Strictly Come Dancing 11 – Week 2 Performance

Never has Anton’s Latin been harder to swallow.

So unfortunately this week one of the most integral parts of Strictly came down with a debilitating illness. That’s right, the BBC iPlayer caught the flu, and this, combined with a works leaving do, 15 effing couples to get through and a desire to get my recaps up sometime before next weekend has resulted in this. A Strictly jazz recap. Shorter, faster, more ridiculous. Hopefully you still enjoy, and if not, things will be back to normal next week.

Bruce Has The Flu

Yes, unfortunately, this week Bruce came down with the flu. It’s always the flu isn’t it? Nice ring of seriousness without getting anybody too worried. I mean, there’s no way of telling what he ACTUALLY had because there’s no way they’re going to announce “Bruce is taking the week off with the shits because the BBC budget doesn’t cover emergency Immodium” are they? Personally I felt this made the whole of the introduction to the show feel pretty flat, just because Bruce’s comic timing is always a nice warm easing in to the ineptness and fumbling to come in the actual dance routines, but I have to admit, once the show got its momentum going I barely even noticed he was gone. Also we got to hear from all four judges after every routine, which is a bonus.

Most Exciting And Insightful Judging Comments That We Might Otherwise Have Missed Out On

“It felt like HELL to me…but in a good way!”
“I think you should give up your day job!”
“I don’t know what it swung me, but not in the place you would like me to go!”
“I’ve been golfing for 50 years and I’m terrible!”
“Touch Karen, she’ll like the security!”
“Coming out with plenty of ZUZZ? YOU CAN’T TEACH THAT!”
“Go for it! CRY YOUR EYES OUT!”
“If tango was a plant, it’s a cactus”

“It was more of a Wimpy than a Big Mac”
Bruno pronouncing the silent p both in psychotic AND psychedelic, which takes some doing
“I suppose you can’t help your delicious rugby butt”
“Darcey, did the ballet lessons help?” “No, there was so much more confidence”
“You got a dry mouth, that made me chortle”

The Claudia Winkleman Fashion Parade


A Complicated And Eternal Struggle Within Monkseal Over Kevin Clifton

But also

It’s difficult. I guess it shows that no man was ever made perfect.

Susanna’s Tango

So Susanna had the most important part of the tango down, in that she looked like an ice-cold dominatrix bitch, but other than that it didn’t really come together for me. She was a little heavy, a little bit uncommitted, and a little slack, and her general air of “Head House Prefect Who Is A Bit Miffed She Wasn’t Made Head Girl” vibe wasn’t really improved by the fact she was sporting a ponytail that was just *made* for dabbing in an inkwell in a Mallory Towers. Also there was the part where she

fell asleep. Still nice end pose.

Bill Turnbull Is Not Here For Your Bullshit

Aliona’s Faces Of Existential Ennyeux

Tony’s Charleston

So to recap, Tony Jacklin was sent out in the Death Slot, wearing THAT, doing a Charleston, with a partner who basically acted like she was there to

visit him to deliver a box of dried goods for the Harvest Festival as part of Care In The Community, already bottom of the leaderboard from last week and fully aware that ever since Sarge the oldest male contestant in the competition has always got out quicker than Bruno when the Vice Squad arrive at the studio with the sniffer dogs. It’s no wonder the old guy just went out there and played a round of Wii Golf. I think the most complicated the choreography got was “you hold on to this stick whilst I biff a cartwheel”. Clearly I think the show was beyond him, and the show should probably reconsider its policy of casting 69 year old out-of-shape arrhythmical deaf men, just because they’re friends of Bruce. I don’t care if getting revenge on Aliona for whatever it is she did is that much fun to you, oh minions of Evil Moira Ross, it wasn’t much fun to watch.


Other Drinking Games That Natalie Gumede Could Have Played Instead Of Training :

  • Fizz Buzz
  • Asshole
  • Fuzzy Duck
  • 21 (And Other Scores I Will Never Get)
  • I Have Never (Done Ballroom Or Latin Before, Honest)
  • The Strictly Drinking Game (much easier on weeks when Bruce isn’t here and you don’t have to take a shot every time he references his own impending death)
  • Seven Minutes In Heaven (JUST KIDDING JELUS KARA)

Natalie’s Waltz

Yes, Natalie did get the two most boring dances in the draw right off the back, when everyone else is busy plundering jives and tangos and American Smooths and salsambchambos. I’m not bitter.

