'Judges judge the dancing - nothing else': BBC defends itself against racism allegations after EastEnders' Tameka Empson becomes the second black person voted off in two weeks
- BBC has defended Strictly Come Dancing against allegations of racism
- It follows the departure of a second black contestant in as many weeks
- Viewers took to social media to accuse the voting public of being 'racist'
- BBC spokeswoman said: 'Judges judge the dancing and the dancing alone'
The BBC has defended Strictly Come Dancing against allegations of racism after the departure of a second black contestant in as many weeks.
EastEnders star Tameka Empson appeared to throw her support behind the uproar as she appeared on the show's spin-off programme It Takes Two on Monday night, where she revealed she was not prepared to leave.
The 39-year-old soap actress defiantly insisted that she did nothing wrong, shortly after BBC One viewers branded the voting public 'racist'.
Angry: Tameka Empson appeared to throw her support behind the race row as she appeared on the show's spin-off programme It Takes Two, revealing she was not prepared to leave
Empson, who danced with Gorka Marquez during her stint on the show, is the second of three black contestants in a starting line-up of 15 to have been booted off.
It was only the second week where viewers have been given a vote, with Radio DJ Melvin Odoom the first to go after receiving the fewest public votes last week.
A BBC source said that the broadcaster was not to blame for the way in which people voted.
'If there is an issue to explore, it lies with the audience not voting for her, which we have no control over,' the insider said.
According to The Guardian, a spokeswoman said: 'Judges judge the dancing and the dancing alone, not anything else.' She added that in all except three of the 14 previous series of Strictly, the winner or runner-up was black or mixed race.
After the shock racism row, Empson was reduced to tears as she spoke to It Takes Two host Zoe Ball when she defiantly insisted it was not her time to leave.
She said: 'I was surprised if I'm honest, not being big-headed, but I really thought I put all the right moves in and I didn't put a foot wrong and just really being in that character.
'I had a bit of pain in my back but at the end of the day I just used that pain to really drive through... I didn't want to cry... My mum says I look bad when I cry... Sorry mum. It feels too soon. I have a lot more to give.'
Saddened: The 39-year-old EastEnders star defiantly insisted that she did nothing wrong, shortly after BBC One viewers branded the voting public 'racist,' since Tameka is the second black contestant to be voted off in two weeks
Partners: Tameka, who danced with Gorka Marquez during her stint on the show, was the second contestant kicked off
Gorka was also supportive of her statements, saying: 'She impressed me more and more. She gave everything like she was doing her last dance.
'I’m going to keep dancing. I love it. I love the whole process. I thought I gave it my best shot. I'm gonna miss (Gorka).'
Strictly was first accused of bias after injured Tameka was asked to compete in this week's Dance-Off when Anastacia was excused last week.
After the first week furore, Tameka's departure brought the show into further disrepute in the eyes of the public.
Upsetting stuff: Tameka needed assistance as she broke down on the show
Weeping: Gorka was also supportive of her statements, saying: 'She impressed me more and more. She gave everything like she was doing her last dance
Out: The 39-year-old EastEnders star defiantly insisted that she did nothing wrong, shortly after BBC One viewers branded the voting public 'racist,' since Tameka is the second black contestant to be voted off in two weeks
Outrageous claims: They linked her departure to that of Melvin Odoom (pictured) in Week 1
Heading home: Tameka found herself in the bottom two opposite TV presenter Laura Whitmore
'Disgusted' social media users argued that there was a pattern emerging after Tameka's exit on Sunday night directly followed Melvin Odoom's departure in Week one.
'What could have made the British public vote out Melvin Odoom then Tameka Empson ahead of inferior dancers?' asked one fan.
Another skeptical viewer said: 'First Melvin and now Tameka. I am seeing a bit of a pattern here. #Strictly'
'Some #Strictly viewers are low-key racist !!!' another outraged fan raged: 'Melvin out, Tameka out consecutively. Laura (Irish) dance off !!! Not a show 4 minorities (sic)'
The rival: Laura Whitmore was also on It Takes Two following the scandal
Also there: Daisy Lowe also appeared on It Takes Two alongside her partner Aljaž Škorjanec
'First Melvin. Second Tameka. Support a brother,' urged another fan, after Saturday's show.'
'Melvin went out last week and now Tameka this week, I'm starting to think half the people on this show are just plain racist #Strictly,' argued another.
'[It's] wrong! I'd like to see the BBC justify both Tamika and Melvin leaving at this stage, fixed voting'
'First Melvin last week. Now Tameka this week? Ridiculous. Disgusted. I can't. #SCD'
It's wrong: Some people seemed outraged that Tameka should be eliminated straight after Melvin
'With Melvin out last week and Tameka out this week it wouldn't surprise me…' added another.
Tameka danced against Laura Whitmore this weekend, after they found themselves with the least public votes.
Both couples performed their routines again; Laura and Giovanni did their Salsa to Rhythm of The Night by Valeria Andrews from the movie Moulin Rouge while Tameka and Gorka performed their Tango to The Heat Is On from the movie Beverley Hills Cop in a bid to impress the judges and remain in the competition.
The judging decision divided the panel, with Craig and Bruno choosing to save Laura and Giovanni, with Craig telling the couples: 'Well this is, I have to say, a little bit of a nightmare.'
