Saturday (7 October) night’s show proved to be a high-scoring affair, with Kadi leaping into second place on the leaderboard thanks to his Couple’s Choice routine to the Men in Black theme tune.
Kadi and partner Karen Hauer received 34 points in total, viewers were shocked when head judge Ballas gave him the first 10 of the series, delivering the score with the words: “It’s never too early for a 10 from Shirley.” The other Strictly judges scored him eights.
While fans praised Kadi’s dance, many questioned whether a 10 should have been given out so early in the competition, and to this dance.
During an appearance on BBC Woman’s Hour on Friday (13 October), Ballas was asked about the critics who “disagreed” with her choice to award Kadi a 10.
“I thought Eddie didn’t have such a great week the week before with his Cha Cha Cha,” she said. “He came out this week and he really was quite spectacular.
“It was everything his body ever wanted to do, those bopping kind of moves. It was synchronised together, Karen is the expert when it comes to that form of dancing.”
Ballas concluded that she thought Kadi’s dancing was “outstanding”, adding: “Normally I would wait until much later in the season, but I don’t know whether he’s going to turn that kind of performance in again.
“I thought it warranted a 10, I gave a 10. I think people were more shocked it came in week three than they were about whether I gave a 10 for the dancing. So he fully deserved it in my opinion, let’s hope he can keep it up as he goes into ballroom and Latin, it’s a lot more difficult.”
You can read more talking points from last Saturday’s Movie Week episode here.
The previous week, Kadi’s partner Hauer had been forced to hold her tongue following criticism from the judges.
The pro dancer was visibly frustrated when Craig Revel Horwood said that her Cha Cha Cha routine was, in fact, a street dance and had “no Cha Cha technique in there whatsoever”.
This comment shocked Hauer, who exclaimed: “What?! I’m sorry but...”
On Instagram after the show, Hauer thanked fans for their support, writing: “What a Saturday night!! Thank you for all your beautiful messages of encouragement and support. It does not go unnoticed.”
Strictly continues Saturday 14 October at 6.30pm on BBC One.