Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Strictly Come Dancing

Strictly Come Dancing (sometimes shortened to Strictly or SCD) is a British television show, featuring celebrities with professional dance partners competing in Ballroom and Latin dances. The title of the show suggests a continuation of the long-running series Come Dancing, with an allusion to the film Strictly Ballroom. The format has been exported to 32 other countries (see Dancing with the Stars), and has also inspired a modern-dance themed spin-off Strictly Dance Fever.
The show has run on BBC One since 15 May 2004, primarily on Saturday evenings. The eighth series ended on 18 December 2010. A further seven stand-alone Christmas Specials have also been produced, in consecutive years from 2004 to 2010. The show has also done 5 charity specials. Since the fourth series, the show has also been aired in high definition on BBC One HD.


The show pairs a number of celebrities with professional ballroom dancers who each week compete against each other in a competition to impress a panel of judges and the viewing public in order to survive potential elimination. Through telephone voting, viewers vote whom they would like to stay, the results of the poll being combined with the ranking of the panel of judges. For example, with four contestants left, the judges' favourite would receive four points, second favourite three points, and so on, and similarly with the viewers' rankings. The profits from the telephone lines were donated to Sport Relief in series 1, and to Children in Need from series 2 to 5.
The show is broadcast live on BBC One on Saturday evenings, and it is presented by Bruce Forsyth and Tess Daly. For some of the second series, Natasha Kaplinsky stood in temporarily for Tess Daly while she took maternity leave. The judging panel consists of Bruno Tonioli, Alesha Dixon, Len Goodman and Craig Revel Horwood. Goodman and Tonioli commute weekly between Hollywood and London to judge both the American and British versions of the show simultaneously. Each judge gives the performance a mark out of ten, giving an overall total out of forty. The voice-over announcer is Alan Dedicoat. During series four, an hour-long highlight show was shown on Sundays at 7 pm on BBC Two, and during series five and six, the results show moved to Sunday evenings, although it was filmed on Saturday and then broadcast "as live" on the Sunday.
The singers on the show are Tommy Blaize, Hayley Sanderson, Lance Ellington and Andrea Grant. The music director is David Arch. Tommy Blaize has been part of Strictly since its beginning. In Series 3, Lance Ellington and Andrea Grant joined the singing team. David Arch joined in the fourth series and Hayley Sanderson in the fifth.
The show is broadcast from a specially constructed set at the BBC Television Centre. However, in the first two series, shows were also filmed at the Tower Ballroom in Blackpool, where the original Come Dancing series was filmed in the 1970s.
In the second series, two shows were filmed at the Tower Ballroom, show five and the Grand Final which was broadcast live on 11 December 2004. In 2005 though the BBC announced that they would not be returning to the venue for the third series due to "logistical problems". In October 2008, Craig Revel Horwood called for the series to return to the Tower Ballroom, saying, "the atmosphere was electric. It's huge and has so much history. The Tower Ballroom puts a lot of pressure on the professionals and the celebrities to perform to the best of their potential. What a wonderful place to go live to 12 million people. We have got to get the BBC to bring Strictly Come Dancing back to Blackpool." Eventually, the show did return to the Tower Ballroom, for series 7, where ironically Craig Kelly (who was born in Blackpool) was eliminated. The episode was aired live on 7 November 2009.[9] The BBC has confirmed that Strictly Come Dancing will return to Blackpool for the 2010 series.

Those in bold have won the competition. Brendan Cole, Erin Boag and Anton Du Beke are the only professional dancers who have taken part in all eight series of the show. Erin and Anton have never won the competition; Brendan won the first series with Natasha Kaplinsky. Only three professionals have managed to win the title in their first series of being a Strictly professional. Those three are Brendan Cole (Series 1), Darren Bennett (Series 2) and Artem Chigvintsev (Series 8). Pasha Kovalev will become a professional dancer for the show's ninth series.

Vincent Simone Flavia Cacace

Many of the dancers form professional partnerships, dancing competitively or for show. Darren Bennet & Lilia Kopylova, and James & Ola Jordan are married, while Matthew and Nicole Cutler are now divorced but still professional partners., and Anton du Beke & Erin Boag, have danced as professional couples since 1997; Vincent Simone & Flavia Cacace are a former Argentine Tango world champion couple. Ian Waite & Camilla Dallerup also form a professional partnership, while Brendan Cole and Katya Virshilas danced professionally for several years before parting in November 
The Waltz, Cha Cha Cha, Quickstep, Rumba, Tango, Jive, Foxtrot, Paso Doble and Samba have all been danced since Series 1.
The American Smooth and the Viennese Waltz were added in Series 3.
The Salsa and the Argentine Tango were added in Series 4.
No more dances were added until Series 7 week 11 when couples performed either a Charleston (which winner Chris Hollins chose to perform again in the final) or a Rock N' Roll routine. The final also featured a head-to-head Lindyhop.
A Showdance (Freestyle) has always been performed in the series final as a last chance for couples to impress the public.


As of series four, coaches are Jaclyn Spencer and Chris Marques (aka Cuban Groove) for Salsa and Mambo, and Jenny Thomas and Ryan Francois for Swing, Jive, Rock n Roll and The Charleston. The Argentine Tango coaches in Series three were Flavia Cacace and Vincent Simone, both of whom have subsequently competed in the show.

Dance Off

From Series 5, a new system was introduced called the Dance Off. The Dance Off is performed by the two couples with the lowest scores following the judges' scores and public vote. After performing their dance again, the judges are asked one-by-one who they would like to save, and the couple with the most votes remains in the competition. If there is a tie, head judge Len Goodman has the deciding vote.
The results show is recorded on the Saturday night directly after the live show and incorporates the result of the viewers' votes which are completed by 21:30. This was confirmed by the official BBC website in 2008:
"The Sunday show is recorded on Saturday night but no element involving the results of the vote will start recording until after lines are closed and votes counted and verified."
Throughout the Sunday results show the presenters refer to 'last night' in reference to the main show, due to the timing of the Sunday programme, and Tess Daly's dress is changed to present an illusion of a second live broadcast.
From Series 7, the Sunday results show was axed and put back to Saturday nights as a result of a revamp of the show.
From Series 8 the Dance Off has been axed with the public having 50% of the decision of who is to be eliminated, the other 50% coming from the judge's scores.

Strictly Come Dancing: It Takes Two

During the run of Strictly Come Dancing, Strictly: It Takes Two is broadcast each weeknight on BBC Two, The series was previously hosted by Claudia Winkleman, however due to her pregnancy in 2011 she has had to leave the series and Zoe Ball will take over from Series 9.
The show features reviews of the performances during the previous Saturday show, and interviews with and training footage of the couples preparing for the next show. The judges and other celebrities also provide their opinions on how the couples are doing. It Takes Two replaces Strictly Come Dancing on Three, hosted by Justin Lee Collins, which ran on BBC Three during the first series. BBC Two Scotland airs the programme on four nights only, running their own Gaelic-language programming on Thursdays instead.

All about Dancing with the Stars:

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