Strictly Come Blogging

Louise. Lou. Loulabelle. Loulabelle44. Louby.
Proudly blogging about Strictly Come Dancing ALL YEAR ROUND since 2006. Always spoiler-free.

Sunday, October 20, 2019

Sunday Service: Week 5

Kelvin & Oti lucked out by having the cha cha the week after the rumba. The two dances share a lot of the same figures. Great hips, and a great lead. I felt that in places he was concentrating on his feet and hips and stopped thinking about his arms. Sometimes they weren't fully stretched. That's not to take anything away. He was still brilliant.

Nadiya tried as hard to keep David's feet as still as possible, but he had to do some jive steps sometime. He tried hard, and it was watchable. I didn't want to hide behind a cushion or anything. It's a shame there were a couple of mistakes. A good effort, but it feels like the writing is on the wall. And why was Nadiya in those boots? They didn't look right with that frock.

Catherine & Johannes did a very good job with a poor music choice. The music didn't have any moments of drama, which meant it was never going to be very exciting. Catherine was sharp and got all of the choreography correct. There was just something lacking, but I can't put my finger on what. I'd love to see them do another tango to something else.

Karim & Amy's salsa was full on. Packed with steps, and all executed with precision and accuracy. Lifts, tricks, armography. It was all in there. I thought the song choice was going to hinder this routine, but far from it. If I was being uber critical, he went in for the last too early, which meant you could see it coming from a mile off. But that's Craig level of detail...

Michelle & Giovani's rumba was lovely. Lovely basic steps. Good chemistry, especially at the end. It could have delivered more. Maybe the judges were right, there could have more undulation through the body, but it didn't make it any less enjoyable.

For me, there was something not quite right about Emma & Anton's paso. Maybe she lacked a bit of balance. Maybe it lacked a bit of fluidity in the transitions. I don't know. The performance was there, for sure. And the choreography was OK. I just wasn't moved. Unlike other couples, they had a half-decent music selection.

This was the Alex we have been waiting for! Girl was having fun with that Charleston. Great choreoraphy. Alex looked relaxed and was having a blast with Neil. The timing was great. She looked cool. I loved it!

Quite a traditional Viennese from Emma & Aljaž. A decent frame. Emma kept up with the choregraphy. I didn't like the set dressing, which cut off half the floor. I presume that was deliberate so they didn't have to travel so far. Standing spins rather than fleckerls is a bit disappointing. I had a hard time getting past the all-white outfits for a song about adultery, but that's just me. Perhaps a tad overmarked.

I enjoyed Mike & Katya's samba for what it was - a novelty dance. I liked the way Katya used the accents in the music for the natural rolls. I liked the nods to Alphonso's dance. As a samba, it was an abomination. As a novelty crowd pleaser, it was a triumph.

Will & Janette's contemporary routine was very sweet. Great emotion. I liked the choreography. It was nice for him to be able to dance without rules and just connect with the story and the music. I missed happy, bouncy Will, though.

Chris & Karen's quickstep was quite skippy. Totally agree with Craig's point about the 'mini' steps. He didn't exactly fly around the floor. Technically, it still needs work, but it was quite fun.

I think the foxtrot might be Saffron's best dance so far. Her basic foxtrot steps were really clean and nicely executed - lovely heel turn, lovely upturned toes on the backward steps. The out-of-hold elements were really showbiz. AJ had clearly pushed her, and it worked. She especially lit up after catching the cane at the end. I've done routines where I've had to catch a cane, and you spend the whole routines worrying about it. Once the move is over you can finally relax. She definitely did that. Overmeaked, though. Can't believe Alphonso awarded a Donny Ten. I thought he had more integrity than that.

Best of the night for me were Karim and Alex.

Bottom two for me is a little trickier. Definitely David. Mike is weaker dancer than Chris, but this week I enjoyed the stupid novelty of his routine, while Chris left me a bit cold. I'm usually a Chris fan, but not really think week. Either way, David has to be in the dance-off, and has to go home.

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Sunday Service: Week 4

This week's show was so much better than last week's confused movie mess. A lot of really good performances, and even the ones which weren't so good were still very watchable.

Chris & Karen are such a joy to watch. I really liked their jive. Of course Chris still has timing issues, and those basketball hands are still with us, but when he's on the floor I just don't care. I just get lost in the joy of it all.

