AJ’s intense smouldering passion with Kai provides all the chemistry on Strictly

Strictly Come Dancing play sounds from hidden microphones

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Strictly Come Dancing has returned to British television screens for the iconic show’s 19th series. More than one couple is already the favourite to win, but who looked the most confident on the dance floor last night?

According to body language expert Judi James, two couples are “currently providing all the chemistry out there on the dance floor”.

She said they are TV presenter AJ Odudu and dance partner Kai Widdrington, as well as actor Rose Ayling-Ellis and dance partner Giovanni Pernice.

Judi suggested the chemistry can be seen through AJ’s “intense smouldering passion with Kai” and Rose’s “hilarious on and off-stage love/play fight relationship with Gio”.

AJ and Kai shocked viewers last night as it appeared as though they “nearly kissed” during their dance.

But Judi said the couple “are so well into their comfort zone together that they could happily miss-kiss at the end of their dance with a shuddering intensity that made Adam and Katya’s miss-kiss last week look tame by comparison”.

She continued: “These two have no worries about the ‘Curse of Strictly’ as they are both single and have no need to downplay their dance floor passion.”

Fans have speculated about a so-called Strictly curse over the years, after a number of relationships came to an end shortly after the show ended, owing to a lack of time spent together.

Judi added: “They look like good friends off the floor too although the simmering dances do look like the result of some great acting.

“Rose, meanwhile, is having great fun with Gio, getting into some wonderful banter and even telling everyone how she’s the one correcting him during rehearsals.

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“Their double-act on and off the dance floor is doing great things for both of them and watching the man whose flirt signals normally have his celebrity partners melt like warm putty in his arms bump up against the comedy rejections from Rose is wonderful.

“Their funny relationship doesn’t harm their chemistry on the floor though and the signs of mutual confidence and trust are there in the way their pelvises combine so well and with no signs of any inhibitions.

“Their dance was a wonderful piece of drama as well as technically good.

“Rose has shown a very professional level of confidence throughout the competition so far and her fearlessness could make her resilient enough to do really well.”

Other couples were not as confident on the dance floor last night, Judi said.

Judi suggested Dan, as well as fellow contestant Sara Davies, showed “severe confidence issues this week – some that might turn out to be fatal at this stage in the contest”.

The body language expert continued: “Dan’s confidence seems to have stalled when it should be getting stronger.

“Putting him in a suit and tie for his dance was like catapulting him back into his day job, which meant his body language inhibitions piled up when they should have been shedding like a snake’s skin.

“Inviting his children to rehearsals wasn’t a great idea either in terms of his inhibitions.

“He said that he was worried he’d be embarrassing them and that converted to some awkward signals from Dan as he sought their approval as well as Nadiya’s this week.

“His jaw became rigid and that rigidity was retained through his routine.

“His gestures on the dance floor all look like they come from instructions he doesn’t really understand and being both in role and out of it tend to look the same for Dan.

“He’s doing what he is told but he needs to be more immersed in his characters and that means less inhibited thoughts and behaviours.”

Judi added that Sara had a similar issue and lacked confidence, despite doing well last week.

She said: “Sara seemed to have reached the end of her confidence streak this week with a dance that lacked her usual grace and gentle chemistry.

“Success can be as destructive to inner confidence as failure and with her recent leader board successes she might have hit that brick wall where anxiety builds up on the back of raised expectations.

“Fortunately for Sara it could just be a natural hiccup that has come at the right time in the competition to get her adrenalin flowing and her resilience tanks filling for next week, but this week her eye-roll at the end of her dance looked anxious.

“She grimaced during feedback and her finger-pick gesture showed a draining of her inner confidence.

“Her experience in the business world should mean she’ll find re-booting that lost confidence relatively easy but it should also mean she’ll do it through some very firm inner dialogues rather than relying on flattery and praise from her dance partner.”

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