Rob's Thoughts: Week 9

Written by TVSA Team from the blog SCD5: Rob van Vuuren on 04 Dec 2008
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The build up to last weeks semi-final was wrought with fatigue, tension and stress. Our rehearsals were a worrying mix of short , powerful bursts of positive progress and then draining sessions of frustrating drudgery.

Mary struggled with choreography, spending many hours doubting her efforts, while I struggled with exhaustion, stomach cramps and a generally depressed grumpy vibe. However, our desire to come back strong in reply to Tess and Grant's phenomenal performances in the previous week could not be quelled. We wanted it bad.

Our main strategy throughout the week of rehearsals was to concentrate on getting the technique right and specifically to address my posture and strength from the core. I worked really hard on creating a solid base in my core and thereby dance from the centre, through the floor and avoid the flailing lack of control I tend to exhibit from time to time.

We had a really tough session on the Wednesday. We were racing against time, having only barely finished the choreography to both dances as the tension in the build up to the epic two couple elimination in the semi finals loomed. In fact, our Tango was without an intro or an outro. The pressure was on.

Mary had wanted to do a couple more hours that night in reply to the five hours we had already done that day and the countless more in the preceding rehearsals and I was having none of it. I was gatvol, tired, and full of kak.

I figured that we were pushing ourselves too far and that if we didn’t have it by now that night it would prove to be fruitless and may just take the oomph out of our drive for the big day following. Mary, bless her, sensed that I was reaching some sort of breaking point and decided that we should just fly into the remaining hours of the afternoon rehearsal and leave it at that.

We decided to soldier on, take a break in the evening, and then treat the Thursday as a rehearsal, going hard at it during the day and drive straight on through into the performance.

Thursday felt like what I imagine the Comrades marathon must feel like. It was tough. Our first foray onto the ballroom floor was (as always) nothing short of disastrous. It always takes a while for me to re-orientate myself to the dimensions of the floor and it’s atmosphere which is way different to the rehearsal floors we work on.

The Tango, especially gave me problems. We just couldn’t get through the entire routine and we were still without an intro. We kept at it though, with a dogged determination, and the sweat flowed freely in makeshift rehearsal rooms in the empty shell of a building that is the Carlton Hotel.

By late that afternoon, my energy was down and I had been blown away by what I had seen of Grant and Tessa’s Tango and Paso Doble. They seemed flawless and are always so well prepared on that Thursday morning. There were real moments of doubt throughout the day when I felt like we just didn’t have what it took to outscore them, or Cindy and Jonathan for that matter.

However, it must be said that I love the two routines that Mary had come up with for the night and I felt a deep affinity for the nature of both the Tango and the Paso Doble. I did truly believe that if I didn’t cock them up we could also have a winner on our hands.

I went into a very focused zone in the two hours before the show and just spent as much time as possible visualizing the routines on the floor and practicing them over and over wherever I could find a space.

Tess and Grant scored very highly for their first dance, I can’t remember exactly what because I was trying very hard to focus on what we were doing but I do remember that it was way over our highest score in the competition so far.

As we walked out onto that floor I squeezed Mary’s hand really hard and she told me that when she felt that she knew we were going to do something special. The actual routine is a blur, I remember this constant voice in my head saying things like; ‘keep you elbows up, drop your shoulders, push down through your supporting leg, lift your chin, drop your shoulders, hold your core, heel - toe, focus, contra, don’t break your frame etc’

The feedback from the judges was amazing - I can't remember exactly what they said, I just remember that it was rad.

And then the scores. Four tens for the Tango and three tens and a nine for the Paso - giving us a total score of 79 out of 80. The mind boggles.

Needless to say we are through to the finals. I am still a little bit in shock, totally exhausted and happier than a pig in poo.

See you guys in the finals.


03 Dec 2008 17:21

Absolute good luck for tonight Rob!!!!!! Have been waitin  the whole day for this!!!!! Thank gaad for this online partnership cause now i truly appreciate how much work goes into the practice sesssions, you guys make it seem like it's a piece of cake when you get to the dance floor.

You have all my support for tonight, hope you win this!!!! Can't recall what Salome said to you the other week, so yeah, THAT Twakkie!!!

Rob for SCD King!!!!
03 Dec 2008 18:06

What an honour to be in the audience for your and Mary's wonderful performance(no that doesnt sound right, more like creation..... cinematic explosion filled with energy...passion...excitement.)  
I remember Tyrone saying once that he wishes the audience at home could feel the energy you and Mary bring to the competition...he was so right and I witnessed it!!!
I wish you and Mary all the success for the final, if the winner of this competition is judged on hard work, sacrifice, dance ability, entertainment, heart and determination then the two have it in the bag! But then ...Ultimately the votes count so lets get busy with those sms' got mine!!!!!!

