37 of 43 people found the following review helpful
, 30 Nov. 2012
This review is from: Strictly Come Dancing - The Show Stoppers [DVD] (DVD)
The format of this DVD is a little contrived. Bruno, Len and Craig each pick what they thought was the best dance in each category (i.e. best waltz, best cha cha cha etc). However, it's very clear that they are not necessarily picking their favourites - sometimes they are picking different ones merely in order that there is a shortlist, and then they pretend to 'remember' the routine another judge mentions and agree that yes, in fact that one was better. And sometimes a dance that would normally trump the others is, you feel, passed over in order that the dancer does not win in too many categories. Well, okay, that makes sense, but I would have preferred the judges to be a little more honest and less scripted, and Len could really tone down the 'fatherly, all-wise' act. A little mention of the scores they gave at the time and putting them in the perspective of each season as a whole and their thinking at the time could also have been fun (as Craig once pointed out when he let his mouth run away with him a little and told the truth as we all know it - that some years the dancing isn't up to much, so you mark within context - some dances get a higher mark than they would have done in another year.)
Thankfully, you don't end up grating your teeth that your choice out of the shortlist did not win as all the other shortlisted dances are given in full (an excellent chance to see some of the older dances in higher quality than in a years-old You Tube clip). That was my major fear before buying this - that we would see only brief clips of other dances, seeing the whole of only the one the judges regarded as the 'showstopper'. Luckily, someone had enough sense to put together a better product than that.
There are some odd choices as number one in each category. Sometimes I groaned, going 'but that one sent the audience to sleep!', and other times, I was pleasantly surprised at a more controversial choice (they did not always go for the one that was technically the best, recognizing that technique is only part of performance). But no matter what choices were made, 3 whole dances in each category is a great trip down memory lane. Not all my favourites were there, and I am sure this will be true for everybody, as everyone remembers different dances as being the best. I was shocked that one or two did not even make the shortlist in that category (as I said before, I think this was in order to shoehorn in more dancers). However, there were enough of the dances I remembered, or was glad to be reminded of, to keep me smiling. Well worth the money and time.
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