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Jennifer Grey joins the judges on Strictly

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BBC Strictly Nora | 09:26 UK time, Thursday, 20 October 2011

Hollywood star Jennifer Grey will foxtrot into Strictly Come Dancing as a guest judge next month. Stepping into Len Goodman's shoes for one week, she will join Craig Revel Horwood, Alesha Dixon and Bruno Tonioli on Saturday 5th and Sunday 6th November.

Most famous for her leading role in one of the greatest dance movies of all time: Dirty Dancing, Jennifer is no stranger to world of ballroom, glamour and glitter-balls. Last year she and professional partner Derek Hough were crowned champions of Dancing with the Stars, the US version of Strictly.

Jennifer says: "I am delighted to be involved. I so look forward to making the pilgrimage to the birthplace of the greatest dance show, the mecca of spray tans and tangos, and to sit in for the great and pernickety Len Goodman."

Waltzing her way from the dance-floor to the judging panel, Jennifer will be able to draw upon her personal dancing experiences to offer a constructive critique to the remaining couples in the competition.


  • Comment number 1.

    I think we should have a proper judge like Karen

  • Comment number 2.

    What an insult to the professionals who have graced our screens on SCD. Why not ask Karen Hardy, Ian Waite, Matthew Cutler, Darren Bennett or the lovely Lilia. Don't know what's happening to my beloved Strictly but it seems to me to be one bad decision after another. Get a grip.

  • Comment number 3.

    Well, I think this is a *fab-u-lous* idea! One week only, why not? I look forward to seeing the legend that is Jennifer Grey. After all, people complained about Alesha as a judge and I think she's worked out brilliantly, so I see no reason why Jennifer shouldn't be equally as good. Yay BBC for asking her and yay Jennifer for agreeing!

  • Comment number 4.

    I think the judging pannel is unbalanced anyway, Alesha should have been replaced with another judge with a ballroom background it seems that SCD has become more about show dancing so replacing len with somone who is not or has never been a professional ballroom dancer is know surprise to me another bad decision.

  • Comment number 5.

    What is a proper judge?
    First it is for only one week
    Second this has never been a real ballroom and latin show Craig and Bruno are not ballroom judges either.
    Just watch back and enjoy, I love Strictly shame about some of the "fans".

  • Comment number 6.

    Has Zoe a train to catch? Is she cross eyed? Are the guests deaf? What with all the gesticulating? Slow down and calm down Zoe you’re making me dizzy.
    Craig is the best judge by far –Len is always out to score points with the audience and the dancers. I also think that Karen or Matthew should stand in for Len (or take over completely).

  • Comment number 7.

    Why can't we have Karen or Camilla as the replacement judge? In fact, could we not have Karen as a permanent replacement for Alesha (or even Len considering his performances this year) and Camilla could do choreography corner and the red button commentary. If Karen doesn't want to be a judge she can stay as she is and Camilla can be a judge instead.

  • Comment number 8.

    Second this has never been a real ballroom and latin show Craig and Bruno are not ballroom judges either.

    Were you watching ITT, when Len was on it. If the four judges were all from the ballroom background, the show would only need one Judge. It will be nice to have Jennifer Grey on the judging panel. Jennifer Grey knows how to dance.

    Len is from the ballroom background, Strictly should have a ex-pro like Matthew Cutler, Karen Hardy, Darren bennett or Lilia.

  • Comment number 9.

    Alesha should stay (which she will)
    Moaning Strictly Fans to go, go get some perspective watch the news on Libya.

  • Comment number 10.

    Can I please ask the BBC Moderators if they read these posts? Do you not see that a fair few of us would like proper dance professionals as judges? Yes, if you want you spangly glamour aspect to the entertainment side of the show- keep broadway week, keep halloween specials, allow lifts in Salsa, that's all very well, in fact very good! BUT, when the dance aspect is involved, I.E. judging and identifying areas of critique and potential improvement, we would like someone who knows what they're talking about; and as much as Jennifer Grey, after 3 Months under the fantastic Derek Hough, is an adequate for a dance expert like Len, she's hardly a dot compared to such contenders like Karen Ian and Camilla, i.e. professional dancers. I'm not going to stand here saying I won't watch, nor dismissing the possibility that I'll enjoy Ms. Grey's cameo, but please, take consideration into the fact this is a dance show, and that we would like SOME balance to the proceedings! Please don't be so single minded and alienate some of your audience by dumbing down the show! Infuse the likes of Karen into the judging panel, she's got electrifying personality on ITT, and could help people, as opposed to trying to use celebs like Alesha and Jeniffer advising pros who know so much more than they do!

