We learned a lot of things in 2015 while watching Strictly Come Dancing, but we narrowed it down to our top 11. While you might see the name Tristan MacManus a few times, there is a good reason for that. After all, this is a website devoted to him so that's how we roll. So sit back, get comfortable, agree or disagree, and enjoy our top 11 eye-openers from Strictly Come Dancing 2015.
11. Patience is never overrated. VTs don't tell the complete story, but kudos to the patient pros (you know who they are) for always showing us that nice guys and ladies finish first. A smile goes a long way. Too many frowns, excuses, complaining, and short tempers annoy us.
10. Dance Offs aren’t so bad after all. We're not the ones dancing them, of course, but we like the Tristan MacManus approach. A Dance Off gives you a chance to immediately take any criticism and make corrections. It also gives you an opportunity to dance twice instead of once, so what’s wrong with that? Strictly is all about dancing, and while being in the bottom two isn’t ideal, it is another opportunity to perform. A Dance Off also tells you a lot about the pro and celebrity – who handles it well and who…..doesn’t.
9. It Takes Two is a whole lot better when there is a lot of laughter, and that happened every time Tristan MacManus was on. Put him with Kevin, Aliona, Joanne, Karen, etc. and hilarity is bound to ensue. We're thinking that he and Zoe Ball should take their show on the road because laughter is the best medicine and they provide an excuse for all of us to giggle. It’s all good.
8. A “5” is somebody else’s “7” and sometimes a judges’ “9” is our “6” which means there were lots of WTF moments this year. We all have our own criteria, true, but somewhere things went awry this year and technique got thrown out the window in a lot of cases. In other words, there was a lot of style over substance.
7. With a couple of exceptions this year, Len Goodman is still our favorite judge. He’s the voice of reason (yes, we said the voice of reason), and while we think he overscored a little here and there, we believe he is the only one who didn't put up with crap, egos, wasting time, and illegal lifts….and dances that profess to be one thing but aren’t.
8. There were way too many tens handed out by the judges (Len included).
9. We realized that we really want to see mandatory deductions for illegal lifts, wasted time during a performance, technique that doesn't improve week to week, showy choreography that ignores technique, and dances that aren’t what they are supposed to be. If you’re supposed to do a Viennese Waltz, do a freaking Viennese Waltz, not a hybrid of something unrecognizable. And if it's supposed to be a Samba, please make it look like a Samba instead of something we might do after having a few too many at the pub.
5. Ringers aren’t always that interesting. After years of watching DWTS and SCD and seeing ringer after ringer win, place, or show (an old horse-racing analogy) it has gotten too predictable. As much as we loved the cast this year, things got kind of boring.
4. This season, more than any other, has shown us the vast differences in approach, training, choreography styles and patience levels of pros. That’s all we’re saying. We're sure that you know exactly what we're talking about.
3. All things are not created equal. We're talking ringers, duffers, etc. Someone with years of dance training – of any type – has advantages that others do not. We’re not saying there shouldn’t be ringers and there shouldn’t be duffers, but spread them around fairly and equally to all the pros. In other words, when pro #1 has ringer, ringer, ringer, duffer, ringer and pro #2 has duffer duffer duffer duffer and pro #3 has ringer duffer ringer ringer it starts to smell fishy, and we don’t mean fish in the pleasant smelling kind of way. Just something to think about. Our point is that while life isn’t fair, SCD should be – or at least as close as possible to “fair” as it can be. We think the powers that be try to make it look fair but aren’t there yet.
2. This years’ pro dances were, well, a little bit of a letdown in some respects. There were too many props, themes, and gimmicks when what we wanted to see was just great dancing. Yes, this blog post is Tristan-heavy but since this is his website/fansite, this next observation was inevitable. SCD needs to put Tristan in more pro dances. This year it was ridiculous because we only saw him now and then and the one dance that was promoted as having Tristan as the male lead dancer was a complete non-event. All you have to do is look at the number of website hits and forum views to know that people adore this man. He brings energy, charm, charisma, beauty, performance skills, and yes, magic. We can all use a little more magic.
1. Tristan MacManus treats his supporters really well. This isn't exactly news, but it's worth another mention because he sets the standard. We’ve done 56 Q and As with Tristan since July, 2012 and he has answered more of our questions than we can count. He has outdone himself this year and has gained many more supporters and all seem to want to hear what he has to say. They have sent us questions on the Facebook Fan Page, on Twitter, via the website email, and on our website forum and we select a few, and he answers them. We decided to give him a break for a while but that now means we have more than 200 new questions waiting and more come to us every single day. No worries, Tristan, we won’t send all of them to you right now because you deserve a break from the craziness (MacMania or MacLunacy, if you will), but you are a prince among men and for that we thank you.