How Denise danced up a storm on Strictly: Complaints made about stage school trained star after she topped the leaderboard
Strictly beat The X Factor on Saturday night in the ratings war, winning an average audience of 9.9million viewers
07:50 GMT, 15 October 2012
When Denise Van Outen was signed up to Strictly Come Dancing, there were mutterings that her stage school training might put her at an unfair advantage.
Now those complaints have got a whole lot louder after the presenter and West End star topped the leader board with an impressive score of 32 out of 40.
Miss Van Outen, 38, flaunted her pedigree dancing a jive with partner James Jordan on Saturday night, and executed a perfect cartwheel, despite suffering whiplash in training.
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Fabulous! Denise Van Outen and James Jordan topped the scoreboard following an impressive jive
But viewers were unimpressed and vented their frustration on social networking site Twitter.
Fashion journalist Hilary Alexander alluded to Miss Van Outen’s spells in musicals Chicago and Legally Blonde.
She said: ‘Fantastic jive from James and Denise – and so it should be! She’s had plenty of West End experience.’
Another objected to a high score being given so early in the competition.
Celebrating: Miss Van Outen and James Jordan celebrate after topping the leaderboard
‘Nobody should be getting all eights, so unfair on the other contestants for Denise to be in Strictly.’
Former TV presenter Johnny Ball didn’t stand a chance.
West End star: Critics have claimed Denise van Outen has an unfair advantage in the show after following roles such as Roxie in Chicago
The former television presenter found himself and partner Iveta Lukosiute in the dance off against Daybreak's Richard Arnold and Erin Boag.
giving his all in his final waltz, Johnny was applauded and given a
standing ovation as he emotionally said: 'I did pretty well for my age'.
He became the first contestant to be
voted off the show last night.
Speaking to the Daily Mail, Mr Ball, 74, hinted that he agreed with the viewers’ complaints.
He said: ‘All actors and actresses have done stage school which includes dance and movement.
'It’s sad that the judges can’t take that into consideration.’
As Tess Daly closed the show, Johnny and Erin had one last dance together as the other contestants joined them on the floor.
A BBC spokesman defended Miss Van Outen, saying that while her showbiz career has involved stage performances, she has never had ballroom or Latin dancing training.
Meanwhile Strictly beat its ITV rival The X Factor on Saturday night in the ratings war, winning an average audience of 9.9million viewers, while X Factor notched up 8.8million.
The last dance: Johnny Ball and Iveta Lukosiute were the first pair to be voted off the show