Every year I watch Strictly Come Dancing. There are things I like and things I think would benefit from improvement.
I like the mix of celebrities and I think the professional dancers are all fab-u-lous (to quote Craig Revel Horwood). The band is amazing and the make-up and costume departments do an amazing job. Craig, Len and Bruno are wonderful and the lovely Claudia Winkleman who used to host the weekday show It Takes Two was very funny and used to get the tone of the show just right.
Bruce and Tess really annoy me. Neither have the talent needed for the job and they get by on looks (Tess) and sympathy (Brucie). Bruce's constant jibes at Craig constitute bullying and are in poor taste. And judge Alesha doesn't have the same authority as a professional dancer. She over-marks and is responsible for the most vacuous of comments at times.
The elimination of the dance off was, in my opinion, a mistake. We are now in a situation in which really bad dancers, like Ann Widdecombe and John Sargent, stay in because the general public like laughing at people, and not in a good way. It also means that the Sunday night show is a farce. It's filmed on Saturday night with everyone pretending it's happening on Sunday. The judges change their outfits, the presenters change and people like me have found the spoiler on the Saturday night anyway.
When the series started there was almost constant filming of the dance training. This was often funny, interesting and informative. Well I think the budget has been cut and there are fewer camera crews available to follow the different celebrities around. The show now resorts to a scripted unfunny video that is shoehorned into the training schedule. It usually involves taking someone away from the training room to help them "get into character" or improve their fitness levels or speed. It's always contrived and more than a bit pathetic.
But I'll still watch. It's better than X Factor.