« Previous | Main | Next »

Semi-Final Swingathon!

Post categories:

BBC Eurovision Paul BBC Eurovision Paul | 13:59 UK time, Friday, 3 December 2010

We've just had some very exciting news through from the Strictly Come Dancing production office, detailing exactly how next weekend's Semi-Finals will work.

As you probably already know, this year's Strictly Semi-Final consists of THREE shows - yes, that's right THREE shows!  Firstly, the couples will perform LIVE on the evening of Friday 10th December in our first semi-final, from 9pm to 10pm on BBC One. During the live Friday show, the couples will perform a regular dance and be marked by the judges in the usual way. Then after all of the couples have danced, they will all take to the floor at the same time and compete in an exciting SWING-A-THON!

Here's some more info about the Swing-A-Thon, direct from the TV Production Team:

In our semi final weekend we will include a brand new dance challenge, the 'Swing-A-Thon'!

The idea behind this is to give our couples a chance to gain some extra marks, by directly competing against each other on the dance floor. All our remaining couples will take to the floor and the music will start. During the Swing dance, the judges will confer and Head Judge Len Goodman will eliminate one couple at a time. 

When a couple is eliminated they will leave the floor but the remaining couples will keep dancing until only one couple is left.

The first to be eliminated will  score 1, the second couple eliminated will score 2, the third couple 3, and the fourth couple eliminated score 4. The last couple still dancing will receive the maximum score of 5.

These scores will be added to that night's leader board and carried over to the next night.

If the judges cannot agree the order the couples are eliminated then Head Judge Len will have the final say.

The Swing-A-Thon is the ultimate test of style and stamina for our celebrities!

The couples will then perform AGAIN in our second LIVE show, on Saturday 11 December from 6pm-7pm on BBC One. The three sets of scores from the judges will then be combined to create a leader board and the public will be able to vote for their favourite couple in the usual way at the end of Saturday night.

The couple with the lowest combined scores will be eliminated in a results programme shown on Sunday 12th December - at the EARLIER time of 7pm to 7.30pm.

If there are still five couples left in the competition at the Semi Final stage there will be a double elimination with the bottom two couples eliminated as only a maximum of three couples will be able to go through to the Final. There will be no dance off.

So that's three nights of scintillating dancefloor action coming your way VERY soon!


  • Comment number 1.

    Strictly Come Dancing is split into three ways of succeeding: The least important is dancing, the second most important it luck and the most important is popularity. If this is removed than that shows the BBC can't take criticism

  • Comment number 2.

    lol...don't think this will test AW's stamina too far...

  • Comment number 3.

    Excellent news - the scoring should ensure no ties on the leaderboard! Can't wait to see the swingathon, should be fun!

  • Comment number 4.

    3 night spectacular SWING-A-THON!!! BRING IT ON!!! cant wait

  • Comment number 5.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 6.

    I am really annoyed about the public keeping AW in. I know it is an entertainment show but should focus totally on the celebrity dancers not on the ridiculous gallumping woman. She would get a lot of money for charity if she & Anton did any of their routines for Comic Relief.PLEASE VOTE HER OFF NOW and give Matt, Scott, Kara & Pamela a chance. Gavin should also go.

  • Comment number 7.

    4. At 3:22pm on 03 Dec 2010, angela flinders wrote:
    "3 night spectacular SWING-A-THON!!!"

    Yes, that should test their stamina all right. Last one standing wins. :-)

  • Comment number 8.

    Love the idea but feel sad that at the end of this they will end up marked first to last as usual regardless of how the scores combine. Also has the potential for a tied score which really only benefits whoever is last.

    If it meant
    Team 1 got 5+3+4 total 12 Leader Board 5
    Team 2 got 2+4+5 total 11 Leader Board 4
    Team 3 got 3+5+2 total 10 Leader Board 3
    Team 4 got 4+2+3 total 9 Leader Board 2
    Team 5 got 1+1+1 total 3 Leader Board 1

    Still will translate as is now.
    Yet quite clearly The first 4 teams will have little between them and quite likely will have worked very hard and used a lot of energy in the Swing-A-Thon. Team 5 meanwhile will still pick up one Judges vote for doing very little whilst team 4 will only get 2 for doing an awful lot more.

  • Comment number 9.

    More changes to our much loved show, first they give us celebs for the Christmas show who haven't taken part in the series or are previous champions, now they are tampering with a formula which has kept us enthralled for years. It's bad enough they've given us celebs who refuse to learn to dance while those who try go out.

