Saturday, 10 December 2011

Double or nothing...

Gosh, we're at the semi finals already! This series has flashed by in a, er, flash. They're already going on about Blackpool, which is always good to hear. But some things never change, will Bruce making laboured jokes and Tess in an odd dress, why haven't they finished the bottom half of it?

Harry and Aliona
Totally genius song choice there and my word, what a little outfit Aliona is wearing, they announced that women can go on Navy submarines this morning, dontcha know. And wow, a Charleston dance with some proper Charleston content, nice leg swivels and everything. Not as manic as you would normally see in a Charleston, but Harry did actually look like he was enjoying himself! Not sure about a 39 though...
Strictly-come-Steamboat-Willie. Not sure what the nautical themed costumes were about but I do agree with Frankie (as Alesha agrees with Len) about the song choice being somewhat genius. I fainted with shock when this started as I did not expect to see charleston steps in the charleston. What on earth were they thinking? Is it a dance competition? Well blow me down with a jewel-encrusted samba bum feather.

Alex and James
Alex looks beautiful, proper old-school Strictly waltz dress there. And what a lovely, classy dance too. Not much to say about a waltz, not technically perfect, but such a difference to what she was like at the start. I've really liked Alex throughout the series, she's such good fun!
Yes, she's lovely and Welsh and pretty and yer know. But she's a Carol Smilie, she's a...Jodie Kidd. They improve to a point and get quite far...but never far enough.

Chelsee and Pasha
She had a big task ahead of her after the jive but I LOVED this. The choreography from Pasha was brilliant, it wasn't a 'traditonal' Hollywood American Smooth but there was a great mix of steps and they didn't ruin it with massive lifts. As yes, amazing fluidity in not just her arms but her own body. An 8 from Criag was ridiculous considering what he's given 9s to this series.
Liked the Barbie blue princess dress. Didn't seem particularly American or particularly smooth to me. Ok, it was smooth. Like peanut butter. Mmm. Now that is American. Mmm. Now where was I...?

Holly and Artem
The wardrobe people really hate Holly, don't they? Was waiting for her to fall over at the end of the dance considering how many times she got spun around. Didn't really think there was enough content in this, where were the jigsaw legs? Although some good technique and nice lines. Artem appears to have gone to the James Jordan School of Latin Facial Hair.
I went to that school! Oh no, wait....I actually thought this was quite good. But yet still, she has appears not to connect. The moves were there but the mood was not.

Jason and Kristina
Oh god, a semi final samba, the stuff that nightmares are made of. At least Kristina is wearing a teeny tiny spanglicious dress with one of those shower pouffe skirts, which somehow Jason managed to miss in the compulsory skirt-wafting section! Then halfway through he seemed to have a seizure and become a drunkle uncle at a wedding. Dance of doom...
Oh. Dear. Gawd. This was another dance of Jimi Mistry spasmy awkwardness. Not good enough for a semi-final I'm afraid. But then the samba is the dance of doom (just ask Brenda) Jason was hit by the curse of trying too hard. And it made him look like a Phoebe Buffay mid electric shock.

Here we go again....

Harry and Aliona
No props, no waving your arms about, turns and fleckerl and a beautiful song - just what the jimminy is going on?! I think that is the first time I have ever said jimminy. Seriously though, it was proper good, like.
Mmm yes a dance with dancing in it. Someone is controlling Aliona's brain. The only person with that kind of ability is Erin. Now we just need to know why she's doing it.

Alex and James
Pointless intro, but what an a-ma-zing dress! Not sure if this was a salsa, I'm sure Clover will tell you, but it was a bit all over the place. Was very impressee that she handled the spinning around on the floor bit so well, yes, I know you all read this blog for my technical analysis of the choroegrpahy!

For the good of the entire human race, I'm not going to comment on this 'dance' .

Chelsee and Pasha
The opening VT showed that Chelsee is the one with the best j-word this series. The fan was a mistake, totally distracting throughout the dance, I was waiting for her to put it down the whole time. Other than that, it was great, Pasha with great choreography yet again. Loved the flamenco touches and the sharpness.
Oooh. Loved the flamenco sections. This was intricate and powerful at the same time. The authentic music added to the mood. Chelsee has come further than any other contestant. A worthy finalist and dare I say it...a worthy winner?

Holly and Artem
Seriously, what has Holly done to make wardrobe hate her so much? Charleston is also not a good dance for the semi finals; I like the fact that Artem took a risk in the choreogrpahy, but the combination of the two meant that it didn't really work. Holly was behind a couple of times. Loving how Alesha said she liked the DJ bit, probably contractually obligied as a 'down wit the kidz' attempt.
Liked this twist on charleston. The dance was still there. Well, it would have been if Holly had been in time at all. Which she wasn't. It's curtains for Holly (curtains, valance, geddit?) I guess she was just a pretty face after all.

Jason and Kristina
Slightly distracted by the shade of teak Kristina's legs have been painted this evening, but a fabulous dress nonetheless. Really liked the routine, the way it started out subtle and then built. However, with the lack of eyes and teeth Jason did start getting a bit serial-killer-esque, but what's an AT without drama!
Overplayed, camp and almost grotesque. But it worked. Who'd have thunk it?

Are we at the end now? I'm exhausted! No idea who is going to go now either, seems like Chelsee and Harry must go though, but who else?
Jason. Well we know that now. But Harry or Chelsee to win depending on who does the best dances next week- could be any - just can't call it this time!

Sunday, 4 December 2011

Movie mayhem

It's movie week, that's right you lucky people, the least-worst of the themed weeks! Plus we get a delightfully kitsch opening number from the pros, was Bruno supposed to be Flavia's dad at the end? The mind boggles... Also, it appears that Erin's job is now to stand in Tess' area looking elegant in a gorgeous dress just to show other people up.

Robbie and Ola
Ah, when I think of Saturday night family entertainment I always think of Reservoir Dogs. If anyone can beat the curse of trousers/menswear it's Ola, also loving how they couldn't resist the spangle on the jackets. Robbie is better at ballroom, but the quickstep is super-difficult. Not too bad really, definitely better than his last two so-called latin numbers. I want to use Craig favourite quickstep word 'skippy', so there you go. Is it just me who has noticed Robbie has reeeeeally skinny legs?

Harry and Aliona
Alas, the green tights did not make it to the Saturday night show, he looks a bit like a half-hearted jedi knight actually. Plus the VT strayed into Monty Python levels of surrealism. All of which seemed to detract from the fact we seem to have seen a rare example of the lesser-spotted good male rumba! He was leading, he didn't gurn too much and got on with it without seeming scared. Aliona also looked like she was wearing sparkly knickers.

Alex and James
Not wearing the hooker outfit, not wearing the polo outfit, she instead, quite sensibly, goes for the opera outfit. I'm sure there's some people out there disappointed at the lack of PVC boots. There was a hairy moment with stumbling, but I was more worried James was about to spin her into the table at one point. Also enjoying the glamorisation of prostitution, movie week isn't very wholesome!

Holly and Artem
At first I thought Artem had been in some sort of horrible hair-related accident, but other than that this could have been a paso from any week. Which I like. Totally one of Holly's best, she seemed to put a lot more oomph in it than usual. Maybe less Cruella de Ville lipstick next time, but well done for her for pulling it out of the bag. I'm actually amazed there wasn't a sword prop involved, or some sort of dodgy accents....

Jason and Kristina
Well they both look perfect, I only hope this is better than Christine Bleakley's painfully slow Singing in the Rain AS a few years ago. And guess what, it was, I think Jason's got his mojo back after a few off weeks. Slightly spoilt at the end by Jason's massive gurn (this seems to be my word of the week), but other than that it was a lovely routine and good lifts. Although I am getting a bit wary of the idea of Jason doing an Argentine tango, how do you put eyes and teeth into that one..?

Chelsee and Pasha
Well Pasha drew the short straw this week, was he even offered the chance to draw a straw?! And O-to-the-M-to-the-G, where did that donkey come from?! But really who cares, once they started dancing I was only looking at Chelsee. Bejesus, look at those legs go! Jill Halfpenny skill meets the effervescence of Louisa Lytton (ooh, that's a long word). Plus she seemed to be having the time of her life, big smiles all round.

Saturday, 26 November 2011

Strictly AW: After Wembley

So after all the excitement of SCD at Wembley we return to the studio. After Blackpool (A.B.) episodes have often been terrible (remember Ronnie Corbett? We try not to), so we shall see if Wembley is the same. But then again, Blackpool is obviously better than Wembley. Duuh.

Tonight Tess is looking less frumpy than usual, but also like she's trapped in her Malibu Barbie incarnation again. Karen is increasingly looking like she's locked in the SCD attic like Mr Rochester's wife, get her out of there and on to the panel!

Anita and Brendan
It's rent-a-pro! I was really hoping for a use of the Rentaghost theme-tune. Feeling very sorry for poor Robin and his icky foot. Not sure about her dress, it looks like the ran out of fabric and dodgy-flesh colour was the only one left. Not too sure about this dance, all the steps were there but it all just seemed really slow. Points for doing the middle section on her own though.

Firstly, congrats to those who got #rentapro trending. (Who remembers Rentaghost? Is it the same thing? We were too young, guys, pssyyyccche.) Not sure that anyone other than professional contortionists should wear nude bodystockings covered only in Swarovski. Probablynotanitaski. This would have been a good cha cha. In week one. Please guys, I know she's enjoying it but just draw your eyes away from that hypnotising smile - the technique ain't pretty.

