Monday, 30 November 2009

Strictly Come Dancing - It Takes Two:The Boy is Back in Town

But first - backstage pass with the flaw-less floor team! All those marks on the floor, the cleaners must hate them. And they're ignored by the couples who can't stay still. Tess has an earpiece, Brucie prefers the old fashioned cueing action of a waved arm. Lots of behind the scenes madnes, how it all comes together is amazing. How do you get a job like that?

Vinalie on the sofa and Natalie (Back to square one) is being very pragmatic. The most upsetting bit is not seeing you, Claudia! Vincent (No amore Vincent) is heartbroken, it was an amazing partnership. They've carried on training for their waltz, just in case there's another drop-out! Highlights of their travels; Alesha the first judge up on her feet for the standing ovation. Vincent's blubbing again, bless him.

Bad Boys - Craig (Rock'n'Revel) and Bruno (very frank Bruno) on the sofa, Bruno returned from America for good, telling Clauda he is all hers with his usual gusto and descent into Carry-on speak, lol. They both agree the R'n'R's were underperformed and say it may have been fairer to have the celebs all do the same. Frustrated by the mistakes of Ricky and Laila, argue over the merits of Chris' charleston. Claudia would watch it over and over - that's cos you fancy Chris, says Bruno and he's off again! Both glad to see an earthy side of Ali.

The music is the heart of the dance, says Vincent, introducing us to Ben Skilbeck. He works with the dancers to produce their music and says Lady Ga Ga's Just Dance was one of the most requested, but it's so electro based, it's impossible for the band to recreate and do it justice. He passes the music to Mark, who cuts it down to 90 seconds - which can take two minutes or two hours. Then it's back and forth until the Pro is happy. They get the music for the next week straight after the Saturday show and start choreographing next day (well, Vincent does!) Hello to Dave Arch - who re-writes every note for the band - at 4-5 hours per track *OMG* - and the band themselves don't play it till lunchtime Saturday! The live show is only about the fourth time they play it through! *EEK* and double *EEK*.

Lilia and Darren are the first pair up for the Dance off challenge, Lilia says she was worse than Richard's cha cha: Scores - Darren 21800; Lilia - NIL!!! Claudia's never been so glad to run out of time; Lilia's shouting ... she's not coming back! LOL - you have to catch it on I-Player, just for that split second on Lilia's face!

If you missed the show itself, here's Strictly in Sixty:

Strictly Come Dancing: Official Result and Clips

Natalie Cassidy Rock and Rolls out of Strictly Come Dancing

Actress Natalie Cassidy became the tenth celebrity to be voted off the seventh series of BBC One’s Strictly Come Dancing.

In week eleven of the competition the five remaining celebrity contestants and their professional dance partners took to the floor to perform either a Charleston or a Rock and Roll dance - the first time ever that either of these dances had been danced competitively on the show.

In another Strictly first, and echoing traditional ballroom competitions, the couples had to perform a judged group dance. All the couples took to the floor together to dance a Viennese Waltz. Each couple was scored individually by the judges and the scores were added to their totals on the judge’s leader board.

The combination of the judges' scores and viewers’ votes left Natalie Cassidy and her professional partner Vincent Simone in the bottom two and facing the dance off with actor Ricky Whittle and his professional partner Natalie Lowe. Ricky and Natalie then performed their Rock and Roll dance to Hound Dog and Natalie and Vincent performed their Rock and Roll dance to Long Tall Sally for a second time for the judges' deciding vote. Making their decision on who to save, the judges said.Craig Revel Horwood: ‘Well this couple danced the best I’ve ever seen them dance in the competition so far and that’s Ricky and Natalie.’ Alesha Dixon: ‘I’d like to say congratulations to both couples for making it this far, you’re both winners, but the couple I’d like to keep is Ricky and Natalie.’ Bruno Tonioli: ‘The couple I’d like to save, I think, was much much better the second time around – Ricky and Natalie’ With three votes cast in their favour, Ricky and Natalie were saved and through to next weeks show, making Head Judge Len Goodman’s vote academic, however he also said he would have chosen to keep Ricky and Natalie making it a unanimous decision.

When asked if she’d enjoyed her time on the show a tearful Natalie said: ‘I’ve had the most amazing time and you know that. It’s been the best experience, the best experience, really.’

Natalie and Vincent were awarded a total of 26 points for their Rock and Roll dance and 7 points for their group Viennese Waltz by the judges giving them a final total of 33 points.

In a TV exclusive, having never performed the song together on television before, chart toppers James Morrison and Nelly Furtardo sang their top ten hit ‘Broken Strings’ and there was a show stopping performance by Riverdance who are celebrating their 15th anniversary.

In addition to this, Strictly’s professional dancers Matthew Cutler, Aliona Vilani, Brendan Cole and Katya Virshilas performed a twist on the traditional ‘Foxtrot’ by dancing a ‘Roxtrot’ to the Muse song ‘Time is Running out’.

In next weeks quarter finals world renowned ballerina Darcey Bussell joins the judging panel to give her opinion on the remaining four couples. From next week Strictly will also split into two shows. The main show will start at 6.40pm with a separate results show at 9.40pm.

As the competition nears the final stages the pressure is really on as the celebrities and their professional partners battle it out against each other in the hope of making it through to the end.

Strictly Come Dancing is available on BBC One and BBC HD. Tune in to the next episode on Saturday 5th December 2009, 6.40pm with the results show at 9.40pm. Don't forget you can get all the up-to-date gossip on Strictly Come Dancing’s sister show It Takes Two, weekdays at 6.30pm on BBC Two. For more information and gossip, visit or follow us on Twitter: @bbcstrictly.






Group Viennese Waltz:

Professional dancers' 'Roxtrot'

The Result:

Saturday, 28 November 2009

Strictly Come Dancing: Running Commentary, Week Eleven

Ooh, Tess all fringy - did the wardrobe department do her hair? Lovin' that look - except for the 2012 Olympic Gold round her neck, fresh off the smelt or wherever they come from. Jeez, Ali can barely walk down the steps *shakes head* Brucie mentions drama queens. Cut to Bruno, lol.

Chrola up first! Role reversal in training. The Jordans are being bossed around, helping him move. Adore Ola's Charleston dress. Ha ha - brilliant routine, Yay and a Woohoo - how much fun was that? Great job by the band, great choreography, suited them so much, cheeky and full of magic. Happy Birthday to Bruno. Len: The fun and entertainment you've just given us was fabulous; Alesha: A whole new side, you owned that dance, brilliant routine, energy, fun, set the standard; Bruno: The delightful dancing fool at his best, your best to date; Craig: Very crowd pleasing, theatrical, plucky, I loved it. Score: 34

Ricalie - severely lacking in gym mats in training, if you ask me. Nice hair extensions - Natalie, not Ricky. Well, the lack of practice showed, it's lacking energy, however, that was one tricky routine with all those Rock'n'Roll air steps, unsurpringly a couple of mistakes, a bit out. He didn't nail it, but you'd be hardpressed to see any of the other celebs attempt any of that. His actual dancing is still sooo good - but may be in trouble. Len: What we saw is what we're looking for, apart from the mistakes; Alesha: King of the lifts, but needed to let go more; Bruno: You're good - but has to be mistake free; Craig: More height needed, lacked a little wow. Score: 31

Alian were having such fun in training until that moment - and now she's hobbling down the stairs to Charleston in flat shoes - very sensible. And bloody fantastic routine, considering (the adrenalin kicked in and numbed the pain) Absolutely delightful, the swivel was there, a quirky Ali. No offence Brian, but I didn't see you. Brilliant, well done Ali. Bruno: the fabulous flapper, swivelling, flavour of the era; Craig: Goofy, gangly, absolutely gorgeous. Giving Josephine Baker a run for her money; Len: A new side to you, great; Alesha: proved you were the front runner, full of bounce and colour - after the week you've had, outstanding. Score: 37. Aw, Chris held the record for about five minutes.

