Sunday, 21 September 2008

One down...

So here begins the countdown to Xmas...because, you know, before we know (they know we know they know we know) we will be sitting down with our cups of tea and cheese rolls in preparation for the Strictly Come Dancing Final 2008. It doesn't bear thinking about, does it? But if it's anything like last year, time will fly by and we'll be back to guessing who will be on next year's show again.

Anyway...just thought would do a brief run through of the dances this weekend...

Tom and Camilla

Well, you know, I kind of agree with Craig in that it did seem a little smug, maybe even a little cocky. But that's not necessarily a bad thing and brought a little character to the dance. I actually thought that it was a really good first attempt, especially with it being the first of the whole series. Camilla looks like the cat who's got the cream. Yes, ALL the cream. And all the milk, tuna and tins of Whiskas. I'm not sure what her costume was about, however - I think the designers have been taking the course How to Ruin a Perfectly Nice Dress with a Random Bit of Green Chiffon 101. I hear it's popular.

Phil and Flavia

Now, here's a much better costume. Flavia's beautiful yellowy-billowy dress was stunning. Unfortunately, that's the only thing about this dance that was. First thing I noticed is that they do appear to be re-using music. I couldn't tell you who and when, but I'm certain that 'I Have Nothing' has been used for a waltz before...I do appreciate that there is not an infinite supply of popular songs written in 3/4 time, I just hope they don't get lazy and start re-using for other dances where it's not as necessary. Ah, the dance? I have nothing, nothing, nothing (ha ha) to say really. Apart from that Phil looked constipated throughout.

Don and Lilia

Poor Don; of all the celebrities, he's the one who looked most out of his comfort zone. He looked like a rabbit caught in the headlights of a, um, something big? Let's go with a Toyota pick-up truck. And he tried...well, at least, I think he did. He hasn't got an obvious fanbase either so it's little wonder he ended up in the bottom two. All in all, it was a forgettable performance, and it is so unlike Lilia not to choreograph something magic. Even when she had the demon munchkin last year (WHO...the little SWINE...did you see him saying Don should pack his bags...? Isn't he supposed to SUPPORT his former dance partner...?!) she managed to create a little routine that suited him. Maybe Don's personality is just so far removed from the cha cha that it proved impossible. I think it's likely he'll be able to pull off a very credible tango though...being an actoooooor (note, not actor, actoooooor - there's a difference) an' all and I'm very glad we'll get a chance to see it.

Austin and Erin

Sorry, I missed it. I was blinded by Erin's teeth. No, I jest (although they are reminiscent of Ross' teeth) - this was a lovely dance and he's a lovely guy. These sportsmen, eh? You may have read before that I'm not a fan of Erin, but I have it on good authority that she's actually very lovely so I'm going to quit being nasty about her (it's only because she appears to take it so seriously anyway - and I guess that's her job). I wonder if Austin will take to the latin quite as comfortably as he has the ballroom (he looked as though he'd been doing it his whole life...) or if he'll end up going the way of pal Matt Dawson (ballroom A* latin C-). Nevertheless, this, on the whole, was just lovely lovely lovely from beginning to end.

Mark and Hayley

This waltz looked uncomfortable to me and that's because of the height difference between the two...he looked as though he were leaning over her at some points. And it was a forgettable dance, a forgettable song (country, ugh) but a memorable dress/hair-do (for all the wrong reasons...think extra from Strictly Ballroom). I don't think he's lacking in potential however. In fact, as we know, these sportsmen rarely come out like Austin Healey week one...Matt Dawson and Darren Gough certainly did not impress with their first week cha chas and look how they progressed. We don't know as yet what Hayley is like as a teacher etc but I must confess I have youtubed her dances for DWTS NZ and her own dancing does not seem up to the same standard as most of the other pros, but she is a ballroom specialist, and like Erin, may not seem comfortable doing the latin side but is more than capable of teaching it.

