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Exclusive Backstage Gallery - Semi-Final #1

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BBC Eurovision Paul BBC Eurovision Paul | 17:22 UK time, Friday, 10 December 2010


Hey everyone! Can you believe that we're almost at the end of Strictly Come Dancing 2010? It doesn't feel like 11 weeks since our first live show, back on Friday 1st October, does it?

We'll be here all weekend, taking you through the thrilling weekend of Strictly thrills and spills. We're starting off with our regular gallery of backstage photos from this evening's dress rehearsal. Enjoy!

The Strictly semi-finalists

The Strictly Come Dancing semi-finalists

Gavin Henson and Katya Virshilas

Gavin Henson and Katya Virshilas

Kara Tointon and Artem Chigvintsev

Kara Tointon and Artem Chigvintsev

Matt Baker and Aliona Vilani

Matt Baker and Aliona Vilani

Pamela Stephenson and James Jordan

Pamela Stephenson and James Jordan

Scott Maslen and Natalie Lowe

Scott Maslen and Natalie Lowe

The Swingathon

All of the couples rehearsing for the Swing-A-ThonGavin Henson and Katya Virshilas

Gavin: "I couldn't have danced it any better."

Kara Tointon and Artem Chigvintsev

Kara: "A 10 from Len! That is just incredible!"

Matt Baker and Aliona Vilani

Matt: "We'll really have to pull it out of the bag with the Tango..."

Pamela Stephenson and James Jordan

Pamela: "I really hope I've done enough to make it through to the final!"

Scott Maslen and Natalie Lowe

Scott: "I didn't quite nail it as I should have. I'm a bit gutted to be honest."


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  • Comment number 1.

    C'mon Gavin and Matt

  • Comment number 2.

    Kartem to the semi's and beyond!

  • Comment number 3.

    Is anyone a Matt fan? If so PLEASE say on the website.
    It seems as if I'm the ONLY fan!

  • Comment number 4.

    You're not alone - I'm a Matt fan and always will be. Absolutely adore him.

  • Comment number 5.

    Kara & Pamela for me

  • Comment number 6.

    You can do it Kara and Artem!!!

  • Comment number 7.

    Hope Matt gets through but suspect Scott will get top marks from judges.

  • Comment number 8.

    getting really excited, white wine chilled!! go Kara, go Matt!!! either to win, love them both, pity there can only be one winner!!! hope that the judges see sense!!

  • Comment number 9.

    Are the judges corrupt on this show... Clearly Matt should of won the Swing-A-Thon? Not Kara who was being lifted more then she was dancing.. What a waste of time.

  • Comment number 10.

    Isabelle I'm with you! I think Matt has performed better each week, everything the judges have picked upon he's worked on and yet they still don't seem to be impressed.

    Matt for the final!!!!!!!!!

  • Comment number 11.


    Matt and Aliona, you're dance was great, You looked gutted.


  • Comment number 12.

    I'm great Matt fan feel judges have been unfair on him fear for him this week

  • Comment number 13.

    And I'm a huge Matt fan! The poor guy has been annihilated by the judges tonight. He is the only male dancer who really is loose. His lines are perfect, he finishes every movement beautifully and he can move fantastically. Why he didn't get any tens last week I have no idea.

    Please, please, please Matt, don't let these comments beat you. We know you can get to the final, and we will be voting for you to win! You and Aliona are fantasatic! The best of luck.

  • Comment number 14.

    Its so obvious who the judges want to be in the final, suttle as a brick. Poor Matt and Gavin treated as outcasts.They have worked so hard. Dont think Len could have performed in the Dancathon............

  • Comment number 15.

    Most definitely a Matt fan. He has been fantastic from day 1 and thereby lies the problem. The judges are looking for improvement and it's obvious they have their favourites and unfortunately Matt isn't one of them. Nevertheless he has had my votes all along and will most definitely be getting my votes tomorrow.

  • Comment number 16.

    I really don't get this. As a show dance, Kara's dance was fantastic, but it wasn't really a viennese waltz because they spent too much time apart. Matt has a really good latin movement yet never gets appreciated. Scott is Natalie's prop but is always the judges good guy even when he does nothing. Len, for god sake retire. You're a grumpy old man. You used to uphold the rules of dance but you've given that role to Craig. Gavin. Sorry love, time to go. Pam, I love you to bits. I wish I'd had your confidence when I was dancing, the lack of it it always let me down. For me so far, it's Matt, Kra and Pam for the final.

  • Comment number 17.

    you need to vote for matt or hes out!

  • Comment number 18.

