Robin Windsor assesses Strictly Come Dancing 2017 contestants and tips Alexandra Burke and Debbie McGee

Strictly Come Dancing 2017. Picture: GUY LEVY/BBC

Strictly Come Dancing 2017. Picture: GUY LEVY/BBC - Credit: BBC/Guy Levy

After two weeks of this year’s Strictly Come Dancing, Ipswich dancing star Robin Windsor has cast his eye over the celebrity ballroom contestants.

Robin Windsor and Deborah Meaden on Strictly Come Dancing in 2013. Picture: GUY LEVY/BBC

Robin Windsor and Deborah Meaden on Strictly Come Dancing in 2013. Picture: GUY LEVY/BBC - Credit: BBC

The former professional dancer on the BBC television show believes Debbie McGee, the bookies’ third favourite, could cause an upset, but picked Alexandra Burke, the former X Factor winner, to take home the Glitterball.

Aston Merrygold 9/4

I think Aston and Alexandra will be fighting it out for that Glitterball. He is a great showman but he needs to work on his technique. But his salsa on Saturday night (week two) was quite incredible. He threw partner Janette Manrara around and gives absolutely everything. Of course, Alexandra and Aston were in the X Factor final together (in 2008, when JLS were runners-up to Alexandra Burke) and there could be a Strictly rematch this year. The tables could turn this time.

Alexandra Burke 3/1

For me, she is the favourite to win. She is loving the show and has a background in performing and probably a little bit in dance. She is bringing the X Factor to Strictly. She has got the perfect energy and dancing partnership with Gorka Marquez. Let’s hope they have not peaked too soon. To get nines in week two is unheard of.

Debbie McGee 9/2

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She’s had ballroom training, like a lot of contestants, but you’ve got to remember she is 58 and the energy coming out of her is just incredible. So far she has had dances which suit her. When she has to use her hips, like in the samba, it will be much more difficult. But Debbie is a certain finalist and could go on to win and make history. I just hope she hasn’t peaked too soon.

Gemma Atkinson 9/1

She has done a waltz and a cha cha so far, and both have been fantastic. She looks incredible. She perhaps needs to work a little bit on her frame and nice straight legs in the Latin. She is another potential finalist

Mollie King 10/1

Anybody who has worked in theatre school has learnt a dance of some kind. I have always been a firm believer that the Strictly winner should be someone who has improved the most, not necessarily the best dancer. She has energy bubbling under the surface and should make the top four.

Joe McFadden 12/1

He is a great character. He is with Katya Jones, who was with Ed Balls last year and has got a lot more to work with this year. So far, so good. His jive was fantastic in week one, and for me, he is a possible quarter-finalist. His energy is fantastic. Everyone needs to work on their technique so that they look less ratty around the edges.

Davood Ghadami 12/1

He had a great dance on week one and a quick-step in week two which was a little bit too energetic and erratic. He just needs learn how to hold it back slightly rather than giving too much, too soon.

Jonnie Peacock 12/1

He performed a jive (in week two) and you would not have noticed that he had any kind of disability. I think he did exceptionally well and he is a huge inspiration. He could be one of the finalists. He has trouble with blisters underneath where the blade is attached but he is soldiering through the pain. In week one, he performed a waltz, and to be able to do a heel lead like he did was unbelievable.

Richard Coles 100/1

Every year, there is one character on the show who everybody falls in love with who is really not a great dancer, but provides absolutely star-quality entertainment. So far, I am absolutely loving him. He is almost like a really bad dad dancer at a wedding. You never know, he may just miraculously turn into a professional dancer, but he’s got a long way to go. We have got faith in him!

Brian Conley 100/1

Of course he is great with the entertainment. Unfortunately, his dancing isn’t on par, and if it was down to me, I perhaps would have sent him home last week, as I thought Chizzy Akudolu had a lot more to give. He needs to keep up his entertainment factor but he really needs to work on his technique and he needs to practice to remember his steps.

Susan Calman 100/1

She has been a big surprise for me. Not only has she been great for entertainment, but she is a good dancer. For somebody of her height and size, she is doing particularly well. Of course this week, she will be Wonder Woman for movie week, and I have been wishing my week away to watch it. I think she is going to go quite far in the competition and the public are going to warm to her. Remember, Lisa Riley was 90/1 at the beginning of her series (Robin was her partner in 2012) and she made the semi-final.

Charlotte Hawkins 100/1

She had a fantastic week in week one. Clearly she is much happier doing ballroom. Latin is not her thing. She was wearing an incredible dress (in week two) and it looked so promising, but it fell apart. If the majority of her dances are ballroom, she could possibly hit the halfway mark. A lot of it will be down to how well Brendan Cole can coach and nurture her through as she is going to be very nervous after last week’s mishap.

Ruth Langsford 100/1

I’ve wanted her to do the show for years. She is such a lovely lady and you can see how ecstatic she is. Her waltz in week one was lovely and she looked sensational. She came back in week two and did a better dance in her Charleston. Hopefully she will continue that way. The public love Anton Du Beke, and Ruth is immensely popular, and I can see them going quite far. There is a lot of room for improvement. I would love to see her big personality come out of her. She seems to have been holding back slightly. I would like to see her entertainment factor pop out.

Simon Rimmer 100/1

He is another contestant who is not trained in any kind of dancing and is doing a very good job at the moment. There was a little slip in his waltz (in week one) but he’s got a lot of potential. It comes down to hard work and practice. The problem is, some celebrities aren’t working currently and have a lot of time to commit to rehearsals, others are actually working in the daytime.

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