Strictly Pro Poll 2020 – The Results


As ever, scores from last year are in brackets

55 (51). Kylie Jones – 2.57 (2.87)

Best Finish : Jason Wood – 8th place
Most Common Score : Don’t Know

54 (52). Jared Murillo – 2.62 (2.68)

Best Finish : Tina O’Brien : 11th place
Most Common Score : 1

And so our perennial bottom-feeder flip flop one last time, with Kylie returning to what feels a little like her natural destiny – the first pro ever eliminated from Strictly, and the first pro eliminated in the Pro Poll as well. Meanwhile Jared continues the slow natural career path from teenage dancer to adult catalogue model. LOOK! A SEXY MIGRAINE! ON THE BEACH! No word as far as I can tell as to whether he’s going to vote for Trump again, probably for the best, let’s keep these last few comments sections civil.

53 (48). Andrew Cuerden – 3.02 (3.51)

Best Finish : Jaye Jacobs : 11th place
Most Common Score : Don’t Know

52 (49). John Byrnes – 3.22 (3.48)

Best Finish : Claire Sweeney : 5th place
Most Common Score : Don’t Know

51 (50). Paul Killick – 3.37 (3.24)

Best Finish : Verona Josephs : 6th place
Most Common Score : Don’t Know

Three men? Approaching middle age? Who all once meant something to you, but that was so long ago, and the memory is all fuzzy? Here? On an idyllic island in Greece on the eve of your daughter’s wedding? It’s more likely than you think.

50 (43). Hanna Haarala – 3.40 (3.92)

Best Finish : Will Thorp : 7th place
Most Common Score : Don’t Know

49 (44). Hazel Newberry – 3.52 (3.74)

Best Finish : Quentin Wilson : 10th place
Most Common Score : Don’t Know

48 (46). Izabela Hannah – 3.66 (3.60)

Best Finish : Dennis Taylor : 8th place
Most Common Score : Don’t Know

You and two old uni friends? Travelling the country in an ABBA tribute band? Getting into scrapes and letting men that little boys who play with fire get their fingers burned? I mean it’s as good a guess as to what these three are up to these days as any other.

47 (47). Hayley Holt – 3.95 (3.55)

Best Finish :  Mark Foster : 11th place
Most Common Score : Don’t Know

So here we are. Feeling a little emotional at this, the final Hayley Holt Update. Even though she only did four routines on Strictly, and they were all utter mince, and her celebrity then disowned her, it’s hard to feel like Hayley hasn’t become in some way the unofficial mascot of this annual blog event. And what a rollercoaster we’ve been through together. Celebrity Treasure island, a boxing career, a parliamentary candidature, a stint as a judge on Strictly New Zealand, a late night political pundit and, last we heard of her, sliding into a berth as the kiwi Susanna Reid. So what did this last year hold for Hayley Holt? Well, officially, she got pregnant with a guy she barely knew, then sadly miscarried during lockdown BUT the experience bonded her with the guy she was with so now they’re officially in a long term stable relationship, and also she’s leaving her job on Breakfast to be the main sports reporter on her channel. So from Susanna Reid to Gabby Logan. Will I keep this up next year, even though this blog won’t exist, because I’m now feeling weirdly incredibly invested in Hayley Holt’s life and really want her to succeed? Maybe! God bless you Hayley Holt, and the little “!” I used to add to your name until I got bored of doing it.

46 (40). James Jordan – 4.29 (4.67)

Best Finish :  Denise Van Outen : Runner-Up
Most Common Score : 1

James Jordan meanwhile is, y’know…still around…doing…stuff…probably?

45 (42). Hanna Karttunen – 4.49 (4.52)

Best Finish :  Chris Parker : Runner-Up
Most Common Score : Don’t Know

Imagine landing in that first series of Strictly, the first show of its kind in the world, as a professional dancer. Working out what your job is. For five of you it turns out to be “teach someone how to dance”, for one of you it’s “pretend you’re teaching a ringah how to dance”, for another it turns out to be “stand there whilst your celeb improvs all the routines because they were too busy filming Holby City to bother training” and for the eighth it turns out to be probably the most complex gig of all – “completely fail to teach someone how to dance, but in a way that’s endearing and also doesn’t make you look bad and oh also by the way be funny, in a culture you weren’t raised in and don’t get any of the references for”. So kudos to Hanna K for being that pioneer, that glamorous space alien who then disappeared, job done, having blazed a trail for everyone else to walk down.

