Strictly Come Dancing 9 – Week 4 Performance

As a theme, I’m not really sure that “Stairs Week” entirely worked.

Previously on Strictly : The show’s flirtation with Broadway closed after one week which…I think is more or less an accurate outcome given how it went. Audley lost his hat, Harry lost his shirt


(and his chest hair, BOO) Chelsee lost control (again), Anita lost her mind (again), Russell lost the campery (for all of about 20 seconds), Lulu lost her virginity to Batman (I think that’s what that dance was about) but Jason’s grip on the top of the leaderboard remained solid.

This week : phew, no theme, which means that hopefully it’ll all be back to normal after last week’s outsize campery, nonsense, and lack of regard for the PURITY OF DAH


no? Ok…


Hubba hubba


No prodance to open proceedings this week, just straight in with a truly vintage


Tess Dress Watch. That’s right, she’s come as a putrefying aubergine/Attack Of The Purple Tentacle/the worst bits of the 1970s. Delete as inappropriate.

Sadly not even this monstrosity is enough to distract me from just how truly


bizarre Bruce’s opening dance has become. What is that? Sexy T-Rex? When they meet up, Bruce greets Tess by looking at her dress and crowing “oh, you’ve done it now”

Very much done

I’ll say.

He also says she looks very “slinky”. In that a slinky is something that falls down the stairs, I can only hope.

The crowd are still on their feet at this point, so he tells them to sit down, on the grounds that “I didn’t tell you to stand up”. No, just the warm-up man, the producers, members of the production team, researchers running round with signs, giant buzzing neon lights saying “STAND UP NOW! YOU LIKED THIS!”… you get the idea. We got our obligatory Nicetoseeyou, toseeyouNICE at this point, in which we learn that


Billy Connolly is not really a catchphrase comedian.

Apparently Bruce tried to molest Holly this week,


and whilst he did so she said that make-up had done a great job on his face, but somebody should have told them that Hallowe’en is next week. Somebody should have told whoever dressed Tess as well.

Tess reminds us that last week, Dan Lobb became toast (Katya also ate his kidneys, turned his thighs into bacon, churned his liver into pate, harvested baked beans from his stomach, grew fried mushrooms in his composting intestines, and cooked it all up using his sawn off scalp as a frying pan. You don’t want to know where she got the sausage from. Or the butter), and this week one of the remaining twelve contestants will similarly be eliminated from the competition. Bruce gabbles on about how the standard is higher than ever (HA!) and then it’s time to meet the STARS OF OUR SHOW!


I seriously don’t think Anita and Russell could be a bigger pair of tragic luvvies if they tried.

Anyway, as if these people needed encouragement to act like bigger hams, Bruce yells “COME ON EVERYBODY! YOU’RE IN SHOWBIZ! EYES AND TEETH, EYES AND TEETH!…NOT YOU ROBBIE!”. I have no idea what this is supposed to mean, but


Ola reacts anyway. She knows this show by now. I’d also like to give a shout-out at this point to Bloody Lulu’s


hairdresser (her actual hairdresser, not her “hairdresser”). I feel we are on the same wavelength in terms of what we see her role being.

Who’s in Spaceship Karen this week?


Why it’s “Strictly Favourite”(?!) Kelly Brook! I wonder what happens when someone needs the loo up there. I’m hoping at some point during next week’s outro Bruce gets taken out by a giant frozen block of urine.

Grayson Donovan & Kristina Rihanoff dancing the paso doble


Bruce starts by telling us that Jason has been wearing his matador outfit all week to get into character – even wearing it to the supermarket! That’s nothing Bruce – Lisa Snowdon’s still wearing that bacofoil turkey number under her clothes now. It means she NEVER REALLY LEFT THE SHOW! SHE NEVER HAS TO CONFRONT THE VOID! It’s starting to smell a bit now though. Her doctor says it’s causing all sorts of infections but she just CAN’T LET GO!

VT now, and Jason says that he was OVERWHELMED by the judges reactions last week. Even LEN enjoyed it! He was sat there with a big cheesy grin on his face and everything! Jason can’t believe he’s been top of the leaderboard three weeks in a row now! THREE WEEKS! Did he mention that? He’s so humbled. Even though his scores were phenomenal (truly phenomenal, did he mention that?) he’s going to dig even DEEPER this week, and get even better, if that’s even possible!


Training now, and this hubris masquerading as humility is briefly rocked by the fact that…Jason isn’t very good at the paso doble. He’s struggling with the performance, he’s having a difficult time with the technicality of the steps, he’s regretting his decision


to allow Aliona to store Harry’s discarded body-hair in his armpits for safe-keeping. Such a misguided plan – Dougie would have been quite happy to keep it in a little bag under his pillow for him. Anyway, what is the answer to this struggle?


DODGY NATIONAL STEREOTYPES! Jason takes his “Spanish” outfit and goes and minces around a


Tesco Metro. (I don’t want to CONTINUALLY suggest that the fact that the show is apparently allergic to showing Jason and Kristina in the training room for more than about 5 seconds suggests anything about the quality of their relationship. You know, any more than Jason wanted to continually mention how amazing his tango was). I’m with this woman


and this one


and, for once,


Kristina. Except my glass of sangria would be a bit bigger. In that it would be a bottle.

To the dance-floor and it’s time for our first paso of the series. Kristina’s


DANCE-BONER is palpable. Personally I’m just hoping my Buntomatic 5000 is up to measuring the strength of faces he’s about to produce. The poor old girl’s getting on a bit now.


(*little bit of smoke comes out*)

They’re doing their paso to “I Want It All”, sadly not the High School Musical 3 song, but the one by Billy Connolly’s band Pink Floyd. He does a lot of shouting and sliding around and stumbling about and marching like a tin solider, and is throughout doing that thing people do where they confuse haughty arrogance for wrinkling their nose and pooching their lips out. Janice Dickinson is a KIND of haughty arrogance, but probably not the paso doble kind.

(Janice Dickinson 4 Anton du Beke 4 2012 please)

It think my least favourite part is when he just grabs hold of her skirt and won’t let go, making him a little bit


Tube Station Midnight sex-pest.


Not his best effort, all told, but at least the Buntomatic 5000 remains in one piece. For now.

Up on the Tessanine,


I think Disdainful Harry is my favourite Harry. It actually doesn’t get a standing ovation, which means something very obviously went wrong. Either that or it’s a “good audience” we’ve got in this week. You know, by my standards of not acting like the screaming, shit-flinging, masturbating chimpanzees at London Zoo. I live in eternal hope. Once they’ve alley-creeped over to Bruce he tells them that they had a great week’s training this week. Jason corrects him, and says this dance was a “difficult birth”. Yes, if ever a dance came out with its cord wrapped around its neck it was this one. (THAT WAS ME, I CAN SAY THAT, IT’S ALLOWED, I HAD EXTRA HANDWRITING LESSONS AND EVERYTHING.)

It’s time now to introduce Davearch and his fabulous orchestra!


It’s so sad that it’s actually notionally “Rock Week” on X Factor, and that one still image is more rock and roll than their entire show. Think on that. Davearch holding a guitar like it’s an antique vase he’s shifting for a few quid is more rock and roll than our nation’s finest young musical talent. And Frankie Cock-Weasel.

Bruce introduces the judges and jokes that the standard of dancing would have raised their eyebrows… if it weren’t for all that botox! Alesha and Bruno both mug


“WHOSE BOTOX?!” amazingly, before pointing at


Craig who


splutters and laughs manfully. It’s the greatest display of comic timing in the whole episode. You’ll notice they didn’t let Len anywhere bloody near it.

Len starts with the comments, saying that the first thing he looks at in the paso doble is the buttoc(*fastforward*)


Alesha follows, saying that he gave a confident performance, and nobody can take that away from him, because if they try he’ll stab them in the hand. But you could also really see how unsure it all was. So it was a confident performance where you could see his uncertainty? BOKAY ALESHA. She does think he does express most of his performance through his face rather than the rest of his body though which…yeah.

Bruno’s next and says he made a BIG OLD MEAL of that dance and it gave him indigestion. The face was chewing the scenery, but the feet were timid and his timing was off. Also Bruno remains affronted that anyone could possibly dance poorly to a QUEEN song. Now he knows how I feel every time someone mangles Sir David Bowie. He huffs that as it’s a Queen he needs to give it service. I’ll say.

Craig closes by saying that Jason tends to

I'd be worried

hunch his shoulders up when he takes Kristina’s weight. Maybe he’s worried she’s a vampire Craig? It’s a valid concern. Joe certainly shuffles around like some sort of zombie manservant. He needs to follow through with his lines, and stop raising his knees so much. Once the judges are through, Jason very noisily says he agrees with all their comments and it’s all very fair and he’ll work on it and it’s all so true and thank you all


for your continuous support, and he’s definitely not currently shooting steam-spurts of rage out of every orifice of his body.

