Friday, 30 October 2009

Strictly Come Dancing - It Takes Two: Frightday Night

There's nothing wrong with a little bump'n'grind, or so the songs says, but Claudia senses there's a change in the Phitya camp this week, because the tango is not for cheeky chappies. Phil (Tuff Daddy) wants to take his technical performance up a level; Katya (Tangtastic) has been reading up on her pupil and what makes him tick. We're introduced to the Lesser Spotted Philius Tuffius, a creature of habit who growls and pinches granola bars. He loves the tango - gets "to ruffer up a bit!"

The Exclusive 30's Club - Nat, Phil, Ricky G and Craig all aim to join it this week!

Friday Panel - Len (Walnuts about dance) and Craig (making his mark) Len says the four judges may all be looking for something different - he cherishes footwork, Bruno the timing, Alesha the artistry and Craig the performance and the celebs have to nail them all to up their scores. Claudia interrupts him and now he's forgotten what he was going to say! Onto the training: Lainton look absolutely fantastic, cracking. Dancing to Once Around the Block by Badly Drawn Boy - initial puzzlement turns to well, actually it's got a great lilt; Ianade are elegant, looking wonderful and dancing to Recipe for Love by Harry Connick Jnr, gorgeous; Vinalie going like the clappers, it's got a nice balance and dancing to Good Golly Miss Molly - that's got them all rocking - Len bought it for his mum for Christmas knowing she wouldn't like it and recounts seeing Litle Richard late in his career, when he had to be helped onto the piano by two blokes and a ladder, lol, he won't shut up! If you've missed this episode you need to catch up on I-Player, it's hilarious. Cravia look quite good, an improvement - dancing to Don't Let The Sun Go Down on Me. The band will re-augment apparently; Chrola - this is looking all right and a fantastic piece of music Shake Your Groove Thing - what Ian, James and Darren did a boogie babies dance to at the end of ITT once, d'you remember?

Nightmare on Strictly Street: James' braces pinging off during his jive with Gabby; Erin's hair loss; Ian's slip on finals night with Zoe; Katya said Phil told her he couldn't remember their first routine - just as they were going on; Flavia cites Matt's blanking during the foxtrot; Craig's scariest moment was when Fiona "leapt like a wild banshee" onto the judges table - fearing a whack, he got a kiss instead; Lilia's bra strap issue with Goughie, semi-final week; Len - when he looked to his left and saw Bruno with his leg extended. The thought still haunts.

Claudia's off to the studio with Len in tow, on the back of a forklift. Checking out the judges table, Len hopes to be sandwiched by Alesha and Darcey! Ricalie sign us off with their QS - or not - yes, there they go!


BBC Books are delighted to announce that the stars of Strictly Come Dancing (Names of the stars attending will be released nearer the time) will be appearing at Waterstone’s Jubilee Place, Canary Wharf on Wednesday 11th November, 12.30pm– 1.30pm to sign copies of the new Strictly Come Dancing Official Annual. The official 2010 annual is out on now priced 12.99.

There's also a Step by Step Guide to dancing the Strictly way, with this handy book sized book: The Step by Step Guide published by BBC Books on Thursday 17th December, written by Kele Baker and Ralf Schiller costs £9.99 This easy-to-follow and fun introduction to the ballroom and Latin dance featured on Strictly Come Dancing is ideal for beginners teaching themselves to dance, or for those with more skill who would like to practice at home. For each dance, a brief history offers some background context, helping to set the mood. Then Strictly's professional couples Erin and Anton and Darren and Lilia demonstrate the key moves, and on the following pages practical footprint diagrams showing the male and female steps, with illustrations of the upper-body hold, map out the dance in detail to complete the home tutorial.

"Get fit the fun way, and learn to dance like the pros with the beginner's guide to all the dances from the show."

Strictly Come Dancing - More training stories and vids!

Ali is really enjoying the different character she plays in the Paso Doble and claims that as it is Halloween on Saturday the audience are going to see a scary side to her this weekend!

Anton joked that if he and Laila stay in and are top of the leader board this week he will wear Ian's sequined trousers!

Natalie has talked about how she used to get a lot of people in the street calling her Sonia but now because of Strictly more people call her Natalie!

Chris is cringing with the sexy parts of the Cha Cha routine and one bit in particular where he is left alone shaking his bum!

James has been trying to get Zoe to lose her inhibitions by getting her to wiggle her bum and generally be sexy during her solo bits.

Tango Tuffers!

The name's Groves, Ricky Groves ...

A little Whittle!

With everyone doing a different dance this week, the forums will be in overdrive - join in on the Strictly website.

Strictly Come Dancing - It Takes Two: Mixed Updates

Latin report first: Rickin rumba 11.5 hours - is that a James Bond theme I can hear? Licence to thrill, eh, Ricky! Zojam samba on 10.5 Come on Zoe, let yourself go! Nothing worse than an umcomfortable samba. James is usually good for decent music to get you in the spirit, think Eso Beso, but don't dwell on that night ... Chrola Cha cha on 15.5, you can do it babe! Alian Paso 15.5 she's very excited and channelling the cop in her. You're nicked, Brian! Sounds like traditional music, excellent! Vinalie jive on 18 - this is looking fun, her timing's good! They're on the sofa and Vincent (the Italian smoothie) and Nat (Bella the ballroom) agree it'd be lovely to get higher scores but dancing together is the be all. They're getting married - Craig's the bridesmaid; Here comes the bride: She does, she does, she does!

Strictly Cribs is back: Clue - chocolate, twenty pairs of shoes and five Russian dolls - it's not Darren and Lilia cos we saw their's last year. Hm, Kristina? Well, of course. There's chocolate. Oh, and she loves the Beatles and would like to dance a rumba to Imagine one day. Chocolate. The wardrobe, only two dresses brought out - and I'm not sure you can count the rumba one as a full dress ...back to the chocolate again.

Statsman: Cha cha cha - performed 48 times, average score 25.9; females 9.4 higher - Lisa and Alesha top, averaging 38.5, followed by Rachel on 37. Top male: Austin on 35; Top Pro: Vincent on 36.5. Tango also performed 48 times, average 29.1. Top - Rachel, 39; Joint second: Alesha/Zoe/Austin 38; Top Pro: Ian, 37.

Ballroom updates: Phitya Tango on 8.5 Katya's more aggresive than Phil at the moment, but I'm sure he'll get it. Tango Tuffers! Come on! Lainton VW on 11.5 Anton's excited. No, I mean, really, really excited! Ricalie Quickstep on 13.5 You don't want to get burnt, keep moving! Ianade foxtrot on 14.5 this is looking lovely and Ian's music choice is usually spot on. Cravia waltz on 15.5 - no pressure, says Flavia, but I've scored 40 on this before ...

Zojam on the sofa and Claudia (stuffed) ate her duvet waiting for their names to be called out! Zoe (No Lucky dip) and James (Not bad lucking) were mentally prepared for the dance off, convinced, as myself and Claudia were, that they would surely be called out first if they were safe! Claudia has the answer - Zoe needs her lucky choker - the only time she hasn't worn one she ended up in the dance off! It's Strictly Olympics 2009 in the Len Goodman Arena - or in Zojam's training room anyway.

The forum has spoken- the most memorable Strictly dance ever - so far - is Mark and Karen's Argentine Tango - they play us with it set to the Gotan Project - it's over there >>>>>> if you want to watch the original - I recommend!

News in Brief: SCD, SYTYCD,

Louise Redknapp (the thinking man's WAG) has apparently been signed as a judge on the UK So You Think You Can Dance. The former Eternal band member will certainly balance out what could have been a frightening panel -Arlene Phillips and Nigel Lythgoe, neither of whom hold back - although I don't expect her to be sickly sweet, I can imagine she'll deliver constructive criticism without destroying a contestant's confidence. Good signing! And you never know, she might bring Jamie along sometime! What???

Gordon Campbell from the SCD Band is appearing in Portsmouth with the Royal Marines Big Band tonight! Bit short notice I know - some track record though, so if you can get along, then do!

Craig has a bit of a chat about his upcoming Panto role - he's had plenty of practice being booed anyhow!

More info on what's in store in Brendan's upcoming tour - a few famililar guest names there, as in, four ex-Strictly professionals!

Thursday, 29 October 2009

Strictly Come Dancing - Training room gossip!

Natalie has spoken about how fit you need to be for the Jive and how her fitness level has definitely improved but dancing doesn’t feel like a work out because she loves it so much!

Jade has said how she prefers the ballroom routines to the Latin dances. Her theory is that because she is feisty and the Latin is feisty, as a combination it is simply too much. She prefers the mix of her being feisty coupled with the romanticism of the ballroom.

Ricky Groves has revealed that ‘its not so much touching a woman’s body, more that he is touching a woman’s body in front of 10 million people’ that worries him with the Rumba.

James has said that if he and Zoe get through this week he will dance the Lambada with Craig!

Ali was buzzing so much after Saturday night’s result that she hardly slept!

Ricky has revealed his dad’s influence on him and how he always pushed him to be the best at whatever he did. It may have been tough at the time but now Ricky is glad as he says it has made him the person he is today.

