By News Team
Last Updated: 17th December 2021
With the Strictly Come Dancing 2021 final this Saturday, the competition is now down to just two.
Rhys Stephenson left the competition last week while AJ Odudu has had to withdraw due to injury, leaving Rose Ayling-Ellis and John Whaite to compete for the Glitterball Trophy, where this weekend they’ll be dancing three dances to impress the judges and the public. Will favourites Rose and partner Giovanni Pernice take the 2021 title?
What are the odds for the Strictly Come Dancing 2021 final?
Rose Ayling-Ellis continues to lead the outright winner betting market, as she has done from almost the start, with odds of 1/20. Rose and professional dancer, Giovanni Pernice, first danced a Waltz to ‘How Long Will I Love You’ by Ellie Goulding last week. Her second dance was an Argentine Tango to ‘A Evaristo Carriego’ by Eduardo Rovira, which was met with Craig’s praise of “that dance belongs in the final”, while Anton Du Beke was emotional in his response to both performances. The pair scored a 39 and a 40, leaving them top of the leaderboard at the end of the night. Rose is Strictly’s first-ever deaf contestant and despite common misconceptions, can hear the beat and pick up some of the music and vocals.
John Whaite is the second favourite for outright winner with odds of 8/1. He makes up one half of the first all-male pairing in Strictly history, alongside Johannes Radebe, who came eighth in last year’s show. Last weekend the couple performed a Couple’s Choice routine to ‘Hometown Glory’ by Adele, and the Jive to ‘Higher Power’ by Coldplay. Their Couple’s Choice routine really showed off John’s character, which was heavily praised by the judges, especially his story-telling throughout the contemporary performance. Motsi Mabuse praised the dance and John’s ability to be seen and to “let go”. John scored 39 points in both routines, with the 9 coming from Craig both times.
In the semi-finals, AJ Odudu and Kai Widdrington danced the Rumba to ‘Show Me Heaven’ by Maria McKee, and then a Quickstep to ‘Sing, Sing, Sing’ by Benny Goodman. Her quickstep went down well with the judges, with Anton claiming it was “worthy of the Blackpool Ballroom floor”. She scored 40 points for her efforts in the Quickstep. Even Craig said: “OMG, I loved it”. The queen of Rumba judge Shirley Ballas, meanwhile, even bowed down to the pair. Unfortunately AJ had to withdraw from the final this week due to injury.
Who are the Strictly 2021 contestants?
The first celebrity to be revealed in the Strictly Come Dancing 2021 line up was McFly singer Tom Fletcher, who will be hoping to follow in the footsteps of his wife Giovanna Fletcher, who was crowned queen of the jungle on the most recent series of I’m A Celebrity. Tom’s McFly bandmate Harry Judd also won Strictly back in 2011, so he’s got a lot to live up to.
Next to be revealed was comedian and actor Robert Webb, best known for his double-act alongside David Mitchell and their work together in sitcom Peep Show. Robert has appeared in a handful of panel shows but how will he fare on the dancefloor? He’ll be joined by TV presenter AJ Odudu, who was the third celebrity to be announced. She has hosted the likes of Big Brother’s Bit on the Side and The Voice.
Elsewhere, chef and TV presenter John Whaite, who won the third series of The Great British Bake Off, will appear and make Strictly history this year as one half of the show’s first all-male partnership. Staying on the theme of chefs, Gordon Ramsay’s daughter Tilly Ramsay has been announced as part of the line-up.
Greg Wise, best known for his role in Sense and Sensibility, will take the floor. He will also be joined in the line-up this year by CBBC presenter Rhys Stephenson and Dragons’ Den entrepreneur Sara Davies.
Presenter Dan Walker recently stood down from presenting Football Focus after 12 years and will now be looking to get his Saturday kicks on Strictly. He is joined by former rugby player Ugo Monye, while swimmer Adam Peaty adds a few more medals to the Strictly line-up of sports stars this year.
Loose Women presenter and comedian Judi Love is no stranger to competition shows as she takes on Strictly, having been a finalist on Celebrity MasterChef.
Rounding off the names to have been confirmed for the show are Katie McGlynn, who is best known for playing Sinead Tinker in Coronation Street. And more soap stars are in the mix, in the form of Nina Wadia, who played Zainab Masood in EastEnders, and Rose Ayling-Ellis, who played Frankie Lewis in the same British classic.
When did Strictly 2021 start?
Strictly Come Dancing returned to BBC One on the 18th September, with the first episode showing some feel-good group dances, as well as the decided pairings of the celeb and professional dancer couples. The dancers have undertaken their pre-show training, ready to take the floor for the 13 weeks the show is aired.
Who are the Strictly 2021 judges and hosts?
Beloved Strictly original Anton Du Beke returned to Strictly, replacing Bruno Tonioli in the judging panel this year. Du Beke has joined returning judges Craig Revel Horwood, Motsi Mabuse and Shirley Ballas.
Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman have returned as the presenters of the new series for an eighth year, while former professional dancer Janette Manrara has replaced Zoe Ball on BBC Two spin-off show Strictly: It Takes Two.
Who are the Strictly 2021 professionals?
Four new professional dancers have joined the cast this year: Kai Widdrington, Nikita Kuzmin, Cameron Lombard and Jowita Przystal. Strictly regulars Oti Mabuse, Aljaž Škorjanec, Giovanni Pernice, Karen Hardy and Katya Jones will return alongside Amy Dowden, Dianne Buswell, Gorka Marquez, Graziano Di Prima, Johannes Radebe, Luba Mushtuk, Nadiya Bychkova, Nancy Xu and Neil Jones.