I could do it really well Debbie McGee wants Strictly judging role amid show backlash

Strictly: Debbie McGee reveals she only knew Tom Fletcher

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As a TV, radio and theatre star who once owned her own ballet company, Debbie McGee feels she is a prime contender for the judging seat on Strictly, even if it’s just as a stand-in. It comes after confidence fell in the judges’ elimination decisions following the surprise exit of Tom Fletcher from McFly.

I could judge really well, with my knowledge of showbiz

Debbie McGee

“I actually think I could [judge the show] really well, with my knowledge of showbiz,” she stated on the Andrew Peach show on BBC Radio Berkshire.

The 63-year-old, who has her own show on the station too, also had a lot to say about the recent Strictly dramas.

She claimed Rhys Stephenson, who battled Tom and Amy Dowden in the dance-off along with his partner Nancy Xu, had been “out of time”.

Though she did praise the dance overall, she hadn’t been convinced that Tom and Amy were worse performers and in the end, put it down to a matter of “personal choice”.

“The couple they kept – he was really out of time!” she exclaimed.

“I absolutely adored Tom and Amy from week one.”

However she also criticised the decision to use slow songs in the Couples’ Choice section, arguing that it was not “as entertaining”.

“When they choose something slow, it’s a difficult one,” she mused.

“When you have a really powerful emotion, no matter how good the dancing is, it’s not as entertaining [as something bigger and faster], because performing is all about making your audience feel something.

“The best performers you watch are people that get inside you [and] make you laugh, make you cry… they’ve got to pull on your emotions.”

She confirmed that she felt Tom fit firmly into that category, although she acknowledged that perhaps the emotion he delivered last weekend hadn’t been quite “right”, which finally swayed the decision in the favour of rivals Rhys and Nancy.

With so many strong opinions on how to direct the show, some might say Debbie would be qualified to take up a judging slot.

She has also mentioned resuming her dance lessons.

“This year I’ve been having dancing lessons, going back to what I learnt on Strictly and doing more,” she explained.

She was formerly a Strictly finalist in 2017 with Giovanni Pernice, losing out at the last hurdle to Joe McFadden and Katya Jones, but eventually went on to win the Christmas Special in 2019, along with dance partner Kevin Clifton.

She has spoken to Huffington Post of the “electricity” she felt with Giovanni and said the pair had a “special relationship” as they “absolutely adore each other”.

During Strictly rehearsals, the pair’s interactions were often described as “intimate”, and the chemistry between them won over the judges enough to see them secure a place in the final.

Perhaps Debbie will try to succeed for a third time running on the show – if she has enough time in her now-hectic schedule.

Currently appearing on two main TV shows, Strictly: It Takes Two as a guest, and The Wheel, and also rehearsing for a series of pantomimes located from London to Southampton, Debbie is rushed off her feet.

She will be performing as the fairy godmother in a panto version of Cinderella at Southampton’s Mayflower Theatre, completing two shows per day – and after that, she will be an actress in a new thriller, posing as a “wacky psychic who owns a crystal shop”.

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