Tag Archives: Vincent Simone

I’m a Celebrity: The mouses are getting excited with each other

VINCENT_SIMONEA Strictly/I’m a Celebrity mash-up, what could be better than that? Endearing Argentine tango expert Vincent Simone isn’t dancing the Strictly boards this year, and he’s joined the I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here bunch instead. He likes to put on the Italian stallion act, but frankly he’s more of a Thelwell pony with an adorable accent. He has become one of my favourites over the years, sweet once you see past the preposterous flirting and self-aggrandisement. His professional dancing partner is the fantastic Flavia Cacace, so you know he must be a decent sort.

His slippery grasp of English is always a delight. He and model/writer (and ex-wife of Midge Ure Wiki tells me) Annabel Giles were about to join the jungle gang last night. But only after an Aussie hat cork-threading challenge in a cabin, featuring increasing numbers of copulating rats, cockroaches and the usual bug suspects.

Annabel, who has a lovely line in dry wit, said she had been “Hoping to get a macho man to protect her”. Then realised she was going to have to BE that man. As the bugs and rodents streamed in, Vincent and Annabel leapt on chairs, clutched each other, screamed like banshees. Vincent plaintively crying “I want my Mama!”. His explanation for the fact that all the rats seemed to be shagging was: “My aura stimulates menopauses with them”.
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Strictly: the final furlong

Bruce-articleTwo weeks to go. Two dances per couple tonight. It strikes me, this year more than most for some reason, that, much as I love it, Strictly is almost identical year after year. Watching a clip of Brucie’s “jokes”, I’d defy anyone to guess which year we were in. Or decade, come to that. He and Len have missed the post-Savile memo about how cringingly inappropriate lecherous remarks  by old men to young women are (ditto casual homophobia, but at least in that regard Craig and Bruno can hold their own, as it were).

There’s a change in the celebrities obviously, and some of the professional dancers. The female member of the judging panel has varied (Arlene/Alesha/Darcey). But the male judges, Dave Arch and his orchestra, the set, dances, make-up, props and costumes remain reliably, comfortably the same.

The producers tried something new last week with the dance style mash-up, which was fine, by and large, but just as at the end of every episode of the Simpsons, all was back to normal afterwards.

The thing that makes me smile most of all are the slips-of-the-tongues over the “Sunday show” (that’s actually filmed straight after the Saturday one). Zoe Ball saying to Alfie Boe on Friday night It Takes Two “So we’ll see you performing on the results show tomorrow. Er, Sunday.” Far too expensive and time-consuming to dress and do full make-up on all the celebs and pro-dancers two nights in a row.

Obviously Tess and Darcey change their dresses between shows. But my hairdresser Helen pointed out that their hair styles change too (it’s put into an up-do if it was down or vice-versa). It must be a frantic half hour backstage for the stylists whilst the phone vote’s going on.

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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 Christmas Dancing: Ho ho hum

Da-da-DA-da-(*insert jingling bells here*)-Da-da-DA-DA! (*insert more jingling bells here*).

Yes that’s right folks, it’s the Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Special! Only this year with a RADICAL new format, in that all 5 contestants have never appeared on the show before. Far out, man.

It all starts well enough. A pyjama-clad Matthew Cutler (provoking scenes of mass hysteria to the point where my ear is still ringing 15 hours later) leads the Professionals through a bizarre group dance number which climaxes in the contestants jumping out of cardboard boxes. Typical, isn’t it – all those things they must have had for Christmas, yet all they’re interested in is the box.

Vince Cable and Erin Boag. Photo from The Guardian.

Following this, everything else seems to be reassuringly the same. Bruce enters as flamboyantly as ever (“why has he just flashed that Christmas tree?” enquires an eagle-eyed Mama VG), plus Tess’s outfit is up (or should that be down) to the usual standard – which this week seems to be based on that of the Innovations Catalogue. It’s strapless, it’s strapped, it’s off the shoulder, it’s satin, it’s velour, it’s long, it’s short – I bet it probably opens jars, has a torch function and pumps up car tyres too, if pushed.