    Please, BBC, put some proper talent and expertise alongside the likes of Craig and Bruno, keep the show respectable!

  • Comment number 11.

    *adequate replacement
    (and please ignore/forgive my random spelling of Jennifer here there and everywhere)

  • Comment number 12.

    Are you ever going to listen to your viewers?.
    She is professional, articulate and knowledgable.
    Bad enough that Alesha was chosen over her but she doesnt even get to be a stand in.

  • Comment number 13.

    Some interesting posts.

    I don't see what Libya has to do with Alesha Dixon's place on the judging panel unless they want her as their next President. It is possible to be interested in Libya and Strictly at the same time but not on the same blog. Such arguments should not be made as the subject matter is too serious ( Libya not Alesha Dixon). We are all entitled to our opinions even if others disagree. My argument against Alesha isn't just about technical know how but also about charisma, wit and having something of interest to say. She has none of this but is nice and pretty - I don't believe that is enough. I enjoy listening to the technical feedback, she doesn't provide any.

    Also, no one is saying all the panel should have a ballroom background. Obviously, Craig and Bruno are experts to be respected, but it would be nice to have a couple of ballroom people on the panel to balance it up.

  • Comment number 14.

    Now if Jennifer Grey were covering for Alesha it would make perfect sense. Even covering of Bruno or Craig (at a stretch). But replacing the only Ballroom & Latin expert seems somewhat strange to say the least.

    No Karen for me please (already busy on the red button). Ian may have been a much better choice as he will have been viewing the dancing from the start and will be aware of improvements.

  • Comment number 15.

    Yes, why can't we have Karen Hardy or some other professional dancers, instead of this Jennifer Grey. Who is she? Never heard of her. Just googled and she is an American actress. Why can't we find someone from here.

    And finally, how about the public also voting for the judges............ after all I am often reminded that we, the public are the ones' voting and this is our show.

  • Comment number 16.

    I too think Karen should replace Alesha. Alesha is lovely and all that, but she's a singer, she doesn't have the background in dancing that people like Karen have.
    I don't know why Arlene had to be replaced anyway - she used to give the celebrities sound advice to help them improve.
    I am aware it is an entertainment show, but it is more interesting and has more depth when you get to hear the opinions of people that really know what they are talking about. I don't feel Alesha's comments have any credibility (sorry Alesha)
    oh and to the person who says look at the Libya situation to put things in perspective - SCD may not be the most important thing in the world, but that doesn't mean people's opinions are not worthwhile. It is possible to have opinions on a wide range of events and interests.

  • Comment number 17.

    Honestly!! I can't believe any negative comments on here... Strictly is what it is.. A fabulous entertaining programme, and I LOVE it!!! It makes my weekend... Roland Rat could judge and I'd still watch..just want to see the professional dancers/celebrities DANCING!!!!!
    I know the celebrities throw themselves into it..but at the end of the day.. It is just for fun!!!

  • Comment number 18.

    Hearing the news about Jennifer Grey I too am astounded. I saw her on Dancing with the Stars and of course Derek Hough carried her along - she did nothing but moan about her work load. I know she had previous injury but if that was the case then she shouldn't have agreed to do it.

    Len is a ballroom expert and therefore the BBC should have replaced him with another expert - ie. one of the ex-dancers on the show or indeed Karen Hardy (although she is usually engaged on the Commentary).

    Come on BBC get your act together - we don't need another celebrity judge!

  • Comment number 19.

    How can an expert in ballroom and latin be replaced by, a performer. It wouldn't matter in the first couple of weeks, but as time moves the expert eye is needed.

