20 December 2011

"Nancy's in a five-star hotel; Robbie's in a golf and country club; and Russell's camping..."


Bit irked about the Strictly Come Dancing final, to be honest. Jason Donovan, though the obvious outsider of the three prior to the curtain going up, didn't deserve to be ousted by the public after the first two dances. The judges' scores, though only a guide, proved that.

But all in all it was a tremendous watch and Harry Judd was, on a technical and clinical level, a worthy winner. I enjoyed the way he skilfully avoided Sir Bruce Forsyth's observation that he now had a career as a dancer ahead of him if he wanted it. If you're the drummer in a pop band of heart-throbs still having hits, you're not going to give that up for eight hours a day of jiving and foxtrotting. Not yet, anyway.

I liked Chelsee Heeley's partner, Pasha Kovalev, the only male pro dancer on the show without any evidence of ego or showbiz-seeking. The singing and musicianship was, as always, tremendous. Bruno Tonioli and Craig Revel Horwood remain the worthiest of the four judges. Zoe Ball was superb on It Takes Two. Contestants who came across well included Russell Grant, Anita Dobson, Robbie Savage and even Audley Harrison.

But there are gripes. Sir Bruce continued to cock up the autocue and Tess Daly is actually starting to grate now. She can do live telly but she isn't a reactive person to the often chaotic stuff around her; indeed, Alex Jones showed when removed from the constraints of autocue just how much sparkle and charisma she actually has. When you look at the combination of Sir Bruce and Tess, it's opposites working together - the old man can't read properly but can still show and improvise; the youthful sidekick can read properly but has no real awareness of what to do when the script has to be thrown away.

Len Goodman, meanwhile, has become a miserable, curmudgeonly, picky, lazy, soundbitten old get.

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