Strictly Come Dancing 2014: EastEnders star Jake Wood tops judges’ leaderboard

Janette Manrara and Jake Wood [Picture: BBC / Kieron McCarron]

Janette Manrara and Jake Wood [Picture: BBC / Kieron McCarron] - Credit: BBC/Kieron McCarron

EastEnders actor Jake Wood wowed the judges on the second week of Strictly Come Dancing 2014 – making him a real contender for this season’s glitterball trophy.

Janette Manrara and Jake Wood on Strictly Come Dancing [Picture BBC / Kieron McCarron]

Janette Manrara and Jake Wood on Strictly Come Dancing [Picture BBC / Kieron McCarron] - Credit: BBC/Kieron McCarron

After impressing with 28 points for his tango in week one of the live shows, the snake-hipped Jake scored three nines off the Strictly judges for his sensational salsa to Mambo No 5 tonight (Saturday).

An adventurous routine from last week’s surprise package featured a hip-shaking start, knee-slides and daring lifts and won a standing ovation from the studio audience.

Jake, who plays bed-hopping Max Branning in the BBC One soap, had a hip action “that could crack coconuts”, according to judge Craig Revel Horwood.

The twinkle-toed talent from Tewin totalled an incredible 35 out of 40 with professional dance partner Janette Manrara and should be safe from the dance-off and elimination in Sunday’s second show of the weekend.


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A keen boxing fan, Jake’s good friend Spencer Oliver (@SpencerOliver) showed his support on Twitter after watching his mate take to the dance floor.

The former European boxing champion tweeted: “Wow!!! Snake hips aka @mrjakedwood smashes it again.. @bbcstrictly”

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And fellow Hertfordshire-based EastEnders favourite Natalie Cassidy (@Nat_Cassidy) tweeted: “@mrjakedwood 35 on week 2!!!!! AMAZING UNCLE! X”

Zoe Ball was also impressed with Jake and Janette’s second dance.

The presenter of Strictly spin-off show It Takes Two tweeted: “OMG OMG OMG just seen @mrjakedwood & @JManrara #salsa BEST dance EVER omg omg #HisNameIsJake #godlikegenius”

Jake finished joint top of the judges’ leaderboard tonight (Saturday) with Pixie Lott, the singer also scoring 8, 9, 9, 9 for her waltz with dance partner Trent Whiddon.

And he was overall leader with the judges when the first two weeks’ scores were combined.

Judy Murray, Gregg Wallace and Scott Mills are at the bottom of the judges’ leaderboard and at risk of first elimination tomorrow (Sunday) night.

* The voting lines have now closed and the viewers’ results will be added to the judges’ scores, with the two lowest couples facing the dreaded dance-off.

The results will be announced on Sunday’s show on BBC One from 7.20pm.

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