44 (45). Graziano Di Prima – 4.58 (3.70)

Best Finish :  Vick Hope : 12th place
Most Common Score : 6

A nice juicy climb for Graziano here in terms of score, if not in terms of placings, as it turns out taking the year off and sitting at the side not dancing, and occasionally hugging Karim, and even more occasionally doing 5 seconds of dancing somewhere near Johannes, is enough to significantly improve his reputation with the voting pool. Will he get a chance, with the departure of two of the other male pros, to show his mettle again with a celeb, and maybe make a proper dent in this list (imaginarily, in the future)? We shall see.

43 (41). Brian Fortuna – 4.79 (4.60)

Best Finish :  Ali Bastian : 3rd place
Most Common Score : 4

42 (34). Joanne Clifton – 5.01 (5.43)

Best Finish :  Ore Oduba : Winner
Most Common Score : 7

41 (36). Nicole Cutler – 5.13 (5.35)

Best Finish :  John Barnes : 7th place
Most Common Score : Don’t Know

Three more former pros here, all of them cut short in their prime before they could become proper established Strictly names. For those of you who forgot, Brian was asked to be in the dance troupe and told the producers to go do one, Nicole got taken out on the orders of Brucie himself after she gave an interview to the tabloids where she called him “doddery”, and Joanne jacked the show in IMMEDIATELY upon winning because the online hatebase for the Clifton Clan was too much. Y’know, allegedly in all cases. So where are they now? Well Nicole made a rare appearance on It Takes Two this year, basically to say everything is rubbish ; Brian is quite relentlessly offering online Zoom dance classes to get us all through the pandemic and ; after briefly being in something good (ie Rocky Horror) Joanne is back to landing major roles in all my own personal least favo musicals, and appearing in PIPPIN (ugh).

40 (27). AJ Pritchard – 5.21 (6.08)

Best Finish :  Claudia Fragapane : 4th place
Most Common Score : 6

A big drop for AJ here, presumably either because people feel like he was unprofessional in how he left the show (ie leaping out of his bedroom window at Strictly Towers in the middle of the night, five minutes before ‘rona broke out, into a giant parachute being held out by Curtis, yelling “I’M GONNA BE THE NEW ANT OR DEC!”) or because his partnership with Saffron showed up a certain lack of versatility. The best pros gave you range, AJ gave you “did I mention were train 27 hours a day” and barely tepid showmance vibes over and over and over and over again. Maybe some time in the This Morning factory will give him the training in showing his more down-to-earth side, I haven’t seen a man yet that Allison Hammond couldn’t beat a personality into.

39 (35). Oksana Platero – 5.34 (5.38)

Best Finish :  Judge Rinder : 5th place
Most Common Score : 5

Speaking of someone else granting you personality…at this point can you remember anything about Oksana that wasn’t patina’d over her by Judge Rinder? Because I’ve got “Madame Oksana” and “Wouldn’t you agree Oksana?” and that’s pretty much it. A true mystery.

38 (32). Anton du Beke – 5.43 (5.67)

Best Finish :  Emma Barton : Runner-Up
Most Common Score : 7

A series of firsts for Anton, even in his 17th run at this particular Total Wipeout obstacle course of dahnce. His first 10s ever (albeit from Shirley Ballas which…I mean, I’m saying if he had the option to choose who would be the judge giving him his first 10 ever it may well…well it would have been Len, but also Shirley probably wouldn’t even have been in the top half, up to and including Donny Osmond) and also the first time ever he found himself stood under that spotlight at the end waiting to see if his name was about to be called as the winner, alongside erm…lovely lady give him a minute it’s on the tip of his tongue Honey Mahogany ha ha marvellous. So why hasn’t it done his position in the Pro Poll much good? Search me, his run with Katie Derham didn’t do his scores much good either, and it was much better than this hodge-podge mess was, your opinions are a mystery to me.

37 (33). Ola Jordan – 5.53 (5.52)

Best Finish :  Chris Hollins : Winner
Most Common Score : 7

Ola also…very much still out and about…had babby…wonderful.

36 (38). Nadiya Bychkova – 5.61 (5.07)

Best Finish :  Davood Ghadami : 6th place
Most Common Score : 7

Nice little nudge up the list for Nadiya here, as her charming partnership with David James bumps her up by just over half a point. That and her dancing in her scanties for the fashion group routine, I know that’s what it as really, I know all the horny dads read this blog. Nadiya feels like one of those contestants who slowly warm into Strictly, rather than really hitting the ground running, by which I mean I predict her going gradually going more and more insane at the riggary of it all over the next four years before winning Strictly 2024 in a BLAZE of bitterness and then quitting immediately.

