Strictly Come Dancing 9 – Week 11 Performance Summary

Those semi-final dances in full :

Alex Jones : This week I think was the culmination of her time as this year’s “Strictly Journey” contestant. Her ballroom (a decent if unspectacular and slightly jittery waltz to “Natural Woman”) is as good as it’s ever going to get and reasonably watchable. Her latin on the other hand, is still stinking out the place sufficiently that really this has to be the end of her Strictly journey right? RIGHT? James dresses her up as the school caretaker as she operates on auto-flail to Gloria Estefan. The judges repeatedly congratulate her on getting this far, and tell her that they can tell she’s had a lovely time, with the subtext of “so can you please pick up your party bag and go home, because we need to deflate the bouncy castle and we can’t do that with you jumping up and down on it?”

Holly Valance : Holly on the other hand congratulates the judges and Artem on getting her this far, tells them all that she’s had a lovely time, and then legs it out the door as fast as her legs can carry her. She spends most of her Argentine Tango sat on her arse being twirled around like a rotating cake display, and flatly refuses to do the Charleston, instead doing a bizarre jive/hip-hop fusion whilst being as facially beige as possible. Artem wears hipster glasses, Holly dances so hard she almost loses a lung afterwards (which, given that it’s Holly is…not very hard at all) and if she gets to the final I will LAUGH OUT LOUD because she wants to be there even less than Laila Rouass did and that is saying something.

Harry Judd : Harry I think deals with his Deadly Draw of the Charleston better than Holly did, in that he actually tried to do one, although it turns out to be so deathly dull that Aliona probably should have matched Artem mentallism for mentallism and had him reprise Matt Baker’s showdance choreography to the theme tune of the Mrs Bardley Mysteries. Their Viennese Waltz though I think is (*checks very short list*) the first Aliona routine I can commit to liking entirely from start to finish. Lovely and soft and romantic, and all of that has nothing to do with it being danced to a song that gave me MANY FEELINGS at University (SCREW YOU BEN, YOU UTTER TWAT, NOW MORE THAN EVER! *rends hair* *plays You Oughtta Know 156 times on repeat to wash the thwarted romanticism out of my brain*).

Chelsee Healey : Chelsee’s evening is an evening of almosts. Her American Smooth is almost amazing, but an awkward moment in a running splits leaves her victim to the Mistake Police (aka Craig) and briefly takes everyone out of the romantic atmosphere she’s building up. Her paso is almost as good as Holly’s but a fan that never quite…does anything detracts from some great lines that she creates, and her heel rams into her dress almost with greater frequency than Alex’s did last week. It gets the first ever Perfect Score for a paso, I’m guessing ENTIRELY because couples are forced to reprise their highest scoring dance in the final, and nobody wants to have to set up that staging for her jive again.

Jason Donovan : Finally…Jason. Despite Kristina’s best efforts to give him a samba that plays to his disco/campy strengths, he almost goes arse over tit down the stairs at the beginning, and it throws him for the rest of the dance. That or he was just never going to be good at it. Off-time dad-dancey skirt wafting at its finest. His Argentine Tango…I hate to fall on the negative side of a divisive Jason argument for two weeks in a row, but the bloody thing starts with him sniffing Kristina’s hair and staring at her tits. Would that it could improve for me from there, but it devolves into him shoving her around, choking her, WHACKING the soles of his shoes like they’re on fire, all with a hunchback and a look of FURY on his face. I do not like it. I do not like it one bit. It, of course, gets the full Snowdon treatment. Oh well.


52 thoughts on “Strictly Come Dancing 9 – Week 11 Performance Summary

  1. Caroline

    I did wonder if I watched the same Paso Doble as the judges, as I thought Chelsee was tentative and occasionally out of sync. Then they gave it a bloody 40. It’s annoying because I would love Pasha to win, but I’ve never really warmed to Chelsee. Similarly, I do really like Harry, but Aliona still has some of that Matt Baker cloud hanging over her (I just… no, Baker. No). Can Harry and Pasha do a dance together in the final, pretty please?

  2. Left Feet

    I hate the carping about marks because dance is always subjective.
    However Chelsee Paso was fucking brilliant IMO and if you can’t see that I suggest a trip to spec savers.

    1. Carl

      My biggest complaint about their paso was that – not for the first time – I thought they were dancing out of sync with each other. I also never got a “wow” feeling from their dance…it just seemed more like they were in a rehearsal than they had done the finished dance, especially that rough ending. As adorable as Pasha and Chelsee are, with each passing week I see less and less connection between them as partners. I think the showmance stuff and her wardrobe malfunction took most of that away.

      In storyline sense, Chelsee gets a 40, because she’s been on a journey and now she’s a dancer, etc. but I didn’t think anyone deserved a 40 tonight. I think throwing them around for strategic reasons just cheapens them.

