DOIs Ashley Banjo addresses controversial exit after stars wife hits out

Dancing On Ice's Ashley Banjo has broke his silence over Ben Foden's shocking departure after he'd became the first contestant to leave the 2022 series.

The 36-year-old and his partner Robin Johnstone failed to impress the judges and folk at home and he was therefore booted-off of the programme first – which didn't sit well with his wife Jackie Foden Smith.

Jackie flocked to Instagram with a scathing statement as she branded the show as "popularity contestant" while protesting that the result was unfair.

In a recent interview with the Mirror, judge Ashley seemed to agree with Jackie that it had been tough going that Ben had slipped through the net so early on.

However, he wanted it to be known that unfortunately good people have missed out because the competition is just so fierce this year – with many talented skaters taking to the rink.

Speaking about Ben's exit, he told the publication: "His lifts were strong and he and his partner Robin [Johnstone] executed the routine really well,"

He added: "But him leaving first just showed us how tough the competition is in this series. Everyone is brilliant."

In a lengthy rant on social media Jackie previously penned: "As for the show, what's the point of saying it's a skate competition when it's really just a popularity competition.

"Why divide the skaters into two weeks, groups of your choosing, and why not judge all the scores together after the two weeks?"

She continued: "And what's the point of having a judging panel when it's all down to a public vote. That's not a skate competition, it's a popularity competition. What's the point of anyone doing this, even really practicing and trying to learn, if you're just going to be judged on your popularity?

"It's a bit unfair and we're a bit sad, the worst skater wasn't the first to go, I don't really see the point, yes it's how the show makes money, but maybe leave the public vote for the save me skate offs or something? Otherwise it's just kind of pointless to even try."

Ben's wife went on to praise Ria Hebden and Regan Gascoigne before adding that she and Ben were returning to the US.

Meanwhile, earlier today it was revealed that host Holly Willloughby will be absent from tonights show after she'd tested positive for Covid-19.

The news was verified on Dancing on Ice's official Twitter page, it read: "Unfortunately, Holly Willoughby is unable to host tonight's show after testing positive for Covid-19.

"Tonight's #DancingOnIce Semi-Final will be hosted by Phillip Schofield and we look forward to Holly returning for our Live Final @hollywills @Schofe."

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