We need to talk about Seann

Yes I’m going to go on about Strictly again! This Couple’s Choice thingy is interesting, not something Strictly needs, just another show dance, ok so that zoot-suited dance was more than just a show dance, like awesome, man. Danny J-J didn’t disappoint with his jive as his score of 37 testified and how great was Alfonso Ribeiro!? He impressed me that he’d done some homework on everyone’s previous dances so to see how each had progressed, see, a lot smarter than he looks, and his Bruno impression was fun. Alfie should come over more!

Hallowe’en is a great week on Strictly, hair, make-up and wardrobe really go to town. Kate and Aljaz looked stunning as ice statues, shame their dancing did match the same standard but it was the rumba; Lauren looked fab as an evil queen and really channelled her inner Disney villianess for her paso doble; and Stacey made a cool Dr Who, her outfit was fab-u-lous, those cullottes – so stylish, Jodie Whitaker’s probably on to wardrobe now dropping hints! Kevin’s choreography made for a daring tango that they pulled off with aplomb.

Some of the tunes and singing left something to be desired, but I seriously loved their 90 second take on Screamin Jay Hawkins’ I Put A Spell On You, sleazy, sparse and soulful. I’m assuming giving that piece to Seann and Katya was no amusing accident, come on, we weren’t all born yesterday! But if you’re gonna go, that’s the music to go with, and then for an encore their final dance picked up from the middle of Bat Out Of Hell, “If I’m gonna be damned you know I wanna be damned, dancing thru the night with you…” I’d say that was a clear two fingers up to the “outraged and disgusted” mob. Good for you, mate!

So yes, we need to talk about Seann (or at least I intend to). The last few weeks I’ve delved into the Facebook Strictly page and my, the self-righteous, vitriolic, plain downright nastiness of some posters took my breath away! Seann Walsh could have had no idea of the world he was stepping into and how OTT the media and zealous fans can be. So he’s doing pretty well as a comedian, he will have had some dealings with press and publicity but never anything on this scale, and acting like a baying pack of hounds out for blood – his!

He isn’t the first to have a drunken snog with someone he shouldn’t and he sure won’t be the last. As for all the comments of how cocky and smug he is, really? I didn’t see any of that enough to slam him for it, we can all come across as smug or cocky in a moment or two, but really, he’s just a fallible bloke. Let’s not judge him for unwisely (and under the influence of alcohol) giving into the temptation of kissing a beautiful, passionate woman with whom he’d been up close and physical, after all, he’s a comedian not an actor who’s day job is to turn passion and emotions on and off as necessary – let’s face the professionals who should be able to deal with it better often don’t, let’s see, Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt, Tom Cruise….

But Bruce, he left his poor long-suffering girlfriend on her own on her birthday, what a selfish prick! Err, she mentioned that in the same statement she claimed she didn’t want to come across as a victim, but hey, she knew the mob won’t notice the contradiction there! They’d been together five years, she must have known what he was like, warts and all, but she chose to put with his foibles as he put up with hers (everybody has foibles!) This strong independent young woman was sitting at home alone on her birthday – notice that she never mentioned whether they had arranged anything or that he was expected to be there. Woman, we’re not mind-readers, your birthday, why hadn’t you called the shots? Why weren’t you out or in with friends? The fact that she never mentioned that he missed anything that had been planned speaks volumes, she should have made it clearer she wanted him home straight after practice. Again, five years, long enough to know him.

At the end of the day, Seann was never going to get to the final anyway, better dancers than him will fall by the wayside. He gave it a shot, he learned many lessons along the way, he made a stupid mistake, but he’ll always have that Matrix Paso Doble!

 

It’s strictly about the dancing!

This year is turning out to be fun!! And at present we get the rivetingly marvellous Killing Eve later on (enough time to do the washing up and plonk back down with a glass of something). I was away to darkest Yorkshire last weekend so recorded everything to enjoy once I was back up, including Dr Who (of course). Yes, they do have telly in Yorkshire but I’m always way too busy to watch any!

Movie Week is always good, but I sometimes wonder about the choice of movies and the music, and who makes the choice and determines which couple gets what? The Powers That Be can definitely make or break couples with their decisions this week. Poor Lee gave it his best but the cha cha has brought down better male celeb dancers than him and The Power of Love is a tad overplayed and cliched now. Even an improved dance-off performance wasn’t gonna save him. Mind I only placed him in the middle-rank, didn’t reckon he’d make it to the end anyway.

My highlights were Vick & Graziano, Kate & Aljaz, Stacey & Kevin and Seann & Katya. I must just say, I’m really having to watch what the print goblin in this tablet is playing at, he clearly doesn’t care for Strictly considering how much he keeps changing names and words when he thinks I’m not paying attention! Those four dances also had the best music for me, especially Why Don’t You Do Right? Kate nailed that performance, wowzah! Happy keeps floating in and out of my Desert Island Discs, but I was unsure beforehand how well dancing minions would come across, hey wow, I loved Stacey & Kevin’s routine.