      1. Left Feet

        Watch the dance again!
        Storyline boy our you cynical, little advice to you watch the show for enterainment and you will enjoy it much more and perhaps listen to what Len and the other judges say they don’t always get it right but this time they did.
        Sorry to be a little rude but posts like yours really piss me off because it cheapens what the dancers have put into the show.

      2. Carl

        “Storyline boy our you cynical, little advice to you watch the show for enterainment and you will enjoy it much more and perhaps listen to what Len and the other judges say they don’t always get it right but this time they did.”

        If I listened to the judges I’d think Lisa Snowden was the best dancer ever. I thought their paso was fine but I didn’t think it was energetic, or memorable, or not worth a 40.

        Strictly loves storylines. It wasn’t that long ago Strictly had the “This is a girl’s year!” “This is a boy’s year!” and so on. Chelsee’s story has been she’s a rough girl learning to become a lady. I think the story was a detriment to her and their partnership and I preferred how they were in the earlier weeks of this series. But I’m happy to agree to disagree and not say anything else.

    2. monkseal Post author

      Maybe we just have different tastes in paso – I remember you liked Kara’s a lot last year and it didn’t really work for me. (Although I did like that more upon watching it a second time. We’ll see)

      1. min

        I think it’s getting to the point now of what the judges are prepared to overlook to give a 10. I thought neither 40 was merited – Chelsee seemed to have section where she looked totally confused and like she had forgotten what she was doing. If the footwork was part of the choreography then her face wasn’t selling it at all.
        But, at least I could stand to watch it again. Unlike the other apparently 40 dance.

      2. PadsterMo

        Kara’s paso was EPIC. I normally agree with everything you say Monkseal, but not this time.

        in fact, my two favourite paso routines in recent years have been Kara’s and Holly’s. Artem gives good paso.

  3. Carl

    The first VTs must have been a dig at the fans who want more training clips. It’s training…no it’s comedy…they’re training in comedy! I did laugh at Chelsee’s first VT, and Holly’s sabotage.

    Harry was dressed like a Gerry Anderson character for his charleston. Yet somehow that is probably my favorite charleston outfit for a man on Strictly. Their charleston was a little like people dancing without music, and the music is filled in later, if that makes any sense. Pretty good, but strange. The Viennese Waltz was slightly dry, but gorgeous. Not sure why it didn’t get a 40, but it just shows again how baffling some of the “The BBC IS RIGGING FOR HIM! AND THE JUDGES GIVE 10 FOR HORMONES EVERY TIME” stuff can be.

    Tess was the worst I’ve seen her in quite a while. Did she really ask Holly why she was crying in training?

    I was trying to figure out why they didn’t just put Jason at top if they wanted to send a message with the 40. Maybe they thought the samba was too bad to even pretend. It’s strange not having someone who scored 40 at the top of the board, because now it’s like, “Chelsee and Jason are perfect! And Harry is…why is he there?” If Jason does make the final I just hope his reasons for winning are beyond, “He wants this so much.” That seems to be his only storyline. I liked Jason’s Argentine Tango more than I’ve liked most of his dances but his faces were ugly and the beginning was just so creepy and unnecessary. There was some great footwork, but the lifts were ungainly. So was the move where he stood over her corpse and began flicking his hands for some air bongos. For a moment I thought this was a very very brutal fan reimagining of the Gary Rhodes/Karen Hardy relationship.

    I thought Chelsee’s American Smooth was really gorgeous. I preferred this to their paso, in spite of or because of Pasha’s lower half being a distraction.

    Your description of Holly’s Argentine Tango was hilarious. Her dress distracted me, it looked like a sexy gown Tarzan would buy Jane. When she got off the stool I loved the rest of the dance. Their charleston was another Artem special, he’s too cool for this, he choreographs on a plane of existence mere mortals can’t understand. Great beginning though.

    1. monkseal Post author

      I wish Holly had answered Tess with “I’m PREGNANT!”. Tess would have exploded and Holly could have taken over in her role after going “…not really”. This would be the best possible ending.

  4. Lucia

    I thought Aliona choreographed a lovely VW for Harry.May be she has learnt from last years Noooo Yoooowk.Pity about Chelsee’s stumbly splt thing but I think that’s because her shoes weren’t slidey enough.Hated that AT of Kristina’s.Jason did no dancing in it at all.I suspect that was why she was half dressed.

    1. monkseal Post author

      Her Viennese Waltz last year was alright minus the stupid swing repeatedly twatting them both in the shins for the first 20 seconds.

  5. Monaogg

    Does seem somewhat cynical manipulation by the judges between the Paso & Jive for Chelsee. Though I can see no reason whey a reprise would need the full Shrek make-up. Even I as a total armchair amateur noticed the very straight left arm Chelsee had during virtually the whole of the Paso. Shame about the slip up in the AS as I felt this was the better dance of the two.

