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Strictly’s John and Johannes are already on track for a historic win

Following their near-perfect score in Movie Week, John Whaite and Johannes Radebe could be on track to lift the Glitterball for 2021, says Laura Denby.

John and Johannes on track for history making win
Published: Saturday, 16th October 2021 at 9:00 am

By: Laura Denby


Strictly Come Dancing’s John Whaite and Johannes Radebe are currently making history as the show’s first ever male partnership. Within minutes of their debut, their prospects looked bright - and they’ve been upping the ante ever since.

Last weekend, The Great British Bake Off star John wowed viewers with a powerful Paso Doble to the soundtrack of film franchise Pirates of the Caribbean. The sequence was saved until the end of the night, but served as a peak moment.

It earned John and Johannes three scores of the maximum 10, along with glowing praise from all four judges. They had nothing critical to say and happily acknowledged that their notes from previous weeks had all been taken on board with clear improvement.

Shirley Ballas commented on their “magnetic energy”, and that was certainly a factor in making this Movie Week performance so memorable. The pair were so unforgettable, in fact, that I believe they are on track to triumph over the whole competition.

John Whaite and Johannes Radebe

John Whaite and Johannes Radebe scored three 10s

Of course, we are only a mere three weeks into the series so there are plenty more challenges to come. Everything could change as the contestants develop their new skills, and it has to be said that the Strictly Come Dancing 2021 line-up is full of promise.

At the time of writing, John and Johannes are facing strong competition from Rhys Stephenson, Rose Ayling-Ellis and AJ Odudu alongside their respective partners.

So, is it premature to make any firm predictions at this stage? Maybe, but speculation is part of the tradition of Strictly Come Dancing; and based on what we have seen so far victory is definitely a possibility for John and Johannes.

The fact that they are dancing to such a high standard so early on is just one reason why they stand out. Contestants who love what they are doing always radiate joy, and John and Johannes are a prime example with the delight on their faces plain to see.

They are making each genre their own, taking on the Tango and Cha-Cha with effortless charisma. Due to tackle Classic Ballroom on Saturday, I can’t wait to see how they fare. If their flawless teamwork is anything to go by, we can expect another dynamic routine that hits just the right tone.

Strictly Come Dancing

John and Johannes on Strictly Come Dancing

The pair are perfectly in sync, delivering impeccable timing throughout. There’s no doubt that they have worked hard on that aspect as they continue to land every individual move seamlessly while out of hold, and go on to present equally stellar work while in hold.

They also have that essential ability to make us believe in each story they are telling, with John’s steely gaze and raise of the chin bearing an uncanny resemblance to Johnny Depp’s iconic character.

If we weren’t already aware who was the professional and the training celebrity, the distinction would be difficult to spot. John needs no assistance in the live shows and his footwork proves it; there wasn’t a step out of place last week and he exudes confidence.

That confidence allows him to take the lead occasionally, a notable quality that has surely been enhanced by Johannes’ instruction and direction. This further showcases how well-matched the pair are in the ballroom.

Their success also has nothing to do with their status as a same-sex partnership. While there is pride and excitement in the air over Strictly’s commitment to something that, on television, was once unheard of, this is not what makes John and Johannes potential frontrunners.

Instead, their combined talent, passion and electric screen presence gives them the edge. It’s a testament to Johannes’ compelling choreography and John’s enthusiastic dedication to each task that we feel like we’re watching magic unfold.

John and Johannes have nailed every requirement possible, all the while capturing the attention of the nation. If they continue producing such thrilling performances, they have every chance of maintaining both their place on the leaderboard and the loyalty of the audience who are voting at home.

In a matter of weeks we could be about to witness another defining moment for television. John and Johannes’ hard work, natural flair and solid bond could be the winning formula to lead them all the way to Glitterball glory.


Strictly Come Dancing is on BBC One on Saturdays and Sunday. Want something else to watch? Check out our full TV Guide or visit our Entertainment hub for the latest news. 


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