Cynthia Erivo: Who is the star stepping in for Craig Revel Horwood on Strictly?

Cynthia Erivo

Strictly's Craig Revel Horwood is forced to miss Saturday's show and tune in from home after testing positive with Covid as scoring is thrown into chaos.

Strictly Come Dancing (opens in new tab) judge Craig Revel Horwood will not be taking part in Saturday's show after bosses confirmed he has tested positive with Covid-19 (opens in new tab).

The long-standing judge, who has been on the panel since the show started back in 2004, will have to tune in to the show from his sofa to see how the remaining contestants get on this week for musicals week.

Stepping into his seat for one week only is Cynthia Erivo—star of the West End and Broadway. Plus winner of an Oscar, Tony and Emmy Award.

While a Strictly crisis has been averted with Cynthia joining the judging panel for Musicals Week, the US star has reportedly been given a "cheat sheet" by TV bosses to ensure things run smoothly.

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According to The Sun, a TV insider revealed, "They are giving her in-depth notes about the dancers and how they have performed previously.

“She is a professional but judging a dancing competition is pretty left-field for her.”

Although she may need a helping hand when it comes to the contestants' previous performances, Cynthia is thrilled nonetheless to be making a guest appearance.

“I’m so delighted to be joining the Strictly judging panel for Musicals Week," she admitted. “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.”

It's not the first Covid scare to hit the show - previously contestants Tom Fletcher and Judi Love have also both missed a show (opens in new tab) after testing positive for coronavirus.

A Strictly spokeswoman said, "Craig Revel Horwood has tested positive for Covid-19 and is now self-isolating following the latest government guidelines. While Craig will not be taking part in Strictly Come Dancing this weekend, all being well he will return the following week."

Rylan, host of Strictly Spin-Off show It Takes Two (opens in new tab) on BBC 2, wished Craig well. He said, "We are sending you all our love and we can't wait to see you, really soon."

With harsh-scoring Craig absent from the show this week, fans are already anticipating a shake-up of contestants when it comes to who will be in the bottom two.

There are seven couples still remaining in the contest, including favourites Rose Ayling-Ellis and Giovanni Pernice (opens in new tab).

One viewer tweeted, 'Craig Revel Horwood has tested positive for Covid and won’t be in this Saturday’s #StrictlyComeDancing that should make who goes interesting.'

Another tweeted, 'Craig Revel Horwood to miss Strictly after positive Covid test. He hasn’t issued a statement on his vax status yet.' After reports of rows over some contestants not having had the vaccines but it is not known who has or hasn't had theirs.

And a third fan tweeted, '@bbcstrictly with news about Craig Revel Horwood testing positive for covid (hope you get better soon Craig) any chance you could replace him with @The_JamesJordan …..he would be a fab replacement #strictly #strictlyjudgereplacement.'

Strictly Come Dancing airs on BBC One, Saturday at 6.40pm and Sunday's results show is 7.20pm

Selina Maycock
Senior Entertainment Writer

Selina is a Senior Entertainment Writer with more than 15 years of experience in newspapers and magazines. She currently looks after all things Entertainment for, Woman&Home, and My Imperfect Life. Before joining Future Publishing, Selina graduated from the University of Sheffield in 2006 with a degree in Journalism. She is fully NCTJ and NCE qualified and has 100wpm shorthand. When she's not interviewing celebrities you can find her exploring new countryside walking routes, catching up with friends over good food, or making memories.