Strictly 2015 Favourite Dances

I have loved this series of Strictly Come Dancing. At the start of the series the only celebrity I didn’t know was Daniel O’Donnell but he soon won me over. The new pros have been great additions to the show with exciting choreography and great relationships with their celeb partners. It was possibly the highest standard of dancing the show has ever seen – by the quarter finals it was basically down to popularity of the celebs/pro dancers.

Jay and Aliona won making Aliona the first pro to win twice. I have loved Jay and Aliona throughout the series. However, if Jay hadn’t won, I would’ve liked Georgia to win. Once they were allowed to drop the Vincent and Louisa mark 2 facade, they came into their own, formed a great relationship and some showstopping dances.

Click continue reading to see what my favourite dances were of this series…

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Strictly Launch Show 2015

Last weekend the Strictly season began again when the launch show was broadcast on Saturday night. After the couples are paired up on the launch show, they have about 3 weeks to train before the first live shows at the end of September. The programme returned with all the campness, cheesiness and dancing that we have come to expect and I loved the sketch at the beginning with all the pros in the house and then the train with Bruno shovelling glitter.

Despite a lot of the press bemoaning the “lack of stars” in this year’s line up, I am quite looking forward to it. The only celeb I didn’t know before was Daniel O’Donnell as I don’t think I am the right age demographic to be one of his fans. There has also been moaning that many of the celebs are employed by the BBC. I don’t see the problem with this as although I enjoyed last year’s line up many of last year’s celebs wouldn’t have been recognisable to the older, more constant members of the audience. I think it’s also quite clever to use BBC stars in a time when the BBC is under scrutiny by the government as it showcases the talent that the BBC uses. Generally, from a dancing point of view, none of the contestants look to be completely awful or obvious comedy contestants so there will hopefully be more focus on the dancing and more spectacular dances! However, this could mean some shock boots in the early part of the series.

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The election

I usually try to shy away from non-media related blog posts and especially about topics like politics! I have only done one really politically focussed post before about UKIP and the correlation between their media exposure and votes. Politics is a tricky and quite often sensitive topic to blog about. It’s easy for someone like myself who doesn’t fully understand all the policies to contradict and generalise when discussing politics. For someone who primarily blogs about television shows from a mostly objective perspective, I was wary about doing this post. It won’t be completely clear, easy to comprehend or make a lot of sense but I wanted to just unload my thoughts about the recent election and current political parties.

This week, in the United Kingdom, we have had a general election. Following six weeks of campaigning and various television appearances (the debates that weren’t quite conventional), voters went to the polling stations on Thursday and cast their votes to decide who should be the next government. I saw the exit poll and the first result come in from Sunderland (Labour) before I gave in and went to bed. I wished I had stayed up to watch more of the results as there is a sense of excitement and anxiety but I would definitely have been more of a zombie at work yesterday if I had! I caught up on the results during the day at work, watching on the BBC website as the map of the UK turned more blue (Conservative). By midday, Cameron had got a majority Conservative government and three other party leaders had resigned. The most unpredictable outcome.

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Reggie Yates: Extreme Russia

Recently I have been watching the documentary series Reggie Yates: Extreme Russia on BBC Three. I stumbled upon it by accident but became very intrigued, catching up on the first episode on iplayer and then watching the other two episodes of the series on television.

The series was split into three locations in Russia and three topics: Far Right and nationalist groups in Moscow, homosexuality and homophobia in St Petersburg and aspiring teen models in Siberia.

I would recommend this series as it is a really interesting watch. This is partly due to how the documentaries were made and the use of Reggie as a presenter.

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Strictly New Pros

Last week the BBC announced that three new professional dancers are joining Strictly Come Dancing this year. Strictly fans, myself included, scrambled to see the news as when new dancers join, it means others have left (or been dropped) to make room for them. Three questions are in the minds of strictly fans when these announcements are made: Who are the new pros? Who is returning? Who is leaving?