    Another Matt fan here! He was so deflated by the judges comments & did so well to come out so well for the swingathon. Matt, Kara & Pamela for the final.

  • Comment number 19.

    I thought Matt did a brilliant job! He looked so down after the judges comments and then had to pick himself up after a very quick costume change and dance the Swingathon. What were the comments from the judges? ... "you have to come out with high engergy!" and the criteria being used to vote dancers out was that they were flagging. I know someone has to be the last dancer but a little more time to recover would have been nice! Especially following the harsh comments Matt received. Good luck with the tango.

  • Comment number 20.

    Another Matt fan here. Matt to win. Judges score 0 0 0 0 for rudeness, &
    being bias, the should be nutral not just give 10's to women with nice dresses and nice music, again not 10's for Matt from craig or len suprise suprise !!!

  • Comment number 21.

    I can't understand the judges' scores anymore. They really are starting to ruin the show. There is absolutely no standardisation in the marks. Matt is much better than both Scott and Gavin yet the judges score him very harshly. The producers need to look at this very carefully before viewers start to loose faith!

  • Comment number 22.

    Are the judges tired/grumpy/biased!!! Matt was fab and deserved better than the comments he received tonight. The swingathon was a shambles, Matt should have got the 5 considering he had only just finished dancing, Pam should have been off first (the shoes were very strange). I plan a campaign at work tomorrow to make sure everybody I know and the people they know and anybody else i can find to VOTE MATT........woop woop.

  • Comment number 23.

    I was astonished and irritated by the Judges' comments about Matt and Aliona. Unnecessarily and unjustifiably damming! Therefore, I wish to pass onto Matt and Aliona a huge amount of encouragement and cyber support for tomorrow. You should definitely be in the final! Tonight's routine was Fantastic, as ever!

  • Comment number 24.

    Totally disgusted how the judges comments. Poor Matt. You can tell who the favourites are.......

  • Comment number 25.

    Bruno's bias towards Scott has been unreasonable throughout the series, giving him a 9 when he forgot the routine but it was never more transparent than tonight.

    The swingathon was messy and chaotic. It should be called gymnastics-athon. Alesha looked out of her depth more than ever tonight. Bring back Arlene.

    The viewers are noticing the judges bias against Matt so the public will take him through. Matt is a far better dancer than Alesha. Matt D'Angelo was better than her in the final and Kelly Brook would have beaten her if she hadn't pulled out when her father passed away.

    Scott and Gavin to go.

  • Comment number 26.

    Total injustice towards Matt and Aliona... well done to both of them; one of the most action packed routines of the series and I'm no technical expert but oh boy it was pure entertainment!!
    And Matt is always so sweet and seems to really care about SCD; was awful to see him so upset after negative judges' comments :(
    C'mon Matt and Aliona!!!xxx

  • Comment number 27.

    CLAUDIA, please can you sort this mess out, you have two programmes to bring back some dignaty to the programme, you are the only sane one on this programme, can you judge, interview, and do It Takes two, you can do it. The judges are bias, passed their sell by date, so Claudia the COUNTRY NEEDS YOU!

  • Comment number 28.

    Can someone please tell me why the judges didn't slam Alyona for the choreography tonight? Mat. as usual, did exactly as he was told and she stood there and watched him getting upset and said nothing in his defence.
    Matt has to be in the final tomorrow and WE have to put him there.

  • Comment number 29.

    I agree with you Amond!

  • Comment number 30.

    Matt, Kara and Pam for the final - keep voting Matt and maybe, just maybe we will be called up as judges next year!

  • Comment number 31.

    Don't let the bias judges get you down Matt. The only thing you have done wrong, throughout this series , is having Aliona as your partner. If you had had Ola, Erin or practically any of the other you would be so far ahead by now that the others needn't turn up tomorrow.

    Keep you chin up and GO FOR IT!!!!

  • Comment number 32.

    Just why did the judges have to be so tough on Matt? Not a kind word from any of them. He was sufficiently upset not to be able to say anything other than that he was doing his best. They have been very tough on him every week even when they gave him half decent scores. Gavin on the other hand, who is not in the same league, is treated ith kid gloves and he does not have to spend his weeks covering for the One Show's sacked presenter.

    The audience I note were all on their feet for Matt so what is the plot. Be nasty to Matt so people vote for him or give him low martks because people do vote for him. It would be very interesting to know just who gets what points from the viewers votes,

  • Comment number 33.

    Loved Matt tonight and I don't understand how the judges can be so critical of someone who every week regardless of work or travel commitments gives 110%.