35 (30). Robin Windsor – 5.71 (5.68)

Best Finish :  Lisa Riley : 5th place
Most Common Score : 5

For those of you not keeping track of the ex-pros day to day activities, I can reveal that Robin Windsor’s 2020 hobbies have been hot guys, exotic holidays, and sitting there waiting to see who this first ever same-sex partnership is going to be so he can point out all the way he wouldn’t have done it better.

34 (37). Janette Manrara – 5.80 (5.31)

Best Finish :  Jake Wood : 5th place
Most Common Score : 7

Janette Manrara is 36 years old.

Anyway, a good year for Janette this year, as she formed an endearing and fruitful creative partnership with Will Bailey, we all learned the word “arthrogryposis” as a result, and then the producers made him repeatedly jump off a table for some reason. Well done guys! And potentially this series holds the promise of being even bigger as Nicola Adams, star of our first ever same-sex partnership has requested that she be allowed to dance the lead, which…well she’s quite short to begin with so there are only so many options. Will Janette stand up to the pressure or will she completely Matt Evers it? Or will it be Dianne. LET’S FIND OUT.

33 (29). Brendan Cole – 5.86 (5.86)

Best Finish :  Natasha Kaplinsky : Winner
Most Common Score : 7

Hard to believe that Brendan hasn’t been on Strictly for three years now. Truly his spirit lingers on. Every time a celeb rides on atop unsuitable wobbly prop transportation, he is there. Every time someone dances to 80s soft rock, he is there. Every time the wind whispers the words “Dirrrrty Dancccccing” through Shirley’s branches he is there. Every time Gorka has a pissy little strop over another pro getting more attention than him, he feels Brendan’s hand guiding him, from Strictly heaven *sniff*

32 (31). Gleb Savchenko – 5.88 (5.67)

Best Finish :  Anita Rani : 5th place
Most Common Score : 6

31 (23). Anya Garnis – 6.05 (6.22)

Best Finish :  Patrick Robinson : 5th place
Most Common Score : 7

I’m really liking the irony here of finding Strictly’s most pure and innocent former pro nestled up here next to…well…its Glebbiest. All of Anya’s social media presence is inspirational quotes and pictures of cute animals, and Gleb’s only a few more cancelled media money making opportunities away from fingering himself for $5 a pop on onlyfans. Each a part of Strictly lore and legendary One Series Wonders in their own rights.

30. Neil Jones – 6.10

Best Finish :  Alex Scott : 5th place
Most Common Score : 6

Given the build-up to Neil Jones Strictly debut – the constant bobbing around in the back of shot up on Claud 9, the weathering of a press storm by posing with half his bare arse hanging out at the seaside, those godawful Neil de Jaunse comedy skits – who could have predicted that his first proper run on the show as a real pro would turn out as : “mostly uneventful, other than getting cucked by Kevin Clifton following a Ghostbusters related accident”? Alex’s run on the show really felt like something from an earlier series – a novice mostly quietly getting on with learning how to dance before retiring gracefully just short of the business end. The Carol Smillie de nos jours. Was it enough to get Neil a future headlining role, either with a ringah or a comedy duffer? I mean probably, two of the other three British male pros just left and the BBC needs to get more patriotic to counteract…I dunno whatever that Last Night Of The Proms shit was about I really tried to ignore it.

29 (24). Camilla Dallerup – 6.12 (6.22)

Best Finish :  Tom Chambers : Winner
Most Common Score : 6

28. Luba Mushtuk – 6.13

Best Finish :  James Cracknell : 15th place
Most Common Score : 7

Just going to combine these two together for this update because, as much as I wish there was a lot to say about Luba…she got the worst dancer in Strictly history (give or take) and couldn’t really do an awful lot with him other than spend the entire dance trying to avoid lasting personal injury. And Camilla is still probably off being a life coach somewhere bless her, looking ever more Scandi with every passing day.

27 (28). Kevin Clifton – 6.26 (5.88)

Best Finish :  Stacey Dooley : Winner
Most Common Score : 7

I feel like, now that I know that Kevin and I share an interest in professional wrestling in common, I have additional insight into his psyche. For instance recently I read a twitter thread from him endorsing Roman Reigns and telling people off for booing him following his return from a battle with leukemia. Now for those of you who don’t know from WWE, Roman Reigns comes from a legacy family of succesful wrestlers (including Yokozuna, Rikishi, and Umaga) (yes “Umaga”), and over the last decade has repeatedly won high-profile feuds, and been given the top titles in the company, as a face (ie “a good guy”) but it’s not enough to stop a large contingent of the show’s fans relentlessly booing him, rooting for his opponents, and arguing that he should be pushed down the card, mostly for the very reason that he IS pushed so hard by the producers of the show, rather than any specific personal failing they can successfully put their finger on and despite his professionalism and undeniably showmanship. Anyway, Kevin Clifton.

