Sunday, 30 August 2009

The Winning Formula

Winning Strictly Come Dancing is a serious business that should not be taken lightly. It takes blisters, sweat and sequins to get your mitts on that ridiculously camp glitter ball trophy. But surely hard work and dedication will always win in the end? No fair reader, after extensive scientific study we have discovered the five key scientific variables that guarantee you a win...

1) Get the party started

This is a scientifically proven element of doing well in SCD. During...every...single...series...the person who has done the very first dance has made it into the final. Take a look; Natasha Kaplinsky, Julian Clary, Darren Gough, Matt Dawson, Matt Di Angelo, Tom Chambers. Not only has every single one made the final of their series but half of them have actually won it! Maybe it is fate, maybe it's guts, who knows, but it appears to be true.

2) Quit your day job

Let's face it, if you are serious about winning the long multi-spangled game then you have to quit your day job, as Tom Chambers proved last year. Maybe if Lisa Snowdon hadn't been getting up at 4:30am every day for her radio show it could be a different story (I regularly have to get up at 4:30am for work and in the afternoons I have to make sure I don't fall asleep on public transport, let alone know if my fleckerl is right). But look back...the only celeb to win whilst still doing their main job was Natasha, which doesn't really count since the series was only about 6 weeks long.

3) Blondes don't have more fun

A rather curious fact we have recently observed (not that we don't have anything else to talk about or anything) is that all winners of SCD have been brunettes. Alongside that a number of perfectly good, yet blonde, dancers have been pipped at the post - Zoe Ball and Emma Bunton to name a couple. Emma didn't have a day job, but should have reached for the hair dye! Also note, gingers don't do that well either - Patsy Palmer and Aled Jones both showed promise but didn't make the finals. Ali Bastian and Zoe Lucker have a lot of work ahead if either is going to break this trend.

4) Latin fever

But of course, its not just about the celebs, but how fabulous their pro dancer is as well. Cast your eye over all those pros that have won...all latin specialists! And not only that, but the non-latin dancers on the show (Anton and Erin with ballroom and Flavia and Vincent with 10 Dance) have all come second! OK, Anton actually came third in Series 1... but when it's Christopher Parker who's second it doesn't really count. This means Ricky Whittle might be in trouble dancing with ballroom pro Natalie Lowe, but he's also still doing Hollyoaks. He'd better ask if he can dance first...

5) Give in to the Sparkle

This is both a literal statement and slightly extended metaphor; to win SCD you have to get out there and embrace the sparkle. For example, if you are Darren Gough or Ramps you simply have to give in and wear that multi-spangled outfit. But also you have to give up your life and just give in to the glitter and 70 hours a week training. Take Natasha, she plotted ways to break her ankle for weeks but finally gave in and spangled her way to the final (yes, i have just created a brand new verb...) And look at Tom, he 'embraced the sparkle' right from the start and even forced his wife to join in by having SCD invade their wedding day. And, as for superfan Alesha, with all her buzzing enthusiasm from the start, well, she might as well be re-named Princess Sparkle.

So there we have it, the winning formula:

(Start first) - (Day job) + (Brunette) x (Latin Pro) + (Sparkle) = VICTORY!

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Strictly For Real...

Roll up, roll up, it's that time of year again! The sparkles are dusted off and the new celebs are shoved out onto the dancefloor...

Ali & Brian
She's the one that had an affair with the pupil on Hollyoaks, ain't she? I did have to look her up but I do recognise her face. Which is kind of a plus this year - with most of 'em, my brain is met by blankety blankness. Been hoping for Brian to get a goodie-gumdrop as I want to see a semi-authentic salsa on the show. Not seen enough of her to claim she'll be a big character or as dull as dishwater with no dishes in it (*cough* Rachel Stevens) but time will tell.
Here we are with the soapstars, not the most exciting of people within Hollyoaks and I don't watch the Bill so I'm with Clover on this one. Plus this year we have decided we love Brian, aka Funky Brian, I so happy enough with this pairing.