  • Comment number 10.

    And only pone dance for the quarter final - ridiculous.

  • Comment number 11.

    Sorry only ONE dance for the QF :¬ (

  • Comment number 12.

    The Swing-a-thon must mean that only a couple who do a proper dance are going to lift the Glitter Ball this year doesn't it?

  • Comment number 13.

    How depressing. There is the potential for huge injustice. Just messing about with the formula for no good reason.

  • Comment number 14.

    Please please please let Ann go this weekend so we can all watch dancing next weekend! It will be the semi finals after all of a dance competition. Please vote for the best dancers or the show will start to lose credibility.

  • Comment number 15.

    Can't wait to see the supremely untalented AW on the dance floor (probably literally) with all the other contestants which should leave no doubt as to just how unfunny her antics are! Just a thought - have the Health and Safety Authority cleared this? On her past record I think there is a serious risk of yet another disjointed performance - legs and arms going everywhere except where they should - having the potential to trip, hit or seriously injure someone. A real test of Anton's ability to try to exercise some control. How fed up he must be at this travesty of a contest.

  • Comment number 16.

    The show lost all its credibility since weeks 5 and 6,when Henson and Widdecombe should have been voted out respectively.

  • Comment number 17.

    "If there are still five couples left in the competition at the Semi Final stage there will be a double elimination with the bottom two couples eliminated as only a maximum of three couples will be able to go through to the Final. There will be no dance off."

    Does this mean you are expecting a couple to drop out???

  • Comment number 18.

    MrsArcanum @ 8

    It would appear that SCD Production Management (Ms Moss?) has introduced a fiddle factor or smokescreen to the Strictly Statistics Syndrome.
    Up until Patsy's convenient removal by manipulation of scores awarded by the Judges last week, I thought that they were at least playing fair & square this year.
    This "innovation" of the Swing-A-Thon by the Production Team appears at first to be merely a variation of the old Marathon Dance Contest. Of course the celebrities will not have dance until they drop á la 'They Shoot Horses Don't They' but it will allow they Judges an opportunity to award a handicap to the couples.
    I shall watch the shows because I enjoy the spectacle of dance, but it does raise the opportunity for the establishment to load the dice, if they should wish to do so.
    I would think that the main element of the population who should be most worried by this tribute to Horace McCoy is the betting community.
    I know that many of us have been disconcerted by the number of changes this year to SCD, but this last amendment may find that it will have to stand up to more scrutiny than just the mere complaints from the viewers.

    Keeeep Dancing!!!

  • Comment number 19.

    Interesting, One question , why are the couples only doing one dance per week at this stage of strictly because usually in the last couple of series they have being doing two dances per week at this stage? is this another change?

  • Comment number 20.

    Are the couples who make it to the final learning 2 news dances there?
    Because normally the finalists have done every dance, thus being able to choose their favourites to dance again, but if we're only doing two in the semi's, that means that in a total of 11 weeks they'll have done 12 dances, and there are 14 on offer. How does that work?

  • Comment number 21.

    Maybe they've decided against two dances at this stage to accomodate Ann who wouldn't be up to the task. Which means we lose out as we will not see the others do all the dances. We may not see Pamela do the Samba, Quickstep, Paso or AT, or Matt the dances he hasn't done yet.

    I say it again, they shouldn't mess with a winning formula which has kept us loyal to the show for seven years because the genuine supporters who love dance, will switch of in their thousands.

  • Comment number 22.

    @21 Almond - its obvious that the 2 dance part of the show has been removed because AW can hardly manage one dance, let alone two. Just another sorry tale in the saga of the BBC and their inexplicable love affair with AW. Yes we will miss out, but we have been missing out on a proper show for most of this series, and I will be missing out alotogether because last week I decided that I just can't bear to watch anymore, until she's gone.

  • Comment number 23.

    If this doesn't put paid to Miss Widdicome then nothing will.

    She can't dance one dance so how will they judges be able to mark her on two. Or will she be given exemption and be allowed to WALK through the second dance.

    Did AW know about this - if not will she appeal on the ground it's not fair. Well her disgraceful performance hasn't been fair to Celebs who have worked hard and missed out.

    Hopefully it will be CHEERIE BYE ANNE!

  • Comment number 24.

