Here follows my preliminary analysis of the Strictly Come Dancing 2017 contestants. They are all winner just to have gotten this far. Well except for that lady from X-Factor. And the guy who knows Moffat. And probably Simon Rimmer who stands less chance of winning Strictly than Dave Arch. And Ruth Langsford who wakes up every day next to Eammon Holmes. Anyway, most of them are already winners and I'm looking forward to some top quality bakes from them all before the show moves to Channel Four in 2018
Alexandra Burke is the former X-Factor winner and pop singing sensation. Immersed in musicallity from a young age she is a record setting vocalist and successful muscial theatre actor. Her debut single, a cover of Mitch Benn's cover of Jeff Buckley's cover of Leonard Cohen's cover of Simon Cowell's Hallelujah was enormously successful - demonstrating that there is no accounting for taste, or decency. There is accountancy for money thought, which is just as well.
Stints in the musical Bodyguard and Sister Act only serve to confirm me in my prejudice.
I'm not sure how personally popular she actually is. I mean outside of my household.
Pros - has a successful career in music and musical theatre. That worked for Denise van Outen.
Cons - Hallelujah rightly offended all right thinking people, uniting the world in disdain in an unprecedented way. Perhaps the only person to have had a similar effect is Donal Trump.
She's well fancied at 5-1 (althought not by me.)
You know what, despite my instinctive dislike for the synthetic music business model of reality TV and her cover of Hallelujah I can see her winning the show.
With the death of Paul Daniels in 2016 we'll never know what first attracted him to the Lovely Debbie McGee.
Debbie is a former professional dancer turned magician and part of the world famous magical double act, Paul Daniels. She's also close to being declared a National Treasure.
Pros - former professional dancer
Cons - she'd be the oldest contestant to reach the semi-final.
In my view a value bet at 25-1.
Never under estimate an Olympian, unless that Olympian is Victoria Pendleton.
Pros - He's not Victoria Pendleton
Con's - sadly I fear that a man with only one leg is going to struggle towards the back end of the competition once all the no-hopers have been cleared out. I hope I'm wrong. I hope he's brilliant. He seems like a nice bloke.
I think over valued at 9-1.
Holby City regular Chizzy Akudolu is surely the Lisa Riley of 2017. I'm expecting lots of cheery cheekiness, a surprisingly nimble turn about the floor and then fading, sooner or later, as the eventual finalists become apparant and it becomes apparant that Chizzy is not one of them. Riley was usually good, I don't think we'll see her like again.
50-1 seems a fair price.
Pros - Never under estimate the power of the British public to like a woman who is turns out to be slightly better than their low expectations of her.
Cons - will be partnered with Anton du Beck.
Good Morning Britain presenter and journalist Hawkins is one of the dark horses the fate of which is difficult to predict. At 42 she's i
n the prime of her life
perhaps a little too old to make it deep in the competition. Susanah Reid and Katie Derham are the counter examples. There's no indication that Hawkins will be an above average dancer but if she turns out to be she'll have a natural constituency from her role at ITV. Could go either way.
I wouldn't take her to win at 11-1 until after I'd seen her dance. At which point she'll either be 8-1 or 20-1.
Pros - ?????
Cons - ????
At one point Brian Conley was the UK's highest paid male TV personality. Which just goes to show. I'm not sure what it shows but it shows something. You don't get to be the highest paid TV personality in the UK by being unpopular or uncharismatic. The right partner could smuggle him through to the final. Unfortunately the right partner is probably Joanne Clifton.
I don't see him winning in what appears to me to be a crowded field but a twisted ankle here and a family emergency there could see Brian make the final on a Chris Hollins style ticket.
Pros - Once was famous
Cons - does not have access to a time machine so his fame remains in the past.
I have been waiting, literally, for someone from I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue to appear on Strictly Come Dancing. Admittedly the person I was waiting for was Samantha who I feel would have handled an Argentine tangled in her Cha-Cha-Cha.
Calman may be the first out lesbian on Strictly. She's certainly the first out lesbian from Glasgow who is the daughter of the Chief Medical Officer of Scotland and who has worked on Death Row in South Carolina to appear on Strictly, but not the last I warrant you.
Calman is one of my favourites of the panel show regular attendees. However, that doesn't make her a great dancer. She's taller than Claudia Frangapane but not as acrobatic. She's 7-2 to be first out and 50-1 to win. That's sadly probably fair.
Pros - sure to benefit from the Strictly / I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue cross ove audience.
Cons - unlike Ruth Davidson, with whom she is often confused, she does not have access to her own infantry regiment or bison.
Bringing a re-run of the 2008 X-Factor to Strictly is one quarter of boy band JLS. Being in a boy band your job is to move in time with some music whilst emoting at the camera on a zoom lens. This sometimes pays off on Strictly (see Anton du Beck) and sometimes it doesn't (see also Anton du Beck.)
