Strictly Come Dancing 2011 FINAL

So the last few months have been fairly hectic for us, apologies therefore that I’ve not been blogging about the last few weeks.

Right back at the launch show I predicted that Harry & Chelsee could both do really well, but never gave a thought to Jason – two out of three isn’t bad though! Continue reading

Strictly Come Dancing week 5 – Halloween Special

Apologies for not blogging on last week’s action, but unfortunately we just couldn’t get the time.

Tonight is the Strictly Halloween Special, and I can already predict that the scariest thing is going to be Nancy!

First up is Russell Grant & Flavia Cacace with their Samba Continue reading

Harry Judd & Aliona Vilani – Foxtrot

Hands are a little splayed (as Craig would put it) which is a shame.  Needs to keep his head up and really stretch out in his frame but there’s a great connection between them both…Emma wonders if they’re both single…

A good performance let down by his frame – really work on stretching away from her Harry and you could be an excellent dancer.

A 7 from me.

Craig: 6 “You can dance, but Aliona you’ve got to sort his posture out”
Len: 6 “There was nothing great about it, but there was nothing terrible…chin is always down, lift up, stretch up”
Alesha: 8 “I think you move brilliantly…one of the best dancers in this competition…use the criticism”
Bruno: 7 “Something very, very special about Harry…strong, focused…gonna be fantastic”

Total Score: 27

Harry Judd & Aliona Vilani – Cha Cha Cha

Harry’s the only celebrity competitor with prior Strictly experience, but Paso is completely different from Cha Cha so I don’t think it’s a massive advantage.

I’m liking this Argentine Tango inspired start, Harry’s definitely looking good and it’s a massive improvement over any of Friday’s Cha Cha’s.

A bit too much ‘arm on the waistcoat’ positioning, obviously he wasn’t confident having his arms out, or Aliona decided he really didn’t look good doing it.

Harry suffers from the same ailment as the girls from last night, spending a bit too much time looking at the floor.  Hips are a little rigid but leg placement and sharpness is good, I can see why the bookies have Harry down as the favourite.

A very good Cha Cha from Harry.  I’d like to see a bit more from his arms and hips so not quite an 8 for me but definitely a 7.

Craig: 6 “For me too placed, too clean, too straight…lacked any real forward and back hip action”
Len: 7 “Little bit mechanical but I’ll tell you what…good you are”
Alesha: 8 “I love how focused you were…working the sexy, seductive look…Latin really suits you”
Bruno: 7 “Very fit, tight, muscular & masculine performance…could be a little bit more sinuous”

Total Score: 28

A much more realistic 8 this time Alesha

Strictly Come Dancing 2011 – Friday 30th September

So Strictly 2011 started last night, Bruce’s jokes return, some questionable outfits on show (not quite sure what they’ve put Robbie Savage in for example) and hopefully a whole new audience will be looking to learn to dance…you know where to find us!

From watching the launch show I made the following predictions of couples that could do well:

Harry & Aliona (though how much help his previous training will be is debatable)

Chelsee & Pasha (I predict they’ll do really well)

Lulu & Brendan (both feisty)

Rory & Erin (though not all the way I fear)

Holly & Artem (could definitely give Kara food for thought)

 The training videos so far seemed to have supported that but we’ll see how they all perform this weekend.

There are no couples going home this week, but the scores will be carried forward to next week too.

Enough of an intro, let’s get on with the dancing.  First up is Holly Valence & Artem Chigvintsev (on a side note it was originally supposed to be Alex Jones & James Jordan dancing tonight – no official word on why the switch was made and whether they’re dancing tonight or not!)

Strictly Training Video – Harry Judd & Aliona Vilani

Monday’s training diary features Harry Judd & Aliona Vilani and the Cha Cha Cha.  There has been some controversy recently with The Daily Star suggesting that this year’s Strictly was fixed for Harry to win.  Whilst I admit that a bit of previous training will definitely help, the Paso Doble is unlike any of the dances they will be covering in the early weeks.  Also, no offence Harry, but it wasn’t the greatest Paso Doble I’ve ever seen – but then what can be expected from the much shorter training schedule there would of been for Children in Need.

Every dance has it’s own variations and peculiarities that make it very difficult to have a ‘one size fits all’ mentality in the technique department. To be honest Harry is more likely to be kept in by McFly fans than by any secret BBC plot, and if he isn’t well that’s just the way Strictly works.

Anyway, on to analysing the dance!

There are definitely some elements that are already looking sharp (but given that it’s the week of the competition I would hope it was starting to come together by now).  He does need to work on the free arm though and try and make it a bit more natural in its movement.

Harry is looking good so far, but there’s still work to do there.

Strictly Come Dancing 2011 Launch Show

So it’s been a while (9 months surprisingly!) but we’re back with a new series of Strictly, and thus I start blogging again – there go my Saturday nights!
The celebrity lineup this year is as follows:
Alex Jones
Anita Dobson
Audley Harrison
Chelsee Healey
Dan Lobb
Edwina Currie
Harry Judd
Holly Valence
Jason Donovan
Lulu
Nancy Dell’Olio
Robbie Savage
Rory Bremner
Russell Grant

Quite an interesting line up, no obvious ducks from the outset (a la Widdy…though Russell and Audley may struggle).

