Strictly Come Dancing 2019: ‘Really upsetting’ Janette Manrara speaks on co-star’s exit

Janette, 35, and Strictly Come Dancing star Will, 31, stormed the dance floor on Saturday night and wowed both judges and audiences alike with their Salsa. However, the first elimination of the BBC dance show saw double gold medal winning Olympian James Cracknell, 47, bow out after the dreaded dance off. Speaking on Heart Breakfast this morning, Janette revealed what it’s like backstage after a star is booted out.

Having been a professional on the show since 2013, Janette has seen a number of celebrities and fellow trained dancers come and go.

Janette reached the semi-final’s with EastEnders star Jake Wood, 47, back in 2014, the professional knows all to well what it’s like to say goodbye to a majority of the cast.

On Heart Breakfast this morning, the professional opened up to hosts Jamie Theakston, 48, and Amanda Holden, 48, about a number different subjects about the show.

Touching on James and Luba Mushtuk’s, 29, exit last night, Janette admitted it’s “really upsetting,” when people they’ve worked with have to go home.


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Speaking about the first elimination of the series, Janette said of James: “He came on to inspire and say that, you know, anyone can dance and anyone can give it a go, and I think he did exactly that.

“I mean, what he did on the first week, his tango that he did was very serious and very staccato, and he didn’t make any mistakes.

“And then he came back on the jive, completely different dance style, completely different performance so he did learn and he did grow, and I really enjoyed him on the dance floor.

“He was such a nice guy!”

Of the lead up to the eliminations, Janette explained: “Everyone is slightly on the edge because now it’s become real.

“It was the first time we lost someone in the competition and I remember all of them backstage just kind of twiddling their thumbs going ‘oh my gosh this is actually really happening and one of us is gonna go!”

Amanda opined: “And I think that’s one of the great things about Strictly, it’s the comaradery.

“So they all really invest in each other and there’s proper love there for everyone so when someone goes, that’s really upsetting for everyone!”

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It’s upsetting for everyone

Janette Manrara

Janette continued: “It’s really- yeah, upsetting for everyone. Yeah.

“They have like a little Whatsapp group and they’re all keeping each other company and they’re all freaking out about the same steps.

“‘Oh my god yeah, my feather step is also really hard!’ So it’s really cute, they’re really nice,” the professional dancer concluded.

The Strictly star also spoke about Will facing the hurdles of dancing straight on, regardless of being diagnosed with arthrogryposis.


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Arthrogryposis is a condition which causes multiple curved joints throughout the body, leading to stiff joints and muscle weakness.

Janette said: “He’s just so inspirational and he comes in everyday with a smile on his face, ready to learn. He’s obsessed with music, you can tell he feels it every time!”

Latest odds from Paddy Power suggest former Emmerdale star Kelvin Fletcher, 35, is still leading the way to become champion with his chances standing at 13/8.

Janette and Will chances currently lie at 25/1, with it looking likely former footballer David James, 49, could be the next star to leave the show at the weekend.

Strictly Come Dancing continues Saturday at 7.10pm on BBC One. Tune in to Heart Breakfast with Jamie Theakston and Amanda Holden, weekdays from 06:30am – 10am.

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