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)