Saturday, 9 August 2008

Eurovision Dance Farce, um, I mean Contest.

A quick note before I begin...

**I used to have a blog a few years ago, until I decided it was self-indulgent nonsense and deleted it all...but nonetheless, Frankie has managed to bully me into contributing to this one - though, to be honest, it took about as much persuasion as it would take someone to coax me into eating a blueberry muffin. And if anyone reading this knows me but at all...they'll know that's not very much... ;-) The thing is, Strictly Come Dancing sends me off into a flurry of excitement over waltzes and foxtrots and jives (oh my!) and I'm more than happy to comment on (nay, rant about) various aspects of the show, self-indulgently or otherwise. The concept, lay-out and general ooh-pinkness of this thing is completely down to Frankie so don't go giving me any credit for it... it took me over 30 minutes to remember how to log in, for heaven’s sake...and I just hope there's *someone* out there who will appreciate us both pouring our creative juices into something so utterly frivolous...but now, for the time being at least, on to business...**

Before I comment on the news regarding Vincent and Louisa entering the Eurovision Dance Contest, please allow me a small rant about the farcical exhibit that was last year's competition. From the high-scoring Irish couple whose jive was indistinguishable from Riverdance, to the winning 'technically good' Finnish entry that was about as interesting as a roll of woodchip wallpaper, the whole thing was a waste of time; in typical Eurovision fashion, the entries and scoring alike were incomprehensibly crazy. Underrated entries I feel deserve a mention include Brendan and Camilla's two dances (though I maintain that a rumba is a poor choice for a televised, it can be stunning but on TV, well, meh) and the Russian Paso Doble with the lovely gypsyish quality, that was made all the more impressive by the fact that it was a pro-am dance and was technically better than many of the solely professional ones.

Now this year, the whole competition will be made up of couples where one is professional and the other is a national celebrity/non-dancer. Vincent and Louisa were my favourite couple on Strictly in 2006 and some of their dances were aces (the perky jive, cheeky cha cha cha and shamefully undermarked paso doble to name but a few...) They were robbed of a place in the final due, in part, to the judges being too preoccupied worshipping at the altar of Bunton to notice Louisa's obvious talent - and of course, the public's heartfelt empathy with Matt Dawson's j-j-j-can I say it...? J.O.U.R.N.E.Y. also left them with little chance of getting through to the end (I'm not saying he didn't deserve his place; of course, had Jimmy Tarbuck not had to pull out, there would have been three in the final...). But, I digress...back to topic of this year's Euro Dance Comp... the British choice of showdance was a touch of genius last year and I can't help but wonder what on earth Vincent and Louisa are going to pull out of the fabulously sequinned bag to rival it. If 'national flavour' weren't a requirement then an Argentine Tango would be the obvious choice (they did it on tour and it was stunning) but unfortunately it's probably the most un-British dance there is...except perhaps bachata (youtube it). A formal dance may be more appropriate, but no matter how delicious the quickstep, ballroom rarely has the same impact as latin. All I can say is, I hope that if their dance is good, they get at least a little recognition - but as someone who considers optimism a personality disorder, I'm not holding out much hope for that.

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