Holly and Artem
Holly has come dressed for a ballroom dance, Artem has come dressed for a latin. Although it's a freeking gorgeous dress, the best Holly has probably had to make up for last week's disaster. Thought the opening on the bar was silly, but the rest of the dance seemed really dull so I won't complain too much. But then again, we should probably be happy to see some actual ballroom. Never satisfied, are we?
Frankie's observation about their costume speaks volumes. These two have never gelled. Holly worked better with Brendan. And she worked better with that lamppost. I can't remember much about this dance. Oh yeah, it was dull. But it was overmarked because it was Holly. Same as ever then. Time to go. Buh Bye.

Alex and James
Points for Alex's face alone! We really need Karen back on the show just to see her do a Charleston. I was really looking forward to this but felt a bit disappointed, there just didn't seem to be enough content. I thought it was building to something but no, it seemed like it could have had twice as many steps.
Hat on. Hat off. Hat on. Hat off. Walk. Hat on. Hat off. Hat on. Charleston step 1, 2. Charleston step 1, 2. Hat on. Oh no, it's already on. Hat off. Hat on. Hat off. Hat on. Hat off. Hat on. Gurn at camera. Jazz hands. Seriously? Though it may have been charleston in 'style', the actual charleston step with that oh-so-mentioned-oh-so-muchly 'double bounce action' was only used for two bars. And there wasn't even any bounce, never mind it being doubled. I like Alex. I didn't like this.

Robbie and Ola
Ola, as ever, looks a-ma-zing and spangle-tatsic. Oddly enough, the first half of this dance seemed to be the same 'latin' dance Robbie has done every time and then he starting bouncing around a bit, which was quite amusing, like had an invisible space-hopper. Not sure about the ripping off of clothes, but I do always like the 'wafting of the skirt' move that seems to be compulsory in the samba.
This samba might have looked like his salsa but this samba was more samba than his salsa was salsa which means his salsa was more samba than his samba was salsa. You got that? Meh.

Chelsee and Pasha
C'mon Chelsee! Wow, that was good. Proper use of the old jigsaw-legs, so much footwork in that number. It was nice to see them being so precise about it all, not a lot of messing around being 'passionate'. I am really liking Pasha as a pro and a choreographer! Also loving Chelsee's cheeky moments...
Other than the fact that she was leaning back away from Pasha as if he smelled of feet (dang, Chels, it's not a ballroom dance) this was really quite stunning. The footwork was delightfully intricate. Are we looking at one of our finalists here?

Jason and Kristina
There will be so much eyes and teeth people will be BLINDED. Kristina has also stolen the comedy headgear moment of the series with the spangly swimming cap, as debuted by Denise Lewis and never seen again. Much more energy and jigging about than Alex and James, but not quite the ZOMG-hyper-active-I'm-going-explode level of excitement I like to see in a Charleston.
Oh the judges like Jason so they forgot to mention that this had no Charleston steps in. They are like sooo professional and consistent. Um. Ok, so the footwork was fancy and there was some double bounce action, but still very little of actual charleston steps. Stoopid.

Harry and Aliona
I think they went for colour blocking with Aliona's dress, but I'm distracted because it reminds me of something I think Lilia wore with Darren Gough many years ago. And also the nicked song choice. But oh my word, there was footwork! It was in hold! There was dancing!
A recent poll in a UK Men's magazine asked which Strictly pro they would most like to see propless. They said Aliona. It is the only explanation. This was in hold, it wasn't flashy - it was, as Arlene might have described, delicious. Len's ten was deserved. Go Harry! Get back on your broom and catch the snitch again next week! Wait, wrong Harry. Go Harry! We hear Pippa's on the market again now if you're still after the sister! Win! Wait, wrong Harry again. Go Harry! Errr, dance, boy, dance! Wooooo.

Oh dear, here we go again...There's always the hope someone will break a nose, but I'd rather have a group Viennese Waltz grand prix pile-up. Holly is in trousers because wardrobe hates her, Chelsee is Minnie Mouse. Anyone else notice Brendan doing 'How dare you throw us off' gestures from the dance-off in Grease? As ever, the whole thing was a bit of a let-down, jigging about with many lifts.

Next week we have the movie themed week, count your blessings, it's the best of the themes!

Theme week. STOP IT ALREADY.

Saturday, 19 November 2011

Think BIG!

Just in case you have had a blow to the head and are also deaf, SCD is coming at us from Wembley. And I do mean coming at us, this whole thing is an assault on all our senses! Robin Windsor in skin-tight zebra skinny jeans gyrating at us at 7pm on a Saturday night seems like a 'start as you mean to go on' tactic. And Alex Jones looks like Bambi about to be run over by a lorry.

OK, has the studio grown or have the dancers shrunk?

Robbie and Ola

Well they said they were going to go big, and I think Ola's hair can be seen from space. But hurrah for the return of the lace catsuit of oblivion. Apparently there was supposed to be a salsa dance going on in there somewhere, but since Robbie isn't very good at latin I guess it's probably a good thing we didn't notice. He was running around like a kid who'd had too much Tizer!

Despite the fact there was, like, no dancing in this, somehow it kind of worked. The size of Wembley means, I guess, that they need big moves (and yes, big hair) to fill it. I think I would have preferred the whole routine if Robbie had had his hair styled the same way as Ola's. I'm not gonna mention it wasn't salsa. It wasn't salsa. Daaang.

Alex and James

Alex looks stunning, major dress envy, I like to think she threw a strop after the frumpy cheerleader outfit last week. Alas, she did seem to have got entangled in some net curtains at the start. Also loving James' purple outfit, it makes him look like the Joker. And I don't care what anyone says, with enough eye makeup anyone can do a tango! Slightly odd song, but a proper good dance.

No, not net curtains. That's clearly giant loo paper. And since when did tango have the whole Austin-Healey-Serving-Hors-D'Oeuvres-Paso moves in it? Other than that, I liked that it actually had some dancing in it. I'm running out of jokes about men in purple suits.

Holly and Artem

Holly's dress might had been an attempt at Amy Winehouse, but it's not very flattering. Too much nude lace, especially since people are at a distance and will think she's naked! Wondering how many drugs Artem is on right now, oh, that's not very appropriate either...Great Charleston opening section and Holly really can work a flouncy skirt. The running steps weren't great, I thought she was going to have to have a lie down halfway through they were galloping so much!

In an attempt to look quirky, Holly looks like an extra from 'Heartbeat.' That is all.

Anita and Robin

Damn that recession, they can't afford buttons for Robin's shirts! This was probably the most surreal dance of the series, and that's saying something, next time I'm at a wedding I'm going to try and samba to Come on Eileen. Might have been the excess space, but Anita seemed a bit lost during it. There were eyes and teeth to the extreme, but the oddness won out for me.

Oh dear god, I hate this song. Who the fleckerl is Eileen anyway and why the hell is she never ready? And what was this dance meant to be? I missed the intro and I just couldn't tell. Oh samba? REALLY? Well, if nothing else, Anita has indeed graduated from the Dallerup-Hardy school of eyes and teeth. But at this point in the series...really???

Harry and Aliona

HEATHENS! This is a song steal of BIBLICAL proportions. And yet amazingly it was...quite good! A lot more content than Robbie's salsa and loads of gusto. Loved the Buck's Fizz/Mummy Returns dress unwinding to reveal a seriously spangle-tastic outfit. If they'd used a different song I'd have loved it. But I'm an awkward SCD fan like that...

There is no such thing as THE salsa. Oh, sorry, have I said that before? And never mind the song's a jive beat. This does not suit salsa at all. Hated it. I had flashes of Jill Halfpenny's kicks and flicks in my head that couldn't be erased. Hated it. Poor Harry.

Russell and Flavia

Flavia looks a-ma-zing! And dancing with sparklers amongst all those man-made fibres and hairspray must have been a health and safety nightmare. The canon bit was hilarious, but it was their most content-lite performance so far. I also think doing a jive when your knee could fall off at any minute must be pretty hard.

Highlight of the night. And Flavia did a nice bit of jive.

Chelsee and Pasha

There's feathers on a bum, I'm happy! The intro to this was amazing and the fact that Chelsee did it entirely on her own without any evidence of nerves was fabulous. Karen Hardy will approve. Not perfect all the way through, but she's great this girl.

Nowhere near perfect but damn, the girl is brave. As far as intros go, that was a good 'un - in front of 6000 people...didn't she do well? (Stole ya line, Brucie). It had a nice party feel. Chelsee's definitely a contender these days.

Jason and Kristina

What is poor Kristina wearing? It looks like Ola had an acid trip in the middle of an aerobics class! Jason looked oddly sedate in comparison. Too bad for the slip-ups, it could have been really good. Also finding it amusing that every dance tonight has had a 'running around for a bit' section.

Oooh bless, I liked this. He picked up after the slip ups remarkably well - and it was so footwork heavy it was hardly surprising that happened. Where can I buy that T-shirt?

So Wembley is over, I'm a bit worn out after all that sensory overload!

Saturday, 5 November 2011

Nobody puts 8 in the corner...

Well here we are, it's as if Halloween was all a bad dream. Tonight we once again dice with SCD drama with Jennifer Grey on the judging panel...

Lulu and Brendan
Lulu is wearing trousers and experience tells us that means wardrobe hates her and wants her to leave. Or maybe it was the only way of stopping her swinging her skirt around again. Loved Lulu's haughty-but-really-concentrating face, she's so expressive that it's sometimes not a good thing! Nice tango actually, fully of content an definitely improved footwork. Unfortunately it was a bit dull!

Audley and Natalie
If Natalie can't make this man do a decent VW no one can, she'll staple his hands to her if she has to. Thought it was a lovely song choice, the band were great, but the fact that the song mentions a bridge and they just had to have a bridge was hilarious! There's a line about rain, were they going to throw a bucket of water at them? Sorry, I sound really down on Audley, I'm sure he's lovely, but I have no idea what people see in his dancing!

Harry and Aliona
Wow, they actually did the dance they were supposed to, and without props! I need a lie down...Plus Aliona's dress was a-ma-zing, my favourite of the night despite the lack of feathers. Although Harry didn't look like he was enjoying himself that much, maybe we shouldn't have constantly reminded him the samba is the dance of doom.

Anita and Robin
Anita strangely reminds me of Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey in that outfit. I don't even watch Downton Abbey so I might be totally wrong. I love have they came out and just started to Charleston, bam! (Gosh, I may have been possessed by Len!) It was so vintage I wanted to watch it in black and white, whilst wearing gloves and a hat. Not her best, but certainly good fun.

Jason and Kristina
It's not to Especially For You, but I need to get over my sulk about that. Can't believe this is Kristina's first rumba, the poor woman has really paid her dues! Really lovely song, the band are on top form tonight. It held my attention, which a rumba rarely does, and I thought the judges were a bit harsh on it. He is a man doing the rumba, if they get through it still standing up they deserve praise!

Alex and James
Alex was pulling some proper Karen Hardy faces during that, nice to know she's still with us in spirit! Falling over at the end made it even more endearing, especially since James had totally run her ragged in that dance. There's a conspicuous lack of props this week, it's quite refreshing.

Robbie and Ola
The dancing was lovely, Robbie's acting was highly amusing. Great to see him working on his dancing, he really hasn't done enough ballroom yet, I hope he gets to do some more next week. Not really much more to say, it was a waltz, what do you want people?

Russell and Flavia
So THAT'S where this week's props budget went! I mentioned Anton getting a mechanical bull for Nancy weeks ago, was Russell reading this?! *waves* How Flavia got through that with a straight face I do not know. Is this up there with the Christopher Parker and John Sargent pasos? What a joy.

Chelsee and Pasha
This is the one we have been waiting for, c'mon Chelsee! It was the perfect dance for her and so much fun, although to me she looked a tad nervous and I've never seen that before from her. But since it made Jennifer put down her 8 panel it totally deserves a cheer!

Holly and Artem
Holly looks really 80s to me and I'm not sure that was the intention. Although I think it was all a conspiracy to let her do a jive in flats, but then again no one has told them suits are cursed on SCD! Really loved the choreography from Artem, something different but still obviously a jive. You could see Holly was behind Artem a bit, but nothing too disastrous. Plus the footage of Bruce dancing with her on Sunday was simultaneously hilarious and terrifying!

As for Sunday, sorry but it's bye bye Lulu, but still not good news for Audley. I guess the Curse of the SCD Trousers caught up with her, despite her dodging the Curse of the Brendan Samba and the Curse of the Suits. We are a superstitious lot all of a sudden.


Saturday, 29 October 2011

Beware, you're in for a scare...

We enter with trepadation the terrifiying week that is Halloween SCD...not because of some panto *oooh-isn't-this-scary* thing, but because we're wondering if this can possibly be as full of plastic props, gimmicks and daft song choices as last year. Saying that, Brucie looks exactly the same and Tess looks pretty hot! Plus Craig arriving on his broomstick was a hoot!

For the sake of not sounding like a broken record, I promise that I will do my best to watch the show, to serve the readers and not to moan about any of the following: songs repeated from previous series, props, inconsistent marking or lack of actual dancing. Brownie honour.

Russell and Flavia

If there was ever a suitably crazy couple to kick off Halloween week it was these two, and with something as surreal as a samba too! Better the Devil You Know makes a brilliantly campstastic samba song for any week and woo look at the hotness of Flavia in a catsuit. And on top of all that, they did some dancing, who would have thunk? Not his best at all, but I don't care.

Dancewise, this was a bit phooey. Samba clearly ain't Russell's thang. His timing was off and it all came off as a wee bit messy. I didn't like the song choice either.

Chelsee and Pasha

This is the problem I have with themed weeks; after that amazing quickstep last week, didn't you just want to see Chelsee do a proper tango? Technically she is definitely improving, but there was no tension in it. I didn't even notice the dress malfunction until the end, it wasn't like the Lilia Samba Disaster of 2005. And shock, horror, Alesha was right, they are a great partnership and she is really coming on.

Chelsee really is coming on and given the extra things she had to think about during that routine, she actually pulled it off (resist temptation to joke there) fairly well. I like Pasha too. He seems to have the energy and enthusiasm that we first saw from Artem last year - but without Artem's arrogance (Preparing for inevitable backlash from Artemites - defence shield activated, pistols at the ready) This was nowhere near as good as her quickstep but given the circumstances, that's more than understandable. Give the girl some support. And I'm talking to the costume department there as well as the general public.

Audley and Natalie

I wasn't sure why Natalie had decided to dress herself as a particularly fabulous Poison Ivy until the song started. In fact Natalie's outfit was the best thing about it. Doing a jive is only going to be hard for Audley and the fact that it was a theme week helped them cover this up.

Frankie tweeted that Natalie (aka evil genius) arranged this entire themed week to get Audley through the inevitable mess that was always going to be his jive. Don't be so ridiculous, Frankie. What a notion! Of course that's not what happened. What happened was: Erin arranged the themed night in the hope that Audley would trip up over his own feet (despite them being so tiny an' all) in the smoke effect that seemed to be covering the entire set. I believe the next stage of her plan involved subliminally messaging Len to blame Natalie, wholly and completely, for Audley's fall and string her up by her spangly sewn-in pants to the aerial attachment that lowered Craig in that evening. However, something to do with the smoke affected Erin's ability to control Len's mind and her whole plan fell apart. It's the only explanation.

If I'm honest though, E.G.E. (Evil Genius Erin - oh we so love you now, we do), may well get her own way this evening anyway as this was so distinctly unwhelming I got distracted by a patch of wet paint drying on my wall.

Alex and James
James might be nicer these days, but he still has the eyes of a killer! Now a paso is always going to be more suited to Halloween than a samba, but using Brendan's goth samba song from seven years ago (SEVEN, I just counted!) is just lazy. Alex looked genuinely terrified, bless her. There was a paso in there for sure, but technique wasn't great. Totally overmarked.

James looked positively frightful. And I forget what Alex SoLovely Jones looked like because I was so freaked out by Mr Vampy Jordan. Oh yes, she was wafting about in a pale chiffon number and spent most of the routine looking surprised yet pained at seeing her own arms. Alex needs to build on her core strength. To me, she looks as though she's about to topple over most of the time and although she is going through the moves, it's like her limbs aren't really connected to her middle. Or like she has little energy in them. I have no idea what to suggest. Perhaps pilates. Or pie, chips and gravy. For the carbs, like.

Holly and Artem

Goregous costumes and a genuinely interesting idea. I was properly surprised when they actually did some dancing in hold, but it only lasted for about five seconds so I got over it. I love how we can judge on the American Smooth even though it's a totally made-up dance. Oh hang on, that's what overmarking looks like...

Alesha loved the concept. Probably this was because this was the dance that has the least to do with Strictly that has ever been on the show. And Alesha don't know nuffink about nuffink. The music and costumes were beautiful - and on another show, the choreography would have been OK. But 'American Smooth' (even if it were a real dance rather than a dance style - grr grr) isn't an excuse to do whateverrr you want - you don't - or shouldn't earn that right until you reach the final and get to perform a showdance. I wasn't all that impressed with Holly's performance either. She just seems to be going through the motions. She is so passive it is like the dance is something she's allowing to happen to her rather than something she is actively engaging in. She is winning points for a perception that is never going to become reality. And that is not fair.

Nancy and Anton

There's nothing better than a rumba between two people who probably hate each other. Also quote of the year "The coffin needs to be sparkly". Shockingly, there was a lot rumba content in there, whether is was done well is a different matter. Keeping with the Halloween theme Anton resurrected his sparkly Widdecombe pants and was prompty buried in them.

Forgive me for smirking at Nancy emerging from the coffin and taking a swig from that goblet. It reminded me of Karen from Will & Grace. That is all.

Harry and Aliona

After the 50% waltz last week, maybe we can get up to around 75% tango this week? Wishful thinking, this week's excuses for not being in hold include sitting down and holding masks. Len said what we are all thinking, Harry is really good when he's doing the dance he's supposed to. I'm getting bored of this week after week!

Remember when Hershey's chocolate Kissables could not longer be called chocolate because they didn't have enough chocolate/cocoa content? This is the same. This was not a tango. It was, like, tango candy. Full of rubbish and no good for you. Sort it, Aliona.

Robbie and Ola

Robbie is dressed as a member of My Chemical Romance, while Ola is a goth Red Indian, Halloween week continues its never ending parade of randomness. Ola was brave for giving him so much content on his own, but the standard really wasn't good and I'm worrying he's losing momentum.

Ola looked as though she might break into the children's classic 'Pow wow, pow wow, we're the men of the old Dun Cow' (moo?) either that or she was looking for a bit part in Pocahontas The Musical. Yay for content, nay for technique. Robbie is a ballroom man so he may have a week or two left...but can't see him surviving a samba.

Anita and Robin

I do love Robin's super-high trousers and Anita's crazy faces. This was actually a tango; she's mastered learning a dance and then performing it, rather than the other way round. Slightly worried she might get forgotten in all the excitement of the rest of the show.

