Written by By Kentaro Toyama, CNN Tokyo
The queen of ballroom dancing is coming back to Japan.
October 21, 2021, will be the date of the 21st season of “Strictly Come Dancing” — the English language version of the UK’s “Strictly Come Dancing.” The country’s first series aired on Fuji TV in 2013. The contestants will be chosen from a professional line-up of dancers. In the last season, 47 couples competed.
With the change comes changes in stylistic direction, as not only will the show be more rigorously choreographed, but the format itself will switch with the show itself. In a Japanese media statement, one of the “Strictly” show producers acknowledged that they would need to reinvigorate the concept and styles of partnering. “Where we once choreographed a dance based around the way each partner would move around each other, we have decided to change it to another angle altogether.”
This means that the show will include greater variety in dance styles, making the format of the show more real, and cutting down on the need for choreography.
To provide a rough guide to the basic characters and traits of this new version of the show, here’s a rundown of 10 things viewers can expect.
1. First for WG
First up is Wiggle Guh — a female professional dancer who will be expected to be very expressive — something that can’t be easy when four metres tall and 85 kg. Second is another female dancer who will be expected to be especially physically fit — especially at her height. Third is another female dancer who will be the “super dancer” — maybe we’ll call her Wiggle Gua e — who will be the “scorpion-whip” dancing partner to the male dancers — i.e. leaping to catch and throw them on to the floor. Fourth is a young male who will be usually the one to pull the “Super Wiggle” dancer out of the cha-cha-cha.
2. The dark side of ballroom dancing
This will be the only times that a blonde dancer will be showing off her hair extensions with tousled curls. In fact, there will be nearly nothing for a blonde — probably a redhead — to do but sit back and enjoy the warmth of the red ballroom. For male dancers, we can expect to see their hair down a hair — there’s the promise of a very sweet-looking tousled look.
3. A Japanese sketchy, hopefully
Flamboyant costumes. No clothes. On the one hand, this is a woman-dominated show, so the stunning wigs, flashy costumes and all the other typical aspects of English “Strictly” are all part of this formula. On the other hand, there has only been one female contestant for one season.
4. Daily, 4-hour long episodes
3. Russian roulette
Each dancer has an automatic yellow or red score until the end of the show. These scores determine which dancers go up the judge’s table, in order of final performance. Once there, the judges decide which dancers will move on to the semifinals. Every Sunday, it will be all four live show judges make the decision.
5. Professional dancers who are also coaches
In the previous season, two-time “Strictly” star Will Young surprised everybody by telling the judges that he couldn’t take part due to his job as a director and coach. For the 21st season, there is no definite word on whether professional dancer-turned-judge Mike Tindall will participate, but according to the show’s producer, it will at least be entertaining. This means we will have professional dancers in both teams.