Saturday, 4 December 2010

Strictly Come Dancing week 10: Hollywood Night

Tonight's Strictly was everything we had hoped it would be, great routines, glitzy dances by the pros and of course some really great music. Movie night was billed as a themed evening and the skeptic in me was wondering if they would hold back and be tacky in the last minute, but no, it was fabulous.

Big massive thank you to the Strictly Come Dancing professionals for the opening number. Every bit of it was class and sizzle and entertainment, the 10 minutes flew by like a minute it was that good. Anton even got to dance for real with a proper partner. Though given his delusion that what he's doing with the Dalek in Drag is dance, it's all he deserves. Then of course there's the wit and witticisms of Bruce Forsythe, who as usual was on blistering form. For those of you used to modern stand up, I dare you to make jokes like that with the kind of timing and grace Bruce does every week. His Laurel and Hardy crack and the penguins in my garden joke were funny and even the most jaded laughed, then he got two gags out of the snow, that's more laughs in 5 minutes than Lee Nelson or Steven K Amos got in an entire half hour. Our judges seem to have done a switch tonight, with Craig even being nice to Ann Widdicombe, not that it stopped him from rating her with a subterranean figure.

I cannot stress enough the fact that this at the end of the day is a dance competition, and notwithstanding the pink elephant in the room, everybody, even Gavin Henson, upped their game to the point it's hard to imagine that these remaining dancers were ever lumbering across a dance floor like they had been shackled to rocks, well all but one any road. The music this week helped immensely to raise the quality of the dances and the theatrics that went with the choreography. Whatever one may have thought about the song selections throughout the series, the orchestra has been nothing if not excellent and thorough in it's artistry and arrangements. Enough praise cannot be heaped on the musicians and singers in the BBC house band that sits in anonymity week after week. There would a very quiet room indeed as Brucie said, without them.

And now without further ado, the ratings for tonight's dances

Scott Maslen: Paso Doble to the theme of James Bond. No mistakes I could see, great drama and rythm that flowed seamlessly. His swivels and extra touches were impressive but his partner seemed intent to "save" the routine. that ruined it a bit for me, but still as Bruno said, License to thrill...Interesting that how the show people seemed to think 10's were coming but turned into 9's  Rating 9

Ann Widdicombe:
Dalek in drag... get on home to Skaro already
Matt Baker: Jive to Austin Powers. Britain's funniest spy comes to life in full cheeky comic genius and story telling, this doesn't stop Matt from doing a professional Jive that included difficult elements hard to include in the music. Groovy Baby! Rating 10 

Pamela Stevenson: Viennese Waltz  to the romantic music of the sexiest bit in Ghost. The dress gorgeous as it was had nothing to do with the film, but I'll let that pass , as she danced  a lovely flowing routine that was fabulous and talented, she made the dance seem even too simple to appreciate in parts. Filled with passion, her waltz got a fantasmagorical from Craig who gave out his first 10 of the series. If I'm honest, I think it there may have been just a bit of politics in the score, as the bookies have been saying she was going to go this week. Good on them for fighting back against the Widdicombe yobs, lets hope it works.  Judges gave her 40 Rating 9

Gavin Henson: foxtrot to the Blues Brothers. First of all it was Minnie the moocher, a far older tune that should have been perfect for a foxtrot, but what Gavin did was American smooth to a foxtrot. Slow almost the entire time, his caution showed he'd learned a lot, but Foxtrot is fast. During the first Hidee hee does indeed do a full proper run, but then ignores the other three times it should have been done, preferring to play it safe and slow. Massive improvement on week one, but too little too late. In a week that will see yet another dancer fall victim to the army of Widdi drones, He had better hope that somebody else screwed up, Pity he didn't take it this seriously from week two or three, he could have been truly amazing. Don't give up Gavin, you can dance if you just believe in yourself. Rating 5

Kara Tointon: Tango to music from Moulin Rouge. Again the dress and the choice of song was about as Moulin Rouge  as I am a Chelsea supporter  and she looked more like Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany's . Tat said , she looked great in it and it suited the dance to a tee. A passionate, flowing, difficult, artistic and frankly exquisite display of dance. If dance is moving to music, this was as yet undefinable grace and musical magic, Truly deserving of a 40, but having shot their load on Pamela the judges couldn't give Kara  10's without cheapening the previous gesture.  Rating 12, no make that a 15

So how do you pick a bottom two from this lot? I still think it's Gavin and Ann, I would like to think the joke is well and truly over and the public will realize that sending home any of the remaining dancers and keeping Hello Trolly in is a huge injustice and just plain wrong. If however, Ann somehow does stay out of the bottom two, I would hope Gavin takes it on the chin and exits stage left like a good lad.  It would be a crippling blow to the competition to be sending anybody else home, considering just how hard it is to separate the top 4.

