Sunday, 14 October 2012

Whoops for Fleckerls!

Once upon a time, two Strictly super-fans' luck came up and they got tickets for the howugest SCD episode of the year. This is what happened...


Best dance of the night

Bright-eyed, bushy-tailed and sparkly-shoed, we arrived at the BBC Studios nice and early. Well, what we thought was reasonably early - at least one hundred others had already arrived. We took our place in the queue 'by the tree' (in joke - sorry) and tweeted our presence. Muchos delightos to meet Sharon-wot-danced-wiv-Ian, StrictlyCracker, Gail and others in the queue. Also, Tasha, who came along fer a nosy. Nice to meet you (all) to meet you nice. A shout out too to our 'queue buddies', Sarah and Mum. Hola.

Many, many, many hours later, we sat down in the studio. Now, I'm sure much happened between 10.30am and 4pm but I just can't remember. We didn't see anyone famous and I'm sure as Shirley that none of you care about us handing in phones and nipping to the looby-loo. So on with the beeswax: we had awesome seats. Opposite the judges, about five rows back on a raised platform, from which we could survey all. We had a clear view of the judges, the contestants-in-waiting, the stage, lala. And once we had settled in these seats, we could start to celeb spot. 

Firstly, we saw Lee Mead...and Mrs Bruce. I was convinced I had seen Marian Keyes. Frankie was dubious I could tell from the back of her head, to which I replied "You can tell by her nod!" (You actually, actually can.) OK, so I was a little starstruck because she is one of my favouritest, favouritest people. Like, ever. We overheard some lovely, twinkly Irish vowels even if we couldn't tell what she was saying. Jimi Mistry was sitting two seats directly in front of us too. I now know the back of his head as good as I know anyone's. I wish I could say something special about it but to be honest with you, it was really a run-of-the-mill type of back of head. 

The first thing to be recorded was the Scissor Sisters segment later to be squished into the results show mashathon by production bods. Warm-up guy egged us all along whooping and chooping and cheering. We clapped 'til our fingers bled (was it the Summer of '69?) and generally had a Kiki. We think. The sisters-they-call-Scissor said it meant to...have a laugh...to have a good time... Mental note to check Urban Dictionary. They not that innocent. Brucie sang a song, Tess had a natter and the cameras started to shake rattle roll.

Once we went live and kicking (got the theme tune to that stuck in our heads whilst waiting outside. 'Tis what happens when you grew up in the 90s.) and the celebs walked the spangly staircase into the studio, the first couple to perform was Nicky and Karen. Now, it didn't look too bad from the waist up, though slightly tragically trying to be street or sumfink. Len's face looked like a grumpy prune throughout so we could tell he didn't like it. Having watched it back on iPlayer, I'd be inclined to agree. The squillions of Westlife fans will be keeping Nicky in the competition for quite some time so there's no need to worry for him, however.

Colin and Kristina performed a lovely Viennese Waltz and proved that he has potential in ballroom as well as latin. The height difference between the pair is very odd, however. Colin did well not to stoop but if Jerry Hall insists on calling him a 'long, tall drink', then Kristina must be...a single shot of espresso. If these guys don't do a Bond themed dance for Hollywood week, I'll eat my glittery heels. 

Dani and Vincent, dinky of Lollipop Guild proportions, did a nice little salsa. I'm not going to rant about salsa on the show in general (I'll be here all night) but having said that, this wasn't too bad as far as Strictly goes (we won't mention the song.) The routine was so full of energy it looked as though they were positively luminous. Though more than likely that was the light reflecting off their costumes. We couldn't see any of the dancers' legs or feet whilst they were doing the routines. When Vincent attempted the tricky lift, at one point, it looked from our perspective that he had dropped her. As she popped up a couple of beats later, beaming and squiggling, we assumed it was deliberate. Phew. 

Fern looked lovely in red and danced a credible Viennese Waltz. Close up, her face is even more smiley. Richard's shirt scared me. It might be campest thing I have seen since the ruffles on Julian Clary's samba costume in series two. This was a bit like a flashback. I expected maracas. Spent a considerable amount of time wondering if his quiff was made of his own hair or if it were stuck on with glue.

Now Victoria deserves her own paragraph. We gave extra whoops and cheers (and Frankie gave double thumbs up) and she did such a good job. Everything is safer in hold. And she got to wear a poofy princess dress, which, after the interesting genie-in-the-bottle pants, was a relief. The judges said she had lost her nerves - I doubt that's true, you could still see it in her face, and they don't just disappear anyway (!) - but what an improvement. Everyone was delighted and the whole studio erupted into applause. Love this couple. Much potential. Keep voting!


Now Michael. Oh, Michael, Michael, Michael. When I first saw him with an axe, I thought he might be dancing to I'm a Lumberjack. It's a good job he didn't because he certainly wasn't OK. This was - quite unfortunately - doomed from the very moment of the out-of-time fake chopping of fake tree. Kudos for enthusiasm, of course, but if said enthusiasm causes one to execute oneself like an electrocuted tarantula, one ought to consider if it's worth it. 

Louis and Flavia danced a delightful Viennese Waltz too. Judges said he needed an emotional connection with Flavia (cue acting class) and if you listen carefully when Len describes fleckerls, the cheers in the background are us. Whoop whoop! Frankie says that Flavia looked like a sugared almond. In a good way. Denise and James' jive was the absolute dance highlight of the night. We couldn't see her footwork (except when her feet were flying up in the air) but it was so full of buzz, you could just tell it was good. Watched it back on iPlayer and it looks even better. They're the couple to beat at the moment. Let's cling to the possibility that James gets what he should have done with Pamela. Uno Glitterball. 

Johnny next - the question being would he B. Goode? (groan) He did his best but his character just isn't big enough to carry him forward a la John Sergeant. It was quite obvious to me that he would go (Johnny) go, go, go. (groan x 2) Only had he ended up in the dance-off with Michael, would he have had a chance of survival. Sid and Ola's dance was not salsa in any shape or form. It also wasn't all that great. Think he's gonna be a ballroom chappie but, to be fair, he did have a beaming smile on his face throughout the whole routine and took his critique like a maaan. Wouldn't write them off yet.

Kimberley and Pasha's foxtrot looked fine from our seats, if a wee bit raggy-dollish in parts. The judges said their expectations of Kimberley are high which is a little harsh - it should be a level playing field. . Wouldn't argue with the points but cut her a little slack on the comments, judges! Darcey is proving to be an excellent judge - always a positive (in a non-patronising way) and always gentle constructive criticism. Hear hear! The highlight of Jerry and Anton's dance was...much to my dismay...Anton. As much as he annoys me, his face is a picture. He sure can sell a foxtrot.

Lisa fizzed onto the floor like a sparkly parma violet. The best thing about seeing this routine in the flesh was Lisa's face - it looked as though she was trying not to giggle. Would love to know if this was true. This was lovely - light and pretty yet still retained some of that fab-u-lous Lisa and Robin character.

The patchwork of recordings for the results show was all confusing and it was sad to see Johnny go (but not all that unexpected...) The whole day was amazing (still not sure if it's real) and I'd urge you to keep keep applying for tickets because there's nowt like seeing it with yer own eyes. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great blog! It is amazing to read about your experience on Strictly! I was lucky enough to get some tickets myself and as travelling from far, would like to ask some questions if you have time? Would really appreciate it as BBC telephone helpline or FAQs are not very helpful...
could you drop me a line on anett@degiorgio.com please?