Kudos for Robin and the content. But I am getting mightly scared by Anita's manic faces. Yes, she's not doing so badly but she's not as good as some are making her out to be. It's Robin's choreography that is winning this corner.

Lulu and Brendan

If you were a celeb on SCD and someone said to you "go on, do some flying, Ann Widdecombe did it!" would you consider that a great idea? Brendan is amazing at the paso and that showed up the fact that Lulu basically had no idea what she was doing and was just waving her arms about. I did enjoy Brendan's Edward Cullen hair.

Put your right arm in, your right arm out, your right arm in and waft it all about. You do the hokey cokey, Brendan drags you round. And that's what it's all about. Meh.

Jason and Kristina

Well after all the crazyness of the night I found this quite delightful. Kristina managed the amazing feat of having Jason dancing as if he was in hold while he was out of hold, Len will be so impressed! He is also a master of eyes and teeth, which I am a big fan of. Jason really could be on to a winner here...did I say that too early?

Hippity hoppity, bibbity bobbity, skippity, pippity boo. Kristina, my my, there was quickstep in this quickstep. What a revelation. I enjoyed this. Didn't deserve a ten (sorry I had to bring that up - who's for a Twitter campaign for hiding Alesha's 10 paddle?) but other than that THANK GOODNESS FOR JASON. Strictly clearly needs a good neighbour.

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

If You Wanna Make It, Twinkle While You Shake It

With hope in my heart, a song in my soul, and thoughts of such delights as bunnies and bobbypins and balloons, I sat, eagerly anticipating this week's Strictly Come Dancing. Nay, scratch that, I was actually sitting at my laptop (on Twitter for those of you in the know) typing actually with my fingers crossed ('tis possible you know) in the hope that this week's dancing would make up for that farce-of-a-themed-show last week. Did it? Not really, no. But, as they say in the biz, on with the show.

Hey kids, I'm back! Thanks to Clover for keeping the place so sparkly-ship-shaped. Slightly taken about by Tess' 70s wallpaper dress already.

Jason and Kristina
There was very little Spanish about Jason's line: unfortunately, it was more tatties than tapas. The poor lamb was stomping about like an angry toddler in a Christmas cracker costume. I spotted toe leads and balletic arms, neither of which are gonna be great for a paso, but in contrast, may spell good things for his rumba. Let's hope. He's definitely a trier. But this just wasn't his dance. And that's allowed. But does anyone know why he finished the routine with the Scout salute? Confused me. Dib dib dib.
I probably shouldn't admit it, but I loved the Big Fat Gypsy Wedding tango last week. And you can't beat a bit of Queen and leopard print on a Saturday night. Didn't really think the routine was up to much until the skirt action, which had me in suspense as to whether we were going to have a Spanish Buck's Fizz moment. Perfectly acceptable dance, but not as exciting as I'd hoped.

Alex and James
Alex looked hawwwt. The rumba kinda didn't though, which was a shame. Listen to me, I'm sounding like I'm trying to make out I know, like, every-uh-thing about dance (which I certainly don't - I know as much as the average Joe - and slightly less than the average Bill) but years of watching SCD does rub off on one slightly doesn't it? I think your average fan over the series will have picked up on the fact that in the rumba and cha cha, the toe lead creates zat elusive 'heep action' that Bruno was chunnering on about. This was sadly missing with Alex. But I still like this pair, am glad they are still in and wish them well for next week.
Unless you're going to be amazing at the rumba, the best thing to do is just to survive it. And all whilst looking amazing in a catsuit and dancing to a horrible song, well done Alex! A four was well harsh Craig, innit.

Rory and Erin
Ack. There was some cringeworthy Jimi Mistry like body movement here. Which often results from a non-latino trying to move in a latino-ish way. This was a kind of self-fulfilling prophecy with poor Rory - he had convinced himself that a wee Scot from Edinburgh would never be able to do it. So he didn't. Even the music was shouting at him over and over 'DANCE TO THE MUSIC' and again, he didn't. Erin will be gutted of course. The glitterball out of her grasp yet again. Of course, she will have plenty more time now to devote to bringing down her arch-nemesis Natalie Lowe. Campaign for a good partner next year for Erin please! In her 10th series, just let her win.
Oh dear, Erin was in denial about how good this cha cha could be. I guess Rory has the curse of Man Not Very Good At Latin, but MNVGAL isn't a good acronym. At least Erin's frock was rather nice, and we still love Rory. (Noooooo! I've just seen that Rory went out this week, I am outraged!)

Audley and Natalie
Audley had to channel his inner Billy Elliott for that ballet task this week. What do you mean boxers don't do ballet? It is a bit like ballet. You have to be light on your feet, agile and strong. OK, there's no music and you have to throw a few punches but we can overlook those tiny details. But that's by the by. I counted six bars before Audley did anything other than stand up and grin cheesily at Natalie. Yet les judges said nothing. Gah, shurrup self, this actually was an improvement and a good effort. Natalie was dressed in a proper shower poof princess dress and span around a tad too much but yeah, it wasn't so bad. I guess.
There was spinning and sparkles, but that was about it. Sorry, but I can't bring myself to get excited about Audley. Totally overmarked!

Nancy and Anton
First of all. Hurrah. Paso Doble music. Great. Nancy is also great at drapery. That is, flinging herself dramatically at Anton. It actually looks good. The bits that involved her feet connecting with the floor weren't quite so successful. There seemed to be an element of goose-stepping-crossed-with-sleep-walking to her movement. Anton's playing it for laughs as usual which may not be completely fair - but let's face it, Nancy was counting out loud, she's never going to win, so she might as well have a laugh. And blow me down and Coup de Pique me to Peckham, she actually smiled at the end of this one.
Loving watching Nancy wander around a field of cows in leather trousers, I also love the way she seems to forget she's on TV and starts prattling on about nothing in particular. Not sure what was going on with the arm and skirt, looked like it was in a splint or something. Although, to be fair, at least Anton did try and choreograph a paso, rather than sitting her on a mechanical bull or something.

Lulu and Brendan
Nice to see Lulu enjoying herself a bit more - and it showed in her performance. Perhaps she liked the choon. Didn't get the whole running up the stairs thing. Perhaps they got confused and thought it was Halloween week and decided to play the dumb-blonde-in-movie-what-runs-up-stairs-and-gets-stabbed-by-psycho. Who knows? And Brendan broke the curse of Samba! I'm pretty sure Frankie might have been the first to point that out to him when she bumped into him at a tube station a few years ago.
Oh crikey, I'd forgotten I'd mentioned the samba to him all that time ago. I had to go all the way back to Natasha to think of a good one! Certainly one of Lulu's best, despite the lack of feathers and her rather odd addiction to her flinging her skirt about - just wait for the paso.

Holly and Artem
And once again, Holly looked more comfortable dancing with the pole/lamp-post than with Artem. There, yet again, was just not enough waltz for something calling itself a waltz here. Viennese or otherwise. I can't call it a waltz. It will have to be a Viennese something else. Perhaps a biscuit. And when the fleckerl are we going to see a fleckerl?
Why were they wandering around lamp posts like she was doing her cycling proficiency test? No attempt at a fleckerl either. Len's repetition of 'yeah, it was alright (me awld mucker etc)' said it all really. Anyone else thinking people will get bored of this you've-got-potential-but-haven't-lived-up-to-it soon?

Chelsee and Pasha
Now I usually despise opening segments and themes but this was nifty and succinct. It got to the point straight away and fitted right in with la musica. And, this is, on the whole, my favourite dance of the series so far. By (air) miles. I am a bit of a sucker for a quickstep it seems but this one was very, very nice. Nippy - she seemed to be dancing on a bed of needles (ouchies) - and full of vim and vigour. The best word I can think of to describe it is 'twinkly'. I likes.
Crikey that was good! Silly opening, but it was over quickly and then it was a proper fabulous quickstep! There wasn't even any gapping, and I love it when Clover gets to shout about gapping. I really wanted to watch it again, this girl is far from dull. When does Waterloo Road finish, follow my Winning Formula and lose the day job Chelsee!

Harry and Aliona
Who else thinks Aliona is trying to use Strictly to break into acting or sumfink else? It's all about her and it's getting annoying. Harry did a good job but it was no way in a squillion-me-jillion years was it worth a ten. A TEN. IS Alesha flibberty-gibberty-CRAZY? Len was right, the first half was quites delightful but the second, no no. But Harry is gonna be gooood. I think we may, along with Chelsee and Jason, be looking at our top three now. Holly who?
Last week he didn't do a jive, the week before he didn't do a foxtrot, so I was quite happy to see at least an attempt at a waltz. But what is Aliona's obsession with spinning around waving your arms in the air? The first half was Harry's best so far, I feel like he's been totally over-rated and think they just want to keep the young man in (someone take Alesha's 10 away). It's not his fault, he can actually dance!

Anita and Robin
This was classy and smooth. But it didn't really stick in my head and it was grossly over-marked. (And I swore to myself I wasn't going to mention that damned irrational scoring on Saturday...ah well...) My major concern in this routine was whether Frankie would object to those semi-sleeves she was wearing or whether she'd consider them more a kind of Mary Portas armery. It was a much more flattering costume than we've been used to with Anita and she did look lovely. And extra points for the heel turns. Take it from someone who tried a couple of times (and fell over repeatedly), it's not easy.

I still can't get over Robin's hair from last week, bring it back for Halloween! And yes, the sleeve shrug thing did confuse me, it was like she'd forgotten to take her jacket off. Very nice routine, but I could have used a little more razzmatazz. Craig is right though, she's such a pro and it's great to see someone loving it so much.

