Strictly Come Dancing 10 – Week 5 Performance


Last weekend it was (four days before) HALLOWE’EN so Strictly treated us with a spooky theme week. Victoria & Michael were treats, most of the female pros were dressed like tricks, and Lisa picked

the worst possible time to start the apple-bobbing season. Richard was the most flaming he’s ever been, Artem was the most naked he’s ever been (UNTIL TONIGHT!) and Louis was the most dead-eyed he’s ever been. Fortunately, this time, it was on purpose. In the end, it was Sid & Ola who were

disqualified for bringing dangerously malfunctioning hairdriers onto the dancefloor. If you’re going to use props kids, make sure you get a grown-up to vet them with an electrician first. Don’t end up banned for life from the show

like these two.

This week, the celebrities are having to dredge up every last inner sinew of rage, anger, and aggression in order to claw their way into the Top 10. They have to dig deep within themselves and find the passion, the fight, the physical strength and the mental ferocity to knock out the fearsome dance threat of a Richard Arnold or a Victoria Pendleton, so they can ASCEND TO THE HEIGHTS of a TRUE STRICTLY GLADIATOR WHOSE LEGEND WILL LIVE FOREVER (it says here). Their names will live on Strictly infamy, alongside such STRICTLY IMMORTALS as Georgina Bouzova, Dominic Littlewood, Heather Small, Ricky Groves and Felicity Kendall.

Well I’m terrified.


I think we all should have been pre-warned when she wasn’t even carrying any of her own bodyweight in the opening credits. If Anton had stepped backwards there she would have wiped out worse than Kate Garraway in a salsa on a frosty morning.

We’re straight to the dancefloor this week, with sadly no pro number to ease us in gently. I’ve always thought the ridiculous outlandish costuming and gurning they provide are a nice gentle ease in to…

well, you know the drill by now. Her left one looks like it’s making a break for freedom. And speaking of making a break for freedom

she really should have continued to put her foot down about this. It’s the least elegant thing on Saturday Night TV other than Tulisa. Tess has to actually direct him how to get her down again like she’s directing a crane on a building site. Bruce acts like he’s just holding her steady to preserve her modesty, but we all know that Tess’ modesty hit the bricks a LONG time ago, and it’s really just because Bruce hasn’t got any action since Darcey provided Wilnelia with that new gardener from her agency. The one where she takes D-List celebrities and hires them out to the yummy mummies of Knightsbridge. Wilnelia’s got Matt Cardle.

Our celeb sweep of the audience this week, yields

Dick. From Dick n Dom. Sadly no Dom though. He was always the best one. This week’s Brucie Joke sweep on the other hand reveals that he’s

GOT A SMARTPHONE! The set-up is funnier than any joke about it could be. Indeed the “joke” is, as usual Brucie reading lots of modern words, like “e-mail” and “battery” and “phone” off the autocue, badly. You’ll be pleased to know however that Bruce’s smartphone “sync”s to every other device he has.

So, you know, his trousers press and his gramaphone are well sorted for the latest David Guetta choon.

When this joke is over with (and I include the minute of Bruce going “they got it! They laughed! They laughed in the right places! Oooh you’re on form tonight! Not you madam, not like that! Ooooh have a banana!” on that “over with”) sadly recall how last week saw the last dance of Sid Owen, Ola Jordan and Iveta Lukosiute. At least until Erin Boag has an unfortunate scuba-diving accident just off Boag Bay and Iveta mysteriously returns with a bit of seaweed dangling out of her back-pocket and a new affection for classic musicals. Tess runs over the dancing and the voting and the scoring and the dance-off and the crying and the complaining in the press afterwards that the judges never recognised just how hard you were working, and then it’s time to meet, the STARS OF OUR SHOW. No prizes for guessing what

those are this week. Someone’s been at the protein shakes.

Once everyone’s done wiggling to the theme tune (BRING BACK THE LYRICS!), Bruce tells us that he’s received many letters complaining about the fact that the show recently lost its sexy blonde dancer in truly unfair circumstances. I’m surprised people can remember when Katya was blonde, before they made her dye her hair because they thought the public would it TOO CONFOOSIN and get her mixed up with Nata…oh, he was talking about Ola. Well actually he was mostly talking about that THING on Vincent’s head last week. But I’d rather not go back there again.

I’ve got enough to contend with on that score this week already, apparently. And not just him, given Tracy’s clearly been rummaging in Kelly Osbourne’s remainders bin. Bruce tells him that this new wig is HIDEOUS and then makes a big song and dance about it.

Bruce criticising anybody else’s wig is a bit like me criticising…well Bruce’s jokes, so let’s skate swiftly on.

To Starship Karen where this week she’s playing host to Lionel Blair.

Can you imagine Karen Hardy on “Give Us A Clue”? The gurning would have caused an earthquake that would make that recent one in Japan look like a minor wobble. Also, I can’t wait for the week where that screenshot looks like Tess is fisting Karen. CAN’T WAIT!


“if he dies, initiate Operation Barrowman”.

Kimbot & Pasta Kovalev dancing the salsa

Not my mistake, but Bruce’s. He then starts yelling at the autocue to give him the correct name, like he shouldn’t know it already.

Bruce jokes that there’s rumours going around of a Girls Aloud reunion, but Kimberley wanted it to be kept a secret. That’s why she constructed that website, held those press conferences, did all those magazine interviews, produced that music video, sabotaged Nicola and Nadine’s solo careers to get it going, and went on Strictly Come Dancing solely to promote it. Sadly, Kimberley’s subterfuge was REVEALED when she mentioned the reunion in passing to Richard Arnold.


VT time now, and Kimberley says that the Strictly Hallowe’en Special was really exciting, and very different to how she normally spends her Saturday nights. True that, when she farted around dancing with sexy-face on with Girls Aloud on an arena tour, they normally did their best to make the backing dancers look

attractive, rather than like a rejected Star Trek race circa 1968. We’re reminded that Pasha spent the whole week scaring Kimberley, but failed, as Kimberley really saw him more as a cutesy puppy dog than a SCARY WOLF.

A puppy dog that fell over face-first in a car mechanics? Anywho, all this got Kimberley her highest score yet, and she was very pleased.

Training now, and Kimberley tells us that this week she’ll be dancing the salsa to “Naughty Girl” by Beyonce, and Pasha says it’s a real change of character from the “scary wolf” to the “sexy salsa dancer”. Bless Pasha calling himself sexy. Bless his little cotton socks. Sadly, we discover that the knee injury that Kimberley was suffering from last week has

got worse and she’s now feeling twinges of pain every time she does a move. Now she knows how I felt watching Sid’s cha-cha last week. Pasha very soberly says that if the worst comes to the worst, Kimberley as the celebrity will just have to stand still whilst he dances sexily around her. And you thought it was just Artem who was learning tricks from Ola Jordan! Kimberley says that the situation’s getting so bad that she’s having to put ice on it every 30 seconds.

Yup, that’s how I’d feel dancing with Pasha as well.

In the end, this is a Strictly training VT so everyone’s very determined to make it work on the night and so on. We shall see…

To the dancefloor and


oh, it’s just Kimberley, descending to the dancefloor. And people say that Denise is the ringer. (ARF ARF ARF ARF). Kimberley liked this routine, so she put a ring in it (ARF ARF ARF ARF). Hey Kimberley, I can see your halo! YOU’RE SITTING IN IT! (ARF ARF ARF ARF!) Kimberley’s looking so fierce, somebody better RING the alarm! (ARF ARF ARF ARF). OK, that’s enough Beyonce related ring puns, before I move on to ones about Pasha’s r[JOKE REDCATED BEFORE IT’S EVEN STARTED].

Once Kimberley’s removed herself from her hoop, she gets the Strictly salsa vibe down pretty well, in that she does lots of armography and

whips her hair back and forth until you can’t even quite tell if there’s a head under there or not, but when it comes to doing anything more complicated than looking a bit sexy and working her hips, she seems off. It’s probably her knee. Let’s just blame that for everything.

Let’s face it, if her knee was fine, then Pasha probably wouldn’t have choreographed this little bit of

Len-pandering in. I mean…there’s working the judges, and then there’s just shoving your tits in an old man’s face. It’s also quite a clever way to get her into the first lift without her actually having to jump, as the judges desk is elevated. Because this is what happens when she does have to jump.

Hit Kimberley Walsh at 20mph, and there’s an 80% chance she’ll live. Hit Kimberley Walsh with a salsa, and there’s an 80% chance Pasha might die.

