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Leaderboard - Wembley

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BBC Strictly Nora | 19:59 UK time, Saturday, 19 November 2011

Our celebrities pulled out all the stops for our Wembley spectacular, and it was a night of 'firsts' from the show's biggest dance floor to Alex and James rising to joint first place on the leaderboard along with Chelsee and Pasha. Shooting star Russell failed to reach any further than the bottom despite spending his routine soaring over the heads of a record 6,000 excited Strictly fans. Here are the all-important scores on the floors for Week 8...


Here are the scores on the floors for Week 8


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  • Comment number 1.

    Yipee Alex & Chelsee!!!!

  • Comment number 2.

    Well done Alex. You did really well and how nice to hear James being such a gentleman. Love Chelsee as always. She is a natural. They both deserve to be at the top of the leader board.

  • Comment number 3.

    I thought tonight's show was dreadful. I love Strictly but the show at Wembley was far too big, too echoey, I could not hear the music properly, it got lost in the atmosphere, the stage was too big, the camera work was terrible, too far to see the dancers, I could not actually "see" the dancers dance, the whole atmosphere was completely lost. None of the dancers made any impression on me with the slight exception of Chelsee. She came across the best. Sorry didn't like it at all.

  • Comment number 4.

    I like Russell but his dancing is no better than day 1. His marks are generous.

    Wembley is not the right venue for Strictly and nobody did well IMO.

  • Comment number 5.

    Hated it. Too loud, too much hyping of the audience and general hysteria. The dancing got lost in amongest the lights and noise and VTs. While I understand that time is needed to set the stage for the next dance, the VTs were just ... stupid.

    And Len came right out and told us why he doesn't like Harry - 'be quiet, there's a nasty streak in you', or something like that. What on earth is Len on about? Harry's a decent, quiet, hard-working man. Len's the one with the 'nasty' streak in him.

  • Comment number 6.

    I agree that Wembley as a venue just didn't work. Far too big to see the dancing, dreadful camera work, didn't enjoy it at all.

  • Comment number 7.

    for me the show was terrible tonight i have been a big fan of this show for years but tonight just did not work. please bbc do not go back to wembley again.

  • Comment number 8.

    Whilst I loved the venue and the effect of the huge audience, tonight's SCD was not as excellent as normal. I have to agree with Melanie that there were sound and camera issues which were of a lesser quality and detracted from the enjoyment of the show. "Echoing" is to be expected and should have been taken into account for the TV audience. The "flying" cameras are particularly annoying and do not allow viewers to watch the dance continuously. The scoring by the judges is getting worse to the point where suspicions of "rigged marking" are starting to emerge. Jason is a case in point. His dance was phenomenal but flawed as a result of his mistake. However he still managed to achieve a score to gain equal third! In addition, there are consistent discrepancies in the level of marking of certain celebs who do not seem to be as good as the marks would suggest!!??!!

  • Comment number 9.

    Far too big a venue and can we please get back to ballroom dancing. The show from Wembley was a let down

  • Comment number 10.

    awful show tonight. the venue was far too big and really spoilt it for me. please bbc keep it more intimate and leave wembley for the rock stars

  • Comment number 11.

    I don't think for one minute that Len doesn't like Harry but if Harry was going to interrupt and argue with Len who had just offered some constructive criticism then Len has every reason to say (politely but firmly) that there was a nasty streak in him. The only week when I have disagreed with Lens criticism of Harry was last week when I think the only person (apart from Len) who knew what he was talking about when he accused them of a lack of passion was Karen Hardy. Apart from that Lens criticism of Harrys 2 previous ballroom routines have been fair enough because ballroom dances are supposed to do what they say on the tin - namely to be predominantly in hold and that wasn'the case with his waltz. It was almost 50 / 50 although I felt there was slightly more in hold. The hold was even more of an issue for their tango. It was a super routine but as Karen Hardy rightly said (to explain Lens comments) it was more of a show dance than a ballroom routine even though the passion was clearly visible but the majority of it was out of hold. I like Harry but whether you liked Lens comments or not the fact is the truth hurts sometimes.

  • Comment number 12.

    Did not like it at all!!! It was too big and the dancers were lost in that big open space. Well, that is why it is called ballroom dancing! It needs a ballroom and not an arena. Strictly, seem to have commercial this week and some how lost it nice, cosy feeling of its usual environment. As for the celebrities, they were not their best, least to be said. There no 10 points to be seen. Sorry Strictly did not get this one right.

  • Comment number 13.

    Jason, 34 for a routine that was generally poor due to bad Wembley acoustics, and had a glaring error in it, plus illegal lifts. I know the judges love him but be fair to the other contestants.

    Chelsee looked good on her own at the beginning ... but then lost the feel of the dance when Pasha came along. Odd. Blame Wembley. And the BBC for dragging the show there just to be able to say 'Biggest Strictly Ever!'

  • Comment number 14.

    Not quite the same as Blackpool. Wonder why they didnt go there this year? Also did not like the music tonight.

  • Comment number 15.

    I have to agree with most of the other comments wembley was not the right venue for strictly.The venue was just too big.It seemed to lose all the atmosphere that we normally get with strictly and i think the dancing showed this.None of the couples seemed to be comfortable tonight and i think it spoiled the show.

  • Comment number 16.

    I agree that tonight was a bit let-down :-(.

    The only dancers I really enjoyed were Chelsee and Jason (whom I thought coped brilliantly with the memory lapse). Jason's was potentially the best dance of the night.

    Strictly is becoming too big and too showbizzy - real ballroom dancing seems to be flying out of the window attached to Russell...too many props, too much 'faffing about', too little attention to steps, footwork, too many illegal lifts, too much gimmickry and not enough substance.

    The music is awful and inappropriate to many of the dances - traditional dance music is hardly ever used :-(. I know the judges loved Alex and James but their routine left me cold - I think mostly because of the really awful music - absolutely and totally 'Relax' is NOT tango music!!

    As for the VTs of 'here they are in training'...they're becoming sillier and shallower every week. Only about 5-10 seconds of all the guff seems to actually show any 'training'.

