THERE have been disgruntled observations that Strictly is not shaping up to be a vintage year.

I agree, many of those who may have had a decent run have been turfed out unexpectedly early.

It was with as much regret we watched pro dancer Johannes leave as his celebrity partner Catherine.

But all in all I still feel largely satisfied by the sequinned juggernaut of Saturday night scheduling.

Catherine was not going to win the show - if you are a veteran viewer such as myself you can roughly work out who is likely to improve enough and who has enough winning personality to get through.

And while she was lovely and likeable and was picking up the choreography, it was clear she wasn’t really making enough progress to do a Stacey.

Dev, a few weeks before, was more of a shock as he probably had what it took to get to either the final or semi-final.

But I doubt he would have won.

I read somewhere the early dishing out of tens may be to blame for the show peaking too early in the season but many of the couples are yet to reach those heady heights so there is time for joy and exuberance yet.

I actually welcomed the ten paddle being dusted off at such a new stage - it mixes things up a bit.

If it is worth a ten, give them it rather than decide it is not quite the right stage of the competition.

The thing about doing well at the start is you have to either keep up that momentum or you slip away whilst others overtake you.

Kelvin is in danger of this happening to him, it might yet happen to the ridiculously bouncy lad who appears on CBBC with the irritating dog.

But in all honesty, they are both likely to make it to this year’s final as they are currently probably the best dancers.

For a while there it was looking like Mike Bushell of BBC sport fame might still be there, stomping about. But no.

Viewers were perplexed he kept winning the dance-off but eventually he cane up against someone who actually was better than him.

Mike was likeable and fun - and tried so hard, so he certainly didn’t not deserve the vitriol he received for stepping out of his comfort zone and putting himself in the firing line every week.

Even when he was voted out he gave us all a good chuckle but attempting to rectify a previously aborted lift - which turned out to be a bad idea since Katya was wearing a Paso skirt which rendered him unable to see.

As well as practising for hours each day, he was also doing his day job as and when he could.

Yes, I was surprised he made it through so many dance-offs but what annoys me even more is when two couples who were not bottom of the leader board end up in the dance off.

I don’t think Gaby Logan has ever recovered from it happening to her - or Penny Lancaster.

And we all know how I felt about trained dancer Ashley Roberts competing in the show but she still didn’t deserve to be in the dance-off, yet still found herself there one week.

Probably due to folk thinking she had an unfair advantage, something us Strictly viewers feel very strongly about.

Okay, I won’t go there again.

So, to sum up - I am sticking with strictly, I will metaphorically travel with them to Blackpool for their annual pilgrimage and grumble when my favourites don’t make it to the final.

It’s tradition and I wouldn’t have it any other way.