So in summary :
Louis & Flavia had the Charleston when he can’t gurn
Tracy & Vincent had the Viennese Waltz when her waltz was a hideous mess
Denise had the salsa when her cha cha was her worst dance so far
Kimberley had a jive when she has dodgy knees
Lisa had a quickstep when she can’t do elegant or bouncy
Nicky had Argentine Tango when his connection with his partner has been minimal
Michael had a samba
I can’t work out if it’s a good or bad thing that I went into the show expecting 7 Strictly Trainwrecks, and I came out with only 3.5. Although on the other that does feel like it might be the ratio for a perfect episode of Strictly. Only improving matters is the fact that all of the judges spew out a non-stop torrent of innuendo and filth all evening whilst Widdy is sat watching on Starship Karen. I bet she turned PURPLE.
Anyway, let’s start with the bad. Michael, as I said, has samba, and sadly no amount of tropical shirts, FIERCE HEAD-DRESSES or whirling from Natalie can disguise the fact that he still can’t really DO Latin, although at least this week he got a break from having to hoist Natalie into a lift by her knickers every five seconds. Afterwards Bruno tells him that he would have done it better if he were bisexual. I doubt it. Also struggling with Latin is Denise, whose salsa goes horribly wrong, with missed sections, awkward lifts and a complete lack of hip action. What she does have? Spins, and lots of them. And they’re all that’s saving her from truly woeful scores, as she just about manages to scoop up 8s. Also arguably helping her is a gallant James, who admits that it was all his fault that the dance went wrong. For the second week in a row. Throwing his own employability down at the altar of hauling Denise through another week. What a gentleman. *sniff*
Also stinking the place out are Lisa & Robin, whose quickstep features the most awkward intro of any dance I can remember that didn’t involve a harness. It is notionally a tribute to Morecombe & Wise, with Lisa playing the wacky Eric and Robin taking the role of the straight man. It’s no wonder it didn’t really work isn’t it? It’s an absolute hot mess on canary yellow wheels and the “great energy” comments from from the judges feel the most rote and trotted out they ever have.
Producing half a pile-up are Kimberley & Pasha who apparently have a dodgy hip to add to her busted knee this week. It’s a wonder she makes as good a job of it as she does, but in a series that’s held many memorable and exciting jives, it doesn’t really cut it to fall behind completely halfway through. Also she brings some fake “Jive Bunny” along with her to the Tessanine and in training which doesn’t really qualify as a “Comedy VT” so much as some producer’s mid-life breakdown that never should have made it to air.
And so to the people who surpassed my expectations : firstly Nicky, who produces a very intense, if a little giddy Argentine Tango to “Skyfall” because apparently it is now mandatory for ALL Argentine Tangos performed by the male celebrities to me James Bond themed. THANKS A LOT, RAMPS! More excitingly, Karen starts crying over him for absiolutely no discernable reason, whilst he continues to barely even notice she’s there. We’re really getting to the End Of Series Madness stage now folks, so brace yourselves.
The two dances of the night, however come from the Vincent & Flavia stable that more and more is looking like it’s going to scrap over the end-game with Denise. Maybe if the Iveta Kurse hadn’t hit Sid Owen, we’d be having a Series 4 BONANZA at the end. As it stands, this week, both of the Italian Power Couple’s charges have performance breakthroughs, with Tracy’s maybe being a tad less…forced by the scriptwriters than Louis’. She does an incredibly cheesy but likable and fresh Viennese Waltz to “That’s Amore” and he does a swivelly powerful Charleston to something by Caro Emerald apparently, I dunno. It looks like we might have a fight on our hands.
(The screaming terrifying powerful TIDAL WAVE OF OVARY POWER that followed Louis’ dance and the accompanying judges comments and scores may have tipped you the wink as to the way that fight will end…)