Strictly Come Dancing 10 – Week 8 Performance

Imagine there’s no Erin, and poor Louis can’t emote
Imagine Vicky doing salsa, and reaching for the remote
Imagine a sozzled Smurfette
Aping Beyonce’s moves

Imagine Denise van Outen, getting another 10
Imagine yet another sportsman, getting fellated by Len
Imagine Lisa Riley
Looking kind of pissed

Off-off-off-off

You may say that it’s monkseal, and that being caustic’s what I do
But I hope some day you’ll join me, and call Brendan Brenda too!

(Thanks Bruno)

Last week : Wembley happened, and it was actually kind of bearable? At least compared to last year’s effort. And, let’s be honest, this week. Denise tutted, Kimberley strutted, Victoria’s jaw jutted and Louis looked gutted. Oh and Lisa did the splits. They may have mentioned this about a BILLION times. At the end, Richard apparently discovered that his ticket to Wembley was marking as being

“one-way only”. Which is ironic, because after his weekly…display with Erin, I think it’s fairly safe to say that he now goes both ways.

Tess gushes merrily that the experience of performing at Wembley has left the contestants all

chronically addicted to comedy VTs. What a sad story. Comedy VT addiction is more pernicious than crack, and even less dignified.


See? If we’re casting, I’d say Nicky & Michael are Joey and Chandler (BROMANCE 4EVA!), Louis & Kimberley are Ross & Rachel (MEANT TO BE TOGETHER (lol, remember that storyline and how it died on its arse?)), Tracy is Monica, Lisa is…Flashback Monica, PENDLEDRAMA is kooky loony Phoebe, and Denise is Roxie in Chicago.

The VT ends up with everyone arguing “hilariously” with Michael telling Nicky he’s only still there because of the dance-off, Tracy throwing a strop because Denise is always top of the leaderboard, and Lisa just rolling her eyes because this VT is getting stupid. Truth in fiction etc etc…

LIVE!

I wonder if she ever did reach that cookie jar.

To the dancefloor now and

yes Tess, that dress DOES make you look very wide, well spotted. As Bruce wends his velociraptor way across the stage,

I ponder on how his knighthood now makes the opening announcement sound like it’s saying that he’s “sub-Bruce Forsythe”. Like he’s failing even the standards he normally sets himself. Ah well. At least he’s still alive.

For a while at least.

After Tess has disentangled himself from Bruce’s talons, she laughs in a not at all strained way that she thought they were just going to do the fist-bumps again this week, but then Bruce GRABBED HER INNER THIGH ANYWAY HA HA HA. Bruce huffs that they got there in the end, that’s the main thing really isn’t it? Let’s not quibble over an odd uninvited grope. I’m thinking Tess’ contract for next series might be a lot longer, and have a lot more clauses inserted by her lawyers on her behalf. Bruce then stares at the floor and grumbles “what’s all this for then?”

He’s talking about the lights, ladies and gentlemen. He’s wondering what the lights are for. They’re to make sure we can all see your radiant face Bruce and on that score, yes I would occasionally welcome fewer of them as well.

We rattle through “nice to see you” with one woman in the front row giving it a particularly terrifying amount of welly.

Maybe she can be Louis’ acting coach? Bruce explains to us all that this week on Strictly there are two birthday. Last Tuesday it was Kimberley, and tomorrow it’s Bruno’s. He’s 35! Again! And yes it’s a shame that Bruce has apparently forgotten Zoe’s birthday, but it does rather bring up the grim spectre of Il Divo bellowing Happy Birthday at her with all the operatic control and subtlety of a brick to the testicles, so I can see why it would be skirted over. Bruce then makes a joke about how he got Kimberley angelcake because she is an angel (*barf*), and Bruno fruitcake

BECOZ HE IS GAY! GAYLOLS!

Tess then reminds us that last week were in Wembley, and this week all the cooples will be dancing either a ballroom or a latin dance etc etc whilst Bruce

continues to mug horribly about the floorlights, pretending to have some kind of seizure. I wouldn’t tease them like that Bruce, they’re probably already on the phone ready to enact OPERATION BARROWMAN halfway through the show at a moment’s notice. He doesn’t like being called out of his bed for nothing (BARROWMAN – the fifth emergency service). And then after all his mugging he completely fails to read his autocue smoothly adding more weird sounding pauses than Vincent Simone in a comedy VT and

grabs Tess in such a way that you can genuinely see her considering quitting on the spot, there and then. She doesn’t need this shit, but now that Vernon’s lost his job, she must endure. A woman cannot live on the proceeds from Daily Mail Weekend Magazine photoshoots alone. Bruce dry-humping Tess of course means that it’s time to meet the STARS OF OUR SHOW.

Once everybody’s out, and lined up, and finished mugging to the theme tune to show what BIG PERSONALITIES they have, Bruce congratulates Denise on the start of her routine last week, when she was carried in on a sedan chair.

Now some people might say that this is false praise, as we all know that Denise has a vast range of experience in sitting in chairs, but I think those people neglect the fact that she was being carted around by four men in their pants which, as we all know, would have made the experience that more trying for her.

Bruce and Tess next remind us that the dance-off is still a thing that happens, although it does look officially at this point like it might not happen in the semis, as we all feared, so thank goodness for that. In Starship Karen?

Another 90s ladette tv presenter who Bruce can’t stand. He must feel like they’re taking over the earth, poor thing. He’d never catch Wilnelia, drinking, smoking, swearing and falling out of a nightclub. Probably because she does it on Saturday whilst he’s presenting this.

Tracy Beaker & Vincent Simone dancing the samba

Bruce tells us that Tracy is looking forward to Strictly being over, so she can have a break. I know how she feels. He goes on to say that she’s planning to go on one of those 18-30 holidays, where she leaves the country to go to an exotic location filled with vibrant sexually active young people. Oh Bruce, that’s not an “18-30 holiday”, it’s an “18:30 holiday”. Just ask Erin. Depending on how many celebs are still in, it normally lasts til about 20:00.

Bruce has his own joke obviously. It ends with the line “I’m so alone”. Even if my joke was laboured (dahling), it surely has to be better than that?

VT now, and Tracy tells us that performing at Wembley was definitely the biggest and most important thing she’s done in all of her 14 years of life. What? Bigger than Dani’s House? Bigger than your pop career? Bigger than DISCO INFERNO – THE DISCO MUSICAL WITH JAVINE AND SAM ATTWATER? Amazing. To back this up, we see Tracy

gushing backstage about how she just got FOUR 9S AND PERFORMED AT WEMBLEY! Vincent meekly points out that he was there as well, and Tracy giggles that she quite forgot he was there. Now say something stoopid in Italian! HA HA HA YOU SAID PRAWNS! She closes by saying that she definitely felt like one of The Spice Girls out there.

Smurfy Spice? Although yes, the passage to success, popularity, and ultimately victory on this show is to emulate The Spice Girls (*cough*BLOODYBUNTO*cough*)

Training now and

woe betide anyone who get on the wrong side of Tracy Beaker, lest she beat you half to death with her shoe. She tells us that this week she will be dancing to “Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)” by Beyonce, and that as a dateless wonder herself, she can really identify with Beyonce’s powerful lyrics of “he’s a man that makes me, and takes me and delivers me to a destiny, to infinity and beyond”, “I got gloss on my lips, a man on my hips, got me tighter in my Dereon jeans” and “oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh”.

