Strictly Come Dancing 2011: Live At Wembley Liveblog!

by Gerard McGarry

Strictly Come Dancing logoIt’s Strictly! At Wembley! Could this be the biggest, most exciting night in Strictly Come Dancing history? I think so!

Join me as I cover the celebrity performances LIVE. I’ve already just watched the brilliant opener – a medley of massive Queen hits, even including footage of the four judges in the iconic Bohemian Rhapsody pose! Amazing work, and does anybody else think this will convince more people to check out the Strictly 2011 live show when it goes on tour?

Robbie Savage – Robbie gives the girls what they (well, some of them) want tonight when he dances in a wide-open shirt. Though to be honest, it’s Ola Jordan in that bodystocking that has all of my attention. They both gave a fantastically energetic dance to Robbie’s Let Me Entertain You, and though it wasn’t the most finessed dance we’ve ever seen, it was…entertaining.

Len called the performance “wild and savage”, but rightly praised the routine for being great entertainment. Alesha loved it, saying it was “full of gusto”, while Bruno purred at Robbie and gesticulated wildly. And Craig called it flat footed throughout, but he liked Robbie’s upper body. We bet he did!

Scores: Craig: 5, Len: 7, Alesha: 7, Bruno: 7 Total: 26

Brucie interrupts the proceedings to tap dance on the stage for a minute. Next up…

Alex Jones -Not my favourite performance from Alex tonight. She and James are dancing to Relax by Frankie Goes To Hollywood, and she looks like she couldn’t be bothered being there. The dance is probably technically alright. We’re not experts on such matters. But I just didn’t get drawn in by it.

Alesha Dixon disagrees, saying it was dramatic and praising her progression. Bruno was also effusive in his praise, while even Craig says they might be showing some improvement, which leads to an almost wardrobe malfunction from James Jordan. Len called it a proper tango and described it as “fabulous”. Shows what I know, doesn’t it, readers?

Scores: Craig: 8, Len: 9, Alesha: 9, Bruno: 9 Total: 35

Holly Valance – Well, Holly managed to prise Artem away from Brendan Cole and the two are dancing a fun routine to Amy Winehouse’s Valerie. Wow! Lots of lasers and pyrotechnics! And Holly’s footwork looks brilliant to me, although I’m doubting myself after Alex Jones’ performance. Still, the two manage to cover a fair bit of ground on the massive Wembley dancefloor, and Holly looks hot in that nude-coloured top that she’s wearing! Really enjoyed that routine!

Bruno says she’s sometimes maddening, sometimes brilliant. He’s encouraging her to go all-out. Craig has lots of compliments. I doubt he wants to get booed in an arena that size. But he does have a few technical pointers that culminate in “tighten the whole thing up”. Len has kind words for their use of space, but says it lost control because of the speed. Alesha noted a little loss of control, but overall says she liked it.

Scores: Craig: 7, Len: 8, Alesha: 8, Bruno: 8 Total: 31

Anita Dobson – Anita got a visit back to Albert Square this week, which had me randomly wondering how much Anita and Brian May collectively spend on hairspray. But anyway Anita draws a cute black and pink costume this week and a lively number in Come On Eileen. It’s a much better routine than I expected, just good fun from start to finish.

Craig fires off criticisms of her “muddy and murky” footwork right from the start and warns that the semi-finals are just around the corner. Len loves that she gives 100% with every dance, although it could have been crisper. Alesha loved Anita’s bundles of energy and notes that she thought Anita lost timing. Bruno says Anita played it for all it was worth and says something vaguely sexual about her fire down below…

Scores: Craig: 6, Len: 7, Alesha: 7, Bruno: 7 Total: 27

Harry Judd – Harry and Aliona are dancing the salsa to I’m Still Standing. Another open shirt number. These male celebs know how to shill for votes, don’t they? Hope Russell Grant doesn’t copy the trick. Not only is this a red-hot routine, but Harry pulls off an amazing move where he flips Aliona over his back and she lands, in the splits position, between his legs. Amazing! Big standing ovation from the audience.

Len called it a “full on samba” and babbles with praise. He requests more hip action though, but otherwise loved it. Alesha loved it, and Bruno wants to see more flesh. From Harry, naturally. Craig said the routine didn’t have a groove and lays into Harry’s hip action.

Scores: Craig: 8, Len: 8, Alesha: 9, Bruno: 9 Total: 34

Russell Grant – Russell gets fired from a cannon, which conveniently removes the need to dance for the first minute of the routine tonight. Which is to the brilliant Reach by S Club 7. One thing I notice about Russell is that when he wears such bright colours, he reminds me of an amateur children’s entertainer. Mr Tumble, anyone? Endlessly entertaining, as always, but I wonder if time is running out for Mr Grant?

Alesha calls it the best entrance she’s seen on Strictly, but said “what you lacked in your jive technique, you made up for in entertainment”. Bruno called it an orbit of madness, which is perhaps his best comment of the season, while Craig deadpans “Dumbo springs to mind”. Then brings it back with “revolutionary”. Len thinks it was “an iconic number that will always be remembered”.

Scores: Craig: 5, Len: 6, Alesha: 6, Bruno: 7 Total: 24

Chelsee Healey – Chelsee comes out dressed a very pink take on Geri Haliwell’s Spice Girls dress. Fittingly, she’s dancing to Spice Up Your Life. She wowed us with a brilliant solo dance at the start, joined by her partner later on. A brilliant routine, and one that rightly receives a standing ovation from the audience.

Bruno is incomprehensible in his happiness with the routine, and Craig nitpicks something tiny which means he really loved it. Len said it “spiced up my night” and remarked it was a “proper samba”. Alesha told Chelsee that she captured the spirit of the samba.

Scores: Craig: 8, Len: 9, Alesha: 9, Bruno: 9 Total: 35

Jason Donovan – Closing out the show tonight is Jason and Kristina and a lively jive to Wham’s Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go. Donovan clearly knows how to work a crowd and he and Kristina worked that audience for all they were worth tonight. Do you think it’s a coincidence that they chose him to close out the big Wembley show.

Craig moans about Jason losing it during the kick section, but otherwise says it was amazing. Then why grumble? Len noted that Jason had worked his socks off on the kicks, and says that more and more lifts are creeping into the routines. Is that a bad thing? Alesha enjoyed the routine, and even Bruno was impressed, calling the routine amazing. Which was possibly the most used word tonight!

Scores: Craig: 8, Len: 8, Alesha: 9, Bruno: 9 Total: 34

Gerard McGarry is a jet-setting, world-renowned Reality TV critic. In real life, Gerard works with web and social media strategy. His personal blog is at GerardMcGarry.com or follow him on Twitter @gerrybot