The 2021 edition of Strictly Come Dancing is well underway and we are only a matter of weeks from seeing who will lift the glitterball in the final. One celebrity looking to land that accolade is chef, TV presenter and author, John Whaite. Almost 10 years on from winning The Great British Bake Off, Whaite will be looking to land another trophy, and alongside his dance partner, Johannes Radebe. What’s more, the couple are also among the favourites in the latest Strictly betting odds.
But, where does he rank in terms of chefs turning their hands to the cha-cha? Read on, as we take a look at those who deserved a Michelin star and who, rightly, got the chop!
Boiled over: Gregg Wallace
MasterChef’s Gregg Wallace appeared on the 12th series of Strictly, and he was paired with Aliona Vilani. He may not have received the lowest score in week 2 for his dance, the Charleston, but Wallace found himself in the bottom two, alongside Jennifer Gibney and her partner Tristan MacManus – and was the first to be eliminated from the ballroom. You could say, he was handed the wooden spoon!
Burnt toast: Gary Rhodes
We rewind to 2008 now, and series 6 of SCD, when Chef and TV presenter Gary Rhodes was one of 16 celebrities on the show. Paired with Karen Hardy, he received the lowest score in week 1, with his Cha-Cha-Cha, but was safe from elimination. It was a similar scenario in week 3 – but this time, a score of 18 saw Rhodes in the bottom two and he was eliminated ahead of swimmer Mark Foster.
Limp salad: Ainsley Harriott
It’s fair to say that Ainsley Harriott wasn’t fancied in the Strictly Come Dancing tips, and he was the fourth celebrity to be eliminated from series 13 in 2015. Partnered with Natalie Lowe, the Chef had previously been in the bottom two, but bounced back the following week. After receiving a score of 21 for his Jive, Harriott was then eliminated, with the judges choosing to save popstar Jamelia.
Under-baked: Simon Rimmer
From Sunday Brunch to Saturday Strictly, Simon Rimmer and his dance partner Karen Clifton (now Hauer) were the sixth couple to be eliminated from the 15th edition of the show. After two previous stints in the bottom two, and some of the lowest scores to boot, it was sadly the end of the road for the duo. There were no treats and only tricks in Halloween week as Rimmer scored 16 points for his American Smooth – with the judges choosing to save Mollie King from The Saturdays.
On a simmer: Dave Myers
The Hairy Biker surprised many as he made it all the way to week 7, despite some of the lowest scores each week. Dave Myers and his professional partner, Karen Hauer delivered on the entertainment factor, which is why they never found themselves in the bottom two – until their elimination. And while head judge Len Goodman would have voted to save them, the remaining judges all wanted to save Mark Benton.
Al dente: Tilly Ramsay
The youngest celebrity on this year’s show, Tilly Ramsay was the latest contestant to wave goodbye to the ballroom – and sadly, lost out on a place in the quarter-finals. After two weeks in the bottom two, Ramsay and Nikita Kuzmin bounced back with a full-marks score of 40 for their couple’s choice dance during Musicals Week. But it wasn’t to be and their samba didn’t sizzle enough, as a score of 30 saw them eliminated.
Starting to sizzle: James Martin
It may have been back in 2005 (series 3) that Chef James Martin graced the dancefloor, but his performance has definitely not been forgotten. After all, how many of us could have seriously predicted that he would reach the semi-final? But that was indeed the case, as the Yorkshireman and partner Camilla Dallerup just missed out on a place in the final. The couple sailed through each week, and it wasn’t until week 8 that they received the lowest scores from the judges. A score of 22 for their Rumba in the semi-final meant that Martin’s Strictly journey came to an end – but as far as celebrity chefs go, he’s still the one to beat!