Sad: While others believed it was 'sad' to make the accusations about racism
'I don't feel like I have been in this position before. To be honest I can normally make a very clear decision but both couples were extraordinary.'
'One couple really flew through the routine better than they had previously and the other couple I thought even bettered that. And the couple I thought bettered that was Laura and Giovanni.'
Bruno added: 'Well let me say these girls are fantastic, you two shouldn't even be here.
'Both great performers, you gave it all you had but I think out of the two performances the stand out one was from Laura and Giovanni.'
Darcey meanwhile chose to save Tameka and Gorka, reasoning: 'Well again I marked them both exactly the same in the main show and seeing them again tonight they've both made an improvement, cleaned up the attack of both of them.'
Ouch! EastEnders star Tameka performed with an injury
I'll show them: Tameka said she wouldn't let her back injury stop her before heading to the floor, only to lose the judges vote before doing a final defiant lap with her leg brace on show
Ultimately, Head Judge Len made the final call on who would be going home, and made Tameka the second contestant to leave the competition.
Not all of the viewers were in agreement that the 'race card' should have been pulled on this weekend's decision.
Some were yet more outraged at the suggestion.
One fans said: 'Apparently it is now racist that Tameka Empson was voted off Strictly according to her fans. God preserve me!'
'Its getting more and more out of control, this voting for an entertainment danceshow. Now the racism card. My gosh, its sad really,' added another.
'The old race card yet again,' said one concerned fan. 'Had two white people been voted off would the race card be out? Maybe they're just bad dancers.'
'How can people say #strictly is racist? Everyone has to leave at some point & the pro dancers are from all over the world so how can it be?!'
'So… how many people do you think are saying strictly is racist?'
Sad to see her go: The judges gave Tameka and her partner Gorka a standing ovation
Not fair: It was a sad day for the star as she was booted off in the second week
Don't stop me now: Tameka told Tess Daly she wouldn't let her back injury stop her before heading to the floor, only to lose the judges' vote before doing a final defiant lap with her knee brace on show
Another suggested that it was laughable, adding: 'Sad c***s accusing strictly come dancing of being racist now simply because a black didn't go through LOL.'
After Sunday night's show, some were left reeling that Tameka had even been asked to compete in the Dance-off, when Anastacia had been excused last week.
Melvin had been eliminated by default because the decision was put down to the number of votes instead.
Tameka told Tess Daly she wouldn't let her back injury stop her before heading to the floor, only to lose the judges' vote before doing a final defiant lap with her knee brace on show.
After finding out she would have to dance again, Tameka told host Tess: 'My back injury ain't gonna hurt me this time, I'm gonna hurt it!'
Ruled out: Some viewers were left 'fuming' after Tameka revealed her injury, pointing out that a week earlier singer Anastacia pulled out of her dance off due to injury
Her second performance of her Tango to The Heat Is On from the movie Beverley Hills Cop failed to win over the judges though, with only Darcey voting to keep the actress and her pro partner Gorka Marquez in.
As Tameka took to the floor with Gorka for their farewell dance, she broke out of hold to do a solo lap, lifting up her black dress to reveal strapping on her leg.
Some viewers were left 'fuming' after Tameka revealed her injury, pointing out that a week earlier singer Anastacia pulled out of her dance off due to injury, meaning it was left to the public vote to decide to send Melvin Odoom home.
The 48-year-old singer was deemed too unfit to dance against fellow bottom place contestant Melvin after she ‘ripped’ her mastectomy scars during training.
Her injury caused her to became the first contestant in the show's history to pull out of a dance-off.
Safe: Anastacia gave an emotional thank you to viewers after being saved from another dance off by public vote on Sunday
While the exact nature and severity of Tameka's injury wasn't made clear on Sunday night, some fans suggested it was unfair to expect the actress to dance.
'Why did Tameka have to compete in the dance off with her injury & Anastasia didn't? Hmm rules for one & rules for another. Unfair #strictly', tweeted Lisa L Robertson.
Rachael W added: 'Gutted that Tameka left #strictly. shocking that someone who refused to dance gets to stay and she dances through injury and leaves.'
Unfair? While the exact nature and severity of Tameka's injury wasn't made clear on Sunday night, some fans suggested it was unfair to expect the actress to dance
Others pointed out though that Anastacia and Tameka's injuries couldn't be compared. Tweeting after Tameka's injury-baring lap of the floor, Nora tweeted: 'I certainly hope I got that wrong and @Tameka_Empson did not strike out to @AnastaciaMusic! A knee injury is no double mastectomy.'
A source has told the MailOnline: 'Every injury or strain experienced whilst participating in the show is of course completely unique.
'Tameka wore a knee brace and was deemed able to dance in the dance off this week, as was the other celebrity in the dance off, Laura who had sustained a number of bruises and knocks in training.'
Different: Other fans pointed out that Anastacia and Tameka's injuries couldn't be compared
Soldiering on: Tameka was commended for dancing through her obvious injury
Bottom two: TV presenter Laura Whitmore also found herself in the dance off on Sunday night but was saved by the judges
Last tango: Tameka's second performance of her Tango to The Heat Is On from the movie Beverley Hills Cop failed to win over the judges
Winning: Laura danced her Moulin Rouge salsa for a second time on Sunday
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