Motsi Mabuse: Barack Obama would be my ideal Strictly partner!

As Strictly Come Dancing heads to Blackpool's Tower Ballroom on Saturday night, judge Motsi Mabuse is feeling excited…

Strictly Come Dancing judge Motsi Mabuse on why she’s thrilled to be heading back to the home of ballroom dancing, Blackpool, and how she’d love to dance with Barack Obama…

How have you enjoyed your Strictly experience so far?

Motsi Mabuse: “It’s been amazing and every day I’m like: ‘Wow!’ I love the fact that on live TV anything can happen. In life, we’re all so busy that we’re usually only half ‘in the moment’. But on live TV, you can’t do that. You have to be totally present, because it’s live. It’s electric!”

How much are you looking forward to Strictly’s visit to Blackpool?

MM: “I’m so excited! Blackpool is the point everyone in the competition wants to get to and I’m looking forward to seeing Strictly in a different environment. I think it’s exciting for everybody to travel up there, enjoy a different build up and, hopefully, get more into their performance. It’s going to be a huge production!”

Strictly Come Dancing 2019 - Judges Group

Motsi with her fellow Strictly judges (L-R): Bruno Tonioli, Shirley Ballas and Craig Revel Horwood…

Does Blackpool hold a special place in your heart?

MM: “Well, I came from South Africa with my little suitcase and managed to become three-times German champion and a finalist at the British Open Championship at Blackpool’s Tower Ballroom. Those are highlights in my life because I think, somewhere in the stars, I’ll never be forgotten. If you give up so much and work so hard to get somewhere, you need to leave a footprint. And I feel so lucky that I can say: ‘Hey, I was there!’”

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Are you looking forward to getting glammed up on the night?

MM: “Yes! The glamour of Strictly is more elevated than it is on Let’s Dance, the show I judge in Germany. I like being adventurous – I don’t want to look the same every week. I love to experiment and try new and different things.”

Who’s most impressed you out of this year’s celebrities?

MM: “After the very first show, two people really stood out for me because it was so unexpected. I love Michelle Visage, she’s got such a great vibe. And, of course, who could forget that samba from Kelvin [who’s partnered with Motsi’s sister Oti]. I KNOW how the audience were feeling!”

Strictly 2019 Michelle Visage and Giovanni Pernice

Motsi Mabuse has been particularly impressed by Michelle and Giovanni…

What do the remaining celebs need to do to succeed at Blackpool – and possibly go on to win?

MM: “It takes intelligence. It’s about knowing how much they’re taking the time to learn what they need to learn, what food they’re eating, how much sleep they’re getting and how much they’re letting their body rest. It’s about building the right foundation that will give them all the skills they need to succeed in the long run.”

If you were competing on Strictly yourself, who would be your ideal celebrity partner?

MM: “If I could choose one, I’d say the former US president Barack Obama. He looks like he’s got the rhythm and he seems like such a gentleman and so cool, calm and elegant. I’d love to dance with him!”

Strictly Come Dancing hits Blackpool on Saturday November 16 at 7.05pm on BBC1.