Monday, 31 August 2009

Mexican Jackos, Fox's Top 15, Mikhail the Man, Strictly Pro Tour!

More than 12, 000 Mexicans beat the record (although still to be ratified) for the biggest group to dance the 'Thriller' routine, this weekend in downtown Mexico City, on what would have been Michael Jackson's 51st birthday.

The Fox network are broadcasting their Top 15 routines from So You Think You Can Dance on Wednesday, in the run up to the inaugural Autumn run - which I'm hoping will be broadcast on one of our channels over here ... but I'm not holding my breath! Youtube here I come! At least I seem able to view the US videos - unfortunately Canada don't want UKers to see theirs :(

A Master, still at work: Mikhail Baryshnikov.

Ten of the professional Strictly dancers will be touring parts of the UK and Dublin between April-July next year - not a lot of info to be had just yet - but the tour will be showcasing James and Ola, Matthew and Kristina, Flavia and Vincent, and Ian, Brian, Aliona and Natalie. It starts at the Brighton Centre on April 26th and takes in Birmingham Hippodrome, Dublin The 02 , Cardiff Millennium Centre, Leicester De Montfort Hall, Southampton Mayflower, Plymouth Pavillions, Edinburgh Playhouse, Liverpool Empire, Bristol Hippodrome, and finishes in Bournemouth on 17th July 2010. Best contact the venues direct!

Saturday, 29 August 2009

Showtime: Helio and Julianne Quickstep

How shocked was she!!!??? And how was she not knocked out - looks like he dropped her a bit harder than he should have!

Friday, 28 August 2009

Sky Not Missing a Trick!

Arlene Phillips and Davina McCall are both said to be involved with Sky's new dance show Just Dance, which will begin auditions in January, with live finals taking place in February.

Thursday, 27 August 2009

Strictly Contestant in Cheat Storm!!!! *Rolls eyes*

Oh, pur-lease - have you seen the video? After a couple of hours training with any choreographer, I could do everything Ricky Whittle is doing in that - except maybe the lift at the end. All it proves is that Ricky probably has the rhythm and energy for a half decent jive!

But as usual, let's all get hysterical about an actor - who probably attended stage school, same as most of the other actors and actresses who ever competed on Strictly - having prior experience. In cavorting about a stage to Footloose - *casts mind back 30 years and - oh, yes, there's me and my mates doing the same thing* Pathetic.

The first two contestants in Canada's SYTYCD have been eliminated, and there's the sad news that lengendary tap dancer Ernest Brown has died, aged 93.

In the world of Dancing on Ice, Melinda Messenger and Suzanne Shaw are said to be competing for the vacant judges position, whilst two Hollyoaks stars, Gemma Merna and Jennifer Metcalfe have been spotted training with Karen Barber. And there's a rumour on a blog that I've seen nowhere else, suggesting that celebrated former England goalie, Peter Shilton will be taking part in the next series!

Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Strictly Take Two

The lovely Camilla, reigning champion, drew the two groups for the first two weekends of the show (you can see her in action on the BBC website) here they are - with the adoptive names I've given them for ease of running commentaryanism:

Friday/Saturday 18th/19th September:

Chris and Ola - Chrola, no, not the colouring people ...
Ali and Brian - Alian
Ricky and Erin - I though Ecky, but kept thinking about black pudding, so they'll be Rickin.
Lynda and Darren - Darrynda
Jade and Ian - Ianade - a new isotonic sports drink ...
Joe and Kristina - Jostina
Rav and Aliona - Ravona, as in "My Ravona" ...
Martina and Matthew - Mattina

Friday 25th/Saturday 26th:

Zoe and James - Zojam, a more exotic strain of toejam.
Natalie and Vincent - Vinalie
Richard and Lilia - Liliard
Craig and Flavia - Cravia
Laila and Anton - Laiton, as in laiton anxiety about Anton getting a decent run ...
Phil and Katya - Phitya.
Ricky and Natalie - Ricalie
Jo and Brendan - Jodan, thank God there's no 'r' in Jo.

