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Aston Merrygold, 33, who danced with Janette Manrara, 37, on Strictly Come Dancing in 2017, said she and her most recent dance partner HRVY, 22, must’ve been gutted to not have won the Glitterball trophy last year. The JLS star publicly rooted for the dancing duo at the time and regularly encouraged his followers to vote for them.
It’s all part of the game
Speaking exclusively to Express.co.uk following his involvement in Virgin Atlantic’s brand new Airplause initiative, the singer shared his thoughts about last year’s result.
Aston began by saying he was “massively” proud of Janette in what was a “different” year on the show due to the coronavirus pandemic.
He went on to praise her efforts, adding: “I thought she’d win to be honest. I thought this was the year she should’ve won it!
“She worked so hard, she’s brilliant, so professional and comes with great ideas.
“This year, more so than any other, in my opinion HRVY is a brilliant young talent and took to the choreography really well.
“He obviously took the instruction from Janette really well as you can obviously see, that’s how he got that far.
“Yeah, she should’ve won it – it’s all part of the game.”
He added: “That’s how Strictly goes… favourites all the way to a certain point and then, you know, it doesn’t happen.
“The Strictly audience… they’re on it, they know what they want in the final, it can change every week, it goes on the performance that night.”
He added of Janette and HRVY: “They put on a hell of a show, at the end of the day it all comes down to how you perform on the night and who the audience connect with. It just wasn’t her night.”
Janette’s stint with HRVY was the furthest she had gotten in the competition with a celebrity partner in seven years.
In 2017, she and Aston were also one of the favourite pairings, but were controversially voted out against Mollie King and AJ Pritchard.
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Head judge Shirley Ballas made the decision to save the latter pair after the judges were split between the bottom two couples.
The professional dancer later revealed she had been trolled online over the decision.
Speaking on Strictly: It Takes Two, she defended her choice and urged viewers to vote for their favourites to avoid disappointment.
Elsewhere, Aston recently teamed up with Virgin Atlantic to award Brits, who had helped others in lockdown, with free flights.
The singer turned pilot for the day as he surprised and rewarded the first pair of prize flights to online sensations Mrinal and Vikram Seth aka Bounce Bhangra.
Aston said: “When the pandemic forced them to pause their classes, they saw an opportunity to take them online and use them as a force for good, keeping thousands of people elevated and energised.
“I am so happy to be involved in recognising them and can’t wait to hear who the nation chooses as the next winner!”
Nominations can be made by visiting https://virg.in/Airplause.
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