Alesha Dixon : A Life In Strictly Feuds


I heard the news today, oh boy. Alesha Dixon’s decided to hop off to Britain’s Got Talent, leaving the BBC flailing around looking for a replacement (who will end up being Karen Hardy). But before they make the fateful announcement (that it’s Karen Hardy) let’s all take a moment out to remember the glory that was Alesha Dixon. Via the medium of all the fights she got into during her glorious three year stint on the show. Here, for your delectation, are Alesha’s Top Fifteen Strictly Feuds.

15. Alesha vs Laila Roauss

Who can forget Alesha telling Laila that she danced like a drunken rag doll during her AntonLatin? Well, most people. But in the heady days of Series 7, when everyone was all over Alesha every time she breathed, it was INCREDIBLY RUDE AND HURTFUL to point out that Laila had about as much facility for Latin dancing as a cat on a pogo stick. That’s right, for one brief…month or so, the masses of Britain became Brenda Cole when he stormed off at the use of ANIMAL IMAGERY to describe Jo Wood. WHATABITCH.

14. Alesha vs The Audience

Obviously Alesha’s role on the show was an unholy amalgam of audience and contestant avatar, so it was a very rare occasion indeed that she diverted significantly from the public view of a dance. She was instrumental in backing Kara and Harry to the title, and was more of a Chris booster than any of the other judges. In this sense Alesha was very much the “voice of the people”. Except that one time the audience booed her and she went “MUHHHHHHHH!” right back at them. Following that moment they never dared boo her again, so RIGHTEOUS was her vengeance.

13. Alesha vs Edwina Currie

Edwina’s stay on Strictly was short, so there was no chance for this to blossom into the EPIC FEUD that we all know it could have been, but really there was no coming back for Edwina from Alesha smiling and snarking “it’s alright Bruce, they’re just having a conversation amongst themselves” when she was wittering on to Vincent about sod all. TKO in Week 2, and that was it. Never has Alesha destroyed a foe so thoroughly.

12. Alesha vs Nibbles

People may complain about the Results Show, with good reason. It’s full of filler, the guest singers would be naff by Radio 2 standards, the pro-dances are memorable about one time in three, and Len’s Glans is an abomination against God. But in Series 8 there was truly one reliable source of entertainment. Watching Alesha hoover back twiglets, cheesy footballs, pretzels, sesame fish-crackers and miniature prawn toasts like a bottomless black-hole pit of party snacks in the recap section. That she was deprived in Series 9 is one of the many reasons why it never quite measured up to the heights of the series before.

11. Alesha vs Chris Hollins

Again, this was a feud in Series 7 that lasted all of about a week, but OH WHAT FIREWORKS. It began with Alesha saying that, after a foxtrot full of pivots, she was a bit fed up of Chris’ Viennese Waltz being made up of lots of pivots. This of course set the HOBBIT MAFIA OFF, only aided and abetted by Karen on It Takes Two saying she understood why Ola choreographed them in, which obviously meant ALESHA WUZZ RONG OMG WORST JUJ EVER DOESN’T KNOW WHAT SHE’S TALKING ABOUT. This led to all sorts of amazing “LET’S VOTE FOR CHRIS TO SPITE ALESHA” nonsense despite Alesha’s tendency towards doing things like giving his paso (where he pulled poo-face and stomped up and down on the spot) a 9. CLEARLY SHE HATED HIM.

10. Alesha vs Her Ovaries

Ricky Whittle. Harry Judd. Simon Webb. Enough said.

9. Alesha vs South Central

The whirlwind of controversy surrounding Alesha Dixon started well before her first appearance on the show. Her arrival came on the backs of the departures of Camilla and Karen, both of their own accord (although obviously everyone pretended otherwise because it was more fun that way), and erm…beloved St Arlene who everyone loved. People were ready to leap on her every word and cast her aside as knowing nothing – a pretty bauble cast on the show only to engage with the yoof, who would never venture beyond generic modern banalities. So how did Alesha endear herself to her detractors? By launching her judging career with the phrase “One Word – FIERCE”. To Lynda Bellingham (LYNDA BELLINGHAM). Hilariously, everyone seized on this as evidence that she was just trying to be “gangsta” (and not, say, incredibly drag queeny), which was definitely not because a lot of the objecters to Alesha were a bit prone to racial stereotyping in any way. Or classism. At all.

