One Cross Armchair Critic

This post is a big of a moan from this armchair TV critic.

I was watching one of my favourite programmes, ‘My Four Wives’ on TLC when I saw a little message scrolling across the top of the screen which informed me that if I was watching this programme on Sky TV then I probably wouldn’t be able to see it after 31 January.

It seems that Sky and Discovery cannot reach an agreement about money so Sky’s customers will be the ones to lose out.

I watch loads of shows on TLC channel and I love a good documentary on Discovery and its associated channels.

I’m cross for two reasons: firstly because Sky have not been in touch to advise me about this change.  Secondly because I’ve done some research and not only will the channels disappear but all of the shows recorded onto DVR from those channels will disappear – I’ve been recording Gold Rush to watch with my sister and her family but it looks like those 13 episodes are going to become unwatchable in mere hours.  Not only this but Sky has expressed that they are unwilling to reduce their subscription rate despite them removing a big wedge of channels.

My husband and I have been thinking of ditching Sky for a number of months now and this has just put the final nail in the coffin so I will be handing in my notice to them.  Sky seem to forget that they now no longer have the monopoly – you can buy a year’s subscription to Amazon Prime for approximately the cost of two months subscription to Sky (depending on your package).  Not only do you get loads of great TV but you get free next day delivery on loads of products (no, I’m not on commission!)

Instead of the £30-something I pay for Sky I can pay for Now TV (£6.99 per month and no contract) and Netflix (premium subscription for £8.99 per month) and save up for any box sets that I can’t get via any of these services.

In my mind Sky are making a massive error here by letting their customers down over this package of channels and as soon as my contract is up (64 days) I will be leaving Sky and enjoying my entertainment via Amazon, Now TV and Netflix.

There may be a bit of a hiccup on my blog while I find new programmes and work out where the ones I love can be found but bear with me.

In other news, something that I already watch on Amazon is called ‘Life in Pieces’.  If you get Amazon Prime then I recommend that you have a watch of this.  Each episode is less than 30 minutes long and is split into four mini stories.  The characters are all brilliant, the storylines are excellent and the actors are all great.  My husband and I binge watched the first season and now hate having to wait until a Friday night to get the next episode.

What else have I been watching – oh yes!  I’m about ten years behind the rest of the world in this but I’ve just finished season one of Prison Break.  I bought my husband the box set in December 2015 and we watched a few episodes at some point during 2016 but then we loaned my sister the box set and decided that we should watch it too so that we could discuss it.  Shall I tell you how good it is?  It’s so good that we spent 11 hours yesterday sitting and watching only stopping briefly for comfort breaks and food.  By the end of the final episode I felt as though it was me who had been through it all!  My sister was watching it at the same time and we were texting away  as we were more or less at the same place.

Well, that’s my rant over.  Are you with Sky?  Are you going to be losing channels?  If so, what are you going to do about it?

Supershoppers – S2, Ep3

Well, it’s still January and I’m sure everyone could do with a few tips on how to save money now that Christmas is over and the credit cards bills are rolling in.  Let’s see if the Supershoppers have any good tips for us.

They start with online travel booking.  Booking.com is part of a bigger company – Priceline.  Expedia (the other market leader) also has lots of sub companies including Trivago. When Trivago are comparing price deals they are comparing with companies they control.  Priceline and Expedia control 80% of the online booking market.  In the UK the hotels that interact with these big sites have parity contracts enforced on them and are not able to offer a cheaper deal directly than through these companies.  Hotels advise you to pick up the phone and call them direct.

Next the supershoppers are looking at retail subscription services.  They look at ‘Hello Fresh, ‘Glossy Box’, ‘Z Box’ and a doggy box.  Hello Fresh send a box of four meals for four at £64 (£4 per meal).  Hello Fresh claim to be cheaper than the supermarket but supershoppers find that Hello Fresh is 20% more expensive – this claim has now been removed from their website and they say they are focusing on the holistic experience of the whole thing.  The beauty, toy and dog boxes were found to be good value for money but who wants to be sent a load of stuff each month that they may not want or need?

Now they are looking Boo Tea.  I’ve heard of this and it’s supposed to be tea that detox’s you and helps you lose weight.  The supershoppers take the tea to a dietician and she tells them that the main ingredient is a laxative and you may pee and poo more but you’re just making yourself dehydrated and ill.  The dietician says that if it worked they would be using it on the NHS.  They speak to a girl who used Bootea while she went to the gym, she contacted Bootea to tell them that she’d lost a few pounds but Bootea exaggerated her story on their social media and said that she’d lost a stone.  Sadly the only way to lose weight is still eating less and exercising more!

Finally the supershoppers are looking at discount biscuits.  I’ve seen the packs of biscuits that show 8 for the price of 6 in Poundland but the supershoppers show that you can go to a supermarket and buy 8 for the same price.  The ladies look at the most complicated biscuit on the market – the Twix.  There are double packs, single packs, fun sized packs and extra long Twix.  Basically if you want to get best value for money then work out how much the biscuits cost per gram and don’t be sucked into the word ‘free’.

Strictly Come Dancing: The Final

It’s been a big watching day and I’ve nearly caught up with lots of things so let’s keep going and watch the end of Strictly.  It gets off to a brilliant start with an advert for Sherlock which is on 01.01.2017.  I love Sherlock but I hope these episodes are better than the one that was on last Christmas.

It’s finals week on Strictly and only Louise, Ore and Danny remain.  They show clips of what a busy week the celebrities have had and show all of the press engagements that they have attended.

The professionals do a nice sparkly opening number and the remaining professional finalists are showcased as well as the celebrities.

Claudia is wearing a lovely dress which is sparkly, silver and slightly 50’s style.  Tess’s dress is awful.  It’s got fishnet stockings where the arms should be and one side is so long it puddles around her feet and the other side has a slit so high that her entire leg pokes out.

