It’s back, and with Tess and Claudia in charge as many of us wanted, so Yay!
First impressions … Greg was wearing a permanent, infectious grin and Jake looked pretty nifty but too stoney faced. Frankie and Pixie, as expected, were trim and precise, but Alison outshone both with bags of oomph. Judy seemed a little stiff but her posture looked good – she’ll no doubt warm up, while Thom could well be the whole package – as long as he’s not too earnest. Tim made me laugh – twice – his partnership with Natalie (hurrah, she’s back) already very charming and natural – and he likes flinging himself around, which is something I always want to hear. Simon clearly has a lot of talent, as we’ve seen before, and Caroline can channel the Strictly on Wheels experience to good effect. I didn’t see enough of the others to pass any judgement.
The ‘Unfair advantage’ lot are already pointing fingers, so let’s stop for a moment and discuss: It’s bullshit. Learning to dance ballroom and Latin is totally different to shaking your booty. The pop stars may have the timing, but the sporty folk have the stamina and discipline and the actors bring character. The TV and radio presenters have less experience being on stage but the nature of their jobs is to make the most of their personalities.
Which brings me to the Dos and Don’ts of how to win Strictly:
Don’t be too earnest and over analyse everything – let yourself go and enjoy it.
Don’t moan, cry or complain – we’d give our right legs to be in your position. Which would make things bloody awkward but you get my drift.
Do what your Pro tells you.
Don’t backchat the judges – they know better than you. However, they (and we) love a bit of banter – learn the difference.
Don’t keep telling us how funny you are. It’s like laughing at your own jokes, don’t do it. Make us laugh without meaning to – see note re Tim above.
Be confident, not arrogant.
Do fall in love with dancing – it’ll be obvious to us if you don’t.
Do realise that the worst case scenario of falling over, forgetting your steps or having a major wardrobe malfunction is still massively offset by being given, at the very least, four weeks intensive training with a professional, and two days of pampering and spangly frocks/tuxedos to play at Cinderella or Prince Charming.
Easy, isn’t it?