Strictly judge Shirley Ballas reveals ’emotional toll’ of 2022 series after receiving online hate

Strictly Come Dancing Judge Shirley Ballas has spoken about the emotional toll of criticism online, revealing that this season of the show has been particularly tough for her.

In an interview with OK! MagazineOpening up on the trolling she’s faced, Ballas said: “I’ve enjoyed the show, but I’m not going to stand here and lie to you – it took its emotional toll.

“The names I’ve been called! I couldn’t even repeat them to you.”

The judge added that the constant criticism has also caused her to experience low mood and anxiety for the first time in her career, saying that she has never faced criticism so intensely while she was part of the series.

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She continued: “[I’m] emotional and low and I’m not going to lie to you, it sure affected me this year. I have [been to the doctor].”

Ballas went on to highlight that comments on her and her son’s appearance as well as criticism of her abilities as a referee have been particularly difficult to deal with.

“50 years, I’ve been in this business! 50 years! I’ve gotten awards for everything I’ve done. I’ve trained all the best people in the world,” she said.

“To have somebody think I don’t understand what I’m talking about… to me, that’s a big deal. I think it comes from being a young girl from a housing estate. You’re always trying to prove yourself. , you just want to do the best job for people watching.”

Kieron McCarronBBC

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Ballas added that she’s perfectly fine with people having a different opinion than hers, but that she doesn’t understand why people are “personal” with the criticism.

“Like I say you don’t have to agree … ‘It’s okay, I didn’t agree with your brand, you sent the wrong person home’. I’m fine with that,” she said.

“But when it gets personal, it’s horrible.”

Strictly Come Dancing the next airs on Friday (December 2) at 8pm on BBC One, with the results show on Saturday (December 3) at 17.40. Spin-off show Strictly: It takes two broadcast weeknights on BBC Two. Both shows are also streaming on BBC iPlayer.

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