Five Reasons To Love The Strictly Come Dancing Live Tour
Taking the comfortable intimacy of Saturday night TV in your living room to the floor of a sold out arena is no easy feat, but there’s something that is so magical about the BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing, that means that anything is possible. Unless you’re Mike Bushell trying to crack a smile from Craig Revel Horwood.
Hosted by 2018 winner and all round loveable host, Stacey Dooley, the live show saw this series’ favourites battle it out for the Glitterball trophy by performing two of their favourite dances from their time on the show. Across the night, we saw Catherine Tyldesley and Johannes Radebe rumba their sensual routine from Movie week, Alex Scott prove that girls run the world in a fiery pasodoble with Neil Jones, and Karim Zeroual and Amy Dowden jive for their lives in the routine that earned them the first 40 of the series. Mike Bushell and Katya Jones cha cha’d that Magic Mike routine, whilst Saffron Barker and AJ Pritchard foxtrotted their way to a near perfect score and semi-finalist Emma Barton stunned with stand in partner Graziana Di Prima with a Charleston that could have been straight from Broadway. Of course, reigning champ Kelvin Fletcher was on the bill and dancing with Janette Manrara in Oti Mabuse’s absence. Yes, he treated the audience to a salsa.
The Strictly Come Dancing Live show is a real feast for the eyes; as the live full band performed on the iconic stage before the panel of individually fabulous judges characteristically on point. With the main dancefloor filling the middle of the arena, our favourite showdances came to life accompanied by a host of relentlessly good Strictly pros and glittering costumes to be envied even from the furthest of seats.
As expected, this is classic feel-good entertainment. With the delight of familiarity and the warmth of nostalgia, it’s both comfortable as you’re welcome to champion your favourite couple and routines, encouraged to sing along and join in with deserved “boos” and cheers but also exciting as you can’t help but put on your dancing shoes and await the surprises along the way.
Kelvin Fletcher’s showdance
From the very first rotation of his hips to his very last press up, Kelvin Fletcher was the Hercules of Strictly Come Dancing 2019 who went from zero to hero in his very first routine as he stepped up to replace injured Jamie Laing.
In the show’s final he and professional partner, Oti Mabuse performed their intelligent jukebox themed showdance that gave a whistle stop tour through the weeks stealing the best parts of their triumphant routines and ultimately led to their victory. On the road, Kelvin and his partner Janette recreated Oti’s waltzer ride, high energy routine; packed to the brim with everything from the hearty skips of Northern soul to the quick-footed kicks of his jive, to the fluid hips he's been favoured for.
Received by an arena full of Strictly superfans, it captured the essence of everything we adore about the show and reminded everybody of Kelvin’s journey as he danced into the nation’s hearts.
Resident villain, Craig Revel Horwood joined the ever flamboyant Bruno Tonioli and the glamorous Shirley Ballas to judge the live show. Whilst their scores are just for guidance, all of the couples are desperate to top the leaderboard.
There were the expected quick witted snipes at Craig’s botoxed face that were met with his venomous tongue, and the exaggerated arm gestures from Bruno, whilst Shirley remained ever elegant amidst the chaos behind the panel.
However, the most thrilling part came as the judges took to the arena floor to show off their own talents. Bruno opened the second half in a hot pink suit, surrounded by feathers to give a deliciously elaborate rendition of ‘You’re Just Too Good To Be True’. The closing showdance featured all three judges but Shirley stole the floor proving why she is the queen of rumba, with sultry moves and a dynamite lift.
The band and live music
The Strictly live band and live singers came along for the journey and provided top notch performances from a catalogue of crowd pleasing numbers; from ‘Ghostbusters’ to ‘Come On Eileen’ to ‘Single Ladies’’. Dynamically positioning themselves around the arena floor to immerse into the scenes created by the dancing; we travelled from Blackpool, visited nail bars and suits tailors and transported to the roaring 20s, as the singers captivated with filling, big voices.
The pro dancers
Completing the line up were pros; Luba Mushtuk, Karen Hauer, Dianne Buswell, Joshua Keefe, Jake Leigh and Robbie Kmetoni who added that extra delight for the fans spotting the familiar faces - or those vivid red locks. Joining together, the pro dances included a sultry, dark number to ‘Toxic’ and a stunning ode to Blackpool tower on top of adding that extra sparkle and lending their fancy footwork to the celebrity routines.
As Johannes and Catherine kept confirming, they really are “living their best life!” as the celebrities and partners reunite for their time on the road. With score panels to raise a “10” for their favourites, the audience do too. Filled with fans of all ages recalling their best bits whilst revelling in the sassy, sequinned and star-studded glory - it’s like stepping into the telly.