Strictly Come Blogging

Louise. Lou. Loulabelle. Loulabelle44. Louby.
Proudly blogging about Strictly Come Dancing ALL YEAR ROUND since 2006. Always spoiler-free.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Arlene's Out, Alesha's In

Sadly the rumours were true.

Today the BBC announced that Alesha Dixon will be taking over judging duties from Arlene Phillips, and Darcey Bussell will also join the panel as a guest judge later in the series.

Personally, I think this is a huge mistake.

While Alesha was good, she is still a novice dancer and not an expert. If the BBC want Princess Alesha to give her opinion, they could give her a blog on their website, or have her talking on It Takes Two. Arlene has more years of dance experience than she'd probably like to admit, both as a performer and a choreographer.

I find it disgusting that her experience is going to be lost. Not everyone on TV has to be under 35. And Arlene looks great!

Cherie Longhi was asked about this on The Wright Stuff a few weeks ago, and I had to agree with her comments. Watch this video from 5mins.

Alesha is a former Strictly champion, but what authority does that give her to sit on the panel.

Camilla has made no secret of the fact that she'd like to be a judge. If they wanted a former champion, perhaps they should have recruited Camilla instead.

Haven't they heard the saying, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it"?

Why do the BBC insist on chasing ratings from younger viewers? Let ITV and it's advertisers have the 16-34s and get their revenue. The BBC then gets their knickers in a knot when ITV suggests they'd like some licence money because they're not hitting their revenue targets. Well, what do they expect if they needlessly steel viewers from ITV?

Of course, this won't stop me watching Strictly. But I do with they'd stop tinkering with a format that is loved by millions.


  • At 2:16 am, Blogger LUFCRACE said…

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  • At 2:19 am, Blogger LUFCRACE said…

    While I understand the 'Alesha isn't an expert' arguments, I actually think this is a brilliant decision.
    For me, Arlene, who I'm sure is good at her job, was the least articulate, most annoying judge, she was obsessed with making her comments alliterative, and I'm sure she just made them up beforehand and tried to fit them to the dances. In our house we just felt she came across as stupid and annoying.
    There is a skill to judging these competitions, the judges only have a short amount of time to get across their opinions, I just don't think Arlene was actually very good at it.
    Alesha on the other hand, while no expert in ballroom dancing; is a musician (so has a pretty decent background in it), has been a long-term fan, has participated in and won the show - therefore has been in the shoes of the contestants so will hopefully be constructive rather than critical. She will also add some youth to the panel (no disrespect to the others, but the younger audience are going to relate to her much more easily.)
    To me, she is just as valid a member of the Strictly judging panel as Jason Gardner is on the Dancing on Ice panel - he isn't an ice skater, he's a choreographer. I have no doubt she'll be brilliant and really add something to the show, and frankly I won't miss Arlene at all (I'm sure she'll pop up on Claudia's couch a couple of times anyway).
    Unfortunately these days TV people seem to think they need to reinvent shows every few years to keep people interested, they may have a point, but they do sometimes go too far imo.

  • At 7:37 am, Blogger Caron said…

    I agree with you, Lou, and blogged to pretty much the same effect yesterday. I am absolutely raging about this.

    I love Alesha - she's natural, warm and talented. I think she'd actually have made a better presenter than Tess and that's where I would have put her.

    As a judge she will have zero credibility compared to Arlene's vast experience. I think it's a disgrace that she has been sent to the One Show. Clearly a sexist thing as Len Goodman, at a few months' younger, is staying.

    I think they should have left the judging panel as it is and I don't think they've done Alesha any favours at all by putting her in a position she's not qualified to fill.

  • At 3:45 pm, Anonymous Andrew said…

    It's completely weird. As you say, the point of the judges is their expertise.

    The only possibility I can think of, other than outright sexism, is it's the result of the John Sergeant affair. They want a non-expert on the panel so that the can't-dance-but-are-entertaining competitors have someone rooting for them. That'd help deflect the 'you're just bullies' comments. Still doesn't excuse the lack of expertise, though, lovely as Alesha is.


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