First to dance are Ore and Joanne – the judges have chosen the American Smooth to singing in the rain.  The judges give them a little bit of advice so they can perfect the dance.  As good as it was first time around is was better this time.  Len tells Ore that he was screaming the whole way through and Ore has taken great to even greater.  Their first set of scores total 39 with Craig giving a 9 because Ore didn’t point his toes at some point.

Louise and Kevin dance next.  The judges have chosen her Flashdance cha-cha-cha.  Louise and Kevin won the cha-cha-challenge and they want to see how far she’s come.  It’s very good but I’m not sure there’s a vast improvement.  I think Louise is still a bit reserved and you could feel her discomfort.  Craig thinks that the hip action and technique has come on leaps and bounds due to her increased confidence.  Their first score is a 38.

Danny and Oti perform their first dance last.  The judges have chosen their week four quickstep.  They received four 9’s for it the first time around so – no pressure!  It’s fast and furious and they look good.  Oti’s dress got caught on her heel but you barely notice that anything’s happened to her – a consummate professional.  Craig picks up quite a lot of mistakes in the dance – out of time pendulums and something else that I don’t understand when he came down the dance floor.  The judges are all rather disappointed with the mistakes as I think they really want him to be perfect and him to win.  The judges score him a 36 which I think is generous as it wasn’t as good as previously.

The couples now perform their show dances (but not before I’ve fast forwarded them replaying the dances we’ve just seen and another stupid Claudia and Tess skit).

Ore and Joanne are dancing first and it’s a showcase of all that Ore has learnt through his time in the competition.  It’s a fantastic piece, there’s everything you could ask for.  It’s got great dancing, a drum kit that they dance about on, poles that they slides down and beautiful costumes.  A sterling effort from both of them; well done!  Darcy waxes lyrical about it and is very impressed.  Len simply says ‘who could ask for anything more’ and gives them a standing ovation.  Ore’s little face is so sweet as he just wants to broadly smile but I don’t think he can quite believe what he’s hearing.  The judges score this a 40.

Louise and Kevin are now up to perform their showdance to Whitney’s ‘One Moment in Time’.  It’s the story of how Louise started quite shy but has transformed.  It’s one of those wiffy-waffy, floaty dances where there is just lots of leaning and stretching and arching your feet at the end of a stretched leg.  It’s not really my cup of tea but it was nicely done.  The judges, on the whole, liked it and found it expressive and modern and contemporary, it even made Bruno have a little cry.  They score 38.

Danny and Oti are last to do their showdance.  Oti has combined Argentine tango, paso and contemporary.  They start off dancing in front of a frame and mirroring eech other before they get going into a paso.  It’s a great routine with loads of content and movement.  Bruno tells Oti that her chorography is stunning.Len thought there were moments of magic.  They score 40 – well deserved.

Ore and Joanne are dancing their third and final dance.  Ore has chosen to dance the jive again where they achieved three 10’s last time.  They want to go one better and get the big 40.  The dance is massively energetic and I don’t know how they keep going throughout but it’s flawless and the crowd are screaming and stomping by the end.  Craig tells Ore that he’s so good that he has nothing to complain about.  Len tells Ore that people like him give him the most pleasure as Ore has no dance background (little dig at Danny there?) and he’s got better and better and is now a great dancer.  They get their much coveted 40 from the judges.  Ore and Joanne are getting very emotional about having performed their last dance.

The next couple dancing their last dance are Louise and Kevin and they are dancing their week 7 Argentine Tango again.  It’s another perfect example of an Argentine Tango with the sultry mood being reflected in the stretching and legs flicking all over the place.  The crowd give the couple a stomping and standing ovation.  The judges are very complimentary as well and score them a 40.

This is it then, the final dance by the final couple.  Danny and Oti are closing up the show with their samba that previously scored them 40.  It’s as good this time as it was last time and they move totally uninhibited as if their bodies are made of rubber.  Oti’s choreography this series has been amazing and this dance is a great example of that.  Oti is absolutely overcome with emotion when the judges give such high praise.  As ridiculous as it sounds I’m welling up myself!  The couple score, of course, a 40.

I don’t need to be immediately reminded of the dances so it’s time to fast forward for a bit now.  Don’t mind Emilie Sande but fast forward that too.

While the votes are counted it’s time to concentrate on Len.  They speak to past contestants and the other judges about Len and no one has a bad word to say about him.  It’s quite sad actually, Strictly will be very different without good old Len.  Even he looks a bit chocked up and I have to dab at the corners of my eyes – must be a bit of hayfever coming on 😉  The professional dancers put on a classic ballroom routine for a classical ballroom man.  It’s old fashioned and genteel and just beautiful.

The Strictly celebrities now come out and perform a routine – the professionals are on the floor to help out too.  It’s a nice medley and each of the celebs get to have their moment in the spotlight for one last time.

It’s finally time to announce the winner and in usual style it’s dragged out and out and out but the champions of 2016 are Ore and Joanne.  You have never seen two people look more shocked.  I don’t think either of them can believe it as I think everyone just assumed that Danny was going to win.  Joanne looks completely shell shocked.  Kevin is very happy for his sister (Joanne).  Any of the three of them would have been worthy winners but I think it’s lovely that Ore and Joanne have won and that they are so surprised.  Ore thanks Joanne but is in bits while he’s speaking, it’s the sweetest thing ever.

That’s it – Strictly is over for 2016 and that’s Len’s last Strictly.  See you in about nine months?

90 Day Fiance – Happily Ever After? S1, Ep1

There I was thinking that my 90 Day Fiance watching was over when I discovered a Happily Ever After series.  This is the first series and the first episode so I’m diving in.

The series starts by taking a look at Mohamed and Danielle.  Anyone who thought this couple would have a long and happy life together must have been crazy.  Danielle is a 43 year old American who struggles with her weight and with money, Mohamed is a 28 year old Tunisian who worked out a lot.  He kept telling Danielle that he couldn’t kiss, touch or sleep with her until after the wedding due to his beliefs.  After the wedding there was some other excuse as to why they couldn’t sleep in the same bed.  Surprise, surprise, they are no longer together.  Mohamed got his green card 14 months after the marriage and two months after that he left Danielle.  He didn’t even tell Danielle he was leaving he just went.  Danielle knows that he has a job so her and a friend are trying to find him.