News in Brief - DWTS, SYTYCD, SCD, DOI

Cue the music - the DWTS stars dance a waltz or jitterbug - Trav's thoughts, night 2 - why don't we have our lot do a mambo marathon, wouldn't that be brilliant!

Dancing on Ice tour tickets have gone on sale, they're at the O2 in April, check out your local arena!

Dancing Around the World - a passionate Flamenco, as described (prescribed?) by The Jobbing Doctor!

Ten out of ten for Alesha!

A little bit of insight into how SYTYCD works! And the So You Think You Can Dance Top 20, videos and rundown.

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Strictly Come Dancing - It Takes Two: Frocks Glorious Frocks!

Chrola on the sofa – I love these two, I really do. They’re so good together. Chris (Breakfast show dancer) and Ola (Hollin out for a hero) say it's great to be back in the high twenties and mention the J-word! Someone's taken his brain out for cha cha week though; all he could hear was blah blah blah Chris, blah blah blah. There's a Some Mother's Do 'ave 'em skit! A good day today, getting there.

Lainton are in: Laila (Taupe springs eternal) thought she did enough Anton (Beige rage) thought he was getting down. His aim was for Laila to enjoy the Latin and get through it unscathed - they achieved that, it was the first time she relaxed. The VW is all going swimmingly, Claudia asks if they think they'll get a 10! Oh, Shut UP! Though, if Laila does it how she is in training, it'll be the best ballroom dance in the history of Strictly! Eek, Anton! Have you not heard of the phrase "Putting the mockers on!"

Paso Doble costume for the men - encrusted jacket - flambouyancy and supremacy - specially tailored for arm movement, the girls play the cape (or the bull) Kenny's kilt was perfect, he didn't need asking twice. Austin's bare, naked chest ...Down Su - she likes the men being half naked. And who can blame her? Hilary (dressed for success) and Vicky (So Paso) admit it's scary, with every couple doing a different dance this week - but it hasn't affected the quality. Ali's Paso dress is ooh, yellow and black, long sleeved, nude mesh with 10,000 handstitched gold and topaz stones; Zoe's samba dress *squints* yes, there it is, an emerald feather! Jade's foxtrot gown, demure and yellow, covered in antique lace; Claudia freaks out Vicky by telling her that Emma Bunton had a lot of silk! Laila's VW - Wowie! Natalie's jive, lilac and yellow, no, it's been changed, now an electric violet, lost the yellow bow, gained a circular skirt! The wardrobe department are excelling themselves!

Alian are back with a bang, Ali (One for Ali, Ali for one) and Brian (Has Brian power) thought they were shaky, grateful if wasn't noticeable, grimly hanging onto that ten, such a good feeling. And all due to Dr Fortuna's Motivational Masterclass: Step 1, Focus; Step 2, You can! Step 3, maximise potential; Step 4, Tough Love; Step 5, High five! Book now and receive a free Darren and Lilia Matryoshka doll! Paso this week, best training day today - lots of basic, plus some showstopping moves!

Claudia answered the Big Question - Lionel Blair's her favourite, he's amazing - she's just throwing it out there!

Strictly Come Dancing: The BIG Question and Strictly Surgery

Who are the pro's and celeb's dance idols?

Brendan talks us througha samba!

and check out the Week Six Quiz on the website - I got 10/10 - let me know how you get on!

Strictly Come Dancing, News in Brief

Stories from the training rooms:

Ali mentioned that she would draw upon her experiences in The Bill to find her aggressive side for the Paso Doble as she was used to catching criminals, throwing them over the bonnets of cars and cuffing them as part of her role!

Ian commented that you have to be a Rolls Royce in the Foxtrot. Jade says that she is more like a Golf GTI than a Rolls Royce but would love to be one!

Natalie Cassidy was born to jive! She absolutely loves training, so much so that she says, "I don’t want to go home!"

Zoe has said that for the last year she has been a mother and so fears she will struggle with the mood of the Samba. Some of the moves make her feel like she is at a wedding rather than a disco!

In related news, Brendan has shared his tips on wooing the ladies! Take them to see Dirty Dancing - then tell them you're a dancer! (The full interview this is taken from is in the Radio Times).

The Bee Gees are this week's guests and all you ever wanted to know about Brucie!

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Strictly Come Dancing - It Takes Two: Collecting pointers.

Ianade - from 3rd place to dance off to sofa. Ian (Spin it to win it) is furious - they've used his trousers to make cushions and Jade's top! The trousers that prompted headlines of Slickly Come Dancing and The Glitterati - at least, in the studio. Shout out to Lucky Lady of Ian's International Angels! Jade (Samba high roller) loves the foxtrot - the training clip looks like they're on for another top score.

It's choreography corner with Darren and Lilia! Darren (Been there, seen it, Bennett) unsurprised to see the American Smooths top the sambas - easy to make it spectacular with the lifts and the samba a lot of technical moves to master. Lilia (All 'ova it) agrees, the samba has to be technically good, the lifts make the AS. Rickin threw a lot in and appealed to the public - if the song tells you to do something, refer to it - praise again for Erin's choreopraphy and they pick out the lift following the QS section, with Ricky's amazing footwork in the twirls. Zojam's a more classical smooth, James knows Zoe's strong points, a real couple now. The Collection Point - no, nothing to do with Argos - think of the routine as a chapter and the collection point as a paragraph. During the one minute forty seconds it's a chance for the celeb to take stock before moving onto the next section - the trick is not to make it visible. In the samba, Anton was going for it and disco is ok, as long as the samba travels and the basics are in there. Praise for Jade's great natural rhythm and an admittance: Yes, Claudia, if our celeb can't manage a particular step too well - steer them well clear of the judges to do it!

Rickin wants to be top of the leaderboard, settles for the sofa first. Ricky (Lift Mechanic) and Erin (Smooth operator) reflect on the face pulling in training; Claudia asks to see his rumba face and ...oops, now she's pregnant! They have the one dance Erin didn't want the week before Blackpool - the rumba! But the hip action is there, he's an actor which helps and the arms are more elegant. Can they beat 29?

Chris Hollins introduces us to his dad John - I had no idea his dad was the ex-Chelsea player; I used to like him *blushes* - in Who Do Yo Think You Cha Cha Cha, in search of family with dancing in their blood - Dad can, uncle can't, grandad a good mover - Mum Linda had the shoes, the medals, everything! She's on the sofa with Craig's wife Camilla, Phil's wife Dawn and Zoe's friend Suzy Amy. Linda makes it clear that Chris is not a mummy's boy - he's only living with them temporarily!

It's the land of nod in training: night night, sleep tight, don't let the dance bug bite ... too late!

Strictly Come Dancing - My pick of this week's dances

And don't forget, you can see all the dances for this series on the Strictly website!

And the show in sixty seconds!

Monday, 26 October 2009

Strictly Come Dancing - It Takes Two: Banana drama

Backstage pass with the camera supervisor Lincoln Abraham (clever, eh?) who really doesn't like being on the wrong side of it! There's technocrane babble, Brian wants to have a play. On the camera, that is. Ricky W advises them on shots "Cut to the head, not the feet!" Leila, valiantly back and forth on the judges camera - captured my moment of Strictly so far this year, when Alesha turned Bruno's head - what a heroine!

Jodan on the sofa and Jo (Wooda coulda shouda) says: "I wasn't good at that dance" so sweetly you want to tell her: "Yes you were!" just because you want to and taking nothing else into consideration. Brendan (Out of fuel) thanks the public for giving them six weeks of joy and says he hasn't been cranky (Jo takes the mickey) and then makes us all tear up with a glowing tribute to Jo. Awwww, bye Little Jo and Brendan, it was a pleasure.

Did we have Craig's good twin (One of a kind) with us on Saturday or was it a temporary blip; he's looking all devilish in red tie and shoes on the sofa for a debrief. The judges were almost shocked into silence at Ianade being in the dance off; his hand didn't twitch over the ten for Alian - there's more to come. Ricky G a little haphazard but wonderful choreography from Erin. He says that calling Lainton's samba 'beige' was Len 'Goody' Goodman's way of calling it boring in a kindly way - he can relax next week, they've got the VW. Chris Hollins has a massive bunch of bananas for hands - keep the fingers together, not splayed!

Craig (the other one) needs to relax, it's like watching an out of body experience, he needs to lose himself in it, says Craig (the first one) They've swapped and Cravia are on the sofa now! Claudia says she's organising a minibus to Blackpool for Craig (Blackpool or bust) he says the show is addictive, you want to make it through so you can try the next dance. He's the judges punchbag but he takes it all positively. How good will your waltz be, asks Claudia, one word. Good, he says!

There's a fruit fest at the end, or: Nananana nananana hey ey ey goodbye!

Saturday, 24 October 2009

Strictly Come Dancing: Running Commentary, Week Six

The clothes show - Tess' dress defying gravity! Erin's a highlight-er; Natalie C's best yet, Natalie L reminds me of rhubarb and custard and I can't see where Ali's ends and she begins.

