Monday, 24 December 2012

2012 Strictly Closing Ceremony

So here we are, Strictly is a marathon and not a sprint  and come Christmas we're staggering over that finish line trailing sequins. And what a final this is going to be, four couples is unheard of! We're going to be exhausted at the end of this!

As ever, we're not doing each dance separately for the final, they've done them before and it's too much effort trying to be witty about them again! Denise kicked it in the jive, Dani totally vamped up her tango, Kimberley made the VW not suck and Louis discovered his hips!

So let's move on to that festival of randomness that is the showdances!

Denise and James
I was expecting more from that catsuit, it's an Ola Jordan cast-off. Wasn't too sure about this, the lifts were really great but the random interlude into a run-of-the-mill tango went on for too long and it lost momentum. But I do love a knee-slide, that catsuit could've burst into flames!

Dani and Vincent
Well when you're dancing to Bo Rap it's going to get a bit schizophrenic and boy this was. Wasn't sure at the start but once they got into the paso bit they killed it! And wow, once the tea towel came off that was quite a dress. Plus stegosaurus hair too, what a treat! Crazy lifts, we're getting into Dancing on Ice territory here.

Kimberley and Pasha
Well that was the most delightfully bonkers showdance I've seen in a while! I actually loved this, there was content, there was sass, there were lifts but not too many. And wow, wish I could change clothes with a yellow orb! She also wins the blatant disregard for health and safety award for jumping through flames with that amount of hairspray. Well done to Pasha for choreographing a routine that was all about Kimbo.

Louis and Flavia
Well we knew they were going to do soemthing different, don't know how long it took me to catch on to the doing rolling-on-the-floor-gymnastcs, but there you go. Despite that, it had more dance content than I was expecting! Plus tights, actual tights. Crazy times...

And sadly, we lost Dani, along with her super-cute My Little Pony ponytail. Our dark pony, we've loved you so much this series, it's sad to see you go. But for now we must return to the dancefloor battle...

Denise's Charleston was actually better than Wembley, maybe it was better in an enclosed space rather than a ridiculously massive space. But then Kimbers came out and pouted us all into oblivion! What a tango, probably one of my favourite ever Stricty tangos and there's been a lot over the years. After those two I felt Louis and Flavia made the wrong choice, it looked a bit lacklustre after the sheer oomph of the other two.

And as for the classic reunion of all the contestants, you have to love it, don't you?! It's always so camp and hilarious. Actually, this year it was executed quite well! Mainly down to the pros and sticking certain celebs at the back behind things. Gotta love another chance to see Lisa and Robin jumping around too!

Now this is it, who is it going to be? The winner is.....LOUIS! It was the showdance that won it, you can't stand on the world and not impress people. And so happy for Flavia, she's worked so hard! Well it has most certainly been an eventful year, thanks to everyone who's read our blog and tweeted along with the madness!

Sunday, 16 December 2012

Pace Cars & Peplums

Dani and Vincent

Gosh, Dani looks like a tub of Neopolitan ice cream, maybe that's this week's Italian reference. Better than the random fountain without water anyway, the props are entering a new level of surreal. Delightful, but a bit subdued for an AS to me anyway, I need a bit of jazz-handy pizzaz. Although I must admit I like a bit of Buble for Strictly, nowhere else obviously, where the boundaries of taste and decency exist. Keep on it munchkins, I'm waiting for your AT!

Toilet roll cover dress. Check. Frothy song. Check. This could be a bubble bath. Or a Buble bath. Naturally. I am still waiting for Dani to blow my socks off. I really want her to blow my socks off. I would love her to win but Kimberley's edging ahead at the moment...

Louis and Flavia

I hate it when they try and put something cheerleader-y into the jive, it's just odd and sexless. Maybe I read too much into these things, maybe SCD has driven me mad after nine years. I've also found myself possessed by the spirit of CRH, I actually said flat-footed out loud! I get the feeling this was one they just needed to get through, it wasn't bad but it didn't have the vim or vigour it needed.

This was laid back and cool but it didn't seem as though he was putting much effort in. He also appears to have inherited Nicky's duck feet. 

Denise and James

What's with the sudden goth makeover? Is she a tortured soul that no-one understands? I bet no one understands why they're doing this to the Police version of Roxanne rather than the actual tango version from Moulin Rouge. And I know Roxanne was a prostitute, but I can see her knickers! Wow, this was sharp though, thought James was going to snap her in half at one point! Or that she'd take someone in the audience's eye out with her shoe. Better song and this would have been epic for me.