26 (20).Kristina Rihanoff – 6.30 (6.52)

Best Finish :  Simon Webbe : Runner-Up
Most Common Score : 7

Kristina meanwhile, is a total Lana, don’t ask me to adumbrate that theory, if you know, you know, yes Ben Cohen is Rusev, go with it (/Google these people you’ve never heard of)

25 (26).Amy Dowden – 6.31 (6.12)

Best Finish :  Karim Zeroual : Runner-Up
Most Common Score : 7

Safe to say a mixed run for Amy, as she produced quite a few nice routines for Karim, but also some that got buried under some of the worst theming given to a celebrity in the modern era, and also be production staff deciding we wanted to see these two dancing contemporary over and over again (Spoilers : actually we did not). At least Amy’s determination and professionalism was never in question, as she laboured under a really serious virus for three to four weeks of the series, which left her fatigued, short of breath, and unable to taste the delicious soup that Karim’s mother kindly produced a constant supply…hang on a minute…let’s get the WHO on the phone, I think we’ve found patient zero.

24 (17). Katya Jones – 6.42 (6.88)

Best Finish :  Joe McFadden : Winner
Most Common Score : 7

I’ve seen Mike Bushell frequently described as a “punishment” for Katya after The Events with Seann last year, which is odd, because in the first place it was fairly obviously a set-up for Katya to show she was nurturing and encouraging with a complete novice with popular BBC viewer backing, to get people back on side again, and in the second place because Mike was a better dancer than Seann was. Then of course we know what happened – instead of having a nice gentle series with the male Carol Kirkwood, Katya decided to go completely spango, at every opportunity, constantly weeping, wailing, screaming, cheering, and generally having repeated full body collapses, whilst Mike looked faintly confused by it all, and then the show went even further in messing things up for her by steadfastly refusing to let Mike go home once the public had clearly signposted they weren’t really into it. They don’t make comedy contestants like they used to I guess.

23 (22). Dianne Buswell – 6.45 (6.30)

Best Finish :  Joe Sugg : Runner-Up
Most Common Score : 6

Let me say that this is definitely not a dig on her specifically, because this is a perfectly respectable placing on the rankdown, and she’s done the best out of the three of them but…remember the last time we had three buzzy new female pros arrive in one go? Back in Series 7. Aliona, Katya V, and Natalie. And within the space of three seasons all three of them were, for on reason or another, somewhat iconic. Yeah. Amy, Dianne, Nadiya, all continue to hover somewhere around the middle of this annual blog event, because they all seem quite nice, alright, they had one male partner they did well enough with to pick up a few fans, but nothing majah. Happily this year Dianne showed the first signs of a bit of actual spunk, as she took Dev’s blindside quite poorly, so he’s hoping she’s back this series ready to blossom into a real Strictly figure for the ages rather than a bit of an “also present was”

22 (25). Trent Whiddon – 6.55 (6.15)

Best Finish :  Pixie Lott : 6th place
Most Common Score : 7

High as a kite ladies and gentlemen.

21 (19). Tristan MacManus – 6.58 (6.59)

Best Finish :  Jamelia : 8th place
Most Common Score : 6

Big news for Brand Tristan this week, as he was just announced as the new regular co-host on the breakfast show Network 10 (the third most watched television network in all of Australia!). Between this and what now looks to be a permanent slot on the judging panel of Strictly Australia, it seems like Tristan has finally found his place, and it is amongst the antipodes. Maybe Hayley Holt can give him some tips?

20 (21). Karen Hardy – 6.726 (6.48)

Best Finish :  When She Won With Ramps
Most Common Score : 8

Always the same picture, always the same Karen

19 (39). Karen Hauer – 6.727 (5.05)

Best Finish :  Chris Ramsey : 4th place
Most Common Score : 8

Yes, this is the largest leap in terms of places between one year’s Pro Poll and the next (although not the largest leap in scores – that crown still belongs to Iveta jump from Johnny Ball to Mark Benton), such are the powers of dad jokes and getting divorced. Karen came back this year lighter, less frantic for attention and, let’s be honest, most importantly butcher than ever before, and it suited her, guiding complete novice Chris Ramsey all the way to what in other series would have been the position of a finalist. Can Karen continue this momentum in this, her upcoming (*counts on fingers*) (Jesus Christ) ninth series of Strictly Come Dancing? Only time will tell. Keep that hairdresser girl though, for sure.

