Strictly Come Dancing 8 Monkies – Monkseal’s Picks

If anything, even more predictable than the reader results…

Best Judge : Craig Revel-Horwood (it was a close run thing between Craig, Alesha, and Bruno, but in the end…Scott). Even selling out his every (pretend) principle to partner Ann on tour can’t quite erase the memory that.

Worst Judge Len Goodman (uber alles – see : the comments for Matt’s salsa in particular. Three sensible crits of an awful dance get washed away cause Len can’t help pulling stupid vibratey faces)

Best Judging Moment : “Feleeeeeeeeeecity, I never KNEW you could be so BENDY!”

(Runners up – “I GOT IT! I GOT IT!”, the first Craig : “One” for Widdy before it got boring, the first week of Craig vs Widdy insult-tennis before it got boring, Bruno does Kristina’s disco moves, Alesha saying that she’s seen enough of Felicity’s splits to last her a life-time, “I AGREEEEEEEEEEEEE!”, “I seen you doin a little cha cha” *kisses teeth*, Len almost storms off, James Jordan points out that Craig’s talking a load of old waffle)

Worst Judging Moment Scott getting dragged by the neck and still getting 9s

(Runners up – Widdy getting a 7 for wearing a harness, “TURN UP, KEEP UP, SHUT UP!”, every time Alesha used the word “inspirational” with regards to an older lady, Len’s VIBRATING FACES OF OUTRAGE, I hate, you hate, we all hate the Gavbot, “THERE WAS NOTHING ADEQUATE ABOUT THAT CHA CHA!”, “Suhhhhhhhhhhhhcooooootttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttt”, Show me bum in Tescos/baby in a topless bar/fart God Save The Queen/whatever, Len being gross, is my point.)

Best VT Storyline Katya plays rugby

(Runners-up : Injury Porn uber alles, Aliona dances in the pumpkin patch dressed as Eva Peron, Gavin hates the jive – also cowboys, Felicity has fruit in her socks, Gavin says Katya’s weight on national tv, Pamela & James go walking through the highlands, Katya’s thinking sexy thoughts – good for her)

Worst VT Storyline Pamela Stephenson gets bummed over a potter’s wheel whilst her daughters watch

(Runners-up : BILLY CONNOLLY! BILLY CONNOLLY! BILLY CONNOLLY! BILLY CONNOLLY!, It’s alright that your dancing’s gone off the boil Felicity – old men want to fuck you, “I was so depressed – my love life is frozen over, my career is stalling, I’m so lonely…BUT NOW I’M A BIT THINNER! PROBLEM SOLVED!”, Artem meets the family in a hedge maze, DID SCOTT MENTION HE HAD WORK COMMITMENTS/THE FLU/A DISAPPROVING SON/A DEAD NANA/ISSUES WITH LOOKING GAY?, The Ann Widdecombe School of Latin Dancing is now open, SCREW YOU ALESHA, MY FACE WAS WELL GOOD!)

Best Host : Claudia

Worst Host : Tess (I am literally the only person who thought that Bruce had a good year by his standards aren’t I?)

Most Tedious Pointless Controversy The eighth Annual Memorial Christopher Parker Panic.

(Runners-up : …nothing really. Makes a change. The usual “WAH! WHY DID THAT DANCE GET 28? IT TOTALLY DESERVED 29!” stuff obviously.)

Best Pro Dance : Erin & Anton’s Moon River Waltz

(Runners-up : GHOSTBUSTERS!, Showdancers Spooky Viennese Waltz, Bus-stop Charleston, Jordarumba)

Most embarassingly poor Guest Performer That one Bryan Ferry dancer.

(Runners-up : Robbie Williams, Peter Andre, Duffy)

Most Bullshit Elimination : Jimi Mistry

(Runners-up : Goldie, Tina O’Brien, Ian Waite)

Queen Of All Pros : Katya Virshilas – give the girl a decent partner next year please

(Runners-up : Erin Boag, Natalie Lowe, Ola Jordan)

King Of All Pros : Artem Chigvintsev – first newbie winner since Wiggy

(Runners-up : Brenda Cole, James Jordan, Vincent Simone)

Best Celebrity – Personality : Gavin Henson – whether by accident or on purpose or, let’s face it, a little of both, by far the most hilarious celebrity this year. Cute kids as well.