Emma & Anton really deserved the high marks they received for the Viennese waltz. The timing was very difficult in places, but Emma was able to just go with it. Gorgeous fleckerl at the top of the routine. Emma is very watchable. She has a decent frame.

I thought Dev & Dianne's cha cha was a bit forgettable. It was perfectly competent, but it just didn't stand out. Decent hip action from Dev. His timing was good. He's also very watchable. It was just a bit bland. I just wish they wouldn't put both of them top to toe in the same colour. With Dianne's red hair as well, there were times where they got lost in each other because of red on red.

I really liked Catherine & Johannes' Charleston. I had to force myself to watch Catherine, because Johannes was bringing it. I think he overshadowed her perhaps a tad. I loved the choreography, and she executed it very well. This is the kind of Charleston we've been crying out for. She could have been lighter on her feet, and she could have had more swivel. Again, with the same colour costumes, although theirs weren't so bad because her skirt was short.

Alex still fails to reach her full potential. Her tango with Neil was OK, but a bit ploddy. She had clearly worked on her footwork, although there were still some walks on the toes where there shouldn't have been. It lacked drive and aggression.

David has definitely got better over the weeks. This was not a good quickstep, but I did kind of enjoy it. He had a bit of charm. There were timing issues - the chasse section which was out of sync with Nadiya was not pretty. He doesn't always have control of his long limbs. But the improvement is marked. Well done, David!

A decent rumba is rare from the male celebrities. Kelvin & Oti's rumba was lovely. His hip action was on point. There were a few flaws. He raised his shoulders in the middle of the routine, and some of the transitions were a bit hard and lacked flow. That said, it was smouldering and engaging. Kelvin presented Oti beautifully.

Emma & Aljaž's jive was just OK. Something seems to be lacking for me. The flicks were there, and timing was there, but something was missing for me. It's all a bit 'nice'. It needed to be more earthy. She didn't have as much bounce as Aljaž, and it showed. I loved the section on the step at the top.

Not a stellar week for Michelle & Giovanni. The timing was out at the end, and she seemed to struggle with the speed. Michelle is still amazing, but this week she wasn't as engaging. I felt as though the pair of them lacked chemistry this week. Michelle was performing to us, and almost forgot about Giovanni unless she was facing him. Don't get me wrong, I love Michelle. This just wasn't as good as other weeks, and that showed in the marks.

I liked Will & Janette's foxtrot routine. Proper foxtrot choreography. Footwork is going to be more difficult for Will than anyone else, and he did what he can do. He needs to try to tuck his bottom under a little. He presented Janette very well, and I liked the chemistry.

Mike & Katya's quickstep was frantic. His legs were a bit bent in places. Way too much gapping, you could drive a bus between them at times. I could have been better. He has improved, but this wasn't as engaging as Chris or David in my opinion. Nine??

Saffron lacked the balletic qualities needed for contemporary. Her legs were bent, and she lacked balance. I think this was really exposing. Her core strength wasn't there. I think this was more AJ's choice, and it didn't work for me. I liked the choreography, but this wasn't her dance. Totally overmarked.

A return to form for Karim & Amy after last week's panda fiasco. Their tango had drive and attack. I liked the mood. The frame started to fade at the very end, but that was the only criticism. I really liked it and it was a great way to end the show.

Favourites for me this week were Karim and Kelvin. It's getting difficult to know who might go. My least favourite was probably Mike, but I didn't like Saffron either. I think Alex could be in the bottom two alongside David or Mike. Much harder to call this week, as they have all raised their game so much.

Saturday, October 05, 2019

Saturday Service: Week 3

I really hate that we have a theme week so early on in the series. The couples are trying hard to make sense of Strictly and dancing, and then they get a (often tenuous) theme chucked at them. It made for a very odd evening...

Things started well with Michelle & Giovanni's quickstep. We all knew Michelle was going to be in her element with Cabaret, and she delivered. It was a confident and bright performance. Her top line is excellent. There was a little too much out of hold for me, but that didn't detract from a very good performance.

I liked Neil's rumba choreography. The routine had lots of basic steps and was recognisable as a rumba. Sadly, Alex didn't execute it all that well. Alex's shoulders were raised, and there wasn't much hip action. It didn't quite hit the mark, which was a shame.

