I’ve got a real crush on Davina McCall…she’s one hot momma, says The Masked Dancer judge Oti Mabuse
SHE is set to hog the limelight as the new panelist on The Masked Dancer, but Oti Mabuse says she’s quite happy to be in the shadow of her sexy co-star Davina McCall.
The two-time Strictly Come Dancing champ has joined the team of celebrity guessers on the Masked Singer spin-off, which launches tonight on ITV.
While Oti, 30, should just be scrutinising the stars on stage disguised in odd outfits, she seems equally captivated by Davina, 53.
She said: “I’ve got such a girl crush on her. I call her ‘Hot momma’ because she is hot. Her body — oh my God — is absolutely insane. She’s such an inspiration. She looks amazing.
“To see someone like her, with her mind and her body and being so successful — that’s what I want. She’s beautiful, she’s super sweet and she does everything for women her age because she’s so fit physically.
“I really admire her. One day, if I still have a career on TV shows, I’d like to be her. She’s a great role model. Sure, she’s had her ups and downs but that’s only made her sweeter.”
The new show sees Davina, chat show host Jonathan Ross, 60, and funnyman Mo Gilligan, 33, joined by Oti — as their fellow Masked Singer panellist Rita Ora, 30, was unavailable due to her busy schedule.
‘It will be amazing’
And since Oti became part of the team, she and Davina seem to have formed a unique bond. Oti says: “I fell in love with Davina — and Mo and Jonathan, of course.”
Dishy Davina will have some competition from the Strictly dancer, although Oti insists she doesn’t stand a chance against the former Big Brother presenter.
Oti said: “Obviously I do want to look good and show a different side, because I’m not wearing the Strictly frocks and gowns. Now I’m dressed to be a judge, and I dont think I’m aiming for sexy. I don’t always feel sexy. I don’t think people look at me and say, ‘Oooh she’s sexy!’ Honestly, I don’t.
“With the hair and make-up and an outfit it’s an illusion. But me at home, it’s not something I see at all. If you knew me you’d know I’m the least sexiest person you’ll ever meet.”
If you knew me you’d know I’m the least sexiest person you’ll ever meet.
The four panellists have to work out which stars are under each of the weird outfits as they cut shapes on The Masked Dancer stage. Her fellow judges — and show host Joel Dommett, 35 — may well be looking to Oti as their secret weapon as she has form for spotting disguised celebs on The Masked Singer.
In that ITV show, which is now gearing up for its third series, judges have to identify disguised stars by their voices. Of the second series, which saw singer Joss Stone win as “Sausage” in February, Oti said: “[JLS singer] Aston Merrygold as Robin I got, because obviously he was on Strictly. Some of the songs and some of the clues, I got him the first note he sang.
“Also the size of the person is really important. With Aston in his outfit we could see his size, we could see his legs, his chest. We could see it all. I’ve been to a lot of JLS’s gigs too, and I’m like, ‘Yeah, we know those moves’.”
But she admits she didn’t always guess correctly — and even started going through her contacts book to try to get celebs to admit it was them. Oti said: “I didn’t get Sue Perkins at all. I thought Sue was Michelle Visage.
“I didn’t get Sausage at all, I was convinced it was Stacey Solomon and it was the winner, Joss Stone. And the people that I thought it was, I would text them privately. I was like, ‘I know it’s you, don’t lie to me!’”
But as thrilled as she is to be joining the Masked Dancer panel, when she was contacted by producers she thought she was set to be a contestant. Oti said: “When I first got the call I thought they were just asking me to be one of the characters that were going to dance.
"I thought, ‘Wow! I’m gonna come out as a pancake and it will be amazing’. Then they said they were looking at me for the panel, rather than a dancer. Of course, I wasn’t disappointed, I mean, honestly, it’s less work isn’t it, I’m not going to lie.
“And I think if I was a contestant you’d probably be able to just guess me immediately, wouldn’t you? The clues would be so predictable and I dance in a certain way and I think I’d be so full on, you’d just know it was me.
“Either way, I wanted to do this show because I really am a big fan of The Masked Singer. I really loved it and got into it.”
Fans of Strictly needn’t worry either, because Oti doesn’t have any firm plans to leave the BBC1 dance show just yet.
Despite saying in another interview that the 2021 series would be her last, she insists that’s not the case, even if winning another glitterball would see her score a hat trick — an epic way to bow out.
'One season at a time'
Oti said: “I don’t even know why I said that. I take it one season at a time. I feel like when the time is right, I will know. And there’s a certain period in a dancer’s life when you say, ‘Now is the moment’. But it’s not now.
“I’m not planning on doing this Strictly then leaving, but I don’t know. I’ll take it series by series.”
Although she performed wonders as the pro partner of actor Kelvin Fletcher, 37, and comic Bill Bailey, 56 — Strictly winners in 2019 and 2020 — she is not taking anything for granted when it comes to landing another glitterball.
And she insists winning is not her overall goal. Oti said: “Thats not up to me, remember viewers vote for the celebrity. I’ve been really blessed with my partners, the people I’ve been given.
"They’ve been loved and people have got to know them and they’ve been popular. I honestly fight my hardest so that they feel confident and comfortable.
"That’s all I can control. If I try to think of winning . . . it’s not about that.
“It’s 13 long weeks when you have to get to know this human being and teach them a skill, and I really try to focus on them and them doing good. So you never know.”
- lThe Masked Dancer is on ITV tonight at 7pm and airs every evening, with the final on Saturday June 5.
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