Ok, I was going to complain about the fatigue I was feeling about 90 minutes in trying to get through 14 couples, but then X Factor had 16 (SIXTEEN!) so I officially retract it all. Well most of it. Just don’t expect me to remember in great detail anything that happened from Michelle to Ann. Although that at least is a step up from Bruce, who clearly could barely remember which show he was presetning this week. It’s the one with the DANCING in it Bruce. The DANCING.
Dances for the week were foxtrot and salsa, meaning that the first four dances out this series are my least favourite of them all (except Lindy Hop, but I live in hope that that’s never coming back), so hopefully it’s only up from here on out. Salsa is covered with little success by Peter & Erin (too much energy, by which I mean Erin) and Gavin & Katya (too little energy, by which I mean Gavin, although Katya certainly throws her whole weight behind screaming obscenities at the judges. These Bots have to stick together), and decently by Scott & Natalie (mostly for the costumes. My God the costumes. To say Natalie trousers were spray-painted on is to overestimate the depth of paint) and Patsy & Robin (mostly because she’s clearly trying to pretend throughout that it is still the 80s. Always a good tactic on this show. Top marks of the night however have to go for Pamela, for combining retarded costumes AND the 80s AND comedy falling down faces.
Foxtrots unfortunately are in even greater abundance, although the overdose of tedium that eight Foxtrots would represent (my God, I almost struggled to make it all the way through the three in the Series 6 final) is somewhat off-set by a clear dictat to make them DARK and EROTIC and DISTURBING. Hence Matt & Aliona (inept stubble, finishes with him violently shagging her), Jimi & Flavia (repeated limb-locking, and frotting, although he does off-set the filth a little by grinning like an idiot throughout) and Goldie & Kristina (he’s wearing a hat and doing something identified by Alesha as “swagger”) all come out and SUBVERT the foxtrot, which is quite interesting at the start of the first one is pretty tedious by the end. Then again neither Tina & Jared or Felicity & Vincent, are more fascinating doing a standard foxtrot, and the only thing pulling me through Michelle’s is Brendan sliding all the way down the bannister of Bruce’s stairlift and Michelle’s cracked out drama-faces. Paul gives it a go, spraying playing cards around like a loon and continuing to lip-sync everything, but…it’s still an early foxtrot.
Best of the night for this discipline by a mile is Kara, who performs a James Bond routine with Artem’s teeth, as the show wisely accelerates as fast as it can from pushing their “showmance” as hard as it can right out the gate. If only she wouldn’t make as big a deal over not falling over as she did. S’not that hard dear.
And then you have Widdy, in a category of her own, somehow both not doing a dance and also doing the worst dance in the history of Strictly. Come in Quentin Wilson, your time is up. And I’ve got a feeling it’s only going to get worse from here on out.