Now we have a look at Loren and Alexei.  Now this couple did seem genuinely happy but let’s see!  They had some adjusting to do as Loren could no longer afford to live in her apartment and they had to move in with her parents.  They now live in their own apartment and they both have jobs.  The couple are planning on renewing their vows in Israel so that his family can also attend a wedding.  Loren has the fear that when they go to Israel for the wedding Alexei is not going to want to return to America.

Now they visit Russ and Paola.  I don’t know this couple so they must have been on season 1 as that’s the only season I haven’t watched.  Russ met Paola when he lived and worked in Columbia – he was then transferred back to the US and they decided to get married.  They live in Oklahoma and Paola is finding the culture difficult.  Russ lost his job so Paola is the only one working at the moment and she seems to be doing a bit of online fitness videos.

Back to Danielle looking for Mohamed.  Danielle has gone to the factory in town that she thinks Mohamed works at but it turns out that he doesn’t work there.  Danielle still seems surprised that he lied.  Danielle is hoping that he’s going through a phase and he’ll come back to her!  We now see Mohamed and he tells camera that Danielle told a lot of lies about the life that she could offer him and that’s why he left her.  Mohamed is now living with a ‘best friend’ that he met in Walmart one day and got chatting to – is he using this poor guy too?

Devar and Melanie are up next.  Now they did seem like a good couple but there did seem to be some underlying secret that Devar was keeping from Melanie.  Melanie’s sisters were very suspicious of Devar but Melanie married him anyway.  Melanie’s son is away at summer camp so the couple are going to Jamaica so Devar can see his family.  Melanie meets her sister and the sister asks why Devar hasn’t got a job yet and she asks how much Melanie has spent ($38,000!)  Melanie’s sister says she will always be the cop and will always be watching Devar.  Melanie’s sister seems to think that Devar is hiding children back in Jamaica.

Paola and Russ are up again.  Paola wants to call her Mum but asks Russ to be quiet as she hasn’t told them that Russ is out of work.  Paola hasn’t seen her family for two years and there is a nephew that she’s never met.  Her family sing happy birthday to her and she gets very teary.  I can’t imagine not seeing my family for that long – it must be so hard.  Paola reveals that she’s questioning whether she can be happy in America as some of the time she’s happy but most of the time she’s not.

Returning now to Danielle and she’s online looking to see if she has any messages from Mohamed.  Danielle has discovered that Mohamed has a dating profile on the site that they met on.  Danielle’s daughter tells her Mum that she never trusted him.  Danielle still does seem to have rose tinted glasses welded to her head.  Danielle admits that she probably needs to file for an annulment or a divorce and try to get him out of the country.

Loren and Alexei again and they are still planning their wedding.  Loren and Alexei are having a problem as Alexei doesn’t want Loren’s best friend at the wedding as the last time they spoke was after the friend had arranged for Loren to have a stripper at her hen party after Alexei specifically told her no strippers.  On a personal note I really don’t see the attraction of strippers – I find the whole thing just so embarrassing and I told the people who came to my hen party that I would leave if a stripper arrived.  I drove myself and was deadly serious – who wants a strange man gyrating around in front of them?  Different strokes for different folks but that’s seriously not for me.  Loren and Alexei proceed to have a huge argument and Alexei tells Loren that he doesn’t like her friend and she’s not coming to the wedding.  Loren gets up and walks away not wanting to deal with the conversation.

Back now to Paola and Russ.  It’s Paola’s birthday and the couple are going out for a meal and Paola is wearing the most gorgeous outfit and some beautiful yellow stilettos.  Paola tells her friends how much she misses her family and they say that they may not be blood related but they love her like family.  They drink a lot and give her a little birthday cake. Russ gives Paola a present and it’s a Nerf gun.  Paola’s face is a picture and she tells him that she really doesn’t know what to do with that.  Russ obviously thought it was going to go differently and the dinner turns very awkward indeed.

Mohamed is sitting in a diner and he is on a web chat talking to a pretty blonde lady who’s telling him to come and see her.  He asks if that means that they’ll be living together and she says yes.

90 Day Fiance – S4 Tell All

Shaun Robinson has gathered together the participants from series 4 of 90 Day Fiance so we can see what has happened since the programme.

Narkyia and Lowo are absent from the sofas and Azan is on the show via a video link.

Shaun, the presenter, says that she was worried about Jorge and Anfisa missed their scheduled flight and got a later flight.  Anfisa and Jorge tell a strange story about his bank account being frozen and he couldn’t access funds to pay for the flight – who pays for a flight on the day of travel anyway?  Shaun then asks why they were late to the show this morning and they go on and on about having to get up at 5am and be there at 6am.  It’s going round and round and sounds like an argument brewing – cameras cut to Matt and Alla and Matt’s face is hilarious but the face most rational adults would make listening to this nonsense.

Shaun asks the other couples about Jorge and Anfisa’s relationship.  Matt says relationships are difficult and it’s normal.  Jorge and Anfisa have sent the producers pictures of two very broken and smashed up iphones.  She asks how that happened and Jorge and Anfisa confirm that they threw each others phones during an argument.  This is not a healthy relationship.

Shaun talks to Alla about what has been the hardest thing about moving to the US.  Alla says that her English has been hardest.

Jorge had said on a video that everything has been perfect and Shaun asks if he stands by that statement.  He is very hesitant to answer the question and says that arguments are bad and Jorge says that Anfisa does start swinging at him when they argue.  Jorge had said in his video about Anfisa not responding to his first ten contact attempts and then finally responding – Shaun asks why she finally responded and Anfisa says that she finally responded because Jorge said that he was rich.

