James and Ola Jordan have been so busy with their new pantomime that they only had time to sit down to watch Strictly Come Dancing after their performance on Saturday night. "We're both so tired," joked Ola. "We had it recorded so we watched it at midnight!" However, the pair are loving their time on Jack and the Beanstalk (at Harlequin Theatre in Red Hill, book your tickets here), and were full of compliments for the production. "The cast are such nice people and they've welcomed us with open arms," James explained. "They've helped us out a lot!" Ola was also sure to take it easy in between her parts of the show, saying: "In the breaks I'm resting my feet, but it's good! I'm not doing too much so it's okay." In between rehearsals, performances and sleep, they still had plenty to say about the Strictly semi-final! Check out their new column here...
James: I had mixed opinions about the semi-final really. I think each of them had an okay dance. I felt a bit sorry for Chris because he had the dreaded Rumba at a tough stage of the competition along with the Viennese Waltz, which is a bit of a boring dance.
Ola: The Rumba isn't a bad dance, it's just that it's difficult! And for someone who has never danced before, it's very difficult. If Kelvin did it at this stage it wouldn't be as bad but because it's Chris and he's never danced before, it looked awkward and it just wasn't great. To be honest, as soon as I heard he was doing the Rumba I thought to myself, 'He's just not going to be good.'
James: You know what Craig said - and he's 100 percent right and I hate that I'm agreeing with him but he said - 'Wrong dance, wrong week,' because it was. At this stage of the competition, Chris in particular didn't want to be getting the Rumba. The Viennese Waltz is alright but he made loads of mistakes and that one is just going around in circles. I'd like to see Chris in the final but I just don't think he's done enough.
Ola: Agreed. They were quite harsh on Karim too. Karim did Argentine Tango and I felt like they were really tough on him. It was very good, particularly in comparison to other people, like Emma doing the Cha Cha. Her Cha Cha just wasn't great but they praised it and said it was amazing, but then Karim comes out and does an amazing Argentine Tango and they all had a go at him! I just don't get that.
James: Maybe they wanted the public to believe that he should be in the bottom two because they want Anton in the final? To be honest, I want Anton in the final. I wouldn't have given Karim a ten for his Tango to be fair, but they did rip into him a lot considering it was the semi-final. He was still better than Emma. I thought Kelvin's first dance, the Quickstep, was absolutely amazing and deserved 40. He smashed it out of the park. He's great actually. His frame was better than some of the pros. He was on fire!
Ola: Do you think Craig is too harsh with his scoring?
James: Well, it's like they wait until a certain point in the competition where they start giving out tens which isn't fair. Even if it's week two, if it deserves a ten, give it a ten! But I do like that he doesn't give them out willy nilly. And as I'm getting older I must be getting soft agreeing with Craig all the time-
Ola: No, more miserable!
James: -But I like the fact that he doesn't given out tens!
Ola: That's why I said you're miserable! [Laughs]
James: In my opinion, when Motsi gave Kelvin and Oti a ten for their Paso Doble, there was no way on this world it was a ten. Kelvin made mistakes, he nearly fell over in the end! I love Kelvin and I want him to win but you have to be realistic and honest and his Paso Doble wasn't great. I expected it to be much better because it's a dance of power and strength and I thought, 'It's probably going to be one of his best dances,' but the choreography wasn't great and it wasn't one of his best performances, so it was a bit disappointing. That being said, he was the strongest of the week, but I thought the performances were better the week before.
James: After yesterday, Motsi giving a ten for the Paso Doble, I felt that was undeserved, so I stand with Craig!
Ola: The dances weren't as great this week to be fair, but it's trickier when they have to learn two dances as well.
James: Agreed. Out of everybody, Chris struggled with learning two dances because he's the only one that's never had formal dance training. It would have been really difficult to spread that time between two dances when normally you'd get all the time to spend on one. The level dropped in some of the dances but not in others, like Kelvin was brilliant at the Quickstep and Karim's performances were alright. He's a great dancer but I'm never blown away by his performance, his emotion, his characterisation of the dance. There's still something missing, but he seems like a lovely kid.
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Ola: There's no way he or Chris are going to win. It's between Kelvin and Emma I think. People are voting for Anton. A lot of people out there would want to see him lift that Glitterball, he's been on Strictly for so many years.
James: You know what, Anton has been on the show since day one. He's helped make the show what it is today, I believe he should be given a stronger role in the show because people love him so much, whether that means presenting or judging, he needs to be promoted from a dancer to something else. If he won I think it would be brilliant, I think he deserves it because he's given his whole life to making Strictly what it is. But I'd feel a bit sorry for Kelvin because he deserves to win on dancing ability. My heart says I want Anton to win but my brain and dance mind says I want Kelvin to win.
Ola: You have to remember that Anton is the dancing pro here, not the celebrity, but there will be a lot of people who are supporting Anton because he made the semi-final and they want him to win!
James: But will he win? It depends. If they were to give Kelvin and Oti a run for their money in the final and massively lifted their game, that's the only way they could win. But I've got a feeling Kelvin is going to blow everyone away in the final and win though, that's my feeling.
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Ola: The final is hard. You have so many dances to learn and you need to come up with a brilliant show dance that will really bush the boundaries and be something people haven't seen before.
James: A show dance needs lifts. That's what it is and the only person who is going to be able to do that is Kelvin. Karim did a simple lift in the American Smooth on Saturday and he still messed it up. I don't think Chris or Anton are big lifters either so I'm a bit worried that the show dances won't be as iconic as some other ones in the past. I think Kelvin's will be the one that'll blow everyone away.