World champion boxer Carl ‘the Cobra’ Froch had the muscles, Girl Aloud’s Sarah Harding had the grace, former Dynasty star Emma Samms had the guts, H from Steps had the fun factor and talent and CBBC’s Wolfblood star Bobby Lockwood had a lot of skill – and a lot of chemistry with his pro partner Kristin…
But it was former EastEnders star John Partridge who had the whole package in the first round of BBC1’s new gymnastics contest, Tumble.
Each of the 10 competing celebrities had to complete a gymnastics routine on either the aerial hoop or on the floor.
John and his pro partner, aerial gymnast and Cirque du Soleil performer Kat Would, topped the leaderboard with a score of 27.5 after a floor routine that earned high praise from all four judges.
“Mr Partridge: somersaults, tick; flips, tick; lifts, tick; holds, tick; flexibility, tick; unbelievable,” said judge and Olympic medallist Louis Smith.
“I’m often asked if there are any tall gymnasts and I say ‘yes, but they are not good,’ head judge and world-famous former Olympic gymnast Nadia Comaneci told John. “You proved me wrong.”
During training, John wasn’t convinced he had any talent as a gymnast.
“As a young person, I had a natural aptitude for dance,” John said. “I clearly haven’t got that as a gymnast. It’s just not clicking with me.”
After John’s routine, world-renowned aerial performer/choreographer and judge Sebastien Stella was quick to tell John: “You clicked. You’ve got it.”
“You’re the best performer in the competition,” added judge and Commonwealth Games gymnast turned sports ambassador Craig Heap.
So, John was the top of the 10 celebrity gymnasts – but no one was rolled out of the contest.
All the celebs will return to compete again next week – but someone will go at the end of week two. The bottom two competitors will face each other in a vault-off, which will be decided by head judge Nadia.
All the celebrities and their professional partners
Actor John Partridge, 43 and aerial gymnast and Cirque du Soleil performer Kat Would
Girls Aloud singer Sarah Harding, 32 and Leon Fagbemi, former international competitive gymnast
Former Steps star Ian H Watkins, 38 and National Centre for Circus Arts graduate Holly Johnstone
Former Sugababe Amelle Berrabah, 30 and international acrobatic gymnast Doug Fordyce
Loose Women’s Andrea McLean, 44 and British champion gymnast Alex Utley
CBBC’s Wolfblood star Bobby Lockwood, 21 and former Acro World Champion and Cirque du Soleil performer Kristin Allen
World champion boxer Carl “the cobra” Froch and display gymnast Sita Bhuller
Actress Emma Samms, 53 and gymnast and coach Ivan Pastore
Former TOWIE star Lucy Mecklenburgh, 22 and Billy George, graduate of the National Centre for Circus Arts
Former Blue Peter presenter Peter Duncan, 60 and Kate McWilliam, graduate of the National Centre for Circus Arts who has performed all over the world.
Tumble continues on BBC1, Saturday, August 16, 6.30pm