Oti Mabuse explains why dancing with Strictly's Kelvin has been different to other years

Megan Sutton
Photo credit: BBC

From Good Housekeeping

Oti Mabuse has had a big year on Strictly Come Dancing, making the final with celebrity partner Kelvin Fletcher and working with sister and new judge Motsi.

However for Oti, who's been a pro on Strictly for five years, there's one thing in particular that's made this season feel different and - you guessed it - it's to do with Kelvin's late arrival to the contest.

Photo credit: BBC

In case you need a recap, Oti was initially paired with reality star Jamie Laing this year but he very quickly had to pull out due to injury and that's when Emmerdale actor Kelvin stepped in. Of course, the unusual circumstances meant Kelvin had less time to prep than his fellow celebs and had to get to know Oti much quicker than is customary on the show.

Speaking to Goodhousekeeping.com/uk and other press ahead of the Strictly final, Oti explained why this has made her 2019 season so unique.

"What has been so special and different is that every single day [at first] we were still trying to get to know each other, so it was [mimicking dance] 'So how many kids do you have?' We had that experience which was very unique," Oti said.

"We were really trying to get to know each other and because of that he leaned on me, I had to be there as a protector and a mentor and a teacher. It was such an honour... every single week it’s been like that, it’s been us two doing the best we can," she added.

Photo credit: Guy Levy - BBC

Oti believes this was "the best way for the journey to start" adding:

"I think people knew Kelvin as Andy and Strictly gave him the opportunity for everybody at home to get to know him, his family and his character really well. That’s been amazing."

Reflecting on his time on the show, Kelvin admits it has "taken over" his life.

"I think anyone with a young family goes through the same struggles. It’s not great having to leave your partner there to hold the fort. I’m on this journey but family and friends are as well, because when I’m having to compromise with being away from home, they’re having to take care of things there. It just makes the moments all the sweeter when you are together."

Strictly Come Dancing airs tonight at 7.05pm on BBC One.

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