8. Alesha Dixon vs Felicity Kendall

Because even Alesha, as champion of Inspirational Older Women on the panel (this being in no way because she elbowed Beloved Holy Mother Arlene out of the judges panel) got bored with Felicity doing the splits every other routine. Her telling Felicity that this was a dance competition, not a yoga work-out DVD, was one of my personal favourite judging moments of Series 8

7. Alesha Dixon vs Chelsee’s Vocabulary

In many ways Chelsee Healey’s Strictly Contestant Journey mimicked that of Alesha herself. Both went onto the show from (per the show) uncouth backgrounds to learn how to become a truly elegant lady. Alesha of course being from the MEAN STREETS of Mis-Teeq, and Chelsee being Northern. So it was inspiring to see Alesha taking on a mentoring role from the panel, helping Chelsee with words and phrases such as “elope” and “vertically challenged” and reassuring her that nobody saw her tits in her tango. In a very real sense, Alesha provided that little bit of extra polish to Chelsee that she needed to reach her glorious silver medal position.

6. Alesha Dixon vs Sobriety

Because whenever Alesha got drunk, magic happened.

5. Alesha Dixon vs Confidence Issues

Contrary to what many would have you believe, Alesha did actually serve a very valuable role on the Strictly panel. You see, one thing that remains consistent in these turbulent days for Strictly is the casting of slightly needy grasping old luvvies who need support following their routines, and at least a 7 on the paddle, otherwise they’ll melt down in a great big blancmange of tears and strops and crying jags. I’m not necessarily SPECIFICALLY thinking of Patsy Kensit, Anita Dobson, and/or Hamela Stephenson. I could be talking about anyone. But who have they to turn to in their post-dance hour of need when it hasn’t gone quite as well as they’d hope? Miserable Craig? Jabbering incoherent Bruno? Len? No. They need a good old dose of warming Alesha Dixon “you got the party started”/”I really saw the connection”/”there’s a real honesty about the way you dance”/”you really captured the spirit of the dance” chicken soup for the Strictly Soul.

4. Alesha Dixon vs Bruno’s Wandering Hands

It started off like any good fag-hag relationship. Lots of joking about sexy men, and how fabulous the other is, and preening and hugs. And then, particularly this series…it turned SINISTER. Bruno kept on grabbing Alesha when she wasn’t ready, when she didn’t particularly want him to, when it wasn’t appropriate, and occasionally, right on the tit. Far be it for me to admit that Alesha didn’t end up top dog in one of her many glorious feuds, but if the lack of nibbles isn’t what drove her off in the end, Bruno’s psychotic perversion may have done it. She may have turned him a little bit straight I think, such is her BEAUTY AND MAGNETISM.

3. Alesha Dixon vs grammar

Never have so many people suddenly decided they cared Quite. So. Much about the proper use of “you were”. Especially as, you know, Len does exactly the same thing, and worse, and Bruno mashes his English through a play-do fun factory before it’s allowed to leave his mouth.

2. Alesha Dixon vs Nancy Dell’Olio

Her last real serious feud was one of Alesha’s best. It saw the use of a 2 paddle, repeated threats of legal action, judicious deployment of the phrase “was that supposed to be funny?” (which really works as an insult on so many levels), Nancy claiming that Alesha was threatened by her raw femininity, and Alesha telling Nancy to keep her legs together in future. And no, she didn’t mean it that way (totally did). I can only hope that Nancy auditions for Britain’s Got Talent (using her very real talent of “being a lawyer”) so their feud can roll on gloriously into 2012. It might even get me to watch Britain’s Got Talent (SPOILERS : totally won’t)

1. Alesha Dixon vs Craig Kelly

Truly THE iconic (*drink*) Alesha Dixon feud, and I doubt anyone could argue otherwise. So heartfelt, so real, and so venemous that even I had to take a step back and whistle occasionally. There was not a weapon in her arsenal that Alesha did not deploy to get rid of Craig Kelly. Accusations of “dad disco dancing”, psychoanalysis of the order of “you’re not as good as you think you are”, and most famously, the coup de grace “I can’t believe Zoe went and I had to ENDURE THAT”. If that hadn’t killed him off, Lord only knows how much further she would have gone. However far it was, I’m sure Flavia would have thanked her for it. Possibly in a harness.

So long Alesha, and all your feuds. You will be missed. And in that spirit, here’s the 50th Internet poll today asking who people want to be your replacement (when it will be Karen Hardy)


76 thoughts on “Alesha Dixon : A Life In Strictly Feuds

  1. rodneyandsteptoe

    It’s ironic that as I think that Alesha had finally fitted in as a judge, looked ‘part of the furniture’ and started thinking that the next judge to go would be Len (stop flying to the USA, you greedy bastard, you’re 70 and you can’t get over the jet lag, go off with Brucie somewhere we won’t hear from you), she’s off (for more money no doubt). She had become (shockingly!) the judge after Criag that had some worthwhile comments to listen too (Bruno is TOO OTT, Len is now the most miserable old git figure). Unfortunately no-one else will go now which might have been on the cards before today…

    MY choice for replacement would be Karen if she wants it – Erin could take on her role on ITT (surely Erin won’t be there next year, will she?).