03 Dec 2008 19:04

Rob and Mary you guys astound me, you make it look so effortless!!! You have been my favourites from the beggining and as a SCD fan I think you guys have surpassed all previous celebs in the history of SCD SA.

One thing I admire about you two is that you dont argue with one another you seem to have so much respect for one another.  It is obvious and you guys do not have to keep saying it to let SA know it.  Also in your blogs you stick to the nitty gritty of getting through every week and how you have struggled through the trials and tribulations (I am sure you have not told us all the trials and tribulations either).

You are always super complimentary to your competitors and as far as I know have never implied that the judges scores are anything but justified.  You are either a really nice guy or a true professional.  I think both!

I love they way you guys get to business and do not spend time moaning about how the judges are unfair or the media is ignoring you. In fact you joke about being called a spaz even though I am sure it hurt like hell.

Such a nice change from all the whining and whineeing. Also refreshing to see a couple that is not punting the "vote for couple # whatever" at the end of every blog.  It makes me feel like you trust my opinion and trust that I will vote for the couple I truely believe deserve the title. 

When all is said and done you are pitted against who I believe truely deserve to be there with you guys in the Final.  I think that Cindy has alot of personality but technically she is not the best, watch out though she is getting better.  Tessa is a great dancer perhaps lacking in the persoanlity department and if the world was a fair place then it would be between the two of you.  But at the end of the day you are a killer dancer, you have oodles of personality and the cherry on top is that you and Mary are the ultimate professionals.

I agree with the judges when they say you are a SCD dream!!!

GO ROB & MARY you guys ROCK!!!!!!!

03 Dec 2008 21:04

Hey Rob its Steve (Uncle Steve)
Well, there's WOW and then there's WOWWW!!! 
You are ever the "amazing technicoloured dreamcoat" and you must be dead on your feet sometimes, but it ain't showing on TV. The energy you and Mary bring to the show makes it seem more like a professional dancing competition than `Stricktly Come.." in fact I was amazed to catch five minutes of the Brit version and see Peter Schmickael (?) doing an impression of Garth and Pinocchio combined. 
A short message from Gardie, her colleague Judith who has every catholic parish in Cape Town voting for you, has asked (hinted repeatedly) that she would love a signed photograph from you or please mail her directly on just to say hi....... she will die and go to (catholic) heaven.
I have a bone to pick with my headmaster from his actions over the previous couple of weeks, we may even come to blows as he publicly (over the school intercom) announces that everyone in the school must vote for Grant Esterhuizen as he is an ex-pupil. So (although I have nothing against Grant, especially as I never taught him) I have to keep taking counter measures such as whispering to the staff on the QT that in fact Grant is not a contestant he's a proffessional and that they must vote for Rob, because he is a contestant and (of course) I can compromise the tea if they don't.
There's going to be a big group of us watching the final tommorrow and I can't wait. All the best of luck, but then you really don't need it, your bound to ace it and even if you don't we couldn't be prouder of how much you've accomplished and of the way you have handled yourself.
Lots of love, "Fishoek boy" (ask mem about that one if you don't already know).

03 Dec 2008 22:09

Mary & Rob you guys rock.  Mary you must be the best dance instructor ever because anybody who can get a Twakkie dancing like that must be almost hitting super hero status.

Keep that silver shinny disco ball in your sights!!!! You are the clear winners

04 Dec 2008 01:01


Go get it, guys! The trophy is YOURS!

TEAM #2!!!!!!!!!!

04 Dec 2008 07:31

LOL Uncle Steve!!!! Eish Rob, i meant good luck for tonight! Don't know why i thought the final was last night.....

04 Dec 2008 07:50

Good luck Robbie..

The trophie is all yours

04 Dec 2008 08:41

No question, you're the clear winner.  Go get it!

04 Dec 2008 09:10

Good luck Rob & Mary, I love you attitude and the way you make Mary's life much easier.

All the best, I will be screaming in my lounge!!!!! Rob. Rob, Rob is the Winnerrrrrrrrrrrrr

04 Dec 2008 09:58

beaman,biggestfan get over yor selves. this is a competition. the only reason te principal is asking people to vote is course he is from there an so is tessa. if u guys listen to radio, read mags u will see that all the other couples get a lot of media exposure so he's jus tryin to get some type of votes. obviosuly everyone has freedom of choice an can vote for whom ever thy like, it's just an option. u didn't have to mention this cos no 1 else mentions/complains when rob an mary/ cindy an jonothan, anele an brandon, garth an hayley, gugu an sarah, hlubi an khutso, judith an eksteen, adil an robin got or is getting media reprisentation. i suppose this is old news course i have read it all before in someone else's blog ( an i'm not gonna fight her battles for her course i see she's got a lot of people doing it for her) so ifrob is the clear winner then he doesn't need to worry now does he. so go on an use yor votes so thet yor favourit celeb can win.  

