Thursday, 30 December 2010

Ubisoft's Just Dance 2: Still Number One!

And we finally got our Wii fixed, so I was able to put on my dancing shoes (well, take my slippers off, actually) shove the coffee table to one side and almost manage to not trip over the rug, as littlun showed me how to switch it on.

I'll be honest with you now - I'm not a techy person, I don't play game consoles, in fact, the last one I did play was Crash Team Racing (as Coco Bandicoot I was the undisputed queen of Crash Cove in this house) but that was ages ago and I've only ever had a couple of games of bowling on the wii. So I'm not going to tell you how brilliant the graphics are or how it does this or that because I simply don't know. There were words flashing up that occassionally told me "Good" or even "Perfect" and there were some Gold stars too. More importantly, the music was brilliant.

What I do know, is that once I put Just Dance 2 on (passing on It's Raining Men, far too energetic) and got into Tik Tok (c.2500 points) thinking, I'll just do a couple and call it a night but, oh - I Feel Good, I'll just do that (c.3000 points) I found myself - Move Your Feet, that's a good'un - ooh, 6167 - unable to switch it off because Proud Mary beckoned (6996 points) but there's no way I'll beat that. Whoop - Hot Stuff, 8039, get in there! You see what happened?

Addicted, especially when I Want You Back scored me 8675 points! Now I know that regular games users and Just Dance afficionados are probably going "pfffft" at my pathetic little efforts but I was thrilled to be improving - at the same time as laughing involuntarily and doing a damn sight more exercise than I've had in ages! I dropped back to 3933 with Sway, then a Hey Ya netted me 7128. That's my lot, I thought, I must go - but hang on, there's a Charleston, I've got to try that (6833) and I can't possibly turn it off without a bit of Jungle Boogie (3383) but really, that's my lot - oh, ok, just Soul Bossa Nova (3585), because Mattiona did a brill jive to that on Strictly. One more and that's it - The Power, 5217 *collapses in a heap* and I resisted the temptation to go back to the music menu. Littlun showed me how to switch off and I am now completely hooked and itching to get back on it! The Number One chart spot is well deserved! As is the BAFTA!

New from Sky 1 HD: Louie Spence's Showbusiness

Since Louie became the British television legend he now is, Pineapple Dance Studio is too small to hold him!

Hence he's now on a mission to take over the West End, and you can follow his progress, with the start of his brand new Sky 1 HD show, Louie Spence's Showbusiness on January 5th. It's being billed as 'Pineapple Dance Studio on Steroids' and will follow Louie as he seeks a new production rehearsal studio and office space for 'the best West End show London has ever seen!'

Check out clips and info on the Sky 1 website for 'Louie Spence's Showbusiness' and here's a little taster with Louie and Luke


And for something even camper than Carry on Camping ... or is Trojan just winding him up - you'll have to watch and see!

Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Strictly Come Dancing: Christmas Special

And you wouldn't think it possible to fit any more glitter and sequins into one show, would you?

All we want for Christmas, dance the lovely Matt C (lovely pressie for us), Vincent, Kristina, Erin and Anton, as they unwrap their celeb partners Fern Britton, June Brown, John Barrowman, Vince Cable and Ronni Ancona. There's a lovely TessDress too.

First up are John and Kristina; he's a tad excited. We have a Sleigh Ride, a dressing table, presents and a fab fab quickstep, bright and lively, full of energy, brilliantly choreographed to show off John, the band and singers on top form, all in all a proper showdance WOW number. Follow that! It jingled Len's bells; Alesha loved the springiness and the lifts; Bruno says it's a cracker with a huge huge bang; Craig loved the homage to Brucie, called it gorgeous. Score: 37

Ronni and Anton dance to one of my Strictly music choices - a Viennese Waltz to The Most Wonderful Time of the Year. Unfortunately, she's been hit by nerves and Anton is guiding an ironing board around the floor; it would have been completely lovely if not for that. Improved in hold though, for a good effort. Alesha tells her she shouldn't have worried, there were nice moments, specially the lifts; Bruno says they overdosed on the eggnog, a little unsteady; Craig pointed out the balance issues; Len: says she's a duck on ice out of hold, but an absolute cracker in it. Score: 28

Vince and Erin bring us a sweet foxtrot to Walking in a Winter Wonderland, classy and nice footwork, posture could be better, but you know Len is going to love this. Bruno calls it elegant, charming and smooth - like watching Len; Craig praises the rise and fall and his leading, though says there's a tendency to lean to the right, lol! Len is happier than a banker counting his bonus and Alesha says it's great footwork and a great routine. Score: 36

Fern and Matt Step Into Christmas with a jive, a couple of sticky moments but jolly and fun, terrific timing, seems unfair that everyone else got ballroom though. Craig says she coped very well with the changes of rhythm; Len says she was like a trifle, fruity up top but spongy down below; Alesha says it was sexy, cheeky, flirty and full of personality and tells her she's in the best hands!; Bruno called it lovely and vivacious, a sense of musicality and lovely legs. Score: 30

June and Vincent Tango! Disdainful and haughty, into character, genteel fun, not so much with the dancing but thoroughly enjoyable. Len loved the story and really enjoyed it; Alesha loved the drama and the nose to nose action and called her a true legend; Bruno says it was well played and told her to insist on a night at the Savoy before she gives in! Craig says there wasn't a lot of dancing to judge, but there was passion and commitment. I wonder if she's been at the sherry? Score: 28

Funny, isn't it, with just five couples it's a microcosm of a Strictly series - and you can see the partnerships that would most appeal to an audience - Fern and Matt & June and Vincent already showing that team spirit we love; John and Kristina & Erin and Vince would enjoy a lot of support due to their dance ability but poor Ronni seems a mite grumpy and would be first out I'm afraid.

Only Men Allowed are accompanied by Robin and Kristina with a gorgeous American Smooth foxtrot while we wait for the votes to be counted.

The Moment of Truth: It's John and Kristina! Ballroom is for life, not just for Christmas, says Tess, as John says he's love to do the whole series, if only he had the time! We're Xmas Medley'ed out by Jamela, Artara, Scattalie, Gavya and Mattiona, and the judges join in too!

Sunday, 26 December 2010

Special Offer from Engineer Records

Engineer Records have a special New Year offer for you - for every on-line order received between now and New Year's Day, they'll send you five free Engineer release Cds! Five! That's pretty generous, wouldn't you say! The great releases in store now include the new Cds from Kyoto Drive, Call Off The Search and The Startover, as well as many more, all under a fiver!

They've also recently created TWITTER and TUMBLR accounts for the label, to go with their FaceBook and YouTube sites already up, where they'll keep you constantly updated with news, videos and NEW tracks from their awesome rocking roster! It'll be the place to find out first about upcoming releases and exciting competitions and merchandise! So don't miss out, follow them or link with them today!

http://twitter.com/#!/engineerrecords - TWITTER
http://engineerrecords.tumblr.com/ - TUMBLR
http://www.facebook.com/engineerrecords - FACEBOOK
http://www.youtube.com/user/EngineerRec - YOUTUBE

Support your small and independent labels!

Thursday, 23 December 2010

Shortlist Announced For Best UK Dance Act 2010

Five acts have been shortlisted for an online public vote as they bid to become the first ever Barclays Live UK Champions. Vying for bragging rights and a bumper £1,000 prize are Birmingham duo Steadiflux, Bristol group The Freestylers, Reading Kathak star Anuradha, Manchester students Precise Crew and London troupe DEM LOT. (In descending order photographically.)

Barclays Live is capping off an incredible year and kicking off 2011 with a bang by announcing an online vote for the Barclays Live Best UK Dance Act 2010 following a nationwide dance competition that took place over the past year.

The competition was rolled out in various regions across the UK with celebrity judges including Strictly Come Dancing’s Brendan Cole and Sky Sports pundit Chris Kamara. The finalists overcame extraordinary competition with the likes of UK HipHop Champions Smash Broz, London Dance Crew champs Definitives and UDO All Star CHUCK all pipped to the post in their respective regional competitions.

Videos of the five shortlisted acts are now live on the Barclays Live website http://www.barclayslive.com/ where a public vote will decide the winner. Voting will run from Wednesday, December 22nd to Wednesday, January 5th and all votes are free of charge.

The Barclays Live competition celebrates continued investment in branches across the region. In addition the events sweeping the nation, Barclays Live also teamed up with StreetDance 3D star Brooke Milliner to create Your Name in Dance, an interactive dance tool showing a users name in choreographed dance form. Check it out at http://barclayslive.co.uk/interactive.php

Brendan Cole, 33, specialises in Latin American dancing. He is one of only a handful of professional dancers to compete in all eight series of BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing as well as judging four series of Dancing WithThe Stars in his native New Zealand. Earlier this year, Brendan enjoyed great success and critical acclaim during his first nationwide solo tour, Live and Unjudged.

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Snippets: Flawless, Pamela Stephenson, Strictly Come Dancing

An excellent article and interview with Flawless.

Fanatstic blog from Pamela about her Strictly Come Dancing experience - very open and candid!

Warner's Fantasy Strictly Come Dancing line-up has been released, voted for by us! Could you imagine if the Beeb did manage to land all of them? Oh the rivalries!

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Dancing on Ice: Who's Skating With Who?

The full line up of Dancing on Ice has been revealed, amongst other changes to the format.

Karen Barber will no longer be a judge, instead concentrating on the couples as Head Coach. Nicky Slater, as reported earlier, will not be re-joining the ice panel either, but Olympic champion Robin Cousins will be head judge as usual, alongside Emma Bunton and, joy of joys, Jason Gardiner's back too. Be interesting to see if he can out-nasty himself this year or whether the producers will rein him in a bit - slagging off the celebs on Twitter before the results show is not on. Or after, for that matter. See, I haven't forgotten. Can't believe it's almost a year ago ...

Also, only seven of the professional skaters are returning - and they complain about a clear out in Strictly - no Melanie and Fred! *is outraged*

The show will begin with sixteen couples, with two special shows on 9th and 16th of January seeing two couples eliminated on both weeks.

The full line up then: (You may need to Google ...) Or find out more on the official website. Team names included.

Seangela: Angela Rippon, ex newsreader, ex-judge, and Sean Rice
Michloe: Chloe Madeley, Richard and Judy's daughter, and Michael Zenezini
Craigia: Craig McLachlan, used to be Henry in Neighbours, and Maria Fillipov
Mattise: Denise Welch, actress and TV presenter, and Matt Evers
Domandra: Dominic Cork, cricketer, and Alexandra Shauman
Lukalen: Elen Rivas, Frank Lampard's ex, and Lukasz Rozycki
Jeffabelle: Jeff Brazier, presenter, and Isabelle Gauthier
Jennibonbon: Jennifer Metcalfe, actress, and Sylvain Longchambon
Johnseyne: Johnson Beharry VC, hero soldier, and Jodeyne Higgins
Kerriel: Kerry Katona, singer, ex-I'm a celeb champ, and Daniel Whiston
Colaurin: Laura Hamilton, tv presenter, and Colin Ratushniak
Maradia: Nadia Sawalha, tv presenter (who is really looking the part - yay Nadia!) and Mark Hanretty
Samianne: Sam Attwater, actor, and Brianne Delcourt
Stevina: Steven Arnold, actor, and Nina Ulanova
Katilla: Vanilla Ice, rap star, and Katie Stainsby
Fravitty: 'Comedy' Dave Vitty, radio personality (he'd better be funny or I'm going to be very disappointed) and Frankie Poultney.

Sunday, 19 December 2010

Snippets: Kara and Artem, Julianne Hough, Davina McCall,

The News of the World reports that Artem's mum Anna is as smitten with our Strictly Come Dancing winner too! She said: "She (Kara) looks really great. They make a beautiful couple which fills my heart with pride and joy." The couple pretty much confirmed last night in front of millions that they are indeed a couple, and Kara says they get on brilliantly and are looking forward to doing normal things like going to the cinema or for a meal, after being stuck in a studio for three months. Photo and quotes courtesy of the NOTW.

Ex-Dancing With The Stars professional and future Cheryl Cole sister-in-law (possibly) Julianne Hough's new video has been banned for being too sexy! Choreographed by So You Think You Can Dance's Adam Shankman - decide for yourself - I thought it was no worse than many many others and tame compared to the X-Factor final!
An interview with Davina McCall ahead of Got To Dance 2.

Saturday, 18 December 2010

Strictly Come Dancing: Glitterball Glory!

*Ushers family out the room - pours wine - arranges cushions - SHOWTIME!*

Strictly professionals - Eye of the Tiger: Let's get ready to rumba! Lovely dress Tess; she confirms, it's our votes alone that decide, judges scores just for guidance.

Mattiona and their samba first! Starting the party with hips, arms, samba rolls and those bocha cadas, so much fun, groovy smiling all the way through, loved it. Len: came out, full on, hips; Alesha: did it again, perfect opening, best samba of the series (were there many others?) Bruno: Nothing better than a hot Latin, got everyone going; Craig: All, good, I'm afraid - confident, fantastic, torrid hip action. Score: 38

Artara rumba - well recovered from catching a heel in the dress, made it a part of the choreography. Wonderful partnership, beautiful artistry. Alesha: I need a tissue, incredible journey, raised the bar even more; Bruno: Glorious, hypnotic beauty, romantic, extensions, musical phrasing, stunning; Craig: Bruno is right - illegal lift again though. Score: 39

Jamela Viennese Waltz - how are we supposed to choose between these three? Gorgeous, simple, effective. Bruno: beautiful acting, beautiful dancing, completely focused, brilliant; Craig: simple, effective, remarkable, like that you play by the rules; Len: the correct three in the final, all here on merit, hard to maintain standard, you'll have to wait and see if you did! Alesha - elegant and graceful, true star, an invitation to movie magic, beautiful. Score: 40

Showdances next! Their favourite as an encore then? The new one? Mattiona up first - trainers! Training, lots of tricks but also dancing. Love the outfits and the sparkly hay bales - great song choice - I Like The Way You Move, sums it up. Yes yes yes - I do like the way he moves! Full on again, great cha cha stuff breakdance, tricks a plenty from both of them but only one static big lift - excellent mix, showed him off perfectly, all flowed well. Len: Feel good, inspiring music, had fun and entertained, by and large; Alesha: liked the tricks, streetdance, gym stuff, breakdancing; Bruno: no idea you had so many tricks, not as slick but very entertaining; Craig: too static in places, didn't flow together, loved all the tricks. Score: 34 my first vote of the evening, I loved it, thought it perfect showcase for them and they clearly had a ball.

Artara and training - lots of lifts, no dancing yet :( Fast music. Queen? Oh God. No. Blown it. Lost me completely. Hated the outfits, hated the "dance". Just blew it. All the artistry and poetry in music they had and we get that frantic throwing about. All the previous adjectives - none apply here. Fluffed the salsa wow lift too. Craig: sadly missed the lift, timing off at the end, so much courage, difficult; Len: potential to get top marks, hectic, little incidents, nice job, fantastic combination, loved the contemporary bit, true athlete; Bruno: that's what happens when pushing to the limit. Score: 36.

Jamela do The Time of My Life from Dirty Dancing, beautiful armography, salsa section, lovely lift that slots effortlessly in, the swing on the floor, no teeter. It may not be a first for the show (Well, it clearly isn't cos Brendan and Natasha did it) but I found that so much more enjoyable. Alesha - brilliant song choice, sparkled every week, perfectly placed for you, spot on; Bruno: a truly, terrific, uplifting tribute, showcased your ability, hard to beat; Craig: big old stumble - that was James - extremely natural dancer, so watchable; Len: refreshing - waltz, salsa, foxtrot, used all the skills learned, charming; Score: 37 I reckon James did it purely to say "No-one puts Granny in the corner!"

BOMBSHELL! One of the couples won't do their other two dances? I think? That's so unfair *grumbles* So based on that then - I want to see Mattiona's paso and Jamela's AT more than Artara's waltz - coupled with rumba not being my favourite dance and hating their showdance, means it's Artara I sacrifice. I love their American Smooth - but I can watch it again on youtube. A vote each for Mattiona and Jamela. 15 minutes-ish and counting ...

... *eek* almost missed the re-start and it's a Here We Go Moment #1 - fewest votes and leaving: Jamela! Surely their AT ... no? Highlights - maybe a more character driven, risky showdance, who knows? Great performances throughout though, a real pleasure to watch, lovely, memorable dances.

Onto the next part: Mattiona Paso - lovely shaping and phrasing, strong, passion, he's the one eliciting an emotional response tonight so far. Len: liked it, not overstruck, bit jerky, more shaping, not haughty enough; Alesha: this dance made for you, you came alive in this and tango, purpose and drive, determination, solid; Bruno: with Len on this, had aggressive power, flambouyant, good. Craig: I actually rather like it, dramatic, hitting some fantastic lines, thumbs still an issue, wonderful Spanish por de bras! Yay, Craig agrees with me! Score: 35

Artara waltz, lovely as ever, wouldn't say one of their best, seemed a little unsteady occassionally. Alesha: understated, full of romance; Bruno: quality of movement, totally in time, pleasure to watch; Craig: occassional wobble, bit spiky, but you are the most amazing dancer; Len: musicality, truly lovely, few foot things, great. Score: 38 She needs the AS to grab me back!

Mattiona Viennese waltz, completely swept me away (more than Jamela's actually) forgotten how dreamy and gorgeous this was and he really felt every moment. Bruno: Dashing, elegant, lead with conviction; Craig: thank you for the gorgeous thumbs - shame about the head! Len: excellent ballroom dancer, lovely elbows, flat back, little pickle with the the fleckerl - not worth mentioning (why did you then, says Bruce!) Alesha: beautiful performance, impressive from the beginning, true partnership, lovely end for you. Score: 37 Along with his jive and cha cha, a truly versatile performer and a brilliant contestant.

Artara American Smooth - the one we've all been waiting for I think - lovely exit from the tricky lift, this is much more like it, beautiful dance, preferred the other dress - but this is a worthy winner if they take the Glitterball. Along with her AT, tango, salsa - I've already forgotten the showdance, they're forgiven! Craig: would kill to dance like that, amazing; Len: hint of tango, foxtrot, so lyrical and musical - but what's on the label ain't on the tin! Alesha: sad that it's the last time we see you, most exquisite dancer in SCD; Bruno: (He's up) inspired, creatively superb, the blend incredible. Score: 37.

