Strictly Come Dancing pro Kevin Clifton is having an incredible second year on the show.
Partnered with The Saturdays singer Frankie Bridge, Kevin has regularly topped the leaderboard this series and stayed out of the bottom two. Last week the couple topped the leaderboard again with their gorgeous Viennese Waltz.
As it’s been a few weeks since we last spoke to Kevin, we caught up with him to talk about last weekend, find out all about the Jive he’ll be performing tonight, and to discover why the studio audience may get an eyeful during the live show.
Last weekend you topped the leaderboard again with your Viennese Waltz. How did that feel?
I was really pleased with how it went actually. My main worry was that there’s not much choreography you can do with a Viennese Waltz and it’s very repetitive so you have to really nail the technique. I was really pleased with how much we worked on the technique and that Frankie got it together. Frankie’s worry was that because the Viennese Waltz isn’t a big showstopper, that people might find it boring. She was saying, ‘I love the dance and feel like I’m starting to do it in the right way but I just hope people don’t find it boring’. When we got the great scores and got the standing ovation as well it was really exciting for the two of us.
You got a fan in Mary Berry too didn’t you? She singled you out for praise during the show.
Yeah! That was brilliant! We talked about how it wanted to be nice, pretty and lovely so when Mary Berry said, ‘I really loved Frankie’s Viennese Waltz and it was beautiful’ that really rounded it off for us.
Tonight you’ll be dancing the Jive. How is Frankie getting to grips with that?
Yes! Frankie considers that she’s better at Ballroom than Latin so she’s a little more nervous when it comes to the Latin. She’s going for it and she’s working hard. It’s quite a difficult dance to get the balance right. You can either practise it and get it so clean that it comes across too rehearsed and a bit boring, or you can overdance it and throw too much energy at it and it becomes messy. It’s just about finding that balance. We’ve been working really hard at it and we’ll see how she gets on tonight I guess.
It’s the Around The World theme tonight. What country is your dance themed around?
We’re doing Surfin’ USA so obviously America is our country. We’re surfer dudes and we’ve been indoor surfing this week and dancing on surfboards. It looks like I’m going to be wearing shorts too (laughs).
The audience might get an eyeful then tonight?
(laughs) They may do! Normally when I have to get body parts out they normally tell me to have like if I’ve got a top of that shows my chest I have to shave. I really hope I don’t have to shave my legs (laughs).
We’re one week away from the quarter-final. How much would it mean for you and Frankie to get through?
It would be amazing. Frankie keeps saying it’s not so much that she’s desperate to make the final or anything like that. It’s that she wants to keep going in the competition because she’s enjoying it so much and she wants to learn every dance she can. She’s been saying that it would be a shame to go out at this stage because we’ve got a few dances on the horizon that we’re going to be doing in a week or two and she really wants to do them. I think it’s more about not wanting to miss out on certain dances.
It’s such a close competition this year isn’t it? How intense is that pressure getting?
It’s anybody’s really. We’re at a stage where anybody could go out and anybody could win out of who’s left. You just don’t know what’s going to happen. The pressure can really build on you but what I’m saying to Frankie is that all you can control is our own dance. We can’t worry about what anyone else is doing, how people are voting or what the judges might say. We’ve got to take care of our dance and do the best that we can; whatever’s going to happen is going to happen.
How important is it this weekend that people do pick up their phones and vote for you?
It’s really, really important that people vote. That’s what keeps us going in the competition. We want to keep going and Frankie wants to do every dance she possibly can. Obviously you can worry that if you do well one week people might think ‘oh they’re fine’ and vote to help someone else and then suddenly you can find yourself in the dance-off. You see that happening all the time. It’s vital to us that people keep helping us through to the next round with their votes.
The series has really flown by this year hasn’t it? We can’t believe we’re approaching the final!
Yeah. It feels like a few days ago that we’re in week 2 and 3 and now we’re talking about quarter-finals and semi-finals. Production are starting to ask ‘if you were to make the final, what ideas would you have for show dances’ because they’re always trying to plan ahead. It’s just crazy to think we’re talking about that sort of stage. It feels like yesterday that we were in pro rehearsals putting all the group dances together and that was in the summer before the series had started. We didn’t even know who the celebrities were at that point. It’s gone really, really quick but time flies when you’re having fun.
It does! Soon it’ll be Christmas then the tour…
Yes! Can’t wait for that. I was really hoping that Frankie would want to do the tour. She said to me at the start that she would see whether she enjoyed it or not and that by the end of the series she might be fed up or really enjoying it. Luckily she’s just really enjoying herself and having a great time. She said she wants it to carry on and she’s doing the tour, which is great news.
Strictly Come Dancing 2014 continues at 7pm tonight on BBC One. Watch Kevin and Frankie’s leaderboard topping Viennese Waltz from last weekend: