Strictly Come Dancing 2014:
Week 1, Part 2
Spread over two nights, the second evening would continue the introduction to the dancefloor competition.
Hosts Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman begin the glitzy Saturday evening drama.
The judges, Craig Revel-Horwood, Darcey Bussell, Len Goodman and Bruno Tonioli are back to score the dances. Our score is in brackets as well to add clarity to the sometimes biased or disillusioned scoring in the past.
Mark Wright and Karen Hauer
I’m Your Man – Wham!
Failed TV prospect Mark Wright, whose constant on-off relationship with partner and TOWIE (The Only Way Is Essex) girlfriend Lauren Goodger dominated their ‘showmance’ tactics to become a celebrity. Now engaged to one of soap opera’s finest babes, Michelle Keegan, bell-end Mark plans to dazzle with his goofy ganshers and good looks. (So he thinks.) He even signed Goodger, who earlier last month went on Celebrity Big Brother, into a non-disclosure contract of their relationship. What has this (already known on TV) cheating scumbag got to hide?
Slimy and cheesy start with lack of interest in arms. Routine doing lots of ‘ticking boxes’ with no enthusiasm and for the sake of it. Tacky lift. Stumble on back heels. Focused on showing off and did a sad caterpillar. Empty and full of nothing.
Len – It started off very encouraging. Went a little bit quick. (Crowd boo) It’s the truth. Stuck in silly handstand. Bit daft. Fantastic potential. Calm down. Keep on time.
Bruno – Energy overrode finesse of steps. Control energy.
Craig – Stilted. Hands very flat. Shoulder front over the top. Arms dodgy all way through. Did love the caterpillar.
Darcey – Loved the showman. You’re gonna go far.
5, 7, 6, 6 (2)
Alison Hammond and Aljaz Skorjanec
I’m Every Woman – Chaka Khan
The big girl with a bubbly attitude has landed last year’s winner Aljaz Skorjanec. Filled with fun and joy can Hammond show diversity on the dancefloor after the fun and frolics are over? This however, was meant to be The Bodyguard/Whitney Houston version.
Strong start getting into groove. Good passion, great enthusiasm. Good partnership. Good body closeness. Bit tiring in middle on steps. Strong through lift drop finish from Alison.
Bruno – Viva La Diva! Got the moves. Uplifting radiance. For the future, try go on the balls little bit more.
Craig – One of most confident performances for first time. Little bit flat footed. Instinctive gift for rhytm and dance. Joyous experience.
Darcey – Infectious. Polish that footwork.
Len – My type of girl. Big, bold and bouncy.
6, 6, 7, 7 (7)
Steve Backshall and Ola Jordan
Born to be Wild – Steppenwolf
After her vocal neglect towards the show that made her a star after her equally abusive husband James Jordan, who admitted he was too old for dancing now, was sacked by the show months ago. Ola who is likely to go next because she is past her prime, has added she might quit instead. Doors over there, luv. Ungracious and gobby Ola, known by some as ‘Dolly’ Jordan for her legs only, will be judged accordingly on her performance and nothing else. Whether she takes it personally is her own attitude she needs to review. Her partner for this series is the BBC’s in-house zoologist Steve Backshall, who goes on crazy missions with marine life to see how scary they can be. Thrilling.
Starting seated on a bike for no reason, Steve then did a flip over it to get to the floor. Loose into hold. Lost and dazed on spin around begin. Waiting for Ola to lead. Not very fierce in sharp arm movements. Trying too hard to be tough. Musicality didn’t suit routine. Ends with Ola lifting leg up on floor as Steve holds arm up. Pitiful.
Craig – Muscles for me were a slight distraction. Didn’t point feet. Lost frame slightly.
Darcey – Definitely your dance. You’re a strong man. Couldn’t take my eyes off your arms.
Len – Not quite a triaumph. All about expectations. Clean and crisp. Lost your frame.
Bruno – So difficult leading the dance, you did very well. You got great qualities.
