Oti Mabuse has said she feels no pressure to win The Greatest Dancer again despite being the show’s reigning champion.
The Strictly Come Dancing professional, who is a dance captain alongside Cheryl, Matthew Morrison and newcomer Todrick Hall on the BBC talent show, has also admitted that she has done “absolutely nothing to prepare” for the new series.
Mabuse won the first series in 2019 with her act, teenage contemporary dancer Ellie Fergusson.
Ahead of the programme’s return on Saturday, Mabuse said: “There is absolutely no pressure to win.
“It’s not really about me; I try to make it as much as possible about the acts and this series I’m going into it like, I don’t know what I want, whoever I feel a connection to is the person that I’m looking forward to taking this journey with.”
Mabuse, who recently enjoyed another taste of success after winning Strictly with partner Kelvin Fletcher, added: “It might not be somebody who needs to grow as much but just might be an act that I feel deserves to be seen and deserves to have a platform.”
However, for former Girls Aloud star Cheryl, she said she is very keen to become the series champion after coming in second place in 2019 with her act, duo Harry and Eleiyah.
“Coming really close to winning last year has made me even more determined to win this year but ultimately, that’s all to do with who I choose as my talent because they’re the ones that have to get out there every weekend and perform to a live audience,” she said.
Former Glee star Morrison admitted to having “a little bit of a game plan” in a bid to become the winner of The Greatest Dancer 2020, adding: “But I won’t say too much as I don’t want to give it all away.”
The Greatest Dancer sees solo dancers and ensemble acts vying for the approval of a live audience and the public while the captains mentor them through the process.
Mabuse said that “this series I’ve done absolutely nothing to prepare”, adding: “I think for me it’s really important that I get out of my own limits, that I challenge myself and I excel without those boundaries that I usually am in.
“I’m from the Latin and ballroom world, it’s really prim and proper and I think I’m going to shake it up a little bit this series!”
On new dance captain Hall, a choreographer and star of RuPaul’s Drag Race, Mabuse said: “Todrick has definitely changed the dynamic of the whole panel but in a positive way.
“He’s got a lot of knowledge and a lot of information and a lot of advice to give young kids which is amazing. I think a lot of the acts that come in, they know him, they know his work, and they really admire him which is really nice because they are people who want to hear what he has to say and want to be in his team.”
Cheryl praised Hall, adding: “Todrick is a very well-informed expert in his field so I find myself listening to him and learning stuff or completely agreeing with every single word he says. It’s been really good welcoming him to the panel.”
In addition to Hall joining the panel, the new series will also see a new receptionist greeting the auditioning dancers, in the form of Love Island star Curtis Pritchard.
The show is hosted by returning presenters Alesha Dixon and Jordan Banjo.
The Greatest Dancer returns to BBC One on Saturday January 4 at 7pm.