Split in half, for ease of digestion.
THIS SERIES ON STRICTLY : We open on a veritable FLURRY of magazine headlines :
So that’s “everyone loves Harry, Chelsee believes winning is her destiny, Jason has Kristina locked in a cupboard under the stairs” then? It’s almost SUBLIMINAL isn’t it? Anyway, at least the BIASED RIGGED BBC are pumping in the correct message to the viewers brains as to who was the true star of this year’s show
Darn tooting. Len hoots that this was the BEST LINE-UP EVER
and Tess takes us through all the theme weeks we had. There was Broadway, Hallowe’en, Wembley, Movies, Jennifer Grey, Contemporary, Tropical Safari, Bollywood, Industrial, Medieval, Aztec, Futuristic, 80s, TV Theme Tunes, Storytelling, Hokey Pokey, World War Two, A Very Special Tribute To Ally McBeal, Christmas, Bonfire Night, Divali, Australia, Big Band, Lady Gaga/Queen, Horseback, Underwater, and best of all
Camilla Week, when all the celebs danced around in Camilla masks and Artem did a marvellous avant-garde turn dressed as a tampon. Tess acts like this visit gave the show a “royal seal of approval”. No it didn’t Tess, it’s CAMILLA.
14 contenders started in September and “sold their souls to ballroom”. Technically speaking Tess, only 13 of them did, because
the show wound up asking for a refund on this one’s soul. But NOW
only 3 “gladiators” remain. I’m not sure how I feel about the show taking scripting cues from James Jordan. Anyway, here they stand, these gladiators, wielding those classic weapons of the arena – the sword, the dagger, and the TITS OF DOOM (and whatever weapon Chelsee has concealed)
They’ve been dancing for 99 days, and survived 11 eliminations, seeing off 10 competitors
but not RUSSELL, NEVER RUSSELL, HE NEVER GOT ELIMINATED, THE PUBLIC LOVED HIM, REMEMBER WHEN HE GOT FIRED OUT OF THAT CANNON AND EVERYONE VOTED HIM THE SERIES CHAMPION THERE BECAUSE IT WAS AMAZING AND HILARIOUS! THIS DEFINITELY HAPPENED LA LA LA.
Tonight though, everything is entirely in our fevered multivoting hands, as the judges have relinquished their power
look, you can see Alesha getting the shakes at having to drop her 10 paddle can’t you. It’s PHYSICALLY HURTING HER. Do you know how many finals Alesha has judged now? 3. Do you know how many dances she’s not scored 10? 7. And four of those were showdances (which are all shit anyway), and two the Lindy Hop from Series 7 which DOESN’T COUNT NOW LET US NEVER SPEAK OF IT AGAIN.
Yes it’s entirely up to us to give the thumbs up on these contenders VERY LIVES. (Look, here’s the wikipedia article, I already worked enough obscure Classics wank jokes into my recaps of the Gavbotcheler, without them infecting this final recap as well. Read and fill your boots). Do you want to persuade me to vote for you Jason?
I have to admit, it’s probably going to take more than that. BLACKPOOL IS READY, A HERO MUST RISE, BUT OH NO, THE GLITTERBALL HAS
ACCIDENTALLY BEEN LEFT IN THE SPRAY-TAN BOOTH USED FOR THE FEMALE PRO DANCERS! NOOOOOOOOO! SO ORRANNNNNGE!
One last time?
HO! (I wonder who will get that position next year. I thought last year nobody would top the joy of yelling “HO!” at Widdy every week, but they managed it…)
To the dance-floor now and
why are they doing this sort of shit at the beginning? I’m not drunk enough yet! Not even ALESHA is drunk enough yet! Then again, I’m not sure anyone is drunk enough for
this. I’ve never seen such overacting or tiny nipples (sorry James) as Brenda is demonstrating in this routine. EVER. It’s to that classic piece of dramatic Roman music “Living On A Prayer”. After a lot of slow-motion gaying around with swords, the slave-girls run on and Erin
almost immediately tries to run off. I CAN’T TAKE THIS CRAP! ERIN ISLAND HERE I COME! Anton however, stops her as clearly there is no indignity through which he is not willing to put himself through to get paid. With this distraction, James attempts to
make a break for the ferry out the other side, but Ola has
got her eyes on him, as ever. Katya meanwhile is
quite enjoying herself. Bless her, she’s not picky. She’s probably thinking “at least it’s “Who Run Da World?””. I’m sure having Artem’s face near her foof has absolutely nothing to do with it.
Also enjoying herself far too much?
Natalie! She can see the ceiling OH MY GOD! Meanwhile, Erin’s fury at being made to participate in this rubbish has reached EPIC levels, so
James and Robin get the nets, just in case she pulls out a knife. Again. The only reason Lisa got 80/80 in her final was that the show’s lawyers offered her either that or £5,000,000 compensation for the physical scars Erin left and…well, it was Lisa Snowdon, which one do you think she took? Once Robin and James have got Erin pinned to the floor, with her screaming “RORY BREMNER? RORY FUCKING BREMNER? I’VE HAD ONE CONTENDER IN THE LAST FIVE SERIES AND YOU GIVE ME RORY FUCKING BREMNER? I SHOULD HAVE HAD MCFLY BOY! WHERE’S ALIONA, I’LL HAVE HER! DON’T THINK THAT I WON’T, THE SMUG CUSTARD EATING HOOOOOOOOOOOOORRRRRRRRRRRRRR!” it’s time for the finalists to emerge :
Pasha’s crotch kind of…pulses along with the music. Excuse me if I go and have a sit-down for a bit.