I'm dead chuffed about this change - I've always maintained the contestants should be given the chance to do both ballroom and latin before we decide, looks like someone listened!

Other dance news suggest that a newly trimmed Hannah Waterman will be taking part in the next series of Dancing on Ice - a 100% record in reality shows, I think - she won Just the Two of Us with Marti Pellow. She's married to Ricky Groves, don'tchaknow - so likely we'll be seeing her in the SCD audience or on the It Takes Two sofa at some point!

A former contestant in So You Think You Can Dance, Will Wingfield, has joined the cast of In The Heights, which looks fab, although the video on the link isn't playing properly for me - never fear, they have a youtube channel - I shall see what I can find for a Showtime moment! No, couldn't embed one so check out the link instead!

The Canadian SYTYCD is going to have all their Top 20 perform a tribute dance to Michael Jackson - I'l hope to grab that for a Showtime moment too - can't imagine it'll be anything less than awesome!

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Strictly Line Up - Live and Unleashed! WooHoo!

And it’s a pretty darn impressive line up of champion sports stars – Joe Calzaghe, undefeated boxing World Champion, paired with Kristina Rihanoff; Martina Hingis, Grand Slam Tennis champion and former world number one is with Mathew Cutler; Jade Johnson (who came close to winning the Sport Relief Strictly with Roger Black), the Commonwealth and European Silver Medallist has Ian Waite; Richard Dunwoody, the champion jockey dances with Lilia Kopylova – and Phil Tufnell, lol! Aw, bless, I love Phil and he did his bit for England! He’s teamed with new dancer Katya Virshilas.

As usual, the Beeb have managed to achieve a fine variation of something for everyone so we have actresses Zoe Lucker, dancing with James Jordan, fellow ex-footballer’s wife Laila Rouass, and Anton Du Beke *crosses fingers or Anton*, Lynda Bellingham with Darren Bennett; Ali Bastian and Brian Fortuna, while Natalie Cassidy pairs up with Vincent Simone.

The Actors: Ricky Groves is with Erin Boag, Ricky Whittle with another new dancer Natalie Lowe and Craig Kelly has Flavia Cacace.

Presenter Rav Wilding is paired with the final new dancer Aliona Vilani, whilst Chris Hollins with Ola Jordan. Finally, estranged wife of the Rolling Stone’s Ronnie Wood, Jo, has Brendan!

I’ve never known so many of the rumours to be true! And with changes to the format too – for the better for a change! The first two weeks there’ll be a Friday night show with eight couples performing a waltz or tango, then on the Saturday they’ll perform a cha cha or rumba – so we get the chance to see them perform both styles before deciding our favourite – and those less adept at one style or another aren’t on the backfoot straight away. The judges scores are combined, we vote, then the dance off is still between the bottom two as before. The only slight concern is in the event of a draw – the Beeb haven’t made it too clear how it’s decided who goes into the dance off, just that no-one is safe! You know what- I’m not even going to worry about it – it’s a fab line up and those first two weeks will be very close. Like I said: WooHoo! It’s Back!

Arlene still has a role to play, having apparently been offered a choreography role for group dances and pundit appearances on It Takes Two.

So You Think You Can Dance Canada have also announced their Top 20, who'll vye for the title of Canada's Favourite Dancer.

Monday, 24 August 2009

DWTS Pairings Confirmed; Len the Film Star!

The pairings for Dancing With The Stars 9 have been confirmed on the ABC website - they're all as previously reported - the link will take you through to the gallery of pro dancers for a bit of info about each. I just realised that Julianne Hough is missing - which is a real shame, as she's the only one I was vaguely familiar with, after seeing quite of few of her and Helio's routines, courtesy of a fellow dance fan on the SCD forum a couple of years ago (Hiya, charliesangel, if you happen to have stumbled across me here!) I shall have to revisit them for Showtime! I'm not sure if I'll be able to view the show in full for a commentary, rest assured though, if I can, I'll mess around with their names just as I will on SCD - Natalec, Kaarona, Chuanna and Debimak and Kellou are all I've got so far!

