[Please note there are spoilers ahead for those who have not watched season 4, episode 7]

We only have 3 episodes left of season 4 and what a ride it has been! The producers warned that it was going to be a massive season and they were not exaggerating: Joffrey was killed, the most dangerous man in the Seven Kingdoms is turning out to be Littlefinger, Arya is becoming a cold blooded killer, we finally see The Iron Bank as Tywin desperately tries to maintain power with dwindling funds, Sansa finally escapes only to be nearly killed by her crazy Aunt Lysa….before she herself is killed. Every episode has been packed to the brim. And I haven’t even mentioned Theon or should I say Reek? I never particularly liked Theon but to see what they have done to him is tortuous (see what I did there). And of course there is Daenerys settling down and becoming queen and Bran and John’s adventures beyond the wall. And how about the baby with the ice-blue eyes? The list goes on…


Image credit: HBO

But my hearts aches for one character in particular this season – Tyrion. I’m sure I am not alone in saying that I love Tyrion and Peter Dinklage is a genius for playing him the way he does. I am only half way through reading the second book so I have no idea what is going to happen to Tyrion. To say I find that unsettling is an understatement. (Note to self that I must start reading more quickly). His face when he saw Shay was heartbreaking. I want to know what they threatened Shay with or whether she is one seriously scorned woman. It was enough to break Tyrion and the monologue which followed was chilling. It was an absolutely outstanding piece of writing, acting and direction. It still takes my breath away. I had a theory that Jaime would stand as his champion but how wrong was I? I also never imagined that Bronn, after all they had been through together, could turn out to be so disloyal and opportunistic. Thank the gods for Prince Oberyn. His speech to Tyrion was mesmerising. My heart soared as he told Tyrion that ‘I will be Your Champion’.


Image credit: HBO

One thing that I have really enjoyed this season is watching all the different relationships at play. There have been many scenes where there are only two characters interacting. I have found these interactions some of the most compelling due to the incredible depth of history which has developed between the characters. Jaime sending Brienne away to find Sansa, and his gifts to her, shows real affection. In addition to the fact that he sent her away so that Cersei could not get her claws into her. With all we know about Podrick I am fascinated to see how their relationship will develop. When they trotted away I was concerned we might not see them again. I was very relieved when we did. And then of course we have our other travelling couple: The Hound and Arya. There seems to be reluctant respect between them, even though Arya added The Hound to her ‘goodnight list’. I wonder if he will start sleeping with one eye open?


Image credit: HBO

Roxette’s Things Will Never Be the Same pops into my head whenever I start thinking about Jaime and Cersei. I’m not sure if Cersei ever truly loved Jaime, but Jaime did and I think he still does. However recent events mean that even he is no longer unable to deny that she is manipulative, cold and crazy. I also think he is hurt by her being so unsympathetic about the loss of his hand. While we know it could have been a lot worse (once again, apologies to Theon) it is still devastating for him. Although there was a moment of completely inappropriate intimacy (sibling rape incest?) next to a deceased Joffrey it seems like she is closed for business. Not that she would allow anyone to have any designs on him. Cersei’s imagination and jealously is a lethal combination.

Speaking of family bonding wasn’t it a touching moment when Olenna Tyrell confesses to her granddaughter Margaery that they were responsible for Joffrey’s death? I had my strong suspicions. Olenna was well aware of what a monster Joffrey was and I felt that she would never leave Margaery vulnerable to him. Margaery seemed genuinely shocked by the confession. While always ambitious I think it is only now that she is truly understanding how the game for the Seven Kingdoms is played. She is a quick learner though. Her slow seduction of naïve Tommen seems to be going along quite smoothly and even Cersei seems to be accepting the inevitability of their union.

GoT olenna maegary

Image credit: HBO

So it is with bated breath that I wait to see what will happen this week. I am looking forward to seeing if Prince Oberyn stands a chance against The Mountain. I am nervous about what Littlefinger might do with Sansa now that he has her all to his own. As much as I enjoy Arya and The Hound’s adventures I am starting to wonder if they will ever make it to the Eyrie? And these concerns are only the tip of the iceberg. Bring on episode 8….

What are you looking forward to? (Please no spoilers from those who have read the books).