    Oh, dear...I do love Strictly but it's going down the pan to quite an extent, I fear.

    One very disappointed and grumpy fan here :-((

  • Comment number 17.

    Please, back to the studio and Blackpool. No more Wembley, please. Thank you in anticipation.

  • Comment number 18.

    Now that I have got my relative defense of Len out the way I can talk about tonight. I agree with all of you that tonights show wasn't perfect by any means but I wouldn't write off SCD shows at Wembley off just yet. I am not going to be quite as scathing as Melanie about the couples performances because I thought apart from Chelsee that Alex and Harry stood out.

    I don't think Artem did Holly any favours by dancing tonight. It was nice to see him back but having had an inflamed nerve he should have rested and let Brendan dance with her (and made that decision midweek so Holly could perform that quickstep a bit better). Having said that I don't think her outfit helped. She is too young and beautiful to wear something like that. Artem may have escaped any injury from this weeks routine but (should Team Hartem survive for another week) the biggest test of how his back is will come if they have to do a latin next week and for that reason I suggest that Brendan hangs around because despite tonight his work with Holly might not be done yet.

    Jason was once again overmarked. Having made so many mistakes at the end it was straight 8s at best. It was a shame because it was clear he had put a lot of effort in to this and when Ian saw their training for this jive he put it potentially in the same bracket as Jill & Darrens perfect jive from the series 2 final in Blackpool.

    Anita was a big disappointment with her samba. Don't know if she was overawed by the occasion or simply suffering a hangover from the shock of being in the bottom 2 last week and the marks were MAYBE slightly generous. Robbie put on a good show of entertainment. He certainly displayed plenty of energy in that salsa although the judges seemed to feel it was a bit too hectic and lacking of control which is an easy trap to fall in to if you get in to one of these latin dances.

    As for Russell what can you say? Showstopping introduction and will doubtless be one of those moments to pull out of the SCD archives in years to come but as for actual dancing it was disappointing and harsh though it was Craigs comparison to dumbo was understandable. He flew at the start of the routine but once he landed he was heavy footed and lost his timing almost immediately.

    If SCD does return to Wembley I agree they will have to improve the camera work and the sound quality of the music but because of it's size it would be more appropriate if Wembley was used for either the semi final or final. Also good to hear Len put everyone on notice about illegal lifts as

  • Comment number 19.

    Pasopeter... Harry didn't interrupt Len. Shame on you blaming Harry and dressing it up as the truth.

  • Comment number 20.

    That last part was supposed to say: Good to hear Len put everyone on notice about illegal lifts as there have been quite a few during this series although they haven't been as noticeable since Team Nantons exit

  • Comment number 21.

    I thought all the dancers tonight were mediocre and all made mistakes and again some were overmarked !!!

    Just did not think that Alex and James did a Tango.( I dont think this years Celeb's are a patch on last year's sorry )
    Just hated the venue far to large and far to noisy really disappointed.

  • Comment number 22.

    I cannot say anything much that is positive about the show tonight, it was too loud, the lights were glaring and off putting, the arena was too big, much better when it was at Blackpool and I think some of the celebrities would have danced better there than at Wembley.
    I don't understand the marking system as the scores given often don't reflect the performance, I like Jason and hope he is there at the end but he was overmarked tonight, personally I think Harry will be in the finals but I hope the British public will come to their senses and vote Russell off, I thought he was okay at the start and I know he loves the show and all that's in it, but he can't dance, it is after all Strictly Come Dancing, not Strictly entertaining and as for the the bits showing the training sessions, they are stupid and unnecessary, we won't to see them training not acting the fool.
    I sincerely believe that Wembley affected most of the contestants tonight in a negative way, in short I think this week's show was the worse in this series.

  • Comment number 23.

    The Wembly venue was an unmitigated disaster in most respects. The lighting was distracting, an 8 year old could do the sound a lot better, the dance area was to big and was unfair on the dancers.

    In general the show seems to be loosing its core function which is a dance competition. There is to much personal information about the contestants and proffesionals. Lets get rid of the peripheral rubbish and concentrate on the competation.

    Lets keep children in need out of from the main series. If you want to contribute to CIN put on a seperate show.

    I feel sad having to make these comments as it detracts from commenting on the dancing. I think it would be unfair to put anyone out this week because of the venue.

  • Comment number 24.

    Did not think much od the venue, nor the music chosen for the dances.

  • Comment number 25.

    Hi ojtocs. Let me first of all clear up what I was referring to as the truth. I was talking about Lens criticism of Harry & Alionas waltz and tango because Len said that there wasn't enough in hold and based on how ballroom dancing is supposed to be portrayed he was telling the truth - more so with the tango than the waltz.

    As for tonights meeting between Harry and Len, I didn't say that Harry definetely interrupted Len. I said that Len was within his rights to make the comment he did IF Harry was going to interrupt. Whether he did or not we don't know but it doesn't make sense that Len should interrupt himself midway through giving Harry some constructive criticism if something either wasn't said or wasn't about to be said. Having said that not everything the judges say or do makes sense

  • Comment number 26.

    PS. I think we need some honesty regarding the results show. If it is live on sunday then lets keep the phone lines open until the sunday show is being broadcast. Its strange that the audience on sunday are in exactly the same positions. At least every one could speak without worring that they were going to let tha cat out of the bag that the show is recorded on Saturday.

  • Comment number 27.

    I don't know who is going to leave. It wouldn't suprise me (especially after tonights performance) if Anita found herself in the bottom 2 again, hopefully with Russell. He has certainly entertained over the series so far and provided another show stopping moment but apart from that he was clearly the worst dancer and wasn't as entertaining as usual (on the floor anyway) whereas Robbie was. Hopefully it will be Russell with Anita in the bottom 2 with the astrologer having reached for a star too many.

  • Comment number 28.