Vinalie started off their rock'n'roll routine with fantastic energy but couldn't keep it up, the choreography nowhere near ambitious enough, no wow factor like the others so far. An element of fun as ever, but she'll be bottom of the judges leaderboard. Tonight we find out how popular she really is. Craig: Wasn't for me, very one dimensional; Len: Wasn't great, needed a wow factor; Alesha; You always bring personality, felt a little bit flat; Bruno: You're a goer, we love you for it - Vincent needs to work on your technique. Score: 26

Lainton speakseepy...speaksteeb...speaksealy... or not, eh, Brucie? A quick glimpse into the speakeasy world of Tess' area when no-one's looking. They've never known Anton to be so quiet in training! Great start, lots of promise, her most energetic routine to date. Good fun, but not as much as the others. Alesha: Comedy element, storytelling, did so well, thanks for getting Anton this far; Bruno: A glitzy panto; Craig: Heavy, no swivel, laboured loved the storytelling and fun element; Len: He (Craig) is so wrong - it was lovely. Score: 31.

Group Viennese Waltz training, or, Demolition Derby! Or "proper dancing" says Anton! Len explains how they judge it - he's expecting bumper cars. My adrenalin's going, I'm actually shaking - they all looked fab to me, and only one little near pile-up towards the end! Judges appraisal: Len - Alipali, lovely, so smooth; Alesha: Chris little but still stood out; Bruno: Leila coped well, but then she does have Anton; Craig: Natalie redeemed herself; Len; Ricky coped beatifully, good floorcraft. Marks out of ten, judges getting together while we wait in Tess' area with the couples - I just noticed how pretty all the dresses are. The girls loved being led around; scores in: Chrola 7; Ricalie 9; Alian 10; Vinalie 7; Lainton 8. Leaderboard reads: Alian, Chrola, Ricalie, Lainton, Vinalie. I miss the chit chat with Tess as I'm too busy voting.

Matthew and Aliona, Brendan and Katya take to the floor with a modern twisted foxtrot. It's awesome, is it Aliona and Katya's influence, these contemporary twists? Bruno loving Ali and Chris' performances tonight. Julian Clary, national trinket, with some words of advice in the QPR locker room: There's a camp man trying to get out of Ricky's shirt - Chris' is already out and is not going back. Craig, he wants his corset back. Teaser for ITT - the Pros' dance off on one of those dance mat machine thingies.

Riverdance are awesome, I love watching them so much. James and Nelly sing Broken Strings, I thought Lloyd had popped in from next door for a second there. Darren and Lilia accompany, she's borrowed a catsuit from Ola - and she's cut bits out of it! The Pro's big up their celebs.

The Moment of Truth. I need a wee. Safe: Alian, palpable relief; Chola - even higher squeal from Ola! Who's the last one? Lainton! It's a Rock'n'Roll Dance Off. Ricalie first and - Yes, totally nailed it that time, miles better. My heart is thudding. I don't see how Vinalie can be saved. They can't. Craig says it's the best he's seen Ricalie dance; Alesha congrats both; Bruno: Ricalie much better second time round. It's a clean sweep for Ricalie. Ricky is straight over to little Natalie, who says she's had the most amazing time. There's a standing ovation, Nat gets a little dance from Brucie. Everyone's welling up, even me - and I didn't even vote for them!

Friday, 27 November 2009

Strictly Come Dancing - It Takes Two: Panel Games

Erin's crib first though - magic mirror - her celebs autobiographies - she needs a secretary - it's spotless, can't be there much - toasted fish finger and ketchup butties after Strictly - flowers in every room - choreographs on the rug in front of the telly.

Did Claudia just step in the path of a wind machine? Lainton on the sofa, Laila (Charleston Athletic) says they deserved to be in the dance off, it's given us a kick for this week. They're like Ricky and Bianca, though Anton (sleeps in a tie) doesn't know who they are. Laila has been practising on her own in Morocco and Anton says she's nailed it.

Forum Q&A: Where will you be in 5/10 years time? Ola - 3 kids and a dog; Brian - no idea; Ali - film/theatre/tv; Laila - on a beach in Tangier; Craig - in the gutter; Erin - 16 kids, 10 cats, 14 dogs, 4 budgies; What dance would you like to perform and where? Natalie - a samba in Africa, Katya - ballroom in Vienna; Anton - the Albert Hall (ballroom, presumably!) James - a Latin, whilst skydiving! How many mirrors in your house? Brian - 1 or 2; Katya - 2 or 3; Craig - lots; Ola - 4; Erin - 6; Matt - 4; Ian - 3! No, 4. 5? 6!!Or 7!!!

The Friday Panel, comprising Craig (Rock and Droll) Alesha (She Rocks) and Tony Blackburn (Bop Picker) Alian and she's training in trainers, needs a lot more bounce and swivel - 13 hours this week - Paula Nutini the song, Tony doesn't like it but it's perfect for the Charleston. The dress is red and electric pink cheeky, back strappy beady bits holding it together! Ricalie, dancing to Elvis. Jailhouse Rock? asks Craig naughtily. No, it's Hound Dog! Tony talks too much, we don't want the history of the song, Tone, just a "Yes, that's perfect R'n'R." Chrola - Chris is going to love this dance, regardless - Craig reckons it'll be his piece d'resistance. Alesha does the mouth: Ooh Wow OO. Genius. Craig's bopping, he's loving this song. Vinalie - not as bouncy, we're out of time, didn't catch the song!

Strictly nightmares: Chris wakes up counting; Natalie dreams of James and forgetting her moves; Laila fears going blank; Ricky doesn't want to go out on a whimper; Ali - sleepless nights over dance off worries.

James in the studio - nicks a drumstick - the infamous stairs - mind the cables - I'm surprised there aren't more accidents - no idea what those numbers on the floor are for. He's found Chrola, snogging on the sofa in Tess' area! In conversation with Hobbits: Ooh, get him with his spats! They were lapped in the group VW, he's driving an F1 car with his elbows. Ola's banned Chris from doughnuts as she's lifting him in their routine! Vinalie in practice, Vincent's having to follow Nat! We play out with a pre-recording of them rockin’ an’ a rollin’!