Recap - tough choice, both fabulous - Mattiona took it for me tonight but Artara have been so fab, a different set of dances and it could be the other way round. Both will be remembered for some stunning routines!

Top moments, as chosen by you: Widdlecomb?! flying; Bruno and Gavin; Sssssscottttttt; bendy Fliss; Halloween; back flips, unicycle and teeter moment!

All the contestants back together for a group dance to Paloma Faith - the opening trailer song - completely brilliant routine, one of the best group dances ever!

The Moment of Truth: It's ... Artara! Joy for Kara, loving Artem's work and look forward to seeing him again next year! That's it, all over for another nine months! Where's the calendar?

Friday, 17 December 2010

Strictly It Takes Two: The Final One! *Sobs*

Tonight ... a crowded sofa - Jamela, Mattiona, Artara, Tina, Fliss, Ann, Jimi, Bruno, Miranda, Karen. Budge up.

Jamela's path to the final: Waltz, salsa, rumba, tango, jive, foxtrot, cha cha, American smooth, Charleston, Viennese waltz, paso doble, quickstep. Supergranny, always a smile. Pamela (Feast of Stephenson) emotional after the VT. James (Pantomime James) thought they had a chance after they'd done the salsa. He's tough but it's fun, like being married, mutual respect. 12 hours training a day - work hard, play hard. Every week a bonus, love to win but more important to do the best they can. Roll friends and family VT, Billy's very moved by her ballroom. Clauds isn't called Pamsie but even she's welling up.

Random celebs Christmas wishes montage.

Natalie, Brendan and Robin on the sofa for the Grand Piano Challenge - can the boys dislodge Nat off the top of the table? Brendan, wow, he's goooood, think he may have taken this: 1907! Whoa! Robin next, it's close and ...no, it's not, he smashed Brendan - 3548. Crikey!

Mattiona's path to the final: cha cha, foxtrot, quickstep, charleston, Argentine tango, Viennese waltz, rumba, samba, American Smooth, jive, salsa, tango. Aliona's emotional now. Matt (Mattivity Play) happy to run the course, especially training in barns and fields and stuff. Strictly takes over - no idea what's going on in the world. Aliona (Stocking Vila) winning represents all the hard work. Back injury for her on Sunday, but on schedule - almost! Run friends and family. His dad's set me off with the pocket of courage speech; is this weekend Matt's Agincourt?

More randon celebs Christmas wishes montage.

Jimi (Under the Mistry-toe) says leaving the show is like any break up, you get over it; Fliss (Kendla lit carols) hasn't missed a second of the show; Tina (Jingle Belle) will carry on dancing, soon as the panto is over; Ann ('Combe all ye faithful) people are stopping her in the street to dance! They're still bumping into each other in the group dance! Tina more confident after Strictly; Jimi picks Artara for the win; Fliss wants beauty, talent and sex to win; Tina plumps for Artara also; Ann for Mattiona - but all tremendous.

Artara's path to the final: cha cha, foxtrot, quickstep, charleston, paso doble, salsa, Argentine tango, American smooth, jive, tango, Viennese waltz, rumba. Liquid summary! Life before Strictly? Nope, can't remember! Kara (Xmas Kara-ker) says if you're wondering whether to take on Strictly - yes, yes, yes! Artem (Vin-ter wonderland) says having Kara meant no limits; he's extremely happy to have her as his partner. Going for it tomorrow, gained in confidence, it's been horrific fun. Showdance full on, lots happening, he doesn't think he'll make it through! But you made it up, exclaims Kara! Cue friends and family VT - thankfully only the one each this year *nods approval* Kara's wiping the tears away now!

More random celeb Xmas wishes.

Final Friday Panel: Bruno (Pane-tonioli) already all arms and legs, Karen (Gonna Hardy like it's 2011) the night before is painful, professinals will be exhausted and Miranda (Hart the herald) is having her Strictly party tomorrow - friend Sarah has to draft a two page letter to be allowed in - she's done better, a 200 page project and a spangly frock. No excuses, says Miranda, you find a way to watch Strictly! New dances - Mattiona paso - aggression, retain the artistry, balance, strong, delivers, power and expression, choreography most important. Please Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood - channeling the Goughie and Lilia, eh, clever! One of my all time faves ... ;

Artara waltz - extreme musicality, phrasing, almost suspended animation, will be stunning, she's embraced all, what Artem wants, he gets, she listens, phenomenal. If You Don't Know Me By Now... oooh, oooh oooh we oooh, winning combination.

Jamela Argentine tango - so focused, clean and precise, great actress, ganchos, her dance, lady of the night, life experience. James has found choreography every week that's perfect for her. Oh dear, Bruno's decorating Miranda's leg, life will never be the same again. He's hysterical. We've all let ourselves down a little, says Clauds; Miranda's peaked professionally. Who to win? Miranda can't say, but they're all invited to her party afterwards.

Final random celeb Xmas wishes.

End credits: ITT top moments and the Swingle Singers singing us out, with everyone else in the chorus - but not before Clauds blows up the telestrator. Erin will be distraught.

Thursday, 16 December 2010

Strictly It Takes Two: A tingle in my fingers, a tingle in my toes!

Tonight ... training snapshots, Vincent, fashionistas.

But first, on the sofa, with winning advice - Dr. Peter Lovatt (Winning mentality) and 2008 champion Camilla Dallerup (Dane-gerously talented) with Chris Hollins (Reigning Champ). Don't just imagine lifting the trophy, imagine the obstacles you clear to do so. Jamela camp quietly confident, nothing to lose, hope James doesn't got over the top; Mattiona emotions on the edge, take time out to emotionally explode as neccessary after each dance. Aliona has to trust, become equal; Artara - don't be frightened of failure, just go for it, do what they've been doing, its magical, Artem be her rock. Anchoring! All should just go out and enjoy, to those who don't win - it's a celebration, they're privileged to have been part of an amazing experience.

Artara training update, Kara all sniffly cold. Rumba is staying as is, no need to change, just perform better; American Smooth their favourite, again just want to improve; Waltz the new dance, will undoutedly be beautiful. The showdance - like climbing Everest! Bit concerned that there isn't a pizazzy number to grab the audience though, will have to hope we're swept up in romance.

Vincent dreams of being a model. Nina, the supermodel tells him he has the perfect assets - his hands *wheels come off the dream* Hers are insured for £2M! He's bored and tired and backchatting but he scores an 8! Onto the Grand Piano Challenge and Vincent (Model pupil) scores 271 - above Jared and Anton!

Mattiona training - showdance will be coolest thing she's ever done; Samba their highest scoring; VW their favourite, will hope to improve. Paso Doble the new one, the one he's been wanting to do! They've both got the sniffles too! But that's a brilliant mix of dances, all very different.

Strictly A-Z and X is for X rated costumes! Guys prefer ties, even Gavin! Y ... is not in the Italian dictionary ... Z is for ZZZZzzzzzzzeds, they don't get enough!

Ben de Lisi and Hilary Alexander in to check out the showdance costumes! Kara - military meets Ewok meets Leia, says Clauds. Strawberry lace, epilettes, pure Vailman? Who? Rock'n'roll chic, catsuit. Am now very concerned. Please don't blow it with a load of lifts and throws instead of showing us her beautiful dancing! I have to be honest, I really didn't like the cha cha and that look then. Felt no empathy with her at all.

Aliona back in the country life plaid and waistcoat, rural, cheeky, short skirt, equestrian feel, harness back, unexpected - bodes well for a character driven piece, whoop! Pamela - elegant, delphinium blue, demure, classic, knee length, lycra top, georgette skirts, lots of whoosh! Could very well nick it if they do a Tom and Camilla** and the other two just go down the tricky lifts/throws route and no musical storytelling with arms and legs. I wouldn't normally encourage the couples to read any forums - but I hope they've taken note of the genereal consensus on Brendan and Lisa's showdance and avoid!

Jamela training - showdance, no rules, a celebration of their journey! VW, their best, unchanged; charleston their favourite, slightly tweaked; Argentine Tango the new one - it's a first for James too, should be intense! Another good mix - floaty ballroom, mental Latin, intense tango, showdance mixing it up, hopefully to a fab piece of music like The Rhythm of Life! (**Also from Sweet Charity!)

An hour long special tomorrow! End credits - 8 year old Jack from Coventry sings us out, lol. Brilliant.

Snippets: Dancing on Ice, Charlie Bruce

Dancing on Ice returns to our screens on January 9th! Also now reported to be taking part is Frank Lampard's ex, Elen de Rivas. Cos she's, like, really famous ...

An interview with the inaugural UK So You Think You Can Dance winner, Charlie Bruce. The second series should be with us early in the new year.

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Strictly It Takes Two: Sayonara Scattalie!

Tonight ... Bruce presenting - Clauds is stuck in the telly - Scattalie, that machine (it's called a Tele-strator. Erin will be thrilled.)

Scattalie and, well, I watched Ricky and Natalie's AT again last night so it's clear to me what the something lacking was in Scott's; choreography and energy unfortunately. Ricky's seemed far more intricate and powerful - and re steps, see from 1.13 - 1.19! I shouldn't make comparisons really, but watching Ricky reminded just how fantastic he was - I watched his VW and QS again too! Anyway, Scott (He's Scott the boot) says there was a seed of doubt over energy levels, hit a wall. Nat (A Bit Lowe) did everything they could under the circumstances - Eastenders filming wouldn't have left them much time for one dance, let alone 4. Still managed 300 hours! Their highlights - waltz, gorgeous; tango, fab; VW, amazing; Jive, incredible; brilliant QS and salsa - he can be very proud. Tributes to each other *wells up* Artara for the win, says Scott, such a buzz between them.

