Michael Vaughan gets his chopper out and a nation bursts out laughing.
So nice of Tess to interrupt her valuable work
competing in wet t-shirt competitions at Hooters to tell us all not to phone in and vote because the lines have closed. If you’re watching on iPlayer that is. If you’re watching LIVE, she tells you not to vote because the judges will just save who they like anyway.
LAST WEEK : the celebrities went supernova, according to Tess. Given that a supernova is a cataclysmic disaster that occurs when a star gets too full of gas, I’d say that she is, for once, being accurate. Anyway, this week, the celebrities component parts have just about collected themselves back together again (*suspicious eyes to Victoria*) just in time for them to be told that
THE DANCE-OFF IS BACK. Yeah, that was pretty much my reaction as well. Except with more swearing and wall-punching and hugging of my memorial Austin Wuzz Robbed doll. Seriously though, do you know who would have been the beneficiaries of the Dance-Off last series? Dan Lobb, and Bloody Lulu. I’m not even making that up. That’s what we’re saving, in the name of the Purity Of Dahnce. So worth it.
LIVE! Oh and guess who’s in the credits now?
And also in Aliona’s house, using her credit cards, and eating her custard. YOU’RE NEVER GETTING YOUR LIFE BACK NOW DARLING, A HA HA HA! *changes locks*
To the studio floor and
Tess apparently just came out in some lingerie and had done with it. I’m guessing now Bruce hasn’t got his hand wedged up her cooch at the start of every show in the name of a glamorous pose, she can really let loose with her dresses. Thigh-highs and suspenders next week yes? Bruce takes us through the usual “ladies, gentleman, children, and werewolves, welcome to Strictly Come Dancing, nice to see you, to see you…”
*deafening silence from Nicola Roberts, the miserable boot*.
Tess tells Bruce that she thinks last weekend was a dramatic start to the series, but Bruce protests that it wasn’t for him. It was all going so well until he got a lift home from PENDLEDRAMA
and witnessed a contract killing, three marital breakups and a full-blown alien invasion of Southwark before they even hit the motorway. The life that woman leads. Made Colin’s mincy cha-cha look positively pedestrian in comparison. Anyway, whatever joke Bruce actually told here (*shrug*) got his first genuine laugh in about 6 series.
Such a beautiful moment. He looks so happy. Look, it’s even stopped these two
repeatedly jabbing one another in the thigh and “accidentally” spilling their popcorn/wine/spit on one another. Such harmony.
Once the laughter has subsided, and the producers make a slight adjustment to the level of nitrous oxide they’re pumping into the studio, Tess tells us it’s going to be a DANCE EPIC this week. You know, like Pearl Harbour or Waterworld or Heaven’s Gate. Tess herself compares it to Ben Hur, which I guess makes sense what with the ancient subject matter, the inter-team stabbings and the rampant homoerotic subtext. Said overselling over, it’s time to meet the STARS OF OUR SHOW.
How much are you betting Tess gets this bit removed next year, to go along with the leg-lift?
Once everybody’s out and I
stop imagining Denise Van Outen hung up on a peg through that hair, like a Jive-Dancing dolly in Woolworths, Bruce tells all the women that they look incredible, and then decides to rephrase that like a young person might say it.
“OMG you babes is looking reem and yous will be avin it large tonight, innit?”
It’s like Alesha never left isn’t it? (*sniff*). Let’s see what an actual young person thinks of Bruce’s attempt to be down with the kids, by saying phrases about as up-to-date and current as “down with the kids” is.
Oh, never mind, she’s been at the brandy again. Bruce tells us that the celebrities will dance, then their scores will be combined with their scores from last week, and then the ranking produced from that will be added to the public ranking, as usual, and then there will be a dance-off between the bottom two. Three people go “ooooooooh!”, one person claps. Possibly Lisa Snowdon. Tess then tells us that if we like our dancing served with a side-order of “expert opinion” then
you can forget it, because Karen’s stuck up there with the worst winner of “Let’s Drag Up For Comic Relief”, rather than anyone funny or insightful. Oh well.
Nicky Westlife & Cher dancing the cha cha
IF I COULD TURN BACK TIME!
I WOULD REMOVE THAT LIFT!
I WASN’T EVEN AWARE THAT THEY’D MIND IT!
Bruce tells us all that we all discovered last week that Karen is Venezuelan, and that as a result she’s never heard of Westlife. Odd that, given that Westlife are pretty big in Venezuela. Well…big enough that they had their own “Venezuela-Only” copy of their Greatest Hits album. Look. To be fair, the Venezuelan line-up did consist of Bryan, Shane, Nicky, Kian, and Sheldon Cooper from The Big Bang Theory, so you can see why Karen would be confused. Or she might just have taste, who can say?
Anyway, apparently Bruce educated her in the ways of Westlife (“They’re like Gerry & The Pacemakers but Irish and queer”), and afterwards Karen said “now I know who Westlife are…but who the devil are you?…And where are your trousers?” Bruce recounts this whole story using his best
“Michelle Of The Resistance” accent for some reason. I think it’s supposed to be Venezuelan. Leesen very carefully, because he won’t only say this wernce, because he cannot read his autocue.
VT time now, and we’re reminded, in Nicky’s own words, that last week was a “disaster, but at least I’m still here”. That many candles that close to the quantities of hairspray used on this show, it’s lucky that the entire audience is still here. He tells us that the judges gave him a “savaging” and openly calls Karen out as being to blame, saying that the lift that she choreographed was a bad idea and opened him up for criticism from the judges. Ouch. Karen herself shrugs that
“we all make mistakes”. That hat being Exhibit A. I’m not sure the world needs a Venezuelan Peggy Patch.
Training now, and Nicky asks Karen if she’s going to be choreographing a lift in this week
with an amazingly strained “ha ha, look at the joke I’m making about how YOU FUCKED ME OVER” face. Things do progress somewhat happily from there though, with Nicky saying that Karen has choreographed an amazing cha-cha this week, and really pulled it out of the bag. The fact that he’s pulling memorial Ricky Nipple
“oooh just look at me wiping my face with my shirt, tum-ti-tum, OH NO YOU CAN SEE MY ABS” tactics in Week Two is no indication of anything, HONEST. He’s just so sweaty! And he’s not flouncing!
He’s just going for a wee! Nicky admits that he’s been having some small problems remembering the routine, as Karen mews that this is the first time Nicky’s walked out of the room. What, ever? Maybe his time duetting with Mariah Carey rubbed off on him, and he will only leave the room carried on a litter of puppies, shot only from his left hand side, eating (ONLY BLUE) M & Ms. Such a diva.
We close with Nicky saying “I’m up for it, I’m ready, it’s showtime, let’s cha cha!”. I think those were some of the “exciting new sexy lyrics” to the theme tune from the Launch Show weren’t they?
TO THE DANCEFLOOR!
Good Lord, he can’t even stand in a spotlight properly. Although I guess this is what happens after 15 years of being “the one at the side”. And yes, that is a pleather hoodie, why do you ask? The music strikes up (“Dynamite” by Taio Cruz) and Nicky gets some great height LEAPING off the stairs and…that about more or less it, for positive things. There’s a large section where he’s on his own at the beginning, which I guess Karen choreographed in because he clearly doesn’t want to touch her in any way shape or form, but she can’t hold off forever and the results are as
stilted as last week, with added choking.
The choreography for the dance is very clubby, in that Nicky’s dancing like he’s just been clubbed round the head. No, really, at the end, when they have to get back to the stage to do the end-pose, he just…runs around in circles. It’s quite something. It looks like that party game where you run round a broom trying to make yourself dizzy. Also, there’s a section in there that looks VERY hip-hop which I guess shows that Karen’s skill at marketing to this show’s demographic remains as sure as it was last week.
As Nicky & Karen mutually shudder over to the judges, up on the Tessanine, Iveta stares right down the camera all
“seriously? Her? Iveta was available also! There still time! It not just Aliona that can have…accident”. Once Nicky & Karen have arrived, Bruce re-introduces us to the judges
and the camera re-introduces us to
Nicky’s Big No-No. Maybe that’s what the Cher outfit is for, given that the Turn Back Time video also ended up with someone straddling a giant cannon. Bruce reminds us that last week Craig was mean, moody, and controversial on Friday (because the dancers were rubbish) but on Saturday he was lovely (because the dancers were less rubbish). Bruce treats this like it’s the Riddle Of The Sands, but I guess after 9 series of Len’s mood being dictated by the celebrities day-job, what Arlene was wearing, and how much his wig was itching, I guess consistancy can be confusing.
Speaking of Len, he declares himself a “cup of tea in a world of lattes”, because he just has to be a Special Snowflake, and says that that dance had far too much boy-band dancing for him, and not enough cha cha. Of course all the other judges then slag it off for exactly the same reason, making him not so much a “cup of tea in a world of lattes” as a “cup of tea in a world of cups of tea” except his cup of tea is cold, gritty, and tastes a bit of damp. Nicky nods away merrily at this slagging of Karen’s choreography again. Yup, all her fault.
