So welcome back to another edition of Before They Were ‘Gods’, where we pull back the curtain on some of the past projects of the cast and crew connected with American Gods and give them their proper due. Since we’re still a little while off from any major Season 2 news, it’s a little something to help you pass the time until then and kick some major ass in that next Gods debate.
One thing’s for sure: while they may not all be winners, our Gods folks still shine through. But just to be clear? No judgments. I say that so there’s never any confusion about this being done out of love and with the intent to “laugh with” and not “laugh at” in every way possible.
If you’re reading this, then you know Ricky Whittle from his portrayal of Shadow Moon, assistant and bodyguard to Mr. Wednesday (Ian McShane) in a war being waged between new and old gods. Chances are, you also know him as the grounder Lincoln in The CW‘s The 100. Our friends across the bathtub from us have had the honor of knowing him from his 2006-2011 run as Calvin Valentine on long-running soap opera Hollyoaks; and as Ryan Naysmith on British football drama series Dream Team.
But did you know that Whittle’s most challenging rile would be…Ricky Whittle, Glitterball Champion?
Okay…here’s the backstory: In August 2009, when Whittle still in the middle of his run on Hollyoaks, he became a contestant on the BBC One reality series Strictly Come Dancing. Paired with Australian professional dancer Natalie Lowe, Whittle competed against a number of other celebrity/professional dance pairs in pursuit of the Strictly Come Dancing Glitterball trophy. If that sounds familiar, it should; in the States, we call it Dancing With The Stars and pretend that we didn’t “borrow” the concept.
Whittle made it through to the final of the competition, going one-on-one against television presenter Chris Hollins and his partner Ola Jordan for the big prize. When the glitter and sequins settled, Whittle/Lowe ended up taking second place based on the public’s vote, even thought the judge’s scorecards had them winning 190–186.
But Whittle being who he is, it was tough for him to be mad or bitter…especially when, as he told The Telegraph in December 2009, he knows that he and Lowe were clearly the better dancers: “Chris walked away with the trophy. Technically we walked away the better dancers.”
Hey, now…not very Jesus of you, Whittle. Or maybe it is? I’m not sure. Didn’t Wednesday say there was like a franchise of Jesus-es out there for every occasion? So maybe you’re covered…