Strictly Come Dancing 10 – Week 8 Performance Summary

It’s a bit of an odd week on Strictly Come Dancing this week. The storyline seems very much to be of a post-Wembley comedown, as all bar one of the celebs fail to surpass the standard they set last week, and over half of them actually drop. Or at least in terms of judges scores. Personally I would rather watch Lisa’s rumba (theatrical, driven, a mite more pleasant in the arms than the legs) seventeen more times than sit through that bloody samba splits once more, but the judges clearly only have any interest in her when she’s running around gurning, so it gets short shrift which she greets…a mite more passive-aggressively than you might hope.

Also finding themselves on the sharp end of a judges tongue lashing again are Louis & Flavia who deliver a very slow and elegant dance with Louis’ face radiating a slightly bovine superior romantic air. Unfortunately it’s supposed to be a paso doble, and this is Strictly, and if you’re not jumping up and down yelling “HA!” then you might as well not turn up. The judges do, at least, finally, after about a month of it being owed, tell him to actually wear a different face whilst he dances for once, occasionally, so we’ll see how that goes. It’s about time. Still the greatest fall from grace this week is reserved for Michael, who drops a mighty 9 points from his Wembley triumph, as Natalie taps right into the “the man stands still, and occasionally walks, as the female pro vamps around like a praying mantis with a dead leg” school of Argentine Tango choreography, with sadly underwhelming results. Then Len and Craig get into a fight about it, with even more underwhelming results. Especially if you ever believed that the male celebrities actually ever really led their female pro partners but…more fool you if you did.

Stagnating slightly are Victoria and Kimberley. The former because she’s doing salsambcha, again, to an awful music choice, again, and looking like she wants to die, again. Frankly they could not be hanging neon signs saying “PLEASE VOTE HER OFF, WE’VE TRIED DROPPING HINTS, BUT APPARENTLY IT’S NOT WORKING” any more clearly. (Bruno calls Brendan “Brenda” though, which makes my night). The latter on the other hand is stagnating in her scores, as she finds herself stuck on 34 for the third week running. Her actual dance on the other hand is probably her best performance yet – a neck-whipping chin-jutting vicious tango which I actually really enjoy (once I get Rachel & Vincent’s ERA-DEFINING Argentine Tango to the same music out of my head) even if she doesn’t seem to have any idea that she’s supposed to be in hold. Maybe it’s part of the story of the dance that she looked like she was trying to detach herself from Pasha the whole time? (*Len voice*) WOT? I SED I LIKED IT, STOP BOOING ME! (*Len voice ends*)

Which just leaves our top three for the evening – Denise & James, who deserve credit for pulling off an American Smooth to “Imagine” that doesn’t once make me want to vomit. It also ends in a lift where James’ head disappears up Denise’s hoohah, which I imagine takes some doing ; Tracy & Vincent who basically just do the Single Ladies dance with occasional samba interludes, so I’m happy ; and…Nicky & Karen. That’s right, Nicky & Karen, although it IS for a Charleston, so don’t get too excited. It does involve Karen being tied to train tracks though, which I’m sure got some of you VERY excited. Never mind Karen, there’s still time for you to win the nation’s hearts! It took Natalie Lowe four series!

Oh and at one point Bruce does his annual strip-tease. And really, isn’t that the biggest comedown of all?


41 thoughts on “Strictly Come Dancing 10 – Week 8 Performance Summary

  1. tabithakitten

    Nicky’s Charleston is the most overmarked dance in Strictly history.

    I don’t care that I haven’t actually seen it yet.

    It got all 9s.

    It just is.

    I don’t even want to watch it now. I’m scared.

    1. jspanero

      In fairness, and as much as I hate Nicky, it was a more than competent effort.

      Am I slowly seeing the SCD crown slipping away from Louis’s dreadful headpiece? He seems stuck where Harry Judd broke through and started progressing.

      1. Carl

        I think this is mostly a shell game, and a waiting game. They have no real stories this series, so they are continuing along with the disappointment story for Louis, likely knowing he’s a huge vote-getter. Louis is dedicated enough to keep working on, until he has a miraculous “breakthrough” dance which will look just like every single dance he’s already done.

        I think he’s going to be this year’s Gethin Jones, only one that will win.

    2. Kittiwake

      Kimberley’s hair, posture and expression somehow reminded me of Grace Jones this week! Totally different from her usual warm and smiley self.