Brucie (He's our favourite) on the sofa. This year more varied, got off to a better start, Ann brought more laughter to the show than anyone else in seven years. He does a proper, full on, song, dance, jokes, warm up to the live audience before the show begins, it's his favourite part of the night. Out of the Glitterball: Best advice: Be yourself; Fave school subject: French. Idol? Fred Astaire.

Erin's dream job - property developer. Aspires to be Sarah Beaney - guess who it is viewing? Scores a 9 and an 8 form the estate agent and Sarah. She's got her hands on the tele-strator but they still haven't given back the arrows. Couples' favourite dances, tips to improve: Jamela - charleston, high energy, lots of personality - stumble, tendency to do that! Don't stumble, keep weight over feet, diagonal body line, work on balance; Mattiona VW, beautiful but only 8 from Craig - reverse turn footwork needs heal leads not toes; Artara AS, only a 6 from Len. Very theatrical but not enough in hold. I don't care though, I adored this. Erin's got Clauds an etch-a-sketch, she was clearly traumatised as a child by not having one.

Karen's Show Dance Files: no rules or regs, must wow the audience, good mix of different styles, story or theme, props. 3 to watch for: Lifts - solo work - showing off. Only one clip of Tom and Camilla, none of Alesha - loads of their runners up? (Including puppet gate and bacofoil gate) What's that all about? *Expresses displeasure*

More out of the Glitterball for Brucie: John Humphreys - how long will you keep going? Five years longer than you, John; Fred Salter, 99 year old ballroom teacher, newly qualified - Fave dance? Foxtrot; Sian Williams - if you were a dance, what would you be? Tango; Mattehw Wright- who would lay you in a movie? Brad Pitt. Or Goofy. Or Anton, loves Anton; Chris Evans and Alex Jones - which pro would you most like to dance with? Anton! Oh, any of the girls, long as they let him lead; Alan Titchmarsh - when did you first use "Nice to see you, to see you, nice!" About 45 years ago! Out of time! Say goodnight, Brucie!

New Judges for Britain's Got Talent

David Hasselhoff (yes, really!) and Michael McIntyre will join Amanda Holden on the judging panel, with Simon Cowell jumping in on the live shows too. Let's hope that David resists the temptation to take to the stage for the final - he's been an American Got Talent judge for a while now, it has happened apparently! Michael I'm banking on to make all the usual cliches seem hilarious (it's the way you tell 'em!). Just realised I hadn't mentioned who they replaced ... bye Piers.

Strictly It Takes Two: Robin. Artem. Aprons. Hold that thought ...

Tonight ... Karen Hardy's choreography corner, hair and make up bods, Len.

Karen (No Mean Feet) high kicks us off, blown away by the swingathon, proper competition stuff, you have to grab the judges attention.

Mattiona salsa and she too was upset that he was pummelled, simple choreography yes, basic but incredible energy; Jaela a fantastic paso, something unique about them, so in sync, determination, first class; Artara VW - most dynamic VW she's ever seen, always a gamble with the move that can result in the foot off the floor, adrenalin the issue; highlighted the music beautifully.

Mattiona tango, came back fighting, right from the body, it's all about the effort, the drama, I am going to deliver, beautiful choreography; Jamela quickstep, so many different dimensions, tap dancing, connected so well, everything, cane, light - she's connecting with both audience and judges. Artara rumba, so much class and elegance, hip action, rotation, mesmerising, could have heard a pin drop for the first four bars, so connected. Again, not a lift - really upsets her that Craig is being so picky - lifts are two feet off the floor, can't penalise for what happened. High quality final, going to be the best ever - can't tell who'll take it.

Strictly A-Z: U is for Underdog, us Brits, we love 'em! V is for Vincent - James his big brother, adorable cheeky chap, we're so lucky to have him! W is for Winners - who's your favourite?

Lens' dance clinic: How do I keep up with my partner's long legs? You're the driver, she keeps up with you, elevate your upper body and get up on your toes; How do I glide in a waltz? Lovely rise and fall created by compression of the legs; Can you learn the Argentine Tango is 6 months to be a good standard? Create a small routine you can repeat and then decorate. Clauds does great! You're my favourite, she tells Len.

Argentine Tanog Dance Files - passion, drama, excitement, close contact, conflict or harmony; Top moves: Ganchos, Walks, Ochos. Strong, sharp, full of chemistry.

Out of the Glitterball: What do you think of first thing in the morning and last thing at night?
Erin - a cup of tea; Robin - cleaning; Anton: it's so difficult to get up; Kara: Life's good; Artem - choregraphing in his head, all day, all night (Shouldn't he be helping out with the cleaning?) Who would you take to a desert island? Erin - Claudia; Artem - a stranger; Katya - friends; Robin - Scott; James - Ann.

Lisa (She's got the look) Armstrong and Neil (A Cut above the rest) do hair and make up. The look is decided by the dance, the costumes, the music and the personality. Halloween week a fave, Michelle had hot wired extensions, backcombed, full on make up to match, including those eyelashes; Felicity's paso plait, she'd brought in her own accessories box, strong eyes and lips; Tina's charleston modelled on Tallulah from the Bugsy Malone film. They're going all out for the final.

End Credits: It's 1979 and the pro's own teachers are ... probably wishing they hadn't shown this!

Monday, 13 December 2010

Strictly It Takes Two: Goodbye Gavya

Tonight ... Gavya, A Question of Strictly, Anton, Bruno.

Backstage pass, all in moody black and white, recap and Gavya on the sofa. Gavin (Final Whistle) extremely proud of himself - two left feet and tone deaf, nearly got the hang of it! Katya (Final Chat-ya) says they started as underdogs and continued as underdogs, made sure we left on a high. Very pleased with Len's comments and very pleased she had a pop at Craig, who never offered anything positive. Was a little scared when she first saw Gavin walk, but he's driven and hardworking, extremely proud of him. Highlights - all the fun stuff! Who would you like to win? Matt, says Gav; Katya would like to see a girl take it.

Strictly A-Z: R is for romance - role play in waltz, rumba, foxtrot. S is for sequins - just stick 'em everywhere, says Aliona, the more sparkle and glitter the better. T for Tess - always on their side, there for them. Nice to hear some positivity from people who actually know her.

A Question of Strictly filming: Anton, Len, Austin and Chris join Tuffers, Matt and Sue. Yes, Anton - Sue for Strictly, been saying it for years! Looks like they all had a blast, we can see it BBC1, 27th December, 10.35pm. Anton (Widdeless) on the sofa and says it was the most exctiting thing he's ever done, been a big fan for years! ITT Grand Piano challenge - score: 172! Erin will abuse him for months. Why don't they use both feet like Tom Hanks and dance it? He's bottom of the boys!

Bruno (Bru-knows best) B is for Bonkers; R is for Restless; U is for Unpredictable; N is for Naughty; O is for Opinionated. Did the right three make it? I think so, most competitive season, everybody did well to get where they did. Mattiona's tango didn't move him enough for a ten, didn't like the lift; Jamela quickstep never lost the style, even with the showbiz beginning and tap section, beautifully choreographed; Artara rumba - Not a Lift! Artistry, poetry in motion, incredibly difficult. And he's up out of his seat, demonstrating the arms! For the final, they will be doing: Their highest scoring dance; a dance of their choice; a brand new dance to them; Showdance! *rubs hand together*

End Credits: Probably the best end credits in the world ever - How Artem perfected the rumba without Kara ... James took her place! Brilliant!

Sunday, 12 December 2010

Strictly Come Dancing Semi Final: The Moment of Truth

Hands up, who's got butterflies?

Paso Pose silhouette to begin, flowing skirts and capes, but no Ian Waite? Band were fab!

Recap of the ballroom bonanza: amazing, fantastic, fabulous dancing, Pamela should've quickstepped her way in to the final, Kara the Belle of the Ball; Scott brought himself back into contention and Matt - bless, how emotional was he?

Here We Go Moment #1: Through to the final - Jamela; Artara! Whoop whoop! 2/3

Len says the showdance can make or break, anything goes, lifts, tricks, music from any era, no holds barred, come out and entertain. James and Artem have both been crying! Oh, don't deny it ...

Bruce and Lance sing about the three bears, with Ola a very creditable Goldilocks who brings Brucie (briefly) onto dance floor while we listen to Lance scat *nods approval*

Who's feeling the most confidet out of the three remaining couples? Me, says Gavin! His humour is a revelation this series.

Take That, Back For Good. I'm going to take a moment to patronize some people. Strictly is live - BUT, the guests acts, whilst appearing on the same day, are generally recorded (live!) earlier (think equipment set up and how long it takes) so yes, Robbie would have had ample time to get from Strictly to the X-Factor. I'm just sayin' ... anyway, the lads all seem much more relaxed now, I think the break did them good, gave them perspective. Always loved this song. Check out Bruno, swaying double time. Gary is superb and their harmonies perfect. Bruno's arms are in the air now!

