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Androids and animals out. Thoughts on 2014.

Well, the old adage of not working with children or animals can be updated this year to add androids to that list. Two of my favourite new shows got axed this year. They were worlds apart in premise, originated in different countries and on different networks but what they had in common was the most important thing of all, they were good, really good and their fans loved them, enough to petition their respective axers to bring them back. I doubt that FOX or the BBC will take any notice as they obviously know what’s best for us 😕

My thoughts on these series and many more in 2014 follow … (Click on ‘read the rest of this entry’ and each page number below)

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Strictly Christmas special

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Couple Dance Song Scores (see *)
Chris and Iveta Charleston Sleigh ride 7,8,8,8=31
M 7
Rachel and Tristan Viennese waltz Please Come Home for Christmas 9,9,10,10=38
M 9
Russell and Joanne Cha Cha Cha Could It Be Magic? 7,8,7,7=29
M 5
Sophie and AljaĆŸ American Smooth I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas 9,10,10,10=39
M 10
Lisa and Robin Jive Step Into Christmas 8,8,8,8=32
M 6
Louis and Aliona Quickstep Jingle Bells 10,10,10,10=40
M 10
* Scores: 4 numbers showing the scores from Craig, Darcey,Len and Bruno in order with total. The next number shown as M is my score.

Opening number

Bruce arrived in a taxi and arrived at the West End theatre where supposedly (in theory) the Strictly pantomime was being held. Joanne and Aliona were trimming the tree. Bruce joined them along with other pros Natalie, Iveta. Tristan and AljaĆŸ then joined the group along with Robin and Ian.
Opening number “It’s the most wonderful time of the year” leading into “All I Want For Christmas is You”

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Strictly week 13 – The Final

The Glitterball is within reach

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Keeping the couple order for the table as for week 2 rather than change the order every week, to make ease of comparison. Couples still in the competition in blue.

Couple Dance Song Scores (see *) Leaderboard Position Comment
Thom and Iveta ——————- ——————- —————- —————– ELIMINATED in week 5
Jennifer and Tristan ——————– ——————- —————- —————– Dance off in week 2
ELIMINATED in week 3
Simon and Kristina Judges pick -Charleston My Old Man 9,10,10,10=39
M 9
After 1st dance – joint 2nd
After 2nd dance – 2nd
After 3rd dance – 2nd
Dance off in week 3
Dance off in week 5
Dance off in week 11

Three good dances, but the AT was outstanding.
Finalists, joint runners up.
Showdance A Little Less Conversation 9,10,10,10=39
M 9
Couple’s favourite dance -Argentine tango Roxanne 10,10,10,10=40
M 10
Gregg and Aliona ——————– ——————- —————- ———————— ELIMINATED in week 2
Alison and AljaĆŸ ——————- —————— —————- ———————– Dance off in week 6
ELIMINATED in week 7
Jake and Janette ——————- ——————- ——————- ——————- ELIMINATED in week 12 (semi final)
Judy and Anton ——————- —————— —————- ———————— ELIMINATED in week 8
Caroline and Pasha Judges pick -Cha Cha Can You Feel It 10,10,10,10=40
M 10
After 1st dance – 1st
After 2nd dance – 1st
After 3rd dance – 1st
Dance off in week 7
Great routines, all.
****** WINNERS *******
Showdance Angels 10,10,10,10=40
M 10
Couple’s favourite dance -Charleston Istanbul (not Constantinople) 10,10,10,10=40
M 10
Tim and Natalie ——————– ——————- —————- ———————— ELIMINATED in week 4
Sunetra and Brendan ——————– ——————- —————– —————————- Dance off in week 8
Dance off in week 9
ELIMINATED in week 10
Mark and Karen Judges pick -Cha Cha I’m Your Man 8,9,9,9=35
M 8
After 1st dance – 4th
After 2nd dance – 4th
No 3rd dance
Dance off in week 4
Dance off in week 10
Dance off in week 12
Fun and frenetic but not technically great.
Finalists, 4th place
Showdance Don’t Stop Me Now 8,9,9,9=35
M 8
Couple’s favourite dance – Samba That’s The Way I Like It not performed due to elimination
Scott and Joanne ——————- —————— —————— ————————– ELIMINATED in week 6
Pixie and Trent ——————- —————— —————— ————————– ELIMINATED in week 11 (quarter final)
Steve and Ola ——————- —————— —————— ————————- ELIMINATED in week 9
Frankie and Kevin Judges pick -Samba la Bamba 9,10,10,10=39
M 9
After 1st dance – joint 2nd
After 2nd dance – 2nd
After 3rd dance – 3rd
Showdance and Paso doble were their best dances.
Finalists, joint runners up.
Showdance Get Happy 9,9,10,10=38
M 9
Couple’s favourite dance -Paso Doble America 9,10,10,10=39
M 9
* Scores: 4 numbers showing the scores from Craig, Darcey,Len and Bruno in order with total. The next number shown as M is my score.