Let’s face it, pulling Jason & Kristina’s chariot in isn’t the first time Brenda’s had to haul around a dead weight that’s doomed to finish 3rd in a final. The judges all give it the thumbs up
except for Bruno. He’s saving his thumbs up for Harry later.
The band strikes up and a nation asks
what time is Tess going in the oven? Baked mermaid I hear is very in these days (oh that Heston Blumenthal). Anyway, sadly, as we’re in the GREAT EXPANSE of Blackpool Tower Ballroom, sadly some dances, suited to a more intimate, close-up setting, are just going to get swallowed up. And sadly
Velociraptor Dance is one. What a shame. It might only get a 9.
Careful Bruce, you’ll cut your hands open on that thing. Everyone stands and whoops and cheers and applauds and goes on and on, and of course Tess and Bruce encourage it, because we’ve now got 12 dances to fit into two hours of air-time. NEEDS MOAR FILLER. Mcflea Status?
Mustard. And having thoughts about Artem’s sword and that gladiator outfit. Bruce reminds everyone that we’re in 3D this evening, if you’re one of the three people in the country with sets that’ll let you view it, so WATCH OUT FOR HIS CHIN! He then starts bobbing around yelling
“I WILL DESTROY YOUR LIVING ROOM!”. No, he actually does. This is the worst villainous masterplan ever.
Tess reminds us that there can only be one winner tonight (a fact that Bruce apparently needed explaining to him about fifty more times than they bothered to do so) and all three of our finalists WANT THAT GLITTERBALL, so let’s get on with the dancing shall we? No, let’s not, let’s explain the rules some more, again. Bruce reminds us that it’s entirely up to us this evening, as the judges scores are just for guidance, and they’re all going to be 10 anyway. It’s about as much use as “guidance” as that school careers software that told everyone they should be a carpenter. Tess next tells us that the order of events for the first show this evening will be Judges Pick and then Showdance, the dance with ABSOLUTELY NO RULES
except that they have to be rubbish.
Bruce then tells us all that one dancer will be eliminated at this point, and then the final two will battle it out with a new dance, and then their own personal favourite dance of the series (so long as it wasn’t performed in the semi-final, as those are BANNED). Then we’ll have a winner. Finally. But that’s a long time away yet, so let’s check in on Starship Karen, where the woman herself is currently
squinting like hell and pretending that Jimi Mistry is Mark Ramprakash. REUNITED FOR THE FINAL! THEY MUST BE! WHY WOULD HE TURN HER INVITATION DOWN IT WOULD MAKE NO SENSE IF THAT HAPPENED SO IT DEFINITELY DIDN’T!
DEFINITELY NOT A BOYBAND MCFLEA’S Harry Judd & Aliona Vilani dancing the quickstep
Restless. Apparently Harry asked Bruce what he was planning to buy his friends for Christmas, and Bruce said that he wasn’t going to buy anything for anyone, because last year he got Ronnie Corbett a sandwich-toaster and he used it as a trouser press. Oh Bruce, you really shouldn’t be opening up those Christmas Crackers for the jokes so early in December. Save them for the big day. It’s the only decent bang Wilnelia will get all year. Aliona joke-face?
There we go.
And, with the obligatory Finalists Boring “My Strictly Journey” VTs looming, it’s time for that equally fictitious staple of any Strictly Final. That’s right… it’s time for me to crack open once more my big book of Strictly fairy tales. *blows off cobwebs*
Once upon a time, long, long ago, in the probably Scottish kingdom of McFlye, there lived four princes. In order of progeny, they were Thomas, Harold, Daniel, and Douglas. It is not recorded whether they were related, but given the records of what activities they did partake together, with poultices and undergarments and sticks and jellies and creams and whips and vibrating instruments from far-off lands, it is perhaps kindest to the spirit to believe that they were not. In these days, the land of McFlye was sadly overshadowed still by a powerful three-headed dragon from the East, known as Bus-Ted. Bus-Ted was no longer a constant threat to the kingdom, as one of the heads had decided that the other two heads were lame and kiddy and he wanted to write songs about LITERATURE and SHIT that PROPER ROCKED. But still the shadow of the creature cast a pall over all the four princes achieved.
So the princes came together, and resolved to slay the dragon and thus the legacy of deformed creatures such as triple-breasted women (totally naked), paedophile teachers and poor bastard creatures that would mess their pants at the very mention of France. But how to do it? Well the same way that everyone does everything in the fairy-tale lands in which this book is set – win Ye Strictly Ballroom Dancing Tournament & Pie-Eating-Tournament (Grand-Champion : Miss Natalie Lowe, ten years running. That powerful jaw, no man can defeat her), and I don’t know make a dragon-slaying sword out of the shards of glitterball or something. Sadly Prince Douglas believed that the best way to redeem the kingdom was to search the jungle for anus to chew. Either that or he just was going to do that regardless.