    Harry as others have said was “nice” but still like an animated mannequin for his facial characterisations. 😦 (possibly channelling those Gerry Anderson faces along with the costume).

    What is with the avoidance of Samba rolls? Seen very few this year indeed. Then Kristina came up with a costume even a San Francisco Ho would feel under-dressed in. Truly nasty. After that performance Jason could clearly do a remake of Silence of the Lambs.

    Did someone set a fire extinguisher on Holly. Seemed like she had totally lost her fiery oomph from last week. Liked the idea of their Charleston but looked to me like were both only marking out the steps.

    And Alex of the huge smile – best part of both her routines.

  6. Kelly

    I preferred chelsee’s AS to the paso (Even though the split was awkward) but I’m now at the stage where I cannot be objective about that partnership. I’m just in full blown fan girl mode. How embarrassing. It makes an interesting change from not really caring who wins though.

  7. Poppy

    I quite enjoyed Chelsee’s paso, although the mishap with the fan not opening at the start seemed to put her off completely, and she did seem clueless and hoofing it quite a lot, to me. At the end she looked glum, as if she felt she’d messed the whole thing up. My mum, who used to teach ballroom and latin, said she thought it was terrible all the way through.

    I also enjoyed Jason’s AT, I thought it was quite exciting, but it didn’t deserve 40. I thought Holly’s AT *did* deserve 40, because it seemed the truest to ‘real’ tango that I’ve seen.

    I think the sooner I accept that the show has its own agenda about marking and stop expecting marks to be actually based on the quality of the dancing, the easier it’ll be to enjoy it.

  8. Rad

    Every single dance was overmarked – but I like your theory on Chelsee’s jive staging. I liked her paso but it didn’t compare to the jive. I liked the ending of Jason and Kristina’s dance quite a lot and overall it wasn’t a bad dance, but I’m not convinced it was even his best, let alone a 40. Holly and Artem’s Charleston was weird – I liked the choice of music, but the decks and trainers didn’t work at all. I loved how non-arsed Holly was all evening though.

    1. Pops

      I was with Craig on Holly and Artem’s charleston – I liked the idea of it but I don’t think she quite pulled it off. But then my favourite ever Strictly charleston was Kara and Artem’s, which was slinky and sexy – and got marked down by the judges for insufficient gurning and comedy swimming moves.
      Really hope Alex goes tonight, not so much because of her – she’s the weakest dancer left, but she seems rather lovely – but because of James Jordan. I warmed to him a little last year, when Pamela had such a ‘big personality’ and high scores he didn’t have to constantly play the bad boy or wacky Tesspit joker to get attention, but this year I’m back to muting him on It Takes Two.

    2. Poppy

      I think Holly and Artem’s Charleston suffered from the fact that she quite obviously couldn’t remember even half of the steps and kept looking over to Artem to see what he was doing so she could copy him. I still loved it though, much to my surprise as when I heard the music on ITT I was a little perturbed.

  9. cleo

    I agree with the negative comments about Chelsee’s paso. I love Chelsee and Pash but was disappointed with her paso because it looked hesitant (and I thought she thought she went wrong because she looked upset at the end). I’ll watch it again and see if I can see what he judges saw. (I do wonder though if by the semis the judges are marking simply to get the ‘deserving’ ones through, and they very clearly had their own idea of the top 3 – which as it happens is the same as my top 3, even if I didn’t necessarily agree with their marking yesterday.) I preferred Chelsee’s AS which was glorious, shame about the faulty drag splits. Really gutted we won’t see her jive again, boo.

    I loved Jason’s AT. When I say “Jason’s” I mean Kristina’s, she was epic, and did great choreography to hide J’s weaknesses. I don’t think he did any gancho’s? Great viewing, but because of her, not him.

    1. monkseal Post author

      The whole series has very much been going per the judges wishes hasn’t it? Given that I’m due a winner I don’t really like next series I DEMAND that the public rebel again and have some truly CRUD win.

  10. Pasta

    I really enjoyed last night’s show, though I see the forums this morning are full of recriminations and carping – just another Strictly final week, then. If Jason can avoid doing the Matt-Flint-style lurch-gurn to camera he’s become prone to, I’ll be satisfied. If he’d lose the hideous rehearsal vests, I’d be even happier, but I know not to ask for the moon when I’m not sure of the stars.

  11. Alli

    Monkseal, you are truly a genius! I honestly wouldn’t know where to have even started with that hot mess of a show. I just laughed and laughed all the way through it, mostly at the judges trying to convince us that even one of those dances deserved one 10 never mind the 40s some of them got.

    However, I’ve come to the conclusion that I just have to accept Strictly for what it is now, a docudrama, it’s not a reality show anymore. If I can do that, I can go back to watching it.

