Strictly Come Blogging

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

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Sunday Service: Christmas Special

Blogging about the Christmas special is always really difficult. The dancers are always really good (Evander Holyfield aside), and the judges are always really soft and complimentary. Even Craig. Perhaps they give him mulled win backstage to warm his frosty heart!

This year's special started with Series 5 champions Alesha & Matthew. I always preferred Alesha's ballroom, and as usual they turned in a fine Viennese waltz performance. Alesha danced as though she'd just been a part of the show, not a year removed from it.

I loved the open and close of Lisa & Brendan's quickstep, but it was not up to their usual standard. I looked under-rehearsed, and the dreaded gapping was back. I don't blame them for not being so polished, as all their effort had been directed at the series.

It was brilliant to see Jill & Darren return to the floor together. Jill is even further removed from the competition. Aside from reprising that jive at the start of the series, Jill hadn't been on the Strictly floor for four years. It was great that they performed the American smooth, a dance that wasn't a part of Strictly in Series 2. I loved the change of time signature in the middle, and they switched from Viennese waltz to quickstep. I can't wait to see Jill on tour.

Rachel & Vincent's rumba was essentially a rehash of their Strictly series triumph, although it wasn't as good a performance. I liked the couple of lifts added at the end, but it wasn't as haunting or special as their final performance. Again, it's always tough for the couples that do the Christmas special at the end of the series.

Kelly's return to the floor was pretty convincing. I loved the lifts Brian put in the routine, and it was well performed. I think Kelly would have been even stronger had she had more rehearsal. It's always more difficult for couples that have not worked together in the past, and Kelly & Brian just lacked the chemistry that the other couples had.

Tom & Camilla's foxtrot was fun. Again, some of the routine was taken from their Strictly series routine, but it was different enough that it was still fun to watch. Tom is a great performer and it was a good routine.

It was interesting that they chose to break the tie in the judges leaderboard by having the judges rank them. I wonder if that is how they will break all ties going forward. I think it's a pretty good system, although the pre-recorded nature of the Christmas special allowed them to stop and think about it. How that would work during a live broadcast I'm not so sure.

It was great to see Jill & Darren lift the trophy. The dancers were all so good and so close, any of them could have been the winners (expect perhaps Lisa & Brendan who made noticeable mistakes). Perhaps this will prove once and for all that Jill is a better dancer than Aleshsa...

Here are the videos...

Alesha & Matthew

Lisa & Brendan

Jill & Darren

Rachel & Vincent

Kelly & Brian

Tom & Camilla

The moment of truth...


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