Anthony: It's "Hard To Compete" Against Trained Dancers
Eliminated Anthony Ogogo has apparently complained about having to compete against celebrities who have already had dance training.
BT.com reports that Anthony said: "I think when you’re up against Jay McGuinness, who’s done ballet, and Helen George who’s done ballet, and Peter Andre who’s been a pop star – it’s very, very hard to compete with those guys. People want to see entertaining dances, they want to see people do well, but also I think people like to see a journey. And I think my journey could have – if given more of an opportunity by the powers that be – I think my journey could have been good."
While I appreciate Anthony's frustration, this is a debate which has raged since Series 2. Winner Jill Halfpenny had done ballet classes in childhood, and this was seen by some as giving her an unfair advantage.
To be honest, I don't think Anthony would have gone that far because his injury would have prevented him from realising his full potential anyway.
The Daily Mirror reports that Anthony told The Sun that he thinks race might have contributed to his early exit. He said: "I didn't think that the BBC would put us together because we're black or mixed race. I honestly thought they would spread the minorities around."
The question of race is nothing new to Strictly, either. Of 12 past winners, only three were not white - Mark Ramprakash, Alesha Dixon and Louis Smith. Although, by my calculation only 18% of all Strictly participants (excluding the current series) were not white, so three winners is actually higher than average (25%). Make of that what you like.
I'd really like to hope that race isn't a factor. But when three out of four celebrities in the bottom two have been black, it's hard to make a case against it.