And then there was the Matrix paso doble! Wow, he really trained hard for that and gave it everything. That foot lift and slo-mo bit – she has incredible core strength. Orchestrated music rather than a song can really make a performance stand out from the crowd as well, who would have thought we’d have the Matrix Theme on Strictly?  And I loved Seann’s comment afterwards “Bruno, you can have your trousers back now!”

Strictly speaking Dr Ranj and Janette could have done their paso last week too as Cancion del Mariachi is part of the soundtrack of Desperado, check it out on YouTube, it has Antonio Banderas singing it! Late on last night I had to play it, one of my favourite soundtrack albums, not a bad track on it. I may have to watch the film again, and that means I’ll have to watch El Mariachi as well, I would thoroughly recommend both, if you don’t mind a bit of violence, that is.

So I’m writing this on Sunday afternoon, who will be oot this week? Well, if the public vote similar to the judges then the dance-off will be between Kate and Katie as theirs were the lowest scores, 20 and 18 respectively. Next above them with 25 a piece are Charles and Lauren. That’s Charles’ fourth 25 in a row, dancing to a great disco classic; but no matter how well Lauren danced, jeez those dress colours were distracting and not in a pleasant way!

I did feel for Kate having to dance to Africa by Toto and a samba too! Not a kind dance anyway – but to Africa?! Toto only ever had one good song Hold The Line and even that has lost something over the years (yes, I’m really showing my age now). On the other side of the scales, one of THE naffist, overplayed songs Hi Ho Silver Lining was a joy to hear with Stacey looking totally mod and really selling the performance.

Ok, but strictly about the song and dance – the charleston to Bills, well the song doesn’t move me but neither does it annoy me and it does kinda tie in with a busy pizza place. Seann did do plenty of swivveling and that first lift! Loved it! Did the judges mark up? (For the first time ever I had a look at the Strictly Facebook page, the comments are brilliant, people don’t half get their knickers in a twist!) Yes, I think they did but as I’m ranking him in the middle still, I don’t think there’ll be any harm done from it. Plus, the silly sod could do with a boost after the week he’s just had 😉

So what was so important last Saturday? Exploring pubs in deepest Yorkshire that time and town-planners forgot……

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Strictly honestly – I was in the pub!

Yeah, what was going to be a lunchtime/afternoon session rather overran. There was me reckoning I’d be home for Pointless Celebrities, which was a Strictly line-up, and next thing I knew it was quarter to eight! Well, there’s a lot to put right about the world in these current times, a couple of pints wasn’t anywhere near long enough to cover everything! And when the fresh air hit me I was rather hungry so a fish supper had to be purchased, yes, had to be (a fish supper means fish and chips, in fish and chip shops here if you want anything with chips it’s a supper). So after all that I only made it home for the last two couples on Strictly, damn, but it was a fine pub session taking in the Jolly Judge, Bow Bar, Dagda and the Cask and Barrel.

Hurrah for BBC iPlayer, I watched both shows on Sunday evening instead. No, I didn’t watch Bodyguard, am I the only one in the country who hasn’t seen any of it? Maybe I’ll get round to it sometime before another series comes out.

So Strictly…… well I did say about making some reference to Danny John-Jules’ Cat and, blow me down, first off was himself and Amy doing a foxtrot to the theme tune to Top Cat – I loved that cartoon so much as a calf. He’s the oldest celeb but crikey he’s pretty fit and has some great moves, I reckon he’ll go far.

Poor Seann had the tango, not an easy dance for a male celeb to start with, but he did go for it so he gave it plenty of attitude and character to make up for lack of technique. The scores weren’t helped by Katya putting in a lift that wasn’t allowed, but ever a comedian Seann said it wasn’t a lift, more of a “chuck”. Being used to hecklers and the like, the judges may find he’s one contestant who’ll always have a smart quip back at them.

My other immediate favourite, Charles Venn, wowzer! Oh yay, he can dance, and he and Karen looked amazing together in red. Joe Sugg was actually pretty good at the jive, I was pleasantly surprised, but I’m not sure how he’ll cope with a rumba! Kate Silverton Cha Cha’d with plenty of attitude, but I reckon she’ll be a half-wayer. Another half-wayer I reckon is Graeme Swann, but I did love hearing Soul Limbo, of course he had to dance his Samba to the cricket theme tune, and Oti was as scrummy as ever!

Generally it’s another pretty good year with plenty of potential winners. More about the others next week. First out? If they’re in the dance-off, Susannah and Anton. Of course, if they get enough public votes to avoid it ….. but I’m not sure she has enough fans, even with Anton’s over-the-top antics.

If you’re thinking, what? Another post about that dancing tosh! Well, let’s say, if the title contains the word Strictly that’s what it’ll be about, forewarned and and all that.

Nighty night!

 

Strictly for the fans

Well I just had an evening of all sparkly televison, from first Strictly, then the Last Night of the Proms, then flicking over to Elton John, Glam Rock and finally a 70s pop round-up. Plenty of glitter all the way!

