Strictly Come Dancing: New vote controversy

STRICTLY Come Dancing has been beset by more voting problems as the recording of the Christmas special saw a four-way tie on the judges' leader board.

The situation meant the bottom two couples could not win after a vote from the studio audience.

Head judge Len Goodman re-ranked the couples involved, as is anticipated under these circumstances, and the audience cast their votes, the BBC said.

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The Corporation said filming was temporarily halted to give Goodman the chance to reach a considered decision.

Last night's recording of the Christmas show did not involve a public telephone vote, the BBC said.

The show features six couples – three from previous series as well as this year's top three, competing to be crowned Christmas champion.

The Christmas special, to be broadcast at 7pm on BBC1 on Christmas Day, features past favourites including Jill Halfpenny and Darren Bennett performing an American Smooth to Favourite Things; Kelly Brook and Brian Fortuna jiving to Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree; and Alesha Dixon and Matthew Cutler performing the Viennese Waltz to White Christmas.

This year's winners Tom Chambers and Camilla Dallerup do a Foxtrot to Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer; Lisa Snowdon and Brendan Cole perform the Quickstep to Sleigh Ride; and Rachel Stevens and Vincent Simone Rumba to 2 Become 1.

The show also sees a festive performance from Russell Watson.

Actor Tom Chambers won the Strictly final on Saturday in a public vote, after freak scoring from judges in the semi-final.

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Chambers was saved from the dance-off by the last-minute decision to let all three couples go into the final.

The decision was made after judges' scores meant Stevens and Snowdon tied in top place.

This meant that no matter how much public support he received, Chambers could not in theory be saved from the dance-off.

Viewers bombarded the BBC with thousands of complaints at the decision to let all the couples remain and the Corporation later decided voters would be offered refunds.

The BBC said the recording of the festive special was stopped for more than an hour while the contingency plan was put in place.

A statement on its website said: "During the course of filming the Strictly Come Dancing Christmas special, there was a four-way tie at the top of the leader board after the judges had voted.

"In these circumstances, Len Goodman, as head judge, ranks the tying couples and that is what happened on this occasion.

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"In order to allow for this contingency the show was stopped to give Len an opportunity to reach a considered decision and for producers to brief the presenters and dancers on the changed running order."

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