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Great Balls Of Fire! Who Still Cares For Dancing Talent On Strictly?

16/11/2016 16:01
Chris J Ratcliffe via Getty Images

There used to be a time when Strictly Come Dancing was a competition to find which celebrity could prove they have the moves and some dance nous. They would arrive on the Strictly dance floor from the world of TV and sport, looking as green as their sparkly outfits, with not a foxtrot or quickstep in them.

The viewer at home was reminded that we should consider the 'journey' that these celebs then embark upon, with the ideal being that the champion walks away with the Glitterball Trophy after showing over the weeks that they'd blossomed from an ugly duckling 'dad dancer' to a beautiful swan like figure that would grace any West End show.

Over the years though, it seems that the notion of being a complete novice in week one has fallen by the wayside.

All of a sudden, Strictly was finding that there was a number of former dance school alumni pitching up at the beginning, who had some sense of guile and movement. The judges would be in raptures that there was some technical brilliance on the dancefloor and the routines were spectacular from the very beginning.

It would mean that scores were high and when you see the likes of Ore Oduba scooping a bunch of tens in week three, you have to wonder where they can go from there. The 'journey' had been forfeited and now it was down to putting on a show and the leaderboard would be chock-a-block full of thirty plus scores.

All well and good you may think. Such a high calibre of contestant must be easy on the eye and great entertainment. The problem is though, it reaches a point where it is so polished, so perfect, that you are longer for an indiscretion or a misplaced foot.

This is where the 'novelty' act comes in to provide some light relief. Usually they are a stiffer than a floorboard and have less dancing talent than one of the props that are frequently used.
Their star burns bright for a few weeks before fizzling out as the viewers get sick of their schtick.

No matter how many times a celebrity with two left feet dresses up as a lobster, in the hope that this will be enough to secure the public's affection, there comes a point when you feel time should be called on their Strictly adventure.

It's all changed now though. This time there is Ed Balls!

You would naturally think that a former MP would have almost next to zero chance of winning over the public but that was until he started shaking his tush. Obviously, notoriously grumpy judge Craig Revel-Horwood was appalled at what he saw. To be fair, in the cold light of day, he has a point as technically, it's as bad as it comes.

But Ed has made a connection with the viewers and despite constantly propping up the leaderboard after the judges scores, those at home have thought, 'Balls to this' and have voted in their droves.

The fact that Ed hasn't even found himself in a dance-off to save himself has gone to show that the notion of Strictly as a dance competition has been firmly thrown out of the window. It seems that we don't care now whether the winner can dance, we just want to be entertained. Ed Balls giving it large with his interpretation of Gangnam Style is proof of this pudding.

Strictly's YouTube channel shows that this remarkable performance has been viewed nearly half a million times. This is some ten times more than most other dances from the same night. The transition has been made - no longer do we care how good the likes of Danny Mac or Louise Redknapp may be, we want the dancefloor torn up by someone that is going to give us something unlike we've seen before.

There is only one act that we want to see each week and there could be the real possibility that the BBC's showcase dance competition could be won by someone whose 'journey' has somehow avoided them learning any correct footwork or holds.. Do we care though? It seems not, as while there will be no ten held up in his honour, there will be smiles all round and in this day and age, that is surely worth more than any score.

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