Well, well, well, what a season it’s been already for this year’s Strictly Come Dancing. After the incredible showstopper that was ‘Jay’s Jive’ in week three, it seemed to be a foregone conclusion – I actually whooped and the boyfriend was on his feet. The judges were caught unawares and comments such as “Best Dance Ever” (Bruno) and “Never before have we seen such amazing technique on Strictly” (Craig) quickly followed. And yet, and yet (with the exception of Bruno) they saw fit to award Jay with mere 9s. “Because it’s week 3…” shouted Darcy, but because it’s week 3, what? How about “Because it’s The Best Dance We’ve Ever Seen, then surely it’s a 10?” It makes no sense any other way. I’m useless with numbers and even I can see that. So yes, we’re still smarting about this miscarriage of justice in SW19. Even the boyfriend, who tries really hard not to care about such things, now judges each and every dance with “It wasn’t as good as Jay’s Jive”.
Of course, as you know, my fascination with this programme extends beyond the actual dancing. I am obsessed by the awfulness of Tess Daly and slightly in love with Claudia Winkleman. They both play into my hands, the former by dressing incomprehensibly badly and accessorising with the mannerisms of a brickie and the latter by styling herself really rather well and adding a heavy dose of irony to everything that comes out of her mouth. The silver Top Shop number was an uncharacteristic blip for our Claud’ so I’m going to brush over that particular week. But I’ve given it a lot of thought and have come to the conclusion that nobody in the world could have pulled that dress off, it was simply the wrong ratio of high neck/metallic/fake tan and I don’t object to any of those things per se.
Luckily for Claudia her sidekick Tess has a wardrobe of such catastrophic proportions that even if Claudia turned up in a tabard, she would eclipse Tess. Having said that, the weekly Tess Dress is great light relief for the moments of heavy drama – Jay’s Jive obviously, but what about Len’s sudden and ambiguous attack on professional dancer (the very delicious) Giovanni or Bruno’s use of the word bollocks before the watershed? I still haven’t established whether or not Tess Daly has a stylist but either way the decision to have Tess shove her head through one of those rubber things you stick to your kitchen wall to hang tea towels from*, was a stroke of comedy genius.
That was week one so I have been on tenterhooks each Saturday since to see what she would come up with next. But of course it hasn’t got any funnier than that so I’m going to do the decent thing and post a picture of the week they both looked fab.
Although it’s easy to be distracted by Tess doing her impression of Bet Lynch propping up the bar as she sways in front of the judges’ desk, there have been some frocks to die for on the dance floor. The fairytale numbers worn repeatedly by Katie Derham are dreamy (but then I liked Lady Di’s wedding dress at the time) but we’re not allowed to say anything positive about Katie round our gaff because she says it all herself and we’ve taken against her due to the gurning. So my prize so far, purely by virtue of being so uncharacteristically understated for Strictly, goes to the little playsuit worn by actress Helen George for her rumba. I’d wear that on Christmas Eve if I could.
Finally, I couldn’t let my annual rant about the best show on the box go without a mention of Jay’s Jive – oh, I’ve already done that have I? Well then in that case, let’s take a moment to consider the power of a haircut (as well as an extraordinarily sexy jive). When I was at school and the trend for long hair on boys started to appear, we always used to say that the only man who looked better with long hair was Michael Hutchence. I stand by that to this day. Ladies and gentlemen of the jury I give you Jay McGuiness when he started Strictly:
And after he’d decided to cut his hair:
I rest my case.
Jay to win.
*According to Google this is known as a ‘push and grip’ holder.