Strictly Come Dancing 14 – The Manly Men


Ed Balls : Not a surprising start as, in the best tradition of politicians, Ed Balls was clearly blabbing his official secrets to the press as soon as his name was inked on the contract. Filling the Jeremy Vine “embarassing dad” slot, Ed Balls is the fourth politician to grace the Strictly floor (because Lord knows we haven’t had enough politics over the last few months) and it’s not surprising to see him follow up his previous tentative toe-dip into the world of sleb via Celebrity Bake Off with a full body bellyflop into the deepest waters of the D List via Strictly. Whilst Ed’s ascent to the giddy heights of the very top tier of the world of politics was glass ceiling’d by his ridiculous name (like previous otherwise assured political performers Virginia Bottomly, Willie Whitelaw and the erly 19th century political maverick the 3rd Earl Of Arseface) the world of light entertainment positively embraces the children of parents who make poor choices. Ed’s an interesting choice as, unlike the other former politicians who’ve competed, there’s nothing really memorable about his time in parliament. Edwina has her sex life and her eggs ; Widdy had her virginity, bad hair, and horrifically backwards, repressive and evil social views ; and even for the Lib Dems Vince Cable had telling Murdoch where to get off and pretending that he saw the financial crisis coming yes he did, he definitely did. What does Ed have? Abolishing SATs for 14 year olds? WORRALEGEND! Still I guess New Labour have to punt *someone* up for national treasure status for SOMEONE who isn’t John Prescott, and who else is going to do it? Hazel Bloody Blears?

Will Young : And so we come fill circle. Will Young dates back to the very first generation of British reality tv. Amidst the trailblazers – the Anna Nolans, the Ben Fogles, the Charlotte The Harlot’s, the Danny From Hear’says, the…whoever was on Series 1 of The Mole (just kidding you know I love you Ollie, Sara, Jennifer, David, you’re all like my children I could never choose!) – Will was the first Pop Idol, and instituted the noble tradition in this country of “sticking it to Simon Cowell” whilst also giving him lots and lots and lots and lots of money. Will rose to fame by subverting Simon’s chosen winner, Gareth (Northern, *cute*, speech impediment, non-threatening, working class, self-effacing, heterosexual to the extent that he had sex with Jordan and let’s face it, you’d have to be pretty ruddy heterosexual) by being the opposite (Southern, handsome in a funny-looking sort of way, school debating club well-spoken, singing dutty songs by The Doors about sex, middle class, self-confident, homo) and taking Cowell himself on for calling him average one time, winning the nation’s hearts in the process. Since then Will has had several number 1 albums and singles, been nominated for an Olivier and most impressively managed to get through an edition of Question Time as the token celebrity whilst only sounding like an utter gorp 5 or 6 times. And yet still he finds himself here. As the runaway presumptive RINGAH winner, but here none the less. Ah well, nice to have a gay contestant who presumably won’t be treated like an utter joke, eh? And if he is…well he can always threaten to have his dad shoot a judge in the face, the old ones are the best, right?

Ore Oduba : The conveyor belt from kids tv to adult entertainment (not like that madam calm down) has wound down of late, with pretty much all kids tv now safely shunted off to a cordonned off minor channel to allow for yet more shows about antiquing and property in daytime because lord knows we can’t get enough of those. Still, Ore is the latest face (and yes other parts, I saw you looking as well, don’t deny it) to make the transition, starting off on Newsround, then moving on to BBC Breakfast, and finally onto presenting gigs in his own right. Admittedly only the National Lottery, and the Olympics “country cousin”, the Commonwealth Games, but gigs none the less. And now Strictly! In terms of form, he’s young, he’s good looking, and based on those embarassing “please make this a viral meemee whatever that means kids!” videos they do on BBC Breakfast, he’s got potential to help this year of Strictly be the actual YEAR OF THE MAN that I’ve been asking for for years now. BUT, and it’s not a small but, he does have form competing with a past Strictly alum in a reality tv dance competition and finishing second best. Yes this :

got beaten in the public vote by Strictly 14th placer Vanessa Feltz recreating the video for “If I Could Turn Back Time” by Cher on “Let’s Drag Up For Comic Relief”. Could Ore suffer in the public vote? To be honest, I’ll think about it once I’ve done processing whatever it is Arlene Phillips is doing at 00:39 there.

