Strictly Come Blogging

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

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Sunday Service: Week 2

It's early in the series, and few couples have found their path in the competition yet. There are a couple of early leaders, but otherwise, it was a whole lot of OK. It's hard to lose anyone this early on, but someone has to go. Who will it be?

I'd like to stress that at the time of writing this, I don't know who is going home. I'm not a fan of spoilers, and prefer to watch the show on Sunday. It makes me feel like I'm living it with the participants.

I thought Chelsee & Pasha were great. Chelsee's work is really neat and tidy, aside from a wobble here and there. She has excellent turns, possibly some of the best celebrity turns we've seen. I loved the salsa armography. Chelsee was a little flat footed, but with a little work, she could be even better.

I felt that all of the foxtrots were more like American smooths. There was not enough in hold. Edwina & Vincent's routine was one of the worst for that. It took far too long to get into hold. When they finally got there, Edwina's footwork was poor and her frame was weak. Her performance, however, was very nice once again. You can see she's having fun on the floor, and she has to be commended for that.

It's clear that Audley has a sense of rhythm, but for some reason his feet seemed half a beat behind his body throughout the salsa. His personality comes through on the floor with Natalie, but his dancing is a little casual in style. He needs to be more solid.

Alex looked fine in hold with James, aside from sticking her bottom out just a tad, but she had scarecrow arms when out of hold. Alex looked beautiful. The foxtrot seemed to suit Alex much more than the cha cha last week. Maybe the security of the hold is when Alex is most comfortable.

Dan & Katya were pretty good. I think the judges were a bit harsh on their salsa. Dan looked relaxed during the dance. It may have lacked fluidity, but it appeared that Dan was leading Katya, especially on the basic steps.

Lulu & Brendan were much better than last week. Lulu needs to develop her posture, and as the judges pointed out, her head placement was odd. The routine had a nice mood, but the foxtrot was an improvement on last week. She seems to have more discipline.

Holly needs to finish her moves more cleanly. There were a few errors in her and Artem's dance, but she had the most challenging choreography of all the salsa routines and coped well with it. Her performance was still a bit careful, but she clearly has a lot of talent. I look forward to seeing her have a go at ballroom.

Rory & Erin's salsa was a bit messy. He seemed to be chasing the music throughout. He lacked flow and fluidity. But what I like about Rory is that he is enjoying himself. Dancing should be about having fun, especially on Strictly. Dancing to Vehicle was brave, as Matt & Flavia used that for their memorable routine. I liked the fact that their routine contained the same shimmies, a nice nod to those who had gone before.

Robbie's performance was charming. He needs to keep his shoulders down when he has Ola in hold, but otherwise it was very good. I liked the choreography, but again it was bordering on American smooth. I wish the routines had been a bit more 'pure'.

It's a shame that Anita & Robin's salsa had a few errors because it was nice otherwise. Anita is a lovely performer, and has an effortless elegance.

The most special part of Jason & Kristina's foxtrot was the choreography. I loved it. Kristina makes a wonderful Jessica Rabbit. I liked Jason's performance better than last week, although I can live without the cheesy Strictly Ballroom smile which seems to come across his face every so often for no reason. That aside, there is no question that Jason is an excellent dancer, and he and Kristina have a great partnership.

The best word to describe Nancy & Anton's salsa is stampy. Nancy was off time in a number of places and it was littered with errors. It was uncontrolled. They did get through it without stopping, which is an improvement on last week. Nancy doesn't do herself any favours with the drama queen routine ("Do you know I have injury?"). We don't want excuses.

Harry & Aliona's foxtrot was good enough, but didn't really sparkle. Harry had scarecrow arms now and then when out of hold. Like Holly, he has the potential and just needs to find his groove.

Russell & Flavia's salsa routine was very cute. He just makes you smile. He was a bit flat-footed, but has great rhythm. Russell is bar far the most entertaining. And he actually appeared to have a nice lead for Flavia's turns.

I think Jason and Chelsee are the strongest right now, with Holly and Harry displaying all the potential to be up there with them in the coming weeks.

Nancy is bar far the weakest, and it's hard to pick anyone else who could be in the bottom two with her. The other contestants who are low on the leaderboard either have technique or personality in their favour. If I had to pick someone else to be in the bottom two, it would probably have to be Edwina, but her personality sparkles on the floor, and it seems a little cruel to single her out above Lulu or Dan or Audley or Russell who are all of a similar standard.

I would like to see Nancy go home. No-one else deserves to leave.

Here are the videos...

Chelsee & Pasha

Edwina & Vincent

Audley & Natalie

Alex & James

Dan & Katya

Lulu & Brendan

Holly & Artem

Rory & Erin

Robbie & Ola

Anita & Robin

Jason & Kristina

Nancy & Anton

Harry & Aliona

Russell & Flavia


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