My True Strictly Champion Thread

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My True Strictly Champion Thread

Post  CaledonianCraig on Mon Oct 30, 2017 6:54 pm

Okay folks this may offend many here but here goes.

As many here will know I abhor this growing infiltration into Strictly of ringers. Ringers being celebs taking part in the show with the unfair advantge of previous dance experience above which they should have. For me the initial premise of the show was throwing celebs in at the deep end out of their comfort zone asking them to learn a new skill alien to them. Well this year we have three stonewall ringers in Aston (previous Strictly performer, pop star and judge on another dance show), Alexandra (a West End show actress on productions produced by C.raig Revel Horwood himself) and Debbie McGhee with a frw years training in ballet. In my ideal world they would be disqualified from Strictly but in it they are.

However, in my world the real champion is the biggest learner. The celebs who have went on the greatest short trip to Dusseldorf of learning. This year's Strictly has the following genuine contenders left in:- Gemma, Mollie, Joe, Davood, Jonnie, Susan and Ruth.

Of that list the likeliest winner at present is Gemma. Joe is a little more inconsistent as is Mollie. Davood and Jonnie have had their moments but have yet to reach the highest levels. Susan has been a surprise but has she plateaud? As for Ruth she has shown signs of slight improvement but is it too little too late?

Well that is the seven horse race for this year's Strictly title in my eyes. Again apologies if this post offends but my ideal Strictly world would not and should not contain ringers.
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Re: My True Strictly Champion Thread

Post  saxonsiren on Mon Oct 30, 2017 10:15 pm

Cc yes in ideal world we wouldn't have anyone with dance history, girl/boy bands used to choreography on stage re routines. Anyone appeared in a dance musical. Anyone who wadn't at ballet school aged 5-7 years. Dance at theatre school of dance not so sure.... For me last year Ed the surprise so enjoyed watching Katya and Ed dance...Loved Pamela for her energy and love of SCD. Loving Susan/Jonnie this year ....

The Beeb will always gamble on a ringer. No big names as in Rachel Hunter/Penny Stewart/Lulu/Jason Donovan ... id like to see more Ed's more Susan even Ruth's and Esters and out of the blue talent like Ore, Jay and Harry
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Re: My True Strictly Champion Thread

Post  allsewnonbyhand on Mon Oct 30, 2017 10:23 pm

You should know by now CC that all views are welcomed on this forum and nobody is offended by strong feelings, even if we happen not to agree! I have long since made my peace with the fact that it is not a dance show or certainly not the dance show it may have been in the beginning, but I think all of us are becoming frustrated to a greater or lesser degree with the way things are going.
Like you I prefer those on a j.ourney rather than the good from the get-go, and whilst I enjoy their dances their strictly j-word is  much less interesting to me than those who improve and blossom
It's difficult to have completely novice dancers when the pool they draw from is often stage school luvvies who by definition have had some dance training even if it's not their forte.
Actually I suspect that the real novices / no hopers are in it more the reasons you would like CC ie to learn something new, rather than to be in it to win it. Lovely Deborah Meaden was a case in point and don't forget Jeremy Vine's selfie video response to his critics last year. And let's not have rose coloured specs on, all the celebs' agents are rubbing their hands in glee if they get the strictly gig- their clients get fab publicity, more work and a higher profile all from taking part. No one does anything for the love of it these days. All reality shows are self publicity and good money!
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Re: My True Strictly Champion Thread

Post  jingle on Mon Oct 30, 2017 10:31 pm

I'm very much a j-word voter like yourself CC, and much prefer to see progress over the weeks rather than watch a plateau of excellence. Like Allsewn said, I guess it'd be hard to find a full set of showbiz contestants who have never had any form of dance training. Though to be fair, the ones who start out 'too good' don't necessarily win - Danny Mac and Denise van Outen are two that come to mind.  So when it comes to the final I think the public vote does discern the ones who've had a head-start.  

My favourites this year are Joe, Mollie and Jonnie - doubt any of them will win, but I really hope one of them can make it to the end. On the other hand, the thought of an Aston/Alexandra/Debbie final doesn't inspire me much.  I'm hoping there comes a time when two of the top three are in a DO against each other.
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Re: My True Strictly Champion Thread

Post  allsewnonbyhand on Mon Oct 30, 2017 10:39 pm

I still don't think Debbie will make it to the final - she's had dances that have suited her so far and the one time it didn't, she struggled (memory like a sieve- cha cha?) so I think she's still to be exposed, in spite of being Latin queen according to Shirley. That said I thought her Charleston  technique was pretty good!

