So, the BBC chose the middle of a Summer afternoon to sneak out the news that four of their Strictly Come Dancing professionals won't be returning for the new series, at least not with celebrity partners. I am a bit gutted to see that Erin Boag is leaving. She's been in from the beginning and her departure leaves only Anton and Brendan from the original cast left. She earned the nickname "Miss Whiplash" for her strictness in the training room.
A couple of her highlights:
That Samba with Julian Clary from way back in 2004:
And something altogether more sophisticated with a certain Liberal Democrat Business Secretary:
Vincent and Flavia's departure is also a blow, particularly Flavia. There's only so much of Vincent you can cope with. You never quite know whether his ego is really as big as that or whether he's just playing it for laughs. I suspect the former.
Like Camilla Dallerup, Flavia has decided to depart on a high, as defending champion. I never really warmed to Louis Smith, to be honest, but I loved her partnership with Russell Grant from the year before.Especially that Jive to Reach for the Stars at Wembley:
As for Vincent, I still go back to his jive with Louisa Lytton.
I have to be honest and say that I am not heartbroken at Aliona leaving. Nothing personal - I just don't like her choreography. However, her highlight, I think, would be her Charleston with Matt Baker:
They have chosen four new dancers, rather too many of them with a Burn the Floor background. Why can't they just go back to what they did before and get proper competition ballroom or latin dancers. Although I'd quite happily have Darren and Lilia back.
The new dancers include Iveta Lukosiute, who stood in when Aliona was injured last year, Emma Slater, a British dancer who has been on the last 3 series of Dancing with the Stars in the US, Janette Manrara and Aljaz Skorjanec from Burn the Floor.
They join remaining dancers Anton Du Beke, James and Ola Jordan, Robin Windsor, Natalie Lowe, Karen Hauer, Brendan Cole, Artem Chigvintsev, Pasha Kovalev and Kristina Rihannof.
And, can you believe, it's only 3 months till Strictly and the countdown to Christmas that goes with it. Where is 2013 disappearing to?