18 (10). Aliona Vilani – 6.80 (7.59)

Best Finish :  Harry Judd/Jay McGuiness : Winner
Most Common Score : 8

17 (18). Darren Bennett – 6.94 (6.83)

Best Finish :  Jill Halfpenny : Winner
Most Common Score : 8

16 (39). Katya Virshilas – 7.15 (7.01)

Best Finish :  Gavin Henson : 5th place
Most Common Score : 7

First Jay doesn’t win the Strictly World Cup, and now Aliona slides down from the Top 10 of the Pro Poll, were we in fact entering a new era of this blog just as it closed? Ah probably. Of the other two, Darren just became even daddier as Lilia just gave birth for a second time, and Katya now lives in Hong Kong where she runs a clothing company that…sells a lot of neutrals!

15 (12). Artem Chigvintsev – 7.30 (7.49)

Best Finish :  Kara Tointon : Winner
Most Common Score : 7

14 (15). Matthew Cutler – 7.41 (7.40)

Best Finish :  Alesha Dixon : Winner
Most Common Score : 8

A study in contrast amongst ex-pros here with these two. I really can’t think of a pro who vanished more ethereally than Matthew Cutler. One day he was winning, the next he was with the popular underdog of the series (Female Division), then he and Martina both borked out in Week 1, then a Hallowe’en guest pro routine and then…I dunno the hip hop thing with Aliona I’ve lost track of my timeline a bit but then? Nothing. No ITT guest appearances, no tweetalongacommentary…I don’t even know his political views, can you IMAGINE?! Artem meanwhile was recently all over the covers of the US gossip magazines for being the sperminator for one half of a pair of pro-wrestling twins who entirely coincidentally (*COUGHCOUGHCOUGHCOUGH*) gave birth on the same day and is no doubt about to get partnered with Carole Baskin on Dancing With The Stars. Both apt and valid routes through the world of showbiz I’m absolutely sure you’ll agree. Do you all feel a little dirty that Artem was transparently pretending to be interested in Strictly again just to make Dancing With The Stars jealous? Like, when he turned up on It Takes Two and basically told Rylan that if he put in a good word for him he’d let him touch his divine? A little used? For my part, I do and I love it.

(Oh and for those still interested in the most apt pro dancer comparisons for WWE superstars semi-referenced in these updates : Bella Twins – Janette & Karen, Bryan Danielson – …idk Iveta? But an Iveta who won shit ever? Something like that)

13 (9). Gorka Marquez – 7.49 (7.86)

Best Finish :  Alexandra Burke : 4th place (probably)
Most Common Score : 8

Neither a ringing endorsement or a massive rebuke here for Pissy Gorka’s pissy antics this year, although I suspect several people found the below equation

Series 17 – KEVIN steps in to replace NEIL even though GORKA is sat waiting on the bench having not had a celeb = WRONG
Series 14 – GORKA steps in to replace BRENDA even though NEIL is sat waiting on the bench having not had a celeb = ENTIRELY RIGHT AND FAIR

as hard to square as I did. Let’s all focus on the one undeniable thing that Gorka had going for him this year, lots of adorable promo appearances featuring him doing dance workouts with his baby daughter, also shots of said baby daughter wearing ear-defenders at Blackpool. Even in years where Gorka isn’t living his Strictly dream, we can all rest assured that at least Gemma Atkinson still is.

12 (13). Lilia Kopylova – 7.53 (7.49)

Best Finish :  Darren Gough : Winner
Most Common Score : 8

11 (14). Iveta Lukosiute – 7.67 (7.49)

Best Finish :  Mark Benton : 6th place
Most Common Score : 8

10 (11). Vincent Simone – 7.82 (7.51)

Best Finish :  Rachel Stevens : Runner-Up
Most Common Score : 8

Three more ex pros fall as we hit the top 10 (if you’ve lost track of which current pros are still in, they are of course Oti, Johannes, Giovanni, Aljaz, and Nancy Xu). Lilia was the true nation’s sweetheart of the show’s Origin Era, who charmed us all through being wholesome, patient, charming, and not as hard-faced as that Erin Boag (<3), Vincent was the cheeky Italian chappy who ovulated in all our leaflets but never quite managed to get both his hands on our glitterballs, except once at Christmas, when we were all a bit drunk and our standards are lower, and Iveta was…well…Iveta. She defied description, she broke all boundaries, not a single person who doesn’t read this blog remembers who she is, a true icon.