[Please note there are spoilers ahead for those who have not watched season 2, episode 1]

I must admit that when I started watching the first episode of the second season I was a little confused. It had been a while since the first season aired but I could swear that A Place to Call Home was a period drama. Then why was I watching a modern car speed up the driveway to Ash Park? Explanation came soon enough and I realised the powers that be had decided to jump forward in time and continue the season one story in flashbacks. I’m not sure how I feel about it yet. And is it just me or is blond, modern Samantha and brunette, dignified Olivia both played by the beautifully elegant Arianwen Parkes-Lockwood? I was finding it all a bit unsettling but once the drama started I was willing to forgive all.

Before we know it we are taking in an out- of-her-element Anna living with the Poletti family. In my opinion she is handling it all pretty well so far and doing her best to adapt to farm life. Of course she appears to be a bit of a princess but that is how she was brought up. I really hope that Carla starts being a little kinder to her. It is obvious that Anna loves Gino and is willing to make big life changes in order to have a future with him.

On the other side of the coin we have Sarah moving into the enemy’s house, aka Ash Park. And by enemy I specifically mean the gorgeously underhanded Elizabeth Bligh. Although civility is almost dripping from Elizabeth we know that Sarah is not naïve enough to let her guard down; she understands Elizabeth far too well. It looks as though we will have another wonderful season of these two formidable women going to head to head. And now since we know that Sarah has lived to a ripe old age and is still living at Ash Park, is it right to assume that it was her who came out ahead in the end?

Sarah and George

Image credit: Channel 7

And James…poor, poor James. I struggle watching the scenes of him going through shock therapy to be ‘fixed’. However, as uncomfortable as it makes me feel I applaud Bevan Lee for shining a spotlight on the barbaric treatment that was used by the medical community in the all too recent past. Just as horrible as seeing James become a shell of his former self is seeing Olivia go through the anguish of watching it all happen and feeling helpless. It is obvious that she is torn and that she does not want James to go through the agony he is experiencing. However the doctors are bullying and emotionally manipulating her into letting the process continue. As much as Elizabeth is ill-intentioned at times I sincerely hope that she will put an end to things when she sees the state that James is in.

Olivia and James

Image credit: Channel 7

Someone that I don’t believe anyone will miss is Bert Ford. He was an abusive, despicable man and Colin coming to his mother’s defense was completely understandable. Was tying him up in chains and letting him sink to the bottom of the lake the best course of action for Sarah and Roy to take? Maybe not, but it certainly makes for great drama. Now there is literally a huge, sunken secret that has the potential to blow up a number of lives if it ever surfaces.

Finally we have Jack who seems to be overwhelmed with the discovery that his young love affair with Carolyn Bligh resulted in him fathering a daughter. Maybe if he took a step back he could put two and two together and figure out who the child is but where would the fun be in that? No, apparently it is better to start shooting up. We discovered in season one that Jack is an alcoholic. It makes me wonder then why he would turn to needles and not booze?

All in all I loved the long awaited return to A Place to Call Home. Although I am not entirely convinced by the new approach I am more than willing to give it a fair go. As usual with this wonderful series my mind jumps ahead, filled with many questions begging to be answered.

  • Will any of our other beloved characters turn up in the ‘present’?
  • Is Elizabeth going to put an end to James’ inhumane treatment?
  • Will Anna and Sarah both survive their ‘trial’ periods?
  • How will Jack respond to finding out that Anna is his daughter, and Anna to finding out that Jack is her father?
  • Is Elizabeth’s health going to hold out for the season?
  • Will there be a wedding in season 2? Or weddings?

It’s only the first episode and I was already left with tingles and excitement by the end of it. Bring on the deception, love, secrets and drama – I can’t wait!

What did you think of the first episode? Are you a fan of the flash-forward/back?

The final of SYTYCDAU had finally arrived. The show started with a visually stunning performance by the top 20, with the top 4 taking centre stage. I loved everything about it: the music, the choreography and the cinematography. I thought the choices made and the way it was put together was better than many of the dance routines in today’s music clips. Well done to The Squared Division and to all the dancers who looked like true professionals!


Image credit: Network 10

Carrie walked out rocking her gorgeous dress and the judges were introduced for the last time. I have to say that I think that Paula, Shannon, Aaron and Jason have all done a wonderful job this season, mixing together the perfect blend of encouragement, praise and tough love.

