BBC Strictly judge Craig Revel Horwood admits he didn’t think Layton Williams would make it to final

Strictly Come Dancing's Craig Revel Horwood has admitted that he didn't think that Bad Education star, Layton Williams, would end up in this year's final.

The 58 year old, who has been a judge on the show since its inception back in 2004, revealed the reason he thought Layton wouldn't go all the way was because of his background in professional dancing and performance. Rather, he thought Layton's West End stints may have hindered him, rather than helped him.

To recap, before landing a place on Strictly, Layton was known for his slew of musical theatre roles, having bagged lead parts in Billy Elliot the Musical, Thriller – Live, Hairspray the Musical, Rent, and most recently, Everybody's Talking About Jamie.

However, despite also being professionally trained at prestigious performing arts institutions – the Sylvia Young Theatre School and the Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts – Craig expressed that "mostly great dancers don't do well on the show."

While speaking to Strictly presenter Claudia Winkleman on her BBC Radio 2 show with fellow judge Motsi Mabuse, Craig also recalled his first impressions of Layton.

"I could see he could dance but he was in heels, and I remember thinking 'wow I think he's good but will he get to the final? Probably not.'"

This statement – along with "great dancers" not doing well – isn't a reflection on Layton's skills. Instead, it's to do with professional dancers often receiving criticism and backlash over their prior training, with viewers claiming such contestants have an 'unfair advantage' over other celebs.

But Layton – who also received a perfect score of 40 for his Charleston with partner Nikita Kuzmin in last week's semi finals – hasn't let trolls, or being in the bottom two, get him down.

Over the past few months, Layton has been posting snaps from his Strictly journey, plus positive and inspirational captions to his Instagram.

One particularly poignant post saw Layton and Nikita glammed up in their dancing gear, alongside the caption: "Dancing on prime time TV with @nikita__kuzmin being authentically me is inspiring others. It drowns out all the trolls, outrage and bigotry. Keep doing YOU."

Of course, plenty of supporters flocked to the comment section to gush over the snaps and express how proud they are of Layton.

"You being you on Strictly is so important, empowering and inspiring. For all those out there who see you and see themselves," one person penned, as a second said: "I absolutely adore you two! You create magic on the dancefloor."

A third typed: "You are completely wonderful!! Keep going darling," while a fourth added: "Watching you both dance is an incredible experience every time! Thank you for inspiring us to be our authentic selves."

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