The Hobbit-named Merrygold is currently the bookies favourite at 11-4. I'm not convinced. JLS were a while ago.
Pros - Boy Band
Cons - Even my daugher doesn't remember him.
Celebrity chef Simon "Ace" Rimmer is the bookies 3-1 favourite to be first out and the 66-1 long shot to win. Not even Anton du Beck can save him. He'll be paired with one of the new dancers who have no personal following and undoubtedly turn out to be quite good and excellently paired and sweep to round 4 leaving Calman, Coles and Chizzy in his medium-rare wake. Nah, me neither, going out in round one.
Pros - I'm sure he'll be paired with one.
Cons - He's no Dave Myers
You Take the High Road and I'll take the Crow Road and I'll be in Strictly afore you, but me and Anton will never dance again, by the bonny bonny Banks of Loch Lomond, In a first for Strictly, (so many firsts this season, it's like a carnival of priority, more firsts than Casanova) the first contestant with an Iain Banks connection. Prentice McHoan will be dancing along the Crow Road. One can only hope that Peter Capaldi will be joining him from beyond the grave.
McFadden won't win but he is my favourite.
Pros - expect a fully functional Special Circumstances Drone to be loitering in the background giving dancing tips.
Cons - that drone is Skaffen-Amtiskaw
Reverend Richard Coles
Usually I think a career in music bodes well for a Strictly appearance but not if your career in music was as the synth player in an 80's electronica duo. When your job is to stand at the back, not moving, pressing buttons whilst someone else flails around in the spotlight, well unless you are Anton du Beck, your strictly career is going nowhere. Another Strictly first, the first openly gay, celebate Church of England vicar who is related to a disgraced Conservative politician
40-1 is generous. If I hadn't already written about Simon Rimmer I'd have Coles as first casualty. (Holby City surely.)
Pros - can depend on the votes of every member of the Church of England who watches Strictly and who can work the internet
Cons - limited constituency
Atkinson is this year's ambassador to the BBC from Holyoaks. Holyoaks has a pretty good record on Strictly with finalists Ricky Whittle, Ashley Taylor Dawwon and Danny Mac and semi-finalist Ali Bastian. That predictive power alone is worth the 13-2 price. Add in a run on BBC's Casualty. In parallel to her acting career Atkinson is also a model. Which worked for Abby Clancy but didn't work so well for Jerry Hall.
I'm seeing semi-finalist here. perhaps even finalist.
Pros - Holyoaks have a point to prove
Cons - perhaps too beautiful for this world.
Mostly and justly famous for not having strangled Eammon Holmes, yet, Ruth Langsford is amongst the older contestants in a format that does not favour age. Her presenting career is currently centred around Loose Women. I don't know how likely to vote her viewers are. I'm not picking up vibes of the sort of languid grace that took Katie Derham so far or the tightly controlled va-va-voom that took Reid to the final. I think Langsford is in the Kate Garroway box. She'll have a nice time, she'll do okay, she'll leave in the first half of the run, she'll be partnered with Anton du Beck.
Cons - Eammon Holmes will intervene on her behalf.
Cons - likely to be arrested at any moment once the police dig up her patio and find Eammon
Ghadamis is from Eastenders but by way of Taggart. Will it be Murder on the Dance Floor (ed: that's Ellis-Bextor), will we be able to Get Enough (ed: that's the Saturdays, fool,), will he Say He'll Be There in the final (ed: effing Emman Bunton, from off the Spice Girls,) or can we expect the duff-duff-duffs of an early exist for this Eastender? In yet another first for Strictly, Ghadamis is the first fomer Doctor Who actor to appear on Strictly. That may or may not be true but we're dealing with a time traveller here so, depending on whether you take a linear or non-linear view of time, and indeed, which direction through time you are travelling, he may or may not be the first Doctor Who related Strictly contestant. In any event, he's associated with Moffat, so it will be a load of timey-wimey, bally-wally, plotty-whaty continuity banjaxing self-immolating wank. Knowing Moffat Ghadamis will contrive to be both the First and the Last Doctor Who related Strictly contestant through the magical power of an actual Big Red Reset Button. Wanker! The bookies say 9-1. I say hang the Moffat enabler from the nearest police box.
Pros - Big following from the Enders
Cons - Must have met Moffat
She's a Saturday. It's almost in the BBC charter. I am confident that she will go one better than Frankie Bridges and
declare her undying love for me, win Strictly.
Pros - will win.
Cons - I will look pretty stupid if she doesn't.
So, my predictions at this early stage.
Mollie King, Gemma Atkinson, Burke and Merrygold the Hobbit.
Ace Rimmer, I'm Sorry I Haven't A Calman and the Rhumbaing Richard Coles.
Eventual Winner - still Mollie King. The fix is in.