Monday, 24 November 2008

Oh No!

Now that Jodie's gone, who do I vote for?

I thought it was a real pity that she went last night because not only was her jive highly entertaining (and boy did we need some entertaining on Saturday night - I thought it was a peculiarly flat and odd show myself), she was clearly so ill she hadn't had much time to practise. But hurrah for Jodie she was dignified and gracious in defeat even though her dance this week was much better then Christine's. Do you think all John Sergeant's The One Show voters have switched allegiance. Now WOULDN'T that be funny? They can't vote for John but they vote for Christine who'll end up winning because she's the closest the public can get to voting for John.

Mind you, that wouldn't be right would it, because once again I found her dance bland and dull -was it the cha cha cha? (see I don't even remember). I also found Lisa's quickstep bland and dull. And Rachel's foxtrot was lovely but full marks??? I don't think so. Are the judges proving a point do you think? See, public you wanted an old man who couldn't dance, but we're going to inflict another young beauty who can for the final...

Jodie's jive, I thought was great. Tom's tango less great. But the dance that made my night was Austin and Erin's cha cha cha which was fun and cheeky and ENTERTAINING. Got that judges? We like being entertained. You clearly didn't because they got an unremarkable score, and I was worried they were going to end up in the dance off. Anyway, they lived to fight another day and my money is now on them and Rachel and Vincent for the final. I think I want Austin as he's shown the most consistency through the series, and while I like Tom I don't think he's quite as good as Austin. Mind you having said that in the group dance Tom and Austin both shone and the girls just looked limp and decorative - but I think that's probably the fault of Arlene's choreography. Is it just me or do you think there is something pervy about the way she leches after younger men - can you imagine the furore of Len did that to Rachel? (Can you tell I have really really gone off Arlene?)

Finally of course we got to say goodbye to John, which was touching and sweet, and I so love Kristina who is charming and beautiful and has a wicked sense of humour and deserves a really great dancing partner next year. But boy oh boy, did you notice how po faced Arlene looked? And the judges were the only ones who didn't stand up. Miserable so and sos. I was in hysterics when John thanked them for their help in allowing him to stay in the competition - Arlene's face was a picture. In case you missed it, I leave it here for your delectation and delight. Strictly is just not going to be the same without them.

Thursday, 20 November 2008

Strictly Crap

I don't normally watch It Takes Two given that it's on when I'm either hoiking children round town to various activities or cooking their tea. But last night I wanted to see what John and Kristina had to say, so I left the dinner cooking and sat down (in between settling disputes between the ten/six year olds and filling in the husband on what had happened when he came in) to watch.

I really wanted to know what persuaded John to step down - my gut instinct says he's not the type to be bullied. It seemed clear to me from watching last night, that he had just got fed up with the media storm, which had taken the fun out of if for him.(Caused in no small part it has to be said by the likes of Arlene who was told Breakfast News on Monday that "When [other celebrities] put hours in the practice studio they are constantly working. They do not sit down, and I know with John, he sits and reads the Guardian. A lot of time he and his dance partner spend fooling around." , and was busy telling Jeremy Vine on Monday lunchtime John shouldn't still be in the competition.)

It strikes me that as well as being a perfect gent, John Sergeant is fundamentally also a very kind person, and it clearly bothered him that other people were getting stressed by the whole thing, and that he was uncomfortable to have got through on Saturday when Cherie didn't. I suspect that too, had something to do with his decision.

However, while I'm not sure about the whole bullying thing, I do agree with Marie, that facing a choice between people being rotten to you and going on a cruise, most of us would opt for the latter. And judging by the incredible bitchiness James (and to a lesser extent Anton and Kate Garroway) displayed when interviewed after him, I don't blame him. James was full of venom, spitting out malevolently that this "wasn't the John Sergeant show" - no, and I don't think for one moment John Sergeant thought it was either. Unlike James, he clearly has no ego to speak of, and was diplomatically getting out of the way so that other better dancers don't get voted off this week and he has to face the whole barrage of criticism again. I think sometimes the story gets too big for the person (I'm thinking here not just of the recent Brand/Ross nonsense, but also the whole Angus Deayton debacle a few years ago) - and John Sergeant recognising this decided to get out while the going was good. He's done so, as he's done everything in this show, with gravitas, dignity, and not inconsiderable wit. I love him more then ever (and can't wait to do the rewrites to my Christmas book so I can polish up my character into proper John Sergeant twinkly lines).

