Jay McGuiness

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Jay McGuiness
Jay McGuiness 2012.jpg
McGuiness in 2012
Background information
Birth name James McGuiness
Born (1990-07-24) 24 July 1990 (age 26)
Origin Newark, Nottinghamshire, England
Genres Pop
  • Singer
  • songwriter
  • dancer
Years active 2009–present
Associated acts The Wanted

James "Jay" McGuiness (born 24 July 1990) is a British singer, songwriter and dancer, best known as a vocalist with boy band The Wanted. On 19 December 2015, partnered with Aliona Vilani, he won the 13th series of BBC's Strictly Come Dancing.

Early life[edit]

McGuiness grew up in Newark, Nottinghamshire,[1] and attended All Saints RC School, Mansfield.[2] He has a twin brother, Thomas,[3] and three other siblings.

From the age of 12, he pursued his love of performing by attending the Charlotte Hamilton School of Dance in Newark. As his love for the performing arts grew he attended the prestigious Midlands Academy of Dance and Drama in Carlton near Nottingham.[4]


On 10 September 2014 McGuiness hosted a charity event in New York City, benefitting the UK's Children's Bereavement Centre, put together by Seek Sounds Music, with Ollie Marland and Cassio Monroe also performing.[5]

In June 2015 he was in the studio with Shytown Music and was brushing up on his dancing skills.[citation needed]

Strictly Come Dancing[edit]

On 24 August 2015, McGuiness was confirmed as a celebrity contestant in the BBC's Strictly Come Dancing. He was partnered with professional dancer Aliona Vilani.[6][7] In the third week of competition, he was awarded a total of 37 points out of 40, the highest week 3 score in the history of the competition, for his jive. He also received the first 10 of the series. In week 6, he danced an American Smooth to "Li'l Red Riding Hood" by Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs and scored 34, putting him in second place by only one point.[8] In week 10 he danced a tango to "When Doves Cry" by Prince and scored 38. In Week 11 he danced a rumba to "Falling Slowly", from the musical Once, and scored 39, putting him at the top. In the semi-final his Charleston scored 37. In the final, on 19 December 2015, the couple danced a Quickstep to "My Generation" by The Who, scoring 36, a showdance to "Can't Feel My Face" by The Weeknd, scoring 35, and a Pasodoble to "It's My Life" by Bon Jovi, scoring 39. In the public vote the couple were voted the series winners, gaining the Glitterball trophy.[9]

Strictly Come Dancing performances
Week # Dance/Song Judges' scores Total Result
Revel Horwood Bussell Goodman Tonioli
1 Cha-Cha-Cha / "Reach Out, I'll Be There" 5 8 7 7 27 No Elimination
2 Waltz / "See the Day" 7 8 8 8 31 Safe
3 Jive / "Misirlou/You Never Can Tell" 9 9 9 10 37 Safe
4 Quickstep / "My Generation" 5 7 6 7 25 Safe
5 Paso Doble / "It's My Life" 8 9 8 8 33 Safe
6 American Smooth / "Li'l Red Riding Hood" 8 9 8 9 34 Safe
7 Argentine Tango / "Diferente" 8 9 8 9 34 Safe
8 Foxtrot / "Lay Me Down" 6 8 8 8 30 Safe
9 Salsa / "Cuba" (Gibson Brothers song) 9 9 9 9 36 Safe
10 Tango / "When Doves Cry" 9 10 9 10 38 Safe
Quickstep-athon / "Sing, Sing, Sing" Awarded 3 Extra Points 41
11 Rumba / "Falling Slowly" 9 10 10 10 39 Safe
12 Viennese Waltz / "Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman?" 8 9 8 9 34 Safe
Charleston / "Doctor Jazz" 9 9 9 10 37
13 Quickstep / "My Generation" 9 9 9 9 36 Winner
Showdance / "Can't Feel My Face" 8 9 9 9 35
Paso Doble / "It's My Life" 9 10 10 10 39

Personal life[edit]

McGuiness is a vegetarian and was named PETA's Sexiest Male Vegetarian in 2013.[10] He can play the drums. He discovered The Wanted by Googling 'auditions' and getting two results, one for a circus and one for the band.[11][12] Images appeared on social media sites, purporting to show him naked on webcam. This was strongly denied by his lawyers, however, who said the images were not McGuiness "for many reasons".[13]


Year Title Role Notes
2013 Chasing the Saturdays Himself Guest role; #DeepFriedSats
The Wanted Life Himself 7 episodes
2015 Strictly Come Dancing Contestant Reality show
2016 Big: the musical Josh Baskin Musical show


Preceded by
Caroline Flack and Pasha Kovalev
Strictly Come Dancing Champion
(with partner Aliona Vilani)

Series 13 (2015)
Succeeded by