Dressed as a bruise, black and blue, Denise-the-safety-car sets the pace yet again with a nifty tango. Competitors are not allowed to pass the safety car during the caution period...well that is well and truly over. I suspect she'll be the first out of the final...leaving the others to race ahead. 

Kimberley and Pasha

Now, I do not like a 'quirky' American Smooth, I'm looking at you Artem with your Black Swan affair, but I actually really enjoyed this. The song and amazeballs outfit helped keep it old-school, but more importantly it had a lot more speed and content then I was expecting. Could have done with a bit more hold, but it's not like they weren't doing anything. Was it an Arlene 'I just want raw sex' moment?

And so goes Nimble Kimble racing ahead of Denise already. A red hot Ferrari of a dance. I don't even know anything about Formula One, I have no idea why I'm going on about it. Loved Pasha's choreography hitting all those little accents in the music. Didn't really suit the flavour of American Smooth but...ach, well. 

Lisa and Robin

Oh god, it's salsa. Robin's skin is actually closer to the tangerine of Lisa's dress than the flesh tone of his shirt! I thought this was going to be bad bad bad, but it was actually pretty fun! You need energy for a salsa and she has it in buckets. Sparkly buckets. And there was a fair bit of content in it. The salsa has been a bit of a disaster this year, will it survive to next year? Bring back the grand prix viennesse waltz!

Oh god, no it's not bloody salsa. The Strictly producers wouldn't know salsa if they slipped on it in the supermarket. This was about as latin as Prince Charles' breakfast crockery. Love Lisa but did not love this. 

Right, all change! Let's go round again...

Dani and Vincent

The first thing I did was shout 'omg there's a peplum, why is there a peplum?!' and then I wondered if the sound on my TV was broken, the drama of no music, the drama. This wasn't Austin Healey handing out canapes. A brilliant routine, as ever, from Vincent, so much of the old jigsaw legs. That's a technical term, y'know. Can't believe she learnt it in two days. And woo for letting her grow up for one dance!

I have a genuine fear of peplums. That's mostly all I could focus on whilst Dani was dancing. I imagined it detaching itself from her dress and stalking me. Chasing me. MURDERING me. What a scary way to go. I digress. The top half of her dress was very nice. The bottom half looked like something an extra would wear on Dynasty. Very nice little tango but I wouldn't expect anything less from someone dancing with Wee Vincent.

Louis and Flavia

Now this is more like it, proper dress, tails, interesting song and choreography. I quite enjoyed this, foxtrots usually bore more, and I think the song choice really helped bring something more to it. Somehow I think he performed it better than the jive, restrained angst might just be Louis' thing after all, no enforced gurning this week. Darcey is just throwing those 10s around this week!

I liked Flav's choreography too, especially the mini game of Fairy Footsteps they played at the beginning. He had more rise than a currant bun and more fall than Niagara. Darcey however, flapping that 10 paddle about has clearly been possessed by the Ghost of Judges Past. Has anyone seen Alesha recently...? 

Denise and James

The rumba, the slayer of greats. And what the hell is Denise wearing? A pillowcase crossed with a pregnancy smock? I could see this was danced very well, but I didn't like the routine. They were both too busy looking so paaaaained, so much emooooootion, they ended up looking constipated. Too many random bits on the floor that made me cringe. But this might just be me, the technique was very good.

How to survive a rumba? Wrap yourself in a windsock to hide the lack of body movement? How could the judges give a ten to something so wooden? Denise spins like a demon and it was acted well (I'm assuming she was meant to look as though she had just stubbed her toe...? Oh the paaaain.) but if this was a latin dance, then I'm a brazil nut. 

Kimberley and Pasha

I know there can't be too many choices for Charleston songs but that was one of the oddest ones I have ever seen. Kimberley looks so divinely cute, Pasha looks ridiculous. The theming was so weird, but her Charleston-ing was so good! Swivles, so many swivles! Cartwheels that were good and not pointless! Not going to grumble about four tens, the execution of it was so good. I may have whooped.

It's not every day you witness Biggles dancing with a sparkly blueberry. It was very neat and about as charlestony as a charleston can get. Spiffing, old chaps, spiffing. 