    But still what am i saying, she only needs to overmark Lulu and Anita and we wont even notice Le's not there

  • Comment number 20.

    I loved Dirty Dancing and Jennifer Grey was fab in it but she does not have a dancing background. To replace the only judge who does have a dance background with somebody who doesn', makes no sense to me at all, even if it is only for one week. I know Len will be missing because of Dancing with the Stars but he never had to be replaced in previous years, does anyone know why this year is different? And how come Bruno doesn't need a replacement?

  • Comment number 21.

    I do find this an odd decision. I shall still enjoy the show and be interested to hear Jennifer's 'take' on the dances, but I do like the technical comments and ballroom perspective that Len brings - I had assumed that he would be replaced by someone with a similar background for the week he is away.

    Is Jennifer about to do a show for you, Auntie? Or has she a book to publicise?

  • Comment number 22.

    i so agree with number 12

  • Comment number 23.

    Vasundhara Smith - Jennifer Grey - Who is she? Have you ever seen Dirty Dancing- one of the best films ever. If you didn't see Dirty Dancing, go and watch it.

    Mrs Arcanum- That is what I am trying to say- if Alesha was missing, leave jennifer Grey come to judge for her. Len is a ballroom and latin dancer/judge so get a professional ballroom and latin dancer/judge. but it is only for one weekend.

  • Comment number 24.

    Last year saw the new producer bring in props during the routines - now we have an unknown to replace the head judge - what next I wonder.
    Yes, I agree the show is an entertainment show, but the dancers work so hard to improve their technique week on week that it is rather an insult to put someone on the panel who has little idea what to look for! Yet again a poor choice by the Beeb, what a shame!

  • Comment number 25.

    I, too, would vote for Karen Hardy to be on the judging panel. She knows what she is talking about but, unfortunately, this is not the main skill on the producer's list of qualities needed by a judge in a dancing/entertainment competition.

  • Comment number 26.

    Where is Len going on his night off?

  • Comment number 27.

    Lilly_Lane : Len is apparently going to stay in LA for a little rest!

  • Comment number 28.

    Yeah yeah yeah. We have heard all this before. Like it has been said... it as an entertainment show although I do agree with many of the comments. You can knock the producers of the show for their choice in judges, guest celebreties they invite onto the show to take part etc. etc. etc.. You cant please everybody. All I have to say is that if your not happy with the show SWITCH OVER AND WATCH SOMETHING ELSE which no doubt you can find fault with and complain about.

  • Comment number 29.

    PLEASE can we have Karen Hardy as a judge? She's fab.

  • Comment number 30.

    Len is a professional so his replacement should be a professional. The best person would be Karen Hardy

  • Comment number 31.

    I do agree i like Jennifer Grey but it would be better to have a expert in the field of dancing be it an ex dancer or a choreographer. it will also be nice to have some one else for a week or to as Len is turning into a grumpy old man even Craig is being nicer then him at the moment

  • Comment number 32.

    Always a heated topic - who should judge SCD. Unfortunately there are no qualifications or even experience needed to judge SCD - it isn't any sort of internationally recognised dance competition with rules and regulations. It isn't the same as scoring in a dance exam. And if it was would it be worth watching? It is an entertainment program just like any other. The punch and judy act between the four judges is an audience attracter. Given it isn't a real competition the judges that are there are quite adequate. Calm down dears, it's only a program!

  • Comment number 33.

    Alesha looked so stunningly beautiful this evening - a strong contender for Miss World but she isn't really up to being a Strictly Come Dancing judge. Unlike the fabulous Karen Hardy who actually teaches dancing.
    Craig was better behaved this evening i.e. fairer and wasn't being just plain nasty.
    We don't know how Russell the stargazer received more points than Nancy as he certainly wasn't a better dancer - and surely this is what the competition is about?

  • Comment number 34.

    Alesha looked so stunningly beautiful this evening and red is really her colour - and a real contender for Miss World, however, she doesn't know enough about choreography - being a singer.
    Karen Hardy would be a better choice of judge and is also a very pleasant lady.
    Ken is rather a sweet person as well as being so knowledgeable and Craig Revel Horwood's comments were fairer all round. Bruno has a command of English which is amazing and is a great entertainer. As for Brucie - well he is just the real King Pin!

