Strictly Come Blogging

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

Monday, March 02, 2009

My Tour Review

OK, I know I'm a total slacker for not posting this sooner, but here we go - my thoughts about this year's Strictly Come Dancing tour.

I saw the tour in the same three venues as last year, Wembley Arena, The O2 and the LG Arena in Birmingham.

It was brilliant to have Bruno as part of the tour this time around, and I was pleased to see the return of Kate Thornton who is a brilliant host. She's very quick witted and fun. If Tess decided to walk away from the show, they should get straight on the blower to Kate.

Tom & Camilla kicked off the show with their quickstep. Tom really seemed to thrive on having a large crowd to perform in front of. His performance was as slick as it was on the programme.
Cherie & James performed their American smooth. Their comments were always good. Craig commented that he thought it was a travesty that Cherie was knocked out of the series so quickly (queue huge cheers from the audience, presumably the same audience who were voting for John in their droves...). I totally agree. Cherie is a classy dancer, especially in the ballroom.

Kenny & Ola performed their fleckurlless Viennese waltz. It's very nice, but it not very technically complex. The judges were out on if Kenny had improved since Strictly. He is certainly as good as when he left the series.

Jodie & Ian performed their lovely American smooth to Witchcraft. Jodie is an elegant ballroom dancer and got some good comments from the judges.

Rachel & Vincent stopped the show with their dramatic and passionate tango. It was fantastic and captivating.

Following them was a new partnership - Gethin & Flavia. While being very competent and technically sound, I thought they were lacking in chemistry. Their waltz was very nice, but wasn't as captivating as when Gethin performed with Camilla.
Another new partnership followed - Julian & Lilia. Julian, who took the series very seriously, was definitely going for comedy. His quickstep with Lilia was actually pretty nice. Although the comments from the judges were not.

Finally, came Jill & Darren and their foxtrot. They looked like they'd never been away from the floor.

The second half opened with a pro demo which was excellent, as always.

The latin round began with Tom & Camilla's excellent samba to Mr. Melody. It was a crowd pleaser.

Cherie & James' rumba was as touching as it was on TV. Every time, it was flawless and moving.

Kenny & Ola's kilted paso was a crowd-pleaser. Their relationship is brilliant, and Ola's trust in Kenny to do those lifts is phenomenal.

I think Jodie & Ian were very brave choosing to do the jive - and to be up against THAT jive. But it's a fun routine, which Jodie gives everything to.

Rachel & Vincent performed their brilliant rumba. It wowed the crowd with it's passion and drama.

Gethin & Flavia followed with a salsa which was pretty good, and had an amazing neck drop in the middle. Craig even managed another 'legover' joke, although with less double entrende than last year.

Juilan & Lilia once again went for the comedy vote with their samba, complete with sparkly maracas! Julian looked pretty dreadful in the number, but it was on purpose and acted up. It wasn't the same Julian from the series.

Finally, it was time for THAT JIVE!!! Just as amazing as it was in 2004, I will never tire of seeing it. Perfection. Best dance on Strictly ever.

The show concluded with a Moulin Rouge inspired group number (my favourite number of the night) and Matthew & Kristina's showdance.

Overall, the show was excellent, although I was disappointed with the judging. Last year, the judges really seemed to be commenting on the performance they had just watched, and their comments were different each time. There were a few set-pieces, but much variation. This year, it was far more structured and scripted. It lacked spontaneity, which was a real shame. By the time they got to Birmingham, some of the comments had evolved, but it was still scripted for the most part. I thought that was a real shame. It made it less like the TV show.

I did like having the full compliment of judges, though. Especially as Bruno joined in the final number. Quality!

See you at Wembley and Birmingham next year!


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