The news couldn’t come at a worse time. Aljaz Škorjanec leaves Strictly Come Dancing after nine years of bringing warmth and sparkle to the coldest and darkest months of the year.
In the wake of Oti Mabuse’s departure, it feels like the spirit of the show is in danger of being lost – but Aljaz’s exit is even more upsetting than it seems.
Our headlines are dominated by male violence however we look at it, from – at the most extreme, genocidal, nuclear end of the scale – Vladimir Putin’s evil destruction of Ukraine to – to the he other end of the gravity spectrum – the Oscars featuring live assault.
It’s relentless, coming at us from all angles. That’s why we need to see good, kind men like Aljaz more than ever. To remind us that they exist.
Dave J. Hogan/Getty Images)
Aljaz is probably the most classically handsome male dancer on the show, and he’s been paired with plenty of extremely attractive women over the years, but there’s never been a single rumor or scandal.
His ever-present, heartwarming smile has almost become the show’s unofficial mascot, lighting up our Saturday nights.
Aljaz’s wife, fellow dancer Janette Manrara, says, “I have admired him since the day I met him for his passion for dancing, but more than anything for his kindness.
“He makes everyone he meets feel absolutely special; ask any of his partners over the years.
Good role models who repair the toxic balance of masculinity feel rare.
Aljaz no longer in our living rooms makes us all feel special, every weekend for 13 weeks of the year is a real waste.
Although, ironically, if you were to make a list of famous men you would feel safe with before this week, Will Smith might well have been on it. He seemed amiable, calm, stable.
Now we’ve seen him laugh at a joke, then a split second later turn around and lose control of himself to the point of physically attacking someone during a live TV broadcast. in the whole world.
This nice boy picture we bought in took 30 years to build and 30 seconds to destroy. And it was a scary, creepy reminder that you can never tell. Even a man who doesn’t look dangerous can suddenly change. You must beware.
It seems obscene to mention Putin in this context, like comparing a tadpole and a killer whale. No one would ever have felt safe with him, even before his invasion of Ukraine.
It is also undeniable that this horrible war would not happen if the president of Russia were a woman. There has never been a female dictator in modern times, and that doesn’t seem like a coincidence.
What we need now is for men to go against the tide, not follow the herd. Be more Aljaz. May his legacy of gentle kindness endure, prosper, become less and less extraordinary.
And in the meantime, thanks for the memories, Aljaz. Don’t change yourself.