So it was left to the Princes Harold, Thomas and Daniel to decide who would compete. Prince Daniel begged off on the grounds that he was still smarting over losing that balladry competition to one of the Sisters Nolan. So it was left to the two princes Thomas and Harold to fight it out for the honour of the kingdom. But how to choose who best to represent the kingdom? Why, a tournament to decide who was the most middle class! This was how the bourgeois judges of the Strictly Tourney made their decisions, it was well known. And so the tourney raged for many days. Creases in trousers were measured, golf swings were analysed, sexual repression was gauged via anal thermometer, and endless variations of tie knot were timed and nothing could be found to separate the two princes. One day, during a particularly strenuous bicycle race, both princes, in their vigour, gently nudged one another off the track at the same time, in a gentlemanly and courteous manner of course, and both tumbled into the depths of McFlye swamps, deep into the marshy mire.
Once there, in the depths, the princes cussed, mildly, then fought in the mud. Then made out a bit. Then fought more. Then groped one another’s behinds. Then fought again. Finally their tussling disturbed a red patch of weeds. But the weeds turned out not to be weeds at all, but a lady. A lady of the Custard Swamps, daughter of the crazed hag Camilla, who had hidden in the swamps since licking Prince Matthew of Blu Peter’s eyeball during their Showedance last year cost her the title. Half-recognising the maiden, Prince Harold reckoned on a solution. Glancing at Prince Thomas, they both picked up a handful of sludgy custard and waited to see who the crazed femme of the waters would advance towards. The creature paused, scratched itself, gnawed on itself briefly, and advanced toward Prince Harold, bestowing on him the responsibility of saving the kingdom, and the princes, from obscurity comparative to Bus-Ted forever.
Coz he woz the fittest.
To the dancefloor now and
oh yeah, THIS was the other dance that started off like the top of a wedding cake. Bless Aliona, her choreography has been consistently public-friendly from about halfway through hasn’t it? What’s going on there? Last series she would have been a praying mantis and he would have been a circus clown and their quickstep would have been about the Eurozone Crisis. Truly Our Leona has been on a Strictly journey of her very own *sniff*.
It’s Harry, it’s ballroom, so it’s
very good, and energetic, and bouncy, without being forced, and very much in the spirit of the dance itself. He looks a little bit more nervous and placed to me at the beginning of the dance than he was last time, but from there he really grows into it and produces a great quickstep. Aliona even has time, remembering Jason’s Argentine Tango of last week
to check her heels for dog-mess. That Jason. Actor, dancer, educator. Harry Drums Face?
There we go.
It gets a Standing Ovation and a gushing reaction from Bruce, who tells Harry that everyone loves him, and that was quite something. Well, quite. Whilst Harry gets his breath back, it’s time introduce everybody’s favourite Strictly Music People, Davearch
he’s over there somewhere. FOR SHAME. That this show can’t give its one true star proper billing in the most important show of the series…doesn’t bear thinking about. Bloody BBC. Anyway here our judges :
Alesha having, in the austerity spirit, fashioned her top out of one of those nets that were being used in the pro dance earlier. What a model citizen. Bruce says that he’s buying the judges drinks after the show and he just wants to check that he’s got the orders down right. Bruno’s having a large Campari, Alesha’s having Pimms, Len’s having a pint of stout, and Craig’s is a bitter lemon. No Bruce, that’s wrong. Those are all for Alesha.
And a couple of bottles of the house red whilst you’re up there.
Len starts for the judges, saying that “throughout history” (*snort*) there’s been epic battles – Waterloo, Trafalgar, Chelsee vs Her Top, Tess vs Dignity, and now THIS. The Battle of Blackpool. Considering the amassed ranks of the MCFLEA ARMY, it’s going to be a little like the Charge Of The Light Brigade for Chelsee and Jason isn’t it? And now Harry has CAHM AHT all guns blazing!
And with lots of war-paint on by the looks of it. Len loved that dance first time round, and this round, it was BRILLIANT.
Alesha follows by congratulating Harry on making the final, a feat which was truly deserved (and which she in no way personally angled towards with all the subtlety of Chelsee on the Launch Show), and on his stunning quickstep. Well done on maximizing your floorspace. Bruno follows, and as ever, his finale comments aren’t getting recapped.
Just the faces. By this point, they speak louder than words ever could.
Craig closes, and speaking of faces,
I’ve rarely seen a person look so hungover on national tv since I started actively avoiding Kerry Katona (I have an alarm system. It’s very sophisticated. Every time she approaches it squeals “FUCKOFFFUCKOFFFUCKOFF!” and I change the channel). He tells Harry that he improved on the thing that he marked him down for last time, so, you know, GET READY TO GET A 40.
Up to the Tessanine they run, and it’s per Tess “packed with the cast of Strictly 2011”, but mostly it’s just
Anita’s face. I think I can pick out a few others around the edges though. Somewhere. I can just about see one of Audley’s Size 57 feet poking out anyway. Tess asks Harry if it felt good to lay down the gauntlet, and he says that it did. Are they talking about a pre-show poo? Tess next asks him to tell everyone at home what the atmosphere is like in Blackpool tonight. He says that you should take the best night of Strictly so far this series, double it, then multiply it by ten. That’s tonight. Wow, that’s almost as good as an average night in Series 5! Meanwhile
Alex ponders if she’s ready for her first boyfriend.
Scores are in –
40. Everyone goes mental. Well, apart from Nancy
who has found something much more entertaining to occupy her.
