The most intensive ballroom dance training there is doesn’t transform everyone into a semi-pro superstar – some people are beyond even Strictly’s help.
Even the series champion finds themselves forgotten about a few years down the line unless they were particularly amazing, but the worst dancers live much longer in the memory.
Here’s the Strictly Come Dancing hall of fame for the show’s worst-ever contestants.
John Sergeant (2008)
John was terrible right from the very start, but the peak of his awfulness came during this dance when he dragged Kristina along the floor by her leg in the least graceful move we’ve ever seen.
Ironically, it was John’s lack of skill that kept the viewers voting for him week after week, and eventually he had to bow out of the show, saying: “The trouble is that there is now a real danger that I might win the competition. Even for me that would be a joke too far.”
Ann Widdecombe (2010)
Both Ann and Anton took their status as worst couple with good grace, playing up to their comedy side in each routine.
Particularly memorable were routines involving Ann flying on wires, a Titanic theme, and Anton swinging Ann around the dancefloor by one ankle and wrist.
Ed Balls (2016)
He and Katya Jones were one of the series’ most popular couples, though, thanks to them fully embracing the ridiculousness of his moves.
Ed’s highlights on the show included a Gangnam Style themed Salsa, and some enthusiastic thrusting during his Halloween Cha Cha to Love Potion No 9.
Dave Myers (2013)
Partnered with Karen Clifton, he stumbled his way through a Monster Mash Jive and a Meatloaf-inspired Paso Doble to the delight of laughing viewers.
Dave’s opening performance of a Cha Cha to Moves Like Jagger introduced him as one of the stompiest dancers we’ve ever seen, but he was still a joy to watch because he enjoyed every second of his terrible routines.
Judy Murray (2014)
“Wooden” is a criticism often levelled at Strictly contestants, but it’s never been more of an accurate description than it was for poor Judy, who spent most performances in a series of awkward-looking stationary poses.
Even the usually-gallant Anton apparently said afterwards: “She was s***. Why couldn’t they have given me Pixie Lott instead?”
Gregg Wallace (2014)
We felt a bit sorry for Gregg during the launch show when he was matched with Aliona Vilani, who made her disappointment and disgust painfully obvious whilst Gregg stood alongside her looking sheepish.
The pair didn’t have long to put up with each other though, as they were voted out first.
Nancy Dell’Olio (2011)
Nancy Dell’Olio had the confidence to be the best dancer on the show…unfortunately, her skills didn’t quite match up.
Our favourite Nancy moment was her Halloween Rumba which saw her emerge from a coffin sipping champagne, but critics of Nancy’s dancing should be cautious – she made noises about wanting to sue judge Alesha Dixon for calling her “not very feminine”.
Scott Mills (2014)
He and partner Joanne Clifton sensibly decided to concentrate on the novelty routines, which saw them through for a good few weeks before being booted out with an Addams Family-themed Halloween Foxtrot.
Our favourite Scott number was his Little Mermaid-inspired Samba to Under the Sea, where he gamely donned a lobster costume and had viewers hitting rewind again and again to see the dance that judge Craig Revel Horwood described as “a lobster on acid”.
Strictly Come Dancing’s live shows begin on Saturday, September 22 on BBC One.
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