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James and Ola Jordan: We're gutted Nicola left, Anton deserves a new role and what we thought of Prince Harry's appearance

Strictly was very different this week...

ola jordan and james column
Nichola Murphy
Nichola MurphyDeputy Lifestyle Editor
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Strictly Come Dancing had a big shakeup this week after Nicola Adams and Katya Jones were forced to pull out of the show and Anton du Beke stepped in for Motsi Mabuse on the judging panel. 

MORE: Prince Harry surprises Strictly fans with TV appearance

Despite all of the changes, former Strictly professionals Ola and James Jordan remained impressed with the celebrities, stating "nearly everyone lifted their game massively."

From Anton's well-deserved judging debut to Prince Harry's surprise appearance, keep reading for James and Ola's Strictly column…

James: Compared to last week, the whole show was ramped up. It was fun and I thought everyone did such a great job but I'm obviously really gutted for Nicola and Katya. We've been told that they're ok but Katya has tested positive for COVID-19 and it's a shame they're out the show now.

WATCH: Anton du Beke discussing what kind of Strictly judge he'd be weeks before his debut

Ola: You only get one chance.

James: I think it's highly unlikely Nicola would be able to return next year.

Ola: It was different with Jamie Laing last year because Nicola has already taken part in the show.

James: It's a hard one. I think Katya was the perfect partner for her, and if she did return I think they'd be crazy not to partner Nicola and Katya together again. 

Ola: They've already made history on Strictly.

James: Absolutely! I think their most memorable performance was their first dance, it was really good. But were they contenders to win? Not really.

Ola: No, they were bottom two last week.

nicola katya

James and Ola were "gutted" to see Nicola and Katya leave the competition due to COVID-19

James: I feel gutted that they're out of the competition under such circumstances. If you leave because people don't vote for you, you can take that on the chin, but it's a real shame.

Ola: But we did get to see Anton's judging debut!

James: I think it's been long overdue. Anton deserves it more than anyone, he's been on the show since day one – as long as Craig, Bruno and Tess. He's the right man for the job!

READ: Shirley Ballas receives surprising gift from Craig Revel Horwood - video

I found it really refreshing having him on the panel. He's so quick-witted and a lovely human being. 

Ola: He's very positive and sometimes you need that. He's been in the position of the dancers and he knows what it's like to receive the feedback.

James: Exactly, he's the only one that's been on both sides so it's nice to have input from someone who knows what it's like. If they don't give him the judging job next year maybe he could join in with the presenting – he deserves another role now.

anton judge strictly

The couple loved Anton's judging debut!

Ola: I loved him on the panel!

James: Moving onto the celebrities, there were lots of 10s. I probably wouldn't have given anyone a 10, and if I was it would go to Bill. I thought Bill was clearly the best of the night and I'm not a fan of the couple's choice. However, it was so good you couldn't help but like it!

Ola: Oti did a fantastic job with the routine and it showed both of their personalities.

James: It was intricate and his timing was impeccable. I thought the whole thing from beginning to end was entertaining and that's what Strictly's all about.

Ola: Bill was outstanding yesterday, the whole thing worked so well together. I suppose seeing someone his age doing so well makes it even better. You expect someone young to be good, but you wouldn't expect him to look so cool in that dance. 

James: He's more than double the age of HRVY. I'll be the first person to put my hands up and admit I thought he was going to be the joke act of the series but he's not, he's actually brilliant!

bill oti strictly

Bill Bailey impressed Ola and James with his couple's choice dance

Ola: Clara also came out of her shell this week – she got two 10s.

James: Amazing! Was it worth two 10s? Absolutely not. Was she amazing? Yes. I said last night: "Welcome to the competition!" It was a massive, massive improvement on her behalf. 

Ola: I really liked her.

James: I think she's going to get better and better. I hope she takes her confidence from that performance through to her other dances. After watching her this week, she could be a contender for the final. 

Ola: It's still too early to say.

RELATED: Strictly fans saying same thing about Anton Du Beke as judge

James: You've got Bill, Maisie and HRVY that I think are better than her, but I have a feeling it's going to be Bill, Maisie and Clara in the final at the moment.

Ola: It always changes week to week. HRVY was nervous this week.

James: I think nearly everyone lifted their game massively. HRVY has been up and down for me but Janette is amazing at the Salsa, and I thought the routine was jam-packed from beginning to end with content and lifts.

clara strictly

Clara "could be a contender for the final", according to James

Ola: He coped with the intricate choreography so well, because it was quite fast.

James: For Janette to put her trust in him to do the lifts, I think both of them were fantastic. 

Ola: Ranvir was also nervous – she knew it wasn't her best dance and you can really tell she's not a natural dancer. She's gone from the top to the bottom of the leaderboard, but she went for it this week!

James: She sold it.

Ola: She gave 150 per cent. Was the technique there? No.

James: She's still doing an amazing job but it was a weak performance – the Cha-cha-cha exposes people that have and haven't had dance training. It's an easy dance to learn but tough to master.

Although she's in trouble I think the public will save her, she has that likeability factor and I love them as a couple. 

Ola: At the bottom of the leaderboard is JJ.

James: The Jive is a tough dance, he had a lot of steps in there and it was quick. I don't know if it's because he had his uniform on and what it means, but I got lost in the theme a little bit. I really enjoyed it! I think the judges were a little tough on him.

strictly prince harry

Prince Harry showed his support for JJ Chalmers during a video call

Ola: Craig gave him a four.

James: I think it was better than that. He was maybe undermarked this week when previously I might have said he was overmarked!

Ola: And Prince Harry made an appearance.

James: I have massive respect for the armed forces and I liked what he was there for. There are a lot of people out there that adore Prince Harry but others may think 'I thought you didn't like the press and now you're on Strictly Come Dancing!' People can take it different ways. Maybe Meghan loves the show!

Ola: Prince Harry was always my choice of partner! I always said when I was on the show that I wanted to dance with Prince Harry. 

So who do you think could leave this week?

James: Ranvir and Max are tied – as soon as there are ties on the leaderboard you know anything can happen. I don't think Ranvir or Max will actually be in the bottom two. I'm going to predict JJ and Caroline.

Ola: Ranvir and JJ are my predictions. 

MORE: Giovanni Pernice sends fans into meltdown with Strictly outfit

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