HAPPY LOVE DAY!
Gareth Thomas & Robin John Stone : We opened Love Week with possibly the greatest challenge of them all. A SPORTSMAN having to portray the emotion of love. Even if he is one of those (you know, a Welshman), SPORTSMEN are genetically impaired from demonstrating the finer romantic feelings. It’s a permanent trade-off they make off at birth for greater strength, endurance, and endorsement deals. So with that in mind, with the aid of elastic bands for his banana hands (THAT RHYMES!), I think Gareth did a creditable job. In fact, I’d say he did a better job than Robin John Stone, who just skated around looking mildly confused. Maybe it was a tribute to Emmanuelle Riva’s BAFTA award winning performance in Amour and the routine was in fact a moving parable about losing someone to dementia. Maybe that’s what “Beneath Your Beautiful” is about. I try not to listen to Emily Sunday songs directly in case they turn me to stone. Certainly it seemed to touch Jason, as he was struck dumb by the routine. Sadly this was not a state of affairs that lasted all night.
Joe Pasquale & Vicky Ogden : Thank Christ for that. With four weeks, we finally turfed our official Comedy Act. I’m not sure what was the tipping point. Maybe it was the tattoos? Maybe him skipping around on his toe-picks to “Tiptoe Through The Tulips” was a joke too far? Maybe it was just one those lucky leaderboards and he was still unaccountably second in the vote or something? Maybe it was performance position? Maybe people noticed that Karen’s repeated wheedling about his Journey Arc rang pretty hollow once it became apparent she was scoring him 5.0 every single week? Maybe people are just THAT INTO the Samia & Sylvain romance (please say it’s not this one)? Whatever it was, Joe is now gone, squeaking on about his jockstrap on the way out. Apparently he always believed he would go out in Week 1, which would have suited me fine, because that was before he even skated. Poor Vicky Ogden. Maybe next year she’ll get someone not shit. If she’s back next year. If there even IS a next year given the show’s ratings shame spiral.
Matt LaPenis & Brioche Delcourt: It seems people have interpreted Matt’s response to being in the Bottom Two in two very different ways. There are those who think who it has done the long-overdue job of knocking some of the cockiness out of him, leaving him a more humble competitor and more viable choice for the championship. Then there are those who think he’s thrown the towel in, and has basically given up now that he knows he’s not the public’s darling to the extent that the betting odds suggested. Then there’s me, sat here in the middle, marvelling at just how clumpy his mascara’s got from all the crying. Madam needs to get some Covergirl Lashblast and STAT! This week he was dancing to “Ho Hey” (*eyes to Brioche*) in a slightly lacklustre routine complete with Dean-Approved Whimsical Braces. When the time came for Jason to pick a side regarding Matt’s continuing emotional development in the competition and chose neither, lecturing him for losing his spark and “missing something” and then giving him his highest score yet. Did I mention that the judging on this show effing SUCKS?
Samia Ghadie & Sylvain Schlongchambon: And so it was that at the heart of the show we reached the crux of Love Week – the Ghongchambon Showmance reaching its nauseating apex, complete with Samia effing WINKING DOWN THE CAMERA-LENS and Sylvain making garbled puns about how he has been “getting a bit hard with her” hurr hurr. Sadly their EPIC CHEMISTRY didn’t really contribute to making her routine that much better than last week, as Dean choreographed a routine to “I Will Always Love You” that mostly consisted of Sylvain slinging her around like a heron tangled in a rotating washing-line. It was basically Anthea Turner, minus the Performance Skills and ability to hold her effing limbs in place rather than wriggling about like she was trying remove her tights without using her hands (ROMANTIC!). Of course when called out on her complete lack of ability, she pulled the usual excuse of the hopeless by just saying that she was doing what choreography Dean was giving her to do (ie nothing). Then Dean said he was just playing to her strengths (ie nothing) and Samia agreed that it’s really best that she continue to “look good” rather than actually…you know…trying or risking making an idiot of herself or anything. So…good for her if she thinks this is making her “look good” I guess.
Luke Campbell & Jenna Smith : I had mercifully forgotten that sometimes with this show, Dean believes that the fastest route to jump-starting a breakthrough in performance skills is to force someone to wear a pair of comedy glasses (or, in the case of Gary Lucy, to mime them). In the case of Luke Campbell it was to perform in the guise of Buddy Holly, as he skated about to his song “Everyday”. Otherwise known as “That Song Where It Sounds Like Someone Is Having A Bit Of A Fap In The Background”. As Luke performance go this one went quite well, partly because it was more confident, assured, and stable than usual, and partly because it neatly set Jason up for a one-two punch that probably should get him removed as a judge, because Paula Abdul would look at the mess created and wrinkle her nose. Paula Abdul who infamously once critiqued a performance on American Idol that NEVER HAPPENED. First of all he picked on Luke for the heinous crime of LICKING HIS LIPS (a crime that was barely discernible even on replay), crowing that HE SEES ALL. Then he criticises a lift that never actually happened because…it was in the routine earlier in the week and why not? I mean I don’t want to overwhelm the recaps with how awful the judging on this show is, but I’m sorry I ever criticised Craig on Strictly last year, put it that way.
Keith Chwegwin & Olga Sharutenko : This week in Team Chwegwin was ALL ABOUT OLGA, in honour of Keith’s continued selfless quest to get her re-employed next series. Especially given the show’s cavalier habit of dispatching the anonymous Russkibints amongst the pro ranks. Heck, they got rid of last year’s WINNING pro, so anonymous was she. Sadly I don’t think Keith’s aim of making us all fall in love with “The Gremlin From The Kremlin” (NB : actually from Yekaterinberg) really worked, in that all I really feel that I learnt from this routine about Olga is that pink washes her right out and she doesn’t really suit cherry glitter lipgloss. And I’m not sure that’s enough to elevate her to the ranks of the show’s permanent female cast like Granny Maria and…erm…can we say Brioche is here forever at this point? I don’t want to jinx it. Anyway, Keith was in the Bottom Two again and survived again (skating to THAT Elbow song, as if to drive home the cliche of it all) and is almost certainly gone next week barring something truly bizarre happening. Ah well. It’s been…well it’s been real. Real Chwegwin.
Beth Tweddle & Daniel Whiston : Surely the only thing stopping Beth winning is the nation collectively looking at the prospect of Daniel winning for a third (!) time and deciding that it#s not really INTO it? The collective OUTRAGE over Ashley scoring this week’s routine 6.5 was quite something, and it’s not as though her competition amongst the front runners is holding up. Even the news this week that she dumped her boyfriend via text (…oh BETH) isn’t likely to stop her path to victory. For me, this wasn’t her greatest performance, even with the presence of a whirlybird (hooray!) and a headbanger (which…even I’m bored of headbangers at this point) because as much as she’s progressed, the sappy mush of Love Week was never going to be her playground. Next week though? She’s dancing Gangnam Style. To say that I couldn’t wait would be an understatement.