Strictly’s Nadiya ‘feels awkward’ with Dan Walker as he ‘stops himself from going for it’

Strictly: Dan Walker sends thank you message to ‘amazing’ wife

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Dan Walker is set to perform the Cha Cha with Nadiya Bychkova on Saturday’s instalment of Strictly Come Dancing. The BBC Breakfast presenter has struggled to shake off criticism from the judges, telling viewers he felt “gutted” after making a mistake during his Foxtrot rendition of Sleeping Beauty. Ahead of the fourth week of the competition, body language expert Darren Stanton said he felt the star “stops himself from really going for it”. 

Dan, who has been fitting his Strictly training around his BBC Breakfast role, will be performing the Cha Cha to Can’t Touch This by MC Hammer on Saturday night. 

But will he be able to impress the judges and score highly enough to make it through to the next round of the intense competition?

Ahead of Saturday’s show, Betfair Casino teamed up with leading body language expert Darren, who has run through the competitors’ chances based on how they interact with each other.

He focuses on looking at eye contact, physical affection, facial expressions and gestures to get a well-rounded picture of their relationships. 

He thinks Dan and Nadiya have an odd dynamic which could be preventing the pair from excelling in the BBC competition. 

Darren explained: “This is quite a strange dynamic because Nadiya is a tactile person, but I think she feels awkward at times with Dan.

“I feel he stops himself from really going for it because he’s worried about how he’ll be perceived. 

“If he actually lets go and allows Nadia to push him even more, I think they could do much better.”

He felt Dan has been having “some kind of mental blockage” in respect of his nerves and anxiety which he could see “seeping” through his body language responses. 

Dan’s journey to Strictly didn’t have the easiest start, with the presenter having to rest for a few days before the show even started after injuring himself during training. 

Since his first live performance, the star has received criticism for his technique, although head judge Shirley Ballas told Dan not to be so hard on himself last week. 

Dance partner Nadiya has also shown her support for Dan and has even spent time getting to know his family. 

Mr Stanton continued: “Nadiya really likes Dan, it’s clear from how she is touchy-feely and warm with him and sometimes she looks at him in ways that are not reciprocated by Dan, much to her regret.

“I think Nadiya has pushed him as far as he can go and it appears like he’s reached his peak. 

“I’m predicting Dan will be the next one out of the competition unless something drastic changes.”

Dan and Nadiya managed to avoid the dance-off last week after coming 13th on the leaderboard. 

The pair failed to win over the judges with their Sleeping Beauty inspired routine but they seemed to have been a hit with viewers as they were given a pass to dance in week four of the competition. 

Dan’s fellow competitors Katie McGlynn and Judi Love, were in the firing line to be booted off the show and he was “gutted” for them.

Although the judges said both couples had improved three of the four chose to save the Loose Woman star, meaning Katie and her professional partner, Gorka Marquez, were sent home.

Strictly Come Dancing continues on BBC One on Saturday night.

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