30 September 2017'Inspirational' Jonnie Peacock praised for dancing with his blade on Strictly
Paralympian Jonnie Peacock has been hailed as an “inspiration” by Strictly Come Dancing viewers for dancing with his blade.
The athlete, 24, did a fast-paced jive to Chuck Berry’s Johnny B Goode with professional dancer Oti Mabuse, and was given high praise from the judges for his technique.
Peacock, who is the first disabled contestant to appear on the BBC One show, was told by head judge Shirley Ballas: “You may have thought it was tough on the blade, but your kicks and flicks were outstanding.
“You were able to manoeuvre, it was fantastic.”
Bruno Tonioli said that “if it looks good, it feels good”, and Darcey Bussell commended Peacock on his stamina and boldness with the “extra details”.
Craig Revel Horwood said: “There was a slight hesitation on the back-step on the blade, you know that, don’t you darling?”
The judge added that Peacock’s upper body needs to have as much “focus and energy” as his legs, but said overall he thought it was “brilliant”.
Peacock was given a score of 29 points from the judges which, combined with his 20 from last week, has put him in sixth place on the leaderboard with a total of 49.
Viewers took to Twitter to praise the sports star on his dance and for using his blade, rather than the prosthetic leg he used on the first week of Strictly.
The Last Leg presenter Adam Hills, who was born without a right foot, said: “I’ve never been prouder of anyone more than @JonniePeacock after that dance on #Strictly. Well done @OtiMabuse too.”
He added: “I’m actually in tears.”
The official Paralympics GB Twitter account shared its admiration for Peacock, describing him as “amazing”.
Elsewhere, one viewer wrote: “Loving a bit of #strictly this evening. Jonnie Peacock is my new hero, such an inspiration!”
Another added: “Jonnie Peacock doing the jive was quite inspirational. What an effort! #Strictly.”
“Inspired by Jonnie Peacock how amazing was that Jive!! #strictly,” one said, while another remarked that he should win the show “if only for doing the jive on his blade”.
Peacock, who won gold at the 2012 Summer Paralympics and again in 2016 in the T44 100 metres event, contracted meningitis aged five and had his right leg amputated below the knee.
He recently said he was taking part in Strictly to “try to change some of those stigmas” around his disability.