Lisa and Robin

I've been waiting for them to finally let Lisa do an AS and they needed to pull out the big guns. And I do love a bit of Fosse *jazzhands**shockedface* Great lines and syncopation as ever, but I never thought I'd say this but I missed the lifts.

How to dance like Bob Fosse? Waggle your hands about in front of your face and act as though you're surprised to see them. Plenty of that going on. It was fun, and in its own way, fab-u-lous, but Lisa's technique just wasn't holding up against the rest of 'em. She has, nevertheless, been this year's stand out contestant and for me personally, she's made it worth watching. 

Sunday, 9 December 2012

Con-fusion on the Dancefloor

10/10 for pout
It's Strictly, but not as you know's all gone a bit crazy this week (or as we like to call it 'gone a bit DWTS') with this newfangled fusion malarkey. Will we love it or hate it? Or merely prefer it to another annoying theme week? Let us go on a new spangled journey...

Denise and James

They're in Christmas outfits a bit early, aren't they? Quite like them though, they look like fancy Christmas crackers, the ones where you get something nicer than a plastic fish. Well, we all know Denise can jive with the best of them and it does go with the bouncy quickstep. The choreography was really good, I actually liked the diving in and out of hold, but the execution wasn't actually as sharp as I was expecting. 

Have decided it's perfectly reasonable for someone like Denise to be on Strictly. She sets the pace. Like the guy who runs the race for Mo Farah only to let him win. The joy is seeing others match, nay, surpass her. What's the word for that? Pace-setter? Pacemaker? (she'll never jive alone?) Safety car? Yes, Denise is this year's safety car. Brum brum. 

Lisa and Robin

Cha-cha and tango isn't the best combination, but since she did such an amazing cha-cha hopes are high. Loving the camp-tastic song choice, low-hanging glitterballs and Bucks Fizz skirt moment to reveal the most spangle-tasic of fringes. Again the transitions were managed well and gave a little squeak at the homage to the original week 1 lift! Mistakes and technique issues again, could this night be filled with fusion slips?

Lisa should be in the final purely on the basis of her facial expressions. 

Nicky and Karen

It doesn't look good for Nicky, two weeks in the bottom two and the dreaded samba, plus lifts in the AS, that's not asking much from him! Despite having two dances to combine they still managed the dreaded sitting-on-a-chair interlude. This was a bit of a dog's dinner, to sound like Len for a minute, they had to mish-mash some random stuff together and Nicky didn't seem to be doing much. Apart from flailing arms an offensive shimmy.

I am sorry Westlife fans but Nicky does dance like a duck-billed platypus. This wasn't much samba and it wasn't much smooth and it wasn't much American. Nothing gelled. It was a random mish-mash of plonking about with a chair to running to catch up to moves borrowed from the set of Dirty Dancing. Unfortunately he was less like the wind, and more like he had wind. 

Dani and Vincent

Now Charleston and Quickstep is a perfect combination, so perfect it's almost cheating. But I like Dani and Vincent so we won't dwell on that...Dani also won best dress by a country mile this week, it's Lilia-esque! And this was a bloody good dance, I might even say it was my favourite of the series so far. A-ma-zing choreography from Vincent, it actually had more Charleston in it with some of the Charlestons this series. Plus the quickstep element gave it more control and stopped any enforced gurning. What a delight!

Oooh, I loved this. Very cute. And what a lovely outfit. My favourite dance of the series so far. I would love these two to win. 

Louis and Flavia

Louis was always going to struggle with the rumba, so much that I have my suspicions this whole thing was devised to get him through it. Great choreography from Flavia, which was to be expected, I loved how the routine built with the music. It was better than a plain rumba would have been, definitely, but it didn't wow me. I wanted to be holding my breath with the drama and I was not, which is probably a good thing actually... 


Kimberley and Pasha

Despite the concept being about an hour old It's Raining Men is the PERFECT song choice for a cha-cha tango fusion. And this is actually the only time when a mullet dress is acceptable. I actually really loved this in a crazy way, they were both obviously having the time of their lives too. Is there anything more fun than a thunderclap high kick? And crikey that was a good lift. I really enjoyed it, but I was not expecting a 40, egads!

The choreography to this was awesome what wiv hitting all those accents with a mighty kick, ker pow! This was like batman does ballroom. Half expected cartoon speech bubbles to pop up on the screen. Alas no, but this was good. Not sure it deserved 40 though. Seemed as though those scores had been decided beforehand for effect. Conspiracy much?