Robbie and Ola

Oh I do like him. And I like Ola. But I didn't like this jive. It had no spring in it. Weeell, it was fun, I guess but I haven't much more to say about this. Sorry guys. Meh.

Well I rather liked it, and can we talk about how spangle-licious Ola's frock was! Thought he showed just as much gusto as Chelsee even if the dance overall wasn't as good. I like these people who are fearless and go for it. Plus a few weeks ago you would have thought a Robbie Savage jive would be a total car crash.

Russell and Flavia

Mama Rose and Gypsy Rose Lee - another cracking performance. And the advice given in that oh-so-famous musical that says you gotta get a gimmick - no, you don't, if yer can dance yer don't need all those props. But I guess if you're Russell, you'd think why not? If you're gonna do it, do it with a horn. Oh no, wait, it was Lulu with the trumpets wasn't it? Russell, you did it with finesse, my dear.
Pahahaha, I love these two, you always need a couple who might collapse in giggles at any moment. A bit more subdued than their other dances, but at least Russell is learning to dance. Also Flavia seems to have put her staccato little foot down this year and demanded decent dresses, good for you!

Saturday, 15 October 2011

Strictly Come Muck About with Props

First of all, you'll have to put up with just-little-me this week as Frankie is sunning herself (well as much as someone paler than an actual ginger can do - haha, sowwy Frankie!) in Florida. Second of all, if you know me but at all (or follow us on Twitter) you'll know that I despise OH TO MY VERY CORE themed Strictly weeks. I was so upset by the Halloween special last year I couldn't even bring myself to blog. That bad. And if you're sick of my ranting from last week's salsa post, I'm sorry, I can't promise this one will be any better. But for the sake of my own sanity, I'm hardly going to mention the amount danced out of hold, the length of the introductions, the re-using of music from previous series, the overmarking or those *%$% *&%$ $%^&$ ing props. Now that's out my system, on the with the show.

Holly and Artem

Like a literal translation of La Cage Aux Folles, Holly was gripping the bars of the cage like an inmate of Bedlam. Well ok, the twiddly bit inside the bars didn't actually seem so bad. She seemed more comfortable dancing with that cold, hard steel than she did once she got into hold with Artem. Not sure what that says about him. I think they danced about 3 bars actually in tango hold. And that was a bit Lulu in the draggy department. But it didn't matter because she was wearing a wig. And that was what clearly got them points. Only explanation.

Dan And Katya

Er, what did they dance again? Oh yes. I sort of remember now. He is tall and wore a sparkly waistcoat worthy of John Virgo on Big Break. I give them three weeks tops.

Anita and Robin

First of all, Anita's costume was as saccharine-sickly as the synthetic middle of a Krispy Kreme. There is something sinister about a woman of her age dressing like a ragdoll. Especially as it appears to be on a regular basis. A little jive content at least but unfortunately, due to that gaudy pink and stampy nature, most of it did just look like a bottle of Pepto Bismol bumping down the stairs.

Alex and James

Simple and elegant, Alex SoLovely Jones looked like a Disney princess. This routine displayed a rare bit (rarebit, geddit, she's Welsh...groooan) of traditional choreography which was utterly butterly delightful. I think all that electrocution in training has taken its toll on James' hair - and I'm not quite sure why he decided to dress as Professor Plum from Cluedo - but as far as tonight's dances go, it was definitely Alex, in the ballroom, with the Glitterball.

Rory and Erin

Erin vs. Natalie The Quickstep-off Part One. Swords out, duelling pistols ready. This was very classy and I love this couple. If I were to be harsh, (who me?) I'd say that Erin's dress looks like the offspring of a swan and a doily. But as far as hybrids go, that's a very pretty pairing. Rory has the potential to be a good dancer. He approaches each performance with character and gumption. Who'd have thunk I'd ever be rooting for almost-certainly-super-spy Erin?

Lulu and Brendan

It's Professor Snape! No, it's a Gregorian Monk! No, it's, uh, Brendan. In a cape and looking intense. Because it's a rumba, innit. Lulu, dressed as mint humbug, didn't do so badly - although all that smoke was sneakily covering up her footwork. The day Len does not penalise an illegal lift is the day I'll stew my socks and eat them for breakfast. Wait. Jeez. Has the world gone mad? Hosiery on toast for me.

Nancy and Anton

I liked the cheeky song choice. And as much as Anton can annoy me sometimes, this really was a little bit of light relief. Yes, he was dragging Nancy round like a suitcase at Stansted but the music and the dress and the choreography - and Anton's facial expressions - all made up for a minute or so of entertainment. And a little giggle snort. And I so needed that.

Audley and Natalie

OK, I just have to get this off my chest: I have been known to mishear these lyrics as 'I like to poo with my baby tonight'. Which is just sick and wrong but there you go. Their intro was more salsa than their salsa. This wasn't bad but it wasn't great. It didn't have the class or panache of Rory's and it all seemed a bit lazy. But I do believe he's probably quite a good dancer if he could be bothered trying a bit more. Does anyone know what size feet he has? Erin 1 Natalie 0.

Robbie and Ola

The only theatrical excuses for use of a chair involve Fraulien Sally Bowles performing Mein Herr or that scene with Eddie in A View from the Bridge. As Robbie is neither Berlin Call girl nor Sicilian immigrant, I can't reconcile myself with its purpose in this performance. I was willing him to gimme gimme gimme (haha) something positive to say but even in hold, it was all a little wooden. Much like the chair. Ola's costume was fabulous though, in a kind of Esmerelda from The Hunchback of Notre Dame way.

Russell and Flavia

Not quite the joke contestant we all thought he might be, Russell actually, genuinely can dance. Song of course, was as camp as tent peg dipped in glitter and served with a raspberry dacquiri, but that's Russell to the nth degree. He has musicality and showmanship and a partner who, despite using the odd prop, actually seems happy to choreograph a bit of actual dance into their routines. Loved this like whoopie pies.

Jason and Kristina

Oh, call me a stickler for tradition but the technique in this was so good I was in actual physical pain (well, maybe I slightly exaggerate) wishing that this was an actual tango. Because a disco tango - well it's as bizarre as that Star Wars one from Dancing with the Stars a few seasons ago. I just don't get it. What are we to expect next? A Macarenacha-cha? A Pop and Lockstrot? Jason breaking out into The Running Man mid Viennese Waltz? Nothing would surprise me now. I'm not saying this wasn't good - just can you imagine how good an actual tango-y tango of his would be? And now we'll never see it.

Chelsee and Pasha

She is a little fizzy bath bomb of energy like Louise Lytton. And like Louisa, she doesn't seem able to control it. Yet. I think Frankie would approve of the pinky orangy fringing on her costume and we can only assume that she's now made friends with the wardrobe department. Perhaps she bought them cake. Slightly confused how Craig can call this 'too disco' after he's just seen someone dance a tango - A TANGO - to 'I Will Survive'. Think he has had a bump to the noggin.

Harry and Aliona

Meh. I am bored now. I was bored by this point of the show. Were they trying to save the best until last? It didn't work. First of all, Harry did appear to forget his top. Which was slightly careless of him. And I'm surprised that with all that faux hair combing and gel in there, his hand didn't get stuck to his head mid flick. That would have been the highlight of the show.

Saturday, 8 October 2011

Ruffles, scuffles and randomness!

It's that time of the week again, hope you're getting into a SCD routine because we're in for a long night with two full hours of sparkles! Will Brucie survive this long? Tess is dressed as Strictly Barbie again this week, but gotta love the glitz! This is probably the longest intro ever, wake me up when it's over...In other news the dress designers appear to have taken some acid this week.

Chelsee and Pasha

Laughing at Bruce's pyjama bottoms comment, what has the poor girl done to deserve some of the outfits they've put her in so far? Top half is really nice mermaid-chic, bottom half looks like an accident with a polar bear (later @scdmobile called them 'llama legs', which is hilarious but I cannot take credit for). But my word this girl can shake it! She might be my 'gusto' contestant already, not sure how salsa it actually was, but thought her footwork was really good.

OK. So less salsa, more ketchup. I'm not slating her dancing but this routine was about as latin as a baked spud. Why why why why why won't the producers allow some actual. latin. music? (I know I say the same every year) This was a tad bouncy but it was enthusiastic at least - no one can expect to be great at this dance after one week's training. But more ranting: if they played an actual latin/salsa/Cuban/whateveraslongasit'snot****ingpopmusic track, I think the talented contestants would move their bodies in a more authentic way just naturally because of the way the music feels. Chelsee possibly would have been one of those who could. Shame for her really. I'm not even going to comment on the pants. That is all.

Edwina and Vincent

What is that on the side of her head, it might take out Vincent's eyebrow and I'm sure he has it insured for a lot of money. Omg John Prescott is in the audience, this is all getting a bit surreal. Oh look props, kill me now, dancing whilst sitting down is not excused. Len was right to call them out on it, maybe he can be super-grumpy with it this year. Vincent, on the other hand, looked faaabulous dahling.

And here we are again with a second year of tangotrots? Well, for the intro at least. And the intro went on for 75% of the routine. BBC, BBC, please can I be paid to sit at a table and point my toe? I'll get over my fear of being on film for that. Lazy, wee Vincent, lazy. And Edwina appears to have been taking headgear advice from Beatrice and Eugenie. Someone needs to have words with her about that.

Audley and Natalie

Audley looks like he's wearing a Star Trek uniform, if it was a red one he'd go out first (will anyone get a Star Trek-SCD-crossover joke?). Great song choice from Natalie, and fair play to her, I thought she was going to have to stand on a box to do some arm-work with him. Don't really know what people are seeing with Audley, just seems like a typical awkward sportsman to me.

