Eagle-eyed viewers of last night’s grand final of Strictly Come Dancing have noticed something a little bit strange about Ed Sheeran’s performance.
While most people were asking each other whether Ed Sheeran was actually playing the strangely small guitar he had brought on stage with him, a few fans have spotted that the performance was not actually filmed live.
And in fact, it wasn’t just a pre-recorded song – it was actually filmed last month.
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As Sheeran sung his latest song Bad Habits, professional dancers Aljaz Skorjanec and It Takes Two host Janette Manrara, who are married in real life, performed a routine to the music.
As the camera panned across, at the end of the dance routine, the four judges rose in admiration for Sheeran and the dancers – but there was something not quite right.
For there, in the seat occupied for the live final by judge Motsi Mabuse, was the stand-in judge, musical theatre and film star Cynthia Erivo. Cynthia was applauding wildly along with the other three judges, Craig Revell-Horwood, Shirley Ballas and Anton Du Beke. The camera lingered for just a split second, but it was long enough for some eagle-eyed viewers to realise.
Cynthia stood in first for Craig Revell-Horwood, when he was isolating for Covid, for Week 9 of the competition, on the weekend of November 20 and 21.
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And she returned again the following week, Week 10, when Motsi Mabuse had to self-isolate in Germany for Covid reasons. And it was that week, November 27 and 28, that the Oscar-nominated actress wore the striking shiny red dress and stood in for Motsi.
So while the audience at the live final might well be asked by their friends and family what it was like to see Ed Sheeran perform live – in fact that was pre-recorded and took place last month – something the BBC didn’t mention when it was introduced on Saturday night.
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