Oscar nominee Cynthia Erivo joins the Strictly judging panel for Musical Week

Oscar nominee Cynthia Erivo will step into Craig Revel Horwood’s shoes this weekend, as she replaces him on the Strictly Come Dancing judging panel.

Craig will be absent from the panel for Musical Week on Saturday night after testing positive for Covid-19.

However, instead of having a three-judge panel, Cynthia will be taking her place on the panel.

The 34-year-old said: ‘I’m so delighted to be joining the Strictly judging panel for Musicals Week. Musicals have a unique place in my heart, it’s such a special way of connecting all art and making it one.

‘I’m excited to bring my experience to the show and I can’t wait to see what the couples have in store this weekend.’

It’s no surprise the BBC chose Cynthia for the spot, considering she has just been cast as Elphaba in the movie adaptation of Wicked, one of the biggest musicals on Broadway and London’s West End.

The actress has also starred in the UK tour of Sister Act and the Broadway tour of The Color Purple, and currently stars as Aretha Franklin in the third series of Genius.

Harriet star Cynthia will be doling out critique and those all-important points alongside Shirley Ballas, Motsi Mabuse and Anton Du Beke.

In the past, stars including Alfonso Ribeiro and Donny Osmond have stood in as guest judges on the show.

This weekend, the remaining celebrities will be dancing routines set to some of the biggest songs in the world of musicals.

Rose Ayling-Ellis and Giovanni Pernice will take on another ice-themed dance with a Quickstep to Love Is An Open Door from Frozen, while AJ Odudu and Kai Widdrington will dance a Waltz to Edelweiss from The Sound Of Music.

Rhys Stephenson and Nancy Zu will be jiving to the theme from Footloose, as Dan Walker takes on the Charleston with Nadiya Bychkova, performing to Good Morning from Singin’ In The Rain.

John Whaite and partner Johannes Radebe will perform a Viennese Waltz to Chim Chim Cher-ee from Mary Poppins, and Tom Fletcher and Amy Dowden will perform their couple’s choice to the weepie On My Own from Les Miserables.

The second couple’s choice of the night will be danced by Tilly Ramsay, who, alongside partner Nikita Kuzman, will dance to Revolting Children from her namesake musical, Matilda.

Strictly’s Musical Week begins at 6.35pm on BBC One on Saturday.

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