NB : This post was written before partnership spoilers were all over the Internet
NB : In the event that Natalie Lowe somehow got paired with Harry Judd, this post was written before London was a giant steaming crater. Caused by jelus hatahs. Natalie Lowenage 4eva!
Audley Harrison : In a way Audley Harrison’s Strictly journey could hopefully be a mirror image of that of the only other boxer ever to participate – Joe Calzaghe’s. Retiring undefeated from the sport, a multi World Champion, BBC Sports Personality of the year, on the the top of his game, Joe was, lest anyone ever let us forget, a clear favourite to win before the show started. Audley Harrison on the other hand is…Audley Harrison. After the Olympic Gold, a slow meandering career that troughed at just the wrong time, leading to semi-joke status and the ignominy of being used as a cat’s paw by David Haye, he’s now going into this series as the favourite everywhere I’ve seen to be knocked out first, pictured on the website with a really tacky sewed in belt on his suit that looks more WWE than WBO. And yes that is all my boxing knowledge exhausted. Ever. I think there was also someone called Muhammad Ali once? Unfortunately to complete the mirror image of The Voyage Of Calsaggy, he’s going to have to actually be able to dance. Oops. Stranger things have happened. Remember that dance where Ola was a Goldilocks theme hooker? Who could forget? No, really, I’m willing to pay if you can help me to. Anyway, given that no other boxer I’ve heard of on any other version has been even remotely good, apart from one guy not built like a brick outhouse, the outlook is not good. From his website video though, I have learnt that he enjoys reggae, which could be a new and exciting angle for the show. By which I mean it’s a new and exciting thing we can all joke about the prospect of Anton ever doing. In terms of potential partners it really has to be Natalie Lowe doesn’t it? She’s tall enough, and, really I can throw the hatahs this one. Once. She’d better get a ringer again next year. If not TWO! TWO RINGERS FOR NATALIE!
Pre-Series Bookies Prediction : 14th
Dan Lobb : Who?
NOT REALLY! Dan Lobb is a renegade from Daybreak, sent back to the rest of us to request we send help – food, water, clean clothes, anything we can provide – who has wackily found himself caught up in a ballroom dancing competition by mistake. Apparently he does the sports presenting. *shrug*. I guess this makes him the mirror Universe Chris Hollins. Anyway, all that aside, step to the side Harry Judd, because clearly Dan Lobb is this year’s audience-pleasing heart-throb. He’s just non-threatening and jokey-charming and ever so slightly greying and tall and old enough to really hit middle England where it hurts. Right square in the ovaries. Squelch they go, like a brick dropping into custard. Not since Gethin Jones has there been a man with so much MOR attractive potential on Strictly. If it weren’t for four very important factors I’d say we could give him the glitterball right now. A) He’s a tennis player. Remember Martina? Remember Andrew? Remember (if you watch the US version) Monica? These are not happy memories. B) He’s really super-tall. Ask Len : tall people can’t do a fucking thing. If he had his way, they’d all be placed in special camps to prevent them breeding with the rest of us. C) He’s a GMTV presenter in all but name. Sure they slapped a big sticker saying “Daybreak” over the top, but really, GMTV is GMTV is GMTV is Kate Garraway forever falling on her arse. D) Judging from a clip of him jigging around with Camilla for some charity gubbins, he’s not actually a very good dancer. Still, I have faith in the ability of the housewives and housegays of Britain to ignore all of this, and vote him onwards and upwards to the Glitterball. He’s already got plans to get inside Bruno’s head and rummage around in there for a good five minutes, so that’s one of the judges sorted (if only Gavbot had thought of that one…) Still, that’s a lot of chaotic factors to wrangle, and who has shown themselves to be more adept with those than Katya? Nobody, that’s who.
Pre-Show Bookies Prediction : 5th place
Harry Judd : Now people. I’ve seen a lot of defeatism amongst the Strictly faithful since the cast-release (/the week before the cast-release, when everyone knew who was participating). “Oooh, it’s the fit one from McFly” people have complained. “He’s really fit, and he’s already won a spin-off just like Kara did, and he’ll be partnered with Ola who everyone loves since the total personality makeover she underwent following Series 6, and worst of all, the McFly fanbase are MENTAL. They might as well just declare the series over with now”. Frankly, such a negative attitude will never do. Yes, the McFly fanbase are a little bit mental, but the band haven’t had a Number 1 hit since 2007 and their combined forces could only get the ginger one to 5th in Popstar To Operastar, behind Kym Marsh and a Nolan Sister. And besides…are we not their match in terms of mentalism? Remember how we sat outside arenas voting in to influence the results for Live Tour shows we weren’t even attending? Remember how we made anonymous phone-calls to John Sergeant’s wife? Remember how that branch of the Church of Briali Worship kidnapped them both and forced them to get married at gunpoint? Those McFly fans think THEY’RE mental, they haven’t see a Strictly fanbase when their pet hasn’t been on It Takes Two all week IN A CLEAR ATTEMPT BY THE PRODUCERS TO COST THEM THE GLITTERBALL! Plus judging from the website he’s kind of beige. No offence. I mean “Johnny Depp would play me in a film of my life HO HO NOT REALLY” and a love of cricket at the age of 25 aren’t really doing it for me. I have every faith that there is definitely at least a 3% chance he might not win, and in recognition of this, I am taking him off Ola, and sticking him with Kursed Kristina. THAT’LL LEARN HIM!
