Strictly's Kai Widdrington performs show in

Strictly's Kai Widdrington performs show in Southampton

Strictly professionals and real-life partners Kai Widdrington and Nadiya Bychkova brought glitz and glamour to Southampton on Sunday night.

The Mayflower was packed with adoring Strictly fans (and their partners who, as Kai said, would probably rather be watching the Euros) to see the dynamic duo close their Behind the Magic tour in the city.

Widdrington, who hails from Chandler’s Ford, has long dreamt of performing on the stage of his hometown.

And it proved to be an emotional night for him as he thanked his family and former Toynbee School teachers, all of whom were in the audience.

I expected nothing short of powerful, passionate, and entertaining – and that is what the pair delivered in abundance.

(Image: Terry Blackburn)

I will start off by saying this – Kai’s hips deserve more airtime on Strictly.

The opening number was an energetic display of dance and showbusiness – and serious hip action. He is under-utilised in that department.

Throughout the show I thought Nadiya was electric on the dancefloor. Watching her perform on TV certainly does not do her justice, you can’t help but watch her.

The chemistry between the pair is undeniable – when dancing and offering well-timed quips to the audience between sections, both putting their presenting skills to the test.

I am certain that Kai is destined for a long and successful career on stage and screen as his showmanship shone brightly throughout. Move over, Anton Du Beke.

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For me, the homage to Hollywood in the first half of the show was a standout moment.

I felt as though I had been transported to the “golden age” as Kai described it, watching in awe as Nadiya, Kai, and their six talented dancers whizzed around the stage.

The six dancers were given ample time to shine throughout the performance and were a real credit to both Nadiya and Kai. I look forward to when the Strictly producers come knocking (they would be foolish not to).

The dancers, split into three pairs, really got to wow the audience during a ‘TV inspired segment’ of the show – basically a recreation of Strictly. Three audience members were brought up on stage and had to pick which of the three pairs’ dances was the best.

Although this concept was not my favourite part of the show, I enjoyed seeing the impressive skills of the six dancers.

But I feel like Strictly could have been honoured in a more traditional way (perhaps a group ballroom number?) because after all, we’re here to see people dance, not recreate a TV show.

(Image: Terry Blackburn)

The second half was equally as entertaining and enjoyable, but perhaps lacked the initial punch seen in the first half.

But this was redeemed by a spectacular performance of Smooth Criminal by Nadiya and Kai who cleverly incorporated elements of Argentine Tango in the performance. It was mesmerising.

This kept the powerful pace going for a showstopping final performance to The Show Must Go On by Queen, which left both my mum and I with goosebumps.

Kai and Nadiya were simply spellbinding during this number, and I want to watch it over and over again.

At its heart, this show is a joyful celebration of dance and all its magic, hardships, trials and tribulations, and most importantly, fun.

The last night of the tour ended with a bang – and a Saints shirt.

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