Strictly Come Dancing 2017: Part 7
Singer Mollie King went into this week’s semi-final as the bookies' favourite to be voted off the show, and it has proven so. I appreciate that Mollie has been training hard and applied herself to the advice given to her by the judges. However, it would appear that she has plateaued with regard to her level of skill and performance several weeks agao. Sadly, nerves and the pressure of the night got the better of her on Saturday and her Samba was not well received. It was hesitant and lacked polish. She partially redeemed herself with an elegant waltz, although it is fair to say that she simply wasn’t in the same league as the other celebrity dancers. The judges seemed to be a little too generous with their marks for this dance, possibly to spare her any further distress because Mollie was visibly upset.
But this is the nature of Strictly Come Dancing. Although not a true dance competition, it still is a very demanding experience both physically and mentally. It also comes with a great deal of tabloid scrutiny. The rumours and gossip that stem from the show fuel a great deal of hyperbole and sensationalism in the popular press. Mollie’s alleged relationship with her professional dance partner AJ Pritchard has been a major “talking point” this year. Now this is not a problem as long as it remains external from the show. One can choose whether to read such tittle tattle or ignore it. Yet this year, the so-called “showmance” between the couple has bled through into the live show, being referenced by both hosts on several occasions. Was this done to try and gain leverage with the viewers and boost her support? If that was the case, it strikes me as being somewhat crass and arbitrary. A bit like playing the terminally ill grandparent card on The X Factor.
Either way, it’s a redundant point now as Mollie faced Gemma in the dance off and it became immediately clear that the judges would vote her off the show. Cue a tearful farewell and the standard claims that Mollie is an “amazing person” or some such other superlative. How that label has lost its value in recent decades. Now it’s just a case of preparing for next week’s final. Although I have a lot of time and respect for Debbie McGee and would be happy to see her win, I think Joe and Katya are in a strong position to take this year’s trophy. Katya has a knack for creative choreography that provides Joe with a character to explore and project. I have a suspicion that their show dance will be something spectacular and will win the hearts of viewers. Then again, I could be completely wrong. That is the nature of the show and the public vote.