Previously on Strictly Come Dancing…WHO CARES
HERE’S WEMBLEY! WOOT! More specifically, the Wembley Coach driving up to Wembley Stadium, because apparently the driver hasn’t been paid to go all the way to the Arena. Bloody BBC cutbacks. Here’s our intrepid eight :
you can tell this is a set-up skit that in no way represents real life, because Holly’s not sat on the back row smoking a fag getting surreptitiously…”heavy petted” by her billionaire boyfriend whilst Artem and Brenda do all her homework for her. To be fair, it looks like they did most of her rehearsal for her this week…
Meeting them at the arena? Noted Fashion Designer Graham Taylor!
Are you ready darlings?! TITS AND TEETH AND SHAKE THOSE BOAS! What happens at Wembley will stay with you FOREVER! As Liza said “WHEN I GO (TO WEMBLEY), I’M GOING LIKE ELSIE! Think pink my fabulous creations, think pink. Now go out there, and GIVE EM SPARKLE LIKE THEY’VE NEVER SEEN BEFORE!”
Sadly that team talk didn’t work before we got eliminated from World Cup qualifying by the Dutch, and it didn’t work here. Boo.
Robbie meanwhile? Back at Television Centre, waiting for the actual bus to Wembley Arena. Clever boy. Doubly clever for
borrowing one of Natalie Lowe’s Scarves Of Fierce. Best outfit of the whole show.
Face. Has the person’s face fallen on one side? Can the person smile? Has their mouth or eye drooped?
Arms. Can the person raise both arms and keep them there?
Speech. Is their speech slurred?
Time. It’s time to call 999 if you see one or more of these signs.
Remember kids, this isn’t just a ballroom dancing show. It’s an education.
A LIVE EDUCATION!
I really wish they’d amateurishly edited Brenda into this starting credits bit. Preferably dressed in his “Dancers In Disguise” gear. Whatever that was. Wolf? Seahorse? Giant polyp?
Out to the ARENA now and we open on this
it’s a giant man, apparently in a romper suit telling the audience to clap along to a Queen medley. Like an arena audience needs to be told to clap along to “We Will Rock You”. It’s like having a big mime of someone screaming for when Harry gets his nips out. Anyway, the giant man is projected onto a cloth which then
DROPS, to reveal that, since Dan was eliminated, Katya has apparently felt no need to keep her…downstairs area under control. That’s quite a foof going on there.
Anyway, Craig gets blasted off through the air dressed as Billy Connolly pretending he knows how to play guitar, Brenda and Natalie
do a lift for no real reason, and everything from there on out is just randomness. Lasers,
Naked Alesha singing about doing the fandango, the cast of
Cirque du SoGay, random cheerleaders dancing to that song that Ricky Groves danced to that made the judges all shit out a kidney and declare Ricky Groves the GREATEST COMEDY LEGEND IN STRICTLY HISTORY! (think on Russell…), the celebs running out and clapping at the audience with
Anita in raptures because her husband Billy Connolly done a bit on these songs and erm…
that’s it. Erin’s face reads “we don’t have any of this Queen crap on Erin Island”. It’s all Cole Porter, all the time. Jason meanwhile is
pinching his nipple for dear life to keep himself awake, because he’s been up for 120 hours straight rehearsing this jive that is GOING TO BE BETTER THAN JILL HALFPENNY’S YES IT IS, YOU WAIT, and not even three containers of ProPlus tablets are enough to keep him going much longer. HE’S SO EXCITED, HE’S SO EXCITED, HE’S SO…SCARED!
This over it’s time for the
WEMBLEY VELOCIRAPTOR DANCE! and
WEMBLEY TESS DRESS WATCH! in the clear understand that the theme of this week’s show is sticking everything in all-caps and sticking WEMBLEY on the front of it. Look it’s a
WEMBLEY THIS THING! and a
WEMBLEY AUDIENCE! and a
WEMBLEY BRUCE JOKE DYING ON ITS ARSE! Hooray!
Bruce stands there and ponders on just how many people there are in the stadium. 6,000! 6,000 people! So many in fact that he has to do “niceterseeyer terseeyernice” in three stages, including the amazing spectacle of Bruce Forsythe saying “all my people on my right” like he’s Marky Mark and Tess is his Funky Bunch. Who will pass into Wembley Legend along with all the stars who have performed in this arena like Counting Crows, 30 Seconds To Mars, and S Club 8 and who will just…go home afterwards with an over-priced hotdog and a vague sense of disappointment? After a bit of
WEMBLEY TESS MOLESTATION! it’s time to speculate, as we are introduced to our WEMBLEY STARS! of our WEMBLEY SHOW!
Already a bit dwarfed by the occasion aren’t they? I notice Ola’s got the cat-suit out of storage again. Bruce tells them all that he knows that they’re all struggling to come to terms with this vast, echoey, cavernous, arena full of empty space and dead air, but he’s co-presented with it for 8 years now, so think how he feels!
No, not really, he’s talking about Wembley Arena. He tells them to imagine it as being like the Colosseum. Personally I’m imagining it be like Angkor Wat. It’s about as relevant for Ballroom Dancing as the other two venues, and much prettier. Tess thanks everyone here for collectively raising over £102,000 for Children In Need! Hooray for that! I might complain about this show (occasionally) but at least raised over £100,000 for charity without once resorting to Gok Wan singing show-tunes. I don’t think.
Oh God, there’s more. Tonight the celebs will be performing to British songs only as ALL-CAPS WEMBLEY! is apparently not enough for a theme, we need to make it British Protectionism Week as well. How sensible to have this as the theme on a week where most of the dances are Latin as well. There’s such a rich history of pop in UK with a Latin influence like…erm…Ruth Lorenzo? I think Paloma Faith is a bit Spanish as well maybe? But then again according to Paloma Faith, Paloma Faith is in her 20s so…anyway, judges will score, couples will be ranked, public vote will be added, then someone will leave.
