101 Reasons To Miss Erin Boag

*deep breath*

These sorts of things always happen whilst I’m indisposed. When the news of Aliona, Erin, Flavia, and Vincent’s collective departure from Strictly (I say collective – Erin, Flavia and Vincent appear to have exited together, with Aliona booted out after them like the sabre-toothed tiger at the end of The Flintstones) broke, I was getting ready to go to a wedding. And this week I have three recaps to write (including 220 minute worth of The Voice OH JOY) so there’s little time to process my thoughts. I will, I swear gather my thoughts on three of the departees and the crop of newbies at some point, but I can’t physically go without paying tribute to my favourite pro in the history of Strictly Come Dancing, Erin Boag.

So here are 101 reasons why Erin Boag will be missed.

  1. It will never, under any circumstances, not be fun to pause, take a moment, consider your surroundings, and then internally sing “Don’t just stand there, let’s get to it, strike a pose, there’s nothing to it…BOAG”.
  2. Erin Boag has given 10 series and 9 years of her life to Strictly, and at the point of her departure, was the only original female professional still standing, outlasting Camilla by FOUR YEARS.
  3. Erin Boag has therefore appeared competitively in more episodes of Strictly than any other female professional, and more than any other professional other than Brendan Cole, period.
  4. In those 10 series, Erin has never been a first boot. (This is also true of Brendan, but Brendan’s partners have mostly been supermodels, sympathy cases and Olympic gold medallists, whereas Erin has been paired with fat bald snooker players, blacklisted comedians and “the Showbiz Correspondent from GMTV”)
  5. Erin’s time on Strictly has mostly consisted of careering from one calamity to another, snatching defeat from the jaws of victory countless times, wearing outlandish outfit after outlandish outfit, always ending in tragedy. In this, she truly is the closest Strictly has to a gay icon in the classic sense of the term.
  6. Erin has partnered more gay contestants than anybody else in the global history of the franchise.
  7. Erin truly understands camp better than any other pro on the show, knowing when to deploy her maracas, and when to keep them concealed.
  8. Erin Boag should basically have her own desk at Stonewall is what I’m saying.
  9. Erin’s gradual makeover over the course of 10 series is the most amazing journey the show has ever seen, even more than when Jade Johnson learned to be a true lady, or when Lilia taught Darren Gough how to read.
  12. This photoshoot (GET IT GURL!)
  13. This DVD cover (WERK!)
  14. This picture (BLOODY HELL!)
  15. Erin has provided me with many many blog hits from disgusting perverts over her years on Strictly. Or at least…her feet have. God bless you, you one very special person.
  16. Erin’s hair falling out as her dreams of Strictly glory died at the end of Series 6 is hands down the best visual metaphor ever on a reality show for the tragedy of failure. That was some Greek Tragedy stuff right there. As those streams of fur fled around the dancefloor like stoats on crack, you knew it was all over.
  17. AUSTIN WUZZ ROBBED (sorry, you knew it was coming)
  18. That interview she did during Series 8 where she just casually dropped in that Ann could definitely win, and that we should all remember that the best dancer “didn’t win the last two series” (SHADE)
  19. Erin’s relationship with Anton is palpably sweet. Let’s face it, nobody came out of…that incident well, but Erin storming around all of the breakfast shows like a mother tiger, insisting that Anton couldn’t be racist because he had a half-Japanese girlfriend once, was both endearing and also a bit like something out of Dinnerladies.
  20. Erin has choreographed some of the greatest routines in Strictly history, and I can think of no better way of padding out this list than naming ALL of her Greatest Hits, in chronological order.
  21. Catch-all : any time she got half-decent ballroom out of any of the following – Martin Offiah, Willie Thorne, Peter Shilton, Rory Bremner – despite their complete inability to do anything else.
  22. Speaking of which, not a dance, but that rumour about her and Martin Offiah doing the do. Either she pioneered the grand Strictly history of the fauxmance, or she got some of Martin Offiah. Either way, it’s a point in her favour.
  23. On a similar note, that Daily Mail article that said that she and Anton were married (CAN YOU IMAGINE?)
  24. Anyway, yes, the dances. Firstly Julian’s samba, in which he got his maracas out.
  25. Secondly, Julian’s quickstep which Erin clearly had to work incredibly hard to prise out of him, despite his every instinct to just run off the dancefloor and never come back after his week 1 cha cha
  26. Thirdly, Julian’s showdance, for the reason that nothing on this show will ever, EVER, make me laugh harder than the sight of Julian Clary wobbling onto the dancefloor dressed as Richard Gere in An Officer And A Gentleman, carrying Erin in his arms, as the band struck up “Take My Breath Away”. EVER.
  27. Fourthly, Julian’s showdance, for the reason that it was a perfect showcase of the (admittedly little) he had learnt and also a triumphant topper to his battle against his panic attacks, not just a bunch of showy shit he already knew how to do before the series even started, or a whole bunch of pyro just shot in the audience’s faces. NAMING NO NAMES.