Superstar of stage and screen (*pffffffffft*) Jason Donovan & Kristina Rihanoff dancing the tango
Bruce tells us all that Jason is very proud of being Australian, and has in fact been boasting about it all day. Fun Final Fact : every series since Alesha’s year has had at least one antipodean in the final. And to think people whine about a Russian takeover. Apparently Jason was boasting to Bruce that in Australia they’ve got Bondi Beach, the Sydney Opera House, and the Great White Shark. Apparently Bruce countered this with the Golden Mile, Blackpool Tower, and Blackpool landladies. What a shame that the judging panel had to change up post Sargegate, otherwise Bruce really would have had a great example of a ferocious homicidal man-eater to bring up.
Speaking of Great White Sharks…
It was the last days of the great radio plays, and Jack Donovan was looking for a way out. The stage, the cinema, even that dingy, dismal new medium – television. Anything to get out of performing the trite, tired, and over-written ham saga of Scott & Charlene to legions of bored and lonely housewives. He was better than this, he knew he was, and he knew that his co-star in soap shilling, Kyle Minogue (a crack female impersonator following an accident in the munitions factories of the Great War) believed he was better too. So it was he set off into the cold Melbourne night in his Wolseley Hornet, with plans.
Plans that would come to naught, as he ploughed into a snowdrift in the middle of the Outback, to be pulled free by a hulking, solid creature, who pulled him on a sleigh through the night to her isolated cottage, which she shared with 15 cats all with their own names and personalities and cute little hats. Two weeks Jack spent unconscious, slowly being nursed back to health, his bones re-set, and his jaw re-wired until he was a picture of relative health. Gradually, tentatively, through the gloom of the cabin, he regained consciousness, and asked the blurry lump in front of him who she was.
“Annie Widdy, and I’m your NUMBER 1 FAN!”.
Over the days that came, Jack learnt the names of all Annie’s cats, all her favourite dishes (mostly boiled vegetables) and also the fact that she completely insane. She could repeat every line of Scott and Charlene’s dialogue verbatim, she had all the show’s merchandise, and she was not about to let Jack quit. Scott and Charlene were her whole life – so young, so pure, such good Christian kids whose relationship was built around their mutual love of dungarees and mild, chaste kissing. So Jack had to murder her by hitting her over the head with a typewriter (and a door-stop, and setting her on fire, and driving a stake through her heart, and shooting her repeatedly in the face) and running away. As you do.
But with her last breath, Annie cursed Jack, the foulest of curses for one of his career-choices, because on top of being a shut-in nutcase, Annie was a witch (just go with it). Every time he spoke, all around him would fall into a deep, dark sleep. (Oh and Kyle would never be able to move his face again, but really he’s a side issue here). When Jack arrived, after three days walk, back into society, Jack was stumped. What could he do? Who would hire an actor who sent his audience to sleep. The only place to turn? The seedy underworld of lip-sync drag.
It was there that Jack met Joseph Calzage, a pugilist, who was charmed by Jacks mummery, and directed him to a similar bad-luck story who could help him out. A woman he occasionally frequented (up the wrong’un), known as Widow Rihanoff. Being a Russian of mysterious stock, she knew all about curses, and so it was that she found the answer. Every time Jason spoke, and sent his audience to sleep, he must waken them from the verge of unconsciousness by pulling GREAT BIG EFFING STUPID FACES at them. In doing so, he could keep them in an ever-repeating cycle of constant near-oblivion. A state that would allow the Widow Rihanoff to use Jack for her own ends…revenge on those who had spurned her. The organisers of the Strictly Dance Marathon, who had wronged her so, so many times. REVENGE WOULD BE HERS, VIA HER HAPLESS CHARISMATIC VESSEL!
To the dancefloor and
it’s the return of the PINK FEATHERY PENIS MONSTER THING! That the judges selected this as their favourite over several dances they scored higher suggests to me that either they’re admitting overmarking Jason (a tad) of late, or that they select their dances by throwing darts at a board. Or whichever dance is gayest. Whatever it is, it works for me, because this is still my favourite Jason dance, I think. They
EMERGE and things get gay
er. Marginally. His bum’s sticking out and his posture’s just
odd in general, but the campness and the exuberance carries it forwards merrily.
I’m still disappointed that he didn’t do it in drag though. I mean…IT’S THE FINAL. Pull out all the stops or forget it.
They finish and Bruce starts yelling “what are they going to DO here? what are they going to DO?”. I don’t know Bruce, give it a Standing Ovation? Meanwhile up on the Tessanine, Vincent is all
“ok guys, fill me in, which one’s this one again? Is he a cricketer?”. Nancy meanwhile is thinking “just because I turned up, don’t think I’m going to talk to you plebs”.
Alesha starts for the judges, saying that this is one of the dances where Jason really excelled for her. Yes Alesha, it’s one of the nine dances (out of twelve) where you scored him 9 or higher. What a stand-out. Clever choreography, and doing a fun and joyful tango really makes it stand out. This is at least true, unlike that piss-waffle from Craig last week about melancholy Viennese Waltzes. Bruno follows
Craig follows, and says that oh well, Jason’s bottom was sticking out a lot, and his chassis were a little bit skippy (it was a choreographic choice Craig! A very gay choreographic choice!) but he has to admit that it was a fantastic number. Well done on making it this far on determination, good old-fashioned hard-work and
your pro-partner being fuelled by madness. Len closes by congratulating Jason on surviving 14 weeks of blood, sweat and tears (and that was just during that Tesco Metro Comedy VT. Zara from Apprentice Babies was directing. The shoot did NOT END WELL) despite being so very old, HE’S AN INSPIRATION. Hold on Len, it’s not as though he’s ANITA. Now there was an inspiration to us all. Never let the voices in your head hold you back from achieving your 7th place dreams.