    I agree with others that this weeks' Show was so over-hyped and turned out to be a great disappointment. The BBC seems to be doing it's utmost to ruin SCD! As to yet another week of Len Goodman's bad tempered behaviour, well it beggars belief. A couple of weeks back he seemed to think illegal lifts were acceptable, he said " you can't make a good omelette without breaking eggs" or words to that effect. Now suddenly he condemns them! What is going on?

  • Comment number 29.

    Think Wembley may be one of those venues where you have to be there. It certainly did not work on the small screen (though we did see more footwork) ;-)

    @ paspoter and ojtocs I think Len was annoyed with the audience who were interrupting him rather than Harry or Aliona. There again he did not even get the right dance style, referring to a Samba when they were doing a Salsa.

  • Comment number 30.

    I think the BBC should agree that the word Wembley will not be mentioned again unless it's Match of the Day. They should also not insist that poor old Zoe goes into overdrive about it being the most fantastic show ever when it was patently awful. Children in Need was yesterday and most of us gave money then. Tonight had nothing to do with it and was just yet another poor decision from the producers who seem to have completely lost the plot. The overwhelming concensus seems to be that this was a pretty awful show

  • Comment number 31.

    Pasopeter... Fair enough. It's just I don't think Harry's got a mean bone in his body and I can't understand why Len would say he has. Harry's always taken praise and criticism in the same gracious manner and tonight was no different (IMO)

  • Comment number 32.

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

  • Comment number 33.

    Disappointed with wembley. I may be a biased northerner, but did not have the atmosphere of Blackpool. Why was there a raised area in the middle of the stage? It really interfered with the choreography. Don't leave the studio unless the destination is a ballroom. Despite the venue, well done Alex, Chelsea and Jason. Also agree with previous comments about pretence of "Sunday" results show. Either film on a Sunday or give viewers the results on a Saturday once lines have closed.

  • Comment number 34.

    I have to agree with all of you who thought the venue didn't work. Much too big and loud. The dancers were lost in the space. Please don't go back there BBC Blackpool was much better

  • Comment number 35.

    I hope the BBC read these comments,yes the venue was to big, it didnt dazzle as usual. Lets be fair to all the contestants, it was not their fault that the dances looked "off" The venue was far to big, However, some are better dancers than one or two in the line up. Anita, always seems slumped over and her leg work is very lazy, she does deserve to be in the bottom 2 this week, and as for the music they danced to, did they really think that was Samba music??? I thought the best out there tonight (and none were spectacular) were Harry, Chealsee and Alex. Alex didnt make one mistake, and you actually heard James say well done to her. The scoring though proves who the judges favour. Len doesnt like Aliona, so he marks them the way he does because of it, (poor Harry) Craig adores Jason, Alisha and Bruno seem to be the only 2 who see the dances for what they are and mark appropriately.(although the odd 10 has been over used on one couple's dances) Who should go? the worst dancer of course. C'mon British public use your common sense.

  • Comment number 36.

    So well done Alex and James, you actually were the best dancers tonight and deserve to be at the top.

  • Comment number 37.

    Thought tonight was really good but leave Wembley for the tour. the entertainment level was high and as i don't come from a ballroom background i look for that. though i have watched enough strictly to know bad footwork and placing rather than actual dancing. I'd like to point out Len undermarked Matt last year as well. Maybe he just hates Aliona though other than that lift/jump she put in Rav Wildings Tango and that small slip up of saying she doesn't listen to the judges, she hasn't done anything wrong.
    But anyway, loved the show but sucks that i have to wait until at least 11pm to watch it on iplayer and miss all the blogging during the show or pay for a tv licience. downside to uni.

  • Comment number 38.

    For us watching at home, Wembley was a big, big mistake for all the reasons already stated. May also have to give It Takes Two a miss for a few days as can't bear the over-the-top 'Wembley was the greatest show ever' follow-up that will undoubtably happen. It truly wasn't - it was the worst. I feel sorry for the celebs and professional dancers this week. BBC, please stick to the studio or proper dance venues in future. Oh, and get rid of the silly VTs and props while you're at it.

  • Comment number 39.

    I agree with others who found the venue poor. The sound had an appalling echo. The cameras were positioned/zoomed right back to give a feeling of size, when actually, viewers just want to see the dancing, not some moving dots on the horizon ... oh, and many of the celebrities appeared to struggle to cover the vast dancefloor with any semblance of control and timing. I could also go on about the excessive intros and overblown razamatazz. Len had obviously been gagged from making his usual feelings known ... but some of the routines were half way through before the dancing started. A normally great show, ruined. Why mess with a winning formula and squander funds saved from axing excellent dramas like Outcasts? Not a wise management of limited resources in my humble opinion.

  • Comment number 40.

    I thought tonight's show was amazing and I loved every minute of it. Congratulations to everyone for daring to do something a bit different - it was great fun.

  • Comment number 41.

    Really disapointed strictly fan...........was so looking forward to tonights wembley show but really feel let down.....dance area was far too large and the raised central area really didnt work in my opinion.
    I found all couples took a step backwards tonight :(
    Bring back Blackpool!

  • Comment number 42.

    The occasion seemed to get the better of the dancers. Agree that the VT's have become beyond stupid, not sure if anyone has seen the US equivalent but they seem to have maintained the dance focus and have good ideas like an encore of the best dance of the weekend. The UK producers seem to be unable to stop tampering with a winning formula which for me began with the ousting of Arlene.

  • Comment number 43.


    Everyone daring to do something a bit different was just the BBC in over their heads!

    None of the dancers, professionals or celebrities, performed at their best. Such a vast arena with no ambiance, overwhelmed everybody.

    And you must have a better sound system than I have on my TV, because I thought I was in an echo chamber.

    Think about it. Two people dancing together is really quite intimate.

    The words Wembley and intimate are not exactly synonymous.

  • Comment number 44.

    14. shanc8 they didn't go to Blackpool because they are having the final there this year.

  • Comment number 45.

    Loved the show, didnt love Wembley - or all reasons already stated. Bruno complained that Harry was doing big steps and so his bum/ hips were in the wrong place. Well I guess thats because the choroegraphy had to be so ridculously over exagerated in that aircraft hanger of a venue. Lets have Strictly Come Dancing,......... strict! and in human scale beautiful ballrooms. Go Cheslee for the Cup!