Shaun turns the topic to what the families think the relationships.  Matt says that his friends and family, for the most part, have been really supportive.  Shaun shows a clip of the family dinner where the family upset Alla so much that they left.

Anfisa says that Jorge’s sisters have been nice to her off camera but she can tell they don’t like her.  She then goes on to call Jorge’s sister a bitch.  Shaun tells Anfisa that the sisters don’t like her because they think she’s in it for the money.  Anfisa doesn’t deny it and says that she is there for the green card and the money.

Alla is asked if she’s here just for the green card.  She doesn’t really answer the question and says people can look and see if they think she’s just in it for the green card.  I don’t think that was the answer Matt was looking for her to give by the look he gives her.

Pedro is asked the same question.  He immediately says no and tells Chantel that he loves her.  Azan is also asked the question and he says that he wants Nicole to live in Morocco so he’s definitely not in it for the green card.

We are reminded what Anfisa did to Jorge when she cancelled his flight, erased his phone and changed his email password.  Shaun asks if after this Jorge had second thoughts – he says he did.  Anfisa says she did it because she was mad.  Jorge defends her saying she only did it a few times!  Shaun says what we’re all thinking and states – but you still married her!  Pedro thinks Anfisa is crazy.  Matt says Alla would never do that and Alla thinks it’s highly disrespectful.  Anfisa tries to defend herself by saying that the show didn’t show why she did it.  Jorge says that the reason was childish (because he wouldn’t buy her a handbag) and Jorge says that she’s now purchased (with his money) two of the Louis Vuitton bags that she wanted.  Jorge says that Anfisa has no idea how hard he has to work for the money she spends.

Shaun asks outright if Anfisa is in the relationship strictly for the money – Anfisa replies, ‘not strictly but for the most part’.  What husband is going to be happy with that answer?!  Jorge knows and freely admits that he knows this about her.  Jorge says when he has money he’s the best person in the world but when his bank balance dwindles that’s when the arguments start.  Shaun asks Anfisa if she would leave him if there was no more money and she immediately, no hesitation, says yes.  Shaun asks why Jorge would be with someone who is with him just for the money.  Jorge says he does think about the situation and Anfisa says that she’s waiting for her green card before she leaves him.  This is not a relationship – this is ridiculous.  Shaun says that she believes there is nothing Anfisa could do to make Jorge annul the marriage.  She asks at what point is he going to stop putting up with this sort of treatment and he has no answer.

Shaun asks about the lie that Pedro and Chantel lived for the 90 days before they told the family.  They are shown the video of the mini holiday they took when Chantel got very drunk and was dancing up against other men.  Chantel admits that she disrespected Pedro but she was really drunk and never meant to hurt him.

Shaun asks Nicole what she knew about Islam before she travelled to Morocco.  Azan is asked if he tried to teach Nicole about Islam before she travelled and he says that he did but she didn’t really listen – especially regarding public displays of affection.

Nicole’s Mum comes to the studio and says that the relationship is growing on her but she thought the relationship was a scam to start.  Azan is asked what he thinks about the way Nicole looks.  Azan says that he is now attracted to her and in his culture it doesn’t matter what the body looks like but he would like her to be healthier.  Nicole’s Mum confirms that she will still not be the co-sponsor for Azan.  Nicole’s Mum says that she isn’t convinced that Azan loves Nicole because she has seen them speak and she doesn’t see any passion in him.  The other women agree that Azan does not speak with a lot of affection.

Pedro says that Chantel’s family still don’t trust him because of the lies that were told in the beginning.  It’s a shame for him as the lie was Chantel’s idea.

Matt and Alla talk about having a child.  Jorge and Anfisa say that this might be in their five year plan – erm, no chance.  Pedro and Chantel say they have talked about children but they are not ready for them yet and they have lots of things that they want to do first.

Anfisa is asked if she regrets carving ‘idiot’ into Jorge’s door.  She says no and there is a very, very, very long silence.  Anfisa says she has her reasons to do it but nobody cares and the programme is showing her in a certain way.  She has acted that way so what else is there to show.  Anfisa storms off.  The other couples talk a bit about how hurtful comments on social media can be and then Anfisa comes back.

Jorge and Anfisa are asked if the relationship can survive the way it is at the moment.  Jorge says that things need to change.  Anfisa says that she’s made enough sacrifices.

Jorge is asked how he makes things better between Anfisa and his sisters.  Jorge says he has no control over what his sisters think and Anfisa is not trying to communicate with them and she needs to help.

That’s it, show over!

I’ve done a little search to see where Jorge and Anfisa are now an it’s hard to get a final answer but it seems that they have split up but Anfisa is living in California and may have met another man.  There is also huge speculation about how ‘rich’ Jorge really is.  He goes to a lot of expensive shops but doesn’t actually buy anything…who knows.  Only time will tell.

90 Day Fiance – S4, Ep13

It looks like this is the last programme in the current series before the ‘where are they now’ catch up programme.

It’s a bit depressing that this show was recorded before Christmas as I’m seeing all the Christmas adverts but Christmas 2016 is now well and truly behind us.

The show starts with Jorge and Anfisa and it’s their wedding day – no Jorge, no!  They are getting ready for a quick court wedding and Jorge reveals that his family do not know that they are getting married today.  The couple are talking to camera and Jorge apologises to Anfisa for the wedding not being an extravagant affair but he says he’s excited anyway and tells her that he loves her – she rolls her eyes and he’s waiting for her to return the ‘I love you’ but it never comes.  Jorge gives a nervous laugh.  Anfisa says that she still wants her dream wedding and Jorge needs to propose properly and buy her a dress and shoes and everything else she wants.  Anfisa complains that Jorge isn’t driving his cool car today and he has some deliveries to make for work.  Anfisa says to Jorge that she still might not want to stay in the US even after they marry.

Now we go to Matt and Alla and it’s their wedding day too.  It’s Matt’s fourth wedding and there is still the fear that nasty Patrick will mess up the ceremony by objecting to the marriage.  As Alla is getting ready with her sister she gets very emotional.  The guests start arriving for the wedding and here comes nasty Patrick and he tells the camera that he might object.