6, 6, 7, 7 (4)
Jennifer Gibney and Tristan MacManus
Happy – Pharrell Williams
New Irish fancy Tristan MacManus partners with Mrs. Brown’s Boys sitcom actress Jennifer Gibney. A popular favourite, can Jennifer enjoy and dazzle at the same time?
Fluid, compact beginning onto the floor. Bit lost in part, minor. Good little riverdance, despite a lift technically. Good back leg tilts sways. Fair little number for starting dance with grueling, physical dance.
Darcey – Such a difficult dance. So much energy, you gave it.
Len – Kicks and flicks could have been tad sharper. As song said, I was happy. Got through it with spirit and verve.
Bruno – All the steps he gave you, they were there. You did it. Bit more presentation.
Craig – Arms were all over the place. Got to be aware of free arm. Little hunch of back. Build stamina a little bit more.
3, 5, 5, 5 (4)
Thom Evans and Iveta Lukosiute
You Raise Me Up – Westlife
Rugby hunk and model Thom Evans has joined the sequined starlight with exceptional dancer Iveta Lukosiute. After pairing up three weeks ago and revealing they had fallen for each other genuinely as singles the pair were “smitten” with one another. Will the pair be able to become Strictly’s top acts? They both certainly have the capability to go the distance. Can their dancing do the talking?
Resplendent beginning of fluid serenity. Tender and charismatic turn steps. Bit flimsy on walking outward. Good rotations. Strong poise. Clear to see concnetration makinga little stiff. Very delightful effervescent ending. Quite magical.
Len – Frame good. Little mistake. Atempted to do footwork well, which I appreciate.
Bruno – So kind, caring. Treating her like she was made of glass. Almost moving. More impotence, more drive. More sexy. Come on.
Craig – Man’s job to keep lady on balance. Feel you overbalanced her. Not impressed with your thumbs at all. I did love it.
Darcey – Was expecting you to lead the ballroom. Open those shoulders and stick those pecs out.
5, 6, 6, 6 (7)
Sunetra Sarker and Brendan Cole
Bad case of loving you (Doctor Doctor) – Robert Palmer
Bad boy and nuisance dancer Brendan Cole, who constantly rubs producers and judges up the wrong way by taking personal critique failing to see failures on the floor, often ruins any partners’ chances. Sunetra, who is in the BBC’s drama show Casualty, took the stereotypical Doctor song. She was also a nurse in Channel 4’s No Angels show, years ago, when Channel 4 used to be an excellent channel now marred by political disgrace.
Good connection and connectivity from Sunetra. Very slow thereafter. Walk around turns devoid of interest. Weird head to head swirls. End on patient bed. Was not any instance a Tango. Too Timid.
Bruno – Firecracker of a Tango. A little bit wobbly. Control your assets. Great promise.
Craig – Great sense of rhythm. Frame is what its all about and you just did’t have it, sadly.
(Brendan mouths off again.)
Darcey – Kept energy from beginning till the end.
Len – Felt there was far more right than wrong. Back next week. Look forward to seeing ya.
5, 6, 6, 7 (5)
Gregg Wallace and Aliona Vilani
Hot ‘n’ Cold – Katy Perry
Masterchef judge Gregg Wallace has accepted going “into their world” and expecting critique from the dancing world. At least he is trying to take it on the chin. In the past Wallace has dished out a good portion of negative comments for Craig Revel-Horwood. Saucer of milk, table two please! Unfortunately for Gregg he was lumbered with the vile Aliona Vilani, who also showed her homophobic side last year with Kristina Rihanoff over Julien MacDonald enjoying being part of the show. Vilani vocalised her disappointment with Gregg. She was first out last year after disgruntled spats backstage. Producers kept her around this year to give her another chance. She should have gone two series ago. Both will be judged accordingly.
Once again Aliona makes it all about herself in a solo act to camera. Left alone, Gregg tried to dance with connection but filed as a result. Finger pointing and legs apart walking very cack-handed like John Wayne. Spins by Aliona only for self interest. Lack of connection with partner. Stiff dance by Gregg.
Craig – Sub zero darling. I’m going to be nice and tell you the truth. Like a wind up toy out there. Very camp. Iron that out, Aliona. You should have seen that in the mirror. Hope that you get better.
