'Strictly Come Dancing': Which professional dancer has the most wins?

·8-min read
Programme Name: Strictly Come Dancing 2021 - TX: 18/09/2021 - Episode: Strictly Come Dancing - Launch Show (No. n/a) - Picture Shows:  The Strictly Come Dancing Professional Dancers - (C) BBC - Photographer: Guy Levy
Strictly Come Dancing professionals open 2021 series (BBC)

Strictly Come Dancing is officially underway with the celebs partnered up and hitting the rehearsal studios ahead of their competition debut on Saturday.

The BBC dancing series has been a household favourite since it first launched back in 2004, and as its popularity grew, so did the fight for the glitterball.

Read more: James Jordan: Unvaccinated dancers don't deserve to be on 'Strictly'

To date, only two professionals have won the show more than once, and some pros have made it to the finals numerous times before falling at the final hurdle.

Watch: Who are the judges on Strictly 2021?

Notably, Kevin Clifton — who left the show after the 2019 series — made it to five finals before finally being crowned the winner alongside Stacey Dooley.

He’s also the only professional to get the trophy in the main competition, as well as the Children in Need and Christmas specials.

So out of this year’s participants, who has the best credentials?

Here’s a full breakdown of their achievements on the show to date.

Oti Mabuse

Oti Mabuse, Bill Bailey - (C) BBC - Photographer: Guy Levy
Bill Bailey and Oti Mabuse won Strictly Come Dancing 2020 (BBC)

Joined series in 2015

Number of Wins: Two

Number of Finals: Three

Now in her sixth year, Oti Mabuse made Strictly history in 2020 by becoming the first professional to get two consecutive wins. In fact, the only other pro to get two wins at all was Aliona Vilani who left the show in 2015.

The first was with Emmerdale’s Kelvin Fletcher in 2019, who was a last-minute replacement for Jaime Laing who injured his foot while performing the first group dance routine.

Read more: 'Strictly's' Motsi Mabuse says TV stardom is a childhood dream come true

Thankfully he was a natural and the pair became firm favourites by the end of their first performance together.

The second was with Bill Bailey last year, with the comedian also the oldest competitor to win the show.

She came close to a win with Hollyoaks Danny Mac, coming in second place in 2016.

Aljaz Skorjanec

Joined series in 2013

Number of Wins: One

Number of Finals: Two

Aljaz made his mark early on in the competition by taking home the win in his first year with Abbey Clancey.

But in the seven years since, he’s only made it to one other final: the 2017 finals with Gemma Atkinson.

The pair were runners up, being beaten by Joe McFadden and Katya Jones.

This year, he’s with Dragons’ Den star, Sara Davies.

Katya Jones

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - JANUARY 15: Mike Bushell and Katya Jones during the Strictly Come Dancing Arena Tour 2020 photocall at Arena Birmingham on January 15, 2020 in Birmingham, England.  (Photo by Katja Ogrin/Redferns)
Mike Bushell and Katya Jones during the Strictly Come Dancing Arena Tour 2020 photocall (Katja Ogrin/Redferns)

Joined series in 2016

Number of Wins: One

Number of Finals: One

Katya Jones soared to victory in her second year of the competition with Casualty star Joe McFadden back in 2017.

While she has only entered the finals once, she is also the creator of some of the most iconic routines to ever hit the Strictly dancefloor.

This includes the Ed Balls 'Gangnam Style' dance, and becoming half of the show’s first-ever same-sex pairing with Nicola Adams last year.

Unfortunately, they were forced to withdraw after Jones tested positive for coronavirus.

Giovanni Pernice

Giovanni Pernice has made it to three finals - but can he score a win this year? (BBC)
Giovanni Pernice has made it to three finals - but can he score a win this year? (BBC)

Joined series in 2015

Number of Wins: None

Number of Finals: Three

‘Italian Stallion’ Giovanni Pernice is another star who makes it to the final often, but not to the actual glitterball.

Out of his six partners so far, he has become runner-up three times: with Georgia May Foote, Debbie McGee and Faye Tozer.

Read more: Craig Revel Horwood says there's room for Bruno Tonioli and Anton Du Beke on 'Strictly' panel

He placed fifth last year with Good Morning Britain’s Ranvir Singh.

This year, he’s with Eastenders’ Rose Ayling-Ellis, the first-ever deaf contestant on the show.

Gorka Marquez

Programme Name: Strictly Come Dancing 2021 - TX: n/a - Episode: Strictly Come Dancing - Generics (No. n/a) - Picture Shows:  Gorka Marquez, Katie McGlynn - (C) BBC - Photographer: Ray Burmiston
Gorka Marquez with 'Strictly' 2021 partner, Katie McGlynn (BBC)

Joined series in 2016

Number of Wins: None

Number of Finals: Two

Gorka Marquez has competed four out of the five possible years he was part of the show’s cast, missing out on a partner in 2018.

But his record is quite impressive, making it to the finals 50% of the time he’s been eligible.

He was runner-up with X Factor’s Alexandra Burke in 2017, and again last year with Eastenders’ Maisie Smith.

This year, he’s partnered with another soap star, Corrie and Hollyoaks actress, Katie McGlynn.

Dianne Buswell

Programme Name: Strictly Come Dancing 2021 - TX: 18/09/2021 - Episode: Strictly Come Dancing - Launch Show (No. n/a) - Picture Shows:  Dianne Buswell - (C) BBC - Photographer: Guy Levy
Dianne Buswell has been a 'Strictly' professional since 2017 (BBC)

Joined series in 2017

Number of Wins: None

Number of Finals: One

In her second year, Dianne Buswell placed runner-up on Strictly with now-boyfriend, Joe Sugg.

However, despite getting a series of strong performers and favourites, this is the only time she entered the finals.