Ianade samba, but first - a look at a big strop in training, all made up now, but, you know - that could turn people off. Great frock and trousers, a feisty dance to Charlie's Angels, unusual but they made it work, full of movement, a turnaround at the end with Ian on the floor being subdued by a heel! Len: Came to grips with it marvellously; Alesha: Timing brilliant, shaping, the wow factor; Bruno: fierce exotic Amazon, woman on top; Craig: absolutely great, full of attitude, would have loved one more spin from Ian on the floor. Score: 32 might have been more if later in the show.

Chrola the first American Smooth of the night and ... did Ola just nipple twist Chris in training there - well, no wonder he's much improved! That was lovely, dancing to Jimmy Mack, very soft and sweet - and two excellent lifts. Len: an improvement on the last two weeks; Alesha: Look forward to seeing you next week; Bruno: More Ealing than Hollywood; Craig: I thought you did fantastic (crowd cheering drowned out the rest)! Chris gets a Yeah Baby, he can call her Ola again now and not Mrs J! Score: 28

Phitya samba and Katya says - with a straight face, mind: "Phil is not your conventional student." More polish, less pub was his philosophy this week - and the whole technique might not be there, but how much fun was that? Full of energy, party time is here; he's got rhythm and has a ball - I loved it. Bruno: Daddy well oiled anything goes; Craig: You did well to move that fast; Len: Attitude, you came out full on, did the botofogos and voltas well; Alesha: Not as bad as you made out, stop counting out loud. Score: 25.

Zojam's American Smooth was well done but a bit nervy I thought, especially with the wardrobe malfunction and I'll blame everyone else for continually going on about the bottom two thing - that was sooo last week. Craig: Well balanced, effective, full of sophistication; Len: If you're in the bottom two I'll dance a lambada with Craig next week; Alesha: Graceful, elegant, adore your partnership; Bruno: Beautiful dance. Score: 33

Cravia ready to samba - kids eh, say what you see! Still very stiff, no hip action, but he's singing along and his timing is the better for it. Alesha: Very awkward, not quite pulling it off; Bruno: Like the Royal Mail, failing to deliver; Craig: Forcing your hips into submission; Len: Admire your pluck. Score 18 Lowest score, but preferred that to his jive. And the samba music tonight has not been conducive to bouncing has it?

Rickin's AS lived up to it's promise, a lovely routine to an inspired song, full of personality, great choreography - especially enjoyed the hoppy bits. Bruno: Plenty of content, surprisingly good turns; Craig: A most enjoyable routine, musical theatre; Len: Inspired; Alesha: A good mix, you take on board what we say. Score: 29

Ricalie and a full on rhythmic samba, nice samba rolls, best samba song of the night, can't remember what it's called. Oh I say, when I said, shake it, shake it all, he must have heard! Craig: Electrifying, loved the series of rolls, overall effort extraordinary; Len: Came out and attacked; Alesha: Rhythm amazing, brilliant hip action; Bruno: Ricky, the sexy beast - it's not all about sexy though. (Oh, I dunno...) Score: 32

Vinalie dance the American Smooth, Natalie's favourite, she loves it, she embraces another lovely routine from Vincent. She loves it, you know. And how to time an ending! Alesha: Think you've found your dance, Hollywood glamour; Bruno: nice and easy, pleasing; Craig: Timing and balance very good, delicately danced; Len: Know you enjoyed it, that's the way to go. Score: 29 She doesn't just enjoy it Len, she loves it!

Jodan samba and here's hoping the party girl can come out and ... oh dear - they went wrong from the off really and Brendan's literally carrying her, such a shame as it's a great song. Hip action sometimes and the twisty walky thingies were quite good, I thought. Len: Brendan deserves a medal, showing Jo off instead of himself; Alesha: So difficult, work on your hands; Bruno: Dragged Brendan into samba hell, damned; Craig: Futile and ineffectual, a complete darrrnce disarrrster. Score: 14 Tess asks: How do you keep coming back? That'd be the public vote, Tess - really, you've been here all your life like Claudia, you know how it works!

Alian and - oh, please, cut the "jokes" about them now *yawns* a gorgeous start to their American Smooth and they carry it through - she has lovely arms. Bruno: I knew you had it, it's magic time; Craig: Stylish, classy, absolutely stunning, brilliant; Len: Your best dance; Alesha: Simple, well executed, best AS of the night. Score: 37 LOL at Alesha turning Bruno's head to face front. No, I mean, a real belly laugh out loud. Brian saw it too.

Lainton follow with a samba - I'm not a fan of cheesey disco moves in a samba, however, this is Laila's best Latin so far, she actually got moving - bit concerned at one point in that spoon move that there was another wardrobe malfunction, which is why she wasn't moving so much. Craig: Bounce and rhythm, no wow factor; Len: Beige, needed sparklers; Alesha: Captured the funness, definitely more focused; Bruno: Disco moves unsatisfying. Score: 28

Pro Jive - there's now just a red blur across my eyes, incredible - and to the Buzzcocks too, who'd have thought? Then there's Michael and Joanna, World Latin Champions showing us a Fab-u-Lous Cha Cha to She's Not There - timing, musicality, fantastic. Chrola have Cha Cha next week, Chris says they've given him a few ideas ... Harry Connick Jnr sings The Way You Look Tonight, you can hear the resemblance to Sinatra. Anton and Erin dance a foxtrot AS, marvellous. The family montage, how can we refuse any of them? Someone's gotta go!

The Moment of Truth: Cravia; Alian; Chrola; Phitya; Lainton; Vinalie; Rickin; Zojam! They could have put them first, meanies! Len was worried! But OMG - surely not Ianade versus Ricalie?? Ricalie safe *phew* that would have been awful. It's a no brainer of course, even if Jade has a major cock up, which she doesn't - Jo did better that time though, Brendan went for a lift and why not? They're not waiting for the judges, but there are formalities. Craig is short and sweet, Alesha has a sporting word for Jo; Bruno the blunt; Len agrees.

So who's it going to be next week - top two in the bottom two? Scary.

Friday, 23 October 2009

Strictly Come Dancing - It Takes Two: The Keyes to the studio door

Ricalie on the sofa and Ricky (Whittering away) was singing his way through the VW, it felt so good; Natalie (Flying High) was very emotional over the ten, it all came together on the night. Taken on board Len's dislike of faffing around at the start and going straight into the samba - however, when the story of the dance and the music warrant it, like the VW, there'll be an intro! We're read snippets of Ricky's Book of Excuses, edited by Natalie! Will there be another ten this week, Ricky? You have to earn not expect. Good answer! Claudia says 'willy' on tea time BBC *SHOCK HORROR* ...

Words of warning and wisdom on the American Smooth lifts: First opportunity for risky moves, impressive when they come off - think Kenny's one handed lift. You are only allowed two - Brendan (who else?) says if the music says "lift" then up she goes! Karen says get into your mind - "I can fly" and general agreement that's it's much harder for the male celebs! Craig cheerfully lists all the broken bones and trauma you can suffer. . .

The Friday Panel - Marion Keyes (Has a novel spin on Strictly) and Craig (Duke of Dance) we see the Duchess of Cornwall taking the mickey out his "Char Char Char". Phitya have energy and the getting his leg over bit looked alright, says Craig (you'll see) Marion says he needs to get over the mortification factor. Dancing to Daddy Cool, so him luckily, so not very Samba! Chrola looks great, says Craig, as long as he remembers the routine and loses the egg slice hands. Jimmy Mack - can hear that working really well for AS.

Cravia getting the bounce action, needs to loosen top half but there is dance in there, somewhere. The heart of a lion, declares Marion, alluding to animal imagery again. Give it Up the song, again, not so sambary. Rickin going around the floor quite nicely , glorious in hold. Chim Chim Cheree will bring in the Under 5's!

Jodan is having fun still, more bounce needed - they point out the irony from last week to this -Superstition a fantastic song, not really a samba though - probably would have gone more traditional for her. Zojam , looking beautiful, says Craig, the makings of a ten! No music!! I mean, there's probably music, but they neglected to tell us what it is!

Claudia takes Marion on a tour of Tess' room, aka The Panic Room. The tension eats into the celebs - if they don't do it soon, they'll forget it. They're still rehearsing, 'cept Jo, who thought they were nipping off to the loo, bless her. They can't wait to get back there afterwards, the comfort zone. Down in the studio and Marion's found her daughter/sister Lilia. Then turns her attention to Jade's earrings - all of them! Vincent is lacking both hair and tan and Vinalie are going for a traditional non-lifty Hollywood AS! There's jazz hands and swaying going on...

And if you're doing the Strictly quiz religiously every week, here's Kristina with the answers to Week 5!

Thursday, 22 October 2009

Strictly Come Dancing - It Takes Two: Len Gets Out His Maracas

Samba training updates: Ianade on 14 hours, overwhelmed but looking pretty good; Ricalie on 15 hours and he's looking goood, not silly - just use what you've got Ricky, shake it, shake it all! Lainton on 11.5 hours - theirs has a disco feel - is that Disco Inferno I can hear? That's my Cha Cha; Cravia 15.5 hours - their hardest routine so far! Jodan, 15 hours and Jo fancies the samba, good hips, she's loving it, such a great attitude.

