Peterborough fans of city singer Aston Merrygold are reeling from his shock departure from BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing.
ESP and local fans were all rooting for Aston, who was a strong contender to be a finalist on the BBC dance competition, but after disappointing scores from the judges for his Jackson 5 themed Viennese Waltz, he found himself in the dance-off.
Pitted against fellow singer Mollie King from The Saturdays, Aston incredibly lost out as head judge Shirley Ballas took the final vote against him.
Former winner of Strictly, Olympic gymnast Louis Smith who’s a close friend of the former JLS singer told ESP today that he knows his friend is disappointed but will bounce back.
“I think Aston will be fine,” said Louis. “He comes from an industry where you’re always getting no’s and knock backs. He’s a tough boy and he wouldn’t have got to where he has if he wasn’t tough. He’ll be disappointed, I think like anyone you’d like to see something through to the end but he’s done fantastically well. We’ve all enjoyed watching him; I certainly did so he can hold his head up high.”
Louis, who had come to Peterborough to collect a BMW from Motorpoint who are supporting the gymnast in his return to training, said it was unfortunate Aston’s dance was up against Mollie’s which had more content than a Viennese waltz which is quite limited in steps – and even gave us a quick demo of a ‘fleckerl’ in the Motorpoint car park.
Like the rest of us the former Strictly champion was disappointed another Peterborough contender in the series hadn’t made it further.
“It was a shame. I loved watching Aston on there. He brought such a smile to everyone’s face he was a joy to watch, a great talent.
“I knew he’d be good – I think we all knew he’d be good, he’s a great performer and that’s why he did so well in JLS in his music career and I think that oozed on Strictly as well.
“It’s just a shame it went the way that it did, but it is a competition and we do wish the rest of the contestants the best of luck – but it would’ve just been nice to have Aston in there.”
Twitter went into meltdown after Aston’s shock departure with fans expressing outrage and various conspiracy theories continue to surface.
Aston was gracious though, thanking both the BBC team and his professional partner Janette Manrara and tweeted afterwards – “Ok so lemme do this properly!! @bbcstrictly thank you so much for letting me be apart of such a great year I’ve made some amazing new homies!! Class of 17 you are all f***ing brilliant can’t wait for our catch up night out.. good luck to you all!! Every single person that commented, posted, voted every week thank you so much for the love and chance to do what I love to do most.. ENTERTAIN!! All you strictly pros.. you are all ridiculously talented and I’ve loved watching and learning from you all. But the biggest shout out and thank you to my dance partner @jmanrara also known as the Latin sensation! (As seen in the video) You have made this whole experience perfect!”
Aston continued – “Guys life is great I’m gutted obviously but… I’m not sad that it’s over, I’m happy that it got to happen! 🙌🏾🙏🏾❤ next stop and adventure being a daddy 😁❤😍 oh and some music n tours n shiiiiiiiet.. But daddy first ha!”
Strictly won’t be quite as good a watch for his Peterborough fans now but for us he’s certainly ‘ESP’s Strictly Winner 2017’ and we’re sure his local fans would agree.
Strictly photos: BBC / Guy Levy
Louis and ESP’s Sarah Tempest: Chris Brudenell for ESP Magazine