So, Strictly – The Pairing Up Bit. There’s been quite a bit of negativity this time that the quality of celebrity is going down with no “big names” this year, but then some people are never happier than when they’re complaining. Yeah, at first look I haven’t heard of about half of them, but then I never watch morning, daytime, news or sports television. So lets see who the fuss is about ….

The news mob, Kate Silverton is a BBC News presenter, Dr Rank Singh is a “TV medic” (that’s what it says!), Stacey Dooley (MBE) is a presenter, journalist and documentary maker; so all pretty intelligent, good careers, all probably well-known to a vast amount of people. Is there a problem with these guys?!

Vick Hope is a multi-lingual radio and TV presenter, a print and broadcast journalist, and an Amnesty International ambassador; Katie Piper is a former model who suffered a terrible acid attack, but has since worked on helping others with disfigurement injuries through television work, writing and her own charity. Two strong, principled ladies and great role-models, I had heard of Katie but not Vick, but millions will know both.

Lauren Steadman is another inspiration, a paratriathlete with a rather full awards cabinet! I have wondered, and as a fan of The Last Leg, is it ok to ask how will the lack of a right hand be dealt with in the ballroom (come on, we all thought it!). Graeme Swann, a cricketer takes to the floor, Strictly does like it’s sports stars. As athletes they’re obviously disciplined, fit and competitive, but out of their own fields it can be tricky! Their bodies are fit for their sport purpose but dancing training is often in opposition to how they did move.

Then there’s Joe Sugg, who?? A YouTuber apparently. Not sure how seriously he’s gonna take it, but I was touched that he would like to make it to Blackpool as his Nan used to dance at the Tower Ballroom. Then again, he does have millions of followers on YouTube so they could easily get him there whether he deserves it or not, hmmm. I do hope he turns out to be pretty good, otherwise it’s another Sergeant Scenario.

Susannah Constantine, only know her from the Trinny & Susannah TV shows, which I never cared for, I assume she’s still some sort of fashion guru?! Faye from Steps, apparently apart from Steps the lass has done a plenty of musical theatre and the odd panto (Oh no she hasn’t). Ashley Roberts was one of the Pussycat Dolls, she left the group to go solo and then ended up doing all sorts on British telly, very versatile and game for anything. Lee Ryan, another pop star, and apparently was also in Eastenders a while. All famous celebs, they’re kinda like the red sweater guys in Star Trek to me, cannon fodder, but I will pronounce my predictions proper next week.

I’ve saved my already favourites til last, not favourites to win, just ones I’ll enjoy watching. Charles Venn, another soap actor, wow I like his charisma! And he’s dancing with Karen Clifton, lucky man! Next, well I have thought a number of times that he should do it and finally, yay! Cat from Red Dwarf aka Danny John-Jules is reacquainting himself with sparkliness. I so hope they Cat him up one week, Halloween or movie week?

And finally, Seann Walsh, a Fringe regular for some years now (see I got in a Fringe connection) but I have to admit I’ve never seen any of his shows, but I have seen plenty of him roaming the streets of Edinburgh. Yeah, he must stay fairly close to me when he’s up, never remembered his name, he was “the dirty blonde guy” (as in a dirty blonde colour not dirty as in filthy, but then I’ve never seen his show!) forever wandering past me. Umm, I might even peg him as the dark horse, I reckon he may well have the attitude and self-awareness to succeed, as long as he has some sense of rhythm too!

So there’s no A listers up there, but neither are anyone of them vacuous celebrities. They are famous in their own spheres and the outraged are just mad that it’s not a line-up all from within their own little world sphere, get a life!! Strictly is like a Venn diagram, spheres collide, new mixes come out of it.

Toodle pip!

 

I 💛 Susan Calman

2016-08-21 09.03.28Some may call it a guilty pleasure, but I have no such feelings about Strictly Come Dancing. I feel no guilt or shame about declaring my allegiance to this wonderful, feel-good show.

And, hey, I’ve finally managed to put a pic up and downsize it, moving it about is tricky but then I’m a moose not a sheepdog.

So, to bring my international readers up to speed. The brilliantly funny comedienne Susan Calman is in this year’s Strictly Come Dancing on the telly, she’s also the first openly gay female celebrity on the show. Oh, there’s been a number of openly gay male celebrities on the show, never a fuss about why they weren’t paired up with another man, but as usual it’s another matter for a woman and apparently some on social media have criticized her for dancing with a male partner. WHAAAT!!!! Get over yourselves people! How narrow-minded that a gay woman should have to dance with a female partner, and (from what I’ve read on the BBC News website) it’s the gay community doing the criticising! Huh?! Can’t you just share the joy emanating from Susan? The obvious glee on being partnered with Kevin was pouring through my telly, there was even an emotional wee tear. She’s even admitted to having a picture of him – on her fridge I think she said.

Well, I did say last week there was a rant coming up, I just didn’t realise this one would jump the queue, but it just really irked me.

I wonder if they’d ever consider having a moose on the show? I take it I’d have a lady partner, oo, Karen Clifton or Janette Manrara please, both seem like really good laughs. Mind, who knows? Kevin Clifton would be my top choice (yes, I too have a Kevin-thing going on) or Pasha, we could make a dashing duo!