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Week 9 - Pre-show nerves

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BBC Strictly James | 13:00 UK time, Friday, 25 November 2011

We are just over three weeks away from the final of Strictly, so the couples are going to have to pull out all the stops if they want to make it to Blackpool.

This week the couples will also take part in the 'Swing-A-Thon' for a chance to win some extra bonus points - will this add to their nerves? We caught up with some of the remaining celebs and pros including new pairing Anita and Brendan to see how they're feeling ahead of this week's Strictly.

Watch the pre-show reactions clip:

Watch the first rehearsal clip.


  • Comment number 1.

    yes - can't wait! Even if it turns out to be chaotic I still think the Swingathon will be fun to watch. :)

    Go Teams Hali, Hartem and Jalex!

  • Comment number 2.

    Natrick... I cried with laughter when I watched the swingathon last year. I can't wait ☺☺

  • Comment number 3.

    Hi all,

    A nice cross section of dances and yet another battle this week the battle of the Charleston's this week between Alex and James and Jason and Kristina.

    But getting back in my opinion there are 5 couples there and 5 dance routines worthy of a qauter final place and unfourtunatley two dances and two couples worthy of the bottom two and it may shock you to believe who I think should go home this week.

    The standouts for me this week are the two Charleston's Jason and Kristina and Alex and James to two high kicking music choices which bring you back to the era of the 20's and these two if danced right are worthy of quater final places though my biggest doubt lies with Jason because he lost it last week on the last part of his jive and if he looses the steps this week well let's just say we are at the business end of the competition now and the couples have to up their game and one mistake could prove costly.

    Chelsee and Pasha again fantastic music choice complimented with a fantastic dance routine the Argentine Tango Chelsee is now passionate and now dedicated to the competition she aced it last week I expect nothing different this week.

    Now Harry and Aliona and Holly and Artem both have fast dances the quickstep and foxtrot but again rubbish music choices especially Holly and Artem I keep saying it and I'll say it again why can't Dave Arch's orcheastra be put to good use he has a strings and trumpet section have big band music choices for the ballroom dances not pop songs nothing against them just wrong for the dance style but getting back no doubt Len will find fault with Harry and Aliona again this week but he comes back week after week and delivers.

    It's Holly and Artem that I have the doubt about their quickstep last week was just to full on every inch of the floor covered and some timing lost and it comes down to one basic thing missing chemistry I just don't feel the love with them and that is probarbly what the public felt last week to put them in the bottom two.

    Now for the bottom two and it's Anita and Brendan and Robbie and Ola this week again and I believe the latter Robbie and Ola maybe in danger this week because Robbie has the Samba this week and we can expect him topless bumping and gyrating and him shaking it all about and in all honesty the public may be just bored at this stage the same old thing just dusted off for another week.

    Anita and Brendan now I don't like their choice of music Uptown Girl the music choice belongs more in a Rock%

  • Comment number 4.

    Sorry didn't get my post finished so Anita and Brendan not to happy with the music choice Uptown Girl would be more suited to a Rock and Roll dance than a Cha Cha and also the fact that Anita might have trouble keeping up with Brendan.

    But there is one advantage they have and that is the Swing a Thon because if they can last a good amount of time they pick up extra points though if Anita is knackered beforehand kiss goodbye to that.

    In my opinion going home is Team Savola and it comes down to the fact of Anita having to change partners and I also read a comment as well about Robin Windsor being the No 1 gay pinup and in my opinion his sexy body got them over the line last week and it would be enough to keep them in for the quater finals the following week so for dusting the same old routine off for another week Team Savola for the taxi home.

    Keeeeeeep Dancing

  • Comment number 5.

    Surely it has to be Robbie's turn to go this week?!

  • Comment number 6.

    Hi Fergal. A good analysis. I think Harry, Chelsee and Jason will be safe. Holly and Alex will be fairly safe. Anita and Robbie not so safe. Unless the swingathon skews the result but I doubt it.

  • Comment number 7.

    Hi ojtocs,

    It does come down to the swing a thon and the extra bonus points which may change things quite considerably.

    Thoush as you said you doubt it and I agree but Robbie as we have seen is like the Duracell bunny he lasts longer even under pressure and I refer to the energy he showed at Wembley last week.