  • Comment number 35.

    Len doesn't judge as professionally as he did at the beginning, he sometimes ignores basic mistakes if he likes the dancers.. Yes, bring on Karen or Ian!

  • Comment number 36.

    I half and half about this. On the one hand, really love Jennifer Grey in Dirty Dancing, didn't see her much on Dancing with the Stars but the bit I did see was amazing but on the other hand, I don't understand why they didn't get a past professional who has more experience with both the ballroom and latin and who would fill Len's position in better, although I do contest that Jennifer has a dancing background but anyway, can't wait to see her on the show.

  • Comment number 37.

    I think that we should have one of our professional dancers as Judge and not another glamour girl. You are turning the juding panel into a glamour line up.
    Some of the professional dancers are getting a bit too big for their dancing shoes. If they cannot take criticism they should not take part. Alex's dance was not good. Also there is too much staging these days and not enough dancing. I love the Judges who are right with their comments. This is Strictly Ballroom Dancing best judged by people who know their art. Bring back Arleen. I say!!

  • Comment number 38.

    Perhaps its time we had another Producer!! One who will stop mucking about with the programme.

  • Comment number 39.

    I'm with DP1992 (post no 10) on this one. Does anyone from the BBC actually read these comments? And why won't the likes of Strictly Nora respond in this blog to comments being made. If you read through all comments here there's an overwhelming opinion that while Jennifer Grey was a fabulous contestant, she does not have any professional dance experience or background of any kind.

    There's a similar consensus that says that Karen Hardy ought to stand in for Len... so why aren't the BBC listening and responding to this? Have they forgotten the absolute furore that hit them when Alesha replaced Arlene?

  • Comment number 40.

    If you think about it, it is an insult to the professionals to ask someone who knows very little about dancing to actually judge them.

    If we can't have Arleen, lets have Karen. All vote KAREN

  • Comment number 41.

    really all this discussion over how bad Alisha is.....why? she did really well with her dancing and went on to win the competition. I think she provides a nice 'human' balance with her comments, against craig who is so pedantic (and down right insulting) when it comes to sticking to the rules. For me, as a whole, I do understand that this is just an entertainment programme, and dont take it so seriously. The worst part about the whole show is Bruce. I just record the show and fast forward through his rather poor dialogue. If people think the show is so bad why do they watch it?

  • Comment number 42.


  • Comment number 43.

    I did come on here to say I quite like the idea of Jennifer judging for a week. However, I do find myself agreeing that;
    1. Karen Hardy should most definately be a judge, she's a former pro with a lifetime's experience, not to mention a teacher and used to dance on the show,
    2. The BBC clearly do not pay any attention to what is written on here, and possibly have some sort of programme that detects when inappropriate language is used and flags the offending comment for them so they don't have to...
    Well, if such a thing exists and I didn't just make it up :)

  • Comment number 44.

    I don't know why you don't listen to your audience and the comments we make. Jennifer Grey as a Judge? Please! She was like Aleysha, a contestant who had to learn, she was a brilliant contestant and a worthy winner, but a judge, no. What about her teacher Derek Hough? or the wonderful Karen Hardy or fabulous Ian Waite?

  • Comment number 45.

    I must admit I do think that one of the professional dancers would be a good judge, starting with replacing Alicia. What does she know about dancing? She had one season learning some dances for the competition but she actually doesn't really know anything about ballroom. If I have recorded Strictly, I will always fast forward Alicia's comments, after all if you listen to her comments, there is very little about the actual dancing, she can only mention how good they were together, for example. Give us someone who can actually really comment on the dancing and be constructive.

  • Comment number 46.

    karen hardy for judge please dont the bbc ever listen to what we say.

  • Comment number 47.

    As much as I wanted Alesha to win at the time, one celebrity judge is enough. More than enough. I agree that Karen Hardy should have stepped in. She is gorgeous and glamourous AND can add some real critique. Plus, her grammar is better!

  • Comment number 48.

    And Harry would have got 2 10's this week ;-)

  • Comment number 49.

