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Vacation (10) : Strictly Come Dancing Live Tour, O2 Arena, London, Feb 2015, Part 2

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After the first part of the show, followed by refreshments, we were back for the second half and it would be in this half of the show that drama, which even Shakespeare could not have scripted, would begin to unfold.

It would be in this half of the show that we would witness a dance that Scott would hope would be his enlightenment  on the road to Damascus. Instead, he would completely  lose his way and end up with a dance that would not be fit to be performed on the deserted, desolated, rubble-strewn and war torn streets of downtown Aleppo.

 It would be in this half of the show that we would receive the results from a voting system that would have left even the most self-respecting, pot-bellied, oversize sunglasses wearing, third world dictator loosening his collar, while looking nervously over his shoulder. This was SCD, this was show business and it would turn out to be show business at its best.


For the first time I actually bought a programme and thought it was quite good too. This collage, the image above that I made from parts of the programme, is of the four, well three actually, professional dancers and the celebrity one, Caroline on the far right-hand side. She may have started out as a celebrity, but by now you couldn't really distinguish her from the professionals. Craig must have been very pleased with this angel.

I would have been very pleased with all of these angels, they looked fit and toned, especially after the gallons of  spray tan used to accentuate their muscular, yet shapely legs and bodies. Best of all two of them are British (Joanne, second from left, makes Grimsby sound glamorous - Ed) and they looked much more elegant than those, em, ladies could ever be that are too eager to be seen on the, soon to be defunct, tabloid newspaper's third page.

003-007-000030.png The show resumed with another choreographed group performance featuring a combination of both the professional and celebrity dancers, which the fully packed, 10,000 strong audience applauded in appreciation. We almost missed the start of the second half of the show, as my daughter needed to go and the half-time queue for the ladies was intolerably long.

You would have thought by now that  at major venues there would be a need for so many more ladies than gents, but amphitheater designer's don't seem to have cottoned on to this fact yet. We barely made it back to our seats.

003-007-000031.png Len, the chief judge, was at his cockney best and his anecdotes were sumptuously good. Although, we didn't get the famous "If that is a .... you can put me in a dress and call me Mary". He did , however,  complement Thom with a classic by saying ".. if you're rear of the year, then I'm the arse from the past". Classic. That guy knows his stuff.


 Back to the dancing and first up was Mark and Karen and I think they danced a, safe, foxtrot. It wasn't bad and Karen always makes her partners look good anyway. Mark gave his final rendition of before I came on the show I couldn't really dance, but look at me now blah, blah, blah. However,  on this occasion the knowledgeable London audience, or the judges for that matter, wouldn't  be mugged and his speech didn't cut ice with the hard-nosed crowd. His speech amounted  to nothing more than a polite round of clapping. 


Next out was Alyson dancing to Chaka Khan's I'm Every Woman. She danced it like she had the energy and passion of not one, but two fourty-year old women. She must have decided to really go for this one and her mood represented the feeling of every woman in the audience.

This was an adroit performance from a woman who knows how to throw a party, apparently (It was her fourtieth birthday this week - Ed).  It was great and it put a smile on everyone's face. You could tell that this was her type of dance and dance on the balls of her feet or not she was hell bent on enjoying it. Lovely


Next, up was a dance to cherish. It was Kristina and that lucky bloke, Mr Webb, dancing a Tango, an Argentine one. Later on she would admit that it was her piece de resistance, something for the audience to remember her by and to banish from their memory the image of her being dragged along the floor by John Sergeant, during their, now iconic, Bolero. It was a truly memorable performance,  which received the loudest ovation of the show. Again, I felt honoured to have witnessed it. 


 Admittedly, Simon, like the Americans during the second world war, played a small part in a performance that contained everything.  The body shape of Kristina, seen in the image in the top left-hand corner, exemplifies what she resonated during this performance. It was the performance of a  woman at her most confident.  It was a woman at this very moment that had what all women secretly aspire to have, it.

A woman that could have performed in a burka and the press would have declared  she was wearing haute couture. (I might nip out to Ann Summers later on to see if they have a special edition version, in shades of grey - Ed).


She knew every pair of male, and female, eyes were following her every obligatory sharp snap of the leg, every compulsory flick of the hand and every sway of the half of her outfit she chose to wear. And when it came to the dramatic lift towards the end, seen in the previous  image in the bottom right-hand corner, I was glad I had finished my drink. Otherwise it may have refreshed the members of the audience in the row below me!