Up to the Tessanine they decamp, and Tess asks Jason if he’s surprised to be in the final, and Jason says yes, and thank you SO MUCH for the people who got him here. It’s a good job Tess never ever lets Kristina speak ever because you can see in her eyes she badly wants to
go Full Tulisa and start yelling and telling everyone their votes up to now mean NOTHING and banging on something with her fists, possibly Tess’ face. Blah blah blah Kristina, blah blah blah, very special lady and choreographer, blah blah blah blah my kids blah blah blah blah
Nancy still looking at her tits. Scores are in
Star of Waterloo Road Chelsee Healey & Pasha Kovalev dancing the jive
And yet he’s still somehow less green than Craig looks this evening.
Bruce’s joke is, as ever
that Chelsee has an accent, and is not afraid to use it.
It was a long sea-voyage for Pasha Kovalev from his home in Darkest Siberia. Since he was a small boy he had heard the stories of how young Russians of an artistic bent could ply their trade in the halls of the Strictly Ballroom, entertaining rich, bored Europeans. Lacking skills in carpentry, metalwork, or cookery, young Pasha had never felt at home in his village, and so when the ships passed by his village that cold December, he jumped at the chance to stowaway. Months passed in the belly of the beast, where he subsisted solely on pickled herring and an enormous shipment of custard ordered by the Dallerup-Vilanis.
His whole voyage he kept himself going with dreams of finding a land where his delicate nature could be appreciated. Nobody in Siberia loved his tales of haunted pianos, dancing ogres, and men late for their flights on the back of giant mechanical birds. He arrived in England half-delirious, and not even half-dressed, covered only by a couple of Fierce Scarves and a wonderful hat, both of which were apparently due to be delivered to the Strictly Ballroom. He followed their horseback delivery there, in the shadows, ducking down alleyways and behind crates until he finally reached the hallowed doors. He took a deep breath and knocked three times, and uttered the phrase he had long heard on the wind “Pickle Me Walnuts”.
A wizened old man slowly opened the door, looked Pasha up and down, then up and down again, then down again, just to make sure and said “sorry, already got one, ‘is name’s Artem, try again in a few years”.
Pasha was heart-broken, he stumbled out into the streets crying, and there tripped over a small bundle of rags in the corner. Which turned out to be a child. A feral child of the streets. NORTHERN streets. A child who could not speak or read or eat with cutlery. A child that did its toilet in public, flashed its fleshly organs wantonly and who scared the gentle folk of town. Pasha however, with his naive good heart, loved the child, and took it in, and taught it to dance. He even gave it a name “Chelsee” (his English was not that good). If he could prove himself, and win the tournament with this child…surely then he would be allowed a place in the Strictly Ballroom permanently?
To the dance-floor and
I mourn the three members of Strictly crew who died trying to get that set up in 2 minutes. May you join Eric in the great Strictly Graveyard In The Sky. Yes they’re reprising their jive, complete with the second greatest Blackpool donkey in the show’s history (after the one that preceded Artem’s WOOBIE SHOULDER MELTDOWN like a circling donkey-vulture of foreshadowing). It as ever, provokes some truly VT quality acting
As before, it’s a fun, upbeat, exuberant, juvenile in the best possible way
jive. Not quite as tight as it was before, which wasn’t terribly tight in the first place, but fun. It’s a shame because I feel that, as the story of the final becomes more and more “Chelsee got overcome by nerves” people will start saying more and more that this wasn’t a good per…
hang on, sorry, got distracted there. People will say it’s not a good performance, when it was. Not as good as the first time maybe, but hey, that’s true of everyone and
at least she got the kiss right this time. Oh and is if Pasha couldn’t get more ridiculous and adorable, he notices the frog has fallen on the floor at the end, picks it up, places it back on the log and
tells it to keep still. ALL THE RINGERS FOR PASHA EVERY YEAR PLEASE, ALL THE RINGERS.
In the audience, in case you were wondering where Chelsee’s Princess Tower was stored before and after the dance
her friend’s hair holds the answer. It gets a Standing Ovation and Bruce starts hooting about how there are going to be three winners! No there aren’t Bruce. If you want to pretend there’s more than one winner, go to Digital Spy. Someone there was claiming Lulu was the true winner the other day. They’ll listen to any old shit.
Speaking of which, Bruno starts for the judges
thanks Bruno. Craig follows, and calls her an absolute complete bundle of joy to watch.
It was sharp and precise, and went a thousand steps per minute. Craig says that he was smiling throughout, and Bruce snides that that must have been such a strain on him
GENUINEBRUCIELOL! They come along so rarely.