And the reason for the pre-recording is because of another pre-recording (happening live) of James Morrison and Nelly Furtado performing Broken Strings, a Strictly exclusive as they've never performed it together on televison before.

We also have Riverdance on tomorrow nights show - can't wait for that!

Don't forget, the show starts at 6.50pm and you can follow that action and boo, gasp and hiss with Strictly Social. Or leave your comments on the message boards at the website. Here's that Strictly Confidential as promised earlier in the week!

Thursday, 26 November 2009

Strictly Come Dancing - It Takes Two: Brucie's Bonus!

To begin with though, a beginners guide to the Charleston: Wild, entertaining, took over the 20's like wildfire - banned at one point, too scandalous! It's all about having fun, anything goes versatility; lots of swivels and bounce, kicks and flicks and shimmies!

The training: Lainton having a lot of fun, Anton's going for hammy acting! Alian?? 8 hours training, but it all seems to be filmed on Monday - no updates re how things are now?! Chrola's little legs up to 18 hours. Pecking chicken? Fountain? Just two of the moves in it! They're having a ball and they're on the sofa. Ola (Sparkling C'Ola) screamed when they made it through - you're never safe - and makes Chris hold her hands, she's so nervous, Chris (Who loves yeah baby)says she digs her nails in him! They lead a topsy turvy life with the judges - and he admits to a very late change in the VW choreography, along the lines of Ola thinking: Oh My God, where's he going! The Male Guide to Dancing in a Televisual Competition: 1. The little woman is always right; 2. Complimentary uniforms help team bonding; 3. Take out frustration on inanimate objects - including the face; 4. Know Your Limits! They've a fantastic song choice - Fat Sam's Grand Slam from Bugsy Malone!

Len's Masterclass - the start of Zoe and Ian's tango: Start facing, point right foot, heads down, music, heads up, circle your foot alluringly, step across, look, shrug him off, he comes again and She's Not Having It! Claudia's really getting into this dancing lark now, lol.

Beginners Guide to Rock'n'Roll - evolved from jitterbug, explosive, energetic, athletic, upper body sway, up&down and side2side, lifts way up in the air, throws - safely! You know, the way things are going, I wouldn't like to be in celebs Ricky and Nat's shoes ...
Vinalie on 16.5 hours training and Vincent still can't do a roly-poly or a cartwheel! Ricalie on 19 hours and Pro Nat (A vitamin supplement they could all do with) looks like she's scaling a (man)mountain in the form of Ricky - I hope that's early 'air step' footage!

Now for Brucie's Bonus - a competitive group VW, Flavia explains, with help from Anton: It's old school competition, proper dancing - how the Pro's do it, all out at the same time but doing their own thing, not a group dance, everyone in it for themselves, being judged and scored. There are knees and elbows everywhere - they haven't learnt floorcraft - and so much harder for the boy celebs having to lead. Could be great, could be not so!

Vision On - The Pro's turn for self portraits!

I've changed my mind about a Strictly rollover ...

... since it occured to me, if Ali and Brian do miss this week, they'd have an impossible task to catch up, wouldn't they? So, I've been thinking and here's my three point plan to get Strictly back on track to everybodys benefit.

1. Ali and Brian have a bye through to next week. Give the poor girl a break, this is her third injury.

2. Run the Saturday show as normal, but, after the remaining four couples have danced, announce that instead of voting to save one of them, you are voting to reinstate one of the previous couples, from a shortlist compiled by the judges (Zoe, Phil, Ricky - top average scorers previously eliminated?) We're ensured a decent dancer returns, but we control who that is, giving the couple a decent shot at their second chance.

3. The phone lines open as normal, there's a Moment of Truth as normal. Delight for the reinstated couple, delight for us bringing back someone to ensure a three couple final (all being well with Ali next week) delight for the BBC - still a cliffhanger finish to the show. Worse case scenario is Ali unable to continue - in which case, reinstate the second couple in the phone vote - get them to train all week, just in case. A Win/Win/Win scenario, yes?

In other news, Trav's Thoughts are in on the Dancing With the Stars Final Performance Night, and the Results Night - I think I heard Pam's "Squeeeeee" from here ...

MJ gives us the rundown of this week's So You Think You Can Dance, with videos.

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Strictly Come Dancing - It Takes Two: Taking Bets for a One Couple Final?

OMG - Brian, alone on the sofa, Ali injured again! *GASPS* She stumbles, I thought it might have been a wrist, but it's a foot again. Taken to a specialist for an MRI scan, worse case scenario is a torn ligament or fracture, thankfully it's neither, but severe bruising. So they haven't trained except for four hours before the accident. Brian (Flying solo) is actually shaking, as he hopes for the best. So what will happen? Presumbably, if she can't dance this week, they can get a bye to the next round - and, Powers That Be please do not eliminate this week - rock'n'roll it, rock'n'roll it all over to the next week and get us back on track for a three couple final - come on, now's your chance!

How to get a ten out of Len: 1 point for turning up; 2 for moving left leg; 3 for moving right leg; 4 if you start and finish with the music; 5 if he sees potential; 6 for everything so far, plus performance; 7 for signs of good technique, footwork, hip action or chemistry; 8 for true improvement, hold, posture, movement in ballroom, for hips and footwork in Latin; 9 for the unexpected, something you wouldn't expect a celebrity to do at that stage, perfect use of body, beautiful feet, musicality, magic; Finally, a 10 - for all of the above, plus that sparkle, that feeling of something special!

James' (Training Spotter) midweek report with Jenny (Flapping fantastic) and Ryan Francois (it's all rock'n'roll to him). It's not Jive and Quickstep, it's Rock'n'Roll (bopping, pendulum, airsteps) and Charleston (character driven, big kicks) they're different, although there are similarities. The professionals are out of their comfort zones. And there are two dances this week, says James. Claudia says: That was exclusive, do not allude to it, don't even look at me, lol. It's not a secret though, I'm sure I read somewhere there was a group dance as well as the individuals. And I don't mean on the Daily Scatter!

Lainton a little heavy on her feet (and now in Morocco for a photoshoot) no swivel yet but lots of character, the Charleston will suit them; Vinalie timing a little off in their R'n'R but Nat brings energy - more than Vincent! Improving, she's going to sell it; Chrola needs to be more confident but his cheeky chappie personality makes the Charleston potentially their best dance - as long as he can remember the steps! Ricalie looking confident, which sells R'n'R, just need to tighten it up, get on down.

Forum Q&A's: Which superpower would you like? Brian and Ali both choose flying; Ian - superstrength; Erin - invisibility; What's playing on your MP3? Len - Bing Crosby; Brian -rock, rap, country, classics; Ian - Jason Mraz; What film dance would you emulate: Ian - the title Gene Kelly sequence in Singin' in the Rain; Erin - Fred and Ginger, Cheek to Cheek; Laila - Flashdance; Brian and Ali both chose the club section in The Mask (Hm, showdance, methinks! Hopes!) Ola chooses Dirty Dancing; Craig, being Craig, chooses the ponytailed girl from Sweet Charity doing this ...ow, just cricked my neck.

