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Strictly - week before Blackpool

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Strictly - week before Blackpool


Postby zico » November 12th, 2018, 6:52 pm

Strictly – Week before Blackpool

Claudia has got a Liberace glitter trousersuit, and as for Tess, wardrobe have just chucked a rectangle of bright red material at her, given her a safety pin or two, and said “sort something out yourself, love”. Darcey’s hairstyle is a homage to Wilma Flintstone.

Kate & Aljaz (Quickstep). Their routine is a pretend marriage and Kate is wearing a tiara, possibly the tiara that the Queen wouldn’t let Meghan Markle wear to her wedding, but then again, it’s a lot more likely that Kate’s tiara is just a cheap bit of glittery plastic. Nice graphic showing Kate & Aljaz at the top of a huge wedding cake, then a lively/frenetic quickstep where Kate seems to be laughing a lot, so maybe something didn’t go to plan. Shirley’s first comment is “you look beautiful” which is usually ominous and generally followed by “but you can’t dance for toffee” but this time Shirley says how good it was. Craig says “that’s a bit more like it, dahhling” and praises her being in sync, though he picks her up for gapping, as does Darcey. 7,7,8,8 gives Kate 30.

Danny & Amy (Samba). As followers of current affairs will already know, the main world story from last week was Amy (allegedly) storming out after a big rift with Danny, claiming he was horrible to work with, and having to be coaxed back by the BBC to pretend everything was fine on It Takes Two, while Danny (allegedly) got a BBC warning about how shouting at people might come across as bullying. Obviously after all that, Danny will be in the bottom two whatever happens. He talks about his mum coming over on HMS Windrush and how his samba will be helped by his Dominican culture, though I wouldn’t have thought monks would practice the samba all that much. Routine is same old Danny fare, he’s stiff, Amy isn’t, and the samba is about as much fun as their weekly training (allegedly) was. Bruno points out that Danny is too sharp and staccato, doing a routine with Shirley to illustrate his point. Craig also talks about it being spiky, stiff and having “too much energy” which he says isn’t ever a bad thing for a dancer, but he'll make an exception when it’s Danny. Cut to Danny’s mum in the audience looking miserable as sin and definitely less than gruntled. 6,7,7,7 for 27 points.

Ashley & Pasha (Couples’ Choice). They’re doing contemporary (such fun) telling us about Ashley’s dead father through the medium of waffy dance and loose-fitting clothes. We’re shown a photo of Ashley in ballet costume as a kid – does this mean she may have a modicum of previous dance experience? Actual dance is usual outstretched arm poses, wistful looks, rolling about and falling backwards into each other that is the joy of contemporary. Ashley gets emotional at the end and so does Shirley. Craig says it was superincredible but wanted more breath from Ashley, while Darcey looks at him like he’s talking rubbish. Darcey says she likes how Ashley does sharp moves and then soft moves, but says it more eloquently than I just did. 9.10,10,10 for 39 points.

Graeme & Oti (Salsa). We see someone claiming to be Oti in the training room, who turns out to be Oti but without her make-up on. Good for her for not being afraid to show us the difference. For this routine, they’ve clearly dressed in the dark, helped in this task at least by picking fluorescent clothes, even if nothing actually matches. Oti delivers a very good salsa, while Graeme somehow manages to deliver a rubbish salsa while keeping exactly on time with the right footwork, and in sync with Oti, which is a talent of sorts. The best ever Strictly routine featuring treadmills, though also the only one. To avoid criticising, Darcey reverts to her fall-back line of “I strangely loved that” while Craig calls it the oddest salsa he’s ever seen. Incredibly generous scores of 7,8,8,8 for 31 points, putting him somehow above Kate.