A message for us all there I feel.

Sadly Tracy tells us that she has no spare time to practice the teaches of Beyonce, as Strictly is taking up all her time, and Vincent is the only man in her life. In fact, she’s getting so used to Vincent, that she’s even having




dreams about going speed dating with him, and all his many personas. And if you’re struggling to imagine what it might be like to have a series of perfunctory romantic encounters with Vincent, each lasting about 2 minutes, whilst he’s wearing a variety of outlandish costumes and doing different stupid voices, I suggest you ask Kristina what it was like to be on tour with him. ALLEGEDLY.

Anyway, Tracy wakes up from her sleep, tells Vincent all about the dream she had, and then he sweeps her up in his arms and tells her that she’s just experienced

every woman’s dream. I missed the part where Artem and James were there with some whipped cream and pony rides, but I never really look in the background of these shots to be honest.

Yes, yes, calm down gentlemen, lesbie ladies and enjoyers of the mixed grill – you’ll get your turn later, calm down.

TO THE DANCEFLOOR!

She really is like the little Latin dancer on top of the jewellery box isn’t she? Life sized. The band fires up and




of course, she’s dancing to Single Ladies, so she’s going to do the Single Ladies dance. It’d be rude not to. To be honest, I think I would have preferred it if she’d just done the Single Ladies dance for the whole thing, and said “sod it” to salsambcha. If Louis can do the Dirty Dancing MEGALIFTZ routine, then why not? Just bob your bum up and down a bit, and none of the judges will care. And frankly I think the singer agrees with me, as she’s singing the song with all the gusto of Friday Night Phillippino Karaoke. There’s a really weird moment where Tracy & Vincent run up to the Judges Table for no reason and…do nothing but other than that, it’s fun. I wouldn’t have known it was a samba, but it was fun.

I most enjoy how the ending is in fact her reaching out to have a ring put on it. A bit after the end of the music, but you should always be hesitant before inserting your finger into any unfamiliar ring.

Up on Mount Olympus,

Louis considers swapping Victoria out of the Pantheon for Tracy, although he’s a little stumped as to what sport she could excel in to warrant the jump. Maybe if they make horse racing an olympic sport she can be a jockey? If he can’t think of anything, he’s going to have to impregnate her in the form of a bull, and nobody wants to see that, do they? The dance gets some volume of applause, but no standing ovation. Maybe they’re saving themselves? They probably shouldn’t have bothered. Bruce is at least glad that Tracy is smiling after her routine this week, which has been a thing throughout with him. I would have mentioned it earlier, but I felt she was being patronised enough without “smile love, you look so much prettier when you smile!” going on.

Bruce introduces the judges and says that he’s got shock news for us all – Craig said in the newspapers this week that he might leave Strictly for a year’s break. From somewhere, Brenda cheers.

Don’t get too excited Brenda, he also said, amongst other things that “everybody hates Kimberley”, “Louis is over-confident and arrogant”, “I will fix X Factor for £5,000,000” and “the best thing about Strictly Come Dancing is that the judges comments are so much less contrived and scripted than on all the other talent shows”. He’s gone a bit…off-piste. Bruce tells Brenda off for heckling, presumably because he was being far funnier than Bruce’s punchline on the topic could be.

Len starts for the critique portion of the Judging & Stand-Up Comedy Roadshow, saying that SAMBA IS A PARTY DANCE and that Tracy CERTAINLY GOT THE PARTY STARTED. She was VERY BRAVE STARTING ON HER OWN and he loved that there was PLENTY OF BASIC STEPS in there. Anybody playing Len-Bingo this week must be on the verge of shouting “HOUSE!” already. Those of us not playing it, are on the verge of shouting something else. Bruno follows by doing the Single Ladies dance. Well

the part that involves fisting anyway. He then tells Tracy that she’s not going to be single for long after that, because he intends to put a ring on it. Who would have thought our first Strictly wedding would come in this form? He found the dance charming, and bubblier than Babycham. The fact that Bruno loves Babycham is…less of a surprise.

Craig follows, calling her a “hot little dancer” and telling her that he loved her arms and her isolations. Oh, and all the “quotations of Beyonce” she was doing. I think he means the bits where she was doing the Single Ladies dance. Only Craig could put it like that, because he has quotations of horseshit. Darcey closes us up by saying that she agrees with “the boys”

and she could not sounds more begrudging whilst doing so. She loved how clean it was, but she would have liked Tracy to finish her running promenades off properly. Maybe by yelling “ME AND MY BOO AND MY BOOF BOOF RIDING” or another meaningful “quotation of Beyonce”.

Bruce yells “YOU’RE A WONDERFUL STAR! KEEP SMILING!” at Tracy, as she sprints away from him as fast as she can up to the Tessanine. Once up there, Tess calls her her

TINY DANCER! It’s out of the frying pan and into the Towering Inferno really isn’t it? Tess congratulates her on making the dreaded samba look easy, and Tracy hems that certainly it was a lot more difficult than she was expecting at first. As if it to prove this true, Tess

fails utterly at the Single Ladies dance. How can you fail at the Single Ladies dance? I wouldn’t have thought it even possible. Tess then tries to get Tracy to whinge about how she hasn’t got any 10s yet, and she deftly avoids it. Nice work. Scores are in

36.

Chinbotley Walsh & Pasha Kovalev dancing the tango

Mercifully, Bruce calls him by his proper name this week, not “Pastor Cockaleg” or whatever the wags in the typing pool have written up for him this week. Although actually Pastor Cockaleg is his name in the…erm…stage play I have written for him in my head, also involving Father Antonio from Sunset Beach. A stage play about erm…repressed feeling in the clergy. Of an unecclesiastical nature. Ahem, ANYWAY, as if that tangent wasn’t disturbing enough, this is the week where Bruce pretends to be a stripper.



WITH SEXY RESULTS! I think Kimberley’s reaction

speaks for us all, as does Pasha’s. I mean…we’ve all thought “what would happen if Bruce died in the middle of a show?” and I’ve always thought that, as a showbiz vet, that’s probably how he’d like to go. I’m just not sure he’d want to go in the middle of something like THAT. Poor, poor, POOR Wilnelia. Bruce loosens his tie, then jokes that he’s only going to go get far, because they gave him a fiver. To stop?

VT time, and Kimberley tells us that Wembley was incredible for her as well, as we are treated to a reminder of her running out with the curtains stuck in her knickers. She says she was really nervous before the performance, but when she started, she thoroughly enjoyed it, and when she was put through to next week, she was really relieved.

So we’ve established that last week was just a breakthrough in her performance ON the dance-floor yes? She’s still as dry an interview as ever.

Training now, and Pasha explains that he is trying to get Kimberley to draw out the darker aspects of herself, as the tango is all about anger and jealousy and betrayal and having your knickers on too tight and all of that. Sadly he is trying to show this to Kimberley via the art of demonstration, and as we’ve already established

Kimberley finds him about as terrifying as a labrador puppy playing hopscotch with its kitty friend in a field full of daisies. This girl has been out on the lash with Sarah Harding – a stroppy dancer is nothing to her.

