STRICTLY bosses have signed up former JLS star Aston Merrygold, despite him having years of dance experience.
Aston, 29, was known for his love of backflips and break-dancing during the boy band’s energetic live performances.
And he even worked as a judge on Sky 1 talent show Got to Dance.
Now Aston, who spent five years in the hit group, will compete on the BBC1 show for the coveted Glitterball trophy.
A source said: “It doesn’t have to be ballroom or Latin dancing experience to give someone an edge.
“Aston spent years being choreographed in JLS and that rhythm and ability to follow instructions puts him streets ahead of competitors.
“And if there was ever proof he knows a thing or two about dancing, he was a judge in a dance talent show.”
Aston will be up against singer Alexandra Burke, 28, who won The X Factor when JLS were runners-up in 2008.
Strictly has previously faced criticism over contestants with extensive dance experience.
Last year finalist Danny Mac had to deny he had an upper hand after attending drama school.
Will Young, a quitter in 2016, had described himself as a “real Billy Elliot” after taking ballet lessons for 11 years.
And 2015 winner Jay McGuinness had learned tap and ballet during three years of studying musical theatre.
But another Strictly source said last night: “The show is all about Latin and ballroom dancing. Other dance experience isn’t going to give anyone an advantage.”