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

Jason Donovan & Kristina Rihanoff – Foxtrot

Jason was top of the leader board last week, and the training midweek suggested he’ll still be there this week, let’s hope he lives up to it.

Not sure on the solo spin and a few picked up feet in his first feather step.  Needs to watch his shoulder line and the pivots are a little heavy.

I felt it looked better in training if I’m honest but a very good performance nonetheless. I felt he danced better last week but I’m still giving him a 7 this week.

Craig: 8 “Your head position needs attention, especially in the standing spin…classy, stylish, magnificent routine”
Len: 8 “Head could be a little bit to the left more…full of flair and personality…footwork mostly good”
Alesha: 9 “You are a real showman…in character even before the music started…seductive”
Bruno: 8 “So LA confidential…it’s great to see”

Total Score: 33

Jason Donovan & Kristina Rihanoff – Cha Cha Cha

I’ve often considered acquiring a neck brace to torture my students with, Jason’s performance tonight may make my mind up for me.

Russell may have performed ‘the campest Cha Cha Strictly’s ever seen’ but Jason wouldn’t be far behind after that start.  Some nice hip action though, but he does get out of step on his Natural Top.  His backward locks could be a bit softer but there’s a lot of energy there and a very good first dance.

I’m going to give him a 7.

Craig: 8 “Bonsa, beauty” and a few other Aussie phrases that I couldn’t quite understand!
Len: 8 “Best dance of the night”
Alesha: 8 “Fantastic”
Bruno: 8 “Jason Donovan is in Cha Cha Charge…now Strictly’s in business”

Total Score: 32

So top score of the weekend, don’t quite agree with it myself but Jason has definitely come out of the blocks flying.

Strictly Training Video – Jason Donovan & Kristina Rihanoff

Jason openly admitted on the launch show that the reason you see him singing mainly with a guitar is that he can’t dance. Kristina could have her work cut out here then.

As I mentioned in the launch show Jason will need to work more on his arm presentation, but he’s concentrating  more on getting the feet right first so I suppose I’ll let him off.   As with Edwina though he needs to make sure that he doesn’t over do his hips, the hip action should come from the footwork – don’t try and actually move the hips.

Kristina has an interesting way of counting the Cha Cha Cha (1, 2, 3, Cha Cha), I can see the benefit in some ways so maybe we’ll experiment next time we cover it.

There’s still a lot of work to do for Jason but I’ll reserve judgement until more training footage comes through.

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