    Felt that the scheduling should have been better and that it was quite unfair on Matt and Aliona doing a high energy latin dance to have gone last and then straight into the swingathon. I love Kara and Artem but yes Kara did have it easier than Matt in the swingathon as she was the one being thrown about and lifted. Good job all round though.

    If dance ability, technique and consistency prevails , then Matt and Kara for the final. Though Matt will get my vote !!

  • Comment number 34.

    Kara, Artem, Matt, Aliona.
    Yeah You Were A-MAZ-ING tonight. FAN-TAS-MA-GORICAL.
    Get in ther guys!
    I'm voting!

  • Comment number 35.

    I felt desperately sad for Matt and Aliona especially as he had put his all into the routine. It said in the footage that he did exactly what Aliona told him to do, so perhaps she should have taken the brunt of the criticism. Don't they have a criteria for each dance? In the past they have got people in to help with relaxation, acting etc why hasn't Matt had that support if the judges were so critical of him. Also why wait to the semi-finals to put the boot in.

    As so many have said before Kara, Pamela and Matt would be my favourites for the final yet I hope Matt realises he goes through on merit not a sympathy vote.

  • Comment number 36.

    Kartem and Mattiona to the final!

  • Comment number 37.

    Yeah - agree with all the Matt/Aliona fans. I'm one as well and have been from the beginning. Will just have to send the phone into "red hot" mode tomorrow night to get him into the finals. Let's all vote for him and ensure it happens. I want Matt, Kara and Pam in the final. Don't mind which of them wins because they're all brilliant.

  • Comment number 38.

    And for once, I agreed with Craig - I watched Kara's foot come off the floor and thought, oh no, she'll get penalised for that. It seems the judges can turn a blind eye when they choose to - but NEVER in Matt's case. Time for new judges me thinks.

  • Comment number 39.

    Good scores tonight. Come on kara and artem - you deserve this trophy! I hope the public play fair :(

  • Comment number 40.

    Len is a stickler for complaining about lifts, but chose to ignore it tonight. He spends his whole time raising his eyebrows at Craig, even when they score the same! Craig is my favourite judge, he usually hits the nail on the head with his comments and scores, he is just fair and does not seem to have a bias. He points out issues, not just for the sake of it, but to justify his score and to help the dancers improve. When Scott got such high scores when he forgot his routine a couple of weeks ago, it was just not right!!!Nat looked shocked herself.
    Matt....don't let it get you down, you are a great dancer.

  • Comment number 41.

    Have waited til today to comment cos I was so angry last night that I may have said something I regret! I used to love SCD but find I can't take it seriously any more. Matt Baker must be thinking - what is the point! He gives his all, never complains about probably the most pressurised schedule of all of them, is, along with Kara, the most brilliant dancer on this series, indeed, on any series, and the judges perform a stitch-up worthy of a Harley street surgeon! Do they think we are all stupid?

    I also wish to stick up for Aliona. She (along with some of the other newer pros such as Artem, Katya,) is a breath of fresh air in a competition that was becoming staid and full of the same old same old routines and music. She has never got credit for anything, just stick and abuse. What I saw last night from the judges was unpleasant, un-called for and unfair. Craig is the only one left with any semblance of credibility as at least he is consistent and given constructive criticsm.

    It's a good job Matt has (beautiful) broad shoulders and I am sure they will come out fighting tonight. It seems from all the comments that the public votes for Matt and Aliona wil go through the roof tonight. If that was the BBCs intenetion in putting the boot in...then well done. If it wasnlt, then it's backfired big time.

    Matt, Kara and Pam for the final. They dance and entertain. That is what it should be all about.

  • Comment number 42.

    note to judges:

    compare and contrast

    someone forgets about 60% of their routine and has to be literally dragged around the floor by his partner's hands on his throat...score 31 + lots of sympathy for being T-I-R-E-D

    someone else dances the dance as set out for him by his partner without hesitation and no little talent...score 28 + lots of very harsh critisism

    all we ask is fairness and consistency

  • Comment number 43.

    It will be so unfair if Matt goes tonight, my kids and I have had him to win since the first week , he just stands head and shoulders above the other dancers, Its about time we had a change of judges again get rid of Len who is obviously biassed and bring back Arlene Phillips!

    Just think if we had had the dance offs back, at least the public have the power to wield the right decision VOTE MATT!!

  • Comment number 44.

    Just been reading through these comments and so pleased to see so much support for Matt – and I totally agree with most – judges appear to be so against Matt. How could last night dance be his worse score to date? Its almost as if they are jealous. Don’t worry I will be voting for Matt on Sat night.

  • Comment number 45.