Darcey – I weirdly liked that.
Len – Bit small, neat and dainty. Practice so hard, forget the flair. Give it some grrrr.
Bruno – Brings me to mind a mince pie with a soggy bottom.
3, 5, 5, 5 (2)
Frankie Bridge and Kevin Clifton
Someone Like You – Adele
Singer of girl group The Saturday’s Frankie Bridge steps onto the floor with Kevin this year. After a highly successful debut last year, Clifton stormed to success with newscaster Susanna Reid. Can the pair achieve greater success?
Solo start with arms okay but too long alone. Good back arm tilt drop of umbrella. Good but way too slow moving along in hold. Good steps with minor stumble. Ticked the boxes but very dry. It’s bad luck to open an umbrella indoors. Decent and beautiful but timid and empty in places.
Darcey – Major hit. Beautiful feeling throughout the dance. A joy to watch.
Len – Without a doubt, best dance of week one.
Bruno – Full extension, you’ve done it.
Craig – Like to see heavier heel. Graceful, romantic. Well done.
7, 7, 8, 8 (6)
Simon Webbe and Kristina Rihanoff
Good Golly, Miss Molly – Little Richard
This year, Strictly’s promiscuous maneater Kristina Rihanoff was banned from married partners. Last year Rihanoff, who showed her homophobic side with Vilani, paired lovable rugby activist Ben Cohen. Ben, a so called ‘gay icon’ who worked with foundations to tackle homophobia, was seen with Rihanoff prior to week’s leading to the show over the last month. Since his split from his wife, Cohen was seen beforehand in public with Rihanoff in romantic poses and took off his wedding ring as well. He placed it back on afterward when it broke with the media. Rihanoff has also slept with and romanced whilst on the show, in her job, unprofessionally, with dancer Vincent Simone and boxing partner Joe Calzaghe. None of her relationships have lasted. Why she is still employed makes the BBC an entire joke. Though she will be judged accordingly, can she and Simon work together and focus to make magic on the floor?
Playing the piano up Kristina’s legs not thrilling. Stand on spot moves then slide through legs. Comedy moments adding nothing to dance routine. Spin around on one leg lift not technical. Double dip down hand touch fair. Lame ending missing spark.
Len – Plenty of kicks, flicks. Just came out and danced. Well done.
Bruno – Like a frisky bunny. Loved rockk ‘n’ roll feel.
Craig – Flat footed. Little more retration on kicks.
Darcey – I liked it a lot. Could see you getting a bit tired.
6, 7, 7, 7 (5)
Best dance of Week 1?
Jake and Janette.
Hostess with the mostest
The new line-up of Tess and Claude is a workable and fair decision. It is also too quick to judge before it began as some critics did so. So far, both have had good chemistry together and made the show watchable by bouncing off one another’s dialogue.
The problem is the VT over-animated questions, catchphrases and stereotyped lunacy. Stop the puns and make it great again. Exec producer Louise Rainbow has come from a ‘watered down background of Realtiy TV’ opting for a bubblegum pop approach than a professional one. I can take over at any time if you wish, BBC. It simply isn’t good enough. But it may just be about demographics. She’s a woman, of certain age and that’s a rarity that the BBC have been criticised for. Hiring the wrong people for the sake of it, however, makes the show a laughing stock instead. Many see the show as an ‘over-sexed’ all woman run, who fancy a bit of sexy blokes they can never get idea. Good way to ‘put women back in the kitchen’ rhetoric.
Rumour has it, and has been revealed, that there will be a fifth judge, but vague details were given. Donny Osmond is expected to fill the role as a ‘Guest Judge’ which will see a new one each week. Sounds a bit unstable to us, but BBC have often rushed certain parts of the show, which make it good and bad. If they thought things through with the correct public advisers than simple ‘fans from X-Factor’ who add pantomime boos at every turn for the sake of nonsense, they could really boost their ratings with a respected outlook. Here we sit, and there BBC fail.
Who to let go?
Aliona, Kristina, Brendan. Ola. Possibly Pasha.