My Strictly Come Dancing round-up is slightly later this year and for that I apologise. There are two reasons. Firstly, Terrible Tess hasn’t had such screamingly awful gowns so far this series and secondly, how do I put this… well, Ed Balls.
Yes we’ve had the comedy contestants before, the Anne Widdecombes and the John Seargants but they were bad and ridiculous and they stayed that way – great entertainment but hugely frustrating for the serious viewers (and judges) who objected on the basis that this is a dancing competition and should unfold as such. Well, this is 2016; the year that we shooed away Europe and ushered in Donald Trump, you think we’re going to get our leotards in a twist about a fake tanned, sequin clad Ed Balls?
Not likely. You see Ed Balls has charmed us and not because of anything he’s said – he’s uttered a few political jibey type things to the judges – but because he has fully embraced the experience, wears the tight trousers with pride and has bloody well gone on and learned to dance! We’ve had Charleston Ed, Salsa Ed, and Jive Ed and despite some terrifying moments when it looked like he might drop partner Katya on her head or worse, split his trousers, thanks to some clever themed choreography Ed has performed with such enthusiasm, it is hard not to fall for him. His facial expressions are priceless, as are those of his wife Yvette Cooper sitting in the audience. Ed’s moments on the Strictly dance floor are hilarious, heart-stopping and frankly inspiring. Is there anyone out there not thinking he looks like their dad prancing about on the telly? Oh that my own dad were here to see this exhibitionism! A Labour man himself, he would have bust a gut watching this. Talking of which, it takes guts and a remarkably thick skin to be a politician these days, and if you’ve lost your seat and you’re still only 49, well why not do Strictly – what’s the worst that can happen?
But I’m supposed to be here to talk about the outfits… Is it me or do the dresses seem to be less showy this year? I’ve actually been imagining myself down the pub in one or two of them. Ore’s partner Joanne seems to be getting all the best frocks (there’s always one, last year it was Helen George) so she must be in with the seamstresses. Meanwhile, poor Louise Redknapp has been struggling weekly with a dry mouth, her big grins permanently getting stuck to her teeth whenever she does well.
They are all a more approachable bunch of ‘celebrities’ this season and their clothes are echoing that, there are many looks that will translate beautifully for Christmas and the high street has much to offer that wouldn’t look out of place on Strictly. I’ve picked out my favourites. The underwiring and sensible pants are up to you.
Ruffles, sheer panels, lace, off the shoulder, long skirts – all the trends are there, it’s almost as if festive dressing has come courtesy of the BBC this year. The way I see it, it is the perfect excuse to dress like the world is your dance floor.
I suspect, as I write this, that Ed may be coming up to his last week – those left in the competition are now very good indeed and scoring tens to his fours. However this is 2016, there are those who believe (my friend Rich mostly) that if Strictly is going to be won by an underdog, someone who was to many a joke even before the spray tan, then this is the year. I have to say I’m tempted to place a bet, there are far more deserving winners but the world is in need of a good laugh and Ed Balls has certainly provided that. Balls – never not funny.
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