9. Johannes Radebe – 8.13

Best Finish :  Catherine Tildesley : 11th place
Most Common Score : 10

8 (7). Ian Waite – 8.14 (7.98)

Best Finish :  Denise Lewis : Runner-Up
Most Common Score : 8

Well what can I say, clearly you love a lanky gay. Johannes here debuts with a record high score for his first pro poll (surpassing the previous record of 8.07 set by Pasha) despite the fact that he couldn’t get his partner past Hallowe’en Week, and Ian stands solid in the top 10 despite Waite’s Wednesday Warm-Up now chiefly consisting of him and Zoe reminiscing about when they went out on the razz with Jaye Jacobs after the Series 3 wrap-party and Andrew Cuerden woke up naked and chained to the rear fender of Arlene Phillips’ Mini Metro, with about 5 seconds of new footage of actual dancing per week. Although let’s face it, if you weren’t all prepared to be endlessly indulgent to the failing of homosexuals, this blog wouldn’t have lasted nearly as long as it did.

7 (5). Flavia Cacace – 8.21 (8.21)

Best Finish :  Louis Smith : Winner
Most Common Score : 9

6 (6). Erin Boag – 8.25 (8.17)

Best Finish :  Colin Jackson : Runner-Up
Most Common Score : 9

A little swap of position here with our perennial A- grade female pros, with Erin just flipping over Flavia in this last Pro Poll by a fairly slim margin. And what is there left to say about these two women of the Golden Era? Both quieter, more measured, some might say more steely-eyed and determined counterparts to a louder, more flamboyant and daffier male pro that they spent their stay on Strictly unavoidably associated with, “n’Flavia” and “and Erin” (no Erin would NEVER be an ‘n’, she would never consent, she would get Aliona’s lawyers on the phone demanding a change of all posters and promotional materials STAT) both ultimately outpointed their TV Husbands where it counted ie winning (even if it was just a Chrimblas special in Erin’s case). Are you drawn to the idea of a powerful woman behind the throne ultimately calling the shots? It’s certainly the campest option, and on this blog, that does tend to win out more often than not.

5 (8). Giovanni Pernice – 8.44 (7.93)

Best Finish :  Faye Tozer : Runner-Up
Most Common Score : 10

And so, breaking into the top 5 for the first time, here is where Giovanni Pernice’s inexorable rise up the Pro Poll ranks has to end. Like a bubble floating up through champagne (or…a raisin I guess), every year (after the minor setback of Laura Whitmore) Giovanni has creeped a little further into your affections, either because he’s become less of a self-parody, or more of a self-parody, or both. Even a slightly off-kilter year with Michelle Visage (are they friends? are they enemies? are they frenemies? are they just grimly following what someone clearly thinks is the best way to advertise RuPauls Drag Race UK Coming Soon To Fridays On BBC Three despite all evidence to the contrary?) did not diminish his standing.

4 (4). Aljaz Skorjanec – 8.57 (8.48)

Best Finish :  Abbey Clancy : Winner
Most Common Score : 9

Another year, another Viscountess, as Aljaz scores a tiny little nudge up in score by operating in by far his most charming (to me) mode : accompanier of midtable rando. Accompanying The Viscountess to the zoo (/her zoo), accompanying The Viscountess to the castle (/her castle), accompanying her through Downton Abbey and Tudor Mansion and a garden fete and…whatever parallel dimension her tango was in, the one sop to maybe doing a routine not based around how obscenely wealthy she is, Aljaz did what he does best – stand at the side looking pretty and suffusing the whole thing subtly with a sprinkling of camp, just out of everyone’s field of vision. Oh also, reading his own name off the teleprompter, never forget.

3 (2). Oti Mabuse – 8.90 (8.78)

Best Finish :  Kelvin Fletcher : Winner
Most Common Score : 10

Those of you wondering why Oti slid a little in this year’s Pro Poll, despite winning with Kelvin, despite somehow navigating the waters of having her sister as a judge more or less unscathed, despite retiring undefeated as two time The Greatest Dancer champion manatee, then look no further than the above image. That is KETCHUP, squirted liberally into a HOLLOWED OUT TOMATO, which is just one of the not many dishes she got to serve up on Celebrity Masterchef under the guise that it is “traditional South African cuisine”. So sad she got cut before she could insert two Nik Naks into an olive.

