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29 October 2014
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Bruno Tonioli


Team Bruno



Bruno Tonioli




Derek Hough


Vocal coach:


CeCe Sammy


Bruno is best known today as a television personality both here and across the Atlantic, working as a judge on BBC One's smash hit series Strictly Come Dancing and its American version, Dancing With The Stars. He is also a choreographer and has choreographed on countless films, plays, music videos, commercials, concerts and TV shows.


He has worked with international superstars including Michael Jackson, Freddie Mercury, Tina Turner and Sir Paul McCartney and spent five years choreographing routines for Bananarama.


Bruno on what he's looking for


Bruno wants viewers to follow the dancers' journeys throughout the series. He says: "Until now, we've only ever seen dancers who are already polished on TV. This is going to be a very intensive training period and I want the viewers to see how much hard work and dedication is needed to make it as a dancer. I'm looking for a rough diamond to polish – I want potential, not perfection. I don't want people who want to be famous for the sake of it. I want passion and sexiness. To me, sexy is not knowing you're sexy. People trying too hard is a total turn-off. There’s nothing more off-putting than fake pouting."


On Arlene


Bruno and Arlene became instant friends when Bruno was attracted by her "straightforward, driven and matter of fact" manner. Since then they've remained close, both professionally and socially.


Bruno says: "We have totally contrasting personalities and very different views on how to achieve our goals. I see people's strengths and work to them, whereas Arlene knows exactly what she wants and tries to mould people into that. We both want the best but have different views on how to get there."


On the contestants


The auditions saw Lycra-clad people turn up in their thousands. Bruno wants the viewers to see the highs and lows of the dancers' journeys. "You’ll see these dancers when they do well but also when they get it wrong – warts and all," he says. "When you throw singing into the equation, everything can change in an instant."


He continues: "We've had some wonderful, passionate dancers and singers but also some real characters. You'll see what I mean when you watch the show."


On winning


At this stage, Bruno is reluctant to give away any of his game plan for beating Arlene, in case she tries to prepare a counteroffensive. So, for now, his strategy for victory is strictly under wraps.


However, he does expect fireworks on the dance floor. "Already we have had a few arguments because we have wanted to put different people through," he says. "When we argue, the pitch of her voice gets higher and higher until only dogs can hear her! We both have very strong ideas of what we’re looking for but, once the decision is made, we put it behind us and get on with the next task."


Derek Hough – choreographer, Team Bruno


At only 22 years old, Derek is the youngest member of the team, but, what he lacks in age, he makes up for in experience as a highly talented dancer and choreographer. By the age of 18, Derek was the Latin American world champion and went on to star in the lead role of Footloose.


Derek is really excited about taking part in DanceX, but admits it's going to be a challenge. He says: "All the dancers will be from different backgrounds and abilities – my job will be to exploit each dancer’s individual strength and make them shine."


Having worked with Bruno on the US Show Dancing With The Stars, he adds: "Bruno’s great fun to work with, but I think I'll see a real difference in him on DanceX. This time it's personal and he's determined to bring his vision to life and win the show”.


CeCe Sammy – vocal coach, Team Bruno


CeCe is best known as a judge on the smash hit BBC celebrity duet show, Just The Two Of Us. She is one of the UK's leading vocal coaches and has worked with stars ranging from Will Young and Gareth Gates to Russell Watson and S Club.


CeCe is very impressed with the overall talent she's encountered so far. However, she realises that there is a long and challenging road ahead.


The biggest challenge for CeCe is going to be convincing the dancers that they can be singers, too. "People tend to put themselves into boxes," she explains. "These guys have always seen themselves first and foremost as dancers. When they're singing, they’re out of their comfort zone because suddenly they’re doing something new. It's going to be tough for them to make the psychological change."


But CeCe predicts that it is precisely because the stakes are so high and the challenge ahead is so great that the show will be compulsive viewing. She says: "There is going to be a lot of emotion in this show – a lot of laughter and a lot of tears!"



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