Bruno follows up, saying that he felt like Nicky was much more alive this week, and had a naughty twinkle. Yeah, we can all see it as well… He does admit that it was a bit “Take That 1995″ (and therefore the one area of choreography on this show that he’s experienced in enough to judge professionally),he was out of time with the music and he needs to stretch his legs. Craig follows, saying it was more zumba than cha cha. Why not save that criticism for his rumba Craig? I’m sure it won’t be any better, and then you can RHYME! It’ll make you more like LEN, and that’s what we all want really, isn’t it? Good energy and commitment, but it was all very leaden and placed, and he could only moves his hips whilst standing still.
by saying Nicky had funky isolations and a lot of energy, but she couldn’t see any cha-cha. Obviously wasn’t looking at Karen’s dress closely enough, I think I saw it twice. Also, if Alesha doesn’t come back for these ear-rings within a month, then she’s keeping them, fair’s fair.
Up to the Tessanine they run, and Tess asks Nicky how it went. Nicky says it was TERRIBLE Tess, he couldn’t hear a beat from the band, so he was just making it up as he went along. He had to guess where the clicks went Tess, it was all someone else’s fault again! The pros and celebs around him pull a
wide range of very convinced faces. Ah, the Jemini defence. Always a winner.
Tess mentions that Nicky set everyone’s heart racing with his hips and Karen snarks “that was the intention, yes”. And there was I thinking she’d added the hip-jerks for artistic and professional reasons. Tess then asks Nicky if getting a savaging from Craig last week changed his attitude to the competition. Nicky says that it did – he tried really hard this week, and it just didn’t go well. Brendan yells “NOW DON’T BE LIKE THAT!” from somewhere off camera. Possibly at Nicky, possibly because Victoria’s threatening to throw herself off the balcony. Again. PENDLEDRAMA! Scores are in
Colin Bond & Kristina Galore dancing the Viennese Waltz
Bruce tells us that last week, Colin’s cha-cha left the judges shaken and stirred but this week he’s taking his girl for a spin in the Viennese Waltz. Those Bond references are being integrated as seemlessly as ever I see. Maybe don’t cast a contestant for whom you’ve run out of things to say by Week 2?
VT time now, and Colin tells us that he was feeling quietly confident before his cha-cha, but as soon as he hit the studio floor the lights were all up in his face, and he could see the judges glowering, so his quiet confidence turned into a noisy panic. Also he realised he was dressed as an off-duty middle-aged drag queen. All these things do add up. Fortunately for him, there was one beacon of loveliness in the audience who pulled him through.
Oh, wait, I’m projecting aren’t I?
Training now, and Kristina says that Colin is finding the Viennese Waltz much harder than the cha cha. Colin explains that this is because of the height difference between himself and Kristina. He has to bend his knees, whilst keeping tone and shape in his back, and also keeping his arse tucked in. This is causing excruciating pain in the balls of his feet, his knees, his lower back, and his shoulders.
And that’s just getting into the right posture, it’s even worse once he starts having to move. What a shame that Kristina is by far the tallest female pro, and so nothing possibly could have been doe at the pairing-up stage, eh? Kristina wonders what she can possibly do to compensate for all this and then
decides just to make the Viennese Waltz a logical extension of the Killer Drag-Queen story we all loved from last week. Look away children, things are about to get DIRTY.
To the dance-floor now, as the band strike up “Kiss From A Rose” by Seal.
You’ll notice that the rose on the dancefloor is a white rose which, in the ancient and intricate “Language Of Flowers”, means “I love you because you’re just the right height for a beej”. Those Victorians, so poetic. For those wondering what Richard’s use of a yellow rose last week meant, it stood for “sorry about that…thing with that waiter. And the pool boy. And that other waiter. And your dad”.
The dance? Colin can take some comfort from the fact that being so tall makes him automatically look a bit elegant, regardless of his actual dancing, even if it makes his partnership with Kristina look like something out of the new crappy Guinness Book Of World Records (Biggest Height Difference Between Partners In An Inter-Racial Relationship! PUT IT IN! Right next to “most Scampi flavour Nik-Naks consumed in 29 seconds” and “longest time spent thinking about Andy Crane without a break”). Kristina, like Karen, has choreographed in as much twirling and posturing as possible before they actually have to take hold, even working in a
pre-emptory foof-flash at Craig for when they inevitably get criticised later, but the horror can’t be held off forever.
Bloody hell. He actually has to bend over like a daddy picking up a 6 year old for a piggy-back ride, and when they waltz around, he has to do tiny little Mr Tumnus hoof-steps whilst Kristina is practically triple-jumping her way across the floor. Can you imagine him competing like this in a series where they actually had to keep ballroom hold for more than 10 seconds at a go? MADNESS. My favourite part is at the end, when Kristina actually exits the dance-floor through his legs, like she’s going into a little fort she’s made under the dining-room table. It’s all very
“DADDY! TAKE ME TO DISNEYLAND! PLEEEEEEEEEEEASE! PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE!”. “Oh alright then”
Over to the judges they go, where Bruce said it was all very romantic and had a lovely feel, the soppy old git. He asks Colin how his knees are and his face says
“what knees? My doctors replaced them with tennis balls three days ago”. Bruce introduces us to Davearch et al, and from The Man In The Hat?
No doffing. Not even a phone-call. Now I know how emogirl82 feels.
Bruno starts, by telling Colin that he clearly has
plenty of length to work with, and it’s very hard. Meow. Bruno clarifies that IT’S VERY HARD FOR THE TALL CELEBRITIES! And he hasn’t even done a jive yet. I can’t WAIT for the comments after that one. He needed more sweep, more musicality, and to bend down less. Presumably Bruno thinks Colin should be trying to get into ballroom hold with Kristina’s ears? Craig follows by saying that Colin hit some nice lines, but he didn’t like how he was giving Craig a double-flick. And here was I thinking this was a family show.
The Hoops follow up (and there’s an ITV Kids Cartoon in the making) by saying that Colin has the perfect frame, but he needs to be careful about stooping. She’s very excited to find a man who can do both ballroom and latin equally (not that) well though. Bruce marvels that Colin can even see Kristina because he’s so much higher up than her. Oh I don’t know Bruce, you just have to look around the general crotch area.
Kristina’s bound to be there. Len closes by saying that Colin needs to step out more, and that the dance was a tad timid. Bruce, if he steps out more he’s going to accidentally kick Davearch in the nuts. And nobody wants that. The band might go out of tune! Len did like Colin’s acting though and disagrees with the other judges, in that he didn’t see any stoop. Well she didn’t aim it at you Len, so you probably wouldn’t.
Bruce dispatches the pair of them to the Tessanine, where Tess greets them both by asking Colin how he overcame his height difference with Kristina. They…didn’t? Anyway, Colin clarifies that he just followed Kristina’s instructions and advice and they were fine. Also, next week he and Kristina will be undergoing the world’s first double-leg transplant operation, in order to make things a little more equal. Everything below the waist is going to be swapped. Joe Calzaghe’s in for a surprise… Tess tells them that everyone loved the dance, particularly Jerry, who apparently growled “MMM HMM, HE’S A LONG TALL DRINK!”
Jerry saying things is funny. She has an accent. That Tess can’t do. Scores are in
Tracy Beaker & Vincent Simone dancing the salsa
Bruce tells us that he doesn’t watch kids tv much, under condition of his court order. This means that he doesn’t know an awful lot about Tracy Beaker. Apparently he told Tracy this, and she told him that that’s alright, because she knows so much about Bruce. In fact she did a project about him at school.
VT time, and Tracy says that last week, she felt more scared than she had ever felt in ehr entire life. And that was just of Bruce – the dance was pretty nerve-wracking as well. Vincent says that partnering Tracy he could tell she was very “nervous” (/drunk) and the “nerves” (/double vodka shots) took over her performance entirely. We’re reminded that Bruno’s expert critique was basically “SMILE LOVE, IT MIGHT NEVER HAPPEN!”. We also briefly cut to Vincent talking Tracy down after the performance by telling her that he’ll just have to find a better partner, one who doesn’t shake all the time, and then
waving those wanky cake decoration in her face. He’s such a nurturer.
Training now, and Tracy tells us that she’s going to go into this week fresh, and just pretend that she’s a sexy salsa dancer, and see what that gets her.
It gets her there, mostly. Yes, that’s right, to combat Tracy’s nerves, Vincent has choreographed in an impossible lift, which involve him throwing her onto the floor face-first. See, that’s the Vincent we know and love – not that pallid shade that was stuck partnering Eggwina last series. He tells us that there are many different ways to jump on top of a man (tell me about it) but Dani is mostly going about it the wrong way.
We close with Tracy pondering the immortal question : “How DO you jump like a dancer?”.
Why don’t we give Bruce the keys to Darcey’s dressing room, and find out?
TO THE PAC-MAN MAZE!
WAKKA WAKKA! No, I have no idea either, but let’s just go with it. They’re doing their salsa to “Mama Do The Hump” because Tracy Beaker is the ho. (See? So many left to go). And it’s not that bad actually. It’s nice to see someone who has learnt a Latin routine as a whole, not just something where they go “do this *think* do this *think* do this *think*” the whole way through. It flows nicely from beginning to end, and whilst she’s still a little wriggly and drunk-faced, it’s a fun kind of drunk-faced. The sort of drunk-face that would come up with a routine danced in the Pac-Man maze for no real reason.
It’s all going very well, until that lift that Vincent choreographed in for absolutely no sane reason which she
biffs horribly. And Vincent being Vincent, he’s choreographed that lift directly before a really twisty bit of salsa “armography” which ends up tangled as aresult of Tracy’s disorientation. Oh well. Pac-Man liked it, that’s the main thing.
