Belfast Telegraph

Strictly Come Dancing: Which celebrity expects the axe?

The show will eliminate its first star of the series on Sunday.

The judges (Kieron McCarron/BBC)
The judges (Kieron McCarron/BBC)

By Sherna Noah, PA Senior Entertainment Correspondent

Sports stars James Cracknell and David James have been tipped for the chop from Strictly Come Dancing.

Bookmakers expect former Olympic rower Cracknell, 47, and ex-England footballer James, 49, to enter Sunday night’s dance-off.

Cracknell and Luba Mushtuk, who performed a jive on week two, are at the very bottom of the leaderboard, with just three points.

Their routine, which opened with the couple flipping pancakes, failed to wow the judges.

Craig Revel Horwood said “the pancake tossing was the best part” of their dance, observing that Cracknell looked like a “bucking bull”.

Ex-footballer James and Nadiya Bychkova have just four points following their Paso Doble.

Bruno Tonioli joked of the way James moved his cape, that he had “seen better shaping on safety demonstrations on aircraft” , while Revel Horwood called the routine “limp and lame”.

CBBC star Karim Zeroual and Amy Dowden shot to the top of the leaderboard on week two of the BBC One show with 15 points.

Tonioli praised Zeroual as “like a young Gene Kelly”, while Shirley Ballas told him: “Oh my darling you’re ticking my boxes”.

Placing on the leaderboard could change following viewers’ votes and the two couples with the lowest combined scores and viewer votes will be in Sunday’s dance-off.

Earlier in the evening, host Tess Daly apologised to viewers for transmission problems during the opening minutes of the show.

Viewers saw a black screen pop-up several times before YouTube star Saffron Barker became the first celebrity to take to the dancefloor.

Daly told viewers: “We do apologise to any viewers who experienced any problems with transmission. We are a live show.”

Soap star Kelvin Fletcher did not make quite the same impression as he did on his “outstanding” debut, with a waltz on week two.

Ballas highlighted his “incorrect footwork”, but added: “There’s no disputing your talent.”

Paralympic table tennis player Will Bayley and Jeanette Monroe closed the show with a salsa, praised by Revel Horwood as “absolutely amazing”.

The night also saw sports presenter Mike Bushell and Katya Jones dance the American Smooth in cowboy and cowgirl outfits, which Tonioli called “full horror.”

Footballer turned pundit Alex Scott and Neil Jones were praised for their “chemistry” when they danced the cha cha cha.

And comedian Chris Ramsey joked it was “the first time I have ever cartwheeled into someone’s crotch” when part of his Charleston with Karen Hauer was criticised.

EastEnders actress Emma Barton was told she showed potential following her foxtrot, with judge Motsi Mabuse saying: “I see a dancing queen.”

RuPaul’s Drag Race star Michelle Visage and Giovanni Pernice are second on the leaderboard for their Viennese waltz.

PA

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