Strictly's all-star Christmas special - Jay Blades and Luba Mushtuk

Strictly Come Dancing returns to the Ballroom for an all-star Christmas special as six celebrities take to the floor in a bid to be crowned Christmas Champion 2021

"For the first time of my life I am wearing a Christmas jumper." — Jay Blades



Hosted by Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman, the festive foursome on the judging panel are, Craig Revel Horwood, Motsi Mabuse, Anton Du Beke, and head judge Shirley Ballas.

Taking to the dancefloor this year is Adrian Chiles with his professional partner Jowita Przystal; Anne-Marie and Graziano Di Prima; Fred Sirieix and Dianne Buswell; Jay Blades and Luba Mushtuk; Mel Giedroyc and Neil Jones; Moira Stuart and Aljaž Škorjanec.

The Christmas special will start with a sensational group routine featuring the celebrities and their professional partners, alongside some of their fellow Strictly professionals.

And, as well as dancing, there’s plenty of music, with two very special performances from Jamie Cullum and Gary Barlow.

Strictly Come Dancing Christmas special will air on BBC One and BBC iPlayer on Christmas Day at 5.10pm.

Q&A Jay Blades and Luba Mushtuk

How are you feeling about being a part of the Strictly Christmas special?

Jay: I feel really good, I have the best partner so I feel fine! I drift off and get easily distracted, but Luba is great with me.

Luba: You’re so sweet. I found a way with you, it took me a little while but I have found it. When he gets distracted I just give him a ‘mum look’!

What made you want to take part?

Jay: I like new challenges, but I never knew this would be this difficult. Learning dance routines means your brain has to function in a completely different way. When your brain gets it, hopefully your body catches up.

Luba: I always say dancing is like a gym for your brain! That’s why I say everyone should dance!

What did your friends and family say?

Jay: Cor Blimey, they couldn’t believe it, they laughed. I can do the dad dance, but I can’t dance formally!

Luba: I think they will be very proud, your dance looks incredible to me!

Jay: If it looks good to you then happy days!

Tell us about your partnership, what’s training been like?

Luba: Training has been fun, I’ve really enjoyed it.

Jay: I feel sorry for Luba, we danced in the evenings and then I went on holiday for two weeks!

Luba: It’s the communication between the brain and the body, when he feels fresh he gets it, but if he is tired then his body forgets.

Jay: She now knows to feed me too, if you feed me then I’ll get back to normal.

Is Jay a good student? What kind of teacher is Luba?

Luba: He is a great student, I absolutely adore him, he is such a gentlemen. There is a part of the choreography where he needs to push off of me, and he has such a hard time doing it as he says I am a lady! But it has been wonderful.

Jay: She has been the best, so patient and so good at dancing, I couldn’t want for a better person. She is just perfect!

How do you feel about being ‘Strictly-fied’ festive style?

Jay: For the first time of my life I am wearing a Christmas jumper.

Luba: Me too! I only wear them for the Strictly Christmas special.

Jay: So that’s as ‘Strictly-fied’ as I am getting, although it is rather tight…

Luba: It doesn’t matter, give the people what they want!

What would you buy each other for Christmas?

Jay: I know exactly what I would buy you, I would buy you a first-class ticket to go and see your parents in Russia, for you to sit down and hug them.

Luba: I would love to give you and your girlfriend a dance lesson together.

How do you rate your chances of being crowned Christmas champions? Who do you think your biggest competition is?

Jay: I think my biggest competition is Anne-Marie, she is a performer, she picks it up quickly!

Luba: I told you yesterday, by us doing the dance, we are winners. None of you guys have danced before, so coming out on Christmas Day and doing this, makes you all winners.

What’s your favourite Christmas movie and why?

Luba: Home Alone, it was the first movie I saw on a TV at my friend’s house, I now know every word, it brings me my Christmas spirit.

Jay: It’s A Wonderful Life, I love black and white films, I’m quite old school.

What song gets you up dancing at festive parties?

Jay: Anything I can two step to!

Luba: I don’t actually dance at parties, I find such joy in watching others let go and feel vulnerable on the dancefloor, I just love that.

Brussel sprouts - yay or nay?

Both: Love them!

Best and worst Christmas present you ever received?

Jay: I’ve never re-gifted, I even received some really dodgy y-fronts from my aunt, and I kept them! My daughter handmade me a card one year, and I’ll forever cherish that.

Which judge are you most keen to impress?

Jay: Craig, because he is tough, and Shirley because she will look at my technicality, my sashays, my posture, everything.

What are the Christmas traditions in your household? How will you be spending Christmas Day this year?

Jay: We play music, dance and eat! I normally have two Christmas dinners, one for lunch and one for dinner.

Luba: I normally go to Italy and spend Christmas with my family and dogs. Me being vegan, I have a slightly different Christmas dinner, but I love doing the cooking still!

Any New Year’s resolutions?

Jay: Definitely to do more formal dancing, me and my fiancé want to go to ballroom lessons, I want to learn the Waltz and Argentine Tango.

Luba: This is my proudest moment, that’s awesome!

Source BBC One

December 22, 2021 4:53am ET by BBC One  


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