Tuesday, 3 January 2012
Alesha Leaves Strictly Come Dancing for Britain's Got Talent
With Simon Cowell returning to the ITV production and the demographic being more in tune with her preferred audience - plus a reported £350,000 wage, music has won out over dancing as Alesha looks to focus on her singing career in 2012. David Walliams and Amanda Holden will complete the four judge panel. There were rumours last year that Alesha would replace Cheryl on the X-Factor - one year too soon and a different show but hey, they were almost there!
Alesha said: "Music is my great passion and the reason for the other incredible opportunities that have come my way and I am looking forward to getting back into the studio and focusing on making a new record in 2012.
"After three incredible years on the Strictly Come Dancing judging panel I have decided that it is time to move on. Strictly Come Dancing will always hold a special place in my heart as it has been such an amazing experience, both as a winning competitor and as a judge. I would like to say a big thank you to everyone involved in the show, the production team, my fellow judges, and a very special thank you to the fans for their support."
A spokeswoman for the BBC said: "Alesha has had three very successful series and we wish her well for the future. The BBC gave her a fantastic opportunity and she has really grown her career and she is now off for a different challenge. We are now looking forward to announcing our new panel in due course."
I hope that 'new' panel doesn't mean entirely new! I loved the dynamic between Alesha and Bruno and they'll be hard pressed to re-produce that with someone else. Series 8 winner Kara Tointon and Series 2 winner, Jill Halfpenny have been suggested, along with retired ballerina and former guest judge, Darcey Bussell, and Dirty Dancing's Jennifer Grey, also a guest judge. The favourite will undoubtedly be the fabulous Karen Hardy and don't discount a return for Arlene either. There's no new series of So You Think You Can Dance and I don't think either she or the Beeb have ever denied the door would always be open - as long as she can keep a lid on those awful alliterative appraisals and avoid calling anyone a dancing pig, she'll be welcomed back. I know Alesha wasn't universally liked (as a judge) but at least she was encouraging and positive. Of the 2 or 3 occasions when she wasn't, she was pretty much saying aloud what everyone else was thinking! My main hope is that the Beeb don't try to fix something that is so clearly NOT broken - that will be a huge mistake. One replacement we can cope with, wholesale changes for change's sake are very unpopular!