This gets a big “Ahhhh!” from the audience, and Bruce comments it’s the biggest “Arrrrrrrrrr” they’ve ever had. Well…until Pirate Week next week anyway. I bet Robin choreographs a lovely moving foxtrot to this.
FINALLY, up in Starship Karen this week it’s
that woman off the yoghurt adverts. HOORAY. Karen yells “WE CAN’T HEAR YOU!” like the massive ham that she is, and Bruce starts complaining about someone giving her a line. *all eyes to Bruno*
Robbie Savage & Ola Jordan’s Patented Catsuit Of Desperation dancing the salsamba
I notice her hair is fully foofed out to Bonnie Tyler proportions as well. This is going to be BAD isn’t it? Bruce makes another joke about Robbie’s hair and how he has it. God takes away a SIZE BILLION SHOE door and opens up a hairy window doesn’t he? And judging by the usual standards of wardrobe maintenance this year, there’s every chance Ola’s about to as well.
VT time now, and Robbie says that the American Smooth last week proved to be his best dance yet. It did? I preferred the one with the umbrella myself, but then again if Lady Gaga is singing “Born This Way” then whatever’s being said must be true, and she is, so it is. Also, even Craig
tolerated it, in a waxy-faced forced kind of way, so it must have been amazing! Robbie says his aim now is to get a 7, an 8, or even a 9 off Craig. Well he’s had three 7s already, so that’s a start.
Training now, and Robbie enthuses that he can’t imagine life getting any better than dancing a salsa at Wembley. Really? Really? How about a dance that didn’t require you to do
lifts for a start? Robbie says that the dance is full of tricks and lifts, and he’s struggling to perfect them in training, but he knows it’ll be a crowd-pleaser regardless of the quality of execution. Speaking of which…it’s COMEDY VT time.
Robbie imagines walking his way to Wembley Football Stadium, provoking
naked, animal, air-humping lust everywhere he goes, until Fairy DreamOla arrives and tells him that
they’re dancing at Wembley ARENA, not Wembley STADIUM silly. Well Fairy DreamOla, when you travel back in time and breathe snot all over an 11 year-old and lie to them that they’re going to “dance at Wembley” mid football-rehearsal to manipulate them for goodness only knows what wicked ends this is serving, you only have yourself to blame. God, this is worse than one of those Twilight Zones where someone wishes for world peace and the EVIL GENIE gives them WORLD PEAS, MWAHAHAHAHHAA! Poor Robbie
his dreams are shattered. Particularly those involving going into acting.
Out to the ARENA-FLOOR and
it’s time to let Robbie entertain us. As he is dancing to “Let Me Entertain You” by Robbie Williams. His good friend. At first I was a bit disappointed that the man himself didn’t turn up, but going by past reality show form he would have been stoned out his gourd and holding up the mic to the audience to sing the entire thing anyway. As soon as the music starts Ola’s HYPNOBOOBS beam out the message to
“Just look into my catsuit. Not around the catsuit, into my catsuit. Nothing else is happening. When the dance is over, you will have a vague sense that something happened that you would like to vote for, but nothing more”. Robbie’s boobs meanwhile just yell
“I’M STILL YOUNG!”. He dismounts his podium and
does choo-choo arms to the great big black-hole sandpit of steps in the middle of the floor, where he stomps around like Vince McMahon on Excedrin before
Strictly Cunniliftus gets more out of control than it’s ever been before. I’m surprised James didn’t run out onto the floor at that moment, faster than anything has ever moved on Strictly bar Darren Bennett during Dominic Littlewood’s Goodbye Grope. At least we know that Ola’s personal hygiene is beyond reproach otherwise he may well have passed out. He wriggles, he leap-frogs Ola, he knee-slides at the camera again (although thankfully this time he doesn’t WEMBLEY HEADBUTT! it), and then he runs up to his podium to finish on a patented
OLA STARFISH SHAPE! How hard must she have been restraining herself not to run up there and start doing back-bends around him? How hard?
They hug, the audience stand and ovate, and in December, when they’ve finally arrived at the judges table, Bruce introduces us all to
WEMBLEY DAVEARCH! and his WEMBLEY ORCHESTRA! Sadly no shot of the WEMBLEY MAN IN THE WEMBLEY HAT! which is doubly sad because Bruce actually acknowledges him, for the first time in the show’s history. It saddens me that, up to this point the Man In The Hat has got less credit for his role in the show than Ronnie Corbett has, and now they rob him of his moment of recognition. For shame. Anyway, here also are our
WEMBLEY JUDGES! Bruce jokes that Len is worried about the “Italian Debt Crisis” because he lent Bruno £2 for a cappuccino the other day, and he hasn’t got it back yet. Oh Len, that’s not what Bruno was asking for when he was asking Len if he could find something brown and strong to spray his foam over…
Len starts, saying that he’s very disappointed that Robbie treated this whole occasion like the FA Cup Final. Is that because at half-time he changed ends? Of Ola? I still don’t think he got the cup high enough in the air. Ahem. Anyway, the dance was too wild, savage (DRINK!) and uncontrolled. The audience boo this, so Len changes his mind and says it was wonderful entertainment and a great start to the show. (Notice that, with 6000 people against him he doesn’t pull poo-face and start shouting I’M NOT LYING! WATCH THE FOOTAGE BACK! GURTCHA! like he normally does…
Bruce start mumbling about Ola Jordan single-handedly bringing variety back (…) before thankfully Alesha breaks in
her eyelashes playing to the back-row more theatrically than anybody else manages all show, to tell Robbie that he opened the show like it was his own rock concert, and he was full of gusto (ie “guff and bisto”). It didn’t really have a salsa feel, but was a great start to the show! In that it was a portent of things to come, yes. Bruno follows by bellowing that that
was like a primeval fertility rite. It had no slinkiness, and no timing, but Bruno appreciates the effort that went into it anyway. Craig closes by saying it was flat-footed, with wiggly hips, but he liked the upper-body work. By “upper-body work”, Ola discerns that Craig means
“nipples”. It really has been a very nippley series hasn’t it? Ricky Whittle would have looked positively restrained amidst this bunch.