I don't get the joke, sorry. And no, not a good song choice. This was not salsa in any shape or form. As Bruno said, it would have been a great disco-esque hustle. The costumes didn't help. And I disagree, I think Audley can dance. And would have danced a good salsa. And would have enjoyed it. SORT IT OUT.

Alex and James

Now here is someone looking nice, Alex looks lovely and old-style glamour. Oh crikey a prop and kissing John Prescott, am I actually awake or am I having some sort of odd dream following a blow to the head? Gotta love James for choosing Have You Met Miss Jones, plus the band did a great job of it. Would have liked a bit more in hold, but it was pretty good.

And here, what a fantastic song choice. Though I'm sick of all this out-of-hold nonsense. It all looks the same to me. On the whole though, this was a great attempt and Alex so lovely Jones is so lovely. Soooo lovely. I think she's going to be a ballroom girl but that's OK, most people are better at one over the other. I also think she's breaking away from the Christine Bleakley associations - I think Alex is going to be better.

Dan and Katya

He's my dark giraffe and I get the feeling they forced him to wear that pink spangly bowtie at the last minute. Has no one told him bowties are cool? This was getting quite dad-dancing-esque and then all of a sudden he did the criminal Dominic Littlewood bum bongo move! This was never going to be great, but there were some brave lifts in there, it could have been worse. Oh yeah, and the music had nothing to do with the salsa.

Can I rant about the music again? Seriously, I'm not even suggesting that they play authentic salsa or authentic Cuban (can you imagine the OUTCRY there would be if that happened? Sarcasm over.) ...just something vaguely LATIN would do, ffs. In fact, ditch 'THE' salsa (more on that pesky definite article later) and just do a hustle round instead. Because that's what's happening. The moves are not 'salsa', the music is not 'salsa' and it all comes across as camp as a sparkly pink tent on a sparkly pink campsite in the middle of Blackpool. Again, the outfits didn't help.

Lulu and Brendan

Will she remember the steps? Will Brendan drag her around? Will she choke to death on one of the feathers from Nancy's boa that wants to strangle her? Oh look a mirror, because that's not bad luck in theatre at all...This was obviously better than last time, but it looked like Brendan had an iron grip on her so she couldn't get away. It's all just a bit odd - oh put that 7 away Alesha!

Yes, at points Brendan was holding her up and dragging her around like a prop from Puppetgate 2005. But good work, Brendan, credit to ya, as it didn't look half bad. Unlike last week. Wot really did. This was moody but delicate and not like I'd imagine a foxtrot at all - so any ballroom aficionados out there may feel as ranty about this as I do about salsa - but this really did seem to play to her strengths.

Holly and Artem

Not liking cha cha followed by salsa, tsk BBC, it's not just all about Holly in a little dress. But I can obviously forgive that when bright blue feathers on the bum come into it! Well done for Artem for actually bothering to do a dance that looked like a salsa. A bit hesitant in places, but she seems like our reliably good girl for the series.

Yes, tsk. If they do latin one week, the should do ballroom the next. End of.

Oh no, not quite, I have some more stuff to say. Oh, a latin track. Yes, hiphop mixed up with samba. Yes samba. The clue is in the lyrics. At least it wasn't camp disco but the bouncy nature of a track such of this - especially the band's arrangment of this track - made it have a (ballroom) sambalike quality. Why wasn't this track used for a samba later on in the series? WHY WHY? Anywaaay. My first reaction was that this wasn't that great but on my second watch, I liked it a tad more. Artem definitely does seem more at home with salsa-esque type dancing than some of the other pros and this routine didn't have as many moves just whipped from samba routines. Loved the costume.

Rory and Erin

My word Erin looks salsa-rific, sparkly bra and pants with a shower pouffe as a skirt. Too bad they had to re-use an iconic SCD song, grrrr. Yet more political-surrealism, I never thought I'd see Rory Bremner shimmy in John Prescott's face, it's beyond satire! Yep, it really wasn't good, but we really need them to stay.

Shock! Horror! I don't have a particular problem with this track. This is about as salsa as Strictly gets - it's English language so not 'alienating' anyone (nonsense, btw) but the arrangement is at least latin in flavour. Oh wait, I do have a problem with it. Matt danced his iconic dance to this and so reusing it just seems, well, wrong. However I actually think this was undermarked. Rory was in time and appeared to be leading Erin and for a week of training, that is extremely good - Len's right, it's not a natural dance for British people - Rory though, message to you, I think you should join a salsa class - you'd like it!

Robbie and Ola

He really is a beautiful horse. Why an umbrella, WHY? That's bad luck too, why not just run around shouting Macbeth and dance under a ladder the whole time. Not sure the choreography is going with this, when Robbie actually does some dancing he seems to do it pretty well! Great showmanship though and actually a bit of musicality starting to show through. Ola's scream at a 7 from Craig was so cute!

OK, so his theme tune should be 'My Lovely Horse' from that episode of Father Ted? Ola, quickstep song please. (To listen, go here ) It would be perfect. Do it. I don't know why you're confused about the umbrella though Frankie, clearly Ola uses it to shield the blinding. white. light. bouncing. off. his. teeth. On the whole, I really liked this. Most improved dancer of the week. Kudos.

Anita and Robin

Anita is dressed as a waitress from the Cafe 80s in Back to the Future 2, while Robin is off to the circus AND they're dancing to the song from Beetlejuice, when will this madness end?! This was hilariously good fun though, couldn't help but giggle. Love the relationship between these two, they're obviously having the best fun. Totally over-marked, but what the hell.

Has Gwen Stefani hijacked the studio and thrown up on the set? It is the only fathomable reason I can think of to explain why Anita was dressed like a school girl from the Harajuku district of Japan. Again, this track would have been better suited to a samba. Again, these moves would have been better suited to a samba. Oh ffs, what's the point? But yes, if Rory was undermarked then this was definitely overmarked.

Jason and Kristina

Jason is dressed as Robin Windsor on his way to Oktoberfest. This kept me entertained until they got into hold, which took about two years. Kristina looked freeking amazing too. There was some pretty good foxtrot stuff in there but not nearly enough of it.

If I'm not going to moan about the faffing about at the beginning, then I actually thought this was very good. My, he's a dedicated chappie - and it seems to be working for him.

Nancy and Anton

It's time for the Italian siren to go off again, and with Anton teaching her to salsa I wouldn't blame her if she ripped her dress and set fire to the place. Actually, to be fair, I quite enjoyed the half-drunk fun of it all. Much more fun than Edwina. Golden quote from Alesha "I don't know if you were trying to be funny, or if it was just funny", plus it was worth it to see her give the lowest score!

Oh dear. Someone's not very good at salsa. And you've guessed it, I'm not talking about Nancy.

Harry and Aliona

Is Aliona wearing a nicer version of Nancy's dress from last week? That won't go down well, the myth of the saboteur goes on. I have no idea if Harry is any good at the foxtrot because he didn't do any. Also thatawkwardmomentwhen Len finally loses his rag...oo-er..

Noticed a comment on Twitter that Len is really laying into Aliona. But she doesn't abide by rules - or at least is extremely creative with them. Remember her first ever dance like ever with Rav Wilding. Illegal lifts! This was nice but yeah, no Foxtrot really. I think she really ought just to ditch this and take up contemporary dance. Harry's great and should be a getting a better score!

Russell and Flavia

Another double latin couple, but I doubt it's for the same reason as Holly! Glad to see the return of the official, patented Julian Clary ruffle sleeve and Flavia has magically survived crazy costume week unscathed and looks pretty fab! Totally wasn't a salsa, but there were some proper steps in there. I like Russell because he embraces the sparkle and camps it up but also wants to learn to dance.

Oh dear. I remember why he scares me. I am quite disturbed by this whole routine. Must have been the sleeves.

This is without a doubt one of the oddest episodes of SCD I have seen in a while, this may take a while to get over! They will at least have a lot to talk about on ITT this week. Who's going? Random Frankie prediction time...Edwina.


No well, a bit obvious really wannit? ;-)

Saturday, 1 October 2011

Here we go again!

...and we're back!

Tess looks a lot better tonight, a lot more Veronica Lake and a lot less one of the Saturday's mums. As for everyone else, there's a serious amount of spangle going on this series!

Harry and Aliona

The band did a really good job with the song, but would have liked to have seen a few more Jagger-esque moves. But then again it could have turned into dad-dancing. Pretty decent, as we were expecting, but I think it could have had a bit more hip action. He danced first, kinda, so that is in his Winning Formula favour...but then again he did win our poll so he might be doomed! Aliona's hair is a bit more restrained this year so we won't have the fun of Hair Watch.

I am fascinated to know if his rhythmic drumming equates to rhythmic feet. And by and by, it looks like it might. Great current song choice and the first cha cha this year I saw actually being danced on 2 (I couldn't tell of the Friday lot if they were all just screwing up or had been taught fake-cha-cha-cha- aka fa-fa-fa.) Regarding Aliona's hair. It is now peach. That is not a colour that anyone wears well. Unless they are a peach.

Rory and Erin

We already love Rory, he's so much fun and him and Erin seem like a good evil genius team. Rory started out looking nervous but then went into a full-on Tony Blair smile and stuck with it for the whole dance! Not 100% sure about the song choice, it just kept building and building into a mighty bombastic crescendo that seemed a tad OTT for week 1. The dancing was pretty good for a first attempt, plus there is some elegance in there. I wanna see a journey!