Melvin Odoom : So from one minor black male television presenter who rose up through the ranks from kids tv to another. Although Melvin here started in the messy world of Dick N Dom In Da Bungalow rather than the staid educational hothouse of Newsround, and progressed to co-hosting The Xtra Factor, the Kiss FM morning show, and something called “Bang On The Money”, rather than prestige sporting events and The National Lottery, making him very much the chaotic yin to Ore’s more orderly yang. The Loki to Ore’s Thor. The Captain to his Tenille. If we’re going to continue this line of…if we’re honest, slightly racially dubious comparisons, then Melvin has a couple of disadvantages compared to Ore (he’s less well known, not AS handsome, and also he’s really really wee, although that does allow us all a day off from the Natalluminati squeaking “NO, THAT ONE, WE WANT THAT ONE NOW!”) but on the other hand does have the advantage of being a bit of a ringer, with a history of teaching dance to disadvantaged youth and also a degree in “Media Performance”, whereas all Ore has in his educational armour is Sports Science and learning exactly how Susanna Reid likes her coffee. Until this translates to action on the dancefloor for real though, let’s just all contemplate how many jokes Tess’N’Claude’N’Zoe are going to make about his surname, and also how even combined between all those three it’ll come to a lower sum total amount than Brucie would have made.

Danny Mac : The problem : Gleb has gone, leaving behind a nation of women (and men) filled with screams they’ll never utter, ovaries they’ve never burst, panties they’ll never moisten, and restraining orders that will never get the ink wet on. Sure some of us, the enlightened, watch this show for the PURITY OF THE DAHNCE and the thrill of the journey, but what about those millions for whom Strictly isn’t a talent competition but more an edition of Magic Mike : SCD? Well

there’s your answer. Yes, as so often has happened before on this show, the producers have been grubbing around Hollyoaks for Government Grade beef like they’re dumpster-diving at Doncaster Burger King at 2am, and come up with a juicy slab of “this will do”. A rummage round in Danny’s portfolio reveals SIX separate Sexiest Male soap awards, a stint as understudy in Wicked, a period of study at a performing arts school, this performance for Children In Need (Warning : contains previous blog mascot Stephanie Davis, GET WELL SOON STEPHANIE, WE’RE ALL ROOTING FOR YOU TO STOP IT!), and most importantly, an engagement to Carly Stenson, previously known as the other half of Strictly’s most notable Hollyoaks alumnus, Ricky Whittle. And given that Ricky has now converted his time on Strictly into the lead role in a prestige American drama, who could bet against Carly “Stephanie De La Dean” Stenson : Showbiz Kingmaker? It just remains to be seen if he has, y’know, any personality whatsoever.

Judge Rinder : 12 years I’ve been waiting. 12 years since the glory days of “you’re wearing too much foundation”, “I’m sorry, I wasn’t listening”, “the particularly ugly one on the end” and “silly old queen”. I am of course talking about the truly epic bitch-off between Julian Clary and Craig Revel-Horwood, that rumbled on for all 8 weeks of Series 2, and which has never quite been equalled. UNTIL NOW! HOPEFULLY! Judge Rinder blazes through the nice’n’shiny ITV daytime’s seaside postcard world of Holly & Phil, the Loose Women and that penny slots game with that nice Ben Shepard, dispensing justice to various ne’er do wells and Big Brother contestants, with acid pithy put-downs. Like a more feminine Judge Judy, except not really a judge. He has a much better credential to rule over ITV’s cardboard court than that though – being Benedict Cumberbatch’s mate! Not that I’m insinuating he’s been cast mostly so they can get old Cabbagepatchkid in the front row or anything. Whatever the truth, I hope he and Craig are utterly non-stop vile about one another as long as he lasts, which based on the rest of this cast will probably be about three weeks.

Greg Rutherford : Now this is more like it! An official GOLD MEDALLIST! Admittedly not at these last Olympics, but at one point in time, I’m not picky, as long as you’ve got one in your back pocket you have a free pass onto Strictly as far as I’m concerned. Yes, even if you’re one of the Women’s Eight rowers. Of Team BeeGees Super Saturday threesome, Greg was always the most likely to end up on Strictly because, despite Mohammed Farah shilling Quorn and Jess Ennis-Hill endorsing mortgages, Greg has always been the biggest famewhore of the three, having by now done Celebrity Million Pound Drop, Fake Reaction, Celebrity The Cube, Celebrity Bake Off, Celebrity Chase and numerous photoshoots when you can clearly see his dick that I definitely don’t have saved to a secret folder on my computer called my desktop wallpaper. Strictly was only the logical next step. In terms of this show’s history of long jumpers, Greg has the positive of remembering that Jade Johnson was quite a good dancer, and also the negative of remembering that she shattered her knee into a million pieces. So swings and roundabouts really. You wouldn’t bet against Greg’s Olympic glow to carry him all the way to the final if he’s even nearly as good as Jade was (and I’d also quite like to see him dressed only in a glittery silver cobweb Wardrobe, if you’re reading) but that’s not the real question here is it? No, on this blog, there’s only one competition that Greg’s in this year.

