Series 20 is fast becoming the year of shocking releases and of voters vehemently disagreeing with the Strictly judges. Just two weeks after the surprise elimination of Richie Anderson, who ended up in prom with Fleur East, on Sunday night we saw a similar result: two more celebs from the center of the chart made it to the prom and Jayde Adams she lost to Molly Rainford, usually high-scoring.
Once again Tony Adams, bottom of the charts, was saved by the votes of the public, as well as James Bye, Kym Marsh and Ellie Taylor, who all finished lower in the charts than Rainford. But then the whole show was plunged into confusion thanks to the BBC 100 theme that surpassed real ballroom dancing – both Adams and Rainford in particular fell victim to it. You could hardly blame viewers for not wanting to vote for their confusing numbers.
Another shock dance
The judges were clearly bothered by the result – Shirley Ballas called Adams “one of our strongest entertainers” – but in the end they had an easy enough choice. While no one was exactly thrilled with Rainford Couple’s Choice youth street dance for the useless Grange Hill theme, it was clearly the most skillful move. From Adams’ Charleston to Victoria Wood’s The Ballad of Barry and Freda (Let’s Do It) they stood out primarily for the matching wooden wigs she and partner Karen Hauer wore, rather than the royal routine.
After the prom, Craig Revel Horwood said they were two very different dances, but based on technical skill alone, he was saving Rainford. Motsi Mabuse commented that both performances were brilliant and better than Saturday night, but agreed: Rainford should stay.
Anton Du Beke expressed more frustration in his criticism: “Well, it’s really terrible. Prom is such a hard place to be, and it’s so disappointing, and I thought both couples didn’t give in to disappointment and performed really, really well. “Based on the dance performance, too. he was saving Rainford. ”Chief Judge Ballas’s vote didn’t count, but he agreed thanks to Rainford’s” precision and quality of movement. “
Jayde Adams took it seriously
The comedian became famous for her long and emotional speeches during her time on Strictly – and her release was no exception. She said the show was “the best thing I’ve ever done in my life and I’ll take it to my grave,” and paid tribute to her partner Karen Hauer.
He concluded: “Nothing compares to the way this show is run. It’s an amazing thing to be a part of an artist, we’re so looked after and in this industry where so many people aren’t being followed, this show is amazing. Good job, everyone”.
Hauer was more concise in her response, saying, “It has been a roller coaster of emotions for us, and you are so special, so powerful, so emotional and I have loved every second. Thanks, Jayde.
The judges’ score continues to infuriate
This year’s vote might seem chaotic, but no more than the jury’s verdicts, which don’t match their comments or demonstrate vast disagreements. On Saturday night, Revel Horwood only gave 6 to both Ellie Simmonds and Rainford, while his colleagues gave 8. But at least the middle judge differentiated: we had two pairs tied for first place, three for second place, and two. for the third. That so many ties can create strange results when the vote is added.
It could very well be symptomatic that the judges go too high and too soon. This week, Mabuse handed out two 9s, five 8s, four 7s and a 6 – not a huge interval and not very useful for separating competitors. But having already scored 10 points, it would seem to mean going much lower. (Unless you’re Revel Horwood, who had no problem giving Tony Adams a 3.)
Or was it the fault of the BBC theme?
Sure, both contestants who landed in the weekend prom were at that dangerous mid-table spot: Strictly No Man’s Land. They may also have suffered from the relatively small size of their fan base: Rainford came to the competition as basically a stranger (unless you’re a keen CBBC observer), compared to the numerous Bye and Marsh fans of the likes of EastEnders, Coronation Street and Waterloo Road.
But I’d definitely blame this dance on the bizarre BBC 100 theme, which made some of the routines virtually impossible to perform – or watch. Rainford certainly wouldn’t be in this position if she hadn’t been given her ridiculous school number, which featured lunch trays and partner Carlos Gu who took a slice of mashed potatoes.
Anderson came out because he was forced to wear an imitation Disney onesie for a ridiculous Lion King number; Rainford nearly succumbed to the same fate with his Grange Hill debacle. At least give celebrities a fighting chance, otherwise the competition becomes less about talent, hard work and performance, and more about the sheer lottery of whimsical concepts and the whims of the Strictly wardrobe department. But with Halloween looming next week, we’re still not out of the woods (or the disguise box) …
We have lost both homosexual relationships
Compared to last year’s triumph by John Whaite and Johannes Radebe in the grand finale, it was a disappointing run for Strictly’s same-sex couples. Sure, I doubt Anderson or Adams would have matched White’s placement, but they sure could have gone a little further, especially Anderson, who showed real potential in his excellent fast pace.
Adams has always been a force in terms of performance, but she never developed her dance to match. Was it due to partner Hauer neglecting the fundamentals of technique and just trading on Adams’ charisma? Adams did a lot of lifts in this Charleston and even serenaded the audience, but she could have worked more on the basics like the spinning action.
You may need to go back to the drawing board when it comes to same-sex couples next year and make sure professional dancers can make them adequately competitive. It would be a real shame if they became just a fun novelty, wiped out before the series took over.
Tony Adams runs away again
He might give Houdini a run for his money. The cheeky charmer is fast becoming the up and coming star of the series, embodying the show ethics for unlikely amateurs enjoying dancing. His Grandstand cha cha cha wasn’t exactly world-class – it was more about the Argyle knitted vest than the Latin movement – but the sincere effort is evident.
Kym Marsh, James Bye and Ellie Taylor all owe a big thank you to the audience too. The latter provided the only truly witty moment on a night of terrible themed chaos, as she and partner Johannes Radebe gifted us a Joey Tribbiani-level soap opera at the start of their Casualty tango. This alone was worth one or more votes.
But I’m slightly confused by the support for the other two. Hi, dancing at EastEnders has probably helped galvanize his viewers, and he shamelessly plays the family card whenever he can. Surely this will not be able to hold him back for much longer.
Professionals have also been victims of BBC nonsense
The show of results opened with a tribute to the channel’s natural history programming: a cue for David Attenborough’s inimitable voiceover, but paired with our Strictly professionals doing a mild interpretive dance. Yes, it was as absurd as it sounds. For the opening, the pros were dressed up as an unspecified native tribute (which seemed … a little inappropriate?), Followed by – I think – an ode to the natural elements. So costumes red fire and Nadiya Bychkova flying against a wind machine. Why they couldn’t just do a Come Dancing number I just can’t understand.
As for the music, we had a performance from Becky Hill (who started entering The Voice reality contest) performing a medley of singles: Crazy What Love Can Do, My Heart Goes (de de da) and Remember . Crazy definitely caught Strictly this week; let’s hope the memories fade – and fast.