Phitya on 12.5 hours ... a slippery fish ... a gummi bear, says Katya! Come on Philip - it's a party, you can do party! Needs to be Mr Bouncy not Mr Tickle (he has abnormally long arms!) On the sofa, Phil (innings to win it) says it's a mardi gras but he's from Surrey! Katya (having her Phil) says there's no bounce but they do have tricks; Claudia presents him with a "I'm NOT a Samba Man" tee-shirt, Katya is using cricket to help. There's graphics 'n' captions 'n' everything - run through to mid wicket ... spin at square leg ... over to the slips ... Howzat! They do make me smile.

Len's samba masterclass with a twist, recreating Julian and Erin's iconic maracas moment! Shimmies back and forth, take turns to roll ... cue music ... have you seen my conkers, la la la la la la. Mental.

It's the statsman - samba performed fifty times, average score 27.9 Four max's - two to Zoe and Ian, one to Natasha, one to Alesha. Zoe top on 36.5, Alesha/Mark/Emma all on 36 average. American Smooth average 31.5, five max's - two to Gethin, one each to Colin, Kelly and Rachel. Craig has never given a 10 for the AS! Probably not the only dance he hasn't, miser.

American Smooth updates: Rickin , 13 hours. Enjoying it but relax your shoulders. The shoulders are down! Chrola, 16, struggling to rememember the routine. Don't worry, be happy! Zojam, 14, Go back and do it again - working even harder! Vinalie, 11.5 - it's her favourite, she's loving it; Alian 16.5 the American Smooth with the smooth American. She's loving it too. Come on!
Ianade on the sofa - I'm temporarily blinded by her sleeves - Jade (feisty bird) and Ian (Sultan of samba) admit they fight and make up like brother and sister. This (left) is a frigate bird. Lawd knows what Bruno is on, but I hope he hasn't passed it around ...

They're warming up! So's Claudia below, inviting you to join in with Strictly Social - see up there, top right!

News in Brief - DWTS, SCD, SYTYCD,

Interview with Brazilian choreographer Deborah Colker.

Strictly News: Brendan Cole's Live and Unjudged Tour dates; The Duchess of Cornwall impresses Craig; Free Strictly Come Dancing events in Blackpool! And some welcome support for Alesha from Britain's Got Talent winners, Diversity - there's a video too! And check your knowledge of Week 5 with the Strictly quiz!

Trav's thoughts are up - the Top 20 for So You Think You Can Dance, plus the full rundown of Dancing With the Stars. Bruno seems to be enjoying himself a lot more there than he is here - make sure you check out the video's! *chuckles* We need Donny *Swoon* as a guest judge, they're a brilliant double act! No, it's not just because I'm completely biased ...

The UK So You Think You Can Dance will apparently have a guest judge in the personage of Posh Spice, Victoria Beckham.

This week's big question - traditional or contemporary music? I like a mixture of both, how about you?

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Strictly Come Dancing - It Takes Two: Strictly Stylish

Rickin on the sofa and telling us they're dancing to this on Saturday, in a VW styled American Smooth! Can't wait, it's perfect -Erin (Gets Ricky Groveing) is very proud of him. Ricky (jive talking) is going for Dick van Dyke instead of Fred Astaire - at least we know he'll nail the accent ...

The wardrobe ladies are in again, Su Judd says the samba will be feathers and baubles and feathers, Carol Smilie keeps her feathery samba dress in the kitchen, Lilia relieves her wardrobe malfunction, Su says Ian can't help himself , always slashed to the waist. Nicola (Got it all Stitched Up)Atkinson and Hilary (Very this season) Alexander talk more feathers for samba dresses and even some on the AS dresses!

A day in the life of Ricky W. On set with bangers and beans at 8.30am, off to a photoshoot in the afternoon and his car is worse than mine, what a mess - I can blame the kids, what's your excuse Ricky! Someone's kissed his wing mirror! Lovely shade of lippy ... dance training the rest of the night.

Jodan on the sofa, very tired, they're giving Jo a muffin after. She wasn't as upset as Brendan, though her brother is now calling her Skippy. Impromptu advert for Jo Wood's Granny Power Exercise DVD - order now and get a free Darren Bennett!

Apology smology - Flavia's immune; stop saying sorry, says Ola, just get it right!

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Strictly Come Dancing - It Takes Two: Jive by Jive

Shock all around as Zojam hit the sofa, Zoe (almost out of Lucker) and James (Must be due a trim) figured they were safe for the first time, up there in 3rd place. He thought as I did - they surely wouldn't leave them till the end again - unless they were in the dance off! A Friend in Me plays as we have a little montage showing them all pally; fingers crossed for a crowd pleasing American Smooth this week.

It's Choreography Corner with Karen (Dance Scientist) she confirms Claudia's suggestion of similarities between jive and VW - they're both rotational! VW easier because of limited steps, but then the judges will expect technique; jive can get carried away with WOW factors, Alian, for example, overchoreographed, going for the wow as opposed to Zojam, a swing jive, focused around the hips. Generally agreed that Laila's was the best outfit, ever! Lainton's a kick jive, feet off the floor throughout. A car wash, Karen called it (meant car crash, bless her - she gets very excited in the corner). Best to begin with a rock step, then progress to step-ball-change, what Rickin did a lot of; The ballroom stole the show, especially Ricalie in and out of the fleckerl; Jodan praised for putting in the fleckerl too, Brendan played to Jo's strengths in approaching it differently.

Cravia on the sofa, Craig (Has fire in his belly) a fellow northerner for Zoe (probably where a lot of her vote went) and Flavia (Cacace-ing a bus) give us the Story of the Dance: Waiting for a bus, or several, to go to a carnival for a hot dog in another dimension, returning home by plane. Samba this week is tough. And hard. And he's wearing a handyman's belt to help his abs!

Lainton also in tonight, Laila (Had fringe benefits) and Anton (Not a Latin Lover) were chatting all the way through the jive in a kind of "What's next?" kind of way. Claudia says: "It's not like you were telling us all week the jive was Your Dance!" Speed is a problem as Laila has only one -Slow! But she's taken on board Len's advice and is going to give the samba her all this week!

Animal imagery - Is Craig as mad as a box of frogs? Seemingly not, judging by the end credits!

Showtime: Gilles and Cheryl Salsa

Monday, 19 October 2009

Strictly Come Dancing - It Takes Two: The Craig Hunting Season Open!

Brendan (Cole face-off) is on the phone over his storming off following Kangaroo-gate and Claudia is in serious journo-mode tonight, passing on some hard hitting comments from the forum. He stands his ground though - he won't let Jo take that sort of flak! Which is kind of sweet; he wants Craig to be a bit more positive in the light of the effort Jo is making.

Kenny Logan has the Backstage Pass, finding out that Tuffers is first in line when the spray tan tickets are being dished out! The ladies are all of one mind - men who can dance are sexy! Kenny twirls Ola around - he's still got it! Joe and Chris are loving make-up; Craig has a man-bag; Chris' braces are a-twanging. Kenny's watching Ricalie and thinking there may be 10's! He sneaks out with a sparkly jacket!

Jostina on the sofa and Joe (Lord of the Ring) knew he was better in the dance off, more relaxed. Kristina (Mad A Bout the boy) is very upset, and thinks Craig should have marked a point higher since he saw an improvement. Can't believe they faced Zojam in the dance off, might have stood a chance against another of the bottom few. Claudia says she'll get Craig for them!

Let Craig bashing season begin, she announces, and the man himself is on the sofa for his point of view. Craig (battered and Bruced) will continue to say what he thinks and that animal imagery is an oft-used device. Len's on the phone from the US of A - he's superimposed over George Washington on Mount Rushmore - for a quick review of the jives.

Chrola are on the sofa, Chris (Playing Keepy Uppy) is on the end of tough love from Ola (Ola Right Now) this week - it's Mrs. Jordan to you, Christopher! A big Thank You to everyone (and Ola-chops!) for keeping them in. You're welcome!

Alian another who have dropped down the leaderboard since the first week - Brian (Star spangled manners) agrees the choreography could have been simpler but that they'd also nailed it every time except the live show! He tells Ali (Rocking her Brian) they're doing a move in the Amercian Smooth he's never tried before - "Good luck," he says!

Sunday, 18 October 2009

Strictly Come Dancing: Running Commentary, Week Five

A late start due to the Formula One qualifying over-running, fine if you're into F1 (like me) but if you're not, you must be seething! And how much more nervous will the couples be, waiting around. Love the colour of Tess' dress - and her hair looks fab! Snazzy Ricky G. and, whoa - Laila's fringy trousers *moans with longing*. Zoe and Kristina need to be careful they don't do a Jade tonight!