    I'm with posts numbered 10, 39 and 44. BBC producers, please listen to your public!

    Alesha is nice enough, but useless as a judge due to her lack of experience. My hackles rise every time she says "Len's right...", of course he's right, he knows what he's talking about! Also, would it be possible for the beeb to give Alesha some lessons in English Grammar?

    I suspect that Jennifer Grey is of a similar ilk - celebrity winner and that's about it. How insulting to the dance professionals to have their choreography and teaching aims commented upon by a non-professional.

    So, dare I suggest a possible new SCD lineup? John Barrowman (enthusiasm abounds from that man!) could take over from Bruce (who clearly can't read his lines any more, is less able to improvise and his joke are dire) Tess would stay in her role, she's great. Keep Zoe, too, I love her style and the new zest she's injected into ITT. Keep Craig and Bruno. Replace Alesha with a professional. Alesha could do the results show bit that our Claudia is currently doing (give Claud more time with her new family?) Keep good ole Len and his pickled walnuts for as long as he still loves doing the show (then replace him with another professional when he decides to retire). This would mean the panel of judges would be balanced between the West End/Broadway aspects of showmanship and entertainment and the technical aspects of competitive dancing.

    There, sorted :) Feels so good I think I'll go and celebrate with a cup of tea!

  • Comment number 50.

    Ah I am so delighted with most of these comments and just hope there is someone out there who actually reads them and then pays attention to what the public are saying as it is the public who are spending money to vote and to make the show so popular. I have been saying from the begining that Alesha SHOULD NOT be a judge. Telling the celebs that they "look sexy" is NOT what they need to hear. She is a USELESS judge and has nothing to contibute to the show except to look pretty!! Love Craig, Len and Bruno. Craig KNOWS what he is talking about and says it as it is. GO CRAIG GO!! Alesha GO!! I love the idea of a professional dancer now being a judge as hey KNOW what they are talking about and they know how it feels to be out on the dance floor. BRIL!! Just NOT James please, he is just arrogent and needs to know when to keep quiet as he comments to the judges and Craig are not appreciated, just appear RUDE!! I hope our opinions are read aknowledged!!
    Thank you for an amazing show, watched all 9 and look forward to them every year.................will be much better viewing without Alesha!!! :-)

  • Comment number 51.

    Why Jennifer Gray what about Karen Hardy or Ian Waite.

  • Comment number 52.

    Has anyone actually seen Jennifer Grey judge a dance? I thought not. I've not either. Maybe she'll be okay. Even if she's another Aleesha I'd like to see her replace Len permanently. He consistently overmarks, especially his favourites, and his constant sniping at Craig is getting on my wick.

  • Comment number 53.

    What a fab idea! Will be really interested to see her after so long since Dirty Dancing, although I bet Brendan's fighting to be the one to do 'The Lift' with her ;o) Brendan and his ego...bless him :o)

  • Comment number 54.

    Question: is she a professional dancer?? Answer: No.... what is the bbc on!!! she was on the american version of strictly.... thats it oh she danced in Dirty Dancing how many years ago??? its another Alisha......... what is wrong with english professional dancers who are already here without having to ship them in to the country put them up in fancy hotels and then pay them huge's sums of money our tv licence money.......... I am seriously going off SCD it seems the BBC is doing its best to destroy SCD and get rid of its loyal viewers...... me being one of them.............

  • Comment number 55.

    The producers aren't going to take much notice of these blogs- those of us who write on here make up a teeny weeny fraction of the audience. The majority of the millions of people who watch Strictly probably don't give too hoots about who judges it, they just want to see some sequins and people having fun.

    The beeb will only start taking notice of what the audience wants when the viewing figures start dropping, and even then I doubt wether they will bother to trawl through the blogs to find out. Contacting the producer of the show through the official channel is a far better bet if you really want your voice to be heard. These blogs are for our entertainment, they're not intended to be a means to reach BBC controllers.

  • Comment number 56.

    TWO hoots even!

  • Comment number 57.

    Does Len take a week off from DWTS when his Strictly commitments take priority? Answers on a postcard please.


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