Up on the Tessanine, Victoria and Ola have an impromptu
“Who Can Pull The Most Insincere Praise Face?” competition. Ola wins, but then she has had a lot more practice at it than Victoria. Once they’re at the judges, Bruce snarls that that was such a great song, with such beautiful words, then advances on Tracy, yelling “HONK HONK! HONK HONK!”.
Remember the project Tracy – tell a grown-up. No, not Vincent, a GROWN-UP.
Craig opens by saying that “this dance does suit the smaller-type-person” and then the whole audience gasps and Tracy and Vincent pull
this face. Yes, HOW DARE anyone mention their midget status? It’s been tastefully glided around thus far. He says it was full of energy and fun, but she kind of splatted in that second lift.
It’s alright Craig, accidents will happen. Vincent’s shirt looks wipe-clean anyway. Darcey follows up by saying that she liked Tracy’s isolations in her upper body, but her hips needs more work. She liked seeing her having fun out on the floor though. A small dolphin jumps through one the hoops, does a backflip, and then winks at the camera.
Len follows up by calling Tracy a “munchkin” who “CAME AHT” and “GIVE IT SOME WELLY!” in a dance that was “FULL ON AND FLAT OUT!”. Anybody playing Len Bingo must have just dropped their G & T with excitement. Bruno finishes by saying that he disagrees with Craig – Tracy didn’t splatter, she BLOSSOMED. He loved her energy and excitement out on the dancefloor but Darcey is right – she needs to wiggle her hips like a dirty old man.
If she needs hints, just watch Bruce whilst he’s speaking to her.
Up to the Tesspit they do their humps, where
everyone joins in doing the Creepy Old Bruce dance. It’s the craze that’s SWEEPING THE NATION. Tess says she’s going to corner Vincent later and get him to teach her how to do the body-roll. Well there’s an image. Tess asks Tracy how her nerves were, and Tracy says she was fine. She’s got it down to only half a bottle of Baileys, and she felt a lot more stable as a result. Tess asks how the lifts went for Tracy and she replies “better than in rehearsals”. I’m guessing there are a lot of dents in that training room floor. A whole lot of dents. Scores are in –
Oh, and as if this segment wasn’t full enough with sexual harassment as it was, Natalie
totally just grabs Vincent’s arse. Michael then points out to her that she’s on camera.
Team Fartem dancing the Viennese Waltz
SUCH FRIENDS! Bruce tells us that Fern has asked him not to make any more puns about her name. Fern, it’s puns about your name, or dirty, winking, innuendo. Make your mind up. And then I’ll pass it on to Bruce as well. Bruce makes a “Britain’s Got Talent” pun, and then has a conniption fit when he remembers that’s who Alesha dumped him for.
WHY ALESHA WHY? WE HAD SUCH GOOD TIMES! REMEMBER WHEN WE SANG TOGETHER! REMEMBER WHEN I CALLED YOU THE BRITISH BEYONCE! REMEMBER WHEN I PRETENDED TO HAVE A FAVOURITE MIS-TEEQ SONG! REMEMBER WHEN I TURNED UP AT YOUR HOUSE AT 4 IN THE AFTERNOON WEARING ONLY MY DRESSING GOWN AND A SMILE! DAMN IT ALL!
VT time now, and we’re reminded that the major talking point with regards to Fern last week was her copious wafting. Fern says that she’s surprised that her flashing her gussett was such a major talking point with the judges,
backed up with a special live preview of Darcey’s ear-rings for next week. Artem for his part says that he can’t resist a good bit of skirtography. I for my part tell Artem to
just give in and let Kara wax him already, because that is some patchy shaving he’s done on himself.
Training now and
oh Fern. I know Natalie’s Fierce Scarves are all a thing we’d like to emulate, but you need to pull it tighter and for it to be a less…dingy shade of olive. Nice try though – 5. She tells us that this week she’ll be performing the Viennese Waltz with Artem, and it’s a very romantic dance. At this point JELUS KARA bites a fish-finger in two and throws half of it at her telly. Just in time, Fern says that training with Artem itself has not been romantic. Phew. Saved herself an arm there. Artem says that he’s finding training very trying with Fern this week, as he’s having to repeat everything again and again and again. Also, Fern’s idea of an elegant, serene ballroom face is
pretty darned creepy. Fern worries that she’s letting Artem down, and she HATES IT! Artem for his part says that if he’s being hard on Fern, it’s only because he wants her to be the best Fern she can be. In response Fern
has a stroke. Well the Cuddly Wuddly New Artem came to a juddering halt at “two episodes” didn’t it?
TO THE DANCE-FLOOR!
LET’S GET READY TO WAFT!
WAFT AWAY FERN, WAFT AWAY! Let’s not be unfair though – the wafting in the cha cha was because she couldn’t swish her hips. THIS wafting is because she doesn’t know what to do with her hands. It’s not at all the same thing. They’re doing their Viennese to “Always A Woman” by John Lewis, which is a song about a woman who’s a massive pain in the arse, lies, manipulates, steals and…stabs people? So romantic. As a waltz it’s a quite nice lyrical run around, and once they eventually take up hold, and the camera stops running at them and away from them like it’s a yo-yo attached to Fern’s boobs it’s…almost over.
And she’s still doing that face.
Once they’re done, they have a bit of an argue about who deserves their end-of-dance hug more. Well…actually Fern says that Artem deserves it more, and Artem says nothing. I’m sure he’s just tired. Darcey starts for the judges, saying that looking at Fern dance every week gives her a beautiful feeling. That and all the drugs. She carries on by telling Fern that she loved watching her travel across the floor, but it was a bit choppy, and when she makes a line with her hands, she has to remember to follow through.
Best not to tell Team Fartem to “follow through” Darcey. The dry-cleaners will never forgive you. Len follows up by saying that he noticed the wafting and she needed better posture, but he thought the dance itself was much better than last week.
Bruno is next, and he tells Fern that she has to be careful with all the flitting, because at times it looked like she was “casually dusting”. Can you imagine Bruno “casually” dusting? I bet he makes the Shake-N-Vac advert look positively restrained. The crockery may be in pieces on the floor when he’s finished, but DAMNIT IT’S CLEAN. He tells her she really needs to finish her lines, but she really does come to life “in the arms of her strapping young man”.
Her “strapping young man” on the other hand looks marginally less “alive” with every passing moment. Craig finishes by telling her that she has crap hands and needs to pull her left shoulder up, but she had a fantastic flow around the floor. Whatever that might mean.
Up to the Tessanine they steal, where Tess greets them by telling Fern that Craig said “the f word”, meaning “fantastic”. Fern looks momentarily shocked by this, poor thing. Tess really should be more clear about this, given that Fern spent 10 years hosting This Morning, where you have to spend half an hour apologising every time someone says “poop”. To recover, Tess asks Fern if she’s more of a ballroom or a latin person, and Fern replies “I don’t know”. For a professional interviewer, she’s not GREAT on the receiving end is she?
She carries on, saying that everything she does she does for Artem, and she really doesn’t want to let him down, and then
ADVANCES on Artem, at full-pucker. As is everyone watching probably. It looks like she’s trying to suck his moustache off. Scores are in
Richard Arnold & The Remains Of Erin Boag dancing the cha cha
No, I’m not sure what that thing on Richard’s head is either. We’re reminded by Bruce that Richard is officially stuck – be camp and he pisses off Len & Craig, don’t be camp and he pisses off Darcey & Bruno. Who’d be a homo on this show, I ask you?
VT time and Richard tells us that he had the most amazing time last week, and as soon as it was over, he just wanted to go back out and do it again. Be careful what you wish for, Richard… Although to be fair he probably wanted to go out and dance again just to get away from the judges holding an Academic Symposium on what camp really means in the 21st century. We’re reminded that Darcey told Richard that she didn’t think she saw the “real him” in his waltz (are the dancers supposed to THE REAL THEM in every dance they do? If so, Mrs Donovan should be worried. On a number of levels) so Richard Mitchell Brothers down the camera-lens that Darcey
BETTER BRACE HERSELF. Yeah, that’s far more convincing Richard, well done.
Training now, and Richard says he loves cha-cha, because it gives him a chance to wiggle his hips and throw his arms around.
Or at least it does the way Erin’s choreographed it. She’s wearing leopardprint incidentally and exclaiming
“IT’S FUN!”. I love when Erin proclaims that something is going to be FUN, because it’s always a slightly wonky type of fun where you’re never quite sure what the funk’s going on, and at the end someone has a dislocated finger or half their hair missing. This is why I think it would be fun to drink with Erin most of all the Strictly pros. Anyway, Erin unleashing Richard’s Camp Side is going a bit awry as he
thwacks her around like an Aunt Sally and tells us all that apparently what he thought was cha cha is actually “just mincing about”. Again, it is the way Erin choreographs it. She tells us that what Richard lacks in technique, he makes up for in performance.
Oh my, this is going to be just AWFUL isn’t it?
TO THE DANCE-FLOOR!
Now, you may think that prop looks shoddily constructed, but you have to bear in mind that Erin just ripped down the sign on it saying how far away Erin Island is. NOBODY ELSE MUST LEARN HER SECRET!
