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Strictly Speaking

Strictly Speaking 2019: The Launch

Marianka Swain introduces the Class of 2019 Hello and welcome back to the safe, lovely, happy, sparkly world of Strictly Come Dancing! Here there are no rogues proroguing (just the odd lord – or maybe viscountess – a-leaping), and the only Article 50 we are concerned with is the 50th consecutive bewildering article of clothing […]

Strictly Speaking: The final

Another year, another bloated final that winds up being totally irrelevant to the results. At some point, the bosses of Strictly Come Dancing might need to look into that… For my money, of the last four, Ashley was the strongest dancer, Joe the most improved, Faye the best on the night, and Kevin, I mean […]

Strictly Speaking: Week 12

Semi-final week saw the usual quality drop-off with two dances – although in some cases such technical lack was rebranded as “authenticity” by the ever-erratic judges. We also had the dance and music lottery either boosting or limiting celebs, depending on whether they lucked out with the last remaining caramel swirl in the Quality Street […]

Strictly Speaking: Week 11

Musicals Week! The quarter-finals! All to play for on this jazz hands show, and the combination of high-stakes competition and rampant theming produced… mixed results. Some dances fit beautifully with their songs, others were swallowed whole – and the judges continued to be consistent only in their inconsistency. Now, I’ve always considered that we at […]

Strictly Speaking: Week 10

So, we could talk about the post-Blackpool hangover pervading the week (this show very much brought to you by paracetamol and Alka-Seltzer). We could talk about scoring monstrosities, or the continuing bafflement of Couple’s Choice, or how the ghost of Ramps haunts us all via every single one of his songs being nicked over the […]

Strictly Speaking – Week 9

Ah, Blackpool – home of ballroom. Or, in Strictly’s case, home of prop dancers, inflated (in most cases) scores, and alarming combos like fire, feathers and copious amounts of hairspray. At its best, it provides history, spectacle and a thrilling element of risk. Elsewhere…a well-intentioned mess. Highs this year included paddle-tease Craig finally locating his […]

Strictly Speaking – Week 8

It might seem a strange statement to make while the BBC is shoving Stacey towards the glitterball, and Joe’s YouTube views have now surpassed the last six series, but one thing I’m enjoying is this year’s unpredictability. Who could have guessed that none of Lee, Vick, Dr Ranj or Danny would make Blackpool? Or that […]

Strictly Speaking – Week 7

Post-Halloween Week, and it’s possible the judges were still hopped up on Haribo and egging unsuspecting strangers, with the series’ most inconsistent show so far in terms of scoring and comments. Of course, Strictly is a mix of dancing and entertainment, ringers and J-worders, and subjective interpretations of different styles, but even so, I think viewers […]

Strictly Speaking – Week 6

Ah, Halloween Week – the annual dumbing down of Strictly. Why have subtext or delicate concepts when you can instead bumble about dressed in the most thuddingly literal, kids-dressing-up-box interpretations of groaningly repeated and/or entirely insane songs? Under such conditions, the judges’ sudden desire for technical precision seemed rather cruel – although it wasn’t applied […]

Strictly Speaking – Week 5

In a firm bid to counter the Sean(n) Scandal of ’18, Strictly gave us lots of new things to gripe about this week – from Couple’s Choice (of which much more anon) to someone channelling the medicated enthusiasm and incoherence of Bruno Tonioli, if not the occasional dashes of lyrical expertise. Yes, it was another […]

Strictly Speaking – Week 4

Everything’s fine, we’re all lovely, why do you ask, oh I’ve always had that twitch, silly really, just keep smiling, did I mention I rescued an orphaned puppy from a fire last week, no reason, that’s just me, and of course you know my charming children, darling where’s that smile, smile for Mummy, don’t mind […]

Strictly Speaking – Week 3

Ah, Movie Week – two words about as likely to deliver satisfaction as “Southern Rail”, “Theresa May” or “Topshop feminism”. So, it comes as little surprise (though sinking disappointment) to see couples slathered in Minions yellow or trying to jam a paso down the throat of hagiographic nonsense The Greatest Showman. And yet! A few […]

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