Strictly Come Dancing judges open up on dance-off agony ahead of 2023 live show

Strictly Come Dancing’s judges admit they struggle to cope when they vote off celebs.

They often become so friendly with glitterball competitors that they find it difficult to do their jobs.

Motsi Mabuse, 42, said: “Because I bond with all the contestants… sending somebody home is never easy.”

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Anton Du Beke, 57, added: “The biggest challenge is eliminating somebody and sometimes it’s tighter than you’d want it to be.”

Craig Revel Horwood, 58, is known for his tough persona, but even he finds it difficult.

He said: “The biggest challenge I think for me is making the right decisions when we’re letting someone go.

“I think that’s the hardest thing for me in the job.”

Shirley Ballas, 63, regularly has to make tough decisions as head judge.

In the past her decisions have been so divisive she has been sent death threats on social media. She said: “The biggest challenge is when I hear Anton vote differently to Craig and Motsi in the dance off and then the final say is down to me.

“It’s so heartbreaking having to send anyone home.”

The judges will have to ditch the first celeb from this year’s series during the second weekend of live shows.

Stars tipped to go early include newsreader Krishnan Guru-Murthy, 53, and TV legend Les Dennis, 69.

Fans have made the same complaint after the show revealed this year's pairings during the launch show on Saturday (September 16).

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After the episode aired on BBC One, the show's official Instagram account shared a clip from the incredible group number, which saw the celebrities and their dance partners take to the ballroom floor for the first time.

The caption read: "Our 15 fabulous couples! #Strictly 2023 is on!"

While many viewers expressed their excitement over the newly announced couples, others were disappointed to see that pro dancer Neil Jones wasn't paired up with a celebrity.

Taking to the comments section, one person wrote: "Why doesn't Neil have a partner again! It's such a shame," while another added: "Some amazing pairings, but gutted Neil didn't get a partner again."

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The first couple announced during the show was actress Amanda Abbington and dancer Giovanni Pernice.

Next up was former Love Island star Zara McDermott who said she was “probably the most nervous I've been in my life.”

The reality star, who was partnered with Graziano Di Prima, said: “I'm not a natural born performer or extrovert, so this is the biggest challenge of my life!”

Strictly Come Dancing airs Saturdays and Sundays on BBC One

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