With just a few weeks to go until the final of Strictly Come Dancing 2014 I have finally chosen my favourites. I say finally but I was probably at the same stage last year, selecting Abbey and Alijaz as my favourites and winners after Mark and Iveta were knocked out of the competition. For the reasons below, Pixie and Trent (Team Trixie) are my favourites and I hope they win.
I started the series being critical of the “good” dancers eg. Frankie, Pixie, Caroline and my allegiance in the early stages of the competition was with Jake and Janette. This was because he seemed like an underdog who hadn’t or didn’t seem like he had had dance training before and wasn’t the typical young female performer that usually makes it to the final. Also Janette paired with someone the opposite of Julien McDonald has calmed her (most of the time) and I’m actually warming to her this series. His salsa in week 2 was so unexpected and so good that I chose him as my early favourite though I had soft spots for Tim, Thom and Steve.
However, as the weeks have drawn on Jake has had his fair share of dodgy dances and my attention has moved to Pixie and Trent – Team Trixie. I was wary of the “good” dancers in the beginning as I previously haven’t been a fan of the trained celebs in the past known as ringers by fans of the show. I think this is because they tried too hard every week to remind us that they were barely trained and didn’t have any advantage over the other contestants at all before performing competent, technically brilliant dances. I didn’t like Denise Van Outen for this reason as it was obvious she was trained despite her claims that all she did in Chicago was sit on a chair (you can’t be a lead role in Chicago if you can’t dance – the musical is basically one dance after another!!!). Similarly, I wasn’t a fan of Natalie Gumede last year for her constant attempts to talk down her dance training. With Pixie, I am unaware that she has mentioned her previous dance training and even if she did, she couldn’t deny it as she is only 23 and can’t claim it was AGES ago.
I am also a big fan of Trent. He’s such a different pro to the others. Whilst all the others seem to be hyperactive and so excited about everything like their celeb with “everything is the best this year” style enthusiasm, Trent is so laid back and relaxed. I would have thought maybe it was an Australian thing but Natalie was mega enthusiastic this year even with Tim! He is also an amazing choreographer. Some dances haven’t interested me like the first week jive and the rumba (I just hate all rumbas) but the majority have been brilliant. As yohinnchild posted on a thread on the Digital Spy Forums for Strictly Come Dancing – “I just hope Trent returns next year; he should win alone for his choreography this year which has been exceptional. Yes he has had a good celeb, but that doesn’t always mean excellent or memorable choreography. He has that good balance of interesting routine, however with a shed load of content.”
I have to like both the pro and the celeb for a pair to be my favourites. I appreciate that Frankie and Kevin are good but Kevin is beginning to grate on me which affects how I view their dances and interviews. I appreciated that Mark has improved dramatically especially in the Latin dances but he grates on me a little and I still just do not like Karen (and haven’t in any of the series that she has been in). Basically I have to like both members of the couple to be wowed by their dances and support them.
Blackpool was the turning point for me this year. I felt like clapping after the paso – it was so good (I didn’t). I also thought last week’s charleston was undermarked. It was refreshing to see a charleston that was so fast paced, so stylised and without too much cartoonish gurning. Though the last two weeks have confirmed Pixie and Trent as my favourites, here are my top 5 Trixie dances: