As a surprise to fans and her fellow dancers, Oti Mabuse had announced that she was leaving Strictly Come Dancing. She had been thinking about the move for a long time.
Oti had been wanting to try something new, even though she had always loved dancing. Afterwards, she had roles on Steph’s Packed Lunch and as a panellist on The Greatest Dancer and Dancing on Ice. She felt ready to go it alone after that.
When she talks about her new show, Romeo & Duet, she says, “I’m challenging myself, you know? I’m going to learn a duet with these people, and I’m going to do it blindfolded.” I wanted to grow, but I didn’t know how to do that. So that I can do other things, like do a sports show or a dancing show.
“I was on Morning Live. As long as all these things go well, I hope I can do them and show that part of myself at the shows. As a result, I think it was about growing outside of dancing.”
On top of that, Oti says she hasn’t run out of advice since giving up the BBC show. My work with Dermot [O’Leary] was very close to each other. He came in once and taught me how to work with an autocue. He showed me how to read it, how to change it, and so on. I texted him all the time! She has also made a big difference.
Oti also has the support of her husband, a Romanian dancer named Marius Lepure, 39, who she met at a dance audition in Germany in 2014. They married last year.
Wed: Marius and his new wife moved to London together in 2015, and he was part of the Strictly pro line-up for the 2017 show. While he was on the show for only a short time, his wife had a lot of success and became the first professional to win two years in a row. She won with Kelvin Fletcher in 2019 and Bill Bailey the next year, making her the first person to do that.
It’s true that Oti wouldn’t mind having a sing-along with a well-known person.
Endless Love by Luther Vandross and Mariah Carey would be a good choice for a duet if I had to sing one. I’d sing it with someone. When I was a kid, this was a thing. I’d do it with Zac Efron. Now, I don’t really have anyone who I’d say, “Oh, you’re my celebrity crush.” But I do remember that High School Musical was a big hit. I loved that.
During Strictly, the costume team would make the dancers and their celebrity partners look great in their fancy clothes.
A new show won’t let her down. She had so much fun picking out her clothes.
As Oti tells it, “I had a great stylist named Carl, and Amanda Holden and Alex Scott also have stylists named Carl.”
“He came to my house with a whole rack of clothes.” You had to choose a colour that would look good together. That’s another reason I didn’t want to pick a dress that looked so out of place, because the show isn’t about me. It’s all about the contestants.”