Waste not, Wonnacott.
FINALLY, MOVIE WEEK IS OVER (feat. the Soundtracks from Grease, Beetlejuice, There’s Something About Mary, Cocktail and Urban Legend)
(The part in Urban Legend where Bonnie Tyler is singing “TURN AROUND” over a shot of the killer lurking in the back seat clutching an axe is the greatest moment in the history of cinema tyvm)
There presides over this evening the dread entity known as TONY GAGA, a joining of the husk of Tony Bennett and the husk of Lady Gaga dressed as Patti Lupone dressed as Cher. Singing JAZZ. They pull in Natalie and Trent to dance for them, presumably because they’re a bit short-sighted in their old age and think he’s Ian. (Instead the real Ian is influenced by TONY GAGA’S commitment to being BORN THIS WAY, to do a segment promoting It Takes Two where he and Robin act as queenily to one another as is humanly possible). This dread Dr Who villain in waiting also pollutes the opening pro routine, which is very ARTPOP, in that someone’s squiggled on all the pros faces in sparkly biro and nobody really knows what’s going on GAGA.
Still, the dread powers of TONY GAGA have some upside. Unless I missed it their mature issue-led ARTJAZZPOP drove those bloody shots of cutesy dancing kids off of Len’s Glans for a start. And their agenda of ALL THE COLOURS SEXUALITIES AND BUILDS AND AGES OF LITTLE SWINGING MONSTERS BEING EQUAL BEFORE THE EYES OF GOD AND TONY GAGA save Alison and Judy and Scott and Simon and Sunetra from the dance-off and leave two of the straight white men there instead – Tim and Mark. Everyone gasps and clutches their chests over this, but after Simon’s not-really-that-shocking Shock Bottom 2 appearance it feels a bit like Outrage Fatigue might be setting in already. By the time Pixie falls there from 3rd on the leaderboard in Hallowe’en Week they’ll have nothing left.
Tim goes home, because he’s old, even though Mark was far worse in the dance-off and doesn’t look like he’s going to capitalise on any potential he might have ever, and has one of the most touching Strictly end-offs ever. From his sweet speech to Natalie singing along noisily to Fleetwood Mac to us just fading out on him dancing on his own, bizarrely and twitchily, in the centre of a circle of all the others cheering and applauding him. It’s just warming is all. ALL HAIL TONY GAGA.
My idea : a robot butler in a nice sweater that looks a bit like Ed Weeks. GET ON IT DESIGN GREMLINS!
So theoretically, given that most of the contestants were at least a little flat, this week’s show should have been a lot less fun than usual, but for some reason I loved it! Maybe it was just in comparison with last week, with its poor pacing and overwhelming theming and general…Donnyness, but all of the couples brought something interesting to the table this week, even if it was just their famous children.
With such a lot of stuff going on, it was probably the front-runners that suffered the most. All of the putative final four danced well, but all of their dances were missing something. Frankie’s cha cha lacked a little personality, Caroline’s quickstep lacked an ability to handle her great big oversized fairground props with anything like aplomb, Jake’s jive lacked a little coherence and control, and Pixie’s rumba lacked…well rumba, says Len. It did feel a bit like her running through her best ballet moves (again) but she had a great big production number of a crying fit at the end so…at least somebody connected with it. Also Trent met Pixie’s family and they were all huddled drunk in one corner of her kitchen and it was great.
In the chasing pack of men, Simon of course gets his mandated Post Shock Bottom 2 Comeback Dance with a Pearly King themed Charleston, right down to Len saying that he’ll PICKUW HIS WAWNUTS if he finds himself in trouble again. I don’t actually have a spreadsheet showing if Len has ever actually had to pickuw his wawnuts, but I doubt it. Thom does a foxtrot in one of the worst outfits I’ve ever seen on this show (is it me, or are the men actually dressed worse than the women this year?) but the iceberg that is his personality is slowly starting to show cracks and also Iveta is taught to play rugby and I think starts to bite people and has to then be committed? It was fun whatever happened. Mark is insanely overscored for a quickstep that involves him running around with Karen limply holding on to him, but his Nanny Pat turns up dressed in a giant Phantom Of The Opera doily, so I can’t get too mad. Only Steve is really off the pace, as he still can’t quite wrap his muscles around Party Latin. Worse though, someone’s done the world’s worst wax job on his chest. Seriously, it looks like it’s been done with a butter knife.
The women in the middle? Neither of them dance their Party Latins well, but both of them do it with such exuberance I’m not sure it matters. Sunetra’s salsa to “Turn The Beat Around” gets so frantic that Brendan’s trousers give up the ghost entirely and Alison’s samba’ing impersonation of Beyonce is ALL BOOBS and nothing else but it still kind of works. On…erm…an emotional level.
It’s at the back of the pack though where the actual magic and madness happens. Judy Murray fulfils what we all wanted her here for (to embarrass her children via her sexuality) but then exceeds all our requirements by actually…dancing…not…the worst? Her complete lack of motility sort of weirdly suits the tango and Anton flinging her around like he’s expecting a dog to chase after her and catch her in his mouth even more so. Tim and Natalie do their best to live up to the very concept of a paso doble to “Simply The Best” by Tina Turner and I think Natalie gets closer but I’m laughing too much to care. And finally, maybe, Joanne Clifton learns a lesson about what happens when you give deliberately campy bad-taste “bad choreography” to a guy who can’t dance. Carnage. Utter carnage.
“I walk the walk, I talk the talk, and I dance the dance”
“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams”
“I can make women do what I want in the business world…and come to think of it, some men”
“I’m not arrogant, because what I’m saying is all true”
“My absolute worst nightmare is getting to age 40 with a £50,000 salary and a four-year-old Toyota”
“I’m like a little stealth bomber”
“Felipe’s strategy in the process is to be Felipe”
“There’s no I in team, but there’s five in individual brilliance”
“Everyone sees a friend in me, but what they don’t know is that I’m coming for them behind their back”
“I’m not better at business because I’m good-looking, I’m better at business because I’m better at business because I’m better at business because I’m at better at business alt error error run c10″
Yes. They’re back.