Strictly week 12 – Semi Finals

Close but no cigar for one couple

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Keeping the couple order for the table as for week 2 rather than change the order every week, to make ease of comparison. Couples still in the competition in blue.
Couple Dance Song Scores (see *) Leaderboard Position Comment
Thom and Iveta ——————- ——————- —————- —————– ELIMINATED in week 5
Jennifer and Tristan ——————– ——————- —————- —————– Dance off in week 2 ELIMINATED in week 3
Simon and Kristina Samba I Like to Move It 6,9,8,7=30 M 7 after first dance =4th Dance off in week 3 Dance off in week 5 Dance off in week 11 Samba could have been brilliant, but made some mistakes and the music wasn’t really suitable. Foxtrot was excellent. He really is best in the ballroom.
Foxtrot My Guy 9,10,10,9=38 M 10 after second dance 3rd
Gregg and Aliona ——————– ——————- —————- ———————— ELIMINATED in week 2
Alison and AljaĆŸ ——————- —————— —————- ———————– Dance off in week 6 ELIMINATED in week 7
Jake and Janette Cha Cha Boogie Shoes 6,8,8,8=30 M 6 after first dance =4th All his Latin dances are looking the same now. Poor footwork in Cha Cha. V.W. was the better dance, but footwork still not great. ELIMINATED in week 12
Viennese waltz When a Man Loves a Woman 7,8,8,8=31 M 7 after second dance 5th
Judy and Anton ——————- —————— —————- ———————— ELIMINATED in week 8
Caroline and Pasha Foxtrot Diamonds 8,9,9,9=35 M 9 after first dance 1st Dance off in week 7 Foxtrot was almost a foxtrot fusion with a rumba, due to the music. Caroline always dances emotionally. Salsa was very good but it didn’t quite wow me for some reason.
Salsa Maria 10,10,10,10=40 M 9 after second dance 1st
Tim and Natalie ——————– ——————- —————- ———————— ELIMINATED in week 4
Sunetra and Brendan ——————– ——————- —————– ————————– Dance off in week 8 Dance off in week 9 ELIMINATED in week 10
Mark and Karen Viennese waltz I Got You Babe 8,8,9,8=33 M 8 after first dance 3rd Dance off in week 4 Dance off in week 10 V.W. had an American Smooth feel about it, not quite enough standard rotations in it for me. I’m not a fan of contemporary dance and there weren’t many standard rumba basics in it as Len said, but I expected to not like this, but I did! Dance off in week 12
Rumba Fields of Gold 9,8,8,8=33 M 8 after second dance 4th
Scott and Joanne ——————- —————— —————— ————————– ELIMINATED in week 6
Pixie and Trent ——————- —————— —————— ————————– ELIMINATED in week 11
Steve and Ola ——————- —————— —————— ————————- ELIMINATED in week 9
Frankie and Kevin Rumba Somewhere Only We Know 7,8,9,10=34 M 9 after first dance 2nd I’m not keen (pun intended!) on this song, but they did a sweet take on this as a rumba and I liked it. Absolutely loved their Argentine tango. Difficult music but coped admirably.
Argentine tango Beethoven’s 5th 9,9,10,10=38 M 10 after second dance 2nd
* Scores: 4 numbers showing the scores from Craig, Darcey,Len and Bruno in order with total. The next number shown as M is my score.

