We’re back, and dancing! With…probably the lowest average score ever for an episode of this show? Even Denise Van RINGAH only gets a 25, which is only 1 point more than Esther Rantzen got for her first dance, way back when. Either this is a herald of a brand new era in Strictly, or everyone kind of sucked. Speaking of which, somebody needs to tell Darcey not to end every setence with yeah, yeah? Because it’s really annoying, yeah? Also possibly that telling Nicky Byrne “summon all the musicality you utilised in Westlife and UNLEASH IT UPON DANCE!!!” isn’t really as constructive a criticism as you might think, ok?. Otherwise she seems to settle in well enough, and we all remember how nervous Alesha was on her first show yeah? I’m sure she’ll be cussing people out as drunken rag-dolls and turning up pissed as a fart within a few episodes, yeah?
Team Fartem are up first (without even get the usual “well done for being the first couple on of the series, it must be SO daunting, have a biscuit”, poor lambs) and have probably the best natural chemistry of any of the teams. Which comes in handy, as Fern’s cha-cha seems to be her stomping around pulling sexy-menopause face whilst grimly gripping onto the hem of her skirt like some provincial Lady Mayoress in an Alan Ayckbourn play, giving out rosettes for flamenco at the country fair and trying to keep her Sunday Best dress out of the mud. Never mind, Artem got his tits out, that’s the main thing.
From there the rest of the evening is marked by people both trying too hard
- Karen throwing in an illegal lift, lots of goofy faces, and yelling “I’LL DO ANYTHING TO WIN!!!” in Tess’ face, all to cover up a fairly stilted and stiff waltz from Nicky, dressed as a sexy mime, dancing to CURTIS STEIGERS (no).
- James & Denise in general, although particularly Denise’s face, all over their training footage
- The judges by low-balling James & Denise’s pretty good (albeit apparently utterly lacking in heel leads) waltz to a frankly bizarre degree to show she is NOT A RINGAH, NO SIR
and maybe not hard enough
- Michael, after a better-than-expected but still pretty indifferent waltz, talking over Natalie’s usual drippy attempts to praise her amazing partner to the skies to waffle on for about half an hour about some bar bet he made with Shane Warne
- the wardrobe department, who apparently ran out of Cha Cha costumes in Colin’s size, and settled on “gay prostitute from 1968”. And the same for Kristina whilst you’re at it. He, incidentally, is also a lot better than perhaps expected, but then the bizarre height difference is always going to work against him less than in ballroom
The CROWNING moment of the night though, is of course, Pendledrama, as she totters out on 6 inch heels, dressed in harem pants (WHY WARDROBE WHY?) then utterly forgets her routine about 20 seconds in, and is dragged around by the wrist like a stroppy pre-schooler who’s wet herself in Woolworths by a clearly frustrated Brendan. She then bursts into tears.
I am already frankly PASSING OUT with excitement at the Pendledrama to come. I can’t wait for her glorious comeback next week. At least…I hope she’ll have a glorious comeback next week, and isn’t in fact a bit shit, because otherwise that would just be depressing.