Judi Love is having a blast on Strictly Come Dancing and she’s already feeling the benefits.
The comedian and Loose Women panellist scored an impressive 24 for her first routine over the weekend as she and her pro partner Graziano Di Prima performed the American Smooth to Aretha Franklin’s Chain of Fools, and she revealed she’s lost weight just from the early rehearsals.
Appearing on Monday’s episode of the ITV daytime show, she said: ‘With me and Graz anyway, we’ve both connected, we’re both very spicy – he’s Italian, my background is Jamaican…
‘It’s just been great! I’ve lost about 5lbs already! It’s been amazing. I’ve never experienced anything like this.’
Judi was joined by Graziano later in the show, and he revealed the secret pep talk her gives her before they step out onto the ballroom floor.
‘Just me and you, nothing else,’ he smiled as she explained how much the words help her get in the right frame of mind by ensuring she’s not focused on the audience.
‘He literally does, he grabs my face,’ she added. ‘It does work. Saturday, I was very nervous, I was shaking and he was just… literally when he said it, “Me and you”, he really tells me about growing into myself.’
Judi – who joked she’s ‘really upset’ about having to share a dressing room with her Strictly pro – admitted she felt sick with nerves before her first dance over the weekend but producers helped her get it under control.
‘I was hella nervous! I was shaking before I went on. I felt sick, they had to give me a sweet so I could level out and be ready,’ she said. ‘This is different [to comedy].
‘I’m used to performing to live audiences in stand-up in my creative field, where I feel that I’ve worked to my personality. This, as you can see, is a dance… it was something completely out of my comfort zone… Knowing that it’s live, there’s no room for mistakes.’
And while the 41-year-old star – who’s already becoming BFFs with Emma Thompson, because of course she is – has found the process ‘overwhelming’ at times, she’s proud of how far she’s come already under Graziano’s guidance.
She smiled: ‘It’s overwhelming but exciting at the same time, to think, like, 10 days ago I didn’t even know or could do those steps. Somehow, Graziano has pushed me in a way that I’ve never been pushed before to do that final show, and live as well!’
The final is a long way off with the competition only getting underway over the weekend, and the likes of AJ Odudu (34), Adam Peaty (30) and John Whaite (30) have already scored big and stormed up to the top of the leaderboard.
That means it’s far too soon to predict how far Judi can go, but Graziano has simply urged her to make the most of the whole experience.
‘What I say to Judi, we got one chance only to enjoy the process,’ he said, pondering whether or not she can win the whole thing. ‘You never know!’
Loose Women airs weekdays at 12.30pm on ITV. Strictly Come Dancing continues this weekend on BBC One.
Credit: Original article published here.