Strictly week 11 – Quarter Finals

So who was a shooting star and who plummeted to Earth?

Keeping the couple order for the table as for week 2 rather than change the order every week, to make ease of comparison. Couples still in the competition in blue.

 

Couple Dance Song Scores (see *) Leaderboard Position Comment
Thom and Iveta ——————- ——————- —————- —————– ELIMINATED in week 5
Jennifer and Tristan ——————– ——————- —————- —————– Dance off in week 2
ELIMINATED in week 3
Simon and Kristina American Smooth Heartache Tonight 8,9,9,9=35
M 8
before waltzathon
=3
Dance off in week 3
Dance off in week 5

Good effort with not the best music. Lifts executed well.
Dance off in week 11
Waltzathon The Last Waltz 3rd Final position
=3
Gregg and Aliona ——————– ——————- —————- ———————— ELIMINATED in week 2
Alison and AljaĆŸ ——————- —————— —————- ———————— Dance off in week 6
ELIMINATED in week 7
Jake and Janette Charleston Entry of the Gladiators 9,9,10,10=38
M 8
before waltzathon
2
Did well once again with not the best music choice. His footwork wasn’t the best, but the lifts and tricks were very good.
Waltzathon as for Simon and Kristina 6th Final position
=3
Judy and Anton ——————- —————— —————- ———————— ELIMINATED in week 8
Caroline and Pasha Argentine tango La Curparsita 9,10,10,10=39
M 9
before waltzathon
1
Dance off in week 7Dramatic dance but she slightly lost balance on a couple of moves.
Waltzathon as for Simon and Kristina 4th Final position
1
Tim and Natalie ——————– ——————- —————- ———————— ELIMINATED in week 4
Sunetra and Brendan ——————– ——————- —————– ————————– Dance off in week 8
Dance off in week 9
ELIMINATED in week 10
Mark and Karen Foxtrot L-O-V-E 8,9,9,9=35
M 9
before waltzathon
=3
Dance off in week 4
Dance off in week 10A very enjoyable routine, and had the feel of an American Smooth but without the lifts.
Waltzathon as for Simon and Kristina 5th Final position
6
Scott and Joanne ——————- —————— —————— ————————– ELIMINATED in week 6
Pixie and Trent Cha Cha Love Shack 9,9,8,9=35
M 8
before waltzathon
=3
Not Pixie’s best dance but the music didn’t help giving it a stop and start and disjointed appearance. Her musicality was very good though.
ELIMINATED in week 11
Waltzathon as for Simon and Kristina 1st Final position
2
Steve and Ola ——————- —————— —————— ————————- ELIMINATED in week 9
Frankie and Kevin Salsa Work 8,9,8,9=34
M 8
before waltzathon
6
Enjoyable routine with some good lifts but technically not quite as good as some of her other routines. Kevin had been ill this week though.
Waltzathon as for Simon and Kristina 2nd Final position
=3
* Scores: 4 numbers showing the scores from Craig, Darcey,Len and Bruno in order with total. The next number shown as M is my score.

Strictly week 10

This is now the completed post for Week 10
Around the world week

So who flew first class and who forgot their passport?

