Former NFL star Jason Bell found himself in the dreaded bottom three on Strictly Come Dancing week two, but he and his professional partner Luba Mushtuk avoided the dreaded dance-off and, after that reprieve, who knows how far the top-class athlete could advance in the coming weeks.
In week three, Jason and Luba will be dancing a Paso Doble to the Star Wars Theme by John Williams. We have no doubt he’ll be more Han Solo than Jabba the Hutt! Assuming he can get his head around using a lightsaber…
Jason joked on Twitter that he had a different Star Wars inspiration.
— Jason Bell (@JasonBell33) November 3, 2020
Jason and Luba performed a Salsa to Get Lucky by Daft Punk feat. Pharrell Williams and Nile Rodgers in week two and Jason managed to win over the viewers, with many fans commenting on how delightful his performance was.
Unfortunately for the football star turned TV pundit, not all the Strictly Come Dancing judges were impressed, with Bell scoring only 18 points.
In the end, he finished in eighth place on the Strictly Come Dancing leaderboard when the scores were combined with week one.
Otherwise in the episode, Bell got pretty emotional when he received a virtual message from his mum and sister back home in the US.
So, as we await the results for the first Strictly elimination, here’s everything you need to know about him.
Who is Jason Bell?
Job: Former NFL player and broadcaster
Partnered with: Luba Mushtuk
Jason Bell is best known for being a cornerback in the National Football League (NFL) for the Dallas Cowboys, the Houston Texans and the New York Giants.
He began his American football career in 2001, when he signed as an undrafted free agent to the Dallas Cowboys. He left the team in 2002 to join the Houston Texans, leading the team and receiving the Ed Block Courage Award at the end of that season.
In 2006, he moved to the New York Giants before retiring in 2008 after undergoing career-ending surgery the year before.
Since ending his football career, Bell has become a broadcaster and currently acts as an NFL pundit for BBC Sport alongside former New York Giants player Osi Umenyiora.
Bell shares a six-year-old daughter with Girls Aloud singer Nadine Coyle, to whom he was briefly engaged to. He has said he has been asking his ex Nadine for some Strictly tips.
Jason Bell’s Strictly journey so far
Week one: American Smooth (4 + 6 + 6) = 16
Week two: Salsa (6 + 6 + 6) = 18
The athlete made history this year as the first American football player to grace the dance floor in the Strictly Come Dancing line-up.
And he certainly impressed, as he performed the American Smooth to My Girl by The Temptations, with his professional dance partner Luba Mushtuk.
Jason received praise and encouragement, with Motsi Mabuse telling him: “From now on, I’m going to call you ‘Jason Joy’, because you spread the joy. I can feel it all through your face and through your movements.”
Shirley added: “I think you gave 100 per cent and I think most sports people hold back a little bit and you didn’t. Your footwork was absolutely fantastic.”
While Motsi and Shirley praised his performance, Craig Revel Horwood wasn’t so impressed as he explained that while he welcomes couples taking risks on the dance floor, “sadly” it didn’t pay off for the pair this time.
In September, Jason addressed his participation in this year’s series in a statement, saying: “Strictly is the epitome of British television and this year, more than ever, I’m so proud and humbled to be participating.”
“Strictly was the first show I ever watched when I moved to the UK and I’m a massive fan. My six-year-old daughter never got the chance to see me run out on the field at an NFL game but she is very excited about me taking to the dance floor. I hope I can do her proud.”
Delighted to be announced as a contestant on this year’s @bbcstrictly ????
See you on the dance floor ???? https://t.co/HnlUTm09ee
— Jason Bell (@JasonBell33) September 1, 2020
Jason revealed to PA that Strictly had been a major challenge for him.
He said: “I’d just get my body used to one kind of dance and routine and now that I’m doing another, my body has to completely adjust and in sport, in my sport, you get good at a skill and just continue to work on that.
“But now it is like learning a whole new position on the field, which has been really challenging but also rewarding.”
Strictly Come Dancing is on BBC One on Saturday at 7:25pm and Sunday at 7:15pm. You can find the full Strictly Come Dancing line-up here. If you’re looking for something to watch tonight, check out our TV Guide.