Adam Thomas hugging Luba Mushtuk in front of Strictly logo

Strictly pro launches attack on Luba Mushtuk over first dance with Adam Thomas: ‘It’s not his fault’

Not mincing his words!

Strictly pro Brendan Cole has criticised Luba Mushtuk following her first dance with celeb partner Adam Thomas.

Last weekend’s week one show saw Adam and Luba perform a cha cha cha to Waffle House by the Jonas Brothers. They received 19 points out of 40.

Offering his critique, Brendan said he didn’t like the choreography choice and thinks Luba “needs to do better”.

Adam Thomas and Luba Mushtuk on Strictly
Brendan Cole has criticised Adam and Luba’s routine (Credit: BBC)

Brendan Cole on Strictly week one

Speaking to Sky Bingo, Brendan said of Adam and Luba‘s performance: “I didn’t like the set to start the show. I mean, that could be production intervening and going, ‘we want this’, but for me it lacked, it seemed like an average routine.

I thought it was an average looking number for somebody who should be quite fun to watch.

“It was opening the show so that was kind of odd. I was pleased to watch him because he’s really nice to watch, but at the end, it was kind of dull, but I don’t think it’s his fault.

“I think he could do really, really well, but it’s going to take some very clever stuff between them to make it right.”

Brendan Cole smiling at the Chelsea Flower Show
Brendan Cole said he didn’t like the choreography choice (Credit:

Meanwhile, Brendan said it’s Luba’s first year as a pro. He continued: “She has been on the show for many years, she’s always been in the background doing stuff with the choreographic team, and she’s been an extra obviously within the programme, as I’ve danced with her many times.

“She’s a great dancer, so she should be really good, but I just didn’t think that was a strong enough start for the show.

“So many things come into it – quite often you don’t get the music choice you want because production want you to do a certain thing. They’ll want a certain set look and if they’re not your ideas, then it can be really quite frustrating, and so you don’t get the best out of the pro.”

Brendan added: “I thought it was an average looking number for somebody who should be quite fun to watch.”

Adam Thomas dancing with Luba Mushtuk on Strictly
The judges seemed to like the performance (Credit: BBC)

What did the judges think?

On Saturday night (September 23), the judges shared their feedback for Adam and Luba. Head judge Shirley Ballas told them: “Beautiful personality. Fantastic coordination. But what I do love between the two of you is this overwhelming chemistry.”

Read more: Giovanni Pernice’s Strictly co-stars swoon as pro debuts new look: ‘We like it, we’re here for it’

Craig Revel Horwood added: “I thought it was a little bit sloppy all over. You actually got out of time midway through. But one good thing, your hips are actually there.

“They need a lot more work but they’re there so well done.”

Strictly continues this Saturday (September 30) from 6:20pm on BBC One and BBC iPlayer. 

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Rebecca Carter
Associate Editor (News)