Len follows by saying that he’s judged in this room many times before. And I’ve judged you many times in this room as well Len, so we’re about even. Anyway, watching a girl like Chelsee, who started off with no dance experience, unable to read or write, and worst of all NORTHERN, dance so beautifully? It fair makes him tear up. Alesha closes by calling her adorable and telling her that that personally was Alesha’s favourite jive of the series. Yes, because there’s been such competition… SHE’S SO PROUD! *tries to squeeze out motherly tears*
*fails* *does face anyway*
Up to the Tessanine they shrek, where Tess tells her that she now has a 1 in 3 chance of winning the show. Bloody Lulu meanwhile with her
hotline to the bookies, clearly knows differently. So, Chelsee…do you think you can dance? No, wait, hang on, let’s not dredge up the spectre of that bloated corpse of a show again, erm…do you BELIEVE you can dance?
HOORAY! Does this mean the end of that bloody storyline now? Thank God for that… She says it’s all fanks to Pasha. Tabloid journalists everywhere wonder if they can pass this sentence off as “I fancy Pasha”. Tess asks Chelsee how it was “out there” like they’re in the trenches, and Chelsee says it was amazing, and this is the best night of her life. Tess hoots “already?” and asks how her nerves are holding up. Chelsee says they are fine, and she is dancing her way through them. Well…she is now… Scores are in –
Dance 1 leaderboard?
Voila. This means of course that lines are open, and time for Katya to emit an ear-splitting shriek that renders
Eggwina and Bloody Lulu deaf forever. Hooray for Katya Virshilas – Life Ruiner! From there she just settles into her
Default Bitch Face, and the producers wonder if it wise to let Alex stay up this late.
Now, whilst we set up for the showdances, it’s time to welcome back
THE LUVVIE ALLIANCE PLUS AUDLEY. Looking as fresh as the day they were plucked aren’t they? Tess tells Russell that the last time we saw him he was being fired out of a cannon at Wembley. (I wish, he’s lingered round It Takes Two like a lingering fart that won’t waft away no matter how many times you swing the bathroom door open and shut) Tess asks him if he’s enjoying soaking up the Blackpool atmosphere? Did he maybe almost buy a house here once? Russell says he’s loving being in the Palace Of Showbiz, in Blackpool, Britain’s Capital Of Showbiz. Way to over-hype the place more than the show already has Russell. Well done, that’s quite a feat.
Tess next asks Anita how much she believes that the finalists deserve to be here. Anita says that Chelsee and Jason deserve it, but that little McFlea oik should have been voted off weeks back. Not really, she says they all deserve to be here and it’s going to be a really close-fought thing. Tess asks Audley, a man who managed, at his best, about 0.6 of a dance, how the finalists are going to manage 4 in one night. That’s Tess, always rooting out the expert opinions. Audley’s answer?
Focus and composure and no bacofoil.
Tess also asks Lulu a question.
Back to Bruce now, who lies that he’s been in charge of booking the accommodation for the celebrities (Poor Wilnelia). Nancy is in a five star hotel (SIX STARS, ONLY SIX STARS FOR NANCY! IN MADRID!), Robbie is in a country club (well…it sounds a bit like that), and Russell Grant is gay.
Tee hee. He also reminds us that the lines are going to freeze at about 8:30, and then Tess will pour hot water on them to fix it and only make things worse. They’ll probably re-open at some point during the Results Show, but even if they don’t, Harry’s going to win anyway, so we’ll just say that. OK?
Future Lead Singer Of McFlew, after the originals break up following “artistic differences” Harry Judd & Aliona Vilani dancing the showdance
No picture to hint at what might happen, as we move right into a training VT. After all the dances this series that didn’t warrant training VTs, that’s right, we’re getting proper ones for the dances guaranteed to blow chunks.
Look, here’s a picture of a lift
/Aliona using Harry’s natural strong jaw-line and edgy stubble to shave her legs for her. So economical. Harry interviews that the showdance is really just a chance to let go
not in this bloody position it isn’t. Don’t drop Aliona on her head whatever you do, it might send her back to…how she was before. Do we think something happened in Wembley to knock some sense into her? It is a bit of a rough area. Maybe St Jill had a word underneath that giant parachute? Harry promises lots of lifts, lots of tricks and lots of excitement and feats of daring, something which he underlines by QUITE LIDDERALLY
CROSSING THE LINE, DO YOU SEE?
It’s to a 50s rock n roll theme, it’s the most exhausting dance he’s ever done, and it could be the last dance he ever does on Strictly. No it couldn’t Harry, now get on with it.
To the dance-floor now and
OOH, ROCK AND ROLL! They’re dancing to “Great Balls Of Fire” which forever for me will be the soundtrack to one of Ian’s lesser Tall People Trainwreck jives,
but which here is soundtracking your standard Strictly Showdance liftathon. Complete with
even worse mic-stand work than Gavbot managed. And that’s saying something. Doesn’t look like eh’s singing into it so much as he’s just bitten it because Aliona told him it was made out of chocolate, and got sorely disappointed. The most exciting part is when
someone gets a match a bit too close to Anita’s hair again. SOMEONE GET THE FIRE EXTINGUISHERS PLEASE. Anyway, lift
FOLLOWS EFFING LIFT, all interspersed with generic rock n roll work, half of which is lifted from that Grease routine I hated. At one point
there’s stripping but…she’s just pulling his sleeves off. Who could get excited by that? I know she had to go for the whole rock n roll vibe because he’s in a SERIOUS ROCK BAND, but is there any less convincing rock n roll rebel in the history of this show than Harry Judd? He probably sees not putting his socks back in the drawer in the right pairs as an act of rebellion. He probably gets out the bath to fart. He probably apologizes to the Queen every time he licks a stamp. Still, he does play drums
Up on the Tessanine Katya ponders
what madness she’s going to put into her showdance next year when she reaches the final, yes she will. A couple of flamethrowers and a drum-kit are going to be NOTHING compared to the madness she unleashes.