Pasha further explains that Kimberley is yet another one of those poor ladies on this show who are just too nice and sweet and lovely to ever be able to do a tango (I love the implication here that, say, Flavia is a giant flaming bitch-queen). He’s really struggling to get her to display the true passion and

HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA oh Pasha…

We close with Kimberley trying to channel her last fight with her boyfriend into the dance. Can’t wait for her to throw a damp towel in his face, yell “PICK IT UP OFF THE RUDDY FLOOR YOU LAZY GIT!” and then storming off up the Tessanine for an angry fag.

SO VERY ANGRY!

To the dance-floor and

nobody ever said that Pasha couldn’t do mise-en-scene. Also, hark at Bruno blatantly checking out Pasha’s arse. They go in

close for the kill, and the music strikes up and…it’s “When Doves Cry” which for me is forever Rachel Stevens’ Argentine Tango music, to the extent that I have a little trouble not just rushing off to Youtube to watch that instead. And I like Kimberley as a dancer, generally. Happily, she just about manages to pull the routine off, and again it’s a solid improvement on the performance front from her. I mean

she has to fake panty-moistening longing for Len, and that can’t be easy. It’s

still a little chinny, but it feels like a complete performance from her, rather than 20 seconds of girlband emoting before getting into hold and just trying to keep the technique together. Of course, as a consequence, she loses the technique slightly, were her hold sliding around like a bubble in a spirit level, but the whole thing is dramatic enough that she carries it off. Her head swinging in particular is practically at

Natalie Lowe levels of over-exaggerated sharpness. And that’s no bad thing.

THE END! I am loving the overly literal video-wall work there. I can’t tell if any of the doves are actually crying though. We should probably check back after the next dance. It gets a standing ovation, and Bruce makes sure to yell “KIMBERLEY! PASHA! LOOK!” until they do the necessary Dr Hamela praise-dance to

make it stop. He then explains to us that he likes to get the dancers to look when they get a standing ovation. Yes Bruce, we had noticed. He then tells us that he notices Tess introduced the singers last week by name, and he thought “what a lovely thing to do?” so he’s going to do the same. Here are


Hattie, Timmy, Aretha and Pasha. Also

these two. Bruce makes out as though he’s going to name every single member of the orchestra, but I don’t hear “The Man In The Hat”, so he’s definitely just making them up.

Bruno starts for the judges, purring “Kimberrrrrrrleyyyyyyyyy” and calling her an ultravixen, sporting a pout the likes of which he’s not seen since the days of Joan Collins in Dynasty

/Austin turned down Arlene’s invitation to join her in her dressing room for post show drinks and discussion. He loved her staccato action and he thought it was a fabulous tango, but he thought he detected a slight wobble in the middle.

Oh not you as well Bruno, Darcey was on at her for that last week as well. SHE’S A LOVELY SLENDER WOMAN YOU BODY FASCISTS! Craig follows by saying that he agrees with Bruno about Kimberley’s wobbly middle (gay men are just the worst aren’t they?) but he loved all the drama and she really told the story of the tango all the way through. Was the story “man and woman fight over how he put too much peanut butter in her sandwiches?”. That was a GUMMY mouth she was working there. Oh and he also liked how she had her thumb wedged in Pasha’s crack.

WELL HE NEVER! It’s not as though he “accidentally” says something filthy “without realising it” every week is it? This audience is such a pack of barbarians, honestly.

Darcey is next, amidst the gales of laughter, as Bruce requests that she gets everyone to stop giggling. Well…shouldn’t be hard. She tells Kimberley that she really liked her storytelling and how she didn’t die. Some people really are rewarded on a different curve to everyone else aren’t they? Len closes by saying that he loved the drama and the story of Kimberley and PASSIONATE PASHA!

Gosh, he’s really proud of himself for working out a pun most of us got five seconds after he was announced as a pro-dancer isn’t he? But on the other hand, Len carries on, he thought her hold was far too loose, and she didn’t do any heel leads. So, you know, there’s that. Once Len has finished, Bruce tells Kimberley that she got some really good comments to work on there, and tells her to go off to the Tessanine with Pasha “Bolognese”.

Oh just give up Pasha. We all stopped trying to make sense of him about five years ago.

Once they’re up in the Tessanine, Kimberley gets a hug from Tess and then grins about how much she enjoyed getting a standing ovation, because it shows that the audience really loved the dance. Either that or the floor manager just woke up and remembered to wave the cattle prod around. Tess then requests that Kimberley then show off her “moody pout” again.

Combine that face with Pasha’s hair, and you’d have the best Donald Trump drag queen ever. Not exactly a competitive field, it has to be said. We also learn that Kimberley has been really busy this week with Girls Aloud, and she’s had to bring Pasha along with her everywhere she went so she could get in the same amount of training as she normally does. Pasha then makes big huffy sighs and rolly sarcastic eyes about how AWFUL it was getting to be with GIRLS ALOUD for the day. Yeah, I don’t think it’s any accident that this is the week those gay rumours started up again. Scores are in

34. Again.

PENDLEDRAMA & Brenda Cole dancing the salsa

Oh Victoria. “Dancing Through The Decades” was last week. There was no need to bring your Charles II wig. And make-up. Bruce tells us that Victoria has told him that she’s really struggling to cope with all the fame and attention that being on this show has given her. Yeah, that and the dancing. And the remembering the routines. And the choreography not being specifically tailored to her. And the judges critiques. And Brenda. And not crying. And the sensation of not being the best at something for once in her life. And the weight and muscle loss. And the comedy VTs. And the not being called out first on the Results Show. And the being kept in when she clearly wants to stop now. And the other celebrities writing “PENDLEBITCH!” on her locker in Tipp-Ex. But other than that, it’s been FABOO!

VT now, and guess what? Victoria loved Wembley as well. Although she calls it a “fantastic experience” which sounds like something you’d put on your CV rather than actually MEAN. She says that flying through the air was a first for her, or at least on a bike. There was that time she was involved in that explosion at the biscuit factory, where she landed halfway up a tree with a Jammie Dodger lodged up her nose and had to be pulled out by two separate firecrews. OH PENDLEDRAMA. She also says that she thinks the flying was a first for Wembley. Oh Victoria.

If only it was. Brendan then clarifies, for the sake of his future employability, that he wouldn’t normally include a bicycle in his paso doble choreography. Honest.

We’re also reminded that that one nut in the audience yelled “I LOVE YOU VICTORIA!” and Victoria herself says she was really flattered by his having “pitched in”. She wasn’t flattered later that night when she saw him out by her bins, touching himself. Ah, the nature of fame.

Training now and

yup, Victoria’s back on the Latin. She tells us that she’s dancing the salsa this week to “Candy” by Robbie Williams (?!) and then takes us on a tour through the greatest hits of her Latin. The cha-cha, which she forgot and scored 16 for. The rumba where she choked on her dress and scored 22. The samba which was…her samba and scored 23. She lies that she’s been having fun learning the salsa though, although she knows that what she sees as fun isn’t always seen as fun by the judges. Is she talking about that time she stuck a firework up Darcey’s exhaust pipe? We then get the following amazing exchange :

Brenda : What do I have to do to get you to give it some welly? What do you want?
Victoria : A PUPPY!

She’s so weird. She then screeches “WHAT DO YOU MEAN I’M NOT A SEXY LATINO DANCER?!” at him, then collapses on the floor cry-laughing.