04 Dec 2008 10:21

Hey Rob just wanted to wish u luck for tonight!  

Getoverit EISH man why U gotta go & start an argument on the last day, I don't really wanna get in2 this cos those who know me, kno that I'm always ready for some words But u know what just LEAVE THINGS BE. 

Tonight is just gonna be for fun everyone is tired an they don't have time to stress. I actually just wanna wish them all LUCK for tonight, not that any of them need it they all good!

04 Dec 2008 10:47

Getoverit - hectic hey!!!! Lighten up man - it seems pretty obvious to me that Uncle Steve was making a joke - the guy threathened to compromise their tea for goodness sake!!! Sounds like a dangerous criminal to me :)
Loved your blog Uncle Steve! 
Lets get the focus back on this great show, it has been great  entertainment - goodluck to all, but Robs got my vote!

04 Dec 2008 10:54


04 Dec 2008 11:03

Go Rob and Mary!!!!! you guys are the bestest ever.... were all voting like crazy so that you take it tonight! good Luck! You two are our winners no matter what happens!

04 Dec 2008 12:13

Go and get that trophy Rob and Mary. I was so sad during the past seasons, when Mary didn't get good dance partner. Mary is such a wonderful dancer. Rob tell Mary that she's lucky to have you as a partner this time!!! Good luck!!!!

04 Dec 2008 13:59

Whaaaaaaa!!!!! - i watched with tears streaming down my face - screaming at the telly - the neighbours must have thought i was being attacked - they had best brace themselves for a repeat again tonite. perfect - dahling you were just brilliant and i echo everything your 'biggestfan' has said
Good luck tonite - all the best -  win the trophy - you deserve it. i had best get back to sms'ing - couple # 2

04 Dec 2008 21:18

aaawww that was soo excellent tonite guys.. 119/120??? WOW..
♫Rob for the trophie♫

04 Dec 2008 21:48

Rob Da Winner. U simply da best man.

04 Dec 2008 22:10

Go Robbie, Go Robbie Go MAry

04 Dec 2008 22:10

Yeah Baby!!!!!!!!Rob for the moooooolaaaahhhhhh!!!! 


The King and Queen of SCD.

04 Dec 2008 23:21

It seems the world is a fair place, the two best dancers where pitted against each other and at the end the best MAN and (WO)MAN won the competition.

Well done guys you really deserved it!!!!!!

Holy cow you had Tyrone on his feet bowing to you with the tears rolling down his face!!!! Holy Cow!!!!!! That has got to go down in SCD history not to mention the 119/120 has anybody done any better than that I would love to know.


Brown Shuga
04 Dec 2008 23:51

Well done Rob & Mary, am so proud of you!!! You did well and congrats on convincing me to even vote ! Mwaaaaah

05 Dec 2008 00:05

yeah! I am so excited too! tjo... you guys were great!

05 Dec 2008 08:05

Rob & Mary you guys rocked last night!! Congrats and thanks for the awesome show that you two put on for us!!!

05 Dec 2008 09:43

Well done Rob and Mary - SEN SA TIO NAL!!!! What a show, what great winners, what a nice guy

05 Dec 2008 09:46

WELL DONE ROB (&MARY)........!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
05 Dec 2008 10:20

Well done Robbie, you made us proud, plenty tears of happiness, gratitude and all that soppy stuff. Rob you got the perfect partner in Mary please give her an enormous hug from me. What a lady, I would have loved to have got to know her. Enjoy this time. Love Mom.

05 Dec 2008 17:52

Rob, you're the MAN man!! CONGRATS, you deserved it, and I'm especially thrilled for Mary... chatted to her man last night and sounded like his spot in the bed was gonna be replaced with the trophy!!HAHAHA!!! 

I would've been super-bummed if I'd lost to anyone else, but it was an honour to be in the FINAL with you, and all my respect, cos you're such a genuine, down-to-earth guy. Lemme know when you guys are keen for that horseride! :)

05 Dec 2008 17:54

WOW Tess

06 Dec 2008 01:23

thank you all so much - i dont have the words - really - thank you thank you thank you - Tess you rock my world, you know we would never have been able to do what we did without you guys lifting the bar every week - it was an honour and a priviledge.

06 Dec 2008 02:33

Yeah Rob, what you and Mary did to that floor was rocked it! Like Shuga said, u also made me vote on a tv show 4 the first time...I didnt wanna moan about the unfainess of the competition (if u got less votes) when I had not done anything in the 1st place. Tess Tess, u are such a lady!

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