UP TO THE TESSANINE! Brendan pats him on the arse on his way through. Tess greets up by spewing the usual about PASSIONATE PASOS and giving your all, and asking him if he agrees with Len that it was his weakest dance and also that he has buttocks. Kristina’s all


“oh good, he’s going to speak again”. And speak he does. He’s tired, they’re all tired, it’s been a tough week and a difficult birth, he’s tried hard, but next week is another week, and he’s sure he’ll get back to the top LIKE HE DESERVES possibly to be at, he’s still humble Tess, still humble, giving it 100%, did you see his paso character in the VT, well the moustache has gone now but erm, yes, the erm, spirit remains. Nancy hoots up that she’s tired and then flashes her eyes around trying to get contact from anyone sat around her. Some of them twice. No-one obliges. (Nancy <3) Scores are in –



Tess drops another Queen reference in. Billy Connolly


still does not give two shits.

Bunton Paso Scale Score :0.85 Spanish Badger

James Jordan & An Irrelevant Extension Of James Jordan’s Ego dancing the rumba

So innocent, so full of hope

Oh sure, it’s all smiles NOW. Bruce opens by explaining to us all that they’re doing the rumba, which is a dance where the man woos the woman. Especially on the Argentinian version. Bruce jokes that looking Alex’s costume, she’s going to be very “wood”. He then starts rambling on about Jonathan Ross. As he is wont to do.

VT time now, and Alex reminds us that last week went alright, as James kept things simple. She says she was over the moon with the performance, along with the cow that she learnt about in nursery this week. This week she is going to be the dish and James is going to be the spoon and they are going to get MARRIED IN THEIR PANTS just like she saw her mum and the paper-boy doing one time. She was THIRD on the leaderboard (which comes after first and second, and before fourth) and she made her mum tape it so she could rewatch it at home over and over again.

I’m think this week’s tape is getting “accidentally” recorded over with episodes of Peppa Pig pretty damn sharpish. We then finish our reminiscences of last week’s show with her


doing a cat impression and making herself laugh. I would flove this couple SO MUCH if James wasn’t being such a James.



Training now, and Alex is dreading the rumba, because everyone has told her it’s about being sexy, which she’s not really into, she’s more interested in ponies and being a vet. She knows James can do sexy, but she’s worried she won’t look sexy, because she can’t dance the rumba! What’s the solution to this? Why, it’s the same solution to everything this week!




Seriously, why shoot Qaddafi in the face when the whole Arab Spring thing could have been resolved by dressing him as Count Duckula and making him practice the cha cha underwater?

Anyway, Alex walks around in Dr Hamelavision, where all men love her and drop their weights on their feet and stare at her arse and so on until she chokes herself with her boa on the doorknob in a game of auto-erotic asphyxiation gone tragically wrong. So sad. So young.

To the dance-floor and


good grief, James thinks he’s Torville & Dean again. They’re rumbaing to “Run” by Snow Patrol, as covered by the amazing robot Leona Lewis. In tribute to Leona, I’m going to describe their dance in her inimitable style.

James and Alex’s rumba is so amazing. I could have just watched them walk around the dance-floor all day. It was a real amazing roller-coaster of a dance and I really felt every moment as though it were happening to me. I really enjoyed the bit where the strong female protagonist

tah dah

was dressed as a transparent Quality Street wrapper and then rolled around on the floor a bit, like a dead fish.


Amazing. I never thought when I was a little girl growing up in Hackney that I’d be here watching this amazing rumba. I’m from Hackney, Dermot. Amazing. It’s been a journey.

Such a journey

Up on the Tessanine

I'll have the fish

that’s an amazing week on Come Dine With Me waiting to happen isn’t it?

Over to the judges they light up, as Bruce whistles that she’s a lovely girl and that was really “effective”. Presumably on his nethers. Poor Wilnelia.

Alesha starts for the judges by saying that Alex is sexy (ALTHOUGH OBVIOUSLY NOT AS SEXY AS SEXY LYNDA BELLINGHAM, WHO WE LOVE JUST THE WAY SHE IS), so we’ll pass over that and talk about her dancing. She liked the opening, and thought Alex had nice arms and nice control, but played it a little too safe. She’d love to see Alex go all out and take some risks, because she’s so much better than she thinks she is. Bruno follows saying that she


looks sinfully sexy


but her behaviour was too demure and hesitant. She needs to perform more, especially in her hips. Naturally to express this point

Hump hump hump

Alesha is used as a humping-post again.

Craig follows up by snorting “sexless, cold and stiff” (*rude*). He affects as though that’s all he has to say, but Bruce prods until he expands (F’NAR F’NAR) and says that there was no hip action and she spent too long on her knees. Naturally this sparks James into life and he yells “THE PUBLIC SEEMED TO LIKE IT!”


Which…nice conflation of this rag-tag of friends and family and three normal people with “the public” James. And also…I didn’t see no standing ovation. Just saying. Craig smiles smugly that they’ll just have to let the public decide then. Len follows, giving it the big “I understand the public so very well as the official Judge Of The People” about how the public vote based primarily on efficacity (not a word), that is, how the effect of the dance suits them (and looks, and having a funny team name, and having a showmance, and being a sportsman, and being a nice young lady who’s not a tart like that Kelly Brook, and having nans, and having cute children, and having the judges be mean to them, and not getting above themselves, and…). They as judges are there to mark according to technicality (*snort*) that they have become experts in after a lifetime of studying ballroom technique, teaching, and scoring competition (*triple snort*).

And that was a bit rubbish. Well, there’s something Len and I agree on anyway.

Up to the Tessanine they RUN (DO YOU SEE?) where Tess asks Alex if she’s over her fear of being sexy, and then compounds this by asking her who she was imagining shagging whilst doing that number. OH TESS. James snarls that she was OBVIOUSLY imagining having sex with her, having learnt nothing from the Dr Hamela…fiasco. And the multiple restraining orders. And trained security team protecting his house 24 hours a day. He then launches into a very James tirade about how ON BEHALF OF ALL THE PROS

So very behind him

(OR NOT) he’d like the judges to STOP CRITICISING HI…THEIR CHOREOGRAPHY. H…THEY HAVE WORKED A LONG TIME IN THIS BUSINESS, AND H…THEY KNOW WHAT THEY’RE DOING! It’s nice that Alex gets called a sexless lump of whale gelatine who can’t move her hips by Craig and his response is “LEAVE MY CHOREOGRAPHY ALOOOOONE!”. Also you can tell Alex is appreciating this from


her look of a bored housewife listening to her husband complaining about a meal she quite enjoyed to a waiter she quite fancies. Scores are in – 25

After the score’s in he carries on, yelling “4, BRENDA, HE GAVE ME A 4!” whilst Anton

Oh dear...

cradles his head and asks Ola to get her husband under control. Yeah, good luck.

Rory Bremner & Erin Boag – One Week From Freedom, dancing the cha cha


She can almost taste those mojitos can’t she?

They get cheers, and Bruce calls him a “very popular man”,

and tells us all that he caught Rory staring at him during rehearsal. You wish Bruce.

VT time now, and Rory tells us that last week was the greatest Dance Night of his life, and that Alesha’s smile is the greatest prize he could have after the glitterball.

Yay a smile!

It’s probably for the best that he thinks like that isn’t it? He is more wary this week however, as he has cha-cha and believes that it could be a bit of a cha-cha challenge. DO YOU SEE? Backstage after last week Erin lies that


it’s going to be FUN, it’s going to be EXCITING, it’s going to be SEXY, it’s going to be FLAMBOYANT, it’s going to be FABULOUS, it’s going to be the BEST CHA CHA STRICTLY HAS EVER SEEN, there, I’m done, cut the footage, WHERE’S MY CHIPS? I’M NOT SMELLING VINEGAR!

Training now and

Ugh, so package holiday

God she can’t even wait until wardrobe find a truly hideous dress for her to leave this series can she? She’s perpetrating her own sartorial crime – home-made t-shirts printed with a “Team Name” that cost about 50p in Argos. She and Rory are “Team Robo”, which I can only take as a tacit plea to be allowed to have her machine back. Rory does a Star Trek “Captain’s Log” joke but mercifully doesn’t do an impression to go along with it.


Or maybe he does? Who can say? He says that Erin’s mission to transform her into a Sex-God continues, despite everyone’s knowledge that he’s a middle-aged Scotsman. Apart from Len. Also I love that in this metaphor he’s the Captain Kirk when clearly Erin sees him more as a red-shirted member of the security team. JUST DIE ALREADY SO SHE CAN GO HOME.

He jokes that he has a built-in cringe and that as a baby he was too mortified to even touch his mother’s breasts. He’s very shy being him, and it’s not an IMPRESSION he does very well. He’s wired wrong, he’s a bad lover, he’s self-conscious, and he’s too



Sometimes the self-deprecation can go a little TOO far, you know?