Most notable was with DJ Dev Griffin in 2019, when they became third to leave the show despite averaging a score of 30 throughout their time together.

She’s with Robert Webb in this year’s battle.

Amy Dowden

Amy Dowden was diagnosed with Crohn's disease in her teens. (BBC)
Amy Dowden has made it to one 'Strictly' final before (BBC)

Joined series in 2017

Number of Wins: None

Number of Finals: One

Amy Dowden has been partnered up with four celebrities, making it to the final once.

She nearly made it to the glitterball trophy in 2019 when she competed with Karim Zeroual.

Her 2018 partner, Danny John-Jules, was praised as a prolific dancer, but the pair came eighth following rumours John-Jules had clashes with crew members, and Dowden, behind-the-scenes. It’s something both Dowden and John-Jules have denied.

This year, she’ll be joined on the dancefloor by McFly’s Tom Fletcher.

Karen Hauer

Joined series in 2012

Number of Wins: None

Number of Finals: One

Karen Hauer is a firm favourite on the Strictly dancefloor thanks to her high energy routines, but when it comes to the competition she hasn’t had much luck.

She’s reached the finals once: partnering with Jaime Laing last year after her returned to the competition following his 2019 injury.

However, she’s come close to the finale twice before: placing fourth with Mark Wright in 2014, and then again with comedian Chris Ramsay in 2019.

Nadiya Bychkova

The Strictly Come Dancing professional dancers Nadiya Bychkova - (C) BBC - Photographer: Guy Levy
'Strictly Come Dancing' professional Nadiya Bychkova (BBC)

Joined series in 2017

Number of Wins: None

Number of Finals: None

Nadiya Bychkova is a two-time World and European Champion, but unfortunately this hasn’t transferred over to the Strictly ballroom.

Partnered with BBC Breakfast star Dan Walker this year, hopefully she’ll have more luck.

Competing in four out of the five possible series she was eligible for, her partners have David James, Lee Ryan and Davood Ghadami.

Johannes Radebe

Programme Name: Strictly Come Dancing 2021 - TX: 18/09/2021 - Episode: Strictly Come Dancing - Launch Show (No. n/a) - Picture Shows:  John Whaite, Johannes Radebe - (C) BBC - Photographer: Guy Levy
Johannes Radebe and John Whaite are the first male same-sex couple in 'Strictly' history (BBC)

Joined series in 2018

Number of Wins: None

Number of Finals: None

South African star Johannes didn’t compete in his first year on the show, participating as a support dancer and reserve.

As a result, he’s only been given two previous shots at the glitterball.

Read more: Piers Morgan mocks Dan Walker over Strictly's lowest launch ratings ever

He placed 11th with Catherine Tyldesley in 2019, and 8th with Caroline Quentin in 2020.

Now, he’s making history with the show’s first all-male couple, dancing with John Whaite in this year’s competition.

Third time lucky?

Graziano Di Prima

Programme Name: Strictly Come Dancing 2021 - TX: n/a - Episode: Strictly Come Dancing - Generics (No. n/a) - Picture Shows:  Judi Love, Graziano Di Prima - (C) BBc - Photographer: Ray Burmiston
Graziano Di Prima with 2021 partner, Judi Love (BBC)

Joined series in 2018

Number of Wins: None

Number of Finals: None

Despite being a fan favourite, this year is only the second time Graziano has participated as a professional partner.

He danced with DJ Vick Hope in 2019, but they placed 12th.

In the past, his lack of dance partner has been attributed to his height making it difficult to pair him up.

This year, he’s dancing with Loose Women star Vick Hope.

Neil Jones

Programme Name: Strictly Come Dancing 2021 - TX: n/a - Episode: Strictly Come Dancing - Generics (No. n/a) - Picture Shows:  Neil Jones, Nina Wadia - (C) BBc - Photographer: Ray Burmiston
Neil Jones has only officially competed once before (BBC)

Joined series in 2016

Number of Wins: None

Number of Finals: None

Neil Jones has been a long-time support and reserve star on Strictly, often helping choreograph routines. However, before this year he has only competed once before.

He placed fifth with Alex Scott.

This time, he’s partnered up with Eastenders’ Nina Wadia.

Nancy Xu

Programme Name: Strictly Come Dancing 2021 - TX: n/a - Episode: Strictly Come Dancing - Generics (No. n/a) - Picture Shows:  Nancy Xu, Rhys Stephenson - (C) BBC - Photographer: Ray Burmiston
Nancy Xu has finally been given a shot at the glitterball this year (BBC)

Joined series in 2019

Number of Wins: None

Number of Finals: None

Nancy has been a frequent face of the supporting and reserve cast, but this is the first year she’s been given the chance to compete.

She’ll be dancing with CBBC presenter Rhys Stephenson.

Nikita Kuzmin

Programme Name: Strictly Come Dancing 2021 - TX: n/a - Episode: Strictly Come Dancing - Generics (No. n/a) - Picture Shows:  Tilly Ramsay, Nikita Kuzmin - (C) BBC - Photographer: Ray Burmiston
Nikita is in his first year of the competition (BBC)

Joined series in 2021

Number of Wins: None

Number of Finals: None

Another newbie to the line-up, Nikita Kuzmin is partnered with Tilly Ramsay this year.

Previously, he featured in one year of German’s version of the show, Let’s Dance, where he was the second to be eliminated.

So jury is still out on how well he could do on Strictly.

Kai Widdrington

Joined series in 2021

Kai Widdrington is one of the four newcomers to this year’s competition, but while he’s new to Strictly, he has four years of experience thanks to Dancing With The Stars: Ireland.

While part of DWTS, he made it to the finals twice, coming second both times with his pro partners.

Can he bring his good luck to the British ballroom?

Strictly Come Dancing continues Saturday on BBC One.

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