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Weekend TV: Strictly Come Dancing, The X Factor, I'm A Celebrity... and Homeland

Gemma Horton reviews the best of last weekend's TV

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The-2013-Strictly-Come-Dancing-contestants-2274043Another weekend has come and gone, procrastination has been effectively spent by watching the TV, and now it is back to lectures and studying before the Christmas break. Of course, there is always the chance for further procrastination by catching up on those shows you missed.

Strictly Come Dancing



This weekend's Strictly was not one to be missed as it hit the halfway point in the Blackpool Tower. There were more tens than ever before in the series, possibly just enough to make judge Len Goodman contemplate pickling his walnuts. The leader board was topped by actress Natalie Guemede and BBC Breakfast presenter Susanna Reid, both of them narrowly missing out by one point for the top score of 40. This week it was Fiona Fullerton's turn to dance out the ballroom after losing in the dance off to Mark Benton. Arguably, Fiona's partner Anton Du Beke did well to make it to Blackpool after suffering through years of hapless partners, most notably Anne Widdecombe. Next week it's back to London after the high of Blackpool, but hopefully there will be some more superb dances to come.

The X Factor Results Show



Suspecting that the only reason a lot of people tuned in to see The X Factor this weekend was to see Miley Cyrus twerking, many of the audience this week will be disappointed. She was understated whilst singing her number one single 'Wrecking Ball'; nevertheless, the mountain she sat on for the performance might not have been necessary. Judge Gary Barlow also took to the stage, proving himself as one of Britain's best performers, unlike the contestants of the show. This week gave us the Great British Songbook week and more of the usual from The X Factor: there were contestants 'making the song their own', 'dominating the stage', and some even 'have great potential.'

The only reason to tune into The X Factor now is to see the results show for it condenses and cuts out everything that you don't necessarily want to watch - need we be reminded of how no one wants to go back to their day job?

I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here!



Amy-and-Joey-get-close-2806072ITV's favourite programme about being stranded in a jungle is back (unless you count CITV's Jungle Run) and already there have been tears, screams, and silly comments from the one and only Joey Essex. The first week saw the red and yellow team go head to head for the best camp and some good food. One member of each team was placed into a glass container and forced to solve a puzzle whilst some bugs or reptiles climbed over them. The yellow team thrashed the red team, the latter only managing to gain a meal because the yellow team allowed Joey Essex to win the task. Who says chivalry is dead? But it was Joey and Matthew Wright who were voted to take part in the first bushtucker trial called 'Monday Night Takeaway.' On the bright side, at least they'll get to eat something one night.

Homeland



Many argue that Homeland was a one trick pony. The first series was compelling and gripping, the second series not so much, and the third series has been rocky. That was until Sunday night's episode. This week we were given the Saul show and actor Mandy Patinkin proved that he could handle himself as he took on Javadi, persuading him to work as a CIA asset. Quinn and Carrie had some gripping scenes together, but the storyline regarding Carrie's pregnancy is dragging on. Nevertheless, there is still scope for this element of the show to become interesting, if played right. Clare Danes continuously shows why she is such an immense actor, and her continuously widening eyes are well worth a Golden Globe of their own. However, the real question has to be: 'when will Damian Lewis's Brody return?' That's what all Homeland fans are waiting for.

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