|"Lame? There's nothing wrong with my foot"|
But as it all got going, and there seemed so many unnecessary extras before we saw the first couple, I started to think Has Strictly Gone The Way of Downton and Become A Bit Lame? (It was such a sobering thought it was all in capitals).
There was the matter of Claudia. What I've always liked about her is her studied noncomformity. The fringe and short sighted eyes peering out; the black eyeliner which runs when she's on the red carpet; the policy of any colour as long as it's black; the strange gait and the awkward shuffling from one foot to the other.
But the BBC stylists had clearly had other ideas and on Friday, clad in a lurid pink which drained her of colour and minus her pale lippy and eyeliner, poor Claudia looked 10 years older, and, worse still, ordinary.
Fortunately a Twitter furore saw her usual look reinstated on Saturday. She was back to black.
Tess meanwhile was rising to the challenge quite well, if she stops doing that awful tongue in cheek thing, but I had the distinct impression the judges were not supporting her very well. A couple of times she asked a question and I don't think she meant them to be rhetorical.
As for the celebrities, I realise it's a challenge to find people who are well-known but "resting," because SCD is probably a full-time job from now until the final. Secondly, the pay is not much of an incentive, except for the pop stars and stage school luvvies who expect to make it to the quarter finals. It's only £25k for everyone to start with, rising at the end of October for those left.
And I realise that by competing head-to-head with that awful rubbish on ITV, the BBC needed to attract names who would appeal to a younger audience. Hence the inclusion of people like Mark Wright from the ridiculous Towie.
|The long suffering Aliona and GreggWallace|
Then there was the sulky countenance of former rugby player Thom Evans. I suspect he was stitched up into making himself seem like Fred Astaire in his intro (he's a bighead, my Mum ventured), and then realised after the judges laid into him that he wasn't going to be anywhere near the top of the leaderboard. His face was a picture for the rest of the show and Saturday's.
Alison Hammond shone:
not only has she a light step but she is full of personality. I just wish the judges would be a bit less patronising. Their surprise that yet another big bird could dance was all too obvious.
There were quite a few who I lost interest in before they even finished their routine: Caroline Fluck (who?), a Radio 1 DJ, Pixie Lott, the latest boy from Blue, the Towie boy, the Casualty lady.
Some of the routines were very repetitive. How many times have we seen Ola's routine to loud rock music where she and the male stamp around glowering? Zzzz.
I'm hoping things improve once the eliminations start but at the moment, it's all a bit too lame rather than lamé for me.