News: Strictly Halloween

Wednesday 4 November 2015 by Vikki Jane Vile

Peter Andre & Janette Manrara. Photo: BBC/Guy Levy

Strictly’s Halloween “spectacular” is always a little scary, perhaps not as it was intended… All that make up and the ghoulish costuming will never be half as scary as the painfully scripted VTs and over production. I find gin helps. The Halloween special has been with us for at least five years now and there’s only so much Time Warp, Ghost Busters and Monster Mash I can really tolerate. More on that later …


THE NEWS
“I’d like a male celebrity to win this year” claimed Darcey in the first 30 seconds of the launch show back in September, and so you, beautiful, twisted public that you are promptly voted out four of them consecutively at the first opportunity. Bravo, I approve. So it was that we saw off Olympic runner Iwan Thomas, a man who’s over hyperactivity I mistook for charisma in the launch show. What a fool I was. Soon after that we lost boxer Anthony Ogogo, although arguably he did well for a fella with one functioning arm. Then there was Daniel O’Donnell; where were you Ireland? He was followed by the genuinely joyful Ainsley Harriot; I’ve never seen a man in his late fifties so happy to be dressed as a penguin as he was in his movie week Happy Feet tribute.

Then finally this weekend we lost our first lady in Sky Sports presenter Kirsty Gallacher. As much as she insisted she was enjoying the experience, her eyes never told the same story; her exit felt akin to putting an injured kitten to sleep.


THE GOOD
From the above you wouldn’t have thought there was much to say, however fear not, there have been some highlights through the madness. You must have been living under a rock if you haven’t seen Jay McGuiness’s spectacular Jive, by far the most polished routine of the series, the side-by-side kicks and flicks were perfection and all performed with such coolness.

Other delights include Katie Derham’s dramatic Tango, this was outstanding for week two, strong staccato and a beautiful ballroom hold, if only partner Anton could help her deliver equally well in the Latin.

Redeeming Halloween week from mediocrity was Georgia May-Foote’s feisty Tango, the first real indication she could be a contender.


THE BAD
Quite appropriately Halloween delivered some truly frightening performances with two couples receiving their lowest scores to date (which isn’t ideal in week six). Jeremy Vine seems to be ably fulfilling the John Sargeant role as “Man of the People”, he’s charismatic and appears to be truly enjoying his experience, something Kirsty could never truly convince us of unfortunately. His Salsa to Thriller (don’t get me started … ) was undeniably entertaining and I’m confident he has a few more weeks in the tank. Similarly weather presenter Carol Kirkwood has maintained her sunny disposition despite her truly hideous attempt at a Rumba this week.

Ladies and gentlemen, you can add the following to your Strictly bingo cards: Peter Andre says “Can I just say …?” No, Peter, you can’t, not ever. Ditto all of the following for him: dances in the last half of the show, appears humble and appreciative of judge’s comments, makes a reference to the ‘90s… you get the idea. Darcey says “the boys are right”, Bruno has a fowl mouthed exclamation at ten past eight on the biggest family show of the year, Kellie Bright’s screaming requires the mute button.

Other moments of joy: Gleb’s eyeliner and general lack of top most weeks, Jamelia’s one good dance, the Charleston, being the one her partner Tristan didn’t choreograph, Tess attempting to apologise for Bruno’s post-watershed outburst as everyone cackled in the background, spare professional Joanne Clifton still stoically standing in the background of the Claud-itorium with nothing to actually do. Six weeks and counting …

Hopefully you can’t sense my growing state of inner hysteria, we haven’t even got to Blackpool week yet, now that’s really something. Until then, hold tight, there might even be proper training footage and dance appropriate music. Anything is possible …

More on Strictly Come Dancing on the BBC website - and plenty more from Vikki Jane Vile on Twitter

Photo: BBC/Guy Levy (Peter Andre & Janette Manrara)

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