It gets a standing ovation, and Aliona
gives devil horns to the audience in response. Have you ever seen a less rock’n’roll image in all your life? It makes the front cover of a Daniel O’Donnell album look like Black Sabbath. At least that wouldn’t have Bruce Forsythe on it.
Len starts for the judges
and says that if Harry were a stick of Blackpool Rock, he’d have “talent” written right through him. Don’t give McFly any more reality show ideas Len. Tom will probably audition for Britain’s Got Talent next year as a ventriloquist in a fake moustache and cloth-cap with Harry as his dummy. Certainly I think his hand’s probably been in that
general vicinity before. It was full-on and great, but he didn’t like that one lift over there. Oh sure Len, narrow it down. It was a little bit sticky mid-air. Well have you seen what Aliona’s wearing Len? It’s no surprise.
Alesha follows, saying that she really liked the concept and it really suited Harry. Is this like how the quickstep really suited Holly? The dancing was fab, the lifts were dangerous, and it was all exciting to watch. Bruno next
Craig closes by saying that Harry has an enormous talent, and he proved it in that routine. Yes, his trousers were rather tight weren’t they Craig? His transitions could have been a lot smoother when he was lifting, but all-in-all it was an amazing routine, it really was.
Up to the Tessanine they run
ignoring their littering on the way up, what rebels! Once they arrive, Tess gives a memorial “ZOMG THE GUNS!” mention, then asks Harry if he loved it. He says that he did. Tess gushes about Harry’s drumming being a Strictly first (how quickly we forget the wonder of bum-bongos) and says that this could be a whole new direction for McFlea. Harry stares at her as if to say “…in what sense?”.
Well quite. And stop staring at his nob Eggwina. Scores are in
Future star of Rolf : The Musical! Jason Donovan & Kristina Rihanoff dancing the showdance
Jason’s Training VT opens with the news that CRAZY JASON is working Kristina so hard that’s actually rehearsing
in her pyjamas. Now that’s commitment. Jason gives us notice that the theme of their showdance is going to be “showbiz”. You know, showbiz like
this. Nothing says showbiz like being sat on parquet flooring in an olive vest and trainers screaming your head off. Kristina says that she’s choreographed a great mix of different steps, lifts, tricks and faces, lots and lots of faces. Here is how Jason is going to symbolically say SCREW YOU! to rules by the way :
by walking into a door with “The Rules” written on it. What say you Kristina?
Quite. Anyone want to see some more of Kristina’s acting?
That’s at Jason throwing the glitterball through a window to represent…erm…rules…something. I swear, even when they set out to make a normal VT for Jason it winds up making absolutely no sense whatsoever. At all. None. Anyway, Jason & Kristina say this could be their last dance, the pressure’s on, so they’re just going to have fun with it. And how.
To the dance floor now and
woo are we in for VEGAS here. Women in suits, canes,
and Barry Manilow on the soundtrack. I’m surprised they didn’t let loose a man-eating Siberian tiger on the floor and have done with it.
Oh wait, they have.
Their showdance is very bouncy, very up-tempo, and very fun (and also a little bit Tomzilla in flavouring) and
a little beyond Jason, although he’s giving it his damndest. He’s a little out of time, a little tired, a little sloppy, and a little constantly looked at Kristina for support. On the plus side
LOOK! IT’S BALLROOM DANCING! ON THE BALLROOM DANCING SHOW! WHO WOULD HAVE THOUGHT IT POSSIBLE? Of course this precedes another
costume change (in which I briefly worry that Kristina is about to throw caution (and her bra) to the wind and give us the world’s first naked showdance) (apart from Argentina Cums Dancing obviously) and then Jason locks Kristina into a box and saws her in half, and then 50 white doves fly out of her lower portions. It’s quite an ending.
Also this happens at some point
but there are things on this show, often relating to Jason, that don’t relate to any real sort of coherent narrative. And to be honest, at times, he’s been all the more likable for it.
And now he is dead. Seriously, he doesn’t move for a good 15 seconds or so. Then again, if you’re going to die (and, I mean, I’m not, ever, so this is just for you people) then what a way to go. Eventually he rouses himself
and hauls himself towards the judges like something out of Apocalypse Now. The horror, the horror, the Jason. I also notice at this point that some people are not giving this a Standing Ovation. If you can give one to what Harry just did (or what Chelsee is about to…produce), you can give one to this, thank you very much.
Alesha starts off for the judges with the frankly nonsensical comment “if this was a marathon, you’d have won already”. Does anyone get that? Anyone? No? Me either. I think Alesha’s even more knackered than Jason is. She loved the canes, she loved the suits, she loved the quickstep, THAT was a
showdance! Alesha’s Vegas residency is going to be TERRIFYING isn’t it? That times 50. With rhinestones on top.
thanks Bruno. Craig follows, calling it “ferocious”, full-on and “AM-MAY-ZING”. And that was just Kristina’s boobs. He recommends that Jason get a restraining order for Kristina.
No Jason, he means it. This is not a joke. She’s going to turn up in the middle of September carrying the carcass of Huw Stevens behind her and demanding you wear him like a skin-suit so she can HAVE JUST ONE MORE GO. Len closes by saying that he’s got very little to add.