Here come the girls: Cherie (Cherie Class), Lisa (Capital Woman) and Heather (Strictly Proud) on the sofa. Standout moments: Ricky G's Paso (Lisa), Ali's VW (Heather) and Chris' salsa (Cherie). Sound advice from Heather: Do what you do and enjoy it, grab any positive nugget, don't take Craig too seriously. Cherie thinks she may have got of lightly because they respected their elder! You have to fall in love with your partner; Brendan is now a softie because of Lisa and Jo. There's dress envy over Laila's fringy suit!

Here's a little something as a special treat - a teaser of what's on offer in Strictly Confidential this week! Steady, Foxy!

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Strictly Come Dancing - It Takes Two: Sofa so good!

Vinalie on sofa one: Nat (Not a Brazil nat) couldn't get on with the samba - straight legs, bent legs, point, ugh face! Vincent (samba survivor) is taking the blame - he chose the music and was uninspired and struggled with the choreography - you should have asked the band Vincent, they had the perfect tune I blipped them! Pretty sure they'd go home if in the dance off, so now they know they've the public behind them. ITT present The Dancefather - Italian lessons! Rock'n'roll this week, they have tutors as Vincent's never done it either! Looking like a lotta fun! Eccellenti!

Sofa two: Choreography Corner with Karen (Dance Deviser) and we're going to see some great professional work with these new dances! On Ricalie's AS - agrees with Len - you'd never see Fred and Ginger doing a lift like that! And it is easy - if you get the timing right! Lainton waltz, delivering the ronde, good job; Chrola - pivots away - play to the crowd, listen to them, they like pivots! Alian foxtrot, al about the musical interpretation and rhythm - quick quick slow, you know "No" says Claudia, "I can't dance!" "I've been watching" quips Karen, lol. Vincent is the all-round Picasso, samba his worst!

(Chair) Ask Len: Which celeb would he dance with? Little Claudia Winkleperson's the girl for him! Which dances are the hardest? Ballroom - Foxtrot; Latin - Samba; Which professional would he love to dance with and why? Vincent! He dances brilliantly as a girl!

Sofa three: Classy Colin, Marvellous Matt and Gorgeous Gethin, Claudia's beside herself - and Gethin! Give us the goss: Colin (fell at the final hurdle) he and Darren had both booked November holidays, not thinking they'd get that far! Matt (Lilia's Lad) is teasing Claudia - has he been at the sherry? Lilia the reason he got through. Gethin (Welsh Wonder) never gave the final a thought until the semi - and then he went out! Their standout moments so far? Colin - Chris' Paso, he was so in the moment. They all agree it's harder being a boy - Matt says Lilia lead him all the way. He's definitely had too much sherry or been hanging around with Claudia all day. His highlight was Craig's delusion - he loves him and wants to meet him "his little face when he went to the judges " (to be shot down!) Gethin loved Natalie's jive - one of those dances where you're still smiling at the end. Who's going all the way - they think Ali and Ricky but would love to see Nat do it!

Fisticuffs to finish (the credits, not the sofa guys!) Seen the Strictly Surgery? It's the American Smooth with Erin this week! Check out the rest of them on the website.

Strictly Come Dancing Official Results and Dance Clips

Ricky Groves became the tenth celebrity to be voted off the seventh series of BBC One’s Strictly Come Dancing. In week ten of the competition, six of the remaining celebrity contestants and their professional dance partners took to the floor to perform a variety of dances. Following Jade’s injury last week it was announced that she would no longer take part in the competition.

The combination of the judges' scores and viewers’ votes left Ricky Groves and his professional partner Erin Boag in the bottom two and facing the dance off with Laila Rouass and her professional partner Anton Du Beke.

Laila and Anton then performed their Waltz to Fascination and Ricky and Erin performed their Tango to U Got The Look for a second time for the judges' deciding vote. Making their decision on who to save, the judges said.Craig Revel Horwood: ‘Laila and Anton’ Alesha Dixon: ‘The couple I’d like to keep is Laila and Anton’ Bruno Tonioli: ‘The couple I’d like to save is Laila and Anton’

With three votes cast in their favour, Laila and Anton were saved and through to next weeks show, making Head Judge Len Goodman’s vote academic, although he said he would have also saved Laila and Anton

Ricky and Erin were awarded 22 points for their Tango by the judges. When asked if he'd enjoyed his time on the show Ricky said: 'Thank you all. I’ve had the most wonderful time of my life - I’ve met Rod Stewart, I’ve met Shirley Bassey and most importantly of all I’ve met Erin Boag.’

And Erin said: ‘Ricky has been so wonderful over the past ten weeks. He’s given it a 100% and (to Ricky) you are the perfect partner, you are really great’.

The show also saw Dame Shirley Bassey perform her new single This Time, which was written by Gary Barlow. Strictly’s professional dancers also performed a stunning Rumba to Madonna’s Frozen, while Lilia Kopylova and Darren Bennett performed an exciting Swing dance to Wild Young Hearts by The Noisettes.

Next week, the remaining 5 couples will dance one of two new dances, never competitively seen on Strictly before. Each couple will perform either a Rock & Roll style dance or a Charleston to stay in the competition.

Strictly Come Dancing is available on BBC One and BBC HD. Tune in to the next episode on Saturday 28 November 2009, 6.50pm. Don't forget you can get all the up-to-date gossip on Strictly Come Dancing’s sister show It Takes Two, weekdays at 6.30pm on BBC Two.
For more information and gossip, visit or follow us on Twitter: @bbcstrictly.

The Result







Monday, 23 November 2009

Strictly Come Dancing - It Takes Two: Reviewing the situation

Likin' the sound of that reviewing lark - don't disappoint me - tell me you've found a way to retain the three couple final. No? Oh ... grumble grumble ... backstage pass with the hair and make-up department. Ten hairdryers - six cases of make-up - 1000 eyeshadows! Loving the watermelon. All done ready for the band call. Ricky W. tries to kid us they make him wear a skinhead skullcap!

Rickin on the sofa; Ricky (Eastended) was resigned following the mistakes whilst Erin (Toppled by the Tango) had an apology for Ricky - she never thought they'd get this far, but it was his energy, enthusiasm and hard work that made it possible. Wasn't nice being up against Anton but it's not life or death! How very refreshing! And what a softie Ricky is, he's too choked for a long message.

Turning the tables and judging the judges, the celebs get their own back. Actually, they're very complimentary, even the impressions! Craig on the sofa (loves lifts, hates stairs) Jade has made the right decision in the interests of her future; the dance off not as obvious a choice as you may think - Ricky improved a lot. Liftgate - Ricalie's lift was beautiful as far as he was concerned; Len (getting grilled) is on the phone, having a cook up in the midwest by the look of it, agrees it's a good lift but should have been saved for the final; Craig all 'go for it' just in case. It's also a very simple lift - he offers to show Claudia - but he's seen her dancing with Len! They didn't think Natalie was as comfortable as usual and the routine too simple; Chris has to smile more, says Craig - Len says he doesn't notice their faces, too busy watching the arms and legs!

