Strictly speaking

Published August 8, 2019

If I’m being honest with myself, I’ve already drifted away from Strictly Come Dancing. There was a time where I would blog about my thoughts several times through each series – at one point the BBC included a link to one of my posts on their website. That saw views skyrocketing, let me tell you.

But last year, I didn’t watch the show at all. None of the celebrities particularly grabbed my attention, and boy that show eats up a lot of your time if you get invested properly.

Strictly Come Dancing logo

I was of the same mindset this year - unless there’s a huge name or face that appeals, I’ll likely not be watching again. And that’s what has come to pass. I know very few of the faces, I love Anneka Rice, of course, and am intrigued at just how bad James Cracknell is going to be, but otherwise I’ll leave it.

I have enjoyed the outrage on Twitter and other such outlets, where the cry almost every day of the reveals was: “Whoooo? Are they famous? I don’t know them so they have no right to dance.” Uhh, sure. The real answer is, I don’t know these people yet and either I’ll watch and get to know them and it’ll be fine or I’ll opt not to watch and get on with my life. But let’s go with righteous anger instead, shall we?

Where the discontent should lie is with the whole judging line-up situation this year. Darcy Bussell took time to find her feet but became an incredibly well-respected, stern but kind judge who knows what she’s talking about. It was disappointing that she wanted to leave, but understandable that people move on. It was bound to be hard to find a good replacement for her, but even I couldn’t have guessed at the BBC’s surprising choice: Motsi Mabuse.

The credentials stack up, and I think Motsi would be an incredible asset to the judging panel – except for that one glaringly obvious thing. She’s Oti’s sister and Oti is a confirmed professional dancer for the coming series.

I absolutely 100% believe that Motsi wouldn’t be biased towards her sister, they’re all professionals, they know what they’re doing. I’m almost more inclined to believe those who say she’ll probably be more harsh towards her. But I can’t believe the BBC would open themselves up to a situation like this.

What if Oti gets a really good partner and is through to the final? What headlines are going to be generated the entire way through their journey? And what kind of doubt is going to be in everyone’s mind if she wins?

It just feels like an unnecessary lose-lose situation which could have been avoided. Motsi is a great choice but maybe she could have been brought in once Oti has left the programme? No one wants to finish a season with an asterisk by their name, do they?

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