Faye & Giovanni (Jive). Faye shares a video link with troops from Oman doing a dance routine for her, which makes her emotional. Good tune for their routine (“Reet Petite”) and Faye is channelling the Betty Grable wartime look. Len wouldn’t approve of the non-jive faffing here by Faye, but Giovanni knows what she does best and is sticking to that. When she does get round to jive steps, they are pretty quick and clean. Shirley tells Faye that she is competent and capable (wait for the “but”) but (told you so) she doesn’t have enough changes of energy, so have more changes, OK? Shirley says she hopes Faye takes her advice. Faye looks as bemused by this advice as probably most people watching. I think I might know what Shirley means (if she meant “more light and shade”). Bruno compares her energy to Ann Miller causing Ann to turn in her grave (at a much faster rate than Faye could ever manage). Craig says “I loved it”. 9,9,8,10 for 36 points.

Stacey & Kevin (Waltz). Stacey reminds me a lot of Catherine Tate, and is amusing about not being normally graceful and elegant. She’s graceful, keeps strong body shapes, though her fleckl looks a bit lumpy. Overall, it’s very good to watch. Craig says her performance was “well-studied”. 8,8,8,8 for 32 points.

Joe & Dianne (Samba). It’s Dianne’s turn to wear the car-wash dress, while Joe is dressed like a drug-addled hippie with a bandana. I really have no idea what he’s doing here in this routine, but I do know it looks nothing like a samba. A severe case of “not your dance”. Joe looks painfully thin and gangly. Craig says it was overexaggerated, but he liked it. Darcey says she was distracted by Joe obviously counting out loud “One, and a two” and says it looked like he was performing a set of exercises he was given. Shirley finds some reason to like it. Scores are in – 7,8,8,9 for 32 points, which is only about 10 points more than this effort was worth.

Lauren & AJ (Viennese Waltz). In rehearsal, Lauren talks about doing a risky one-armed lift and saying she wants to do it to show all disabled kids watching that they needn’t be held back by their disabilities. Good for you, Lauren. She wanted to be graceful for this dance, and she is. It’s nice to see Lauren relaxing and enjoying her dancing more. Darcey praises her flow and her improvement. Shirley says “you did the best pivot I’ve ever seen”, which is nice but rather unlikely to be true, given Shirley has spent oodles of years on the professional dance circuit. Bruno wants a hug from Lauren and says Lauren is learning to love dancing, and it does feel that way. After all this outpouring of love, I’m just waiting for Craig to spoil the mood and say her toes were pointing the wrong way, but he disappoints by being nice and saying he feels like she was dancing for the first time tonight and it was absolutely brilliant. 8,8,9,9 for 34 points.

Charles & Karen (Charleston). Last dance out, and unfortunately wardrobe has run out of costumes, so our happy couple have to wear their white t-shirts and some workmen’s dungarees. This Charleston cleverly incorporates a lot of hip-hop type moves from their breakthrough dance the other week, and it’s really sharp and controlled with some unusual and difficult lifts, which Charles does really well. My favourite dance of the night. Craig says it was too controlled and lacked eccentricity. Shirley thinks it was fantastic. 8,9,9,9 for 35 put them in fourth place and unless the Great British public really doesn’t like them, they’re headed for Blackpool. Mind you, it does seem that the public really doesn’t like them.

When the voting opens, people are waving roadsigns saying “Blackpool A583”. This is shocking. Don’t they know it’s far quicker to take the M6 then the M55 to avoid the Penwortham bypass queues? A lot of good routines and the usual strange scoring this week. Pleased to see that Shirley and Bruno are working together more to illustrate Bruno’s points, rather than previously when Bruno would just grab a surprised Shirley like she was some kind of a prop for him. Bruno even came up with quite a few perceptive comments this week. One definitely true fact from the tabloid stories swirling around Danny is that a few years ago he was convicted of assaulting binmen who refused to take his bin away because it didn’t have the right kind of plastic in it, so he waved a samurai sword at them while dressed in his wife’s slippers – very much a tale of modern Britain. Danny must be a cert for the bottom two, though second spot is harder to predict – I’ll go for Graeme.


