Nikita gets teary as his and Layton’s scores come in
Layton Williams and Nikita Kuzmin sailed through to the Strictly Come Dancing finals at the weekend, but one former Strictly pro has branded their dancing “really substandard”. Brendan Cole, who danced on the BBC show between 2004 and 2017, was underwhelmed by the usually-impressive pair’s Rumba routine.
For the Strictly semi-finals, each couple was asked to perform two dances. Layton and Nikita wowed crowds with a Charleston set to Fit As A Fiddle by Gene Kelly & Donald O’Connor and also danced the Rumba to Lift Me Up by Rihanna.
Annabel Croft and Johannes Radebe became the tenth couple to be eliminated following a dance-off with Bobby Brazier and Dianne Buswell. Meanwhile, Layton and Nikita went straight through to the final alongside Ellie Leach and Vito Coppola.
Speaking to Sky Bingo, Brendan offered his verdict on Layton and Nikita’s performances on Saturday night. He said: “Sometimes Layton [Williams] and Nikita’s [Kuzmin] numbers are just brilliant.
“They are up there with the best that the show’s ever seen. But sometimes they’re really substandard and I thought the Rumba was substandard,” he continued.
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“I don’t think he did what was right for a Rumba and I think he danced a Rumba like Layton would dance a Rumba if he’d never learnt what a Rumba was.
“He didn’t take on board what Nikita was probably telling him about what Rumba is and try and achieve it.
“The action of a Rumba is really beautiful, but it’s really hard to achieve. It requires more than just looking like you’re doing a Rumba.”
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However, Brendan did go on to clarify: “I don’t want to take it away from the guy because he is obviously brilliant and lovely to watch. What they are doing as a couple is amazing.
“Choreographing for a same-sex couple is difficult and I think they’ve pitched it just right most of the time.”
The star also praised Layton and Nikita’s Charleston as “definitely up there as one of the best”.
Strictly Come Dancing: The Final airs this Saturday at 7pm on BBC One and BBC iPlayer.
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