Bill Bailey, 55, and Oti Mabuse, 30, might have risked their place in Strictly Come Dancing following a display of “look away from your screens” body language during their dance tonight. Judi James shared her analysis of their routine exclusively with Express.co.uk.
Explaining the moment, Judi said: “Last week Caroline was voted out after her embarrassing routine which involved licking her dance partner.
“Despite that clear warning of audience responses, Bill and Oti took the very brave step of inserting a moment of similar ‘look away from your screens’ body language tonight when Bill lunged at Oti and she fell backward with her head hanging in between his legs as he arched his back in a macho strut.
“It didn’t look like the Bill we love and for a man so obviously averse to anything more than some very gentlemanly body language displays with his partner, it clearly put him off his stride, forcing him make his first mistakes of the series.
“It also placed him close to the bottom of the leader board, meaning his personal popularity ratings will be a crucial factor if he’s going to avoid the dance-off tomorrow night.
“He’s still the man people are tuning in to watch though and he did break the habit of the past few weeks and place a very polite arm around Oti’s shoulders after their scores were read out.”
Bill’s “polite” body language, mentioned by Judi, is a running theme with the comedian – and the famed “Strictly curse” might be the reason why he is so gentlemanly towards Oti.
Speaking to Express.co.uk earlier this month, Judi said: “Bill and Oti are still a puzzle in terms of chemistry together. Whatever they have got is clearly working so far in terms of their dazzling routines and scores, but their odd and rather powerful signals of detachment stand out like a sore thumb in the very tactile, intimate world of Strictly.
“Last week Bill was the first contestant in my memory to sprint up the stairs to the balcony ahead and apart from his partner.
“Their routines have been phenomenal and Bill is a current bet to win the show, but their touch and engagement rituals off the dance floor appear minimal and Bill does appear to be the rather dominant partner at a stage when the celebrities are normally eating out of Oti’s ‘tough love’ hands.
“When they sat off-stage at their table they were the only couple sitting with a sizeable gap between them, with Bill sitting upright like a Victorian dad and the pair making no signs of any body or even eye contact during the glimpses we were shown.
“They did perform a couple of congratulatory hugs this week thanks to their amazing score, but otherwise it was Bill standing to attention with his hands clasped behind his back while Oti took a more subdued pose beside him.”
Yet with wife Kristin at home, Judi believes Bill’s apparent detachment could well be a mark of respect.
“It could be that Bill is being the perfect gent in the face of the show’s ‘curse of Strictly’ history,” the body language expert pointed out.
However, they may need to work on their spark in the coming weeks, she said.
One couple who do have sizzling chemistry is Ranvir and Giovanni.
Analysing their body language tonight, Judi said: “Was it telling that this couple moved from their displays of early-dating sexual passion during last week’s torrid routine to playing the role of a blissfully married couple this week, sharing body language signals of flirting, playfulness and a deeper, more established love?
“So far they have kept the stabilisers on in terms of their behaviour off the dance floor, but tonight they appeared to keep in role more after their American Smooth.
“Ranvir has shown signs of being made self-conscious by all the nudging hints about the curse of Strictly but this week she looked comfortable losing those inhibitions, cuddling Giovanni and even teasing him during the feedback so that she could throw her arms around his torso and gaze up into his face.”
Comparing them to other couples on the show, Judi continued: “This is the couple using the most solid bouts of eye contact when they speak together during rehearsals and Ranvir was even screaming and giggling loudly after a clumsy first attempt at a lift, wrapping one arm around her body in a coy-looking barrier and using the other hand to cover her face in a cut-off ritual like a shy teen.
“Ranvir has grown so much in terms of body confidence but she is still struggling with her lifts, almost as though she doesn’t believe she will get airborne. Her solo dance was superb but when Giovanni stepped out toward her he completed her in a way that only this couple can do in the competition.
“Their torsos seem to literally melt together and at one point they danced while rubbing noses, which was an incredible feat of mutual trust and which looked much sexier than it sounds. She placed a hand round the back of his head to create the impression of a near-kiss and at the end they fell into a close hug, with Ranvir’s hands clutching at Giovanni’s back.”