Strictly 2012: Kristina Rihanoff backs Kimberley Walsh to win
Strictly 2012 Kristina Rihanoff backs Kimberley Walsh to win
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This year’s series of Strictly Come Dancing is a bumper year for celebrity talent.
Denise Van Outen, Louis Smith and Kimberley Walsh have all been setting the dance floor on fire with their respective partners, but Strictly pro Kristina Rihanoff has put her money on who she thinks will walk away with the Glitterball trophy.
The Russian dancer told The Sun: “I think Kimberley Walsh has it all - she’s very popular, very talented and so, so nice.
“She definitely has the potential because she and Pasha are a very good match.”
Kristina also revealed who has the biggest ego on Strictly - and surprisingly it wasn’t Jerry Hall, but Victoria Pendleton’s partner Brendan Cole.
She admitted: “I do love him - I’m not saying that in a bad way. We’re all friends. But him and James [Jordan] make great banter.”
Although celebrities are known for being vain, the 35-year-old confessed that it’s actually her or professional dancer Natalie Lowe who take the longest to get ready.
The ballroom expert said: “We’re always doing last-second touch-ups to make-up and stuff.”
The dancer also told The Sun that all of the women on the show regularly get bombarded with fan mail and presents.
Kristina revealed: "I think all the girls on Strictly get some naughty things sent.
"You get good with bad, and naughty and nice. You can’t complain because I love my job and people are appreciating you for your skills after all.
"Male tweets say things like they want to take me out. There is a fan club and they send me a good-luck card and that’s really special - it is handmade and they find the time to take little cut-outs from the newspaper and glue it together."
In the 2009 series of the BBC show, Kristina was partnered with professional boxer Joe Calzaghe and love blossomed between the pair.
This series she's dancing with actor Colin Salmon, but the petite blonde says that “trust is very important” for them both and Joe doesn’t feel threatened by her dancing up close and personal with another man.
She explained: “With Joe’s support I can do my job even better because I know he is there and he wants me to do well. If he wasn’t there I think I’d feel very uncomfortable.”
Asked for her thoughts on whether any other celebrity contestants are likely to hook up with their partners, Kristina told The Sun: “It depends how the relationships unravel and how the chemistry develops.
“You have to wait until the rhumba and salsa, then you can sense who is getting together.
“It brings a little bit of romance to people’s life.”