Strictly Come Dancing‘s notoriously catty judge Craig Revel-Horwood declared there’d be no nastiness from him during Saturday night’s final.
‘You might not recognise me!’ he said.
Naughty or nice? Strictly Come Dancing’s notoriously catty judge Craig Revel-Horwood declared there’d be no nastiness from him during Saturday night’s final
This ‘unnerved’ host Tess Daly, who said it felt unnusual to hear this ethos from Craig.
He kept his word, dishing out 9s and 10s to the contestants taking part in the big finale.
He even told Maisie Smith and partner Gorka Marquez that their second dance was ‘annoying because I can’t find anything wrong with it’.
Saturday sees Bill and Oti, HRVY and Janette, Jamie and Karen and Maisie and Gorka perform three times to win viewers’ votes, the Judges Pick, their Showdance and their favourite dance of the series.
Despite facing challenges in the competition after finding herself in the dance off twice, Maisie previously said being on Strictly has shown her that she can be confident and ‘get over’ her self-doubts.
Disastrous news: Referencing Boris Johnson’s announcement regarding the stricter government tiers over Christmas that were revealed two hours before the show aired, Craig insisted he’d be ‘positive’ for the evening
She explained: ‘I have always had insecurities and I probably always will. Everyone has. But being on this show with the costumes and the dances and doing things completely out of my comfort zone, I have been thrown into the deep end so in a way it has helped me with my confidence.
‘On this show it goes so quick you don’t have time to say “I don’t feel comfortable” you just have to go out there and do it. It has pushed me to get over it.
‘I try and feel happier with myself and it’s only been eight weeks but I already feel better about myself and I didn’t expect that to ever happen.’
The soap star has even juggled filming her scenes for EastEnders with training for the show, resulting in her still rehearsing at gone midnight.
Hell’s frozen over? This ‘unnerved’ host Tess Daly, who said it felt unusual to hear this ethos from Craig
But her professional dance partner Gorka Márquez, 30, said the pair haven’t argued once, which is a triumph in itself according to ‘hormonal teen’ Maisie.
Gorka said: ‘It is funny because you know, so many hours in the same training room and you can get on each other’s nerves but funnily enough, even last week with the crazy schedule Maisie had, we both were like “it is what it is.”
Maisie added: ‘I’m a teenager, I’m hormonal but even still we have never bickered and that’s quite impressive!’
Bill also recently revealed he’s inspired Gavin and Stacey actor Rob Brydon to appear on the next series.
A promise is a promise: He kept his word, dishing out 9s and 10s to the contestants taking part in the big finale
The comedian hoped to break ‘dad dancing’ stereotypes by showing ‘blokes of his age’ that you can be taken seriously in the competition despite being in your mid 50s.
Professional dancer Oti Mabuse, 30, said she prepared the ‘simplest’ routine for Bill’s first appearance on the BBC show – but quickly realised her celeb partner was capable of far trickier steps.
She said: ‘When you come back as a reigning pro, you get someone that you can show a bit more personality…
‘The first day we went into a rehearsal and I did the simplest Cha Cha and he got it and I went “oh I might be in trouble, this might be a long season” and I kept pushing and pushing and he did it. I didn’t expect it.
‘I spoke to the comedian Rob Brydon and he’s a big, big Strictly fan and he said for the first time when he watched it and saw Bill he thought “oh my goodness, if I did Strictly, there is a possibility that I could go far.”
Shock: Craig even told Maisie Smith and partner Gorka Marquez that their second dance was ‘annoying because I can’t find anything wrong with it’
‘Because he’s a respectable man and character in English society, if he ever came onto Strictly that would be something that he would want to do, be taken seriously and really give it his all and hopefully make it far.’
Bill added: ‘If that is the consequence of me being on this show then that’s wonderful. Blokes sometimes feel a bit self-conscious, particularly blokes of my age, they feel they’re going to be called the dad dancer and I think if me showing I can get out there and look a little bit more than somebody shuffling about then why not?
‘I would love to carry on dancing. It’s so much fun it is accelerating and liberating.’
Viewers have complimented Bill over his recent weight loss after eight weeks of dance training has left him with a slimmer physique.
Reputation: Craig is usually known for being tough on the dancers
Jamie was also praised by his partner Karen for her incredible body transformation following eight weeks of her rigorous dance training.
Karen, 38, said she’s ‘made a machine’ out of the Made In Chelsea star, 32, who now has ‘awesome abs’ as well as ‘amazing enthusiasm and energy’ that he brings to every performance.
She said: ‘I’ve made a friend and I’ve made a machine now because he’s got awesome abs! I have never seen someone bounce back with such positivity and resilience.
‘It’s the whole mentality of it, during these times when everyone needs lifting and the fact he’s been able to lift me and himself at times, and lifting people at home with all his amazing enthusiasm and energy, I think that’s what’s brilliant about Jamie.
Saturday sees Bill and Oti, HRVY and Janette [pictured], Jamie and Karen and Maisie and Gorka perform three times to win viewers’ votes, the Judges Pick, their Showdance and their favourite dance of the series
‘I’m so proud of him – with all those ups and downs he’s always managed to have a smile on his face.’
Jamie has escaped elimination four times after winning over the judges by being willing to better himself and take on their criticisms.
The TV personality has experienced mixed emotions – while he’s thrilled to have reached the final, he’s also found it ‘tough’ saying goodbye to his co-stars.
Winner? Jamie has escaped elimination four times after winning over the judges by being willing to better himself and take on their criticisms
He said: ‘It is really tricky. This Strictly family, you do become a family, everyone talks about it but you really do.
‘When one of your buddies goes and Ranvir, they’re true friends. It’s a weird combination because you obviously don’t want to go home but you don’t want someone else to go home.
‘It’s one of those things, it is tough and it is hard but it’s part of the show. If it was us at any point I would have stood there and said “you know what, fair enough, that is what happens, it’s part of the show.”
‘Some people now think we’re bribing the judges. It’s just we dance well.’