Brenda closes by saying that the salsa really is a dance about having self-confidence and selling yourself and he’s worried (/hoping) that Victoria might find it difficult to do that and as a result may get voted out. Victoria, for her part, says she’s just going to see how it goes. Then punches a squirrel and yells “WHERE’S MY PUPPY? THIS ISN’T A PUPPY, THIS IS A SQUIRREL!”.

TO THE DANCE-FLOOR!

Briefly I am worried that this is going to be a homage not to “Candy” but to “California Girls”, and that Vicky’s going to get the squirty-cream tits out. It’d barely be less appropriate than the bicycle was. Happily, the giant candy canes are really the only tribute to Katy Perry’s opus although sne and Victoria are about on a par in terms of expressing convincing adult sexuality.



SHE’S GOING TO PARTY UP YOUR POPSICLE! The song is, of course, wantonly inappropriate and robs the routine of any sort of Latin flavour it might have aspired to. Also…it’s PENDLEDRAMA LATIN for goodness sakes. Her arms have tangled up armography in dances that it hasn’t even existed it, so it’s no surprise they mostly form a great big tangle here. On the other hand

she’s clearly more than a match for any lift thrown at her. It’s the only time on the show when I think she’s really displayed anything like her full strength, especially in a Latin dance.

Once they’re done, Brenda carries her over to the judges, where Bruce has got yet another set of props to play with. Apparently as Victoria was dancing to “Candy”, Bruce has brought along a bag of sweets to hand out. He gives Bruno a lollipop which of course he is

vaguely obscene with, Len a humbug, Darcey some Love Hearts, and Craig a gobstopper. Then he realises that he’s given Len the Love Hearts by mistake, which means that now, technically speaking, they have to have sex. I know Bruce, that’s how they got me too. TRICKSY GAYSES.

Craig starts for the judges, with sadly not even a second to lick his gobstoppers, as he tells Victoria that the giant candy canes on stage had more fluidity than she did.

THAT IS ALL! Ah well, it’s not the first time someone’s been out-danced by a prop. Nancy’s feather boa immediately spring to mind for one. Darcey is next and she’s amazed that Victoria achieved all the armography that she did, and she really liked how Brenda gave her so much to do. But what was REALLY brilliant were those lifts. She thinks that Victoria has just the most amazing core. In fact Darcey invites everyone to look at Victoria’s core

in a way that will definitely in no way make her feel self-conscious. EVERYONE’S LET’S STARE AT VICTORIA’S RAPIDLY DEFLATING ABS!

Len follows, and says that her salsa was FAR TOO LIGHT and as a result, he’s going to call her a “light Victoria Sponge”. Yes, every woman appreciates being called a sponge Len. Her tells her that she really needs to have more “go”. I’d say she agrees with you there Len. As does

Brenda. Speaking of which, Bruno is next, and he uses the pink shirt Brenda’s wearing to…well…actually call him “Brenda”. I’d claim it as stolen if I didn’t steal it myself from Jayne Middlemiss on Love Island : Aftersun. Yes I watched Love Island. Well…I watched the spin-off because I had a crush on Matt Brown but…this is very far by the by. Anyway, Bruno then launches into the sort of “You may be an youthful, powerful, accomplished athlete but my God you CANNOT DANCE” intervention that everyone was apparently clamouring for about a month ago, and now you’ve got it.

I HOPE YOU’RE HAPPY (CRAIG)! It closes with him telling her that her shiteness is beyond belief. Which is quite a criticism, when you think about it.

Up to the Tessanine they hurricane and

oh jeez, here come the waterworks. She bleats to Tess that she doesn’t know whether to laugh or cry. Both PENDLEDRAMA! BOTH! Throw in a bit of rage and maybe some surprise in there as well. I went as many RAW AND REAL emotions from you before you leave as I can get before we’re left with just Kimberley’s blankness, Michael’s bluff Yorkshireness and Louis huddled in a corner wearing his hoodie and eating Doritos. She calls herself “tragic” and then laughs in an adorably manic fashion. Tess, to avoid the ever-increasing ball of snot and Kleenex in front of her, asks Brenda how it feels to have the public “100% behind him”. Brenda says he really does appreciate it but

can they stop it now please? Everyone else is “really really good” (*face*) but they’re just going keep on trying as long as we keep them in. Victoria, at this point, has just about summoned up the energy to be verbal again, as she weeps that it was REALLY REALLY FUN out there, honest. She’s really enjoyed learning to shuffle around and call it a salsa. Scores are in

21. Victoria hoots that it must be her worst score ever, then Brenda reminds her that her cha-cha happened, and she laughs a really genuine self-effacing laugh and…if someone was going to go out on a low, I’m glad it was this sort of low.

Mr & Mrs Smith dancing the paso doble

Bruce tells us that he’s sure he doesn’t need to remind us that Louis was a silver medallist at this year’s Olympics. Certainly Victoria likes to remind him every chance she gets, as she walks around backstage with her golds going “tum ti tum” and polishing them. Bruce tells us however, that he once saw Louis slipping when he went to straddle the pomell horse, and he damaged his personal best in the process. Was it during this performance by any chance Bruce? He’s such a shy boy, always remember that.

VT time now and we are treated from the off to an incredibly woobyish shot of

Louis rolling out some paint, sadly. He tells us he was really nervous before dancing with Flavia, and indeed felt physically sick. The image of Louis vomitting mid breakdance, spraying vomit around Wembley as he wheeled around during a hip-hop dance break is, I’m afraid, too powerful to ever get out of my head. Louis says that really, his rehearsal had gone so badly that he was just glad to get to the end. Yeah, yeah, tell it to Denise. We then get a faintly hysterical interview with Flavia where she says that the only thing that matters is that

the public kept them in, so THERE. She’s starting to get a hint of the Camilla-Madness isn’t she? Just around the eyes.

In training, Louis says that this week he will be dancing the


paso doble. Doesn’t he just look…better in the training room than this turned out? I know he’s being ridiculously OTT, but frankly I’m fanning myself a little over that pose in the first one and I don’t even like muscles. I am of course equating “good” here with “how sexy he looks”, because frankly for the purposes of this show, those are the same thing. And with that, I guess it’s time to tip the scales back with

Louis says that it’s a very masculine dance and he loves “messing around with the cape”, as Flavia tells us that they will be dancing to “Dirty Diana”. Oh Flavia, if it were tastefully done, would you ever consider NOT dancing a paso doble to Michael Jackson. When I think “the bloody glamour and tragic passion of the bull-fight” I don’t think of some creepy old waxwork recluse with half his nose falling off. Generally. Additionally, Louis is apparently using this as an excuse to bunk off and do the moonwalk (not a euphemism) and Flavia is using THIS as an excuse to pull

amazing Flavia Mum Face.

TO THE DANCE-FLOOR!

I will say now that the only Vincent/Flavia paso doble I have ever liked was the first 20 seconds or so of Felicity Kendall’s, so we’re not working from the perspective of a fan here, but the whole thing I think is kind of dreary. There are some moments of



drama and excitement, but really the whole thing seems designed to show off how lyrical and flowing Louis can be and seriously…this is a PASO EFFING DOBLE! Have him grunting and stomping and smashing cockroaches and chewing the scenery Flavia. I presume this is all an attempt to address the judges comments from last week about how they wanted him to be lyrical, which is why you should always ALWAYS ignore the judges, because this was a snooze.