Keeping the couple order for the table as for week 2 rather than change the order every week, to make ease of comparison. Couples still in the competition in blue.
Couple Dance Song Scores (see *) Leaderboard Position Comment
Thom and Iveta ——————- ——————- —————- —————– ELIMINATED in week 5
Jennifer and Tristan ——————– ——————- —————- —————– Dance off in week 2
ELIMINATED in week 3
Simon and Kristina Waltz Edelweiss 9,10,10,9=38
M 9
=2 Dance off in week 3
Dance off in week 5
Beautifully danced waltz.
Gregg and Aliona ——————– ——————- —————- ———————— ELIMINATED in week 2
Alison and AljaĆŸ ——————- —————— —————- ———————— Dance off in week 6
ELIMINATED in week 7
Jake and Janette Argentine tango Zorba the Greek 5,8,8,8=29
M 7
6 Coped very well with unsuitable music. Also, see backing dancers, below.
Judy and Anton ——————- —————— —————- ———————— ELIMINATED in week 8
Caroline and Pasha Charleston Istanbul not Constantinople 9,10,10,10=39
M 9
1 Dance off in week 7
Enjoyable Charleston with lots of swivel, energy and well executed lifts.
Tim and Natalie ——————– ——————- —————- ———————— ELIMINATED in week 4
Sunetra and Brendan Rumba The Girl From Ipanema 5,7,8,7=27
M 7
7 Dance off in week 8
Dance off in week 9
Not technically great but was acted well and elegant as always. Craig was over harsh IMO in score and comments.
ELIMINATED in week 10
Mark and Karen Salsa Viva Las Vegas 7,8,9,8=32
M 6
5 Dance off in week 4
Dance off in week 10
All tricks, slides and very little salsa. The lack of training time showed.
Scott and Joanne ——————- —————— —————— ————————– ELIMINATED in week 6
Pixie and Trent Viennese waltz Tulips from Amsterdam 9,9,10,10=38
M 8
=2 A decent VW when they got into hold. The backing dancers were very distracting.
Steve and Ola ——————- —————— —————— ————————- ELIMINATED in week 9
Frankie and Kevin Jive Surfin’ USA 9,9,9,9=36
M 9
4 Good jive, but again ruined by the theme
Kudos to Frankie for jiving on a surfboard in heels!
* Scores: 4 numbers showing the scores from Craig, Darcey,Len and Bruno in order with total. The next number shown as M is my score.

Strictly week 9

So who was Number 1 and who failed to chart?

Keeping the couple order for the table as for week 2 rather than change the order every week, to make ease of comparison. Couples still in the competition in blue.
Couple Dance Song Scores (see *) Leaderboard Position Comment
Thom and Iveta ——————- ——————- —————- —————– ELIMINATED in week 5
Jennifer and Tristan ——————– ——————- —————- —————– Dance off in week 2
ELIMINATED in week 3
Simon and Kristina Salsa Let’s Hear It For The Boy 9,9,9,9=36
M 9
4 Dance off in week 3
Dance off in week 5
Great salsa with lots of “armography” and continuous movement.
Gregg and Aliona ——————– ——————- —————- ———————— ELIMINATED in week 2
Alison and AljaĆŸ ——————- —————— —————- ———————— Dance off in week 6
ELIMINATED in week 7
Jake and Janette Samba Macarena 9,10,10,9=38
M 8
=1 Fun routine with great musicality but not many samba steps.
Judy and Anton ——————- —————— —————- ———————— ELIMINATED in week 8
Caroline and Pasha American Smooth Mack the Knife 7,8,9,9=33
M 7
5 Dance off in week 7
Not enough in in hold for me. She did well to recover from the stumble at the beginning though.
Tim and Natalie ——————– ——————- —————- ———————— ELIMINATED in week 4
Sunetra and Brendan Waltz Last Request 7,7,8,8=30
M 7
7 Dance off in week 8
Charming waltz but with a few mistakes.
Dance off in week 9
Mark and Karen Tango Love Runs Out 8,8,8,8=32
M 8
6 Dance off in week 4
Enjoyable, dramatic tango, but not quite polished enough.
Scott and Joanne ——————- —————— —————— ————————– ELIMINATED in week 6
Pixie and Trent Charleston Diamonds Are A Girl’s Best Friend 9,9,9,10=37
M 9
3 Frenetic and packed with content but bad music choice and a Charleston it wasn’t.
Steve and Ola Jive Little Bitty Pretty One 4,7,6,6=23
M 5
8 Poor jive action but good on lifts as usual.
ELIMINATED in week 9
Frankie and Kevin Viennese Waltz What’s New Pussycat? 9,9,10,10=38
M 9
=1 Great Viennese waltz with loads of rotation.
* Scores: 4 numbers showing the scores from Craig, Darcey,Len and Bruno in order with total. The next number shown as M is my score.

Strictly week 8 – Blackpool

So who illuminated Blackpool and who was all at sea?

