Does Joe Sugg Have Professional Dance Experience? The YouTuber Wowed With His 'Strictly Come Dancing' Performance
When this year's Strictly Come Dancing line-up was announced, some fans pointed out the professional experience of contestants Faye Tozer, Danny John-Jules, and Ashley Roberts, suggesting it would give them an unfair advantage. All certainly demonstrated their dancing skills last night, as Tozer and Roberts placed in joint first place with scores of 29 out of 40, while John-Jules came joint second with 27 points. But another unanticipated star emerged on the dancefloor: YouTuber Joe Sugg, whose jive also earned him 27 points. So how, exactly, did the vlogger nail that performance? Does Joe Sugg have professional dance experience, or is he something of a natural?
Sugg and partner Dianne Buswell performed a jive to "Take On Me" by a-ha, complete with social media theme and floating emojis. And the routine impressed the judges: Bruno Tonioli told Sugg, "I had no idea you could come out and do something like that. I wasn't expecting it at all," as Digital Spy reports. Even the famously critical Craig Revel Horwood couldn't help but commend the YouTuber, telling him, "I saw you dance momentarily on the launch show two weeks ago and I did not have high hopes for you. But that has changed everything." Tonioli, Darcey Bussell, and Shirley Ballas all awarded Sugg and Buswell seven points, while Revel Horwood went for a slightly more restrained score of six.
His performance might have suggested otherwise, but it turns out Sugg's a complete novice on the dancefloor. When his casting was announced, he said, "Not going to lie, I’m very nervous about it; it's totally out of my comfort zone and I know it will be a huge challenge but that's what life is all about, I guess." What's more, he anticipated his "questionable rhythm" resulting in "embarrassment or cringe". There was no sign of that questionable rhythm last night, however — Sugg's routine with partner Dianne Buswell landed the pair at joint second place on the leaderboard, alongside Danny John-Jules and Amy Dowden plus Dr Ranj Singh and parter Janette Manrara.
So how did Sugg pull off such an impressive performance with no dance training in his past? Look to his second YouTube channel, ThatcherJoeVlogs, for a clue. Sugg's been vlogging his Strictly experience from behind the scenes, offering a pretty unprecedented insight into the preparation process. One thing's very much apparent: he's been working hard.
Strictly fans didn't hesitate to applaud Sugg on social media; in fact, according to Digital Spy, the YouTuber became a trending topic on Twitter. One of the biggest cheerleaders? Fellow YouTuber Alfie Deyes, boyfriend of Sugg's sister Zoe — better known as Zoella. The couple supported Sugg from the studio audience, as Metro reports, and Deyes subsequently tweeted his pride:
It wasn't just Sugg's friends and devoted YouTube subscribers who praised his performance, either, as fans and non-fans alike took to social media to express their awe:
The final word, however, must go to this Twitter user's nan, who neatly summed up the pre-internet generations' understanding of Sugg's YouTube fame: