Gemma Atkinson denies feud with Katie McGlynn

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Former Strictly Come Dancing professional AJ Pritchard, who quit the BBC show in 2020, has shared his thoughts over Katie McGlynn’s show exit. The Hollyoaks actress was partnered with Gorka Marquez.

The former Coronation Street star had been an early favourite to win the dance competition but left in the second week after failing to impress the judges.

The pair’s final dance was the American Smooth, which they performed dressed as Cruella De Vil and Pongo in honour of Strictly’s Movie Week.

Despite impressing the judges with her characterisation, the panel decided Judi’s performance was better in the dance-off.

Prior to her sudden departure, there had been claims made about balancing her work commitments on the Hollyoaks set with Strictly rehearsals.

Speaking in a new interview, AJ, 26, said he believed that Katie was unable to give the competition her all.

The dancer suggested that audiences didn’t “connect” with the soap star.

“My four partners luckily gave everything they had to Strictly, their time, their effort and their energy,” AJ said.

“It is an unusual one because someone can be fit and pick up the routines and have a great professional partner – but when they get onto the TV do people connect with them?”

AJ said it ultimately comes down to who will pick up the phone and vote for their favourite.

“I don’t think we connected to Katie, I wanted to see her fly or cry,” he told The Sun in conjunction with William Hill.

“I wanted to see her being competitive and angry – and sometimes it felt cold.”

He added that he felt “upset” that she had to leave the series and would have saved Katie in the dance-off.

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Gorka recently took to his Instagram page to thank Katie for all of her hard work.

He wrote in view of his 666,000 followers: “THANK [email protected] thank you for the past 4 weeks. From day one I knew we were gonna get on and have fun!

“You came to this show without any dance experience but you were willing to give your best to learn and improve everyday.

“You didn’t have the easiest ride but always came with a smile and giving 100% to everything I asked you to do in the rehearsals room, you always trusted me and believed in my work and for that, I thank you.

“Thanks for all the laughs and funny memories we shared over the last few weeks. If there was something we did all the time it was that…laughing.”

The professional dancer added: “Today is the end of our Dance journey but not our friendship one (sorry you won’t be able to get rid of me and Mia is still asking for you!)

“THANK YOU ONE MORE TIME. I am so PROUD of you,” alongside a red love heart emoji.

Strictly Come Dancing airs tomorrow on BBC One at 7pm.

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