As jingle says, the ringers rarely win because at the end of the day I think most people prefer a jword like us and in the final it's all down to us mwah-ha-ha  Twisted Evil

I'm rooting for Joe and Gemma to get to the final.

edit: forgot to say, Sax I think the Ed thing was a lucky gamble for the Beeb, he was such a hit because he embraced it totally and we loved him for it- and Katya actually got him to dance! He wasn't comedy at all in the same way that John sergeant was, nor was he really annoying like Widdy
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Re: My True Strictly Champion Thread

Post  Sid on Tue Oct 31, 2017 12:04 am

Oooh I think Debbie's got a run of dances that might suit her alls - couple of Tangos, some elegant Ballroom and Jive should be fine. Only the Salsa / Samba could trip her up and Gio (if he's smart) will have ditched one of those and will get the other out the way before long. I sense Alex and Aston's votes are less secure than hers and one of them might not make the final. God I hope I haven't jinxed it for her!

Onto the ringers debate and ideally we'd start with 14 Gemmas / Joes - novices who can actually dance pushing each other and improving over time. But it's so difficult to predict in advance who'll turn out to be a Gemma or a Joe so I can understand why they include some trained ones just in case the standard is extremely poor overall. I also understand the inclusion of 'joke acts' in years gone by because they become a talking-point in the early weeks and keep the show in the headlines. I think Ed Balls changed all that though because he was extremely entertaining and funny but a step above your typical comedy contestant and I'm not sure if viewers have time for crap duffers anymore or find them as amusing as they used to. It'll wear thin pretty quickly.

So yes, I don't mind a mix of starting abilities. What gets my goat is when a ringer tries to hide or downplay their ringer status (yes DVO I'm looking at you with your pitiful "this week I'm struggling with putting one foot in front of the other - I think they call it walking" VTs). I also have little time for the argument that just because a person hasn't specifically learned a Foxtrot before, their previous dance experience won't help them pick it up more easily, help them create better lines etc. There are certain 'transferable skills' in the world of dance. It's an advantage, just own that.

It does typically take something extra special about a ringer to make me stan for them. I root for Debbie just because I love her showing she's still got it. And Alexandra guarantees me plenty of Gorka time so she's guaranteed my support. Last year I was all about the non-ringers tho. It varies.
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Re: My True Strictly Champion Thread

Post  CaledonianCraig on Tue Oct 31, 2017 5:07 am

Thanks for the replies everyone.

Of course my post will change nothing with the upper echelons as they will continue on their course come what may. Also understand celebs are in it for different reasons and that viewers watch it and root for certain celebs for different reasons.

The show has morphed now into something different from its origins and sadly in many instances not for the better. I still love watching but find my choice of couples to root for each year being reduced by the ringer invasion. This thread is intended to display my type of Strictly contest and champion. Of course it is different from the real world but we can all have our dreams. Also it helps set the true learners aside from the wolves in sheep's clothing.
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Re: My True Strictly Champion Thread

Post  allsewnonbyhand on Tue Oct 31, 2017 8:57 pm

Sid wrote:Oooh I think Debbie's got a run of dances that might suit her alls - couple of Tangos, some elegant Ballroom and Jive should be fine. Only the Salsa / Samba could trip her up and Gio (if he's smart) will have ditched one of those and will get the other out the way before long. I sense Alex and Aston's votes are less secure than hers and one of them might not make the final. God I hope I haven't jinxed it for her!.

Oh yes, I've just seen B4s post on what dances are left and I think you could be right Sid.
I would rather see an Aston/Alex DO than a Joe/Gemma but I fear that may happen at some point. I think the final is very often won and lost on the show dance, it's getting there that matters.

One more week and then it's the business end of things Smile
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Re: My True Strictly Champion

Post  mauveangel09 on Wed Nov 01, 2017 11:56 pm

allsewnonbyhand wrote: And let's not have rose coloured specs on, all the celebs' agents are rubbing their hands in glee if they get the strictly gig- their clients get fab publicity, more work and a higher profile all from taking part. No one does anything for the love of it these days. All reality shows are self publicity and good money!

Never a truer word spoken!    What an interesting conversation - thanks CC

S ids comments are very true - I feel that A+A might not both reach the Final (or is that wishful thinking) I was thinking that Debbie had some classic dances left to do and looking at the list of dances, Gio should concentrate on the elegant ones - AS, classic ballroom etc - I think she would do a good AT but I think Gio should ditch the Samba for sure!!!