Keeping the couple order for the table as for week 2 rather than change the order every week, to make ease of comparison. Couples still in the competition in blue.
Couple Dance Song Scores (see *) Leaderboard Position Comment
Thom and Iveta ——————- ——————- —————- —————– ELIMINATED in week 5
Jennifer and Tristan ——————– ——————- —————- —————– Dance off in week 2
ELIMINATED in week 3
Simon and Kristina Argentine Tango El Tango de Roxanne 8,10,10,10=38
M 8
=1 Dance off in week 3
Dance off in week 5
Good routine with good lifts but not enough flicks and not staccato enough.
Gregg and Aliona ——————– ——————- —————- ———————— ELIMINATED in week 2
Alison and AljaĆŸ ——————- —————— —————- ———————— Dance off in week 6
ELIMINATED in week 7
Jake and Janette American Smooth Feeling Good 9,9,9,9=36
M 8
=5 choreography relying on “cool hard man image again”. Lifts were good but lacked time with them together and in hold for me.
Judy and Anton Viennese Waltz Let’s Go Fly a Kite 4,6,7,7=24
M 5
9 When in hold with Anton she actually managed some waltz steps. It didn’t last long though!
ELIMINATED in week 8
Caroline and Pasha Jive Crocodile Rock 9,9,9,10=37
M 7
=3 Dance off in week 7
Have to disagree with judges here. I thought she was out of time and the kicks and flicks weren’t sharp enough.
Tim and Natalie ——————– ——————- —————- ———————— ELIMINATED in week 4
Sunetra and Brendan Samba I Don’t Feel Like Dancin’ 6,8,8,8=30
M 6
8 Not her best effort. Out of time and lacked bounce.
Dance off in week 8
Mark and Karen Charleston We No Speak Americano 9,9,9,9=38
M 9
=5 Dance off in week 4
Great routine with plenty of personality. My favourite of theirs.
Scott and Joanne ——————- —————— —————— ————————– ELIMINATED in week 6
Pixie and Trent Paso Doble The Eve of the War 9,9,10,10=38
M 9
=1 Danced well but could have got extra oomph from better music.
Steve and Ola American Smooth Rolling in the Deep 7,8,8,8=31
M 7
7 Steve is improving. Danced well but could have done better with more appropriate music.
Frankie and Kevin Quickstep A Town Called Malice 8,9,10,10=37
M 9
=3 Fast, energetic dance with good musicality.
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* Scores: 4 numbers showing the scores from Craig, Darcey,Len and Bruno in order with total. The next number shown as M is my score.

Strictly week 7

So who hit it out of the park this week and who dropped the ball?

 

Keeping the couple order for the table as for week 2 rather than change the order every week, to make ease of comparison.

Couple Dance Song Scores (see *) Leaderboard Position Comment
Thom and Iveta ——————- ——————- —————- —————– ELIMINATED in week 5
Jennifer and Tristan ——————– ——————- —————- —————– Dance off in week 2
ELIMINATED in week 3
Simon and Kristina Quickstep I Got Rhythm 7,9,9,8=33
M 9
2 Dance off in week 3
Dance off in week 5
Great routine. Great energy and travel across the floor.
Gregg and Aliona ——————– ——————- —————- ———————— ELIMINATED in week 2
Alison and AljaĆŸ Charleston Friend Like Me 6,7,7,7=27
M 5
=8 Dance off in week 6
Poor footwork again. All show and no technique.
ELIMINATED in week 7
Jake and Janette Rumba Strangers in the Night 6,7,7,7=27
M 6
=8 A bit flat and stiff. Acted well though.
Judy and Anton Paso Doble I Fought the Law 3,5,5,5=18
M 3
10 Same again, stiff as a board. Good at being lifted and can do jumps and acting but dancing is poor.
Caroline and Pasha Waltz Three Times a Lady 7,8,8,8=31
M 7
=4 Dance off in week 7
Not enough actual waltz. Almost a rumba waltz. Beautifully danced spins and acted well.
Tim and Natalie ——————– ——————- —————- ———————— ELIMINATED in week 4
Sunetra and Brendan Foxtrot All Of Me 7,8,8,8=31
M 8
=4 Charming routine, elegant and danced well but she and the judges said she missed a bit. Still good though.
Mark and Karen Waltz Weekend in New England 7,8,8,8=31
M 7
=4 Dance off in week 4
Another waltz beautifully acted but lacking in travel across the floor.
Scott and Joanne ——————- —————— —————— ————————– ELIMINATED in week 6
Pixie and Trent Foxtrot When I’m Sixty Four 9,10,8,9=36
M 9
1 Great routine with plenty of character.
Steve and Ola Paso Doble Use Somebody 6,8,7,7=28
M 7
7 Power but not much finesse.
Frankie and Kevin Samba La Bamba 7,8,9,8=32
M 8
3 Enjoyable but lacking a little bit of oomph!

