Tomorrow night’s Strictly Come Dancing judge Motsi Mabuse will take on her new role for the first time since replacing Dame Darcey Bussell. She was in the running for the position along with professional Anton Du Beke and Motsi teased the dancer over the role during an appearance on Lorraine today.
When asked about how things were with Anton after he was rumoured to join the judging panel, Motsi insisted her appointment was “nothing personal”.
“It’s been fine because I honestly, like I say, they know what they are doing, they made their choices,” she began,
“I know Anton for quite a while. I met him and he’s such a gentleman.
“I don’t think it’s anything personal at all, everyone gets to shine in their different ways.”
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Most added she’s “excited” for her first live show, telling host Lorraine Kelly: “This time I can feel it within myself that I have different nerves that are being awakened and it’s good – this is a different challenge and I’m learning something more about myself.”
Lorraine was keen to quiz Motsi on how she will judge her own sister Oti, who is partnered with Kelvin Fletcher.
“I’m going to judge her like any other dancer,” Motsi said.
“Oti has done so well here, I’m so proud of her. Me being extra hard, or me giving her extra points would be disrespectful to what she’s achieved.
“And I never want to do that and of course everybody else, this show is not about me and Oti, it’s about everybody else and it’s about being fair to everyone.”
She continued: “I wouldn’t want to jeopardise a beautiful show and go there do all this negative stuff.
“I’m just happy to be part of the family and I’m happy that I see my family more often.
“I never see Oti, she was always here. Now I see her quite often! It’s great because it’s got a family feeling with it.”
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Motsi explained she’s already getting on well with her fellow judges Shirley Ballas, Craig Revel Horwood and Bruno Tonioli.
“I knew Shirley [Ballas] as soon as I came to Europe, almost 20 years,” she commented.
“She’s a very successful woman in our dance world. The boys I kind of met here, we connected. They were really, really nice. Everybody was very, very supportive.
“You come into a new space and first you have to open up and see how everyone is. You go quietly… but the time will come.”
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This weekend is not just important for Motsi but all the contestants as it is the first time they’ll perform with their professional partners.
Karim Zeroual is the favourite to win this year’s series with Ladbrokes giving him odds of 7/2 to win.
Meanwhile, it seems David James could be the first out with odds of 66/1.
Alex Apati of Ladbrokes said: “We’re strapping ourselves in for the closest series of Strictly ever, but David James will do well to avoid the boot in Week One.”
Strictly Come Dancing airs Saturday on BBC One at 7pm while Lorraine airs weekdays on ITV at 8.30am.
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