Rickin up first, a lot of expectation, emphasis on fun. Nice socks. The Boy from New York City an excellent choice. Good effort, brave. Bruce gets his own back on Wossy! Len: RSI - never seen so many flicks - you embraced the entertainment and fun; Alesha: Loved the way you worked the comb! Bruno: One-step wonder, not for me (Who's taken the jam out of his doughnut - Ricky); Craig: If we didn't know what a kick-ball change was, we do now. Lively and exuberant but repetitive. Score: 25 Ricky's lost two stone; Tess says she can feel it (his six-pack) it's hard. Cue sniggers from everyone else.

First Viennese Waltz is Ianade and Jade's turning from a bud into a flower say Ian, aw, isn't he a sweetie? Gorgeous frock for a gorgeous dance to a gorgeous song, It's a Man's World. Len: Had everything it should; Alesha: beautiful to watch, graceful, believable; Bruno: gorgeous, elegant, smooth, like two birds over the ocean swell, take me with you; Craig: Kept the frame, magnificent. Score: 35.

Alian are jiving after an all-American night out. What Ali did, she did really well but got lost on a few occasions, kept going with a smile though, a real trooper! Tutti Frutti a busy track and maybe the choreography is asking too much of her. Alesha: Great flicks and turns, struggling to keep up; Bruno: Very frustrated - you have the ability to blow my mind; Craig: Such a terrible shame, balance went, lost choreography, shows so much promise; Len: You must be upset, this was a real class jive - less is more (to Brian - I have to agree).

Jodan are V.waltzing - she's going to breathe and visualize and take control - and you know what, she did! Much improved posture and confidence - until Craig compared her to a kangaroo! Yes, it was a bit skippy but overall a really nice effort. Bruno: Sense of vulnerability; Len: a full on difficult routine, best to date; Alesha: Coped with the continuous twirling. Score: 23

Zojam jiving to Tainted Love clean, neat, musical, top jive so far.Was there a wardrobe malfunction, I was scribbling and didn't see! I did warn though, didn't I? Craig: Fabulous to watch, very respectable jive; Len: Clean, neat and precise, liked it very much; Alesha: You never disappoint, a joy to watch; Bruno: always deliver. Score: 30

Ricalie's VW on the horizon, Ricky's choreographing in his head - we can relate; just wait till they have to fetch you from the car cos you can't get out till the song's finished! How Can I Be Sure - perfect. I'm swaying ... I'M SWAYING! Beautiful, top dance so far, gets my vote. Considering I know nothing, his frame is just magnificent, so masterful! Alesha: Back in the zone, so beautiful, confident, fluid, your best yet; Bruno: Rising on the crest of a wave, a leading man's performance; Craig: absolute confidence; Len: thought the start was never gonna end, then suddenly you took hold and all was forgiven. Bloomin' good job. Score: 36 - a '10' from Alesha - get in there! Brave, good for her.

Cravia - following that with a jive, luckily! Looks good in training, a real chance here. He went for it and enjoyed it more but still didn't quite hit the spot, even with a great song. Bruno: a great range of steps, but made me slightly uncomfortable; Craig: appreciate energy, timing issues; Len: a good job, a lot of content; Alesha: reminds me of someone's dad, endearing but not good enough. Score: 20.

Jostina jiving and for most part he struggled - but some terrific on time kicks at the end show his potential - more of those please! Craig: relaxed a little, a vast improvement; Len: we can see development as a dancer; Alesha: a bit more bounce, well needed fun brought to the floor; Bruno: For a few moments you were on time. Score: 21 best to date.

Vinalie with a smooth elegant start to their VW - thought she was going to sing it all the way then! Another top song, it's following me around this week. Didn't quite carry the smoothness through and didn't seem to be twirling in hold as much as they should have done? I'll have to watch again. Good effort though. Len: Love your enthusiasm, bewildered and excited, a little hoppy ... hop-along-cassidy *groans* Alesha: lovely to see another side of you, your dad will be proud; Bruno: too skippy; Craig: thought it really elegant. Score: 27

Lainton - just concentrate on the outfit - it'll only be too fast if you don't move your feet quick enough, says Anton, lol. Why is she struggling with faster dances? She was almost there but it sadly went wrong somewhere. But check out those trousers, they're worth a vote alone. Alesha: Latin needs a lot more work - drunken rag doll - wicked outfit; Bruno: Did you rehearse on Twitter? Craig; Fringing masked a lot of the flaws (Anton: Should have had more fringing!) Len: A mental thing, you convinced yourself you couldn't do it - buck yourself up and get your bum in gear! Score: 22 Anton's on form tonight, he's quipping all through Tess' piece!

Phitya - bring on the romantic Tuffers! Oh I say - grey tails, very nice and, once more, a charmingly lovely performance to classy Mad About the Boy. Bruno: charm at full throttle; Craig: you did a great job (after a load of technical waffle) Len: Think cricket balls, need to polish! Alesha: So classy, really enjoyed, improving every week. Score: 27 My second fave tonight.

Chrola are jiving - hope he didn't knock back too many of those wines - how big was that glass?? Good performance, one of the better ones tonight, I thought. Craig: One more week's rehearsal needed, will eventually suit you; Len: Kept losing the timing, good apart from that; Alesha: Improvement on the kicks, you had the most spring in your step; Bruno: Another who can actually do it, so come back and do it! Score: 22

They're all done - Craig says Ricalie should be most worried, as Zojam are hot on their heels; Len says there's a group lagging behind now that have a lot of potential; Alesha couldn't fault Ricky, swept away with it, hence the 10; Bruno is looking forward to some scorching hot Latin next week. It's American Smooth or Samba next week - so we've a Pro Samba paaaaarty to Stevie Wonder! Out back with Tess - Ricky W. wanted Alesha's approval, he got it! Craig will come out fighting if in the bottom two; Joe thrilled to not be bottom but sad for Craig!

Flavia and Vincent bring us a Tango waltz - how fabulous was that? And how do they find the time? Completely gorgeous. There's a montage of judges thoughts, which have been pretty much covered in all the comments tonight so we move along to Spandau Ballet - I should have dug out my bight red tartan trousers and headband! Gold, smooth version - Live! Almost (the saxophonist blew it!) Jean Claude Keeble on the drums back there - Katya and Brendan show us an elegant tango/paso.

Here we go, the Moment of Truth - ready with the spotlight, Dave? Safe: Ricalie, Yay! Vinalie; Phitya, Yay! Jodan; Ianade; Alian; Rickin; Cravia; Chrola; Lainton! Zojam in the dance off - I can only assume it's a classic case of their supporters assuming they'd be safe and trying to save someone else, because Zoe and James do not deserve to be there! It's a no-brainer for the judges, isn't it? Zojam performed even better second time around - but so did Jostina, all credit to Joe, he showed all the potential he had there but it's not enough and he bows out of the competition.

Friday, 16 October 2009

Strictly Come Dancing - It Takes Two: Lost in Dance

Claudia looks pale - why does she look so pale??? She can't go sick - you can't go sick Claudia! Ricalie on the sofa and reflecting on not finishing top of the leaderboard - they're happy with the scores, beaten only by two terrific foxtrots - and very happy considering that they made up the last section of their salsa as they went along! Their day is crazy - heavy filming 12 hours a day for Ricky with just a couple of hours training in the evening. They're a fairytale couple, Natalie the princess from a foreign land - Ricky's the ogre, they've turned him green and given him Shrek ears! Then she kissed him, he's now the ballroom boy, except the collars are too tight - a good look at the VW - looking fabulous.

A day in the life of Chris - out before 5am, checking all the sports news, having a sneaky bacon roll and telling Ola it's muesli and yoghurt, naughty boy! A photo shoot for Sport Relief with F1's Jake and Our Claudia. Training!

The Friday Panel - Craig (Holding out for a Hero) Tim from Only Men Aloud (Total Eclipse of the Charts) and Bonnie Tyler (Turn Around Bright Eyes) You see it now, don't you! Jodan - a little bit skippy, wearing virginal white 70's inspired - no stoning in the dress, says Craig - that'll come from the judges. We think/hope he's joking ... dancing to Ray La Mentagne(?) Trouble - let's hope they're not asking for it! Cravia not pointing his feet, like wet fish hanging off the end BUT It Takes Two a fantastic song choice, how can you not enjoy that? Vinalie are a contender, VW looking great and dancing to Etta James' At Last. Gorgeous, in fact, I Blipped it just this week! It's goodbye to Lainton if she wears those Ugboots! But doubt it somehow as the outfit is a black fringing halter neck effort with an incredible swish factor; Craig wants it and says Bruno would want it too! High energy song Modern Love will need to be matched! Here's a sneaky peak - they may be sandbagging! Phitya also on target! (And dancing to I'm Mad About the Boy by the sound of it!)

Claudia's off to the studio so we've a nice little montage of the celebs bigging up their Pro partners! Ian's in the tanning booth - love the shower cap, oh - he's going in for a second coating! Brian's hanging out with the lighting crew and dancing with Nicky the director. Jo's feeling good, Vincent isn't and asks Claudia to take him to bed. On account of him not feeling well you people. Honestly! I thought Zoe was looking even slimmer - James just confirmed it, her trousers are baggy! They're jiving us out ... to Tainted Love! Woo! Needs a belt for those trousers though, Zoe, what with all the twisting!