    Wanted to cry last night after judges comments to Matt and Aliona! Matt has been my favorite from day one. If Matt goes tonight I willnot watch the rest of the show-sounds a bit dramatic but I will feel cheated. Will definately be voting tonight for him. Reading all the other comments, it's lovely to see he has so much support. GO MATT & ALIONA!!!!

  • Comment number 46.

    I think Matt is fab looked really confused by judges comments. his swing-a-thon was the best. will be voting all the way for him.

  • Comment number 47.

    the judges' comments on Aliona and Matt seemed unnecessarily harsh - we were shocked when we heard them; we also feel that Pamela would have to fail to show up before they say anything bad about her performance.

  • Comment number 48.

    I am please to see that I was not alone in wondering how the judges could justify their comments about Matt... they have been consistently underscoring him,especially when compared to Scott. It is bizarre that they would be allowed to be so blatently biased in their judging. We'll vote Matt tonight. Go Matt.

  • Comment number 49.

    Go Matt! I'll be voting for you

  • Comment number 50.

    Don't let the B******s grind you down Matt. The viewers are on your side and will get you through to the final, unless on course the whole thing is fixed and I am starting to believe it is!

    I have never been so disapointed in the judges until this year - I think if SCD returns next year, they have to get judges who know what they are talking about and are not in the BBC's pocket!!

  • Comment number 51.

    Kara and Artem's dance was just beautiful. But I think Matt and Aliona were undermarked, as they have been several times, and I felt so sorry for them both - particularly as they had to pick themselves up straight away for the Swingathon. Take heart, both of you - you're terrific, and so lovely to watch! Good luck for tonight!

  • Comment number 52.

    I realy like Matt, and I will be voting for him. Felt for him last night, he looked so unhappy after judges comments. Had nightmares last night that he was voted off, woke up praying that he would wow everyone with his Tango.

  • Comment number 53.

    wow isabella you must be joking there's so many matt fans...
    go on their team page :)

    come on mattiona!!!

  • Comment number 54.

    Just want to register my support for Matt and Aliona. You certainly did not warrant the comments from the judges last night. They are totally biased and I am beginning to wonder if the whole thing has been rigged from the beginning. As has been said before how can someone score nines when they forgot their routine and bumble round the floor ? How can they be voted off the swingathon when they were clearly still dancing well and with energy? Matt is clearly a nice guy who never moans about his lot, he has had a punishing schedule while doing SCD and still manages to look good and dance well every week. Keep your chins up Matt and Aliona there are people out here who support you despite unfair and unjust comments from biased judges !! Good Luck with the tango !!
    P.S. To the producers of the show I would just like to say you have turned a really good show into a farce....worthy of American TV !

  • Comment number 55.

    I felt so bad for Matt last night, in the words of Claudia "his little face"! It was by no means his best dance, but I can't believe the judges could be so harsh when there were no howling technical flaws and it was a truely entertaining high energy routine. A lot better than Gavin & Scott's contributions. In some ways Matt is a victim of his own amazing ability, he shocked and wowed everyone at the beginning of the series. The judges probably have high expectations of him but that is no excuse to be outrageously negative and brutal, especially when they were just about to dance again in the swingathon. At the end of the day it is down to the viewers and I certainly will be voting for Matt & Aliona. I hope this gives him the drive to come out tonight and perform the best Tango ever, and the scores reflect his effort and commitment?!

  • Comment number 56.

    I'm so pleased to see so many people feel as i do.
    Poor Matt and Aliona.The comments were totally uncalled for and unkind.

  • Comment number 57.

    Please vote for Matt, he's had a rough ride from the judges and deserves to be in the final. Not sure I like the new format of SCD. I hope that the BBC reads all these messages and takes note!

  • Comment number 58.

    Have to agree with what everyone is saying about Matt. The judges bias towards Scott and against Matt has been apparent for the last few weeks but reached new lows last night. Much is made of how Scott is tired - but Matt is doing two jobs and travelling the whole country, but doesn't ask for or get any allowances for that. None of the judges had anything positive to say about Matt last night - it was disgraceful - his performance deserved better than that.

    Hope all his fans get voting for him. Kara, Pamela and Matt in the final please!!!!!

  • Comment number 59.

    Matt was totally rhythmic, sexy, energetic and the lifts were effortless. The Judges ripped it apart for no reason. Fair enough if they didn't like it but their comments were personal, harsh and extremely unfair in comparison with how they treat the others.

    Matt and Aliona's American Smooth sticks in the mind as one of the most beautiful and original dances ever seen in Strictly and that was treated in a similar fashion.

    Cannot understand the bias and hope the judges show some remorse for putting a lovely talented guy down. I'll be voting...

