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Peacock on Merrygold elimination: Strictly scores can make you raise an eyebrow

Jonnie Peacock said he has advised Aston Merrygold to take up sprinting so “he’ll know where he stands” following his shock Strictly elimination.

The Paralympian said he was “massively surprised” to see Merrygold booted from the BBC competition and that the trouble with the show is that it comes down to people’s opinions, rather than facts, which allows “outrageous” fluctuations.

He said: “I guess what’s annoying about this whole thing is that I’m coming from athletics and I’m used to an area where you do your sport, you train for it and you get given a time, whereas this is people judging you and it’s an opinion and you get given a score based on what they think you did, regardless of whether the whole country disagrees with them.”

Aston Merrygold (Guy Levy/BBC)

He continued: “I told Aston afterwards he needs to come to athletics, and try a bit of sprinting because at least then he’ll know where he stands.

“The fluctuations sometimes are just outrageous, I just don’t get it.

“You know, I train all week and you genuinely don’t know where the heck you’re going to end up.

“It’s the variation of the scores which is unreal.

“It definitely makes you raise an eyebrow.”

Merrygold received his marching orders following a dance-off against Mollie King.

But Peacock said he should never have been in the bottom two, insisting it was “ridiculous” that he scored higher than Merrygold himself.

He said: “I don’t think he (Aston) should have ever been in the situation in the first place, he shouldn’t have been in that dance-off.

“I thought personally for me to get a higher score than him was ridiculous.

“He did amazing – maybe it wasn’t his best dance, no – but I think for me a bad score for Aston is probably 30, that’s a bad score.

“I thought it was one of those things, it’s opinion and sometimes you disagree with that.”

Commenting on whether he thought racism was a factor, Peacock said: “No I don’t think it was racism that he went out… no, not at all, not at all.”

:: Jonnie Peacock was speaking as he and fellow Paralympic GB athlete Ellie Simmonds surprised primary school children in Sheffield, standing in as substitute teachers and delivering new sporting equipment as part of the Sainsbury’s Active Kids campaign. To learn more about Active Kids visit: https://activekids.sainsburys.co.uk/