For one night only guess what? THE TESSPIT IS BACK! (Rest Assured that it will still be Claud 9 for results recapping purposes. As ever, Claudia transcends the normal laws of linguistics). Once they arrive, Tess point out that
something appears to have cut Robbie’s nose open. Oh my GOD, does Ola have vagina dentata? That would certainly explain why James is so…irascible. Tess asks him how it feels to have played football at Wembley Stadium and now danced at Wembley Arena? Robbie ignores this to say that THAT DANCE WAS FOR ALL HIS FANS! WOO! WE LOVE YOU MANCHESTER! KEEP ON ROCKING! It was a real buzz out there, especially as Ola got her catsuit out especially for the occasion. Tess gurns that she
bets that the catsuit gets a few votes all by itself. Yes Tess, I would imagine that was rather the point. Scores are in –
The Bird of Jamescatraz & James Jordan dancing the tango
This moment was recorded at the very second Alex Jones heard that Christine Blankley had been binned from The One Show. No wonder she was on a performance high. Bruce says he has no joke, and then proceeds to do this.
I thought he said he didn’t have a joke?
VT time now and Alex tells us all that
there was a real pressure on her last week to start the show on a high. Yeah, because it’s not as though you’re on in the first two or three performances every single week is it Alex? (I love that the ZOMG BBC EMPLOYEE RIGGAGE! explosions are over someone with the performance positions of someone they’re desperately trying to flush). Anyway, she just tried to have a good time, and she thinks it worked! Hooray!
Training now, and it opens with James explaining that the tango
is everything that Alex is not. Which is a broad church indeed. It means the tango is male, Albanian, transgender and also the movie Shanghai Surprise starring Madonna. It is Haribo Starmix, it is Cat Stevens, it is curious orange. But more particularly it is angry and mean and GRR, and the only time Alex is angry and mean and GRR is when her favourite lifeguard Simon isn’t on duty at the swimming pool. She likes him, he’s funny! He always blows up her water-wings for her as well and call her a little cutie-patootie!
James’ frustration with Alex’s lack of acting ability continues as he snarls at her to
be less joyful! Stop smiling! Sneer! Snarl! Curl that lip! Furrow that brow! FILL YOURSELF WITH EXISTENTIAL RAGE AND VENOM AGAINST HUMANITY! And what better atmosphere to provoke that mood than
on a trip to The One Show! I know that stupid “BAH! DADDLE-DEE-DAH-DAT-BAH-BAH-BAH!” theme music already makes me want to punch out an orphan.
The excuse for this is that the director on The One Show is a right bitch, so Alex is going to pretend to be her for the day,
and James is going to pretend to be a tv presenter. You know, just like he did all over It Takes Two in Series 5, 6, and 7 after his SHOCK BOOTS. Alex gets more assertive, James continues to do “banter”…to the dancing?
TO THE ARENA-FLOOR more like as Alex is performing the
ULTIMATE ARM-HANKY TRIBUTE DANCE. She practiced this bit at home with her mum’s curtains. Her mum was not best pleased. No DS for her for a whole week, poor Alex. She’s dancing her arm-hanky tango to “Relax” by Frankie Goes Hollywood so, for once, the hanky code might actually be canon for the story of the dance. If not, in fact, milder.
Anyway, James appears and
Alex gives him her best haughty face of disdain, and from there, they tango.
As tangos go, it’s a little floaty, and not really earthed enough, but she’s giving it a good go, and she’s giving good head-turn without over-doing them all over the place. James’ use of space is very smart as well – he had the best opening of the night (bar maybe Chelsee’s), dances around all of the raised stage (rather than just faffing on a piece of it), then takes to the floor and moves around it rather than trying to sprint it. Alex is being pulled about a bit in places, and James’ own faces are all a bit
MR GRIMSDALE!, but on a fairly barren night dancing wise, I’ll take it.
Apparently it was the only dance of the evening not to get a standing ovation from the arena. Given how Standing Ovations are being dealt out this series, I’d say that only confirms my opinion that it was the best dance of the night.
Over with the judges, and Bruce tells them he was ENTHRALLED. I’m surprised personally, Alex’s boobs are much better covered than usual (which…makes her pretty much unique this evening). Anyway, Alesha starts,
and says that she can’t believe how well Alex transitioned from the jive to the tango. I wouldn’t be Alesha, I think we all know if anyone’s a Ballroom Boy this series it’s Alex. Lots of drama, nice use of steps around the floor, really “believable” as a whole, well done. Bruno follows by calling her fascinating and alluring
I think you’re barking up the wrong tree there Alex. Or…maybe not, given how free-range Bruno’s loins have been this series.
Craig follows by saying that he thinks that finally he might be seeing some improvement. This is the Craig who hasn’t gone below a 7 for her since Week 2, unless you count that rumba where she just rolled around on the floor, and God only knows I don’t. Still
James is pleased. Either that or Karen is already bored of Martine and has chosen to beam him up to join her now the dance is over. He and Alex hug effusively, and she gets hooked up accidentally on his stud. So to speak. At least that’s what she’ll tell Ola. Would have been nice to see some heel leads though. Len finishes by saying he’s worried about Craig being so nice, because it means he’s going to be ORRIBLE to the next person out. For his part he’d just like to say that he’s confused that people think he’s so hard to please
We don’t Len, we just think you hate Aliona. Keep up. Anyway this is the sort of thing he likes. So there. A PROPER TANGO with NO VAMPIRES in it.
