Strictly Come Dancing 2011. Finally, some dancing.

Having now watched my second and third episodes of Strictly, I think I know how it goes now. It’s just a shame that Bruce doesn’t.

It’s a show about dancing.

One would assume that he was over this by now. He’s not. He insists on making eyebrow raising, rib jabbing jokes about the blokes that are taking part in the show at every opportunity he gets and frankly it’s a bit sad. Surely a show that revels in its campness like this one should maybe be looking for another host? At the very least, rein the current one in a bit. Bruce’s jokes fall into three categories. Sexist, homophobic or just plain terrible, but the first two can fall into the third category with ease.

It seems my assumptions about the judges are true too. Craig seems to be nasty but not pantomime nasty. Just horrible. He seems to think it’s his job to metaphorically piss on everyone’s ciggies whilst Len gives him the sideye. Alesha tries to say something nice like a kid desperately trying to stop mummy and daddy divorcing whilst Bruno is so far on his own planet he’s one of the Jetsons. I’m yet to find a use for Tess. She just stands at the top of the stairs and asks people how they’re feeling whilst doing some rudimentary adding up.

But this is about the dancing. Each of the couples danced this weekend and although there’s nobody going home, their scores will count for next week. Now, having never watched this programme before this series I wasn’t sure if I would be able to critique the dancing. How wrong I was…

Holly and Artem

Holly makes a big meal of being first. The producers make a big meal of her one single. She says it’s easy to look good in a music video with ten sweaty dancers behind her. We see a bit of them training and Holly seems quite perturbed by the fact that Artem doesn’t like giving out compliments. She dances her Cha Cha Cha well enough but I’m distracted by the fact that she’s counting in her head so loud her lips are moving. Some of it is very inelegant and by the end I’m quite frankly more interested in Artem’s chest. The judges love it, apart from Craig but I’m quickly learning that that is usual from him. They score 28.

Dan and Katya

Dan is doing Strictly for the men who stand at the side of the dancefloor. Yep, they are definitely the target audience of this show. Dan does a ‘wide eyed innocent’ routine during his segment that I’m sure he’s decided is his persona for the series and it’s going to tire very quickly. His Waltz appears to be based on a Pepe Le Pew cartoon and Dan dances like the world’s most uncomfortable man, mainly because he is. He’s obviously been told to keep his head up so he sticks it out like a turtle that’s just farted. The highlight of the judging was Bruno telling him he was miserable “like Adrian Chiles”. They score 24.

Lulu and Brendan

I know this show doesn’t have its roots too firmly in reality but do we have to keep referring to Lulu as a legend? Lulu thinks dancing is scary because it’s unknown territory. I know one thing that’s scary – Lulu with her makeup sweated off. Lulu’s Cha Cha Cha is well acted but it feels a bit like Brendan is throwing her around the dancefloor. Even Alesha can’t say anything good about it so thanks her for getting the party started. They score 17 but I think Brendan should lose a couple of points for the tightness of his trousers.

Audley and Natalie

Audley is at great pains to remind us that he’s not had the same amount of time to rehearse as the others and his size seventeen feet. He claims to be the biggest in the competition. I hope he’s referring to his stature. When dancing his Waltz, Audley grimaces until he remembers to smile. He has to take tiny steps to keep up with Natalie. The overall impression given by this performance is that thing on the Generation Game where people had to dance with dummies. The judges play competitive boxing puns until they come up with the final score of 20.

Robbie and Ola

Robbie is worried about not having any team mates to back him up. He plays up to his bad boy image by doing his Cha Cha Cha in an honest to goodness hoodie. He mainly stands in the same place waving his arms like he needs assistance whilst Ola dances around him. The judges notice this too so they only score 19.

Anita and Robin

We have a hilarious segment about how Anita and her husband had matching hair in the Eighties. How topical. Robin insists on sticking an ‘L’ plate on her at rehearsals, which I’m sure does wonders for her self esteem. The Eighties theme continues by her declaring that she “Just wants to dance” and dance she does. She’s easily the most comfortable on the dancefloor when doing her Waltz. They score a competitive 28.