Still, Artem did his best to make the dance modern and relevant and exciting by dancing it to Alicia Keys, wearing a bow tie that was actually DONE UP FOR A CHANGE ON THIS SHOW, and throwing in some patented Natalie Lowe

HEAD ROLLS. Apparently these made Natalie NotLowe want to throw up in training but…you’re going to have to do something to surpass your ringerdom love. You wait until you get the Viennese Waltz when you’re going to do the Natalie Lowe head rolls one way, move around the dancefloor the other way, and then hula your hips in yet a third dimension (HAWAII THEME!). This was very well danced, very clean, and very romantic, and I look forward to her doing a less dull genre in the immediate future. In Love Week. (GAH!)

Love Week

Ugh, the very idea.

Still, at least Tess is going to enjoy herself. I bet she’s pegging it round to Bruce’s house so that she can leave all the windows as we speak, just so she gets to present.

Moves That Natalie Lowe Invented:

  • Head Rolls
  • The Running Splits
  • The Contra Check
  • The Ronde de Jambe
  • The “Ask If You Can Have A 10 In Week One And Put Everyone Off You For The Next Three Series”
  • This :


Moments When Food has been an integral part of Strictly Come Dancing 

  • Karen Hauer teaching Dave how to dance by mimicking the rhythm of dance moves to the rhythm of foods, like “cous cous” or “beans on toast”
  • When Alesha wouldn’t stop eating nibbles.
  • Lisa Snowdon being dressed for the oven in her showdance
  • That time on the Xmas Special they tried to get Natalie Lowe to eat a mince pie but it was TOO DRY
  • Aliona’s notorious love of custard
  • Erin’s notorious love of fish finger sandwiches
  • Len’s notorious love of pickled wawnuts
  • That time James Jordan told Georgina to STOP EATING SO MANY MARS BARS, THE FAT MOO
  • Cooking with Lulu (ie when Brenda and Lulu had stopped talking to one another but they needed to fill a VT anyway
  • When they did that My Fair Lady skit where Chelsee had a sophisticated tea-party and then binned it off by yelling “FOOK THIS PASH, LET’S GET US RATTED ON CHIPS AND GRAVY AND STOUT BY ECK!”
  • Tina O’Brien’s constant product placement for Lucozade
  • This

Dave’s American Smooth

I feel like for the duration of this dance we were maybe transported into the insides of Bruce’s fevered head during his flu. Dave is Bruce, and Karen is playing the part of Poor Wilnelia, cooking his toast and humming along to the popular tunes of the early days of the wireless. The whole thing is very 50s and very chintzy and very retro. I guess that’s your answer to what a British version of Mad Men would look like, all of you wondering. It’d look like this.

Hardly Sky Atlantic is it? Anyway, it’s a bit of a plod, because he’s really walking his way through it, and not early as exciting or fun as his cha cha from last week, but on the other hand Karen does manage to wring some comedy out of the lifts.

Uncanny isn’t it? Finally she sends Dave off to his dayjob as

The Gay Stig.

Hallowe’en Costume Ideas for 2013 : Arlene Phillips

Patrick’s Tango

Bless Anya, I know she’s trying, and as a new pro she has to try to make a strong impression lest she get lost in the backwash of Izabela/Hanna/Hayleys of this world, but I’m starting to think she’s overtheming routines. I’m not sure we needed a mechanical doll Michael Jackson themed tango in week 2. To be honest, I’m not sure we needed a mechanical doll Michael Jackson themed tango in any week, but it feels like particularly strong meat for a first ballroom effort. To Beat It. At least this feels like some sort of tacit admission that he’s the Bot.

Which he totally is. Claudia even says “not so much with the talking are you?” up on Claud 9.

It’s not a bad tango – admittedly his posture’s a little odd and the face-pulling

makes me want to break out the Bunton Paso Scale from mothballs in preparation for his effort at gurning in that dance (and, to be fair, Rachel’s, in the other direction), but he’s pretty strong and commanding. It’s just feels a little swamped by the details.


