Meet JJ Chalmers – Strictly Come Dancing 2020 contestant and Invictus Games medallist
JJ is partnered with Amy Dowden for the 18th series of Strictly Come Dancing.
Last night, Strictly Come Dancing saw the remaining six celebrities in the Strictly Come Dancing line-up take to the Elstree dance floor once again as the Strictly Come Dancing final creeps ever closer.
Former Royal Marine JJ Chalmers kicked off the show with a fun Chitty Chitty Bang Bang-themed Charleston as he continued his bid for the Glitterball.
After placing third on the Strictly Come Dancing leaderboard, last weekend, he put on a decent show, but failed to blow the judges away as much as he might have hoped to.
The presenter found himself bottom of the leaderboard after scoring just 20 points, a risky position ahead of tonight's results show, which will determine who goes through to the semi-final next weekend.
Elsewhere, JJ recently revealed he's set to have surgery to remove shrapnel from his leg after Strictly comes to an end.
He explained how the physical exertion of dance training had exacerbated lingering issues from the injuries he sustained in an IED explosion in Afghanistan.
“As far as my surgeon’s concerned, this thing needs to get taken out of my leg," he told The Sun. “If we’d had the time, it would’ve been done by now, especially when it first flared up. But this is the situation. Life gets in the way, and that’s a great thing.
“I have the privilege of a life to have, so I’ll be getting it dug out in January, once my world calms down a little.”
Here's everything you need to know about JJ Chalmers.
Who is JJ Chalmers?
Job: Television presenter and former Royal Marine and Invictus Games medallist
Partnered with: Amy Dowden
The television presenter joins Strictly with an incredible back story. His career as a Royal Marine Commando was cut short after he suffered life-changing injuries following an IED explosion in Afghanistan.
After years of rehabilitation, however, JJ went on to compete in the 2014 Invictus Games where he captained the Trike Cycling team and took home three medals.
As a spokesperson for this inaugural Invictus Games JJ got an insight into TV and embarked on a career in broadcasting.
His breakthrough role came in 2016 as a Studio Presenter role for the Rio Paralympics.
Since 2017, he's anchored BBC One’s coverage of the Invictus Games.
Other presenting highlights for BBC Sport include The Commonwealth Games and The London Marathon.
As part of the BBC's Ceremonial team, JJ commentates on The Lord Mayor's Show and was involved in the D-Day Memorial programming.
And fans will probably recognise him from his other presenting gigs, including The One Show, BBC Breakfast, Getaways, The People Remember and Radio 5 Live’s From Helmand and Back.
JJ's Strictly journey so far
Week One: Waltz (6 + 6 + 7) = 19
Week Two: Paso Doble (5 + 6 + 6) = 17
Week Three: Foxtrot (8 + 8 + 8) = 24
Week Four: Jive (4+6+7) = 17
Week Five: Quickstep (7+9+9) = 25
Week Six: Viennese Waltz (8 + 8 + 8) = 25
Week Seven: Charleston (6 + 7 + 7) = 20
JJ's Strictly performance has been pretty up and down.
He caught the attention of fans when he made his debut on Strictly, with a poignant story behind his Waltz.
In a bid to impress his now-wife, JJ started learning the dance from a fellow Marine whilst serving in Afghanistan. Viewers were soon touched when they heard how, shortly afterwards, he was injured in an explosion.
In Week Two however, his Paso Doble landed him in 10th place on the leaderboard with just 17 points.
Dancing with professional partner Amy Dowden, the former Royal Marine then shot up the leaderboard to third place after wowing the judges with his Foxtrot to Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head from Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid during Movie Week.
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The duo received an impressive 24 points from the judges sharing third place with former front-runner Maisie Smith.
However, in Week Four he slipped back down the scoreboard with 17 points.
In Week Five, JJ managed to climb back up the leaderboard with an impressive 25 points for his Quickstep.
It comes after Prince Harry made a Strictly appearance to offer words of support to JJ Chalmers.
Appearing virtually, Harry said: “When I first met JJ, he was a shell of himself,” Prince Harry began. “But then, to see you shine through Invictus and be yourself again, that was the start of an amazing journey.”
He added: “I’m so proud, genuinely proud, that here you are in this position now. You are not a dancer, proving that you can actually do anything that you put your mind to which is amazing.”
He returned to the dance floor in Week Six, and managed to finish in third place on the leaderboard with 25 points.
This weekend, JJ struggled to dazzle with his Chitty Chitty Bang Bang-themed Charleston for Musicals Week.
Opening the show, he impressed the judges with his characterisation, but ended up scoring a slightly disappointing 20 points.
That puts him bottom of the leaderboard heading into the all-important results show tonight.
JJ Chalmers' Strictly signing was announced on ITV's Lorraine.
Speaking about the news, he said: “My whole life is defined by facing challenges. Whether it's becoming a Royal Marine Commando, recovering from my injuries sustained in Afghanistan to competing in The Invictus Games."
He added: "Now as a TV Presenter I'm lucky enough to witness some of the greatest sporting contests in the world. Strictly is a whole different ball game in respect to the challenges I will face but I'm up for an adventure and at least my mum will know where I am!”
Strictly Come Dancing is on BBC One on Saturday at 7:25pm and Sunday at 7:30pm. If you’re looking for something to watch tonight, check out our TV Guide.