(Runners up – Michelle Williams, Pamela Stephenson)

Worst Celebrity – Personality : Ann Widdecombe – nothing worse than somebody who doesn’t try

(Runners-up – Peter Shilton, Pamela Stephenson)

Best Celebrity – Talent : Kara Tointon

(Runners-up : Matt Baker, Pamela Stephenson, Scott Maslen (first half of the series only))

Worst Celebrity – Talent : Ann Widdecombe

(Runners-up : Paul Daniels, Peter Shilton, Gavin Henson)

Monkseal’s 10 Least Favourite Dances Of The Series

10. Peter Shilton’s Salsa – Mambo No. 5 : Only way it could have been worse is if it had been done to THAT version of Mambo No. 5

9. Matt Baker’s Salsa – Spinning Around : Those gyrations…Jesus save us all

8. Patsy’s Quickstep – Black Horse And The Cherry Tree : Of all the Drag Queen fantasies that Robin indulged this series, the Cowgirl was the least edifying

7. Michelle Williams’ Cha Cha – Stone Cold Sober : Oh the irony…

6. Gavin Henson’s tango – Toxic : : The worst tango done to Toxic in the history of Strictly. The other one was done by Christopher Parker. Nuff said.

5. Felicity Kendall’s salsa – All Night Long : Seriously, get a decent salsa teacher in. I hear Brian Fortuna’s not busy…

4. Scott Maslen’s American Smooth – Fly Me To The Moon : In one fell swoop, completely blew his chances in a dance he should have been good at.

3. Paul Daniels’ Rumba – Take A Bow : You look so dumb right now…

2. Peter Shilton’s Charleston – Cabaret : Oh Erin…

1. Ann Widdecombe’s Everything – All Of It : Just saying. She did ten dances. She COULD be the entire list.

Monkseal’s Favourite 20 Dances Of The Series

20. Gavin Henson’s Paso Doble – Uprising :


I’m not saying it’s necessarily a good dance, hence the whole “favourite” thing (and we’ve still got more Gavin to justify on this list), but the sight of a semi-naked Gavin-as-Satan, with dyed red hair and little furry horns, ravishing a particularly sextacular looking Katya until her white dress turns red is amongst my favourite storytelling of the entire series. People have been slagging on Moira Ross a lot, but would we have got “Satan took my virginity” as a storyline under any other producer? No we would not have.

19. Patsy Kensit’s Jive – Monster Mash :


Yes, it turns out that Hallowe’en Week allowed a few of the weaker dancers to shine, as Patsy’s sole appearance on my list comes from her performance as Dr Patsy Frankenstein, getting pro-active and creating her own darned husband, who then motor-boated her into ecstacy. Nobody tell her that he’s about to abandon her for the Wolfman…

18. Pamela Stephenson’s Paso Doble – Bad Romance :


Maybe for the music choice alone. Who can say?

17. Matt Baker’s Charleston – 42nd Street :


I think in terms of mise en scene this was by far Aliona’s best work, and actually amongst the best work of the entire series. Aliona as the Pears Soap girl – Matt as a circus strongman, complete with unicycle. It was both completely period appropriate and also something completely distinct, rather than, say, just bunging out a Charleston to any old tune from Bugsy Malone, JARED.

16. Gavin Henson’s Foxtrot – Minnie The Moocher :


If only Katya had married her best hat to her best choreography (Sane Edition) this might have been even higher. Think on that.

15. Scott Maslen’s Quickstep – I Wanna Be Like You :


Almost worth an entire series worth of his obnoxious monkey impressions, Scott’s quickstep was witty (/Sheila Hancock), bouncy, and fun. I don’t think Disney gets enough play on this show as a source for music, I really don’t. Be Prepared’s got to be able to be mangled into an Argentine tango right?

14. Kara Tointon’s Charleston – Put A Lid On It :


Another Charleston that didn’t quite fit into the show’s mould for them, Kara’s effort was loose, languid, , understated, steamy and featured her practically naked. No wonder the judges had a collective conniption fit and told her to put some clothes on and start over-acting her boobs off if she wanted to get much further in the show. They were probably right but still…it rankles.

13. Matt Baker’s Viennese Waltz – Where The Wild Roses Grow :


The second time through, rather than first, where most of the faults had been ironed out, and the bizarreness of the music choice had been gotten over. Still not quite sure what that swing was for though…

12. Kara Tointon’s American Smooth – Cry Me A River :


Again, the second time through, if only for the INSPIRATION of her dancing through the pain to victory. I still say the dance never quite lived up to the fantastic bombast of its opening, but with that storyline attached…

11. Scott Maslen’s Tango – Palladio I, Alleggretto :


Natalie’s dress was like woah.