Thursday, 15 October 2009

Strictly Come Dancing - It Takes Two: Jiving Miss Claudia

Jive training and Zojam are looking good after 12.5 hours - why Zoe is worrying I've no idea; Jostina on 14 hrs - this is looking much better; Alian 16.5 are "struggling" - but not really! Cravia on 15 and this could be Craig's dance! Rickin on 13.5 and in 7th gear; Chrola, 13: "What you doing now?" "I tripped over my own feet!" But there's a "Yeah, baby!" moment - just remind yourself there's no football though Chris!

Lainton are on the sofa, after a snapshot of a very sedate looking jive on 12 hours - Laila (Head Girl) don't get her started on Ian's red trousers, nor her jive. Anton (Upping the Ant-e) says let's talk foxtrot again. There may be jazz hands, if you see them, pray for Lainton.

Len's Masterclass and the key to jive - fun, fast, sharp kicks and flicks - teaching Claudia a key moment from Jill and Darren's jive and we get a Hoi! Come on! She's worn out now though - get the two ton shoes off, you'll be alright, says Len.

Dr.Geoff the statsman - jive has been performed 47 times, average score 27.6; 66.6% of the maximums to Jill and Darren. Top 3: Jill 37.5, Gethin 37, Kelly 36. Vincent top pro, average 34. Viennese waltz performed 26 times, average 31.3. Series 5 tops - Alesha average 38, Gethin and Kelly on 36. Two maximums - Alesha, who else!

VW updates - Phitya on 10.5 hours found it tough at first, now looking pretty relaxed; Jodan are twizzling and twizzling and twizzling and twizzling and Jo says she needs the dance fairies, lol - no, Jo - you need the confidence fairies is all; Vinalie on 15.5 and the VW is everything Nat wanted to do in this competition; Ricalie tops on 16 and looking very strong.

Ianade on the sofa and lamenting that the scores for their salsa didn't match the comments. 13.5 hours this week and a breakthrough for Jade (Waite's mate) as she lets Ian (Quite irate) lead and seeks to show a softer side - and she's sussed the performance element after seeing Ian and Camilla in action (they're completely fabulous live and close up, I can recommend) Ian says we all need to vote for Lainton - he's seen their jive *eek*!

It's hot hot hot in the training rooms!

News in Brief - DWTS, SYTYCD,

Trav's thoughts are in, on this week's Dancing With The Stars (scroll down all the way, there are two nights) and So You Think You Can Dance - I so cannot wait to see this over here, if they stick to this format, a mindblowing mix is on offer.

My recommendations - Donny *swoon* and Kym's Charleston, full of fun and his timing, again, is incredible, plus Mya and Dmitry's Lambada needs an X-rating, lol - no, it's brilliant, enjoy!

Showtime: Hip Hip Chin Chin - SYTYCD

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Strictly Come Dancing - It Takes Two: Jive Talking

Chrola up first on the sofa - presumably the sofa Chris (Mojoagogo) just found his mojo hidden behind! He does a wicked impression of Ola (Jive bunny) and says he's having a brill week and likes the feel of the jive - he's burnt out five pairs of shoes perfecting a special move, no goggles required, safe to do at home!

The chat turns to the Vienneze Waltz dresses, with Babette Lee from the wardrobe department (Fancy Dress Designer) Shirley Ballas (Whirled champion) and Fran Cutler (chic'n'cheerful). Alesha's VW dress singled out for praise - the lace fabric came from Paris - along with Kelly's and Lisa's but a mistake made with Louisa's - too much flesh on show. The men best in classic tails, Brian the rebel! This year's theme is classic 80's musicals: Fame, The Wiz. Moving onto the jive dresses - lots of tassles and fringing to accentuate body action. A quick glance at Nat's, Zoe's and Jade's.

Rickin on the sofa and Ricky (Treasure Groves) is wearing a cravat! He's had the fox-flu, which is better than the fox-trots ... Erin (likes to Boagaloo) is very proud of him and they've got a sports video to iron out the shoulders, which is apparently an East End thing *checks the mirror* think I'm ok. Montage of a Tale of Two Rickys: Serious. Not serious! More special moves in their jive this week, it's a Rickyjive!

Alian also have jive, another chance for sexy Ali (Top billing) "That's a nice dress, where's the other half?" Brian (Brian's blessed) says jive is faster than the salsa, another special move, a little dangerous! Ooooh!

Claudia finishes by asking: Who's the fairest dancer of them all? Cue lots of checking selves out in mirrors and Vincent: "I love the mirror ... and the mirror loves me!"

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Strictly Come Dancing It Takes Two - The Statue of Liberty never looked so good!

Len's on the phone from L.A, so obviously his face is superimposed over the face of Lady Liberty. Maybe he was calling from New York; I may have misheard, it wouldn't be the first time ... anyway, Len (Judge that never sleeps) tells us why he chose Craig over Lynda - the key to the foxtrot is the slow, the drive off, heels and toes and leading - it's harder for the male celebs, so on balance he went for Craig. And was accosted by a woman at the airport, who wanted Lynda to go through. Did you vote? He asked her: No, she says. Well then, there you go!

Cravia re-living their Saturday night on the sofa, Flav thought they were gone, luckily Matt Di A was on hand for moral support. Craig (Almost carried away) insists he is a smiley person (making me feel really mean) and hopefully we will see it in the jive this week! Flavia (She's a great Cacace) says they've got a brilliant song - but can't tell us what it is yet!

Karen (No softie) is in for Choreography Corner - an abundance of clever pros, with the salsa and foxtrot routine's making the most of their celebs, the foxtrots especially good for week 4! Claudia has been there all her life and still doesn't understand heels and toes (neither do I, unless it's March of the Mods and then watch me go, baby) It's all about the effect, says Karen, walk across the floor, first on your toes and then on your heels ... I'm trying but, damn, it's hard to type ... singles out Lainton's end oversway, Zojam's fallaway: Open like a book, close, ronde, open like a book, close ... you can see why Karen's in demand as a teacher because even I understood what she was showing us! Rickin's turn into an oversway, Vinalie's armography, Ianade's ending, the drop and catch by Alian, the trust in Phil and Chris to let them out on their own. Wouldn't let them stray too far though - conker season is upon us ...

Forum questions: Idols: Natalie - Oasis; Zoe - Dusty Springfield; Chris - Ian Botham; Fave Strictly Moments: Matt - winning with Alesha; Anton - the duet with Brucie. Talents: Zoe - singing; Chris cooking. Not.

Vinalie on the sofa and Nat (Eastend Bella) was whooping all the way through the salsa; she's not so confident with the Viennese Waltz though. Vincent (Full of Vitmain V) reassures. And her dad's coming this week, when she's going to be all ladylike - let's hope dad didn't see all the *mwah pop je'taime* business!

Phitya also in and Phil (Has some cheek) is having a great time, a real infectious attitude; Katya (Virshilly perfect) threw a pen at him today, their first fight! Viennese Waltz for them next - they've cut out the morning training - far too tough!

I shall be in training for the Viennese Waltz myself this week - I've had to amend it twice from 'whirl' already ... I'm not obsessed about cakes, obsessed about cakes I am not. *Convinces nobody*

News in Brief: DOI, DWTS, SYTYCD, JD

Dancing on Ice rehearsals are reportedly under way, with the contestants a closely guarded secret - we could try bombarding @Schofe I suppose! And rumours of Emma Bunton join rumours of Suzanne Shaw joining the judging panel!

Interview with Dancing With the Stars Carrie Ann Inaba

Interview with So You Think You Can Dance's Mia Michaels

Just Dance have signed up Coyote Ugly actor Adam Garcia, Pussycat Doll Kimberly Wyatt and our very lovely own lovely Ashley Banjo from Britain's Got Talent winners Diversity, to judge. Maybe I will get Sky after all.

Monday, 12 October 2009

Strictly Come Dancing - It Takes Two: Wolverine's tripping the light fantastic ...

Backstage Pass with the Lighting Designer, Mark Kenyon. Or is it Hugh Jackman? He's rather dishy, isn't he? *Flutters eyelashes* Ahem.

Hugh (left) Mark (right) Note to the BBC Powers That Be: Have you any idea how much googling I had to do to get that photo? *Tch* Hellooo? Image Gallery??

Jo only did the show because she loves chandeliers, Brian's showing his guns and the lighting team all clap along too! Roger is the man with the important job: The Moment of Truth spotlight!

Lynda (For whom the Bell tolled) and Darren (Darren in the Dumps) are very upset and disappointed to be out, felt they'd done enough. Miss October borrowed Sinitta's palm tree effort and will miss Darren and the runners most; the cameramen will miss her rude jokes!

The Odd Couple montage of Craig and Len disagreeing and contradicting each other, worth it to see Alesha and Bruno taking the mick again *chuckles* Craig (Don't judge him) on the sofa, he loves the showbiz and razzle dazzle, Len's the toe leads man. Wanted Darrynda to go through, couldn't understand the decision to save Craig (there you go Foxy, you do know!) Recaps some dances: Lainton *tick* Ricky, only worth 7; Craig (the other one) horrendous; Jo, definite improvement; Vinalie, abandonment and confidence, exactly the right attitude.