Everyone else (with exception of Claudia Winkelman who was flounderingly trying to get her interviewees to be more positive, and Brucie who just looked confused) who appeared on It Takes Two last night looked small minded, mean spirited and downright pathetic in comparison. For Arlene to say that she was "sad" he'd left and he should have stayed, and for Craig to call him a coward was breathtakingly hypocritical. I believed Len the most, even though he was pictured on Saturday moaning about the result.

And let's not forget that Len and Arlene the two oldest judges in the competition have been outrageously rude about John Sergeant's age. We all know it's a competition where the young and beautiful have more hope of winning. This time around John Sergeant gave all the dad dancers hope and Cherie Lunghi had been striking a blow for the older woman (ironic that my favourite older man was responsible for knocking my favourite older woman out), but to hear Len and Arlene go on about John's age you'd think he was practically senile. It's been nasty, obnoxious and makes the idea of having older competitors in this pointless. Why not just say next year, anyone under the age of 35 is banned? You'll have a bland show, but then you won't get to be embarrassed by watching geriatric shuffling either.

I'm not yet sure whether I want to carry on watching this year's SCD. Ironically I thought last week produced the best dancing yet, but I don't want to watch great dancing without seeing John Sergeant's cheeky little face cheering me up every week. I'd have accepted him going out in a vote and the judges getting rid of him in the dance off. But this is the worst of all possible worlds.

And the only one who's come out of it with any dignity is John Sergeant. I hope when he's back from his cruise, he'll also be back on our screens in some other amusing capacity soon.

The nation, deserves a bit of gaiety and it looks like we're not going to get it from SCD anymore.

OTOH, as Marie suggested maybe we should all go for Jodie For The Win. Get phoning peeps!

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Oh even MORE crap

So John Sergeant has been pushed out of Strictly for being too old, too rubbish and winning the public's hearts. I appreciate what he's said about it, but bugger it. I think the public should have got to decide who they wanted for the final and the judges should have shut up. Arlene Phillips has been foul this week and I've lost huge amounts of respect for her.

Marie has said it all much better then I can here , but while I sit here steaming, I leave you with my favourite John Sergeant moment of the series.

Who's going next do you think? Cos Jodie sure as hell won't be able to jive but the public love her too...

Monday, 17 November 2008

Oh crap

I missed last night's dance off because I was out, but I cannot believe Cherie has been voted off and John is still in. There is no justice in the world.

There is however, as John sweetly pointed out on Saturday, the power of the electorate...

Sunday, 16 November 2008

Sudden Thought...

It has just occurred to me that the reason the judges were so nice to John Sergeant last night was because they were still in shock after watching Terry Wogan dance...

How exciting was that?

Well knock me down with a feather. Everyone (even John Sergeant) raised their game this week.

First up was Jodie and Ian with a wonderful quickstep - she was light and fleet and graceful. I was so pleased for her after last week's dreadful samba. This was definitely her best dance of the series, but as she clearly is never going to get Latin my money's on her going next time she's got to do a latin dance.

Then it was Lisa and Brendan (Lisa resplendent in the weirdest orange dress I've ever seen - but much loved by my eldest daughter who adores all things orange) doing a not desperately exciting samba. I thought she looked stiff and awkward and lacked hip movement, but the judges seemed to like it, and only Bruno mentioned the hips.

Then Christine and Matthew danced a waltz, and whoopeedodah, I actually liked it. I thought it was charming and graceful and rather lovely. Maybe she's not boring after all. Perhaps she is just very very nice and therefore the waltz is her dance. I;d say that was her best dance of the competition also.

