Strictly Come Dancing 2014: Celebrities battle to avoid dreaded dance-off

PUBLISHED: 13:37 04 October 2014 | UPDATED: 21:30 04 October 2014

It takes two to tango: Jake Wood and Janette Manrara on Strictly [Picture: BBC / Guy Levy]

It takes two to tango: Jake Wood and Janette Manrara on Strictly [Picture: BBC / Guy Levy]

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The pressure is on for the Strictly Come Dancing 2014 celebrities, including Tewin-based EastEnders actor Jake Wood, ahead of the first elimination shows on BBC One.

Grab your glitterballs and join presenters Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman tonight (Saturday) on BBC One for a sparkling spectacular, as all 15 couples hit the dancefloor.

Every step counts as the judges’ scores from week one are combined with those from tonight’s two-hour show, which starts at 6.20pm, and the viewers’ votes.

The celebrities are now dancing for survival, as the two lowest-scoring couples will have to face the dreaded dance-off in Sunday’s results show.

Jake has been training hard ahead of his salsa to Mambo No 5 by Lou Bega.

His professional dance partner Janette Manrara tweeted earlier this week: “Wow!!! @mrjakedwood is the hardest working man EVER! Thank you for your hard work today! New week, new steps, new dance! @bbcstrictly”

She also tweeted on Tuesday: “I nearly lost my face tonight! Our dance this week is a tough one! Good thing I trust @mrjakedwood already! @bbcstrictly #HisNameIsJake”

The snake-hipped Jake and his American-born professional partner appeared on Zoe Ball’s Strictly spin-off show It Takes Two on Friday, after impressing in the first of last weekend’s two live Strictly shows.

The twinkle-toed talent from Tewin successfully swapped Albert Square for the Strictly Come Dancing ballroom last Friday night.

After performing a “terrific” tango to Britney Spears hit Toxic, Jake topped the first live show leaderboard with 28 points.

That proved to be the second best of the 15 celebrities over the first SCD2014 weekend, with only Frankie Bridge scoring more with partner Kevin Clifton in last Saturday’s programme with 30 points.

Judge Craig Revel Horwood told Jake, who plays Walford lothario Max Branning in the BBC One soap: “I’m impressed, actually.

“You are one to watch, definitely.”

Fellow judge Len Goodman critiqued: “You danced it well, it had spirit, I thought it was terrific.”

The other male celebrities on Strictly this season are MasterChef presenter Gregg Wallace, BBC Radio 1 DJ Scott Mills, Blue singer Simon Webbe, ex-Towie star Mark Wright, BAFTA Award-winning naturalist Steve Backshall, former rugby player Thom Evans and antiques expert Tim Wonnacott.

This Morning’s showbiz reporter Alison Hammond, TV presenter Caroline Flack, Mrs Brown’s Boys star Jennifer Gibney, tennis coach Judy Murray, singer Pixie Lott and Casualty actress Sunetra Sarker complete this year’s sparkling line-up of celebrities.

Tonight’s dances and songs are:

* Alison Hammond and Aljaz Skorjanec will be performing the Foxtrot to ‘I Just Wanna Make Love To You’ by Etta James.

* Caroline Flack and Pasha Kovalev will be performing the Tango to ‘Blame’ by Calvin Harris and John Newman.

* Frankie Bridge and Kevin Clifton will be performing the Charleston to the Happy Days theme.

* Gregg Wallace and Aliona Vilani will be performing the Charleston to ‘Hey Good Looking’ by Ray Charles.

* Jake Wood and Janette Manrara will be performing the Salsa to ‘Mambo No 5’ by Lou Bega.

* Jennifer Gibney and Tristan McManus will be performing the Waltz to ‘Natural Woman’ by Aretha Franklin.

* Judy Murray and Anton Du Beke will be performing the Cha Cha to ‘She’s a Lady’ by Tom Jones.

* Mark Wright and Karen Hauer will be performing the American Smooth to ‘I’m Yours’ by Jason Mraz!

* Pixie Lott and Trent Whiddon will be performing the Waltz to ‘Come Away With Me’ by Norah Jones.

* Scott Mills and Joanne Clifton will be performing the Tango to ‘Stop’ by the Spice Girls.

* Simon Webbe and Kristina Rihanoff will be performing the Tango to ‘Sing’ by Ed Sheeran.

* Steve Backshall and Ola Jordan will be performing the Cha Cha to ‘Treasure’ by Bruno Mars.

* Sunetra Sarker and Brendan Cole will be performing the Cha Cha to “Million Dollar Bill” by Whitney Houston.

* Thom Evans and Iveta Lukosiute will be performing the Salsa to ‘Hot Hot Hot’ by Arrow.

* Tim Wonnacott and Natalie Lowe will performing the Waltz to ‘When You Wish Upon a Star’.

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