TO THE MIDNIGHT CAFE!
(At 7:20pm). Yes, it’s that time of year when Vincent and Flavia come out and entertain us all by repeatedly kicking one another in the nads for 3 minutes straight. It’s ARGENTINE TANGO SHOWCASE TIME! This time more explicitly branded to get you to go and see Vincent & Flavia on tour than ever before! I hope that schlubby old dear waitress starts proper going for it towards the end. I WANT TO SEE HER GANCHOS! Anyway
here are our heroes, so
LET’S GET READY TO FLICK ABAHT!
Jesus, I only came in for a gingerbread latte. Once Flavia has stolen Vincent’s hat, they wander off to the bar for a martini, and their friends take over for a bit.
You’ll notice that none of them are the grumpy schlubby waitress lady. Can anyone who has seen Flavia & Vincent’s Midnight Tango : This Time It’s Personal, please tell me if the grumpy schlubby waitress lady starts kicking her legs around like a crack-addled sparrow, PARTICULARLY if she’s on wires. The price of a ticket depends on it.
Once they’re done, and the set has been folded back away again here come our hosts.
I can’t tell if Tess is dressed well, or if I’m still recovering from that bunny girl atrocity. I do know I want someone to try to codebreak the squiggles on Claudia’s arms. I bet it says “send help”. She tells us that we have a “ballroom buffet of delights” before us (personally I think the foxtrot looks a bit gone off). Music! Dance! Len’s Glans! And two people will face off in the all-important dance-off. It’s sure to be a nail-biter this week! I bet we have to go to Len’s casting vote again!
I know I trust him to make the right decision.
Tess promises us also that, for our musical guest this week, “the biggest male touring solo artist in the world – Andre Rieu”
Good to know that his army of Stepford violinists are, indeed, just chopped liver. I’m choosing to take Claudia’s face sarcastically there by the way. At least… I think that’s Claudia.
As they’re both indisposed by, you know, presenting the show and yelling about meerkats and stuff, neither Tess nor Claudia were able to snoop around backstage this week, which means that the gossipmongering duties have been left to Anton. Needless to say, he’s not nearly as succesful a muck-raker as Claudia was. All we learn is that
Hallowe’en Week never ended for some people (seriously Anton, a BIT of bronzer wouldn’t have gone amiss) ; Anton’s ballroom
is as it ever was ; Anton’s latin
is as it ever was ; Ian needs to hide his
“seriously? They sacked me and kept THAT? SERIOUSLY?!” faces a little more in check ; according to Fern the dresses for the larger women are just swimming costumes with feathers stapled to them in a haphazard fashion ; that Robin will reveal to us one of the greatest mysteries of the male pros dress on Strictly
is it “where has Brendan’s penis gone?”? ; that Flavia was perhaps
a touch more upset by Craig’s comments than Louis was ; that backstage at a Westlife concert is a
dull and desolate place indeed ; that Jon Culshaw’s impression are still shit ; that you never let Auntie Gladys out of your sight near the best man
; that Karen Hauer may look like Nicole Scherzinger but she sure as hell doesn’t sing like her ; and that if you’re wondering why this year’s Strictly feels even more tilted towards the tastes, whims, and sexual desires of middle-aged women than usual
you need wonder no more. MICHAEL BURKE WAS RIGHT! THEY’RE OUT OF CONTROL!
Back to the studio now and time for our first wave of Safety Sex-Faces :
Robin really isn’t giving up that crown without a fight is he? Anyway, this leaves five couples still in jeopardy – Fartem, the Munchkins, Team Ex-Gay, Matalie Vowe, and our SHOCK(NOT ACTUALLY)BOOTZ. The couple finding out that they’re in danger first will be…………gonnafightoutlater.
Ugh, how ITV.
Tess turns to Bruno, and they’re all very self-congratulatory and smug about how this is a NAUGHTY TWIST rather than just the sort of pointless slow-drip-feed of non-tension that we all got bored of on X Factor about three years ago. Tess then asks Bruno who, out of the five teams remaining definitely, definitely should not be in the dance-off because they are so pretty and amazing and wonderful at dancing?
Bruno replies that Kimberley is the one who definitely should not be in the bottom 2 because she is beautiful and amazing and wonderful and talented and such a beautiful dancer and does so much for charity and also poots out rose-scented guffs and also she sang “Something Kinda Ooh”. Oh and also Tracy, a bit.
Way to lay it on with a trowel, SHOW. It’s like they’re literally sticking two fingers up at us and daring us not to notice.