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* Scores: 4 numbers showing the scores from Craig, Darcey,Len and Bruno in order with total. The next number shown as M is my score.

Tess and Zoe

Zoe (left) standing in for Claudia again. I join them in sending their best wishes to Claudia and her family for the recovery of her daughter Matilda after her Halloween costume got set alight by accident.
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Strictly week 6

 

It’s Halloween week, so who will escape the horror and who will eaten by the undead?

 

Keeping the couple order for the table as for week 2 rather than change the order every week, to make ease of comparison.

Couple Dance Song Scores (see *) Leaderboard Position Comment
Thom and Iveta ——————- ——————- —————- —————– ELIMINATED in week 5
Jennifer and Tristan ——————– ——————- —————- —————– Dance off in week 2
ELIMINATED in week 3
Simon and Kristina Paso Doble Poison 6,8,7,8=29
M 7
=5 Dance off in week 3
Dance off in week 5
Coping well with the terrible music, before he forgot a move in the middle. Lacking a bit of style.
Gregg and Aliona ——————– ——————- —————- ———————— ELIMINATED in week 2
Alison and AljaĆŸ American Smooth Wuthering Heights 5,7,7,7=26
M 5
=8 Boring. An American Smooth without lifts (for obvious reasons).
Dance off in week 6
Jake and Janette Paso Doble Black Betty 6,7,8,8=29
M 7
=5 Good routine. Another one struggling a bit with the paso and the music didn’t help.
Judy and Anton American Smooth Cruella de Vil 3,6,6,5=20
M 3
11 I take it back, she isn’t improving. This dance showed her still stiff as a board. She spends the routine being lifted, led by Anton in hold.
Caroline and Pasha Samba Le Freak 7,8,8,9=32
M 8
4 Liked the disco/samba fusion. Good energy and very rhythmic.
Tim and Natalie ——————– ——————- —————- ———————— ELIMINATED in week 4
Sunetra and Brendan Jive Tainted Love 6,7,7,7=27
M 7
7 A bit flat footed. Not much jive in it. A lot of faffing with the bed. A lot of play acting. Still entertaining though.
Mark and Karen Jive Little Shop of Horrors 8,9,9,9=35
M 8
2 Dance off in week 4
Good bouncy jive with plenty of energy.
Scott and Joanne Foxtrot The Addams Family theme 3,6,6,6=21
M 5
10 Maybe I was distracted because I love the Addams Family theme, but I enjoyed this more than Judy’s this week. As Len, said great choreography.
ELIMINATED in week 6
Pixie and Trent Tango Danger! High Voltage 8,8,8,9=33
M 8
3 For me. Pixie’s best dance yet.
Steve and Ola Charleston Dem Bones Dem Bones 5.7,7,7=26
M 5
8 Rather a subdued Charleston. He forgot some moves and wasn’t in sync with Ola. The lifts other the last one didn’t work too well. I think the face make up didn’t help this because it masked their expressions a bit.
Frankie and Kevin Tango Defying Gravity 9,9,9,10=37
M 8
1 Strong tango, but I still don’t think it fitted the music, which I do like, but not as a tango. Despite that, great showstopping ending though.

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* Scores: 4 numbers showing the scores from Craig, Darcey,Len and Bruno in order with total. The next number shown as M is my score.

Opening number

Bat out of Hell by Meatloaf, pros and celebs with Anton as Count Dracula flying in on wires. Good stuff.

Opening number

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