Pasha Kovalev defends Ashley Roberts dance experience as they head into the Strictly final

15 December 2018, 00:05 | Updated: 15 December 2018, 00:06

Ashley Roberts and Pahsa Kovalev pictured in Blackpool
Ashley Roberts and Pahsa Kovalev pictured in Blackpool. Picture: Instagram @iamashleyroberts

Pussycat Dolls star Ashley Roberts has been heavily criticised by Strictly fans throughout the series for having an 'unfair advantage' due to her dance training.

Strictly Come Dancing fans have been very vocal this series about the fact that former Pussycat Dolls star Ashley Roberts may have an unfair advantage over her fellow contestants due to the fact she has dance training.

These opinions look to have been reflected in the viewers vote which has seen the 37-year-old and her professional partner Pasha Kovalev, 38, end up in the dance off three times despite high scores from the judges.

Read more: Ashley Roberts told to 'ditch romance' with Giovanni Pernice ahead of final

But despite the odds the panel went on to save her each week, the pair have now landed a spot in the coveted Strictly Come Dancing final and Pasha couldn't speak more highly of his partner.

Defending her from the criticism she has faced over her dance experience he said: “Every year we have celebrities who people think have more of an advantage over someone but from my point of view it’s a completely different ballgame and you still have to put so much work to master ballroom and latin because it's so difference from all other dance styles."

Speaking at the Strictly Come Dancing final launch he spoke admirably of her ability to bounce back from those nerve wracking moments in the dance off each week.

He said: "I have to take my hat off to her. She comes back more positive, more focused and more energised!"

Despite the flack she's received Ashley takes it all in her stride and said: "I think the motivation comes natural [to me]".

"The first two times I was in the dance off I was like ‘OK it’s a bit of a bummer’ then Monday hits and its a new week, a fresh start and you get in there and get focused”.

“Then by the third time I looked at Pash and was like ‘alright honey, shall we just give them a little show!”

Ashley and Pasha survived last week's dance off which saw Paralympian Lauren Steadman and her partner AJ Pritchard leave the competition in the semi-finals.