The Blackpool title card from Strictly Come Dancing

Fresh Strictly curse hits as only two couples who’ve topped the leaderboard in Blackpool went on to life the Glitterball

Beware celebrating those 40s, Class of 2023…

It’s finally Blackpool weekend for this year’s Strictly stars – but while the stars may have been itching for the judges to reach for their 10 paddles, any celebrations may have been a little hasty…

That’s because every year the stars of the show that make it to Blackpool run the risk of falling foul of a secret Strictly curse. And throughout the show’s 20-year history, only two couples have been able to survive it.

What is the curse you say? Well, only two couples who topped the leaderboard during Blackpool weekend have actually won the Glitterball trophy.

Layton Williams and Nikita Kuzmin on Strictly
Layton and Nikita impressed the judges (Credit: BBC)

There’s a new Strictly Blackpool curse in town – but some have escaped it

The first celebrity to break the curse was Jill Halfpenny in 2004. She topped the leaderboard in Blackpool, when the season finale was held in the iconic Tower Ballroom, and also won the Glitterball trophy. The only other person was Kelvin Fletcher 15 years later in 2019.

He danced at Blackpool with Oti Mabuse, topping the leaderboard, and later lifted that season’s trophy with her.

Last weekend, Layton Williams and Nikita Kuzmin found themselves at the top of the leaderboard. Right behind them were Ellie Leach and Vito Coppola. Both couples have been killing the competition each week and are considered front runners.

After predictions that Layton would receive his first score of 40 this weekend, William Hill spokesperson Lee Phelps revealed how this could impact their fate.

“The captivating allure of Blackpool comes with a historical twist. Despite the excitement surrounding Layton’s potential leaderboard-topping performance, it’s essential to note that only two out of the 19 top scorers in the Blackpool specials have gone on to claim the ultimate victory in the series,” he said.

“While Layton may shine bright on the Blackpool stage on Saturday, the history of the show reminds us that this accolade doesn’t always pave the way to lifting the coveted Glitterball trophy. The ‘Blackpool Curse’ lingers as an unwanted dance partner for Layton as the business end of the show approaches,” Lee continued.

Ellie Leach and Vito Copolla on Strictly
Ellie and Vito are the bookies favourite to win (Credit: BBC)

Could Ellie and Vito take home the Glitterball trophy?

Currently, Ellie and Vito are the bookies favourite to win. However, last year, Fleur East was paired with Vito and topped the leaderboard during Blackpool weekend. And, spoiler alert, they didn’t win.

Perhaps it’s best if Craig keeps his 10 paddle to himself in future…

Read more: Strictly: Ellie and Vito ‘full of passion for one another’, claims body language expert, after pro dancer ‘confirmed’ romance

Ellie Leach and Vito Coppola Rumba to True Colours by Cyndi Lauper ✨ BBC Strictly 2023

Head to our Facebook page @EntertainmentDailyFix and let us know what you think of this story.

Fabio Magnocavallo
Freelance Writer