And his crinkly little

angry faces are just funny. It’s like she’s not washed his PE kit or something. (On another note, “Dirty Diana” always conjures up a little image in my head of Princess Diana trying to be sexy, which will never not make me laugh). I think the most damning thing is that Bruce starts wandering onto the floor before the end because he actually thinks the damn thing’s over before it is.

NOW BRUCE! SHUFFLE ON NOW!

Its gets a Standing Ovation, and Bruce’s “LOOK! LOOK!” sweep yields this week’s biggest celebrity audience member.

Jeremy Edwards. It’s hardly Cheryl Cole is it? Maybe they were all given warning that this was going to be a bit of a crap week?

Darcey starts for the judges and get ready kids, because it’s time for him to receive his Performance Intervention and for him to pull

Woobie Face in response. HOW COULD YOU DARCEY? HOW COULD YOU? She tells Louis that she didn’t see any storytelling in the dance at all. In the paso doble the man has to be arrogant, forceful and

milking two invisible cows at the same time. She thought it was clean, exact and precise, but she didn’t get any sense of drama at all. She tells Louis she thought he was going to have fun with the dance, and he didn’t. Flavia breathes so much air up into her nostrils she’s in danger sucking the cape up with her. Len is next, and explain that the paso doble is not “cupcakes and ice-cream” it’s “thunder and lightning”, and that was as limp as his knees when he met the England Cricket Team. Flavia’s face

starts to go even more Camilla.

Bruno follows and he says that Len is right – Louis has beautiful lines and shapes but the paso doble is about BLOOD and REVENGE and KILLING and FIGHTING TO THE DEATH. All of which Flavia looks like she’s currently considering, as she growls “he showed all that ACTUALLY”. Louis giggles that he’s worried about when this show airs, and he hopes that Bruno hasn’t just scared all the little children watching. He says after performing to a song about a psychotic hooker who spreads her legs for fame. Craig closes by making the storyline from here explicit – if Louis wants to win, he has to act the dances more and really give himself to them. Flavia responds by pursing her lips so tightly together I worry that she might not be able to get them apart again.

Bruce sends them off to the Tessanine, saying that it was a lovely dance, but Louis has something to work on now – his performance. And next week he has the Charleston. So there’s the most important dance of the series for you, in terms of determining who wins, and it’s an effing Charleston. Just what I always dreamed of.

Once up there, Tess smiles that Louis got a standing ovation from the audience, and Flavia drones out “yayyyyyyyy” like it’s Zombie Tango week all over again. Such rage in that one. Tess asks Louis if he’s ready to give himself up to Craig and Louis is all “…I’m not sure I want to win THAT much”. Flavia clucks that Louis was the most vicious she’s seen him all week out there on the floor, and Louis goes on to say that he felt he at least got into it a LITTLE bit. He promises he’ll really go for it next week though and then yells “WOOOOOOOO!”

The utter blankness on everyone else’s face is quite something. Scores are in

27. Flavia clucks “interesting…interesting” with

SO MUCH RAGE ON HER FACE that I’m surprised Louis doesn’t burst out laughing. I hope this all ends well for her and she doesn’t end up in the future…say…watching every show whilst on twitter and giving all the men 10s for everything because she still bears a grudge.

WIBBLE.

Lisa Riley & Fun Bobby dancing the rumba

Just a little Friends reference there if the show’s intro got you in the mood. Bruce tells us that he really enjoyed Lisa’s disco routine last week, and he told Lisa that there’s one disco classic that really sums up the last 9 years of his life.

VT now, and we’re transported back in time to Lisa’s godawful samba again. Sadly this isn’t Len’s Glans so we don’t get to hear the conversation between Robin & Lisa after their dance.

“I’m stuck” is how I believe it went. Lisa tells us all that if it were possible to bottle the emotion that she felt at Wembley, she would then sell it to everyone at a 500% mark-up. What a giving soul. What do you think that emotion would taste like? I think I could probably get the same effect with a giant bottle of WKD Blue and the vomit afterwards would probably smell sweeter. She tells us that to say she was overwhelmed would be an understatement.

What about “overdramatic”?

Training now, and Lisa tells us that this week she will be performing a rumba to the song “As If We Never Said Goodbye” by Barbra Streisand. NOT CAMP ENOUGH. Robin tells us that Lisa and he have formed such a tight bond, and she’s such a dogged worker, that he thinks she’d train with him 24 hours a day if she could. As demonstrated by the rage face she pulls (and get used to that) when he leaves training early.

What? Wednesday’s 2 for 1 Night at Trannyshack Lisa, leave the poor guy alone.

Happily, this is fake rage (don’t get used to that) and this is in fact an intro to a Comedy VT, wherein Lisa Riley stalks Robin Windsor everywhere he goes, to try to get him to train with her more.

Terrifying isn’t it? She even follows him home and tries to get in the shower with him.

And why does it not surprise me that Robin is the type to drop his towel in front of the mirror?

TO THE DANCE FLOOR!

I think that might be a can of hairspray. I’m not too sure though. Unfortunately for Lisa, Robin has gummed her mouth up so she can’t

enjoy her usual pre-dance candy floss. AND THEREIN LIES ALL HER GURNING STRENGTH!

Anyway, the music strikes up and Lisa pulls her face of

THEATRICAL TRANSPORTATION as the music of Barbra Streisand transports her to another world. I’m not entirely sure what the story of this dance is. I’m guessing “Musical Theatre Grand Dame dances with her dead Gay Best Friend who gave her quirky life lessons and told her “you go, gurl” on a daily basis and really taught her how to live

with his nips hanging out”. It really does have a very “Beaches” vibe. Not sexy, or romantic, but yearning and possibly moving if you’re of a particularly sensitive disposition.

Which I’m guessing doesn’t include Darcey.

For some reason it gets a little paso-ish in the middle, I’m not sure Lisa should really be attempting any sort of back-bend, and this pose is right out of the

“people will think it’s impressive if I manage to do this” school of non-choreography, but otherwise I quite enjoy it, and it’s certainly better than last week.

And SO! EMOTIONAL! So of course let’s get ready for the judges to hate it.

And the the studio audience, by the looks of it, as it gets no standing ovation. Maybe if she’d done the splits again… Len starts for the judges, and says he liked some of the detail that Lisa put in, and some of the moves she did, but overall he didn’t think the feel of the dance was there, because it wasn’t exciting. IT’S A SODDING RUMBA LEN, IT’S NOT AS THOUGH SHE WAS GOING TO DO A CARTWHEEL WITH CATHERINE WHEELS ATTACHED TO HER TITS. Anyway, Lisa is

already taking this criticism well. Bruno follows by saying that the dance was nice and “surprisingly understated” but he wanted something fiery and “Norma Desmond” from her. Lisa demonstrates this by pulling the face Norma Desmond pulled

before she shot her boyfriend in the face. She shrugs and says “it’s ok”. It clearly isn’t.

Craig follows, by calling the dance “tempestuous” and “aggressive” and saying he didn’t like it. I’d complain about how I find something a bit iffy and prejudiced about how the judges are constantly referring to Lisa as “aggressive” but Craig’s saying this whilst she’s pulling this face so…

carry on, really. He then pulls out that he doesn’t think this dance suited Lisa for…whatever reason.