    1. monkseal Post author

      Do they get outside people for the AT still? I refuse to blame Natalie, except the part where I totally did.

  2. Left Feet

    Struggling a bit this series because I don’t have a fave and no one is really putting their head above the rest of the field. I’ll include Denise who is really competent but I have yet to get really excited about her. About time the judges mentioned Louis lack of performance skills as its been an issue for me for weeks. It does not matter if you have the most beautiful technique and lines (he does) but peformance and entertainment value play a part as well. I’m sort of baffled that his supporters don’t see this. I really did think that this would be his dance and he could really get his teeth into it sadly not.

    1. monkseal Post author

      I was seriously expecting ridiculous shirtlessness and yelling and tits shoved forwards. (Yes, yes “and that’s just Flavia” etc etc).

  3. Trudi Rickman

    My favourite part, and highlight, was Bruce almost strangulating himself on the bead curtains. That about sums up my feelings for this series so far! Not really enjoying it at all – makes series 7 look stellar!

    1. Poppy

      I saw that bit with Bruce and the dangly curtains on fast forward so I’m not quite sure what happened. I didn’t bother to wind back to find out, though.

  4. seminaranalyse

    PENDLEDRAMA was amazingly bad. About 15 times she utterly forgot the routine. Bruno saying “Brenda”. I laughed the whole way through. Denise and Nicky were the two best. I think Michael and Nicky are better playing to their abilities than Louis.
    On a sidenote about pointless. I’m really sorry we never saw a chelsee-james pairing. This would have been car-crash

    1. monkseal Post author

      He did seem remarkably patient on the programme, but I’m sure how he would have responded to the mobile phone. Possibly with violence.

  5. JB

    Bruce seemed a bit turbocharged – which I loved, not least because I’ve never seen Tess look quite so openly scared as she did at the start of the show!

    1. Poppy

      It was vintage stuff, wasn’t it? Especially that bit of business about the lights on the floor moving. Side splitting. “Do we really need that?” how I laughed!

      1. JB

        OK, so not everything that comes out of his mouth is comic gold, and granted that wasn’t one of his better efforts. But I still find him funny most of the times, and genuinely cannot understand the vitriol he seems to attract elsewhere.

      2. Poppy

        He doesn’t make me feel vitriolic exactly, but I have to say I find him annoying now, whereas for the first several series I, too, found him funny. Sometimes, though, he does come out with truly hilarious ripostes. He’s better off the cuff, I think. (PS Sorry if I seemed to be sniping at you, I didn’t mean it like that…reading my comment back it seems a bit sniffy, and I wouldn’t have posted it if I’d realised beforehand.)

  6. Poppy

    I took Bruno’s ‘Brenda’ comment to be a shout out to you, Monkseal. I’m pretty sure he said it on purpose, and was practically winking as he apologised over and over.

    I’ve decided after the discussion in the comments here about Louis’ scores, that I’ll feel much happier if I regard the scoring as bearing no relation whatsoever to the merit of the dancing, but regard it as simply being about who the producers want to keep in until later on. I tried it this week and can report that it works. Hooray.

  7. Pops

    Lisa did seem to take the criticism badly, but to be fair I can see why ‘stick to the jolly, bubbly stuff, you don’t suit sexy and romantic’ would be particularly galling for her.
    This is probably the first time I’ve got to this stage in Strictly without voting. I don’t think the standard is particularly bad this year – even the not-that-good ones have all done at least one decent dance – but also there isn’t anyone who I’d be particularly gutted to see go. I’m still enjoying it, but normally I get way too involved, whether it’s Kara/Alesha/Chelsee/Ramps must win, or even just voting furiously for Rachel Stevens because I really, really didn’t want Tom to win. This year, I’m being much more rational and keeping it in proportion, and where’s the fun in that?

    1. Stormy

      Especially since…didn’t they criticize Lisa for being samey a couple weeks back? And now they’re criticizing her when she’s NOT samey? I’d be pissed too.

    2. monkseal Post author

      I’m at least glad that Lisa acknowledged that she was pissed off that the judges didn’t like it. I know she’s gradually becoming less popular because of her complete lack of poker face but at least she didn’t try to pass it off as “being disappointed with herself” or whatever lying bollocks half the others would come out with.

  8. Carl

    My jaw dropped at the score for Nicky. He had several better dances like the foxtrot which did not get near this score. I think it was less about him than using him to help drag down a few of the others they may want in the danceoff.

