Strictly Week 5: Judges in tears at Will Bayley's cancer story

Albertina Lloyd
Entertainment reporter, Yahoo UK
The Strictly judges were all moved by Will Bayley's dance (Credit: BBC)

Strictly Come Dancing judge Motsi Mabuse was unable to speak she was crying so much after watching paralympian Will Bayley’s performance.

The table tennis champion was born with arthrogryposis causing curvature of his limbs and was diagnosed with cancer aged seven. He performed the Couple’s Choice dance this week and chose a contemporay dance to Lukas Graham’s 7 Years with partner Janette Manrara, inspired by his cancer battle.

All the judges were wiping away tears after the performance, but Motsi - who was also wearing heavy false eyelashes - was unable to speak when it came to her turn to comment.

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Presenter Tess Daly offered her a tissue and Bayley, 31, gave her a hug.

Will Bayley wowed with his contemporary dance (Credit: BBC)

Guest judge Alfonso Ribeiro - the actor best known for his role as Carlton in Fresh Prince Of Bel Air and former winner of Dancing With The Stars - also wiped away tears as he said: “You gave me chills. That was incredibly inspiring. There were young girls and boys who watched that performance and now know that anything is possible.”

The judges awarded Bayley 32 out of a possible 40.

Former England goalkeeper David James ended up roaring at the judging panel after Ribiero asked him to.

Ribeiro told James: “Here's what I want you to do - just scream and let it out.

“What I want is for you to just let it go let all hang out on the dance floor.”

Craig Revel Horwood told him: “No amount of screaming is going to fix that!”

All the judges critised the 49-year-old ex-sportsman for making mistakes in his footwork. And he scored just 16 out of a possible 40.

But James later confessed to Claudia Winkleman: “I was enjoying that a lot. I didnt see any mistakes.”

James and partner Nadiya Bychkova revealed they had been rehearsing their Jive to Michael Buble’s Such A Night for up to 12 hours a day and the 6ft 5in footballer had then been putting in more hours of practise at home.

EastEnders star Emma Barton and Anton du Beke’s Paso Doble to Mark Ronson’s Nothing Breaks Like A Heart also fell flat with the judges.

Strictly’s own Mr Nasty Revel Horwood told her: “You looked like a bag of potatoes rolling around.”

Barton revealed she had not had as much time to rehearse as she would have liked as she had been filming scenes for the EastEnders Christmas special and had eaten five Christmas dinners this week.

Meanwhile Viscountess Emma Weymouth made a miraculous recovery, having been saved in the dance off last week.

Some viewers were upset when Radio DJ Dev Griffin was sent home last week, but Viscountess Weymouth waltzed back up to the top of the leader board, scoring 36 out of 40 for her Viennese Waltz.

Revel Horwood told her and professional partner Aljaž Škorjanec: “Now for the truth darling - it’s actually rather good. Aljaz you have worked wonders, that dance proves why you are still in this competition.”

Footballer Alex Scott also won praise for her Charleston to Pump Up The Jam which scored 33 out of 40, 10 more points than the previous week.

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Revel Horwood told her: “That was absolutely unbelievable I had no idea you’d be able to dance like that. This really suits you.”

Ribiero said: “You came out of yourself and now youre a wonderful butterfly. Keep flying!”

Scott said: “I’ve found my groove!”

Saffron Barker and AJ Pritchard performed the Foxtrot (Credit: BBC)

And Youtube star Saffron Barker, as the final performer of the night, ended on a high with her Foxtrot to Frank Sinatra’s New York, New York scoring 38 out of 40 and the earning the only 10 from Ribiero.

Revel Horwood said: “Technically I thought it was absolutely brilliant. You’ve really surprised me tonight I have to say.”

Her partner AJ Pritchard joked: “You caned it!”