So onto the performances…

Lauren and Michael danced a Debbie Ellis Contemporary routine to Falling Slowly by Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova.

Michael and Lauren

Image credit: Network 10

I can’t believe Lauren and Michael were only just now dancing together for the first time. This was a beautiful routine for two amazingly talented dancers. The trust that Lauren and Michael had in each other was astounding and I think they made Debbie proud with their sensitive interpretation.

Renelle and Jay danced an Aric & Masha Waltz routine to At This Moment by Michael Buble.

Jay and Renelle

Image credit: Network 10

This was a dramatic and emotionally charged routine. It was danced beautifully by Renelle and Jay. Huge props go to them for handling the costume malfunction so smoothly and gracefully. So much so that on the first viewing I didn’t even realise when it had happened.

Jason Derulo performed next. To be honest I could have done without ‘Wiggle’ and hearing ‘Big Fat Butt’ over and over again. I think for a show that tries to encourage a family audience better choices could have been made. I was not impressed and Carrie joked afterwards about SYTYCDAU being in a PG timeslot. That is exactly the point.

Sam Smith was up next with his song ‘Stay With Me‘. I found this performance much more enjoyable but I was keen to get back to the dancers.

Renelle and Lauren danced a Matt Lee Jazz routine to I’m a Woman from Smokey Joe’s Café.

Renelle and Lauren

Image credit: Network 10

Congratulations to Matt Lee for creating a joyful, sassy and sexy routine celebrating being a strong woman. Lauren and Renelle showed how amazing they are and how far they have come. They were both radiant in their confidence! They literally roared together at the start of the season and they absolutely ‘owned it’ at the end.

Aaron and The Original Tap Dogs took to the stage next. Six grown men tapping? I only have one word for you – sexy!

tap dogs

Image credit: Network 10

Michael and Jay performed a Sarah Boulter Contemporary routine to Invictus by Patrick Mazzolo.

Michael and Jay

Image credit: Network 10

This was such a strong and fierce routine. Michael and Jay matched each other in intensity and Jay in particular showed how far he has matured as a dancer.

Next was a well-deserved tribute to Paula and the eighties chick in me loved every little part of it. The dancers gave their all and their respect for Paula was evident in their performance. Matt Lee’s choreography was perfect.

After a look back at some of the favourite routines it was time to find out the final two. The first dancer safe was Lauren and the second was Michael. I was thrilled and wasn’t overly surprised. Jay and Renelle were all smiles though. At this stage of the competition and with the exposure they have gained I truly believe that the top 4 are all winners.

Entertainment was back and Ed Sheeran was up with ‘Sing’. His performance was my favourite out of all the singers.

Ed Sheran

Image credit: Network 10

Lauren and Michael took to the stage for the last time for a Jason Gilkison routine to Jumpin’ Jack by Big Bad Voodoo Daddy.

top 2

Image credit: Network 10

Lauren and Michael looked so happy, relaxed and confident. This routine was full of smiles and gorgeous dancing and only got better when the other dancers joined in.

The time had come it was, at last, final time. Lauren looked excited and nervous and Michael looked petrified. And I had butterflies. Carrie opened the envelope and announced that the winner was Michael. I hoped it would go this way and it was so well deserved. Lauren looked sincerely thrilled for him and Michael burst into tears as it slowly sunk in. Congratulations and hugs followed and SYTYCDAU faded away for another season.

michael wins

Image credit: Network 10

As an end note I would like to say thank you for reading my reviews and I hope you have enjoyed them. So You Think You Can Dance Australia is not the highest rating reality television show in Australia but I really hope that it comes back for another season. It is true that it does not have the personality clashes, the ‘nasty’ judges and the drama that some reality shows have these days. What it does have though is young, talented, passionate Australians focused on pursuing and improving their art and following their dreams. I know what I would prefer to watch.




A very glam Carrie introduced the top 6 and announced they would be performing a Travis Wall routine. Yes, Travis Wall! I have respected and admired Travis since I first saw him on Season 2 of SYTYCD in the US. He is an amazing dancer and an even better choreographer. Our top 6 were very fortunate to have had the honour of working with him and what a stunningly beautiful piece he created for them. In return they didn’t let him down. For once I didn’t feel like I was looking at individual dancers in a competition. Instead I felt like I was watching a professional contemporary dance company at work.


