I’m going to sound a bit of a grump, I know, and I hate to spoil the atmosphere and all that, but last week’s Strictly was, I thought, the worst I’d ever seen. Wembley Arena was a rubbish venue for the average TV viewer. It might have been enjoyable for those actually there, which is why the dancers and Brucie seemed genuinely so excited about it all, but sitting at home, it just looked and sounded completely wrong. I haven’t spoken to anyone this week who thought it worked well at Wembley. Anyway, the long and short of it is I was glad to see things back in the studio this week.
They seemed to give the show an X-Factor style intro, with Tess giving the stats from last week’s show, and recounting the celebs meeting the Doochess of Cornwall. This week was a two-dance week, with the couples performing a ‘swingathon’ as well as the usual ballroom or latin effort. I always find the thought of a swingathon mildly disturbing, with images of a 70s style keys-on–the-table party flitting through my mind, but then we do live in Crowborough where that sort of thing happened all the time, so I’m told. (Note to self – remove the Pampas grass from the front garden).
I must confess to being out on Saturday night, so had the advantage of being able to watch the recording and whiz through the tedious videos. They really can be excruciatingly embarrassing.
Anita and rent-a-pro Brendan (Robin’s hurt his foot) perform the cha cha cha. She did a good job, but I predict bottom two status for Anita in the results show this week. In fact, I think she’ll be leaving.
Holly and Artem did a foxtrot, though they were dressed more for a tango. It was saucy and sassier than Kelly Rowland’s sassiest finger waggling voice, and worked very well, I thought. The singer needs mentioning in despatches too, as she gave an extraordinary performance.
Alex and James’ charleston seemed to tick all the charleston boxes but the judges were a bit sniffy about it. Craig thought it was a big step backwards for her, but she’s popular and lovely and should be safe for another couple of weeks.
Robbie and Ola did the samba. It’s the dance of doom for many a male celebrity, and it wasn’t great. Why they have to do all the pelvic thrusts, I’m not sure, and the Full-Monty style reveal of his football shorts left him looking a bit odd. The best bit for me was seeing the pair of them samba towards the camera with Robbie’s hand on Ola’s right breast before she lifted it off and placed it on her waist, smiling all the while. I’ve warmed to Robbie though. He actually seems quite a decent bloke.
Chelsee and Pasha did the Argentine Tango very well to my mind, helped by having proper tango music to dance to. Len moaned about a lack of intensity. I don’t know what’s wrong with Len. He’s increasingly revealing a nasty streak in his comments and reactions to the audience and other judges. Someone needs to remind him it’s supposed to be ‘light’ entertainment. Back off you grumpy old git. Mind you, he gave it a 9, and obviously liked it really, so why the face like a slapped arse?
Jason and Kristina did the charleston. Kristina was very watchable, to the extent that I didn’t really see what Jason was doing. There was a bit of an error on some kick or something, but it went down very well with the judges. It looked good to me, but I thought Alex and James’ one looked alright too, so what do I know?
Harry and Aliona took on the quickstep, looking athletic and precise, and hugely impressive. Mrs OMITS made one comment: “youth”, before having a hot flush. It got 39 from the judges and was, rightly, the highest score of the series.
The swingathon gets everyone on the dance floor together until they’re told to leave by the judges, couple by couple. Robbie and Ola and Anita and Brendan went first which, I think will be reflected in the bottom two in the results show. Harry and Aliona are the last two standing. I think this is pretty much a predictor of how the whole series will go. Harry to win, I reckon. Youth, as Mrs OMITS pointed out, is a definite advantage.