  28. Colin Jackson’s quickstep, which captured both the lightness and joy of Old Hollywood, and also the sheer smug joy of doing a jumping splits right into your opponent’s faces.
  29. Colin Jackson’s rumba, the only decent male rumba in the whole of the first four series and, let’s face it, most of them afterwards as well.
  30. Colin Jackson’s foxtrot
  31. Colin Jackson’s American Smooth, which singlehandedly justified the whole concept of creating an entire genre which basically means absolutely nothing and doesn’t even really exist.
  32. Any dance where Colin Jackson waggled his hips about and made everyone feel a bit funny, and let’s face it, that happened quite a bit.
  33. Colin Jackson’s showdance which was one of the most glorious examples of going down in flames ever seen on this show or any other. Apparently born out of Erin going “THAT FAKING HO LILIA KOPYLOVA HASN’T TAUGHT DARREN GOUGH HOW TO LEAD PROPERLY! WELL I’LL SHOW HER!”, so it was born out of righteousness as well.
  34. Peter Schmeichal’s effing terrifying tango.
  35. Peter Schmeichal’s samba. All together now : ONE, TWO, THREE, SHAKE YOUR BODY DOWN!
  36. Austin Healey’s waltz followed closely by…
  37. Austin Healey’s jive, complete with sassy z-snap. Never has a more terrifying one-two punch been thrown to start a series of Strictly. You could just see the nation’s collective cogs whirring, wondering if Austin wasn’t going to be just another rugby player who was good at Ballroom but bad at Latin. And then…he so wasn’t.
  38. Austin Healey’s Viennese Waltz, which wasn’t quite as good as Austin Healey’s waltz, but then we can’t have everything can we?
  39. Austin Healey’s even more effing terrifying tango.
  40. Austin Healey’s quickstep which, quite frankly, was just showing off by this point.
  41. Austin Healey doing a cha cha to It’s Raining Men. Like I said, Erin just *gets* camp, in her soul.
  42. Austin Healey’s foxtrot. You may notice that I’m not adding commentary for the foxtrots. That’s because they are foxtrots.
  43. Austin Healey’s paso doble. OLE!
  44. That time she and Austin Healey did the paso doble again for a Xmas Special, and it was basically just them running around being silly to Boehmian Rhapsody, and then after that they didn’t do Xmas Specials with returning celebrities any more.
  45. Ricky Groves’ cha cha. Might not be on most people’s lists, but for some reason Erin decided to burst out of the gate for Series 7 writhing around like she was drunk and horny for Garry Hobbs, and it’s one of the most charmingly grotty things that’s ever happened on the show.
  46. Ricky Groves’ Fried Chicken paso doble.
  47. Sidebar : Nobody else would wear Erin’s dress from Ricky Groves tango. Nobody else would want to. 70 lbs of purple fringing stapled to a carpet remnant. It will live in Strictly infamy forever. She looked like a missing Monster Munch.
  48. Sidebar : That outfit she wore for Peter Shilton’s Cabaret Charleston
  49. Sidebar : That 80s lesbian powersuit she wore for Richard Arnold’s quickstep.
  50. All those times that she wore dresses that were actually flattering and which made her look great.
  51. The halves of Richard Arnold’s cha cha to Love Shack that were Erin Boag’s bits, not Richard Arnold’s bits, I could barely look at those (OOH PARDON).
  52. Richard Arnold’s paso doble to O Fortuna, which Erin apparently danced with a high fever, and choreographed with an even higher one. Stands out even amongst Erin’s paso dobles as absolutely gloriously batty.
  53. Erin Island, as a metaphor, being my favourite running gag in the history of these recaps, apart maybe from my attempts to capture Natalie’s accent.
  54. Erin Island as an ACTUAL PHYSICAL THING. It will always give me some satisfaction that it was the scene of Erin’s last ever competitive dance on the show, drinking imaginary cocktails with Lovely Shem in his budgie smugglers.
  55. That time she & Anton did a lovely waltz to Moon River.
  56. That time she & Anton did a lovely waltz with Michael Buble.
  57. Any other time she & Anton did a lovely waltz or a foxtrot or even a quickstep with anyone at any time.
  58. That time she & Anton did a lovely wife-swapping routine with Vincent & Flavia.
  59. That time she & Anton did a truly emotional piece about the plight of the homeless.
  60. That time she & Anton did Ghostbusters as some sort of weird revenge fantasy where they machine-gunned all the other pros and then ran off with the glitterball.
  61. That one time she and Ian formed a BALLROOM MEGAPAIRING for…a Latin showcase (?!)
  62. That time she half-arsedly wiggled some showgirl fans around in the video for Emma Bunton’s “Downtown”, giving that mess the full attention and devotion it deserved (FEATURING FLAVIA, AS A SAILOR!)
  63. The blog entry that she did to announce her departure, which basically ended with her going “huge thanks to all the many celebrities who I danced with who I all loved equally and whose names I can definitely remember but ZOMG HERE’S ME DANCING WITH THE CAST OF TOP HAT! AND ANDREA BOCELLI!”
  64. That time she revealed on It Takes Two that if she wasn’t a ballroom dancer her dream was basically to be a slum landlord, and it didn’t make me like her any less.
  65. That time she revealed on It Takes Two that pretty much all she eats is fishfinger sandwiches.