OK so first of all, of all the songs that it is not within the band’s remit to sing, “Love Shack” has to be right up there. Second of all
nice work on making it gay Erin, I think you’ve made your point. It’s very flamboyant, very prancy, very BIG PERSONALITY, with a lot of 60s moves and wriggling and giggling and not a lot of sex or indeed coherence or style to it. I am very impressed with how Erin herself gets the whole campy “80s does 50s” vibe of the dance and the song though. She basically IS a B52
and Richard is the thing the B52 bombed.
Over to Bruce they shimmy, and he tells Richard that that was absolutely great. He now sees that Richard is in FULL BLOOM. Richard himself says something he wrote down five hours ago about how Saturday Night is his windowbox and he’s come in his winter panties.
I think Richard would get far more votes if he just…stopped. That, generally. Also “in bloom” Bruce, or “the inside cover of a 13 year old girls notebook”?
Bruno starts for the judges and says it was blissfully barmy – like a cockatoo getting electrocuted crossed with a Vegas Showgirl flashing her trout pout. It was a strange cha-cha, but he enjoyed it, in a sick sort of way. Poor Richard. He put on that…display solely for Bruno, really putting his heart on the line, and he just responded by saying it was bizarre and made him feel sick. I’ve been there Richard, I’ve been there. Craig follows by saying that he wasn’t entirely convinced that Richard wanted to take Erin to his love shack. Erin’s face says
“too right Craig, I’ve got a whole bloody island, I’m not about to get down in some grotty shack”. Richard is told his walks belonged in a drag show and he replies with some more scripted back-chat about how he used to work in menswear or something. Erin’s face as usual
says it all. Seriously, this is sub-Eggwina banter work Richard.
Darcey follows all “well done on your gay work being gay Richard!” and he runs up to kiss her cheek. Bruce snaps “YOU MUSTN’T TOUCH DARCEY!” at him which is slightly unfair. They don’t place the same…restrictions on everyone else as they give you Bruce. Darcey then spoils it all by telling Richard he has to create some tension with Erin in future. Darcey, I don’t think you can create resistance with someone who’s mentally on another sub-continent, drinking pina coladas in the bath and singing “Copacabana”. Len closes by telling Richard that that was “loud and proud, just like your shirt” and surprise surprise…
he hated it. NO AIRY FAIRIES ON THIS SHOW. He particularly didn’t like how Richard’s hand was just dangling like a loose piece of knicker-elastic. He then just starts yelling “YOU’RE A BETTER DANCER THAN JUST HAVING TO CAMP IT ALL UP! YOU ARE A BETTER DANCER THAN THAT! OTHER PEOPLE NEED TO DO ALL THAT, YOU DON’T!”
I’m not sure which of them he’s yelling at. I’m not sure he’s right either way.
Up to the Tessanine they set sail, where Tess asks Richard how that went. He asks Erin, and she says she loved it, and saw everyone in the audience doing the mashed potato along with her. Whatever you have to imagine is going on Erin, whatever you have to imagine. Tess asks Richard what he’s going to bring to the competition next week and he clearly
doesn’t have a bloody clue. Well there’s one contestant ruined by the judges, and we’re only two weeks in. Scores are in
Team PENDLEDRAMA dancing the foxtrot
Bruce reminds us that last week the show ran over, so they didn’t have time to go to Craig for his comments about Victoria, and if the show runs over tonight, they’ll just have to cut Craig out again.
He then waffles on endlessly, natters with the band, flirts with someone in the front row, and just generally wastes time staring off into space. It is, to speak in television terms, “an improvement”. Bruce then realises that he’d better let Victoria dance, before she throws herself down the stairs or gives birth or something, so we go to her VT.
In it, Victoria tells us she was really excited to perform her dance, so she was really disappointed to mess it up so badly. As if we didn’t know that from the crying and the wailing and the rending of garments. Brendan assures us that they ran through the dance four times in the corridor before the show, and it was perfect every time. I don’t know about “perfect” Brenda. She was still wearing those bloody trousers.
In training now, and Victoria says that Brendan has bought her a lovely skirt and it makes her feel really happy!
Wheee! Ah, the psychology of women. Victoria says she just wants to swish it around the floor all day going “WHEEEEEEEE!” and Brendan says he’s really happy to see Victoria back in the training room with a smile on her face, rather than how he was expecting her, which was waving around an empty bottle of pills yelling “I’LL DO IT!” before they turn out to be Smints. Victoria says that this week she’s doing the foxtrot, and they’ve discovered that her spinning on the spot or doing turns is a bad idea. Which is a shame because…that’s always been about 75% of Brendan’s choreography. Still, Victoria has her own way of coping.
Pressing her eyes back into her skull whilst whispering “you can do it Victoria, you can do it”. Attagirl. Glad to see we aren’t paying millions to those Team GB Sports Psychologists for nothing.
TO THE DANCEFLOOR!
When in doubt, BRING ON THE SCHMALTZ/dress that looks like someone’s had a nose-bleed all down the front. They’re doing their foxtrot to “Moondance”, which is a quintessential Brenda song to dance to indeed. I bet he really kicks off when Lucky Voice don’t have it on the karaoke machine so he can’t sing it in his best Sinatra voice. As a foxtrot, it’s a definite improvement on last week’s dance, in that she does it, which means she’s getting at least a 6. She’s still really unsteady on her feet though, even if her heels do look a bit lower than last week.
Fortunately, Brendan has taken a note and kept the routine very simple, which allows Victoria to look reasonably elegant, one small moment where she
almost elbows him in the face aside. Victoria is also , I believe, officially our first Strictly celeb to wear two different coloured arm-hankies.
Such a sexual adventurer. The colours mean that she’s looking either to wield a dildo or to have her nipples tweaked and she’s not too bothered which. Frankly ladies, at this point on a Saturday Night, who amongst us has not been in exactly the same situation? Such a sexual adventurer.
She emotes over to the judges, where Brenda PUMPS HIS FIST and tells Victoria to look up at the Tessanine for support, because the standing ovation that one row of women in the audience tried to start has fizzled out already. Bruce crows “LOOK AT ALL YOUR FRIENDS UP THERE” as the camera cuts to
Denise looking like murder. To be fair, it doesn’t help that her hair looks like it’s been retrofitted to fire rockets out of it. Bruce then asks Victoria if he can have a ride on her handlebars. Well at least it’s not ONLY Dani I guess. Makes it a bit fairer.
Len starts for the judges by telling Victoria she was clean, classy and confident, and it was a fantastic improvement over last week. Oh Len, I think Gary Rhodes would have been an improvement over last week. Her transitions were a little unstable
but otherwise, Queen Vic was BACK. It did look a bit like she’d just been down the pub at points, yes. Bruno is next, yelling “VICTORIA IS BACK IN THE RACE!”. I love all the bike metaphors they’re using to Help Victoria Understand. Except that she’s used to riding state-of-the art wonders of technology, and in terms of this paritcular race she’s a pink girls bike with a little basket with some flowers hand-painted on and a My Little Pony stuck in the spokes. I still of course have faith she can win, even against Kimberley’s Raleigh and Louis’ Chopper.
Craig joins us next by deadpanning “you remembered it this time, so that’s a very good start”. Meow. He tells her that her turns are very stiff, and when she gets back into hold she needs to get her arm out the way quick, lest she smash Brendan’s nose like a warm, runny egg, like she nearly did just then. Darcey closes by telling Victoria that the nerves have GONE and she looks BEAUTIFUL. But she needs to watch how splayed her fingers are sometimes. Victoria demonstrates that she knows what “splayed” means by staring at her hand like she’s high, then repeatedly
smacking Brendan on the arm with it. Oh PENDLEDRAMA…
Bruce then tells her to practice her turns whilst on her bike. Don’t give the show any ideas Bruce…
Up to the Tessanine they dance, where Tess tells Victoria she was clearly MILES more confident this week, as Victoria shakes her head ruefully then
clamps on to Brendan’s hands for dear life. She said she was glad to be in hold with Brendan the whole time, as she knows she’ll be safe in his arms. Quick, someone cue up the Meatloaf record and prepare the silver jumpsuit… Tess asks Brendan if he still feels like the luckiest man in Britain after two weeks partnered with Victoria. Victoria’s face reads
“get this wrong, and I WILL cry and eat all the biscuits in your house”. Brendan OF COURSE says that Victoria is a gem and a joy to work with. He is just loving his work with Victoria in the rehearsal room and in the studio. The phone-calls at 3am which consist of sniffling for 30 seconds eventually broken with an ear-shattering “BRENDAN, I HAD THE DREAM AGAIN!!!”…not so much, Scores are in
Michael Vaughan & Natalie Lowe dancing the jive
Oh, here we go. Bruce tells us that last week, the judges criticised Michael’s facial expressions, and wonders if he will find himself smiling after his routine this week. If he wasn’t Bruce, I’m the rest of us were. And laughing. And crying. And holding on to any nearby fixtures and fittings for support.
VT time now, and Michael says that if his face looked like it was concentrating last week, it’s because he was. Also when he did a little fist pump at the end of the routine, it’s because he thought he’d done it as well as he could have hoped to. Who needs body language “experts” eh? That’s you out of a job DR HAMELA. Natalie also says she was really happy with the routine, and we revisit Bruno calling Michael’s bottom a “hanging basket”. Michael says he didn’t even realise he HAD a backside which suggests that for all that he’d make a GREAT psychologist, he’d struggle to be a doctor. He says he thinks it was a bit harsh to call it a hanging basket though. I don’t know Michael, better that than it be a bird-feeder. Or a water feature.
