Saturday 21 September 2019

Strictly ‘curse’ of coming first in Blackpool

Contestants might want to avoid doing well in the Tower Ballroom.

Ali Bastian and her dance partner Brian Fortuna perform at Blackpool during the 2009 series of Strictly Come Dancing (Guy Levy/BBC/PA)
Ali Bastian and her dance partner Brian Fortuna perform at Blackpool during the 2009 series of Strictly Come Dancing (Guy Levy/BBC/PA)

By Ian Jones, Press Association

Topping the leaderboard at Blackpool is not a good omen for becoming Strictly Come Dancing champion.

There has been only one occasion when the person finishing first in the Tower Ballroom has gone on to win the series: Jill Halfpenny in 2004.

History suggests the ideal place to finish is third or fourth.

Three Strictly champions came third at Blackpool: Chris Hollins (who won the series in 2009), Kara Tointon (2010) and Abbey Clancy (2013).

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Craig Revel Horwood descends from the roof of the Tower Ballroom in the 2015 Blackpool edition of Strictly Come Dancing (Guy Levy/BBC/PA)

Two other champions managed just fourth place: Jay McGuiness in 2015 and Joe McFadden in 2017.

Ore Oduba is the only person to finish second at Blackpool and then go on to win the series, in 2016.

Coming first at Blackpool doesn’t even guarantee you will make it to the final.

This happened to Ali Bastian, who topped the leaderboard in the Tower Ballroom in 2009 – with 10s from all four judges – only to get knocked out in the semi-finals a few weeks later.

Pixie Lott came joint first at Blackpool in 2014, then got eliminated in the quarter-finals.

PA Media

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