'You were like a frog!': Olympian Greg Rutherford blows the Strictly judges away as he tops the leaderboard... after he threatened to QUIT the show
He recently revealed he was close to quitting Strictly Come Dancing after struggling to keep up with his fellow contestants.
But Greg Rutherford surpassed all expectations during Friday night's show as he found himself topping the leaderboard with professional dance partner Natalie Lowe after blowing the judges away with his jive.
The 29-year-old Olympian was overwhelmed after his energetic routine was praised by the panel, and was lost for words after discovering he'd scored an impressive 27 points.
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Dancing duo: Greg Rutherford surpassed all expectations during Friday night's show as he found himself topping the leaderboard with professional dance partner Natalie Lowe
Head judge Len Goodman told him: 'It was as good as we’ve seen tonight, 100 per cent. You came out there, you gave it full on, a great attack.
'But you’re a really good dancer and I’m looking forward to seeing it.
Bruno added: 'By the way it looks, Greg could go all the way. That’s what I mean by giving it welly. I loved it. I’m telling you, you have talent. I really loved watching you.'
Cha cha charming: The 29-year-old Olympian was overwhelmed after his energetic routine was praised by the panel, and was lost for words after discovering he'd scored 27 points
Quick-stepping all over town: The Olympian seemed to surprise himself with his moves
But the compliment of the night came from Darcey Bussell who quipped: 'you were like some blue frog,' adding that he was 'built to jive.'
The long jumper had certainly showed off his jumping skills during the routine, seamlessly leaping over Natalie's head during the dance to a wild applause from the audience.
He finished the night in joint top place alongside Ore Oduba and Joanne Clifton, but there are still nine couples yet to perform.
Off he goes! The long jumper had certainly showed off his jumping skills during the routine, seamlessly leaping over Natalie's head during the dance to a wild applause from the audience
His routine came after the star revealed he was so intimidated by his fellow celebrity contestants that he nearly quit the series during early training.
He told The Sun: 'On our first group training day, I had a complete meltdown. Everyone else was doing so great, picking everything up.'
The long jumper also confessed that he wouldn't have returned to rehearsals if it weren't for his professional partner Natalie Lowe.
Whip it! Greg threw Natalie around the dance floor with flourish
Cheeky! A nervous looking Greg stuck his tongue out as he descended the iconic stairs
He said: 'Everyone is so good, so it does worry me. Natalie found me hiding in another room and literally hauled me back to the dance class.'
But despite having his reservations, the athlete explained that now was the perfect time for him to compete on the show as he takes a break during the athletics off-season.
He reasoned: 'If I wasn’t doing Strictly I’d just be getting fat, so I thought the time was right. They’d asked me since 2013. I’m really enjoying it.'
Jumping out: Greg recently revealed he was left so intimidated by his fellow celebrity contestants on Strictly Come Dancing that he nearly quit the series
Supportive partner: The long jumper also confessed that he wouldn't have returned to rehearsals if it weren't for his professional dance partner
Leaping into it: Despite having his reservations, the athlete explained that now was the perfect time for him to compete on Strictly as he takes a break during the athletics off-season
Greg's concerns about his fellow contestants were understandable, as many of the celebrities have dance backgrounds.
I'm Outta Love singer Anastacia started out as a dancer on Club MTV and appeared in videos including Salt-n-Pepa's Twist and Shout.
Former child actor Melvin Odoom, 36, boasts a degree in media performance and has taught children to dance.
Meanwhile, Daisy Lowe, 27, showed off her fancy footwork in Miles Kane's Come Closer music video.
A BBC spokesperson defended the claims, telling MailOnline: 'Strictly Come Dancing is a Latin and Ballroom based competition and these contestants have not had any formal training in these areas.'
Waltz on by: Greg will take to the dance floor over the weekend
The news comes after The Sun revealed that Will Young , 37, had taken ballet lessons for over a decade.
A source said: 'Strictly Come Dancing is about teaching celebrities a new skill, but some of them have a distinct advantage and have been dancing for years.'
'OK they might not have done ballroom before but they know the dance terms, they know about keeping time, they are good at performing and they are used to learning routines.'
Strictly Come Dancing airs on BBC One this Friday at 9pm, and again on Saturday at 6:30pm.
No rest for the wicked: Greg has been put through his paces by Natalie as they've torn up the dance floor in rehearsals
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-3804874/You-like-frog-Olympian-Greg-Rutherford-blows-Strictly-judges-away-tops-leaderboard-threatened-QUIT-show.html#ixzz4L7ZkKiKy
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