Up on Claud 9, our surviving team are getting into the Wembley spirit by
screaming incoherently and waving props around. I trust we’re all ready for next week yes? We can at least comfort ourselves that it can’t be any worse than last year. Or can it? Fortunately the lights come back up, and Claudia commands that everyone drop their glowsticks, which everyone does.
Except Nicky. Such a rebel. Claudia congratulates him on getting his personal best and asks how different it will feel dancing at Wembley to performing with Westlife at Wembley. Fewer knickers thrown at his face for a start. Unless their jive has lifts in, obviously. Nicky just says it’s going to be exciting, because Wembley’s such an amazing arena. Everyone gazes on in awe at Nicky’s tales of Wembley glory
except James, who somehow managed to top the leaderboard with ALEX JONES there, so is unimpressed with someone who just sang “Queen Of My Heart” to frustrated housewives.
Claudia then makes sure to talk to Louis about his blessed waltz scores some more, but since this episoe aired we’ve had a whole week of that on It Takes Two, including the most gloriously manipulative episode of It Takes Two aired since the glory days of “SARGE QUITS!”, so I don’t feel like rererererererehashing it again here. Suffice it to say
Louis still couldn’t give two shiny shits. He aplogises for “causing an uproar” which I hear got a few mum-pants a-twanging. SO WELL BROUGHT UP etc etc.
Lisa noisily expresses her excitment at getting to go to the Forbidden Kingdom of Wembley, which is apparently a cue for a
Comedy VT, which seems to imply that Wembley is located somewhere just south of Honolulu. As intro, Claudia talks about how Wembley has played host to everyone from Beyonce to The Beatles, and Nicky pipes up “AND WESTLIFE!” as though he hasn’t droned on about that enough. Claudia grins “yes, let’s not forget the stools!”. Bit harsh. Although in the COMEDY VT, Nicky does appear to have
come dressed as one, so fair enough. Other highlights of the Comedy VT include Louis trying to act, PENDLEDRAMA not trying to act, Lisa and Tracy
decapitating Robin and Vincent and stuffing their bloody severed heads into a duffel bag and Fern
sprawled out on a limo like the world’s most depressing Euromillions winner. Who knows what any of its supposed to mean? It all ends with everyone screaming over the fact that only 9 of them will get to dance at Wembley, and Craig groaning that they’re all so melodramatic, unconvincing, and forced.
Which is a lovely little segue into Len’s Lens isn’t it?
Our first clip is of
Darcey dancing about a bit. She’s paying tribute to Darren Gough’s hands. Who could forget that wonderful storyline? He had POOFS HANDS and then Lilia smashed them with a hammer and he didn’t any more. You don’t get Strictly Magic like that any more. Len hoots that he was dancing as well! Dancing because he loved last night SO! MUCH! He is CERTAIN he has NEVER personally given out so many highest scores in one night before! (He gave out 4). IT WAS SO GOOOOOOD! You know, just like every week then.
Next we cover Darcey talking to a producer through her earpiece live during the show. It’s still not funny. We also get some supplemental footage of Vincent “talking to Darcey” on the phone at the beginning of his tango with Tracy. What it mostly reveals is that Tracy’s pounding on the phone-box truly was piss-weak. It sounds like it’s raining very faintly in the background, one drop at a time. Darcey then talks about how much she TRULY LOVED Tracy’s tango, particularly the choreographed ending. Is this because
Darcey appears to have got as much of an eyeful of Tracy as Craig did last week? Are the producers instructing her to fancy HER now. So many twists and turns.
Richard’s funny gay faces. I guess he WAS doing a Charleston, so it was always going to happen. Erin is going to hunt down and castrate whoever ran this segment this week incidentally. No woman, even one as stacked as Erin, wants to see her arse jiggling around in slow motion to the beat of someone’s handprints. Bruno and Craig then debate the choreographical merits of bum-bongos. No, really. I’m sure you can surmise who is for and who is against yourself.
We close, as we know we must, with Brenda falling base over apex, in glorious slow motion. Bliss. Bruno yells that it’s not you start it’s how you finish, and Brenda finished “WITH A PLOMB!”. She is a bit of a plum yes. More of a lemon, I think, to be strictly accurate.
Time now, to reveal who is in the Bottom Two, just so we can milk it all out for maximum outrage as long as we can. Because the show is messing with my melon so thoroughly with its timings this week, I’ve sectioned people off in a handy guide for you. The following people are safe
meaning these people aren’t
I know, I know, without my help you’d be lost. Particularly in the case of Artem. Oh and I know that this recap has far too many pictures as it is, but here is Natalie Lowe’s Shocked Face in all its glory.