Hooray! He survived! Just about.

As everyone applauds gingerly, up on the Tessanine…

Brenda : How’s yours doing this week, Erin?
Erin : He tried to stick his penis in me the other day, then giggled and went “IT’S ALRIGHT ERIN, I’M GAY!”. So I’ve only taught him 50% of the routine. I don’t think he’s noticed
Brenda : My one spent the whole week trapped in an air vent because she chased a kitten in there. We had to call the fire brigade in to get her out.
Erin : This series sucks doesn’t it Brenda? We’ve been here given a decade of our lives to this crap, neither of us have ever won, and now we’re stuck with a basketcase and a hypersexed luvvie fauxmo who can’t seem to get eliminated no matter how hard we try.
Brenda : What are you talking about? I won with Kerplunk!
Erin : Oh that doesn’t count, it was Series 1.
Brenda : It so does! Hang on…Victoria’s been abducted by a Mexican cartel again, got to dash.

Or something like that.

Over to the judges they go, and Pasha giggles a bit more with Bruce about how he called him “Pasta”. Well…maybe if it didn’t look like buttery linguine most week… Ahem. Bruce introduces the judges, and says that this week he’s really looking forward to the Bonfire Party tonight. They’re all going to burn Alesha in effigy, then Bruno’s going to run onto the bonfire to try and save her, and then they’re going to have to throw a bucket of cold water over him. And not for the usual reasons. Bruce jokes about how Darcey’s going to try to sexually assault Louis or something

ha ha ha. Bruce mutters that he doesn’t know how she got the job. It’s because the public wouldn’t have heard of anybody else who was willing to do it Bruce, and without her at the helm, Starship Karen would crash into the studio and everyone would die. Honest Karen, that’s totally why they didn’t ask you to be a judge. The spaceship thing.

Len starts, and calls the routine the “return of Nimble Kimble”.

I know Kimberley, it hurts me too. Len says that she finished the lifts, and the routine was a sparkler. Right down to her looking like she’d just got dumped in a bucket at the end. He thinks he saw an early mistake with her arms, but otherwise it was great. He particularly liked the bit where she “flaunted herself” at him. If she does that every week, she’ll get an extra mark. Well at least they’re being honest about it. It also helps…explain Victoria’s marks later.

Bruno’s next and demands that Kimberley

TEASE HIM TO DEATH! I’ll do it Bruno – your accent’s ludicrous, your perving is tragic, you’re the public’s least favourite judge, and your jumping up and down is frankly embarrassing in a man of your advanced a…oh. Not that sort of teasing. Bruno calls her naughty, saucy and fiercely sexy. Or he might just be reading out the song’s lyrics. Who can say? He also thinks that she mounted and dismounted Pasha with ease (I’d mount and di[JOKE REDCATED]) her “armologies” were intricate and beautiful. For those curious, armology is armography practiced at a University level.

Craig follows and calls it lascivious, licentious and lubricious.

Looked more loo-brush-us to me. Then again, if I was that close to Pasha I’d be producing lots of lube a[JOKE REDACTED]. Darcey closes by saying that Kimberley is a natural performer and that lift at the end was seemless. Yeah, the part where it finished a good 5 seconds before the music ended, leaving them stood there awkwardly at the end. SEEMLESS.

Up to the Tessanine they feel SEXEEEEEEEEE, to be greeted by Tess. She says that that sort of slaggy writhing around must be much more of what Kimberley’s used to with Girls Aloud, and Kimberley admits that it did feel a lot more natural than dressing up as Amy Childs to run through a polystyrene forest pretending to be scared of a man with pubes stuck to his nose. Odd that. Meanwhile in the background, Natalie gives Nicky a very

involved neck-message. I’m not sure if it’s the latest in her long line of Michael-induced pranks to try and make everyone else feel uncomfortable, or if she’s just…being Natalie. Maybe she’s fitting him for a Fierce Scarf?

Anyway, back to the Kimbot, as Tess calls her a “humble goddess” (*face*) and then calls her having a knee injury this week “Kneegate”. Meaning that suffixing things with “-gate” has officially moved on from scandalous controversial happenings, to literally anything happening to anybody, anywhere, ever. Kimberley

admits that her knee is still troubling her, yes, so she couldn’t put in as much rehearsal as she’d like. Oh just put some oil on it love, you’ll be fine. Scores are in


The Ribenaberry Bunch dancing the tango

I haven’t seen that shade of purple since Barney haunted my nightmares on a regular basis. Actually that’s a lie. It was always Baby Bop (*shudder*). Lisa apparently told Bruce this week that there’s a rumour going round that she fancies someone on the show. Bruce told her not to worry, because everyone’s at it, twenty-four-seven, honest. It’s a non stop hot bed of lust and romance, please tune in, and write crappy fan-fiction, PLEASE! Never mind the fact that the last time anybody got any action out of this show was the time Vincent gave Kristina a disinterested poke in a cupboard on tour.


Anyway, apparently Bruce found out who fancied him this week, and he’s NOT HAPPY ABOUT IT. The fact that this DIDN’T end up with a shot of Bruno fluttering his fingernails at him gives me hope for this show’s future. The person who does fancy Bruce? Of course, it’s


VT time, and we’re reminded that Darcey loved Lisa’s charleston last week, and Craig hated it. Darcey was right. Well…actually they were both right, given that they BOTH GAVE IT THE SAME SCORE. Lisa says that she genuinely agrees with what Craig has to say, and she will do her DAMNDEST to prove him wrong. Well that makes sense. She says that she looked at her position on the leaderboard, and decided that she didn’t really want to be there again. Ah well.

Training now, and Lisa says she’s going to be very serious this week, because she’s doing the tango. No giggling, no childishness, just PURE DANCE CONTENT.

That is, until Robin tries to do sexy, and it cracks Lisa up. To be fair, his dismissive tango snorts do sound a bit like a guinea-pig sneezing. Robin forces her to buckle down though, as they need to do ballroom hold for this week, and that has been Lisa’s weakness up to this point. Well…that and the Law Of Diminishing Returns.

Lisa says that she really wants Len to say that her posture’s great, her feet are in the right place, and her lead is correct. The…lead she’s not supposed to be doing, I guess? Sadly Robin’s attempts to ooze heterosexual machismo are making her laugh every time at the end of the VT clip, so good luck with that…

To the dance-floor!

Robin + tango + chairs = Monkseal being very nervous. He almost killed Patsy Kensit that one time. Anyway, they’re dancing their Tango to “Let’s Stick Together” by Bryan Ferry. It’s kind of an odd choice, because nothing about it lends itself to a tango other than maybe the tempo. It’s not dramatic, it’s very upbeat and it is…frankly…parpy. I don’t want my tangos to be parpy. Not on purpose anyway. The dancing’s not bad, although I’m always a bit worried about it when rise & fall finds its way into a tango. Lisa’s selling the drama with her body, but her face is a little

“someone’s been at Pauline’s pens again, and she’s NOT HAPPY”. Her lower lip is frankly firmer than her hold is.

They both around swiftly, making sure to work in the occasional neck-snap, and then I get awfully worried as Robin starts

dragging her towards the chair. NO! BAD ROBIN! LEAVE THE CHAIR ALONE! LISA IS NOT A WEAPON! Fortunately Lisa is

stronger than both Robin and chair combined. Phew. That was a close one.

Over to Bruce they go, and Bruce asks her how she kept a straight face during that tango. I certainly didn’t manage it. Lisa replies that she just had to, and Bruce says he was worried she was going to break at any minute. I don’t think we really have to worry about Lisa breaking in this partnership. Just sayin’. Anyway, it’s time, as always, to introduce Davearch and the gang.

A FLOWER, The Man In The Hat? For ME? You SHOULDN’T have. I’m so touched. (Roses next week please, at least 6).

Bruno starts for the judges, underwhelmed as ever. In that he yells at Lisa that she always gives plenty. He then yells “FOCUS! INTENT!” but with his accent…well you wouldn’t want to go camping with him, put it that way. Or maybe you would, I can’t speak FOR you… Bruno loved the amount of body contact, but he thinks bits could have been sharper.

Unlike the daggers she’s currently staring at him. Bruno closes by saying that even though technically she can be a bit haphazard, you can never fault her for her performance. Craig snarks in to say that HE CAN! Her footwork was haphazard and she didn’t glide across the floor. Len and Bruno then simulgabble all over him, snorting and flapping and gesticulating that you don’t GLIDE in a tango, it’s not a FOXTROT, and I’m sure if you’re a Craig partisan you called OFCOM about how RUDE Len and Bruno were to him but a) they’re right (I know this because Ian had a DRUNKEN RAMPAGE over it on twitter) and b) Len and Bruno gabbling away at the same time will never not be funny.