Is too early to predict the possible winners?  I rather think that it's Kara, Pamela or Matt  with Kara clear favorite and Pamela a dark horse to come from behind. See you all tomorrow when we find out who got the chop.  Adios dear readers

To watch tonight's programme click here  and to catch up the series click here

As always the home page of Strictly come dancing.

Sunday's results show

Welllll, first things first, Ding Dong the witch is dead!  Ann Widdicombe is gone , the Tory terror has been hoyed off and not a minute too soon. When asked if she was looking forward to semi final week, she said "Anton will be there and I'll be tagging along"  There's the Dunkirk spirit for you. Bloody clear she never took it seriously. If the Show makers ever allow another mistake like her, it'll be the end of the programme. We are shot of her, and the crowd reaction was clear, nobody in the studio was the least bit unhappy she was going. Thank act of reproduction, If I had to endure the horrid little troll next week I might have had to gnaw my own leg off. There are no words that describe just how pleased and I suspect, most of the British public are to see the back of her.....BBC, we love you, but never ever again ruin a show we love like this again, it's like casting David Beckham as Doctor Who , pretty but he can't act and the joke would wear thin after about 2 minutes. Here's some interesting reading on how we can fix the mess after Widdigate...

And now to the rest of the results show.  First of all I was able to watch only because I knew Ann was going, had I not, the thought of Scott in the bottom two would have angered me even more, but as it is, he lives to see next week and the semi final round. More on that in a minute. Tess Daly wore something from Gladiator that made her look silly, was I alone in thinking this? Easily the most plastic and least animated of the human props on Strictly, Tess could be replaced by a cut out and nobody would notice. In fact I'd rather see John Barrowman who can act, sing, dance and is witty or a professional dancer with genuine people personality of female sex or Claudia Winkleman replace her next year, Tess is boring and I think they can do better. Ah oh yes, the Abba tribute dance by the pros was canny but I hope it doesn't herald Abba night next Saturday, and of course it's always nice to hear from the Manic Street Preachers, a bit mellow guys, but nice. Last word about Anton Dubeck, if he'd kept his gob shut when the judges were taking their pound of flesh off the abominable Ann every week, I'd feel sorry for him, but he started defending her and made her think she was somehow not as bad as everybody else thought. Shame on you Anton, there is a line you should not have crossed. As a friend, if friend you were , you should have counselled her to leave by week 4. Whatever punishment they give you for dragging this out even longer, you deserve.

Speaking of punishment, next week is Semi final week. Two or three dances including a swing a thon during which couples are eliminated one at a time as they dance. Only the best will survive and it will be gruelling. As if it doesn't get any more compelling for the dancers left standing, it's also double elimination week end. So if you are Gavin you have to be thinking that's it for me and for the rest, one of the incredibly deserving top four will be missing out on the final. For the first time in years, I'm really happy with the potential final line, which of course  is Kara, Pamela and Matt or Kara Pamela and Scott. Any of these dancers winning, will mean a just result, a triumph of dance over clowning and popularity contests.  Any of them is capable of going that extra bit and showing that extra skill and talent that will make them dance deities. They haven't got there on their own of course and each professional has to make sure they squeeze every last ounce out their students. I'm really looking forward to this and do not expect anything but pure dance from here on in.

My pick to win is Kara Tointon not because she's young or pretty, but because of the remaining contenders, she has shown the most ability and drive along with a lot professionalism. If this is to come down to who is the best dancer, we already know It's Kara Tointon.  I will however allow the next two weeks decide the final result, but I have confidence in my horse and the voting public, that they will reward skill, talent and perfection with the glitter ball trophy. Good luck to all of you in the top four, may the best dancer win.

To watch the results show go to the iPlayer here.