Darcey closes by saying that she really thinks that it must be really hard for Lisa to really “caress the floor” as she’s really more suited to the “latin, bubbly numbers”. So that’s “bubbly” to add to the list of euphemisms then. She closes by saying that she also thinks this was “not Lisa’s dance”. I guess now that Richard Arnold’s gone they have to play the “TOO GAY/NOT GAY ENOUGH!” routine with somebody, and why not Lisa?

Bruce sends them up to the Tessanine by telling her AGAIN that some dances don’t suit some people, and Lisa finally snaps and says “what? so it’s not the cuddly monkey dance then?”. HA! She is SO PISSED OFF. I love it. Once she’s up there, someone tells her well done so Lisa theatrically shakes her head like Harold Bishop after Lou Carpenter pulled off another of his WACKY SCHEMES. Tess asks Lisa what she’s shaking her head at, and Lisa replies that it’s because “THEY all said it was beautiful, and it wasn’t”. Of course everyone then yells “BECAUSE IT WAS BEAUTIFUL!”

Just once I want someone to come up there and for everyone to go “nah, we thought it was shit as well”. Not necessarily this time. Just A time. Lisa says that she really tried to bring out her “inner actress” (?!) and show a different side of her in that routine, and she’s just sad that the judges didn’t see that.

If Lisa Riley were at a keyboard at this point, she’d be typing out “BECAUSE THEY ARE BLIND!!!11!” and then thinking better of it and deleting it. Tess asks Lisa what the reaction has been like in the street to her, and Lisa replies that every single person she meets tells her that the love her and thinks she should win and that they should hold a Champions Of Champions series and she should win that as well and then there should be a parade. You know, it’s just nice to be liked. Scores are in

27. It’s moments like that 7 from Craig I really wish we had Flavia Cam. I bet that Tessanine sofa got a DENTING.

Michael Vaughan & Natalie Lowe dancing the Argentine Tango

I saw Michael Vaughan’s Hair Replacement Advert for the first time this week, and frankly, it makes Gavin and Katya for BritsBingo look like the lost Meryl Streep-Laurence Olivier collaboration that never was. Here is but a small sample of the magic. My favourite part is how Shane Warne suddenly gets his new face about two-thirds of the way through – I laughed so hard I think I may have lost an organ. Anyway, Bruce tells us that Michael has been teaching Natalie some cricketing terms, and Bruce asked if she could demonstrate what she’d learnt to him. Then he offered to show her his googlies, and it all went downhill from there.

Vintage Natalie Lowe Joke Face there. Just open your mouth and hope for the best.

(Quiet at the back)

VT time now, and we’re reminded that Michael Vaughan at Wembley was the most gleefully unexpected triumph since Holly Valance’s paso doble.

He tells us that, as soon as he finished, he saw that people were just starting to stand up. Well, yes, the show had been on for about 2 hours at that point, and they needed to have a piss-break before the producers made them sit through the same Girls Aloud performance three times. Natalie grins that the whole thing was just an incredible feeling, and one of the highlights of her life. I’m guessing her fringe this week was another.

Training now, and Natalie explains to Michael what the Argentine Tango is all about, at least on Strictly. It’s about

MAW BOOBS! And, you know, looking sexy and being intimate and that. Michael looks vaguely non-plussed, and complains that it’s going to be really hard for a “Sheffield Lad” to look sexy on the dancefloor. Because of course people from Sheffield are notoriously all complete biffers.

The producers however, have an idea how to SEXIFY Michael.

Well now I’m turned on. It’s not as though I wasn’t getting enough HOT SEXY UGLY FACIAL HAIR action as it was, what with Movember and everything. In his new sexy Latin Lover guise Michael tells Natalie that he’s going to take her to Buenos Aires.

STEAKHOUSE THAT IS! I’d love it if they HAD actually gone all the way to Buenos Aires just for a Comedy VT. We all know how much Vancouver improved Colin’s dancing after all. Anyway, we close on Michael and Natalie rehearsing their Argentine Tango, with her staring into his eyes and making sex noises. I’m not sure this is something I was ever meant to see or here.

TO THE DANCEFLOOR!

I’m loving Natalie’s whole ensemble, from the fringe to the dress to the amoyzing ear-rings.

So Argentine. The whole thing looks like a particularly exciting Dead Or Alive character – international ballroom dancing star by day, killer assassin by night, giant bouncing boobies at all hours. What I’m not really in love with is this Argentine Tango. I know we’re apparently holding back for the inevitable VINCENT VS FLAVIA ARGENTINE TANGO FACE-OFF TO END ALL FACE-OFFS in the final 2, but it’d be nice if we saw some less pedestrian ones earlier on. By this point in their respective series we’d already had Matt’s, Kara’s, and Harry’s so there’s no excuse. And by “pedestrian” I mean

just walking abaht, holding your tummy in. It’s alright to do a minimalist Argentine Tango – really very little happened in Ramps’ and that’s still moistening gussets nationwide 6 years later – but if you are going to just walk abaht you need to give it some fire and intensity, and he’s not got it. Also, they’re performing to “Bust Your Windows”, and when I find myself longing for the technical precision and rampant eroticism of a Team Cola routine in comparison, you KNOW you’ve got problems. Lifts are alright though,

if you don’t look at his face.

Michael & Natalie move over to the judges at a fair clip, as I feel like we’re a bit behind at this point, right into Bruno telling Michael that he looked like he was passing a kidney-stone in the middle of the dance. Better out than in, that’s what I always say. Craig follows, saying that the dance lacked any sense of lead or resistance. That’s not fair Craig, he looked like he was resisting performing the thing throughout. Craig then goes on to explain to a

frankly baffled looking Michael, that it is the man’s job to lead the pro female in this dance, by giving a series of indications which the woman then responds to. It’s something like “kick me in the balls!” “ok!”. Oh and he had very stiff adornments, which Craig does NOT LIKE AT ALL.

Darcey follows by saying that Michael is a really attentive partner, and by that she means he’s always staring at Natalie like a park-keeper through the lido-changing room windows. She loved how much he tried, but she really missed the domineering man in that routine. Colin’s gone Darcey, get over it. Or, you know, whoever you’re supposed to fancy this week. Len finishes by

throwing an almighty SPORTSMAN! strop at Craig, yelling that he wishes he had Michael’s stiff adornment (*eyebrow*) and that the lifts were AMAZING and the drags were GREAT and who cares that he done no dance-faces cause he does a MANSPORT and not a GAYSPORT like what Louis and Colin does so that’s FINE, and that actually CRAIG, the man has to lead EVERY DANCE and none of them ever BLAHDDY DO, cause it’s all PRETEND so SHAT AHP. Craig tries to say something about the particular nature of the Argentine Tango, but let’s face it, nobody wants this dragged out any more do they?

Especially not Darcey.

Up to the Tessanine they bust, where Natalie immediately explains that something went wrong in one of the turns, and the rest of the routine was just them frantically trying to hold it together. Michael on the other hand is too busy grinning that he thinks it’s a real achievement to start an argument between Len & Craig. Is it?