Ianade on the sofa for the last time, unless Jade (Knee-ds to rest up) moves in with Claudia! Overwhelemed with the support she's received, still pretty choked, obviously. Ian (The Waite's over) relives the VW, their breakthrough dance. Watching their highlights make you appreciate the loss to the show.

We end with some Vision On!

Missed the main show? Here it is in Sixty Seconds! And keep up with the news and gossip all over the shop, at the website , follow @bbcstrictly on Twitter (If you seem normal enough he follows you back! Say 'hi' from me! He won't know who the hell I am, but still!) And you can sign up for text alerts too!

Saturday, 21 November 2009

Strictly Come Dancing: Running Commentary, Week Ten

Brucie’s back! And The Fonz is there too! But Ianade are out :-( So, so gutted for Jade and Ian – they’ve really grown on me and I was so looking forward to everything else they would bring us. They may come back and dance the tango in the final if Jade’s fit enough! For now though, we say farewell to one of the potential finalists but ... the show must go on!

Alian out first, foxtrotting to Foxy’s favourite Michael Buble I Just Haven’t Met You Yet – it’s gorgeous, very strong, fluid – but her hands are shaking, you can do it Ali. Come On! Alesha: beautiful opening to the show, made it look easy; Bruno: a moment of sheer bliss, was fantastic; Craig: nervy but polished, very gorgeous routine; Len: If you were a pudding it’d be an Angel Delight! Score: 35

Vinalie samba, great musicality, not as precise technically as it should be but good fun. Craig: Venus flytrap mouth – just ok, lacked bounce but completely an utterly endearing and watchable; Len: Messed up contra botofogos, all in hold, lost exuberance; Alesha: a lot of fun, colour and sparkle, difficult dance, good job; Bruno: More Bournemouth than Brazil! Score: 26

Chrola VW – aw, look at the little Ola’s! Another gorgeous romantic dance from the cute couple, loved it – beautiful music and I can’t even remember what it is! Bruno: Better! Way to go, led with confidence; Craig: Shoulders tight, wearing tension on your face; Len: you came out with confidence, great movement, very good job, you sold it; Alesha: I know you can pivot, did too many, didn’t feel the romance. Score: 29

Ricalie AS – I was holding my breath all the way through, it was beautifully done but very understated, not showy at all, a spectacular, smooth lift to end. Len: Gorgeously fantastic – except for the stupidly great big lift, didn’t need it; Alesha: lift shows a lot of trust, it was gentle, understated, romantic, a showsBoldtopper; Bruno: the romantic soul with the strength of Samson (But without the hair, says Ricky!) Two people breathing the same breath; Craig: Amalgamations were exquisite, first celebrity male to lead with added swing and sway. Loved the lift *argues with Len* Up she goes, over the rainbow. You’re D.U.L.L; Len: You're a Donut! Score: 36 (8 from Len, 10 from Alesha).

Lainton waltz to Nat King Cole, very classy, elegant, even with a little stumble, but they’re ok. Bruno: Most of it beautiful; Craig: a little bit behind, a miraculous recovery (from last week) Len: finesse not there obviously, however, came out and did spectacularly well. Alesha: Pleasantly surprised. Score: 29

Rickin Tango – He’s Got The Look! Full of attitude, couple of mistakes but good performance, got the mood. Len: Full of mistakes; Alesha: Came out with intent and determination and tried to sell; Bruno: Wanted to do it so badly you tensed up; Craig: Mechanical, shame. Score: 22

The phone lines open, the last two weeks have been strange; we’re halfway through with eight couples, then suddenly after tonight we’re down to five – and another two couple final looms :( that’s four years on the trot (would’ve been last year if not for the cock up) Powers That Be – you need a contingency plan, we want to see three showdances! We’re being short-changed again! And the judges could end up having to choose between Alian and Ricalie!

Darren and Lilia entertain with a swing dance that is pure fizz and bubble – and not unlike the Rock’n’Roll the couples will be trying next week! Judges thoughts: Alesha: 10 for Ricalie because of the music, choreography, romance, carried away; Bruno: Money is on Alian and Ricalie; Craig disappointed by Rickin; Len – peaks and troughs standards wise. New dances next week: Rock’n’Roll and Charleston, a taster. The girls need to be saucy for Charleston, the boys need to be fit for R’n’R – but a chance for them to let their hair down. Pro rumba to Frozen by Madonna, a lovely simple effect, understated and quite different from the normal show dance numbers.

Dame Shirley Bassey is In The House – singing This Time by Gary Barlow, wonderful performance. Wouldn’t this make a gorgeous VW – and here’s Natalie and Ian interpreting it beautifully, full of swirly moments. What did Tess just say? DSB In The House? They’re always nicking my lines!

The Moment of Truth: Chrola, Woohoo! Alian, Yay! Ricalie, Oh Yes! Phew - three votes for each did the trick! Who’s the last one safe? Vinalie! Can Ricky make it a hat-trick? Will Laila’s ankle hold up? It’s Laila, it’s unanimous. Quarter Final next week!

Friday, 20 November 2009

Strictly Come Dancing - It Takes Two: Panel Beaters!

How do they do it? The professionals, week in out, week out - teaching, training, choreographing and performing - they all approach it in their own way: Being a great dancer doesn't make you a great teacher; use props where needed; adapt to your partner; get the basics down early doors (Ok, Anton didn't exactly use that phrase!) break the routine down; do whatever it takes, be it gaffer tape or nipple tweaking (two guesses who that was!) reverse psychology: do you want me to make it simpler for you? Sports people prefer the direct approach, others may need nurturing; Vincent and Natalie both agreed he's fantastic!

Jade's story ... c'mon, show us that tango! Ianade on the sofa and Jade (Injured party) desperately wants to dance and may be about to overrule the BBC doctor! Claudia talks about the amazing tango again and even admits to teasing us! Well, show it then, come on! Ian (He's a good Waite) says it's been a very stressful week, what with the not knowing what they're going to do. The Moment of Truth? They still don't know! But, I'm guessing that if they do dance, it'll be the tango, since clearly they couldn't learn another dance this week - and that's why they're not showing it! *Fingers Crossed*

A very masculine panel - Jason Manford (Manc about Strictly) wants to be in Ricky W's gang; Michael Ball (Ball-room blitz) loving Nat, Chris and Ricky G; Craig (Bench marker) is very excited, specially about the frocks. On Vinalie's samba he says it's looking very good, her personality will come through. Dancing to Holiday by Madonna and they're slating it - I think it's the best one of all the disco samba songs, the audience will be clapping along and it does have that bouncy sound to it. The dress is classic samba frock, cerise and orange, 3D lace on the bodice, and feathers! Chrola VW has the grace and beauty, a little tense, needs less rise and fall. Dancing to Celine Dion - Now? It's not on Jason's playlist but it suits the dance. Alian, as always, graceful, in the master's arms, even if he is a cheesy American (Craig said that!) They're foxtrotting to Foxy's foxtrot I Just Haven't Met You Yet by The Buble! Jason swaps CDs with his nan and is familiar with The Buble! Ali's wearing a nude top covered with crystals, pastel swirls, almost backless and sideless; Craig didn't mention the skirt!!!??? Lainton have managed 6.5 hours , so slight concern, although the waltz did look nice - and dancing to Nat King Cole, gorgeous. Jason brings to everyone's attention how there's never any of those romantic rumours about Anton and his partners!