Impressions Scorecard this week :

Julian Clary/A Gay
Bruno Tonioli

Don’t throw your cards away – he will probably be back for the final, pending pulling a Jodie Kidd and deciding he can’t be arsed.



Tessanine? Oh Erin. To be honest, I wouldn’t be surprised if she just stayed up there herself for the entire dance and left Rory to do it on his own. Anyway, Rory’s fellow celebs and some pros (but not Robbie, who hangs around somewhere towards the back the miserable git) clap Rory on as he descends the stairs to the strains of Sly & The Family Stone singing “Dance To The Music”.

Advice which he studiously ignores in favour of


MOAR SHIMMIES. I know it worked with Gethin Jones Erin, but you can’t ALWAYS just string five of those together and call it Latin. He wanders around for 90 seconds looking lost and embarrassed and self-conscious, forgetting steps, missing connections and


MY GOD THE HIPS, THE HIPS. To paraphrase Len, some dances just don’t suit some people. But some dances come up to some people, kick them in the balls, and steal their dinner money whilst Erin has a fag and shrugs her shoulders. Quick! Imagine the most generic end-pose for a Strictly Latin dance possible!


There we are!

It doesn’t get a standing ovation. I’m loving this audience more and more.

Bruno starts for the judges, calling Rory a


cocky rooster, strutting around the dance-floor. Oh Bruno, it was more like a rookie coaster. And that doesn’t even make sense. He does tell Rory that he needed to dance that on the balls of his feet, only furthering his position as the only judge this year to give people things they can work on. Craig follows by calling it “gauche, gawky…those sorts of things”. When you can’t even pull yourself to a neat three words on the Arlene Alliteration chart you know there’s not much to say really don’t you?

Len follows by saying that he’s like the government. Mostly blue with a bit of a yellow streak running through it? Sadly no, he’s got a lot going on, and only some of it’s good. Erin’s all


TRUE! TRUE! I wouldn’t like to speculate on Erin’s political affiliation. She’s best friends with Anton but also clearly loves the gays. She is an ENIGMA. I bet when she votes she just writes “ERIN BOAG – THE ERIN BOAG PARTY” underneath everyone else’s names and puts a big cross next to it.

(Note to self : do this in future)

Alesha finishes by praising his work ethic, and saying she found it entertaining, so well done.

Up to the Tessanine they robo, where Tess and Erin both agree that he really threw himself into that. Rory makes some vague joke about how he and Erin are a coalition, and also about how the stones are just falling off him. LOOK! HE’S LOST A STONE HERE,


A STONE HERE, A STONE HERE! I’m glad the impressions have slowed down. I’m still not 100% sure on the replacement. Scores are in – 24

Orderly Harrison & Natalie Lowe dancing the foxtrot


Apparently Len asked Bruce what dance Audley was doing this week (some times I feel like asking after the dance is over as well), and Bruce told him the foxtrot. Len asked why and Bruce replies that he wanted to, and who


would stop him? Because he’s a boxer, you see!

She will cut you

Again, I’d be more concerned about Natalie. Nobody comes between her and her ballroom.

VT now, and Audley has a confession. At one point in his last dance


HE ALMOST FELL OVER HIS FEET! HIS GIANT FEET! I love that he thinks that’s a confession. For Nancy that’s a good day. It means she was upright in the first place. Backstage he tells us that he’s already lost a stone AND HE’D LIKE TO LOSE ANOTHER! So if we could just keep him on for a couple more weeks, he’d be really grateful. Or…erm…however long we want. Also there’s dancing. Whatever Audley, go on Celebrity Fit Club.

Training now, and Audley says that foxtrot is a challenge, no matter how much Natalie might bug out her eyes and go “YOU’RE A DANCER NOW, NOT A BOXER!”. The solution to all this? NOT a Comedy VT. No! It’s time for

So graceful

ballet classes. And Arlene didn’t even have to tell the pro to do it! It’s almost as though (*gasp*) she was never actually necessary at all! Admittedly the ballet class is with a


comically tiny ballerina, but it does at least seem to be having a positive effect on Audley’s dancing in terms of control of his feet and his carriage. Well…Audley seems to think so. WELL IT’S BETTER THAN TWITTING AROUND TESCO DRESSED AS DON JUAN DES TESTICULES ANYWAY!

To the dance-floor and

So classy, So Natty

nice subdued bench-work there Natalie. If we’re going to have benches, this is the sort of bench I’d like to see. Even if it is shiny neoprene pink. I like to think she just brought it in from the giant Barbie Playhouse in which she lives with a plastic car and walk-in wardrobe instead of a kitchen. They’re dancing to “I Just Don’t Know What To Do With Myself”. You can never go wrong with a bit of Bacharach.

It’s a very nice foxtrot, especially for someone of his…abilities. Natalie doesn’t even have to do a lot of skirt-work to hide his deficiencies, although it is there, and it is


amazing. He’s a little awkward, and a little ginger, but the whole thing is carried on by the bombast of the music and the overblown pomp of the choreography, as well as his willingness to commit himself to every movement. Eventually.

Good job.



pleased anyway. But yet again, no standing ovation.

Once they’re at the judges, Natalie very hastily

So demure

does her dress up at the back. Ooooh, somebody had a wardrobe malfunction. Bruce fires the judges up by saying “I DON’T CARE WHAT THEY SAY!” but then…asks them anyway. Craig starts by saying that he’s starting to see some improvement, particularly in Audley’s frame, but the dance lacked swing and sway, his pivot turns were mean, and there was too much filling going on, but truly he liked it. Phew, he is spared a beating for another week!

Len follows, saying that he likes the weeks where there are lots of different dances, but it does rather screw with his constant determining that EVERY SINGLE DANCE IS THE HARDEST DANCE THAT CAN POSSIBLY BE DONE. ESPECIALLY FOR TALL PEOPLE! AND MEN! AND SPORTSMEN! But he’s decided definitively that the foxtrot is the hardest, despite the fact you have to pull a total Eggwina and not actually do the dance at all to score below 20 in it, because Audley is the tallest sportsman left. So he MUST have the hardest dance. So for his efforts, he’s going to give Audley a standing ovation. Whilst sitting. Hmmm. Unless he’s referring to… below the desk. Doesn’t really bear thinking about does it?

Alesha follows saying that she knows it was really hard for him, but he needs to relax his face more, because that means we’ll all enjoy it more. Alesha, he was on the verge of Natalie’s Twins being unleashed into his face at any given moment. It’s no wonder he looked tense. Bruno follows, also praising him for his effort but also


making fun of his face. Either that or his prior appointment with Lulu’s “hairdresser” just kicked in. He tells Audley that for a TALL PERSON he actually looked fairy-like and light at points, well done. That nobody makes an ugly joke or laughs at that “fairy-like” is a STRICTLY HALLOWE’EN MIRACLE!

Up to the Tessanine they pomp-pom, where Natalie immediately starts mugging and voguing and


clutching her chest and “MAW BOOBS!”ing, as she recounts to Tess how the back of her dress flew open in the first turn and she spent the whole routine trying not to flash the audience. Oh Natalie. Do you think Tess has any problem displaying her boobs on national tv? She produces one in nearly every segment of the show. Tess asks Audley is the ballet practice helped his dancing, and he says that it did, and he’s really uplifted by the judges comments, especially given how bad his knee was this week. Oh alright, Nancy Dell’Olio. Scores are in –


25. Not so worried about her boobs falling out now is she? A girl I knew had an accident like that dancing to YMCA.

Nancy Da’Oily’Ho & Anton du Beke dancing the paso doble


Someone in the audience boos the very mention of her name. Some people have no taste. Nancy apparently told Bruce that she’s hoping to improve her dancing, and she’s been taking tips from a previous contestant Anne Widdecombe oooh look Ann’s here, ooh Ann what a shame you missed Edwina ooh look there’s Edwina I think Edwina went out because she couldn’t wiggle her bottom why couldn’t she wiggle her bottom because we all know she lost her seat years ago didnt she loves POLITICAL SATIRE good game game good game wheres me washboard HIGHER LOWER YOU DONT GET ANYTHING FOR A PAIR NOT IN THIS GAME LETS HAVE A LOOK WHAT YOU COULD HAVE WON JONATHAN ROSS JONATHAN ROSS HAVE YOU EVER DANCED WITH A POOF JONATHAN ROSS?



VT time now, and as “Simply The Best” plays (kisses to the music people once more) Nancy brags about how happy she was with her performance, saying that she loved the music (which she didn’t do), she loved the costume (which she didn’t do), she loved “my acting” and she loved “my dance”. Neither of which she did either, but KISSES TO NANCY ANYWAY. She claims it was very well received as Tess sonorously voices over “in the bottom spot, Nancy and Anton”. Excellent work, editors. She closes by saying she really wants the viewers to keep her in as long as possible. AMEN TO THAT.

