Saturday, 18 October 2008

A Return to the Ballroom

Well, I've been a bit rubbish at maintaining this blog - I think that any hope of consistent daily updates on Strictly vanished the minute the writ for the Glenrothes by-election was moved. Hopefully normal service will be resumed for the 8 November show and I'll dip in and out of here as often as I can.

I got back in time tonight to see Heather and Brian hit the floor. I have to say I agreed with the Judges. Their samba didn't have any of the atmosphere that it really needed to have.

I have Lisa and Brendan and Rachel and Vincent recorded and will comment on them when I can get near the tv again.

As far as the others were concerned:

Cherie and James confirmed their status as top dogs of the competition with a fabulous American Smooth. She is so precise and almost perfect with her movements. They danced the best rumba in Strictly history last week. We are usually lucky if we see a competent rumba, but that one had poignancy, romance, sensuality and technique in spades.

Andrew and Ola, bless them, were a disaster from start to finish. I thought very cruel thoughts as I was watching them and am probably a very bad person if I share them with you - he was more Frankenstein than Fred Astaire. The disastrous attempted lift at the end was a sorry end to a routine that had never delivered.

The best thing about Mark and Hayley's segment was a glimpse of the gorgeous John Barrowman, drafted in to teach Mark to act. He did show a bit of his personality during their performance, but he wasn't that great at doing the actual dancing - Arlene said that it looked like he'd forgotten to dance. He also wore a ghastly fishnet thing which did him no favours. I'm no great fan of musclemen which puts him at a signficant disadvantage. Mind you I'm sure that being the object of my lust is not high on his list of priorities.

Jodie and Ian on the other hand were a bit of a revelation - the judges said she was the dark horse - a remark previously given to Carol Smillie. Their Smooth was smooth and elegant and they did enough to keep her in the top half of the leader board.

Christine and Matthew's Samba was their best yet. Technically it wasn't perfect but spiritually it was bright, vibrant, full of bounce and happiness. Christine wore a stunning pink dress and those two are even more convincing as a fabulous partnership. I felt that their 30 was actually undermarked.

John and Kristina were never really going to set the world alight with their latin. The risk was that he would look like a drunk uncle at a wedding. He actually pulled it off - sure, it was slow and more measured than a samba should be, but it was fun, especially when you consider that he'd only trained 10 hours this week. He'd come a long way in a short time. The Judges were astonishingly cruel. I would happily horsewhip Craig for giving him a 2 - and I'm a pacifist - if I didn't think he'd enjoy it. John's bottom of the leaderboard. He was unworried, asserting that the public would save him in a funny rather than arrogant way. I hope that we do.

Don and Lilia got more flack than they deserved. I thought he had a bit of Hollywood panache in there some of the time. His posture wasn't always fabulous, and the lifts weren't particularly smooth, but was ok.

Last up was bridegroom to be Tom with his partner Camilla. They were the Smooth of the night, pipping Cherie and James with their glamorous, connected, dazzling performance. I personally would have taken marks off for the colour of Camilla's outfit the pink bit clashed with the crimson trousers, but the design was gorgeous.

Tess's Dress long, dark blue, one sleeved - very nice.

Angel Judge Bruno for a comment about Tom being better at spinning than Alastair Campbell

Devil Judge Craig, for that 2, and giving Don a 3, the same as Gary's much worse jive.

Brucie's Balls Ups I actually didn't notice any tonight - and Simon Cowell, who's half his age, got a contestant's name on the X Factor wrong.

Who's going to go? Don, I reckon. It'll be he and Mark in the dance off and Arlene won't be able to stop herself from picking Mark. The GMTV vote will save Andrew and the political/grey vote will save John.

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