Anya’s Joy At Patrick Doing Two Steps Of Moonwalk

Anya’s “Taking Criticism” Face

A Complicated And Eternal Struggle Within Monkseal Over Deborah Meaden’s Husband

Well that was a short journey. Maybe it’s the jeans. (nice nip slip Robin)

Deborah’s cha-cha

So what I liked about Deborah’s cha-cha was that the intro was all about Deborah reminiscing about all her holidays in South America and showing us all her holiday photos and musing on the true spirit of Latin America and how she felt like she really understood it and felt it within her bones in a very middle class way, and promising to bring the Spirit Of The Andres to the Strictly dancefloor and whatever, and then we got out there and she’s in neon pink drag-queening it up in Craig’s face to a gay anthem like NONE OF THE VT EVER HAPPENED.


(Sidebar : On Alan Carr’s Chatty Man this week, Ben Cohen revealed that he originally asked to be paired with Robin, because he thought it would help break down stereotypes. Which is a bit like saying you want to be paired with Kristina because you want to show a restrained sense of sexuality, Aliona because you like traditional choreography, Artem because you know he’d never get injured, or Anton for his mastery of the rumba)

Bless her she doesn’t have a clue what she’s doing from about 30% of the way through, and any hip action she showed in training has disappeared somewhere between those heels and that dress she’s been wedged into, but I enjoyed it. Mostly for the lip-sync it has to be said.

Rachel & Who?


What Rachel Wears To The Club

Strong look.

Rachel’s Salsa

Rachel’s passage on her Nice Young Lady Presenter Learns To Dance Journey (previously trod by Christine Bleakley and Alex Jones) continued this week with the “Find A Dance That You’re Just Too Daytime To Do” step. In this case it was the salsa, and the impediment is that Rachel is not sexy. Just like Christine Bleakley couldn’t do the paso because she was too nice (…) and Alex Jones couldn’t do the rumba because mummy says she’s not allowed to hug boys like that until she goes to big school. I mean…obviously Rachel Riley IS sexy, based on the fact that lots of men want to have sex with her, but it’s an innocent “oooh I’m just a simple smiley mathematician/librarian/lady archaeologist in the 1920s who needs UNLOCKING” sort of sexiness. You know, I would imagine. And smiling sweetly and coyly at someone because they’ve just asked for TWO BIG ONES AND THE REST ON THE BOTTOM WINK WINK in the numbers game doesn’t really work for a salsa. I mean

this is not sexy. That’s “dappy debutant sees a spider unexpectedly”. Oddly enough, whilst her top half isn’t doing enough, her bottom half is doing too much. Never have I worried so much that the “lady swings her bum in her man’s face and then he falls over in ecstasy” move was going to end in a black eye. She and Pasha danced to “Get Lucky” (Tess’s CHOON OF THE YEAR, fact fans) because…well…someone had to.

Pasha Is Open

Pasha Is Growing His Chest Hair In

Both of these facts are interesting to me.

Meanwhile on X Factor

Vanessa’s Waltz

So yeah, Vanessa had an emotional breakdown this week because she was full of the PURITY OF DAHNCE or the first time in her life/she got dumped once/the menopause or something/Allegra hasn’t given mummy her baby for het VT yet, naughty Allegra. James wasn’t helping matters by choreographing a typical James Jordan GHOST PROM waltz, wherein the female celebrity dances with the love of their life (ie James Jordan) for one last time before they go off back to their new girlfriend/heaven/Heaven. Basically it was an attempt to outham his Viennese Waltz with Pamela which…aint never gonna happen James, but ok. There’s a lot of face-stroking and pained twirling and

EROTIC HUGGING but none of that changes the fact that when she has to travel anywhere under her own steam in a straight line she stomps like a trucker going for an urgent pee break. Still, better than last week, and not just because James didn’t get his Tiny Nipples out.

Of course, she cries at the end, because of the DAHNCE/trauma/menopause/Louise Rainbow (aka Evil Moira Ross in a comedy multicoloured wig, back to seize back control of her show) yelling “CRY BITCH CRY!” down her earpiece and activating the electrodes strapped onto her nipples.

So decorous.

