It’s HOLLYWOOD WEEK on Strictly Come Dancing. It’s like Movie Week but…erm… Alright, it IS Movie Week, but if someone says one of the OLD NAYMES, the names that Evil Moira Ross created, the beast itself will return and take ownership of their souls, so Hollywood Week it is. To open, in tribute to Old Hollywood, Kristina flashes her Fred’N’Ginge to a song by a 7th place finisher on Australian Idol 2. I am TRANSPORTED.
Broadly speaking the dances represent the three Golden Ages of Hollywood Dancing. That is to say “The 90s”, “The 80s” and “Old Stuff : Ask Your Mum”. Streaking out ahead of the modern lot are Denise & James, with a foxtrot to “You’ve Got A Friend In Me” dressed as Woody & Jessie, that’s chockfull of potential to drown in treacle, but fortunately it’s a foxtrot and therefore is sufficiently deathly dull at its base elements that we don’t quite have to reach for the dexamethadrone. Too often. Would have been better if it had turned Brokeback halfway through though. Hovering around the middle of the decade are Nicky & Karen, who are both so over this that I’m actually only claiming their bent-kneed wander-fuck to some song to The Mask was ridiculously overmarked for their own good. Honest. Set them free voters, set them free. Somehow they’re marginally above Colin doing a nice-enough tribute act to Mark & Karen’s INFAMOUS Goldeneye tango, albeit with more rolling around making gun fingers going “p’yow p’yow” because that’s just how Strictly rolls these days. At least…I presume it was a tribute. I couldn’t hear what they were dancing to because something kept screaming “WHEN I WON WITH RAMPS!” from somewhere twenty feet above the dancefloor. Possibly from some sort of Starship. Bottom of the 90s heap is, of course, Michael, who strips down to cricket whites for a Full Monty cha-cha that ends with him almost, but sadly not quite, demolishing the entire set in the style of Crossroads.
Most iconic of the 80s legends are Louis & Flavia, who do the mambo from Dirty Dancing complete with Dat Lift and…that’s pretty much all you can say about that really. Just behind them is Lisa, doing some routine that the Year 9 girls made up for a school assembly about their new favourite film – Dick Tracy! Apparently Madonna’s now planning to become an ACTRESS as well as a singer! I’m so excited. It’s all a bit robotic and grim-faced and technically proficient, which isn’t really a direction I’m interested in this partnership heading in. Pull it back girl! You too Lisa. Middle of the 80s heap is Richard as Erin continues to grind out Ballroom routines with grim proficiency, thus making their choice of “9 To 5” – a song about turning up for your rote job every day, being far too talented for it, and dreaming of something better – an entirely apposite choice for their quickstep. Sadly this is officially a “No Camp” week for Richard, so it’s not nearly as stupidmazing as it could be. No falsies for a start. Unless you count Richard’s “one-liners”. Sadly shaming the 80s are PENDLEDRAMA as Brendan dresses up as Richard Gere in An Officer And A Gentleman (remember when Julian did that as A JOKE because the idea of anybody doing it straight-up was too ludicrous to imagine? Good times), and Victoria does about 15 seconds of decent dancing before getting tangled in her dress and being hauled off the floor more times than Arlene after a night on the tequilla slammers.
Old Stuff? I’m not really familiar with them, being only young and all, so let’s just say that FRED N GINGE did them all. I think maybe Gene Kelly was the lead in The Wizard Of Oz, but I can’t be bothered to check. Racing to the top are Tracy & Vincent and Kimberley & Pasha, both performing audience-appropriate era-specific tributes to The Wizard Of Oz and Summer Stock. Tracy has a cute little dog run out on stage (sadly it does not poo everywhere, which is the one thing that would have made the routine better) and Pasha is wearing really cute glasses, so I’m pleased all round. Kimberley continues to be a bit of a crashing bore, but what can you do? Somewhere towards the bottom are Jerry with a dressage exercise performed to Mrs Robinson, complete with overly-elaborate staging that falls flat when someone backstage pulls an audible over the end of it, and Fern, doing Mary Poppins. This week’s trick to hide the fact that Fern has no clue what to do with her hands? Make her hold an umbrella the whole time. SUBTLE.
Transcending time, space and gender though, is Sid Owen who produces easily the worst tango the show’s ever seen, and frankly I’m not sure it isn’t right up there with the worst Strictly dances of all time. I’m not sure I want to talk about it, and this is in a show where the Comedy VTs made a roaring comeback, Darcey’s scoring unhitched itself from reality entirely, and Len had his second pre-scripted “I’M GOING TO TEAR A FRONT-RUNNER DOWN NOW GRR GRR GRRR” of the series, and we’re only IN Week 3. Regardless to say, the cat-suit’s ON, the Hypnoboobs are OUT, the head-banging is RAMPANT, and there’s a guitar that lights itself on fire. And not in a good way.