Didn’t we just DO a Theme Week? Well yes, but apparently that’s not going to stop them raiding the dressing-up closet again. To be fair, Hallowe’en Week is now a permenant fixture in the Strictly calendar, just like “Wembley Week”, “The Week Where Everyone’s Crap” and “The Week When Karen Hardy Claims All The Male Celebrities Should Have Got A 10 Just Because”. If they’d cancelled it, the Strictly fandom would have been protesting in the streets desperate for the return of spooky VTs and clip on bat-ears.
We open (after a group dance themed around the 50th graveyard dinner-table banquet in reality tv history) with Tracy & Vincent doing a cha-cha to the Scooby Doo theme tune. Which, as a sentence, I think honestly could serve as a recap in and as of itself, as it’s kind of indicative of the week as a whole. She’s alright, the music and costumes (she’s a sexy Velma, he’s Fred and Shaggy’s love child with Daphne’s crotch) make it absolutely impossible to take it seriously. In the end it turns out it was all Old Man du Beke’s fault. Whatever *it* was. We then motor through a paso doble where Richard has come as Simon Cowell and Erin has come as the desire to burn the whole studio down to O Fortuna. I’m not really sure where Erin goes from here. Once you’ve gone pyromaniac, I’m not sure where else there even IS to go. The wheels of the evening then come off completely, with Lisa doing the same dance for the third time in four weeks, and doing it even worse than last time, when she did it worse than she did it the first time. This time she’s not a disco diva or a scuzzy nightclub prozzy but a witch in lime green tights. Grotbags isn’t even the word. A nadir is struck when Sid & Ola are Ghostbusters after about one hour’s training (Sid’s been working with Iveta all week because Ola’s had a family emergency, and it shows) and he’s clearly NOT INTO IT AT ALL. He does manage to sass Craig though, which is the main thing.
Nicky briefly gets the show back on the road with his first half-decent dance yet, a Jerry Lewis inspired tango to “Weird Science”. Maybe I’m just excited that it looks like a tango, after Sid’s effort last week. Of course the scoring’s so off-kilter this series is that it gets lower marks than his quickstep last week did despite being ten times better. OH WELL.
We then cycle listelessly through Fern’s American Smooth (she’s a killer queen – the way she kills is a slow asphyxiating death from boredom) and Denise’s cha cha (she’s a CRAZY CIRCUS FREAK in that she’s stumbling out of a cage with PURPLE EYEBROWS. WACKY!). At this point the show badly needs a kick up the arse with some exciting, lively, enthusiastic, expectation defying dances. And it comes! And it comes courtesy of MICHAEL VAUGHAN and VICTORIA PENDLEDRAMA!
I know, right?
Natalie completely ignores all but the most rudimental elements of the theme (MOYKUL’S LOYKE…A MAJISHIN. BUT…ERM…HE’S DID? OY THINK? A BIT DID?) in favour of producing a dance and a half of a quickstep, showing Erin just how a one week redemption arc ballroom dance is done these days. Maybe they can get together and inspire one another on some Greek island or something. It’ll be like The Color Of Money – Natalie’s Tom Cruise and Erin’s Paul Newman. BOOK IT! Victoria meanwhile does some major Corpse Bride tango work with only a minimum of dragging and wobbling and stuff. Everyone loves it, and Victoria smiles to herself. PENDLEDRAMA TRIUMPHANT AGAIN. DEAL WIV IT!
The night goes on from there, but those two dances were really the peak. Kimberley’s werewolf paso doble and Louis’ zombie tango are of about the standard you’d expect from frontrunners at this stage, and I’m sure if you’re into either them they were the BEST DANCE OF THE SERIES SO FAR OMG. And the less said about Colin’s wizardy salsa with Kristina the better. I know Dumbledore was supposed to be gay, but I don’t think he was supposed to be THIS GAY. Whatever happens, Strictly Hallowe’en Night 2012 will always belong to Michael, Natalie, Brendan and Victoria, just like Hallowe’en Night 2010 belonged to TIME WARP and Hallowe’en Night 2011 sadly belonged to Chelsee’s left nipple.