Now that the 10 celebrity contestants for the seventh season of SABC3’s Strictly Come Dancing have been unveiled, Debashine Thangevelo asked five of them how they planned to wipe out the competition on the dance floor.
DONOVAN GOLIATH (comedian)
Last year a comedian (Marc Lottering) hosted the show. Do you think one could win it this year?
Definitely. I’ve been training like Rocky for this competition. Running up stairs, punching animal carcasses (whoever buys this meat is going to have the most tender piece of steak) and randomly screaming ADRIAAAAAN (I don’t know why, but it worked for Rocky, right?)
Are you more a John Travolta or a Jim Carrey on the dance floor?
Hmmm. Tough question. I think I’m both, with a touch of King Julian from Madagascar.
Tells us a little about your dance partner and how you two are finding your rhythm in rehearsals?
I love Mary Martin. She’s the best slave driver ever. She pushes me to my limit and makes me do the simplest things 7 million times until I crack. Her favourite word is “gape” which means “again”. I hear this about 12 million times a day. She’s the best; so professional, humble and talented. I could not have been paired with a better person.
Who do you think might be your greatest competitor?
Everyone is my greatest competitor. I don’t trust anyone. There are people who pretend they can’t dance, but were probably second in line for the role of Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey in Dirty Dancing (wait, that’s impossible).
BOITY THULO (actress and presenter)
We have seen you act and present – as well as your booty go viral after that Marie Claire spread. what can we expect of you on the dance floor?
Oh, goodness. I am completely new to the dance world so this is almost like an out-of-body experience. One thing I am very certain of, though, is that I am just ready to have so much fun. No matter how it all goes.
Tell us a little about your dance partner and how you two are finding your rhythm in rehearsals? Ryan (Hammond) is absolutely incredible. I get why he won last year. He is so accommodating, patient and incredibly friendly. He put me at ease within the first moments of meeting him. He works around what he can see works for my body, my ability, my frame, etc. And I keep telling him what a fantastic teacher he is. He explains certain things in a way that will make sense to me. I’m loving every moment of it.
LOL! Khanyi and Siv look like they are going to kill it. I’m even rooting for them. I know, very weird. Hehe!
How do you plan to put your best foot forward and stay in the competition?
I think a positive attitude will get anyone far enough. Most importantly, I think having the audience drawn in by light- heartedness, passion and fun. And, of course, dedication to being as amazing as I can.
ASHISH GANGAPERSAD (actor)
Your role on Isidingo has opened many doors for you. With all the newcomer accolades to date, how hungry are you to have an addition to your wins?
It’s always good to have your work acknowledged in terms of winning awards and accolades. Going in to Strictly, I’m fully aware that this is a competition and there is only one prize that everyone has their sights set on. I would love to win just as much as the next person, if not more, so I’m working very hard to make sure I put my best foot forward and give it everything I have.
Tell us a little about your dance partner and how you two are finding your rhythm in rehearsals?
Lindsey (Muckle) is amazing. I have been a fan of hers during past seasons and from the guys in the last season, she and her partner Graeme were my favourites. Working with her is nothing short of fun (and sometimes painful – for me though). She’s a great teacher and understands me as a student and knows how to break things down to an easy and understandable level.
Ah, all of them. Seeing as this is the beginning stages, I’m not concentrating on the other competitors now. I’m just working and doing the best that I can in the hope that it will give all the others something to worry about.
How do you plan to put your best foot forward and stay in the competition? Hard work, hard work and more hard work. I’m very dedicated in anything and everything that I do and will go beyond the call of duty. I must admit, dancing isn’t my strong point, but with the help of my good teacher and the support of the public, I will hopefully get to the top.
KHANYI MBAU (Queen of Bling presenter/socialite)
Your roast of Kenny Kunene certainly sparked curiosity this year. Why did you agree to Strictly Come Dancing and what side will we get to see this time around? I love music and dance is my life. It all made sense to be part if this great experience.
Tell us a little about your dance partner and how you two are finding your rhythm in rehearsals? Quintus Jansen is a professional dancer, great, patient teacher with a passion for his skill. The dance moves are nothing I imagined, the rhythm is hard to master.
Who do you think might be your greatest competitor? Siv, he has a lot of spunk that viewers might like.
Do you think your social media standing will help keep you in the running for longer? No, here it’s about what you bring to the fore, my following will help in most cases, but people want action more.
JOHN MAMETSA (rugby player)
Honestly, how long did it take you to agree to Strictly Come Dancing. After all, it is poles apart from scrumming on the rugby field? It is poles apart, but I have danced around my opponents a lot on the rugby field and the Bulls family will agree with me on the. So I am light on my feet and that should help.
Are you more a John Travolta or a Jim Carrey on the dance floor? I command my space and give my all. Definitely smooth.
As a sportsman, you have endurance on your side. Do you think, though, that that will be enough to help you in this competition? To add to that, I’m used to criticism, or rather opposition fans trying to put me down and that should help me a great deal when it comes to the judges. I’ll simply go back to the drawing board and work on whatever they think needs attention.
What kind of mindset will you go in with when the time comes to performing on national TV?
I have a collection of trophies in all the rugby competitions I’ve played in from the Vodacom Cup to Super Rugby, so I want to add to that.
• Strictly Come Dancing airs on SABC3 on Friday at 8pm.