    Anita on the other hand is like the other battery fades very quickly but one couple Robbie and Ola have a fast dance the Samba and Anita and Brendan have a slow dance the Cha Cha and the question is this.

    Which couple will be knackered first before the swing a thon even begins.

    My answer Robbie and Ola.

    Keeeeeeep Dancing

  • Comment number 8.

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

  • Comment number 9.

    It's interesting to think whose going to be in the bottom two this week - I think it could well sadly be Anita and Brendan and the other couple in danger may be Robbie and Ola - Robbie has been working hard to increase his fanbase - appearing in football stadiums and networking on radio - but I still think he isn't up to the standard of some of the other dancers and could well be in danger. It was a shock to see Holly in the bottom two at Wembley, but her foxtrot is looking good this week - but I'm still not sure why she and Artem didn't receive more votes last week - she is a lovely fun person and is a very graceful dancer - I just wonder if the women are not voting for her for whatever reason - but if not voting for her, then you would think they'd be voting for Artem wouldn't you? perhaps that Artem is the reigning champion is working against him perhaps! Jason and Kristina I'm sure will be working even harder this week, looks like they have a great storyline for us this week and should get easily through again this week. Chelsee and Pasha have had much more time this week to rehearse and their A. Tanga appears from training footage to have great steps and exciting lifts in it, so they too hopefully will be safe. Alex is improving in leaps and bounds and what looks like a very funny charleston should also see them through to next week. Really looking forward to the swingathon should be great fun.

  • Comment number 10.

    flatfeet, everything you say is bang on, BUT in the end it's about chemistry and Holly and Artem just don't catch fire.

  • Comment number 11.

    Fergal, I agree with your analysis about music.

  • Comment number 12.

    Now for my final thoughts as I will be working tomorrow and will not be able to comment until Sunday but I will call in during the show to see what is beng said on the blogs.

    So there are three potential quater final dances and for me they are.

    Chelsee and Pasha
    Alex and James
    Jason and Kristina

    Chelsee and Pasha in my opinion are head and shoulders above the rest for me they have a passionate Argentine Tango with a great choice of music lifts and great steps thrown in for me they have defnitley booked their tickets to Blackpool for the final said it from the start they statrted of slowly but have since peaked in this competition.

    Alex and James are improving leaps and bounds as stated and I can't wait for their Charleston it sounds like a great routine from what I've heard another couple that made a slow start but are slowly peaking as well.

    Jason and Kristina now the biggest worry for me is Jason he lost his footing and steps with his Jive last week and the risk that Jason has been going backwards one week forward the next would be a worry and with this competition hotting up the stakes are high and the slightest mistake will be noted with the public.

    Holly and Artem the debate about chemistry rages on and well in my opinion the public are not votiong for Holly and Artem because the public only see Artem dancing with Kara they were the golden couple of Strictly 2010 when they stepped out on the floor you could just feel the love between them and were cheering them on to win but with Holly there is no fire no passion and she will always be compared to Kara.

    Harry and Aliona no doubt Len will be nit picking finding fault but he is improving week after week and this week's dance should be a showstopper and with a great music choice.

  • Comment number 13.

    Now for the bottom two and swing a thon now as I said Anita and Robbie for me this week and it comes down to the music and dance choices.

    Robbie he has a great music choice and great dance choice but the problem it's tried and tested just the same routine he used 3 weeks ago recycled and dusted down expect Robbie to be shaking his hips, thighs and crotch and whipping his shirt off just the same but with a different colour of shirt.

    Anita and Brendan she may have changed partner but it won't change her rating this competition is now hotting up and personally Team Doble/Dobbin are really lacking behind the rest but to give her dues she may just carry it off because she has a good chereographer in Brendan but I'm not to sold on the music choice.

    My choice at the moment for taxi home this week is Robbie and Ola just simply for dusting off the same old routine and expecting Robbie whipping his shirt to get them over the line.

    Now for the swing a thon with this depends on what sort of celeb partner the pro has and as it is a last couple standing routine the review is.

    Out of the men Robbie and Harry will lead in energy and stamina as both are very fit and can last the distance though Robbie maybe a little to knackered to keep up but with the bonus points up for grabs Anita and Robbie could do with lasting the longest on the dancefloor.