Pre-Show Bookies Prediction : 1st place
Jason Donovan : Clearly the one important question with regards to Jason Donovan is : ” ‘Especially For You?’ or ‘Too Many Broken Hearts’ “. It was a crying shame last year that Michelle Williams didn’t get to dance to any of the hits that sh…Beyonce and Her Destiny’s Children had, but you could at least excuse that on the grounds that she’d be a bit after the times of most of the audience. If Jason doesn’t do a wedding themed foxtrot routine to the former (with his pro in proper 80s denim mechanics dungarees) or a soulful cliff-edge rumba to the latter, what’s even the point of having him on the show? Jason Donovan comes into this year’s series highly prepared. On the reality tv side, he’s been through the most gruelling mind-sapping experience possible : trying to get screen-time away from Myleene’s tits on “I’m A Celebrity, What’s Your Excuse?”. On the dancing side he’s appeared in West End shows, including Joseph And The Amazing Technicolour Dream Coat, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and The Sound Of Music. On the campery spangles side, one of those West End Shows was Priscilla, Queen Of The Desert. What could be better training for this show than dragging up and singing “I Say A Little Prayer” to a seething throng of middle-aged women, their bored husbands, and enthralled West End Wendies every Saturday night? To be fair, everything I’ve seen him on he’s been a bit of an awkward prickly bugger of the “values his privacy” variety (how very DARE he?), and his website picture looks like he wants to sell me car insurance it’s so awkward, so I’m not sure he’s quite the UK version’s equivalent of Donnie Osmond yet, but who would bet against pointless nostalgia on this show? Not I. Give him Erin. If anybody’s got form for (literally, with a whip) beating the awkwardness out of people, it’s her.
Pre-Show Bookies Prediction : 4th
Robbie Savage : Robert William “Robbie” Savage (born 18 October 1974 in Wrexham, Wales) is a radio presenter and former Welsh professional footballer who played predominantly as a midfielder. During his career he captained Derby County, and also played for the Welsh national team. He now presents 606 on BBC Radio Five Live on Saturday evenings alongside Mark ‘Chappers’ Chapman with which he was recognised with an award from the Plain English Campaign. He gained notoriety for his playing style. In 2008, the Daily Mail labelled him as the dirtiest player in Premier League history, based on numbers of yellow cards received, though he has since been surpassed as the player with the most Premier League yellow cards by Lee Bowyer. (Stick him with Flavia. It’ll suit that whole furrow of “not quite good, not quite bad” she’s been stuck in recently)
Pre-Show Bookies Prediction : 8th
Rory Bremner : I really want this preview to be positive. There are so many people going around saying the line-up is too old (it’s younger than last year’s), it’s not A-List enough (compared to…you know, when they had Kate Winslett, Steven Redgrave and Rihanna on that one series), it’s seriously missing Ian Waite (ok, that one is a very valid point). Whereas I, in my broad-minded tolerant optimistic outlook, am quite looking forward to it. But Rory Bremner? I just can’t. Already I feel several of my orifices screwing up and needing serious oiling before they’ll open up again. Impressionists bug me at the best of times, but at least they’re normally kept on their own shows well out of my sight, only popping out to do Parky and do their funny voices in lieu of actually interacting with other people. Already in his website interview he’s doing impressions. Already I’m at a 33% strike-rate with not knowing who the hell they’re supposed to be unless he tells me, clearly, beforehand. Already there’s the slight edge of frailty and bitterness that marked most of the other comedians that have been on the show. I…just don’t need to hear what Tony Blair would think about doing the paso doble ho ho something about spin and the weapons of mass destruction being in Peter Mandleson’s frilly knicker-draw ho ho. If I had to put him with a pro, it’d be Ola, if only because she seems the most likely to snap and elbow him in the throat after his 15th attempt at doing the voice of George from Rainbow.
Pre-Show Bookies Prediction : 10th
Russell Grant : In the olden days we used to take our witches and either burn them at the stake or drown them. These days, we put them on our tv screens and grant them the opportunity to do their Satanic dances with Aliona Vilani. And we claim to be a more just society. Yes, having already created the new category for my spreadsheet of “Professional Nancy” (actually…) to my official Strictly Saddo Statto Spreadhseet I’m now having to add a whole extra one for Russell. That of “WITCH!”. Or, apparently if you’re from Middlesex and the Home Counties “Involved In Non-League Sport” (thanks web-site video Russell!). And speaking of the website video, his witchy powers apparently translate into him being allowed to gabble on for a clear minute longer than anyone else gets to, for no particular reason. He does however do an impression of Marco Pierre-White that’s better than any of the ones that Rory Bremner hauls out. So there’s that. Poor Russell has the distinction of being the one obvious comedy male contestant on the boys side this year, being 60 years old and…a little on the larger side. As such he’s been passed around the mentalist internet pro fan-bases all this week like a hot potato with them screaming “NO, NOT FOR MY FLAVIA!”. Really I think the only solution is to put him with Aliona, and hope she manages to string together a set of 12 dances, each based around a different astrological sign with costumes, props, and interpretive moves to suit. My only worry would be that he’s already coming in with injury problems hanging over his head, and I don’t know how his spine would cope when she inevitable makes him do a quadruple somersault and a half-twist off the judges table to represent NOBLE Pisces LEAPING SOULFULLY upstream into a WATERFALL OF CUSTARD.
Pre-Show Bookies Prediction : 13th
Just to put this into perspective, the Pre-Show Bookies Prediction last series was :
1st : Matt Baker
2nd : Kara Tointon
3rd : Michelle Williams
4th : Scott Maslen
5th : Tina O’Brien
6th : Jimi Mistry
7th : Gavin Henson
8th : Patsy Kensit
9th : Felicity Kendall
10th : Goldie
11th : Pamela Stephenson
12th : Paul Daniels
13th : Ann Widdecombe
14th : Peter Shilton