  • Comment number 60.

  • Comment number 61.

    I put a blog on here last night & it was shwoing at the time as being put on at 10.55pm - i look this morning to find that its not on here - why??????

    This is a serious matter because as you can see many veiwers are genuinely unhappy how Matt was treated last night - be fair & show all the blogs - what are you frightened of????

    dancedwithkaren (Beverley)

  • Comment number 62.

    It will be interesting to see tonight's programme, in view of everyone's comments here! I try to be open-minded when I watch, and judge on what I know each couple should be aiming for in each dance. I cannot believe the bias shown in many of the judges' remarks, but I usually agree with Craig, as he is the most constructive of all, as was Arlene. Unfortunately, Bruno becomes hysterical and loses all credibility, Alisha is a non-judge for me, and Len is now past his sell-by date, and has turned into a "grumpy old man". I'm older than Len, but I think the panel now needs some younger but experienced judges, who give fair-minded and constructive remarks, not dramatic and negative comments, made for cynical and cruel effect, as is happening now.

    I know we all have different opinions as to who should win, but I believe the judges are trying to sway the public voting with their low marks in Matt's case. Both Matt and Kara have been a joy to watch, both elegant and stylish, and either could win, in my book. Pamela is OK but does nothing for me emotionally, and should come 3rd.

    I would suggest one addition to SCD, in a future year, where all semi-final couples dance exactly the same dance, with identical choreography, which could then be measured accurately against the others, and we could all see how each couple shows up in that situation.

    Roll on tonight, get your phones out, and blow the phone bill. Justice needs to be done!!!

  • Comment number 63.

    The bias gainst Matt is obvious -not one word of constructive critiscm . He has been consistently good. Matt forgets his routine and gets 2 9's as he is tired. What about Matt - he has 3 day jobs but never does. Aliona looked so bewildered last night

  • Comment number 64.

    The judges particularly Len where very unfair to Matt on Friday.
    He is consistently good each week and performs the choreography given to him very well. Surely the judges should address their comments on salsa content and moves to his dance partner rather than Matt. He's just doing what she has taught him. As for Bruno's comments on smiling more, I thought it was a dance contest, not a 'smileathon'.
    Alesha asked him for more 'armography', isn't that down to the professional choreographer also!!! Come on judges be more consistent!!!!!

  • Comment number 65.

    The 'swing' part of the competition was unfair; Matt had little time to recover, therefore his stamina - which apparently was what was needed to win - could not have been up to the standard of others. Very unfair, particularly as he had taken a bashing from the judges. The scores are so biased at times, how can you give Scott a 9 (the other week when he went completely wrong) and give Matt (and others) such a low score for a really good dance last night! Apparently they gave a 9 to Scott because he is normally good - so what happened last night when scoring Matt? Come on judges (Len) score fairly - the head judge should show an example.

  • Comment number 66.

    What is going on with Strictly? Why are the judges being so harsh on Matt when he is a fantastic dancer, and yet so soft on Gavin and even Scott (when he messed up a whole dance routine).I have always trusted the judges decisions before, but this series has been inconsistant and unfair, (Craig is the only consistant one). There really seems to be favourites, which is not what the show is about. If this is the case any Tom, Dick or Harry could be judges.
    ALSO bring the dance offs back, show was much better with that in, there does not seem to be much dancing in the Sunday show.

    Matt, Kara and Pamela for the finals.

  • Comment number 67.

    What were the judges talking about??? They were watching a different dance. Matt and Aliona were absolutely brilliant - so much effort put in and then to be knocked down by the judges. Go Matt and Aliona - you've always been my favourites and still are - would love you to win so much.

  • Comment number 68.

    I thought the fact that Matt and Aliona had to dance the swingathon just after dancing thier dance and getting crushed by the judges was sooooooooooo unfair - how were they expected to have the same stamina as every body else?????? The judges are sooooo harsh to Matt i just want to hug him!!! I will be voting heaps tonight for them!!!! come on Matt and Aliona - don't give up!!!!

  • Comment number 69.

    I would love Gavin and Katya to be in the final - the judges really put him down every week. I agree with Gavin, it would be amazing for them to get to the final after them been 'under-dogs' and everything, it would just prove the judges wrong. I hope their V.Waltz goes well tonight - it could be brilliant! Shame I'm going to miss it though (I've got to go out:() but I'll still be voting for them a million times!!!
    VOTE GAVIN & KATYA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Anyone else a Team Gatya Fan? I'd love to know!! x

  • Comment number 70.

