Strictly Come Dancing 2020: Bill & Oti’s ‘detachment’ hints at lack of chemistry

Strictly Come Dancing has returned to screens in 2020 for its 18th series, with 12 couples battling it out to win the famed Glitterball Trophy. However, a key element that could make or break a couple’s toe-tapping ability is chemistry, and it seems one couple is currently lacking.

According to body language expert Judi James, despite Oti Mabuse’s triumphs in recent years, her “tough love” isn’t working on this year’s partner Bill Bailey.

The comedian appeared “detached” from his dance pro partner according to the expert.

Yet, there may be another reason why the chemistry between the pair seems so sparse.

“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,” Judi told

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“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.”

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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.

“They might need to take some lessons from Ranvir and Giovanni if they are going to produce the necessary sizzle for some of the more close-up and sensual dances they must have to come,” Judi continued.

“The way they both threw themselves onto the floor in a mock double faint at their scores showed some bonds of humour and fun must be growing though.”

Last year, Oti took home the Glitterball with her partner Emmerdale actor Kelvin Fletcher.

While this year’s results are a few weeks away, Bill and Oti already appear to be making an impression on the judging panel.

In fact, judge Shirley Ballas as so entertained by Saturday night’s performance she awarded the pair a 10 for their performance.

The pair performed a Couple’s Choice routine to Rapper’s Delight by Sugarhill Gang.

Critiquing the performance, judge Craig Revel Horwood said: “He certainly does [surprise], and that is no exception.

“Bill Bailey, the king of the pop and lock. I’m not surprised, you are a fair bit younger than me darling, nine days to be exact.

“I love the amount of detail in that. You hit every single line. Unbelievable.”

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