The "Strictly Come Dancing" scandal

Strictly Come Dancing (orTanssii tähtien kanssa) is a hugely popular show in Britain, as well as in Finland. The dramatic news about which dancing couple has been knocked out is front-page news every week. So are the scandals and gossip surrounding it.

     So many dancing couples have split up from their real partners during the series that there is talk of the ”curse of Strictly”. An ordinary relationship seems to be put under tremendous pressure by the intimacy created between the dancing partners by weeks of training and performing and the physical intimacy this involves. Then there are the revealing clothes and the romantic nature of many dances.

     The level of physical intimacy between the partners does sometimes seem excessive. Physical contact is of course felt differently by different people: some enjoy an innocent hug with a colleague while others find it distinctly uncomfortable.

     One couple – a male comedian and a female dancer – became very unpopular with the viewers when it transpired that they had been caught kissing in a pub by a tabloid journalist who had his camera at the ready. The problem was that both were in a serious relationship already. They publicly apologised, but it didn’t help – they lasted one more week on the show, and the comedian’s girlfriend split up with him, having publicly criticised him for his other faults, too. He declared he was not the man she described and desperately wanted to continue in Strictly (although seemingly not in his relationship.) 

     I wasn’t sure what to think of it all. The matter aroused conflicting thoughts in me. Here are some of them:

1) Thank goodness for public opinion. If people misbehave in public, they should be prepared to face the consequences. We live in a permissive society, but there are limits.

2) What about forgiveness and reconciliation? The dancing partners confessed their mistake, but were met with condemnation and hostility.

3) ”Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.”

     Our relationships are among the most important things in our lives, far more important than some light entertainment show. I hope both the comedian and his ex-girlfriend will learn from this and, if they aren’t reconciled, will find love again in another relationship.  

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