  • Comment number 46.

    Iagree with all the comments about Wembly. Please, please let us have Kaen Hardy as one of the judges next year to replace the arm flappkng Alesha, this is enough to put anyone off.
    Mustr admit Holly danced much, much better with Brendan, she doiesn't seem very comfortable with Artem at all. the chrmistry is not here. Still think Jason will win

  • Comment number 47.

    I have been prompted to register out of irritation that the BBC has removed a contributor's comment which, to my reading, clearly broke no house rules, merely pointing out that the pretence of a live Sunday night results show is a sham. It wouldn't take an Einstein to work that out when the voting closes after only a few minutes – I do wonder why the Sunday papers have been complicit in maintaining the fiction. If 6000 people at "Wemberleee" (together with much of the blogosphere) can learn on Saturday evening that Russell's been sent packing, it's time the BBC stopped pretending and started adhering to its OWN rules. Honesty does matter as it happens.

    I echo the comments of others above about Weberleee and do hope Zoe Ball will desist from hamming it up about how amazing and special it all was. For the record, it wasn't. The usual formula is more successful – sometimes the celebs looked like they were doing a lap of the circuit just to cover the distances. Hardly "strictly ballroom".

  • Comment number 48.

    Agree with everyone over the venue.
    So pleased for Alex, not sure she deserved the top but she is SO improved and that should be what Strictly's all about.
    Unsafe: Anita, Holly and darling Russell especially, not his best *leaves room sobbing*

  • Comment number 49.

    I agree that the worst dancer should go and despite the showstopping entrance Russell was clearly the worst dancer. He is an entertainer but even so the entertainer runs out of time particularly if that is his main weapon.

    Ricky Groves found that out a couple of series ago. He was a real entertainer with his latin in particularand a useful ability in the ballroom but following his salsa in Blackpool he found himself in the dance off but rightly survived. He was lucky to survive the following week having found himself in the dance off against Phil & Katya (who had earlier that day got his highest score) but the latter made a key mistake when they did it again that saw Ricky & Erin survive only to go out the following week. Is Russell going to go out tonight? Time will tell

  • Comment number 50.

    Pasopeter... I'm sorry I was rather abrupt with you last night ☺☺

  • Comment number 51.

    We agree the venue was too big and the dancing suffered as a result of this.
    Sound was poor and too much echo.
    Len is just downright rude sometimes and some comments he makes are unacceptable.
    The VT fillers are just getting so cheesy and cringe-worthy, and with SCD take 2 it seems the BBC is just trying to flog the whole thing a little too hard - "who is this dancing in a fancy-dress costume?" etc.
    It is good to see those who come on and really improve and genuinely enjoy the whole thing but it sometimes feels the whole thing is getting over-egged. How many times do we have to listen to 'I really don't want to go out now" etc, we can get than on the X-Factor.

  • Comment number 52.

    Too echoey more like XFfactor than SCD. The dancing got lost in the size of the place and was poorer than usual because of that. Time Russell went.

  • Comment number 53.

    For the first time ever sonce Strictly started i had to turn it off, such a shame, myself and my wife absolutely love this show and its the highlight of every year. But, i think the people behind Strictly just went one step to far this time, the sound had such an echo it was unbareable to listen to. I imagine if you were in the audience it was amazing but for TV, totally wrong. I'm so surprised the BBC with all its experience could'nt see this would'nt work. such a shame, it was also obvious the delay in the sound had an afect on the dancers to as timing was way out for most. Please BBC stick to the strictly format we all love. Roll on next Saturday. Whilst I'm here, one more thing, why do you keep saying the Sunday show is held on the Sunday, we're not stupid, the audience never changes from saturday to sunday and the dancers are abviously still in the clothes and makeup they danced in on Saturdays show. PLEASE DON'T TREAT US LIKE IDIOTS BBC!

  • Comment number 54.

    49. Pasopeter

    Sadly because of the fact the top 4 have all tied (1st and 2nd on 35 and 3rd and 4th on 34) Russell have the leg up of having 3pts to carry toward any score he get's with the public leaderboard. I know it won't happen but knowing the public if Russell is 3rd in the public leaderboard and Holly is 6th they will both have 9pts which is in no way shape or form a fair reflection.

    Russell's 3pts in the judges leaderboard added to his 3rd place (worth 6pts) in the public leaderboard will give him 9pts. Holly, whose 6pts for 5th in the judges leaderboard added to the 3pts for getting 6th in the publuc leaderboard will also get her 9pts.

    Nobody performed to their best but we can see who stands out. And RG simply didn't.

  • Comment number 55.

    I completely agree with Melanie, the venue last night was not suitable for ballroom dancing, especially for a single pair. Too vast, too noisy, too echoey.
    Blackpool would have been better. Much better in a ballroom-like situation.
    Glad Alex was top. Come on girls you are much better than the boys.

  • Comment number 56.

    Agreeing with 51 - I feel the BBC in this programme is treating us like a lot of kids. Do stop trying to flog the programme it was much better as a ballroom dancing programme without all this hipe

  • Comment number 57.

    Thought the whole Wembley hysteria was over-done, I had to fiddle about with the tv remote to get the sound even basically right, couldn't see the dancing properly, the whole area was way too large. Some of the cosutmes, like Hollie's, were terrible - and that dreadful cat suit of Ola's left absolutely nothing to the imagination, revolting. I loved Chelsee, thought she was fantastic dancing on her own. I wish they would go back a bit to how it used to be with less fake tan, more glamour and really pretty dresses. And Len Goodman has had his time, he is a nasty piece of work, the crowd drowns out Craig with pantomime boos when I actually want to hear what he has to say because he is usually right and it it interesting to hear the advice he gives.

  • Comment number 58.

    57. Annie.

    About the costumes, to be fair the get-up that Harry wore left nowt to the imagination either.

  • Comment number 59.

