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Monday, October 15, 2012

Strictly: the story so far

After two shows in the new season, everyone has danced and we've had the usual handful of strategic injuries  (eg Denise Van Outen with "whiplash" yet still managing cart wheels and a stunning jive); a new judge with an irritating habit, and Tess wearing dresses that lead everyone to ask if she is pregnant.

Yes, Strictly Come Dancing is back and the formula is the same:  someone from a boy band, someone from a girl band, someone from EastEnders, someone from ITV, a  low league filmstar, etc.

Gratifyingly it is beating X Factor by around a million viewers. I'm surprised people still watch X Factor, given that it's such a cynical exercise in making money. The phone lines open before anyone has even performed, and the judges are told who to put through.

Anyway. Aside from that. My views on #SCD and in particular:

1) The return of the dance-off
Bad news! It means that judges can cling on to their favourites when quite rightly the public have decided they should go.  I'm thinking that this time it might mean that Denise Van Outen gets a ticket for the final when most of us are incensed that she's in the show in the first place. As her jive showed, she's virtually at professional standard.  She can argue all she likes that she hasn't had Latin and ballroom experience, but when you're a natural dancer, and you've danced in two musicals, it's irrelevant.She will pick up new steps much faster than someone like Victoria Pendleton or the ousted Johnny Ball who haven't had stage school training or West End stage experience.

2) Darcey Bussell
The new judge brings some more technical expertise to the panel, even though it seems to be limited to contestants' arm placement and finger finishing. But she has a really irritating habit of saying "yah?" at the end of the most sentences. She reduced this in the latest show, but there was some yah leakage.

3) Judges with favourites
It's very obvious this time who's a favourite with the judges. They were very harsh on Colin Salmon, Kimberley Walsh and the bloke from Westlife.  But they're disproportionately kind and effusive with Van Outen, Dani Harmer, Victoria Pendleton and Fern Britton. Victoria deserves some support: she's never danced before and she doesn't have much confidence. But judges need to remember the word BALANCE.
Tess in one of last year's dresses

4) Tess's dresses
Last year Tess wore a succession of dresses with one shoulder and a side split. This year she is sporting tight satin numbers. Last week's white dress was cheap looking; this week my mum was asking if Tess was pregnant, so uncompromising is the tightness of the satin. We need to notice the Tess and not the dresss. At the moment it's the other way round. On the subject of Tess, the animosity between her and Sir Bruce is all too apparent. I think Tess is fed up with being his Anthea Redfern foil. She's totally different when presenting with Claudia. Bruce has upped his game this time. I've sniggered at a couple of his terrible jokes, and I laughed when he rushed over to kiss Craig after James and Van Outen.

5) My favourites
Colin Salmon
Like Brucie, I have my favourites. Colin Salmon is gorgeous, smooth, silky voiced. Sid from EastEnders is much better than anyone expected and fun. Lisa Riley is lovely and I'm so glad she made a stand about not wanting to be the comedy turn because she's a larger lady. My fear is that as we get near to the final, if she's in dance off with Van Outen, the judges will probably put Van Outen through, even though the public will vote in droves for Lisa.

I'm taken by the cricketer too, Michael Vaughan. He comes across very well. Kimberley Walsh looks beautiful and not irritating, unlike some of her other Girls Aloud colleagues  (Sarah Harding, Cheryl "Chav" Cole).

6) Get Them Out
The one dancer I hope to see the back of quite quickly is Fern Britton, for reasons you can read here.
I wasn't surprised to read in a gossip rag that she's unpopular with the other contestants because of her bitchy remarks.

I'm not very keen on Louis Smith either. There's a bit of petulance there, don't you think?

And I'm thinking that Anton du Buerk is well past his sell-by date.  His celebrities do badly because his choreography is terrible. Plus he doesn't boss them around enough. Jerry Hall is more than capable of dancing properly, from what we've seen, but she's lazy and Anton has given in to her. Let's have some new British dance talent next year.


Anonymous said...

I'm rather liking the potential for Louis to be petulant... and am still sniggering at my re-read of the "thighs debacle" and the "spectre of Cash in the Attic" line....

the real Anonymous

lucylastic said...

Hi Gail - am completely in agreement with disliking Fern - I have never seen such sycophantic simpering with poor old Artem and her gushing towards the judges.....I have to admit though, I like the dance-off - the lack of it has meant too many good dancers being voted off and too many dead-beats staying in too long. I know it's 'just entertainment', but there needs to be some credit for actually learning to dance! Yah!!! ;-)

Trevor said...

A really interesting and objective review of this popular show. I only watch it of course because my Wife has it on.
We must remember that poor old Victoria is only used to her legs going round and round for the past ten plus years...


Maggie May said...

I was thinking of you when I watched last weekend's dance off because I knew that you wrote about the programme last year.
I also love to watch and am wondering how long some of them will last.
The Dance Off will of course, stop *unsuitable* people from being voted in by the public, who may like a laugh. Shame.
Maggie X

Nuts in May


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