Sunday, 2 December 2012

Shimmies, somersaults and shocking frocks!

Another week, another questionable dress for Tess and overly-long intro from Bruce. Strictly isn't a sprint, it's a marathon! It's a short ep tonight and all of a sudden there doesn't seem to be that many people left. Three weeks to go, Christmas is nearly here!

And it's been a bit late coming this year, but Hideous Costume Week is finally here! There's some real shockers, so much that I'm finding Vincent's gondolier outfit quite cute!

Kimberley and Pasha

Speaking outfits, Kimberley just about pulls this one off, even though it looks like something the hilariously evil wardobe people would've given to Holly Valance to make her look daft. Thought this was pretty good, nice old-fashioned jive, quite literally. Great kicks and so much energy. Also, with a lot of training and hard work, she could one day graduate from the Karen Hardy School of Facial Expressions.

It was neat and tidy in the feet but didn't have enough energy (according to my strictly unprofessional eye) A bit jolty in the leg. Does that make sense? 

Dani and Vincent

I want some ice cream...I'm also having a Louisa flashback when Vincent was actually dressed as a tiny ice cream man. Dani lucks out with the best dress of the night as a marshmallow cupcake. You'll do anything to jazz up a VW and I actually thought this routine was delightful, nice little fancy touches to add some musicality.

WTF was with all the props and weird costume? If it weren't for that, I'd have loved it. I did quite like it despite my aforementioned protestations. I'm keeping my fingers crossed from now until the final that these two are in it. Still waiting for my wow dance though. Come oooon. 

Michael and Natalie

Those outfits are an early 90s nightmare, it hurts my eyes, I was there and they weren't nice the first time round. It was mean but I totally laughed when Michael fell down the stairs at the start, it's samba week, the omens are bad! To be fair, the hip action has improved beyond waggling his bum a bit, but that was about it. He seemed to be bobbing around Dad dancing most of the time while Natalie span around him in her tetris bedsheet dress.

Unlike Matt Dawson, Michael wasn't able to pull off a decent samba at the last minute. And yes, he was just bobbing along really. Bobbing along, along the bottom of the beautiful, briny ... leaderboard, 

Nicky and Karen

What the hell is Karen wearing, she looks like she's wearing the back of one dress and the front of the other! It does appear compulsory for an AT to be to a Bond theme, in a desperate attempt to live up to the legend of Ramps, but this probably wasn't the right choice, bit too mournful. This was in fact a pleasant surprise for me, a bit rumba-y for an AT, but it somehow worked. Not perfect, but yet again Nicky is coming on more than I ever expected him to.

Why not scrap Argentine Tango in favour of 'Bond Dance'? Song would have made an OK rumba, possibly, but didn't really suit this dance. Not sure what the kung fu fighting moves were about either. And he still has duck feet. 

Lisa and Robin

Not sure about the egg yolk outfit, but as ever you can't help but smile when these two dance. It was good in parts, but she did go wrong in the first Charleston section. And when in doubt jump over a sofa like a five-year-old! Might be a bit controversial, but I thought this was a tad overmarked...

Egg yolk? No, it was lemon sorbet, dear and Lisa looked delicious. She makes me smile and I am almost certain these two are going to make the final. What I still want to see is a technically fabulous dance. Then I will die happy. Not planning to die any time soon though, don't worry.

Denise and Ian

Really not sure about that dress or James' rockability bondage outfit, god this week is weird. Great spins, hilariously awful shimmies. Quite spectacular first lift it was like a labrynith of legs inside a washing machine. I'm getting really annoyed at James banging on about how he went wrong, methinks he protests too much...

Brace yourself: it did have some salsa-esque moves. Hopeless song though. And Denise had no body movement. Could do better...

Louis and Flavia

Why does Flavia have a flowerpot on her head? I'm all for hats, but this isn't the time! This had me and Mr F in hysterics, Louis dancing with his mouth wide open, what lawks! Good swivels and appropriate gymnastics this week. Thought this was going to be a make or break week for Louis, the judges might have been a bit overblown in their praise but he does deserve to go through. Two tens was mental!

I have two dance moves. Charleston and moonwalk. Louis used them both. In one dance. Excellent stuff. Glad to see him in a character of sorts. Definitely deserved its place at the top.