Lowo and Narkyia are still in Vietnam – I don’t think there’s much chance of these two getting married.  Narkyia spent the night in the hotel alone but now receives a phone call from Lowo.  Lowo is trying to tell her that she’s wrong for having feelings about the situation and he still thinks he did nothing wrong.  Narkyia agrees to meet up with Lowo but she says to camera that it’s just to say goodbye.  Lowo now says to camera that he now regrets lying to Narkyia now.  Narkyia tells him that she can’t trust him.  Lowo is trying to talk his way out of it with various excuses.  Narkyia is travelling back to America and Lowo says he feels like he’s lost the best person in his life…

Returning now to Azan and Nicole.  Nicole is phoning Azan, she says that communications haven’t been great lately, so she needs to talk to him.  Nicole wants to tell Azan about the meeting she had with the lawyer.  She gets through to him and they have a very stilted chat.  Nicole tells him about the meeting she had with the lawyer.  She tells him that she doesn’t make enough money to support him.  She tells him that she asked her Mum and she refused.  Nicole says that it might take two years to get things together and asks what the plan is for their future.  Azan says he doesn’t know if it will work if it takes that long but he says he’ll try.  Nicole is still hoping that someone will be a co-sponsor.  Nicole then keeps asking how much he loves her.

Back to Matt and Alla and the guests are all seated for the wedding.  Matt is at the alter and he’s worried that his horrible ‘friend’ Patrick is going to ruin the ceremony.  Alla walks down the aisle and she does look beautiful.  It’s a gorgeous dress and she has pink flowers woven into her hair.  The question is asked about objections: the camera keeps pointing to Patrick but he is keeping quiet and he remains quiet – maybe he’s not so hideous as first thought.  Maybe Patrick just wanted a bit of attention!  Matt now has his fourth and final wife.

Back to Lowo and Narkyia.  Narkyia is back in America and she says that since she’s been home she hasn’t talked to Lowo.  Narkyia takes her son out for ice cream and tells him about Chicken Street in Vietnam.  The son asks when Lowo is coming and Narkyia tells him that she doesn’t know as she found out that he was lying to her.  The son tells her that he was looking forward to him coming as he wanted someone to play sports with and train with him.  Narkyia asks what he would do if he found out someone was lying to him.  The trouble is he’s 12 years old and really not in a position to answer the question that his Mum’s posing.

Meanwhile in Jorge and Anfisa’s car Anfisa asks Jorge if he has any doubts.  Jorge says he 1000% sure that he wants to marry her.  Anfisa asks Jorge if he thinks he can keep her happy enough to keep her married to him.  If he can’t hear the warning bells and is silly enough to marry her then he deserves what he gets.  I can’t believe Jorge is actually marrying Anfisa, the woman who keyed his car, tried to ruin his business, locked him out of his phone and threw him out of his apartment.  It seems that some men will put up with anything!  Jorge’s face drops when Anfisa says she doesn’t care about the future of their marriage as long as Jorge has lots of money.  Jorge – why did you do it?!

90 Day Fiance – S4, Ep12

Hi, I hope you all had a lovely Christmas and Happy New Year to you.  I’m still working my way through the mammoth long final episode of Strictly but I wanted to get caught up with 90 Day Fiance because I just need to know whether Jorge comes to his senses!  Let’s see shall we.

We start with Azan and Nicole.  Actually, just Nicole still as we haven’t seen Azan since Nicole got back from Morocco.  Nicole tells camera that she thinks if he loves her then he will change…wrong!  Nicole goes to see an immigration lawyer to find out more about the legal side of a K1 visa.  The lawyer tells Nicole that there is little evidence to prove a relationship as they’ve only spent five weeks together in total.  The lawyer asks if Nicole is familiar with the costs and Nicole says she has no idea – the lawyer tells her that the flat fee is $5,000.  Nicole is also told that they will have to prove that she earns enough to support him.  It is obvious that Nicole went into this with tightly closed eyes and she had no idea of any of the implications of bringing Azan to the US.

Now we visit Lowo and Narkyia who are still in Vietnam.  The couple are meeting one of Lowo’s friends.  The friend tells Narkyia that Lowo was trying to get back with his baby’s Mum – this is clearly news to Narkyia and Lowo now has to try and explain to himself while the friend stands by and looks embarrassed.  Lowo had told Narkyia she was dead so she smacks him in the face with her ice cream and walks off. The producer chases her down for a few words: meanwhile Lowo says to camera that he doesn’t think he did anything wrong – and there’s the problem right there!!  Lowo is complaining that his feelings aren’t being taken care of!

Now to Anfisa and Jorge – they have 13 days to get married.  Jorge says that the last couple of days have been rough and Anfisa nearly got a flight back to Russia.  Anfisa has also keyed his car and thrown him out of his own apartment.  Jorge receives a phone call from Anfisa and she asks where he is, ‘Where the **** are you’, that’s such a nice way to ask!  Anfisa tells him to come back as she wants to go out and talk about everything.  Has she realised that her meal ticket is about to throw her out??  Jorge says part of him just wants Anfisa to go home – listen to that part Jorge!!

Back to Nicole and Azan.  Nicole sits her Mum down to ask her to sponsor Azan so that he can come to the US.  She’s got two hopes!  Nicole’s Mum’s face tells the whole story and she doesn’t even need to say no, but she does.  Nicole Mum tells her in no uncertain terms that she will not be signing for Azan.  Her Mum tells her to concentrate on herself and her daughter and move on.  Nicole says she’s going to see Azan in December and will be taking her daughter with her – Nicole’s Mum says no.  Nicole said that she wasn’t asking her Mum’s permission.  You can tell that Nicole’s Mum just wants her daughter to see sense but she just won’t listen.  Nicole is behaving like a petulant child and she really needs to take a step back and look at her life and realise what a bad idea this is.