    But thank you for the laughs and confirming my feelings, I did think that maybe I was hallucinating for a while there and I couldn’t be watching what was on tv.

    1. Left Feet

      Whats your dance CV then? Come on lets see what your expertise is?
      I think that what these people learn in a week is pretty amazing actually and I hate the cyncism and too clever by half comments from people who really don’t have a clue.

      1. Stormy

        Would you go away already? You’re ruining my Monkseal experience with your shrill attempts at picking a fight with EVERYONE here.

      2. Misscarlet

        If you don’t want cleaver comments and cynicism, this blog is the wrong place for you; no cleverer one exists.

    2. monkseal Post author

      Don’t say “docudrama”. It makes me think Jayne McDonald’s going to appear any second. A (truncated) series of Lesley Garrett was woman enough.

  12. kassieq

    Still muttering and whimpering occasionally. I really don’t blame Jason, Kristina choreographed it, I blame the judges for giving 10s. Call me stupid, but after I got over the shock, I was slightly laughing to myself, the judges are going to really slate this I thought, oh stupid me, when did the judges ever know anything about AT (or Salsa, but that’s another story). I cannot watch this programme anymore what with the Salsambadiscochas we have going on there’s going to be added the ArgiePasoMorrisTango – thank you for nothing Kristina. That was a nasty routine ala Hannibal Lechter – just awful.

    Also the standard of basic dancing is practically non-existant, as Alli said they just look as if they are learning a new routine every week rather than actually learning how to dance. Alex- meh, boring substandard. Holly, I’ve been wondering what is wrong with her dancing and Sofa answered that, she is flabby with the legs (I’m not slighting her body, it’s lovely) but she doesn’t, control or finish her moves it all looks a bit soft and flabby. Harry, yikes, dull and boring, even when you should be thinking this is good, the routine etc, I’m just like, whatever. Chelsee, she could be really good, but her youth and inexperience showed, when she went to flick open the fan at the beginning music punctuation and missed, instead of getting rid of the fan (PROPS!, shakes fist) and throwing herself into the routine she got flustered, it was a nice routine quite well danced but sadly didn’t quite come off.

    Whoops, sh*t this is long, sorry Monkseal, I will off course be following the blog, it’s far more entertaining anyway.

  13. ferny

    The thing that put me off Chelsee’s Paso was that she looked

    Holly’s charleston was cool yet apalling – she seemed to have only learned half the dance and then just marked it lol

    For the first time, I really warmed to Jason because even with the fake tan he was so pale and clearly put EVERYTHING and the kitchen sink into his performances and the effort was so OTT at all times. He really want it, and before I thought that was annoying but I quite like that him for it now!

    Harry was my favourite on Saturday overall. I still see Jason’s starting expression when I close my eyes.

  14. ferny

    Whoops, I didn’t finish my first sentence:
    The thing that put me off Chelsee’s Paso was that she looked quite lost when she did her spins like she wasn’t ‘spotting’. 9’s maybe, 10s, no.

  15. Little Nemo

    Jason scares me!

    My only hope for the final is that Kristina choreographs Bacofoil Mk II… Go on, Kristina – you saw the pros do it, you know Jason could hurl you around just as well 😉

  16. SV

    Cant wait for the full Monkseal treatment for the semi finals…
    Oh MS you so got it right this week…
    And so many examples of hilarious screencaps….

    (and for the results one too…..)

    Write quickly please!

  17. PadsterMo

    Bloomin’ fan.

    Apparently it was Zoe’s fan which tripped Ian up in their showdance, although I can’t check this as all traces of it have vanished from the internet forever.

  18. Creepy

    Hallo Monkseal, and regular commentators,

    May I begin by thanking you (all) for enriching the UK’s weekly Strictly experience? I’m afraid I speak from personal experience when I suggest that the safety sex faces alone must be keeping Tena Lady in business.

    I wonder, does anyone know how they go about picking the competitors each year? In between negotiating ‘celebrity’ contracts and referring back to Sport Relief, do the producers have any coherent plan in terms of dancing potential? I’m genuinely asking, not being snarky. I can’t help feeling that, whilst I’m sure Chelsee and Harry will provide a reasonably entertaining final, there can be a distinct lack of real dance talent some years (Hollins, I’m sorry but I’m looking at your hobbity face). Between St. Jill’s Jive and Kara’s Argentine Tango, for instance, do Harry’s left foot, Chelsee’s wobbles (behave) and Jason’s hideous gurning really merit 10s?

    Please be gentle with me if this observation is old (Artem) hat, I just get a bit disillusioned that the annual hyperbole makes a mockery of those gems of dances that you can’t stop rewatching on Youtube. For the record I do think Harry and Chelsee are rather watchable and would at least have got to the semis on a good year…


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