Strictly Come Blogging

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

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Sunday Service: Week 1

I posted my thoughts on the first seven yesterday. If you missed it, read my Saturday Service.

Jimi & Flavia kicked off the show in fine style with their cha cha. Jimi has great rhythm and fast footwork. He looked relaxed and seemed to enjoy it. If his ballroom looks as smooth as his latin, he'll be one to keep an eye on. The only thing that let him down was the awful loose shirt he was wearing. I would've preferred to see him in a more traditional latin shirt.

The Queen of Ballroom managed to whip the goalkeeping legend into decent shape. Peter & Erin's waltz was typical Erin class. Peter's footwork was pretty good, with very clear heel leads (remember when the Strictly judges used to look at footwork?). There is work to be done still, there was gapping between them, and Peter needs to try not to bite his lip in concentration. But I was pleasantly surprised. He looked better than he did on Let's Dance For Sport Relief.

Michelle was all legs. She had bent knees throughout the cha cha and the whole thing was a bit all over the place. Brendan needs to work on Michelle's control. She needs to be so much slicker. That said, Michelle's timing is excellent, so if she can keep her limbs under control, she could do very well.

Gavin kept up the tradition of rugby players on Strictly by putting in a solid waltz performance. Katya's choreography was simple but effective and Gavin looked relaxed and in control. Everything was well placed with good timing.

I found Tina & Jared's cha cha a bit flat. The routine was quite sweet, but wasn't that interesting. I hope there is more to come from Jared. Tina had a few timing issues, and I suspect she'll look better in a ballroom hold when Jared can keep hold of her. But they are a very cute couple.

Ann had the advantage of being in hold with Anton. Speaking from personal experience, I defy anyone to not get from one end of a routine to the other when you are in the Du Beke hold. The performance was far from slick. In fact, it reminded me of a dodgy pro-am, where the amateur dancer has paid a lot of money to perform with a professional dancer. I love Ann, and I'm sure the public will keep her in for a while.

Kara is so hot on the floor. She has so much ability and talent and could be a frontrunner. And she looks amazing, too. It's just a shame that Artem's routine contained so little actual cha cha. We should not have to wait until the chorus before we see some real steps. Kara can clearly cope with some complex routines, so let's see it.

My overall verdict on the start of this series is that there has been too much style over substance, especially from some of Strictly's newer faces. Yes, it's nice to have some glitz and glamour, but Strictly has always been about dancing first and foremost. I would hate for Strictly to abandon that in favour of fluff and props. Imaginative choreography which contains technique and pizazz at the same time is the way to win. Gimmicks will not get you to the final. Most of the waltz numbers were excellent. Some of the cha chas were disappointing in terms of content. Let's not turn Strictly into Dancing With The Stars. British viewers are more discerning. Remember, Strictly Come Dancing was the original that others can only try to emulate. Let's keep it about the dancing.

Here are the videos (I'll post better quality ones when I find them)...

Jimi & Flavia

Peter & Erin

Michelle & Brendan

Gavin & Katya

Tina & Jared

Ann & Anton

Kara & Artem


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