Darcey’s loving it anyway. She follows by saying that she loved Lisa’s sharp head-turns and her performance, but she did occasionally look dizzy following her turns and her footwork could have been sharper. Len closes by saying that it needed more finesse, but he loved her attitude. Basically I just want to rewind and watch Bruno and Len jabbering over Craig again. Amazing.

Up to the Tessanine they stick together, after Bruce yells “GIGGLE FOR ME! GIGGLE!” in her face in an incredibly unnerving manner. Tess congratulates her on her performance, and Lisa tells her that she really wanted to get the ballroom technique right this week, after 3 of 4 weeks just stomping around on e-numbers. Tess demands that Lisa & Robin show her their “mean & moody”

It’s more “Richard & Judy”. Specifically when Richard’s “accidentally” started talking about their sex life again. Tess then tries to angle that, as its almost halfway through the competition, things must be REALLY HOTTING UP backstage right? She bets they all HATE ONE ANOTHER, RIGHT? Lisa of course, says everyone loves one another and that’s it really great to watch everyone grow and learn as a dancer. It’s a real close-knit family, egging one another on to do well. Except Tracy. They all hate that little bitch-midget. (LOL not really). Scores are in


Richard Arnold & Erin Boag dancing the foxtrot on Erin Island

Bruce tells us that Richard will be dancing to “Hey Big Spender”, a song which reminds Bruce of Len, because Len notoriously enjoys hiring prostitutes. Is the only conclusion I can draw. Bruce carries on to say that Len was in the BBC bar last week, and put in £1 for the crew to buy drinks. Bruce jokes about how this makes Len cheap.

You should be glad it wasn’t a thruppeny bit.

In his VT, Richard says that he loved every minute of his paso doble, and the crowd giving him a standing ovation at the end was the greatest feeling he’s ever had in his whole life. The audience make note of this, and make sure not to do it again for the rest of the night. Unless Louis Smith wiggles his arse at them or something. We’re also reminded that Craig slagged off Richard’s jette and told him he shouldn’t have tried it, to which Richard earnestly responds that during his stint on Strictly he has always been willing to try anything and that’s not going to change. Including heterosexuality, judging from the way he’s left his teethmarks in Erin.

In fact this week, in “training” he’s going to take Erin out on a date, to show her his “celebrity lifestyle”. I don’t think “fetching coffee for Lorraine Kelly” is much of a date Richard but…actually I’ve been on worse. The trumpets of “For The Love Of Money” start up, which is also the theme tune for The US version of The Apprentice. Which is only appropriate, as the first word that comes to mind during this segment is, indeed


Richard and Erin eat fried chicken as they walk past Brasserie Blanc, fart around with a dinghy for some reason, and then she finally dumps him as he opts for a rickshaw ride over a whirl around the London Eye. That Erin, so materialistic. Then she waits to go home at a bus stop, whilst Richard climbs into a limo. Erin’s End Of Comedy VT Joke Face almost makes it all worthwhile.


(Can I just point out that we haven’t had a VT where Erin declares her thoughts on Richard or his dancing for THREE WEEKS now? I bet they’re full of expletives.)


Oh God, it’s like the worlds are merging together. The world outside Erin’s head, and the world inside. It’s like the end of the Super Mario Brothers Movie (what do you mean you’ve never seen it?). Look

there’s PALM TREES and everything. “Big Spender”‘s on the jukebox. It’s a foxtrot! I mean you can tell not everything has transferred over because….there’s only two glasses of booze on Erin’s table, but I’ve never been more excited by a stage-set. Which is fortunate, because this dance has sod all else going for it. Yes, Erin’s powers of ballroom have failed her, as Richard gets halfway through the routine then forgets the whole thing.

And Erin isn’t used to this happening, because she’s not Brenda, and Richard is not at all interested in pretending it’s not happening, so he’s just walking around giggling and squirming as Erin yells “THIS WAY, DICKHEAD!” and kicks him in the shins.

Such a trainwreck.

At the end, Richard cringes “I’m so sorry” and Erin tells him not to worry. They wander over to Bruce, and he and Richard commiserate over how much better that was in rehearsals. Meanwhile Erin’s fiddling with her hair all

“yeah what a tragedy, I’m devastated, this is worse than when Colin lost…”. Craig starts for the judges and we all know what’s coming right?

“DAHNCE DISAHSTER”. Natalie boos lustily from the Tessanine. Quite right Natalie, that’s Michael’s job. Salsa next week. (*rubs hands together*). Darcey follows and gives Richard a lot of tips for what to do when you “go off-balance”. I think someone mixed up her “helpful constructive advice” cue-cards. To be fair, I can’t imagine Darcey ever forgot Swan Lake halfway through, so her usual insightful tips from the world of ballet are probably not much use.

Len starts, also distracted from his usual train of thought by a Matt Di Angelo Moment happening, so he’s decided he’s just going to use the comment he thought up in the dress-rehearsal for him. He’s going to call Richard THE PLODFATHER! Well…it’s better than what I was anticipating, which was Len yelling “HEY BIG BENDER!”. Or similar. He gets Erin to agree that foxtrot is a VERY HARD DANCE FOR THE MALE CELEBRITIES TO DO. Or at least first equal with all of the rest of them. He then goes on to say that it’s hard for the celebrity contestants to recover from mistakes in the routine, because they don’t have a lifetime of experience to draw on. Whereas when the pros go wrong, they can get back on it within a bar or two.

Erin’s face at the suggestion that she might ever do something wrong is amazing.

Bruno closes by saying that Richard is a bit too tight to be a “big spender”. Bruno would know – he’s been slack for years. He follows by comparing Richard’s face to that of a frozen haddock.

It’s uncanny. To this barrage of insults, Bruce hauls out a old chestnut. He’s making Richard his favourite. Richard then responds as he always does to praise, which is to grab the dealer in a big smoochy hug. To say Bruce is not receptive would be

a minor understatement.

Up to the Tessanine they spend, where Richard starts talking about how you hear these “apocryphal tales” of people forgetting their routine (apocryphal? Victoria did it Week 1!) and he can’t believe it just actually happened to him. He says that he and Erin rehearsed the routine to the maximum and then…that. The slow realisation of what just happened creeps over him, causing him to do jazz hands and yell


See Richard, it’s the lines that you don’t rehearse for five days beforehand in the mirror that actually land. Tess says that everyone up on the Tessanine loved it, and that Darcey said that he’d really improved. Honest. And she doesn’t say that to everyone. Every week. Richard then says that he feels he has been improving, and that that could happen to anyone. He then modifies this to a threat, glaring around the Tessanine.

I would have killed to be able to see Victoria’s face at this point. KILLED. We close on Tess asking Richard if his new “butch persona has won him legions of new female fans” and Richard says that he

got offered a rough shag by his taxi driver on the way to the studio Tess, nob off. I’ve not loved anybody so much in the space of one Tessanine since the heady days of Nancy, what can I say? Scores are in

17. We’re never going to see that “1” paddle are we? *sad face*

Denise van Classy-Bird & James Jordan dancing the Viennese Waltz

Bruce muses on how having three parts to your name can make you sound sophisticated and cultured. Yes, I’m sure that was Denise’s thought process when she changed it as well. I still say she should go by Denise van Outen-Mead. Sounds like a very pretty little spa town on the Rhone. Bruce goes on to say that sadly this equation can go horribly wrong, as in the case of Craig Revels-Horrid or Anton du Beke. Or as Bruce calls him “Anton du Berk”. I’ve personally taking to yelling “DU BEKE DU BEKE QUACK QUACK!”, but then I am a child of the 80s.

In her VT, Denise says that she really struggled to learn the cha cha and despite James’ best efforts, she really messed it up on the night.

It’s odd – the two routines that Denise has struggled the most with, are the dances that were always traditionally doled out for Week 1, because they were the easiest. Yet the ones she’s excelled at have been the foxtrot and jive of which, frankly, I’d all but given up seeing more than one decent one a series of. Such a contradiction, the Van Ringer. Anyway, Denise puts her failure down to being too much in character, I put it down to her dress being so tight it cut off all the circulation to her legs. It’s probably 50-50 in reality.

