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60 second chat with... Jennifer Grey

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BBC Strictly Nora | 14:25 UK time, Saturday, 5 November 2011

It takes a pretty special person to stand-in for Len Goodman on the judges table. Step forward Jennifer Grey who as Champion of Dancing with The Stars and Dirty Dancing royalty, will score our 10 remaining couples tonight...

Online presenter Nikki Dean managed to squeeze in a chat with Jennifer just before she took to her judging duties...

Jennifer Grey and Nikki Dean

Jennifer Grey with Nicki Dean

Everyone has their favourite line from Dirty Dancing what's yours?

It has to be... "There are no books in Johnny's room"

Have you ever done the 'Time of Your Life Dance' since the film?

I never really did the dance after the film and the first time I ever did the lift was on the set that day and I never did it again - I just did the one take.

I've had the time of my life is one of the most popular first dance songs at weddings, what song did you do your first dance to?

(Sings) 'Baby, now that I've found you...' (laughs) I have to sing it to myself, it was 'Now that I've found you' by The Foundations.

Moving onto Strictly, which of the male professional dancers would you most like to dance with?

Pasha looks good, I've been concentrating so much on the contestants but I think he looks pretty good. He's about my size and he looks very fiery and his choreography is good.

When it comes to dancing who is your biggest inspiration?

I was really just blown away by Derek (Hough) and his dancing and I just wanted to live up to his previous partner, which was Nicole Scherzinger and it was just painful every time I saw one of her dances because I just thought 'How did that happen? How did she get there?'

Well of course you went on to win Dancing with the Stars with Derek and have starred in arguably the biggest dance movie ever, what career ambitions do you have left to achieve?

I have so many career achievements that I must do before I die, but I do know that I want to create a place where everybody can dance and experience the joy of dancing so I'm working on a project at the moment.

Can you give us any more details?

Next year (smiles)!

What was you favourite Dancing With The Stars moment?

I feel like the beginning was the best as the pressure hadn't gotten so intense that it became a misery. It's almost like there's cycles and the beginning was like the honeymoon phase, we're like 'this is so incredible I get to dance hours every day and I get to learn all these great dances' you have three weeks to learn basics of one dance. All of a sudden you're learning two dances a week with only three or four days to learn a whole routine. I was not into the pressure and learning things immediately as I'm a really slow study

When I was doing the Argentine tango that was one of the most painful weeks in rehearsal and the outcome was so exceptional that that was a real high for me.

How did it feel when you won Dancing with the Stars?

Winning at the end was amazing but I had ruptured a disc the night before in my freestyle so I was in the hospital the morning that I won in the operating room. I still had marks from the oxygen tubes on my face when I was in make up so I was a little like a zombie when I went out there. It was a little bit lacking what you think it might be as I think I was just running on fumes.

What would your advice be to this year's Strictly contestants having been on the journey yourself?

Go for it, push yourself, break out of the pack, look after your health and do nothing else. Nothing! Just dance and eat and sleep and dance and eat and sleep.

Have you kept up the dancing since?

I wish, no I have not but there's nearly no place to do it.

How are Strictly judges Len and Bruno perceived by American audiences on Dancing With The Stars?

They are beloved. They love booing Len and they scream with laughter at the hilarity of Bruno, I think they just love the show - they just love all of the bits of it.

And finally, who's your tip to win this year's Strictly?

I think Jason has a great shot, I think harry has a great shot, I think Holly has a great shot and I think Chelsee is the dark horse. As soon as she's done with Waterloo Road and can really devote herself to just dancing I think they're all going to really just look to their laurels.


  • Comment number 1.

    I thought she was really nice to all the couples but probably scored higher than Len would have done in the same situations. I think some people may possibly be brought down with a bit of a bump next week! Love Jennifer though! She's awesome!!! :D

  • Comment number 2.

    Couldn't agree more. The loud, deep voiced "SEVEEEEENN " for Russell was brilliant. She'd been storing that one up !! Got it off to a tee. We even had the typical Len fidgeting and face pulling while he's getting ready to mark.

    What a sport.

    PERFECT !! .........more please.....

    Oh and......

    Brucie haters . Please leave Brucie alone. Does anyone realise how difficult it is to front that show week after week - LIVE ? Trying to move the show on. Putting in the jokes and patter. Looking after and calming the dancers .Watching the time. Your directors shouting instructions in your ear .Frightening .Some seasoned actors REFUSE to do live theatre work because of stage fright. Only an expert like Bruce could pull it off. And SURELY people must be aware that he doesn't write the jokes (which I personally like - they make me laugh - so there ) Probably not risky enough for some peoples tastes ?

    They ARE aware aren't they ?? !!

    Good series though. Not really a real duffer amongst 'em. Good luck to them all....... but...... keep voting for the BEST and it'll be OK.

  • Comment number 3.

    What a lovely lady , can't believe she is 51 years old . Reading of all the problems she had with disc trouble and cancer she is a marvel how much energy and grace she put into Dancing with the Stars and seems such a genuine person , not the loud Americans we have had on similar shows
    who simply want to reflect " I am the one " I enjoyed very much Dirty Dancing and the electricity that came across between her and Patrick Swayze
    seeing her in Britain and maturing into a beautiful , balance mother
    full of enthusiasm has captured another life long fan .

    Please come to these shores more often Jennifer you are an ambassador
    for America

    Jim G. Reading

  • Comment number 4.

    i thought jennifer overmarked a bit.....and that really deep scoring voice was just weird....part from thatshe was really cheerful and smiley!!! :)

  • Comment number 5.

    did she have cancer?.....aaw gd 4 her!!! ...i mean shes done really well for someone whos tackled cancer!!!

  • Comment number 6.

    Did she really need cue cards - even for the 'Baby in the corner' line?

  • Comment number 7.

    Ref the deep voice. I think it was her own bit of fun with Len who she obviously thinks so much about. I think he will love it when he sees it and take it as a great compliment. I may be wrong but I don't think so.

    Cue cards ? I'm SURE I'd need 'em. You can't be stuttering ,hesitating and forgetting lines on a live , "tight" show like this one.

    Nice lady.

  • Comment number 8.

    Jennifer was a sweetheart!! She did not try to let everyone believe that she knew it all and just made a comment on what she saw infront of her. Alisha on the other hand wants everyone to believe she knows she knows it all. If she had to say..... "as Jennifer said......... " one more time I was screaming at the TV for her to just "keep quiet"!!!!!! She is USELESS and pretends she knows it all. It takes the confidence and maturity of Jennifer with nothing to prove, to show make i so obvious that Alisha does NOT belong on the show!!!!! She was TRYING so hard, without success, to prove that she knew something, having SO much, TOO much to say............. all rubbish!!!! Well done Jennifer. Loved you!!!! Alisha.......... you really have to GO>>>>>>>>>>>


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