    Superfansue 11.45am 11.12.10 Where is my comment, posted over an hour ago?

  • Comment number 71.

    omg....when are they going to give Matt a break..he is brilliant. Yes i know Kara is too and she will probably win but Matt is so much better than Scott and they give him a lower score..ridiculous. He was so upset..if i were him i would of told the judges to get lost and gone home...whats the point of all the hard work when they treat him like that. uuuurrrghhh he also has other jobs but you dont hear him moaning about how tired he is...
    There were 3 of us watching and we all agreed that they were bang out of order for their low score...credibility??? NONE!!

  • Comment number 72.

    Matt was definitely under-marked tonight.

  • Comment number 73.

    How can Matt get a lower score than Scott in the week when Scott went totally wrong? I don't understand the negativity about Matt. Even though I don't think the choreography he's given is all that great, he has worked very hard to become a very good, watchable dancer. Arlene always gave the dancers some advice, something positive to work on or that she'd like to see more of. Some dancers really transformed by listening to her comments but the current judges comments are often not very helpful or consistent. Please bring back Arlene and dancers like Camilla, Lilia and Karen who were so much than good dancers........

  • Comment number 74.

    I cannot believe how biased the judges seem! They clearly don't want Matt to reach the final. Don't understand what he has to do to get the high marks and the appreciation from them. It's down to the public now to keep them in - they both deserve it!

  • Comment number 75.

    Matt ans Aliona have been constantly brilliant, top 3 every week, what an acheivement. The judges were very unfair last night and poor Matt looked devistated...he is the best, consistent male dancer the show has had for ages, he doesnt love himself and preen like a primadona, he just dances the cheography he is given beautifully with such elegant lines. A pure gentleman. Matt, Kara and Pamela for the final....Kara and Artem are also amazing. Can't wait to see Matt's tango and Kara's Rumba. Believe in yourself Matt...your fans do XXXXXXX

  • Comment number 76.

    Man - talk about digging the knife in. I'm a Kartem fan but what were the judges playing at with Matt?? Completely undermarked ... AGAIN. Why do they have to crucify someone (who isn't Pamela or Scott) every week?? What happened to marking the dances based on what they see, not what they want to have seen???

  • Comment number 77.

    Kara is absolutely gorgeous..and so humble and gracious..she MUST win!!I feel I am looking at one of the professionals when she is dancing.I was so sorry for the lovely Matt last night,he did in no way deserve the judges comments..what are they on?? He is such a lovely guy, and naturally talented..I feel the final result should be:
    1st Kara and Artem
    2nd Matt and Aliona
    3rd Scott and Natalie.

  • Comment number 78.

    although I've read these pages before, I've registered today to add my support for Matt. I was really annoyed and disappointed with the judges last night bringing a very good, eager celeb dancer down like that. for Bruno, Alesha and Len to give the same marks to Gavin as Matt; to give Kara 10s when she DID have her feet off the ground twice and surprise surprise Bruno giving Scott a 9 with 8s from the other two shows their bias. Last week I noticed that all 4 judges were harsher on Ann than they had been all serious and she ended up being voted off. This week they've all been especially harsh on Matt .... ?

    They said there were lots of basic steps in the routine. I can understand Alyona choreographing it that way - they were learning 3 dances this week as well as Matt fitting in working 2 other jobs. When Scott forgot most of his American Smooth on a week when he was only learning 1 dance Alesha and Bruno gave him 9s and lots of condolences about how tired he was!!

    Matt, lots of people love you. you've been brilliant since Week 1 and your Blackpool dance blew me away. Well done on the swingathon but you should've won it. Artem, a very fit, professional dancer, couldn't speak after the swingathon which shows how much work he was putting into it in comparison with Kara! My phone is gonna be well used tonight voting for you.

    Keep up the good work, I'm really looking forward to your tango.

  • Comment number 79.

    At least all of the competitors were dancers and were dancing. That's a big plus.

    On the downside, it really is time to shut Brucie up. Barely a sensible comment all night and mainly his presence was, and increasingly is, pointless. Does anyone care that he'll be 90 in 2018?

    The 'swingagthon' was a complete and utterly pointless shambles. From what we were allowed to see, due to the clumsy camerawork, it was just a competition to be as active as possible, regardless of content or structure. They should all have been awarded the same points.

    However, we did see some good dancing in the rest of the show! Thank heavens for small mercies!!

  • Comment number 80.

