeared on HuffPost UK and has been updated.