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Strictly Come Dancing – It’s time to meet the Muppets…

Look, Strictly started it with Craig and Len doing their Statler and Waldorf impersonations. If they don’t want to draw our attention to the performers who are all startled expressions, fluff and jerky performances they shouldn’t lampshade them.

I’ll admit my heart sank at the concept of Broadway night. For one thing every night is pantomime night on the Strictly dancefloor, especially when it comes to the judges. Unlike the hair-trigger audience who appear to have been stuffed full of ’70s orange squash and pre-health and safety Smarties, my favourite of the judges is resident ‘villain’ Craig. He seems to me to be the only one judging dancing as opposed to national treasure status. And the day he finally loses it and punches Bruce on the nose for one of his homophobic comments will be Fab-u-lous.

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Strictly Come Dancing: Chilly willies & warm lap dances

I confess to getting a bit distracted at the beginning of this because I spotted Paul ‘Silver fox of the Great British Bake Off’ Hollywood in the audience and started thinking about cakes. But that’s no bad thing. It allowed the Brucie drivel to wash over me in a not unpleasant, bun-scented reverie.

Several things struck me this week:

  • Brucie really shouldn’t be allowed to mention Audley’s ‘rhythm’ without a useful aide (and I’d volunteer) quietly wrapping Nancy’s boa around his neck & doing a little bit of constricting to shut him up
  • Audley comes across as a lovely bloke: he won’t win, but I like him a lot
  • With Len Goodman talking about things getting a bit ‘chilly around his willy’ and Bruno’s pantomime letching, it can get too much like a Carry on film at times, and not in a good way
  • The show is currently far too long for someone with my attention span – which actually makes me pleased couples will be voted off from now onwards
  • Others on Twitter may mock (Our Man in the South, I’m looking at you. ‘Bertie Bassett’ indeed) but I thought Anita Dobson looked fantastic in her Carmen Miranda salsa outfit, and she danced beautifully too
  • Less keen on Dan Lobb   Continue reading

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Strictly Come Dancing – Amazing Jase and the Boa-Constricted

Following on from OMITS’ sterling work, it is now my turn to take my rightful place in the Shadow of the Glitterball. From the safety of my laptop, you understand – me on a dancefloor is the sort of occasion that court orders were invented for.

Nothing unusual to report on the first bit, same as ever i.e. Bruce making the sort of jokes found on the floor of a Christmas cracker factory whilst Tess vacantly looks on in a dress that gives her that whole “toilet roll holder they forgot to finish” vibe. Has the show taken a leaf out of X-Factor and started theming? If so, this week must be Ghastly Novelty Fancy Dress week.

First up, Harry Judd from McFly. He too seems to have embraced the Fancy Dress theme by coming as a darts player. Meanwhile, his partner Aliona looks a bit like that girl that murdered her dad in Coronation Street. Despite this inauspicious start, their Cha Cha Cha (or Cha cubed, for those of you as sad as me), to probably the most insanely catchy pop song of the last 5 years is a lot of fun. A bit jerky and uncertain, for sure. But he’s an enthusiastic performer and they do seem to have chemistry. The whole thing is very enjoyable right up until the point where Bruno starts talking about spunk. I of course missed the next bit whilst I threw up but apparently they scored quite well. I did however make it back in time to see the non-dancing celebrities awkwardly mingling in the background and was struck by the similarities between Robbie Savage’s grinny facial expression and that of Roland Rat. Has anybody ever seen them both in the same room? Postcards to the usual address.   Continue reading

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Strictly Come Dancing: Runners and riders 2011

The new series hasn’t kicked off properly yet, that doesn’t happen for another three weeks, but last night everyone showed up, booted, suited, sequined and spray-tanned, for the ‘mix n match’ celebrities to pro-dancer event. Reassuringly, very little has changed since the end of the last series, which was won by Kara Tointon and Artem ‘the chest’ Chigvintsev. Bruce Forsyth has been knighted in the meantime of course, but nothing about that man has really changed for forty years, it’s just the women he twirls who get replaced with a younger model. Tess Daly remains his Strictly Anthea Redfern, and last night was given a twirl in a slightly alarming canary yellow jumpsuit. But, hey, this is not a show for those who enjoy the understated. The judges looked exactly the same, in a good way, other than Alesha’s most peculiar pony tail (and the award for best description goes to Velocity Girl’s mother on Twitter who said she looked like: “a cheap Barbie doll rip-off where they can’t get the hair right”).

And on that note, of Alesha I mean, I’ve been pondering the still slightly radioactive issue of the removal of Arlene Philips as a Strictly judge. I support older women on telly to the hilt. Always loved Moira Stewart, feel Mary Berry kicks culinary butt as a judge on the Great British Bake Off  (as does Prue Leith on Great British Menu). But the problem with Arlene was that I didn’t really like her judging style, and not because of her age. She’s gorgeous of course, and she rocks as a Hot Gossip choreography legend, but when she was commenting on performances in Strictly, I found her over-worked, tortured ‘puns’ to be excruciating to listen to. Not worse than the pantomime donkey, Bruno Tonioli of course. So I’m sorry everyone. I like Alesha and I don’t really miss Arlene.

My favourites are the acerbic tongued Craig Revel Horwood and the down to earth, reassuring hand-on-the tiller head judge Len Goodman. And I think all four of them work well together.

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