10. Pamela Stephenson’s Viennese Waltz – Unchained Melody :


Yes, the Viennese Waltzes are log-jamming up the midtable like a giant wad of loo paper (and there’s still a couple more to come), but what can I say, they were of a high standard this series. Pamela’s variation was a big, overblown, blousy love-story of James returning from BEYOND THE GRAVE to give her one last twirl around the floor before deciding actually…nah, he’s better off dead. Gets both points added and points removed for the bloody great carry-on she indulged in after it finished. Both times.

9. Scott Maslen’s Viennese Waltz – I Put A Spell On You :


See? Told you. Scott’s sterling character work as a zombie/golem/statue/whatever propels this one marginally above James’ work as a ghost. Scott is a professional actor though, which I guess was always going to give him the edge. Kudos also to Natalie who broke the cast-iron Strictly rule that a horrific outfit always necessarily equals a bad dance. Oh stripper-witch…

8. Gavin Henson’s Quickstep – I Want You To Want Me :


I point again, most vigorously, to the “favourite” above the banner headline there. 90 seconds of complete and utter madness, that may or may not have had a Quickstep as the base, Gavin’s quickstep featured him leapfrogging a standing Katya, booting her in the vagina, snogging Bruno, and blowing a raspberry all whilst CRIPPLED BY EMOTION AT THE SIGHT OF HIS CHILDREN’S LITTLE FACES. Who won’t remember this in five series time? Glorious mess.

7. Matt Baker’s Tango – Hung Up :


Time went by so slowly for those who waited for Aliona’s choreography to fulfil its batshit potential via the means of a quirky yet good dance (no…that American Smooth does not count. It just…doesn’t…) and finally, in the semis it came, with a clockwork mechnical tango full of rage and menace, only about 80% of which was being directed at the judges.

6. Kara Tointon’s Viennese Waltz – Stop :


Obviously Kara did my favourite Viennese Waltz of the series – an excellent mix of girly princessy-ness and an edge of something slightly more mature. Amidst a series that was at times almost Total Nonstop Panto Action, Artem was one of the few who knew when to hold back.

5. Pamela Stephenson’s Rumba – To Make You Feel My Love :


Ah…Pamela’s early promise. Harnessed mostly by the fact that she was with James – undisputed King of Rubmabooba, I think of all the early Pamela dances that prompted a patronising “ooh, isn’t she good for her age?” reaction, this was my favourite. Whether this was mostly because it pissed Len off, I cannot say.

4. Michelle Williams’ Jive – Time Warp :


Firstly? TIME WARP Secondly? They were both clearly just having a whale of a time out there. Thirdly? It pissed Len off. Fourthly? In this week, Michelle had been bottom two a million times in a row, had messed up every dance thus far, had just injured her ankle, had only had a few days of training with Brendan because of his bereavement, and was sailing directly into a very difficult dance that played to all her weaknesses. That she did THIS? Effing punch-the-air triumphant.

3. Scott Maslen’s Jive – Hit The Road Jack :


Managed to kid us all into thinking that Scott was capable of doing Latin for all of about a week. A glittery door, a suitcase, an angry Natalie, and Strictly History, of a sort. Best male jive ever, by quite a long way (soz Austin fanz)

2. Kara Tointon’s Argentine Tango – Los Vino :


It was a rum old year for the Argentine Tango – cut loose from its semi-final moorings and allowed to buffer around into Hallowee’en Week, Robin Windsor, and an incredibly bored Scott Maslen, it’s fair to say that a bit of the shine wore off the form to an extent. But then, at the end of the day, just as every other series thus far has only produced one stand out AT effort (Mark’s, Alesha’s, Rachel’s, Ricky’s) so too did this series. So at the end of the day, Kara redeemed the Argentine Tango. And well done for that.

1. Kara Tointon’s Tango – Roxanne : Best tango ever, flawless, *fans self* etc etc.


So…that’s it for another series. Definitely one of the best series – I might even remember all of the above dances when I come to write this bit up for Series 9. Which is more than you can say for last series. Thank you to everyone who has read the recaps and the summaries, voted in the polls, left comments, and put up with my liking contestants you don’t/not liking contestants you do. Hooray for Kara, hooray for Artem, hooray for the TIME WARP, hooray for Katya’s Hat…until September, THIS has been Strictly Come Dancing.


