Newest Review: ... always a few celebrities who wouldn't be expected to put one foot in front of another, let alone dance. When they are paired with a profes... more
Strictly Come Dancing
Member Name: QueenElf
Strictly Come Dancing
Advantages: The dancers, the show, the dresses, the music...
Every year I say to myself 'it can't get any better than this' but each year the BEEB seem to outdo themselves with this fantastic show. I thought I would wait until the final to review this year's programme, but having watched the tearful goodbyes of the two couples who won't be going to Blackpool for the final has changed my mind. I think I'll be far too choked up by then to write anything at all.
I never expected to become so fanatical about a TV series but this has to be the best television of all time and that is counting even Morecombe & Wise. But as soon as September comes around I'm like a kid at Christmas time, knowing that for the next few months my Saturday nights will be pure magic. I can take or leave such offerings as other talent shows and I'm not a fan of Big Brother or any soaps, I just love everything about Strictly with its music, the dancing and the celebrities who make the show for me.
For anyone who hasn't seen it (there must be a few out there), the show has been running since 2004 and it's always hosted by Sir Bruce Forsyth and Tess Daly. Each year a certain number of contestants are chosen from various celebrities and get to dance with a partner who is a professional dancer. The numbers have changed over the years and this year there were 14 couples that started out without any idea about what would be the outcome. There are a core of professional dancers who have been in the competition from the first series but each year a few drop out and new dancers are introduced to the show.
The celebrities are chosen from all walks of life and usually there are some from a sporting background, some from television series including soaps and presenters, some from a singing background and others who are hardly known. The ages range from eighteen to over 60 and there are always a few celebrities who wouldn't be expected to put one foot in front of another, let alone dance. When they are paired with a professional dancer anything can happen and usually there is at least one couple that may not be able to dance but delight by being game for a laugh even at their own expense. It's the spirit of the show that makes it so good and nobody who follows a complete series could say that the celebrities don't try their hardest.
Love them or loathe them you can't deny they know their knowledge of dancing and entertainment. The head judge, Len Goodman comes from a background of being a dancer and a teacher and is known best for liking a good 'old-fashioned' dance routine. He's strict but very fair and loves a 'trier'. Bruno Toniolli is also a dancer and is best known for his flamboyant gestures. He's as camp as a five-bob note but is straight as a dye. Alesha Dixon took over from Arlene Philips after she was hounded off the show three series back. She was a contestant and won the title the previous year. Better known as a singer she is a fair judge who offers a lot of advice having gone through the process herself. Craig Revel-Horwood is the judge that everyone boos because he's the token 'baddie' that every show seems to have. He's camp as well but his demeanor can send shivers of fear down your spine with his ferocious looks and his cutting remarks.
This year's performers were no different initially to any other year. Each year the panel of judges and the presenters say the dancers are the best yet and normally they are about the same as previous years. There are always a few that stand out each year and go on to reach the semi-finals and often win or are placed in the runner-up position. I have to say that this year has been an open contest right from the start. There were a few who looked promising, like McFly's Harry Judd, Jason Donavon (of Neighbors fame and a star of West End shows). Lulu also looked promising and from the beginning Holly Valance looked as if she could go the distance.
But like a horse show (and I'm not being unkind with my analogy) there are thoroughbreds who show true spirit, the dark horse who isn't expected to do well, the plodders who sometimes become front-runners and the triers who are fabulous to watch. In the end they are all winners because they bring pleasure to the viewers who, like myself, often dream of doing something well that they have never tried before. I think this is very much a part of the show's popularity, as we British just love the underdog who comes out fighting against all odds. But, also being very British, in the final few rounds, the semi and the finals, the British public votes for the couples that dance the best.
What a wonderful mixture of personalities there were this year. From the likes of Robbie Savage who managed to become well liked, to the antics of Russell Grant, to the fun and sparkle of Alex Jones (one of my favourites) and the amazing Chelsee Healey who stunned everyone with her fabulous moves. There were others who fell by the wayside, including Anita Dobson who was amazing for her age, at over 60 she made me look like an old woman but also gave me heart that life doesn't end at 60!
My heart went out to both the couples that went out of the semi-finals on 11th December. Alex Jones tried her best and despite the fact I think she's a wonderful personality and definitely became a true dancer, the others were just a bit better. Holly Valance was also good and her place seemed assured, but a surprise failing in the last dance of the semi-final made her lose points and she didn't recover. In the end I voted for Harry and Chelsee for the semi-final, I didn't vote for another couple, knowing the result was going to be as it turned out. Despite my annoyance with Jason Donovan's show-off nature he did deserve his place in the final, the guy almost bust a gut getting a place.
How will it end?
Like each year since the start I think the place will go not just to the most popular couple (otherwise Alex Jones would have been in the finals), but also to the best dancer. It's the public's choice and each year they vote sensibly despite what the heart may say. I am guessing that Harry Judd will win this year. He's an excellent dancer, a modest man and a natural mover who could go on to be a pro if he wanted to. Second place will go to Chelsee who, despite always annoying me with her girlish giggles, is also a natural dancer.
Whatever way it goes, I am sure of one thing. The final next Saturday will be watched by millions and the final being held at Blackpool the home of the dancing show, will add that extra finesse. I will watch it on the TV even though it can be watched at the cinema. I can laugh, cry, cheer and boo to my heart's content having no one else to watch it with me. I'll forget my aches and pains for one night. My feet will start tapping the moment the music starts, my hands will go clammy with tension, my heart will thump with the beat and the pressure of staying still (I used to love to dance though I wasn't any good), but most of all my smile will be enough to power every light bulb in my house.
This is the best series ever, until the next time; I just hope our Bruce will still be here to host another show. I never liked him much before but now he's proved over and over his dedication to the best in British TV presentation, long may he reign and Strictly go on like Casualty, an institution of the best TV.
Thanks for reading and keep on watching.
Summary: I wish it could be me.