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Strictly Come Dancing - Why did Jimi Mistry have to go?

Jimi Mistry in 2012

Review by Lizzie Guilfoyle

THE GREAT British public never fails to amaze me, particularly in regards to voting on so-called reality TV shows. And Strictly Come Dancing is no exception as this weekend’s show clearly demonstrated.

For sadly, it was the viewers who were responsible for the shock exit of charismatic film actor Jimi Mistry who, in Saturday night’s show, was awarded 32 points out of a possible 40 by the judges for his quickstep with professional dance partner Flavia Cacace – his highest score to date.

To me, that doesn’t seem quite right. So what exactly is motivating viewers – could it be Gavin Henson’s pecs, Felicity Kendal’s splits or Patsy Kensit’s figure hugging costumes? For when all said and done, they’re no worse and certainly no better than Jimi. And then, of course, there’s the A Factor or, in other words, Ann Widdecombe.

Now don’t get me wrong – I love the fact that she really does try, that she sticks to her principles and, most of all, that she has the humility to make fun of herself. And I applaud her partner Anton du Beke for his ability to turn what could so easily be a total disaster (okay, a dis-AR-ster) into something that is not only entertaining but also guaranteed to put a smile on the glummest face – Craig Revel Horwood’s excepting.

But the fact remains, Ann cannot dance. Yet if reports in the tabloid press are to be believed, she is being tipped to take this year’s title. And as Strictly is first and foremost a dance competition, that would surely be a travesty. So maybe it’s time to bring back the ‘dreaded dance-off’.

This year, Strictly has also come under fire for being too sexy. But let’s face it, Latin American dances are sexy, as anyone who has visited South America will know. However, when it comes to ballroom, it’s a very different story – as Matt Baker and his partner Aliona Vilani demonstrated with their almost perfect Viennese waltz. In fact, their performance prompted Judge Bruno Tonioli to liken Matt to a prince and it really can’t get more romantic than that.

Like thousands of others, I adore Strictly – it’s entertaining, good to look at and highly unpredictable. I even love the ridiculous posturing and posing that is fast becoming a trademark of certain performers. So long may it grace our television screens.