Our very own Uncle Len is going to be a film star, starring alongside the wonderful Virginia McKenna (Born Free, Carve Her Name With Pride) in the film Love/Loss, where he'll play a - wait for it - dance teacher, in a village dance club!

Sunday, 23 August 2009

Final Three Pairings for DWTS

So much for ABC reporting it tomorrow - the remaining partnerships for Dancing With The Stars are now public knowledge! Macy Gray has Jonathan Roberts, Kathy Ireland is with Tony Dovolani and Louie Vito has presumably stopped snowboarding long enough to get together with Chelsie Hightower!

How Strictly Come Dancing manage to keep theirs under wraps I don't know - don't believe all the rumours - none of them from last year turned out to be true! It's a lot of wishful thinking on the part of some people. My wish list, for example, includes Adrian Chiles (should be a good laugh and could be surprisingly nifty AND I'm sure Claudia made him agree to it during Comic Relief this year - he'd be brilliant with Lilia) and Fiona Bruce (always fantastic for the newsreaders during the Relief shows - perfect for Ian Waite) but my sports star wish list would take up the whole page; I'm guessing Kevin Pietersen won't want to risk aggravating his injury ... but IF we win the Ashes today ... or tomorrow ... (don't want to put the mockers on) any cricketer taking part will surely win!

Saturday, 22 August 2009

Strictly Line Up Announced on Tuesday!

The eagle eyed amongst you may have spotted the tweet from @bbcstrictly, telling us the Strictly line-up will be announced on Tuesday *whoop whoop* thank goodness, because I can barely contain myself! Whether it will include these latest celebs being touted - former Olympic champion Linford Christie, MP Anne Widdecombe, former cricketer, I'm a Celebrity Winner and One Show personage Phil Tufnell, actress Ali Bastian (the Bill, Hollyoaks?) and/or actor Ricky Whittle (Hollyoaks), your guess is as good as mine. Visit the Strictly website for a tantalising video, I saw what looked very like a jungle leaf - but that's be too obvious, wouldn't it? Oh, and of course, La Toya Jackson - is there any reality show she's not going to be on?

It seems that most of the pro partners for DWTS celebs have been leaked now - Aaron Carter is said to be with Karina Smirnoff, Mya with Dmitry Chaplin, Michael Irvin and Anna Demidova, Melissa Joan Hart and Mark Ballas, Joanna Krupa and Derek Hough, Chuck Liddell and Anna Trebunskaya, Mark Decascos and Lacey Schwimmer and Kelly Osbourne gets the one named after a beer, Louis Van Amstel.

So You Think You Can Dance producer Nigel Lythgoe says there'll be a couple of changes to improve Series 6, including an extra episode to introduce all the Top 20 finalists, a secondary competition during the results show - to decrease filler and increase the amount of dancing, plus he'll be looking for more celebrities to perform in a guest spot! And for the fitness fans, SYTYCD have caught on - the video is out now! Or soon.

Thursday, 20 August 2009

Showtime: Take The Lead - Antonio Banderas and Katya Virshilas

New Strictly site; new SYTYCD; new partners

The BBC have revamped their Strictly Come Dancing Website, pop along now to sign up for the message boards if you haven't already done so - but don't forget your tin hat when you go in ... it can be brilliant fun or the biggest wind-up of your life!

The new series of So You Can Think You Can Dance is on its way to American TV Screens, hopefully there'll be some coverage on one of our channels, although I shall at least be able to post the vids.

And according to various Twitter pages, some of the Dancing With The Stars contestants are already in training, whilst others haven't even met their partners yet - I'm guessing their message boards will be full of the ol' "Unfair Advantage" cries quite early on then!! In the meantime, it's been leaked that Tom De Lay has been partnered with Cheryl Burke, who has a fantastic record in the competition.

Wednesday, 19 August 2009

Move Like Jacko? Aaron's got his fingers crossed.

The BBC have apparently come up with a format for another reality dance show - this time to find a Michael Jackson move-a-like. Provisionally titled Move Like Jacko, (in a different report) they're hoping to entice another Jackson (LaToya, Janet or Jermaine) to be a judge and are looking to air in 2010. Now, I love dance shows - can't resist the lure of maybe seeing something outstanding - BUT I do think this is probably a bit too soon; maybe not airing it till next year will help with the slight uncomfortable feeling I have about it at the moment - what do you think?

Now the contestants have been unveiled, the race is on to leak the partnerships for Dancing With The Stars! So far 'they' reckon:

Debi Mazar - Maksim Chmerkovskiy
Donny Osmond - Kym Johnson
Ashley Hamilton - Edyta Sliwinska
Natalie Coughlin - Alec Mazo

The interesting fact there is Ashley and Edyta - apparently she partnered his dad, Gorgeous George, in season two - and he allegedly leaked the news!

And contestant Aaron Carter is hoping the gift of a jacket given him by Micahel Jackson will bring him good luck in the show.

And still more rumours ...

... although I'm sure it's too late by now for any more negotiation, if all the pros were meeting their partners the same time as Kristina - anyhoo, they're touting the one person I really would love to see take part - Schofe's ex daytime partner, Fern Britton, who did a fab job on the Comic Relief 'Singing in the Rain' routine. I can't believe they would let Jo Wood pair up with Brendan though, and then just take him away again!

And another ex-Eastender in the mix is Ricky Groves, who played mechanic Garry Whittle. The only thing we do know for sure is, there's bound to be an ex-Eastenders star or two!

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

The 'OXO' lady for Strictly?

Lynda Bellingham, 61, is said to have signed up for SCD - I loved that sitcom she did with James Bolam and Julia Sawalha - if only I could remember the title. Second Time Around? Second Chance? Second Thoughts? I think that was it, hang on, I'll Google *tum ti tum ti tum* yep, it was Second Thoughts - the over-riding image that comes to mind isn't Lynda though, it's that of Belinda Lang, as the snobby and bitchy ex-wife Liza Ferrari berating a would be mugger. Comic TV gold. That was a bit of a digression away from the point, wasn't it? You'd probably best get used to that ...

Monday, 17 August 2009

... and confirmation for DWTS!

The new cast list is revealed, although not with whom they're partnering, not that I could find, so will update as soon as.

Of those I've heard of we have the one, the only - Donny Osmond *whoop whoop* just regressing back to my childhood there, but will certainly be watching out for him! There's "media celebrity" Kelly Osbourne (ie. famous for being famous or rich or having famous parents) and singer Macy Gray. Melissa Joan Hart, probably best known to us as Sabrina, the Teenage Witch and ... and, well that's it for the ones I've heard of!

But thats the beauty of these shows - there's every possibility that Donny could make me cringe and I'll end up rooting for Tom De Lay, Republican politician (although, from what I've seen from American commenters, I can't see him staying that long!) Completing the line up, we have: Olympic swimming champion Natalie Coughlin; Ultimate Fighting Champion Chuck Liddell; Louie Vito, champion snowboarder; TV host, actor and Kung Fu champ Mark Dacascos and completing the sporting theme Michael Irvin, ESPN Radio host and former Dallas Cowboy.

From the entertainment sector: Singer/songwriter actress and record producer Mya; Aaron Carter (actor/singer); actor/comic/songwriter Ashley Hamilton; actress Debi Mazar; and finally, actress/models Joanna Krupa and Kathy Ireland.

More info on each contestant can be found on the official DWTS site, over there on the right somewhere, although where possible, I've tried to link to their own site here (although sometimes had to resort to Wikipedia!)

The run starts with a three night premiere event on 21st September.

Thick and fast ...

Yes, that's how the rumours are flying in - according to this report, not only is Rolling Stone Ronnie Wood's estranged wife Jo taking part in Strictly this year, so is Laila Rouass (Footballers Wives, Primeval) Rav Wilding (Crimewatch) and World Champion boxer, Joe Calzaghe!

Amy Winehouse will also be appearing - but as backing singer to niece, whilst there is now a tug-of-war between SCD and DWTS to sign LaToya!