Russell and Flavia

Russell declares himself the high priest of camp and he doesn’t disappoint. He seems really sweet in rehearsals too. He emerges from a gigantic clamshell wearing glitter eyeshadow and although he doesn’t move much, when he does, it’s sublime. He’s passionate, fun and energetic. The judges make lots of jokes about him coming out of his shell. They score 21.

Harry and Aliona

Brucie adds ‘Xenophobic’ to his list of joke types by saying McFly sounds like it should be a budget Scottish airline. Harry tells us about his drummingface which I imagine is a lot like his sexface. Aliona makes him drum to get the rhythm. It works. They’re a true partnership and Harry looks like a professional Cha Cha Cha-er to my amateur eyes. Craig thinks it’s a bit too technical and Len seems to genuinely get angry with him. It doesn’t matter because they’ve got 28 and I’ve got a ladycrush on Aliona.

Rory and Erin

Oh Rory. You really are as tiresome as you seem. Did you know that Rory does impressions? Rory does about fifteen of them in his two minute pre-dance segment. When he does actually dance his Waltz, he looks like he’s doing an impression of a dancer. He seems technically proficient but I can’t get past the fact that he’s doing his Tony Blair face throughout the whole thing. The judges agree that it’s good for the first week and they score 27.

Alex and James

Alex basically admits she’s in the competition because she wants to win the shiny. James and her seem to get on well despite the fact that they can’t understand each other. Maybe that’s why they get on. The camera seems more interested in Alex’s boobs than her actual dancing. I am too, mainly because I’m not sure how she’s keeping them in one place. Her Cha Cha Cha manages to pull the trick of being very technical yet messy at the same time. Craig gives her a hard time and James comes over all chivalrous and reminds Craig that it’s the first week. They score 22, mainly because the judges don’t want to look too nasty.

Chelsee and Pasha

Chelsee has ridiculous boobs and a ridiculous name. She makes a lot of being the baby of the family and the baby of the show. She’s worried she’s not elegant enough for a Waltz. She manages to pull off the elegance but pulls a face like I make when I’m required to go on any fairground round that spins every time she does a turn. The judges seem to like it though and they score 27.

Edwina and Vincent

Edwina hasn’t danced since she was young and in the Cavern in Liverpool. Vincent makes himself my enemy by declaring himself the reason we pay our license fee and demanding that Edwina make love to the camera. She does. It’s frightening. She’s wearing the type of necklace that is usually used to disguise the neck join in a fat suit and flashes her knickers at the end. I need therapy. They score 17.

Nancy and Anton

Nancy talks about how amazing she is in the third person so I really don’t want to give her that much attention. She does half the Waltz sitting down behind a fan then the other half trying to disentangle her feather boa from her shoes. Yawn. They score 12.

Jason and Kristina

Oh dreamy Jason. We are reminded by the clips of Jason from the Eighties that he really wasn’t that much of a dancer. He can’t keep his head up in rehearsals so Kristina makes him wear a neck brace. It works. This isn’t just the ten year old in me talking, but his Cha Cha Cha is actually brilliant. He’s natural, sexy and seems to do the steps properly in the right order. They are the runaway winners with 32 points.

So that’s my first Strictly weekend. I can now add dancing to the things that I can critique from my sofa and goodness knows I welcome any opportunity to be right without having to do anything.


Strictly Come Dancing is on BBC1 on Saturday at 6:05pm

You can follow Helen Cairns on Twitter here


About Helen Cairns
Trashy, Lazy, Scottish, Likely to be found dead under a pile of books and/or caramel Kit Kat wrappers. Good stuff - Moody music, crap telly, books that could never be described as literature, celebrity obsession.

6 Responses to Strictly Come Dancing 2011. Finally, some dancing.

  1. SequinPeacock says:

    Lulu must be a legend. I’ve seen her photo on a wall in Shepherd’s Bush Empire.
    This has almost convinced me to watch next week, if only to see Rory dancing with a Tony Blair face.

  2. fourstar says:

    I have a real soft spot for Holly Valance.

    Actually, it’s not soft any more.

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