16 November 2009
Here's a foolproof way for Chris Hollins, my favourite competitor on Strictly Come Dancing, to get to the final.
Feign an ankle injury. You'll get a bye to the next phase, then the next, then the ... etc until the final itself. After Jade Johnson's injury at the weekend, it appears that it is now possible to survive a further week without actually doing any dancing.
That really doesn't wash, does it? Her injury was genuine, of course, but injury usually means game over. Had she been taking part in a long jump competition and suddenly done her knee in, she wouldn't have expected a bye to the next round while an able (ie, abler) competitor was eliminated.
More baffling was the public's decision to save Laila Bouass, who only managed half a dance with a bad ankle and ended up being dragged and carried around the floor by her partner Anton du Beke while she bawled her eyes out. Inevitably she was in the bottom two after the judges had scored "on what we saw", and with some heart-sinking predictability, the GBP fell for for the "plucky trier" card and made her stay. Phil Tufnell, who danced really well, ended up exiting despite being a) able to dance; and b) not bursting into tears and saying it was all so unfair. I reckon a decent lawyer could make a "loss of earnings" case for him, given that he left while dancing, while someone else stayed without dancing.
The two injured women should both now be out of the competition; moreover, they should have offered to exit the competition. It would have ruled out a phone vote and robbed the BBC of plenty of wonga of course, but that shouldn't have been an issue.
Chris is my favourite and either he or Natalie Cassidy will win if the personality issue comes through strongest; otherwise, it's the skilful but charisma-free Hollyoaks bloke.
Oh, and I love Ronnie Corbett, but please don't ask him to do anything like that ever again. The poor chap was embarrassing. However, Claudia Winkleman was and is completely loopy, and so brilliant for it. The show only actually missed Bruce Forsyth and his gigantic ego because they didn't adequately replace him, not because he was absent per se. Sort out a decent stand-in for his next bout of lurgy and maybe the time will arrive to ask him to step down.