10 Strictly Come Dancing secrets you didn’t know from the judge's score trick to audience reshuffling | The Sun
IT'S THE much-loved reality show that marks the countdown to Christmas.
And while Strictly Come Dancing is renowned for its glitz, glamour and fancy footwork, there’s A LOT that goes on behind the scenes to ensure it ‘keeps daaaaancing’.
From auditions to pre-show rituals, there's so much the audience and viewers just don't know.
Here, we go behind the glitterball and reveal the show’s top 10 secrets – including why the audience on the balcony never give dancers a standing ovation.
Celebrities have to audition
It may seem like celebrities are approached to be on the show, but everyone has to audition for a coveted spot and may have to wait months to find out if they’ve been successful.
Steps star and 2018 contestant Faye Tozer revealed to Huffington Post: “You go in for a little meeting and you do a little practice run with one of the professional dancers.
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“I did a Waltz and a Samba or a Cha Cha for a few minutes with Aljaž…
“[The producers] had a watch and a chat and I just had to wait, and wait, and wait to see if they’d accepted me.”
Wardrobe prep starts in spring
Costume designer Vicky Gill revealed that costume design can start all the way back in May – four months before it hits our screens.
Speaking to The Daily Mail, she said: “I feel like we all step onto a train back in August and then it picks up speed and it’s a case of us keeping everyone on the train.”
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There are up to 500 costumes made per series and one outfit can use up to 12,000 crystals – with one of Sara Davies’ costumes taking 3 weeks to embellish.
Costumes generally take between one and four days to complete, tailored to what the contestant wants as well as the theme of the week.
Contestants help pick the songs
Les Dennis, first to be eliminated from the 2023 series, accidentally posted a tweet of his playlist a week early.
At the time, he said: “I’m totally hopeless with social media and all that so my daughter put my playlist together for me, and put “Strictly by Les Dennis”, so I could send it to my agent by email but I must have done a fat finger error and put it on Twitter instead.”
The playlist included hits from The Beatles and James Taylor that Les wanted to dance to, but in the end the pros make the final decision.
Strictly couples have strange pre-show rituals
Contestants like Kai have rituals they like to do before going on stage, he revealed he sometimes blows on his fingers before going on stage because that’s what track and field athlete Greg Rutherford, who appeared on Strictly in 2016, would do before the long jump.
He added to OK! magazine: “Sometimes you get sweaty hands and it helps to make sure my partner doesn’t slip!”
Fleur East had a sentimental ritual of touching her ring before performing that she and her sister got made from her father’s ring after he passed away.
The contestants do a practise run
Former Strictly star AJ Pritchard revealed that he often used the time viewers at home watched the VT as an opportunity to practise the routine in front of the judges and audience.
He told OK! Magazine: “I would always use that opportunity to walk onto the floor and try and get my partner to do the whole dance once through.
“So the judges, Craig and Shirley and Motsi, can see how good my partner is.”
Audience members are shuffled between shows
According to Good Housekeeping, audience members sitting on the balcony behind the judges are shuffled about to differentiate between the two shows because Saturday and Sunday’s shows are filmed one after the other.
The balcony audience members are also not allowed to do standing ovations for health and safety reasons.
Judges first tell production their scores before revealing them to the audience
Viewers at home know that it takes a little time before the judges share their scores post-watching each performance.
Judges have to tell production their scores by pressing the number on a small machine to the left of them before holding their paddles up for the camera.
This means the scores show up on our screens at home alongside the leader boards seamlessly.
Pros don’t get a day off… but celebs rest on Sunday
Janette Manrara told Huffington Post that Sunday’s are reserved for research and figuring out the choreography for the following week’s dance while celebs spend the day resting.
She explained: “You’re so busy during the week and Friday we’re in the studio, Saturday is obviously show day and Sunday is meant to be our day off, but we pros, if we’re in the competition, we don’t get Sunday off.”
In fact, Janette reveals it’s the most important day of the week as they prepare the choreography and storyline behind the next dance, bearing in mind contestant’s only get a few days to learn it.
AJ Curtis previously shared that with Sundays off and doing promo during the week, celebrities only get three and a half days to learn the dance and must complete a minimum of 12 hours training a week.
Group dances are often filmed in advance
While it might seem like the pros do their group dance live for the viewers at home, they are in fact, filmed in advance.
Before the new series starts, all the professionals get together for a couple of weeks to learn new routines and film them.
Singers can be performing on-and-off for 12 hours
On show day, the singers can spend 12 hours in the studio performing on-and-off for the Strictly duos.
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Vocalist Tommy Blaize told Huffington Post: “On a typical show day, at about 8.30am we’re on the stand making loads of noise. Then the dancers come in about an hour after we’ve been pottering around and run through their songs at least twice in the morning.”
They then take a lunch break before doing a rehearsal once more before going live at around 6pm and finishing at around 11pm.
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