Strictly Come Dancing: Ed Balls 'waving a flag for couch potatoes,' could actually win, says judge Craig Revel Horwood

'He is promoting dance, so I can only see that as a good thing'

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The Independent Culture

Before the 2016 series of Strictly Come Dancing began, few people would have wagered Ed Balls making it this far in the competition. 

Not only has the former Labour MP miraculously managed to make it to Blackpool, but he’s one of the favourites to win.

Last night - week nine of the competition - Balls wowed the audience with his Jive to “Great Balls of Fire” (get it?) while the judges were less impressed, awarding Balls and partner Katya Jones just 23 of a possible 40 points. 

Speaking after the show, judge Craig Revel Horwood - who awarded just four points to the pair - admitted that Balls could certainly go on to win. 

“Ed will probably get to the final on 17 December,” he told The Mail on Sunday. “That is the odd thing about Strictly Come Dancing. I can only give my honest opinion about the dancing and what the audience decides to do with that information is entirely up to them. I was rather hoping that I was educating the great British public.

“We are going to have a situation in the next couple of weeks where we have two extremely good dancers who the judges absolutely love but who’ll end up in the dance-off while Ed will probably go through. Then we have very difficult decisions to make. I hope it doesn’t come to that.”

Horwood affirmed how he will “trust in the judgment of the public” while also detailing how Ball getting this far will no doubt be good for dancing in general.

“Ed Balls is waving a flag for all the couch potatoes at home who sit on their bottoms doing nothing. He is promoting dance, so I can only see that as a good thing. People at home will be watching him thinking, ‘Well, I could probably do that.’ It might encourage them to go out and do a dance class.

“Who would have thought that you could put Ed Balls into Strictly Come Dancing and that he would be doing so well with the public? His odds of winning were 100/1 and now they are 25/1. It’s incredible.”

Last week, Balls performed an internet-breaking dance to the viral hit “Gangnam Style,” much to the general public’s amusement. Whether he makes it through to week 10 will be revealed tonight on BBC One.