Training now, and Michael worries, because he has to catch Natalie at one point in the routine and in cricketing terms, catching really wasn’t his strength.
Well she’s hardly going to choreograph a routine where you twat her in the face with a cricket bat is she? Frankly she’s risking serious physical injury in this dance as it is. Michael worries that if the catch goes wrong, Natalie could end up in the audience. Again, even if it goes right, she could end up in A & E from all the times you nearly kick her in the back of the head so…baby steps? Speaking of which, apparently Michael’s daughter asked if she could bring a couple of friends to rehearsal, but Natalie soon put the kibosh on that.
Bring the whole bloody school or don’t bother. This is BABY WARS, not BABY FRACAS. She gushes that it was really great to have a whole load of kids there to watch she and Michael jigging around. Of course, for their own safety, she’s made them wedge themselves as tightly into one corner as possible.
She was going to put some Plexiglass but…well you’ll see where all her budget went for this week in a second.
TO THE BARNYARD!
Oh my. He’s a lumberjack, and it’s really not ok. Whine all you will about props, but would this dance really have been as epicmazingly awful without Michael swinging his giant chopper around at the beginning trying to get wood?
No, no it would not. It’s also the only part of the routine where he’s even approximating a beat. The rest?
Random wiggling, pivoting and jerking. It’s a bit like someone got one of the Armish to try to explain to an alien how Elvis Presley moved, and they tried to repeat it. A blind alien. Who isn’t used to the gravity on our planet. With an inner-ear infection in all 50 of its ears. Obviously it’s a Jive a la Natalie, so there’s a clothes-related incidence of violence, as Natalie realises that Michael is flirting with Darcey, so she…throws a shirt at him. HELL HATH NO FURY, indeed.
Now, some very cruel people have suggested that Michael and Natalie were totally out-of-sync in the side-by-sides in this routine, but I think that’s most unfair. His arms were totally mirroring whatever her legs were doing, and vice-versa. Actually his legs were syncing up with a spider being pulled apart by a starling in the BBC car-park but…that spider probably has as many dance credentials as Hayley Holt! ever had, so it’s good enough for me.
Natalie collapses into the wheelbarrow, job done for the night(/series/life). Also because
that’s where the axe is. Oh Christ, we’re all doomed. Bruce immediately sympathises, saying that was a really difficult dance they gave Michael to do there. And if Bruce is saying it sucked…. I haven’t even got round to talking about how it was danced to “This Ole House”, which is a song about a dilapidated shack in which the songwriter found a corpse. In many ways, this makes this a fitting sequal to Erin & Richard’s cha-cha…
Bruno starts for the judges, demanding that he be given the axe. Don’t tempt them Bruno, we all remember Arlene. I’m sure Harry’s available… He says that was the worst footwork he’s ever seen on Strictly – Michael looked like a wild goose chasing Natalie around a farmyard. Bruno says it was funny though, simply because he literally could not have done that any worse. I’m sure Widdy would be happy to give it a go. Oh what am I saying, of course she wouldn’t, she would have just sat in the wheelbarrow as Anton shoved it round dressed as a beaver. And that’s why Michael will always be better than Widdy.
Craig follows on the same theme, saying that that was the wierdest jive he’s seen in 10 series, and Michael’s hips seemed to have a mind of their own. Most of the time it looked like he was busting for a wee. I think that this dance caused Craig to say “busting for a wee” is my second favourite thing about it. Michael replies that he is, in fact, busting for a wee. Frankly, I’ve just laughed so hard that I am as well… Len closes by praising Michael’s gusto and enthusiasm, and saying there was a lot going on.
Mostly bad. And when even Len isn’t stumping up for the SPORTSMAN, you know something iconic just happened. He doesn’t even haul out “SAHM DAHNCES JUST DON’T SUIT SAHM PEEPUW!” and when Darcey mutters something about it being a “great improvement on last week” he tells her to do one. The situation’s so dire that Bruce even tells him that he’s “Bruce’s Favourite” and he hasn’t said that in about 3 series.
Up to the Tessanine they
axe, as you can hear audibly Tess telling everyone to shout “YES!” when he arrives. Bless her, she cares. Once they’re up there, Natalie gushes “I THOUGHT HE WAS GREAT!” and then
cracks herself up laughing, because not even she believes it. This is really the culmination of Natalie’s four years on Strictly. She always says everything’s amazing and wonderful and perfect, and when she had good partners it sort of came across as arrogant, but now we know we can see she’s just like that with everyone. Except Michael, who is Just That Bad. Natalie has found her limit at a lumberjack jive to Shakin Stevens. Michael grins that Natalie really has very low expectations and, when asked by Tess how he’ll do better next week, replies that he’ll just keep working hard. Natalie then pipes up with “we’ve worked so many hours this week on…that”. She then cracks up laughing again. You could feel a whole lifetime of scales falling from her eyes in that pause. These two are now my actual favourites. Scores are in
15. THE WORST JIVE SCORE EVER ON STRICTLY!
Louis Smith & Flavia Cacace dancing the Viennese Waltz
I was doubting Flavia’s sanity for choosing “Puppy Love” for this Viennese Waltz (let’s face it, we all were, even the paramilitary wing of the Mavia Mafia) but just looking at Louis there makes it all click. The soft brown eyes, thslightly needy grin, the tuft of hair, the miniature bow-tie…he basically IS a cartoon dachshund isn’t he? Called Schnitzelpuppy or something in an East German cartoon from 1989.
Actually…no, it’s still Puppy Love. It’s still a desperate choice. BAD FLAVIA.
Anyway, apparently in some interview Louis said that Kimberley Walsh is good looking, which means that he fancies her, which means that they’ve already had sex, and he wants to marry her. This atom being blasted up to city size via the funnel of the tabloids means that it’s time for Bruce to get in on the action and to yell
“KIMBERLEY! HE WANTS TO DO YOU BAD WAYS!” up at the Tessanine.
Still more subtle than Tess.
VT now, and we were reminded that last week Darcey took a bullet for the team, and covered up for Louis’ lack of storyline so far by creating one via the means of hurling herself at him like Emily Davison at the king’s horse in the derby. Of course it’s Darcey, not Arlene, so it comes across more like a rabbit nibbling a lettice rather than a mongoose deep-throating a cucumber, but what can you do? Flavia says that she personally is glad that Darcey has a thing for Louis just because
it will reduce the inevitable sniggering about her own relationship by…ooh…about 3%. Also, I like that she’s kept one of Russell’s old jumpers for herself. Such a sweet devoted pairing. *sniff*
Louis on the other hand found Darcey embarrassing, and thinks she found herself embarrassing too. Or at least she should have done. He also talks about how proud he was of his routine last week and says something that I know ISN’T “my shit looked fierce” but…I can’t make out what it could be so…
Training now and Louis tells us that they’re dancing to “Puppy Love”. Oh dear. Louis’ problem this week (other than that he’s dancing to “Puppy Love”) is that he’s finding it hard to smile in the routine, let alone be romantic. He sits grumpily on his chair and complains to Flavia that it’s hard to grin when you’re not having fun. Flavia’s response? “WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT? THIS IS FUN! WHEEEEEEEEEEE!” whilst whirling around on her own like a Turkish dervish. Dancers are…odd people sometimes. We close with her saying “I hope I can get at least a bit of a smile out of him on Saturday”. Fortunately for you Flavia, he’ll be dancing immediately after Michael’s jive and if you can’t smile after that…
TO THE DANCE-FLOOR!
I think in a weird way, Flavia might actually be making a virtue out of Louis’ flat affect with this routine. “Oh sure”, I imagine her saying. “Sure it may be a Viennese Waltz danced to Donny Osmond wearing a miniature bow-tie in a hedge-maze with little bushes trimmed into the shape of hearts, but look how inoffensive his complete lack of on-floor personality makes it! Can you imagine Tom Chambers doing this? Imagine how EARNEST it would have been! Wouldn’t you have just THROWN UP at the earnestness? Really it’s a blessing”.
Their waltz? It’s very fast, and very energetic, and very deft, but I’m not entirely convinced by his frame or by the bobbiness of it. I don’t know if it’s the juvenility of the song making the whole thing feel like a skip to school, but it’s definitely there. Maybe they should have gone the whole hog and danced it in school uniform with satchels with Flavia in pigtails and draw-on freckles. Really milk the granny vote. Also, he doesn’t smile once, until the end, and when he does it’s to
take the piss a bit. I think.
Up on the Tessanine,
Kristina goes “bawwwww!”, Robin goes “dawwwwwwww!”, Ola goes “cooooo!”, Artem goes *sigh* and Richard goes “bleurrrrrrrgh” over the side of the Tesspit onto Dominic Littlewood’s pate. I guess when you’re not raised in the BALLROOM WORLD like these people, seeing a routine where the emotional highpoint of a routine is to someone whining “SOMEONE HELP ME! OH HELP ME PLEEEEASSSSE!” can be a little unsettling.
Over to Bruce they go, as he tells them that he loved that song, and the emotional connection he saw between them. Is he high? On both counts? Darcey starts and says that she really liked how calm and confident he was, and she really liked his grace and posture as well. She then pauses as though everyone’s abot to start going “OH DARCEY, CALM DOWN YOU FREAK!”. Nobody does. I don’t think Darcey GETS being a pervert. She goes on to say that she didn’t see any connection with Flavia, really, but she DID see a fleckerl, so who cares, yah?