    Let's just reckon up the changes which have been made this year:
    * several pros declining to take part at all because they didn't like what was happening
    * the return of the Sunday results show, which nobody wanted and which has driven increasing numbers of viewers to seek out the spoiler so that they don't have to watch on Sunday.
    * couples still doing only one dance at the quarter-final stage, and the absence of group dances, so more padding than dancing.
    * no publicising of the number of hours' training
    * one contestant able to specify exactly what she will and will not do
    * a "swing-a-thon" or whatever which gives all the power to one man whose judging and marking have caused raised eyebrows but who has never been called on to justify them.

    Yes, Amon and Plum, you're right. But actually I'd rather not see AW attempting the jive and the Argentine tango.

  • Comment number 25.

    To be quite honest, it all sounds a bit too complex and I'm slightly confused. I think it's all too much of a big step up from the quarter finals. It seems suddenly everything is in one week, and I think they should have spread it out a bit more, like maybe had two live shows this week and next or done two dances this week and one dance and the Swingathon next week. I think it will throw the couples out quite a bit and it may alter their performances and change the final line-up, and not for the better...

  • Comment number 26.

    @17 - Yes, I thought that. Unless a couple drop out there will be 5 going through to the semis.

    @8 In this scenario Team 5 has come last in each set of dances. But does the BBC intend that Team 5 would go into the public vote with 3 points, 6 points behind Team 4 meaning that, even if they win the public vote, it is impossible for them to stay in, leaving a proper contest between the top four couples? Or would this break the rules on competition phone-ins, such as the Tom Chambers situation 2 years ago, whereby the public can't be encouraged to vote for someone who can't win?

  • Comment number 27.

    @26/17 - I hope Ann drops out, we all know she won't be there's always hope!
    I don't really think that that is fair, because in any other week if you were in the bottom two you would be safe, then suddenly your not? Also will it turn into the bottom three? But how would that work????

  • Comment number 28.

    The semi final sounds really great. I'm looking forward to the Swing A Thon. It sounds like a lot of fun. It is a pity it is on so late on Friday. We will probably watch it on catchup TV just before the Saturday show.

    Unfortunately I think there is a strong possibility that Pamela and James will be knocked out tonight. I would have loved to see them in the semis - not Gavin and Ann.

  • Comment number 29.

    All I hope is that this Swing A Thon will put an end to the presence of Ann Widdecombe in this competition and that the judges scoring will outweigh the public votes when it comes to eliminating the worst couple.

    It will be a crying shame if any of the good couples get told to leave tonight, if there is any justice in this show it should be Ann or Gavin.

  • Comment number 30.

    Len had better be on his best behaviour - no more of this sympathy stuff.

  • Comment number 31.

    That goes for Alesha too!

  • Comment number 32.

    another DWTS addition

    Should be interesting to see what happens nonetheless

  • Comment number 33.

    this sounds like a real mess.

  • Comment number 34.

    If Ann Widdecombe wins I think that show will lose credibility, it's not a professional competition, but I see it as celebrities enter this show, some have dancing ability, and some don't, the ones that have none and become a dancer, should win, Ann can't dance, yes she's funny and gives the judges a taste of there own medicine but that's it, sorry to be blunt and perhaps harsh, but I'm thinking of the show, that's it it's seems ironic that Anton is still in, he usually end up with an awful dancer, just like this time, but he's still there,!!!!!j62

  • Comment number 35.

    double elimination.... hummmm... well this could go two ways!

  • Comment number 36.

    double elimination.... hummmm... well this could go two ways!
    yes this could go two ways and I hope Ann goes

  • Comment number 37.

    MrsArcanum @8

    I wonder when exactly the SCD Production Team decided to introduce this exciting new method of calculating the five semi-finalists?

    This is mathematically the perfect counter-measure to the viewers' favourite team winning, as you have quite reasonably laid out in your example.
    Scoring 3 on the accumulator would then mean that even if they came first in the viewers vote and scored 5 points making a Grand Total of 8, then the highest result that they could achieve is =4th overall and that would therefore automatically put them into the bottom two positions.

    As previously suggested @ 18, this innovation would dramatically reverse the odds of the current favourites ever achieving the final three.
    Indeed after checking the permutations,it is obvious that this latest statistical handicap totally shifts the bias and therefore the final positions, totally into the hands of the Judges.
    A good result for the Bookies then?

    Keeeep Dancing!!!

  • Comment number 38.

