You know Christmas is almost here because we are now in the countdown to the final of Strictly so time for me to update you on my thoughts on same.
I adore Brucie, always have done, but am beginning to feel it is time he went. He is getting more and more doddery and cannot read the autocue properly and is hamstrung by the ghastly script. When he ad libs he is so much better. Difficult to imagine Strictly without him but we are getting there. Tess - well what can one say about somebody so vacuous and banal. Nothing. So I won't. Claudia on the Results show - please darling get your fringe cut and stop blinking through it as if you were a 15 year old Cilla Black. Also wear a decent dress now and then (ditto Tess - her monstrosity tonight - words fail); Memo: Claudia standing with your toes turned in and adopting an air of faux winsomeness does not sit well on a woman of forty or so.
Right over to the dancers.
Louis and Flav - he may be an Olympian, have superb muscles and a wonderful physique but he has the charisma and charm of a newt. Flavia, who must have felt she had hit pay dirt when she was given him, is getting more and more exasperated by the week. His mum turns up at rehearsals with baked beans for him which must make afternoon rehearsals fun.
Michael and Natalie - love him. Biased because I remember every single bat and ball of the 2005 Ashes series when he captained the England team, but I do think he has a very engaging personality, works hard, is endearing and has turned into a surprising dancer. His American Smooth last week at Wembley was pure show biz. He seems quite taken with his partner....
Dani and Vinthent- if I hear one more reference to them being small, Smurfs or Munchkins I shall scream. Tess, in particular, adopts a teeth grating condescension when she speaks to Dani as if she were talking to a 12 year old and surprised Dani hasn't socked her by now. Vinthent is so in love with himself everything goes over his head anyway. Great pairing though and great dancing.
Lisa and Robin - Rumba this week did not suit her at all though the got pretty good marks from the judges as I think they appreciated that she had done her best and they rather like her. So do I and am totally glad she got through.
James and Denise - well, these two charmless people really irritate. I have said it before and will say it again that if she wins it will be totally unfair. This Oh I am really really nervous and I really really don't know how to dance pleading from Miss VO is a pain. She gets through week after week though I have yet to discover anybody in my wide circle of Strictly aficionados who like her or who admit to voting for her. She and James really are excellent together and turn in beautiful routines but hardly a surprise. And if she makes a phone gesture again to the camera when being interviewed by Tess I shall not be responsible for my actions.
Kimberley and Pasha - I like this pairing very much and find them both warm personalities with great charm and this comes across. They get on well, like each other and are having fun and I hope she gets through to the final.
The Irish boy band singer whose name I can never remember as they all look the same to me and the new professional lady this year whose name has also escaped me. It's late and I cannot be bothered to look them up. I have no feelings about this pair at all and usually make a cup of tea while they are on.
Victoria and Brendan - don't know who looked more relieved tonight when they were voted off, V or B. Clear they have zilch chemistry, don't like each other and can't wait to see the back of each other. She barely tried this week and has the fluidity and natural grace of a broomstick. And the constant tear welling up got a bit tedioso after a while and making that heart shape with her fingers, boooooooring. The audience cheering tonight I swear was because they were glad to see the back of her and not because they were happy Michael was still there. Should be interesting to see their interview on It takes Two tomorrow night, should rank alongside the one that Brendan did with Lulu last year when she talked for five minutes without stopping, did not look at her partner once and failed to thank him. Laden with charm and modesty that woman.
So who will win? Pretty sure that the judges would like to see Denise and James raise the glitterball at the end of the series, their preference is pretty clear and, at the moment, they have the power of veto in the dance off so even if she fell flat on her face and ended up in the dance off, they would save her. They did that for Brian and Ali a few years ago until the public got pissed off and managed to boot them out first opportunity they had. I think the dance off ceases at the semi-final so it is up to the public then totally to choose who they want to go through and am hoping that Denise who has never danced on stage oh Chicago for a year doesn't count van Outen will then fox trot off into the distance. Fingers crossed.
You can tell I am loving it can't you 'cos I am.