    1. monkseal Post author

      I think it was generally just shaping his storyline. The “two good weeks one bad week” stuff has been more obvious than usual this series.

  9. Dancing Cake

    Brenda looking totally pissed off and saying “Stop it, no more tears, we’re live” as Victoria started to blub all over Tess 🙂 He’s just given up with her, hasn’t he?

    1. monkseal Post author

      After 10 series, you have to think Brendan has a good sense of how this show works by now. I’m not at all surprised he predicted which week she’d eventually leave, all the way back in Week 1 and he seemed quite happy to take the handbreak off this week and let her slide slowly to a halt.

  10. Sarah

    Undoubted highlight of the show for me was watching Brendan and Natalie dance the ‘Single Ladies’ up in the Tessanine. He almost looked a happy as he was when it because obvious he and Victoria were leaving!

  11. PadsterMo

    I’m starting to find it difficut to tell when Bruce is putting on an act and when he is actually ‘going rogue’. The whole business at the start of the show – especially the bit when he yanked Tess – seemed a bit off, which made me thknk he was just rambling on, whereas the strip/tangling up in the curtain bit seemed planned. I wonder if there’s a contingency plan for if he really goes out of control on a live show?

    I’m glad the judges finally pulled Louis up about the lack of facial expression – for all her faults, Arlene would have had him (too many jokes………) at an acing coach several weeks ago.

    Once I got past the music choice (Rachel’s AT is my favourite SCD/second favourite ever worldwide pro/celeb AT) I really enjoyed Kimberley’s tango, and at least she’s starting to show a personality. Excellent thumb placement as well! Slightly undermarked in my opinion too when it’s compared top the other top scoring dances – and it’s not often I say that!

    I didn’t think Lisa was as bad as the judges did – although I think when I saw that Robin had adopted Artem’s DistractaTits approach to wardrobe I was expecting the dance to be a car crash and it wasn’t, so now I’m confused.

    Michael ably demonstrated why the AT was better as the semi-final challenge. He wasn’t awful, just not good enough for the dance. I don’t think there’s been an AT (apart from Kara’s) that I’ve enjoyed since it was put into the regular rotation of dances in series 8. Having said that, he and Natalie are easily my favurite couple, and I’d love to see them get to the semi final.

    Nicky was entertaining but I suspect he’ll be back to mediocre next week, Denise was better than anyone else and I don’t care if she is an EVIL RINGA BIATCH, she deserves to win. Dani – too Single Ladies rip-off and not enough Single Ladies inspired.

    Victoria…………..I think she was expecting it to be her final week and decided to just enjoy what time she had left. I didn’t get the same sense of unease from her during the routine as I did with her previous salsambchas; her reaction in the Tessanine confirmed this. I think Brendan also expected it to be their final week and had heard Kelly would be back in training this week, hence his good mood!

    1. monkseal Post author

      I think the bits with the lights was probably just him carrying on a spontaneous joke from the rehearsals. When things feel that disconnected it usually is. I’m sure Tess was DEAD EXCITED when he started faking that seizure though. But yes the stuff with the beads “choking him” on the other hand could not have been more scripted.

      And re : the Argentine Tango, I always felt it should be allowed the opportunity to have sucky versions as much as any other dance. Chelsee’s could have been good if she’d not cracked up giggling, Harry’s was alright, Matt Baker’s was fine, and if anything I think Scott probably should have got his done earlier.

      1. PadsterMo

        If you had to choose though – reserve the AT for the semi-final, or cut in loose into the regular rotation and have the Swingamajig in the semi-final?

        Something else I’ve noticed this year – especially during Whyberley Week and this week – are the floor projections seem much more elaborate and impressive this year. Isn’t one of the new Exec Producers from Dancing On Ice? Presumably they’re using whatever technology they use over on that show for Strictly this year.

      2. monkseal Post author

        Whilst the Swingamajig is undoubtedly a boring waste of time, at least it’s short and never really makes any difference. I don’t want to see five Argentine Tangos in one night, and have it be some sort of SUPERDANCE that decides who’s in the final.

  12. Crunchy Frog

    Karen might have been “tied” to train tracks, but if you looked at the background she was actually being menaced by a traction engine of all unlikely things. Not much peril there as it advances on her at a stately 5 mph, I shouldn’t have thought.

    (Though given the gyno-finish to the routine, I’d gladly have held her down for the 5 hours or so necessary to complete the job of squashing. Ugh.)


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