    Do you think that the BBC had planned for Ann quitting before now as they seem to have too many couples for the final, didn't quite work out that way did it!!?

  • Comment number 39.

    That is it then folks; the Suits and Floral Dresses in the BBC Mahogany Row have decided that it will be Pamela, Kara and Scott in the final this year.
    That is a pity because Matt is the better athlete and dancer despite being handicapped by weird choreography from Aliona.

    Keeeep Dancing!!!

  • Comment number 40.

    I haven't seen any comments about the irritating whistlers in the audience. I suffer from tinnitus, and have to turn the sound down, and thus the music. Does noone in the immediate vicinity of these whistlers similarly suffer? If so, they have my sincere sympathy.

  • Comment number 41.

    Post No.38. It has always been that they would have three shows. It has been planned for ages and they have only just announced the Swing-a-thon although it was most likely planned from the beginning.

  • Comment number 42.

    I agree that AW and GH should go SOON. However, Anton deserves credit for the professional and entertaining way in which he has dealt with the situation, and I hope that he gets a more able partner for next series. Give the guy a chance to show what he can do as a dancer rather than a comedian.

  • Comment number 43.

    Swingathon BRING IT ON,time for the long overdue exit of YOU KNOW WHO.!!!!!!!!. Then and only then will it vote.Auntie will not get a penny out of my wallet until it happens, and we get a real dance final.

  • Comment number 44.

    Anne and gavin need to go. please please please stop voting for anne!!!! i would think its funny but she dosent even try to get better. I know she does the steps but dancing is putting in the tecnique other wise it is just walking around! and then she makes clever remarks to the judges its just not funny anymore!

  • Comment number 45.

    Kara to win!! Matts good but a bit cheesey sometimes, scott isnt consistent at dancing well and pamela a love but my favourite is kara because she is always consistent and good at performing. kara an artem are sooo cute together!!!!

  • Comment number 46.

    Post no 42. Everyone is aware (I think)just how good a dancer Anton is but the producers have maybe given him widdy so they can use this series as an audition for Brucies job as surely this has to be his last series!!
    PlEASE!! Hope its bye bye widdy tonight.

  • Comment number 47.

    I think the BBC should again make known to viewers how many hours practice each celeb has done each week. Is it an intentional move so that we just aren't aware of how few AW does compared to how many the others do?

  • Comment number 48.

    Can the BBC come out and confirm that none of the celebs has any control or decision of which dances they are prepared to do or not to do. It seems coincidental that the 'most modest' AW has not yet performed a jive or Argentine Tango. Is it by chance or is it because she has refused to and the BBC have given in to her wishes?

  • Comment number 49.

    I think it is very unfair that at least one of the top 4 dancers (Matt, Kara, Pamela and Scott) will not compete in the final. And heaven forbid that henson got through, then 2 of them would not compete. Cannot the BBC just be a bit flexible and admit they have 4 people who could easily and justifably raise the glitterball and have a big final with all 4.

  • Comment number 50.

    Anne Widdecombe is a Legend in my book!! Great entertainment but feel she went at the right time.......anne in a swingathon???? Come on celebrities time to leave all your nerves behind just do it your all amazing....but only the strong will survive......so take some serious power naps SCOTT!!

  • Comment number 51.

    Pamela should win this show or if not Pamela then Kara

    Gavin should be out next

  • Comment number 52.

    WOW this is going to be incredible!!!!
    what dance is the swing-a-thon going to be????

    i think that kara will be the best at this as she has the stamina and the precise dance steps!!

    GO KARA!!!!!!!!!

  • Comment number 53.

    A swing-a-thon, eh? This might turn out to be a laugh...

  • Comment number 54.

    Is the Swingathon going to be a whole programme and if so will it have breaks?

    I'm just wondering how long the judges will give the couples dancing before they vote the first one out.

  • Comment number 55.

    @ all the comments against Gavin, I know technically Gavin is the worst left in now, but he did rather well with the Foxtrot-in fact i just read on Wikipedia that he got the joint highest score for the Foxtrot this series, along with Pamala-and I think he deserves to be in the semi-finals! If they don't go out this week, I think Scott and Matt should go out, because I think Scott is slowly disintegrating (due to lack of sleep!) and the public are basically losing interest. And with Matt, it's just he hasn't been at the top of the leader board for a while now, and he was in the middle of the leader board this week, which is the most dangerous place to be really.

