And around the Strictly Luggage carousel we go…
Like the departures, I’ll do them alphabetically.
Joanne Clifton : Every year the show inches a little bit closer to being the 2010s equivalent to Dallas, except revolving around dancing except oil and marginally less camp. And Kevin Clifton is undoubtedly the Bobby Ewing around which everyone spins. He dances with his wife, his parents occasionally pop in for VTs and to choreograph group dances, he has his villainous arch-rivals the Jordans plotting his downfall, and if he doesn’t have a load of exs amongst the cast then well…it’s because not everyone can be Janette Manrara. (Although he does have an ex-wife with a funny name producers, GET ON IT). And now blowing into town comes his sister. Now this is good news for both Kevin-fans and Kevin-haters alike as, whilst it does undoubtedly strengthen the Clifton presence on the show, it also might not be that easy for Kevin to adjust. What does any man want less, only a year after starting a new job and being thoroughly settled in as the Golden Boy, than to have his more talented, prettier, more garlanded, unattached baby sister roll up? It’s such an obvious wellspring of hackneyed, corny, wakka-wakka, end-of-the-pier, nudge-nudge jokes that I’m fairly sure Bruce is already clawing at the door of Elstree Studios moaning and rasping to be let back in like something particularly disturbing out of an episode of The Walking Dead. Never mind the obvious psychological possibilities. Let’s all just count ourselves lucky that Dr Hamela’s Psychology Slot on It Takes Two only lasted half a series because otherwise she’d have us all barfing into our bin-bags over her interpretation of the Clifton Dynamic. Anyway, aside from that, as a dancer obviously she is a World Champion At Stuff, which can only be a good thing. Maybe she and Iveta can compare trophies. Iveta have TWO trophy in TEN dance Joanne Clifton, which mean she really have TWENTY TROPHY. How many you have? Pfft.
Tristan MacManus : Speaking of jokes that Bruce is going to have to miss out on making, we have an IRISH pro now. Just imagine, if Brucie had clung on another year he would have been in clover. No more trying to work out what the hilarious stereotype of a flipping Lithuanian or a Slovenian was supposed to be, it would have been BEGORRAH AND BEJESUS AND T’BE SURE AND LEPRECHAUNS AND SHAMROCKS AND GUINNESS AND SHILLELAGHS BEJAYSUS. Yes, Tristan MacManus hails from County Wicklow and, more importantly, from Dancing With The Stars, where he appears to have mostly been partnered with octogenarians and people who had to pull out because all their bones spontaneously disintegrated into dust. Say “Poor Anton!” all you like, but at least none of his partners have been terminally ill (Widdy just looked it in that American Smooth). So after four series of this, Tristan has fled the Derek Hough Death Star to dance on Strictly, where he can finally get some respect. Maybe. So how is he as a dancer? Well I’ve looked at several youtube videos and pictures and I can tell you officially that in my professional opinion as a dance-fan of a decade standing that he has nice hair, an adorable nose, a cute smile, a decent amount of chest hair which they BETTER NOT MAKE HIM WAX OR I WILL BE DOWN THE BBC WITH A PETITION SO HELP ME GOD and an unfortunate full-arm sleeve tattoo which spoils things a little, but let’s face it, I’m not fussy. Oh and apparently his strengths as a dancer lie far far far far far far more in Latin than in Ballroom but…that wouldn’t really help you pick him out of the Strictly line-up would it?