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'Strictly' judge Craig Revel Horwood has predicted the final three couples

Strictly judge Craig Revel Horwood
Strictly judge Craig Revel Horwood is impressed with this year's couples. (Image credit: BBC)

The competition is getting tougher on Strictly Come Dancing 2021, as we're getting very close to the series final which will see three couples competing to lift the glitterball trophy.

This week it's Week 11, the quarter-final, and there'll be five couples dancing to try and impress the judges and the voting public. Last week, Tilly Ramsay was eliminated from the competition.

Now, Rhys Stephenson, Rose Ayling-Ellis, John Whaite, Dan Walker, and AJ Odudu are all preparing to compete and earn a place in the semi-final.

But who does judge Craig Revel Horwood think will make it all the way to the final? Speaking exclusively to Hello! Magazine, Craig said he thinks Rose, John, and AJ will be the final three this series.

He added: "If I was choosing, that's who it would be. The standard has been so high this year, though — we've never had dancing like it. And there's been no joke act — no Anne Widdicombe, or John Sergeant — it's been fair and square and tough competition."

Craig is known for his brutal honesty on the series, and unfortunately, he had to miss one episode due to Covid. He was temporarily replaced by actress and singer Cynthia Erivo, who returned again as a judge to stand in for Motsi Mabuse.

Craig Revel Horwood with Shirley Ballas and Bruno Tonioli

Craig Revel Horwood has been on the judging panel since its inception in 2004. (Image credit: Getty Images)

It's definitely going to be a tough competition, as couples have consistently impressed judges in this series. Rose Ayling-Ellis and Giovanni Pernice received the earliest perfect score of the series, and there's been 10s all around for other dancers too, so it's clear the judges are impressed with the quality.

Between the judging panel and audience votes, a winner for Strictly Come Dancing 2021 will be crowned very soon. Who will be following in Bill Bailey and Oti Mabuse's footsteps this series? 

Strictly Come Dancing continues Saturday nights on BBC1. For full listings — see our TV guide.

Lucy is a digital writer with, where she writes series guides for must-watch programmes and the latest TV news. Originally from Northumberland, she graduated from Oxford Brookes University in 2016 with a degree in Film Studies and moved to London to begin a career writing about entertainment.

She is also a Rotten Tomatoes approved film critic and has a huge passion for cinema, setting up her own website Lucy Goes to Hollywood in 2017 to review films in her spare time. Her favourite genres are horror, thriller and anything crime related. When she's not writing about film and TV, you'll likely find her playing video games, reading, and trying her hand at podcasting.