Anyway, time for the all-new shelebriddy contestants! And it’s John Barrowman! “Hey, Mom! Look what I found under the tree!” he shrieks, clutching a valiantly-grinning Kristina Rihanoff. “Still, I bet his mother’s pleased, given what he usually manages to find under the tree” snarks an increasingly-weary Mama VG. I sympathise re weariness– 30 seconds of listening to John Barrowman and I’m already revealing the whereabouts of Osama Bin Laden to anyone who’ll listen. “I said I’d only do this if I was covered in bling!” squeals Barrowman. Unfortunately, the BBC costume department seemed to have stopped listening after the first letter and covered him in bubblewrap instead. An easy mistake to make, I’m sure you’ll agree. Anyway, they do a Quickstep, which to me just looks like a Panda Pops-addled infant racing around at a school disco. Still, the judges liked it a lot and the audience are “standing up!” (DRINK!)

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Strictly: my schoolgirl crush

Oh how bloody marvellous. The woman whose very name conjures up images of complicated Victorian undergarments, Darcey Bussell, has joined the judging panel for the last few show of Strictly Come Dancing. I know she’s had a staggeringly successful career as a prima ballerina, but since I don’t give a stuff about ballet, its not her pas de deux that impress me. It’s more that she seems a genuinely decent, down to earth sort. And for a beautiful, frighteningly bendy and really rather elegant woman, she’s not afraid to send herself up. She did this particularly divinely in French and Saunders a few years back. I find Bussell to be warm, straightforward and competent, and gorgeous too of course. Like the head girl we were all secretly in love with.

So now she’s sitting pretty (and defusing a few handbags at dusk) on the judges’ desk between Craig Revel Horwood and Len Goodman. We got two shows last night. In the first, the remaining four couples performed two dances apiece for the first time, and in the later show, we got Bette Midler, Vincent and Flavia doing a thoroughly dirty and most excellent Argentine tango, a group dance that will for ever remind me of the Summer Time Specials of the 70s, all of which built up to the dance-off. Laila and Anton were going to be in it for sure, despite the most fabulous purple dress, they didn’t have a good night. The other couple should have been Chris and Ola, but they are so popular with the public, it wasn’t. It was Ricky Whittle, despite an almost flawless couple of dances. I guess the public were not keen on his extra curricular activities in the previous week.

So unless Ricky cocked it up massively, it was going to be farewell to Anton and Leila, and so it proved. They are an endearing, but also rather odd couple. There was the early ‘Paki-gate’ story, which they survived. Leila sprained her ankle one week. She is the most extraordinarily beautiful woman, who looks spectacular in every outfit, be it a tasselled cat suit, or an elegant red swirly number. Anton is an odd looking chap, who seems to have been beamed down from another planet. She asked him once if he sleeps in his tie. You don’t get the white hot sexuality off him that you get from Ricky, but Anton is very funny, and he and Leila seemed to have grown genuinely fond of each other.

But they were the right couple to go. Now we’re left with Ricky W, Chris Hollins and Ali Bastian. Everyone has had Ricky down to win from the beginning, but I’m rooting for Ali. I’m less keen on her partner, Brian, who seems rather controlling (it may just be that he’s American and so upfront about how competitive he is, I’m not sure) but she seems a decent, plucky sort, and she works her socks off every week, despite two injuries.

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Strictly: sorry to see you go, Nat

So Natalie Cassidy and Vincent Simone have had their last dance on Strictly. It’s a bloody shame. Not because it wasn’t time for her to go, in fairness, it probably was, but because, in some ways, she was the show’s Cinderella. Here was a woman who loved, literally, every step of the way. She represents every one of us that didn’t play Mary or an angel in the school play, who would love to be dressed up by a Fairy Godmother to look like a princess, then be taken to the ball. And she certainly seemed to have a ball, every single week she shone with enthusiasm and joy. It was infectious.

And she had a lovely relationship with her partner too.  I’ve found Vincent Simone, although a terrific dancer, a bit of an irksome show-off in the past, but with Natalie, he became entirely endearing. My favourite moment of the whole series so far was him trying (and failing) to do a roly-poly with her giggling away at his efforts.

Their Rock and Roll performance was never going to light up the night this week because, bluntly, she’s a normal sized woman and Vincent is not a huge guy. It was never going to be their dance. It needed tricks and throws, and the pair of them were not physically suited for it. Had they got the Charleston, it may have been a different story.

When they were against Ricky Whittle in the dance-off, we all knew who would go through. But it felt like the whole room stood up to cheer her and Vincent for the pleasure they had brought us all.

Thanks Nat, sorry midnight struck so soon.

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