Time for another Strictly update methinks. Not interested? Fine, I quite understand, go and have a cup of tea and do something useful, unlike me...
We are nearly at the semi-finals and we are told that only one person will go out next week as, for some reason unfathomable, it was announced that four couples would make the finals this year and not three. Wonder why? I believe that this Saturday is the final week the dreaded Dance Off takes place in which the two bottom couples have to dance again and the judges choose who to keep. It is here that you know full well who is going to go through because the judges do have their favourites, though they deny it, and you can predict the winners almost immediately.
OK so last week up comes my least favourite and charmless pair Denise van Outen (the one who claims she cannot dance) and James Jordan (simply cannot understand why he is still one of the show's pros quite frankly) who did a Dance Fusion of a charleston and a quickstep (at least I think it was these two dances). All very fast and furious, lots of kicks and flicks and bouncing around but all a tad boring. Judges gave it nines along the board and Denise was tearful as she had got her foot caught in her dress and ripped it and James got cross about it too. As Craig pointed out in the results show it was because she was kicking too high and that was that.
Danni and Vincent - getting confused as to who danced what after thinking about it, but they did a simply terrific routine, Charleston and quickstep again and were spot on, witty, delightful and performed with great precision and charm. Garnered two tens. Delight all round.
Nicky and new lady whose name still escapes me - Tango and Samba. Blimey what a killer combo and so it proved. I have always found him to be incredibly flat footed and was rather puzzled as to his progression thought there have been good weeks. Craig absolutely ripped into it and ended up giving it five which even I thought was a bit mean.
Lisa and Robin - I honestly think these two are getting through on sheer personality alone. Pretty sure Lisa knows this but if you have an aspect of your character that viewers love, well use it baby use it. Her technique is not precise and there are certain things she cannot do because of her size and we, and she understand this. Robin, her partner, has been marvellous at choreography and producing work that will suit her and the two of them seem to have tremendous fun and like each other (unlike a few other pairings this year). If she is in the bottom two next week I fear she will go. When the results were being announced she was shaking and almost in tears and the shriek she let out when she got through was loud enough to wake the dead.
A lot of indignation on the boards and forums that Nicky has gone and Lisa still in and I can perfectly understand the indignation but blame the BBC. They always put somebody in the line up each year which they want to be the 'comedy' act. Please don't think for one moment that they are being 'inclusive' in any way at all. I bet at the pre-show meetings when they were talking about 'slebs' they said 'Oh let's have Lisa on, she's fat and will be good for a laugh'. You think I am wrong? Bet I'm not. Trouble is the BBC makes the arrogant assumption that we will go along with it and laugh at the Chosen One. Well, we don't we like them, we admire their chutzpah (well I do draw the line at Widdy) and if, like Lisa, they can dance, then we vote for them and, sadly, good dancers go out. But the BBC will never learn, they don't want to, it's good for ratings.
Kimberley and Pasha - these two are my favourites. Rather regarded as also rans by the judges who are desperate for Denise to win, and suddenly on Saturday WOW out they came with the most stunning routine, a combination of the tango and the samba and they were incredible. When it came to Craig's turn to judge them all he said was 'Now that's Dancing' and for the first time in the series whisked out his Ten Paddle much to the open mouthed astonishment of Darcy. Well deserved. Perfect score of 40.
Louis and Flavia - He has finally woken up to the fact that his Too Cool for School attitude was holding him back and has finally thrown himself into the routines. Beautifully danced, very involved and some of his slow movements really gorgeous but but but....
A really great show on Saturday night, helped by copious use of my mute button whenever Bruce is on or Tess spouting inanities and shouting down the microphone. She had a half way decent dress on this week as well which is a change. On the Sunday Results show which we all know is recorded on Saturday night (quick shift around of the audience, Darcy changes her dress etc etc) she had a red creation on which wasn't bad either though Claudia looked her usual gormless self. She is clearly an intelligent woman, I have seen and heard her on other TV and radio programmes so I simply cannot understand why she gallops onto the set like a little girl at nursery school, stands with her toes turned in and peers through her fringe as if she was a rather daft teenager. Also the Dusty Springfield look getting a bit worn, on Sunday thought she was rehearsing for the Rocky Horror Show.
As I said the judges have their clear favourites, with the exception of Craig who takes no prisoners at all though he did seem to have a downer on Nicky for most of the series. Darcy drools over Louis in a jejeune manner which is rather unbecoming, Bruno leaps around like a demented peahen and he, Len and Darcy are absolutely determined that both Louis and Denise make it to the final. This week Denise and James ended up in the dance off and James launched into a tirade of Oh it's not fair Denise is not a professional dancer (yeh right), she works harder than anybody else, she hasn't seen her little girl for weeks by which stage I was shrieking at him to stop. How to alienate the public in one easy lesson Mr Jordan. He need not have worried as it was Nicky and the nameless lady were the other couple in the dance off and they could have danced like Fred and Ginger and would still have been booted out. The result was never in doubt but I wonder what would have happened if one of the other couples had been with Denise and James - then the judges would have been in a pickle. Just like Len's walnuts....
The final is decided by audience alone and I think, though I could be wrong, that that is when Miss DVO will come to the end of the road. Partnering her with James was a mistake. He has the charm and personality of a dead haddock and I believe the only reason he is still on the show is because of his wife Ola. I would love to see the back of him and the return of the wonderful Ian Waite who was dropped from the show, along with Matthew Cutler, a few years ago. No reason given at all. Loads of requests for his return but cannot see the BBC taking a blind bit of notice, they never do.
Rosemary and I have a tradition that we watch the finals of Strictly together and shriek and hurl abuse at the screen and generally have a fun evening. This year my turn to be the hostess and looking forward to it tremendously.
Oh and I am making a prediction as to next year's line up. I mentioned recently that Katherine Jenkin, the warbling Barbie, who turns up at everything even the opening of an envelope, told us all that she would 'NEVER appear on Strictly as she had been on Dancing with the Stars in the US and it wouldn't be fair'.
Don't forget this is the woman who went on Twitter telling us all that she was 'not having an affair with David Beckham'. As nobody had ever thought she was and were rather bemused by this (gather Victoria not too pleased) all a bit unneccessary but this lady is the most publicity seeking person I have ever seen and milks everything for what she can get out of it. So her word not exactly to be taken as gospel. I, therefore, expect that she will be in the list of slebs for 2013. Watch this space but hope I am wrong.
Oh heavens I do hope so.