Kelvin Fletcher’s heavenly hips may be giving Shirley Ballas hot flushes and Karim Zeroual’s flawless footwork might be propelling him to the top of the leaderboard but if there’s one man who has Strictly Come Dancing viewers screaming with delight every Saturday night it’s the fierce and fabulous Johannes Radebe.
The South African professional dancer officially joined the Strictly line-up in 2018, making a sizzling debut shaking his tail-feather to Camila Cabello’s Havana alongside Luba Mushtuk and Graziano di Prima.
The Latin champion wasn’t allocated a celebrity partner that year but that didn’t stop him from making his presence felt. He danced up a storm alongside Luba on It Takes Two, where the pair performed in numerous tutorials and showed off their skills.
Radebe returned to the main stage in as the contest entered the home straight, joining the celebs and their professional partners for a number of high energy routines. He really made his presence felt and left many viewers campaigning for him to be paired up in 2019.
This year those viewers finally got their wish – and then some. Johannes and his partner, Catherine Tyldesley, may not have topped the leaderboard yet but they’re ahead by a country mile in the race for viewers’ hearts.
A romantic Rumba in Movie Week seemed to change everything for the pair, who thrilled audiences with a Single Ladies Charleston set in a nail bar in Week 4.
The routine itself was an absolute treat, but it was Johannes’ “living my best life” attitude that really won the audience over.
There’s something utterly enchanting about Radebe’s enthusiasm for dance.
His routines are action-packed and he really throws everything he has into every single performance, whether he’s front and centre with Catherine or dancing in the background of a group routine.
From the moment he hits that dance floor he quite simply oozes energy. And that energy doesn’t die when the cameras stop rolling either.
Radebe is a force of nature on Instagram, sharing sweet and sassy stories and snaps that confirm this man knows how to work the world. If you’ve not yet seen him lip-sync to Todrick Hall’s ‘Nails, Hair, Hips, Heels’ with Oti Mabuse you’ve not lived.
It’s difficult to fathom why Strictly didn’t put him front and centre in 2018, but let’s just be thankful that he’s right where he belongs now.
And babe, long may he (and Auntie Cath) reign.