Training next, and Anton tells us all that paso doble is the dance of the bullfight, where the man is the matador and the woman is the cape (or the bull, or a sword, or a bee, or Eric Clapton, or Doobie Quack Quack). I’m really enjoying just how

So demure, so ladylike

unwell and ground down life with Nancy is making Anton look. I also like that she’s a 50 year old woman (at least) rocking a belly-top. Get DOWN with your bad self, Nancy. Anton tells her that he’s going to take her somewhere where she can really get to appreciate the atmosphere and the vibrancy and the THRILL of a bull-fight. Nancy


BEAMS that she thinks he is taking her to Madrid! On this show’s budget! When it clearly bust its outside broadcast budget shipping Jasebot to Edgeware Road Tescos.



It almost makes all those other unfunny funny VTs worthwhile doesn’t it?

To the dance-floor and


oh Anton, I know it must be tempting, but you’re not supposed to kill her before the dance even starts. Eventually she dismounts, awkwardly (naturally) and they start dancing (unnaturally) to what sounds like traditional Spanish bull-fighting music. Ish. I remember when Zoe Ball did her paso and complained that the music inadvertently made it sound like she was in a circus. I can’t imagine the effect is that inadvertent here.


Yes, that’s right, Nancy is staring down the camera counting out the beat (/”the beat”, because it got nothing to do with the music) very loudly, in English. See, Anton, if you’d taken her to Madrid, she would at least be able to do this bit in Spanish. She’s wobbly, she’s unco-ordinated, she’s just constantly copying what Anton does badly, she’s


flying through the hair looking like a crow being sucked into the engines of a Boeing 747…it’s

The end!

NANCY! Long may she reign. Or at least until Hallowe’en Week. It gets out first standing ovation of the evening. Ish. Well


Edwina gets up.

Over to the judges they swirl, and Nancy is all over Bruce, as usual. Bruce says it’s the first time he’s seen Anton smile at the end of a dance, and Nancy hoots “I’LL TELL YOU WHY!” (I can think of a few reasons…). Bruce ignores her utterly and asks if she was the cape or the bull. She’s all


DUH, I WAS THE CAPE, CAN YOU NOT SEE THAT? and goes on to expound that Anton turns her upside down all the time because that’s the way to get oxygen to her brain. She then punches Anton in the stomach. Hard. Anton jokes that he’ll start her off upside down next week, and Len interjects to say that it’s probably because she’s not that good on her feet, so maybe he thinks she’ll do better on her head. BREAKDANCING RAP VAMPIRE BOOBERELLA NANCY FOR HALLOWE’EN WEEK PLEASE!

Alesha follows by musing that there’s just something about Nancy. She’s intrigued every time she steps out onto the dance-floor. There’s no mystery Alesha, it’s because she’s pigging awful. She was just a rag-doll, counting out loud, being thrown around by Anton, but Alesha enjoyed it. I guess some rag-dolls are more amusing than others. Bruno follows, so bemused


look at his bemused little face, wondering how Nancy could stand there counting out loud and still be off the beat. Nancy shrugs and says “it happens”. So philosophical.

Craig closes by saying that it was more like a paso set in Oklahoma. No it wasn’t Craig. I know it’s hard to cram Nancy’s… transcendence of the world of language back down into the confines of our mortal understanding, but it just wasn’t. He also wants to complain about the lifts and throws in the routine, although he doesn’t say anything about penalising them or split his wig or anything. Anton jokes they were all really a bit of a chuck, if he’s honest. Don’t say “chuck” around Nancy, Anton, you’ll be


cleaning your shoes for days afterwards. Craig does close by saying that he think there’s talent underneath Nancy’s surface, and he wants to see Anton try to bring it out. Oh Craig,

It's madness

it’s not talent.

Bruce at this point decides to GRIND the show to a halt by asking Anton if he’s ever “danced with a Nancy” before.


Nancy then cackles and kisses Bruce’s ear and drags Anton off by the hand. Sometimes her madness comes in handy. Very very handy. Then then cackle all the way up to the Tessanine.

Where Tess’ first question is “does the paso doble come naturally to you?”. Anton laughs at the stupidity of it all, as well as Tess’ follow-up question : “how did you make the role of the bull look so glamorous”. Jeez, it’s Velma and Roxie all over again. Anton punches the air a la Yosemite Sam, hollering “SHE WAS THE CAPE, HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN DOING THIS FOR?” whilst Nancy very sternly puts her hands on her hips and intones


“I was the cape.” Divine. Incidentally James is playing with Robbie’s hair through this entire bit. I can’t help thinking this whole series might have been more comfortable if he’d been allowed to partner Robbie like he clearly wants to, and they’d let Ola have Alex. BISEXUAL JORDANZ VS SAVAGE-JONEZZZZ. Scores are in



Bloody Lulu, the Pomeranian She’s Keeping On Her Head For Luck, & Brenda, dancing the samba


Good grief but she looks like a mangled Girls World. No joke for her this week.

VT time and


God I remember this whole routine being one of my highlights of Broadway Week. How dry must it have BEEN? Of course no highlight from Brenda these days comes without a healthy side-salad of repetitive judge-baitery, this time in the form of an illegal lift. Brendan twinkles in the camera and says he knows that Craig would have done exactly the same thing he did, so he can bog off. I like to think Craig wouldn’t see Phantom as the height of artistic expression in the theatre world, but maybe I have too much faith in him. Lulu reminds us that she was higher than she’s ever been on the leaderboard anyway, so she is NOT EVEN BOVVERED.

Training now, and Lulu is


very excited by the prospect of having a samba. She’s going to have SO MUCH FUN! Brendan for his part is confused, because generally she’s crap, but she seems to be picking up the HARDEST LATIN DANCE OF THEM ALL (…this week) with the greatest of ease. He on the other hand is worried, because samba is the dance he ALWAYS (/three times) has gone out on.

(Sidebar : It Takes Twos attempt to include the death of Kelly Brook’s father as part of this SAMBA CURSE is some of the tackiest shit this show has come up with and that is SAYING SOMETHING.)

(Sidebar : I always question the description of what Jo Wood did as a “samba”)

When he tells Lulu this she

oh no!

BEGINS TO DOUBT HERSELF! Quick Brenda, pretend you always go out when wardrobe make your partner wear a red dress. Tell her you’ve never danced Latin in Week 4 and passed on through. TELL HER THAT YOU’VE NEVER GOT A MIDGET SCOTSWOMAN PAST OCTOBER! You know, really mess with her head. Lulu gripes that she can’t believe that Brenda didn’t tell her about all his curses and jinxes beforehand. Eh, how long have you got? She shortly rallies however and, emboldened, says she intends to END BRENDA’S SAMBA CURSE, ONCE AND FOR ALL!


Ironically enough looking like something that would deliver a curse in a J-Horror.

Out to the floor, and Lulu is getting her lips around Davearch’s instrument :


I wonder if she thinks that’ll keep her on longer?

She and Brenda are dancing to Sir Duke by Stevie Wonder. Len’s so interested in the dancing that when she puts her trumpet down he starts titting around with it rather than watching. Can’t say as I blame him. As dances go it’s basically her week 1 dance but

Tum ti tum

marginally more assured. Marginally. It’s still a hot mess and she’s actually physically incapable of dancing WITH Brenda rather than some time after him, but at least she looks like she remembers what the steps are supposed to be at any given moment. Probably because there’s about four of them, repeated over and over again, with a nice break to


walk(/fall) up and down the stairs in the middle.

Bless Brenda, after 9 series he’s finally worked one of his patented BRENDA STORM-OFFS into his choreography.

Once they’re back down she lurches around the floor like a Thriller zombie and…yeah I think the choreography’s gone again. Never mind, it’ll be over soon enough.

The end

See? Up on the Tessanine, Rory loves it, although that may just be because someone just did even worse Latin than he did.

Over to the judges they feel it all over, sans Standing Ovation, and Alesha starts, saying that as soon as Lulu started dancing she thought


YES! THE SHOW’S ALMOST HALFWAY OVER! She also loved how full of beans Lulu was. Well it was certainly pretty farty, as dances go. Bruno follows, calling her BUBBLY AND EFFERVESCENT but there were a couple of mistakes (letting her go on in the first place and letting her go on in the first place WITH THAT HAIR?). Oh well. Craig follows by saying there was too much repetition and he would have removed the great big run up the stairs because she was doing really well without it.


Brenda jokes that in that routine there was 75 seconds of content, which frankly is more than enough to be wasting on Bloody Lulu.


Ha, even she can tell that was totally an insult.

Len closes by saying that he liked the spirit and the enthusiasm of the whole routine, and how she got into the carnival spirit, but he agrees with Craig that it was a little bit repetitious. James yells “WHATEVER!” from the balcony, like the big boy he is, and Len screams his always classy

Arrr, grrr

“TURN UP, KEEP UP AND SHUT UP!” line at him. James then yells back “YOU USED THAT LINE LAST YEAR!”. Tee hee. If he’d added “AND ON DANCING WITH THE STARS!” it would have been even better. Bruce mutters that it’s just like the old days of variety and everyone dodders around like Kennedy just got shot.

