Strictly: Strictly speaking, best never win
Alesha Dixon with professional partner Matthew Cutler on show in 2007
The best celebrity dancers don’t win. Just a quarter of the show’s 20 highest-scoring competitors have actually ended up with the coveted glitterball trophy. The key to success, it appears, is not so much dazzling footwork as a sparkling personality.
Coronation Street actress Natalie Gumede, 30, is officially the best ever dancer according to analysis by the Radio Times, which asked experts to tally up the judges’ scores out of 40 to work out overall averages.
Pixie Lott is still in with a chance of winning
The joy of Strictly is that it’s both a test of technical skill and a human story
Despite the top average score of 36.9, Natalie failed to waltz away with the trophy last year, having to settle for second place. Former Strictly judge and singer Alesha Dixon, 36, statistically the second best technical dancer with an average score of 36.5, did actually win the competition in 2007.
But the best of the men, actor Ricky Whittle, 32, was the runner-up of the 2009 series. He was joint third in the overall average scores with 35.8. He shared that score with singer Rachel Stevens, 36, the runner-up in 2008. Meanwhile the 2009 series winner, presenter Chris Hollins, 43, was 44th, as scored by the judges.
Model Abbey Clancy, 28, who won last year, finished sixth in the poll. Pop star Pixie Lott, 23, is the only star from this year’s series to make it on the Strictly Come Dancing Top 20 list. She is at 19.
Natalie Gumede steps out with Artem Chigvintsev
Show expert and Radio Times feedback editor Jane Hill said: “The joy of Strictly is that it’s both a test of technical skill and a human story. “We get to know the celebrities, share their struggles and setbacks and cheer on their progress.
“The judges’ average scores are a very good reflection of the dancers’ expertise over the course of the series – but the winner is ultimately chosen by the public.“Dance purists may vote for the celebrity with the cleanest footwork, the fanciest fleckle or the most grace, but ultimately those factors are trumped by the affection we feel.
“Dancing is about emotion, too. The best dancer may not be the one who wins our hearts.” Tonight Pixie and the remaining five other couples will battle it out in the quarterfinals. The results will be announced tomorrow before the last couples dance it out for a place in the finals. May the best dancer win…although that is unlikely, it seems.