2 (1). Pasha Kovalev – 8.9939 (8.91)

Best Finish :  Caroline Flack : Winner
Most Common Score : 10

1 (3). Natalie Lowe – 8.9942 (8.78)

Best Finish :  Ricky Whittle : Runner-Up
Most Common Score : 10

I mean, you could hardly get a closer finish. One more 10 for Pasha, or one more anything below a 9 for Natalie and we would have had a different result, but in this, the final ever Strictly Come Dancing Monkseal Blog Pro Poll, it’s Mrs Knibbs who comes out on top. And I’m glad. Not that I don’t love Pasha, because I do – his charm, his grace, his [REDACTED] – but everyone loves Pasha and everyone loved Pasha from the moment he arrived, his charms are manifest, but lord know I had to fight tooth and nail on this, Satan’s own Internet, to make people warm to Natalie Lowe. Of course I knew from the moment she arrived, with that sunny demeanour, those gimlet eyes, and that one pro dance where she cast herself in the main role as Lolita, that this was love, but the public in general took longer to take to her, and you can bet I was there prodding them in the ribs every step of the way. So congratulations to Natalie Lowe, never a winner on the show itself, but as the sun sets on this blog, officially forever your favourite pro. By 0.0003 out of 10.

31 thoughts on “Strictly Pro Poll 2020 – The Results

  1. BeyonceCastle

    In my defence I did not know Jared was a Trump supporter when I massively overscored him in a vain attempt to boost his average (I liked his Charleston with Tina although I can no longer find it and have to watch Claudia’s instead). Is that sexy migraine cos he has shaved his pubes off?

  2. Elaine

    Well, no one ever asked a great dancer to be intelligent! And, by god, was he a great dancer! Couldn’t teach anything, but he could sure dance!

  3. Lal

    I didn’t even watch Strictly when Hayley Holt was on it, yet, through your undying fascination with her, I too am strangely moved, and wish her all the very best in life.

    Also, James Jordan, lol, what a photo to pick, he looks like a Youtube conspiracy theorist, or a hobo. Or both!

    1. Rad

      Oh no, our last Hayley Holt update! She is always the star of this recap for me. Also I kind of hope at some point there might end up being Hayley Holt! the movie

  4. BeyonceCastle

    Good Lord. I am hexing them. Shimmy Jimmy so low? I know the guy can be a cock sometimes but I liked a lot of his choreo. Him and Ola’s job = now professional pundits on parenting. I want to slate that but know that they didn’t have it easy and his dad’s also sick so I will channel Thumper and wish them all the best instead. Plus it’s one up from the Ann Summers gig.
    Truly thought Graz would be higher too – because his Xmas cha cha comeback with Chizzy was enjoyable and he didn’t act like a sulky überpissy Gorka when not used to cover Neil.

    1. Rad

      It always befuddles me how Trent and Tristan do so well in these polls. I mean, I know thirst and all, but surely they should be around a Gleb level at best? (Although I’ll take stoner Trent over Tristan any day. Unless it’s just because of Justice4Jamelia)

    2. pitykitty

      He’s an awful person. He’s a horrible misogynist with startlingly retrograde opinions of women. He’s a borderline homophobe. He is a rentagob on twitter – perfectly illustrating the Dunning-Kruger effect.

      So I just want to jump in and say I do NOT wish him the best. I wish him the grossly mediocre.

      I think it reflects badly on Ola to be with him.

  5. ChaChaChavvy

    I was trying to work out which possible same-sex coupling would cause maximum Daily Mail/Points of View outrage and I came up with Anton and Martin Gore from Depeche Mode. Now anything else will be disappointing. Let’s hope Robin gets his wish. Kind of hope it’s Karen and somebody (and, no, not in a pervy way).

    1. BeyonceCastle

      ChaCha, you have just ruined all same-sex pairings ever for me – Tony Beak and Martin Gore rumba-ing to a question of lust is all I never knew I wanted ❤

  6. Lal

    Still remain baffled at…whatever happened with Anton and Emma in 2019 Strictly. On paper it seemed a jolly nice partnership, and then we got just a whole bunch of wasted opportunities and weirdness.

    Really do feel Anton should have left back in 2017 after the genuinely delightful parodies of samba and paso with Ruth Langsford. I think I would have felt warmer towards him in my scoring.

  7. jillsleight

    I love that multiple years of build-up to Neil getting a partner led to what it eventually did. Also, very happy to see Gleb is still very much Gleb, hope he never comes back to the UK version and we’ll always have Gleb Special and Anita’s bafflement as our overruling memory.

  8. BeyonceCastle

    So, me overscoring Anya paid no dividends. She looks bloody good in that picture though, very Penelope Cruz. I marked Tony Beak down for crap showdance #2. He can have at Jacqui Smith, the joke’s not funny anymore. Two men plus Marius on the bench and two women – who do we reckon’s out of favour/tenuous height mismatch excuse?