What are they thinking before they leave the sanctuary of the stage curtain? Apart from hoping they avoid touching the bit Ricky G's just wiped his sweaty hands on? They zone in; wish each other luck; decide to just go for it; there's pure pandemonium in their heads; there's no going back; it's weird, exciting, emotional. Let's go!

Claudia's on her way, barefoot - so she doesn't fall and break something - down to studio 4, they're in the smaller one due to Children in Need. She's found Chris, sounding very positive, he's been reading the foums and has pulled himself together as instructed! A quick hi to Ola and a hello, boys in charge of everything, just passing through. She's nabbed Ricalie, they could be in heaven or hell tomorrow! They play us out with a pre-recorded clip of their AS - it's a slow one - risky, quite frankly, it will need to be as beautiful and special as they hope. But if you're going with a slowie, there's no better song for it Somewhere Over The Rainbow. Specially when straight after there's a trailer for Sir Andrew Lloyd-Webber's new show - the hunt is on for Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz. Clever.

Strictly Come Dancing Backstage Snippets!

In this week's Strictly Confidential, Matthew takes us behind the scenes with Dave Arch and his fabulous band; Dave and singers Hayley, Lance and Tommy give us their backstage info!







And a snippet of news in brief - Strictly are teaming up with Fitness First to deliver dance classes - there's one up the road from me, so I've no excuse now!

Thursday, 19 November 2009

Strictly Come Dancing - It Takes Two ... and yet more news!

Dame Shirley Bassey is the special guest this weekend! Isn't that a gorgeous photo? One of the all time greats, Dame Shirley Bassey will be performing ‘This Time’, written by Gary Barlow. Judge Alesha will be keen to compare notes with the veteran singer, as her new single was also penned by the Take That star!

Dame Shirley rarely performs on live TV, but she will be performing live on Strictly for the first time in years. A huge fan of the show, she's also an old friend of Strictly’s host Bruce Forsyth and the BBC are delighted to have her on the show.

Training updates: Ricalie AS 10.5 hours and O.M.G - the lifts!! Lainton waltz 1 hour. That calls for another OMG - one hour! Having said that, looks nice for one hour! Vinalie samba 11 hours - proper music by the sound of it, yay! Alian foxtrot 13.5 hours - she's wearing the same top as me, I'm wearing it now! Asda £12. Nice one, Ali! Of course, it could be the designer version George nicked the idea from ...Rickin tango 13 hours. Aye, we're tangoing with stubble, niiiice. Chrola VW 12 hours. She says he can do it! The final decision on Jade will be taken tomorrow.

Vinalie on the sofa, Nat (Foxy Lady) can be a diva if she wants to dontcha know! Vincent says she's the star, actually, no, I am but still ... an award winning partnership: The Vincents 2009 - Best Impression: Nat does Brucie; The Vincent Simone No False Modesty Here Award: Vincent! Best Musical Performance: Natalie, a medley! The John Sargeant Stomping and Dragging Choreography Award: It's a Vinalie joint effort! Tune in next week for the Bennetts! It's goodbye lady, hello party girl for the samba and it's looking bouncy. Oh, behave!

Len's Masterclass - recreating James and Cherie's iconic rumba. Over here Claudia, you're the flower - back and forward, around and drag, right leg up and back you go, you're a swan, a buttercup, a hysterical mass of giggling. And that's just Len. Genius.

Forum Q&A: What size feet? Laila 4 1/2 - 5; James 8-9; Ricky G 10 - 11; Chris 8 1/2 - 9 1/2; Erin 5 - 5 1/2; Ian 12; Craig 11; Katya 5; Anton 8 1/2 - 9; Natalie L. 8 1/2 (did I hear that right?) Ricky W - 10. Fave school subject? Anton: Games/History; Flavia: Technology; Erin: PE; Len: Maths; Laila: English Lit. Ricky G: Geography. Worst hairstyle ever? Len: Perm! Ricky G: Mullet; Laila: very short, wore a hat for two months! Erin: Bleached white; Flavia - teacher hacked off four inches! You could sue for that now, Flav, that's like abuse or something and sh ...

Lilia, Darren and Flavia on the sofa and Lilia (She'll thrillia) says Saturday must have been leftover from Friday 13th! Darren (It's Darren's Day) says they have to trust the celebs to know their own bodies, they can only push them so far. Flavia (no artificial Flavias) was most impressed with Jade in the swing jive, esp. with her determination to learn. Darrens says they were all so enthused. Stand out moments for them: Ricalie's Quickstep, Chrola's rumba and when the celebs say it's the best thing they've ever done, it's all worth it.

We play out with the video of Take That from the Albert Hall Children in Need concert; the Strictly dancers will be kicking off the Children in Need show tomorrow at 7pm! But, in other news, courtesy of the BBC Tweeter - the remaining couples will all be performing dances never before danced competitively on Strictly on 28th November - and they're going to let us know what they are this weekend! Why not enjoy the show with Strictly Social!

News in Brief: There's a lot ...

Diversity are hitting the tour trail, with a show built around routines where toys come to life! I cannot wait - but I'll have to, because it doesn't start till March! And I'm liking the sound of the X-Factor meets Britain's Got Talent Show (scroll right to the end!) on the Isle of Man - with George Sampson and Signature joining Diversity! (And - Stavros Flatley!) The London and Essex group are also joined by George and fellow streetdancers Flawless in a 3D film called - wait for it - Streetdance! But there's ballet dancers in it too! 2010 looking good!

Camilla has left the jungle - the reigning Strictly champion was unsurprisingly left exhausted due to the lack of food on offer, having a higher metabolism than any of her camp mates. Knowing that the food dwindles even further as the show goes on, it's a sensible decicion - nice to have you home safe and well, Cam.

Strictly itself will be reverting to a two part show on a Saturday night for the final three weeks, to allow the public more voting time, and not, as no doubt our red top friends will suggest, because they're scared of X-Factor and/or viewers and/or Arlene and/or the BBC Trust have complained and/or it's all falling to pieces cos Brucie was ill blah blah blah blah ...

Here's a nice in-depth article with Ricky and Erin and a review of Alesha's own live show.

In Dancing With The Stars news, Kym and Maksim will be joining Burn The Floor next week and former contestant Melissa Rycroft joined the Professionals for the Bee Gees You Should Be Dancing performance.

Trav's thoughts are in for this weeks So You Think You Can Dance and Dancing With The Stars- you need to scroll down to the fourth post and then work back up to read them all in chronological order - or you could flit about like I do, reading bit and watching the vids! The main most important thing you need to know is ... oh, no, I won't spoil it for you!

