*Firstly I'd like to say ignore the 2015 in the link, I made a typo and it will not change even though I've changed the actual post title!! Yes it is 2 days before March and I am still writing 2015....... go me!
So a few weeks ago now, I went to the Strictly Come Dancing Live show at Metro Radio Arena.
If you know me, you know that I am a big fan of Strictly, and have watched it for years.
I had never actually been to any of the live shows, but it just so happened that we got late tickets for the show. I didn't really know what to expect but I knew it would be like the TV programme except in show form for the benefit of the arena.
Jay McGuiness and Aliona Vilani
Frankie Bridge and Kevin Clifton
Jake Wood and Janette Manrara
Georgia May Foote and Giovanni Pernice
Ainsley Harriott and Karen Clifton (originally meant to be Natalie Lowe but she had to pull out due to injury)
Anita Rani and Gleb Savchenko
Helen George and Aljaz Skorjanec
Here were the dancers which were the main couples in the show. I loved the setlist to be honest, as there was a lot of my favourite couples and individuals which I was excited to see. I was particularly excited to see Frankie Bridge, as I've mentioned I'm a huge fan of The Saturdays. It was another chance to see her live, except this time dancing not singing! She and Jake Wood were the only couples from last year's series.
I can honestly say I LOVED the show. It was so light-hearted and a lot of the comedy although at some times must have been scripted, was all natural and didn't seem to be put on.
The celebrities and dancers themselves looked to be having a great time and I have to say a special shout out to Janette and Giovanni for being so interactive with the crowds, they definitely seemed to spend a lot of time waving and taking note of the crowd in particular, although everyone I would say were very appreciative of the crowds and made their own effort.
I had already had a sneaky peak at which two dances the couples would be performing, but I've got to say I enjoyed Anita and Gleb's Paso Doble, Jay and Aliona's Jive, Frankie and Kevin's Tango, Ainsley and Karen's Salsa, Georgia and Giovanni's Charleston and Jake and Janette's Samba & their salsa the most.
As well as being excited to see Frankie perform, I was also particularly excited to see Jay and Aliona's extremely memorable jive as well as Anita and Gleb's Paso Doble and Georgia and Giovanni's charleston! These were the main dances I came really excited for! I also knew Jake and Janette would be a great couple as they were amazing together and Janette is an extraordinary dancer!
The show ran exactly how the TV programme would, with each couples coming out to begin with, followedy by a video recapping their Strictly story before their overall performance. The judges would give their opinions and vote. Each couple performed two dances and there was a break halfway through which was a great opportunity to vote for your favourite, by texting the appropriate number for your chosen pair to win. The money from the votes went to Sports Relief which I think was a great bonus as we were donating to charity whilst taking part in the show! After the break the couples returned to perform their second dance with a few group dances throughout the show also which was great to see! The show then ended with the winners revealed and the couples got to do one mini dance more as everyone took to the stage to be thanked. In our show, which was the evening one, the winners were Jay McGuiness and Aliona Vilani, with Anita Rani and Gleb Savchenko finishing in 2nd place.
My one negative thing to say would be that Pasha Kovalev wasn't on the tour, him being one of my favourite professional dancers! I did already know he wasn't part of it, but I think he would have been a great addition to it and would have brought along a lot of his fanbase I'm sure! It would have been even better if he had been there. It would have also been nice to see Ola Jordan and Kristina Rihanoff, considering they have been long-term dancers on the programme and aren't returning. I would have liked to see them dance in person!
I absolutely loved the Strictly tour and it's made me love Strictly more than I already thought I did! And also means I'm seriously so excited for the next series as I love the Autumn time with the great TV programmes such as Strictly and the build up to Christmas! Sorry I know I just mentioned Christmas in March but I'm just saying! I felt like I didn't really appreciate it as much last year because I wasn't in a great way but Strictly was definitely a big part of keeping smiles on my face! The show was absolutely hilarious and Mel Giedroyc was a great presenter and host of the show. There was also a lot of various merchandise which I had to try not to overspend on, including t shirts, mugs, 10 paddles, tote bags, pens and more.
Love & hugs