We join Pedro and Chantel on their wedding day.  Chantel’s friend Gege seems to be the only one at the wedding, along with the bishop.  At the last moment Chantel’s parent and sister arrive.  At the altar the parents ask whether they got the prenuptial agreement and ask to see it before they will let the wedding go ahead!  Pedro looks so sad, it’s their wedding and there are no congratulations or anything, just a question about the prenup.  Chantel’s brother is at a basketball game rather than coming to the wedding but just as they are about to start River (the brother) arrives.  They have a quick ceremony and they are married.  Chantel is asking what happens in a month from now, two months, a year – talk about not wanting it to work out!

Back to Jorge and Anfisa.  Jorge is ironing a shirt as she’s made reservations (no doubt somewhere expensive) for them to have a meal and a discussion.  Jorge makes a big fuss about how she’s gone out of her way and booked them a table at a restaurant – he’s easily pleased!  Anfisa tells camera that Jorge isn’t giving her enough attention – urm, if you want a fancy lifestyle he has to work!  Jorge asks if she wants to marry him – her reply, after a long gap, is ‘do you want to do it’.  I wouldn’t be reassured that someone really loved me if they gave me that answer.  He asks what she thinks the most important thing in a relationship is – she says money, and she’s really not joking.  If he marries her now he’s more of a fool than I thought.  He’s grasping at straws and would rather marry her than be on his own.

That’s it for this time – hopefully I’ll get to watch the next one very soon.

The Apprentice – The Final

We have made it to the final week and the final two are Alana and Courtney.  Do I think these two deserve to be in the final?  Absolutely not.  However these are the two that we have so lets see what they got up to in the final week.

There’s a quick rehash of the previous week and then it’s 6am at Lord Sugar wants to meet the candidates at City Hall.  Quick question – why is Alana brushing her teeth after applying her full make-up including dark as evil lipstick?  Who does that?  Surely the lippie is going to go everywhere and end up all over the handle of your brush.

The final task is for the candidates to launch their businesses.  As usual some of the fired candidates are brought back to assist them.

Alana picks Grainne, Courtney picks Jessica, Alana picks Francis, Courtney picks Karthik(?! really), Alana picks Becca, Courtney picks Sofiane.  The final two picked are Oliver by Alana and Paul by Courtney.  I can’t believe Paul was the last pick – he was the best one in the process!

Alana tells her team about the business.  The goods are produced in a bakery in west Wales – is it just me or did anyone else think that Alana actually made the cakes??

Courtney is giving some brand names to his business and they are all rubbish – the only one that tells him that they’re rubbish is Paul.

Alana has a couple of names including Ridiculously Rich and Oh My Bake.

Courtney picks a sub-team, led by Jessica, of Paul and Sofiane.  Karren reminds us that the last time they worked together it was a complete disaster.  They are in a photo studio with weird fancy dress costumes.  Sofiane is trying to take over but Jessica is actually not doing a bad job in keeping them in check.

Becca is trying to convince Alana to go with the name Ridiculously Rich.  She achieves her goal and that’s the name that Alana picks.  Claude is concerned that the name is not very distinctive and won’t be a brand that Sugar can invest in.

Courtney is totally obsessed with a name.  Karren thinks he’s concentrating too much on that and not thinking about the rest of the task and all he needs to achieve.  Still stuck for a name Karthik asks him what his favourite animal is – he answers a whale.  Karthik then asks what his favourite colour is – he answers purple.  The company is therefore Purple Whale.  Isn’t that like using one of those Facebook posts to tell you your stripper name, villain name or whatever else you can make up from referring to a chart and comparing your eye colour, underwear colour and initials.

Courtney has made a very sensible decision and he’s at RADA to get a bit of coaching to help him with his pitch.  This is exactly what Courtney needs because he’s terrible at pitching.  Some weird things are happening while Courtney is training and Karren even cracks a smile.

Grainne and Francis phone Alana to ask her what she thinks about her logo.  Alana asks what do they mean as she designed it.  She tells them not to start bringing up problems with something that’s already agreed.

Sofiane starts going on about how the advert is boring and he starts to bicker with Jessica but Paul tells them to stop.  Paul admits that he doesn’t think they’ve helped Courtney at all and he’s pissed off.

It’s the following day and it’s the day that the teams must make TV adverts.  Paul asks if he can move away from the sub-team so Paul’s out and Karthik is in.  Courtney says that’s fine.  Courtney asks Jessica to lead the advert but Sofiane says it’s his day and he’s basically going to take over.  Oh dear!

Francis seems to think she’s Steven Spielberg on the other team and is shouting at them and asking for personality.

The concept of the other advert is that a husband has forgotten their wedding anniversary but he’s ordered some ice cream scoops and everything’s fine.  Well, who wouldn’t want ice cream scoops for their anniversary?  It’s a really terrible concept and a terrible advert!

Oliver tells Alana that there is currently no USP and she needs to bring out what’s unique.  Alana decides to redesign the logo and have it say Ridiculously Rich by Alana.  It is much better.

Courtney and Paul seem to be getting along quite well.  Courtney has come up with a prototype for a sippy cup which is a football cup shape.

Oliver and Alana go and do the packaging.  Alana leaves Oliver to do the packaging but he decides to put the Welsh dragon on the front of the pack after Alana explicitly said that she doesn’t  want that…

Jessica’s sub team is asked by Karren why Karthik is phoning to order his products when the business is only online.  The sub team speak to Courtney and Paul and need to edit the advert to remove the actual call.  Karren says that she feels sorry for Courtney as he’s put so much trust in his sub team and they’ve let him down.  I feel sorry for him too but I think he picked some terrible people and he was just lucky that he got Paul on his team in the end as he’s the only one who’s actually been quite helpful.  Karren sits at the back of the room and shakes her head at the sub team.

Alana goes to her sub team to give them the new logo and to do a little piece to camera.  Francis thinks she changed the logo because of what she said to her.  Little does Francis know it had absolutely nothing to do with that.

