Ballroom Legend May Quit Judging Dancing Show After ‘Truly Awful’ Online Hate


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Shirley Ballas, “Strictly Come Dancing” judge and mother of “Dancing With the Stars” professional dancer Mark Ballas, may quit “Strictly” after she got so much hate online that she had to seek medical help, she told UK’s Daily Mirror.

Shirley told the outlet that online trolls were out of control and she had to go to the doctor for her anxiety after her time on the 2022 season of “Strictly Come Dancing.” She said that in all the online messages she received during her time on the show that 20 percent were hateful and she doesn’t know if she’ll return to the show.

“And that was an all-time low since I joined the show – it was the most negativity I’d ever experienced. The BBC were brilliant, checking in on me and offering counseling and support,” Shirley told the outlet. She has been a fixture on the show since taking over for Len Goodman when he joined “Dancing With the Stars”

When it comes to her return, she told the Mirror, “It was a difficult series, I’ll leave it at that… Will I go back to ‘Strictly’? I always take one step at a time.”

Later, Shirley revealed that she was receiving “thousands of messages” with some being “truly awful.”

Shirley Ballas Was in Talks to Judge ‘Dancing With the Stars’

After Len Goodman, head judge on “Dancing With the Stars,” announced his retirement during season 31 of the show, Shirley Ballas shared that she was open to joining the competition show, but when she spoke to the showrunner, she was told the show was going back to three judges.

In a segment on British talk show “Loose Women,” Ballas shared that she had been in talks to join “Dancing With the Stars” but wouldn’t be because the executives decided there would only be three judges.

“I think at the moment, I spoke to [executive producer and showrunner] Conrad Green, I think at the moment they’re going to keep it to three judges,” Ballas shared. She previously said she’d love to join the show.

Shirley Ballas Thought Joining ‘Dancing With the Stars’ Would Lead to More Time With Her Son

Shirley Ballas wanted to join the competition show because she thought it would lead to more time with her son, Mark Ballas, since he lives in the US and she lives in the UK.

“You know, the bonus of being over there would be that I see my son every week. I miss him — we’ve all got family — I saw him at Christmas, he came over for 10 days,” she shared during the segment, adding that she was in a “slump” when he left to go back to the United States.

Mark made his return to the ballroom for season 31 of the show after five seasons away from the ballroom. The dancer ended up winning the competition alongside his partner, TikTok star Charli D’Amelio. Shirley revealed that she helped Mark get ready to dance again when he ended up taking the job.

“He got offered the job on ‘Dancing With the Stars,’ he hadn’t done it for five years. He goes, ‘No, mom, I’m not [going to do it],’ so I flew back to England, ready for our launch show [for ‘Strictly Come Dancing’], just about to go on our launch show and he goes, ‘Could you fly back tomorrow, mom? I’ve decided to do it, but I need to get back into shape,’” Ballas said on the talk show. “So I went out there and he had to keep up with me for two weeks! He got back into shape.”

Mark announced his retirement from “Dancing With the Stars” after the season 31 live tour wrapped up.

In a video captured by a fan and uploaded to Twitter, Ballas revealed that he wouldn’t be returning to the show for the upcoming season. In the clip, he thanks fans and his parents.

“I just want to finish this by saying that this will be the last time you see me dance in this capacity,” he tells the crowd. “I’m coming to a close tonight. This is gonna be my last dance. I had the best time ever this season, and this freestyle was a great way to finish it off. … Thank you guys for a lifetime of memories.”

“Dancing With the Stars” is set to return in the fall of 2023 on Disney+.

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