    Goodnight all
    Will call in during the evening and read the views
    Keeeeeeeeeep Dancing

  • Comment number 14.

    Thanks figaro it just depends on what dance goes with what music and in all honesty I believe Dave Arch's orchestra is being seriously underused.

    All ballroom dances such as Foxtrot and American Smooth should be complemented with a big band music choice bring us back to the days of MGM, Fred and Ginger and I simply a pop song basically ruins a ballroom dance and should be more suited to a Latin dance.

    Well that's all for me tonight
    Keeeeeeeeep Dancing

  • Comment number 15.

    Fergal 13 & 14: agree that your 3 will probably be the finalists - though sorry for Holly and Artem as they are very good.

    Also, would love to hear at least more of a mixture of pop and more traditional dance music that suits the style. SCD appeals across all age ranges so there should be something for everyone - and a good tune is always a good tune!

  • Comment number 16.

    Cant wait to see the swingathon tomorrow!
    Anita and Holly in bottom 2, Anita going home - like them both but it is getting near the final now where only the best will survive.
    Come on harry!!

  • Comment number 17.

    @5 dozydinks

    Certainly should be! That's if there's any justice in this world!

  • Comment number 18.

    Absolutely agree with you Fergal, the choice of music for some of these dances is awful! Jessie J for a foxtrot???? Pulleeeze. It could ruin it. As you said, with all that orchestra to use surely the choice of music should have been something classy and traditional. You have to admire Pasha, he always gets the music choice right, in keeping with the mood of the dance. Fantasic choice for the AT - moody and South American not some pop nonentity.

  • Comment number 19.

    I have mentioned for weeks on this blog about the music choices since week 1 I believe. I have told pros to use Michael Buble 'Call me Irresponsible' for American smooth. God help us if we have to use anymore repeated song in this series.

    Can I be on the production team for music choices. Apparently the pros have to agree with the songs with the producers. My sis said sometimes the pros are given the songs by the producers. =S

  • Comment number 20.

    16. fayedavies

    Should throw up a more competitive showing this year. Last year only five competed. This year sees seven. All of the top 3 in last season's finishing goes into this years. The winner Artem, 2nd placed Aliona and 3rd placed James Jordan.

    I think Ola will be in with a shout. Robbie has the stamina. Playing a very competitive game against a top 5 side on the Saturday, a vital league cup game on the Tuesday followed by an International on Saturday was never out of the question and probably happened. That is a tough schedule in just a week. If anyone can pace himself and utilise stamina.
    As I said Artem, James and Alliona are back for a second shot so they know what it is about and they all have decent young clebs.
    Anita may be the only one to struggle. She has the pro to take her through what will be a longer and more tight Swingathon but whether she can, I don't know.
    Pasha Kovalev is the newbie and is the only one who doesn't know what he will be facing. How can you prepare for something you have never faced or know about?

    My finishing

    1. Harry/Aliona
    2. Holly/Artem
    3. Jason/Khristina
    4. Alex/James
    5. Robbie/Ola
    6. Chelsee/Pasha
    7. Anita/Brendan

  • Comment number 21.

    @SCDFanatic - Would hardly say Pasha is lacking in experience having done DWTS and SYTYCD and bills himself as a ballroom dancer. :-?

  • Comment number 22.

    Strictlystarlight7 Music choice is so important it sets the mood.

    this is why I am worried for Hartem.

    I think Harry and Aliona are safe also
    Chelsee and Pasha.
    Ola and Robbie, not because Robbie is a better dancer only because Ola has a good fan base and Robbie might get a sympathy vote especially if the judges have a go at him or he gets low scores.
    Jason and Kristina one of my favourites.

    Bottom three
    Holly and Artem my other favourites
    Alex and James
    Anita and Brendan

    However if it's like last week my two favourites were in the bottom three so I am keeping my fingers crossed in the hope that people will pick up the phone and vote for Hartem and Jastina as they are good dancers.

    You wouldn't expect chemistry between Holly and Artem as Artem loves Kara and Holly is also in a relationship. They are great friends though and I think you will see some chemistry of that friendship tonight.

    So good luck to everyone for tonight I will be voting for Jastina and Hartem.

  • Comment number 23.

    21. MrsArcanum

    I meant the Swingathon.