Over to the Tesspit they relax, and both mug about how much Craig loves them now. Alex thanks Craig for his praise, the BBC for letting her dance at Wembley, the tango for existing, and
Pat Butcher for loan of her ear-rings. Scores are in –
Holly Valance & Whoever It Is This Week, Andrew Cuerden? dancing the Quickstep
Do you know on The Flintstones when they used to thinly-veiled parodies of popular stars of the day on, with names like Stony Curtis, Perry Masonry, Anne Marg-Rock, Cary Granite and (apparently), Jackie Kennerock? (Jesus Christ…) Well this look for Holly is PURE Amy Wine-stone. She doesn’t look like a tribute to one of Britain’s lost soul greats as Auntie Sabrina from the later series of The Crystal Maze. (On which note you haven’t lived until you see a wizened old Richard O’Brien pretending to be friends with Jodie Prenger on Celebrity Bargain Hunt. Well…you probably have, but it’s worth a look in a depressing train-wreck sort of way).
Ahem, anyway, Holly is here and dancing with Artem, not Brenda, let’s get on with it.
VT time and we recount the TRAGIC TALE OF ARTEM’S INJURY…AGAIN. The music people play “I’m Your Man” by Wham over the top. Thanks once again, my heros the Strictly music people. Holly talks about how Brenda was her man for one week only, and Brenda himself
sheepishly grins and says that he felt a lot of responsibility on his shoulders. You know, unlike when he was dancing with Bloody Lulu and he didn’t give a shit and just choreographed him dancing to the 80s music he always wanted to whilst she did figure 8s in the corner (SERIES 9 BRENDA LOVE!) Artem meanwhile
just glowers that it was really odd to see Holly dancing with someone else, but they did an amazing job and he’s so happy. No really. SO HAPPY. *kicks over cymbal* *storms out* *cries* *discards EMO-SHOE*
Training now and
Holly is feeling left out because
Artem and Brenda are spending all their time flirting and training together “just in case Artem’s injury comes back and Brenda has to cover again” (I’m so sure). The Look Of Love plays on the soundtrack as Holly pouts in the corner whilst Artem and Brenda tell her that they’re off doing special dancer things together that she could never understand, because she doesn’t have a prost…because she’s NOT A DANCER OK!
(Incidentally if you want to know what that word that sticky-tape is covering up, it’s “Artem”. Kara made that top especially for her.)
Anyway, if you think Holly’s taking this hard you should see James. He’s pressed up against the window crying his little heart out. DID THAT BRORUMBA MEAN NOTHING TO YOU ARTEM? AND YOU! BRENDA! YOU WERE SUPPOSED TO BE MY BEST FRIIIIIIIIIIIIEND!
Ahem. The music people become my favourite people FOREVER by segueing immediately from this sequence portraying the Artem and Brenda romance to “Work”. By Kelly “Worst X Factor Judge Ever” Rowland. You know, the bit where she yells “PUT IT IN!”. Ahem, anyway, Holly and Artem and Holly and Brenda train and it’s all very much up in the air as to who she’ll dance with tonight.
Out to the ARENA-FLOOR now and
turns out…it’s neither of them! She’s just going to flap around like a dying swan (even more so than in the American Smooth) and sprint across the dance-floor in straight lines!
Don’t mind her, she’s just in training for the Olympics! And that’s the initial run as well, the one where she’s almost keeping up with him. The rest are…not quite so pretty. Artem’s at his hottest all series anyway, that’s the main thing. They get sucked into the mid-floor dance-stage of suck, faffs around a bit and then departs it and just canters round the arena, very much like a woman leading her dog around at Crufts.
Down in the Tessanine, Brenda’s face is very
much this. Poor duck. I guess he just didn’t have it in him to Tonya Harding Holly’s knee like that. Once they arrive at the judges, Bruno starts
the light of someone struggling to find anything nice to say just SHINING in his eyes. At times she is THRILLING and at times she is MADDENING because she is like a thoroughbred that has not quite yet been broken into. I think I saw a documentary about that once. Those were some…odd people. Either she’s overthinking it or settling for dancing after the beat and he WILL NOT STAND FOR IT. Craig follows by praising her for her pirouette on the stairs at the beginning but…it all rather fell apart after that. She lost her timing, there was lots of gapping, and she’s holding her weight too far forward. Oops.
Len follows by saying that he liked the choreography and use of space, but it was all too fast for her
and she lost intent and control in places. Holly Valance? Incompatible with QUICKstep? Who would have thought it? Maybe Artem should have choreographed a Walkingaroundhavingafagstep? Alesha closes by saying that she did really well considering she didn’t know who she was going to be dancing with this morning (…I think she probably did with 99% certainty) and the dance really suits her, but everyone else is right, she lost control of it. A bit. In parts. Alesha still loved it though, hoorah!
To the Tesspit they come on over, and Tess commiserates them over their “mixed comments” as Brenda
awkwardly hovers in the background. Still, the audience cheered
that’s what’s really important right? Katya looks like there are not enough Nuerofen in the world for the headache this noise is giving her. Holly says she’s shaking all over and so excited that she made it this far. And probably not much further by the looks of it. Scores are in –
Poor Anita & Robin Windsor dancing the salsamba
Apparently Anita made the mistake of telling Bruce that she’d like to see a Mexican Wave at Wembley. So Bruce pretends there is a Mexican in the audience called “Manuel Rodriguez” who is going to wave to Anita
Is he sat next to Paddy McGinty and Heinz von Strudel? (actually, Manuel is not a very Mexican name at all, but this show’s grasp of Latin authenticity is ever shaky, as demonstrated by the fact that we’re about to see a salsamba to “Come On Eileen”.) I say he’s pretending because the camera doesn’t pan to Seat F78, where Manuel is apparently seated. On the other hand he may very well be real, and just giving Bruce the finger.
VT now and Anita reminisces about how she went from the HIGH of her Argurntine Tango to the LOW of
collapsing into a great big ball of snot following the news that she was in the Bottom Two last week. The soundtrack full on takes the piss at this point as they play Annie Lennox & The Candles singing “WHYYYYYY-YYYYYYYY-YYYYYYY-WHY-Y-YYYYYYY?” over the top. I love them so much.
Training now, and Robin has decided that, in order to bounce back, Anita needs to get inspiration from somewhere or…(*pointless dramatic pause*) SOMEONE?!