Lynda & Darren
How darling of them to put the older lady with sweeter than sweetpea Darren. He'll look after her. Call me cynical (many have...) but I can't see them going far. Darren and Lilia are Old Hats these days (top hats? trilbys? Viking warrior helmets?) and seem to be getting the celebs to match. Can't see her having the charm of John Sergeant to carry her through to the later rounds but I'm sure she'll give it all a jolly good shot.
I think this could be Gloria Hunniford all over again, although saying that I doubt I will develop an irrational hatred for Lynda because I already know she's hilarious. (God wasn't Gloria so annoying with her fake smile and delusions she could already dance?) After the agesim row I think this was a great contestant to come in and just have a laugh. Absolutely hideous dress on the publicity photo though, even though they do seem quite good this year.

Joe & Kristina
Assume I had to look this guy up. Assume I have to look any sportsperson up. Now then, surely boxers have to be light on their feet? I think this is a pairing to watch. I'm imagining a Gough-like quickstep here as I type. The thick accent and blokeyness will only add to the charm - oh, how we do love an unexpectedly good dancer? "A boxer? Really? Noooo! Amazing!" Kristina has already established herself as a favourite with fans so that too can only go their way. Keep thinking it's Joe Calzone though but that's a type of pizza, right?
Well I didn't have to look him up so that proves he must be pretty famous! Really looking forward to seeing this one, I think we have the potential for a journey here. Not too sure about his publicity photo, I'm always wary when it looks like they can't even stand next to their partner without looking awkward! Also prepare youselves for some delightful Bruice puns about boxing all series.

Natalie & Vincent
She's been rumoured for years so no surprises she'd turn up one day. And go figure, she's with Wee Vincent. If they think they can recreate the Louisa/Wee Vincent magic then they've more screws loose than, well, something with a lot of loose screws. I'd hazard a guess that she's a middle of the road type of gal. I just can't see her doing that well. Have you seen the promo pic? I worry for Wee Vincent: one of these days his eye-brow is going to detach permanently.
Glad to know I'm not the only one who finds the promo pic rather scary! I didn't know Natalie was particularly short either, and the laws of space and time do declare that anyone who is with Vincent must be a total munchkin. I'm with Clover on this; not expecting much but you never know.

Richard & Lilia
Besides winning the prize for most amusing surname of the series (and yes, I did have to look him up too - and don't pretend you didn't either!) I can't see him making much more of an impact. I sincerely hope I'm wrong as there has been, what is officially known as 'a shameful lack of Lilia' in recent series and I would like to see that rectified. Her partnerships with Aled, Darren and Matt gave us some comedy-gold training footage moments and I would love to see these two mucking about like it's zee good old days.
I have absolutely no idea who this person is (if the jockey is not Frankie Dettorri I am lost, ha!) But yes, we totally need more Lilia this series. I am just telling myself he is a sportsman and Lilia does have the magical power to bring clumsy men good like some sort of magical dancing fairy. I can also already hear the galloping and trotting puns.

Ricky & Erin
I cannot imagine him being very good at all and Queen Smug won't be too pleased if that's the case. I wonder what special MI5 tricks she has up her sleeve to stay in the competition this year. I figure she'll need some good ones. Do not fear, gentle readers, we know, she is always tripped up at the very last hurdle. Erin is the Dick Dastardly of ballroom...she'll keep going and going until she catches that pigeon, uh, I mean trophy. Is this her year? I'll eat my strappy latin dance sandals if it is...

Sorry, I have just had to compose myself after lol-ing myself silly over Clover's Dick Dastardly comparison. In a stroke of BBC genius Ricky Groves leaves Eastenders this very week; I feel a bit short-changed that we are not getting Kara Tointon actually! Yep, can't see him doing very well at all, Erin must have done something to annoy the producers to not get her usual sportmans. Plus if you look at the promo pic Erin looks totally different again this series!

Martina & Matthew
Mmm, delicious alliterative nugget there. If she's anything like Monica Seles on Dancing With The Stars then she'll be rubbish. What's that? I should tarnish all tennis players with the same brush? What about Greg Rudeski on Dancing on Ice...I rest my case. I expect nothing more than a lot of ballsy jokes from Bruce.
I'm actually really looking forward to this partnership! Maybe it's just the fabulous fringed dress she's wearing...Like she has said she's used to training hard and must be pretty fit to start with; all the classic elements of a sporty contestant. I am going to go out on a limb and say she might be the dark horse of this year (which ironically enough is not Richard).