Never stopped you before Len. He congratulates Jason on being such a showman in his showdance. The dance part *scales gesture*. (That may have been me adding that bit there maybe).
Up to the Tessanine they fool, and Tess greets them by bellowing
“stretcher for Donovan!”. No Tess, the stretcher’s not for Jason, it’s a man come for Lulu’s face. Tess asks Jason about the showdance, and I swear, after “I think it’s great to be able to sorta use all the elements of a personality…” my iPlayer actually cut itself off rather than listen to Jason do another speech. And, like Ian, I never question my machine. Here’s one last look at everyone’s faces whilst Jason speaks.
I think Anton in particular is A PICTURE. Scores are in
40. Nancy joining in with the wooping is SPECTACULAR by the way. She looks like a frog burping.
Future Oscar Winner Chelsee Healey & Pasha Kovalev dancing the showdance
Bruce tells us before that Chelsee’s showdance should come with a health warning. Well…you can’t see we weren’t warned.
Training VT starts with Chelsee swinging round Pasha’s neck by her ankles and grinning
“this is the dance I’ve been looking forward to ALL SERIES!”. I think the Schadenfreude Bus is probably still too full from Jason’s American Smooth Bottom 2 guys, I think we’d better just get an “Oh Dear Taxi”. Pasha explains that there are no rules, and they can do any tricks and lifts they like. Can someone explain to Pasha that “can” does not mean
“should”? Especially when it comes to cunniliftus. Chelsee says that there being NO RULES (…I’m guessing there are actual rules, but ok) has made her feel all naughty. So guess what
the phone’s back out again. Honestly, I wish Pasha had worked that phone into the dance, and begun with either himself or Chelsee pulling it away from her ear and javellining it into the audience. These dances are supposed to represent the culmination of her Strictly journey after all. Pasha mugs all “OH NO, NOT THE PHONE AGAIN”, and we close on Chelsee saying that she’s worried about getting into and out of all of the lifts and tricks. Yeah, you better worry.
To the dance-floor and
remember what Craig said about that salsa being “beyond Alex’s skill-set”, and how that was the best criticism of this, or probably any series (apart of course from “I just want raw sex”) (or “THE HILLS ARE ALIVE WITH THE SOUND OF BULLSHIT!”) (or “should have kept your legs together you old slapper”, or whatever it was Alesha said to Nancy)? Craig should have saved it up a week because…this. So very much this. It’s a full on disco number to “One Night Only” with lifts and popping a-plenty and…she can’t do it. It feels a bit rotten to include it in pictures, because it’s not even funny. Just look at the pictures from rehearsal, and imagine that every time she dismounts it’s a bit like Hyacinth Bucket trying to climb over a stile. It’s that, really. It’s not quite Snowdance (because there’s some basic purpose and some decent movement in there), it’s not quite Kara’s Glittery Bucket (because she isn’t crocked by injury from halfway through) and it’s not quite Dummy Dance (because I don’t even believe that was anything other than Erin sticking her middle finger up directly in Darren’s face), but…it’s a bit of a mess, even by showdance standards.
On the plus side, she looks probably the prettiest she’s ever looked [/Paula Abdul].
It gets a Standing Ovation, because…well why not? Bruno starts for the judges
Quite. Thanks Bruno. Craig follows, saying that he absolutely loved all the lifts, particularly the lobster claw. Normally you’d only see that ON ICE! Is Craig angling for Jason Gardiner’s judging post over on ITV after watching that? Don’t worry Craig, she gets better. Bruce continues to blither that to him there are three winners tonight. Is it Harry, Aliona, and McFlea’s agent? Because that is the only acceptable answer.
Len follows, saying that he liked the elements of hustle in the routine, and how it was bright and shiny like the Blackpool Illuminations. My, Len is easily distracted by sparkly things isn’t he. Maybe she SHOULD have brought her phone out and bounced the glare off the ceiling-mounted glitterballs into Len’s face the whole way through. Might have got a 10. The only thing that saddens Len is that, in about an hour, one of the three remaining couples is going to go. Alesha closes by saying that she loves that Chelsee was really set free in this routine
fortunately not in the same way she was in her tango, and also she really loved the “disco element”. That being…the whole routine, choreographically speaking. That and the bits of Viennese Waltz in there obviously.
Up to the Tessanine they bounce, where Tess calls Chelsee the show’s very own “Baby Beyonce”. Down on the judging panel, Alesha cries a little tear, and remembers when that was her. Then she knock back another bottle of wine and forgets again. Chelsee says that she loved the lifts, and also how unique the routine was. It was certainly that. Tess dares Pasha to say that Chelsee made all those lifts look easy, and Pasha
stone-faces and says that was the point and his Chelsee did very well. Such a proud papa hedgehog.
Tess closes by asking Chelsee if she thinks her mum and her nan would be proud of her if she brought home the glitterball trophy? Chelsee gives the correct answer, and says that they’ll be proud of her no matter where she finishes, because of what she’s achieved. BOOM! In your face DALY. Scores are in
Final Leaderboard for the first half?
There we are.
Coming up? An elimination, a rumba about domestic violence (and it’s not even by Aliona!) and a winner is crowned, somewhere in the middle of a crowd of marauding McFleas.