It was lovely to see a different side to Chis & Karen this week. I think they drew the short straw, having to dance the American smooth before any other ballroom dance. I don't think any couple should have to do that. Chris coped well, though. I loved seeing a more controlled side to Chris. The dance lacked drive and the steps he took were too small, but all the choreography was correct.

Karim & Amy's samba was a bit bizarre. The costumes were bulky, and the Kung Fu Panda theme didn't do anything for me. I think Karim had good hip action (hard to tell through that costume). I just didn't feel he was leading. They felt more like a duo than leader and follower. Karim can afford to have a miss at this stage.

I loved the storytelling in Catherine & Johannes' rumba. They showed the emotion and connection of their characters, and the choreography was lovely. Catherine could have had more hip action, but it was pleasant to watch. I'm really enjoying seeing the development of their partnership.

Poor Will & Janette were also lumbered with a weird theme, getting Pokémon.  I found that I actually forgot to watch Will, Janette stole the routine for me. She didn't deliberately pull focus, but he just faded into the background a bit. Will's performance was all a bit one note for me, lacking light and shade. Paso is one of the few routines where the man gets to show off, and he didn't.

Kelvin & Oti's Charleston was clean and slick. It didn't excite me as much as it did the judges, but it was definitely well executed and performed.

Emma and Aljaž's foxtrot was classy. Emma really needs to watch her shoulders and topline. Her head placement was a bit odd. I still think she has lots of potential, though.

Anneka & Kevin's Charleston was a bit crazy and uncontrolled. It was stompy and lacked swivel. It was just a bit mad. I think that they had a good song in Woo Hoo, but the Kill Bill theme meant they had to go in a particular direction.

I really quite liked Saffron & AJ's paso. The routine had lots of content - AJ didn't make it easy for her. It was a little untidy in places. She could have closed her feet together more, and she was a bit light on her feet instead of stalking. It was a good attempt, though.

Mike & Katya's cha cha was stompy and dad-like. And what was he mouthing? At times it didn't appear to be the lyrics. Very distracting. The fireman's pole was the best part.

I think David has improved since week 1. The lifts in his American smooth with Nadiya were quite nice. It did have a bit of atmosphere. But it was just a bit dull.

I find Emma really watchable. She saved what was a pretty poor salsa routine by just being charming and engaging. There was a lack of salsa content in the routine, and it was a weird song choice. Soul Bossa Nova screams cha cha to me. I think she and Anton should be safe for another week.

Dev & Dianne were a great close to the show. Their street/commercial routine was energetic and entertaining. They were so in sync. I enjoyed it the way I used to enjoy the Charlestons.

So many of the performances missed the mark this week, some due to the stupid themes, others just due to the couples. My favourites were Dev and Chris. 

While James is improving, I don't think he has done enough to stay out of the bottom two. I think Alex could be at risk this week. When I saw the group number at the start of the series, I really thought Alex would be one to watch, but she's not quite living up to that promise. Mike and Anneka were also a little weak.

Monday, September 30, 2019

Craig Is Going On Tour

Nearly everyone on Strictly has been, or is planning to go, on tour. Everyone except Craig. Until now.

Craig's show, entitled All Balls & Glitter (which is also the name of his first book) will be touring venues next May and June. He'll be talking and singing, and there will probably be a few of his signature chaines turns.

Tickets go on sale on Friday. See you in High Wycombe, Craig.

Sunday, September 29, 2019

Sunday Service: Weeks 1 & 2

I was away last week, so wasn't able to write about the couples. So here are my thoughts about the first two weeks of Strictly in one post. Blogageddon!

Saffron & AJ's tango in week 1 was a solid start. She looked relaxed on the floor. Her footwork was pretty good. Her cha cha was not as confident. Her knees didn't always lock straight as much as they should. She made a few extra steps and there was an error near the start. Maybe there were too many steps for her.

Anneka was the weakest dancer in week 1. Her cha cha was a bit wooden. She needed to be more relaxed in the shoulders. She was flat footed. I really wanted to like her performance, but I didn't. There was a lot of running to cover her lack of ability. Her waltz was a little better, although Kevin was definitely doing all of the heavy lifting. It was nice, but nothing more. Again, her shoulders were too high which made the line a bit ugly.

Dev & Dianne got the foxtrot in week 1, which is a difficult dance. Dave did a good job. His frame could have been better, but for week 1 it was a very good performance. His jive wasn't quite as good. He was a bit pigeon toed and gangly. His timing is good, though. He shows a lot of potential.

