Saturday, 11 December 2010

Strictly Come Dancing week 11: Semi Final Part 2

Where last night we had a field of 5 that was near perfection, tonight we saw them claw thier way even closer to dance Mount Olympus, some got near the gate, one got in.

Series final reviewed here

What the judges had to do from here on in was use the same measuring stick, but I somehow sensed they are being less than honest in one regard, where Kara DID deserve 4 10's but got three and Pamela deserved 2 9's and 2 10's but got 4 10's , the judges showed there were two sets of criteria running out there. I'm not sure how you can say Pamela was better than Kara when she, as good as she was, has never approached the level of pro dancer that Kara has so often since breaking that wall about three weeks back. Am I biased? No I'm just being honest, the level of sentimentality when it comes to Pamela is nearly crushing and the cold icy professional criteria on Kara are frosty. Despite this I suspect most people can see the simple truth, that should Kara decide to go dance pro, she'd have no difficulty making the transition. I think I'm suited to my toes to say without reservation why she is good  as I don't watch Eastenders and don't plan to start any time soon, which makes her nothing to me in regards star material and preconceptions. In fact I try and forget any previous opinion of the legitimate dancer I may have of them from previous exposure, as I want to give them as fair a chance as just dancers. Once they have reached past the point of "you're nearly as good as the pros," I fully expect them to be judged by the same yardstick with the same required elements. Something that is clearly not happening when the technically and artistically perfect Kara is punished for tiny missteps but Pamela who is wonderful , but far from perfect, gets 40's . At least Scott and Matt and even Gavin, bless him for trying finally, are being judged by the same criteria.

Aliona and Anton have throughout the competition and since they have been with partners, always grated on me. They both tend to drag down their partners and have no respect for the judges. Choreography for them is a chance to use illegal moves and to hide the flaws of their partners. I want to know that the pros who dance and teach are taking their students and showing them the proper steps, sticking to the brief of each dance and taking on board that choreography must help not hinder and dissimulate the faults of the dancers. For a celeb dancer to grow and learn, they must do the required routines, how else are they to become truly gifted  if that is what they are capable of? To the credit of Matt Baker, he rises above the traps in Aliona's routines and shines despite her own mania of trying to outshine the partner. As well, according to a fellow poster on Galibase, "As the pros don't actually dance salsa they get outside choreographers to help out and the two they almost always get in are DREADFUL! They're a standing joke in the world of salsa dancing because they're not actually salsa dancers, despite being proclaimed on Strictly as World Salsa Champions. what they really are is the champions of the salsa division of the world ballroom championships, which bears as close a resemblance to proper salsa dancing as Ann Widicome's rhumba did to a proper Rhumba." . And now we can all go to sleep less stupid, thanks for that Lanark

The band as always is Fa bu  lous !  I keep waiting for the BBC to come up with a dance and music review format for them but nothing. As for Take That, they are far better as men than as boys and rise into the sublime with Robbie Williams back in the line up. Not a shmaltz fan per se, preferring the likes of The Stones, Killers and Undertones, but they are truly great.  Look forward to tomorrow and the next song. 

And so without further ado, tonight's ratings.

Scott Maslen: Charleston: Again with the fake so called Charleston, Anachronism how do I hate thee, let me count the ways. First of all the moves were Early 50's Broadway take on the 1940's looking back on the 30's. The costumes were straight from the mouse musical number in Anchors Aweigh. Scott should have been dancing with a mouse or another sailor if they were going to be honest. As for the dance itself, from the opening moves to about half way, Scott is weak and unsure, even slow at times, then he starts up but misses the rhythm . Not his best work and in a week that needs to be your best at all times, a ticket home. Rating 7

Kara Tointon: Rhumba. To say Kara was good was to say your tea was fine or Manchester United played well enough to win. What she did transcended the mere GOOD. She came out and danced the sexiest and most romantic Rumba I have ever seen, then included elements only ever done by pros during demonstration dances. Between her technical merit and dramatic acting, she set fire to our retinas with the passion and conviction of a real performer. We saw Venus rise off the shell born into Olympian perfection and grace. As for the alleged foot off the ground or misstep Craig claims he saw, we are into the territory I as a football supporter have to endure week in week out. I saw no mistake, there was no foul, that was never a yellow card. She deserved 40 points and if there were more points to give, those as well. Rating 20 out of a possible 10

Matt Baker: Tango.  On fire  and technically perfect. As I said before, even despite the traps Aliona set that were there to make her look good and overly complicate the routine and stray from the required routines, Matt shone like the consummate dancer and actor he is. I cannot see how he can even be in the frame for dropping out. A bit of me is prouder than for the rest, as he's a North East lad genuinely done good. Rating 10