This Cat Knows What’s Up

List Of Things That This Show Would Have You Believe Are More Masculine Than Julien MacDonald’s Attempts To Do Tango

  • Ian Waite skipping round his boudoir to his Barbra Streisand records
  • Matthew Cutler appearing in the lead in the West End version of Cats. The female lead.
  • Robin Windsor sewing rhinestone sequins onto a drag queen’s feather boa
  • Julian Clary suggestively eating a banana whilst winking at some passing sailors
  • Richard Arnold screaming “HARRY I LOVE YOU” in the front row on a One Direction concert
  • Russell Grant writing slash-fiction about The Vampire Diaries on his pink Apple iMAC
  • Darren Bennett

Julien’s Tango

This week, Janette’s tactics of going to Julien’s iPod and hitting shuffle, then thinking “no that’s far too appropriate”, then hitting shuffle again continued, as she choreographed his tango to “Apple Sauce” by Lady Gaga. (She loves the way that you flavour her pork APPLE SAUCE APPLE SAUCE APPLE SAUCE). I really actually quite liked the opening, in that it featured Janette being a

MASSIVE HAM and stomping all over the dinner table for no reason (a level of etiquette and decorum she will go on to display later on on the Results Show, when instead of commiserating with Poor Tony she blazes past him yelling “BYE BITCH!” and giving him the finger, or at least so I heard) but once they dismount, Julien actually has to do things, including getting into hold, and if there’s one thing this show has already taught me, it’s that Julien MacDonald has problems negotiating other people’s existences, let alone their bodies. Honestly, I think Janette is one half of an amazing “Kelly & Brenda” style Villain Team stuck with an early boot partner. Basically they’re the Team Rocket of Strictly, but with an even more fey James.

A Picture Of Julien Not Shouting

A Picture Of Anton & Fiona’s Eerie Matching Grins, In Case You Missed It Last Time Out

The Legend Of Anton’s Boner, Censored For The Sake Of The Innocent

Fiona’s Cha Cha, Outside The Rumblings Of Anton’s Pants

The constant assertions that Fiona is Anton’s ONLY PARTNER EVER EVER EVER WHO COULD DANCE are sounding faintly more ridiculous by the second aren’t they? Not that there was anything much wrong with the basics of her cha cha – even the decision to play the whole thing as a Sheila Hancock Comedy Character

could be valid in a certain light, but if she really were Anton’s ONLY PARTNER EVER WHAT COULD DANCE then you’d think she’d know that the best way to cover a mistake is not to trip over, yell “AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!” and then kick Anton in the shins. Even Laila was better at covering up her errors than that.

Iveta Lukosiute, Acting Coach

This week, after a crisis of sexiness born around those coffee tables they all sit round in training VTs now, discussing sexuality, femininity and Kafka, Iveta decided it was time to send Mark to an acting coach, to teach him how to be sexy. That acting coach? IVETA LUKOSIUTE, QUEEN OF FACIAL EXPRESSIONS! These are the results :

Well, it’s better than BARROWMAN ever got out of Mark Foster anyway.

Mark’s Lithuania’s 1977 Eurovision Entry SALSAMBCHAMBO SPECTACULAR :

I officially love Iveta, and take back everything negative I ever said about Ghostbusters. In my head she just went “I AM IVETA LUKOZADE AND I AM TEN DANCE CHAMPION! SALSA IS NOT TEN DANCE! I SPIT ON SALSA! PA’TUH! IVETA DO WHAT IVETA LIKE IN SILLY NON TEN DANCE DANCES!”. It’s an inspired piece of fluff choreography, Mark gives it his all, and it’s one of the performances of the night.

Things Brenda Hates More Than The Charleston

  • Lulu
  • Flying Bicycles
  • That Tit From Hollyoaks Who He Kicked In The Face On Love Island
  • When The Late 80s Ended
  • That’s It

Moments In Sophie’s Charleston Where I Considered My Sexuality

Moments In Sophie’s Charleston Where I Definitely Didn’t

Sophie’s Charleston

Dance of the series so far? I would say so. Thankfully, in his disdain for the Charleston, Brenda has created a new third bearable personality for it beyond “Jazzy and sassy” and “I’M EGYPTIAN!”. That being “icy cold society bitch”. It’s both a refreshing new take on the Dance Of Gurn, and also suits Sophie’s natural ability to turn on the froideur at the drop of a hat. She spends the whole routine, stiff legged, poker-faced, wrist-flapping, icing everyone down in a way that would have Lady Mary from Downton Abbey quaking in her panto boots. Brenda himself dances the whole thing up on his tip-toes a bit like Phil Tuffnell, which prevents it from being an all-time classic for me, but it’s definitely put her on the map alongside Natalie, Abbey and Susanna in this, the YEAR OF THE WOMAN, if not slightly ahead of them.