Chris & Ola
Had no idea who he was either. Haven't much to say on the matter other than that he might manage to stay in a few weeks purely on the basis of Ola's catsuits.
Yes, Ola seems to have pulled out all the stops already when it comes to being half naked. I spend most of my job watching the news and poor Chris hadn't even registered with me, poor guy!

Jade & Ian
Ian proves useful again as partner-for-the-tall-lady. Jade Johnson though, I kind of would like her to be good. I like how she's claiming to be taking part for 'something to do' before she starts training for the Olympics. There's a refreshing lack of desperation in that. Kudos.
Another sporty one I'm really looking forward to. This has shades of Denise Lewis for me and I LOVED Denise Lewis (do not get me started on that series of Strictly and how everyone but Jill has been blanked from the BBC's memory). She also seems to have bagged the best outfit, good girl. One to watch methinks.

Craig & Flavia
Craig was born in Lytham St. Annes where Frankie and I went to school, so plus points for that alone. It also appears that he went to school with Clare-from-Work's (of kissing Darren Bennett at tour fame) husband. Much excitement. Still, had no idea who he was though (must start watching soaps) so the little bio on the BBC site proved quite useful. He does seem to have that cheeky chappie charm that ladies of a certain age might warm to...and that can only go in his favour. Really, I'm struggling to have an opinion on these people when I have no idea who they are...
Yes, I am starting to think it is not that the celebrities that are lacking in the fame department, but that Clover needs to watch more TV! This is such a lovely surpirse for me and with Flavia I think we might have a good team on our hands.

Zoe & James
The Bad Gal and the The Bad Boy. This could be a good pairing actually, though it reeks of Claire King and Brendan. Another one whose face I recognised but wouldn't have been able to put a name to it. Here's hoping she's as feisty as the characters she plays. Oh, I just can't wait for the dancing to start then I can have a proper opinion...
I was just thinking about Claire King! I have been excited that Zoe is doing this series, but since she is partnered with James 'eyes of a killer' Jordan she's going to have an uphill battle to win me over. Which is totally irrational, but hey, this is Strictly and it never had to make sense. It took Julian Clary of all people to make me like Erin!

Laila & Anton
What? Pretty gal with Anton? If she's any good - and I'm sorry for saying this - she's screwed anyway. He might be a master of ballroom but his latin is enough to make anyone squirm. Perhaps if his shirts weren't slashed to the navel, it would help. Laila, if by some ridiculous miligram of a chance you get wind of this, tell Anton to cover up and you may be in with a hope of winning.
I was also shocked that Anton has been given a partner that actually has some potential, so I am really keeping my fingers crossed for this one. If he doesn't have to go for the comedy vote like he did with Kate then I think his latin could be a little more...restrained? Also love that she's already used the 'j-word', get her in a frock and out there!

Phil & Katja
Ah-ha! A sportsperson I have heard of! (OK, OK, it's only because of I'm A Celeb...) Cricketers have had a good run (ha ha) on Strictly...there's never been one on who hasn't won. Phil (who shall henceforth be knowns as Tufty) seems a little, I dunno, different though. Still, he is a character and I know he will have a following before the show even starts. He won't be out week one no matter what his dancing is like.
I don't like Phil Tufnell, he just grates on me. Coupled with a new dancer I do not fancy his chances.

Ricky & Natalie
Ah, the hotstuff. Again, I had to look him up. Not got much to say other than I'm not sure what the point of him will be without Arlene there to make lewd comments. Natalie Lowe, on the other hand, as a ballroom specialist, doesn't stand a cat in hell's (what a nasty thought, if I believed in that kind of thing...) chance of getting very far. Evil Erin will put a stop to that. Mwah haa haaaaa!
Ha ha, I had not realised we wil not have to suffer Arlene's lewd comments this year! (I will not get over her using the term 'virile Viennese Waltz' twice when it was vom-tastic the first time) Another one that I think has potential simply for the fact that he is young and fit (in both senses of the word).