Up the Tessanine they jog,

and Natalie and Bobby hug one another to keep themselves feeling safe in these troubled times of James randomly doing his nut. They talk about how the samba suited Lulu and how she’s messing with Brenda’s head, and the scores in – 25

Wobbly Balance & Artem Chigvintsev dancing the Viennese Waltz :


Apparently Bruce asked Holly this week how, in the wake of her Cell-Block Tango, it felt to spend all week rehearsing locked in a great big cage. Ask Alex Jones, I would imagine… Not really, the punchline is that it made her feel “as sick as a parrot”. Holly is


as usual, most amused by Bruce’s ribaldary.

VT time now, and Holly grumbles good-naturedly about how she was a little low on the ladder last week (FIFTH!) so she’s going to have to try really hard to get back in with the judges good graces.

Woo Woo!

Yup, looks like she’s working harder than ever! Holly explains that she’s got her first elegant dance this week, but her idea of elegance involves dancing around her handbag, surrounded by her billionaire boyfriends minders, armed with rifles. Artem grizzles that Holly is not a lady, and somebody will have to teach her. Can it be Erin? Please? Because Artem seems to be trying to teach her grace by

So classy

getting her to pole-dance. Oh these Russians, and their WAYS. Sorry, let’s just zoom in a bit on that shot :

Really really classy

Something for everyone there I feel.

Eventually Artem gives up trying to turn Holly into Kara a la Verti…into a lady, and turns to


Etiquette-Expert Liz Brewer! They’re actually meeting her INSIDE THE DAILY EXPRESS as well. You can already see in her face that she is appalled by this two-handed shake of his. So unEnglish. Standards really are slipping. Liz puts books on Holly’s head and makes her say “how now brown cow” and all that, whilst Artem sits in the corner and watches. It rather looks like all those Kartem nutcases probably should be less worried about Holly and more worried about


LIZ BREWER, BECAUSE SOMEONE IS A LITTLE HOT FOR HER. To cool Artem’s ardor, Liz Brewer gets him to join in and be a princess, and he and Holly race around the room with books on their head and kick one another and so on. Holly looks


involved and convinced of the pointfulness of this segment throughout. She closes by saying that her time with Artem and Liz has finally taught her about the Viennese Waltz and how to NAIL a lady.

Poor Kara. I guess the crying never stops.

To the dance-floor and


Jesus Wept, is this Strictly Come Dancing or Britain’s Worst Driver? Is Artem taps her on the shoulder does she have to do an emergency stop before she ploughs into the back of Bruno? Actually, Gavbot could have done with that lesson… Ahem. They’re dancing their Viennese Waltz to “Cry Meow” by Sir Pixielott.


Seriously, between the cage last week, the pole-dancing here, and the podiums on the results show, Artem is basically turning this family show into PURE FILTH. I can’t believe Liz Brewer condoned this! What’s next, LAP DANCING? Is Artem going to pop a Β£5 note into her g-string before they start the foxtrot? Anywho, she and Artem play ring-a-round the roses a bit,


and it’s all quite cute and peek-a-boo and then they get into hold and it’s


all a bit Mirror Signal Manoeuvre. Whilst the lamp-posts add to the non-hold bits, they really do make the in-hold bits seem inhibited and confined because they’re constantly having to work around the set. As someone who likes their Viennese’s expansive and free-ranging, it’s not the best, but she does look moRE comfortable in hold this week than last week. In the end, the performance closes on a note of heartbreak.


Maybe she found something unpleasant in his glove compartment?

No standing ovation. Oh well.

Bruno starts for the judges by praising the storytelling, so long as the storytelling was “1001 Ways To Stroke A Lamp-Post”. I don’t even think he’s being sarcastic. Bruno is undemanding of his beach reads obviously. Just some nice pictures and he’s set. There was so much chemistry he was worried the bulbs would blow, but there were a few “cock-ups”. Except he censors himself from saying “cock”. AGAIN! Bruno, you’re so tame this series. Spice it up a little!

Bruce starts whittering on to Holly about how Bruno is so right, but Craig mercifully cuts in on his ever-increasing Wannabe Fifth Judge Status, Especially For The Pretty Ladies And Rory Bremner. He thought it was bumpy in places

Honk honk

(I can think of at least two) and he would have liked her top-line to be more EXTREME! How that’s Craig? Were you expecting her to bungee off one of those lamp-posts? Did you want her to skateboard out onto the stage? The choreography’s not QUITE that bad yet is it? Anyway he liked the “story-telling” which is just officially a catch-all word for all kinds of nothingness at this point isn’t it? He might as well say “well done, have a biscuit”.

Len follows by calling it pretty, light and fluffy, but he got fed up with the poles in the end. Poor Ola. (ARLENE PHILLIPS MEMORIAL JOKE OF THE WEEK! NEVA 4GET!). He then starts whittering how he found he had a bit of pole in him on Who Do You Think You Are?, and I become even more glad that I avoided that episode even harder than I avoided the rest of the series. Also there were no heel-leads. Oops. Alesha finishes by saying that Holly was lovely and composed. Huzzah!

Up to the Tessanine they meow, where Tess asks her how much of a LADY she felt out there on the dance-floor. Surely she should be asking Artem that question? (ANSWER : NONE, BECAUSE HE IS IN LOVE WITH KARA, THANK YOU TESS). She jokes that she’s disappointed with herself because she missed a connection out there, not that they’re


hard on themselves or anything. Bless Holly that she thinks that’s the impression she gives off. Tess asks if that stupid Etiquette Lesson she got in not being a bogan helped her and she’s all “yes Tess, that three hours we spent filming me doing nursery rhymes and calling Artem a princess just REALLY PAID OFF!” Scores are in – 30

Britney Spears & PASHA SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE! dancing the quickstep


I seriously want her to come as a different Brittany persona every week. Clearly she is her DANCE-MUSE. Man-Eating Sex-Alien Britney next week please for a Argentine Tango to “Oops I Did It Again”. Bruce jokes that’s she called Chelsee because her parents are big fans of Chelsee football club. She’s really lucky they’re not fans of Accrington Stanley (/Akringtun Stanleeeeee).


Accrington Stanley? Who are they?

(Chelsee Joke-Face of the week? :


That’s the stuff)

In her VT, Chelsee is disappointed in herself, because when she danced the routine last week, she didn’t feel it was 100% inside her head. If I was partnered with Pasha I’d make sure it was 100% inside my he[I SAID, ENOUGH!). Chelsee says that her problem is that if she’s dancing to music that she likes, she gets too excited and goes out of control. So what we really need is some wretched, inappropriate, tuneless music choices then? GET ON IT STRICTLY, I KNOW YOU CAN DELIVER!

Training now and Pasha is all alone

I'll keep him company

sniff, because Chelsee is off working on Waterloo Road. But fear not, because he is planning on fisting her! Well that’s what it sounds like, and who am I to argue? Make sure you bring the appropriate hankey Pasha. He’ll be doing this fisting (…or maybe he’s saying visiting?) on the set of the show itself where Chelsee is


wearing a wedding dress. I believe this is what is known in the trade as a “spoiler”. I don’t watch Waterloo Road myself, but I’m going to guess she’s marrying the school so it can stay in the country. Oh and in-between filming segments, apparently she and Pasha got to practice a bit as well. For the cameras.

Let’s find out what Chelsee’s fellow cast-members think about her chances?


What the hell is a “Grantly Budgen”? Whatever he is, he says that he does not know how Chelsee does it, because her schedule is so tough, but they’re all rooting for her. Who was rooting for him on Let’s Drag Up For Comic Relief? NOBODY. He got beaten by KATIE JORDAN PRICE ANDRE TERWILLIGER HUTZ MCCLURE MERRYWEATHER III. There’s gratitude for you.

We close with Pasha saying he has a new-found appreciation for how hard Chelsee works, and Chelsee saying she hopes all her soap work this week hasn’t affected her dance too harshly, and that all the fake-training she did for her VT paid off



Don’t worry Chelsee, the second Law of Strictly is “the less training, the better the dance”. The first law is “don’t accept sweets from Len”.

To the dance-floor

All aboard

where Chelsee is manning the front desk at Strictly Air. Pasha is a harassed businessman who is late for his flight, and can’t find his ticket! Oh no!


He begs Chelsee to be allowed on the flight! He’ll do anything!


She says ok, so long as she can


have a dance. Not what I would have made him do, but I guess that’s why I’m not an air-stewardess. AND ONLY THAT.

Oh yeah, the dance? It’s to “Sing Sing Sing!” so by rights I should be pounding the floor and proclaiming it to be immortally Goddess Denise’s but…the singers aren’t singing, so I’m fine with it. No double standards here, oh no. Also it’s dead good. She’s about 95% in control of herself which is enough for me, and the whole thing is very fast, stylish, energetic, fun and of its period. They even throw in a bit of Mental Charleston Action just like Denise did, and even THAT


doesn’t bother me. Girl also gives good officious stalk, which as we all know is an integral part of the quickstep.