    I have to agree with most of the adverse comments about the Wembley show. As I viewer I felt marginalised, almost an uninvited guest, with the whole presentation stacked in favour of the live audience. This was not "Strictly" as we know and love it.

  • Comment number 60.

    totally agree with all comments about last nights show,,,very poor viewing !!!! nobody , not even the professonal dancers looked anygood in this over size space, and the sound was just ridiculous, if the bbc carry on at this rate i feel they will lose a lot of viewers,....please get back to the normal strictly we all love,,,,,

  • Comment number 61.

    Is the idea that "the judges" and the public vote for the best partnership or the best celeb? If you're voting for the best celeb then you shouldn't be paying attention to bad or inappropriate choreography, or indeed to illegal lifts, as the choreography is down to the professional dancer. I'd expect Russell, Robbie and Anita to be despatched in short order. If, on the other hand, you're voting for the partnership I'd expect Ola and Robbie to be there till the end, because, even though Robbie's dancing is relatively weak, she is (IMHO) the best of the professionals as well as being really personable, lithe and all-round gorgeous.

  • Comment number 62.

    Very interesting to read everyone's comments this morning. There is a real consistency of thought that Wembley was a big mistake, so I hope the BBC listen to the fans and don't take Strictly there again.

    I agree with aimeeaimee that this year the contestants have not been as good as in previous years. It's only really Chelsee and Jason who seem to to display genuine talent, in my view. But the changes made to the show have meant that none of them gets much chance to improve - how much time is spent learning how to deploy the props and making the little films, rather than learning the dance, for example? In the early series of Strictly, they used to tell us how many hours each couple spent in training, and it would be interesting to get this information now. I can't believe many of this year's set has the time to put the hours in, and they must have to spend a significant amount of training time learning learning how to fly or be fired from a cannon etc. This means that each week, it all looks very much the same, as nobody comes out and shows any true improvement.

    I don't blame the BBC that this year's contestants are a fairly poor lot, as on paper it looked like a good bunch, but I do blame the BBC for making all these horrible changes that stop them from doing their best. It seems that BBC now chooses contestants according to a stereoptype, so that they've got their comedy turn, their bad boy, their "I'm so nervous yet grateful to the public for votoing for me" female contestant, their trooper, and their sexy young girl, and, having put them all in their little boxes they nail the lid down so that none of them can ever confound expectations. This, it seems to me, is the exact reverse of the original Strictly, where a lot of the pleasure was in seeing just how good (or bad) a very unexpected person could be at dancing.

    I wish we could put a preservation order on TV shows, as the original Strictly should have been Grade I listed so it couldn't be ruined like this!

  • Comment number 63.

    Really surprised to read so many negative comments - I loved tonight's show, despite the echo!

  • Comment number 64.

    I agree with Melanie (3) I didn't enjoy the show at all. Wembley Arena is too big, the acoustics were dreadful and we lost all the usual atmosphere and intimacy of the studio. An own goal I'm afraid. This is a competition not a spectacular! I felt the celebrities performances suffered as a result. Please stick to the ballroom in Blackpool in future after all dancing is what it was designed for.

  • Comment number 65.

    What a dreadful show! This series seems to herald the beginning of the end of this wonderful flagship programme for the BBC. It lacks the anticipated sense of excitement and engagement of previous years. The judging is dumbed down, many of the dances seem to focus on big bang impressions rather than the technical improvement of each celebrity etc. etc.... I want to feel the usual disappointment at the end of the series but at the moment this seems most unlikely. What a shame!

  • Comment number 66.

    Agree with everything MargaretB@62 said, wembley was just to big and didn't work, i was very disapointed at Len's comment to Harry, he work hard and never complains dont think he has a nasty streak in him.

  • Comment number 67.

    I agree with the comments that have been made so far, last night was painful to watch. In my opinion Wembly just didn't work. I look forward to next week when the show will be back to normal.

  • Comment number 68.

    Much as I love Strictly-and I really do- I actually switched off as I couldnt stand last nights edition. As previously stated it was too noisy, OTT lighting effects made it hard to see the dancing properly etc. I`m sure it was a big deal for those there but I found it a massive let down. Roll on next Saturday when we can see and hear properly and focus on the details. Strictly requires the intimacy provided by a TV studio and not the razzamattazz of a stadium show. Please dont do this again!!

  • Comment number 69.

    The clear objective to me was just to offer something of a spectacle to work as a goal for the celebs and little else. I
    The acoustics has been mentioned. But to add, because didn't know till last week's show the programme was going to go on the road to the Wembley Arena the idea that the show was the centre of some promotional machine with the audience is the focus market is something I don't believe exists, the central stage got in the way of a free flowing routine, it pains me to say this as a massive Queen fan but the pro group performance at the start wasn't the best either and the backing singers sung what was a poorly glued together medley of Queen songs.

    If Strictly' goes on the road for the annual show that isn't filmed in BBC Television Centre it must always stay at Blackpool.

  • Comment number 70.

    Can you please tell me - is the Saturday night show "The Bruce Forsyth Show" or "Strictly Come Dancing"? For the sanity of the viewing public, please give "Sir Bruce" his cards! The amateurish soft shoe shuffle and inane so-called "comdy prattle" would not be tolerated from anybody else. Doesn't he know he is past it and everybody is just being polite. Retire with dignity Bruce.

    Also last night's show from Wembley was too echoey. Couldn't hear a word anyone said. Worst show so far - because of the silly location.

  • Comment number 71.

    There has been lots of discussion as to whether an all male couple should appear of Strictly.
    Russell apparently said that if he dances with a man it would be daft. are people aware that there is a whole alternative world and national championships for same sex dancers. See the link for fab footage on You Tube of various male couples at the Eurogames 2011 in Rotterdam Jacky Jukebox

  • Comment number 72.

    I enjoyed last night, I can agree with some comments that the stage was too big and the dancers had a lot of ground to cover and the sound was echoey but overall well done BBC and everyone who took part, I wish I had been there in person as I imagine it was electrifying in the arena.

