Aston-Merrygold

Strictly favourite and JLS star Aston Merrygold defends previous dance experience

Aston was a member for boyband JLS

Sharnaz Shahid

Aston Merrygold has defended himself from accusations which suggest he has too much dance experience to appear on Strictly Come Dancing. The 29-year-old, who has been partnered up with professional dancer Janette Manrara, insisted he's not a trained dancer despite doing dance routines with his group JSL. Appearing on Wednesday's Loose Women, Aston told the panel: "People assumed that I'm trained because I danced in a boyband before, but I've never stepped into a dance class, I've never had a teacher before. I just used to watch Michael Jackson videos and Justin Timberlake videos, stuff like that, and I used to just enjoy it."

Strictly's Aston Merrygold insists he's not a trained dancer

WATCH: JB Gill supports fellow JLS singer Aston Merrygold on Strictly

Aston is among the favourites to win this year's Strictly, having impressed the judging panel week after week. He added: "I was lucky enough to have it be part of my career. Going into Strictly was like, 'I'm actually having someone put me in the right position and whatever else', and it's weird." Janette, who was in the audience, heaped praise on her dance partner, telling viewers: "He's the perfect celeb partner, we’re having such a good time!" This weekend, the pair will perform the Paso Doble to Nirvana's Smells Like Teen Spirit.

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STORY: Alexandra Burke and Aston Merrygold told off by Strictly dance partners

Meanwhile, fellow competitor Debbie McGee was recently forced to defend her experience having trained as a ballet dancer in the past. She said on This Morning: "I had ballet training over 30 years ago, it’s so opposite to anything I have ever done. The thing is, it’s so different to ballroom and Latin. I’ve never done anything like this. I danced over 30 years ago, I would describe it as a bit like if you asked a footballer to go and do something else 30 years later." She continued: "It's a completely different muscle, when you're older, any muscle that stayed a bit trained from 30 years ago I've now got to un-train that, which is hard."

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