So week 2 of Strictly is upon us, and there’s a new round of training videos to pour over. I’ve watched training videos on It Takes Two from Wednesday, Thursday and Friday as well as the above video for my comments.
This year they have removed the dance off (stupid idea if you ask me) so it’s all down to audience votes to get someone off the bottom of the table, everyone’s going to have to work hard to entertain this year.
Lulu & Brendan Cole – Foxtrot
Lulu and Brendan are doing Foxtrot this week, the first video (from Wednesday) looked a little loose but, as Ian Waite points out, she’s managing her heel turns quite well.
I’m concerned that Brendan appears to be choreographing more parts of the routine out of hold – given Lulu’s struggle last week with remembering the routine I would really recommend giving her the safety of hold.
The video above though shows a nice section in hold and hopefully Lulu will do much better this week.
Robbie Savage & Ola Jordan – Foxtrot
Robbie needs to be much smoother with his rise and fall, and needs to track his leg action better – also less stomping would be ideal.
Thursday’s training starts to look a little softer but still a lot of work to do. The kick action (with Ola kicking towards Robbie) looks pretty bad at the moment if I’m honest.
Should be an ok Foxtrot though, Robbie will be safe for a week at least.
Edwina Currie & Vincent Simone – Foxtrot
Nice arm extensions developing but does need to be aware of her free hand at all times.
There’s a large gap between them during training and they really need to try and keep the body contact during hold.
Final video above looks a lot better but it will come down to popularity and I’m not sure how hers is.
Alex Jones & James Jordan – Foxtrot
Alex looks a little uncomfortable in hold at the moment, she does need to give herself a bit more space in the frame.
A common problem for the ladies is the arms getting tired and then ‘hanging’ on the guy, let’s hope James’ workout routine for her starts to pay off.
Needs to make sure she doesn’t lift the foot off the ground like she does at around 10 seconds on the video. I still think Alex has a long way to go but should survive tonight.
Jason Donovan & Kristina Rihanoff – Foxtrot
Well after his great start to the weekend it’s good to see a wonderful Foxtrot developing – just keep the bum in Jason when you step back!
Thursday’s training video shows Jason is still struggling with keeping his bum in.
Looking very good in the above video though, could keep his position at the top if he keeps this up.
Dan Lobb & Katya Virshilas – Salsa
I think the trainers in their first training video are seriously hampering his movement – try to train in more appropriate gear Dan, it’ll help tremendously.
I’m not sold on lifts in the Salsa, especially this early in the series, and I’m worried that the routine may be a little too complex for Dan at the moment – he’d look better spending more time in hold.
All a bit too big and Dan looks a little messy if I’m honest.
Chelsee Healey & Pasha Kovalev – Salsa
Chelsee straight away on Wednesday showing how great her hip action is, this could be special.
The Thursday training doesn’t really show us too much, though you can start to see some nice sharp turns developing.
Friday’s preview is looking really good, still a few bits that need tidying up, and I’m assuming she’s supposed to do something different with her legs during the spin lift. Should be another good week for Chelsee though, but I can’t understand why they picked such a slow clip for the video above?!
Audley Harrison & Natalie Lowe – Salsa
Bit concerned from the Wednesday training video that it seems a little bit pop dance rather than salsa dance.
A very nice hip action but Audley needs to ensure he keeps them moving all the time, not just when he’s standing still.
Routine seems to have a good turn of speed, but how much of that is just Natalie we will have to wait and see.
Anita Dobson & Robin Windsor – Salsa
Not seeing much in the hip department, another routine that initially seems a bit too pop dancey!
I feel that Anita is going to need to loosen up her body a bit otherwise she may just be a ballroom bunny. For me the routine just feels a little slow and not quite dynamic enough, but they could just be marking it out in rehearsals.
Rory Bremner & Erin Boag – Salsa
Rory is going to need to watch his free arm and his shoulders, as Ian says it just seems a bit too jerky.
Looking better on Thursdays training video but still needs to work more on keeping his shoulders down.
Sections where they’re in hold do look good though so let’s hope the majority of the routine is in hold.
Russell Grant & Flavia Cacace – Salsa
After their training video last week, which left me very worried, then their excellently entertaining Cha Cha I think Russell is one you just have to wait for the performance from.
I’m seeing a feather boa, could be risky given Nancy’s problems last week, but Russell brings more camp than I thought possible in a Salsa.
Harry Judd & Aliona Vilani – Foxtrot
Harry needs to make sure he doesn’t allow his elbows to go behind his shoulders when in hold and also needs to stretch away from her to give them both space.
Other than that he’s looking quite good but I prefer my Foxtrots to more swing music than pop music.
Holly Valence & Artem Chigvintsev – Salsa
Holly really needs to work on keeping her eyes up. They haven’t really shown a lot of her training but she needs to ensure that her arms are accentuating the movements of her body, not replacing them.
Nancy Dell’Olio & Anton Du Beke – Salsa
Only one thing’s worse than the stomping around the floor, and that’s the waddle in her Cucaracha, seriously Nancy would be better off not moving her hips than doing that!
Her movement is far too deliberate, I would have expected her to be able to move a lot more naturally than that.
Nancy is in very great danger of being the first home, especially after last week’s fiasco. Video footage above shows improvement in her Cucaracha hips, but still far too deliberate in her Mambo section.
For me I’d say that Nancy and Edwina could both be in trouble this week, I think Russell is too much entertainment to go out in the first few weeks. There is still a lot of work required from quite a few of the celebrities though.