  66. That time she lied on It Takes Two that she hoped that Ricky Groves brings out an autobiography one day so she can add it to her collection of the autobiographies of the actually famous people she partnered. NOBODY HOPES THAT ERIN.
  67. That time on It Takes Two when she just casually murdered an insect like it was nothing.
  68. That time on It Takes Two when she just threw her fan-mail around her living room, all “LOOK HOW MUCH FAN MAIL I GET BITCHEZ! DO YOU GET THIS MUCH FAN MAIL HAYLEY HOLT? NO, YOU DON’T!”
  69. That time on It Takes Two when she appeared just after Austin got eliminated, and she looked like she wanted to BURN THE STUDIO DOWN WITH EVERYBODY ELSE STILL INSIDE IT.
  70. That time on It Takes Two when she revealed that she has a little shrine in the corner of her living room devoted to her victory in the Christmas Special with Colin Jackson.
  71. That time on the Christmas Special with Colin Jackson when she won the Christmas Special with Colin Jackson, and they only had to arrange to a discrete accident to Darren Gough’s tyres in order for it to happen.
  72. That quasi-sexual relationship that she established with her MACHINE on It Takes Two. They’re tried to replicate it with Ian Waite but, let’s face it, it’s just not the same.
  73. Erin has, in the tradition of all the best women in Strictly history, landed herself a rich husband. GET IT ERIN.
  74. This anecdote regarding said husband : “Boag reveals: “To entertain me some mornings he dances into our kitchen wearing his Calvin Klein’s and sweeps me off my feet as I’m trying to make us breakfast. He says, ‘I’m going to be Anton’, as he tries to foxtrot around the room with me.” “
  75. Erin’s official show nickname – “Miss Whiplash” – is officially the best official show nickname. It is so amazing that the show has tried to palm it off on about five other female pros, and it has never stuck, because ERIN IS MISS WHIPLASH.
  76. Erin’s adorable relationship with Julian.
  77. Erin’s adorable relationship with Julian’s dog.
  78. How Erin used to say “JULLLIAN” rather than “Julian” which might seem like a small thing to you, but which I flipping LOVED.
  79. This whole video
  80. Her less adorable but still intense relationship with Richard Arnold, where they basically sat on the sofa on It Takes Two licking one another and daring anyone to have a problem with it.
  81. That one time that Erin DRAGGED Zoe Ball on camera, implying that she was a teacher’s pet who got over-inflated marks and Erin would NOT STAND FOR IT A MOMENT LONGER. In these days when people call for dancers heads because they made a couple of mildly catty comments about another pro in a magazine that nobody reads, I miss such honesty and open hostility.
  82. Honestly, I want to make this a double point, because this sort of anodyne thinking leads to ENTIRE VTS DEVOTED TO JIVE BUNNY.
  83. How this made every time she and Zoe appeared together on It Takes Two and didn’t gouge one another’s eyes out feel like the greatest victory in UK peacekeeping since the Good Friday Agreement.
  84. That time she said that the marks Scott Maslen got for his American Smooth were a load of bollocks as well, which they were, given that he was actually being dragged around by his actual neck.
  85. That time she admitted that she didn’t have a clue who Peter Shilton was, but her dad LOVED HIM.
  86. Erin’s favourite Strictly dance is the quickstep. This is the correct choice.
  87. Erin’s least favourite Strictly dance wasn’t revealed in the same interview, but you can kind of tell it’s the cha cha. This is also the correct choice.
  88. Erin was generally basically a little corner fighting for ballroom’s place in a show increasingly overwhelmed by Latin and…whatever they’re saying Charleston counts as.
  89. Unlike other people for whom this is true, Erin actually wasn’t that terribad at Latin.
  90. Erin is officially TRAINED in disco, and I cannot believe that she has been expunged before one of Evil Moira Ross’ minions could make it an official Strictly jahnre.
  91. Erin Boag once choreographed a Strictly tango to a Geri Halliwell album track.
  92. That one time she accused Natalie Lowe of faking illness to avoid the truly awful hair-cut she was given for the truly awful Alice In Wonderland pro dance.
  93. That one time she shut her eyes and made Rory Bremner do a Sean Connery impersonation just to get herself turned on for some reason.
  94. That one time she went on Celebrity Mastermind and didn’t know what a zebra was.
  95. We never ever got to see her doing an Argentine Tango.
  96. We never ever got to see her do the redemptive showdance her narrative arc DEMANDED.
  97. We never ever got to see her lift the glitterball trophy as series winner.
  98. We never ever got to see her become Head Judge and visit vengeance on all the other pros who had denied her victory for the last god knows how many series.
  99. Erm…she was a really good dancer and shit?
  100. Erin is 5ft 6 and SO AM I (I may be reaching slightly at this point)
  101. But really, in all seriousness, Erin Boag has given so many memorable Strictly moments in her 9 years on the show, and whatever she does next, I only wish her the best of luck. And also to wrest her beloved machine back off Ian Waite. And maybe to win another Christmas Special. Or three. Forever my favourite Strictly pro.