I apologise on behalf of Frankie for the use of the word 'bombastic' as I know now you will be all (like me) mentally singing along to the Shaggy track 'Mr Boombastic.' And well, if you weren' probably are now. But on to the waltz...this song takes me back to my (short-lived) days of ballroom dance lessons. And as competant as Rory's waltz was, I can't think of anything other than my teacher's rather boombastic voice shouting WHHIIIIISSSSK, WEEEEAAAAVE, WIIIIIIINNG. Shudder.

Alex and James

There's no way around it, I didn't like the song. It was too slow and trying to be cool when a cha cha needs to be full-on disco camp to me. It got better as it went on and Alex did seem to be enjoying it and her spangle-tastic dress. I am unexpectedly wary...dare I say it was a bit dull?

O-to-the-M-to-the-bejesus. Not only does she look like Christine Bleakley, she also dances like her. There really are some core issues here. It is like her arms and legs are completely unconnected to her torso. Timing seemed pretty good though, despite, yes, a ridculously slow song for a cha cha cha. Is it me or is the height of James' hair slowly creeping back into mad scientist proportions? Watch this space.

Chelsee and Pasha

Now that is the proper Disney Princess of a dress. Really nice song choice and choreography from Pasha, looks like we have a good one here! Kinda agree with Craig's frenzied comments, but she was totally into it, which is good to see this early on. Plus he gave her a seven, which not many people get in week 1!

Despite looking a bit like a cross between a marshmellow and a toilet roll cover, Chelsee did a great job on this actually. I say credit for the oomph - none of the other celebrities had much of it, so perhaps she felt she need to make up for it. Can't wait to see her in the latin.

Edwina and Vincent

How many egg and Currie jokes can we get into one series? Maybe Greggs can do an egg and curry sandwich in her honour if she gets to the final. Not sure about that necklace, so big it looked like it was keeping her head on. Oh and the song, Gloria Hunniford danced a jive to that, oh it's the older lady standard all of a sudden! Edwina is actually mental, some may say deluded, but my she is having a good time.

Yes, Edwina they know you for eggs. They also know you for...well, you know. Ew. But by the by, she does seem to be having a jolly good time. Dressed made her look a bit like a jiggling blob of ketchup.

Nancy and Anton

What kind of job description is 'Italian siren'? That's one step away from arsonist. Anton has either forgotten how to do choreography or Nancy thinks it's better just to wear the dress. The bit with the stuck feathers was hilarious, like a rouge muppet was attacking them. It really was a daaaaarnce disaaaaaarster, but damn I want to see more of this glamorous car crash! Is a 3 the lowest score Alesha has ever given?

OH HERE WE GO. It looks like Nancy will actually be able to dance but oh-the-god-no, Anton can't be outshone by his partner. He has to play the goose, get the laughs etc. It annoys me. It works with a partner like Ann, of course, but at least give Nancy a chance? But with the salsa next week I'm not hoping for much. And I have already bought the pins to stick into my eyes when Anton breaks out the hips...

Jason and Kristina

Hopes are high for Jason, let Kristina do some decent dancing for once! Guess I didn't have to worry, best dance of the night in my opinion! They look like a really good team together too. Not much more to say apart from Bonza!

Ah yes, hopes are high. But is he trying too hard? Think back to Dom Littlewood. He had the second highest score in week one...then look what happened. He turned creepy on Lilia's ass. Literally. I hope I am wrong but where enthusiasm works in week one, it starts to get boring real soon.

Sorry for the slight delay in posting. I'll be honest and admit that Frankie refused to post my birthday present unless I chipped here it is! ;)

Friday, 30 September 2011

It's all kicking off!

So here we go again, this has been the longest three weeks ever waiting for the show to start! Loving the walk-down from the celebs in their extremely bright costumes, after the mermaid-chic of the launch show this is a pretty mixed bag. Not sure why someone has left a bit of material on the back of Tess' dress...Anyways, here we go!

Holly and Artem
Holly looks properly nervous....but the Winning Formula suggests she has a shot at the final, if we ignore the last two years and we pretend I know something about science. Loving how Holly seems to have been given mahusive sequins as a trademark already, she'll be wearing CDs by the end of the series. The dance? Not bad for the first person, first week. All the steps were there etc. Did not like the song choice, find it a bit of an odd dirge for a dance tune, a bit more fun would have given it more energy.

Dan and Katya
I have no idea how this will go at all...I myself have been up since 4.30am and I doubt I could shimmy my way round the floor, er, ever. Oh crikey, that cursed trellis is back aleady! Has it been gathering dust in the BBC since December? It'll be the windows next... Thought this was a pretty decent waltz for episode 1, I saw some rise and fall. Could Dan be a dark horse/giraffe already? Oh my word, is the GMTV curse over, cured by Daybreak of all things?! I guess we'll have to wait for the latin. Loving Katya's lemon bon bon dress.

Lulu and Brendan
Well after being so rude in the launch show she'd better be nice to our Brendan! Whatevs, they're blatantly having fun really. Maybe a bit too much fun since Lulu seemed to forget half the routine; covering for it with the Frankie tactic of 'waving my skirt around and giggling', never fails! Illegal lift alert! Wonder how many times I'll get to type that this year. I laughed all the way through and could not stop watching, and that's all you need sometimes...

Audley and Natalie
Please can I call him Audrey? Is is just me or does Natalie look like Zoe Lucker? Maybe it's the massive hair. I also love how she appears to be wearing a latin dress from the waist up and a ballroom one from the waist down. Didn't look that good to me, not enough in hold and a lot of Natalie dancing around him, the judges overmarked it in my opinion. It is only week one though, can't expect miracles.

Robbie and Ola
Feel like we've been waiting for this one for a long time, even if it's just for Ola's spanga-licious dress! Genius song choice from Ola, she's so good and can hopefully have some fun this year. Might not have been technically the best and could have done with a bit more content, but the most exciting dance of night so far and bound to get the votes. Ooh potential!

Anita and Robin
What nice outfits, especially Robin's new line in super-high Fosse trousers and hats. And no sleeves, ageism at the BBC has been stopped with this exact moment! Anita seemed to warm into the dance after being a bit tentative at first, nice arms too. Aw this woman just seems to love dancing so much and a 7 from Craig in week 1 is pretty impressive!

Russell and Flavia
Flavia looks amazing, Russell looks like Caspar the Friendly Ghost, but if this guy can't have fun then who can? We've all loved his great tweeting in the past weeks so everyone is behind him. I'm so happy they danced to Venus I can even forgive the hideous prop! This guy has more energy and rhythm than anyone expected of him, I think we're in for a good few weeks here...

Well, that's it for tonight. Who would have thought we'd see Anita joint top with Holly and Lulu at the bottom? I want more! It's all to play for, more tomorrow night when the winner of our poll Harry will be performing. Not sure if that's a blessing or a curse!

Friday, 23 September 2011

The Winning Formula - Version 3.0

It's that time of year again, I'm pretending to have scientific abilities as I revisit my tried-and-tested Winning Formula for SCD. Hey, it's got to be better than Strictly Stats Man...and judging from last year there seems to be something in this!

1) Get the party started
This is unfortunately the weak link in the formula now and may have to be retired if this series does not give satisfactory results, so even more pressure on whoever is dancing first! The tradition of whoever dances first gets to the final was put out of joint for the second year by Felicity Kendall last year, anomalous or not, celebs, I'll be watching you.

2) Quit your day job
I'm looking at YOU Matt Baker, maybe if you hadn't dragged Aliona literally the length and breadth of the country whilst trying to learn to samba you might have pipped Kara to the post. Or maybe not... Either way, if your celeb has nothing better to do then all the better for you Strictly pros. There are no BBC newspeople this year, so we can't test that hypothesis unfortunately, but Dan Lobb had better not have to get up so early if he's going to win against the 'unemployed' types. And I hope Alex Jones is getting a bit of time off, show them this blog as proof if you're reading!

3) Blondes don't have more fun
This is possibly my new favourite variable, after pointing out that not only do brunettes always win but yet again a favourited blonde came third! Poor Pamela, we loved you. Guess this does not bode well for Robbie Savage, even if he and Ola are going on those joint trips to the hairdressers than they joke about on Twitter. Lulu and Holly might also consider a quick dye job. I wonder what this is about? Maybe the British public subconsciously hates blondes, but then again that would not explain the unfathomable popularity of Boris Johnson. Oh god, Boris Johnson on SCD...

4) Latin fever
Once again, the Latin dancers win out, even when they're a newcomer like Artem, so maybe Pasha has a hope. I guess that means we can watch the battle between Natalie and Erin continue once more, which could be even more fun as neither of them have an obvious favourite as a partner this year. Wonder who will resort to hypnotism or build a cyborg first. Anton doesn't count, in case you were wondering, although Nancy is brunette and lacks a day job...

5) Age is more than a number
Now this is a sensitive pointed out by Matt Ball from MSN, no-one over the age of 40 has ever won SCD. Shocking I know, call for a BBC inquiry right now I hear you cry, but this is science dammit and the evidence speaks for itself. So Harry, Holly, Chelsee Robbie and Alex there's no excuse for slacking or I'll send Arlene round to hit you with the glittery stick. In a moment of extreme SCD-geekery I have just googled how old Dan Lobb is and...he's not 40 until 7 January, just sneaking past the age-line there! Audley Harrison is 40 in October, maybe he should have done this last year.