Image credit: Network 10

So onto the performances…

Lauren and Jay danced a Jesse Rasmussen Hip-Hop routine to Get Up Offa That Thing/Release the Pressure by James Brown.

Lauren and Jay

Image credit: Network 10

Well done Lauren and Jay! The funkiest elderly people around by a long shot. They did so well to stay in character for the entire routine. It was funny when it had to be and tight in other places. The perfect combination of acting and dancing. It brought a huge smile to my face.

Renelle and Sam danced a Trent Whiddon Samba routine to Hotel California by The Cat Empire.

Renelle and sam

Image credit: Network 10

There were some great moments in this performance and I thought the dancing overall was excellent. Renelle was sizzling and Sam played it strong and cool.

Principal Artist Andrew Killian and Senior Artist Reiko Hombo from The Australian Ballet took to the stage next and performed Spring Waters. I am a huge fan of The Australian Ballet and their seemingly effortless dancing wowed the audience and brought everyone to their feet.

Australian ballet

Image credit: Network 10

Ashleigh and Michael danced a Matt Lee and Kate Wormald Jazz routine to The Beautiful People by Marilyn Manson.

Michael and Ashleigh

Image credit: Network 10

I found this routine deranged and sexy. I loved it! While it was fiddly with the straight jackets Michael and Ashleigh handled them very well. Once free they were determined, in sync, and insanely fierce.

Lauren and Sam danced a Debbie Ellis Contemporary routine to In This Shirt by The Irrepressibles.

Sam and Lauren

Image credit: Network 10

This piece was a haunting masterpiece where both Lauren and Sam shone. It was hard to keep my eyes off Lauren but when I did I saw that this was one of Sam’s strongest performances. They both stayed in character and were totally committed until the very end. I thought they were brilliant.

Ashleigh and Jay danced a Sarah Boulter Contemporary routine to And I’m Telling You I’m Not Going by Jennifer Hudson.

Jay and Ashleigh

Image credit: Network 10

This performance was pure joy and trust. Jay has become such a solid partner and he and Ashleigh were definitely able to rediscover their stage chemistry. I got goose bumps watching them and couldn’t help smiling throughout. I especially loved the ending.

Renelle and Michael danced a Travis Wall Contemporary routine to Lay Me Down by Sam Smith.

Michael and Renelle

Image credit: Network 10

Yay! I was so hoping that Travis would create a routine for one of the couples. Lucky Renelle and Michael. Unsurprisingly this was my favourite performance of the night. The exquisite dancing by Renelle and Michael combined with Travis’ inspired choreography created a truly magical and unforgettable experience.

The solos were next. Lauren was sassy, Ashleigh was fierce and Renelle was quirky. They were all gorgeous. The boys were up next. Sam was controlled, Jay was joyful and Michael was intense. OK, more than intense. Michael’s dancing was almost beyond comprehension and he danced like his life depended on it. The judges were left almost speechless by the solos and looked extremely emotional at the thought of two of the dancers going home.

The time had arrived though and I was dreading the result. The girls were first and Renelle and Lauren went through. Ashleigh was sent home and she braved it with her beautiful smile. The boys were next and Jay and Michael made it through. Sam was sent home and he accepted it maturely. Without a doubt Ashleigh and Sam have grown as dancers throughout the contest and are sure to have bright dancing futures in front of them. It has been a pleasure to watch them every week.

So the four dancers going into the final were Jay, Lauren, Michael and Renelle. The only thing left to do was the final pairings of the season and it was Jay and Renelle and Michael and Lauren. I must admit that I am happy with Australia’s choice and can’t wait for next week. It was so sweet watching the judges congratulate the top four at the end of the show. They have all come so far and have proved themselves in their own right. Three of my original favourites are in the final but if push came to shove I have to confess that I hope Michael wins and it is he who I will be voting for. His talent, determination and love of dance is evident every single time he performs. Now that I have ‘fessed up, it’s your turn. I would love to hear from you.

Thanks to everyone who has visited my blog in the last couple of days. Apologies that my semi-finals recap isn’t up yet but I am away in country Victoria this weekend with my family. The good news is we will be back home soon so keep your eyes out for my post tomorrow night.

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