In the end





It gets Lance Ellington to bounce up and down in his chair giggling (bless) and also warrants our first standing ovation of the evening. Funny how it ALMOST means something when they don’t dole them out every 5 seconds. Almost.

Craig starts for the judges with “Two Words – First Class”.


I think Chelsee will take that. Bruce proclaims this to be clever, which is how you know it’s not. Len follows by saying that Pasha checked in, and Chelsee definitely won’t be checking out tomorrow night. Given the UTTER MESS it looked in the 5 seconds of rehearsal footage it got on It Takes Two, I am so relieved. I think when I was happy that this wasn’t crap was when I realised I was rooting for this team. You know, rather than JUST Pasha.

Alesha says that they’ve got great chemistry, and the only criticism she had is that it ended too soon. It did? Do they knock marks off for that? Seems unfair given all the rest of the blatan…OH IT WAS A JOKE, NEVER MIND. Up on the Tessanine


those frozen rictus grins are quite something aren’t they?


Up to the Tessanine they fly, and Tess asks her what her secret is for pulling off such a great dance with such little training. Chelsee’s all


“BUHHHHH!”. You will be glad to hear the secret is both loving it and enjoying it. Pasha enthuses that he doesn’t know how she produced such a great dance on such short notice and Chelsee points and says “it’s him! He’s really good!” Baww. So moving. Shock boot in three weeks time? Scores are in –



DEATH METAL’S HARRY MCFLEA & Aliona Vilani dancing the waltz


No joke here. Oh well.

VT time now and Harry talks about how it was a breakthrough week for him, whilst I mostly wonder whether


he was supposed to have a bolt of lightning shaved into hair or it just…happened like that. Bolt of lightning or a twiglet anyway? Maybe it’s in protest at how they’ve taken away Alesha’s nibbles? RIGHT ON HARRY! GIVE ALESHA BACK HER CHEESY FOOTBALLS!

In training

Would have thought she'd have herself as God...

plans are going well for Aliona’s waltz based on the ceiling of the Sistene Chapel. But Harry is, like Holly, worried he’s just too modern and


TOO MUCH OF A REBEL for such an old-fashioned dance. He’s particularly worried about one particular moments of the dance where he kisses Aliona and whispers sweet nothings in her ear. This apparently requires him to “get his romantic hat on”. Quite right Harry, fight the spread of disease and guard against unwanted pregnancies! Apparently Harry is struggling to “get his romantic hat on” (I’LL HELP!). But don’t worry the show HAS THE ANSWER! IT’S ANOTHER COMEDY VT!


Really not the answer is it? At least it’s less porny than last week. Marginally.


To the dance floor!


Aw, innit sweet? They’re dancing the waltz to “Come Away With Me” by Boreah Jones. Actually, I feel bad criticising her, because it means I’ve accidentally aligned myself with Chris de Bleurgh. Norah Jones. It’s by Norah Jones. They begin dancing, and actually it’s really good. His posture is solid but not blocky, he’s quick and light on his feet whilst still having substance, the choreography’s


sympathetic and uplifting. Actually a really good job, and probably my favourite bit of choreography by Aliona I’ve seen on the show. Of course then they run up the stairs

psst wssst pssst

do a silly whispering bit,


and then spin around flapping their arms like they think they’re doing contemporary. The whispering bit I think could have worked if either of them could act AT ALL, but there’s nothing redeeming the flapping.


Ah well.

It gets a bit of a Standing Ovation from some people behind the judges, but it probably deserved more of one, if less than Chelsee & Pasha’s Quickstep. I think they should start doing head-counts on these Standing Os.

Judges now and Len is



Tum ti tum

Alesha and Bruno stare at their hands. Craig looks at him as if to say “YOU’RE the Head Judge here? Astonishing.”

Aliona decides she wants to answer back, but Harry shushes her, and Alesha has decided she has something to say. It is that she




is all “rock on Alesha, the METAL GODS of McFlea SALUTE YOU”

Bruno follows by saying that Harry can whisper in his ear any time, especially with that elegance and poise. He needs to check his hands a little in his turns, but otherwise, HOORAY. Craig finishes by saying he loved the whispering and the “storytelling” (*DRINK*), and hollering


“YOU’RE WRONG!” at Len, almost knocking him off his chair with the sheer FORCE OF HIS OPINION. Len then

jab jab jab

JABS at Craig and calls him a PUERILE (Len with his chilly willy and pickled walnuts and baby in a topless bar calling ANYONE ELSE puerile = Comedy Gold) TWIT WITH SPIKY HAIR! Alesha then SLAMS HER DESK and yells



Strong stuff kids, strong stuff. (Anyone notice that they had one less contestant (and no pro-dance) this week, but had to fill the same amount of air-time? Anyone think that might be why all…this is happening?)

Up to the Tessanine they CONTROVERSY, where Tess is just giggling merrily away about having a pound for every time Russell said he liked that. For the first time ever I feel like Tess is a welcome break. She asks Harry if he enjoyed it and he said he did, but it’s been his hardest week, and it took him until Friday to get the timing down. Tess wonders if he might be allowed out from behind his drums on the next McFlea tour to do a waltz? From the audience Tom yells


“NO!”. Quite right. McFlea is not a DANCEOCRACY it’s a ROCKOCRACY! And he is the rockingest and it his band and if he doesn’t let Tom do all the singing Tom’s mum won’t let him in the garage to practice any more. Scores are in –

Oh great...


Team Dobbin dancing the American Smooth


Bruce jokes that after last week’s jive, nobody would believe that Anita was 61. HA! That’s actually quite fu…oh, wait it’s not the joke? Oh ok, the joke is that Anita has the body of a 30 year old and SHE’S NOT GIVING ROBIN BACK TIL THE END OF THE SERIES. Like Robin’s 30.

VT time now, and we’re reminded that Anita’s set last week was so pink it could only be seen by practicing homosexuals. The rest of you apparently just saw a 60 year old jumping up and down screaming. Anita grins that she really enjoyed performing her jive – it was just BRILLIANT!


Alright Anita, calm down. We’re shown Robin whittering on about how NO OTHER 62 year old could dance with Anita’s energy and commitment, like he actively WANTS Dr Hamela to come back and challenge her to a dance-off. NO ROBIN, I BEG OF YOU, NO!

Training now, and they’re doing the American Smooth. Our first of the series! Anita says she finds the dance very romantic, and Robin wants her to feel like a Hollywood Movie Star. The two of them waffle on about the golden age of cinema when men were men and women were women and Fred And Ginnnnnnge and you didn’t have all these young kids coming in with their ghetto blasters and their black people and their HOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO NEW YORRRRRRRRRRKS! Anita in particular is transported back to when she was a little girl watching a Sunday matinee


I don’t know which movie theatre you were in Anita, but I fear it may have warped your fragile little mind. I hope for your sake the seats were wipe-clean.

To the dance-floor!


Oooh, fancy camera effects! They’re dancing to “Under My Skin” and… I don’t really get it. Any of it. When I first watched it I wondered if I was just numb from the first 10 of the series but…it’s just really bad. She’s awkward, grim-faced, unsteady, you could drive

Vroom vroom

a whole motorcycle fleet between her and Robin. There’s no connection, no glamour, no style, her arms are a constant shrug, the lifts look like Robin’s dipping his 6 year old niece around for a laugh and


heaven knows what this is.


Nah, not for me. Nor the audience, judging from the lack of standing ovation.

Over to the judges they skin, as Bruce tells them that everyone loved it and she looks marvellous. He becomes more and more convinced of his psychic powers every week doesn’t he? Alesha starts for the judges, saying she captured the spirit of the American Smooth really well, but she just needs to straighten her legs a bit more. Occasionally. At all. But her lifts were SO DARING! She should be so proud of herself for letting Robin whip her round like a cat stuck to a vacuum cleaner. Even Billy Connolly’s all


“whatever Alesha, it wasn’t that good”.

Bruno is next, braying “IS IT ANITA? OR IS IT RITA?” From Rita’s Kabin? Most likely. Ok not really, it’s Rita Hayworth, noted dancer and senile alcoholic. Anita’s all


“VAT’S ME!”. Craig follows by saying there were a couple of minor mishaps there, and she lost body contact quite a lot, but he loved it because she was well classy and that. Len closes by saying that he liked the little things, like how she did some heel leads once. FABULOUS.

Up to the Tessanine they begin, where Tess asks Anita if she’s shaking. The answer is “yes” by the way. Amongst other


autonomic responses. Tess asks her if she felt like a movie star. Anita replies “in parts”. Tess then asks her what it would feel like to be parted from “her Bobby” and Anita proper hams it up

oh no!

like someone just walked over her grave. She couldn’t BEAR to be parted from her beloved Robin. Behind her Holly and Natalie are all :


“bitch crazy, I couldn’t block Ricky Nipple’s number fast enough”. Scores are in –


Brenda is


so so very pleased for them.