Here We Go Moment #2: Leaving first: Gavya! Tributes to each other and their highlights. He's been good value, well done Gav!

The Moment of Truth: Leaving ... Scattalie! Mattiona through, YAY! (3/3) Scott says when it works, it works, you know it; some amazing moments. I think tiredness was his victor in the end, not fully recovering his peak form from earlier - but what fab dances to remember!

So it's Mattiona, Artara and Jamela with four dances next week for probably the closest final ever! I really wouldn't like to call it - this may really be all on the showdance! It's us to decide - 7pm next Saturday. Don't be late!

Saturday, 11 December 2010

Strictly Come Dancing Semi Final 2: *Gets Goosebumps*

Even the voice over man is squeaking. Nat takes costume honours again.

Scattalie out first - Charleston, great movement, very fluid for most part, good legs, fun, not many tricks you associate though. Len: classic, fun, swivelling action, not too gimmicky, high energy; Alesha: good old fashioned entertainment, really enjoyed; Bruno: yes oh yes Ssssscott, after seven months at sea you found yourself a flapper, exuberance and comedy; Craig: opening nebulous, overbalanced horribly, whole thing cute and quirky, enjoyed it. Score: 35

Artara rumba, very fast, passionate - you know I don't much like rumbas, find them too static? Well, not this one, lots going on, hairography, flowing, beautiful arms again, brilliant. This combined with the VW last night will get my vote. Alesha: So touching, could watch you dance all night, pure magic; Bruno: Rrrrravishing, a godddess of love, spins to drop, brilliant; Craig: almost perfect, if not for the lift the ten paddle would be dusted off; Len: You're not supposed to dance that well, spirals beautiful, crossing the ankles, knockout. Score: 39 she's getting quite emotional, bless her.

Mattiona with a massive comeback: Tangotastic! A Wow dance, love those leg sweeps, aggressive, passionate, great musicality. Ok judges? What say you? Bruno: Strong, powerful, driven, hint of arrogance, moving her about beautifully, done very very well; Craig: the lift bit (foot on floor) didn't belong but hot, military precision, controlled, full of purpose, leading; Len: cooking on gas, came out on fire, loved it, hold, posture, movement, fabulous; Alesha: powerful, driven, purpose. Phew! Score:38 Bruno! Boo! You expect it from Craig. My second definite vote.

Gavya VW started so well, then fluffed it and lost it a bit, a shame because it was looking lovely, frame and posture both good, lovely movement around the floor. Craig: timing sometime eludes you, not dancing on the first beat. Len: good footwork, good posture, good frame, my hero, you come back strong every week; Alesha: much more at ease in ballroom, graceful, be proud; Bruno: elegant and smooth, done very well. Score: 31 He's cracking up the rest of them.

Jamela quickstep, top hat and tails. Come On! Brave, with the legs out like that. Love the tap section and the opening, happy happy proper dance! Len: Stepping out with your baby James, lovely ballroom, beautiful hold and posture, brilliant; Alesha; a passion for dance, light up the room, inspiration to so many women; Bruno: the Broadway babe, loved theatrical opening, pure cinematic joy; Craig: Fab-u-lous! I think there may be another top score coming. Score: 40!

Leaderboard: Artara 83; Jamela 78; Mattiona/Scattalie 70; Gavya: 59. Bit uneasy about there being a tie - who'd a thought, with three scored dances? Only three can go through and I have to sacrifice ... Scattalie, not because I haven't loved them, but Artara have had two stunners this weekend, Mattiona I felt an emotional connection with, loved both his dances and Jamela, well, the fun and the joy of dance gets me every time.

Take That. Love Them. I was voting, but did I see Robbie and Mark auditioning for Strictly? They should have a special and put the fab five against each other. Erin and Gary; Flavia and Mark; Katya and Robbie? Jason and Howard to fight over Ola, Aliona, Nat and Kristina.

Early results show tomorrow - 7pm. You don't wanna miss this one!

Snippets: Got To Dance; Clog Dancing!

Clog Dancing the new streetdance?

Got To Dance will be airing a preview programme on December 19th, before the launch of the new series on January 2nd.

Friday, 10 December 2010

Strictly Come Dancing Semi Final 1: Go for it, don't go for it?!

All-a-dreaming of what might be ...oops, mind the steps, Katya; Nat gets dress honours.

Jamela paso first - loved it - movement, lots of oopmh, wasn't sure about the GaGa song but thought it was an exciting dance, really enjoyed the choreography, attitude, one slight wobble. Len: captured the spirit, could almost see the blood swelling in your bosom; Alesha: start to finish, dramatic, feisty, determined; Bruno: Pamela, ohh la la, the red menace, disdainful look - don't mess with me; Craig: strong lines, major attitude and conviction, some parts a little laboured, three wobbles, apart from that, terrific. Score: 35

Artara VW - gorgeous opening, beautiful routine, her arms and her sway are loveliness personified - and buckets of charisma too. Endearing, says Alesha of Kara, I agree. Mirror each other perfectly, simply beautiful; Bruno: Beautiful lines, quality of movement, expression of musical phrasing; Craig: phrasing spectacular, foot came off the floor (Alesha and Bruno "No, it didn't" Me: Who cares?) Len calls him Fanlight Fanny. If I'm dreaming, don't wake me up, in all the years of Strictly I've seen two fantastic VWs - your and yours (K&A). Score: 39

Gavya samba, a few tricks, not great technique, walks dodgy but at least he went for it, not afraid to use the hips now, is he! Bruno: You look the part, performance has improved, not yet quite connected to the music; Craig: lacking rhythm and flow, sloppy arms, hip rotation was well worth the training time; Len: You got the most technically challenging dance for a guy. Got the guns, not the ammunition; Alesha: Worked your bottom brilliantly, the most improved. Score: 27

Scattalie AT - nice solo spot, intense all the way, ambitious lifts, understated, not so much with the fancy footwork, was expecting a little more. Craig: loved it, very good but need more swivel on the closes, man should lead; Len: Clean, precise, captured the mood, not convinced you were the hot guy looking for totty; Alesha: slick opening section, seductive and intense, more strength needed but very good; Bruno: I got it, Ssssscott. Played like a film noir, lover or stalker? Intense, focused, effective. Score: 33

Mattiona salsa and I thought WOW - fab fab groovy fab, even without armography, rhythm coming atcha. Loved it. *Confused face at judges* I thought he really connected with the music and dance. Len pulls faces, didn't like it, disappointed; Alesha: brave opening lift, lots of basic salsa, didn't like the grinding section, relax; Bruno: salsa is smooth an flirtatious, overworked it; Craig: balance off, timing out, too much isolation. Score: 28 poor bloke is shell shocked. Well, I loved it and I'm sure plenty of the audience did too.

The Swingathon, a hint of jive, morsel of lindyhop, spoonful of jitterbug. Loving Gav's tactics board. War on the floor, dancing by comparison is harder. Gavya out first, no surprise; Scattalie next; Jamela gone, flagging a little; Mattiona putting up a good fight for 2nd, Artara the winners. They're gonna sleep well tonight! Craig says stamina won it; Alesha says Gavya first out, timing and content, lack of. Artara seemed mainly all tricks, Mattiona, for me, I saw lots of actual dancing, thought they might have nabbed it. But then, the camera was flying around, couldn't see anyone properly!

So the leaderboard: Artara 44; Jamela 38; Scattalie 35; Mattiona 32; Gavya 28.

On tonight's dances, my three for the final: Artara; Jamela; Mattiona. But that could all change tomorrow! See you then, 6pm!

Strictly It Takes Two: Friday Fun Panel

Tonight ... Jared, Mattiona, Craig, Miranda, Katy.

Mattiona on the sofa; Aliona encouraged the back flip. Matt (International Matt of Mystery) says they watched the AP movies on their way to the Herbrides. Aliona (Wants to be in the Finali) structured the choreography to ensure jive content and character in equal measure. They've had a really good week, tango edges salsa as Matt's fave. Desperate to do a showdance.

Jared's dream job for the day - superspy! Undercover to prevent political assanation. I take they don't all die at the end, like Spooks? He scores an 8. Claudia is properly speechless. Jared and Aliona with the ITT Grand Piano Challenge; Jared, a paltry 219; Aliona an even paltrier, less than Katya, 20!

Time To Say Goodbye - recap and feelings at losing them all one by one.

Craig (Always a Revel-ation) joined by Miranda (She Harts Strictly) and Katy (Not married to Russell) for the Friday panel. CRaig is on the verge of losing his rag if he has to explain how the swingathon will work one more time; Miranda loved the Big Bird routine; Katy calls Jamela's rumba a sexual awakening; Miranda cried at Jamela's VW.

Scattalie AT, always drama in Nat's choreography, already looking ok, victim of their own success with the jive, haven't bettered. Coffee advert music?! Artara rumba, looking really good, spins, controlled, keep a foot on the floor. Can do no wrong. Santana? Cruise music. Are they going to finish the dress? Jamela paso, dragging effect, good skirt action, powerful, apels, looking really good. Bad Romance, dramatic, has to resurface after every show, so into it; Mattiona salsa, underarm turn, watch out, hip action, feeling positive, a technician but under control, include heart in head and feet connection, needs the soul of the dance. Spinning Around their song. Katy wants literal interpretation of the music. Aliona's dress would suit both his sofa mates, says Craig. They love him in unison. Gavya samba, lumpy carnage not carnival, place the free arm. His thighs are too big for dancing, sighs Miranda. Bamboleyo the song, great choice.

