The pair have dominated headlines in recent days, after they were filmed kissing in the street after a night out seemingly behind their partners’ backs. And while the drama has so far unfolded off screen, that will all change on Saturday night when they take to the dancefloor.
Despite increased calls for them to quit the competition after Seann’s now-ex girlfriend, Rebecca Humphries, published a statement on Twitter calling out his “inappropriate, hurtful behaviour”, it has been confirmed they will remain on the show, and will perform a Charleston this week.
Talk has already turned to how events of the past week will be addressed, especially after spin-off show ‘It Takes Two’ came in for criticism for glossing over them earlier this week.
The first option could see the main show do exactly the same.
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Despite being one of the sauciest programmes on the box, ‘Strictly’ bosses like to portray it as a family show - one that all generations can sit down and watch together. However, infidelity and a very public break-up don’t exactly fit that wholesome image. So it could be that the whole messy affair will just be completely ignored, with hosts Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman pretending nothing has happened at all behind the scenes.
Some have already commented that what has happened in Seann and Katya’s private life should not be brought into the ballroom - even former judge Arlene Phillips has advised the panel to stick to judging Seann and Katya’s dancing when they give their verdicts on Saturday.
What that does risk though, is pissing off the fans who feel Seann needs to face the consequences of his actions - or those who are quite frankly gripped by the drama.
What we’d all probably love to see happen is for Seann and Katya’s opening VT to tackle the matter head on. Seann and Katya could tell the story of the last week in their own words, and also offer a more sincere apology than those carefully PRed statements they issued earlier in the week, that were also the subject of criticism in Rebecca’s Twitter post.
But realistically, the most we are likely to get out of that VT is references to “a tough week” and allusions that perhaps outside stresses of a “media story” have affected their training.
Another likely way in which the show may choose to approach the furore is by letting things run their course. Perhaps we’ll see Claudia making a deadpan gag as she interviews them post-dance, or maybe judges Bruno Tonioli or Craig Revel Horwood will be allowed to make a typically barbed dig about what has been going on.
Even if they are all briefed not to say anything, the judges can be pretty uncontrollable at the best of times, so the chances of them sitting pretty on something as juicy as this is almost impossible to imagine.
Another consideration is the live audience, as having a studio full of members of the public presents an element of unpredictability as to what could happen. Could Seann and Katya face a crowd backlash when they take to the floor? While we certainly hope that isn’t the case, it’s not something that can be ruled out either.
Regardless of what does, or indeed doesn’t, happen, the one thing that is almost guaranteed is bumper ratings, with millions tuning in to see just how excruciatingly awkward it is. While the whole debacle may not have been what producers wanted, they certainly won’t be moaning when the viewing figures come in.
‘Strictly Come Dancing’ airs on Saturday at 6.40pm on BBC One.