Diversity star and The Greatest Dancer host Jordan Banjo on the final four dance acts, his own dancing hero and memories of BGT…
After breaking through the mirrored wall at the auditions and impressing at the live challenge shows, just four dance acts remain to battle it out for the title of The Greatest Dancer 2019.
If anyone knows about talent show finals it’s The Greatest Dancer co-host Jordan Banjo. In 2009, he and older brother Ashley, 30, won Britain’s Got Talent with street-dance crew Diversity – beating hot favourite Susan Boyle!
As the final four acts prepare to dance their way to winning a £50,000 cash prize and the chance to perform on Strictly Come Dancing, Jordan, 26, has some sounds advice on how they can make it all the way…
What’s it been like hosting The Greatest Dancer, alongside Alesha Dixon?
"Well, there hasn’t been any pressure on me to dance, which has been nice for once. At the auditions, I really enjoyed sitting with the friends and family of the acts and just watching loads of talented people dance. Usually with these shows there’s a clear front-runner. But, even as a dancer myself, I really don’t know who’s gonna win!"
What tips would you give to the final four acts?
"The dancers need to remember that the reason the mirror opened at their first audition was because they connected with the audience. Certainly make the performance ‘bigger’ as it’s the final but don’t lose who you are or change things too much. Just be yourself and do what you do."
Can you believe it’s been 10 years since you won Britain’s Got Talent with Diversity?
"No! It’s crazy. It makes me feel old. I’m sat here, a couple of injuries deep, surgery on my knees, wondering what’s happened to me..."
What’s your standout memory of the BGT final?
"The atmosphere at the BGT final was tense. It seemed like all of Britain was watching, so we really felt the pressure. I remember all of Diversity standing on stage at the end and, when hosts Ant and Dec revealed that saxophonist Julian Smith had come third, we all started high-fiving and hugging, thinking second place was great – as far as we were concerned NOBODY was beating Susan Boyle! It’s only when I saw a few of the boys fall to the floor and start crying that it dawned on me we’d actually won! I can assure you, no one was more shocked than us that night."
What advice would you give to kids who want to take up dancing but might not know how to get into it?
"I think the thing that stops a lot of people, and it certainly stopped me at first, is a lack of confidence. When I teach, I always tell my students, don’t be afraid to mess up; you’re here to learn, so if you mess up, good, just keep learning. As Diversity, we’re lucky enough to perform in arenas and do sell-out tours and we mess up all the time. So if I could give one piece of advice it’s don’t let not being confident hold you back. I’ve been dancing properly for over 15 years now and even I still get nervous. You’ve just got to do it!"
Diversity has a 10th anniversary tour this year. Did you ever think you’d achieve all you have after winning BGT?
"I was a grumpy, pessimistic 16-year-old when we did BGT and I had no idea we’d still be here 10 years on. I believe it’s down to people connecting with us and appreciating what we do. But I don’t think you can ever be complacent. As Diversity, we know there are always new street-dance crews out there who are hungry to be where we are. So we’ve got to keep working hard and thinking ahead."
Finally, who do you think is the greatest dancer ever?
"He’ll probably hate me for saying this but that would have to be my brother Ashley. He’s helped me with everything from dancing to TV presenting to advising me on getting my first mortgage. Ash is a kid from Essex, who’s been teaching dance since he was 12 and who built Diversity from the ground up. For me, he’s the greatest dancer."
The Greatest Dancer final can be seen on Saturday February 23 at 7.10pm.
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