First, apologies. The much vaunted, nay anticipated, Fed Blogs will not feature this week. SBOTH's away game was called off due to some RFU red tape about the season not properly starting until 4 October. It's probably just as well as I'm not match fit to travel and so any reports would have been proxy via HOTH, which wouldn't do at all. No-one likes a second hand sausage.
And so to Strictly. Part two followed on from where Friday's show had left off (not surprising, really) and brought the glitz and razzamatazz to our Saturday. Although there wasn't so much of the 'themed' music matched to the celebrity this time. Maybe they'd run out of ideas.
The show started with Wanted band-boy Jay McGuinness. If you're unfamiliar with the band they sang 'Walks Like Rihanna' or, as it's known in this house 'Walks Like Me Nana', which is probably more apt for me. Well, my goodness McGuinness! Although he has better hair than partner Aliona, he was certainly a surprise. Jay started out with a cheery Cha Cha Cha to Reach Out. The poor lamb was so nervous he looked like he was about to be sick on his sequins, but he did a really good job of a tricky dance. He was a bit stiff and there were a couple of errors, but I reckon young Jay is one to watch in the weeks to come. IF he can get a handle on those nerves. He scored a respectable 27 out of 40.
Up next was sports presenter Kirsty Gallacher, Another victim of horrific nerves, this was a woeful waltz to Vincent - Don McLean's tribute to Van Gogh. This dance was certainly no oil painting and Kirsty will be canvassing for votes if she's not careful. Partner Brendan was dragging her round the floor like a shopping trolley with a wonky wheel. There were no transitions, shoddy footwork and she seemed to badly lose her way shortly after starting. Poor Kirsty was more Van Driver than Van Gogh. No high scores 'ear' - a dismal 20 out of 40.
Journalist, presenter and Radio 2 DJ Jeremy (not the funny brother) Vine followed with a chaotic Cha Cha Cha to September. By the looks of this it will be next September before Jeremy shows any promise. Our Jezza is a tall bloke and his long limbs hampered his movements. Or complete lack of skill. One of the two. Rhythm may be a dancer, but Jeremy sadly isn't. This was Dad Dancing at it's worst, it looked like Vine had been on the wine as he flopped and flailed his way through the routine. Darcy was in hysterics at his efforts. He gave it plenty of welly, but it was just....awful. He looked like Pinocchio being puppeteered by someone sat on a spin dryer. He didn't impress the panel either with just 19 out of 40 from the judges.
Our next dancer was ex-Corrie actress Georgia May Foote - this year's Pixie Lott. She protests that she hasn't danced since leaving school, but that was all of five minutes ago, love. It may have been nerves (again) but she seemed to have all the personality of a baked potato (thanks HOTH for that quote). Georgia delivered a polished, professional-looking jive to Dear Future Husband. It was fast and furious, plenty of flicks and kicks with lots of content. It certainly wasn't cobbled together and right up the judges' Street, even though it got wobbly as she ran out of energy towards the end. Another one to watch, I think. A respectable 27 out of 40.
And then there was Ainsley Harriott. Not so much Ready, Steady, Cook - more Leady, Unsteady, Oh F.....lippin' 'eck. Ainsley gave us a tango to Voulez Vous. You've got to be ABBAing a laugh. There was too little staccato, loose legs and a weak hold. He just couldn't resist gurning his way round the dancefloor and was a bit all over the place. Between you and I, this was more Little Chef than a Michelin starred performance - more fall apart than a la carte. He couldn't cook up a decent score either, just 20 out of 40.
Next on the dance card was Katie Derham. Proms princess Katie delivered a poised performance jiving to Roll Over Beethoven. For once in his career partner Anton Du Beck (Tony Beak to his mates down the pub) didn't have to resort to silly antics to disguise duff dancing. Katie actually has some talent and fabulous legs. I should hate her, really. Her kicks and flicks could have been a bit sharper and there were a couple of wobbles, but overall a good showing. Anton was in a Land of Hope and Glory, scoring what is probably his career best of 26 out of 40.
Olympic runner Iwan Thomas followed. When his routine started with him running round a projected track I knew we were in trouble. Ola Jordan doesn't waste time on unnecessary gimickry unless she hasn't got much to work with. This was allegedly a tango to Keep On Running. I can't relay the dismal dance to you. Iwan was more hunched than a teenaged Goth Quasimodo. He was flat-footed, stompy and clompy and appeared to have all the musicality of maimed mammoth. There are some things in which Iwan should not 'medal' and dancing seems to be one of them. There was no podium finish in sight last night and his race might be over sooner than he had hoped. Just 17 out of 40 for Iwan.
Jamelia then took to the dancefloor. Now, I've never forgiven Jamelia for her song Superstar back in the day. The place where I worked had the radio on all day and they played the fecking thing FOUR TIMES in an HOUR!!! It was like some kind of cruel torture - or Total Recall without the eyeball exploding bits (which probably would have been more fun than Jamelia on a loop. Certainly less painful). I was singing it in my sleep. Just the opening bars are enough to set me twitching. Anyway...dancing. Jamelia gave us a lukewarm waltz to Do Right. Unfortunately, there was only so much she could do right. She started off elegantly enough with a flowing form, but quickly lost it all and went to pieces. Partner Tristan had to do some frantic covering up for her until she got back on track but the mistakes had been too obvious. The Loose Woman had become undone. She was more flappy feet than happy feet by the end and looked glad when it was all over. Much like me when Superstar comes on the radio. The judges were sympathetic and I do think there's better things to come, but she only scored 21 out of 40.
Closing the show was Peter Andre. The orange antipodean (who, apparently, really loves his kids) came out with a corking crack at a Cha Cha Cha. He had bags of personality and energy, although there was no real bounce and he lacked a bit in the hip department. It was a bit stop / start at times and there was some messy armography, but he covered it up well. I can't remember what he danced to, I'm afraid. It was probably something modern by one of them there bands like One Union or J Direction. Something like that. Partner Janette Manrarararararara will have thought it was A Perfect Night (one of Pete's songs, I googled) and there was no need to Call The Doctor (yep, another one). Peter might endorse a certain food store, but there was nothing frozen about this performance. The judges loved it, giving him a whopping 30 out of 40 which, for week one, is amazing and placed him at the top of the leaderboard.
And so that was Strictly Week One. As I said, no-one is going this week so there's no dance off. It was certainly a very mixed bag - some good, a lot of middling, some promise and a generous chunk of downright awful.
But, as former D:Ream keyboard player Professor Brian Cox once said...........
“We are the cosmos made conscious and life is the means by which the universe understands itself".
What? You didn't think I'd be THAT obvious, did you?????