I’m looking forward to seeing what Lulu and Nancy can do, and Harry has prior experience (dancing with Ola) in Children in Need (see below) so should have a head start…will he be paired with Ola again though?

All in all it looks like a strong lineup though and we only have 3 weeks until the launch (Friday 30th September if you’re interested).

Before that though we have the subject of who they’re going to be paired with, on with the launch show!

Ah the obligatory opening, flashing lights, the first pro dance for 2011 and our first look at new boy Pasha Kovalev.  Surprisingly they don’t feature Pasha much in the opening, though he already looks a lot more promising than Jared did in his first performance.  Also Natalie will have to work on her balance, can’t afford to fall down the stairs and injure yourself in the very first show Natalie!

Looking forward to seeing “Tolly” Parton, is that a tribute act Tess?!

Now we get to see the celebs for the first time in their sequins…let’s see who can clap in time with the music – always an early indicator!

Russell most definitely is the odd one out in this line up, not the best shimmy I’ve ever seen, but everyone else does appear to be able to clap in time, bodes well.

Admittedly the BBC kindly sent me the pairings last night so I already know who’s partnered with who, but that was yesterday and I’ve forgotten it all overnight!

I’ve never watched Daybreak but Dan seems like a laugh, but personally I’m not sure on the hair Robbie.

First pairing then, Robbie Savage & Ola Jordan – so definitely not paired with Harry then.  As Emma puts it they have the same dress, tan and hair colour.

Second up is Dan Lobb & Katya Virshilas.

Harry Judd then gets paired with Aliona Vilani…the only ones still holding hands by Tess’ interview.

So it’s time to meet Pasha Kovalev, and a routine with all the girls, he looks a little peaky and almost doesn’t make his leap into the girls arms but definitely bags more charisma than Jared brought to the show last year – could be a good addition to the pro lineup.

Anita Dobson gets Robin Windsor and Emma’s particularly interested in being able to read Brian May’s lips, anyone got any ideas?

Chelsee Healey is “single and ready to mingle”, let’s hope Pasha Kovalev is too if that’s what’s on her mind!

Lulu is carried away with Brendan Cole, literally!

Now it’s time to see all the celebs dancing together for the first time…car crash or car wash?!

Before we do though it’s time for Dolly “Tolly” Parton…I’m afraid it doesn’t beat us being there live for Take That last year, front row and only about 4m away from them, let’s hope we get tickets again this year (hint, hint BBC).

Let’s find out who Jason “arms could be an issue” Donovan manages to catch…Kristina Rihanoff is the answer.

Rory Bremner hopes to make an impression (sorry, like Brucie I couldn’t help myself) with Erin Boag.

I don’t think it’s difficult to work out who’s going to be partnered with who here, unless they’ve decided not to pair them based on height.

Audley Harrison unsurprisingly gets Natalie Lowe, Russell Grant gets left with Flavia Cacace, or is that the other way around?!

Alex Jones, who Matt Baker thought would go well with James Jordan, ends up with James Jordan.

Edwina rushes the gun, thinking she’s got Artem Chigvintsev, instead he’s paired with Holly Valence and Brucie quips “If you feel two holes burning in the back of your head, it’s Kara Tointon’s eyes.  So be careful! Be very, very careful.”  Holly replies: “we’re professionals!” Close to the knuckle there Bruce.

Again based on height it’s unsurprising that Nancy Dell’Olio is with Anton Du Beke, whilst Edwina Currie is with Vincent Simone.

Asked who their outside tips are

Bruno says:

“Ah, it’s got to be Russell Grant! I’m telling you, he’s got the potential of taking off like the spinning tardis and taking us all into a new dimension of dance, or dementia, it’s up to you.  But it’s going to be entertaining regardless.”

Craig [on his hit list] says:

“Russell and Flavia, and actually, Lulu and Brendan – I don’t know, probably not on the dance floor, but I think backstage we might see some tiaras and tantrums.”
The group dance is up now, who stands out and who should sit down?
Chelsee looking sassy, Audley looking clumsy, Lulu has attitude but Russell doesn’t actually look too bad.
Robbie and Anita a bit disappointing also Nancy and Edwina already looked puffed out.
Not sure what happens between Nancy and Jason, but that was a bit aggressive Jason.
Dan looks uncomfortable but Holly should do well but I don’t really see much from Rory or Alex (though Rory does have quite a nice wiggle it seems).
All in all there’s a few weak ones (as is always the case) but my tips for those to do well are:
Harry & Aliona (though how much help his previous training will be is debatable)
Chelsee & Pasha (I predict they’ll do really well)
Lulu & Brendan (both feisty)
Rory & Erin (though not all the way I fear)
Holly & Artem (could definitely give Kara food for thought)

The rest could include some dark horses such as Alex Jones or Robbie Savage but we’ll just have to wait the three weeks and see.

As usual I’m looking forward to the show starting (not least of all for the increased interest in dancing in general) but do you agree with my tips or is there someone you think I’ve neglected?
Harry Judd dancing on Children in Need