Gary and Karen

Oh dear dear dear dear dear. Dear. Oh, at least he looked as though he were having fun. And he really did. But, goodness me, what on earth was this? He looked like Mr Soft from the old Softmint adverts... when he put a foot on the ground the weight sunk to his knees and thrust his middle forward like someone trying to limbo. Poor Karen, who gets the prize for the sparkliest costume (as she quite often does...) tried to choreograph a fun routine and chose a memorable song (she's ace - we love her) but unfortunately, it was the BEST possible way. He'll be in for a week or two - maybe more - he may be this year's Kate. And Strictly needs Kates no matter what the judges say.

John and Kristina

Now people have been saying that he was going to be the first out, but why would he be? We knew he was dancing a waltz and there's no reason why he couldn't dance a waltz as well as anyone else. Problems will arise should he get as far as doing a latin dance - and he probably will get that far, though his next dance is tango, apparently. I just can't see him getting PAST a latin week...jive?! Can you imagine?! This was another song that I'm pretty sure has been used before too, but that's neither here nor there as it's a gorgeous one. In fact, I couldn't resist standing up and practising a whisk when they briefly ran through the routines at the end of the show...but enough of that... The judges were right, it WAS charming because he DID genuinely look as though he were caught up in the moment. Kristina, another new pro seems to have a little more oomph than Hayley, but again, we have no idea what she's like as a teacher/choreographer, and unfortunately for her, I don't think she's going to get much of a chance to shine this year.

Andrew and Ola

Well, clearly even if Andrew didn't win any votes, Ola's catsuit probably did. Yikes. She must have been sewn into that in an Olivia Newton-John like manner. I actually thought, however, that this was a well-choreographed routine and Ola was the only pro who chose a recent song and that did work well. Don't think Andrew was great, but as with Mark Foster, I think there is room for improvement. He's certainly not as bad as Kate or Fiona, but to be honest, that's not saying much. He's a bit of a housewives' favourite so he's got a few weeks in him even if he doesn't improve much - and if he embarks upon a j-j-journey then he could go far (

Group Cha Cha Cha

This was fun and it is nice to see that there isn't the big difference in ability between the boys and girls this year - a much more even playing field, I think. I think Wee Vincent and Rachel are going to be great - if they can win the public over with their partnership then we could be looking at finalists there. Jessie Wallace is clearly a big character (Letitia Dean 2?) and will possibly go far. One person the judges didn't mention standing out was Heather Small, who I think deserved a bit of praise and who I think may surprise us with her salsa next week (that is if she doesn't fall prey to GabbyLoganesque competitiveness and subsequent ELIMINATION). Christine and Jodie looked awkward but with group dances there is minimal practise time so nerves will have been playing a huge part. Gillian and Anton appear already to be going for the comedy vote (but there is Gary Rhodes to watch out for in that respect this year so Anton might want to change tack!) I do not like Lisa Snowdon.

Dance Off

I'm not at all surprised at the couples who ended up in the dance off. In the end though, I think Len made the right decision, because as I said earlier, I think Don deserves a crack at the tango. I think he'll really get into character and may even get past another week...who knows? Phil, on the other hand, I couldn't see him progressing much further. The thought of him dancing latin makes me squirm and luckily now we don't have to see that jive. Nonetheless, it is always sad to see the first person leave. A friend of mine just sent me a text saying that they shouldn't eliminate in the first week...I'm inclined to agree...let them do one ballroom and one makes all the hard work seem more worthwhile.

Looking forward to seeing the girls next week!

1 comment:

Cherrybaby said...

I just love Strictly and think John and Don are full of character - John's comment tonight while training for the group dance about 'just something I picked up at the Bolshoi' ha!ha! They have substance rather than cheesy, pretty boy looks - Tom & Austin, which you just know the under 16s are going to LOVE so let's give them a chance and appreciate what they are giving to the show! Rachel & Vincent, Bryan & Heather and Christine & Matt will be great to watch as they seem to gel!