So here we are once more, the list has been released and its time for the obsession to begin all over again!
With a varied but rather older line-up than previous years (the youngest contestant being Christine Bleakley at 27) and a whopping 16 contestants, this year's Strictly has already got everyone talking and desperate for September to hit us!
So, here are the partnerships...from the top...
Clover's added her two-cents in PURPLE...
Cherie Lunghi and James Jordan
Well lets face it, its just too much fun to hate James Jordan so when I saw that he had got one of the *ahem* older contestants, I did have a little giggle to myself. Saying that, I have no idea about her capabilities yet so maybe if James has a go at teaching rather than shouting he might be able to get some results.
Cherie who? Sorry, I had to look her up. This partnership will depend on her character more so than her skill. If she works hard then it will go well; if she's merely in it for a laugh (or, heaven forbid, she shows any signs of weakness) then James will eat her for breakfast. Think Georgina Bousova. Poor girl...
Andrew Castle and Ola Jordan
Last year Ola earnt her dues and the audience's approval with the lovely but inept Kenny, so with another sportsman this year she could stand a chance of doing ok. However, we all know GMTV's reputation on this show!
As Frankie says, GMTV presenters have not had much luck on this show...perhaps Andrew Castle can buck the trend. But if not, it will be hilarious! :-D
Christine Bleakley and Matthew Cutler
I don't know why, but I have a hunch about Christine and would like to put her down as the potential dark horse of the series (think Gethin Jones without the see-through shirt), especially with such a good teacher.
What a nice partnership this will be. I suspect she will be fairly good. Which makes me feel it's a little unfair since he had the winner last year...come on, when Darren won he got Gloria Hunniford the year after! Matthew could at least have been given a GMTV presenter ... ;-)
Austin Healey and Erin Boag
I have no idea who he is and I am more concerned about Erin's dodgy new hairstyle! Plus this is 5 out of 6 for sportmen partners for her (although I don't know if i count snooker as a sport)!
Had to look him up too, unfortunately. Rugby players haven't got the fabulous track record that cricketers have had on the show, but they certainly haven't done badly. If Erin can quell the sheer desperate competitiveness that made me hate her and Colin Jackson, we may be about to embark on a jooourney...
Gillan Taylforth and Anton Du Beke
Possibly my favourite choice of partnership! I can see these two getting on like a house on fire and giving us entertainment value all the way. Plus Anton deserves a good partner, lets back these two for a while!
Ah, I'm not so keen on this one. It seems poor Anton is destined never to make the final. He could NEVER win due to his appalling latin dancing, so to pair him up with a potential winner may be a tad unfair on his partner, but he could have got someone better than 'Caff', the ex-Eastender and occasional tabloid fodder...SURELY?
Don Warrington and Lilia Kopylova
Another one I had to google, poor Lilia seems to be bearing the brunt of this year's excess of older men. But as we know, she is a very good teacher so let's keep our fingers crossed for our favourite Russian...
No idea who he was either. Poor Lilia. Last year she suffered the insufferable Dominic Littlewood and now she's got some old guy. I'm hoping for her sake that he's good - you never know. We want the Goughie/Lilia magic back!
Heather Small and Brian Fortuna
Heather no longer has big hair, which will hopefully be rectified by the wardrobe department quickly! I have seen Brian on DWST, but will admit he didn't make much of an impression so there's a big question mark hanging over this couple for me...
Starting with a new pro is rarely a good thing...but we have seen Brian Fortuna (albeit briefly) on BBC1 last summer. I have to admit I have no idea about these two...Heather quite easily could end up suffering the same fate as Gabby or Penny.
Karen Hardy and Gary Rhodes
We love you Karen, pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeease don't go out early! So yes, my hopes aren't particularly high for Gary Rhodes. Its a bit unfounded, but I just don't see many chef skills transferring to dancing, cue jokes about salsa....
I love Karen. She's my favourite pro by far. I'm hoping so much that Gary Rhodes can dance! She's such a star and it was gutting to see her leave first last year.
Jessie Wallace and Darren Bennett
I was very excited when I heard Jessie was appearing on the show, and whilst I still am, I now have concerns about her bad-wig-from-Chicago haircut and the fact that she is dancing with Darren Bennett. I have a completely unfounded and irrational dislike for Mr Beige (aka Matt, as I constantly seem to accidently call him) plus it seems odd to give him yet another Eastenders star!
Frankie is too harsh on Darren - he's a sweetheart! Letitia Dean would never have gone as far in the competition as she did had she been with another partner. However, I suspect this will be a very similar partnership...Darren has danced with half the cast of Eastenders by now...he surely deserves a cameo role on the soap!
John Sargeant and Kristina Rihanoff
Oh dear, new pro dancers normally have to earn their dues with a partner that's expected to be less than spectacular but I do feel Kristina drew the short straw here (I can see Flavia and Jimmy Tarbuck all over again). Saying that, John Sargeant is a lovely bloke and I'm sure he'll do his best for her.
He may get to week two for just being himself but I suspect a jive would kill him. He hasn't got a household name partner to save him either.
Jodie Kidd and Ian Waite
I really feel we have not seen enough of our favourite beanpole in the past couple of years, so I'm hoping he's struck gold this year. It really is unfair that Ian always gets given the tallest woman regardless of how good they are! However, Jodie is both glam and sporty so maybe she'll go far, possibly one to watch.
Love Ian, another darling. He was robbed last year, but has had his share of excellent partners...nevertheless, Jodie Kidd is ultra-competitive and will work hard. If she can get the public on her side, she has a good chance of winning.
Mark Foster and Hayley Holt
Who are these strangers trying to invade my favourite show!? Oh well, he's an Olympian so has Denise Lewis and Colin Jackson's examples to follow.
He's a sportsman. He's probably the winner. Camilla should have got him! How come they've given him to a new pro? Hardly fair...
Lisa Snowdon and Brendan Cole
I am starting to worry about my tendancy towards irrational hatred for people, I'm sure Lisa is a lovely lady but the only thing I can remember about her is that she once dated George Clooney for like a week and I don't think that is a justification for being on the show OR getting one of the best partners! Whip her into shape Brendan...hopefully you'll get to do more Dirty Dancing stuff as a reward.
Surprise surprise. Oh, I bet Brendan's eyes lit up when Lisa Who stepped into the room. Possibly a good pairing but I can't see the public being on their (or her) side.
Phil Daniels and Flavia Cacace
See what happens when you bring the show into disrepute? Vincent gets a sexy little popstar and poor Flavia gets one of the band of old men! Phil Daniels has always been a laugh though, but I just can't get the image of 'dad dancing' out of my head...
Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha. If he's any good, I'll eat my socks.
Rachel Stevens and Vincent Simone
Hurrah for Wee Vincent and Wee Rachel! One to watch for sure, since popstars who spent their teenage years dancing about on national TV have blatantly got an advantage however much they protest. Plus never underestimate the power of the votes of men who are forced to watch the show by their girlfriends...
This is the partnership I was most hoping for! Wee Vincent may be able to get what he should have got with Louisa Lytton - a well deserved place in that final! My fingers are crossed for Rachel to be good...
Tom Chambers and Camilla Dallerup
I have no idea who he is, but he's young, keen and vaguely good looking- go for it Camilla! One of my favourite pros, I demand the underrated and creative Camilla gets to the final this year!
Ah, Camilla gets her hands on another hottie. Surely she deserves to make the final this year...but she's just too desperate and outdances her partners. If she keeps it cool, choreographs to make her partner look good and tries to keep her mouth shut whilst dancing she may have a better chance...
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