The new pros were announced as Giovanni Pernice, Gleb Savchenko and Otlile Mabuse. Special mentions in the announcement were given to Iveta and Trent who are not returning and Robin Windsor is also not returning (though the executive producer neglects to comment about Windsor at all!) bringing the total number of pros to 16 for this year’s series in the Autumn.

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What a fracas!

March was a month of big news stories. These included the upcoming general election, Richard III’s reburial, a terrorist attack in a Tunisian museum and the plane crash in the French Alps. Despite all these big, rolling news stories, another story seemed to dominate in the newspapers and television news: Jeremy Clarkson’s fracas with a producer on Top Gear. Even when there wasn’t much to report such as Jeremy Clarkson saying he hadn’t heard anything, it still became news probably much to the annoyance of the BBC.

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Broadchurch Series 2

Broadchurch was a hugely popular crime drama when the first series was broadcast in 2013. The first series focussed on the murder of an 11 year old boy from a tight-knit community in a fictional town in Dorset. No character was free from suspicion and the series progressed with the community growing further apart due to grief and a lack of trust. The whodunnit proved to be a surprise hit for ITV and spurned a lot of cultural tourism to the Jurassic Coast and West Country locations used in the programme.

I was a little late to the first series. Initially, I didn’t watch due to the hype surrounding the programme. I thought that as when many programmes become suddenly popular and hyped up that it wouldn’t live up to the expectations and quality that people have raved about. Other reasons for missing most of the series included simply missing it due to other commitments. Eventually I caved in following the finale due the high praise regarding the series’ resolution of the whodunnit and the acting. Unfortunately, by this time I could only watch the last two episodes so I found out the killer was Joe Miller, the father of murdered boy’s best friend and watched in awe at Olivia Colman’s brilliant reaction to this news as Ellie Miller, the wife of the murderer.

Having been impressed by the two episodes that I had managed to see, I set time aside every Monday evening this year as series 2 of Broadchurch was broadcast (from January to February). However, whilst I was on the whole enjoying this series, many fans of the first were disappointed by its sequel and took to the internet to complain about absolutely anything they could! This week, Chris Chibnall the writer of Broadchurch has responded to some of these complaints.

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All this fuss over a pink bus

This week, Labour unveiled their plans to talk to women and encourage them to vote at the next general election in May. This came in the form of a pink van which would travel around Britain and allow MPs or prospective candidates to speak to women about their concerns regarding politics and politicians with the aim of getting the women to vote in the election by listening to them.

Labour's controversial pink van

Labour’s controversial pink van

However, since it has been unveiled it has been debated, ridiculed, questioned and torn apart by not only the press and Twitter users (as would be expected) but also television news and chat shows.

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This is The Voice

The new series of The Voice kicked off last week with the start of the blind auditions and introducing Rita Ora as a new judge. I like the blind auditions stage because the contestant is allowed to sing without being judged by their appearance first. It’s interesting to see which judges turn around and if more than one judge does turn, which one the contestant will choose to be their mentor.

So far this series I like Lucy O’Byrne (Team Will) and Howard Rose (Team Tom). I also liked the guy who sangĀ House of the Rising Sun but unfortunately he didn’t get through. I’m not going to blog properly about this series yet as there has only been one episode at the time of writing this. Instead this post is going to be about my favourite performances from all the preceding series.

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Strictly 2014 Stats

I was so involved with Strictly 2014 this year. I watched the main shows, most of the result shows, most It Takes Two episodes, lurked but never posted on forums to see the opinions of others, blogged about it, read blogs especially the brilliant recaps by Monkseal, waited patiently every Wednesday on my lunch break for the music and dances to be revealed etc. I knew who all the contestants were this year so it was really engaging and entertaining for me.

I have decided to choose my favourite of each style of dance. For someone who isn’t a fan of too many props and overtheming, there are quite a few theme week dances in the mix. Click continue reading to see which ones I chose…

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