We'll soon found out, the DWTS line-up is being released today - and the Strictly pro's were meeting their celebs today, according to Kristina's Twitter post!

Saturday, 15 August 2009

Dancing On Ice: It Takes Two!

Only, I'm sure they won't actually call it that - but ITV are giving Dancing on Ice a half hour magazine show on Friday nights during the run *Yippee* no, double yippee, because I'm sad and don't go out on Fridays anymore. Or Saturdays. Or ... anyway - Yippee! And they're also looking fo a new judge, Ruthie having slipped away very quietly - wasn't pushed, see.

Kele Baker, Argentinian Tango coach for Strictly Come Dancing for the past three years, is lending her expertise to a new show at Southwark Playhouse, a production of Sartre's No Way Out (No, not the Kevin Costner/Gene Hackman film). It's an interesting and informative article, especially where she sheds light on the difference in some of the performances we see on SCD, saying the actors (here) "bring the ability to colour the movement based on character and emotion ... sometimes, dancers are more focused on perfecting the technique.’ I think we saw that a lot last year, didn't we!

Friday, 14 August 2009

Showtime: Tom Chambers - Tap Dances With Drums!

I don't watch Holby City and had no idea who Tom was before last year's Strictly Come Dancing - then I saw this and can't tell you how much I was looking forward to seeing his Quickstep! So in honour of the fact that Strictly is nearly with us, here's the current champion doing his Fred Astaire bit!

Thursday, 13 August 2009

Cast of 'Doctors' for Strictly?

I think not, but judging by this article, I'd imagine the Strictly contestants must have similar issues - although they seem to have got off lightly compared to the DWTS lot!

And here's a different view of Burn the Floor which is much more positive than Alistair's in the previous post - just proves a point really - how subjective dancing as an art is!

And this is a video of SYTYCD winner Jeanine Mason on Ashton Kutcher's show - it's the complete piece with those pirouettes and a better quality than the one before. Stunning.

Arlene, Camilla, Latoya ... and Alistair.

Arlene is making herself useful by helping the Government initiate a drive to fitness via dancing - with Lisa Snowdon, Angela Rippon and Darren Bennett also on board (although I can't say Darren Bennet will be thrilled at being called an ex Strictly contestant - so I'm thinking they may mean Darren Gough?!)

Camilla is also doing her bit for charity, with a sponsored dance challenge in aid of Marie Curie Cancer Care, at Cardiff City Halls in November.

Latoya Jackson is said to be considering Dancing With The Stars - which is far bigger news now than it would have been a few months ago - having said that, I think she'd be a great contestant; do any of the Jacksons NOT possess that fantastic rhythm?

And this is a very interesting article from someone who appears to be completely against any form of dance that doesn't stick to the basic rules! There's room for everything, surely!

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

Strictly Saturdays!

Yep, it's back to just the Saturday night show folks! And it sounds like there won't even be a break, it's a straight 90 minute show including the results and dance off - so voting is going to be pretty limited. Personally, I was never fussed about the Sunday show and the spoilers etc, but it'll make my life a bit easier!

This did make me laugh - The Assembley Halls in Tunbridge Wells had to refund idiotic members of the public who assumed that any show with the word 'Strictly' in it was Strictly Come Dancing! The council said: "The classical musical and dance show Strictly Strauss, on at the theatre in February, received complaints from a small number of audience members who had been expecting Strictly Come Dancing." *Sniggers* What, did they think SCD couldn't get Darren or Mark and decided to just bring any old cricketer in?

This is a terrific article about So You Think You Can Dance and one that sums up pretty much how I feel - I'd like to think I'm one of the younger *ahem* blogging, tweeting personages - I hesitate to call myself a journalist - he mentions ...

Tuesday, 11 August 2009

Strictly rumours ...

I don't think they ever pan out to be true but it's being said that Ashes winning England cricklet captain Michael Vaughan is all set to take part this year - he's got a lot to live up to, with both Darren Gough and Mark Ramprakash having won the show previously - and actress Zoe Lucker is keen to kick start her career. You're not supposed to be so obvious Zoe - it's a new challenge or a dream you've had for years. Honestly, somebody have a word.

