Fun Fact : I was originally going to do a “101 Reasons To Miss Vincent & Flavia” post, and then a “101 Reasons To Miss Aliona” post, and when you clicked on “continue reading” for the “101 Reasons To Miss Aliona” the rest of the page as revealed would just say “LOL!” in size 48 font. But I’m not feeling that mean. Not today.
So anyway, it was at the point when, in the middle of Flavia’s final ever more aggressive scrabble for the Glitterball (like if Sofia Loren had been cast as Gollum in Lord Of The Rings), she damned the entirety of the rest of the cast as stage school brats and the judges as blinkered misandrists (or words to that effect) that I wondered if she had in fact gone Full Camilla, and was going out in a blaze of psychotic glory. And it turns out she was. I’m surprised she didn’t clock Tess with that glitterball, yell “IT’S KA-KA-CHUH NOT KA-KA-CHEE, BITCH!” and peg it out of the studio. Instead she just had to settle for being hoist aloft by Louis in her moment of victory smiling beatifically down on a studio full of loser pros. And Artem. And Ola. And Aliona.
Yes I know Brendan won once, why do you ask?
So yes, Flavia left the very second she won the glitterball, if not several days before, mentally, and she’s taking Vincent with her. In a way it feels right that one of Strictly’s most iconic couples left together (*EYES TO ANTON EYES TO ANTON EYES TO ANTON*) and let’s face it, he can probably fit right in her suitcase. If the acrimonious break-down of their personal relationship couldn’t stop them from doing their annual Argentine Tango showcase, then why should Flavia leaving to get up the duff (or, you know, whyever she might have left) tear them asunder? Oddly, all in all, despite not winning, it’s probably been an easier road for Vincent as every year he seems like he’s either had an affable contender (Louisa, Rachel, Dani) a game old tv icon (Stephanie, Felicity) or someone who it was really really really really really fun to utterly humiliate, leaving her lying on the floor flashing her scarlet knickers about aimlessly to an aghast public (you know who I’m talking about). Flavia on the other hand had to suffer the delusional Craig, the tiring crippled Russell, the too-swiftly dispatched Jimi and…well…for legal reason I can’t comment on Jimmy Tarbuck but…you know. Reasons. Regardless, it felt like Flavia had to fight harder to make her chances count, which is why I will always remember her slightly more fondly, probably. Also Matt Di Angelo was well fit, innit.
Although I will always love that HE-MAN TRIATHLON segment on It Takes Two, wherein James, Vincent and Brendan competed to see who was the fittest, and Vincent blew up wheezing like a geriatric asthmatic about 30 seconds in, as one of my favourite It Takes Two segments of all time (SMOKERS ARE JOKERS, KIDS. SMOKERS ARE JOKERS!)
(And of course the story about Kristina and the cupboard).
Aliona leaving as well makes this the biggest shake-up in Strictly history. Never have more series of experience been ditched in one go (27, as opposed to the 25 we lost in the pre Series 8 cull aka “The Night Of The Dance Troupe”) and certainly a vacuum has been left. I say this only to pad out around the fact that I’m not really all that bothered that Aliona left, because (Harry’s end run of Ballroom dances aside) I never really liked her choreography, and she never really delivered for me on a personality level beyond occasionally bellowing “CUSTARD!”. Even in her latter-day role as giggly Len-baiter she felt kind of aimless. She’s not even leaving in the blaze of bitterness and recriminations you’d hope a ditched dancer would.
Still, I wish her all the best in her future endeavours, whatever photoshoots that might entail.