In training, James tells us all that Viennese Waltz is really very simple. You do three steps one way, three steps the other way, and then just throw fleckerls in randomly. And then if you’re Dr Hamela, you sit on the floor staring off into space like you’re about to be beamed back to your home planet. SIMPLE. Denise says that really she thinks that, in terms of her personality, she’s a “Latin girl” (you know, via Basildon) but she’s going to give it a good go at the ballroom anyway.

To help her get into the spirit of ballroom, James is going to take her to

fuss around some elderly people. Yes, it’s the less exciting cousin to BABY WARS! – “Let’s Patronise The Elderly Week”. Nobody will ever be as amazing at this as Jade Johnson was. She looked at them like they were a different species. Anyway, Denise goes to some social centre and asks some women why they love ballroom so much (“I love the romanticism”, “I love to be lead”, “my husband snores”, “who are you? Are you going to try to sell me payment protection? Well my son says I DON’T WANT ANY!”) and then she dances with that old geezer there. Denise and James then BANTERTRON 5000 about how he can replace James on Saturday Night.


To the dancefloor!

James and Denise are dancing their Viennese Waltz to “At Last” by Etta James. The light green arm hankies indicate that Denise is

looking to provide sexual solace for someone recently dumped, as she has recently been dumped herself. I think that’s the most romantic the disgusting homosexual underworld represented by the hankie code has ever been, bless it. The dance itself…is good. James has worked in a lot of variety – closed hold, open hold, the FLECKERL, lots of spinning both in and out of hold, and Denise is a decent match for it. It all, for me…is a little tasteful and dull?

I’d hate to think all the themes and props and OTT nonsense has robbed me of the ability to appreciate a simple dance well done, but maybe it has. Maybe I would have LOVED this if there dressed up as ladybirds or something, I dunno.


To be fair, it doesn’t get a standing ovation either, except from some women towards the back, who the cameraman CRAZH-ZOOMs in on in a terrifyingly desperate manner.


Bruce enjoyed it anyway, as he tells Denise that the dancing made him so emotional he nearly joined her out on the dancefloor. You may laugh, but one day it will happen. Dani will be doing the Argentine Tango and Bruce will forget himself and then CANCELLATION. Len starts for the judges, yelling

“POISE, POSTURE, PERFORMANCE”. All things Len struggles with. Possibly in the bedroom, I’m not going to investigate much more closely to be honest. And all things that Denise’s Viennese Waltz had in spades. It had more turns than a Catherine Wheel and it was SPECTACULAR. Bruno follows, and says it was “a romantic dream set to music”. I’m surprised Bruno’s romantic dreams are that sedate. Maybe he wears himself out whilst he’s awake and all he wants from his wet dreams is a bit of a cuddle whilst watching Downton, eating Malteasers?

Craig gives it the old

“one word : AH-MAY-ZING” treatment and then it’s off up to the Tessanine with them. Oooh, we’re running over time already. Once she’s up there, Tess reminds her that she said that ballroom wasn’t going to be her genre. Yes Tess, but she said that after she topped the leaderboard with that foxtrot. Nobody really BOUGHT that did they? Denise and James BANTERTRON5000 in response that it was quite difficult for her to do so many spins, because she is such a DIZZY BLONDE!

God, if I had better Photoshop technology I’d add a little sparkly “ting” to his teeth right there.

Denise goes on to say that she loves the Viennese Waltz now, and that went so much better than in dress rehearsal, when it was a right mess.

Honest. Scores are in


PENDLEDRAMA & Brenda Cole dancing the samba

These moments are like the eye of the madness-storm, between her training VTs and her actual dances. So eerily terrifying. Bruce says that last week Victoria and Brenda pretended to get married, but this week has been no honeymoon. Wouldn’t it be funny if last week’s dance had in fact been legally binding, and they are now married? That’d be a sitcom I’d watch. Brenda having to impress his boss Bruce with an important dinner, and Victoria BURNING THE HOUSE DOWN.

VT time now, and Victoria lies through her teeth that she was really pleased with her performance last Saturday. Yes, the bit where you pouted to Brenda that you’d RUINED THE WHOLE THING by losing posture for three milliseconds was a real sign of a job well done Victoria. She says she’s never been to a Hallowe’en Party in her life, so last week was the most spooky thing she’s ever done in her life. I can’t imagine any Health & Safety outfit alive could cover PENDLEDRAMA at a Hallowe’en Party. EVERYTHING would be coming to life possessed by the spirits from an ancient Indian Burial Ground and trying to kill everyone within seconds.

Training, and VT clues us in that this week she and Brenda will be dancing the samba.

She looks THRILLED already doesn’t she? The first words we hear her say in the training room? “IT’S TOO WHIZZY! HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO KEEP UP WITH THAT?!”. Said in her best Violet-Elizabeth voice. It’s going to be a fun week. Brendan, already sounding like he’s been babysitting the evil Gothic children produced by their blasted wedding all week, mutters that the samba is really difficult because of all the changes of rhythm and that. Too difficult for Victoria, who stomps her foot petulantly and tells Brendan he’s made the routine MORE DIFFICULT. Brendan points out that he has in fact just removed a step, making the dance easier, and then feels the need to stage a


He sits there telling Victoria that Strictly sambas are always going to be crap but they make them as good as possible by throwing backflips and amazing Spiderwoman dresses and unnecessary hip-thrusts into them and that. Victoria sits fiddling with her mic the whole time, then has a

PENDLESTROP! and storms out the room. Brendan then interviews that the problem for Victoria isn’t learning how to dance, it’s accepting that she can dance. I feel that sentence was missing a “not” there. Somewhere towards the end. And a “but doing it anyway”. He goes on to say that strops like what Victoria have had have been part of Strictly for all of the decade he’s been here, and he’s just had to get used to them. And so have his partners.

Get an island Brenda, you’ll be much happier.

Of course the next day everything’s fine and TEAM PENDLEBREND are back as best friends again.



I do think the best thing Brendan did all week was make Victoria enter the routine standing next to two gorgeous statuesque women who are obviously incredibly comfortable in their own bodies (a little bit…too comfortable perhaps, in the case of the one whose nipple is pulling a Chelsee Healey throughout her entire stint on the show) and then make her

gyrate around on the judges desk, sticking her bum in Darcey’s face. To be fair, it’s the one part of the routine she does with anything approaching confidence…

Once we hit the floor…look, both Victoria and Michael are only ever going to be any good in hold, and we all know that, although she has the added bonus of looking like she’s actively hating every second of most of her Latin dances, particularly this one. The whole thing is very

“TAH DAH!” all done with the grimmest face possible, when she can remember what she’s supposed to be doing, and isn’t being pulled about by Brendan. There’s a reasonable amount of content in there, but it’s all a bit awkward, especially her batchacadas which are being danced like she’s borrowed Camilla Dallerup’s vibroknickers and put them on the lowest setting possible. She is, at least, remembering to bounce. Occasionally.

They’re dancing to “It’s Not Unusual” incidentally, which makes me think Brendan was actively WANTING a trainwreck for the ages. Not so much a “White Wedding” this week as a Vegas Shotgun Wedding performed by a Vietnamese Elvis Impersonator.

When they’re done, Brendan crows “GOOD JOB BABE!” and Victoria…completely ignores him and runs off to Bruce. Ha, someone’s Honeymoon Night wasn’t the WONDER she was expecting.

Len starts for the judges, saying that he read this week that we’ve come out of the recession, and so he thinks Victoria has come out of her shell. And I’m sure, in both cases, it was only temporary. He tells Victoria she was a very brave girl to get up on the judges table and dance like that on her own. Especially if she was going to dance like that… He then gives her a sticker and makes an appointment with Brenda to see her again in 2 weeks time for a scale and polish with the hygienist.

Bruno follows, saying that it all started very promisingly, but once she got on the dancefloor she danced like she had a hangover.

He tells her that her samba should have been much much stronger and much more rhythmical. For Week 5 it simply wasn’t good enough – she needs to be much stronger, especially in the rhythmical dances. Craig follows by telling her it was “galumpish” and awkward, she seemed to forget her free hand existed AGAIN, and her batchacadas were a joke.

Now let’s all remember, as the judges mollycoddle Victoria like this, that she’s going to respond by crying and pulling a doe-eyed sympathy face.

So simpery isn’t she?

Of course then she becomes AMAZING and starts spontaneously doing

batchacadas on the spot, but with the same awkward look on her face, like she’s in The Red Shoes and she can’t actually stop herself. PENDLEDRAMA! The best part is Bruno hiding his face in horror and shame. Darcey follows by saying that she started very well, and now can call herself a True Showgirl (yes, I’m sure that’s going right on her CV for when she becomes a management consultant or whatever) but she just lost focus at the very end. Given Darcey’s…shaky grasp of numbers, I’m not surprised her idea of “the very end” is “24 seconds in”.