I have long thought that strategy plays an equally important part in getting to an SCD final than the ability of the celeb and whether they are a ringer or not.   Kevin is very good at the 'strategy'  so is A nton -  notice that A nton always does a few 'difficult' dances in the early part of the competition, notably the rumba and the samba.  Although there are dances that I think shouldn't be done in the early weeks I think that sometimes when a more challenging dance is done earlier, then less is expected. At the point in the contest where we are at the moment, a celeb needs a run of dances that suit them with good music - something to hook in GBP and get them through to the 'business end' of the competition.

In respect of ringers - sorry I have digressed from the thread!  I personally think that there are different degrees of ringers -  as others have pointed out on the thread, it is difficult to find showbiz celebs who haven't had some form of movement training at stage school - I think this does make it easier to pick up routines but doesn't necessarily mean that someone will be good at latin dances or at holding a ballroom frame.  For some people this training is from way back -  yes Debbie has had ballet training, but donkeys years ago, I don't think she can be penalised for keeping herself fit and flexible and therefore able to do much more challenging routines than others of her age who have come onto the show.  This I think puts her in a different category than those who are younger and who are currently doing west end musicals or being dance show judges!!!  like A+A.     Likewise, there have been various musicians and people from bands on the show over the years - again they will obviously have good musicality and a good sense of rhythm (or they should have)  so I'm not sure if that makes them ringers or not - but at the end of the day they may or may not be able to master dance - beyond a bit of shaking about on stage.

I must say that A+A are examples of quite extreme ringers in my book -  but like S id, that isn't to say that I haven't liked some ringers over the years -  if a dancer appeals to me and catches my attention then I just like them no matter what - and I have to say that A+A don't come into that category at this point - neither did Danny Mac or Louise last year - much as I appreciate good dancing.

Finally - I think  CC you should take comfort from the fact  as others have pointed out, that the ringers very rarely lift the glitterball and I take heart that along with the fact that as much as we speculate, SCD is never that clear cut - people bomb, people surprise (Ed Balls bucking the trend- I'm sure the producers thought he would crash out on the first few weeks)  I also agree with S id that GBP is a bit fed up with the 'token comedy act. Then there are those who  'take off' whatever their background - and those who take it to the wire with the showdances - for me   these are the great moments of SCD  Very Happy

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Re: My True Strictly Champion Thread

Post  CaledonianCraig on Sat Nov 04, 2017 8:47 pm

Well after tonight's show the quest to find the True Strictly Champion took a new twist. Gemma had been the front-runner but had a setback tonight whilst Joe nailed his Charleston to move above Gemma in the pecking order. Davood refound his mojo with a very good American Smooth and Susan returned to more sure footing. Mollie was sound but still awaiting that wow dance from her whilst Jonnie continued to have posture issues for me tonight in a patchy dance. Ruth is now standing on the trap door waiting for it to open. I'd like to see her stay as she seems to be heading in the right direction but I feel time may have run out for her.
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Re: My True Strictly Champion Thread

Post  CaledonianCraig on Sun Nov 12, 2017 6:03 pm

The series has taken a new twist in the last couple of weeks. Tge quest for the true Strictly Champion has seen Gemma fall away a bit and Joe gain momentum with three very solid dances and perhaps Davood proving he will be there or thereabouts at the end. Behind those three comes Susan all on her own. Jonnie's posture and dances have not improved and Ruth's steady improvement has ground to a halt somewhat. Those two will just bevthankful to reach Blackpool just now.
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Re: My True Strictly Champion Thread

Post  Sid on Sun Nov 12, 2017 6:11 pm

In addition CC, I also felt last night was an instance of how a week where having a couple of ringers in the mix was a welcome relief (for me) because it helped lift the quality of what would otherwise have been a fairly lacklustre night of dancing.

That said, the fact one of the ringers has gone makes things more interesting because it makes available an extra place for one of the non-dancers in the final. I'm hoping the next few weeks will see Davood / Joe / Gemma / Mollie (presuming they're all still in after tonight) really push each other in their quest to claim those two spot in the final along with Debbie and Alex.
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Re: My True Strictly Champion

Post  mauveangel09 on Sun Nov 12, 2017 6:21 pm

Does anyone know if this year's series finishes on the 16th December or the 23rd December? Usually it ends on the last Saturday before Xmas but due to the calendar this year, the last Saturday is very close to Xmas itself. If it finishes on the 16th there will be four finalists - 23rd December would be three finalists?