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Strictly Come Dancing - It Takes Two: Midweek Update

Chrola are back to their normal cuddly selves, almost - Ola (Ole Jordan) was so excited to get through following such a mixed reaction from the judges, Chris (Matador Man) is normally only grumpy at their Witching Hour, 5pm. Deal with it, commands Ola! Not finding the VW easy - he doesn't turn enough *eek* "Are you going to the final?" asks Claudia. "To watch?" asks Chris to general background laughter.

A quick guide to judging: The Len Commandments - 1) Thou shalt keep on time 2) Thou shalt not do lifts 3) Thou must have chemistry - off the floor as well as on 4) Thou shalt have co-ordination 5) Thou shalt entertain!

James (full of facts) with the midweek report - concise, excellent, positive critique - he's very good. Claudia shows us his awesome lift with Kristina on Saturday, just for the sheer hell of it! Jade is being assessed day by day, no training today. The Pro's get injured but they're used to it - Ola broke his nose on the dance floor once! Alian foxtrot looks lovely, needs to work on footwork, needs to soften posture; Vinalie samba, technical stuff needs work but this could be another good dance for her personality-wise; Rickin tango and he'll be able to sell it, not into the floor enough though - early days; Ricalie foxtrot American Smooth, looking great already but watch your step! Team Cola - needs to drive more and believe in himself.

Forums Q&A: What do you like on toast? James - baked beans; Ricky G - pate or cheese; Ian - cheese, peanut butter; Craig - yeast extract; Cat person, dog person, neither or both? James - dog; Nat L - dog; Erin - Cat; Ricky W - dog; Laila - dog; Craig - dog; Katya - cat; Ian - both; Chris - dog; Who is your celebrity crush? Nat L - Matthew McConaghey; Erin - Len; Ricky G - wife Hannah Waterman (aw!) Katya - Jude Law; James - Ola (more aws!) Craig - Gethin Jones; Anton - Penelope Cruz; Ricky G - Tess Daly; Ian - Katherine Jenkins.

Lainton on the sofa, ankle on a cushion. Laila (Feeling the strain) Brucie went and we all decided to follow! Anton (a great support) is very proud that she had a go. Took a while to get into the rumba but once she did was really looking forward to it, she felt guilty though with Ricky and Phil in the dance off when she was below them on the leaderboard. Waltzing in sparkly Ug boots this week!

Cool-ish dance moves to end! Have you done the quiz this week? No? Try it here: Questions - and then check out the dancer with the answers below!

And the lovely Katya also gives you her top three tips to Tango!

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Strictly Come Dancing - It Takes Two: Not so Terrible Tuesday

Announcement: Jade may be out! Watch this space ...

Rickin is in and on the sofa, both Ricky (Fully Focused) and Erin (Back to Boagie) had 'that' feeling and were ready for the dance off - surprised to be up against Phitya and also to beat them - although Erin dared to hope when Phitya made the mistake. Claudia uses the word 'jazzy' - and apologises! There's nothing wrong with jazzy, Claudia *wags finger disapprovingly*. Ricky's Thought Bubbles. Ricky the Transformer. The Dancer in Disguise. Funny. Tango this week - not funny, serious aggresive attititude again, Erin says it will be his best! A nifty bit shown there. Not yet into the thirties - but it never worried Erin and Julian, did it!

Karen's choreopgraphy corner, the Pivotal Champion talks injury, the celebs not focusing on their bodies - too many other things on their minds. Must warm up! Jive and Quickstep the worst for pounding on the body, ankles a problem - specially in heels! Ali's hip action a key element in the cha cha, she mastered it, Brian made the most of it; Ola created the shape, Chris too straight; Vinalie's contra body movement, clever routine; Ricalie jive, performed to the audience, asked a man to multi-task - acting, performing, needed to keep his feet moving, always playing catch up. Never pause in the jive!

Terrible Tuesday is when panic sets in, choreography incomplete, can't put it to music, only three days left, all on edge, frustration city - the Pro's back off till Whimsical Wednesday.

Celebrity Superfans in the house -Lionel Blair (Tapping up the Competition) Vanessa Feltz (Strictly Speaking) and Russel Grant (Dancing with the Stars). Lionel took over Brucie's dancing with a member of the audience on Saturday - she looked remarkably like Jayne Middlemiss, but Claudia never said, so it probably wasn't. Lionel loved Ricky's QS, said it was unbelievable, Russell said it's Capricorn rhythm. Vanessa loves Natalie's joy and great partnership - that's her Taurean aura, apparently. Russell dissolved at Ali and Brian's VW, he was a small alka saltzer in life's glass of water.

Strictly Come Break Dancing to end - as in snacking and relaxing, not legs. *Phew*

Strictly Come Dancing: Official Results and Dance Clips

Former England cricketer and TV presenter Phil Tufnell became the ninth celebrity to be voted off the seventh series of BBC One’s Strictly Come Dancing.

In week nine of the competition, seven of the remaining eight celebrity contestants and their professional dance partners took to the floor to perform a variety of dances, however, in a dramatic turn of events Long Jumper and Olympic athlete Jade Johnson injured her knee earlier in dress rehearsal. Following doctor’s orders a tearful Jade and her professional partner Ian Waite were out of Saturday's competition.

The combination of the judges' scores and viewers’ votes left Phil and his professional partner Katya Virshilas in the bottom two and facing the dance off with actor Ricky Groves and his professional partner Erin Boag. Phil and Katya then performed their American Smooth to Come Fly With Me and Ricky and Erin performed their Viennese Waltz to Nights In White Satin for a second time for the judges' deciding vote. Making their decision on who to save, the judges said:

Craig Revel Horwood: “Well it's a big old decision actually tonight, only because Phil and Katya did make a big old boo boo and for me I'm saving Ricky and Erin.”

Alesha Dixon: “Based on this dance, the couple that I would like to keep is Phil and Katya.”

Bruno Tonioli: “The couple I would like to save is Phil and Katya.”

Len Goodman: “Well it was a very, very tough call because they both have danced beautifully tonight and both upped their game. However, I've got to go for the one that gave the cleaner and the more precise performance and that's Ricky and Erin.

On tonight’s show Phil and Katya were awarded 31 points for their American Smooth by the judges. When asked if he'd enjoyed his time on the show Phil Tufnell said: Yes I've enjoyed myself immensely, thank you very much. Katya: It was the most amazing experience, it was so amazing to be part of this family and to feel so welcomed and I have the best partner!

While Bruce Forsyth recovers from the flu, Tess Daly took over Bruce’s hosting duties and It Takes Two’s Claudia Winkleman stepped into Tess’s shoes backstage. The pair were joined by special guest star Ronnie Corbett who kept an eye on proceedings throughout the night.

The show also saw the cast of the hit musical The Jersey Boys perform Beggin’, accompanied by a break-dance routine from Boy Blue Entertainment. Strictly’s professional dancers also performed a spectacular Showdance to One Night Only, from the film Dreamgirls, while Kristina Rihanoff and Brian Fortuna performed a special dance to She’s Like The Wind from the film Dirty Dancing in memory of Patrick Swayze.