Up to the Tessanine they BANANANANANA, where Tess giggles that Victoria was a SHOWGIRL, but just for one night. Victoria laughs in return that she was a “Shaky Showgirl”. Well quite – Shakin Stevens is far more this show’s budget than Elvis (BA DUM TISH) Tess asks Victoria how it feels to go from being the best in the world at cycling to constantly starting from scratch on Strictly. IS IT REALLY FUN? IS IT? Victoria relies that it’s tough, but she never expected to be a great dancer, because she’s never done it before. Something else she’s never done before? Had a hangover.


23. Victoria then starts randomly manically doing batchacadas again. Oh PENDLEDRAMA…

Mr & Mama Smith dancing the samba

Victoria’s clearly not the only one with a hangover. There’s a bit here where Bruce is standing here with two Vegas showgirls, calling them bits of scenery and making jokes about what he’d like to do to them. Sadly, the amount of nipple on display means there is absolutely no point providing a picture of the awkwardness, because it would be removed from my host but immediately. Here’s a picture of Darcey instead.

She’s reacting to the fiftieth joke this series about how she fancies Louis. And may there be many more to come.

VT time now, and Louis says that he was so glad that he could go out there last week and do a great tango, because it’s his mum’s favourite dan…sorry FLAVIA’S favourite dance, so it was good to make her feel proud of him. Flavia herself says it was an amazing feeling to get the first 9s of the series, you know, before they started handing them out for junk like Kimberley spinning around on Pasha’s face.

The VT closes with Louis saying he’s only been dancing for 5 weeks, so he’s really glad to be getting 9s. You might ask what he did with that month he did before the live shows started, when he was supposed to be training. So does Flavia. She’s grounded him for the next month, and if he can’t come up with a decent excuse as to why he didn’t do his homework by then, it’s another month on top of that.

Training now, and Flavia says that the judges will be looking for lots of energy in the samba.

Yeah, good luck with that. Louis says that he’s finding it really hard to be flamboyant in the samba, and he feels like an idiot when he doesn’t get it right. Oh Louis, it’s a samba, you’re going to feel like an idiot

whether you get it right or not. Noticing that her boy is finding it hard to get into the Latin party spirit, Flavia has brought in

all the props she never got to use with Russell last year, and just passed them on to Louis. Like hand-me-downs, if you will. Doesn’t Louis look thrilled? Len will be pleased though, that he’s wearing an authentic Hawaiian shirt, as that’s where samba comes from. He’s fairly sure.


This whole routine is very reminiscent of something I saw in a recent film, but I can’t quite remember what…. (This is as good a time as any to remind the MAVIA MAFIA that I’m NOT SAYING THAT FLAVIA LOOKS OLD, before they put a horse’ head in my bed). Sadly the routine is not being done to that amazing tune, it is in fact being done to “La Bomba”. So many people on my twitterfeed were expecting “La Bamba”. The sunglasses kind of make them look like the world’s most inaccurate

Roy Orbison tribute act at the start, so fortunately they take them off and start wiggling their bums, SAMBA STYLE.

The routine is very well choreographed and looks appreciably different from your usualy Strictly salsambcha, which I guess explains why Louis is dancing it differently. He’s aiming for “haughty Latin stud” and winding up on “too cool for school teenager with a candy cigarette in his mouth pretending it’s the real thing”. It’s fun enough, and his hips are going, but there’s not a lot of flow or excitement to it.

Apart from when he bums the tiki bar, obviously.

Oh my.

It gets a

standing ovation, but of course, and the only one of the evening. Bruce yells “LOUIS LOOK!” and Craig looks physically pained. I’m with you Craig. Bruno starts for the judges, proclaiming that Louis is the KING OF HYPNOTIC PELVIC GYRATIONS.

And there was I thinking the world of Samba was a democracy. Let’s ask Len. It’s somewhere in Panama right? Bruno points to a woman in the audience and says that she’s cross-eyed and dribbling. Aw. Arlene got tickets! He did think it verged on salsa at times. Well his salsa WAS a mambo, so they’re just sharing the love around really. SALSAMBCHAMBO DOBLE! Craig follows, saying that the samba can look very mincey, but Louis made it look very masculine. Yes, he was like JAMES DEAN out there in his sparkly mesh-shirt, diamante poppy and sunglasses. On the other hand he unfortunately lost the double bounce action occasionally, and messed up a few “1-2-3-4″s. Whatever they are.

Darcey next and she says she disagrees with Craig. In fact, she is

DIS-A-POINTED. You will be happy to know this ISN’T one of the occasions where Darcey disagrees with Craig, but then gives the same score as him. She actually ends up scoring him higher. OK. Anyway she definitely didn’t fancy Louis’ gyrating hula hips, thrusting crotch and powerful…masculine…strong…where was she? Erm, yes, she didn’t like it, so can they all stop picking on her now please? The audience boo and hiss and cat-call and start a BRING BACK ALESHA!!! campaign.

Len closes by telling Louis that every dance studio in “the Britain” will be congratulating him this week, because he did SO MANY authentic samba moves in that routine. Would explain why I’ve never seen half of them on this show before. He saw the Corta Jaca, the Back Rock, the Plait, the May Pole, the Cornish Pasty, the Winnie Mandela, the Cadbury’s Flake, the Syphillis, the Bam Chicka Wah Wah, the Californian Merlot, the Ding Dong, the Cappuccino Twist, the Spread Eagle, the Bald Eagle, the Eddie The Eagle…the list goes on. WELL DONE LOUIS.

I, personally, felt it really suffered from a lack of bum-bongo, but that’s just me.

Up to the Tessanine they bomba, where Tess congratulates them on getting the first standing ovation of the evening, and causing the first boos of the series for Darcey. Not in this house they weren’t Tess. Not in this house. Tess congratulates Louis on having his shirt open to the waist for the first time this series. It’s alright Tess, Flavia will sew the buttons back on later. BOYS, EH? Louis says that for his part he took some persuading, but he’s lost a bit of weight over the past couple of weeks so he finally feels comfortable doing it.

Yes what a FAT PIG he always was before. That’s definitely what I was thinking.

Tess then commits to the lie that he’s only been dancing for 5 weeks, and asks if he’s starting to feel the pressure of being “one of the good ones”. Louis says that yes, the competition is really heating up, and Louis says “yeah, everyone’s SO AMAZING” so mechanically I start to worry she’s going to go FULL CAMILLA if she doesn’t win. Nobody wants that, do they? Scores are in


Colin Salmon & Kristina Rihanoff dancing the foxtrot

Aw, bye Kristina. Not yet though. Bruce says that Colin is a really nice guy, but he’s such a name-dropper. He says that he worked on Prime Suspect with Dame Helen Mirren, and on the James Bond films with Dame Judi Dench. I mean…he never had any scenes with them, and one time Judi Dench asked him to do her laundry for her but…BIG NAMES! More Dames than this show will ever have working on it, unless Tess saves a corgi from drowning or something.

In his VT, Colin promises us that he will never forget this Hallowe’en as long as he lives, because it was TERRIFYING. His dance got panned, he was in the dance-off, and he’s getting a bit worried that in one of the lifts he might accidentally have got Kristina pregnant. NOBODY TELL JOE! I’m sure he won’t notice. Colin says it’s all a crying shame, because he thinks he danced rather well. Well…yes, so did Craig Kelly. Let’s not go down that road. He closes by saying that he felt like the bottom had fallen out of his world, whilst pulling a sad face that makes it look more like

the world is falling out of his bottom, or trying to. Yes, Colin has a taste for the melodramatic. As we will rediscover tomorrow.

Training, and Colin tells us that he will be dancing his foxtrot to “Accentuate The Positive” and that’s what he intends to do this week. How fortunate for him that he’s got the most DOOMY of all the female pros to perform it with. I mean…she seems upbeat now

gushing about how Colin is the perfect suave gentleman to do the foxtrot, but you wait. Craig will call it “meretriciocious DAHLING” and she’ll be throwing things again.