With this dance she knew the night was hers and at the end the crowd's response was explosive. Maybe it was time to start that Ms Rhianhoff Appreciation Society? She deserves it. Stupendous. We were left expectant, waiting for the next act to produce, if not more, no less.  


The next act, contrived to produce far less. It was Scott and he would demonstrate that no matter what you are doing, no matter how bad things get and no matter how low you can fall, you can still stoop lower. With this dance he was able to demonstrate that taking the biscuit was pointless when you could just as well take the whole packet. I couldn't even tell you what type of dance it was, except to say that there were dancers with fish costumes on their heads and Scott walking around dressed up, as a crab (He he he - Ed).

Presumably, Johanna was a mermaid. It was so ridiculous and I was surprised it didn't inspire a shoe throwing incident. If in Baghdad they were taking off their flip-flops and denting the sides of tanks with them, then this performance deserved more harsh treatment.  If I wasn't wearing one of my more prized pair of shoes, bought at less than half-price in Timberland's January sales,  I would have been tempted to take one of them off  and launch it in his direction myself. Instead, I consoled myself with one leg crossed over the other and with the sole of my shoes facing insultingly in his direction. That will teach him.


The comments he received were as complimentary as he could have expected. Craig compared him to Ann Widdecombe, but saying Ann was better. This made me chuckle, as I remind myself, memorably, just how poor Ann's performances had been in a previous season of SCD. Craig himself couldn't laugh that much though, because of the botulinum toxin, known simply as Botox, allegedly used to make him look less than his fifty years.

Some may have said this performance was terrible, others may have argued that it was  bad, but as Kanye says not in a nice way. In reality it was both, a terribly bad performance, but comedy gold none the less. If the O2 want to make some serious cash they should sell crates of rotten tomatoes. With this performance this chap would have had to dodge them by the cart load. Ridiculous.


To relieve our pain and bring us back to a sense of purpose and reality Rachel, the yummy mummy, danced her Rumba. The Rumba that has provided her with the record of acquiring the highest scoring Rumba on SCD.   It was a sensuous and rousing performance, which received a warm round of applause. I have never quite got the Rumba, until now that is. For the first time I actually understood it. Wow, no offence  Kristina, but Rachel can teach me the Rumba anytime (I'd second that. - Ed). Yummy!


It was Thom's turn next and his performance would be inspired, although I couldn't say by exactly what. It seemed that the half of the outfit Kristina decided not to wear Thom would use to make a waist coat. However, he must have run out of material, as it couldn't be buttoned up. This didn't stop him though from performing a dance that every female member of the audience was hoping would cause an acute wardrobe malfunction. It didn't happen.

It was not a great dance, but if they were clamoring for it to be off, it would not be with  his head. It takes a great hostess to sense the baying mood of an audience and guide proceedings accordingly. Zoe Ball sensing this mood decided that if the mountain would not come to Charlie, Charlie would go to the mountain. She wasted no time in obliging them by simply asking Thom to take it off. With a Cheshire cat grin on his face he wasted even less time in doing so. It was at this point that all hell, total pandemonium,  broke out.


The gentlemanly rugby player had no shame displaying a chest that would have left Pumping Iron's Arnold Schwarzenegger cringing with sympathy. Is this all it took to reduce  grannies into behaving like giggling teenagers on a first date?  If they found Thom's flat chest interesting I could be an overnight sensation, a revelation. The group of ladies, if at this stage you could still call them that, to my left and most of the ladies in the  audience for that matter were behaving in a way that would have relegated the now tagged "mummy porn" romance "Fifty Shades of Grey" to the bottom shelf.

If this was all it took to reduce the British female's stiff upper lip to a quiver, then God save the Queen. In fact it was at this point that I had a frightening thought and subconsciously, as if to make my own chest appear inconspicuously smaller, sank lower in my seat. After what seemed like an eternity the women and some men began to calm down and we could get on with the rest of the show. Sick (But in a good way - Ed).


Caroline next performed her now famous Moroccan-themed Charleston and she was rewarded with the only full-house score of the night. You couldn't really distinguish her from the professionals who were supposed to be accompanying her in a supporting role. If anything she was supporting them! It was great, it was expected and she was good. Without doubt, she was the best celebrity dancer of the lot.