I thought Emma & Aljaž's cha cha in week 1 was pretty good. She looked confident on the floor. She could have used a bit more hip action, but she showed potential. The tango wasn't quite as good. She seemed to be pulling her hips away from Aljaž, instead of tilting towards him. It made the hold look uncomfortable. All the steps were there, but it needed more work.

Chris' cha cha was better than I expected. He had all of the choreography. He needs to watch his frame, especially his free arm, and he was pigeon toed in places. His Charleston wasn't as good in my opinion. He seemed to be looking to Karen for cues or reassurance. It wasn't very polished.

I thought Emma & Anton were undermarked in week 1. I really enjoyed their jive. It was confident, in time, tidy and well placed. Their foxtrot was not as good. Her frame was wooly, and she didn't drive into Anton. She stumbled in places. Normally Anton can keep his partners in line, but not on this occasion.

I wanted to like James & Luba's tango. It was to Gold for goodness sake! But his frame was so troublesome. He was hunched over Luba, and his left arm was too close to the body. He was lent forward. It's something we often see from tall celebrity men. Andrew Castle was the same. The best thing about the jive was James' trousers. Luba tried hard to cover up his lack of ability, but to no avail. He couldn't even run in time. It was flat-footed and heavy. I didn't like it at all.

Catherine & Johannes' Viennese waltz was quite sweet. A tricky dance for week 1, but Catherine looked elegant. She had good musicality and storytelling. The samba wasn't quite as good. She had clearly worked hard on the routine, but it was slightly uncomfortable. Her hips weren't quite loose enough. She's probably lucky to have got such a difficult dance out of the way so early.

Michelle & Giovanni's cha cha was pretty good. Giovanni pitched it perfectly in terms of difficulty. It wasn't stunning, but solid. Michelle looked confident. She has room to grow, and shows potential. The Viennese waltz was better. I loved the storytelling. It was charming. And we have to take a moment for that dress! Fantastic.

David & Nadiya's foxtrot was a bit ploddy. He needs to watch his topline and make sure his shoulders don't drop. It was OK for week 1, but he'll need to turn it up a notch. The paso was also ploddy. David's timing is OK, but everything else is a bit flat. Nadiya did the Ola Jordan trick of keeping his feet still and running around him, but it wasn't enough to hide the lack of personality.

I liked Karim & Amy's cha cha. He covered the floor well, and seemed to be in control of every step. His arms were well placed. Everything was slick. Their foxtrot was elegant and polished. Again, he looked confident and in control. Excellent work.

Mike & Katya's jive was as over-enthusiastic and bonkers as you would have expected. He was a bit stompy and flat footed. He needs to work on his stamina in order to sustain the faster dances. Their American smooth was anything but smooth. Ambitious lifts, which Mike did a decent job of considering his inexperience. Motsi was right about it feeling like two different routines in- and out-of-hold. It was not comfortable viewing.

I thought Alex & Neil's quickstep was undermarked. She had a tough job kicking off the series, and that might be why the scores were muted. She had energy, and decent technique for week 1. The cha cha wasn't quite as strong for me. She had all of the choreography down, but she didn't have the correct technique. She is very watchable, though. I enjoyed the routine.

Kelvin was definitely the one who impressed my friends the most, so much so that they felt the need to tell me even though I was away. To get the samba on week 1 was not easy, but Kelvin & Oti brought it. It was very salsa like for a samba and lacked some key steps for my taste, but Kelvin was as impressive as I was told. The waltz was a step change from the week before. I liked it, although he needs to make sure he sustains it throughout the routine. His shoulders started to drop as the routine progressed.

Will & Janette's quickstep was nippy. Will has lots of personality which shone on the floor. His technique could have been tighter, but it was a good start. The salsa was totally up Will's street. He attacked the routine and again his personality carried him through.

Top couples for me after two weeks are Karim & Amy and Michelle & Giovanni.

Bottom two for me are David & Nadiya and Anneka & Kevin. I think David might well be the first one out.

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Strictly: The Pairings

We now know who will be dancing with who. Here are my first impressions of the couplings.

Alex Scott & Neil Jones - I think Alex will be up for giving everything ago, and I can't wait to see what Neil can do choreographically. I like this pairing.

Anneka Rice & Kevin Clifton - Kevin finally won it last year, so he wasn't going to get a dead cert partner. I think Anneka will work hard, and Kevin has the sort of patient bedside manner, especially that he can now put that competitive streak aside, that I think Anneka will respond to.