  9. jillsleight

    One of the unexpected effects lockdown has had on my life is that I’ve started dipping my toe into watching WWE/delving into its history, so, between Kevin being a wrestling fan and Artem marrying into a wrestling dynasty, it’s an interesting crossover between these two bits of my life.

    Also, yes, Kristina is a total Lana.

  10. John

    Kevin as Roman Reigns is a good spot. Though unlike the contrary wrestling boors, the Strictly fandom is polite enough to.. clap politely when he wins. At least in the studio, the internets being entirely different.

    I am all for wrestling pros ending up on Strictly by some mad wizardry. Seth Rollins please thank you.

  11. Chris

    That Katya photo is – as the kids say – my sleep paralysis demon. What exactly am I looking at? Whose limbs are they? Why are legs growing from her shoulders? Which body does her head belong to? Did she and Mike do a dance themed around the Lazarus scorpion monster from Doctor Who? Where has the light gone from behind her eyes? Just why?

  12. Lal

    Not saying a producer *should* have given Kayta Jones the number of a good therapist and a prescription for Valium in September 2019, but…I do feel Poor Mike probably wished someone had done so. What an uncomfortable viewing experience it was.

  13. Francis

    Is Karen Hauer on course to set a pro poll record for biggest climb in its final run? Never thought she’d see the giddy heights of the top 21… Janette’s (imaginary) turn next year?

  14. BeyonceCastle

    Kevin, Kristina, Trent and Tristan were in my top ten. Hexing ’em I tell you! Artem still there I see. For any who missed this, here he is with Nikki doing (appropriately for this blog) The Last Dance.
    Lovely it is too.

  15. ChaChaChavvy

    Great, I was using lockdown to read more books but now I’ll be endlessly YouTubing Australian daytime television.

  16. Horses

    Obviously devastated to lose Monkseal’s Strictly Analysis, but I literally laughed out loud at the Kevin synopsis (despite basically no wrestling knowledge). Sob. Thank you, Chris.

  17. BeyonceCastle

    Ooh. So…a new order eh?
    2018 1st Oti 2nd Nat 3rd Pash 4th Aljaz
    2019 1st Pash 2nd Oti 3rd Aljaz 4th Nat
    Am I going on last series or nostalgia?
    Pash and Nat out of sight (but not out of my mind) Oti winning with Kelviteer and as team captain for 2nd year in a row on TGD versus ubiquitous/Strictly curse goss to contend with. Aljaz had (for me) a decent run with the Viscountess but was it enough?
    Okay I’m going with…
    4th Nat
    3rd Pash
    2nd Aljaz
    1st Oti
    In the meantime – DWTS full episode 1 is on the tube of you – Bruno in silver jacket with silver hair is looking good bless him. Nelly is dancing to…Nelly. And I won a bet with myself that Carole would be doing a paso to Eye of the tiger. She didn’t kill it. Maybe Roar next week will off her. Poor DWTS Pash.

  18. Lal

    I suppose I am deeply, deeply influenced by your blogs’ (entirely correct) interpretation of events, but I always remember Iveta very fondly, and am glad she got that high in the poll.

    Surprised Johannes scored top ten on a rather mediocre showing, but then him vogueing so hard and so joyously that the nation briefly united in approval was the undoubted highlight of Strictly 2019, so okay.

    And I’m pleased Gio got a top-five spot at last. Kind of hope he wins 2020 or 2021 Strictly, heaven knows he puts in the effort to get it.

  19. Chris

    Oh my, I thought Oti had this year in the bag. Not even second place?

    Are we getting our first ever (as far as I recall) pro score over 9? Surely this is a record high regardless?

  20. Lal

    God bless Pashas’ [REDACTED], the Gleb Special, Katyas’ Hat, the steely gaze of Natalie Lowe, Anton “Ha ha marvellous” Du Beke, Erin Island, Glasses Kevin, “Thanks Bruno”, Hayley Holt!, the Week in Greg, and many, many other people, dances and things involved in Strictly.

    They’re all wonderful, and so are you and your recaps, Mighty, Mighty Monkseal.

  21. BeyonceCastleIsFeelingDeflated

    Amoizing. Got the last four totally tits up.
    I teared up at the last [REDACTED] – am only not all out wailing cos of your Chucky Venn diagram on twitter and the promise of one last entry.
    By my beard, you will be missed mi corazon – the ‘Thanks Bruno’ never got old. It used to have my other half in stitches. Thanks Bruno, [REDACTED] and Holly Valance cracking up. They were the best of times. XXX


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