Bruce then asks Len if he saw a flekcerl, except he forgets his name and Len huffs “oh are you talking to me?” and then Bruce snots “well unless I was getting my nose straightened, yes I was talking to you!”. I fear there are cracks in the Len-Bruce alliance this series. *rubs hands together*. Anyway, Len did indeed see a fleckerl, and also “more turns that the government”.
POLITICALSATIRE! He thinks it was the best dance he’s seen all series. Bruce then tries to make “WELL SAID LEN! WELL SAID LEN!” a chant that will happen. It will not. Their relationship is so odd. Bruno follows by saying that it was like a “Valentine Postcard” come to life. I really love the idea of a Valentine Postcard. “I really love you, that’s why I’m in Ibiza instead!”
Up to the Tessanine they pup and
LOOK, THEY’RE HOLDING HANDS, ARE YOU HAPPY NOW TWITTER? God I miss the days when the show wasn’t some sort of contest to see who could best fake affection and come up with the best nauseating “team name”. I swear the only thing Ian and Denise had in common was the desire to kick everyone else in the shins. Tess reminds them that Len and Bruno both said they had the best dance of the night so far and Flavia fans herself manicly, like the dance highlight this evening so far hasn’t been “Vincent pancakes Tracy Beaker into the ground so hard she almost gets concussion”. Tess asks Louis if he feels like a ballroom dancer, and Louis says the suit certainly makes him feel like one. He thinks he looks very dapper. Mmm hmm. Tess then gets him to smile.
What a shame Arlene isn’t here to demand he GO TO A SMILING COACH. Scores are in
Denise Van Whiplash & James Jordan dancing the jive
My favourite thing about Denise is that you can take her name and add anything to the end and it sounds vaguely villainous. God bless that “van”. Bruce reminds us that last week Denise got great comments for her waltz (“no heel leads at all” was a particularly good one) but the jive is an energetic dance and in training she suffered a DEVASTATING INJURY! Oh Christ, more Injury Porn already! This series is so manic.
VT time now, and Denise says that dancing the waltz was the best feeling of her life, but also the scariest. She had sweaty palms, a dry mouth, an elevated heart-rate, and her legs were shaking. Got to love a woman who always has full awareness of all her symptoms. She says she was surprised, therefore, that Craig liked it! Like Craig doesn’t feast off the scent of human anxiety. James too says he’s really starting to like Craig.
God to love a show that says a guy was “mean, controversial and rude on Friday Night” and then only an hour later is Photoshopping in a halo on a shot of him from that very same episode.
Training now, and Denise says that the problem with the jive is that it just requires so much energy, and as we all know, she’s normally just good for sitting on chairs and stuff. She proclaims that she’s dizzy enough as it without any more spins in her life! LOL! Sadly for Denise, such unscripted spontaneous japery is sadly brought to an end as James explains, with a serious face
the story of Denise came to be crippled by mild whiplash. It was just an ordinary day in training – Denise was hiding James’ shoes in an air vent and James was putting itching powder down Denise’s bra and somewhere amidst all the MINT BANTER they were just about remembering to train. Then, sadly,
Ola walked past the fire exit carrying a “2 For 1 At Debenhams Lakeside” sales bag. Denise’s neck never stood a chance. Her instinct for a bona fide Essex bargain made her neck spin so hard it almost screwed itself off. The result?
MILD WHIPLASH! DUN DUN DURRRRRRRRRN!
Whatever, the physio’s kind of cute, so I’ll allow it. We close on James telling Denise to take a can of Toughen Up and get on with it, because, I don’t know, sympathy’s for pussies of something. BANTAH! I think this may have been the weakest bout of Injury Porn either. Her neck’s a bit sore and neither of them really seem to care. The end. WHERE ARE THE TEARS? WHERE’S THE SPANKLY UGG BOOT AND THE FROZEN PEAS?
TO THE DANCE FLOOR!
My lord, you can see her slots. We begin with a Comedy Dance-Intro, where Denise yells “WHERE’S JAMES? OH JAMES! THERE YOU ARE! WHATS-A-COME-AND-A-GO?!
WHAT THE FOCCAICA ARE YOU DOING TO ME JAMES! MAMMA MIA!” because James is flirting with some lady in the front row.
She doesn’t seem very into it. James then runs on, and Denise tells him to
TALK TO THE WRIST, CAUSE THE FACE IS PISSED. It’s no wonder we live in BROKEN BRITAIN if all the youth are seeing are these scenes of marital discord in their jives. Once we get past these tragic scenes of distrust and discord, we get to the jive, which is a proper rip-snorter. I do always love James’ utter disdain for “flicks n kicks” in his jives. He throws in one (very well done) section at the beginning, all
THAT’S YOUR LOT, and then the rest is a frenzied collection of cartwheels
and drunken sailors. Also bits where James just choreographs
him being a stud and Densie wanting his hot bracey tits, but…it’s JAMES, what can you do?
BAMP. I feel that end-reel may be a portent for Denise’s Strictly Journey incidentally, in that she’s got it all almost lined up, but she’s still not going to get any pay-out.
Over to the judges they wop-bop their loom-bops as
LEE MEAD GOES MILD! When they arrive at the judges, Bruce asks them if they have anything to say, and they both huff incoherently as they’re so out of breath. Denise just about manages to wheeze out “…I’VE GOT SUCH A DRY MOUTH!” and it’s fortunate for her that Bruce isn’t really listening, because I’m sure he would have offered her somethnig to wet it with.
Darcey starts by saying that Denise
really captured the spirit of the jive instantly. The “spirit of the jive” appears to have posessed Darcey also. Well…the spirit of something anyway. Her shoulders were a little too powerful, but Darcey loved the energy. Len follows up by yelling “TOOTY FRUITY WHAT A BOOTY!” as we all knew he would, and then says that that routine was his cup of tea. Last week he was disappointed, this week he’s delighted!
mildly impressed, as ever by an attractive female dancing well. Craig follows, grim facing “now for the truth darling…FAB-U-LOUS!”. I love when Craig calls himself “The Truth”. It just makes me think back to Pamela’s quickstep and laugh even heartier. Anyway James and Denise both run up and kiss him, and Bruce pretends (/”pretends”) he’s about to and everybody laughs ho ho. Well I guess it makes a change from everyone threatening to punch him.
Up to the Tessanine they lamp their bamboons, and Tess yells “WATCH THE NECK!” as Denise hugs her. Thanks Dr Tess! She tells Denise she was really feeling for Denise earlier because she was in so much pain, and Denise replies that she can’t feel anything because she’s so full of adrenaline, but she’s sure she’ll be in agony tomorrow. Given that that’s when Scissor Sisters are in, that seems prophetic. An EVEN-MORE CONCERNED Tess asks James if he’s pushing Denise too hard and he says
“yes”. Well there’s an answer for you. Score are in
Johnny Ball & Ivetiona Vilanisiuta dancing the foxtrot
Bruce jokes that Iveta is foreign and therefore has a foreign name. This is why they call him Mr Saturday Night, people. Bruce goes on to say that Johnny has been working in showbix for 50 years now, and Bruce knows what he calls someone who’s done that! Anton?
Oh Iveta, your Bruce Joke Face needs work. I was hoping you’d be back next year but…now I’m not so sure.
VT time now, and Johnny tells us that he found last week’s show tremendously exciting and he wasn’t nervous at all! Well that’s him eliminated then. You need nerves to get on Strictly like you need a visa to get into America. Prepare for your cavity search Johnny! He said he loved the routine, but the judges didn’t seem to. I think the disparity in opinions may be because they didn’t have Iveta stroking their nipples and yelling “YOU ARE REAL MAN!” at them. Poor Darcey.
Anyway, we’re reminded that Craig hated Johnny’s miming, and Iveta shrugs that if that’s their biggest problem, Johnny should be fine *holds up needle and thread*. Oh Iveta it isn’t. It really isn’t.
Training now, and Johnny says he was very disappointed by the scores he got in the first show, so he’s determined to do better this week. Iveta for her part says she’s sure that Johnny will do much better this week as they are doing foxtrot, and he is tall, elegant man. Also
LOOK AT IVETA EXTENSIONS! CAN KAREN EXTENSION LIKE THIS? IVETA NOT THINK SO! IVETA NOW AVAILABLE FOR WORK AND WILLING TO LIE ABOUT HOW ELEGANT AND BEAUTIFUL HER PUTZY PARTNER IS! ALSO IVETA DOES NOT DO STREET DANCE AS IT IS FOR RAPPERS AND ANIMAL PEOPLE ONLY! HIRE IVETA FOR STRICTLY! ALSO SACK ERIN IF KAREN IS TOO SEXY TO BE FIRED! IVETA NOT CARE WHICH! SHE WILL DANCE WITH ANTON IF PAY IS RIGHT!
I started this segment by chiding Bruce for making fun of foreign speech patterns didn’t I? NEVER MIND. Erm… look, here’s an out-of-context picture of…something.
Let’s say they’re already practicing their Great Dictator themed Tango for next week, and Iveta has ordered her Hitler tache two sizes too large. Yeah, that makes sense. Iveta praises Johnny for his strong work ethic (LIKE BOOL!) and says he arrives at the dance studio before her and leaves after her and he always puts a coaster under his tea-cup and stuff. Such a charmer.
