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Brummie Simon's a Strictly victor at last; Strictly Come Dancing Live Tour BARCLAYCARD ARENA, BIRMINGHAM.

FORMER Brummie schoolboy Simon Webbe was devastated to just miss out on lifting the glitterball trophy in the TV competition.

But his home city put that right on the first night of the live tour, by voting the thrilled Blue singer their champion.

And quite rightly so, as the highlight of the show was his dramatic, sensual Argentine Tango with Kristina Rihanoff.

But even that didn't quite please grumpy judge Craig Revel Horwood enough, who only brought out his 10 paddle once, for Caroline Flack's fun Charleston.

At least his voting was consistleast his voting was consistA -ent. While this show was full of spectacle, with more lights, dances and dancers than ever - a dozen professionals plus seven celebrities - and a great live band and singers, it was still missing something.

That was Len Goodman and Bruno Tonioli.

These dynamic, witty judges were replaced by 2008 champions Tom Chambers and Camilla Dallerup who were, quite frankly, bland.

Tom was all over the place with his scoring. He started off with a harsh seven for Mark Wright's cha cha cha (and Caterpillar move) and only a six for Brummie Alison Hammond's lively Charleston.

Not that she really minded, as she was having too much fun laughing and waving to her son in the crowd.

Then, in the second half, Tom went wild with his scores.

He gave Scott Mills and his crab an eight (Craig gave it two) and Mark "a Tommy ten" for his foxtrot.

That's like a Donny ten, and certainly not as good a catchphrase as "it's a ten from Len". But all was almost forgiven when Tom and Camilla performed their wonderful showdance from 2008 to If They Could See Me Now.

They should stick to dancing, not judging.

We'll keep Zoe Ball as host, though.

Other highlights were Caroline's gorgeous American Smooth without tripping over, Thom Evans in his sailor suit and a in his sailor suit and a Espinetingling group dance to Let It Go from Frozen.

Altogether a great night. It would probably have been the best-ever Strictly live show, if we'd had Len and Bruno, too.

HHHHI ROZ LAWS

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Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:Jan 17, 2015
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