Rav & Aliona
A friend of mine, Leah, says she can't imagine him being very good. Even though I know who he is (thank goodness!) I still don't know enough about him to comment on this. I hope he is good though, because, as mentioned earlier, there's nothing better than when a tough guy surprises us all with a dainty foxtrot.
I thinnk he could be the real hottie of the series, loved by teenage girls and mums alike. Plus he's tough in that Darren Gough type way that Len might like. Ok, I just realised that sounds a bit dodgy...

Jo & Brendan
Oh for heaven's sake. Celebs' ex-wives are not celebs. And I'm saying no more on the matter. I'm going to pretend this couple does not exist. There is an embargo on the very subject.

Poor Brendan, what did he do to deserve this? And what are they going to say she does for a living? It'll be like on DWTS when they said Heather Mills was an 'international charity campaigner'. Although, even that sounds better than 'flogger of face cream'. Totally loving her frock in the promo pic though, although Brendan doesn't even have managed to have raised a smile.

General Comment
So, last year it was...who gets the token old guy...EVERYONE! This year, thank goodies, that's not the case. There's even some cuties lurking in there somewhere. Male friend of mine is complaining at lack of pretty girls amongst contestants - if that's a general feeling then suckers to the BBC who were clearly trying to go that way this year... There will be changes to the voting system (that my B in GCSE maths nine years ago cannot help me with), no Sunday show (hurrah!) and all celebs will get to dance twice before the first elimination. All sensible choices, I think. Roll on September 18th...

Sunday, 16 August 2009

Strictly For Fun...

So, our dream line up is finally here. If you follow us on Twitter (bless you) then you'll be aware that we've both been working on it all week. We've decided to add a competitive edge so...who's for the win? It's Team Frankie vs. Team Clover. Expect (extremely glittery) handbags at dawn...

Team Frankie

Princess Beatrice and Matthew
This is my headline-grabbing star for the series without a doubt, rumours have already flown around for the last few years about a Royal taking part and I think this is the girl that should do it. She’s 21, so old enough to be doing the show but also young enough to improve the image of the Royals. She is partnered with that beacon of good clean fun Matthew Cutler.

Rob and Lilia
Rob Brydon - As a regular guest on ITT I cannot resist the opportunity to have Brucie, Anton and Rob in the same room together. He’s a fan, he can’t deny that, so it is time for him to put on his shoes, step out on the the floor and do his bit for the show. And whilst googling I came across an interesting fact: he’s only 5”7- the same height as Richard Hammond! This means he gets to be partnered with the lovely Lilia, lucky fella. Expect much giggling and maybe a bit of a ‘journey’.

Claudia and Anton
Claudia Winkleman – Probably the most unlikely of my selections, but we all want to see it! It would mean we’d need someone else to present ITT, which poses a bit of a dilemma, but I do believe we would be rewarded with some Strictly gold. The hilarity of Claudia trying to do the moves with Len on ITT combined with a desire not to completely embarass herself would be great. As for a partner, who better to guide her through the series but the one and only Anton Du Beke?
Reggie and 'other'
Reggie Yates – This is my ‘young man’ of the series and an attempt to get more coverage on Radio 1. Reggie showed he’s quite game for stuff like this on Comic Relief Does Fame Academy a few years ago so I think he’d be up for it. Alas, due to the sudden influx of new female dancers this year I cannot give him a named female dancer, but I’m sure she’s a lovely sparkly thing!

Rebecca and Ian
Rebecca Adlington – She’s an Olympic athlete and loves her heels, what more do you need in a Strictly contestant?! All round good egg and loved by the British public I reckon she would start slightly clumsily and then have a bit of a journey. Would love to see her partnered with our favourtie beanpole and dancer with sportswomen Ian Waite.
Gray and Erin
Gray O’Brien (Tony Gordon, Corrie) - And here we have my soap star contestant, only this is no perma-tanned reject but a Scottish hunk! I reckon he would have all the mums swooning and he’s such a good actor I would love to see him do stuff like the tango. As for a partner, I can’t believe I’m saying this but I can really see him dancing with Erin and it actually being good! It would be like James Bond and his kiwi Bond Girl (see the ‘Erin Boag: Ballroom Dancer or Evil Genius?’ post!)
Sophie and Brian
Sophie Ellis Baxter – Actually a rumour from this year but I liked the idea so much I thought I’d draft her in. Stylish and fun, the perfect popstar from Strictly in my opinion. They would have to do something to cover up her godawful tattoo though. For her partner we have Brian, who I have decided is now known as Funky Brian.
Steve and Ola
Steve Jones – Just when you thought this might tail off, we bring out 6”2 of hunky Welshman! I reckon this could be just as good as Gethin Jones but without the sticky-back-plastic jokes (oh yeah, and is EVERYONE in Wales called Jones?). As for a partner, we might as go all the way and put him with our catsuit wearing lovely Ola Jordan.