TO THE DANCE-FLOOR
I bet when Iveta returns home she smuggles that through duty-free. I’m not just talking about the perfume either. I mean the perfume, the mirror, the powder-puff the table…the whole shebang. Well she might as well get SOMETHING out of this whole experience. Anyway, we find out next what Iveta has REALLY done about the miming, which is to choreograph their foxtrot to some Michael Buble pablum, because let’s face it, Johnny’s not going to know the words to that. Then again, he was “miming” the piano noises last week so…
The dance? It’s kind of hard to avoid the fact that Johnny
doesn’t really move a lot – just makes some nice geometric shapes as Iveta whirls around him. It’s a blatant “just stand there old man and keep out my way, I’m doing a job interview here” routine although…maybe that’s unfair, because it’s not as though Ola ever needed the excuse. It’s quite sweet though, and between him and Jerry, I’d rather lose the one not trying.
Up on the Tessanine…
whatever Tracy Beaker, age will come for you too. Oh what am I saying, she’s a Child Star, she’s probably at least 52 already. The routine gets a standing ovation
mostly from the show’s Warm-Up Man. Johnny’s jokes that all those people are standing better than he does. Never mind Johnny, you’re still beating Bruce.
Len starts for the judges, praising Johnny for his enthusiasm. Sure his posture was bad, his footwork was messy and he wasn’t really doing much, but he was TRYING, and he moved nicely around the floor. Bruno follows and says that he has something very nice to say to Johnny
because Bruno’s flirting knows now age, gender, or species boundaries. He thinks that Johnny “set up the scene very well” (did Iveta make him bring the props out himself? Makes sense) and he hit some nice lines when he wasn’t in hold. In hold though, he was a bit stiff. I can’t believe Bruno just passed up the opportunity for a “Stiff Johnny” joke. He’s slacking.
Up on Mount Olympus, our OLYMPIAN GODS
look on disdainfully at the oh so mortal man before them. Also Brendan. I’m not sure what he’s got an Olympic Medal in, as my efforts to get Time Warp recognised as an official event before London 2012 were sadly rebuffed AGAIN. Craig on the other hand is next for the judges, and he criticises Johnny’s splayed hands and all the gapping in the routine. Decent effort though. Darcey closes by telling him that it was much better than last week (you know, just like she said Michael was…) but he needs to work on creating an elegant frame, because Iveta needs it to hang on to and support her. Iveta’s face says
“piss off do I”. Darcey herself then responds by whispering “believe in yourself yah?” and pulling the most patronsiing face EVAH.
It’s like they let Princess Anne loose in a homeless shelter.
Up to the Tessanine they la-la-la, and Tess greets them by honking “JOHNNY BE GOOD!”. You might think she’s making a reference. I’m not sure sure. She carries on to gush that even CRAIG was positive, and Johnny mutters that he wasn’t very satisfied with his frame during the dance. Again, I’m sad that we lost him this week, when Jerry clearly couldn’t give a flying fig that her “frame” resembles a damp towel flung at a radiator. Iveta replies by telling Johnny that he thinks too much – she was trying to bring out the gentleman out of him that he is but it’s natural for him so all he had to do was just be himself.
HA! That makes no sense at all, but if someone told me that the way Iveta did I’d go weak at the knees. She’s such a smooth one. Everyone goes “awwww!” except Jerry, who presumably has seen (/was) her type hovering around rich old men before. Scores are in
Sid Owen & Ola Jordan dancing the salsa
Bruce says there’s been a lot of drama and tension between Sid and Ola this week. Bruce ponders what this might be. Have they fallen out? Has they started a showmance? Is their training room haunted by the ghost of Eva Peron or whatever bollocks it was happened to Russell & Flavia last year? Has Sid got…MILD WHIPLASH?!
I can’t wait to find out!
VT time now, and Sid tells us that his first few steps of waltz were pretty “dodge” but he really got into it, and then started to enjoy it. He and Ola say that it was really nice to get lovely comments from Darcey and a 7 from Len. So much so that
they both started crying a little bit. The lack of James swooping in to yell “WORRRRRRGH! MAN UP!” and then to stamp on his toes it what makes it so emotional. Sid admits later that he got a bit choked up at how well it went. Aw, what a lovely Strictly Moment from a man from whom I was expecting literally nothing. Let’s move on to training and see how lovely and fluff…
oh. Yup, Ola’s on a tear. This is proper pre-Series 7 stuff as well – yelling, snapping, pushing. I have missed this side to her a little. She also tells us that she’s decided to choreograph a one-handed handstand for Sid into their salsa, just to mess with Louis. Seriously, anybody could do that gymnastics rubbish! And he only got a silver medal! RUBBISH! Sid vainly tries to point out that he is in fact 40 years old and has about as many abdominals as he has BAFTAs but Ola is having none of it. She might win this series now, because let’s face it, even when she was given a tennis player who worked for ITV Breakfast she still got him about halfway. SHE’S GOING FOR IT!
To the dance-floor now as
Friday Night at the Megabowl takes a turn for the bizarre. Ricky struts out to the lanes to the parp of the opening of “Hips Don’t Lie” by Shakira, and the whole routine is basically Ola’s Latin Greatest Hits.
The Sexy Starfish (sadly Sid’s arms are in the wrong place for this one, but he can’t help being Cockney I guess)
The Gluey Crossovers
The Bit Where The Man Just Looks At Ola All “What Now?”
AND, FOR ONE NIGHT ONLY!
Well I don’t really know what to call it, but I doubt we’ll see it again so *shrug*
The whole thing’s not so much a dance as one of those games 9 year olds play where they run around the school playground, and if you’d ask them what they were actually doing, they wouldn’t a clue. It’s a mercy they don’t start playing pat-a-cake halfway through.
Over to the judges they go, mid standing-ovation, because Ola knows what she’s doing at this point. Bruce yells that that was “BETTER THAN ACTING!” but Sid says he missed some steps, which cues in much shushing from Ola.
To be fair, there did seem to be about 400 of them.
Bruno starts by praising Sid’s “Sid Vicious attitude”.
I don’t think Sid Vicious has ever been less appropriately deployed as a metaphor. I mean, let’s imagine Sid Vicious going out there and doing that – handstands and bum-gropes to a Shakira soundtrack. Although…given John Lydon’s career trajectory, it’s not impossible. Bruno goes on to say that, much like with The Sex Pistols, the attitude served to cover up an abundance of technical flaws. And, much like with The Sex Pistols, I doubt that will stop it selling. Craig agrees – saying the dance was haphazard, hit-and-miss, bitty and fragmented. Well someone got something handy on his “word-a-day thesaurus” toilet paper today. On the bright side, he loved the routine. Particularly the knee-slides and the hip rotation. Given that Sid’s knee slides ended solely because he slid directly into the stairs at full tilt, I’m not sure of the skill level involved there. To be honest.
Darcey follows, saying that the nerves were clearly gone compared to last week (and people said Alesha was repetitive, although I’m starting to think Darcey’s talking to herself, yah?) but the energy died a bit towards the end, and she wants to see more hips next time. In his tango. Len follows by saying that the salsa is HOT AND SPICY! FROM THE CARIBBEAN! KINGSTON, JAMAICA TO BE SPECIFIC!
Anyway, Sid’s dance was more “Kingston-Upon-Thames”, and he lost confidence after he made a mistake about halfway through. Oh well.
Up to the Tessanine they wiggle, and Tess asks Sid what it’s like to showcase a whole new side of himself. He said it’s very bizarre. So bizarre that it made him a little over-excited and he lost control. Yeah, we’ve all had those dreams Sid, don’t worry. Tess asks Ola if, in the wake of that handstand, she might get Sid to do the splits next week. Ola looks enthused. Sid looks…
less so. Scores are in
Kimberley Walsh & Pasha Kovalev dancing the foxtrot
I think he’s growing it out. I remain to be convinced. No Brucie Joke. Ah well.
VT now, and we’re reminded that Kimberley was so good last week that it made Darcey say “wow factor”, and Craig say “incandescent”. Kimberley herself wonders what “incandescent” actually means.
I mean, it IS Craig, who uses words like “spatulistic” and “paddletastic. You can see why she might want to check with a grown-up. We also cover Len coining the worst nickname ever – Nimble Kimble. Kimberley says she hopes it sticks. It really won’t. I’ve already forgotten who “Tricky Dicky” was supposed to be. Artem?
Training now, and Kimberley reveals that Pasha calls the foxtrot “the King Of Ballroom” and Pasha himself sighs that if you can foxtrot
“then you can dance”. OOH OOH, PASHA! MAKE ME FOXTROT! MAKE ME A DANC…sorry, forgot where I was there. Like I said, it’s growing out. Give me another month and I’ll be redacting my jokes all over the place again. Kimberley herself says that she wants the foxtrot to look smooth and elegant as she
flashes Illuminati signals around everywhere. Maybe that’s where Girls Aloud got all their money from. Kimberley’s Konnections. She grins that if she’s in pain and feeling uncomfortable, she’s probably in the right position with Pasha. [*redacted joke would go here if it were November*]. She then drawls out the following sentence of wonder :
“Darcey said that I brought the wow factor last week but she also said asked me to bring it back again this week so I guess anything less than wow is not going to be good enough for her”
Calling it now – Kimberley’s the bot. It was a close run thing with Louis for a minute there, but COME ON.