Who’s the fittest?


61 thoughts on “Strictly Come Dancing 14 – The Manly Men

  1. Bridget Orr

    Can Ed Balls do “say my name”/”what’s my name”/basically anything about the time he tweeted his ownzzzzzzz…

  2. Huriye

    The most notable thing about this ex-politician was when he lost his seat. πŸ˜›
    At least Vince Cable was still in Parliament when he sashayed round with Erin.

    Then I remembered we share the same Optician. I’ve got an appointment on Thursday, so might return with some Ball goss. πŸ˜‰

  3. BeyonceCastle

    Yay! Cannot wait. Do not mind if Ringah wins this year, hope he smashes it. Shame they can’t dance to their own songs, he could have done Top Gun* again to Switch it on (and much as I loved him, *do a far better job than Simon Webby taking off his glasses in a leather jacket with Kristina just wearing a shirt).
    I know you are not keen on him but Barrowman absolutely deserved to win that Xmas special and he was particularly nice about Kristina when they won, so I am not listening to bad words about him lalalalalalalalalalalalala (C’mon, Shark attack 3:megaladon, for crying out loud, the guy’s paid his dues). Wouldn’t mind him on the panel either πŸ˜‰

  4. BeyonceCastle

    Me too.

    But Ore 3000 was bloody brilliant.
    Very fine, no denying it.

    So…on DS they talked about opening songs
    Great Balls of Fire
    (Jive in week one, has that ever been done?)
    Harry and Aliona did (for me) a sub par show dance to it.

    Young hearts run free.

    They haven’t done the other two yet but I’m thinking…
    Laura: Jungle drum? / something from Jungle book
    Ore: Not sure, hopefully nothing sport related (tango to keep on running ffs) and it’s a tad bit early for Rio samba. His codename was Romeo apparently (ta DS) sadly I don’t see them using Donna Summer’s Flashdance track of the same name (but I would vote for him if they did)

    1. monkseal Post author

      If you look at the pattern, the ringahs/contenders actually tend to get to dance to non themey song choices week 1. Kellie/Jay/Helen/Anita/Georgia/Peter and erm…Jamelia, all got fairly straight choices, whilst it was the Anthony/Iwan/Carol/Daniel’s who got the joke songs.

      (Also Katie did a wk 1 jive last series, and Susanna and Patrick both did one in Series 11 at the very least as well)

      1. DJ Mikey

        Jennifer Gibney also did a week 1 Jive – I noticed that there was no qualifier for WEEK 1 JIVE THAT WAS GOOD. Although Katie’s was definitely up there.

  5. ChaChaChavvy

    Two presenters of ITV spin-off shows I’ve never even heard of because I’m elderly? It’s going to take Barry Zuckercorn and one of the proper ones from Bananarama to rescue this for me, and I am not that picky when it come to celebrities.

    On the plus side Ore looks shameless and desperate for more fame, so he might be an interesting watch.

    1. monkseal Post author

      The Fonz is my favourite perennial rumour, I’m surprised he hasn’t really been mentioned so far this year til now.

  6. Huriye

    Thanks for reminding me of that video Monkseal! It was a cracker! πŸ˜€

    But Greg James was so wasted sitting in the Judges seat. I’ll never forgive him for chickening out of Strictly. Perfect height for Natalie! ❀ Plus big popular vote.

    Re this morning's announcement of a Moomin person, I have no idea who that is. #dontjudgemeimmiddleaged

    Ooh, and Ore did present the World Gymnastics Championships last year. His career is on an upward trajectory.

  7. cecilymsmith

    Oh my goodness, The Mole! I was obsessed with that when it was on. If you ever wanted to go back and recap both seasons I wouldn’t be opposed…

    1. monkseal Post author

      I can’t help but think it would lose its lustre knowing who the Mole was from week 1. Although I guess with Series 2 that was true the first go around as well…

  8. ChaChaChavvy

    Danny Mac, anyone? Nope, me neither. They haven’t even reached the halfway point of the reveals and they’ve already reached my record limit of people I’ve never heard of. I need a Daniel O’Daniel moment, where I text everyone I’ve ever met with sheer excitement.