We start with a wartime-based dance tribute to the Air Force including something about women pilots, with RAF choirs and military folks on the dancefloor. Time for results and Lauren is first through, then Charles & Karen who are amazed and grateful. Next Ashley goes through, and for once she isn’t surprised so she must finally have gone the hang of how being top with the judges makes you almost certain to go through. First in the bottom two is Graeme. Dance-off technical advice from Bruno is to just do the same again, as Graeme was quite good.

We then get two Bocellis for the price of one as Bocelli senior has brought his grown-up son along for a spot of work experience, in the hope that one day he’ll learn to sing like his “opera” singer dad, though today isn’t that day. My word, this is a dull song. Next we see everyone in Strictly popping off to Chelsea Pensioners for a tea dance.

More results – Kate is through (hooray!) then Joe, so the producers have cunningly arranged it so that any one of Stacey, Faye or Danny could perhaps be in the dance-off. Which one could it possibly be? Of course it’s Danny, and Shirley advises him to have a bit more flow and not just do exactly the same style as he always does. Naturally, Danny ignores this advice and does his own thing again. Graeme does a bit better than first time around, and his dance is loads more fun than Danny’s, especially if you watch Oti instead of Graeme.

Craig picks Danny to go through, and Darcey has a moan at Tess about being put in a position of having to pick someone in the dance-off, as if it wasn’t in her job description and she hasn’t done it every single Strictly week for the last few years. Darcey, Bruno and Shirley all pick Graeme, to nobody’s surprise, and Danny is out. Amy is a bit tearful, but hard to tell whether it's disappointment or relief. Danny says something stilted to Amy about everything he does on the show being down to her and he can only do as well as her routines will let him. Amy responds by saying he told her he was a frustrated song and dance man, and she’s glad he’s managed to get back in the limelight from the depths of obscurity, if only for a brief time. He says he loves her and she blows kisses at him from a safe distance. If they are going to be friends for life, they aren’t telling us about it.

So Joe’s nan will get to see him dance at Blackpool, and then perhaps he will stop talking about her all the time. Also, it appears that Kate promised to swim at Blackpool if she was still in Strictly so let’s see if that happens. I reckon if it happens it'll be in a heated indoor pool, given Blackpool's sea temperature is barely above freezing in August.

I'm liking Stacey & Kate the most, feeling a bit sorry for Charles who I think has been treated harshly by judges and public alike, enjoying Lauren's dancing Journey, mildly entertained by Faye and Ashley, but bored with Joe, and happy to lose Graeme. What do you think of the remaining contestants?

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Re: Strictly - week before Blackpool


Postby TonyB » November 14th, 2018, 10:15 am

Enjoy your reviews and generally think your comments are spot on. I tend only to watch the Saturday programme and Sunday results highlights and not the dreadful daily stuff. I agree that some of the marking has been dodgy this series. As for the the remaining contestants I think it will be: Ashley, Stacey, Faye in the final, then in order: Charles, Lauren, Joe, Kate and Graeme. Unless of course, the show producers demand a man in the final.


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Re: Strictly - week before Blackpool


Postby Peltiq » November 15th, 2018, 4:47 pm

I can't believe that anyone still watches this over-rehearsed and scripted garbage.

It's on a par with The Apprentice, (Celebrity) Masterchef and most of the other rubbish on TV these days. And don't get me strated on the talentless and overpaid Fiona Bruce.


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Re: Strictly - week before Blackpool


Postby zico » November 15th, 2018, 9:23 pm

I agree the Apprentice is silly - a bunch of people who vastly overestimate their abilities, overpromise and undeliver, while lashing out and blaming others for their lack of progress - so unrepresentative of real life.

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Re: Strictly - week before Blackpool


Postby Tempi » November 16th, 2018, 10:24 am

Peltiq wrote:talentless and overpaid Fiona Bruce.


Fiona Bruce? She's not in this Strictly. Do you mean Kate Silverton?

I'm not sure I'd compare the Apprentice with SCD? Although both reality type shows, at least SCD has individuals learning skills, in an active way, with (generally) constructive feedback.

Zico - thanks for the weekly write-ups, I always read them with a smile on my face, even after watching the shows!

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