Team Clover

James and Natalie
I’ve always wanted Clarkson on Strictly but a good friend of mine, Katy, persuaded me that James May would be a far better candidate. I’m now inclined to agree. He’d take it ever so seriously and I can’t help but imagine him boring us with a glut of technical facts, such as - *thinks* - the physics behind the momentum created whilst taking back rock steps in a jive. Or summat like that. It's just too good an opportunity to miss. Partnered with Natalie Lowe purely because I don’t know what he’d do with a piece of hotstuff gyrating up against him (Not seen her? There’s a very tiny shorts jive on youtube.) Eyebrows raised uppity-upwards, I imagine. Plus he’d get the Dad Vote.

Martine and Brendan
Martine McCutcheon. Why Strictly and why now? Uh, coz, we haven’t seen her for a while, have we? Perhaps time for a re-launch of that crazy little thing called career? More than Tiffany in Eastenders and actually a talented little missy (Laurence Olivier Award, yer know, and oo-er, a Hollywood film!) it doesn’t seem completely out of the question. If Kelly Brook was the big name a few years ago then Martine’s been high profile enough to have a similar status. And therefore, no one else but Brendan will do.

Giles and Flavia
Ah, Giles Coren. As Frankie says... ‘just posh enough...’ Here is a man who understands the dramatic punch of a well-placed punctuation mark. Would he be able to translate that linguistic sensitivity into musicality on the dancefloor? Maybe he wouldn’t want to. According to a recent article, he’s quite put out about Arlene being made ‘dance tsar’ (or czar – which would he prefer?) I don’t know if that would put him off should he be asked, however. He’s quite adept at role-play (see The Supersizers eat) and may be able to use his experience to channel a 1950s jive dancer or...uh, an Austrian peasant. And why Flavia? As a food critic, I’m sure he’s partial to a little Italian...

Javine and James
Since the BBC so clearly wants to engage with the (naturally inferior) X-Factor audience, it’s only a matter of time before they wants da kidz from a Big Bro’ camp to switch over too. Javine, ‘pop star’, perhaps more famous for running off with Alesha’s husband is la candidate perfecto. Expect a cross between Hollyoaks and Jeremy Kyle as Ms. Dixon awards Javine a fatsy ZERO for her quickstep, leaps over the judges’ table and pulls a chunk out of her love-rival’s swarovski-encrusted hair. Partnered with James purely for the alliterative fun of it.

Lemar and Kristina
Lemar? But, GASP he’s a reality TV star! It’s OK , however, as he’s a BBC reality TV star and therefore allowed (and yes, he’s probably the only one we’ve heard of...Alex who now? And I can’t even remember the first name of the other one...) Lemar also had the good sense actually to have a fairly decent career too. Plus, he kinda owes the BBC for his fame so it’s not all that unfeasible. Pairing him with Kristina might well be a winning formula – and let’s face it, after John Sergeant, she deserves a hottie.

Konnie and Vincent
Konnie’s a no-brainer really. I’m not saying she’s a lazy choice, just that she’s perhaps a little too...obvious? Dancing with Wee Vincent, she’d neither be a dead-cert-dud or a fast-track-to-the-final-regardless-of-actual-dancing-talent *cough Lisa cough Snowdon*. But we need people like Konnie on the show. She’s a former Blue Peter presenter and therefore plucky, gutsy, a wee bit 'Famous Five' and somehow, a little bit more real than the really pretty girls. Like Zoe Ball, if she showed talent, we’d warm to her...and who’s to say she wouldn’t have a chance?

