Cindy Nell is a South African model and television presenter best known for winning the 2002 Miss South Africa pageant and being second runner-up in the Miss Universe 2003 pageant, and for co-hosting the SABC2 Afrikaans magazine show Pasella.
She was one of the celebrity contestants on the fifth season of the SABC2 reality dance competition Strictly Come Dancing, from September to December, 2008. Her professional dance partner was Jonathan Broadway.
Cindy is also one of South Africa's most popular and experienced model and pageant judges. She has judged hundreds of competitions ranging from School Pageants to Miss South Africa.
She has over a decade of Pageant experience and strings of titles (approximately 74) to go with that. Some of her titles include:
S.A. Model of the Year
Miss Million Dollar Runner up
Miss Intercontinental S.A.
Miss Intercontinental World Runner up
QC Girl International Model S.A.
QC Girl International Model of the World Runner up
Miss Universe Runner-up
Cindy models at fashion shows all around the country, for upcoming designers to established labels. She was spokesperson for DETOL trust for aids with Media in 2003 and also the VEET legs model and face of 2003.
She was the 2005 face and spokes model for SAHARA Computers campaign including billboards, print, events and appearances. She also did an advertising campaign for the American company Bright Smile, who have included in her portfolio work with swimsuit and underwear brands.
Her hobbies include yoga, skydiving and traveling.
Cindy was one of the celebrity contestants on M-Net's Survivor South Africa: Santa Carolina, in 2010.
In 2014 she was a presenter on the SABC3 reality competition and lifestyle series Win a Home.
Strictly Come Dancing
Cindy's Strictly Come Dancing 5 Blog
Cindy was one of the 10 celebrity contestants in the fifth season of SABC2's Strictly Come Dancing reality competition, in 2008. Her coach and partner was Jonathan Broadway.
The first two weeks of the competition were non-elimination rounds, with the judges scoring dances by the male celebrities in Week 1 and the female celebrities in Week 2.
In Episode 3 - the first elimination episode - Cindy and Jonathan scored 23/40 for their Rumba, which was sassy and scintillating, but as with her other performances Cindy's timing was an issue for the panel of judges.
Their score placed them in the middle of the pack and the couple were safe from the dance-off after the viewer round of voting.
In Week 4 the couple scored one better (24/40) but with the overall standard improving they were placed third from last.
Dressed in a romantic, midnight blue velvet gown with diamanté detail, Cindy and partner Jonathan were the first to strut their stuff, after she left even the notoriously bitchy Tyrone Watkins speechless after the previous week's performance.
The judges however agreed the performance was passionless and without the character the style (Tango) requires. Tyrone suggested that Cindy attack the competition (and her partner) to get more out of it.
In the fifth episode Cindy and Jonathan hit their straps, scoring 29/40 for their Paso Doble which placed them joint second with Hlubi Mboya and Khutso Khunou.
Cindy expressed anger at the fact that the judges seem to be always “giving the pretty girl flack”.
However, she and Jonathan managed to redeem themselves with a turnaround performance, just dramatic enough and still paying attention to the technical detail. Powerful music from Star Wars accompanied striking theatrical choreography.
In Week 6 Cindy and Jonathan scored 27/40 for their Samba, but Cindy was once again out of time and criticised for not including enough hip action, typical of the dance.
Salome Sechele pleaded for her to stretch herself even further during the competition, but also said that their simplistic routine and her feathery pink outfit was a crafty choice that succeeded in masking their mistakes.
In Episode 7 Cindy graced the floor in a dashing red gown and strategically chose an Afrikaans number (Randall Wicomb's “Dans met die Rooi Rok”) to accompany her competent effort.
Lilian Phororo liked her beautiful posture and it was a successful dance, also considering her nerves were shot before entering the Ballroom.
The couple scored 28/40, which put them well clear of the dance-off.
Episode 8 was the first occasion where the final five were expected to bring two flawless attempts to the dance floor, from a selection of styles chosen from the Latin and Ballroom genres.
Cindy and Jonathan danced the Waltz and the Quickstep, scoring 29 and 30 for a total of 59/80, good enough for third place.
Garth Collins and Hayley Bennett were eliminated from the show but reinstated the following day after a computer error was detected. Nobody was thus eliminated in Episode 8.
In Episode 9 there were three couples in the dance-off: Cindy and Jonathan, Garth and Hayley and Anele Mdoda and Brandon Eilers Le Riche.
The judges unanimously chose to keep Cindy and Jonathan in the competition, thereby eliminating Anele and Brandon along with Garth and Hayley. The judges' reasons were as follows:
Tyrone Watkins: Cindy (“When the chips were down, she went home and worked”)
Salome Sechele: Cindy (for her clean, clear and complete dancing)
Dave Campbell: Cindy (for still not showing their full potential)
Head judge Lilian did not have to exercise her deciding vote. Cindy and Jonathan therefore joined Rob van Vuuren and Mary Martin, and Tessa van Duuren and Grant Esterhuizen in the season finale.
In the finale, Cindy and Jonathan's Quickstep was just short of good enough and saw them being eliminated from this final round after the Ballroom dances. Although they scored 34/40 they were still only third out of three.
Viewer voting was not enough to save them and they were eliminated, coming third, on 4 December, 2008.
STRICTLY COME DANCING 5 GALLERY