Strictly's Nadiya Bychkova vows not to tone down raunchy routines
STRICTLY bombshell Nadiya Bychkova has vowed not to tone down her raunchy routines after claims they led to her being ruled out of last year’s competition.
The professional dancer was devastated when bosses decided not to pair her with a celebrity on the 2020 series, casting her only in the group numbers.
It came after former Playboy model Nadiya, who is engaged to Slovenian footballer Matija Skarabot, was linked to three of her dance partners.
Sources claimed she was sidelined on the BBC show in a bid to guarantee a rare “scandal-free” series while bosses grappled with Covid restrictions.
But as she prepares to return to the main stage this year, Nadiya promised fans her performances will be as steamy as ever, saying: “Why should I do anything different?”
The 31-year-old told The Sun on Sunday: “Last year was a very different experience because I didn’t have a partner. It was difficult.
“The reason I was given was that the run was much shorter and there weren’t as many celebrities.
“I saw the rumours that I wasn’t given a partner because of my flirting. But the thing is, I really haven’t done anything wrong.
CUDDLING IN REHEARSALS
“After so many years on the show, I think everyone should be able to see that the Strictly curse hasn’t hit me or my dance partners.
“So why should I change anything when I haven’t done anything?”
Nadiya, who has been a Strictly regular for four years, was linked with EastEnders actor Davood Ghadami — who she finished in sixth place with in 2017 — and Blue singer Lee Ryan a year later.
In 2019 the rumour mill was fired up again after she and former England goalkeeper David James were pictured cuddling in rehearsals.
She later told The Sun on Sunday the footballer was thrilled their sizzling chemistry had convinced people they were in love.
And this year the Ukrainian star says she wants to create that same chemistry with a female dance partner — if bosses give her the chance.
Last year Strictly pro Katya Jones danced with Olympic boxer Nicola Adams in the show’s first same-sex pairing.
Nadiya hopes she would be considered for a future same-sex duo.
She said: “I’d love to take on that challenge. You would have to create a different chemistry with a woman, but every partner is different anyway.
"I wouldn’t dance with two men in the same way. I don’t say to my partners, ‘Right, this is the way I’m doing it’.
“I work with them. Choreographing a dance with a woman — working out how it looks — would be so interesting and I love to create new things.
“There’s a lot of freedom in it, too, because nobody knows what to expect from you.
“And I don’t know why they wouldn’t do a same-sex pairing again on the show when Katya and Nicola were so successful last year.
“Why not? This year I’ll take a man or a woman. Just any partner.”
Despite being sidelined last season, Nadiya still had to spend ten weeks in isolation in the UK.
There had been fears she would end up stranded in Slovenia, where she lives with her footie star fiancé, and unable to fly back to film the group numbers.
She reveals the separation from Matija and their four-year-old daughter Mila, and being confined to hotel accommodation, was “very tough and confusing”.
Nadiya said: “I’m now used to being stuck in hotel rooms. When the decision was first made that I wouldn’t have a partner, the idea was I’d spend most of my time at home.
"So I spent six weeks in a bubble with the cast filming group numbers then I flew home.
"But 24 hours later I was told to get on a plane and fly back. I was here for another month.
"I was alone in a hotel room and I didn’t know when I would be able to go home or see my daughter again, so it was a lot to deal with. And I didn’t have rehearsals to distract me.
‘I'LL KEEP THEM IN CHECK’
“It was a very tough and confusing time. But I feel very lucky that I have friends here who helped and supported me.
“In my head now, I try to take the best from it. We did some amazing dancing. There were good moments. But I can’t wait for things to get back to normal.
“This past year has taught me a lot about all the things that I’m grateful for, especially my family.”
Nadiya is now preparing to return to the stage at the London Palladium from Tuesday with new production Here Come The Boys, alongside Strictly co-stars Aljaz Skorjanec, Pasha Kovalev, Grazi-ano di Prima and ex-pro Robin Windsor.
And she cannot wait to perform live after months away from the dancefloor, saying the rehearsals have been “electric”.
Nadiya, who wears a sexy nautical uniform during the show, insisted she is not worried about making sure her male co-stars are on their best behaviour. She added: “I will keep them in check, easy — don’t worry about that.
“It’s like all men, a woman turns up and they just fall in line.”
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