Team Savola dancing the jive


For those keeping track, Bruce is back to pronouncing it incorrectly. You will also be glad to hear that they are a “very very popular couple indeed”, although that didn’t save Rory, so who even knows what it means any more. Apparently Bruce was told by Robbie this week that his footballing habits are starting to interfere with his performance on the dance-floor. Whenever he gets anywhere near Ola’s box he falls over and starts begging for her magic sponge.


Not really, he keep on trying to change tops with her at the end of the dance. He’d have to find hers first.

VT time now, and Ola mews that Robbie did a fantastic job last week, as we are treated to footage of him


assaulting one of the R2D2s. Robbie grins that she scored 30, which was 1 point more than last week (carefull Robbie, with intellectual skills like that all the other players will start calling you a poof just like they did Graham Le Saux. HE COULD READ!) so he’s improving every week, which is really all he wants to do. Oops. He never thought he’d be here til the end, and he still doesn’t (he totally does).

In training, we start with Ola saying she has a plan to calm Robbie’s nerves.


It better not be another sodding comedy VT. Well…it’s close. Certainly it’s heavily centred around a joke

Tee hee

LOL! (Not really, Reading are amazing, I am betting Β£20 on them to win the Premier Cup!) Yes, Robbie and Ola are going to be dancing during the half-time show at Reading Town FC United. Robbie tells us all that Ola is even more nervous than he is. He declines to mention that is because she’s worried they’re going to chant

“OLA JORDAN! OLA JORDAN! DOES JAMES TAKE YOU UP THE ARSE?” Mercifully they do not. Instead they cheer and all goes well. Well that was pointful. I was at least hoping for Ola to do something along the lines of this.

To the floor where Robbie is


very much in the spotlight. They’re dancing their dance this week (a jive, not you’d know from the 0 seconds of training footage we just saw) is to “Love Man” from the Dirty Dancing soundtrack. This is just the first salvo in all the slurping up to Jennifer Grey that’s going to come to a head when she touches down in two weeks time (actually it was probably Bloody Lulu’s twatting on about Dirty Dancing after her RUMBA to a PHANTOM OF THE OPERA song. But I’m deliberately phasing Brenda out because he is going to be the WORST).

And yes,


sir, he still has hair. The dance itself…let’s just say Ola is as resistant to tramp-murdering as she ever is (or James is for that matter). Despite the fact that it’s all the audience care about in the jive. Chris was great at it, she put about 2 bars of it in. Robbie’s alright at it, and he gets about 4. It’s PERVERSE. Instead he just

Grunt grunt

pops his rib-cage like a neanderthal and sliding around


on his knees. There’s an awful lot of marching as well, which is…not very jivish. Admittedly when he does the old flickunkicks at the end it looks more like the Baggy Trousers dance or something by those noted choreographers Chas n Dave, but it at least would have felt more jivey. In a further tribute to football he


snogs the corner camera at the end. Very Captain Caveman dahhhhhling.

This, THIS, gets a standing ovation. I ask you.

Bruno starts for the judges, saying that he’s never seen anyone working their hair quite so much during a dance since Jerry Hall. That wasn’t Jerry Bruno, that was Mick in a wig. Technically it was crap, but it was so full of energy that Bruno doesn’t care.

Oooh meow

Makes a change. Craig follows, with a “sorry to spoil the mood” but he’s going to have to point out that that was rubbish. Ploddy, sloppy, and with poor timing. But the “characterisation” was great. Which is really another word for “storytelling” isn’t it? Len’s next, and he starts gyrating and saying that he and Robbie are both Love Men (*fast forward*)

Alesha closes by calling it “brilliant entertainment”. Bruce closes…everything by telling him that he reminds Bruce of a young Tommy Steele. CURRENT, TOPICAL REFERENCES!

Up the Tessanine they love, and Ola is so pleased


she’s transformed into a midget Brigitte Nielsen. Robbie is asked if he loved the jive. Robbie replies that he did. Tess asks if he is surprised by the amount of support he’s got from football fans. Robbie says that he is. Tess hoots that GARY SPEED is in tonight! Robbie at least has the decency to explain that he’s the Welsh Football Manager Guy. Scores are in –



Russell Grant, Always At The End (OOOH, PARDON!) & Flavia Cacace dancing the tango


Honestly, he gets closer and closer to a Liberace biopic every day. Maybe that’s the goal? Apparently because Russell did so well last week, and made Flavia so happy she really splashed out and got him a super-special present the likes of which she only saves for the most special of special occasions. A track-suit. Poor Jimi.


Russell whoops and cackles at some silly Bruce joke about his arse and sounds UNCANNILY like the Great Fairy from Ocarina Of Time (VIDEO GAME REFERENCE AHOY)

VT time now and speaking of “fairies” (LOLOL) we’re reminded of Craig’ bizarre rant at Russell about how he needed to be more macho in Broadway Week dancing the foxtrot to Don’t Rain On My Parade. Flavia and Russell have no response but to laugh. (I did enjoy Russell’s mini rant on ITT last week telling Craig he was unlikely ever to be the butch young stud of his dreams. I may have transposed it into Colin Jackson’s mouth in Series 3, mentally).

Training now, and Russell tells us he’s going to be dancing tango to the Eurythmics classic “Sweet Dreams”. In tribute to Annie Lennox, he and Flavia are going to cover the dance-floor in candles and dance in one square foot in the corner. Not really! It’s going to be much more ridiculous than that! IT’S



There then follows another comedy VT, this time on the theme of dreams. More particularly the lesser known


Martin Luther King dream about the little black child and the little white child being shoved off the mountain-top by a tubby old homo and a tiny sexy Italian woman. IT’S A BEAUTIFUL THING!

To the dance-floor


and Russell is asleep. He is

Oh noooo

awoken by Flavia the Dream-Monster. They do a bit of tango,

So authentic

play pat-a-cake, they

So tango

celebrate the Steps reunion, and he goes


back to bed.

I’ll be frank, I’ve had weirder dreams. Flavia didn’t even turn into a giant green walrus or anything.

It gets a standing ovation. Sigh. The end of the show was not the time to just abandon all standards people. YOU’RE ALL ON MY LIST WITH EVERY OTHER AUDIENCE THE SHOW HAS HAD THIS SERIES. And it started so well…

Over to the judges now, and Bruce tells Russell that he has captured the nation, and he’s never seen Flavia having more fun than she’s having with Russell. Poor…everyone else she was ever partnered with. Craig starts by saying that he likes that Russell is giving machismo a go (he is?) but the shoulders and head didn’t really belong to the rest of the dance. Bruce mews BIZARRELY “IT DIDN’T, IT BELONGED TO US!”

Weirdest moment of the week by far.

Len follows by saying it was all too whimsical and “airy-fairy”. (*fast-forward*) (*again*) (*for Colin*). Alesha follows by saying that Russell is too nice to tango and Bruno closes by going into


paroxisms over Flavia’s choreography.

Up to the Tessanine and Russell and Tess and Flavia all babble over one another about Bruno and the tango and dreams and how all the public love him and stop him in the supermarket and tell him they love him and they LOVE HIM TESS, THEY REALLY LOVE HIM! HE NEVER WANTS IT TO END! Scores are in – 24.

Once the scores come in, the entire right hand side of the Tessanine


collapse into giggles at something, whilst Erin, Harry, Nancy and Aliona remain mystified and stoic on the left. Sometimes this show really is like turning up sober to a party four hours in. Also Bloody Lulu won’t stop grabbing everyone’s arse, which is as good a point to leave on as any I feel.


51 thoughts on “Strictly Come Dancing 9 – Week 4 Performance

  1. Carl

    That last Bruno cap is a thing of beauty. Even the man in the cap is transfixed.

    Glad James and Len don’t have any votes yet…

    Your Lulu comments were so funny. What the hell was that?

    Natalie looked gorgeous this week. Sometimes she looks like an angry Gemma Bissix and other times she’s the most beautiful female pro on the sow.

    I was torn between being offended by Jason’s VT and being annoyed that someone was actually paid money to come up with this.

    I just noticed that the closeup of Alex’s plunging neckline has her left tendril of hair and her right going opposite ways. Is that code?

    The two moments of the week I loved most were Pasha’s squeals of joy when they got a 36, and that VIVA ESPANA!!! on the soundtrack when Nancy wanted to go to Madrid. Followed by postcards. I even went and watched Sylvia’s performance. Is she eligible for Strictly?

  2. Meloz

    My favourite surreal moment was Brenda scooting along on the floor in the Tessanine to do up Natalie’s dress and then scooting backwards again : she didn’t even blink. Weird. Oh, and Jason getting increasingly clenched throughout as scores kept coming in above his. I think he broke something in his face keeping that smile / rictus grin in place.