Catherine Tyldesley & Johannes Radebe - I don't have any strong opinions about Catherine, but I really like Johannes and I'm excited to have him in the competition. I think if Catherine has any sort of ability, these two will be exciting to watch.

Emma Barton & Anton du Beke - Everyone thought Anton would get Anneka, so it was a surprise that he was put with Emma. I think they will get on well and will turn out some lovely ballroom, but as usual, it will be a latin let-down.

Emma Waymouth & Aljaž Škorjanec - Emma is an unknown for most people, so being paired with a fan favourite like Aljaž won't do her any harm. Emma caught my eye in the group number, so I think this could be a couple to watch.

Michelle Visage & Giovanni Pernice - I'm excited to have Michelle in the competition, but I'm not sure how I feel about this pairing. Giovanni has done really well with a mix of partners so I think it'll be fine. I'm just not sure about chemistry.

Saffron Barker & AJ Pritchard - So AJ gets the young, short one again. They look good together, and I think they will go quite far if she has the ability.

Chris Ramsey & Karen Hauer - I like this pairing. Karen not Clifton has done well with some 'fun' partners in the past (I'm thinking Jeremy, Dave), and I think she'll be well matched with Chris. I'm not expecting them to do that well, but I think they'll make a good team.

David James & Nadiya Bychkova - This has to be couple most likely to go out first. David was hidden in the shadows of the group number, implying that he's not very strong. Nadiya didn't seem to be the most popular pro on social media last year. I think the combination of inability and lack of popularity will send David off for an early bath.

Dev Griffin & Diane Buswell - Dev was noticeably one of the best celebrities in the group number, and thanks to Joe Sugg, Diane is one of the most popular pros on social media. I think they'll go really far.

James Cracknell & Luba Mushtuk - James perhaps should have been in the shadows with David. What I saw was not impressive. Luba is well-liked, so that might buy him some extra time, but I don't think he'll get much further than David.

Karim Zeroaul & Amy Dowden - Karim was the other stand-out from the group number for me. I'm hoping Amy will be able to come up with some exciting and stretching choreography for him. She had a rough ride with Danny last year, and Karim seems really sweet, so I am hopeful this partnership will work out.

Mike Bushell & Katya Jones - I think this will be a fun pairing. Mike is a ball of energy and enthusiasm. I think Katya could do for him what she did for Ed. I think the public will like them, as long as the public don't punish Katya for last year and her split from Neil.

Will Bayley & Janette Manrara - I thought Janette would end up with Karim or Mike, so this pairing surprised me a little. Janette seems to get on well with whoever she is partnered with, and Will seems really up for the competition. 

Kelvin Fletcher & Oti Mabuse - ??? Difficult to comment when we know nothing of Kelvin, but who doesn't love Oti?

If I was a betting woman, I think I'd punt for Dev & Diane. I'd be surprised if Mike doesn't make Blackpool. And I think David will be first out.

Monday, September 09, 2019

Kelvin Fletcher Replaces Jamie

Actor Kelvin Fletcher has replaced Jamie Laing on Strictly Come Dancing, and will be partnered by Oti.

Kelvin is best known for his role of Andy Sugden in Emmerdale, a part he played for 20 years.

I don't watch soaps, so I'm not familiar with him at all. According to Wikipedia, he used to play roller hockey, so might be a bit handy on his feet.

No doubt there will be a first steps video on the way, so we'll get a sneaky peek of his abilities before he hits the dancefloor.

Friday, September 06, 2019

Injured Jamie Laing Pulls Out

Jamie Laing has been forced to pull out of Strictly due to injury.

In a statement issued yesterday, Jamie said: "I’m absolutely devastated that I’m unable to continue in the competition, I was so excited to hit the dance floor! I would like to wish the lovely couples all the very best and hope they enjoy their time on the show to the fullest.”

Jamie will be featured in tomorrow's launch show, which was recorded last week.

It's a shame. He was one of the few that I didn't have to Google! I hope he gets the chance to take part next year instead. I was looking forward to seeing what he could do.

This is the first time that anyone has pulled out of the show before the start. There have been several who have pulled out during the series either due to injury, or for personal reasons. It may have left the BBC in disarray, as the statement issued simply said: "Further information will be issued in due course."