On the sofa, tracking Jostina's journey so far - Joe (Fights another day) is a big boy, he can take the knocks. Kristina (likes a spa) says he more relaxed in training, very nervous on the night. Jiving this week!

Encouragement the end theme; cue lots of hugging!

Saturday, 10 October 2009

Strictly Come Dancing: Running Commentary, Week Four

Foxy red Tess; Twittering Brucie squashes the rumours once and for all of an affair with Lynda!

Zojam foxtrotting first - it hurts to laugh, ok while Brucie's on! Foxtrot's easy ... er, no it's not! Looks the part, gorgeous dance to match the gorgeous This Will Be, lively affair, loved the pivots, very musical. Len: We've just seen movement, well accomplished; Alesha: Fluid, smooth, lovely pivots; Bruno: Glistening with glamour; Craig: Timing throughout spot on, gorgeous. Score: 33 their best to date.

Chrola's salsa up next ... er, what's he doing to the wall? This is teatime, people! Come on baby, go for it - he did! Sexy Chris, gave it everything - "how do you keep concentrating" (re Ola!) I enjoyed that more than I thought I would! Brucie's eyes have steamed up (re Ola!) Len: In hold, very good, captured the flavour; Alesha: Getting the party started; Bruno: timing not too bad; Craig: Lacked the required energy. They were the most positive comments - I don't think they gave him enough credit at all and Chrola will definitely be getting my vote this evening! Had rhythm and hips and sizzle for me. Score: 25 - the others say the same - too low!

Darrynda calming down now - isn't that one of Natasha's dresses recycled? Calendar Girl the very apt song for their foxtrot, hasn't got the sway and the smile a bit 'fixed' but very sweet. Craig: Too straight, no flow, too safe (You should see me in the nude in the theatre, says Lynda!) Len: Simple and effective, smooth and creamy like a milky coffee; Alesha: Pleasant - and we love the Lynda we've got, we don't want 5ft 10 skinny Lynda; Bruno: A Foxwalk. Score: 24 Darren: If you were 5ft 10 you couldn't dance with me!

Alian salsa-ing, with body contact! Alissandra will be with us this evening - woo! Full of armography, very fast, intricate - she did very well to keep up there, maybe needs to get on down a bit more. Alesha: Sexy you, great control and rhythm, fantastic choreography; Bruno: can deliver plenty of action, not driving all the way; Craig: I loved it, brilliant, jam packed; Len: Clean, fast, a little bit hectic. Score: 32 Excellent. Another vote from me.

Jodan and Jo has lost a stone - nah, don't get ...oh, no, there it goes, just did! *Doh* It's an adventure says Jo and they're foxtrotting to Crazy, out there on her own, got some sway - I thought she did pretty well, much improved. Bruno: Determination and superhuman effort; Craig: Brendan guided it well, your best to date; Len: Strong start, hit the nuances in the music; Alesha: shaky but glimmers of hope. Score: 20 Eh? What was that? Oh, dear, more headlines. I'd better get writing one ;)

Vinalie's salsa is looking like it may be her dance - shoulders, boobs and earrings all out. Lost the armography but really went for it. Craig: Came out and delivered; Len: Liked the mix of steps, free and easy attitude; Alesha: Confident; Bruno: All racey and pacey! He's out of the chair again! Score: 29

Jostina foxtrotting to I'm Feeling Good - much better, more fluid. Len: Improvement, more confidence a good job, your best so far; Alesha: A glint in your eye, you enjoyed it; Bruno: You have to have a sense of music; Craig: No sign of improvement. *Cue booing and hissing* and Kristina: That was rude! Well said, Kristina!

Lainton out next for their foxtrot to Frank and it's like galaxy caramel, gorgeous but did it finish a bit sooner than the music? Alesha: Best foxtrot of the night, classic; Bruno: Control, flair, smooth as silk; Craig: Classy, confident, comfortable to watch; no comment from Len but you sense he'd have loved it - it's a nine from him! Score: 34 I love the foxtrot, says Laila, I've just got to remember it!

Ricalie's salsa coming up, love the blue, suits him *ahem ... averts eyes from chest* Oh, boy, can he move - what a groovy funky saucy salsa. Oh, those hips *Phew* Oh - backflip! Cool. Or hot. Whatever - they get my vote. Bruno: It's Ricky Martin - hips are weapons; Craig: Two sticky moments, loved the routine and back flip; Len: Parts tickled me fancy, good job, well done; Alesha: Disappointed - still good, but felt you're better than that. Score: 32 good, considering not all the comments were positive.

Cravia foxtrotting, hopefully how he does it in training. Smile, please smile - still doesn't look comfy. Craig: frame a disaster; Len: A gallant effort; Alesha: That was an improvement; Bruno: Sometimes laboured. Score: 24 could be back in trouble again.

Ianade and the salsa I was most looking forward to - Ian's going to the Olympics - in the front row. That dress! Fantastic movement but they seem to have gone with the Madonna version of La Isla Bonita after all which seems a bit too slow for me. Great finish. Len: Fun, efferfes ... everfes ... efverve ... bubbly, well done; Alesha: You can seriously move your body; Bruno: What an explosion of colour and spice; Craig: Energy spectacular, fabulous grinding, want to try that end position *crashing on* Score: 29 - doesn't match the comments??!!

Rickin foxtrot - even Erin's laughing - but that's the way to go Ricky, we don't want proper serious! Very nice, warm and sincere, possibly my fave foxtrot of the night. Alesha: Very understated - not half bad; Bruno: Very convincing, step in the right direction; Craig: Great movement around the floor; Len: tough dance, well done. Score: 28

Phitya salsa *fingers crossed for the knee* It's Dr.Bob! Dr. Bob, Dr.Bob - remember that? No? Oh, ok *moves on quickly* Phil's practising his rippling, sitting down! Brings it out on the floor though - brilliant, one knee, plenty of hips! Brave, out there on his own like that! Bruno: Worked your bum with such enthusiasm; Craig: Opening belonged in Soho (there's booing - maybe they should take it as a compliment?) Len: You were brave to expose yourself (oh, dear, more headlines) Alesha: I loved that, great usage of the buttocks, well done! Score: 24 Got my vote. Loved the song, just wish I could remember what it's called ... it'll come to me eventually. (Over to you, Foxy!)

Have to be completely honest though - the salsa couples tonight had a lot to live up to and they didn't excite me in the same way as those that have gone before - Tom, Alesha, Matt, Gethin and Mark - I think we've been spoilt or maybe it's to do with the music, none of it grabbed me tonight. See vids >>>>>>>

Judges thoughts: Craig: Most improved - Jo! Len: Fave tonight - Lainton; Alesha: Most impressed with Zojam; Bruno: Joe and Jo still both need to up their game.

We couldn't care less about the football either Bruce, the footie fans are in the other room. In fact, I'm stuck in the bedroom so I can watch in peace and quiet. And become so engrossed my cuppa went cold, dammit. The glimpses of Tom's foxtrot are very welcome - again, none tonight hit the spot the way that one did.

We've a Hollywood style Pro number tonight, with guest tappers Dougie and Matteus, the ladies pretty in pink, like an explosion of candy floss; top hats, tails, canes - transported to a Busby Berkeley Latin Ballroom.

Dionne Bromfield - worth the hype? Great voice, Godmother Amy looks like she needs strings to hold her up though ... that's it, up with the arms, there you go. Matt and Aliona steal the show.

The Moment of Truth: Safe - Lainton; Phitya, Yay! Alian, Yay! Jostina; Ricalie, Yay! Rickin; Vinalie; Chrola, Yay! Zojam; Jodan; Ianade *Phew* I'd have felt so guilty not voting for them tonight! It's foxtrots at five paces, Cravia v Darrynda. Both improved, Cravia get Len's casting vote. Lynda puts on a brave face and does the can can without the legs! And that's my favourite team name gone!

Strictly Come Dancing - Strictly Confidential!

Friday, 9 October 2009

Strictly Come Dancing It Takes Two - Stage Curtain Twitching!

Lainton on the sofa - what a week! Laila (Top of the League) wants to move on; Anton (Beke on Track) is mortified at the whole issue. It was weeks ago - hands up everyone who's never made a mistake, ever! When I was pregnant - hormones, terrible things - I sent a code number list for swear words over the work fax to the other office and the manager picked it up - all I had to do was let my mate know you see - but I didn't *tuts* see, even I'm not perfect ... They're foxtrotting to Frank Sinatra. Classy.

A Day in the Life of Joe - off to the gym, dad's pleased to see him, lol. Opening a new bridge in New Bridge; dance training, dad's enjoying it!

The Friday Panel - Sarah Cawood (Sarahlina ballerina) says Ali is naturally gifted; Neil Fox (Doctor Foxtrot in the House) says Ricky G is the most entertaining; Craig (Horwood to please) says he's rooting for them all when they come down the steps - after that it's their own fault ...