    Love your work again this week!

    1. monkseal Post author

      It’s important to remember that Jason really is absolutely find with other people getting higher scores than him. It’s all part of the show. He totally understands. It’s all good. He’s sure he’ll be top of the leaderboard again soon. And even if he isn;t, hey, that’s TOTALLY FINE.

  3. Allgrownup

    *wipes tears of laughter away* It’s a classic!

    Thanks ever so much for including Natalie’s WTF face to Holly in the Tessanine behind Anita. Fav moment of the night. Would so enjoy a night of Nat and Holz dissing the rest of the cast over champers and nibbles. πŸ˜€

    1. monkseal Post author

      I really want Holly to bring Natalie over to the DARK SIDE. Normally she’s so positive about everything – it needs to happen.

  4. Monaogg

    Not sure who looks more like a Tressy Doll (a 60s alternative to Sindy & Barbie with hair that could grow) between Erin & Natalie.

  5. DefyGravity

    Got to say I am loving Holly a lot more than I thought I would. Totally agree with Allgrownup, a night with Holly and Natalie bitching about everyone else would indeed be aces!

    1. monkseal Post author

      I like Holly – all the tedious psychoanalysis of her and Artem’s relationship (1000x more than anyone else gets, including people who get on much less well IMO) is very bloody tiring, but I guess this what they wanted when they paired them so (*clap*)

  6. Ferny

    Joe is totally a zombie man servant! And Audley is totally Sully for Monsters Inc. too πŸ™‚

    It’s funny but I’ve never noticed how generic Erin’s choreo can be, and I suspect this may have happened after the famed doll dance.

    That Leona video is awful btw, I am a bit baffled why America loves her really. She’s sweet and everything but I already now what she’s going to say before she’s said it (and it always involves the word ‘amazing’)

    The Daily Fail are really outdoing themselves with the whole ‘Holly and Artem are getting close’ thing aren’t they? It’s clearly ridiculous to anyone who watches scd or knows anything about anything, and these articles come up so often with an ‘Artem looking sad’ pic. I saw one today with a photo of Kara and Holly hugging lol

    1. monkseal Post author

      I think America have forgotten who Leona is at this point. She will always be the original and greatest Bot.

      I would hate to slag off Erin, but she can be awfully predictable. It’s what stopped me raving about Rory’s Quickstep as much as everyone else probably, just because it was Erin By Numbers and you could see her pulling the strings to get him through it. On a positive it really seems to have touched him with how well he danced it so, I mean, good for him, he was never going to get much further than this with anyone.

    1. monkseal Post author

      I just looked that relationship up, and apparently their son was the lead in that GOD-AWFUL Prince William biopic they did in America ages ago with Carolyn Pickles as Camilla. (*fascinating*)

  7. Dancing cake

    Monkseal, I always love your Strictly blogs, not just for your way with words but because you always manage to find hilarious stills of things I missed during the show : Anita’s tiny shrunken head appearing on James’s shoulder; Hilary Clinton sat next to Brian May; the popcorn box Anita and Robin had in the cinema with “POPCORN” written on it in huge letters – why bother? (I wish they’d put “COP PORN” instead tho).

    Was hoping you would know why most of the dancers cracked up at the end in the Tessanine. Did they just finally get the fact that Brucie made a joke that was A. relevant and b. not followed up by an hour-long explanation, when he said Tess’s dress was slinky (and it was stairs week)?

    1. Kerry McCormack (@KerryMc1978)

      I think the ‘hilarity’ in the tessanine was caused by Russell saying that if he stays in, he’s got the samba so he can stop being macho. Flavia then waved the teddy at him as if to point out that it was hardly a macho Tango anyway. At least, that was my take on it.

    2. monkseal Post author

      To be honest I was getting the most enjoyment out of the BAFFLED faces of the ones not laughing. And Alex Jones deciding to laugh despite having no clue what the joke was.

      1. Allgrownup

        I think it’s pretty much a given Alex never knows the clue to jokes. She has to laugh at Chris Evans’ jokes on Fridays.

      2. monkseal Post author

        Pasha just laughs whenever he hears an English place name. They’re all funny to him.

  8. Pasta

    Hitting your excellent groove, Monkfish. Is Jason the strangest male celeb ever on the series? I’m fining it hard to come up with any of the blokes who had a weirder vibe.

      1. monkseal Post author

        I never really understood Craig Kelly I don’t think. I’d say I needed him to stay longer on the show to really get an idea of what was going on in his head but…I doubt anybody would have appreciated that.

  9. Left Feet

    Like the fact that Chelsee is not even pretending to laugh at Brucies jokes good oand Brian May is only turning up for the wife and hates the show
    Grantly Budgen is in Tinker Tailor etc etc in a small role and got shot in the eye. Small spoiler if you haven’t seen the film.

      1. monkseal Post author

        I find Natalie’s the most intriguing. Not sure if Alex & James is accompanied by a prop if the person’s just being rude.

      2. monkseal Post author

        I also love how this didn’t correspond to anything on the actual show. I missed the Craig masks as well.

  10. Neil K

    I’m officially giving up on remembering all the funny bits of a post this hilarious and long so I will just judge on the first line. Here goes…

    stairs week lol πŸ˜€

    You’re a genius. Only question is why, if you’re such a genius, didn’t you do better on Only connect?

    1. monkseal Post author

      *sings last bit in manner of “I Know It’s Over*

      (I was in the middle of a house move when it was filmed. Also Victoria Coren jinxed me off-camera. Also, I REACHED THE QUARTER-FINALS, IT’S MORE THAN YOU DID! *flounce*)

      1. Penny

        I was on that series of Only Connect too and was absolutely gutted not to have met you – mostly because I would have been able to talk Strictly and rave embarrassingly about how much I love this blog (and only very slightly because I think we’d have had a better chance of beating you than of beating the international quiz obsessives who put us out).

      2. monkseal Post author

        It must have been painful watching the Alesman choke in the next round as well given how narrowly you lost. (*serious game talk*) Or at least that’s how I remember it. We definitely could have beaten them in the semis if we’d had a kinder draw on the missing vowelsagainst the Wrights (SCREW OFF, ANTIQUE FURNITURE) when we wouldn’t have in the second round.

        I may have thought about this a little too much.

        (Mostly we talked to Rosa about which of the male contestants of OC past we’d shag. In front of her parents. Sadly this tactic to cause team disharmony and embarassment obviously did not work. DAMNIT.)

  11. joanne

    good god this was so good…i actually had tears running down my face :-)….whats up with robin this year , he looks pissed off is the reality of being paired with “im married to brian may ” weaning lol I thought the best dance was Pasha and Chelsee and the most disappointing was Holly….she looked like she’d rather be getting a root canal done then be dancing on the show and i think Artem has given up and is just doing what he has to ….poor love as i loved him last year and actually think he is a wonderful dancer…can’t wait for Halloween and i believe Looloo and flying was mentioned lol πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

    1. monkseal Post author

      I’m thinking Anita is less fun as a Barbie Doll than Patsy Kensit was, simply for being less versatile.

  12. Melle

    I was actually impressed by Nancy this week – when she wasn’t dancing! She’s a strange mixture of totally deluded and occasionally quite self-deprecating. Where she said in the VT that the previous week’s “dance” was well received, she was actually being sarcastic. The best bit was that she picked up on Bruce’s double-entendre with his “Nancy” comment far more quickly than Anton did and simply cut Bruce off – something that should happen far more often!

    1. monkseal Post author

      I love how Bruce and Anton frantically both try to stop her getting a joke out because it ruins the image of her as being TOTALLY unaware of how she’s comnig across.

  13. Poppy

    You’ve excelled yourself this week, Monkseal. A real corker of an update. (Did you hear the rising inflection at the end of that sentence? I think Jason’s starting to infect my brain.)

    Your transcription of Bruce’s blah before Anton and Nancy’s routine was sheer bloody genius. You should write his scripts. I might actually listen to what he says if you did.

    1. monkseal Post author

      If Jason had truly infected your brain all I’d be reading would be the Charlie Brown’s Teacher *wah wah wah wah* noises.

      1. Poppy

        Or would that be *wah wah wah wah?* noises…

        I was very disappointed by Anita’s dress this last week. Not nearly outrageous enough. Where was Les Dawson? Surely wardrobe can do better tomorrow? She can come as a pumpkin at the very least. Or maybe Cupid Stunt, all done in the best possible taste. Complete with the beard. Bobby could be Sid Snot.

  14. Catherine

    I’m now rooting for Chelsee/Pasha marginally more than Harry, which is saying something, as I can’t stand Chelsee’s sloppy Manchester accent and I think Harry is too adorable. But Chel/Pash can actually properly dance their arses off when they get it together and I was seriously impressed this week.

    However, I must disagree with you on the whole Nancy business. She needs to go. NOW.


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