Cherie and James then danced a cha cha cha (or is it cha cha?)and while this wasn't her best dance of the series, it was definitely her best latin attempt, though I'd be inclined to agree with the judges she does it a little too neatly. Somehow at the moment her latin lacks fire in its belly, but I hope she's done enough to keep her in as I still want to see her in the final.

Austin and Erin's tango was the dance of the night for me - I thought it was superb, and I think having been rather dismissive of Austin I'm finally getting his appeal now. I loved the bit when they showed him going into his daughter's school. Wonderful.

I actually also really liked Rachel and Vincent's rumba which seemed rather more tender then sensual in a way. Not sure I agreed with all those tens but she can't possibly be in the dance off this week can she?

Then it was John and Kristina who were abysmal as usual (though not as bad as last week) and made me laugh as usual. It really is time that he went though, so I do hope he's voted off tonight while people still like him. (Mind you the children are adamant he should stay as they prefer the entertainment value to the dancing...) I loved the way they scooted off upstairs without waiting to hear what the judges had to say. But they were pleasantly surprised by the judges being NICE to them - Arlene even went so far as to say she got why the public like him (which may actually have been calculated to get the public voting him off, who know?) So, if he does go out this week at least he'll go out on a high...

Last but not least was Tom and Camilla. I loved their salsa which was steamy and hot and such a lot of fun. It made me want to get up and bop along with them, and even had the effect of my dance shy husband admitting that maybe he would give it a go (little does HE know what I'm planning to give him for Christmas...)

My money is on Lisa and John being in the dance off, but you never know how the public will vote so it will probably be Tom and Rachel.

And in the meantime, if you missed Children in Need on Friday, here's Terry Wogan showing that actually, John Sergeant isn't half bad...

Friday, 14 November 2008

Are they human or are they dancers?

Today is Children in Need Day and Tess Daly and Terry Wogan are going to go head to head in a Strictly Come Dancing bonanza. Judging by this, Sir Tel is every bit as bad (if not worse) then John Sergeant, so it should be hilarious, and of course it's all in a great cause. So if you haven't donated yet, what are you waiting for???

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Strictly Too Serious...

I know. I know. I said on Sunday he can't dance and it really is time he went, but I think the judges are getting a bit over excited about things. This is a DANCE competition, yes, but it's not as if anyone on it is really going to get crowned Champion at the World Ballroom Dancing competition is it (unless he's called Anton du Beke, and he did it dancing with, oh yes, a fellow professional...)? Half the fun of Strictly is watching the judges squirm as the public stubbornly and persistently vote the opposite way, and I agree with Alice over at Strictly TV, they should have learnt by now that moaning about it is only going to make things worse. (Have just found two Keep John Sergeant In groups on Facebook where people seem really quite riled that the judges are daring to presume to tell them how to vote.) Mind you, perhaps it's all a big plot and the judges say these things to ensure the public votes the wrong way and therefore interest is kept in the competition.

But all in all I think it's just getting a tad silly. And I know he or Jodie should really go now, being the worst two dancers in the competition as that would be fair (but since when was life fair, hmmm?), but it is hard not to be entertained by someone who makes a virtue out of being so bad in such a disarming manner. Here's his dance from Saturday again. I defy you not to smile....

Monday, 10 November 2008

Oh dear. Oh dear

I think that's what you call a travesty.

I missed Saturday's show because we had far too many children running around in the back garden in the rain and wind while my husband manfully tried to light soggy fireworks, but I caught up via the SCD website and Marie's blog.

The dances I loved were Tom's (hilarious hilarious but so fleet of foot), Cherie's (way to go Cherie, but you need to crack Latin if you're going to get into the final), surprisingly Lisa's as I haven't been that fond of her up until now, and Rachel's.

Heather's tango was by far the best dance she's done all series, and Christine's jive was just ... dull. I cannot understand at all Christine's appeal. I can only imagine she has a lot of fans on The One Show (which I have never ever watched so don't get at all why she's so popular).

