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Strictly Speaking

Strictly Speaking: The final

Well, serves me right for taking such pleasure in our perfect Strictly final. I should have known that 2021 would have one final gut punch in store: poor AJ and Kai having to drop out through injury. It made the result even more of a foregone conclusion – in terms of public support, no one […]

Strictly Speaking: Week 12

Well, what a semi-final! Usually doubling the dances means halving the standard, at least, but everyone delivered here – even if the judges did get overexcited with the 10s. It’s not that many were undeserved, more than the maximum score has become so completely devalued at this point. Even Motsi realised it, wishing her 10 […]

Strictly Speaking: Week 11

Thank the Strictly gods for that! Yes, our long national nightmare is over – Dan Walker has finally exited the ballroom. It was the first properly riveting dance-off since… well, pretty much ever, with Dan a point up but AJ able to redeem herself with that final lift. Even then, the judges have made some […]

Strictly Speaking: Week 10

Can you believe it’s nearly the quarter-finals already? Dan Walker is still here, so I certainly can’t. At this rate he’ll be hoovering up a place on the judging panel the next time someone has a bye week. Watch out, Anton: your schtick is under serious threat.  So, we had a second outing from Cynthia […]

Strictly Speaking: Week 9

You can always count on Strictly’s Musicals Week for some decent drama, although most of it was off the floor on this occasion – from Craig’s COVID-19 test (poor Craig, I hope he was doing furious jazz hands while watching at home) to some excitable overmarking and a mildly controversial exit.  As for the latter, […]

Strictly Speaking: Week 8

Well that was a shambles. Are the judges trying to destroy the format of the entire show? Is Adam Peaty’s mum right to cry fix? Does Dan really think he’s the sole representative of Strictly contestants without dance experience? Adam (or his mum) would have a thing or two to say about that – as […]

Strictly Speaking: Week 7

Happy halfway mark, Strictly watchers! I can normally tell we’ve reached this stage because I’m genuinely surprised to see some of the celebrities in the opening titles. Was Katie McGlynn really in this season? Or poor Robert Webb? It feels like years ago already. Yet the sheer talent of some of these contestants also makes […]

Strictly Speaking: Week 6

Have I just lowered my expectations so much that we’ve hit 3,000 feet below sea level, or was this Halloween show actually… kind of bearable? Yes, there were some horrendous dressing-up elements (we’re coming to that opening pro number shortly, and the ridiculously overmarked lobsters), but also several brilliant dances that not only survived the […]

Strictly Speaking: Week 5

Well that’s more like it. After a rather exhausted, grouchy hangover show last week, Strictly was back on form with several really impressive routines, a scattering of 10s, a new bread-based-ography, and the judges wandering idly down memory lane. The race to the final is still too close to call, even if it felt like […]

Strictly Speaking: Week 2

Welcome to the Thunderdome! Week 1 was all pats on the back for even finding your way into the studio; now, the real Strictly judging begins. Well, sort of. Once again, we found our panel in a mercurial mood, dishing out everything from 3s to 9s with the whimsy of a giggling child dictator. Most […]

Strictly Speaking: Week 1

We’re off! This opener had everything we love about Strictly: dance, drama and dance-drama; a bewildering costume lottery; Tess patronising people to within an inch of their lives; scoring that began sane and then descended into utter chaos; and, most important, contestants we’d never heard of before this claiming a place in our hearts.  On […]

Strictly Speaking: Launch show

Marianka Swain introduces the Class of 2021 Hurrah, we’re back! Hello, fellow Strictly watchers – I’m so glad that our Saturday nights are sparkly once more. The show really got me through the darkness of winter 2020 and it promises to be a joy again, this time with a full run, a cast of 15 […]

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