We’ve been noting the similarities between former Strictly champ Harry Judd and this year’s bookies’ fave Jay McGuiness since the very start of series 13.
They are both charming young men in their twenties; they’ve both been members of a boy band; both good dancers (obviously); and both were paired with professional dancer Aliona Vilani.
And it seems Judd, who won the Glitterball Trophy in 2011, knows what we are talking about. In fact, he agrees there are lots of parallels between him and Jay McGuiness.
“You can really make comparisons from my point of view, knowing what it’s like for Jay dancing with Aliona,” he tells RadioTimes.com, ahead of his return to Strictly for this year’s Christmas special.
There is more than just a similar vocation linking them, reveals Judd. “This week in the semi-final they’ve got the Charleston and Viennese Waltz, and that’s exactly the dances we had in the semi-final…”
He adds, “I said right from the beginning when I saw Jay dance. I was like, ‘He’s going to be right up there’. It’s interesting. I know how committed she is. I’m glad she’s got a great partner finally.”
Judd reckons Jay’s chances of reaching the Glitterball Trophy are “very high,” even though the standard across the board this year has been “amazing.”
“I’m so glad I’m not on this year! I see the judges criticising them and giving them 8s and I’m thinking, ‘How did I get 10s? How?!'”
And, as Jay prepares to perform during this weekend’s semi-final, Harry has some advice for the final leg of the competition.
“All I can say from my experience is to just get through the first dance. I found in the semi-final and the final that once the first dance was out the way – and it thankfully went well – I just completely relaxed. All the nerves and adrenaline are gone and suddenly you feel like you can perform and really dance to the best of your ability.
“I’d spent every week in Strictly being nervous, getting through it and then just being like, ‘Thank God that’s over’,” he admits. “I’d just say, ‘Get through the first dance and enjoy it.’ That’s what happened for me and I loved it.”
Strictly Come Dancing continues on Saturday at 6:50pm on BBC1. The Christmas special is on 25th December at 6:15pm on BBC1