That’s right, it’s Albert Square, home of Eastenders! Anita wanders around
practically dry-humping the set, talking to Robin about how good it is to be back, and how the atmosphere is really allowing her to channel the spirit of Angie Watts, what she played in thuh 80s.
Apparently Angie was a real fighter, and when she was knocked down and she & Den were in the Bottom 2 with Ethel & Little Willie dancing the American Smooth, she just picked herself up and got on with it again. Anita is going to take INSPIRATION from her! So expect her to pretend she’s got cancer for votes then. JUST LIKE X FACTOR!
Anyway, Anita sambas round the deserted set and…could we not have got a cast-member to turn up for her? Dot Cotton? Ian Beale? Strictly Quarter-Finallist and MIDDLE-AGED INSPIRATION Letitia Dean? Because this feels a bit…well…Anita No-Mates really.
The whole thing is appended by Anita looking around Wembley, wondering if she’s ready, and getting a DOOF-DOOF. It is a PROFOUND waste of a doof-doof, quite frankly.
To the ARENA FLOOR now
or not, as Anita is halfway up the stairs. Was there ever a plot where Ange threw herself down them for attention? Meanwhile, her
Dirty Den is stood on the floor itself, and his lack of experience is showing. It’s not proper desperation unless the nipples are out Robin. Get with the programme. The music (/”music”) of Come On Eileen starts up and…I think there’s more running around clapping at the audience than there is dance in here. They run around the floor, operating entirely on fumes,
do that bit in the action movies where everyone hears an explosion and JUMPS!, and…that’s more or less it.
Over to Bruce they come on Eileen (I note that Robin has got her dancing to a song about a teenager a-gain) and Anita hoots to Bruce that she
does the washing-up in these gloves. Indeed, now hands that do dishes can be as over-the-top as your face!
Craig starts, chiding her for hunching her shoulders the whole way through the dance. How can you not hunch your shoulders to “Come On Eileen?”. Either dancing to it or shuddering at its awfulness? Her thumb was sticking out also. And her weight was too far forward. And he HATES her hair. And so on. The audience boo in protest, but Craig tells them he has to be picky because it’s the semi-finals soon. It is? Thank Christ…
Len follows, by telling Anita that he really likes how she CAHMS AHT every week and gives it 100%. On the other hand…it could have been sharper. Sadly(/not sadly) he is drowned out by the Wembley Crowd so Anita has to ask him to repeat himself.
Len? Repeat himself? Never. Len would never repeat himself. Repeating himself is something Len would never do. He’s just never been a repetitive type of person. He also tells her that personally he loves her thumbs. Bloody pervert. And people say Bruno’s bad?
Alesha follows, praising Anita for creating a real party atmosphere in the studio (by which she means that Anita clapped at the audience a lot), but she doesn’t think she had that natural samba feel. I repeat, to COME ON EILEEN, how could she not? But ah well, her spirit and enthusiasm carried her through the dance.
And Robin. Bruno closes by saying that he loves her because she’s a great big ham, but in that routine she was thinking too much about the fire up above (the burning in her brain? And the voices?) and forgot about the fire down below. I don’t need to think about the fire down below Anita Bruno. I bet it’s an old log fire with a great big pair of bellows and it’s kept stoked by magical elves. Bruce asks her if she’d like to be his favourite. Anita says “yes please”. That’s basically the Strictly equivalent of crying “SEND ME HOME NOW I DON’T LIKE IT ANY MORE!” and hiding behind your mother’s dress. Poor Anita.
Over to the Tesspit they come on Eileen (poor Eileen) , as Bruce mithers that it’s such a long way away. Yes Bruce, let’s get her a mobility scooter. Once she’s arrived, Tess gurns “NEVER MIND COME ON EILEEN, COME ON ANITA!”, whilst Natalie face reads
“no, no I am not going to come on Anita. No.”. You’ll also notice that Erin is busy dancing the hokey-coconut on Erin Island at this point. Tess asks Anita what it’s like to perform in front of that audience. You will be surprised to hear that it’s
quite fun. Tess reminds her that Len said she gave 100%, and you can’t give more than that, unless you’re on The Apprentice, and then follows by saying that we all saw how Anita reacted when she was in the Bottom Two last week, and nobody wants to see a repeat performance of that. A-bloody-men. Scores are in –
Len’s Nippley Nemesis Harry McFlea & Aliona Vilani dancing the salsamba
They’re coming for you Len! Bip-bip-bip! Bruce warns us all that this isn’t the end – oh no, Harry is going to perform the entire routine with his nips out! WHO WANTS TO SEE HARRY MCFLEA PERFORM AN ENTIRE SALSAMBA WITH HIS NIPS OUT, AUDIENCE?!
Profoundly not this dude.
VT now, and Harry reminds us that his Argentine Tango went rather well, in that it gave three of the judges the horn, and left us all frankly disappointed that Bruno’s pen
didn’t have a comedy ink-spurting function. Sadly Len didn’t like it but hey ho, it got two 10s anyway. The camera chooses to show us in as delicious detail as it can manage Len’s reaction to this scoring
If this had been viewed, close up, through Len’s Glans I bet it would have resembled this.
Training now, and it’s
yet another tribute to a film I’ve never seen. In this case “When Harry Met Sally”(/Salsamba). What can I say, Billy Crystal makes me feel vaguely uneasy. This means I get none of the references, beyond “men and women/THE SALSAMBA can never be friends”, and the fake-orgasm scene which Aliona is
crap at. And let’s face it, the show’s fundamentally mis-understanding its demographic having her be the one doing it anyway.
To the ARENA FLOOR! PLEASE!