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Re: My True Strictly Champion Thread

Post  CaledonianCraig on Sat Nov 18, 2017 8:38 pm

Ringers aside - I think it is becoming crystal clear talent-wise how the exiting will or should go. Exit this week Jonnie followed by Susan and Mollie. The other three (Gemma, Davood and Joe) are very evenly matched.
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Re: My True Strictly Champion Thread

Post  CaledonianCraig on Sat Dec 16, 2017 1:49 pm

I watched an interesting little preview to tonight's final on BBC Breakfast Time and Chris Hollins was speaking of how things have changed. In his day he said that most of those competing had no previous dance experience. He then let slip that those who were thinking of entering would take sly dance lessons. Nagya (in the studio) chipped in at that point and said she was told by producers that she was not to have any lessons. Very odd that yet they allow onto the show those with previous dance experience readily.
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Re: My True Strictly Champion Thread

Post  B4p on Sun Dec 17, 2017 8:08 pm

An interesting point CC.

I had heard what Chris had said before from other sources, and thought it was still the done thing that contestants (that often know by February that they'll be competing) learn some of the basics, and have time to raise their fitness levels (if they wanted too) before the programme starts. I don't believe for a minute that 2-3 weeks practice before the show begins, results in such a good week 1 start.
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Re: My True Strictly Champion Thread

Post  mauveangel09 on Sun Dec 17, 2017 8:18 pm

I would certainly be heading for the gym if I knew I was doing it!!!!!! Embarassed Wink As we have seen - stamina and flexibility are important in order to hold your head above water in the contest. I think it would be very sensible to have some dance lessons (on the QT of course) - Agree completely CC - Interesting that Naga was maintaining that she was told not to have any lessons whereas others come on to the show with previous and even quite current experience - interesting one Very Happy

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Re: My True Strictly Champion Thread

Post  jingle on Sun Dec 17, 2017 9:58 pm

I think it'd be sensible to do some preparation once they've been confirmed, particularly on fitness and agility as Mauve suggested.

I'm agin ringers in general, but there's always going to be some on the show and at least they can usually be identified through their wiki pages and so it's up to the GBP to decide if prior experience counts against them. That's all fine I guess, part of the show.

But I do like a lot of mixed ability and some real duffers, who are there just to have a good time and see how far their personality takes them. I wouldn't like the overall standard to be too high from the outset, so I'm a bit wary of contestants getting private lessons in advance. I seem to recall someone (think it was Pamela Stephenson) mentioning that she'd taken latin lessons... I'm sure there's been many others who haven't admitted to it.  I guess what I'm saying is, ringers will always happen, but I think all contestants should be very open about their dance experience when they start on the show.  

I've just commented in the Tartan lounge that I'd really like more sportsmen and women as contestants, as they usually arrive without acting or dance experience but with the discipline and fitness to learn very quickly. That's my ideal sort of contestant.
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Re: My True Strictly Champion Thread

Post  B4p on Sun Dec 17, 2017 10:56 pm

jingle wrote:I think it'd be sensible to do some preparation once they've been confirmed, particularly on fitness and agility as Mauve suggested.

I wouldn't like the overall standard to be too high from the outset, so I'm a bit wary of contestants getting private lessons in advance. I seem to recall someone (think it was Pamela Stephenson) mentioning that she'd taken latin lessons... I'm sure there's been many others who haven't admitted to it.

I think some of the contestants have just had some groundwork, for example, ballroom hold, heels and toes, hand and arm positions, and basic spins.
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Re: My True Strictly Champion Thread

Post  TANGOLERO on Sun Dec 17, 2017 11:46 pm

Trying to be totally fair, I'm not sure if previous training that is no more than local dance school stuff really is that much of an advantage unlesss it is very intensive, because none of it will ever appear in pro choreography on Strictly.. Many times I need to hear what they're doing because I'd never recognise it otherwise. Take any dance class of any discipline and some will become dancers, some will keep going because they enjoy the company and some will never buy a pair of dance shoes with opposite feet. Training at show level is obviously advantageous, but only to those still in in it for a living. Again, buy a " How to do it " D.V.D by the likes of Housewives choice, The Love God that is Leonard The Lion Goodman Goodman or any professional teacher and none of that will ever get you on Strictly because it bears no relation at all to what they do, none at all. I wonder how many of the women ( I say this as a male) that have been on Strictly you could actually get up to dance a quickstep, waltz, Foxtrot or Cha Cha at a social event or in a ballroom dance hall a month after it's all over? I'm guessing very few wouldn't ask "what comes next?"
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