Oh my God welcome back I thought I’d be writing this in flipping April but here we are I guess hello.
After Ola handed in her resignation midway through the last series; Aliona left hers stapled to the glitterball trophy for someone to find after the wrap party; Kristina handed in hers in spirit by announcing she was up the duff on Celebrity Big Brother surrounded by Diet Barrowman, Gemma Collins, and something from Geordie Shore; and Tristan absent-mindedly told his fansite he couldn’t be fecked any more to be honest, you might have thought the pro exodus was over. NO! Today we find out that Gleb too is leaving us. Rumours had been circulating that yet another male pro was to leave us, but I’d thought Gleb’s upcoming stint on Celebrity Masterchef meant the BBC had higher things on their mind for him, and so had semi-dismissed him as possibility. But it turns out it really was a one-series stand the whole time, and he’d just made us breakfast afterwards. How very Gleb. On the one hand, I will miss Gleb, or at least miss finding out if he could go any further than a mini-majorette nightclub salsa showdance to Pitbull, but on the other it does feel very much in chraracter for him that the UK joins Australia, Russia, and the USA on the list of countries that have only tasted one season of Gleb. And he’s cited wanting to spend more time with his family as the reason as well, making him sound even more like a disgraced Tory MP tucking his dick back into his pants in front of the nation’s press.
Still we sail on, Glebless, three more pros ride in over the horizon from Spain, Ukraine, and Russia to fill the gaps. Gorka, Katya (no not that Katya calm down), and Oksana become the 45th, 46th, and 47th pros to compete for the glitterball. Briefly, this led me to hope that we were back down to 14 pros and a manageable series for once but no, apparently more will be on the way shortly, once Evil Moira has slapped the bottom of the ketchup bottle of international dance a bit harder and shook loose some of the more congealed blobs. Here’s what we know about the first wave of newbies. By which I mean what I know about them. Other, of course, than that they all love Strictly and have dreamed about being a pro since they were a little girl and definitely aren’t here because they shagged someone on Dancing With The Stars and so can’t get a gig there because of the awkwardness.
Gorka Marquez : Gorka is from Spain and I don’t know how “Gorka” is pronounced but I’m sure Tess will give it a good go and won’t at all sound like someone lowering themselves too quickly into a too hot bath. He’s a Burn The Floor alumunus (duh), a Latin specialist, a hell of a gurner based on the videos I’ve scouted out on Youtube (seriously, particularly the mouth, it’s like he’s trying to put out candles littered around the edge of the dancefloor look out Annie Lennox) and…oh we all know why we’re here right
Fill your boots. And whatever else. Something something, don’t treat him like a piece of meat Tess & Claudia something something like we’re any better. As far as Strictly hunks go, Gorka’s hotness depends entirely on the angle at which he is choosing to present his nose at any given time, but we’ve never had a Spanish pro on the show before, so I’ll go with it. Strictly can always be ticking off more countries in its Michelin Spotters Guide to Europeans.
Katya Jones : Katya is our token Overqualified Pro this year, as she and her husband Neil are current British Latin Champions. They’re also Strictly semi regulars, choreographing pro routines (try not to hold that against them), occasionally subbing in to dance, and also being Strictly Twitter Presences, offering more snarky commentary than you might expect from people officially affiliated with the show. So it feels odd that Katya should be selected as a pro and Neil not. I’d hate to think that people are being chosen as pros solely based on how Mills & Boon their Christian name is, but let’s be honest, it wouldn’t exactly be surprising. Of course it’s always possible that Greg The Floor Manager has asserted his authority as the only buff ginger allowed on the main show, and that is the explanation I am choosing to go with, not at all because the thought of Greg exerting his masculine dominance gets me all hot and bothered. This will of course all be moot when Neil is revealed as part of the second wave of new pros never mind.
Oksana Platero : Another Latin specialist, and this is where my encyclopaedic knowledge of So You Think You Can Dance kicks in yet again, as her husband is Series 5 15th place finisher and salsa specialist Jonathan Platero! Look
here they are feeding each other bananas, how romantic. Jonathan has been brought back a few times in So You Think You Can Dance as a guest choreographer, and Oksana has occasionally been by his side to help him out. Unfortunately it’s mostly resulted in hot messes like this :
so hopefully Oksana has slightly more to offer the Strictly audience. I guess if she’s doing the moves herself rather than just choreographing them they might be…less…botched? Hopefully? Oksana has also served time on the Dancing With The Stars USA dance troupe, but I don’t watch that since things like “Super Mario Brothers Showdance” started happening, so you’re on your own there. Oksana has already been deemed by the press to be the new Strictly Siren, by which they mean she is blonde and foreign. God bless the British press.