It can’t have been easy for Alesha Dixon to face the Strictly music in front of millions of viewers after the vicious sniping she’d endured since her judging debut the week before.
She looked relaxed and confident, however, as Bruce Forsyth opened the show referring to the storm of criticism she’d weathered since replacing veteran star Arlene Phillips.
Brucie mumbled about how unfair the whole debacle was on the young singer and assured Alesha she had the support of the show’s crew for the rest of the series.
But could she rely on the support of viewers tuning in to assess her second weekend in the job?
Probably not after Alesha went on to remind millions exactly why many had jammed the BBC with complaints in the first place.
She came across as patronising when appraising the less talented dancers, no less when telling Richard Dunwoody he was “cute” and “adorable” before addressing Jo Wood as “darling”.
Alesha also seemed needlessly bitchy in telling Anton Du Beke it was refreshing to finally see him with a promising contestant, a reference to the older ladies he danced with before.
And I lost count of the celebrities she infuriatingly “commended for trying”.
Atrocious grammar (“You was chanting the whole way through,” she told Craig Kelly), disagreeing with Len Goodman’s revered judgment and banging the table shouting “wicked” will also have grated with the viewing public. It also spoke volumes that she was rarely invited to speak first.
After such a battering in the Press, Alesha has to be given top marks for coming out fighting with such a big smile on her face. To quote the woman herself, she should be commended for trying.