Snow fell heavily outside Birmingham National Indoor Arena on January 20, but dedicated Strictly enthusiasts aren’t easily kept from their sequins. Directed by Craig Revel Horwood, the live show aims to give the audience the television experience, complete with voting, training videos and comments from the judges.
And then we came to the end. Not the world (sorry, Mayans!), though to loyal sequin superfans or anyone not seduced by Louis's "guns", it may feel that way. Still, we now have our Strictly champions after an action-packed night featuring three gosh-no-not-at-all-trained girls and one acrobat with his top off.
This week’s Strictly caused almighty (con)fusion. Did the gimmick bring something new to the show? Yes. Did it work? Um…not exactly.
The message of this week's Strictly is that we must beware the ballroom gods. Sometimes they are benevolent, and bestow sequinned favours upon us, but sometimes we invoke their wrath. And the wrath of the ballroom gods is a terrible thing to behold.
Thus it came to pass that Kimberley, with her array of knee and hip injuries, had to contend with the physically taxing jive; Denise, who showed a chink in the armour with cha cha, and James, openly professing hatred for non-standard dances, the salsa; ballroom boy Michael the samba; Latin girl Lisa the quickstep; youngster Dani the Viennese; distinctly unsexy Nicky the Argentine tango; and, most gloriously of all, Louis, he of the lost personality, the character-driven Charleston.
The only good thing about Strictly's disaaaahstrous Wembley Week is that the following show, bathed in the rosy light of Television Centre, automatically becomes one of the best of the series. We can hear human speech! The mob is not roaring outside the gates! No one feels the need to feign the gift of flight! LET US DO THE DANCE OF JOY!
Ah, Strictly’s Wembley Week – a party to which the TV viewers are not invited. “It’s a brilliant atmosphere here!” people howled at us with increasing levels of desperation (and from the bottom of a lake in 1964 if the sound was anything to go by).
In order to reassure us that this was indeed a BIG venue with plenty of EXCITEMENT, cameras swooped around randomly like hawks with ADHD (“Ooh, something shiny!”), rendering the ant-like dancers pretty much superfluous amidst a sea of psychedelic graphics, while the band fought against a baying crowd and occasional bouts of marvellously out-of-time clapping.
“Strictly Come Dancing” professional Katya Virshilas has been dropped from the BBC series. Katya, a Lithuanian-born dancer who made her debut in series seven in 2009, is the only professional who will not be returning this year.
“Strictly Come Dancing” will be part of the line-up for Hyde Park’s Jubilee Family Festival, marking the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. Dancers from the BBC One television show will give main stage performances on each day of the event, which runs from 10.30am until 7pm on Saturday, June 2 and Sunday, June 3, 2012.