Who do we think will make the final? Miranda: Kara, Pamela, Scott
Katy: Kara, Pamela, Matt

End credits: Gavya's VW - Robbie Williams the song.

Thursday, 9 December 2010

Strictly It Takes Two: Frocks Galore!

Tonight ... Artara, training snapshots, frocktalk.

Ballroom snapshots first: Mattiona, tango - Aliona wants scary, intense; Gavya, VW - dizzy, could get tens; Jamela, QS - expecting a lot, fun and challenging; Scattalie, AT - looking the biz, believing in self; Artara, VW - physically and mentally demanding, looking beautiful. And they're on the sofa ...

Kara (Chairground attraction) happy with any score above a six, Artem (A La C'Artem) says she was amazing, in rehearsal something always goes wrong. Love her eyelashes. Shock re Scott, have to take it less seriously, anyone can go, just enjoy while it lasts. Rumba, not a fan, great lines, storytelling. Swingathon is carnage, it's going to be funny. Artem on the Grand Piano Challenge - scores 394.

Erin's favourite dance - John and Kristina's paso! We all remember it not for the technique but his arrogance and pride, Kristina's choreography was brilliant. Adorable, shouldn't be, but... The Drag! Audience went mad, judges ripped them to shreds.

Jared shows us how dance shoes are made - they've gone through 4000 pairs since the beginning of Strictly!

The Frock Panel - Ben De Lisi, Zandra Rhodes (Monarch of the Hem) Hilary Alexander. Pamela paso - coral orange, black jet beaded lacing, bib, circular skirt, lattice work, corsetry, gorgeous, Versace in a Wild West Saloon in Mexico; Kara VW - divine, lots of tulle, illusion, huge static skirt like a cloud, halterneck; Natalie AT - two piece, stunning, retro, very 40s, she's out to get him. Perfect, tulip chiffon sleeve; Katya samba, moves wonderfully, 2 piece, floral lining, leg, hip; Aliona tango - half a dress, 7 panels of silk tied across the body, thigh high cut; Pamela QS - rose gladiator, black and pink, picture doesn't do much for it.

Latin snapshot: Artara rumba - any error will show, looking great though; Scattalie charleston - he's embraced it, his style, full of tricks; Jamela paso - energy, passion, aggression; Mattiona salsa - fun all the way, cracking; Gavya samba - gonna be good, hips are moving, confident.

End credits: Junior judges view on final five!

Snippets: Tom Chambers, Widdyton!

Tom is to star in a new stage show based on Fred Astaire's film Top Hat, called - Top Hat!

And Ann and Anton are starring all over the internet ;) I'm putting the link here, in case you're not a reader of the Digital Spy forum!

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Strictly It Takes Two: Boys Own Stuff

Tonight ... Scattalie, Erin, Len, Gethin, Austin, Colin.

Scattalie on the sofa ... how shocked? Scott (shaken and third) we knew it could be dodgy, surprised, not shocked. How scared? Nat (Fab abs) didn't think they'd beat Widdyton. Almost broke her thumb, pulling off his shirt; he was more concerned for other bits, since it's attached to cycle shorts. Blind panic over three dances initially but actually been a good week, energy levels up now in sight of the finish. Charleston and AT, really happy, two diverse dances. Nat on the ITT Grand Piano Challenge - Wow, she's good, got to be top score: 1091 Scott calling out James Gordon in his excitement, lol!

Dr. Len's Dance Clinic: Newlyweds - Latin or Ballroom? Got to be rumba - not enough space for a foxtrot indoors! How can a guy loosen his top half and arms and still look manly? Stiff always beats floppy "a hand without a thumb is like a kiss without a moustache" French quote. ?. Use the arm joints to extend. Help me with my kicks and flicks? A good excuse to get Claudia up in her twenty-eight inch heels. No softness in the ankle; can someone call St.John's ambulance, she's about to topple ...

Erin and the machine: But first - her ITT Grand Piano challenge, she'll be second to Nat I think. Yes, 400! Loving Erin this year, she's hilarious. I always thought she was quite sedate and serious before. Gavya: VW - reverse turns, stand up tall, little bit skippy, arms droopy, they took the arrow and circles away from her, spoilsports. Arm line should be straight, no tippy toes either; Mattiona: Tango - flexed knees, sharp, should be straight in the lunge; Jamela: QS - she can tap dance! Step hops not looking so lovely, lost posture, shape to the left, great arm line, should be looking left; Artara: VW - arm extensions beautiful, presenting to the audience; Scattalie: Charleston - basic forward and back swivels brilliant.

Karen Hardy's Dance Files: Salsa. the hot and spicy party dance, judges looking to see celeb mastering the rhythm, embracing party style and having lots of hip. Small steps, Cuban motion, arm styling. No straight legs. Only one couple have scored 40 - guess who?

Gethin (jumping jiver) Colin (quickstepping star) and Austin (Paso supremo) on the sofa. Matt and Scott could take the girls; Gavin gives hope to all rugby players, give him another 2-3 years. Pamela amazing, Kara fantastic; Matt backflipped his way through Blue Peter too, brilliant at everything, Austin Powers was amazing, so creative. Scott and Matt combined, can you imagine? No end credits, because they're worse than a bunch of women talking Strictly and won't shut up ...

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Strictly It Takes Two: Girl Power

Tonight ... Jamela, Karen, Flavia, Fiona, Gloria, Zoe.

Jamela on the ecstatic sofa and James (Four-ten) is still deaf. The 10 meant a lot from Craig. Pamela (Box Office Smasher) was completely lost in the dance, moved by the audience reaction. Did you know? Not during rehearsal, music needed romance, dress, Tommy singing, lighting, everything made it. A team 40. Grannys Go Go Glitter! Not currently available. Old doesn't exist - it's chronologically advantaged (not challenged). Paso - quickstep - swingathon this week.There'll be nudging and tripping. Grand Piano Challenge, James scores 338 after doing nothing right, he reckons. Katya scored how many?

Strictly A-Z: P is for Professionals. We have some of the best in the world. Superior beings. Best job ever. Q is for quickstep - bottom half busy, top half still. Erin's favourite.

Series 3 ladies: Zoe (whole new ball game) Gloria (days of glory-a) Fiona (Strictly Record holder) this series fantastic, favourite changes weekly, don't know who to vote for; Gavin is shy, vulnerable, confused. Whoever wins will deserve it; ladies losing weight; giant emu samba (Zoe) Matt's hip movement. Who's the pro, Artem or Kara? There follows much gossiping! But who do you want to/think will win it? Fiona and Zoe: Kara; Gloria - any could, Pamela may sneak it.

Professional work experience: Animal Magic with Flavia! Looks amazing, even in baggy overalls; poo shovelling the llamas; love the pink wellies; feeding worms to meerkats - she'd be no good in #imaceleb! Feeding the giraffes, hang on tight! 10 for effort!

Karen (Hardy at work) choreography corner: Dancing versus theme? Got to deliver the dance, some of them could've got higher scores (but would the public have voted for them?)

Artara absolutely brilliant and undermarked throughout (should I say that?) pushing the boundaries, trust takes it to untold limits, stole the show; Jamela connected with the audience, nailed the choreography. Turn the music off and you'd know what dance it was, pure VW, James a purist; Scattalie lost the public's confidence but mojo was back, need to deliver three perfect dances to regain public, nailed all the elements, great shaping and aggression; Mattiona so brave, incredible, so involved with the Austin Powers, could've done with more jive; Gavya - should there have been quickstep in there, gave enough foxtrot content at the beginning, let's bring pizazz to the finale.

End credits: Sorry ... so so sorry ...

Monday, 6 December 2010

Strictly It Takes Two: Widdyton Wrapped!

Tonight ... Widdyton, Gavya, Craig. But first, RobinCam behind the scenes. Two Matts- the back flip naughty James; Ola, undressed; Anton and son-in-law, Craig's quiff. Showtime!

Widdyton on the sofa, it's been emotional, whether for or against! Hopefully the media will realise now there's no need for the mass hysteria every year - this is the stage John Sargent would have gone at, too. Ann (Exit, stage right) disappointed but had ten fantastic weeks. Anton (He's out Beke) doesn't think comedy would have made a difference - didn't want to shoehorn in something that didn't fit the dance just for effect. Ann did very well. Four great dancers, one good dancer and them operating in a parallel universe. Mutual appreciation society going on - there's no denying the partnership, doubt Anton's enjoyed himself so much since Lesley. And Ann loved the whole experience; this appeals to people, hence her run. They made a conscious decision not to do backflips!

Gavya still speechless, Gav (Bluesmobile) amazed to be called out first. Katya (Kat That Got The Dream) says it was like Xmas morning. He's says it's all about peaking at the right time. Katya gives life affirming dance coaching. Three dances - Gav's not worried, but Katya keeps crying, lol! VW - samba - swingathon - Katya's parents in town. They're in Monday hell - but the VW is beautiful.

The ITT Grand Piano Challenge -Katya first, her previous conservatoire training out the window! Scores 42 - Gav says Shocking - she's nothing without him! Top of the leaderboard, says Clauds, for now!

