Strictly Come Dancing judges’ scoring is getting ridiculous

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Strictly Come Dancing judges’ scoring is getting ridiculous


Strictly judges Craig Revel Horwood, Motsi Mabuse, Shirley Ballas, Anton Du Beke in the course of the second episode of Strictly Come Dancing 2021 (Image: PA)There’s a lot nice stuff to say about this season of Strictly.
There have been no contestants with a great deal of dance expertise, the brand new execs have confirmed their value (Nikita disrobing within the Dance Off? That’s one for the Corridor of Fame!), and now we have what might be one of many present’s best-ever closing fours – not solely made up of probably the most thrilling dancers, but additionally pleasingly various.
For all its wins, although, this season feels prefer it has pissed off its viewers like by no means earlier than with one significantly inconsistent ingredient: the judges’ scoring.
Look, I really like this panel. Craig Revel Horwood is harsh however truthful, and in contrast to different stereotypical Imply Judges, he’s straight-talking with out being spiteful. I think about wheezing for air after a high-octane routine and having him learn you to filth should truly be fairly thrilling.
Anton Du Beke looks as if a cushty match behind the desk (I wouldn’t be mad if he changed Bruno Tonioli for good), Shirley Ballas brings way more technical perception than Len ‘You Got here Out And Gave It A Go’ Goodman, and Motsi Mabuse is… properly, she’s simply an icon.
However good Lord, after this sequence, they want a really stern talking-to about the best way they use these godforsaken scoring paddles. There have been weeks the place the leaderboard rankings have felt as convincing as a punchline delivered by Tess Daly.
Dan Walker’s common nines, Tilly Ramsay’s controversial 40, AJ Odudu’s whiplash-inducing ricochets from the highest of the leaderboard to the underside… And it’s Dan particularly who has unwittingly change into the face of the chaos.
On a technical degree, he was one of many weaker dancers. Not ‘Ann Widdecombe dangerous’, not by an extended shot – however there got here a degree mid-series the place the others had clearly developed their expertise to a much more superior degree, and but he was nonetheless being usually gifted with eights and nines; seemingly scored on a completely totally different scale to his co-stars.
It’s not that he wasn’t respectable, or that he didn’t enhance, or that he and Nadiya Bychkova didn’t make for an ideal partnership. He definitely didn’t deserve the outright hateful trolling he had in his inbox.
However take a look at his tango this previous weekend. Pretty respectable, certain – however a 9 from Shirley? A 9? Regardless of all the problems that had been raised with undesirable rise-and-fall and poor posture? Did she actually suppose it was of the identical high quality as Sara Davies’ show-stopping tango from a number of weeks earlier; and just one mark shy of Rose and Giovanni’s on Halloween?

Clearly, the judges are all extremely certified specialists of their discipline; way more educated than us mortal viewers. I can barely critique the arm-ography of a girlband problem on Drag Race, not to mention the intricacies of Strictly. However that’s why we want the panel to inform us – pretty and with out prejudice – how genuinely good a dance is.
Certain, all artwork is subjective; and Motsi has stated a few occasions how emotion and feeling is simply as vital as approach, if no more so.
However judging on issues like leisure worth, on likeability, on restoration from errors, on ‘it wasn’t nice, but it surely was nice by your requirements’… that’s what the general public vote is for.
That’s why we want the judges to mark everybody on the identical scale. A 9 for Dan Walker must be of the identical commonplace as a 9 for John Whaite. Go away us at residence to resolve the opposite components.
After Anton gave Dan a 9 for an American easy a number of weeks in the past (and Craig, by comparability, gave him a 4), he informed Claudia Winkleman within the outcomes present: ‘I take into consideration Dan in week one and I take into consideration Dan now. I decide Dan towards himself, and I don’t know if anyone’s improved extra on this competitors.’
The difficulty with that’s that Dan ended up being comparatively overmarked, whereas in the identical week, AJ was rushed to the underside of the leaderboard for failing to reside as much as her personal normal excessive degree. That Dan ended up with the upper rating didn’t sit properly in any respect with many viewers on social media (‘AJ and Kai’ had been trending all evening), and understandably so. It regarded like AJ had clearly delivered the technically stronger routine – so why did the judges, who’re there to mark the dancing, place her decrease?

AJ, in reality, has arguably suffered probably the most when it comes to undermarking. She’s had the alternative drawback to Dan.
It’s not that she hasn’t had her messy weeks, but it surely’s arduous to imagine that her unimaginable Charleston wasn’t value a 40 in the identical universe as, say, Tilly and Nikita’s Matilda quantity was. Don’t even get me began on the time the in any other case pleasant visitor decide Cynthia Erivo gave Dan’s stiff rumba a 9 and AJ’s breathtaking {Couples}’ Alternative an eight. I used to be so indignant, I… composed a strongly-worded tweet.
Extra: Strictly Come Dancing

In fact, for all my whinging, Dan clearly had the general public help anyway. Regardless of the beneficiant marking, he nonetheless usually completed close to the tail finish of the leaderboard and was saved by the viewers proper as much as the quarter finals.
Sections of the general public liked his humble and affable nature and his ‘everyman’ character. Granted, the entire ‘he’s doing it for the non-dancers!’ narrative stunk a bit contemplating all of this yr’s celebs are non-dancers (humorous how inoffensive white males are likely to get the ‘aw, he’s having a go’ vote greater than anybody else, however that’s one other dialogue) – however that’s what the general public vote is there for. 
The general public ought to have the ability to reward somebody’s particular person journey. We simply want the judges to keep away from doing the identical, and mark everybody on the identical scale.
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