    After reading all the comments on this blog and all the support for Matt and how eceryone feels the same and are going to vote for him...mmmhhhh if he doesnt get through then it is very obviously a fix.....he has probably 99% backing tonight so it should be a cert that he goes through...BBC may have alot to answer to should that not be the case.....I too would not bother watching the final if he doesnt get through as i am not bothered about anyone else...like someone has already stated Pamela needs only turn up to get a 10, Scott just needs to look abit tired, Kara needs to only keep her feet off the floor and Gavin just needs to wiggle his hips abit...the show is becoming ridiculous!!

  • Comment number 81.

    The Great Matt Baker Swindle!!

    There has to be an agenda here because last night was a travesty of justice and I urge all Mattalliona fans to pick up the phone and ring in big numbers. Here's why...

    Scott M
    Surely should be nicknamed 'woodbine' (every Saturday night his dance partner takes him out for a drag). Scores nine's when he forgets his routines. At least there was no playing of the tired, overworked card (again!).

    Pamela S
    Brilliant for a 61 year old. But inevitably she runs out of puff, especially on the latin numbers. Brucie's constant references to Billy in the audience is also unfair, biased and cringeworthy. Wearing trainers in the Swing-a-thon was unfair too.

    If the award was for most improved, he'd win it by miles. But its not and he isn't in Matt and Kara's class. Superb effort but his time is up.

    Superb! A joy to watch, if she wins it she will more than deserve it.

    A natural. Never moans, never complains, never plays the 'tired' I've got loads of work on card. It wasn't his best dance but he made very little in errors, his placement is outrageously good and if anything, was let down by what looked to be a not so good routine. Made to dance in the Swing-aThon straight after which was dispicable. Was stil the best because Artem spent most of his time throwing Kara around (hence the tiredness). This normal bloke has 4 jobs, attacks everything with gusto and is damned if he does and damned he doesn't. He should have walked straight out of the builidng.

    And the Judges..

    Total waste of space. A non-judge, the decision to replace Arlene with her is a joke. Can imagine the consuming of electricity increases whilst she gives her remarks as people head for the kettle.

    Too emotional - is funny but hugely inconsistent. Gives Scott 9's for poor dances.

    Got it in for Matt 'big time'. Period. Should be pensioned off. Or Matt should backflip onto his head.

    The best judge of the four. Not always right, too personal, overly negative but normally sees it right. Never over marks. You can't help but like him to be honest.

    Lets see if Strictly is really a fix - only people power can save Matt realistically from elimination. I urge all true strictly fans to vote in big numbers and get the final of finals with a Matt and Kara showdown.

    Anything else isn't worth watching.

  • Comment number 82.

    Superfansue - Still no sign of my original comment, no email of rejection either!
    Basically I said all that in the main the other commentors have said
    Matt& Alliona, Appallingly marked, Swingathon straight after a fast Latin Number with only a few mins to recover inbetween, hows that fair competion with the others, also having been the only couple to be placed on the ITT show in the same evening as the semi! The whole thing is a fix.
    Get Matt to the final by multiple voting tonight, so that the public can have a fair say at the outcome of this whole fiasco.

  • Comment number 83.

    I just CANNOT understand 2 things:

    -The judges were very strong with Matt because of his salsa, that he did not do this or did not do that. They were right about this back step was too long... salsa steps should be short and fast, under ones own body. But that is his mistake, yet not what is included in that dance. That was Aliona's mistake! Then why don't the judges question Aliona for that part instead of making it seem it was Matt's mistake?!

    -And even more... during all of this competition, every time someone has danced a 'salsa' the coreographers have selected some other type of music instead of a real salsa, be it disco or mambo. Don't they (judges and professional dancers) know the difference??? I come from the Caribbean and just feel pisted off when I hear them say 'salsa' is going to be danced when then it is not true. To put salsa steps on a music that might have similar counts is not right! My Carribean blood boils up! LOL No, seriously, the judges and the professional dancers should have more respect for this. Maybe they need to listen to more salsa ;-)

    The BEST salsa!!! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jEWVVVg6dKw

    Good salsa dancing (audio not good): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9nDVeoOW5nY&feature=related

    Good audio: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gjAsWjof3Yo

  • Comment number 84.

    prove the Judges wrong Matt we are all behind you keep voting everyone

  • Comment number 85.

    prove the Judges wrong Matt we are all voting for you voting for you is well deserved

  • Comment number 86.

    Poor Matt,
    they ripped him to pieces last night,
    even Pamela got torn into.

    Kara? No way I admit she's good, but her Viennese waltz wasn't worth 3 10s, the judges are creeping lets face it they have their favorites and it's her.

    The swingathon is also unfair. Matt would have won if he had more rest like Kara got, tired? well of course he and Aliona were!! They only got 3 minutes rest before they had to dance again!