Colin’s approach to “accentuating the positive” in practice? Doing

stupid great big massive high kicks because he’s so tall. At first Kristina’s all

“LOL NO COLIN DON’T DO THAT, IT LOOK STUPID!” but then she changes her mind, for whatever reason. Maybe she remembered how they ended one dance with her literally fellating his finger-guns and figured it couldn’t look more ridiculous than that. Well GUESS WHAT KRISTINA? You were DEAD WRONG. She sets about trying to get the goose-stepping to look technically correct, whilst Colin grins that he guarantees that this is the highest kick you will ever see on Strictly. I doubt it. Remember when Bruno cranked his leg so high and so tight that his small intestine flew out his bum and whapped Len in the face?

Well I do, even if you don’t.


I mean…there’s only so many ways that you can say that

this looks a bit silly aren’t there? I mean, they’re making a better fist of it than they did in his Viennese Waltz, possibly because they have to, because there’s not as much space for whirling around out of hold doing spinny arms and lyrical wafting in a foxtrot, but he’s still noticably having to bob down half a foot to even get into hold, and she’s still practically on her tip-toes at her highest point in the dance to meet him, and actively sprinting around the floor.

Then the

kicking starts. Bloody hell, that shouldn’t even be POSSIBLE. If he kicks any higher he’s going to catch Karen Hardy in her warp drive. I think Kristina’s first instincts were…probably correct. For once.


Over to the judges they accentuate, where Bruce MARVELS at Colin’s legs and tells him that he should have been a Tiller Girl. I doubt the…outfits would really fit. You don’t get many calls for a 6ft 8 Tiller Girl. With a penis. Darcey starts, thanking Colin for lifting his chin and gliding elegantly around the floor, especially as if Colin lifts his chin, he can’t actually SEE the floor any more. Just Tess’ shoes on the Tessanine. And who wants to look at those? She says that his kicks were technically fine, but it all looked a bit John Cleese. Give Kristina another week Darcey, and ONE of them would have been naked and speaking erotic Russian, at least.

Len is next, and he says that for him it actually didn’t glide ENOUGH. It looked like Colin was dancing on shag-pile carpet. The audience boo, so of course

Len gets the hump and starts yelling at them not to boo him. HE’S THE NICE ONE! BOO CRAIG! HE’S MEAN AND GAY! He thinks Colin coped very well with a difficult dance, but he needs him to MOVE MORE. Colin grins the grin of someone who knows that if he moved more Kristina would get sucked up underneath like a bicycle under a street sweeper. Bruno follows by telling Colin that he’s great at projecting an aura of sophistication, and then

proves the same about himself. It’s like Gene Kelly came back for one night only isn’t it?

Up to the Tessanine they positive, where they get many pats on the back and complements from Tess. She makes sure that it’s emphasised that the high kicks in that routine were Colin’s, as does

Kristina. Nothing to do with her guv, honest. Tess then gets him to do a repeat.

It’s a mercy (/pity) there wasn’t an accident isn’t it? Tess announces that she thinks she saw Brenda pull something just watching that display. The pervert. Tess asks Colin if he’s changed his attitude after being in the dance-off, and he says yes, it’s been a miserable humourless grind of training for him this week! Hooray! We also learn that his daughter is in to support him this week. LOOK!

Baw! Her face when Tess coos patronisingly that she’s a beautiful girl is quite something. More people should give Tess that look on the Tessanine. Scores are in


Nicky & The No-No & Karen Hauer dancing the BLOKE RUMBA

Bruce tells us that Nicky is a father, and has twin boys. Yes, that means there were FIVE baby’s arms at the Byrne household at one point in time, if you know what I’m saying. And I think you do. Bruce says that he’s worried that his twins might end up like Jedward though. What, incredibly successful recording artists despite lacking any perceivable singing talent? Yes there’s only room for one of those in the Byrne ho[JOKE REDACTED, NOT FOR SEXUAL REASONS, BUT BECAUSE WESTLIFE FANS MAY LYNCH ME]

VT now, and Nicky says he really enjoyed his performance on Saturday, because it felt like part of being on a real live movie set.

The Muppets? To be honest, when Erin goes I want her and Drunken Ian to replace Starship Karen, as Strictly’ own Statler & Waldorf. We then discuss how Nicky HILARIOUSLY forgot to took his glasses off to the amusement of pretty much nobody. It’s hardly Dr Hamela almost falling over is it?

Training now, and Karen is imploring to Nicky to stop

adding extra steps to their rumba. There’s just the TWO Nicky, it’s a BLOKE-RUMBA. Walk left then stand there whilst I flash my knickers at everyone. If you’re good she’ll let you wave your arms a bit. Nicky complains that Karen’s choreography is making him look like a gay Bruce Lee, so he’ll change it if he wants. Brings a whole new meaning to “Enter The Dragon” doesn’t it?

It becomes clear that Karen is taking this free week of Nicky having to do literally nothing (BLOKE RUMBAS!!!) to try and beat some of his bad posture issues out of him by making constant minor adjustments to positioning to improve his balance.

It’s like the rudder on a boat really isn’t it? She does occasionally remember to practice the BLOKE RUMBA ARMS though, rather than just playing with his penis, honest.

She says that one of these arms is ballet, and the other is kung-fu. If you can work out which is which, then you’re a better man than I am.


UNLEASH THE GIANT ARM-HANKIES! They’re dancing the BLOKE RUMBA to “I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing” by Aerosmith. Or, I presume they do, for people without tvs that magically mute themselves any time that song starts up.

The dance begins with him

wringing his hands like another famous Mr Burns, and…the dance doesn’t go much greater in terms of exciting content from there. I know it’s the point of the rumba that the man does literally nothing, because the dance is supposed to showcase the woman, but it doesn’t mean I want to WATCH THAT KAREN. It might send Camilla Dallerup into loops of nigh-on sexual ecstascy, but then so do bran flakes, so… Here are some wiggly arms

oooh, etc. Both he and Karen look like they want to burst out laughing throughout. Then again the singer does amend the lyrics to “Cause time I dream of you, DANEEDDLE DREEDLE DREAM DA NEDDA DOOOO!” so maybe it’s because of that. I bet Davearch gave him such a PUNCHING for that one.

The end.

Over to the judges they go, and we all know what’s going happen right? Because it’s a bloke rumba? Craig’s going to hate it, and then Len’s going to stick up for the MALE CELEBRITIES because rumba is a VERY HARD DAHNCE FOR VE MAYUW CELEBRUTEES TUH DOOO! Unless it’s the one random time Len’s decided the choreography made someone look like a slut, then ALL BETS ARE OFF. Darcey gets to head off the usual, by saying that the rumba is the dance of love, and she could see Nicky had put a lot of effort in, but she needed to see him seduce Karen. Oh Darcey, as usual, go watch a porno. Also, some women like a man who can make then laugh. It had some nice lines, but Darcey wanted more dance content.


Bruno is next and he says he felt the intensity and purpose in the routine and he personally thinks that there was real chemistry between Nicky and Karen. Actually he thought that Nicky maybe overdid it, and forgot to keep his hips moving. Well yes. We all know Bruno doesn’t TRULY appreciate intensity and romance unless someone’s waggling their dick in his face. That’s just how he rolls.

This is all then followed by Craig saying that BLOKERUMBA IS CRAP and Len glowering at him and oh how many more times must we do this….

Up to the Tessanine they DANEEDLE DREEEDLE DREEM DA NEEDLE DROOO where Tess tells them that they clearly have a brother and sister relationship. A brother and sister who have been reunited after 20 years apart on Surprise Surprise with Cilla Black? Ah well

at least he’s comfortable touching her now. FIVE WEEKS IN, THE JOURNEY CONTINUES! Tess asks if it was difficult for him to get sexy in the rumba, and Nicky says it was a stretch for him. I would imagine getting sexy with Nicky might be a stretch in a number of ways. (*SLIDE TROMBONE*). Apparently he’s asked all the pros, and they’ve told him it’s a really hard dance and then Tess explains to us AGAIN that the rumba is the hardest dance for the male celebrity to do, because it’s really hard for men to wear their hearts on their sleeve like that, whereas we ALL know that ALL women love whirling around in their pants doing sexy face in front of all their friends and families. Go on girls, admit it. You just DO. Scores are in


Fern Britton & The TRANSFIXATITS dancing the paso doble

Those are some DOWNWARD facing nipples. Apparently Fern asked Bruce this week if he liked Fireworks Night. He says no, because last year he spent twenty minutes trying to light a Jammie Dodger. What’s that got to do with Firework Night? That’s a typical Wednesday night for Bruce. (Poor Wilnelia)

In Fern’s VT she says so much went wrong for her last week that she doesn’t like to think about it. Her nerves were out of control, she kept on forgetting the steps, JELUS KARA stabbed her in the hand with a hatpin… She tells us that she’d built up all her resolve to bring to bear on having to perform again in the dance-off and then…she didn’t have to. She says that she and Artem looked at one another and she “couldn’t take it in”. Well, no, otherwise JELUS KARA would have killed you in your sleep, then defibrillated you back to life, then killed you again. Fern says it provokes strong emotions in her that people pick up the phone and vote her back every week. Me too. She says it makes her cry. Me too. She says it makes her cry with happiness. (*silence*).