Ben Cohen Does Ballet

I feel it’s sadly lacking some lurker-gay hanging around the back checking his arse out the whole time (Kristina just casually being en pointe in the background for no reason in the background the whole time <3)

Ben’s Waltz

I hope he bought a candle from Kristina on his way past (3 for £5, smells like a RUSSIAN MEADOW). So yes, this was the week where we learnt that Ben wasn’t so much a Ballroom Boy as he is a…not much of anything man. It’s alright to move with the speed and surity of Widdy approaching a Gay Pride parade in a waltz, but I just can’t imagine him doing a Quickstep or a Viennese Waltz. It also becomes sadly apparent in this dance that the producers really do love putting Kristina together with men who are just too tall for her, although oddly it works better with Ben than it did with Colin, just because Ben is SO HUGE IN EVERY DIRECTION (calm down, the gays) that it kind of goes all the way past comedy into inevitability.

Just out of shot : the stepladder.



Aljaz’s Tiny Nipples vs James’ Tiny Nipples


Abbey’s Cha Cha

Abbey’s cha cha was a very modelly cha cha, in that she was very very good at vamping and strutting and posing, but when it came to working up a decent amount of heat with her partner, the whole thing kind of fizzled. It has to be difficult for Abbey, since much like with Natalie’s dance experience, the show has decided to sail directly INTO the whole JELUS PETA angle by doing comedy VTs about how he and Aljaz are having a “bromance” (*roll eyes forever*) like they’re trying to underplay it, whilst at the same time feeding JELUS JANNETTTA SEX HANDS OFF MY ALLJAZZ! snippets to the press. And then pulling innocent face. Anyway, Aljaz and Abbey have all the chemistry of a Morris dance, which is a bit sad because they really seemed to connect on the floor last week. Also, there’s no way around it – she totally forgets the routine towards the end, and chooses to MATT DI ANGELO IT OUT by just walking around in a great big circle looking pissed off.

Then swearing a blue streak and all but stamping her feet after the barely-bothered end-pose. And yet…still a better cover job than Fiona managed. Even when she has a

bit of a sulk rather than talking to Tess.


Speaking of which, when Claudia told Aljaz that he was too good looking and he had to turn round, we all thought the same thing yes?

Ola’s Hair WTF WTF Ola’s Hair

A Baby Warz Summary

Game Over – Ashley Taylor Dawson wins. Babality.

Ashley Taylor Dawson’s American Smooth

I do feel a bit sorry for Ashley, because with Sophie’s routine only being 20 minutes fresh in the public’s mind, he got comprehensively out-Gatsby’d here. Even dancing to “Beyond The Sea”, which is far more of an easy home run with this show’s demographic than…whatever it was that Sophie danced to (by my wikipedia’ing an album track from a “French Electro swing and Gypsy Jazz band”). Still, it’s a massive improvement on last week, and he does have a certain look of Fred Astaire about him, or at least how conventionally handsome Fred Astaire would have to be to make it in today’s film industry.

Not very nice hands though. Not very nice at all.

No, Seriously, Ola’s Hair

Your Score Reveal Faces For The Evening

Standing Ovations Watch :

Natalie & Artem
Mark & Iveta (50%)
Sophie & Brenda
Ashley & Ola (95%)

Your Final Leaderboard

Normal service will be resumed next week…on Love Week.


30 thoughts on “Strictly Come Dancing 11 – Week 2 Performance

  1. fembot

    Oh my ovaries, Kevin, KEVIN!! I don’t know where they got him from but he is the dreamiest male pro eva. He also makes me like Karen a whole lot more somehow.