Vinalie's salsa - dancing like no-ones watching, down and dirty to Gloria Estefan, sexy and fun, sequins and fringing - that's just Vincent; Rickin's foxtrot - holding frame well, needs more sway for Franks Sinatra's All of Me. Tails! Ianade's salsa - placing arms, action going on to La Isla Bonita, not the Madonna version. 26 metres of frills! Cravia's foxtrot - dancing with elbows to Sometimes When We Touch *cue sniggers* by Dan Hill - Craig needs to take it on board, have a couple of pints! More tails! Alian's salsa - lots of glam armography, needs to build the character but with help from the Queen of Salsa, Celia Cruz; Jodan's foxtrot, a tiny step behind Brendan, to Jane Horrock's Crazy - and oh, feathers, lots'n'lots of feathers!

Mixed feelings under the spotlite: Trepidation, like you're about to be booted out of an aeroplane, nauseous, a million things going through your head, it's horrible, don't fall apart, breathe, concentrating on Tess and Brucie ... Claudia's in live rehearsal. Mind those stairs in those shoes! Ricalie - their fastest dance and least practice. Rico, the crazy barking mad Latino is loving it - a funky, almost street snippet. Note to Natalie: Boob tubes in Friday practice - not a good idea!

Thursday, 8 October 2009

Strictly Come Dancing It Takes Two - The Goodman Guide is Back!

Salsa updates: The stats: Performed 24 times, average score: 30.3 - top three averages: Matt on 38.5, Ramps on 38, Tom on 36.5.

Chrola, tops for training hours this week on 27 - Chris is going to rrrriiiipppplllle ... but only with the lights off ... Alian on 24 hours and a raunchy street salsa taking shape ... Ricalie, 19.5 hours of a disco feel buzzing salsa - and Natalie more nervous than Ricky! Ianade 21 hours into what you'd think Jade would find the easiest routine, but no. And Ian looks like he's off to join Richard and Lilia. Vinalie on 16.5 and it's all about the rhythm and the beat - could be Nat's best so far!

Phitya on 13.5 and the sofa - the knee's not working but the hips are, baby! Phil (Knee deep in salsa) describes his QS as Ring-a-ring-a-roses. Katya (hoping Phil's tuff enough) says the salsa has simple to the point choreography; he's a ballroom boy but the salsa is fun! Congratulations to Katya and Adrian *aww* on their engagement!

Len's Masterclass: "Recreating famous iconic moves" with er, Claudia! Salsa basic and cucarachas a la beginning of Mark and Karen's. Forward/Back BACK Claudia! Do it slowly and build to a frenzy - let's channel Karen and Mark, says our girl - it's ok, no-one saw that bit! Come On! As though Karen was there, says Len. Matt and Flavia's armography - keep low and through the hole and out the other side - she did it! Way to go Claudia!

Foxtrot updates: Stats - performed 47 seven times, average 30.6, twenty maximum 10s, Top 3: Rachel average 40; Lisa 39.5; Tom 37.

Rickin 19.5 hours - comedy not appropriate in the foxtrot, going for romance; Jodan 18 - can't grasp the foot thingy; Lainton 21 - loving it, fave so far; Jostina 21 - determined to do well; Cravia 18.5 it's almost like the moonwalk; Darrynda 13 - sophisticated, showing a softer side; Zojam 21 - looking very Fred and Ginge, gone for fun music - they're on the sofa and admitting the last bit of their Paso was made up! James (He's lucked out) saw that Zoe was on the wrong foot and swishing her skirt the wrong way! Zoe (Hot to Foxtrot) felt guilty at getting good marks and comments. She still wouldn't be the first up at parties!

Don't forget to send your questions in for Claudia and the sofa guests via the official website - tell them I sent you ;) in the absense of funny credits, here's a little beauty to end on, courtesy of DSQ!

News in Brief - SYTYCD, SCD, DWTS

The results and rundown for this week's Dancing With The Stars and So You Think You Can Dance is here, courtesy of Trav, plus a rundown with videos from MJ, from the SYTYCD auditions.

It's official - Cat Deeley will host the UK series of SYTYCD!

Harry Connick Jnr and Spandau Ballet will both be appearing on Strictly Come Dancing - what I'd love to know, is when Jean-Claude Van Damme joined Spandau Ballet ... here's a lovely interview with Ola.

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Strictly Come Dancing It Takes Two - Midweek Mentoring!

Introduced by a sparkly Claudia tonight, with the first cow'n'calf of Albert Square Squared: Rickin on the lazy loafer, telling us about his bubble and squeak - Ricky (Gangster of the groves) says it's all good currant bun, Erin (Totally Boag-acious) doesn't want Craig ripping into their foxtrot; SHOUT-OUT to forumite DSQ *YAY* (I know her!) bigging up Ricky! Claudia says she gives everyone around her a muffin so they don't speak, when Rickin are on! Ricky says bring him dusky pink and sequins, he's embracing it - and he even teaching Erin in Strictly Freaky Friday!

Strictly Froum Questions: Fave Biscuits - Craig: Jaffa Cakes! They're cakes, man! Phil goes for the choccie digestives; Fave era -Ian, the 20's; Chris, Roman times; Laila, the 80's! SHOUT OUT to Dilly! Fave song to dance to: Zoe - Aretha's I say a Little Prayer; Lynda - Marvin's I Heard it Through the Grapevine; Ricky G - The Crusader's Streetlife; Bruno - No idea, in between yelling he wants everyone and everything, he had his leg in the air again like a demented she-dog on crack. But kudos for the others terrific taste!

Chris and Jaci, Salsa champs on the sofa with Lilia, checking out the shimmies - Ianade, and Jade a natural with the rippling and wiggling, just needs shaping up, Lilia (Russian Fox) says she has a gift for both Latin and ballroom; Chris (midweek Marques) says if Alian get it right, it'll be one of the best ever - I remember him being that excited by a certain other salsa in training - M&K's, so no pressure Alian! Hope the cross body leads go well!?

Over to the foxtrot - Jostina need to concentrate on technique but you can see he's trying to be graceful; Jodan still need to work on that core; Laiton are easy to look at, sometimes stunning; Darrynda need to work on top half.

Can't wait for those salsas!

Albert Square Squared Take Two: Vinalie on the other Gordon the gopher - Nat (She's a head Cass) so positive, Vincent (The ladies love him) says she's improving each hide'n'seek. Sucks a lemon to ease the nerves and stop her mouth drying out. Really. That's not rhyming slang for anything. Vincent hurt his heep in training but their salsa is fabulosa!

Cravia are in the studio - cue lots of egg yolks on the back of the humpty dumpty comparison until Claudia says enoeuf is enoeuf! Craig (the man off the telly) went blank, prompting a case of De Ja Vu for Flav (Neapolitan Nice Team) he was too busy thinking about the bit he hated and forgot the bit he loved! She says he's good technically and has moments of genius in the foxtrot!

End credits - training: Casualty style! We'd better hope there are some of them fit for Saturday!

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Strictly Come Dancing It Takes Two - Dance Scene Investigation!

Chrola on the sofa, re-iterating that we'd have loved the original quickstep routine - Chris (breakfast cereal dancer) says it was a shambles, he's too hard on himself - a big SHOUT OUT for Chris' Chicks! Mrs Jordan's Guide to Dance for Unruly Little Boys: "Do you want to go to the corner ...issues with counting ...he's counting really well to eight now." His mum still phones and asks where he is: "Dinner's on the table!" Salsa next week, he's not a show off, needs to get his confidence back. He is going to rediscover his mojo, or else! Come on, Chrola! Lovely fun interview, they're so sweet!

Choreography Corner with Karen (Keeping up with the chasse). Ravona would have done better with the Paso - the QS was poorly choreographed for him - should have been in hold more, no charleston. Rickin on the other hand, Erin being very clever - arms in unison facing forward, syncopated timing - Erin's ticking all the boxes in the early days. Lainton, and a gamble by Anton not to go for a bouncy qs, but good topline and technicality playing to Laila's current strengths; as is Ian with Jade - completely different, lots of bounce and woodpeckers (the toe taps behind), repeating those strengths, no gapping! It's all about the journey! Phitya, nice and gentle, worked on top line, in sync, clever choreography. Chrola went for the performance when technique failed *kudos* - Ola knows the quality of what she's got. The Paso is an easy dance - Natalie did what she needed to do - great shapes from Ricky, steps not difficult but big points for shaping.

Darrynda in the studio, and still a bit in shock - Lynda (taking stock) improved and pleased, then shocked. Darren (Saved by the Bellingham) thought they'd be safe and it was then a case of "Oh! Here we are then!" But up first so no time to dwell and all the better for it. Thrilled it was unanimous. Foxtrot next week could be her dance!

Claudia has been there for twelves years - it's advanced another three years since last week, LOL.

Ianade on the other sofa, and yet more injury worries. Jade (Gem of a dancer) bent a rib under another rib *eeeuuuww* - they've taken out that particular move from their salsa!

Auditions for So You Think You Can Dance begin tomorrow! Go on, go for it - you know you want to!

End credits - James In A Skirt. Oh yes.