Aliona’s make-up not so much playing to the back-row as it is playing to the back-planet. THAT’S RIGHT, NEPTUNE, THIS ONE’S FOR YOU! The first few bars of “I’m Still Standing” start up and
WIGGY AND ST JILL OF HALFPENNY RUSH THE FLOOR! DANCE-SABOTAGE! See Alesha? Watch and learn, watch and learn. You don’t have to take it! Luckily for them, Harry and Aliona somehow survive this parachuting and do a fairly indifferent salsa. I know people have grizzled enough about the tomb of St Jill being ransacked and pissed on by Aliona, but it is as second a fault to the fact that “I’m Still Standing” (Nebbish Remix) is not a salsa song, and Harry is rising to the challenge by being barely less interesting than he was in his sambalsa. If you’re looking for a gimmick?
Here it is. I know. I’d forgotten both this and the parachute even happened until I watched this again just now. In fact…what parachute?
Jeez alright Harry, the choreography wasn’t THAT bad. She was just working with you give her in Latin. Which is not much. It gets a standing ovation, as St Jill’s Saintly Wrath becomes so powerful it
starts to manifest itself as a poisonous fog, choking half the arena to death. And yes, even thought they are surrounded by OVER 6000 PEOPLE DOING IT, Len feels the need to point out the Standing Ovation to them. LOOK HARRY! CAN YOU SEE THEM?! CAN YOU SEE
Len starts for the judges by telling Harry that THAT was what he calls a full-on samba.
No, it’s alright, he means that as a compliment. By the time that I stop laughing at the fact that even the judges can’t remember what these bloody dances are supposed to be any more, it’s time for someone else to talk. Apparently I missed Len calling Harry an evil baby-rapist or something. Oh well. That someone is Alesha who, of course, thought that he handled the entire dance with ease and a natural feel for the dance. Bruno follows by
being a big perv. I swear, the judges comments for Harry are so exactly the same every single week that they’ve become like a warm comforting bath in an otherwise turbulent show. Len’s slagged him off, Alesha & Bruno have both dropped their knickers, so it must be time for Craig to give guarded praise whilst singling out small areas for improvement
Ah there we are. He loved the routine, but he couldn’t see the groove. Well make his trousers a bit tighter then! WHAT SAY YOU AUDIENCE, DO YOU WANT TO SEE HARRY’S TROUSERS TIGHTEN UNTIL WE CAN ALL SEE HIS GROOVE?
Poor Audience Man.
Over to the Tesspit they continue to incur St Jill’s wrath ( I wish Aliona had worn a tie, just to compound matters), as Brenda act as her agent and
steals his clothes from him. JUSTICE FOR JILL! Harry thanks him for the extra 500,000 votes he just bought him. It’s like Brenda WANTS Holly to be in the Bottom 2 now she’s stopping him from dancing with her/Artem (*delete as appropriate*) isn’t it?. Tess congratulates him for just getting 6,000 people up. By which I mean she thanks Harry, not Brenda, for removing his shirt. Harry says it’s been amazing, and Tess asks how the experience compares to when he came here with McFlea. He says he loved it, but he’s happy just being the one at the back not doing much. Well…that would explain Aliona’s choreography then. Scores are in – 34
Russell “The Grant” Grant & Flavia Cacace dancing the jive
That is the world’s gayest black-eye she’s sporting isn’t it? Did Russell accidentally hit her in the face with Kylie’s Greatest Hits? Bruce says that we may have noticed that Russell enjoys singing along to the song he’s performing to his week. Well that’s going to be doubly interesting this week, as he performs his jive to “Smack My Bitch Up”.
What? If they can get Relax on, they can get anything on.
VT now, and Russell reminds us that last week he had a costume change in the middle of his American Smooth, and he says that as he emerged from behind the screen he heard a great
WOOSH! Turns out it was the sound of the possibility of him getting further than Widdy evaporating into thin air. Russell also reminds us that Craig called him “Immortal” which means that he’s going to be around for a long time yet. Just…maybe not on this show.
Training time and Russell enthuses that this week Strictly is coming LIVE from Wembley! It’s the biggest audience ever! It’s going to be SPECTACULAR! It’s going to be AMAZING! It’s going to be JIVETACULAR! In order to prepare for this
Russell takes her away from the training to a deserted field in Middlesex in the middle of the night. When Matt di Angelo did this same thing, it ended VERY differently. It turns out he’s here to show Flavia a fabulous view of
Wembley Stadium. Flavia then turns to him and says “EURGH! WE’RE NOT DANCING AT WEMBLEY STADIUM YA DIPSTICK!” then bounces a football off his face. No? No. Instead the stars themselves
speak to Russell to tell him that HE CAN DO IT! HE CAN DANCE AT WEMBLEY!
(*excuse me whilst I go and throw up in a bin*).
To the ARENA FLOOR now and
Russell has squeezed himself into a very tight dark hole (OOH PARDON!). Flavia prances around with some sparklers, lights the fuse and then
Then he lands, and takes forever to get untangled from the harness as some poor sod
has to handle his helmet (OOH PARDON!). I do miss Julian most of all at moments like these. He would at least have made a proper joke about that not being the first time he’d made something shoot out the unprotected end of a canon. Anyway once he’s done, point hands, point hands, weeble wobble,
point hands, point hands.
God, I think Chairman Mao tried to kill off culture less vigorously than that routine just did.
Over to the judges they reach, and Alesha start by musing
“just when you think you’ve seen it all, definitely the best entrance I’ve seen on Strictly”. Oh Alesha, that wasn’t even 10% of you going Beyonce mental at the start of Crazy In Love, let alone anything else that has happened on this show ever. She follows by saying that she’s glad that he made it to Wembley because what he lacks in technical merit, he makes up for in the entertainment value of being strapped inert to a tea-tray and being slowly hauled through the air whilst emogirl84 cuts herself with a pair of compasses at the thought of pretending to be Hannah Spearitt. So much for not judging on the choreography then…
Bruno does raptures over the fact that it had nothing to do with jive, but he loved it, Craig calls him Dumbo
because yeah, you’d need to dredge up a sympathy vote after that, and Len closes by saying that he doesn’t care how many great dancers they have, or how many series of Strictly Come Dancing there are, people will always say “do you remember when Russell Grant flew out of that bloody cannon? Wasn’t it shit? I much preferred when he came out the giant clam or rode that mechanical bull. THAT was funny. No wonder he got eliminated.”