6) Embrace the sparkle!
The least tangible, but most important, of variables, celebs I need you to embrace the sparkle! I want to see sequins, fake tan, ruffles, feathers and complete dedication to all things Strictly. Russell Grant may win for the biggest love of sparkle so far and we are really enjoying him on Twitter. Jason seems to be taking it very seriously, but might not have truly given himself over to spangled shirts yet. Robbie Savage seems to have some kind of ambiguous relationship with the sparkle, he blatantly loves it but doesn't want to show it, and we won't tolerate that!

So there we have it, the new revamped winning formula looks like this:

(Try to) dance first - day job (unless BBC news-bod) + brunette x latin pro > 40 years old + sparkle = VICTORY!

Less than a week to go celebs, you now know what you have to do...

Saturday, 10 September 2011

We have lift off!

Well here we are, the SCD launch show is upon us! It took all of 30 seconds for Bruce to mention his knighthood and Tess at least deserves an OBE for making a banana yellow jumpsuit look good, maybe I've had a blow to the head but I genuinely quite like it!

It looked as though an egg yolk threw up on her.

Suitably showbiz and slick opening number, just what you need to start off the series. My highlights also included Kristina's sexy new haircut and Vincent doing the eyebrow thing in the run-down, which made me shriek with laughter. Someone also needs to tell Alesha her pony tail is wonky.

Robbie and...Ola!

I've only just noticed he really looks like a horse, maybe a multicoloured My Little Pony by the end of the series. But both of them look so happy, I hope it goes well for them, even though he did lie to us *grumblegrumble*. Plus Ola deserves someone less scary than Paul Daniels.

Perhaps a horse that got stuck circa 1993. And gah, I thought there was something wrong with the TV until I realised I was just being blinded by his teeth. He looks at bit like that annoying guy from Pineapple Dance Studios too. Ola looked delighted but I think anything's better than Paul Daniels...she might even have been delighted to get Russell Grant...? No, maybe that's too far. Now despite the fact that, yes, he did lie to us, (watch you cereal boxes, mate) I think I actually quite like this pairing.

Dan and...Katya!

I am holding judgement on Dan, he seems nice enough but does suffer the curse of the ITV breakfast show. Really hope he's allowed some time off, doing Daybreak at 6am and Strictly could kill a man. Katya seems happy enough, and we've seen with Phil Tufnell and Gavin Henson she can really train a man up from humble beginnings.

Team Kan...? Or team Kan't? (grooooooan.) Now everyone knows that Daybreak is just GMTV in a new dress, so let's quit it with the talk that this guy could win. He hasn't got a bloody chance. He'll either be dragged around like a puppet a la Kate (I think Katya's probably strong enough) or have botty-sticky-outy issues a la Smug McSmugly Castle. And I can hardly bear to mention Fiona Phillips. He's clearly corny. His 'blind date' joke provoked the best fake laugh I ever seen from Katya. Blind date? Yeah he wishes.

Harry and...Aliona!

He fell in love with Uranus, y'know? Write your own joke. Well since he's the favourite Aliona seems to have lucked out again this year!

Is Aliona a Blackpool supporter? Her hair appears to have reached new heights of tangerine. Out of all the celebs, Harry looked the most nervous. And he looked positively terrified of his dance partner. Perhaps he watched in horror, like us, at Aliona's prop-heavy, gimmicky choreography. Or perhaps he just remembers Matt Baker's jive pants.

Introducing Pasha was quite a delight, he really can dance so I think we will like him. Also quite amusing that the BBC decided to to introduce their sexy new male with possibly the campest dance we've seen in a while! Richard Branson should hire the Strictly ladies for the next Virgin Atlantic campaign...

Yes he certainly can dance. Unlike that twelve year old with no ballroom experience they hired last year. Poor Tina - she probably could have done really well with a partner that could lead. Ach well, Pacha, yes. Perhaps it wasn't the dancing that was camp - perhaps he is camp. Time will tell.

Anita and...Robin!

Considering she could have been the token older lady she's got a figure so good she was allowed to be free from sleeves! Not sure how I feel for Robin, after he worked so hard to get Patsy to come out of her shell last year, felt like he should have got someone with the potential to be really good this year.

Let's be honest about this. He's clearly not on the market or he bats for the other team. The single, straight pros get the hot, pretty gals. It's not abaaat the dancin' no more. I haven't got much to say about these two unfortunately. They might gather enough public support to fill out three weeks if they're lucky. Otherwise, they just fodder. Innit.

Chelsee and...Pasha

Well the new boy has got the youngest girl and she's very enthusiastic, maybe he's lucked out here. These two could be an unknown quantity. Not sure about the shorts though, could they be the new Cursed Trousers?

And here's my point. Young gal + new Russian = haven't-we-been-here-before? For those who have been wondering, her accent is Lancashire. She's from Eccles. Famous for cakes filled with flies.

Lulu and...Brendan!

Well this will be a fun pair, hopefully she'll dance better than Jo Wood and they can have a laugh. She looks amazing in that super-spangly frock and a lot of people seem to think she'll be quite good, so Brendan will have something to work with. Thought it was a bit mean for her to shout 'oh no!' when he was announced as her partner, be glad you don't have Anton!

This is one I did not see coming. And I really like it. Well, at least more than Lulu seems to! Brendan still has that Season 1-4 persona but we seem to forget how great he was with Jo Wood. And Michelle-the-vibrating-tagliatelle-strand.

Nice to see Dolly Parton got into the swing of things with about three SCD outfits in one, never thought I would see so much white fringing in one place. Everyone loves Dolly, don't they?

No one told me Robbie Savage was singing on the show.

Jason and...Kristina!

He really does seem to have embraced the sparkle already and if he doesn't do a rumba to Especially For You I want my licence fee back. So glad he's partnered with Kritsina, she really deserves someone with potential!

Another one I wasn't expecting. I really want Jason to be good but he could go either way. He'll either get those rickymartinhipsashakin' or we'll be stuck with something along the lines of Gary Rhodes. For the sake of the nation, let's hope it's not the latter.

Rory and...Erin!

Ooh now this could be a great pairing! He's already endeared us to him on Twitter and I think Erin could be just the right teacher for him. Plus, he can do impressions of Bond villains etc and she can be the henchwoman, mwahahaha.

Yes, loving Rory. He's our Twitterbuddy (well he replied to us, which is a start!) And despite my previous dislike of Erin, it's come full circle and I'm so on her side now. Thinking they will be a good pair but probably not winning potential...which is what we really want for Erin now. But then...she had her chance...and used ****ing puppets. No, never gonna let that go.

Audley and...Natalie!

Well, that was blindingly obvious, since Natalie is actually taller than Russell Grant! Poor thing seems to have used up all her good contestant credits, wonder how this is going to turn out. I read somewhere he has size 14 feet!

Whhhaaaa? I think he could be good! Size has nothing to do with it! Watched him in the group performance and he seemed to have rhythm, timing... and seemed to be one of the few that was enjoying it! Shame he's with Natalie. Bound to take the fun out of it.

Russell and...Flavia!

Wow, Flavia is a really good actress! I'm sure he's a lovely man, but you really wouldn't have to be choreographing him week after week. Although if he;s lost 10 stone he is at least committed to this.

Agreed. Flavia deserves an Oscar. Poor wee thing standing there all evening thinking 'not me not me not me not me' one by one the dancers are paired off...looking over at Russell...looking over at Audley. Thinking s**t.

Group dance

Feathers! Chairs! Legs!

Alex and...James!

Wow, someone up there likes James. Another potentially good person, ok, we didn't know Pamela was going to be so good but she did get to the final and everything! Be nice to her James.

Gone are the days of serial killer eyes and mad hair. James, like Brendan, or a fine malt whiskey, has mellowed with age. He and Pamela were a delight. And Alex is so much so that she will now be known as Alex SoLovely Jones. It will be like Strictly wandered into the set of Gavin and Stacey. I hope she can dance.

Holly and...Artem!

Seriously, the tabloid rumours have started already? Couldn't we have left them in peace? Well she's tipped to be quite good and I love the huwouage sequins hanging off her dress!

Meh. Been there. Done that. Bought the T-shirt. Sewed my own sequins on it. She's bound to be at least a bit good...but is she interesting enough? Time will tell.

Nancy and...Anton!

Shock couple! I so had her pegged for Vincent and he was standing there with his happy wee face, but no! This could actually be hilarious, she probably won't get too far but it's nice to have a different dynamic than Anton with the comedy old duffer.

Nancy is bigger than Jesus.

Edwina and...Vincent!

Vincent now seems to be the guardian of the older lady all of a sudden, Stephanie Beecham, Felicity Kendall and now Edwina. The poor woman is the only person in our poll so far to have no votes, but then again the poll is always wrong!

Completely uneggspected (sorry). Of course, we all kinda assumed that Edwina would end up with Anton so I'm kinda pleased the beeb mixed it up a tad. Vincent and Anton looked genuinely surprised too. And as Frankie forgot to mention the sleeves, I'll point out that at least she didn't have two - only one and a half.

Group dance

I always love how the first group dance involves a lot of walking and clapping along to the music. And some of them can't even manage that. Crikey, Russell Grant has a lot of energy, and dare I say a sense of rhythm? Jason Donovan is totally into this and Alex really seemed to be enjoying herself too. Well, this is our motley crew until Christmas!

Walking and clapping indeed. And hardly any dancing. Yes, I think Russell has rhythm too. The only ones that stood out - not necessarily for dancing but because they actually were enjoying it were Audley, Jason and Chelsee. The latter of whom shone out of the group like a little rough diamond.

This series could go any way at all. I really wish Russell Grant wouldn't keep the outcome to himself.