So much dancing tonight! There’s Kylie dancing! Lots of Kylie dancing! And judges dancing! Lots of judges dancing! No, really, an entire routine just for the judges, now that Motsi’s on board, and the panel has more authentic BALLROOM DANCE FORCE than ever before (they mostly edit around Bruno and Craig’s…contributions, perhaps wisely). Also lots of dancing around the fact that Stacey and Kevin are shagging now, just in case her ex is watching and feels like throwing three more interviews down Dan Wootton’s hole! Latin showcase dances, celebrity group dances, celebrity group dance rehearsal footage…so much dancing tonight! (No time for a New Pro dance for New Pro Nancy though, oh well, sitting there mute whilst Anton sings karaoke at you in a rented sports car is ALMOST as exciting right?)
But who cares about dancing, it’s a Launch Show! We’re all here just to watch the pros authentic faces of surprise as they find out which celebrity (and/or Will Bayley) they’ve got this year for the very first time no honestly they had no idea, nobody told them! So here we go :
The Sort Of Newbies, Sort Of Notbies : Yes, with a new broom in the production sweeping clean, and Pasha retired gracefully to raise babies and wear turtlenecks in Strictly Heaven forever, all three of our It Takes Two Bench Botherers have got the call-up! And as is usually the case, the two fresh male pros have been given two women who are right at the top of the bookies odds to win, with Johannes getting a soapie with murky potential ringerishness in Catherine Tyldesley, and Neil getting Alex Scott right off the crest of the wave of the sudden surge of interest in LADYFOOTBALL, and Luba has been given a big burly awkward sportsman pushing 50 who spends his entire VT promising to be crap, with James Cracknell.
The Past Winners : Between Kevin, Aljaz, and Katya, you’d have to say that Aljaz has been given the best chance of repeating, with the glamorous Vicountess Emma Weymouth, who loves nuzzling cute baby animals to her bosom, and piping cupcakes just next to her bosom, and modelling outfits…well, with her bosom. There’s bosom going on, let’s put it that way, it’s like Marie Antoinette’s court wrapped in £1.49 a metre sequinned nylon. Katya meanwhile is praying for the coming of Hollins 2.0 with Mike Bushell, and Kevin has Anneka Rice, who is taller than him in heels, and to be honest quite possibly without.
The Final Dodgers : Over their years on Strictly, Janette, Nadiya, and AJ have all come within touching distance of the final, only to miss out respectively because Len suddenly decided he liked barefoot contemporumba, because not even Vincent Simone can choreograph an Argentine Tango to Andrew Lloyd Webber and…just because it’s funny to have AJ repeatedly get eliminated in the semis I guess. This year? Any one of them could theoretically make it, but none of them are bolted on. Nadiya seems the furthest away, having got Burly Sportsman Number 2 (and also a grandpa apparently, Jesus Christ I’m old) David James, Janette a bit closer with game Paralympic Gold Medalist Will, and AJ the closest of them all with Saffron, who is young, a Youtuber, and on the basis of tonight only a little less blandly beigely agreeable than Joe was.
The Dark Horse Wranglers : Karen, Dianne, and Giovanni meanwhile have successfully made a final (or about seven in the case of Giovanni)in their day, albeit without ever winning, and all are in with a chance of sneaking in under the wire again this year, albeit with substantial obstacles and with a silent “and finishing fourth” on the end. Giovanni is going to have to get the public over Michelle Visage being (*gasp*) AMERICAN and (*shudder*) “sassy”, Karen is going to have to get her partner to stand out amongst all the men going for RELATABLE DED NORMAL POINTS this year with comedian Chris Ramsey, and Dianne is going to have to get round the fact that Dev is filling the same demographic casting niche as Karim and it’s already very clear who the judges are more into of the two.
The Ringah Patrol : Whilst we’re short of cast-iron Pussycat Doll level dancing elite ninjas amongst the cast this year, two names stand out from the off, and they’re going to the two pros who have heretofor mostly been given antiquated duffers, so ALL CHANGE. Acrobatic…”livewire” Karim is going to Amy, instantly making her look about 10 years older by immediate comparison (sorry Amy) and yes, it’s time for another Year Of The Anton, as “Roxie From Chicago” Emma Barton falls right into his lap in a flurry of patented Antonian cliches on both their parts (“Oooh my mum loves you”, “oooh I’ll be dancing in December for a change!”, “oooh I’m so glad to have the King Of Ballroom!”, “all of my 16 other partners were 80 years old, had two left feet, one eye, halitosis, and were in fact dead!”). Oh and there’s also Jamie Laing (so posh he says it “Leng” which…ok) but
Nurse In A & E Unfortunately he injures himself out of the entire series during the Car Crash Opening Group Dance oops. This theoretically leaves Oti without a partner, but that would mean no controversy to be milked from the fact that her sister is now a judge, so we CAN’T BE HAVING THAT! She’s getting a new celebrity, but in our first ever LAUNCH SHOW CLIFFHANGER, we won’t find that out until…well probably tomorrow. A short cliffhanger then, but a cliffhanger none the less.