Micheal Wentink on Strictly Come Dancing, 'beef' with Ashish, Khanyi Mbau and more
Micheal Wentink comes off as quite strict as a judge on Strictly Come Dancing. Michael, who's a professional dancer and adjudicator, spoke to us about being on the show, his career and shed some light into his alleged beef with Strictly contestant Ashish Gangapersad.
ON BEING A JUDGE
I absolutely love being a judge on the show. I thoroughly enjoy the quality, production, exceptional team at Rapid Blue and the entertainment aspect. Having judged some of the continent's best and most reputable professional dancers at the Annual World Championships makes the analysing and judging easy.
SO, WHAT HAPPENED WITH KHANYI?
Of course, not everyone agrees on some of his decisions on the show. Michael angered some people after deciding not to keep Khanyi Mbau on the show. Khanyi was an early favourite and was an "obvious" winner according to most people. "Khanyi was a very unfortunate night. She certainly had star quality. However, the dance-off was based purely on spark and John Mametsa undeniably lit the dance floor. He left his heart and soul on the floor and delivered a heart wrenching performance. It was simply fair play."
WHAT'S UP WITH ASHISH?
Oh, and who could forget Michael's alleged beef with Ashish. The former Isidingo actor admitted that they haven't seen eye to eye since the start. He said he feels like it's a direct hit on him, because Michael hasn't had a positive thing to say about his performances. Michael, however, said he is completely professional when it comes to his work. "When you sign up to be on a reality TV dance show, judged by dance experts, its black and white honest feedback based purely on the dancing. I do not know any of the celebs personally. My 'beef' with Ashish is based purely on dance credibility. I judge what I see."
HE'S NOT A MEANIE ALL THE TIME...
The 'hard to please' judge you see on screen is not who Michael completely is. "Don’t be surprised to see me in a baseball cap and sneakers on any given day, and don’t be afraid to come over and say hi," says Michael, who stared dancing at a very young age. Some of his career highlights include being in the World championship in Berlin, being the undefeated South African, British open, United Kingdom, US open and international, Spanish open, Vienna, Swiss, German, French, Slovakia, Bratslaviand Italian open Champion. He's also a fashion designer!
His advice to young dancers: "Follow you heart, for it would never deceive you. If you have a passion for dancing, embrace it, live it, love it, and don’t allow anyone tell you you’ll never make it."