Author: David Archer
Published: 10:41 14/11/2012
Bruce Forsyth, at the grand old age of 84, may need to take this on his significant chin...Strictly Come Dancing is better without him (and the series-high ratings of 10.4 million prove it!). The performance of the talented Claudia Winkleman in co-hosting the show with Tess Daly blew Brucie’s lame jokes out of the water, leading one viewer to tweet “The show on Saturday was so much better without Bruce Forsyth. Please keep him off the show” whilst another, less charitably, commented “Time to retire old fossil Bruce Forsyth.” It is unclear whether the much loved entertainer is ready to mothball his black tie and dancing shows, and he will return to the show next week as the Children in Need extravaganza takes place in Wembley stadium.
One of the best shows of the 10th series took place in his absence with particular praise for Denise van Outen who sizzled in her scarlet-clad paso doble which won her, and partner James Jordan, a series highest score of 36. She remains second favourite to win, at odds of 5/2 from bookmaker Bet365, behind Olympic gymnast Louis Smith who is evens to win the competition despite the criticisms of entertainingly picky judge Craig Revel Horwood who thought Louis’ walz with partner Flavia Cacace was “pedestrian”. The other judges each awarded Louis 9 out of a possible ten and were aghast at Craig’s miserly award of 6. A real handbag- at-dawn moment!
The surprise of the show was the appearance of Girls Aloud singer, Kimberley Walsh, in the dance-off. Her Viennese waltz had been well received by judges and she reacted in true trooper style to her predicament, by dancing her heart out against rival contestant Fern Brittan leading Judge Bruno Tonioli to say 'Well with all due respect, I thought one couple was outstanding and that couple is Kimberley and Pasha.' Craig Revel Horwood was predictably more scathing and said that the result was a “no brainer”, a comment that would be shared by many viewers in front of their tellies at home. Fern Brittan was most gracious in defeat, tearfully saying “This is the best party on the television, it’s the best programme in the world and I’m thrilled to have been part of it”.
The leader board positions remain unchanged with Louis Smith and Denise van Outen, followed by Kimberly Walsh and actress Lisa Riley in the bookmakers’ estimation. At the bottom of the table, the situation looks dire for presenter Richard Arnold who has survived the past couple of weeks by the skin of his pearly white teeth. He is favourite to leave at Wembley, with odds of 5/4 from bookmaker Boylesports. Cricketer Michael Vaughan is also in the firing line after a wooden salsa where he lost his timing. Bookmaker Paddy Power offers odds of 7/2 that he will be leaving next whilst Westlife singer Nicky Byrne is not far behind him at odds of 7/1 that he will leave from the same bookie.
Week 7 of the show, themed as “Dancing Through The Decades” takes place at Wembley this Saturday in front of an audience of 6,000. Let’s hope Richard, Michael and Nicky are sweating it out in the meantime to avoid a very public and inglorious exit from this seriously well danced series.