Exclusive: Strictly star Janette Manrara on how Helen Skelton's 'emotional' journey has changed her

Janette Manrara has opened up about how the "emotional" journey on Strictly Come Dancing has changed Helen Skelton over the past few weeks.

MORE: Strictly's Helen Skelton breaks down in tears in heartbreaking moment

Joining HELLO! for this week's Strictly Insider, the It Takes Two presenter praised how much the Countryfile presenter, who has made it to the quarter-finals alongside Gorka Marquez, has "blossomed" throughout the competition.


"She's had a massive journey, both emotionally and her confidence," Janette said. "And in her dancing, she's really, really grown. I mean the quickstep she did in Blackpool and then coming in and the samba this weekend, even though she didn't get the highest scores, the samba, her confidence in it.

"She was dancing on her own, she was winking, she was throwing the glasses, and she was being cheeky with Gorks. That is not something Helen would have ever done a couple of weeks into the competition."

MORE: Strictly's Janette Manrara on wedding moment with Aljaz: 'Emotions were high'

Exclusive: Real reason Gemma Atkinson is planning 'small' wedding with Strictly’s Gorka Marquez

helen and gorka dance the paso doble
helen and gorka dance the paso doble

Janette said Helen's confidence has "blossomed"

Janette, who left the show last year to present Strictly's sister show, continued: "Another beautiful moment for me to watch her kind of really blossoming into this confident, amazing dancer. And she said something in her VT on the show that really kind of touched my heart. She said, 'I thought this show was just about dancing and it's just so much more.'"

Saturday night's show saw the judges slightly divided over Helen's Samba, with Craig Revel Horwood stating her technique fell "a bit flat." Another performance they were divided over was Hamza Yassin's Argentine Tango.

Anton Du Beke admitted he liked the top half of his frame, but not the bottom, whereas judges Shirley Ballas and Motsi Mabuse loved it and gave him and Jowita a ten. To Janette, division is often a good thing.

janette manrara poses for official it takes two portrait
janette manrara poses for official it takes two portrait

Janette joined HELLO!'s Insider this week

"This is a TV show that is so subjective. There's no right or wrong answer. And that's why we've got four judges is to have four different points of view and opinions. And in a strange way, it's kind of nice when they disagree because then that shows you just how different opinions can be. You know, some like red, others like blue."

She added: "I think Argentine tango is so footwork heavy. So I understand where Craig and Anton were coming from because the feet were might have been a little bit sloppy here and there maybe. But one of the most important aspects of the Argentine tango, in my opinion, is the leading and following aspect of it."

Like this story? Sign up to our What to Watch newsletter and get the heads-up on the shows and films everyone’s talking about.