  9. DJ Mikey

    Danny Mac is everything I want in Strictly hunk – everybody else can piss off, even if he turns out to be a bit shit. It’s always amusing when Strictly trawls the depths of Hollyoaks..

    Let’s start as we mean to go on!!

    1. monkseal Post author

      Hun, that second one couldn’t be faker if he was riding Channing Tatum’s 9 inch cock on a Randy Blue set, come on.

      1. DJ Mikey

        I don’t watch Randy Blue porn – it’s all a bit shit and beiger than the magnolia walls in a show home. But I’ll bow down to your superior knowledge of crap porn..

      2. monkseal Post author

        I mean, I was just pulling names out of the air, I mean, I don’t watch porn, I mean, it’s just general knowledge.

  10. Ali E

    Danny Mac, no idea who he is then I knew it reminded me of something and I’ve just remembered. My mum had a Dannimac catalogue and they sold sensible coats for the mature lady. Not so sexy now…..!

    1. Huriye

      LOL!! You’re thinking of the Danemart catalogue for maturer ladies……(don’t ask me how I know, I got delivered one by mistake) :O

      A big YES to Danny Mac! πŸ˜€

  11. BeyonceCastle

    Why did I just google image Randy Blue?
    a) to see if he was a relative of Corbin Blue
    b) to see if he was a relative of Duncan FromBlue
    c) to see cocks willy-nilly Γ  la OrlandoBloom but less cold
    d) for the same reasons I googled dragon butter, blue waffle and lemon party
    Easily led.

    1. DJ Mikey

      Easily Led – I’ve never Googled any of the things you just mentioned and I’ve never watched 2 Girls 1 Cup. So I refuse to take responsibility for your actions..

  12. ChaChaChavvy

    I confess, I’d never heard of Judge Rinder before the Strictly rumours but I’ve done my research and I’m fairly excited.

    Is it possible that he’ll go same-sex and we will have 8 male celebs this year? I guess we’ll find out in a few hours. Will Cumberbatch blow all the DeadNans away with a training room visit?

    1. monkseal Post author

      Sadly, they already released a statement wrt Will saying there would be no same-sex couples this series.

      1. DJ Mikey

        Eh – Whatever!!! I honestly don’t need SCD to pander any harder and to me a same sex couple would just be pandering..

  13. ChaChaChavvy

    Greg gave an interview a while ago, where he talked about the need to make money while still current, and I thought then he’d be this year’s Olympian. He seems lovely but probably Iwan-ish in ability … so at least we’ll see Natalie on the Christmas Special.

    If there were a gun to your head and you had to choose between red-headed Gregs?

    1. DJ Mikey

      Remember when I called Greg Rutherford for this year’s Strictly – it appears they’ve got a little bit predictable..

      No – I have no shame. Let’s try and fry Monkie’s brain with pics of hot ginger Gregs..

      1. ChaChaChavvy

        Oh, I wasn’t thinking of a Pasha-and-Tristan-on-the-sofa, sexy, awkward, same-sex couple. I was thinking of a Brendan-and-Rinder-go-Showgirls-competitive-and-backchat-crazy, same-sex couple.

        Isn’t some hot ginger Gregs something you pick up with a steak bake and a frangipane tart?

      2. BeyonceCastle

        Mikey, you’re shameless but I love you for it. So please educate me, what does the tattoo translate as?!
        I was distracted.

  14. BeyonceCastle

    Having torn my eyes away from his crotch bulge I have discovered the tat is Latin for
    Faster, higher, stronger (citius, altius, fortius) and is the Olympic motto.
    Very good. Except all thoughts are now filthy. Your work here is done Mikey.

    1. DJ Mikey

      Sorry – I couldn’t do that research for you, every time I typed in “Greg Rutherford” the next word automatically became UNDERWEAR. I think my computer may be broken, it’s the only explanation I can think of..

  15. dex

    Greg was brilliant in that celebrity time travel thing channel four did (which included Fern Brittain being a massive flouncing misery) so I have high hopes.

  16. Marcela

    I let out such a huge scream when they announced Greg (who I have been wishing for years to do SCD) that my son asked me if i was OK and the cat jumped off from the sofa. Like you, I’m partial to hot gingers, ahem.


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