    Whilst we’re at it, Anton needs to go too – he might have been pissed off partnering Nancy but there was no need to be so obvious in showing it. He’s no good at Latin anyway – worst pro any celeb could have in that respect.

  2. Judith

    Morecambe and Wise, Desmond Lynam, Steve who used to be on CBBC and now does late night bingo – have their moves to ITV taught you nothing Alesha?

    1. monkseal Post author

      Steve Wilson? He was nice. I was OUTRAGED when they booted him and Emma Ledden for the new SEXY SEXY LINE-UP OF SEX of Ortis, some annoying Yank and Katy Hill.

      1. Katy

        Steve? I love Steve. I always wondered what happened to him.
        I just didn’t love him enough to care.

  3. Jen

    Unfortunately my abiding memory is now of Craig Bloody Kelly! Wish you’d done it the other way round!

    Now I have to go to bed thinking about Craig Bloody Kelly. *sobs piteously*

    HELP ME!!!!!!!!

    1. monkseal Post author

      He was truly the Joker to Alesha’s Batman. (Nancy is obvs. Catwoman. Mysterious philanthropist with a love of exotic jewellry and a taste for MEN.)

  4. Tom Lawrence (@Meserach)

    I don’t care who they put in there, so long as they swap the seats round so that whoever it is is between Len and Craig. It could be a ten paddle on a stick. (Half the time with Alesha it might as well have been.)

    1. Matt C

      As if either of them would want to be next to Bruno! It’d need to be someone appreciative of his… idiosyncracies. I’m not quite sure how The Inevitable Karen would take to it, actually.

    2. monkseal Post author

      Len will just shout across whoever it is. Unless it’s Karen. I doubt she’ll take being shouted across.

  5. Left Feet

    Yes it will be Karen Hardy, she is the only pro/former pro with the personality to do the job and yes she does know what she is talking about. I really can’t see them going to a former champ again because of the hassle that caused. But its not what the Beeb wanted I’m sure of that after such a successful year and once again the chemistry of the judges will be changed.
    Sad/disapointed that Alesha is leaving and I do think that she has made the decsion based on getting her music career up and running again with Cowell backing and of course the money as well will help!
    Its going to be stranget to have a Strictly without Alesha who was very much the public face of the show, most well known winner without a doubt and the judge everybody talked about. I’m still going to watch but its gonna be strange.

    1. monkseal Post author

      I figure as much as anything else she probably did want a change (on top of the money stuff), although I might be being naive. She’s pushed herself as so many different things in her career (MC, singer, documentary maker, presenter, reality show contestant, reality show judge) that she really does strike me as someone who doesn’t stick at any one thing for long. Dancing/musical theatre isn’t her “one true love” the way it is Bruno/Len/Craig so it only makes sense she’d do it for a bit and then move on to something else.

      1. Left Feet

        Yes agree with most of that she even has talked in interviews of doing acting. But I truely think that she would not have made the move it it was only about BGT. Her last ablum was a huge flop and and she left/got dropped by her record company so by joining Cowell and I guess a Sony label she will be getting at least an X Factor spot and will have a music played on commerical radio again. Of all the Stictly champs she is by far the most ambitious and I still think she wants to be a world star or at least bigger in this country.

  6. Lucy

    …Damn it, I voted for Kara by mistake. I actually wanted to vote for drag!Darren, but my eyes rebelled.

    If I ask very, very nicely, can we please put Bruno in between Craig and Len this year? Especially if it means that Bruno hits Len in the face every time he gets excited? Pretty please?

    1. monkseal Post author

      Doesn’t that leave The Woman closest to Bruce? I still have horrible memories of him dribbling “GO ON ARLENE, BE THE GOVERNESS!” from two series ago, and I still don’t trust him entirely.

      1. Stormy

        Ooh, I know! Put Craig all the way on the other end next to Bruno, and then sit back and watch the fireworks.

      2. Lucy

        Ah, I figured we’d move Len to the end next to Bruce, and the as-yet-unnamed lady at the other end, next to Craig. So I can just ignore that corner, Bruno either hits Len or Craig in the head when he’s gesticulating, and the mystery lady has a corner to herself and Craig (who’s at least slightly better behaved towards the other judges when they aren’t shouting at him) on the other side.

