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The Greatest Dancer accused of ‘lack of inclusion’ in final nine

Oti Mabuse, Matthew Morrison and Cheryl on BBC One’s new dancing competition show The Greatest Dancer (Tom Dymond/BBC/Syco/Thames)
Oti Mabuse, Matthew Morrison and Cheryl on BBC One’s new dancing competition show The Greatest Dancer (Tom Dymond/BBC/Syco/Thames)

Viewers have accused The Greatest Dancer of a “lack of inclusion” over the acts picked for the live shows.

In previous weeks, the BBC One series has seen the studio audience put through Andrew, a freestyle performer with Down’s Syndrome, and Chris, who is deaf and uses the music’s vibrations to help him choreograph his routines.

Andrew on The Greatest Dancer
Andrew on The Greatest Dancer (Tom Dymond/BBC/Syco/Thames)

But they did not make the final nine on Saturday after dance captains Cheryl, Oti Mabuse and Matthew Morrison whittled down the contestants.

Andrew had moved Cheryl to tears with his audition earlier in the series, while former Glee star Morrison had told him his performance was “absolutely incredible”.

Chris, who lost his hearing at 23 months after he contracted meningitis, had won a standing ovation from the dance captains.

Some viewers criticised the show for not putting through Andrew or Chris to the next stage, when the dance captains will go head-to-head.

@J_A_Colwell wrote: “Shocked at the sheer lack of inclusion in the final nine… Some phenomenal acts not put through.”

@CarrieOnTweet wrote: “Thought Andrew was fantastic on Greatest Dancer – very sad he hasn’t gone though, he captured the joy of dance (not much point watching now).”

@RealAzaJWillz wrote: “Was disappointed with tonight’s Greatest Dancer. Really missed an opportunity to represent some truly talented disabled people”.

@LeanneDixon wrote: “Why did no dancer or dance group with a disability not make it through to the live shows?

“They were as good, if not better than a lot of dancers there and they deserved their chance to show what they can do. We need to see more representation!”

But some viewers approved of the final nine.

@laurter23 wrote: “Just finished Greatest Dancer and it truly is one of my new favourite shows. So so good and so excited to be able to see the acts develop!!”

And @officialbarnsey wrote: “Loving the final nine …. so much talent!”

@CamzSoldier wrote: “That was amazing! I love this show so much and I can’t wait for the lives!”

The show, produced by Simon Cowell’s production company Syco, has been beaten by ITV Saturday night rival The Voice, featuring coaches Olly Murs, Jennifer Hudson, Will.i.am and Sir Tom Jones, in the ratings.

The winner, now voted for by viewers, will take home a £50,000 prize and the opportunity to perform as a guest on Strictly later in the year.

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