Louis waves at the side all “whatever! I do it every week!”. Or possibly he’s waving for a stagehand, because Natalie’s boobs have just started growling. He’s so helpful. I think it might be a microphone problem although there’s always the chance that it’s just Natalie’s boobs. Michael than waffles on a bit about the high standards of dancing this year and how easy it is to dance sexy with Natalie. Maybe one I too will get the opportunity…sigh. Scores are in

26.

Nicky Byrne & Karen Hauer dancing the charleston

That is quite a pucker she’s got going on there. Bruce tells us that last week he told Bruce not to do any of his stupid catchphrases before the dance started. NICKY BYRNE FOR STRICTLY PRODUCERS 2013 PLZ!

VT time now and guess what? Nicky thought that performing at Wembley with Strictly was one of the highlights of HIS career as well! Will wonders never cease?! Karen Hauer goes so far as to say it was one of the greatest nights of her life. Don’t sweat it Karen, I’m sure you’ll be back to do it again next year. (*cough cough*) Nicky then goes on to say that, sadly, he ended up in the Dance-Off and had to fight to stay in the show. Karen says that she was really surprised to see a whole new side of Nicky at the end of the last show.

He remembered her name and acknowledged her existence and everything!

Training now, and Nicky tells us that he thinks that the Charleston is really what he needs after being in the Bottom Two, because it’s such a fun dance.

I wonder why he’d say that…

Anyway, just in case having the FUN FUNNITY DANCE OF FUN FUNNESS isn’t enough to get Nicky through to next week, Nicky’s pulling out his secret weapon. (No, not that, let’s face it, there’s nothing secret about that)

BABY WARS! And not just his kids either, I think there’s a second cousin’s niece in there somewhere as well. I’m not sure Nicky knows what he’s getting himself into, as Denise and Michael both have kids and I read an interview with Denise re: Strictly the other day where almost literally EVERY answer was somehow twisted by her to be about her kids somehow, so I can’t imagine she’s above it.

Anyway, they’re all super-cute and one of Nicky’s kids is pretending to be Craig and waves his 1 paddle around and it just makes me sad that we’re never going to see that magic paddle at any point this series and it makes me a little depressed.

Just think of all the drama that would come out of a scoring session like that. Magical.

TO THE RAILWAY TRACKS!

Wow. I was 50-50 on whether she should be rehired myself, but this seems a little…much. Oh no, wait, it’s just the story of the dance. Karen is a damsel in distress and Nicky is the hero who rescues her from getting smushed by a train. And just as Denise is clearly at an advantage in any routine where she has to sit on a chair, so I think Nicky probably has a lot of previous experience

handling something of this sort of…length and erm…well you get my point. Once the day is saved, Nicky and Karen dance their Charleston in celebration, to “Doop”, whilst in the dining car Countess Thistlebottom removes her face from the trifle. The routine is a lot of fun, by which I mean it’s mostly Karen

flashing her foof and gurning, whilst Nicky does most of the actual dancing. Which is an odd way round of doing it but…whatever works. I am a little concerned about the safety message being sent out by shots such as these however.

I’m just saying, if there’s a spate of Charleston-related rail-deaths over the next few weeks, don’t come crying to me. It’s very loose and very straggly and Nicky’s still got a hump to rival Mr Burns but it’s a Charleston so who’s going to quibble on the technical? They’re dancing to “DOOP!” for goodness sake.

Really, it gets a point per foof flash, and then it’s only a little overmarked.

It gets a Standing Ovation with

Jeremy Edwards in particular going wild. What an honour it must be to be so lauded by such a Legend Of Dance. Well…he put it in Rachel Stevens once, which is frankly enough for this show. MAKE HIM HEAD JUDGE! Bruce points out to him, yells “LOOK!” and then gets really hyperdefensive about how he’s just doing it so the celebrities can see what the audience are doing. Someone’s had words haven’t they?

Craig starts for the judges, by saying that it “wasn’t a disastah, dahling”. In fact that dance really suited Nicky, and was his best yet. Darcey follows by saying it was MAGIC and that Nicky looked like he’d just stepped off the set of “The Artist”. Len is next, bellowing that Nicky is the

NO STRESS EXPRESS! I’m just glad he didn’t mention Karen’s caboose. He then goes on to say that Nicky may have been bottom 2 last week, but he’s going to be TOP 2 THIS WEEK! SPOILERS LEN! Denise hasn’t danced yet! I’m sure she cou…oh.

Bruno closes by yelling that that routine was PURE MACK SENNETT! Yeah, what a hottie. He loved the character-driven slapstick, and found the whole routine really energising. Which is fortunate, because the one thing I’ve thought whilst looking at Bruno this series is that he needs more energy. He almost sat down once!

Up to the Tessanine they doop, and Nicky revels in getting his first standing ovation. Was it? I have to admit, some spreadsheets are beyond even me. Tess then grins to Nicky about how he really wanted to nail the dance this week AND HE DID

whilst behind her Flavia fills up with so much rage I half expect her head to unscrew from the rest of her body, and ascend skywards with a little flame under it. Nicky says this week was really tough, because he was so busy, and it was really great to have his kids (and his relatives kids, and some kid he just pulled off the street) to support him. Scores are in

36. I’m with you Karen.

Denise Van RINGAH & James Jordan dancing the American Smooth

James looks so NERVOUS doesn’t he? I bet it went really BADLY in rehearsal. Bruce tells us that Denise not scoring a perfect 40 last week was such a travesty that he felt that Craig needed to answer some questions. Apparently in the process of this, Bruce learnt that Craig didn’t know what a ten is! Yeah, we all learnt that after Dr Hamela’s quickstep Bruce. Apparently Bruce learnt this fact when Craig said that he thought Moses brought down the Nine Commandments from Mount Sinai. To be fair Bruce, he’s probably missed out “honour the sabbath” and replaced it with the Strictly Variation “dishonour the sabbath by wasting time shuffling around the audience and making everyone change clothes so you can still pretend your show is live even though NOBODY OTHER THAN REALLY REALLY WEIRD PEOPLE CARE”.

VT now, and Denise tells us that Wembley was a load of old shit and she wouldn’t go back if you paid her.

Oh, ok, not really, she thought it was amazing, transforming and better than a night of hot sweaty 1950s sex with Jon Hamm etc etc. She then goes on about how there’s so much more pressure on her than there is on everyone else because she’s so amazing and everyone keeps on expecting her to be even more amazing every week. IT’S SO HARD BEING HER! She closes by saying that as the weeks go on, she finds herself getting more and more nervous. OH JOY! PLEASE TELL US ABOUT EVERY WEEK DENISE, IN DETAIL.



*puts kettle on*

Training now, and James tells us that this week he and Denise are doing the American Smooth, which is really more of a “showy dance”. Than the Charleston? Really? Anyway, he goes on that there’s lots of lifts and stuff and it’s all really difficult, and then we get a shot of Denise trying to get into a lift and then falling on her arse

but in slow-motion with sad tinkly piano music, rather than the comedy slide-whistle we’d get for anybody else. Surprisingly enough

she’s not dead. I was worried for a minute there. James tells us very solemnly that that lift wasn’t even the REALLY DANGEROUS LIFT! DUNN DUNN DURRRRRRRRN! That’s this one.