The producers play some sort of weird tribal music at this point, like we’re on Wild At Heart and an ostrich just died. Nice work guys.

Training now, and Artem tells us that he’s doing a paso doble, so he’s going to have to bring out the firey side of Fern. Ask her about her solo chat show Artem, that should do it. Happily instead he opts to bring in a

crazy tiny Spanish flamenco lady. I LOVE crazy tiny Spanish flamenco lady. She gets all up in Fern’s grill

and tell her to “HIMAGINE I AM CCCCCCCCC’HIM! COME TO ME!” and to “LOOK AT ME! A-SHOW YOUR BODY!!!”. Such a diva. Her name is Lucia. Can’t they make her our lady judge instead of Darcey?

Anyway, Lucia shows Fern how to work a fan, and Fern declares herself to be in love. Artem beams that he’s seen a real change in Fern since Lucia came into her life.

She starting applying her eyeliner by bursting ink cartridges in her own face. Well…it’s a start.


it’s like a really odd aftershave commercial from 1998. The music’s very dramatic, Fern is

working her fan like a diva, Artem working his cape likewise, she HURLS the fan away, Artem FORCES her down into the ground like

one of those mechanical corkscrews and then…not a lot? They’re dancing to the same paso music as John Sergeant which doesn’t invite a flattering impression to start off with, and neither do the

giant dartboards superimposed on the screen behind them. I keep expecting Fern to tell me what Bully’s Special Prize is. And, again,

with this. I know it’s a paso doble, but even then – you’re supposed to be swishing, wafting and shaping it Fern, not looking like you’re offering to carry someone’s onions home in it. The whole thing really is very stately. Fern and Artem play pat-a-cake, Fern flies through Artem’s legs, Artem hurls Fern to the ground in a way that can’t have been particularly kind on her hips…


Over to the judges they go, and Bruce asks if she’s ok. Fern guffaws that she fell over a couple of time, but she’s ok now. And this was just in the corridor before the dance began. Fortunately Artem was there for her to fall onto and to catch her. Repeatedly. With his nipples. Len starts, and tells Artem that it’s like looking in the mirror

Well yes Len, you are looking at a tit. Len asks Artem where he’s put his poppy, and Artem replies that he’s left it up on the Tessanine. SHAMEFUL DISRESPECT FOR OUR BRAVE BOYS, I’M CALLING OFCOM etc etc. Len goes on to say that if the paso doble were a firework, it’d be a banger, but this one fizzed but never exploded. Bruno follows, and tells Fern that he initially saw her “Fern On Fire” but within seconds she went back to doing the dusting with her dress again. Not good. MORE PASSION!

I love the detailing that’s been done to her eyes, like anyone’s looking anywhere other than Artem’s boobs. Such dedication to their craft by the make-up department.

Craig follows, and indeed speaks for many of us when he says that he was just staring at Artem’s chest during that.

Did a dance happen? He’s not sure. Artem walks off and makes as though he’s about to cover himself up with his cape, but then everyone starts booing so he drops it to the floor. Then everyone cheers. I swear, the ONLY THINGS this crowd is responding to this week is male nudity. In many ways, this show has become worse than the Boots adverts. Craig tries gamely to carry on through the gales of lust by telling…one of them that he saw a few wobbles. Well yes, they’re pecs Craig, he’s not made of IRON. HE IS BUT FLESH. Darcey closes by saying that she liked it and felt she did really see Fern’s fire. Talk about a burning bush.

On her way up to the Tessanine, Bruce decides to make Fern his “second favourite”. Being anywhere near the “Bruce’s Favourites” pen must be quite a shock to Artem. I’m sure it won’t make him cover up though. Or at least…I hope not. Once she’s up there, everyone just talks about the TRANSFIXATITS. Artem really has learnt well from Ola hasn’t he?

Tess asks Fern if she’s worried about worrying about being the dance-off again, and Fern says she’d really like to thank the public for all their support last week, and if they do it again, Artem will get him bum out next week. Honest. It’ll be very Fred & Ginge. Scores are in


Michael Vaughan & Natalie Lowe dancing the foxtrot

Bruce actually calls them “Michael Vaughan and his partners Natalie Lowe” so we all know where his mind is after the last dance. Yup, still in the gutter. Bruce says that Michael discovered last week, after two weeks in a row of Latin dances, that he’s really more of a ballroom boy, when he excelled at the quickstep. Personally I “discovered” he was a Ballroom Boy 15 seconds into his jive, because it surely couldn’t, comparatively, get any worse.

In his VT, Michael says that he never thought he had last week’s performance in him, but when he heard the crowd getting so excited, he just got a massive lift, and really went for it. Then we spoil this moment by having Gary Barlow’s shrill peeping played over the top, and Bruno going “woooooooooooowwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww!” in slow motion like a kid watching the moon landings. Cheese-o-rama. Natalie says that she was

SO SUPROISED! by the scores and the cheers because “we’re not used to it”. By which she means “Michael’s not used to it”, given that the entirety of her first two series was like this. Natalie’s boundless shocked positivity triumphs again. Michael says he hasn’t had feelings like he had on Saturday Night for YEARS. Gosh, this is starting to sound like an infomercial for Viagra.

In training, Natalie beams that she saw a real change in Michael last week and she wants to keep that fighting spirit alive, so what better place to go than

Lord’s cricket ground? Yes, when I think fire, aggression, fight and passion, I think cricket. Maybe Natalie should make Michael just stand in the ballroom for five days, throwing a ball for him to catch every three hours, to really capture the EXCITEMENT. Anyway, Michael and Natalie dance in

The Long Room. Whatever that is. Sorry, I don’t know cricket that much. Is this where they set fire to the Ashes or whatever? Michael grins that he guarantees that this is the first time they’ve ever let anyone foxtrot in The Long Room (I equally guarantee it’s the first time anyone’s asked) and then they play echoy audio footage of his Ashes victory over the top of them whirling around in slow-motion. It’s the funniest Comedy VT yet. Unintentionally.


What a lovely couple they make! By which I mean

Natalie and the candy floss. She knows what she wants from her man – a big fluffy pink poof. They’re dancing the foxtrot to “The Sweetest Feeling” by Jackie Wilson and really how better could you target a dance for the Strictly audience than that? They strut around very elegantly, and Natalie makes sure to add a lot of character moments to the dance, which she can do, because

the woman HAS NO SPINE and also

IS A MENTAL. There’s perhaps a little lack of connection between Michael and her romantically, and it doesn’t nearly have the impact that his quickstep did, but I find myself here as much for Michael’s sweet ballroom almost as much as his BLOODY AWFUL everything else at this point, so I’m happy.

What a threesome.

Over to the judges they go, and

suddenly I get the point of the candy floss. Maybe she could lend one to Tracy? Bruno starts, saying that Michael was sailing with confidence and control, and that Natalie’s done such a great job. He really hopes Michael will be able to carry on this momentum in the Latin. LOL, keep dreaming Bruno. It’s going to be carnage. Craig follows, and says Michael needs to add three things – “style, swing and sway”. Once he’s done that, it will be perfect. I dunno, Aliona added a swing for Matt Baker’s Viennese Waltz, and it just got in the way. A style wouldn’t go amiss though. Don’t go to Pasha’s hairdresser either…

Darcey’s next, and she says she disagrees with Craig. She thinks Michael LIGHTS up in ballroom, but the one thing she would say is that he has to be careful about his neck, because it can get a bit stiff. I guess she’d know. Len closes by yelling

BEST FOXTROT OF THE NIGHT! What, better than Richard’s? Hardly.

Up to the Tessanine they trot, after Natalie deposits her sweets with Bruce. Hey Holly Valance?


What does your millionaire property developer husband use every morning after brushing his teeth?

“I don’t know!”


Michael says that he’s working very hard and trying his best to enjoy every single moment he has out on the dancefloor. Tess asks if Bruno’s support last week gave him the boost he needed this week and Michael’s all

“yeah, sure, Bruno, everyone listens to him, he’s the most respected of ALL the judges”. Tess then reveals that next week Michael has the salsa.