20 thoughts on “101 Reasons To Miss Erin Boag

  1. rodneyandsteptoe

    Nice review of Erin – of all the pros, she was the one I hoped would eventually be given a decent partner and win but forever will now be known for the Dummy Show Dance (or how NOT to win the Final). Any sort of traditional show dance would have won it for her and Colin, maybe even just turning up in matching sparkly outfits and walking around the dance floor would have been enough…

    I really hope she gets to do something on SCD or ITT but I suspect she will now enjoy her rich hubbie…

    Unfortunately we still have Anton 😦

    1. Verns

      Poor Erin – it’s bad enough that she will be chiefly remembered for Puppetgate, but to be MISremembered as costing Colin Jackson the title must be a bitter pill to swallow. Darren Gough was apparently a gazillion votes ahead and nothing Erin and Colin could have done would have wrested the glitterball from Lilia’s determined grip.

      1. rodneyandsteptoe

        Fair enough but at least Erin could have accepted that it was down to popularity of the contestant and NOT due to her choice of Show Dance – the Dummy Dance would have killed off the most popular celebrity’s chances of winning…

  2. Ferny

    I also love to believe that the Erin Island was a shout-out, and it’s kind of amazing that was her last ever competitive dance. I hope Erin sees this list, I’m sure she’d be proud 🙂

    I ❤ her and Anton's relationship, so sweet. And I can't believe she's going to be gone especially with my favourite Flavia going too ;( And how did she never do an Argentine Tango?? I bet there would have been lots of fire involved.

    Very sad she never won with Colin, that would have been fab (and deserved). She didn't ever come close again did she?

      1. min

        I think my favourite Erin moment was the jive reprise in the final that year. In a sea of foxtrots it was a honking great ‘here’s what you could have had’ … with lifts 🙂

      2. Left Feet

        Robbed from the semis but for me it would have been hard to beat the smug vicar that year.

  3. jessikart

    She shone bright like a diermund. I shall miss her. But now I know that Erin Island is real, I know she will be in safe hands. Farewell Erin! One day we shall drink pina coladas under palm trees.

  4. Left Feet

    Sad to see her go but I think she had checked out somewhere in 2008 despite being there so long Erin really had only two real contenders Colin Jackson and Austin Healey. I think Erin, Vincent and Flavia have been smart to develop their own shows outside of Strictly which means they are able to leave on their own terms. I suppose that I am a little surprised that Aliona was also axed given that they were already two females down. Having said that I don’t really think she was ever that popular with the hard core strictly viewers and had been lucky that she had two contendors in two years. I liked the stuff with Len but she never really talked back to the judges just giggled

  5. Glitter Tim

    I am pretty sure the goddess Erin did get some Offiah, didn’t she
    I remeber some photos in the papers of them cuddling and snogging in a park
    Or am I mad?

  6. Jenny

    RIP Erin, you will be missed.

    Austin Wuz Robbed can never be avenged now, I seriously mourn that, but I am delighted for you that you have taken the decision to move on, rather than dance this year with – oh, I don’t know, a lesser Dingle, or a darts player.

    It’s only Dame Natalie Lowe making me want to tune in for the next series, it does truly feel like the end of an era.

    Farewell Erin, Erin’s Island, the Muppet dress, the Puppet costume, the Machine! Strictly will never be the same.

    [We all know Erin is reading this, right?]

  7. Pingback: Strictly Come Dancing Pro Poll 2013 – RESULTS | The mighty mighty Monk Seal

  8. lucycorley

    The greatest pro ever to grace our screens, creator of the best dances in Strictly history, and the only person who can make Anton look like a real dancer. Erin, you (and your machine) will be sadly missed. Thanks monk seal for this brilliant tribute 🙂

  9. Pingback: 101 Reasons To Miss Natalie Lowe | The mighty mighty Monk Seal

  10. Pingback: 101 Reasons To Miss Brendan Cole | The mighty mighty Monk Seal

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