Strictly Come Dancing will be poorer for Aston Merrygold’s exit, according to his stepdad Oz.
Former Jack Hunt School pupil Aston departed in week seven of the hugely popular entertainment show despite being one of the star performers up until that point.
However, his Viennese Waltz with partner Janette found no favour with judge Craig Revel Horwood who gave it a four, a decision which left Oz unimpressed.
And despite the other judges giving popstar Aston a seven he found himself in the bottom two following the public vote, leaving him in a dance off against Mollie King and AJ.
After the dance off judges Darcey Bussell and Bruno Tonioli opted to save Aston, but Craig and Shirley Ballas chose Mollie, with head judge Shirley’s vote taken as the final decision in a tie.
Oz, who watched the show at home, told the Peterborough Telegraph: “I’m gutted for him and for the show. He was very popular and very entertaining. The show will be a little poorer for him not being in it.
“They were always going to struggle doing a Viennese Waltz in 1970s disco sort of gear. I do think the judges should have taken it into account.
“Aston and Janette are given the song and the dance and they have to do the best of what they are given.
“Craig Revel Horwood giving a four was ridiculous. The Strictly Facebook page seems to have gone into meltdown. It just shows you he was very popular.
“The show is going to miss out on his routines. I was really looking forward to the jive coming up.
“I’ve spoken to Aston and he is gutted but he said ‘that’s showbiz’.
“I’ve had all sorts of calls and texts from friends saying their kids are crying, but I think the storm will go down.”
Oz said it would have been fairer for the public vote to have been used to decide who left the show once the judges were tied - although he was not sure if that would have made any difference to the result - but having watched Aston live he was left with nothing but admiration for how Strictly is put together.
He said: “The judges’ scores for Aston up to last week were the highest grossing scores in Strictly history. It’s been a fantastic journey and he has learnt a lot from it.
“Going down and viewing what they did and seeing the production they put on was fantastic. I have a new found respect for what the celebrities put themselves through.”
Next up for Aston and girlfriend Sarah Richards is the birth of their first child in the new year.
Oz added: “We’re really looking forward to that now. That’s his main priority. It’s not long until he becomes a dad for the first time and he can’t wait.”
Aston wrote on Instagram: “@bbcstrictly thank you so much for letting me be apart of such a great year I’ve made some amazing new homies!!
“Every single person that commented, posted, voted every week thank you so much for the love and chance to do what I love to do most.. ENTERTAIN!!
“All you strictly pros.. you are all ridiculously talented and I’ve loved watching and learning from you all. But the biggest shout out and thank you to my dance partner @jmanrara also known as the Latin sensation! (As seen in the video)
“Guys life is great I’m gutted obviously but... I’m not sad that it’s over, I’m happy that it got to happen! ❤ next stop and adventure being a daddy ❤ oh and some music n tours.”