Bruce and Katya
Bruce Parry has endured the very harshest of harsh terrains. He’s come face-to-face (or cheek to cheek?) with wild animals. He’s taken uberweird drugs forced upon him by indigenous tribespeople. Yet none of those things can compare to facing the wrath of Craig Revel-Horwood. Can he cope? I’m not sure. All I do know is that we’ve never seen an anthropologist on Strictly and I do so wonder how he’d analyse this strange and sequinned tribe. Partnered with Lithuanian Katya – not quite a Pacific Islander, but perhaps if she ‘d wear a costume made of coconuts, he’d feel right at home.

Marian and Darren
O' Marian Keyes, Queen-of-the-Superfans, Light of my Life, would be an utter delicious little nibble of a contestant. Clearly, due to her unwavering belief that she should have been born as Lilia Kopylova, the obvious choice partner-wise for her is Darren... thereby allowing her to live her fantasy. She’s always claimed that she wouldn’t take part but I’m sure, like, she sooooooo would... if asked. She’s just the perfect concoction of mild-madness, self-deprecation and Irishness – all traits that are bound to win our hearts, if not our votes as well.

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

Saturday Night's Alright For Dancing

The BBC confirmed today after much rumour that the Sunday night results show is no more and that this year we will be getting an extra-long show on Saturdays instead!

In a rare moment of acknowledgement on their website the BBC say the Sunday shows had not been entirely popular and I agree, it all seemed a bit pointless since it wasn't live. A nice long Strictly binge on a Saturday is much better instead and Brucie and the dancers can still have their rest!

Interestingly enough, the BBC statement also mentions "two special Friday night launch shows" which is a little unusual. Can we assume this will be the first rounds with boys and girls, or will it be like the previews from last year? It had better not just be previews or we might explode with the aniticipation of it all!

It feels like we are getting closer and closer to the official launch. Line up should be out very soon
Well, it took them long enough to wake up and smell the mojito. (do mojitos smell? Maybe a little of mint...) Just how much ranting has there been on the forums for the past year? Just how much moaning has there been in workplaces across the country about this very matter? Mucho. Personally, I quite liked the Sunday show as it meant if I were out on a Saturday night, I didn't have to worry about missing the results (unless I happened upon some prune-and-a-half on the internet spewing the results out without spoiler alert...) As Frankie put it, a fun Saturday night extravaganza is far more exciting on the whole, however. It keeps up the momentum. And all good TV shows should rely on good physics.

Friday, 7 August 2009

Strictly Speculation...

The title might be a rehash from last year, but a lot of the contestants under speculation are the same ones from last year anyway!

The biggie, the one we have been talking about for what feels like a year now, is the one and only Sharon Osborne! The first thing I think about when I consider Sharon is just that she is so wee! At 5"2 she just has to be dancing with Vincent if she's in it. Or Darren if there is a dearth of short women this year. But that is is the big question- IS SHE IN IT? I get the feeling the BBC would have stopped the rumours before now if she wasn't but the whole thing just seems so utterly random! Sharon doing a Viennese Waltz?! Sharon in a fringed bright pink jive dress?! More importantly...Sharon taking stick from the judges?! Could be exciting...
Moving on to another complete randomer, Chris Moyles. He keeps talking about it on his show, but says he keeps being asked and saying no. I don't really think there's too much milage in this one myself. Although I would like to see him take on Erin, he'd infuriate her!

Turning to the stock characters of every other series, we have a usual gaggle of out-of-work soap stars, newsreaders and GMTV presenters under suspicion. I think Kara Tointon seems very likely as she has nothing else to do and will fit the 'perma-tanned semi-hottie' slot they always have. Staying with Eastenders, Natalie Cassidy is also in the frame, although I think she has been for about three years now. Has she had a dramatic weight loss/gain recently? If not, she might need to go on the show just so we remember she's still alive. Obviously if either of these two are on they will have to dance with Darren. If both are on, it will have to be a threesome. He appears to have some sort of monopoly over Eastenders women.

In the old-man-corner (a very over-crowded category last year!) we have Reece Dinsdale from Corrie, which would be so dull I fear for any new dancer getting saddled with him, although it did work for Kristina...

