Michelle Visage has weighed in on Amanda Abbington’s Strictly ‘feud’ with pro dancer Giovanni Pernice, after dancing with him herself on the show.
The Drag Race star, 55, who took part in the competition in 2019 and placed seventh, made an appearance on This Morning on Thursday where she addressed the scrutiny surrounding the professional dancer, 33.
Amanda claimed the show left her with PTSD and demanded footage of rehearsals to highlight the Italian’s ‘tense’ and ‘full-on’ training methods after quitting the show due to medical reasons in week five.
Michelle, who is starring in West End as Morticia in the Addams family, said: ‘I have danced once a week since I left the show. Giovanni does not want to dance with me. I have a teacher that I have for two hours twice a week. It’s mostly Latin. I get to bring that to Morticia in a four minute Tango.
‘I don’t like gossip, but what I can say is he’s probably the toughest pro ever. We fought every day but we got where we wanted to be. We looked good together.’
Michelle Visage has weighed in on Amanda Abbington’s Strictly ‘feud’ with pro dancer Giovanni Pernice, after dancing with him herself on the show
Amanda claimed the show left her with PTSD and demanded footage of rehearsals to highlight the Italian’s ‘tense’ and ‘full-on’ training methods
Of her West End role, she told show hosts Alison Hammond and Dermot O’Leary: ‘My whole life I have been inspired by Morticia. She always had something that I loved and aspired to so it was like a manifestation.’
Amanda left Strictly during week five in October and failed to return for the final, where eliminated celebrities took part in a group dance.
The Sherlock star was praised by the judges for her performances on the show but it was claimed she was struggling behind the scenes.
After her departure, it was alleged Amanda struggled with Giovanni’s ‘militant approach to training’, with her time on the show said to have been ‘plagued by difficulties’.
An inside source told The Telegraph: ‘It could be that she didn’t know what she let herself in for.
‘He [Giovanni] was quite tough and she found that difficult. If she wasn’t very well, that wouldn’t have helped.’
They continued: ‘She was with a partner that had a certain training style that she couldn’t cope with. Whether that came to a head or whether there’s something else going on I don’t know.’
It has been reported she is seeking footage of their rehearsals to back up her claims as she seeks legal advice.
The Drag Race star, 55, made an appearance on This Morning on Thursday where she addressed the scrutiny surrounding the professional dancer, 33
Michelle took part in the competition in 2019 and placed seventh with Giovanni
‘I don’t like gossip but what I can say is he’s probably the toughest pro ever. We fought every day but we got where we wanted to be. We looked good together’, she told Alison and Dermot
Michelle rocked up in a bandeau brown minidress, white knee-high tights and brown heels
The Drag Race star is set to star in the West End as Morticia Addams alongside Ramin Karimloo
Meanwhile, Giovanni recently addressed criticism about his teaching techniques.
During an appearance on The One Show late last month, Giovanni was asked about training of his celebrity partners, to which he said: ‘I’m definitely a perfectionist.’
‘Like everybody else, I like to win. But for me it’s more about bringing the best out of partners, especially if I see that there is talent there. I want to do my job properly.’
His alleged feuds with 2016 partner Laura Whitmore and 2020’s Ranvir Singh have also resurfaced, while 2021’s Rose Ayling-Ellis and 2017’s Debbie McGee have spoken out in his defence.
Giovanni has previously lifted the lid on his intense rehearsal schedule.
Speaking to Spencer Matthews on his Big Fish podcast last May, Giovanni, 33, gave an insight into his gruelling training regime as he revealed his key to success as a dancer was: ‘Practice, pretty much 20 hours a day.
He continued: ‘The studio is open 24 hours. Well, 18 hours a day, sleep and go back to the studio and practice. Lots of lessons.’
Giovanni also credited his can-do attitude and refusing to accept defeat with his success.
Explaining how he feels about losing, the star explained: ‘I don’t want to sound cliché, but when you lose, when something doesn’t go the way you want it to go, I am one of those people who gets back up, just like Rocky Balboa, one of my idols, you go down but then you straight away stand up.’