As the 11th series of Strictly Come Dancing kicked off at the weekend, here at Luxe Models, we decided to get up close and personal with some of the steamy romances that have blossomed from the show. And there have been a lot more than you might expect!
Recently Strictly’s moody judge Craig Revel Horwood revealed that he’s not surprised by the number of relationships that have begun as a result of the popular reality show. He said that working so closely together, in very intimate dance encounters inevitably leads to very strong connections between couples. They’re performing some very intricate, sexy moves together, and Craig reckons if they’re both single, why not!
One of the most famous couplings of recent years is that of Kara Tointon and Artem Chigvinstev who were partnered in 2010. Their routines proved hugely popular with viewers and judges alike as they stormed towards a win. They celebrated their success with a passionate kiss, having kept their relationship quiet throughout the series. They’re still together, living in North London. Artem is this year partnered with Corrie star Natalie Gumede with whom he scored a very respectable 31 points for their first dance.
A slightly less successful coupling was that of Ali Bastian and Brian Fortuna, who danced together in 2009 and reached third place. The stayed together for a little over a year, but decided to end their relationship towards the end of 2010. Another recent split to hit the headlines came in the form of Joe Calzaghe and his former dance partner Kristina Rihanoff, were partnered in the same year. Apparently the former boxer had some jealousy issues when it came to Kristina’s new dance partners, though they have both stated that their relationship ended because of busy work schedules and a difference of opinion about having children together. The pair are still friends though, with Joe sending Kristina a message of good luck before the new series of Strictly kicked off.
There have also been a few unfounded romantic rumours spawned by the show. Ricky Whittle, who came second in 2009, was reportedly rather peeved by the way the show had been edited to suggest that he was in a relationship with his partner Natalie Lowe. There was also some controversy surrounding Brendan Cole and Natasha Kaplinsky, who were the first couple to win the show. At the time, Brendan was engaged to his professional dance partner Camilla Dallerup, though reports came out that Cole and Kaplinsky had had an affair during their time together on the show. However, Natasha maintains that she was never romantically involved with Brendan.
This year, hunky dancer Pasha Kovalev, who joined the show in 2011, reckons there will be plenty of romance this season, though whether he himself is on the lookout remains to be seen. He is dancing with Countdown hottie Rachel Riley. Rumour also has it that professional dancer Ola Jordan insisted that her husband James Jordan, who is also a dancer by trade, be partnered with Vanessa Feltz this year so it was less likely that he would flirt during rehearsals!
According to Revel Horwood, he doesn’t mind a bit of romance between partners as he claims it can really help the chemistry on show throughout their routines. Anything to put a smile on his face, eh? Current favourite to win, Abbey Clancey certainly showed off a blistering chemistry with Aljaž Skorjanec at the weekend, but we're sure it'll be restricted to the dance floor since she's been married to footballer Peter Crouch since 2009.
Whatever happens, we're really looking forward to following this series of Strictly Come Dancing.