Strictly Come Dancing judge Craig Revel Horwood has said that he thinks the contestants' bubbles will give the BBC reality show a "whole new edge".
This year's series has made a number of changes to its usual format due to Covid-19 restrictions with fewer celebrity contestants, a shorter run, a socially distanced judges area and a smaller, distanced live audience.
Another precaution that the show has taken is the creation of Strictly 'support bubbles'. After the celebrities and professional dancers have been paired, one of each couple will have to live alone throughout their time on the competition to minimise contact, which means that one half of each couple may be spending time with just their dance partner while they're taking part.
Craig has told Best magazine that he thinks the bubbles will make the contestants "more nervous", saying that their relationships with their dance partners will probably be affected.
"People will be on edge, but that will spark up relationships," he said. "It remains to be seen, will the dancing be better or suffer? It's like being stuck in the Big Brother house, people might do things completely out of character.
"Fun and gossip find a way. Something will always be happening backstage, always. There'll be the usual banter, things go wrong... Everyone involved will be more nervous given the bubbles. It gives it a whole new edge."
Craig recently told Digital Spy that the bubble situation could "magnify the joy, or the pain" for pairings, saying that if a pair doesn't get on "there is no getting out of it".
But he added that the positive side of this year's unique situation is that the couples will be able to "focus more on the dancing and the pairing" as they won't be able to juggle other jobs and commitments as easily.
Craig also promised that despite the show looking different this year there will still be a "lovely atmosphere".
"The studio will look gorgeous," he said. "That's the way it was laid out in 2004 – Strictly's going back to its roots, bizarrely! But no, the 'vibe' will most definitely still be there."
Strictly Come Dancing returns to BBC One with this year's launch show on Saturday (October 17) at 7.50pm.
Craig Revel Horwood is a columnist for Best magazine. Get all the behind-the-scenes info every Tuesday.
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