Ex-Strictly judge Len Goodman praises Shirley Ballas for use of technical terms

The new head judge has confused some viewers with her range of dance vocabulary.

Len Goodman says he was told viewers would not understand what he was talking about when he employed technical terms – now also used by Shirley Ballas – as a judge on Strictly Come Dancing.

Goodman, 73, stepped down from the BBC dancing show in 2016, having been on the judging panel since the programme’s 2004 launch.

The ex-head judge praised his replacement and her use of technical terms, such as “syncopated Cuban breaks” and “fifth position breaks”, which have confused some viewers.

Shirley Ballas (Matt Crossick/PA)
Shirley Ballas (Matt Crossick/PA)

He told BBC Breakfast: “I started off full of double reverse spins and all that but then I was told, ‘Well, no-one knows what you’re talking about’.”

But he added: “They’re back in, good for them.”

Of Ballas, he said: “I think she’s done great. I really do. She’s her own self, she’s got good critiques.”

Goodman said he had faced the same criticism as the new head judge when making decisions in the dance-off.

“I remember I got terrible stick once. With the dance-off you have to just judge that dance.”

The Strictly 2017 final will feature Gemma Atkinson, Joe McFadden, Debbie McGee and Alexandra Burke.

Goodman said: “What’s great on Strictly is when you get a final and you really don’t know who’s going to win it”.

And he added: “What’s great, with the viewers, they appreciate those that have never danced before.”

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