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Strictly's James Jordan reveals his winner and talks 'dance disaster' from semi-final

James Jordan on Strictly the Truth
James Jordan on Strictly the Truth

James Jordan has opened up about the Strictly Come Dancing semi-finals which took place over the weekend and revealed why one couple's routine in particular was a "dance disaster", despite being just one week away from the 2023 grand finale.

Discussing the episode on his show, James Jordan's The Truth, the retired professional dancer gave his thoughts on each of the dances but was not a fan of Ellie Leach and Vito Coppola's Couple's Choice routine.

"I've been flying the flag for Ellie and Vito the whole way through. I love them. From week one when people were saying she wasn't very good, I said she's amazing. But this for me was her worst dance by a country mile. Fact," he says in the video below...

James continued: "I hated the music. I really didn't like the routine. I thought it was heavy, I thought it was slow. The lifts and transitions were messy, they made mistakes. And this for me is the reason that I always go on that I hate Couple's Choice. Now maybe it's wrong that I say I hate Couple's Choice because this year there's been so many that I've really enjoyed. But she's better than that.

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"I think Vito has done an amazing job with a lot of the routines that he's choreographed. I don't think he had that much say in this one, and for me, I thought it was really, really not good, and actually a detriment to them both. At this crucial stage of the competition, they've been my favourites throughout.

Vito Coppola and Ellie Leach
Vito Coppola and Ellie Leach (Guy Levy)

"And maybe with Ellie and Vito, it was the case that they didn't have enough time to really work on that dance, they probably didn't have enough time to maybe tweak the routine to make it more their style. Because I feel he's pitched all his routines so perfectly this year. I think that their choreography and everything's been so good. This one for me was honestly, I'm going to say it, a bit of a dance disaster."

Elsewhere, Ellie and Vito first danced a cha cha cha, for which James had high praise: "They came out to an amazing track, fantastic track for the cha-cha. I would go as far as saying that is one of the most difficult cha-cha routines I've ever seen. I thought that she did a really good job with a very, very difficult dance.

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Layton Williams and Nikita Kuzmin
Layton Williams and Nikita Kuzmin (Guy Levy)

"I was a big fan of their cha-cha and thought he did a really good job with the routine. I wouldn't have given it a 10 but it was a clear, strong nine."

Meanwhile, Bobby and Dianne wowed with their traditional quickstep with James calling it a "great" routine. "It was much higher, a demanding routine than I thought he would be able to cope with"

Bobby Brazier and Dianne Buswell
Bobby Brazier and Dianne Buswell (Guy Levy)

But it was Layton and Nikita with their Charleston that really brought the house down. James said: "It was epic. It was clearly the best dance of the series. I actually said to Ola it was faultless. The lifts, some of the lifts they were doing, I don't know how Nikita did it. It was like [Layton] was levitating. It looked so light. It didn't look stressed. It was the choreography, the timing.

"I just thought it was perfection. And I've never said that in all the years. It was perfection. Now, I know there's going to be be people at home saying, 'But he's a professional dancer', and I get that. He's at a massive advantage. But you've still got to admire the fact it was, in my opinion, the best dance that's ever been on Strictly."