I may have added some of that myself.
Over to Tess they follow their hearts desires, and Tess says “iconic” about 50 more times. I’ve never seen them push harder for a moment that hasn’t happened. Tess asks him to tell us what it was like to live in BLACKPOO…I mean WEMBLEY, and he says that enjoyed walking around the football stadium and he never thought he’d be shot out of a cannon. IT’S BEEN SO AMAZING. THANK YOU BRITAIN FOR LOVING ME SO! THANK YOU TO TESS, THANK YOU TO FLAVIA, THANK YOU ROBBIE SAVAGE THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO EVER DREAMED A DRE
mmff mff mff. Quite. Somewhere in there it scored…jeez, it scored 24.
Austin Healey’s present niece and MY FUTURE HUSBAND PASHA KOVALEV dancing the salsamba
Bruce says that they’re a very popular couple, just like all the couples are very popular. I guess the era of him dog-whistling the winners by only calling people high up in the public vote “popular” is over. Thank God. In addition, Bruce informs us that, as they’re dancing a salsamba, we’re supposed to pretend that we’re at an exciting party as this is the (/one of out of the fifty) PARTY DANCE. Way ahead of you Bruce (*hic*). Apparently Len is buying the drinks.
It kind of looks like he’s pouring one for Aliona under the table as speak. It’s cider Aliona. No, really, it is. Lovely yellow musty cider. Bruce jokes that Len buying the drinks would CERTAINLY BE A FIRST! Chelsee Joke Face
/Pasha Joke Nipple? Present and correct.
VT time now, and we’re reminded of how amazing Chelsee’s foxtrot was (apart from that bit where she hopped up and down like she’d just dropped a door-stop on her foot) and how Len told her that he never expected her to dance with such ease and elegance. This despite the fact that he’s only one mark or so off the Top Boys in terms of overall scores at this point. Ah, the constant FORCED SURPRISE. The hallmark of the journey candidate who isn’t. Of course, Chelsee was put through and, as such, is now on her way to Wemblee.
Training now, and Pasha
tells us that it’s November and it is cold. Thanks Pasha! Especially for adjusting to our standards, given that you grew up in Siberia, and if you’d shown as much nipple in November there as you’re doing here, they would have grown icicles and snapped off. Anyway, the cold has inspired Pasha to create an extra hot salsamba to warm us all up. Sadly Chelsee is not on board, so Pasha gets her to use her imagination to travel an exotic fantasy party land! Yes, it’s time for some OSCAR-WORTHY
COMEDY VT ACTING as Chelsee Sambas it up on a beach and…well it looks a bit like the Jonestown Massacre… Actually that’s a lie, the only Oscar this is winning is
Best Supporting Nipples. TAKE THAT GWYNNIE! (I notice Chelsee’s slow morph into Strictly’s very own PRENJ equivalent is almost complete in some of those facial expressions. I hope her Showdance is to her version of “AS LONG AS HE KNEES ME!” complete with Pasha as Bill Sykes).
Anyway in the end Chelsee comes back to reality and is suddenly scared again at the thought of salsamba’ing in front of 6500 people, but then Pasha just tells her to remember the sunshine and she’ll…sorry, I’m going to need that bin again (*hurl*)
To the arena floor and
ooh, silhouette dancing! To “Spice Up Your Life”. Hayley Holt and Mark Foster do not run onto the floor to remind people of her version of the dance incidentally. Can’t IMAGINE why not…
Anyway, Chelsee jiggles around behind the screen until it is removed and she suffers the most undignified wardrobe malfunction of them all when
fireworks shoot out of her arse. Thankfully she has learnt and grown from wardrobe malfunctions past, and moves on without tears, or breaking from the routine. Attagirl Chelsee! As a reward
Pasha gives her the treat of lots of balloons! And a lollipop! Still amongst the least patronising acts of anyone towards Chelsee tonight if that were true as well.
From there, they do the samba, it’s a little bit less babyish than her other PARTY LATIN routines, and they do appear to at least attempt a genuine
SALSAMBA ROLL, but again, it’s rather aimless as a result of the space they’re dancing in. Still,
HOORAY FOR CHELSEE’S GREAT BIG BALLOONS anyway.
Over to the judges they SHAKE IT TO THE RIGHT, where Bruno starts, by calling her “Chelsee Fierce” (I hear that was Beyonce’s first choice of name as well…) and a little ball of fire, and Craig follows by complaining about her arm placement and timing, but says he loved her spins and bounces (I bet he did) and the whole thing was brilliant, and he means that
Len follows by calling her very brave for doing that section all on her own out in this big arena at the beginning of the routine. Yes Len, a wolf might have come and gobbled her up. He follows by saying that he doesn’t know about “Spice Up Your Life” (such lies) but that routine certainly SPICED UP HIS NIGHT and was a PROPER SAMBA. Just like Harry’s you mean Len? Alesha closes by saying that she loved the start of the routine, and she felt that Chelsee really captured the authentic samba spirit. See, this is what happens when you dance to PROPER SAMBA MUSIC like what The Spice Girls And Their Tijuana Brass Band made, rather than “Come On Eileen”. Watch and learn Robin, watch and learn.
Over to the Tesspit they SLAM IT TO THE LEFT, and really this is
begging to have this played over the top isn’t it? Once there Tess asks her if that was nerve-wracking and overwhelming. Chelsee says that it was indeed nerve-wracking and overwhelming and erm…yeah…that’s it.
I’m not sure what’s going on in that picture, but I’m enjoying all of it. Tess reminds her that Bruno called her routine “near-perfect” and Chelsee thanks him politely, before Tess moves on to asking how it felt to do a routine that grew six times bigger than usual. I dunno, if I were dancing with Pasha I’d be used to something growing six times bigger th[JOKE REDACTED]. Scores are in – 35.
