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Did We Survive?

November 17, 2009

Did Strictly Come Dancing survive the absence of Bruce Forsyth for one night? It did indeed. Despite the utterly pointless inclusion of Ronnie Corbett, Tess and Claudia were perfectly capable of holding the show together, in what turned out to be fairly trying circumstances. Ronnie appeared to have been sent by Bruce just to prove that he is in fact not the least amusing person the BBC could get to front the show. In that sense, he worked rather well. Apparently, Ronnie is Bruce’s chosen successor, presumably because Bruce knows the BBC would be insane to even contemplate him as host, meaning Bruce’s job is safe.

Anyway, once Tess had packed Ronnie off into the audience, it became clear that the night would not go smoothly. First of all, Jade Johnson injured her knee during the dress rehearsal, and was unable to dance. This was on the advice of several doctors who came to examine her, before she went to hospital. As an Olympic athlete, Jade obviously has to consider her sporting career ahead of a dance show, and in the video interview with Claudia, she looked utterly devastated. She has since had a scan, and has written that the injury is not as serious as it could be, and

My physio Kevin reckoned I could be good to go with five days rest, This is good news in that it suggests less damage than we all feared originally, but not great for learning and executing a whole new dance in six days! Being able to perform our Tango would solve this issue in an instant but we’re not sure if that is going to be allowed yet.

I very much hope that Jade and Ian will be able to return, as they were one of the most improved couples, and their tango had the potential to be amazing. Jade and Ian will appear on It Takes Two tomorrow evening to give a further update. I don’t know how the rules stand with allowing her to perform the dance from last week, so we will have to wait and see. The shows confirmed several times both on Saturday and Monday that there was provision in the rules to allow a contestant a ‘bye’ for one week only if medical advice prevented them from dancing, which is why Jade was not forced to withdraw immediately. If she cannot dance this week, then they will be required to withdraw.

After Jade’s injury, Laila appeared on stage with her ankle strapped up. Apparently she had sprained it. She was sent off to hospital to be checked out, and was informed that it was ok to dance on, if she felt up to it. This is why she was not given the same treatment as Jade, as predictably, this has caused many arguments. Laila chose to dance, because if she had not, she would have had to withdraw. She was dancing the rumba, with Anton, and had spent most of their VT on Friday’s show coming up with excuses to get out of the dance, including leaving the country, coming out and dancing something else, and faking an injury. Therefore, my immediate reaction at her appearing on stage all strapped up was ‘They know the rumba will be rubbish’. It really was. She winced her way though 71 seconds of a 90 second dance before giving up, whilst being told by everyone around how brave she was. And most ridiculous of all, Len gave her a 7. She didn’t finish the dance, what she did do was bad, because she was limping and not performing, and he still gave her a 7, and sneered at Craig for giving her a 3. He justified this by saying it was his lowest mark of the night. My argument with this is that they were not the last couple to dance, Ali and Brian were after them. Clearly, then, Len had already decided that Ali’s dance was going to score more than 7, no matter what she did. He left himself no room, and probably never even considered the possibility, that Ali would make a complete has of it. Luckily for him (and her) she didn’t, and managed to pull off her first clean, fast latin, although it wasn’t particularly fast.

So, due to the vagaries of the public vote, and probably a large sympathy vote for Laila, Ricky Groves and Phil Tufnell faced off in the dance-off. Phil made a couple of mistakes, Ricky didn’t, and Len’s casting vote saw the back of ‘the Cat’. I’m a bit torn over this, I think Phil was a better dancer than Ricky G, who has not lived up to his early promise for me, but I also think Phil got a bit complacent, and (hard to believe, I know!) probably didn’t try as hard as he could have done. I would have preferred Ricky to have gone, but I also think it should have been Laila in the dance-off instead of Phil.

Overall, Tess and Claudia had a bit of a nightmare to deal with, and did a fantastic job. I also think the production team deserve praise for having the contingencies, I just wish they had not felt the need to include Ronnie Corbett, as he was not at all necessary, the girls were more than capable of carrying the show. One person commented to me that Tess lacked authority, but I felt she dealt with the judges well, and it seemed that everyone had plenty of time to speak, there was no rushing to get words in, or rushing to close the show, as so often happens when Bruce insists on his ‘funny’ additions.


2 Comments leave one →
  1. Christine permalink
    November 18, 2009 9:32 am

    I haven’t been watching this series really, just keeping a vague eye on It Takes Two. I did check out the iPlayer for the start of Saturday’s show though, to see how it went without Bruce. It’s typical that everything that could go wrong did go wrong, making it seem like without Brucie it all fell apart! You can’t account for injuries, I suppose.

    And what on earth was Ronnie even doing there? Madness.

    • November 18, 2009 11:38 am

      I think he was sent by Bruce! I have a feeling (or maybe just too much faith!) that the BBC were happy for Tess and Claudia to give it a go, then someone got a phone call from Bruce saying ‘Don’t worry, I’ve got Ronnie in to cover for me, everything’s going to be ok’, and they didn’t know how to tell him no! I’d like to think it was that, and not that the producers don’t think it possible to have a prime time show fronted by two women, but I don’t suppose we’ll ever know.

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