  7. jean

    I will miss Alesha and I agree with the poster above me who said that she probably did this for her profesional career.I wish her all the success:):).She was one of my fav. contestants ever and I like her as a judge on strictly:).Your recap was hilarious, especially the one about Craig Kelly lol lol.
    I like Karen as a dancer , person but I really dont want to see her on that Panel but Im sure that now she will be offered the job, oh well!

    1. monkseal Post author

      I think it will either be Karen or someone nobody has thought of. None of the other names make much sense to me.

      1. Left Feet

        Somebody mentioned on a forum Kimberly Wyatt the fromer Pussycat doll singer who judges dance on a Sky program and has a stong dance background. and is young attractive and could take the “Alesha” role with some technical stuff as well.

  8. Monaogg

    Talk about leaving on a high! Just hope Karen does not replace her but if they must have a B&L judge (Erin or Camilla), Len should be replaced by Tom Chambers 😀

  9. Shuddupfluffy

    Best feud review, evah!

    I loved the confidence issues one best. I hope the BBC get rid of Brucie, and then Stick Erin in as a judge and give Anton what he’s been obviously promised by the producer.

    I’d love to see Erin’s ‘Island faces’ as a response to some of the dances

  10. Lucia

    Hopefully Erin for me but you will probably be right about it being Karen.Did you notice on twitter Russell Grant angling for the position via RT’s of course.

  11. Ferny

    I have always found Karen mildly irritating yet I do do quite like her. She at least knows what she’s talking about, and will speak her mind.

    Won’t miss Alesha tbh, not that I was one of the ‘hatahs’ but most of the things you’ve listed annoyed me/made me cringe more than anything. Just out of interest, who would your 4-judge dream line-up be?

    1. monkseal Post author

      Craig as The Craig, Bruno as The Bruno, Erin as the Arlene, Karen as the Len. (I will change my mind on this about 50 times a day)

      1. Penny

        I like that lineup, but would have Ian as The Bruno (nothing in particular against Bruno, I’d just rather have Ian doing that job – I think he could do the equal opportunity let hung that it demands).

  12. sevenstories

    I can’t deny that Karen knows what she’s talking about, dance-wise, but I must admit I find her incredibly annoying on It Takes Two. The way she over-annunciates everything and seems to precede most of what she says with, ‘Now let me tell you…’ winds me up a lot. I find the prospect of how much she is going to revel in being a judge a little frightening.

    Having said, I think ex-pro is the way to go rather than someone like Jennifer Grey (can you imagine!) but my vote would definitely be with Erin. Lets get rid of Len while we’re at it – I could stomach Karen instead of Len.

    1. monkseal Post author

      It’d be interesting to see how Karen’s persona adapted to being a judge. I did notice Karen’s Korner this year was very much “harsh at the beginning, naught but gushing at the end”< which of course mimicks how the Strictly judging itself goes most of the time.

      1. SCD_P

        Karen is tolerable when in harsh mode, but by the end of her ITT appearances she was so unbelievably gushing that I found her hard to watch. I did wonder whether Zoe Ball should have been issued with an electric cattle prod for use in case Karen became dangerously overexcited. Spreaking of reshuffles and Zoe, I’d like to see her host ITT again. Miles better that whatshername.

  13. kassieq

    Anyone but the gurning Hardy woman, actually that’s wrong I have a long list of not acceptables, so maybe just stick with three judges. Since the pros did away with teaching their partners to dance and instead taught tricks and routines and proppage, the judges really don’t matter. I could do as well, hell the dog could do as well and if he could be arsed the cat.

  14. cleo

    Thank goodness she’s gone. I like Alesha, but not as a judge on Strictly. The panel of BGT is as Crai would say better suited to her ‘skill set’.

    It will be Karen Hardy won’t it. Not a bad thing when you consider the alternatives.

    Oh and get rid of Len and install the lovely Ian;-)

  15. Penny

    Oh that’s making me so sad – I’ll miss her even more now I’ve read that.

    You missed out my all time favourite Alesha judging moment though – her shocked comment to Joe Calzaghe as he stood behind Kristyna listening to the judges “Was you smelling her hair?!” (he totally was). Summed up what made Alesha so much better than Bloody Arlene; she still had the (occasional) ability to respond authentically to what she saw in front of her (see also Craig Kelly, Leila Roass, “Was that supposed to be funny or was it just funny?”).