Gavin Henson: Viennese Waltz. On any other day, in any other week of the competition, that would have been amazing. But he had a few moments where he looked like he was a deer caught in head lights and his rhythm was out of step nearly all the way through. That said, he was more than competent. Better late than never and he deserves to graduate from dance school at least. One hopes he keeps it up after Strictly as he's a credit to painfully shy men.  Rating 7

Pamela Stephenson: Quick Step.  What a beautiful sight to behold, a combination of soft shoe, quick step and and tap, she showed off a quality assortment of steps near seamlessly flowing from bit to bit. Her Steppin out was lovely and a credit to a person of any age and level of talent she clearly has. Was she worth 40 points?  I don't think so. Where Kara allegedly missed one step, Pamela missed several and was able to cover well, but if honest , the judges should have given her no more than 4 9's. It's as if they still think she needs wrapping in cotton wool. Ann is gone, no one is in needs of protection. Rating 9 

So who will be in the top three? I still maintain that my previous assertion of Kara, Pamela and Matt stands. Scott has peaked and showed less originality and ability to grow than Matt has. Several times Scott has run out of gas and sputtered to a halt despite his clear ability to dance and act. The fatigue has taken it's toll and he may have gone as far as can have even if he does make the final. Gavin as I said in my earlier critique, can go home with his head high  having broken the duck of shyness, he has done well to improve as much as he has and I'm sure all of his fans will be pleased with his marked improvement and having escaped being lumped in with the Dalek in drag and other past joke party representatives.

We'll find out officially tomorrow, and should the world unfold as it should, we will have the best ever final of Strictly EVER.

To watch this show go the iPlayer and as always the main Strictly home page.

Nice to see the predictions unfold just like I wanted them, Gavin deservedly was first to go followed by the comepletly knackered Scott. Leaving a brilliant final with Kara, Pamela and Matt.  Next week the couples get to do 4 dances each, and a one them as I understand it is a "Show Dance" or anything goes dance, all the lifts tricks kicks  and gymnastics you want to any music from any era. May the best dancer win next week. My money is still on Kara.

Loved the musical number by Bruce Forsythe and Lance Ellington. You can sing along if you like.

The Three Bears
Bobby Troup, Londontown Music/ASCAP

The original "hip" version of this song was written by Bobby Troup in 1946:

Once upon a time in a neat little cottage there lived three bears
One was a daddy bear and one was a mama bear and one was a wee bear
While they were out a-walking, through the deep woods a-stalking came a little girl with blonde hair
Her name was Goldilocks and upon the door she knocks but no one was there
So she walked right in and had herself a time coz she didn't care
Then she got sleepy, went upstairs to bed, when...
Home, home, home came the three bears!
Someone's been eating my porridge said the daddy bear,
Someone's been eating my porridge said the mama bear,
Hey Ba-ba Re-bear said the little wee bear someone has broken my chair!

Someone's been sitting in my chair said the daddy bear,
Someone's been sitting in my chair said the mama bear,
Hey Ba-ba Re-bear said the little wee bear someone has broken my chair!
Just then Goldilocks woke up, broke up the party and beat it out of there

Bye-bye! Bye! Bye! said the daddy bear
Goodbye, Bye said the mama bear
Hey Ba-ba Re-bear said the little wee bear
So ends the story of the three bears!
 Watch the results show here

1 comment:

twinckletoes said...

You are of course entitled to your opinion but for me...Kudos to Aliona for having a fabulous contemporary choreographic flair. It may be a little left field at times for some of the judges but for many who love dance, she does a great job. Look at the standing ovations Matt and Aliona have had when the judges were not too complementary. And she is perfect for Matt who clearly revels in her unconventional choreography which suits him, rather than outshines him.
Anton is a star and no one else could have suited Widdie better, he gets top marks for realizing dance had to come second to theatre! And not really difficult for him to outshine Anne!!
Pamela is pure fluid magic and if you had listened to what the judges had said about her body singing to the dance you would realise why she got 4 X10, twice. Kara and Pamela have both worked hard on their dance training and the results show, but Pamela has dance oozing from her pores and she is more natural where Kara is technical. Top marks to Artem and James for being such wonderful teachers.
Gavin made a good point that Matt is the only finalist not to have had the advantage of unlimited hours for dance training. he has had to work as well.
Looking at all 3 finalists, Pamela has had less of a dancing background than the other two.
So all in all, Kara has more of an advantage than the other two, but..
if Kara has not trained all week due to flu, how can she win? I hope thats not overblown hype, like Artem's neck seemed to be in Blackpool.