Grayson Donobot & Kristina Rihanoff dancing the jive
You will be unsurprised that neither Tess nor Bruce lands their attempt to do an Australian accent to open this segment. Even remotely. This is all a segue to telling us that, just like Jason, some of the world’s creepiest crawlies come from Australia. The funnel-web spider, the red-fire ant, Craig Revell-Horwood…
but the creepiest of all are truly
THESE CREEPY BASTARDS. Yeah, you’d BETTER keep moving. It’s not helped by the fact that Kristina is
totally doing her best J-Horror face and hands in their opening clip. If she winds up crawling out my laptop in 3 days and killing me, tell my boyfriend I LOVED HIM.
VT time now, and Jason says that he thinks that the Viennese Waltz was one of my best dances because he went in there with a big smile on his face. Yeah, that narrows it down. He then says that he knows that the competition is getting tougher and the competition’s getting stiffer, but then the music people (my heroes, as ever) crank up The Saturdays singing “Higher” so loud that he’s drowned out. Hooray!
Training now and Jason says that he can’t wait to get back to Wembley Arena, as he performed there as a young man. Yeah the
comparison here is not in any way depressing is it. Time makes Donobots of us all I guess. Although at least his hair’s got better. For his jive rehearsal, Jason is having to rehearse in a great big boxy jacket because…that’s what wardrobe want apparently. He looks in the mirror and sighs that he
looks just like Don Johnson in Miami Vice. Oh Jason, really I’m thinking more Tubbs than Crockett. And from League Of Gentlemen rather than Miami Vice… This is all part of a broader 80s theme, so Kristina yells at Jason to REMEMBER THE 80S, NO, REALLY, REMEMBER IT!
IN A PARK, FOR NO REASON! Jason cycles through various 80s garb until Kristina finds one she’s happy with
groaning “THASS MORE LIKE EHTT JAY-SSSUN!” with such tortured anguish that I briefly think that Jason’s VTs are a Saw trap that Kristina hasn’t figured her way out of yet without ripping her thighs off. Don’t worry Kristina! One day you’ll find a way out! One day! (Also, who knew that the 80s look this dance was inspired by was “Steven Baldwin starring in a Pat Sharp biopic”?) (Also ironic that Kristina is dressed as Pepsi
when clearly this routine was conceived only after great big lung-fulls of Coke)
To the ARENA FLOOR now
where the time is JIVE’O CLOCK.
WOO! YEAH! FUN! JASON’S HAVING FUN! KICKING AND FLICKING AND JIVING AND CLAPPING AT THE AUDIENCE
WOO-HOOING IT UP AT WEMBLEY! NOTHING’S GOING TO STOP HIM NOW! THIS IS GO…
It’s only a small mistake in the scheme of things – a couple of seconds of shuffling around having forgotten the choreography, but as this is a jive it drives the routine into a brick wall it never really recovers from. Even then, it was only about an 8 before if I’m honest. And this face was
presumably choreographed to happen no matter what.
It still gets a standing ovation of course and
what a rapturous one it is too.
Craig starts for the judges, by saying it would have been an amazing routine if it weren’t for those few seconds at the end where he re-enacted the role of Rip van Winkle waking up in a TERRIFYING JIVE FUTURE (and, you know, how he did two whole lifts he wasn’t supposed to). Len follows saying that he’s really disappointed for Jason, because he could tell from the rest of the routine that that could have been an amazing jive if it weren’t for the bit at the end where he re-enacted someone trying to shake dog-dirt off the ends of their trouser-legs. Oh and he’s NOTICED the lifts too, don’t you worry, and he’s definitely starting to think about possibly pondering considering knocking off half a mark and then rounding it up again if any couple dares to do a lift in future. Definitely. Watch out.
All this is slightly muted by the fact that Bruno’s just caught sight of St Jill gutting Ian Waite with a sparkly hair-grip for daring to suggest that jive could come anywhere close to her MAGNIFICENCE. Yeah Bruno, she’s COMING FOR YOU NEXT. SHE HEARD YOU ON IT TAKES TWO, DON’T THINK THAT SHE DIDN’T!
Alesha continues, saying that it definitely would have been the best jive ever if you removed all the bits that weren’t any good, definitely, we didn’t hype it up for nothing no sir. This prompts to exhort everyone to consider all the hours and hours these people spend in training! WE JUST DON’T APPRECIATE HOW MUCH THEY DO! Well…maybe show us that, rather than them titting around a kiddie-park dressed as Adam Ant? Just a thought.
Bruno closes by saying that the
BEGINNING WAS MARVELLOUS! HE LOOKED LIKE HE COULD TURN BACK THE HANDS OF TIME, LIKE HE WAS A…ok, it sounds like “spunk-eating Angel”, which I think says a lot about how Bruno spent his time thinking in the 80s. I guess it was hanging around noted coke-hoover Elton John dressed as a blue thonged boobie that did it. But yes, he was GOING FOR IT LIKE A MENTAL MAN and then some other stuff happened but let’s not talk about that I’m still giving you a 9. Ahem.
Over to the Tesspit they Go Go, where Tess bellows “WHAT A FEW FORGOTTEN STEPS BETWEEN FRIENDS, DID YOU LOVE IT WEMBLEY?!”
…woo. Jason waffles away, on the verge of tears, about how the occasion overwhelmed it but he’s really enjoyed himself here at Wembley and definitely isn’t about to go off and push drawing pins into his hands until he LEARNS THE STEPS JASON. Tess asks him if its different dancing at Wembley to singing at Wembley. He says that it is. If only they’d got those last few KICKS RIGHT THOUGH, OH JASON HOW COULD YOU, NOW YOU’LL NEVER WIN, DAMNIT DAMNIT DAMNIT, but he’s fine, that’s life oh well. Kristina looks like she already knows
what a joy training is going to be this week. NO SLEEP KRISTINA, WE’VE BEEN SLACKING OFF! MORE VENN DIAGRAMS! MORE DANCE THEOREM! Erin looks like the weekly ferry back to Erin Island can’t come quickly enough. Scores are in – 34