Goodness, I’d forgotten what this show was like without all those themes cluttering the place up. Darm “themes”. Comedy VTs, props, ugly costumes, gimmicks, extravagant staging, dances that don’t resemble anything I’ve seen on the show before…well they were all still here but…erm…at least they’ve not forced Davearch into a costume. He looked so miserable last time.
First out is Kimberley, descending to the dance-floor in a hoop, to a frankly ear-shattering rendition of “Naughty Girl” from the band. She gets the Strictly salsa vibe down pat (flick your hair, wiggle your hips, swing your arms about like Pat-A-Cake Patty, purse your mouth up like a particularly constipated cat’s arse) but her crocked knee clearly isn’t ready for the extravagant lifts that Pasha has given her to do. The last one in particular looks like she’s being run over by a speeding car. And Pasha is stood still during it. Bruce also calls Pasha “Pasta” at one point, but compared to how erratic he is for the first half hour of the show at least, it’s a minor stumble. Following lukewarm on her heels is Lisa, who does a bobby tango to “Let’s Stick Together”. She and Bobby trying to look sexy and dynamic to the parping of Roxy Music was unfortunate indeed.
Then…Erin Island explodes all over the dancefloor (no really, with actual palm trees and alcohol and everything) with such violence that Richard forgets his routine entirely, and doesn’t make any sort of effort at all to act like he hasn’t. On the other hand, he’s so thoroughly charming about it afterwards, that it’s the most likable he’s been all series. Denise on the other hand pulls off a strong Viennese Waltz that leaves me a bit cold, in the sort of way that feels like it should be trailed by going “AND I REALLY LIKED HER FOXTROT AND HER JIVE!” just in case people it’s because I is a biased jelus hatah. Then again, maybe I am.
Duelling sambas are next. It’s PENDLEDRAMA vs Louis. Hardly seems fair does it? To be honest though, neither covers themselves in glory. Victoria bobs around in an ungainly fashion but it’s hard to focus on her technique when her face is the most uncomfortable “hating every second” face since they made Gavin dress as a cowboy, and Louis is very mechanical and characterless. Fortunately for him, what he’s doing mechanically is GRINDING his hips around suggestively, so it gets the only standing ovation of the evening. I know. Only one. That’s just how flat the show is this week.
We speed through Colin dancing to his height (and nobody else’s) again in the foxtrot and Nicky walking through a rumba constantly on the verge of laughing hysterically (although to be fair, so is Karen) until we run slap bang into Artem’s very own variation on Ola’s Hypnoboobs – the Transfixatits, as he danced his paso doble topless. How bad can Fern be that he feels the need to strip off for votes? Aside from a magnificently dramatic opening – very bad indeed. At one point she accidentally starts a slap-fight with Artem because she can’t tell where her hands are supposed to be. Mercifully for her, they remain bolted to her dress for the rest of the dance. Next week? Nothing but his briefs, I’m guessing. And they’ll be tight ones.
It’s left up to Michael and Tracy to save the show, but unfortunately Michael’s not quite up to it, as his foxtrot doesn’t quite have the shock value of his quickstep last week. What it does have is Natalie miming along to the song and stuffing her face with candy floss, which is almost as good. No, it’s left up to Tracy to provide me with the one dance I really loved of the evening with her jive. As hard as I tried to resist it, as it’s the most obvious thing in the world dramatically to give a tiny short energetic person on the verge of a breakthrough the jive to do, but there we are. AND it’s danced to Olly Murs. What can I say, I tried to not love it, but in the end I caved.
The Comedy VT before it was still embarassing tut though…