Oliver is left alone to pick the packaging and he’s just panicking.  Leaving Oliver alone to do anything seems like a bit of a mistake to me.  When the packaging is brought in the next day though, the packaging that Oliver has picked is actually really good.

The candidates are on their way to do their pitches.  The room that they must pitch too looks daunting, it looks like an amphitheatre.

Alana presents first, she starts off very well but then starts to um and err a bit.  It’s not a very good pitch but she gets a laugh from the audience.  Alana does fall into her stride a little more and gets a little bit better.  Alana does say something that’s a bit worrying in that she’s going to outsource her production.  This means that it’s yet another factory produced product.  Lord Sugar asks if the manufacturing plant will be in Wales and she says that she would propose to keep the manufacturing in Wales.  Lord Sugar speaks to some industry experts and they all say that if she outsources the production and it’s no longer made in Wales then it loses two very important unique selling points.  Exactly what I said, might as well buy Mr Kipling that won’t cost you £3 a slice.  I wouldn’t be able to buy those cakes any more than I can buy Mr Kipling as I’m sure as soon as they are produced in a factory they’ll be slapping nut allergy warnings on them!

It’s now time for Courtney’s pitch.  He starts by looking down, shuffling through cards and saying wow a lot.  He then gets going and shows the room his advert – they laugh because it’s pretty terrible rather than them enjoying it Courtney!  Courtney shows the room his baby beaker.  A member of the audience asks Courtney how he will stop people from stealing his ideas: Courtney says that this is a problem but he needs to design and build them quickly and at a reasonable price.  Lord Sugar has concerns about how many £10 items Courtney has to sell to make a profit.  The advisors do also say that he’s talented and needs a guiding hand.

I don’t see Lord Sugar’s problem with how many products Courtney has to sell as Alana has to sell even more of her £3 cakes.  How many people really buy a £3 slice of cake on a regular basis?  It sounds like a rip off to me.

The teams are back in the boardroom and Lord Sugar is going through everything with them that has happened over the previous few days.  Karren does congratulate Courtney on how much better his pitch was compared to his previous pitches.  Oliver looks like a dog with two tails when Lord Sugar tells him that he did a good job with the packaging and using the Welsh Dragon.  Lord Sugar then thanks the fired candidates and they file out.

Lord Sugar asks what Alana is doing on day one with his money.  She says that she would be out of the kitchen and visiting the owners of cafes and getting them to buy her brand.

Lord Sugar talks to Courtney about his ideas.  Lord Sugar says that he likes the trophy cup but he hasn’t thought about licencing with football clubs if that’s what he wants to do as they would want a lot of money.

Lord Sugar sends them out and talks to Claude and Karren about which one to pick.  Karren says that Alana knows her product but she doesn’t know how to run a business.  Claude says that Courtney is a great designer.

They come back in and Sugar asks them to tell him why they should be his partner.  They argue a bit and go down the route of telling each other why their products are rubbish rather than why their own business is great.

I think Sugar has left himself in the situation of have to pick the best of a bad pair and I think he should go for Courtney but he makes the weird decision to partner with Alana.  I for one will not be buying anything by Ridiculously Rich and I hope she stops being so greedy.  To have such a large profit margin on a cake is obscene.

The best thing about the end of the show is the car with the self closing door.  It’s the first time we’ve seen the miserable Alana smile throughout the whole process and I just don’t know what Lord Sugar was thinking – 2016 really has been a weird year!

Strictly Come Dancing -10 December 2016

I have work to do and mince pies to make but it’s still not even 7am yet so I’ll spend another hour sitting here and catching up with Strictly – let’s do this.

Hang on now – this show is almost an hour and a half.  Why are the shows getting longer rather than shorter??

The first to dance are Louise and Kevin with a tango.  They do a fantastic tango with a nice bit of speed and interest and not just a boring traditional tango.  Louise’s dress is also gorgeous, black and white with a red sleeve.  It’s a great fun performance and you can’t normally say that about a tango.  Bruno says that it was a contrary mood to a tango and it was a happy tango and he liked it.  I liked it too, the tango can be dark and dull and boring but this wasn’t at all.  Louise is a great dancer but Kevin is also a great choreographer.  The score for this dance is 37.

Danny and Oti dance a salsa next.  Latin certainly seems to suit Danny and he starts strong again.  There is a lift and I’m not sure whether Danny almost drops Oti or whether it’s meant to look like that but that’s the only potentially low point in an otherwise solid routine.  Bruno loves the fluidity or the turns and tells Oti that she’s a naughty girl and that was a naughty salsa.  Craig thinks it lacked some sort of rotation.  Darcy’s comments make Bruno laugh so much he falls off of his chair.  They score a 37.

Claudia and AJ are next to dance a rumba.  There’s a lot of stretching legs and sliding about on the dance floor.  There are some nice moments but it didn’t blow me away, it was a bit like someone preparing to do their exercises.  Craig thought it was a bit square and it didn’t flow – yes, I agree.  Darcy saw the eye contact but couldn’t see a connection with the emotional side of the dance but she says that the dance was good.  Len tells her that she’s dressed as his favourite Quality Street (is he looking for a retirement sponsorship deal?)  He also tells her that there was a lot of her cocking her leg up but it didn’t annoy him because she did it well.  They score 35.

The last first dance is a quickstep by Ore and Joanne.  Ore’s feet kick and flick him around that stage at a rate of knots.  Not sure about the leather vest but the dance, the costumes and the song all go brilliantly well together.  Ore finishes the routine with a  very energetic leap over the motorbike on stage.  This was a great routine and he might get the first 40 of the night.Darcy says that the energy, focus and attack was all there.  Len says that he doesn’t know if the motorbike is a Triumph but that dance was.  Bruno gives him a one man standing ovation.  Len gets very cross at Craig’s appraisal of the dance and says that he’s making things up.  Craig gives a very mean 8 but he gets 10’s from the rest of the judges and they score a 38 (but it should have been a 40!)