It will be interesting to see what happens next. Do they find an alternative celebrity? Would that person get a week 1 bye, as they would be a week or so behind the others? Or do they stick with the 14 celebrities they have, and settle for a 3-way final?

I suspect there won't be any announcement until the launch show has gone out. If they have decided what to do, they can then make an announcement as a post-script to the show.

Tuesday, September 03, 2019

It Takes Two Changes

The BBC announced a while ago that Rylan Clark-Neal would be joining Zoe Ball as co-host of It Takes Two. They have now announced how this is going to work.

Rylan will host on Mondays and Tuesdays, Zoe will host on Wednesdays and Thursdays, and they will host the Friday hour-long show together (with Gethin Jones still working at Elstree).

This makes sense for Zoe, as she'll still be around for 'Waite's Warm-Up'. But it means that Rylan will now be responsible for all interviews with eliminated and saved couples. Rylan is a veteran of live telly, so he'll be fine, but it will a change of pace for the show, which has remained unchanged since Zoe took over from Claudia in 2012.

Monday, September 02, 2019

Congratulations James & Ola!

A massive congratulations to James and Ola Jordan, who announced yesterday that they are expecting a baby.

So, after all these years, the answer to the question "Is Ola pregnant?" is finally "Yes."!

They shared the news with Hello! magazine, with a photoshoot, and a little video where they discuss the news:

They have talked in interviews for many years about their desire to be parents, so I am delighted that it has happened for them.

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Graziano Benched

Graziano di Prima will not have a celebrity partner this year. He confirmed the news in Instagram:

A post shared by grazιano dι prιмa (@grazianodiprima) on
This year there are seven female celebrities and eight male. So as Neil is getting a celebrity, Gorka and Grazino are benched and Pasha has departed, that leaves five returning male pros from last year - Anton, AJ, Aljaž, Giovanni and Kevin. That implies that Johannes must have a partner this year.

There is an additional female pro needed this year, which means that Luba or Nancy must also get a partner this year.

Some fresh blood in the pro line-up has to be a good thing.

All will be revealed in the launch show on 7th September.

Monday, August 19, 2019

Neil In, Gorka Out?

According to The Sun, Neil Jones will finally get a partner in 2019, while Gorka Marquez will be 'benched'.

This wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing for Gorka, as it will give him more time to spend with his baby daughter Mia.

The paper also claims that Katya will have a celebrity partner. Rumours earlier in the year suggested that she would not have one, due to last year's incident with partner Seann Walsh.

If true, it would suggest that Luba and Joannes will also not have partners again this year, along with new pro Nancy.

No official announcement has been made.

Neil & Katya Separate

Neil & Katya Jones have announced that they are to separate.

They both posted the same news on their social media channels:

View this post on Instagram
A post shared by Katya Jones (@mrs_katjones) on

I am really sorry to hear this news. I really like both of them, and it's sad to hear that they parting ways.

I suspect that this will be the end of the road for their Somnium show, which they were hoping to take on tour. The show is about their relationship, including how close to splitting they came in their competitive days. There isn't a place for it in the world now.

I do hope this doesn't make things complicated in rehearsals. Their post claims that they will stay friends. I hope that is the case, for the wellbeing of everyone involved with the show.

Monday, August 12, 2019

Celebrity No. 15: Anneka Rice

The final celebrity for Strictly 2019 is Anneka Rice. Anneka is the one your dad will like. Or possibly your granddad, depending how old you are.

Anneka is best know for being the 'sky runner' on Treasure Hunt, a popular show in the early days of Channel 4. She later followed this with Challenge Anneka for the BBC, the programme that used to make you cry the way DIY SOS does now.

She is now a presenter on Radio 2, which is probably mostly listened to by those old enough to remember the above shows.

Anneka is definitely the 'national treasure' of the group and people will be willing her to do well. But something tells me she's not going to be as good as I hope.

The Treasure Hunt theme would make an excellent tango or passo, though...

Celebrity No. 14: James Cracknell

James Cracknell is a gold medal-winning rower. Another sports person, taking this year's total to four. That sounds a lot for one series.

We've not had a rower on Strictly before, but plenty of gold medalists, including James' fellow participant Will.

James has always been quite a popular chap, and I think he'll be popular with the kinds of viewers who like Kevin Clifton. You know, the one your mum or your aunt likes. But probably not your nan. I think your nan might like Jamie.