A much more exciting old man is Richard Madeley. Now I know everyone else is groaning over this, but I simply cannot wait! It'll be like Andrew Castle but 100 times funnier! He'll take it so seriously and humiliate his kids and generally brighten up the whole thing. Hilarious. In a laughing at not laughing with way. He just needs the perfect partner. He's 6"2...maybe Erin? Ooh we do like to be mean to Erin.

There haven't been any Casualty/Holby City rumours that I know of (yet), but if the BBC are caught short this year I'm sure they'll find someone for James Jordan to bully. I also really hope we do not have to suffer Penny Smith or any other GMTV presenter. That's really all just for free advertising on ITV!

I'm not going to comment on any sportspeople because, quite frankly, we never know who they are and really don't care until the show starts. Plus remember the boredom vortex that was Mark Foster and Hayley Who last year? I also refuse to believe any Royal family rumours. Zara deja-vu Phillips, anyone? Other re-run rumours from last year include Esther Bennett, Teddy Sheringham and Alice Beer. None of whom seem ready to set the dancefloor on fire.
Now take a look around these contestants... is it me or does this not look too much like the 'young and sexy' SCD that everyone seems to think the BBC are after? Last year the youngest contestant was 27 (when you think they've had 17 year olds on the show that's pretty odd) and Natalie Cassidy and Kara Tointon are 26. Plus, Kara is the only regulation semi-hottie that I can see! I am really hoping the BBC have some cool people hidden up their sleeves!

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

5 Reasons Why Karen Hardy Should Be A Judge

This is a very dull, serious sort of post on the whole. It's just a comment on why it's stupid that Alesha should be a judge on Strictly when they have the perfect candidate staring them in the face. Now this isn't a rant about Karen being 'axed'. We don't know the ins and the outs of it - don't forget that she was considering leaving last year anyway. It might have been partly her decision. We don't know. This is merely to point out that, if the BBC were determined to get rid of Arlene, Karen would have been the ideal replacement.

1) Qualified Ballroom and Latin Judge

If you scroll down our entries, you will see that, in fact, one of us (I'm not sure which) suggested that the BBC replace Arlene this coming series. But not with unqualified Alesha, oh no, with someone almost more qualified to judge than Arlene. Having two ballroom and latin specialists on the panel seems very sensible to me, anyway, so Karen, as a ballroom and latin judge, is the ideal candidate. As we said months and months ago.

2) Big Personality

I'll give the BBC the credit that they won't have chosen Alesha merely because she's a pretty young thing. She undeniably is a big character - she's warm, friendly and just a little bit mad. Qualities that the British really take to. In fact, I really like her (though I didn't watch her trekking up Kilimanjaro and that has changed some opinions, non?) The only problem I have with the decision is that she isn't qualified to judge. But Karen is. AND Karen too has a big, warm personality that also shines through on TV. Yes, she may grate on some people. But so does Alesha...

3) Been There, Done That

In the Alesha camp, it's been said that she's qualified to judge because she's been there and done it. She's been through the rigorous training and faced the wrath of the judges' panel. But so is Karen. She'll appreciate how difficult it is for the contestants and she'll be able to remark on the choreography and technique! Uh, bonus.

4) It Already Works

Time and time again, Karen has proved the judges wrong on her little BBC Breakfast slot. She's noticed things that the other judges have missed (Kelly dancing a Viennese Waltz on her toes for example) and yes, maybe the BBC doesn't want another nit-picky Len. But the judges are there to judge. They are the head; the public is the heart. Karen isn't afraid to speak her mind but she's also sympathetic to the fact that it is a really tough challenge for the celebs and pros alike. She's also had experience of being a judge on Diet on the Dancefloor.

5) We Love Her

She's our favourite pro. She's a real person who's had to overcome so much. She's a great role-model and a great example of a woman who's able to balance family life with having a great career. Now, yeah, I know these aren't real reasons as to why she'd make a great judge but it does make her more human and more like the rest of us. We'd never heard of Len, Craig or Bruno before Strictly so surely it works having someone who's a bit more less celeb-shaped? This show isn't about the judges. Unless it really, really does want to be The X-Factor.