Mature Critics; Junior Judges: Scottalie - really funny, liked/didn't like his top off, disgusting, how many kids want to see that? Score: 35; Mattiona - good start, liked the cat impression, groovy baby. Score: 37; Jamela - queen of this one, amazingly fantastically good dancer, spins fast, sad puppy eyes at the end. Score: 40; Gavya - fantastic, he kept up, really quick, kept shirt on, he's-a-groovy. Score: 37; Artara - fierce *tango faces*. Score: 39 Keeeeeeeep Dancing!

Craig (Ten-acious judge) on the sofa, junior judges so cute! Swingathon - dance until eliminated. 1 point up to 5. In general, judges will agree, if not, Len has final say. Adored Jamela, immaculate job, dilemma, as don't hand out tens willy nilly; Also tempted with Artara but there was a footwork issue, extremely good routine; Scattalie a fair few technical issues mean it only warranted 8; Mattiona, loved the characterisation but went out of time ... as are we, the credits are rolling over Craig as he speaks!

Sunday, 5 December 2010

X-Factor Semi Final Result: No surprises...

Four through to the final next week, there's still a sing off tonight though - I'm sure it used to be down to the public when we were down to five?

Alexandra Buke and the new single. Powerhouse vocal takes your mind of the aerial dancers harnesses, not a pretty sight. Neat trick with Alexandra elevating - she'll be slaughtered for the Jesus position at the end, you just know it.

Recap and reactions, then GLEEeeeeeee, introduced by Sue Sylvester and Will. Don't Stop Believin' the song, can't wait for the next series to be shown here. Gleeks of the world unite! Dermot, they're standing right next to you and you have a mic - stop shouting.

Dannii and Louis are missing ... and they're back, they've been voting! Black Eyed Peas. The Time of My Life? And a set/costumes straight out of Channel Five's Don't Stop Believing, remember The Buggles number?

Result: Through - One Direction, Rebecca, Matt. Well, duh! Not saying I told you so - but I did.

Mary singing It's A Man's World. Sing yer heart out. She's got the soul. Fab, well done. Pointless but well done. Cher and a Britney song, I think she said? I thought Mary sang better but Cher will get it. Why drag it out so, we're in the realm of the bleedin' obvious! Wonder what would've happened if they'd sent it to deadlock?

Strictly Come Dancing, Week 10: The Moment of Truth

Strictly showdancers do Mamma Mia in tango, paso and samba. Hadn't noticed the other pro guy so much before. Nice. An Ian Waite special.

Craig really and truly loved the theme night, gave everyone the freedom to express; Jamela stood out. Recap: An evening never to be forgotten, everyone improved; Scott, job well done. Widdy the record breaker, 5 lowest scores in one series; Matt played Austin Powers brilliantly, wanted to give him 10s. Jamela incredible, dance of the night; very proud of Gavya "the more you sweat, the better you get"; Artara - Alesha wished she'd had a 20 - Kara the one to beat. Girls on top! So many great contestants, could be the best final ever.

Here We Go Moment #1: Safe - Gavya! Oooh! Artara! *Phew* Bottom Two: Scattalie! *EEK* *Nooooo*. Bruno: Are you kidding? Baddest and worst joke ever. Unfair. I don't get it, potential winner. Alesha: the boys are on fire - can't predict it.

Anton and Erin waltz to Moon River, beautiful set, beautiful dress, Hayley on vocals. Gorgeous.

Gav's a little bit emotional, all down to Katya, who's even more so. He can't get his head around three dances. Kara says (re Scott) it's a trav ...er, what word am I looking for? Shock, says Artem, quickly. But we know she got it right first time ...

Here We Go Moment #2: Safe - Jamela! Bottom Two: It's got to be Widdyton, surely not Mattiona? oh, yes! Widdyton it is. Craig: The public have finally come to their senses, they choose the best in the end. Len: Next week, so exciting, two individual dances, swingathon - oh, come on! Tough enough when one goes, next week we lose two!

Ann very gracious, Scott not surprised after his bad couple of weeks. If Widdyton make it through, expect brilliance from Anton and Ann tagging along. Scattalie will have charleston and Argentine Tango. If ever there were two dances that can turn it around for them, they're the ones.

The Manic Street Preachers, proper live music, the Strictly singers are backing too. Nice song. I'd the impression MSP were s'posed to be edgy?

The Moment of Truth: Widdyton! *Note to Dad: I told you so! Betting syndicates, ha!* Nice tribute to Anton; he's had the most incredible time, Ann has been ... a wonderful time because of this lady.

First part of the semi final is at 9pm on Friday! Game on!

X-Factor- Semi Final: Club Classics and Ballads

One Direction - Only Girl in The World. So watchable, so listenable and know how to work an audience; Chasing Cars - nice harmonies, and Harry gets to take the lead, lovely sound.

Rebecca Ferguson - Show Me Love, a good job, out of her comfort zone, still a great vocal; Amazing Grace - goosbumps, captivating.

Mary Byrne - Never Can Say Goodbye - energy, groovy, good job; Memories (The Way We Were) an emotionally charged song, delivered emotionally.

Cher Lloyd - Nothing on You, one of my favourites, voice supports the melody very well, into the rap, lost it a little once the dancing started but another good performance; Love the Way You Lie and I'm actually quite liking this, strong again.

Matt Cardle suffering with throat issues but You've Got The Love he rocks, great choice, delivered well; likewise She's Always A Woman To Me, can't hit the high notes but do we care? Still with the passion.

I saw some comments during a bit of surfing, saying this was a really bad night, I disagree, I thought they all did well. I still think it'll be Mary to go, but she's put up a good fight! Laters ...

Saturday, 4 December 2010

Strictly Come Dancing, Week 10: Saturday Night At The Movies

And we open with a pro dance, or rather, pro couples. Robin and Kristina are the ones that we want, as Danny and Sandy cha cha ing from Grease; Ola and James take our breath away with a beautiful rumba from Top Gun; Anton and Erin are a couple of charming swells from Easter Parade; and you never can tell what Artem and Katya will come up with next, how'd that wig stay on for the Pulp Fiction number? Dress honours to Kara again tonight!

Scattalie out first for their paso to the James Bond theme *excited*. Nice arm shaping, great choreography, hit the highs in the music, intense yet fun! Len: 007 - you came out, passion, posture, performance, fullon, wonderful job, hard music, hard choreography, coped well; Alesha: Giving Gavin a run for his money, great walks, purpose and intent; Bruno: Sssssscotttt - licenced to thrill, can play soft, can play rough, produced beautiful Spanish lines; Craig: Back (in the comp) Loved the theme, loved the choreography. Virile, redblooded, hot. Score: 35

Widdyton AS to Hello Dolly, an elegant lift to begin, pivots and a high kick, another lift, arms and legs intact, quickstep chasses! And another lift - her best dance, there was movement there. Milking the audience. Alesha: Nice to see more dance content, well done on the lifts, posture terrible, grim expression. And something along the lines of: thanks, and goodbye; Bruno: Hello trolley, dalek in drag, entertaining. If they're trying to get rid of her, they're going about it all wrong. Craig: lifts were best bit, knee lift was alright, chasses were passable and the polka I didn't mind; Len: dancing is movement to music, you did move and there was music. Score: 14 Can't believe I'm saying this, but I think she was undermarked. Vast improvement on anything we've seen before. Or is that I've been so used to not seeing any movement?

Mattiona jive to Soul Bossa Nova (which I think is probably more a salsa or samba track if honest, however - back flip off the judges desk to start *jaw drops* loving the Austin Powers impression, well into it. Fringy trousers. Groovy City, yeah baby, a very funky jive. Woof woof! Loved it. Bruno: Groovy baby, jive with a swinging 60s flavour, expecting Twiggy any moment; Craig: loved it, brave, characterisation, flawless, clean, precise, goofy. Len: feeling great, content great, light of foot, great job. Score: 35 and a tie on the leaderboard we really didn't want tonight!

Jamela VW to Unchained Melody and it didn't seem long enough, beautifully elegant, classy, a little too understated maybe? Craig: graceful, elegant, stylish, tasteful, full of emotion, gorgeous; Len: You should go through with that; Alesha; Happy birthday. The perfect song, perfect dress, perfect dance. Score: 40 Am actually very pleased for James with that score - he's consistently produced gorgeous ballroom routines.

Gavya foxtrot to Minnie the Moocher from Blues Brothers, I recognise it properly now. Ah, the QS bit, it all makes sense and there's no "assisted jump". Excellent form, way way his best. Well done. Len: Your best dance, well done; Alesha: sexy hot couple, nicely played; Bruno: two for the price of one, much improved. Score: 33

Artara tango to Roxanne from Moulin Rouge. Passionate, intense, choreographically fantastic, dramatic, wow. Alesha: blown away, best tango ever on Strictly; Bruno: spectacular sextacular (he's up!); Craig: Fantasmagorical; Len: well done, great. Score: 38. This actually edged Jamela for me, would've swapped the scores around.

Leaderboard: Jamela 40; Artara 38; Mattiona 35; Scattalie 35; Gavya 33; Widdyton 14.
The tie worries me, we could be saying goodbye to one of the Big Four tonight, which is a shame because they're all excellent. One more sleep and then we know. I did my bit, voted twice each for the top four! GBP don't let me down, the worst dancer has never got beyond the quarter final before! Except for the first series, which was a toy series ...

