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Robin Windsor backs Ore Oduba and Joanne Clifton to win Strictly Come Dancing 2016

PUBLISHED: 16:31 16 December 2016 | UPDATED: 17:56 16 December 2016

Ore Oduba and Joanne Clifton. Pic:  Kieron McCarron/BBC/PA Wire.

Ore Oduba and Joanne Clifton. Pic: Kieron McCarron/BBC/PA Wire.

Ipswich dancing star Robin Windsor has tipped Ore Oduba to be crowned Strictly Come Dancing 2016 champion this weekend.

Danny Mac and Oti Mabuse. Pic: Kieron McCarron/BBC/PA Wire.Danny Mac and Oti Mabuse. Pic: Kieron McCarron/BBC/PA Wire.

The former Strictly professional dancer said he is backing the sports presenter, who had no dance training before entering the competition, to lift the coveted glitterball trophy and believes he would be the most “deserving” winner after making the most improvement.

The 30-year-old was the bookies outsider on Friday afternoon, generally available at 8/1, before Saturday night’s showdown against actor Danny Mac, 28, and singer Louise Redknapp, 42.

The three finalists will perform three dances each: their favourite routine of the series, the judges’ choice and a brand new ‘show dance’.

Robin said: “As we go into the final, I have to admit I am backing Ore and Joanne (Clifton, his professional dance partner). He has had an up-and-down series. He has been in the bottom two, he has been top of the leaderboard, and he is what Strictly is all about: somebody who hasn’t had much dance training, come in and embraced everything Strictly is about.

“For me, it is not always about the best dancer winning. It is about the person who has improved the most who has gone on that clichéd Strictly journey that we all talk about, and I think he is absolutely wonderful.

“My mother said to me ‘Ore has cried a lot throughout the series. If he wins, he is going to flood the studio!’ And I think he deserves it more. Everybody is deserving, but based on the journey and the last 10 weeks, I have got my money on Ore.

Louise Redknapp and Kevin Clifton. Pic:  Kieron McCarron/BBC/PA Wire.Louise Redknapp and Kevin Clifton. Pic: Kieron McCarron/BBC/PA Wire.

“He is performing his jive (in the final) which he performed back in week three which got those 10s and everybody was over the moon for him. I think he is going to come back, and with all the extra training that he has had now, and do that dance even better.

“It is also going to be great to see the sibling rivalry between Kevin (Clifton, Louise Redknapp’s dancer partner) and Joanne.”

But he faces stiff competition from Danny Mac, the odds-on favourite who scored back-to-back perfect scores in the weeks leading up to the semi-final.

The Hollyoaks actor has consistently hit the top of the leaderboards alongside partner Oti Mabuse and scored the first 40 for a samba in the competition’s history.

Robin said: “Danny has been brilliant from day one. He had a little bit of a dip in the middle but has got better and better. There was a lot of controversy about the dance-off last weekend (Mac was the judges’ unanimous pick over Claudia Fragapane) and in my personal opinion I would have saved Claudia because I thought it was a better dance. But overall, Danny has been on flying form throughout the series. It is such a shame that it wasn’t a four-couple final.

“But Danny definitely is one to watch. His technique is brilliant, he has got lovely lines and I think it is really going to all boil down to how that showdance comes off.

Robin Windsor attending the gala night of The Bodyguard at the Dominion Theatre, London, in July 2016. Photo: Ian West/PA Wire.Robin Windsor attending the gala night of The Bodyguard at the Dominion Theatre, London, in July 2016. Photo: Ian West/PA Wire.

“The samba went down in history and that will make his chances really strong, as long as he does it as good as he did before.

“It is a very open field and each finalist has got different qualities and strengths. It is going to depend on who performs the best. And the judges are only giving their opinion this week. Their scores don’t matter. It is all down to the British public to decide who is their favourite.”

Mac defended the amount of dance training he received as a youngster ahead of the show’s final. Fans of the show have said Mac was already an experienced dancer before taking part.

But he told a press conference on Friday: “It was three years at drama school. And never before and never since.

“I was never going to be a dancer, I was never dancing, that was never going to happen.”

Asked if he thought it would stop him from winning votes, Mac said that would be a “shame”, adding Mabuse should receive full recognition for him reaching the final.

Robin said: “Every year we have contestants who come into Strictly who have had some kind of dance training, and what people have got to remember is, ballroom dancing is so foreign to any other dance style people may have learnt.

“Danny would have had to undo some of the stuff he has learnt to learn the technique of the ballroom way, and that is actually much harder than learning something from scratch.

“So I think what he has done and achieved has been absolutely fantastic.”

Meanwhile, Louise Redknapp, the former Eternal singer, was a short-priced 2/1 second-favourite on Friday.

“Louise has been consistent all the way through,” Robin said. “And Kevin has made three finals and he still has not won, and I think a lot of the public are going to look at Kevin and say, do you know what, it is time he deserves a glitterball.

“So I think a lot of people are going to get behind both Louise and Kevin this weekend.”

Robin said Louise has improved every week, saying: “At the beginning I thought it was all very nice and thrifty, and as the weeks have gone on, she has put more oomph into her routines and she has given it a bit more welly.

“If she can really knock it out of the ballpark and give it a lot of energy, she will be in contention to take that glitterball home.

“She is the oldest contestant and keeping up that energy level up is difficult, but I am sure that if she has done a lot of rehearsal this week and practices and gets plenty of rest, she will be able to keep that energy going all the way through. That is the most important thing for her this weekend.”

This weekend’s live final of the celebrity dancing programme will be broadcast on Saturday at 6.40pm on BBC One, finishing at 8.55pm.

Viewers will also be treated to group performances, special guests and a tribute to 72-year-old head judge Len Goodman, who leaves the celebrity ballroom show this weekend after being with the programme since it began in 2004.

This year’s Strictly has been the most popular series in the programme’s 12-year history. An average of 11.3 million viewers have tuned in to BBC One’s flagship entertainment show on Saturday nights - the highest figure ever recorded, according to figures compiled by the Press Association.

Strictly has also roared ahead of its ITV rival The X Factor this year, opening up a ratings lead of around four million. In 2012 the gap was just 1.5 million.

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