    And over £100,000 to Children in need.

    Regarding the dancing,

    I loved loved loved chelsea, thought she was so brave to do a solo piece in front of the crowd and well done Pasha for having the belief in her to pull it off.

    Robbie, oh robbie you are my favourite but I feel that your dancing was under par and also i don`t think ola choreographed the best dance, I felt it was all about a show dance rather than a SCD dance.

    Jason, over marked, it wash`t a bad performance but I feel a couple of points over marked, as they all mentioned his mistake and it wash`t a tine error.

    Harry, mmmmm i just cannot see his personality and that is what his dance always lacks for me, he has all the steps and he can move and I maybe in a minority but I feel aliona choreographs to Harry`s strengths. She haides his flaws well and showcases his strengths.

    Anita, I really felt for anita as I think the occasion took over and she lost her way, but still a good effort.

    Holly, i have the same feeling for holly as I do harry, I cannot see personality so cannot see the great dance and I am a little fed up of the judges saying there is "more to come" every week, I genuinely feel that maybe there isn`t.

    Alex and James, well done a good dance and probably one of the only not show dances with illegal lifts in of the night, but feel that maybe a point over marked.

    Russell, taxi for grant please! nothing else to say, well except for as a person I think a lovely guy but as a dancer, it`s time to go the competition is getting beyond your ability.

    For the bottom 2, I would like Russell to be there and leave but I worry that it could be Holly and Robbie, (Anita will have the pubic support after last week) with possibly Holly to go as i feel maybe Robbie was saved by Ola`s catsuit.

  • Comment number 73.

    Please don't use wembley again, i go to the tour every year and enjoy it. The show doesn't translate onto the small screen.
    Loved chelsee and pasha's samba, proper dancing, love Pasha.
    I am bored with the props and faffing about, also these so called funny vt's are awful, i want to see them training.

  • Comment number 74.

    I agree with everyone (most) else, I had my reservations when it was announced it would be Wembley rather than Blackpool for the mid term show.

    What an immense soulless monstrosity Wembley arena is. How is that venue ever going to work in presenting an intimate dance between two.

    Like others, I felt the dancing suffered as a result; even the opening pro dancers looked lost.

    I hope next year they reinstate the fabulous Blackpool Ballroom fro the mid term special. Isn't this purpose built for dancing with a sprung floor. I've always felt the dancing improved at this venue. It has an atmosphere and history about it that Wembley can never match.

    As an aside I am constantly appalled at the choice of music used for most of the dances. I think that particularly for the Latin dances a proper tune with representative rhythm would help the celebrities with the steps and in particular the accents. It would also make the most of the incredible big band as well.

    Lets keep it Ballroom and Big Band, it doesn't need to mirror or copy X Factor

  • Comment number 75.

    Well, I wonder if the BBC will listen to all these comments? Sadly, I fear they won't - people have been crying out for the return of Arlene, Karen Hardy, Darren and Lilia, Ian Waite, Matthew Cutler - for a return to the origins of Strictly - ie, teaching celebs to do learn proper ballroom dancing - for a return to integrity - for a long time now, yet nothing is done and in fact gets worse :-(.

    I really love Strictly and there have been some fantastic series (I didn't see the first one), but it's becoming more and more disappointing. It would appear that many people share this view, both on this blog and on the facebook threads.

    I just long for a return to the celebs learning real technique - the whole thing has become over-showbizzy, glittery and shallow.

    The costumes haven't been generally as good this year and I've missed the people who used to give intelligent and informed comment about them on ITT in the past (sorry, forgotten their names!).

    And I think the music choices have been really poor - as if someone has just stuck a pin in a list of 'hits' and thought, 'Oh, yes, everyone knows/will like this one'! I've said it before but the choice of 'Relax' was quite ridiculous and ruined Alex's tango for me.

    When I think back to REAL tangos of the past, like Zoe's, or Jill and Darren's jive - nothing this series (despite Alesha's ridiculous handing out of 10s like lollipops) has come ANYWHERE near dances like that.

    I love all the judges except for useless Alesha, but am sometimes disappointed with Len (whom I adore) - that comment to Harry last night did shock me. I'm fed up with all the booing when Len or Craig try to make constructive criticism.

    ARGH. All very sad and disappointing. Please read these comments, BBC!

  • Comment number 76.

    What a let down that was. Craig, normally the bastion of judging on dancing as opposed to popularity, gave Russell and Robbie the same marks, Len still appears to hold a grudge against Harry and Aliona after her comment on ITT about the judges.
    The sound at Wembley was awful, the camera work ranged from making me feel air sick to giving me eye strain trying to see the tiny dots of dancers in the distance. Please all in the production team, stay away from such large venues for the TV show. The VTs before each couple danced were more X factor than Strictly. 5 seconds of training footage followed by a load of nonsense. Roll on next Saturday where my favourite tv show returns to it's entertaining best. Until then fellow Strictly fans. Keeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep dancing.

  • Comment number 77.

    All in all, I think the Wembley show was pretty good although I do partially agree with the comments regarding the sound. Rather too much echo which lowered the quality of the sound when broadcast. Could have done with better mixing but for me personally it didn't detract too much from the actual dancing.

    As for those asking why was it not at Blackpool? I'm pretty sure that this years final will be coming from Blackpool. With Blackpool being so special, having the final there will do the event/place more justice IMHO.

    Jason was over marked considering the mistakes he made but only by a point or so. Following Len's system of docking a point or so for a mistake, the rest of his dancing/movement was pretty good.
    Bearing that in mind, you'd have thought Robbie Savage would have received higher marks considering the amount of effort/energy he applied and although he wasn't as 'clean' as Jason in all of his lines, he made less errors and his performance was much more 'pro like'. (i.e. Robbie looked like a pro having an off day where as Jason looked like a Celeb having a good go !).

    Congrats to Alex though on yet again showing a massive improvement and along with Chelsee, highly deserving of joint top place.

