Strictly Come Dancing 2012: Craig Revel Horwood praises Denise Van Outen

Denise Van Outen (Strictly Come Dancing)

Craig Revel Horwood has been gushing about "spectacular" Strictly Come Dancing contestant Denise Van Outen.

Denise has topped the judges' leaderboard for the past four weeks, scoring the first tens of the series back at Wembley.

Speaking on It Takes Two, Craig said of the West End performer: "Denise is spectacular. She's able to marry the technique with the acting," said Horwood.

"She's very, very special."

But despite Craig's kind words, he's the only judge yet to award Denise a ten.

He explained: "It wasn't a 10 for me because it didn't say wow. I have to be completely literally gobsmacked.

"A 10 has to represent your point of perfection. If I can see something or think of something that could be done better, then it won't get top marks.

"I know people think that's harsh, but that's judging."

Denise is now the favourite to win the show after overtaking Louis Smith, who scored his lowest score of the series on Saturday night.

Craig said of the Olympian's performance: “I think he needed a little bit more arch and to be in character and acting the dance. It’s really important at this time not to just be technical, he needs to tell a story and play a character.

“He was in character at the start but it absolutely fell to the floor by the end.”

This week Strictly Come Dancing is on Saturday 1st December at 6.50pm with the results show on Sunday 2nd December at 7.20pm on BBC One and BBC One HD.

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