The Result:








Monday, 16 November 2009

Strictly Come Dancing - It Takes Two: The Aftermath

Behind the seams with Nadia from wardrobe and oh, how we all wish for a walk-in wardrobe like that (and the dresses to fill it!) Did you see that? A man, ironing - so much for all the sexism rubbish! Ali won't let the cameras in with her dresser; Ricky W's not so shy! The department follow every move avidly - especially the bit where Natalie's bra filler worked its way loose!

Phitya on the sofa and Phil (Tuff luck) was surprised to be in the dance off, after having done his best dance. Katya (had nine lives) knew they'd go as soon as Len began speaking, having had the mistake early on. But on a good note, her mum is still talking to Phil! Glad they went out on a high - they're full of praise for each other. I'm sorry to see them go, I think there was still more to come from Phil. Lovely highlights showing what a wonderful partnership it was. We'll miss you Phitya :)

News of the Whirled - Ronnie's trews; Jade's knees-up; Rouss Rumba Stumble; Judges Put The Cat Out. Claudia explains the rules - if a doctor says they can't dance, they get a week off but only once (Jade) if the doctor says they can, it's up to the dancer (Laila). But didn't say what would happen if one or both subsequently pull out!

Craig (preferred Ricky's Groves) is on the sofa, with Len (Uncle Len - he's pictured as Uncle Sam, see! Geddit?) both say that if Phil hasn't made a mistake, he'd have been saved over Ricky, as overall he was the better dancer. Craig defended his three for Laila (what there was of the dance wasn't very good since she was limping), Len defended his seven (it was his lowest score of the night, he didn't need to be cruel and mark lower). Apparently, Ricky W also had a hamstring injury, which is why Natalie had to slow the jive down - according to Len, nursing injuries has always been a part of the show!

Alian on the sofa - Brian (Prince Cha Cha Charming) thinks it's a beautiful thing that Ali (Cinder-Ali) can't be a bad girl, awww. He's crawling again: "You were brilliant on Saturday, Claudia." Now you've gone and embarrassed her! He is right though Claudia - you were! It's about the only thing all Strictly fans agree on! Fame and Fortuna - Alian have a dream and it's Fab-U-Lous! Foxtrot this week, Brian's first on the show - he's going for simple and effective.

Rockin' it out: There's a lot of hot air guitars, some jumping. And Phil's shoe.

Missed the main show? See it here in sixty seconds and join in the discussion on the message boards here.

Sunday, 15 November 2009

Brian and Kristina grace the garden of England

And yes, it was a couple of weeks ago *ahem* but better late than never I say! Those lovely people Faye and Nick at Strictly Dancers once again brought us a wonderful night of entertainment, starring Brian Fortuna and Kristina Rihanoff, and another workshop, this time the jive, courtesy of host Mark Shutlar. But you know I’m just getting over a sprained ankle, so I didn’t attempt it. I would have, honest!

First out were Danny and Kate, our amateur couple (though you wouldn’t think it) number 2 in the country in 10 Dance, for a Quickstep/Jive combo to Steppin’ Out, Danny looking all mean and moody which belied a fun heart; Kate a vision in blue ruffles. Then a Tango to what sounded like the Gotan Project and a Paso, to the same tune the Strictly Pro’s used in my fave Pro Dance

from 2006 – which was on youtube but is no more *grumbles* - I live in hope of it reappearing! Proper samba music for their, well, Samba obviously, and familiar too, if you check out the Showtime vids – Hip Hip Chin Chin – seeing these dances up close is just awesome – Danny and Kate finished their session with an incredible Jive to Proud Mary.

At the time those clips were filmed, they’d only been together a few months!

The main course arrived in the shape of a Cha Cha to Lady Ga Ga’s Just Dance as Brian and Kristina hit the floor in a flurry of red fringe (Kristina anyway!) to a rapturous welcome, their usual exuberance in the Latin followed by a gorgeously smooth American Foxtrot/VW combo to Baby Love and When a Man Loves A Woman, with Kristina sublime in white and gold satin. What made the evening doubly special was Brian’s throwing the floor open to questions while Kristina changed. So this is less review, more interview punctuated by dancing!

Music for DWTS and SCD – is it given to you or do you choose it? DWTS give you the song, you have no choice – in SCD though, you choose your own, it just has to be approved (licensing etc).

What’s more fun, the UK or USA show: The UK show of course! (Good answer, that’s an extra 300 votes!)

Are you in a relationship? Next question!

What’s with all the candles (in his flat)? I love candles but am very good at spilling wax everywhere (at which point the lady who asked the question said she was excellent at cleaning it up, lol – Brian asked what she was doing later!)

Ideal partner? Ali! (cue ‘Awwwwww’s)

Ok, if not Ali? Tess Daly, she’s hot. No-one’s recording this are they? (Er, no – does writing it down count?)

They Mambo to It had Better Be Tonight by The Buble, with Kristina in a killer leopard print suit, so fast, so WOW! Then a lovely lady called Fran, who celebrated her 90th birthday recently and is still dancing, made us all jealous as Brian swept her onto the dance floor!

What do you think of the judges? They’re all lovely – did you hear what I said to Alesha? Yes, we did, crawler!

Do you choose your own clothes? I’m always in Su Judd’s office!

Are your hips detachable and can I rent them? (That was from a bloke, btw!) I’ve no answer for that, it was drowned out in the laughter! *note to self – tweet Brian!*

And Brian told us a little anecdote about Beyonce – how her entourage advised the Strictly people to keep their distance when she appeared on the show – but Brian being Brian bowled up and introduced himself anyway – and then faced down a bouncer! Which was our intro to their stunning rumba to If I Were a Boy.

Brian happily shared the news that his baseball team, the Phildelphia Phillies, made the World Series for the second time in two years, YAY! (The equivalent of West Ham winning the European Championship. Ever. Or actually just avoiding relegation ...*lives in hope*)

Fave dance? Jive – the all-American manic one, and the Foxtrot – grew up listening to Frank Sinatra.

When did you start dancing? At an early age (between 3-6) moving on to inline skating but going off the edge a bit – dancing set me on the right path and I began to take it seriously at age 15/16. I’ve been together professionally with Kristina for 18-24 months since the DWTS tour and we auditioned for SCD together.

If not a dancer, what would you be? A TV Host (that’s Strictly sorted when Brucie retires!)

Tell us more about Dancing on Wheels: Mum will be flying in for the series – we started the dance classes seven years ago and more and more couples signed up. Then we began writing a syllabus three years ago and approached all the major networks – the BBC commissioned the show, which airs on BBC3 in January. There are six couples taking part and the winners will be representing the UK in the European championships in Tel Aviv! The edit of the show is fantastic!

What do you do for fun? Women! Oh, dear, that came across really wrong (amid gales of laughter!) Exercise – barbecue – golf – pool.

Their last dance is a Disco Hustle to Boogie Wonderland, completely fabulous –

if you haven’t seen any of the professionals dancing live, you must – watching it on the telly doesn’t do them justice! It was lovely to welcome Brian and Kristina to Kent, please come again!