25 thoughts on “Strictly Come Dancing 8 Monkies – Monkseal’s Picks

  1. PadsterMo

    I was certain the TIME WARP would be your number 1! *shocked face*

    Good to see Patsy’s jive in there though

  2. Left Feet

    Good job agree with most of that even Bruce he’s going to be hard to replace when he does go and the show will change when he does go, his jokes are shite but he still has more life in him then most of the shop floor dummies mentioned (Gethin, Aled Matt Baker etc). So I hope he is back next year.
    Think Robin should have been a runner up in King of the Pros apart from James and Artem no body else did better then him IMO. Also Kara’s Rumba would have been in my top 20.
    Good point about the AT its really the dance that sorts out who is the best dancer in every series.
    It was one of the best series with 5 & 4 well done Moria Ross and well done you for your words. See you in September.

    1. monkseal Post author

      I might have to reconsider Robin’s contribution to this series come September. He didn’t really stand out for me, and I don’t think he really pushed Patsy at any point ever – just had her put on mini-plays with a vague dance theme. Artem and James are definitely the two stand-outs though.

  3. Rah

    Thank YOU Monkseal! How could we properly appreciate the subtleties of reality tv without you? Looking forward to whatever you’ll be reviewing next : )

  4. Kelly

    I think the Time Warp will be the only dance I remember fondly from this series. By which I mean I’ll remember the show dances, just not fondly…

    As always, your reviews made the series more enjoyable. Thanks!

    1. monkseal Post author

      If a showdance isn’t in the top 10 there, I guarantee I won’t remember it come…well, now to be honest.

  5. Poppy

    I agree with most of your choices, except there wouldn’t by any Pamela dances at all in my favourites column, but I think that might just be me. Thank you so much for making me laugh, and giving me something to look forward to every week, it’s been a ball!

  6. Jan

    Thanks for another great series dear Monkseal, always helps when we agree on such a lot but even when we dont, it always makes me laugh. Series 8, a vintage series to be savoured and looked back on with joy.

  7. Dee

    The rugby clip is where Katya checks out her own abs for self esteem right? I loved that. Actually I loved everything Gavin/Katya related. I hope she gets a good partner next year so we can see her full range of hats.

    1. monkseal Post author

      Yup. I worry that Katya might not recreate the magic next year. I know Lilia fans were on a high after both Darren and Matt delivered for her, partnership wise, and then she got…Gropey McGee. We’ll see. Hopefully whoever it is respects the purity of her union with Klaus (<3)

  8. Neil K

    Monky – you’re starting to channel the Hancock again. Call the doctor asap. 🙂 If you’re not careful then you’ll end up posting “Stephanie expressions of suprise” all over your blogs again.

  9. Lucia

    Agreed with most of your summation.I can understand the gavebot love even if it took me nearly all the series to get it.

    If we get invited to Katya’s engagement party we can all wear hats.

    September seems an age away. See you on the other side.

  10. Ferny

    Excellent round-up to finish off another scd year. Your faves covered almost all of my favourite dances this year so I’m glad.

    You’re not alone in thinking Brucie had a good year, but I don’t if that is just in comparison to Tess who keeps falling and falling in my estimation every year. I just imagine her getting Brucie’s script and *shudder*

    1. monkseal Post author

      At this point I genuinely think they should just let Bruce do it until he wants to stop. He was alright this year, and I don’t want the unedifying sight of him going full-Arlene, sat on twitter retweeting everyone who’s mean about his replacement. I actually think Bruce and Wilnelia would be my Dream Pairing for presenting at this point. You just know she’s used to having to coddle and comfort and you know, occasionally genuinely listen to even the worst terrible showbiz bores. (Yes, I know she’s never been a presenter of anything yadda yadda…)

      1. Ferny

        That’s not a bad idea lol Wilnelia seems v. likeable.
        As long it’s not the bloody Tess and Vernon show. That would be truly the worst possible outcome.
        I for one would hope Bruce carries on for as long as possible because I’m a fan of his word-stumbling madness, and even his singing and even – even – his shuffling dancing – Long live Brucie!

  11. Nat

    Monkseal once again you’ve provided me with much needed entertainment of a work-day.

    Loving your list, even though Katya and Gavin’s ‘I Want You To Want Me’ Quickstepcrazymazingness was my personal favourite of the year. For “WTF? Why am I absolutley LOVING this, whatever the hell it is???” reasons alone.

    I bow down to you Sir.

  12. Christine

    Thank you for your reviews! They were always fab and I sometimes enjoy them more than the actual show. They are always a pleasure to read. Well done xxxxxx

  13. Simon

    Thankyou! Read your write ups every week and thoroughly enjoyed them all. My wife knew when I was reading them cos of all the giggling coming from upstairs.

    Was I the only one who called out ‘gavbot joke face!’ even before brucie finished speaking each week?


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