  • Comment number 87.

    Come on Matt, we support you from the Netherlands. You were great last night. :)

  • Comment number 88.

    I'd love to see Gavin make it to the final and I think Matt deserves to be there too. Thought the judges were really harsh on Matt and tore into him - he was well undermarked. Would be happy to see Scott and Natalie go this week. Kara is a beautiful dancer and justice would be served if she won.

  • Comment number 89.

    @ siddiev36, I completly agree with everything you said! I too think Scott and Natalie should (and will) go this week along with, with much regrete, Gavin and Katya :( I do REALLY like Gavin and would absolutly LOVE them to get to the Final, but saidly he is the worst dancer left in and people are starting to see that now :( That won't stop me though - there're still my No.1!!!! VOTE GAVIN & KATYA !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I think (after Gavin and Katya of course) I would like to see Kara and Artem win this year - it's about time one of us girls won, don't you think?! Plus she is an amazing dancer.

  • Comment number 90.

    Strictly Come Dancing 11.12.10

    I was very upset at the way the judges 'attacked' Matt, he
    is such a polite person and sincere in all he does.
    He doesn't design the routines, that surely is Aliona job.
    Good luck tonight Matt.

  • Comment number 91.

    isabella. msg.3
    You're NOT alone - go to the Mattiona blog, you'll be in the right place!

  • Comment number 92.

    Surely it could have been organised for one of the Viennese Waltz people to have danced LAST, rather than Matt who'd just danced a fast Latin and had about 2 minutes to change for the Swingathon, where we're told STAMINA counted! For God's sake - do they think we're fools? I'm not one for conspiracy theories, but this whole thing smacks a bit of bias, certainly from the judges. And yes, WHY did Kara and Artem win the Swingathon - all they did was a series of lifts.

  • Comment number 93.

    Forgive me if I'm wrong, but wasn't it Len who threw down the gauntlet way back about illegal lifts? Why then castigate Craig for pointing out Kara's - even Artem admitted during chat with Tess that they probably did leave the ground. Len - stay fair or get out!

  • Comment number 94.

    Why did the judges have to be so cruel in their words to Matt tonight? Quite apart from the fact that he's GOOD GOOD GOOD, which they never acknowedge either in words or scoring, he NEVER makes excuses, unlike some. And he makes far fewer mistakes than others week after week, although they're excused and get 9s and 10s all the way! The way they spoke to Matt tonight, especially Bruno, was quite patronising("we can see you're working hard" etc), it's no wonder Matt seemed so despairing.

  • Comment number 95.

    I think that Matt, Pamela and Kara will get into the final
    I really want Scott to be in it but I dont think he will be though :(

  • Comment number 96.

    So glad to see everyone's comments about Matt and Aliona, have been supporting them from the beginning, think he is brilliant. Absolutely loved their American smooth.
    Don't be down hearted Matt you're amazing and have my vote for sure.

  • Comment number 97.

    Judging by all these comments tonight, if Matt doesn't get through to the final I think the BBC should be pressured into releasing viewers' voting figures. Otherwise all credibility will be gone.

  • Comment number 98.

    I agree with everything that has been said about Matt. I was so angry, this is the first time I have ever felt the need to register and post my thoughts. I can honestly say that I was appalled the way Len, Alisha and Bruno spoke to Matt last night and the only reason I will be watching is to make sure Matt gets in the final, I will voting voting voting! After that I doubt I will watch it again, so bitterley disappointed in the way they behaved. Poor show BBC!

  • Comment number 99.

    I cou have told you the finalists as soon as Bruno started gushing about SSScott, Alesha only has eyes for Karas' performances and Craig is charmed by the "elgance" of Pamrla. Matt has been under marked for weeks and the mistakes/errors by the judges favourites are never picked up! Look at Scotts major errors for the past few weeks. AND when was Strictly about the professionals. Sorry Natalie your choreography is all about "me!"

    But what's new! My other half usually has the remote and I've taken it off him this year as I am seriously disappointed with this years so called unbiased judging.

  • Comment number 100.

    I can only add to the other comments about the judges scoring of Matt. It looked to be a pre-arranged, orchestrated attempt by the judges to score him poorly and similarly to massage Pamela's scores upwards. Every time Matt dances he is adventurous, skillful and brilliant. Every time we watch Pamela it's like watching the washing machine go round, safe and with the same repeated content.
    One wonders if the inconsistent, targetted marking is an attempt to up the numbers of public voting to bump up the revenue? If it is, there is a name for it and, it is called fr**d .
    If it isn't that it jolly well looks like it.

    Come on Matt and Gav.


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