Friday, 3 December 2010

Strictly It Takes Two: Craig takes the Michael ...

Tonight ... Scattalie, Robin, Power Panel.

On the sofa with Scattalie and Scott (Walford's weariest) and Nat (Fair dinkum dancer) and Clauds (easily pleased) said their AS dress rehearsal was beyond perfect. Gutted, they loved it so much. It wasn't even an anxious blank, more a "did I leave the bath running" type blank. Stepped off on the wrong foot, struggled to hear the first beat and see the cue. Scoring controversy, they didn't think they deserved the nines, but Nat deserves a medal! Loving the paso, training looks great.

Robin's fave ever Strictly routine: Lisa and Brendan's foxtrot to Walking My Baby Back Home. I loved that too. Beautifully danced and interpreted.

Strictly A-Z: M is for Make Up ... from boiled potatoes to divas! N is for nerves - don't let them beat you. Results show is agony. O is for Ovations - standing audience better than 10s.

What film would Strictly be? Tornado - The Godfather - Overboard - Space Odyssey - Happy Feet - Moulin Rouge - Jungle Book - Priscilla, Queen of the Desert meets 300: A battle in sequins; The Running Man; Highway To Hell!

The Power Panel: Craig (Cinem-arty Pants) Michael Ball (Ball-round entertainer) Tamsin Outhwaite (Leading Lady). Michael loving Pamela, thought she would be funny but she's so elegant, and Scott. Tamsin loves Kara, most natural dancer, finds Scott endearing. Craig loves the theme nights.

Mattiona - jive - fast, point feet more, great natural rhythm, fun to watch. Austin Powers - Oh yes! Soul Bossa Nova, Quincy Jones. OMG Yes! Gavya - foxtrot. He's so deadpan, odd sense of humour, glad he's back in hold, all looking good. Blues Brothers, very bluesy, Mr Moocher? Gotta love him, lovely rise and fall, graceful; Artara - tango. The roof will come off, AT phenomenal, looking spectacular - one of the best we've ever seen. Roxanne from Moulin Rouge. Tamsin's in a camp sandwich. Spanking? I say, steady on! Kara has discovered sexy; Widdyton - AS "this looks lovely, I'll probably give them an eight" Clauds made Craig say that. Some movement, content, think she's actually trying, has got better. Hello Dolly, good choice, Tamsin in love with Anton. Hasn't done AT or jive yet, has she, asks Michael. There's not a bra strong enough, darling, retorts Craig! Jamela - VW - graceful, clean and delicious finishes, what she's doing for women of a certain age, phenomenal. Unchained Melody. Perfect. We're all going to be in tears. Craig agrees.

Scattalie, paso - story, running out of time, one word each: Butch; he's a showman; pair of mingers! No, they're brilliant. We know it's Bond but not which one!

Who would play you in a movie? Kara - Sandra Bullock, she reckons Patrick Swayze for Artem; Matt - Matthew Broderick; Pamela - Renee Zellwegger; Ann - Helen Mirren; Scott - Jerry Lewis, Natalie reckons Jim Carrey; Gavin - Christian Bale and Helen Hunt for Katya.

Artara dance us out; all at their best, this is going to be a mega show!

Thursday, 2 December 2010

Strictly It Takes Two: Auntie Su in Male Dancers Lust Shock!

Tonight ... Widdyton, training snapshots, costume crazies.

Girls training: Jamela VW - challenging, understated, needs to nail, needs smoothness; Artara tango - intensity, tough, being picky and harsh, fiery and dramatic; Widdyton AS - open, movement, lifts, fun, we're so showbiz and they're on the sofa ...

Clauds tells them the rumba is her fave dance ever. Anton (Anton Du Capiro) had the idea - what's it like in your head? Music came first, then it snowballed *groans*. People are giving them standations in their own home. Anton is reticent - we're dancing for fun, not the judges. Love taking the bows, we could shake hands with the audience too! Why not miss out the judges and go straight to Tess? Widdecombe Dance Studios: Twirl, arms, bridge, help! Pretty straightforward AS - Erin reckons it's their best yet. Maximising the three lifts - going up and staying up. If they make the final, they're both flying. Ann (Widdeslet) is no fool, is she? And she's doing the tour too, apparently dancing with Craig ... but since he's a judge, she may not be part of the competition. Who knows?

Out of the Glitterball: What flavour ice cream would you be? Robin - Neapolitan; Natalie - cookies and cream; Flavia - pistachio; Vincent - fondant chocolate; Brendan - raspberry. Who do you want to dance in front of? Artem - parents; Brendan - The Queen; Vincent - a mirror; James - Megan Fox; Natalie - Oprah Winfrey; Flavia - everyone; Robin - Madonna.

Boys training snapshots: Scattalie paso - whoo, come on! Physical. Story. Fast. Snappy. Content. Fingers crossed. Positive. Creative. Passionate; Gavya foxtrot. Happy in hold; Er, looked like QS there; assisted jump *coughs*? You know what Len said! Mattiona - in the outer Hebrides, the carrier pigeon with the VT got lost on the way home.

Auntie Su Judd: Kara a knockout, designed her own Charleston outfit, her fave was the black AS number; Ann the clearest on her look, leggings under everything, loves the colours. Looking quite gorgeous. A big fan of Pamela since the NTNOCN days, daring waltz dress, weight loss proving challenging.

Costume creations: Ben De Lisi (De-Lisi-ous designer) and Hillary Alexander (The Greatest Alexander) agree that Su's a genius. It's a collaboration, know your body but be open minded. Ann an inspiration to 60 somethings. Aliona's AS dress the hardest to make, intricate, bodice, bead work, dropped waist. Movies crucial to fashion, movie stars set the look. This week: Ann - yellow velvet, leopard print jumpsuit, beaded. Jungle Book? Pamela - halterneck, reminiscent of Marilyn Monroe. Gentlemen Prefer Blondes? Aliona - union jack, red bow, backless, fringing, patchwork lycra, individual pieces. Quadrophenia? Katya - androgynous, tailored, evening trousers, Yves St.Laurent. No idea; Nat's Paso - barely there, crystal and stone encrusted white bikini, double faced split skirt. Hillary gave it away but wasn't the Dr. No theme 'Underneath the Mango Tree'? Far be it from me to criticise the music but I can't see that working as a Paso ;) The actual proper Bond theme, on the other hand, would be fantastic!

Auntie Su back to run her eyes (not just her eyes, by the sound of it) over the boys: Not much colour for them, too sweaty. Matt most like a dancer, broad shoulders, narrow hips, eyes like pools of molten Galaxy*; He wanted the country gent look for the cha cha; Scott an ex-model, snazzy, embraced, changed physique the most, bit James Dean (pro)portions stunning, wouldn't mind a bowlful*; Gavin exciting to (un)dress, everything in the right place, why hide the flesh, not so good in a tail suit, want to see his bum, gerremoff*.

End credits: Face - look - bovvered?
*I may have embellished some of her comments a bit ;)

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Strictly It Takes Two: Step Away From The Machine!

Tonight ... Artara, Erin, Len, Aliona.

Straight to Aliona's crib: Comfy chair, in the fish bowl; empty fridge; empty freezer; custard straight from the tin: You know you want some! Shoes! Big mirrors, eat your heart out Gavin. The magic begins in the bathroom: Spray tan and nails!

Dr.Len's dance clinic: Wedding dance to From This Moment - rumba, says Len - but why are wedding songs always dirge like? Take your record to a local dance centre and Bosh! Fantastic speech, lol. How to improve posture at home? Practice, always, everywhere, contra check to pick out socks. Against a wall, press everything against it. Trouble with using the floor for hips? Push through the floor, work on lateral movement first, figure 8.

Karen Hardy's Dance Files - waltz: To turn or to glide; VW came first; rotational, natural turns, reverse turns, rise and fall. Contra check - fleckerl. Elegant, demonstate swing and sway, no jerkiness or gapping. Romantic, musical and light.

Erin (Machine watchable) and the midweek report (they nicked my title from last week, cheeky lot!) and admits to being taken aback by the marks on Saturday. Onto this week: Gavya, foxtrot, beautiful footwork, reverse turn, feather step, droopy frame into promenade, needs to close to the lady, so much better in ballroom hold. Jamela, VW - natural turns, lovely neckline, no skipping, change step, pivots and the neck goes; Scattalie paso - we know he can be great, chesticles need outing (Scott's not Nat's) Gets a little droopy - arm line down but only Tuesday - could be the dance for him; Widdyton AS has content! Sort posture, side rocking, transfer weight. Anton is delighted.

Strictly A-Z: L is for lifts - add to excitement and drama ... don't go for dodgy big ones, specially not before the final.

Artara on the sofa, Kara (Jive funny) surprised by the marks as she forgot the steps. Artem (getting chigy with it) choreographed as per the music and it wasn't a lift, it was an assisted jump. He wouldn't do something not allowed (Jamela did the same move in theirs). Rapping learner. Tango next, feeling pretty good. Robin likes to be called Bobby. No elaboration, but you can be sure Clauds has filed it away for the next time she sees him.

End credits: Gimme five!

And watch out for BBC4 - Still Folk Dancing After All These Years and Come Clog Dancing! I will have to watch, cos the Morris is pretty big in this part of Kent!

Dancing in the UK

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