    Considering the massive task of hosting SCD at Wembley Arena, it wasn't *that* bad for a first attempt. Lessons will be learned and it will hopefully be better next year if they repeat it... 6000 tickets helping raise money for CiN more than compensated for any errors. After all, that is why SCD exists !! It's not ALL about the dancing...

  • Comment number 78.

    @ojtocs (31)
    I agree with you - it's a delight to see Harry and Aliona after the judges comments, whether good or nasty they smile to Tess and points out how everybody are entitled to their own opinion - compared to two of the others who are so utterly full of themselves it makes me turn down the sound when they talk. Sorry, they dance well but in this show it's actually the Pro dancers who are the big stars - not the celebs.

    Just a thought; if the judges are impartial, how can Jastina get the same score after illegal lift and ha huge hic-up as Team Hali without either illegals or glaring hic-ups? Or are the judges only supposed to mark the dance parts that are suppose to be in a routine of the dance in question? Then I can understand because the rest of it looked rather well for Jastina, though I still liked Hali better :)

    Nice to see Artem feeling good enough again to dance yesterday, but I agree with Margaret (46) that Holly danced much better with Brendan, seemed much more relaxed. Either way - well done Holly to cope with partner changes so well! Brendan you are a true gent to help her out!

    Go Teams Hali and Hartem!

  • Comment number 79.

    I thought the venue was too big. Didn't come over well on TV and the dances seemed to have been hyped up too much to compensate - not much ballroom this week. Hated Holly's dress, and Alex's was not a tango dress - was it so we couldn't see what her legs were not doing? I've been to Dancing on Ice Live Tour at Wembley and it's fine if you're there in the audience, but on TV you don't get the atmosphere and the poor dancers just seemed to have to run around that big plinth in the middle and try to show up as best they could. Stick to Blackpool or the Studios Beeb, although I realise it made lots of money for Children in Need.

  • Comment number 80.

    Hi all,

    Well I liked the show from Wembley last night might be in the minority here only complaint I would have to make was the lightning was a bit full on and being an epileptic I have to watch flashy lights but I was okay just have a headache this morning.

    Now Robbie, Robin and Harry thought they were performing at a sellout Dreamboys show I mean with these three plenty of hip thrusts and the three of them showing off their perfectly sculpted bare chests while whipping the audience into a frenzy though Robbie afraid you have a bit more work to do on the pectorials if you want to measure up to the likes of Robin, Pasha or Artem.

    But to the dancing and standouts Chelsee, Jason, and Harry all three did well and I didn't notice the mistakes because they were the three standout routines of the night for me.

    Bottom two performances and this is taking out Russell Grant because with the standing ovation and public support he still has I would reckon he is a show in for next week Robbie and Anita.

    Robbie I expected a better routine than the one he gave he had a really strong music choice but in my opinion totally wasted it by spending the time showing his bare chest and just thrusting his hips to much show not enough dance.

    Anita in the same league as Robbie more show not enough dance and the task fell to Robin to cover up the fact that they had a bad song choice by showing of his perfectly sculpted chest whipping the crowd into a frenzy and showing off the merchandise like he was performing at a Dreamboys show in all honesty Anita looked like a groupie being whipped up on stage for Robin to do an audience participation piece with her.

    As for the bottom two if we take out the Grant it might just be Anita and Robbie but I have this funny feeling that it could be a shock elimination this week just a feeling because Strictly knows how to play on your heart strings when it comes to voting playing the VT from last week with Anita feeling down about being in the bottom two I would like to see Anita go out on a high her swan song at Wembley but wonder will it happen.

    Keeeeeeeeep Dancing

  • Comment number 81.

    Just don't get this Chelsee Healey fan club without a question. She is a good dancer, this I grant, and deserves to be given the points she receives every week but I cannot believe she has got to this point just having a good teacher - from never danced to this in what, 11 or 12 weeks? In which case has anyone asked? Do you remember when people were actually accused on previous series for not owning up to it from stage school or whatever?

    Well my favourite is Harry Judd who looks as if he is having a great time. Chelsee will probably win the whole thing though........

  • Comment number 82.

    I agree with most of what has already been said...Wembley being the wrong venue....and those stupid VTs...but also I do feel that the whole ethos has changed....some of the professional dancers now behave as if they are the stars of the show and seem to have far too much to say for themselves and the dancing seems to be less ballroom and more Las Vegas .
    I think the BBc need to get the programme back to the way it used to be otherwise i think Strictly will follow in X Factor's steps and start to lose viewers.

  • Comment number 83.

    Len needs to make his mind up abouts lifts - a couple of weeks ago he said when Lulu and Brendan did a lift " sometimes you have to break an egg to make an omlette" last night for reasons only known to him he decided that lifts won't be tolerated any more!!!!! Does he just do this to become argumentitive with Craig!!!!!! I think this year the judges have come to the end of the line - Len's language last week was appaling and this week no better!!!!
    Come on strictly give us some consistent judges!!!

  • Comment number 84.

    Hi all,

    Every Strictly you do know ehen a couple have come to the end of the line well it happened with Robbie and Anita last night because those routines looked like their swan songs and if Robbie was like a pro having an off day then Robin looked like a pro having a day off though I'm not complaining he does have a very good chest kind of if you fancy a bit of rough to bring home to meet your parents.

    But getting back in my opinion Anita danced that Samba like she knew she was coming to her time up on Strictly and Robbie threw everything at that routine bar do the funky chicken but for me Robbie's routine let's go out on an ultimate high and Anita's Samba look defeatist like her swan song was being played.

    And I'm also thinking long term it's quarter finals in 2 weeks and in all honesty I don't think Team Savola and Dobbin will last the pace until then it pains me to say it but I would be happy to see Team Dobbin retire gracefully but to be honest I wouldn't be gutted if they stayed in another week because they are my favourite couple out of the 8 there but I would hate to see a shock elimination this week with a better couple to go out and I would be geuinelly shocked if it was one of the top 3 standouts.

    As for The Grant why is it when they do his bit on Len's Lens do I feel that this is predictable they do his bit last and he will definitley be saved this week surely the floor show has to come to an end soon.