My two personal favourites in the competition John and Jodie were both rubbish this week (although John just makes me laugh out loud, the way he hams up his crap dancing), and I have to reluctantly concede that it isn't actually fair any more if either of them stay in because they can't really dance and all the others (including boring Christine) can.

So I was convinced the dance off was going to be between those two and that John would be kicked off because you can just SEE the judges are desperate to get rid of him (1 from Craig for entertainment? C'me on I get the 1 for the lack of dancing ability but John certainly entertains, if not necessarily for the right reasons).

But then blow me down with a feather the great British Public voted (if ever there was a reason for not giving the masses the vote its watching how they behave on competitions like this) so Heather and Brian were in the dance off with ... Rachel and Vincent. Neither of them deserved to be there, though Rachel is definitely the best dancer so the best woman won, but still...

Any more of this and I might have to boycott the programme.

Surely next week we have to see John in the dance off? Much as I love him it is time for him to go. (Besides I've finished the book on which I've modelled his character, so I don't need him anymore...)

But with the great BP in control of the voting, who can tell what the outcome will be? We'll probably end up with Austin and Tom in the dance off when really they should be both be twinkling their way to the final...

Monday, 3 November 2008

Halfway House

So we're at the halfway point in Strictly and the competition is certainly hotting up.

I much preferred this week's episode, which felt a lot more fun then last week's.

I loved Jodie's waltz. Really lovely, even if she was dressed as Cinderella (she reminded me of the people who dress up in Disneyland. Odd to do that when you're not four). She definitely does better in the ballroom dances as she's so graceful, but though I do do love her, I can't see her making the final three. She's working hard at it, but I wouldn't say she has much natural talent.

Christina looked lovely, and was tremendously graceful, but I still find her a bit of a nonentity personality and dancing wise. I'm sure she'll be in a dance off soon.

Lisa and Brendan's tango was great. I love the tango, so stylish and sexy, and I think they pulled it off. Lisa has improved hugely. I'm still not convinced she's going to be in the top three, but she's biting at the heels of Cherie and Rachel in a way I wouldn't have predicted a few weeks ago.

Cherie's salsa was sadly disastrous. I was hugely relieved she didn't end up in the dance off, as I feared she might. Hopefully, she'll get a dance more suited to her again. I still want her in the final, but am coming to the conclusion she won't win because she can't do the latin dances.

Heather was also a disaster, which was a shame after last week. And she always looks so much better in training. Though she survived this week, I can't see her getting through next time (except if she has to dance against John Sergeant, whom the judges are no doubt going to vote off without even watching him.)

John was as ever hilarious to watch. I still love him to pieces, but it is getting to the stage in the competition when he is going to have to go because the only people remaining are the people who can dance, so it wouldn't be fair to keep him (even for my research purposes).

I missed Tom's cape action, and Rachel's jive, but I think both are still demonstrating they are top contenders. Have a feeling if Cherie has another slip up Rachel will bag that place in the final.

Austin and Erin were simply the best this week. I think they are the clear front runners. Everyone else has a lot of catching up to do.

Which just leaves Andrew. Finally, finally. He got voted off. And rightly too. We were in stitches watching him dance, those hand movements. That bottom sticking out like a pregnant duck (though I suppose it kind of matched Ola's weird flamingo costume). But, he was utterly charming in defeat, and I thought his thank you speech was lovely and well meant. So hurrah for Andrew. (And also hurrah for not crying. Am getting very fed up with seeing people crying on TV, particularly men).

I predict Heather and John will be in next week's dance off, with John to go, and Christina and Jodie to be following soon. I'd still really love Jodie to suddenly develop into a dancing queen, but I can't quite see it not really. (She has given me an idea for a character for my next book though. I had no idea when I started watching Strictly what a good research tool it was going to be.)

The results show was as weird as ever apart from Anton and Flavia's hilarious dance. I thought that was brilliant, and made me wish I'd had more time learning from the master...