Seriously even if it doesn’t count as a Safety Sex-Face, it’s getting SOME sort of award at the end-of-series Monkies. SO! SHOCKED! Oh goodness, I haven’t even covered Bruno screaming “YOU MUST BE OUT OF YOUR MIIIIIIIIIIIIIINDS!” over the top of the reveal. I love a good SHOCK RESULT. Carnage.
Tess tells us that this is a SHOCKING RESULT for both teams, because both of them got their personal best scores tonight. Yes Tess, that’s why it is. Definitely. Can you imagine Artem’s reaction when it was revealed he and Fern would be up against Kimberley’s Viennese Waltz rather than Michael’s salsa? I bet he was DEVASTATED. Tess turns to Darcey and demands that she pull FACE OF CONCERN over what this means for the future of this series, nay, THE ENTIRE FUTURE OF THE SHOW.
Face so pulled. Tess asks her what Kimberley and Fern can POSSIBLY DO to avoid this happening again. Darcey says that “Fern can only go out, and she’s got to have a genuine party out there”. Should have stopped after the first five words luv. She also advises Kimberley to really nail her attitude promenade turns this time. You know she knows what they are.
Up on Claud 9, there’s a lot of Survivors Guilt going on.
I am so disappointed that Natalie has to pretend that she’s about to perform with Andre Rieu. I wanted her stood there, doing shocked face, the whole time.
That’s better. Tracy’s crying, Richard’s crying, and Michael thinks it is a FLABBERGHASTING INJUSTICE that Kimberley is in the bottom two. I love when sportspeople accidentally stumble into a competition that isn’t based on merit. They’re so lost bless them. It’s like if at the last Cricket World Cup the organisers had told India that they may have technically won the final, but they’re a bunch of boring bots so the West Indies can win instead. SO COOT! Richard for his part spews inanities like a ticker-tape parade about how everyone’s a winner and this year’s line-up is so great and it’s like a family backstage, but you can tell something in his brain broke during that SHOCK BOOT and turned him
back to how he used to be.
Claudia then tells us that Anton and Kristina went to Wooton Bassett for Rememberance Sunday. Well this is easy to make jokes about. Quick, let’s skip to
ANDRE RIEU’S SMUGGITY FACE instead. That’s better. He’s playing “The Rose” by Bette Midler (nice to have a little bit of classical culture on this show, eh?) as Brendan and Natalie
wander around in their night-gear. They do a really lovely, tender rumba, which is only periodically broken up by Natalie trying to
snatch the violin off Andre. LEAVE HIM NATALIE, HE’S NOT WORTH IT! I still say the whole thing would be enlivened by Natalie doing her SHOCKED FACE throughout.
Once Andre’s packed up his violin and gone home, it’s back up to Claud 9 we scoot, as we revisit the two couples who are “in danger of going home”. Oddly enough, the one couple who are ACTUALLY in danger of going home are
much more pleased about it than the couple who aren’t. Fern tells Claudia that she’s really looking forward to going out there and doing her salsa again, and whatever happens to her, she’s enjoyed her stay on Strictly so so much. Claudia dispatches her to go off, pick up her feather duster and tabard, and get ready to rattle her pots and pans one last time. She then turns to Kimberley and tells her that literally everybody is shocked AND IN TEARS that she is in the bottom two (*milk milk milk*). Not least Kimberley herself, who looks one misjudged comment away from hurling herself over the balcony. What a blessing it is that Tess doesn’t do this bit. Kimberley says it’s going to be really difficult to go out there and do the dance again, but she really appreciated seeing everybody else so miserable. You know, in a “feeling their support and sympathy” kind of way. Honest.
She’s totally fine obviously. With frankly, a tragic lack of wailing and gnashing of teeth from the judges. Seriously, there’s only four more of these dance-offs to go, don’t waste them. Incidentally, Len votes to save them as well even though, as we’ve all learnt, this is not supposed to be his job in situations like these.
Anyway, Kimberley and Pasha waft off into their veil of tears, and Fern’s farewell to Artem is one long
extended groping session as you’d expect. Got to fill them in whilst you’ve still got the time left I guess. Who would have thought that all it would take for me to like Fern Britton again would be for her to act like a massively inappropriate pervert on Saturday Night tv? Anyway, she’s thrilled to have been part of the show, and she wouldn’t swap it for anything. She tells Artem that she thinks they really know one another really well now, and she adores him, and she wouldn’t have swapped him for any other partner.
Artem remains mute on this score.