Quite. Scores are in


Tracy Beaker & Vincent Simone dancing the jive

OMG what rebels. I’M SCARED! Bruce tells us all what a “great little pair” they are, because heaven forbid we forget for five seconds that Tracy is of less than average height. Tracy apparently asked Bruce where he’ll be spending Fireworks Night. Under the stairs protecting himself with an umbrella and muttering about it being worse than The Somme probably. Again, nothing to do with Fireworks Night…

VT time now, and Tracy says that last weekend was AMAZING. She was really glad to have Anton in her routine.

Wow, that’s the first time anybody’s said that and meant it since Gillian Taylforth! I mean, Widgy clearly adored him, but you know she would have gone out there on her own if she were allowed to. Her “salsa” would have been 90 seconds of sermonising about teenage mothers, set to “Play” by Jennifer Lopez. Vincent follows by saying that the monster was great until Tracy took his mask off, which was worse than the actual mask.

Seriously, his English is getting WORSE isn’t it? Stop hanging out with Bruce Vincent, for serious.

Training now, and Vincent has

already killed Tracy with the freneticness of his jive. Apparently Vincent has some sort of reputation as being King Of The Jive or what have you, but I watched Rachel’s the other day, and it was pigging awful. Anyway, Vincent tells us that their jive song this week has a very 1950s vibe (it’s by OLLY MURS!) and Tracy was only born “a couple of days ago” in the 80s, so what better way to get her into the spirit by pastiching Happy Days?

Which was made in the 70s. Between this and Grease, I love how everyone in the UK’s perception of America in the 50s is shaped by a pastiche made 20 years later. And both are now regularly rehashed on this show, 40 years later. Louis Walsh would look at this and say it was refried beans. Anyway, Vincent is both the geek and the Fonz and Tracy is…I dunno Betty-Sue or something. Happy Days actually repels me, so I’ve got no idea what the point of any of this is, other than laughing at how Vincent can’t act. Shall we get on with the dance?

We arrive on the dancefloor with a jukebox already set up and ready to play and

THE WIG! IT BURNS! IT BURNS! What follows is a frenetic 90 second jig around as Vincent tries to soothe the pain of his itchy weave. Or at least that’s the storyline that I’ve made up for it anyway. It’s another memorable jive in a series of ICONIC ones (Denise’s, Michael’s…) with plenty of

tramp-kicking and 1950s rock and roll action. Or as much as anything can have rock n roll action whilst being danced to Olly Murs. There are a couple of points where she looks a bit unsteady or behind the beat but otherwise it’s as good a job as I’ve seen done with the jive in a long time. We end with Vincent suggesting that Dani call him. Or that she’s got a bit of something on her lip. One or the other.

Over to the judges they rock, and Bruce congratulates Vincent on having a bigger one than Craig.

Quiff that is. Hey, at least Craig’s is all his own. I think. He starts for the judges by saying that when Vincent swung Tracy between his legs, he could see her fanny.

Then everyone cracks up laughing for the next forever. Best piece of judging he’s done all season. When you come back for your tango Tracy, make sure nobody can see your fanny. Tracy apologises to Craig and the nation, and Bruce tells her not to be sorry. Mmm hmmm. Darcey follows by saying that she loved that jive, and she had the style and bounce perfectly all the way through. 6!

Oh, ok, not really. Not this week.

Len is next and yells “CLEAN AS A WHISTLE, CRISP AS A PRINGLE AND ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS!”. I do hope he’s talking about the dance, not…well, what Craig was talking about. We’re having enough problems with Bruce. Bruno closes by praising her for making her “cutie-pie jive”. Ditto.

Up to the Tessanine they ralph their malphs, where they are greeted by Tess forcing everyone to do the Happy Days thumbs on pain of death. SHE WILL HAVE FUN IN HER TESSANINE! Louis does them for about five picoseconds whilst looking like he wants to die. I’m starting to think it’s not Flavia that’s his mum but the ENTIRE SHOW. Tracy thanks Vincent for creating such a wonderful jive, then does the whole “I WANT TO DO IT AGAIN!….BUT NOT IN THE DANCE-OFF LOLOLOL!” bit. We then further examine the horror that is Vincent’s weave.

Scores are in


Final leaderboard?


21 thoughts on “Strictly Come Dancing 10 – Week 5 Performance

  1. seminaranalyse

    I didn’t know you could entertainingly messing up a foxtrot but Richard managed it. from the 2 frontrunners i like Denise mostly better, cause she when she is on point is brilliant, but her big let-down is James. And i feel Louis is “the lights are on but theres no one home”. his dancing no matter how good it is leaves me mostly cold. I hope Flavia goes more mental when the series progresses. Nicky and Karen is exactly the bad idea i feared it would be. Nicky is shit and Karen seems to be a case of endless bad idea-cheography montages (if that wouldn’t expose Nicky big no-no) This series seems weird.
    And i want my homoerotic Artem-Pasha male rumba which i petitioned to Zoe Ball.(one day maybe there is also a Artem-Anton rumba which i would be excited about)

    1. monkseal Post author

      Surely there need to be different varieties of man-on-man dance action? It can’t just be rumbas all the time!

      1. Jenny

        Sadly I agree – and he has created some of the most exciting routines in recent years. I really can’t work out if Fern really is that dreadful in training so he’s having to keep in super-simple, or if he’s thought “older lady = stuff the Queen could get through”. She’s the ultimate audience identification contestant – people are voting to keep her (and his tits) in!

      2. monkseal Post author

        I am at least glad that she has revealed that she is done wafting her skirt around now, 6 weeks in.

  2. Pasta

    I love Louis’s reactions to the show – like an actual, normal person has somehow been dropped in into it. The ‘ You want me to do what?!?’ expression he has so often is great.

    1. Pops

      His impression of Robin on ITT was great (almost as amazing as Flavia telling him not to impersonate Anton in the Latin). It’s a shame more personality doesn’t come through in his routines – he’s good, but he hasn’t really done a routine that’s really sparked to life yet. I think he’s still the nearest I have to a favourite so far, but no one has really made me want to pick up the phone like Chelsee did last year. (Which may be a good thing as Chelsee brought out a Daly-esque patronising quality I never knew I had. “She’s such a good dancer, but awww, look at her little face! She’s so bloody adorable, bless her.”)

      1. monkseal Post author

        The thing with Louis is that he’s been hitting a lot of the same beats in the first half of the series. After this week he’ll have done all three of the salsambcha trinity and BOTH types of waltz. He’s got a lot of scope to really mix things up as we head towards the end, which may work in his favour.

      2. Penny

        As Monkseal says, I think the dance order is on his side (and may have been sorted that way deliberately). If his Paso, Charleston, Jive and AT aren’t spectacularly good then my faith in Flavia will be severely challenged.

  3. Muinimula

    When Craig commented that he could see between Dani’s legs, I think the extended laughter was caused by his next comment, “It was bubbly…” FILTH.

  4. Drooboy

    That pic of Erin and Richard receiving comments from the judges is amazing. It looks as if they had to swap her for a Girl’s World hair and makeup head while she popped over to the island.

  5. Carl

    I’m really not enjoying DS this series so this has been my main place to read about the show now. Your recaps just entertain every time. Your comments about Fern/Artem alone were far more entertaining than anything that happened on the show this week. I’d already forgotten most of it.

    There were no nerdy glasses characters on Happy Days. I think someone got Urkel confused with Happy Days.

    That salsa was the first time I really enjoyed watching Kimberley, and probably the first and only time I have enjoyed judge-desk-flaunting. I remember last year you talking about the music video girl coming out in Holly’s paso. I think the same happened here.

    Brendan and Erin talking – apparently they both are fans of that “I’m a dancer!” line too. Brendan was mockingly saying this to Victoria in training footage. Is that from Showgirls? Or something more recent?

    I have a difficult time not staring at Erin’s cleavage this series…(no this isn’t Richard typing). Otherwise I might have noticed the Erin’s Island homage you mentioned.

    Foxtrot is dull unless the dancers have a spark together. Denise and James just don’t.Then again Michael and Natalie do, but I was also bored by them. I think he was taking it a little too seriously (as was the show, if that VT was any indication).

    Victoria doing those steps and everyone being slightly terrified was pure entertainment.

    The high kicks were summed up by poor Colin holding his side in the Tesspit.

      1. Carl

        OH. I just watched that a few weeks ago after the Brad Pitt ad became a laughingstock. That is even more hilarious now.

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