So it’s time for all fourteen of our celebrities to come back and round off the mini storylines they started last week. Will Tracy Beaker conquer her nerves? Will Lisa just be a one-week wonder? Will Victoria remember her routine? Will Fern let go off her bloody skirt? Will Richard gay it up? The answers? “Yes”, “Not Quite”, “Just About”, “NEVER!”, and “Erin is choreographing him, what the hell do you think?”.
Because the show is fully embracing Generation ADD we’re getting five different flavours of dance – more cha chas (joy), salsas, jives, foxtrots and Vienneses. Admittedly the difference between cha-cha and salsa is really the same as the difference between “Original” and “Ready Salted” – very subtle and imperceptable to novices in the ways of the PURITY OF DAHNCE such as me. So really it’s four genres of dan…oh no, wait, Karen appears to have been told she’ll be dancing in the “Club Bangers” genre, as Nicky does some quality shape-pulling the likes of which you could see in any provincial night just as people start to get drunk. Sadly, nobody appears to have told the judges, who were expecting cha-cha, or Nicky, who apparently thought he would be dancing without Karen entirely, until she appears halfway through the routine, dressed as 80s Cher, and scares the shit out of him. This leaves them rooted to the bottom of the leaderboard with Johnny’s Viennese Waltz (same as last week but with less movement but more Iveta, which is always a bonus), Jerry’s Foxtrot (same as last week, but possibly actually unconscious), and Richard’s cha-cha for company, as Erin more than matches the show’s demand from last week that Richard just do stupid gay flapping rather than try and dance, to eye-burning effect. They abandon technique, good taste, and the pretence that they’re even supposed to be in sync. Erin has officially snapped and her dirty protest on this whole show is FABULOUS.
Sitting in the middle are a few people on a mild comedown from last week. Sid’s salsa hits a few of the typical Ola standards (knee-slides, starfish shapes, ungainly lifts) and whilst charming, isn’t quite his waltz. Lisa is still a force of festivity and momentum, but she was never going to be as impactful in a Viennese Waltz as in a cha cha. Happily Robin still turns out the campy choreography, as Lisa plays Cinderella who dances with her Prince Charming until he gets ditsracted by a midnight dong. Kimberley also dips slightly, as Pasha turns out a masterpiece of moody foxtrot Adele choreography, and she ever-so-slightly fails to live up to it, leading with her chin and making obvious stumbles every 20 seconds or so. Still, the Strictly Lamp Posts are back, which is always worth noting. Sadly, nobody swings around them or throws their hat over them though. Still, there’s time. Colin and Fern meanwhile remain at more or less the same mid-table standard as last week. Fern is still hanging on to her skirt for grim life and Colin is still far too tall for Kristina, but they both have an endearing relationship with their dance partners and both, fingers crossed, should be safe. Victoria on the other hand, is moving on up, as she makes it all the way through her dance, and only almost falls over about three times. It seems that either Darcey’s advice about getting heels she can dance in has been ignored or that in fact, such heels don’t exist. Darcey doesn’t hold it against her, as she scores her 6. The same as she scores everyone else.
At the top? Tracy Beaker, who overcomes her drunken disaster last week to produce a drunken DELIGHT this week, dancing a sinuous salsa to “Mama Do The Hump” as Pac-Man goes “WAKKA WAKKA WAKKA” in the background. She even survives getting utterly pancaked in a lift at the end with her dignity more or less intact. But triumphant over all are Louis and Denise. The former just about (by a very slim margin) (no, really, tiny) makes me not want to vomit all over a Viennese Waltz danced to “Puppy Love” (WHY FLAVIA WHY?) and the latter overcomes whiplash to produce a rip-roaring jive. Then everyone gang-snogs Craig and it goes a bit awful. Keep it on the floor guys.
Oh, wait, have I forgotten somebody? Well, earlier today I found myself mithering that, as much as I’m enjoying this series, I’ve missed my Gavin. And my Nancy. The contestant who is transformatively awful, whilst being hilarious at the same time, in a mildly oblivious sense. And the seeds were there with Michael last week, rambling away about his bar bet but I never expected the brilliance I saw tonight. For Natalie has choreographed a lumberjack themed jive (!) to Shakin Stevens (!) complete with an actual axe (!) which Michael dances dressed for a night at a linedancing bar with Natlie in spangly denim hotpants (!) utterly dreadfully, slopping all over the place and randomly flirting with Darcey for no reason. Afterwards Natalie threatens to decapitate Craig with the axe (!) and then realises it was so shit that even she, mistress of positivity, can’t praise it with a straight face, collapsing into a fit of the giggles (!).
If you vote him out now, public, on the brink of such madness to come, I will never forgive you.