Monday, December 13, 2010

Strictly: But first, the news...

Okay, I give in. The pink frock, the beauty of the dance... You were right, I was wrong: I do have a crush on Kara Tointon. Oh, stop looking so smug.

Obviously, then, I needed her to get into the final but actually this is the first year I’ve ever watched the semis with my fingers crossed. It was essential Kara got in, it was essential Gavin got out. I also wanted Pamela in so thereafter it was a numbers game: how much I would care if Scott was out, how bothered would I be if Matt left.

Not that much, really. But on the narrowest of balances, I did want Matt and we’ve got him.

Only, I may have changed my mind a little because of some news. But speaking of news...

Remember that odd moment last week with Len talking about the best-ever Viennese waltzs? Catherine explained the mystery in the blog comments here: “I think the best Viennese waltz comments were directed at Alesha then Kara, but the camera didn't allow us to see Len pointing to Alesha, only Kara so it came across as a bit confusing.”

Then the whole question of whether the swingathon was prerecorded or not. We have the answer. A friend of a friend was at that edition and reports that it was live. I don’t know the friend of the friend but I do the friend and if it’s Strictly, she knows.

But because she also knows other things, I’m going to pretend she doesn’t have a name. She is sans name.

Let’s call her Sans.

Sans also told me: “Bruce's duet and the pros' dance (for Sunday) were pre-recorded that night, however. Also, Matt was furious with his comments, with Scott and Natalie having to try and calm him down afterwards. Ironic how things turned out.”

It’s a disappointment but it’s not a surprise. Instead of the now slightly tedious two-shot of the couples coming out of the studio door and happening to find a camera crew there, this week we just saw Matt fly by pursued by a studio assistant.

It might even have been the very same studio assistant who had to get Gavin and Katya off the floor after they failed to notice they were ejected from the swingathon. Though the show probably has more than one, you’re right.

What to think, though. Kara was an obvious choice for the final for me - oh, get off my back, it's her dancing! - and Pamela was obviously right to get through for her dancing too. And part of me would like to see Pamela beat the Strictly casting, the way she was picked to fill the role of the older contestant who bows out early.

I’m just not sure now about Matt. We saw him give a quiet sob and I admit that did make me warm to him. The man’s caught up in the emotion, thats what it is.

So I’m pretty sure I still prefer him in the final than Scott and I do so because his dancing is better.

It’s a bit like the Dancing with the Stars final: I didn’t like Jennifer Grey as a person but her dancing was terrific.

Mind you, she was up against two total non-dancing no-hopers in her US final where the UK one could go any way, could really have any of those finalists lifting the trophy.

It’s been a very good year for the show in every sense. Next time you hear Tess Daly asking someone about the pressure of dancing on live TV, listen for the numbers she uses. At the start of this series she’d say “What’s it like dancing in front of 10 million people?” It’s steadily gone up until this week she asked Gavin about the pressure of “14 million people”.

I think she even had a little glee in her voice. And quite right too.

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