Sunday, 9 August 2009

Paula in demand!

The news that Paula Abdul has quit American Idol has rival dance shows Dancing with the Stars and So You Think You Can Dance both vying for her attention, with Nigel Lythgoe admitting they've wanted her since season one!

Friday, 7 August 2009

So You Think You Can Dance?

I thought I ought to tell you more about this, having witnessed some of the routines via a fellow blogger's blog - Trav's Thoughts - where he kindly gives a full rundown of the final. They are totally fab - and if the SCD contestants want to know how to emote during their performances, they won't go far wrong in checking these out. Although I don't think we'll see the SCD contestants being quite so emotive *ahem* if you get my drift!

There's a mix of ballroom (not strictly a waltz as we know it!) latin and what I'd describe as contemporary ballet, plus, my favourite - a hip hop routine to Neyo's Mad. Choreography is all - this is the show that rivals DWTS in the Emmy's in respect of gongs for the professionals.

If you scroll right to the bottom of Trav's post, check out the Brandon audition and see if you agree with me - Nigel Lythgoe and Frank Skinner are related, surely? And watch the Jeanine vid - it's not long but you have to see the pirouette!

From what I've gathered, the auditionees are whittled down to a final twenty, who perform solo and with each other in different pairs over the course of the show, choreographed by professionals, with the usual mix of judges and public vote. Cat Deeley presents the show - this was the fifth series and guess what - a new one starts soon! Along with DWTS and SCD and Oh! My! God! I would like to eat sometime ... so I'll paste my pick of the vids - Strictly alone will have a running commentary. This is the official website for more info, knock yourselves out!

Boogie for your Bones!

Ol' meanie Craig isn't as mean as he makes out (but we all knew that anyway). He's lending a helping hand (or more likely, foot) to raise awareness of Osteoporosis, the brittle bone disease.

For more info and to access an interview with Dr.Foster's (back from Gloucester, obviously) Health Home Page click here!

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

Hayley Holt not returning to Strictly?

The rumour had gone around, but this seems to be confirmation from the lady herself. Now that's confusing though isn't it - because Hayley is under 30, how's everyone going to moan about ageism? Truth be told, she didn't have time to make much of an impression last year so she won't be missed like Karen or Camilla. But it puts us back in the situation of needing another lady pro to even up the numbers again!

I'm still cracking up at the odd comment here and there, the "I won't watch it again if they keep changing everyone/I love Arlene/Camilla/Karen/Brucie/Tess" because if you're familiar with the message boards you'll know there are just as many comments and threads entitled "I won't watch unless they change everything/get rid of Arlene/Bruce/Tess/ I hate Karen/Camilla/Bruce/Tess" and so on ...

So if you're reading all the news reports and are worried for the future of Strictly, don't. Most Strictly fans watch it for what it is - a Saturday night light entertainment show, not a matter of life or death.

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

They really know how to drum up support ...

Apparently, Strictly Come Dancing have now axed Karen Hardy! And I have to agree, if it's true, then she would have been the sensible replacement for Arlene, but hey ho. But word is that Karen's been on the point of retiring for the last couple of series so maybe it's her decision, maybe it's not - apparently she'll still be involved in some capacity and if that's the case, she's hardly going to go running to the media, is she? So the same old articles regarding Arlene and ageism/sexism have been trotted out again. *Yawns* Oh, and the article somewhere that said fans were beseiging the Strictly message board? Be a bit difficult, since it isn't actually open yet! Unless it's just my computer in which case I'm being discriminated against and it's not fair and I bet it's because I'm a woman over ... er, slightly older than Karen ... but not as old as Arlene ...

On a more important note, Tess is excited about her wardrobe and can't wait for little Amber to meet Uncle Brucie, awww. And the BBC Comedy Room are quite happy to take the mickey out of their employers with a spot of Strictly Come Tribal Dancing!

Kyran's Ice Party

It's already underway, but there is still Bournemouth from the 21st August - check out the Facebook Page for further info.

Saturday, 1 August 2009