    I think Karen will be good actually, opinionated and infuriating are desirable qualities in a talent show judge.

    1. monkseal Post author

      I do think Karen is one of the few pros with the personality to pull the whole judging thing off. Most of them are either a bit too nice or a bit too self-consciously edgy.

  16. Kitty

    I was on the ‘Karen for judge’ bandwagon for a long time, but when she started doing choreography corner I changed my mind. She loves the sound of her own voice a bit too much! I can also see her going the way of Arlene over the young male celebrities…

    Impressed at Erin’s score, I think she’d be a good choice actually but it’s never going to happen!

    1. Pasta

      Look at it this way: if it’s Karen as a judge, then she can’t do Corrie Corner and Erin can do that. With the machine.

  17. Fizz

    I’m actually quite proud to see Hayley Holt included in the ‘replace’ list (albeit as probably a ‘comedy’ choice). I reallly liked her in her one series.
    However I think it will be Karen that takes over Alesha. Just when I was starting to warm to Alesha being there to!

  18. Connor

    Did you deliberately not include Natalie or Katya in the replace list because you need to see them dahnce? I think either would be excellent.

    I also have very little faith in reality TV contests to ever make the “right” decision, so I wouldn’t be shocked if “experienced dance judge” Louise Redknapp was chosen.

    You could have included non-winners in the list: Zoe, Snowden (“best” “female” never to win).


    1. monkseal Post author

      I don’t think either Katya or Natalie would make a particularly great judge (although Katya would probably be better than Natalie. I think Natalie genuinely thinks everything is amazing) but they’re mostly not on the list because it can only be *so* long.

  19. joistmonkey

    Whoo! More Karen Hardy screen time!
    “Grab. My. Butt.”
    I’ve had to satisfy myself (easy now) for the past few weeks by watching all the Channel 5 count-down ‘best of X list’ programmes that she’s been whoring herself on relentlessly. Insert your own “I’ve got something she can whore herself on relentlessly..” joke on my behalf, please. Though mine doesn’t last two or three hours, like the TV ‘best of X list’ programmes.

      1. joistmonkey

        Alas no. I fear even the normally effusive Ms Hardy would be less than complementary. Imagine Ian Waite drawing a big red arrow pointing to my bum.

  20. Monaogg

    The way things are going I am hoping for anyone but Karen – The standard of dancing does not need more B&L comments, especially from someone who thinks the professionals can do no wrong (no matter what) 😦

  21. Stormy

    I’m torn. On one hand, I’ve been wanting Karen to replace Alesha since Alesha got there, and yet… her comments about what everyone wants to see in the Showdance made me want to stab her in the eye with a tuning fork. I still voted for Karen, though, over the others on the list. Then again, it would be interesting to hear what bitter rantings Erin could whip up while in the judge’s seat.

  22. Monaogg

    Miranda Hart seems to be a name mentioned at the moment. Wouldn’t mind at all if she did, at least she is articulate and would shut all those complainers up about estuary English & the consequent dumbing own of the panel 😀
    Never mind she has no proper SCD version of dance experience. 😉

    1. monkseal Post author

      Given how the judges scored the showdances though, I’m not sure any of them would disagree. It’s up-tempo Broadway gurn-fests from here to eternity I’m afraid.

  23. Carl

    I don’t want to see Karen as a judge. What I liked about her as a pro dancer (energy, high spirits, competitiveness) annoy me on ITT and are not suited for judging.

    I was reading the forums on DS and was fascinated to “learn” that Alesha left because the BBC rigged everything for Harry, and that the BBC was so terrified of criticism of his charleston, they refused to let 3/4 of the judges comment.

    I usually liked Alesha. The only time I hesitated was her attack on Craig Kelly, mostly because I felt a little sorry for him, and also because I never understood what was lost with Zoe Lucker. Very nice woman, competent dancer, very dull all around.

    1. monkseal Post author

      The casting of both Zoe and Laila was I think an idea grounded in “ZOMG BATTLE OF THE FOOTBALLERS WIVES MEGABITCHEZZZ OMG!” before the producers realised 5 seconds in that not a single person watching cared even an iota, from which point Zoe flailed around with nothing to do at all, as Laila morphed into one of the biggest trainwreck contestants the show has ever seen. She was, notionally, the second best female dancer of the series (and before being in her first Bottom 2 utterly wrecked her brain, probably the best) so I can see Alesha thinking she had to do OUTRAGE. I think of the best transitions between Series 7 and Series 8 is that Evil Moira Ross very obviously sent up the flag that the judges were not to get OUTRAGED over eliminations.


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