Next, Tom Chambers and Camilla Dallerup performed a dance that reassured the audience on their genuineness, as judges. They danced to a Ginger and Fred Astair number, I think, and they were very good. Surprisingly good  and the audience acknowledged them accordingly. Nice.


Another group dance followed to a live rendition of "Let it go" from the film Frozen. The singer was extremely good, although I have not actually watched the film. I have taken the Bambinos to see so many cartoons at the cinema that about a few months ago I decided I couldn't take anymore. How to train your dragon, The Cars, Up, Brave, Despicable Me you name it I've seen the lot, but enough was enough.

However, "Let it Go" did sound good. The singer was spirited and the dancing was, figuratively speaking, moving. It was one of those sort of performances that, if you liked the movie, it probably meant quite a lot. The kids in the audience loved it and so did some of the adults too. Next, the moment everyone was waiting for and the announcement over the tannoy that the text voting lines were closed. We were also informed that if you voted after now your money would still be taken. Sounds like they could teach the HMRC a trick or two.

The usual format followed where by one by one the dance couple's names would be called out and the light above them distinguished in acknowledgment that it was not them, this time, that had one the show's glitter ball. This led to the usual sighing from disappointment, or relief, from the audience when their anointed couple would not be this show's winner.

Finally, there were two couples left, we had Caroline Flack and Tristan Mac Manus against Scott Mills and Joanne Clifton. It was a scene reminiscent of a Germany vs England football match, with a German striker one on one with England's goalkeeper and his team mates already heading back to the half-way line. The outcome was inevitable.

The genuine disbelief in Zoe's voice, as she announced Scot and Joanna as the winner, was one of life's slow motion moments. I couldn't believe it, as a group the whole of the 10,00 strong audience couldn't believe it. The Bambinos looked bemused, although probably not as bemused as Johanna. Unknowingly, gone was the innocence of Frozen, they had just learnt one of life's most valuable lessons not even Alan Sugar's "The Apprentice" could have taught them.

It was a result that would have made Robert Mugabe hurriedly contact the UN with an offer to send electoral inspectors  and a recount.  It would have left Kim in Korea nodding his head and slowly clapping his hands, in silent admiration.  It would have made those oligarchs across the bridge in Chelski hurriedly make mid-term Aeroflot ticket bookings back to the suburbs of Siberia and the short trek on to the Gulag for a refresher course.


If they had then, like that pint drinking politician, they would have missed the point. The Londoner had voted for the teary eyed Scott, who declared that this was the first time he had won any of the live shows, which is according to John Cleese stating the bloody obvious.

The Londoner has voted for Scott not because of his race, creed or colour, nor because he supported the wrong United. It was not because he was a trier, either. Neither had they voted  for him because Joanne, like her brother Kevin, was from Grimsby. No, more importantly they had voted for him because, like Eddie the Eagle, John Sargeant and Frank Spencer before him, he was a loser. He was  the quintessential British male and that was why he won.


The still stunned and speechless audience (But didn't they vote for him? Maybe they didn't anticipate the consequences of their collective action! - Ed) were next asked to acknowledge and say goodbye to the fabulous live singers, which we did. They sounded great and had contributed an enormous part to this shows success ...


... so had the judges, seen in this image dancing and Len hobbling. So had the hostess Zoe Ball, another yummy mummy, who at the end of the three hour show still had enough left to dance (Yum, yum - Ed) like a teenager at an early morning  rave ...


... and lastly, but no means the least, all of the professional and celebrity dancers, including the winner Scott (Bravo - Ed).

I kid you not, there is no business like show business and this was coming to you live from the O2 arena. However, this show was really only about one winner and it was the over thirty-something year old, not only beautiful, but now equally as sexy, as their European counterpart, British woman.

Once upon a time young French girls aspired to be the next Bridgit Bardot, Italian girls wanted to become a Sophie Loren and British women like, em, Hilda Ogden? (I'm saying nothing - Ed). Like the Greenwich peninsula times are changing from what you used to be a down-trodden barren waste land.

What we witnessed, like the newly constructed, luxury apartments, is the continuous rise and rise of confident sexy British women in their thirties and forties that are perfect role models for young girls, like my daughter. Yes, there was only one winner from this show "From Ben they get a 10" (I'd drink to that - Ed).

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