  • Comment number 85.

    But by the way good luck Team Dobbin you still have my full support no matter what the outcome.

    Keeeeeeep Dancing

  • Comment number 86.

    I wanted to say that I absolutely loved the show coming from Wembly. I am a great strictly fan and do not watch it so I can complain; I watch it to enjoy myself. And I certainly did enjoy last nights show.

    I thought the staging, lighting, music, atmosphere were all wonderful.

    I thought the judges were much fairer and more reasonable in their scoring than usual. It was a really HAPPY show.

    We didn't experience any echo on the sound and thought the music was particularly good this week.

    I thought the excitement of all those taking part was transmitted to the audience. I was blown away by it.

    I watched for an hour and twenty minutes with a huge smile on my face. I can't wait until tonights show. I'm so looking forward to it despite not wishing to see any couple leave.

  • Comment number 87.

    It can pretty much all be summed up in one word really: WHY?

    I have said consistently that Wembley would not work as a venue for a television dance show and I have no professional expertise other than my eyes and common sense. So can anyone at the BBC explain the thinking behind it and the sheer waste of money? They seem to have forgotten they are a broadcaster not a promoter.

  • Comment number 88.

    Just read in my TV mag that it's quater finals the weekend after next and one prediction you can definitley count on will be.

    If The Grant doesn't go this week the curtain will most definitley falling on The Russell Grant Show next weekend.

    Just my prediction will comment more on the quarter finals after I see the results show this evening.

  • Comment number 89.

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

  • Comment number 90.

    I agree with most people I didn't enjoy the show at all. Wembley Arena is too big, the acoustics were dreadful and we lost all the usual atmosphere and intimacy of the studio. An own goal I'm afraid. This is a competition not a spectacular! I felt the celebrities performances suffered as a result. Please stick to the ballroom in Blackpool in future after all dancing is what it was designed for.
    The result show will be interresting I hope this is the last time we see Russell as we are soposed to in a Dancing Contest.
    Just one more time B.B.C do go to Wembley again it is not suitable for this kind of show.

  • Comment number 91.

    Aka Bee I have wondered for the last couple of weeks if the voting was rigged. I hope not.
    Jason and Russell seem overmarked. Robbie doesnt seem to get enough publicity (seems they try to leave him out of some things such as stuff that is covered generally. Worried as he might go out tonight but it must have been very hard going first especially as he had hardly danced before (only at his wedding to the beautiful sarah) He has done very well so far. Surely the opening dance should have been given to someone more experienced such as Jason though I can understand why they gave it to Robbie.
    Was disappointed because venue to big for the dancers so none danced well. Jason should have been a lot lower than he was. And no I havnt got it in for Jason.....lol. Alex and Chelsee were both the best. Hubby and I had a disagreement as I would have put Chelsee top and Alex a very close second. In fact I think Chelsee will win the series though Robbie and Ola go very well together.
    Robbie When you put your hair up is it in a bun or a pony tail? You seem to know when its best to have it up or down for a dance..........lol

  • Comment number 92.

    Wembley was a D I S A S T E R darling. Didn't enjoy it one bit . Too big and intimacy of television ballroom lost.

  • Comment number 93.

    agree withyou all Wembley much too big & it was more like a final what has happened to Strictly it's all show dances & props bring back everyone doing the same dance same night so we can compare who can dance & who can't. last night first time Harry danced without Aliona in front of him all the time highlighted he's not very good & how many times can Aliona spin in one dance the judging also has gone to pot Jason was awful yet he got good marks are the judges seeing something were not

  • Comment number 94.

    Did defo not enjoy the show last night
    Thought it was terrible and a huge let down

    None of the dancers were any good
    Most of them completely lost it
    One was ofcourse just plain awful - again (you know who I mean & he's gotta go)

    Hope the next series will go a bit "back to basics" with some proper dancing

  • Comment number 95.

    I agree that last night was a big disappointment - the BBC got it wrong - but will it admit it _ NEVER!!!!

    it is time for Russel to go but I bet he doesn't. Anita wasn;t very good either maybe it is her time too.

    I agree the judges overmarked Jason - but do not understand why.

    Len is getting too rude and cannot handle TV very well - it is time for him to be replaced - with KAREN HARDY or IAN WAITE who would both make fantastic judges.

    Back to the studio and no Wembley again please BBC.

  • Comment number 96.

    I agree that Wembley was too big and noisy
    I also wish the BBC knew how to score
    Alex & Chesee 1st = receive 8 points correct
    Harry & Jason 3rd equal receive 6points not 7 BBC
    Holly 5th receives4 points etc leaving Russell who was 8th to get 1 point.
    I would also support the opinion that Karen Hardy be a judge.
    But then being innumerate unike being illiterate is not socially damming

  • Comment number 97.

    The Grant goes tonight securicor 123 now this I would like to see because that crowd were on their feet last night with him and he has a wave of public support even Kylie is supporting him.

    I'll believe it when I see it I'll leave it at that.

    Keeeeeeeep Dancing

  • Comment number 98.

    PLEASE BBC get back to basics i.e. a dancing competition, professional constructive comments by the judges and less fooling around. Strictly is now more like a variety show and sometimes like a pantomime. Didn't like the show at Wembley. I appreciate the dancers worked hard for the event but I don't think they were at their best. Couldn't tell what some of the dances were supposed to be. I'm afraid SCD is not as good as it used to be and is not "must watch" viewing for me any more. Alice

  • Comment number 99.

    Sadly it didn't work for Wembley - acoustics were dreadful and we had trouble seeing the dancers actually dancing due to the distance and zooming cameras. All atmosphere was lost which was such a shame. Great for people who were able to be there in person I'm sure, but not for us in Tellyland!

  • Comment number 100.

    Just a thought BBC

    If you are planning on taking Strictly away from the studio next year to a bigger venue, rather than Wembley, how about The Royal Albert Hall. It may not hold 6,000 but at least the dance area would be of a more suitable size and I'm sure be better for the viewers.


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