  • Comment number 56.

    You state "the public will be able to vote for their favourite couple in the usual way at the end of Saturday night". I am rather concerned about the viewers' votes making any difference.
    Does the BBC publish the number of phone votes each couple get? Last Saturday I tried to cast my votes for two couples the entire time the lines were open, but I was unable to get through. Great! Maximum viewers’ votes for my favourites! But this set me thinking. If each of the remaining couples get the maximum phone votes that can be taken in the short time of 35 minutes that the lines are open (which I don’t think is an unrealistic happening, given the nation’s support of the contestants), then the judges’ scores will determine who goes out.

  • Comment number 57.

    But this is only worth doing if the judges don't don't rig it to get their favourite through as opposed to who is dancing the best.

    Easy wasy for them to choose who they want through and we all know who Bruno ans Aleshas' favourite is

  • Comment number 58.

    Hi Folks

    Several of you were asking about how the Swingathon works. As this is obviously one of the innovations brought over from DWTS by Ms Moss so I had a look at how they do it. It originates from the old dance marathons in the 1930s and 1940s as shown in films like 'Follow The Fleet' and 'They Shoot Horses Don't They'.

    DWTS have ten couples taking part and the clip lasts over 8 minutes but it does explain the format as well (in US English). Len and Bruno look quite happy with the system, well Bruno is happy anyway.

    Again I hope that the Moderators do not ban the clip but I can always advise you of the address.


    As you can see you have to be a serious Strictly Addict to sit through this, but I hope it will been informative if not totally enjoyable.

    Keeeep Dancing!!!

  • Comment number 59.

    Henson doesn't deserve to be in the competition,never mind the semi- finals.Seems unjust that 1 of the 4 other contestants who can actually dance has to leave in the same week as that pos.

  • Comment number 60.

    Can anyone tell me where is Lilia this year.(Darrens wife)

  • Comment number 61.

    angela @60

    Both Darren and Lilia have been visiting various countries and helping them to organise local versions of SCD under licence to the BBC.

    On one IT2 Darren was explaining to Claudia how he had been listening to music in Turkey (I think?) and telling the Producers "That's a Waltz. That's a Foxtrot and so on.

    According to Wiki "The couple are currently starring in a West End dance show, Latin Fever, which they have choreographed themselves, as well as choosing the music and costumes to reflect the mood of each Latin dance."
    I know that Latin Fever was on tour earlier this year but the last time I knew it was in the West End it was showing at the Sadlers Wells Theatre in 2009.

    If you are really missing them try this:


    You will have Ctrl + Click to open it.

    Keeeep Dancing!!!

  • Comment number 62.

    re 58, Chaswick - thank you for posting that clip, it was quite an eye opener. A lot of couples were near dropping towards the end so the stamina of each of our couples will need to see them performing at a high level for so much longer than the mere 90 seconds they have been used to. The DWTS contestants didn't look anywhere near as polished as ours so the SCD version can only look better. I shouldn't, but I am getting an "exhaustion league" in my mind already! I do not envy Len, trying to get all the judges to agree, but it looks like incredible fun!

  • Comment number 63.

    Hope Matt and Aliona do well in the swingathon, a great couple with good drive, energy and rhythm..... though not the judges favourites!!! Fear that Len & co, will just give their 'pets' top marks, regardless of how they dance. Don't say it can't happen....it already has!!!

  • Comment number 64.

    although the judges seem to recognise the natural talents of Kara and Matt, they don't seem to mark them according to ability, for instance, Matt has never been out of the top three but has hardly received any tens....

    would just like to wish both Kara and Matt all the best for the semi's, hopefully they'll get through to the final - good luck xx

  • Comment number 65.

    All couples looking good in training on ITT tonight. Well, maybe Gavin needs a bit more practice but the clip could have been from Monday. Kara looked sharp, Scott put his versatility and energy in, Pamela was step perfect and graceful - could this be their night?

  • Comment number 66.

    Bit late to suggest this really!and sorry if someone already has.
    But bit concerned judges will spend too much time quibbling during swing A thon rather than observing.
    Maybe each judge been given the opportunity to vote off a couple in turn would work better.
    The judges full attention would then be on what's in front of them and each in turn would take responsibility in removing a pair.
    5 couples, 4 judges perfect, might reduce the judges pet factor too.
    Very exited though this could be a really good weekend of dancing, legwarmers crossed


BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.