Now it’s time for the second dances but not until Claudia and Tess have done a ridiculous skit – they really need to rethink doing those or actually get someone in who can make them funny.

Louise and Kevin dance again but this time it’s a samba.  Their song is pretty dire with a guy just repeating the world Brazil in a weird fake sounding accent.  The dancing is good and Louise really has the hip and skirt flicking actions in abundance.  Darcy says that she finally noticed a bit of flirting with her partner.  Kevin turns and looks at Jamie and shakes his head.  Their score is 36.

Danny and Oti are next and they dance an American Smooth.  They are dancing to ‘Misty Blue’ and it’s lovely and smooth, classic and elegant with a bit of a lift thrown in for good measure.  Bruno thought that it was exquisite story telling.  Craig said that it was right up his street and he loved it.  They score a 39 but this time it’s Darcy that gave the only 9.

Claudia and AJ are dancing a quickstep.  This is nice.  It’s skippy and happy as well as being elegant and showing great dancing.  It’s a great dance and I much preferred it to their first dance.  Craig is all smiles and Tess tells him he looks lovely when he smiles and he should do it more often.  Len tells her she’s gone from gymnastic to fantastic.  He also tells them that they’ve overcome the height difference brilliantly and, as a ballroom dancer, he knows that it can be difficult.  They score 38 and look delighted with their first 10 from Len.

It’s just Ore and Joanne to dance the Argentine Tango.  It’s intense and Joanne’s legs are flicking all over the place.  It’s dark and mysterious but not dull and boring.  Oh so amazing – I loved it and I don’t usually say that about the Argentine Tango as most dancers make them look a bit filthy.  Joanne did an amazing job with this.  Len is speechless and tells Ore that he has no dance experience watch-so-ever and he has come out and done a terrific and wonderful performance.  Bruno found it mesmerising.  Craig tells Ore that he should be so proud of himself and congratulates Joanne on teaching him to dance like that.  They score 39 with the only 9 from Craig.

Straight to the results show and it’s Danny and Claudia in the bottom two.  I know who’s in the final but it wouldn’t take a genius to know that the judges are going to save Danny.

That’s it – I’m almost caught up and I just have the final to watch.  I was toying with the idea of just deleting the quarter and semi finals and just watching the final but I’m glad that I didn’t because I’ve watched some truly beautiful dancing.  I’ll be back for the final soon but there mince pies won’t make themselves and Christmas is getting ever closer…

Strictly Come Dancing – 3 December 2016

I know, I know.  I’m really far behind and the whole thing has finished but let’s see if the winner deserved it!

It’s musicals night and the professionals and celebrities are doing an opening number with Anton singing.  I didn’t know Anton was a singer…oh wait, he’s not really!  Bless him, who doesn’t love Anton – I really want him to take over from Len on the judging panel.  It’s a nice opening number and it makes me smile.

The first to dance are Ore and Joanne.  Their musical is Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and they are dancing a foxtrot to ‘Pure Imagination’.  The pair visit the theatre where the musical is showing and meet Willy Wonka.  Their dance is beautiful, like poetry in motion.  They glide around the floor looking confident and telling a story.  Len’s line of ‘Willy Wonka, it’s a stonker’ has to be the quote of the night.  Craig picks up on a couple of issues but says he has swing and sway and it was class.  The scores are in and they get a 36 with 9’s across the board.

Judge Rinder and Oksana are dancing to a song from Jersey Boys.  They are dancing a samba.  They faced the bottom two in the previous week but won out to Ed Balls.  They are dancing to ‘Oh What A Night’.  The cast of Jersey Boys come and see rehearsals and are behind him.  I love Judge Rinder but some of his arm movements look like he should be wearing zombie make-up and asking for brains.  He does get a bit more into the flow of the dance though and the high energy and hip movements suits him and he looks like he’s having a ball.  Judge Rinder tells Tess that dancing is the best fun you can have.  Bruno says that it was a bit flat footed but it was great fun.  Craig also says flat footed and stompy but he has fantastic energy and a bottom that was bouncing for Brazil.  Len says that it was fun and enjoyable.  They receive a score of 31.

Claudia and Tess then do their stupid little skit before Tess introduced Louise and Kevin who are doing a routine to a song from Calamity Jane.  They are dancing a fast paced quickstep.  Louise embraces the character and they do a really lovely job.  You could easily think that you were watching a scene from the musical.  She does a daring move where she stands on the judges desk and then drops down into the arms of waiting dancers all lined up; that’s a brave thing to do no matter who you are.  Louise has come on leaps and bounds and has really come out of her shell.  Craig thinks the routine was fantastic and the characterisation was perfect.  Darcy says that Louise became Calamity Jane.  They score 37.

Claudia and AJ are dancing a salsa to a song from The Lion King.  It’s a good dance and Claudia has no problem nailing the salsa moves.  AJ has taken this opportunity to pick Claudia up and doe as many throws and lifts and bizarre movements as possible.  The judges pick out a few bits but overall think it was a very good dance.  They score 37.  Bruno gives Claudia her first 10.

The final couple to dance are Danny and Oti.  They are dancing a tango to ‘One Night Only’ from Dreamgirls.  It’s quite classic tango but I like it when the line of six of them tango around the stage.  I’m not loving it and I’d say that it was my least favourite dance of the night.  I know that Danny is technically very good but I just wasn’t overly keen on that.  They scored a perfect 40 last week so what will they do this week?  I don’t think it’s a perfect 40 this week though.  They score 38 and it puts then top of the leaderboard.

The celebrities have all danced so now there is a group routine from West Side Story but not before I have to fast forward the recaps of the dances we’ve just seen.  When they said group routine I assumed the celebrities would be taking part but it’s just the pro’s.  We know the pro’s can dance?!

The results show shows Ore and Judge Rinder in the bottom two.  It’s Judge Rinder that goes.  He has been an absolute delight on this show.