TO THE DANCE-FLOOR!
Hooray, the lamp-posts are back! I mean nobody’s swinging around them or doing a pole dance yet, but the series is still young. Kimberley and Pasha are doing their foxtrot to “Someone Like You” by Adele, which has always fallen down for me,as a song, on the “hate to turn up out of the blue uninvited” bit because…you can tell she doesn’t. She loves a bit of shimmying up your drainpipe to bellow “NEVER MIND, I’LL FIND SOMEONE ELSE, AND HE’LL PROBABLY HAVE A BIGGER NOB AND A NICE CAR AS WELL” in your window, as your girlfriend rolls her eyes and brushes her teeth. Imagine dating someone who used to date Adele? Sod the troops, those are some real heroes right there. You’d get in your car in the morning and there she’d be, prostate on the back-seat like some sort of slasher movie axe murderer, bellowing “ROLLING IN THE DEEEEEPPPPP!” and munching your Jammie Dodgers.
Where was I? Oh yes, the foxtrot. Despite my Adele related misgivings, Pasha has choreographed a very moody and dramatic foxtrot, that really had the potential to be amongst the classic Strictly foxtrots (you know like erm…that one Gethin did? Didn’t Lisa get a 40 for one once? (because that narrows it down…)) but sadly, Kimberley isn’t quite up to it yet. I read an article Craig did before the series started where he predicted that Kimberley would struggle in the ballroom, and I hate to admit Craig has an eye but…
The first half’s not bad, and she gives good smoulder, but from about halfway through she struggles with her balance and is being pulled about quite a lot by Pasha. Also she weirdly pops her hips occasionally in quite a Girls Aloud way. I guess it’s hard to work that sort of stuff out sometimes. Towards the end it all goes a bit
corpsey and she starts to lead with her chin. Always a danger in the ballroom. Tame it Kimberley, lest your nickname actually become Chinberley Walsh.
Still, as with last week, neither as good or as bad as either pole would have you believe.
Girls Aloud go WOO!
Craig starts for the judges, saying the routine was absolutely gorgeous and he thought that Kimberley danced it beautifully. The only problem was her jaw, which was protruding the whole time. For one terrifying moment I think she’s about to
wrench it off, there and then, and throw it in the bin. She seems driven enough. Bruce strokes his own ample chin and sighs “how do you think I feel?”. Where would you like me to start? Darcey follows by saying that Kimberley created a beautiful mood but her top-line was very soft, as was her centre. You can tell she wants to say “core”. Oh and there was gapping as well. And no “wow factor”. Tum ti tim.
Len next, and I’ll just recreate his criticism verbatim, because it’s VERY Len.
“Well, I thought it was limp, I thought you were LIMP, I didn’t feel as if there was enough conviction in the dance, you were hanging off, you went wrong…Now LISTEN, it’s good enough, and good enough’s better than not enough but for YOU it’s got to be more than enough. You’ve got to…you know…our expectations for you are HUGE! You’ve got to do better than THAT girl!”
So it was good enough, but also not enough, but also better than not enough. Got it. I can see why they made him Head Judge. Kimberley shrugs and says “fair enough” but you can tell she’s sending Nadine and Nicola around with a tyre-iron later. Bruno closes by saying that he loved the style and the performance, but she needed more body contact in hold and also not to do this
because Hollywood Week is next week, so save the Sylvester Stallone impersonations til then.
As they make ready to flee to the Tessanine, Bruce tells Kimberley that it all went very well and the judges loved it, and she laughs right in his face. Attagirl. Once she’s made it up, Tess tells her she split the panel, and Kimberley sighs that she was really full of nerves and it made her tense, and she’s very disappointed in herself. Tess asks her what she’s going to do to impress Len next week, and Kimberley says that she just needs more time to train and get it right. Tess finally gives her the EASIEST feed-line in Strictly
“but you’re getting more confident with Pasha’s help I think?” and Kimberley then biffs it into the ground by saying that she isn’t! Bloody hell Kimberley, if you can’t muster up a “yeah he’s a great teacher, and so helpful, I love you Pash” *hug*, then it’s not the routines that are going to do you in. Scores are in
Jerry Hall & Anton du Beke dancing the foxtrot
Oh, do you know what darling, I’m just so fabulously lazy that I can’t be bothered at all this week. Scores are in
18. The lowest foxtrot score ever on the show, except not in the fun way like Michael’s jive earlier. I WILL find room for one screencap of Erin giving Jerry a death-glare for messing up her Anton’s Ballroom.
And one from Ola
just because she wears it well.
Robin & The Fruity Bap-Baps dancing the Viennese Waltz
Bruce tells us that last week, Lisa’s cha-cha was so amazing that it stopped the show. Sadly nobody told Erin that, because she came out and did her waltz anyway, and everyone cried because she wasn’t firing confetti cannons in everyone’s face singing “Y.M.C.A”. Apparently after she lifted Robin, Lisa has been offered a job with the fire brigade. I guess it did demonstrate her ability to deftly handle sometthing flaming. Bruce cues up her VT by yelling “GET READY!” like she’s flipping “Nemesis” at Alton Towers.
In said VT, Lisa says she can’t believe how well her routine went last week. Everyone was cheering along and clapping and going “woo!”. I use this opportunity to grab a High Definition picture of her
spanking her arse at Craig, because I will never not appreciate that. She says that to say that she and Robin were blown away by the judges comments would be an understatement, a fact proven by a shot of her and Robin hurtling through a doorway
screaming like something that just died in Golden Axe. To celebrate their table-topping feat, Lisa has had a lamp made in the shape of Robin but now
she’s not sure where to put it. In the bog I’d say Lise.
Training now, and
do you know, when the Viennese invented their waltz, 500-odd years ago, I’m not sure this was what they had in mind. Fun though. Robin says that Lisa now has to transition from a high-energy cha-cha to a smooth and elegant waltz, all as Lisa cackles like a witch in the background. She tells us that she’s going to be a princess in this next routine…or try to be at least. She promises that at the very least she intends to hold herself with grace and decorum.
And also Robin’s arse.
TO THE DANCE-FLOOR!
Jesus Christ it’s 11:55! How long has this show been on for? Anyway, they’re dancing their Viennese Waltz to “Never Tear Us Apart” by John Lewis. Two songs in one show! He’s such a dance icon! Lisa and Robin stalk one another around the floor until
Lisa gets a bit petty and they have to start dancing before she starts trying to ride him round the floor like a Great Dane. They’ve also taken the rather novel step of tucking her dress into her bracelets until they take hold. Take that Fern! There’s a way to be even LAZIER with your skirt swishing (nobody tell Jerry). Once they take up hold, it’s very fast, and very dynamic, but Lisa gets quite grabby at points – flinging her hands out for a Robin that isn’t there, and occasionally anticipating his lead rather than following it. Still, it’s a fun Viennese Waltz, and I didn’t really think there were as many problems with the hold as people maybe anticipated.
Sadly for Lisa, at midnight, Robin is
frozen at the sound of a dong and she has to leave alone.
Happily, this is only a story, and once the band stops, Lisa can hurl herself at Robin with gay abandon, bosom bouncing up and down like two space hoppers on pogo-sticks on a trampolene. It gets a standing ovation, apart from Nicola and Nadine, who can’t be arsed. When they arrive at Bruce, he asks Lisa if she invited Robin in for coffee, and Lisa replies that no, she had to rush off to her carriage. Bruce is all “eh? carriage?” and Lisa explains
“carriage! you know! Cinderlla?”. Bruce still doesn’t really get it. To be fair, it wasn’t the clearest choreography. Maybe Lisa should have taken her shoe off at the end, and thrown it at him.
Len starts for the judges, saying it was a panto of a Viennese Waltz. He then goes through a torturous metaphor where Lisa is Cinderella, he’s Baron Hardup, Craig and Bruno are the Ugly Sisters, Robin is Prince Charming and Darcey is Fairy Godmother. Well…I’m fairly sure on those last two.
HE’S BEHIND YOU! etc etc
Anyway, Lisa was good out of hold, but in hold she needs to work on…some things he’ll tell her in her dressing room later. Well that was…a bizarre end to that critique. Bruno follows by saying he appreciated the full-on entertainment, but calls out Lisa for leading Robin around and being a bit too dominant in the partnership.
Craig is next, and says that Lisa performed the dance with great dexterity and lightness but it is true that the man should lead.
Unless he’s partnered with Lilia, in which case she’ll just backlead him everywhere, get 10s and then sort of half-admit it four years later. Darcey closes with her fifth or sixth “you created a beautiful mood” critique of the evening, saying she loved the intent in Lisa’s eyes. But she is trying a bit too hard and she’s a bit
grabby. Either that or she just saw a spider on Craig’s jacket. EEP!
Up to the Tessanine they swishio, and Tess asks Lisa if she feels like a Princess. Lisa says yes, but now she’s going to break character, go back to her Northern roots, and be her again. Careful Lisa. They’ll have you supping ale in a flat cap cuddling a whippet covered in coal-dust in a hot second as soon as the Comedy VTs come roaring back. Tess asks Robin if he’s got any more surprises next week and he promises that
THEY’S ALL IN HIS BRAINBOX! Scores are in
Final Leaderboard Of The First Two Shows?
Aw Yeah. The Oldest Contestant ever on top of the cricketer and the boybander? As it should be.