Why Cheryl will ‘struggle to prove herself’ as a judge on The Greatest Dancer

Even before Cheryl’s new BBC show The Greatest Dancer debuted on TV, the former X Factor star’s place on the judging panel proved controversial.

Dancing On Ice judge Jason Gardiner hit out at Cheryl’s "questionable" credentials and, sadly for Cheryl, viewers watching the first show at the weekend appeared to agree with him as she was "over-shined" by fellow judges Oti Mabuse and Matthew Morrison.

The concept, which saw dancers perform behind a mirror which lifted if they received enough votes from the audience, was also heavily criticised and prompted viewers to switch over to ITV rival The Voice .

Here’s what body language expert Judi James made of her appearance on the BBC show…

Why Cheryl will 'struggle to prove herself' as a judge on The Greatest Dancer

(Image: BBC/Syco/Thames/Tom Dymond)

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While Cheryl might have peaked with her elegant, A-lister appearances on the X Factor she might find herself struggling to establish her status as a judge on The Greatest Dancer.

She’s by far the biggest star on the show but she’s also upstaged and outflanked by fellow judges Oti and Matthew, whose exuberant body language rituals left her sitting slightly self-diminished or even slumped over the desk by the end of the show.

This new show is all about making the contrived look spontaneous and even the audience seem primed to provide Gogglebox style ‘live’ commentary as the contestants gyrate on stage.

Why Cheryl will 'struggle to prove herself' as a judge on The Greatest Dancer

(Image: BBC/Syco/Thames/Tom Dymond)

Cheryl kicked off in ‘fun’ mode by gawping at a dancer’s six pack before lying back in her chair with her hand behind her head to suggest maximum appreciation and then standing in her seat in the style of Bruno Tonioli, hiking her pants up before bursting into over-congruent applause.

The problem for Cheryl is that anything she does Oti does with interest. Screaming, calling out, jumping on stage and even standing up on her seat to register appreciation for an act, Oti does it first and she does it bigger.

Why Cheryl will 'struggle to prove herself' as a judge on The Greatest Dancer

Cheryl’s £199 earrings were compared to chopsticks
(Image: BBC)

Oti got the first tears streaming down her cheeks and Oti even shouted out comments while Cheryl was talking.

There were times when the spatial gap between Cheryl and Matthew and Oti seemed huge, with Cheryl looking like the senior judge but also like a leading super-celeb who needs to put the newbies in their place.

She did seem to be looking at Oti from the corners of her eyes at times and it will be interesting to see how long she allows the very extrovert, exuberant Strictly star to upstage her on this show.

*The Greatest Dancer airs Saturdays at 8pm on BBC One

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