A few hints to understanding Strictly Come Dancing

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The Strictly Come Dancing Final is upon us!

It’s normally the celebrities who experience a rollercoaster ride but this year, it seems that Series 15 itself is suffering more.

And it’s mainly because of the numpties who don’t actually know how the show works. It’s driving me nuts, and I dare say, a lot of other fans too. Except the sensible ones, of course, who just watch the two main shows and don’t go anywhere near social media, forums or the Strictly blog comments. They might see a headline or two in the tabloids, but no doubt treat those with the contempt they deserve.

Here’s a handy pull out and keep guide …

  1. Live and recorded shows: The Beeb has never tried to pretend that the Sunday night results show is live. It’s recorded live on the Saturday night with edited highlights shown on the Sunday (think how much the licence fee would go up if the cast and crew had to come back again?!). For the aforementioned (sensible) viewers who aren’t as sad as the rest of us, the cast refer to last night and tonight because it would be more confusing to refer to ‘tonight’s dances’ on the Sunday when they watched them on Saturday. See?
  2. The Bottom two: You have no right to criticise the show because of who ends up in the bottom two. We, the voters, have it in our power to to turn the leaderboard on its head. Those that end up there are simply not as popular that night with the public. A perfect example was last weekend’s semi – final. Anita has been popular right the way through, probably 2nd only to Jay, but two below par dances cost her. I still voted for her but my heart wasn’t really in it because I hated that ‘salsa’. Clearly, only her die-hard fans were going to vote for her, not the all important floating voters. Therefore, she was only 4th or 5th with the public and couldn’t escape the dance off. And we know this because …
  3. The leaderboard: It isn’t rocket science.  Had Anita been more popular than Georgia and Jay, she would have leapfrogged both – she didn’t. Therefore best she could have been would be 3rd with the public. And if that were true, Kellie would have needed to be bottom with the public for Anita to overtake her. And that didn’t happen either. So stop complaining and berate yourselves instead for not voting more ….
  4. The Dance Off: Rules state the couple who perform best in the dance off should progress. For 4 experienced judges, this really shouldn’t be a problem, as to my untrained eyes, the dance offs have been totally clear cut all the way through. If you’re going to take into account the performances from the main show, the previous weeks or the couple’s potential for the following weeks, then the Dance Off is pointless. When the neutrals were outraged at Peter progressing instead of Jamelia, the judges realised they’d cocked up (I’m giving them the benefit of the doubt here. Think of it as a lovers’ tiff, and now I’ve forgiven the BBC) so when it came to Georgia v Helen, and then Katie v Anita, they had to stick to the rules.
  5. We’re not voting just for Anton: If that were the case, he’d have won every year, wouldn’t he? We’re voting for the partnership – think Team Cola, Mattesha – the partnership is integral to a couple’s success, and in Katie, Anton has the perfect foil who can actually dance, She might get overly nervous and cock it up at times, but she can dance. So yes, there is a collective will thinking: This may be his only chance!
  6. Strictly Spoilers: You know when football fans stick their fingers in their ears and sing “la la la” just as the main news finishes? That’s because they don’t want to know the football scores before Match of the Day (the football highlights show) comes on. They want to watch the highlights and be thrilled and delighted by seeing goals they didn’t know they’d see. It’s the same for Strictly fans who like to see the results show unfold. So respect their wishes and don’t post the result on Sunday morning with the #strictly or #scd hashtags. Take part in the conversation on Digital Spy’s spoiler thread instead, and be aware that those following you on social media can see all your posts, even if you use the #strictlyspoiler hashtag.
  7. Strictly viewers and voters: There are several different types to be aware of, who can be spotted at various times during the competition. Read about the 8 types I’ve come up with here.

Finally, for those with concerns over why the phone line to their favourite is engaged, or why the BBC don’t publish the viewer figures, full FAQs can be read here.

Enjoy the final!

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