So it is all over and Louis and Flavia won at the end of a show that seemed interminable and which went on far too long. If I had seen one more Recap I think I would have put my foot through my television screen. If Tess had asked once more 'Would you like to win' (surely the most stupid question ever) the remnants of my TV would have been hurled into my rose bed. And if Bruce had said 'Look at that look at that' one more time I think I might have eaten my entire tin of Christmas Kit-Kats. Not that that would have been a bad thing mind you....
Strictly has been one of the most successful shows the BBC has ever produced though apparently when the idea was put forward at a meeting of the Brightest and the Best at the BBC, they turned it down thinking it wouldn't work proving, once again, that the BBC know nothing about anything. I have watched since Episode 1 of Series 1 and have never missed a week. A bit tragic I know to admit that but there you go. The list of stars appearing on it is massive and though at first they had difficulty in getting hold of a 'sleb' now they are queuing up.
Note: Lesley Garrett was in the first serie which proves my point that they had to take what they could get at first as we all know the Diva from Doncaster would turn up at the opening of an envelope let alone a prime time TV show.
This series has been an excellent one. A good mixture of 'slebs' most of whom I know which came as a surprise (Len Goodman said the same) and they all seemed to gel well. Usually there are rumours of divisions and rivalry between the dancers and their partners but this time none have emerged and they all genuinely seem to like each other and all supportive and sad in equal amounts. Last year with Edwina Currie and the ghastly Nancy Delololoio in the contest hardly surprising it was Louis Vuitton at dawn.
So what to say about last night? Kimberley and Pasha should have won but as soon as Louis appeared stripped to the waist and flashing his pecs I knew that was that. The final was so close that it needed something drastic to make the difference and Flavia very cleverly decided to use what she had and who can blame her? Louis is elegant and lithe and has turned into a really talented dancer, but I found the use of his gymnastic tricks and the stripping off cheap and tacky. He has come across in the series as a really sweet guy, a tad laid back at times, but never underestimate an Olympian who wants to win and he knew what he had to do to get the trophy.
Always sad when Strictly finishes as it does rather take over Saturday nights and I love just settling down each week to watch secure in the knowledge that I am going to have an enjoyable hour or two. However, I do feel they need to have a rethink about the show now that it is ten years old and here are my suggestions, for what they are worth:
Tess - replace. End of
Bruce - replace. I have always loved Brucie and think he is a consummate professional and I gather the BBC are petrified he will announce his retirement from the show but it is clear that it is now time to depart. The script he is lumbered with is awful, unfunny and laboured and it is only when he departs from it or ad libs that he is genuinely funny. His cries of Look Look each time there is a standing ovation are tedious and this year, as last, he got really bad tempered when all the other dancers came onto the floor and was yelling Back off Back off at them so he could present the trophy. Lots of adverse comments about this. Bruce is in his eighties and is a fantastic entertainer but please Bruce either leave now or make it clear that the next series will be your last and go out with a bang.
The Judges - after the disastrous first week when all Darcy could say was 'yah' she turned into a wonderful addition to the show. When interviewed she said she had no idea she used that word so often and was mortified when she saw the playback of the first show. Since then the 'yahs' have vanished and the comments were spot on and backed up by years of knowledge, such a relief after Alesha that woz wicked Dixon. Her infatuation with Louis was slightly embarrassing however....
Len - twinkly eyed Len but I have the feeling that underneath that Lovable Cockney exterior lurks something much darker and not sure I would want to see him in a temper. Can get a little wearing with his Too much messing Abaht attitude and his blatant preference for a couple in each series needs to be toned down because Len in case you had not noticed, They Never Win because the public don't like favouritism and will turf them out at the first opportunity.
Craig - still, in my opinion, the best judge. He does not seem to ever have a favourite as he will savage anybody. However, in this series I felt he had a downer on Nicky Byrne and undermarked him consistently.
Bruno - what can one say? He provides humour and lightheartedness and appears totally manic most of the time but when he speaks quietly and positively about the routines he is always interesting.
Dance off - gives far too much power to the judges. Denise van Outen could have appeared in the dance off every week this year and she would have been saved because of the favouritism. Lisa Riley said that as soon as she was in the dance off she knew she would go. She admitted the others were better dancers than her so was not complaining, but as she was up against DVO her fate was sealed. I was rather hoping that week that she was voted through and the judges were left with the dilemma of chosing between DVO and, let's say, Kimberley and Pasha. That would have been a dilemma worth seeing. I understand the reason for the dance off but feel it should stop in the week before the semi finals.
Claudia Winkleman - acutely annoying, again my personal opinion only but this awful childish gallop she gives onto the floor when announced on the results show, is really tedious and embarrassing. Said it before and say it again, this winsome girlishness ill becomes a mature woman. Also get your fringe cut.
Results show - filmed on Saturday, shown on Sunday, we know it, they know it and it is pathetic and patronising. Put the results back to Saturday night. The results can be discovered on Saturday night anyway on certain forums so it is a total waste of time.
Joke contestant - yes there is one every year. This year Lisa Riley was meant to fill the chosen spot but she confounded everyone with her evident joy at being there, her personality and her dancing ability. There is a pattern to Strictly and the public will stick with the joke contestant for several weeks and then when there is danger that a good dancer will be eliminated because of their presence, they they go. There is never any chance that they will reach the final but I was delighted to see Lisa get as far as she did.
So my final plea is that the BBC cease to hunt for the next John Sargant or Ann Widdicombe and stop setting up a contestant for humiliation and to be the butt of everyone's jokes. That is what they do it for, to hoik up the ratings and to hell with whatever happens. One would hope that recent events at the BBC and elsewhere will make them stop and think that perhaps putting somebody up to be poked fun at is not such a good idea. It is demeaning and unpleasant and trust that somebody at the Beeb will think again. Yeh right....
OK and just to make it totally clear in case you think that I have nothing but moans for SCD, I love this show and hope it goes on for many years yet. Glitter, fake tan, camp and gorgeous -Long May it Continue.