Shocks all over the place this year at Blackpool, remember what you thought coming in? WELL YOU WERE WRONG, ALL WRONG! Michelle’s Marie Antoinette meets Marie Claire Vogue routine isn’t an excuse to give her 40 and keep her safe at the top of the leaderboard, it is in fact a vehicle for bussing her as hard as possible, only one week after Shirley foretold at the start of the series. Just in time for the Drag Race UK finale, oops no need to have a walking billboard for it on this show any more bye! Saffron’s quickstep isn’t her ascending to her throne as the queen of ballroom at the home of the genre, it is in fact an excuse for the judges to turn nitpicky and dangle her over the dance-off yet again. Emma’s American Smooth isn’t Anton going out quietly at Blackpool on another boring ballroom number, it’s actually the vessel via which he receives his first ever Strictly 10. From (ULTIMATE PLOT TWIST!) Shirley Ballas! Karim’s Charleston wasn’t a frantic mess, like it looked all week in rehearsals, it was instead an absolute triumph. Or so I’m being told by people whose eyes weren’t poked out by his (sorry mum, if you’re reading) enormous penis, as he descended from the rafters in an uber tight harness, RIP my vision. MADNESS!
Some things though, some, isolated things, go directly to plan and business as usual, by which I mean most of the opening pro/celeb dance routine is just Kevin Clifton’s face, leading the band of sundry pros, grinning away, is there going to be a week this series where he’s not integral to some routine or other, not if he can help it. Of the celebs? Chris’ salsa is yet more endless terrible awful borderline unwatchable eye-scouring flat-footed fun, Alex’s paso rams GIRL POWER AND ALL THAT SHIT down your throat until we’re all foie gras, and Kelvin’s jive takes my ovaries, smashes them into a fine powder, snorts them up its nose, processes them internally into tablet form, feeds them back to me, and gets me pregnant.
Where this leads us? Well I guess it depends on whether Michelle’s teary begging to the gay community to save her actually works, becaused she’s plonked very much at the bottom of the leaderboard with little chance of escape. Well on behalf of the community we’ll consider the time you were so mean to Adore Delano she quit All Stars 2 in a vale of tears, and get back to you Meesh.
Somewhere, Madame LaQueer is laughing.
Bye Bye Bushy!
WOOBIE MELTDOWN IMMINENT IN 5…4…3…2…
Ladies and Gentlemen, we are gathered here today to let Mike Bushell go. Luke Evans belts out “Bring Him Home”, the pro dance commemorates the families torn apart by war with a bunch of special effects to make them all look like ghosts, and none of this feels like as big a catharsis as the fact that both the nation and Mike Bushell himself are finally, after the last CLEAR MONTH OF DRUDGE, set free from Mike Bushell being chained to Strictly Come Dancing. The INSTANT Mike knows that he’s in the dance-off, he has 15 years taken off his age, his skin is cleared, his mind is cleansed, he starts pee’ing clear for the first time in ages, it’s a truly wonderful moment. His opponent in the dance-off? Michelle, having done a truly beautiful full leaderboard plunge (WITH NO TIES!), but that barely matters, what matters is that Mike Bushell is OFF, and HAPPY, and doing an actual conga out of the studio door and halfway down the street.
Otherwise, Alex is doing a Beyonce paso doble next week, Kelvin’s doing a jive, everyone’s saying “Blackpool” far more than is strictly necessary, and Dance Debrief goes the extra mile to shore up our four official Good Dancers for the endgame to come. With Mike Bushell’s complete lack of votes out of the picture though, anything could happen!
A whole variety of tactics being deployed here to get to Blackpool, from Neil’s subliminal messaging via a shirt coloured like a deckchair to Chris peddling in NORTHERN points, but all efforts pale in comparison to Amy, who runs around squawking “BLACKPOOL!” every other word, and constructs an entire lighthouse in the middle of the dancefloor as a SUBTLE MARITIME THEME. Unfortunately for her, Karim’s Viennese Waltz is every bit as wonky as it looked in training all week, with Karim running a-foul of the set, Amy’s feet, and his own natural over-exuberance, and sees him taking up Saffron’s place from last week as “ooooh frontrunner who might be in danger ooooh”, somewhere near the bottom of the board. Saffron meanwhile, takes up HIS old place from last week at the top of the leaderboard on lovely classical elegant ballroom, as she floats around very delicately to Your Song and then proclaims herself to “have an old soul at heart”. Claudia then tries to remove it with a pair of tweezers, but touches the sides, so Saffron buzzes and her nose turns red.
Elsewhere, pretty much business as usual. Kelvin and Michelle cash in some lovely 8s and 9s doing what they do best – hypererotic latin writhing and sassy showgirl ballroom respectively, Alex continues to hover around the low 30s and this time with Neil back her in arms for a very groovy rhythmic jive, and Chris and Mike end up propping up the leaderboard with two dances that are…well indifferently performed would be a kindness. Let’s just say that neither of them are naturally dramatic enough to do a paso or a tango justice, and both of them look a bit like they’re just walking about with a cop on. Really this, combined with the death slow, should be enough to see the end of Mike, at somebody’s hand, although whose remains a question.
Oh yeah. Emma Barton’s supposed roaring comeback masterpiece “just doing her dayjob” Fosse theatre-jazz? She and Anton are out-of-sync for…quite a lot of it, the choreography is a little lacking, and all in all…it’s fine? Truly she continues to perform at two or three shots under whatever par is set for her. Still, probably enough for Blackpool, and that’s all that mattered tonight, ask Amy. If you can find her buried under Karim’s teary woobie meltdown.