OH MY GOD I CAN BARELY LOOK! etc etc. Denise says that James has had this lift go wrong before, with his professional dance partner and wife Ola, and the end result was James getting a broken nose. Wow – either Denise has to be a better dancer than Ola, or James is going to DIE! These are some high stakes indeed. Or at least that’s how I’m understanding this VT.

LET’S FIND OUT WHICH ONE IT IS!

They’re dancing their American Smooth, and they’re on last, and it’s to an acoustic guitar version of “Imagine” and it’s been a very long time since I saw a dance on this show so clearly set up to be a “moment” it’s hard to even judge it straight.




Look! Look how momenty it is! Look at all the meaningful faces James is pulling! I mean, I like it quite a lot, because basically it’s their Viennese Waltz but with some lifts thrown in so I can stay awake this time, but…I like spaghetti bolognese, but I don’t want to be force-fed it. Up my nose. Also the last lift

looks effing awful, I’m sorry.

THE END!

I’m surprised those lanterns don’t burst open to reveal a flock of doves and/or a children’s choir representing all of the world’s five continents. It gets a Standing Ovation (once Bruce has yelled at some reluctant people on the front row) and Kimberley loves it

because she comes from the world of Simon Cowell Reality Shows and that routine was basically the classier end of them writ large. Gary Barlow would have came geysers.

Darcey starts for the judges

clearly very emotional, saying the whole thing was so elegant and emotional, and Denise made all those beautiful lifts look so easy and effortless. She knows that James must have had something to do with it

but she just LOVES DENISE ALL THE SAME. Len follows, by saying the routine was just like the sea. Wet and nauseating, with groupers stuck to the bottom Len? No, he thought there was wave after wave of beautiful motion or something like that. Unfortunately a couple of “foot things” happened during the course of it, but it looked nice.

Bruno follows up, by saying that the smoothness had the quality of the finest silk. It came out of a worm’s arse? NO! It was shiny and shimmering and soft and beautiful! Of course! Craig closes by saying that James’ thumb was sticking out, as was his arse, and he had no rise and fall whatsoever.

Denise on the other hand was perfect. WOW! Better than Ola AND James, all in the space of one routine. Who can she face off with next? I’d suggest Erin but…I don’t want her to end up maimed. James tells Bruce that his mum has told him to be nice this year, so he’s not going to respond to Craig dissing him like that.

Except with implied threats of physical violence. Well…it’s an improvement.

Up to the Tessanine they dream, where Tess gushes that she was REALLY NERVOUS ABOUT THE LIFTS! James says he was nervous as well, and then everyone pays tribute to Denise’s skill and courage. Tess then asks Denise if she feels any pressure to maintain her amazing standard of dancing every week and…haven’t we already covered this? I mean…the attempts to make me feel sorry for Denise, when she has the easiest path to the final since Ricky Whittle? They’re not really working. Denise mumbles that she doesn’t expect her score this week to be as high as it was last week, and then scores are in

I guess he COULDN’T HELP HIMSELF! 37. (Incidentally, Flavia is lucky that you can’t really catch eye-rolling in a picture, because she does it at least twice)

He does love his American Smooth doesn’t he?

Final Post-Wembley Leaderboard?

Night.

23 thoughts on “Strictly Come Dancing 10 – Week 8 Performance

  1. rodneyandsteptoe

    I assume that the Bruce Disco reference for ‘Le Freak’ refers to the chorus where the girls sing ‘Freak Out’? That’s why I chose it anyway – if you know what the original words penned were, it fits with what I would like Bruce to do at the end of this series… 😉

    Reply
  2. min

    I had a picture in my mind of Ola sat in front of the tele throwing shoes during the Denise and James VT. I also like to think I wasn’t too wide of the mark. Or that Ola wasn’t as well.

    Reply
  3. Jenny

    Thank you, I found the show so utterly boring after the excitement of Erin Island last week. Flavia’s growing rage is a good reason to keep tuning in.

    (Hi Bruno!)

    Reply
  4. Penny

    In next week’s Radio Times Victoria says that when they wheeled out the flying bicycle she finally realised that she had become this series’ Russell Grant / Anne Widdicombe. The unspoken implication is that instead of thinking “yippee – highly lucrative National Comedy Treasure career awaits”, she instead thought “screw that, I’m off”. Never liked her more.

    Reply
    1. monkseal Post author

      I hope this means she gets her own section on next year’s It Takes Two where we get to watch her crying at all the emotional highpoints of each week’s show.

      Reply
  5. catherinehirst

    Anyone who isn’t voting for Natalie as sexiest female pro is just WRONG. Have you SEEN that woman’s legs? They may be the nicest legs I’ve ever seen on a human being.

    I would watch Flavia Cam all day long. Presumably quite a lot of it would be her cleaning up Louis’ room, folding his laundry, packing his lunch, etc.

    Reply
  6. Doktorb

    Having never heard of the BritsBingo advert before, I’ve just found it and now can’t breathe for laughing. What a glorious shambles.

    I miss that pairing so much 😦

    Reply
    1. monkseal Post author

      I hope they announce during the Christmas Special that next series is All-Stars. I NEED TO SEE GAVBOT’S ARGENTINE TANGO AND CHARLESTON.

      Reply
  7. Trundles

    Thank you for the perfect screencap of Bruce grabbing Tess before meeting, “The stars of our show”. Can you also include the audio of Tess squeaking, “Oh God!”, followed by a hasty, “sorry” (presumably to viewers who would phone the duty log to compain about the blasphemy but not about the assault)? My favourite intro of the series so far. I wonder if, at that moment, Tess was just echoing Erin’s inner voice from the last few weeks?

    Reply
    1. monkseal Post author

      I love that Tess is no unafraid to voice her disdain at being molested. For all the good that it does her.

      Reply
  8. Bashful82

    I a not sure what it says about me but halfway through typing “Father Anto-“, the first thing that came up on Google prediction was Father Antonio Sunset Beach. Ah, Father Antonio and Cole Mark 2.

    Reply
  9. JB

    I always thought a fruit was an eccentric/slightly loopy person, and indeed Cassell’s Dictionary of Slang seems to back me up on this point. I genuinely didn’t know it meant what my copy of Chambers describes as “(U.S. slang) a homosexual male”. The things I learn from reading this blog. Presumably the BBC would claim that the former was the intended meaning if pressed on the matter.

    I wasn’t a huge fan of Natalie’s fringe either (although thankfully for all Natalie is not in the least bit obliged to style herself according to my whims and desires) – she’s still comfortably the most eye-catching female, though (he says, hoping that comes across as a compliment, rather than an creepy online comment).

    Reply
  10. Rachel

    Thanks Monkseal, had me laughing out loud again. Definitely your best recap this season, if only for the Louis Ancient Olympian references…(ah, that classics degree is finally coming in useful).

    I will miss Pendledrama, she was great. Not at dancing, obv, but making Brendan grit his teeth that much was a joy to behold.

    Reply
  11. adamjhughes

    The SCD Church of Danceology, seemingly normal celebrities join it and within a few short months
    become complete nutters, and as with many cults…. sadly may never recover (Zoe Ball!)
    Lets hope her brainy Dad can ‘deprogram’ her (I think that’s what they call it), he’s been exposed to SCDCD but got out early. Was it a failed rescue attempt?

    Reply

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