  • Comment number 24.

    I don't think it's a requirement to be in love with your partner in order to have great chemistry. We've had some great partnerships in past years: Matt and Aliona, Pamela and James, Vincent and Rachel, Lisa and Brendan; the list could go on and on. Somehow the spark is missing from team Hartem.

  • Comment number 25.

    teddyandgypsy - I can see that Holly and Artem don't seem to catch fire but just cannot understand why - because they obviously like each other - everyone seems to have picked up on the fact that Holly needs to 'give a little more' - I think eye contact could be the secret - she almost seems to avoid Artem's eyes quite a bit - maybe she can work on this aspect of her dancing!

  • Comment number 26.

    @ SCDFanatic - Silly me. Would disagree in that case about Holly & Artem's placing given his back problems and their similarity in size. Brendan could do very well with Anita as she is so slim and seems to be full of energy - even Bobby said she wears him out.

    The swingathon will be all down to the fitness of the male in the partnerships.

  • Comment number 27.

    cheers Ojtocs #2 - I'm very much looking forward to the Swingathon and the entertainment factor... :)

    Of course it'll be great to see the other routines too - Charleston is fun, AT can be very dramatic and sexy (if the dancers manages to "get into" the dance) and the fab Team Hali is always delivering, whatever dance, so QS will be fantastic too! Yepp, we're surely in for another fantastic SCD Saturday tonight :)

  • Comment number 28.

    SCDfanatic#20 yes, I really hope you're right about your list, but if I am to weigh in personality please swap #3 and #4 Alex isn't half as full of herself as Jason...

  • Comment number 29.

    The only thing the Swing-a-thon is good for is so the judges can get their favorites more points and make it more difficult for the public vote to make any difference.

    Watch for Robbie, Holly and Alex to be the first ones out regardless of how they are dancing!

  • Comment number 30.

    My goodness, it seems I'm not a lone voice crying in the wilderness when it comes to music choice. Thankyou quicksteptoyou , strictlystarlight7, and others.

    The choice of music is vital and should inspire the dancers and not expect them to make the best of a bad job. The wrong music can make it doubly difficult to get the mood of the actual dance right and place the steps and other moves. Even professionals will struggle and the celebs simply do not have the years of dance experience necessary to cope.

    It maddens me to no end that the producers are willing to knobble the dancers, and particularly the celebs, just for the sake of 'entertainment' or even worse 'relevance'.

    It would be enlightening to know just who makes the final music choices so we know exactly who to blame. Anyone between Strictly BBC's Gemma, Nora, Suzy or James listening?

  • Comment number 31.

    Oh and perhaps the reason Holly was in the bottom two from Wembley is that her dance, in the end, was not that good.

    I find it totally amazing that there is a notion of 'building a fan base' rather than simply knuckling down and presenting the best dance on a Saturday night. That, in itself, should develop a following. If you think you have to do things like public appearances and all the other rubbish associated with 'celebrity' you shouldn't be in show in the first place.

    If it has anything to do with talent and performance, I'd certainly back Chelsee for the final. She always dances the dances properly with all the steps and no 'faffing around' and she does it exceedingly well.

    Harry could be in the same position but he's to obsessed with showing off and not dancing the dances as they should be danced - show dances not ballroom dances. I'm sorry but just 8 bars in hold for a tango does not cut it however brilliant the dance appears.

    Jason could be at the top but he's sometimes so wrapped up in getting it right and putting on a character that his performances can come across as just a bit forced or wooden.

    The rest - even the much vaunted Holly - are a much of a muchness although it's possible that Alex could be the surprise outsider.

    But here's an appeal - do we have a real ballroom dancer posting into these forums? Someone who's perhaps done a bit of competitive dancing and knows what is scored highly and what loses points in the real world of competitive ballroom dancing...

    If there is, please identify yourself, because I'd love to see a set of scores that all of these couples would get from real ballroom judges. That would tell just how good they are as dancers rather than 'entertainers'.

    Perhaps I ought to change my login to Barry (no new steps) Fyfe. I'll leave you to work out the origin and meaning of the name.

  • Comment number 32.

    I agree with people who say the music doesn't always suit the dances why can't the band be allowed to play proper nice ballroom music instead of a lot of the awful pop music.


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