    My fave Sophie EB face was just as they go into the “hands behind back” move (around 1m 02 on the BBC vid) – the only genuinely joyful smile I’ve ever seen on a Charleston. It’s magic! I don’t think she’ll do a better dance but I hope she confounds me.

    1. monkseal Post author

      There’s always fusion week, when she can do it again, with 10 seconds of rumba at the end (WORST WEEK EVAH).

  2. Rad

    When I read your bit about iplayer being sick, it genuinely wasn’t until you started talking about Bruce being off that I twigged you were alluding to him. And I recapped this ruddy episode.

  3. Monaogg

    Love Craig’s botox work. Gives him the exact same facial expression no matter what marks he has given.

    I notice Tiny nips seem to be the thing but Bobby’s look mahoosive compared to any other male and Ashley’s smile never seems to make it as far as his eyes.

    1. monkseal Post author

      Ashley’s grin reminds me of the logo for something I can’t place. I think it’s a grinning cartoon coyote or dingo or something…

  4. Jenny

    I wasn’t looking at Anton’s crotch (strong auto-censorship instincts), so I didn’t notice that…but I did notice how much his and Fiona’s facial expressions matched and a certain air about them- decided right there and then they are Doing It. She fancied Len, so we know she’s got terrible taste in men.

    PS HELLO Man in the Hat – we will never forget you!

  5. minxy

    you pulled an EmoRuby on us Monkseal! Ehrrmaigawd!!! (3x!)

    lowered head, batting eyelashes, big doe eyes, pouting quivering full lips and a “oh this is so crap but it isn’t my fault cos x, y, z “- but I want top marks and will play every cute/angle for sympathy card to the max and cut you like a bitch if I don’t get them!

    Unlike the GBBO team I don’t fall for that malarky! (i would say “yeah it is crap innit? Sorry can’t taste it. Stay out the pub and take this competition seriously. Stop treating it like an inconvenient lecture/seminar that’s interrupting your tv watching”” and slap the presenters!)

    However despite that – it does taste good lol
    And I saw your tweet telling Auntie Beeb to get fucking iplayer sorted pml
    But think on young man lol

    Now I got that off my heaving busoms I am off back to finish reading and guffawing – I only got as far as the bot quiz.

      1. minxy

        hahahahaha you …. (short word I don’t think I should use here)
        Love that you got it!
        Love even more that you truly were winging it and suceeding brilliantly – unlike EmoRuby despite her appearance here . Hell till that happened I knew nozzink about the social meedja aspect and was still slightly naiive (rolls eyes at self).

        But have thunk on//let cogitate till this blog firmed my impressioned up!

        I am now even more addicted to you (and Stephen -almost as much, even if I haven’t had as much exp in NOT remembering how to spell your name).

        I don’t care if the parody was conscious or subcomscious – bloody genius either way!
        even if I couldn’t open up the food link

        ok fanboi gush done with

        ps I don’t subscribe cos I rarely check email these days – let me (and others) know if it will make any difference#

  6. Laura

    All I could think of when I watched Mark’s dance was that my three-year-old nephew has that haircut. And it looks better on the three-year-old. (Harsh, perhaps, but true.)

    Thankfully I did not notice the Anton boner at the time, but now it’s forever ingrained in my memory. I’ll never be able to look at an aubergine in the same way again.

    And is it just me who thought Sophie was overmarked? Yes it was a great dance, especially for week 2, but four 9s is just ridiculous. The overmarking in early weeks (ever since the Ricky Whittle waltz back in the day) is getting out of hand now – what have they got to aim for by week 6?

    1. monkseal Post author

      It’s a Charleston. As a Charleston it got the same as Doop! I find it hard to object. I would have gone an 8, which is about as high as I’d ever go for a non Denise Charleston.

  7. conners1979

    I loved Natalie inadvertently embracing her mega-ringerdom by nodding knowingly at Len’s praise for her ‘double reverse turn’ before realising he was directing it at Artem.

    I agree with you Monkseal, it’s early but she has the potential to be on my Strictly Mount Rushmore.

    1. monkseal Post author

      The test will come in how she reacts when she’s inevitably in the Bottom 2 in Week 10 or whatever. I HAVE FAITH.

  8. Pingback: Strictly Come Dancing 12 – Week 1 Performance (1) Summary | The mighty mighty Monk Seal

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