Strictly Come Dancing 11 – Week 6 Performance

Never have the words of this song rung more true.

Last week : Natalie danced well, then Abbey danced well, then the whole show went to hell on Dave Myers’ Fabulous Fruit Trolley as Karen and Kevin nommed their nanas on the sidelines, sniggering. Drunken Auntie Debbie seemed like she just about might manage to hold onto the table as the room spun around her but then sadly fell off, as even with a crocked wrist and hastily redone choreography, Patrick’s NATURAL RHYTHM was enough to see off Robin’s furniturography. Everyone agreed this was terrible and awful and really it was time to start voting for the people who are trying and striving and not just the hunky dunkys and the Comedy Acts. So let’s see how that turned out then…


Erm…I’ll leave you and SEXY FRANKENSTEIN to it Abbey. Make sure to wipe up after you’re done.

No teeth Kristina.


Natalie’s “fuck yeah I’m a ringer, and WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO ABOUT IT? Vote me off? OH WAIT, YOU CAN’T!” face in the credits every week gives me life.

We start off with our obligatory Hallowe’en Group Dance

I love that Craig can no more take his eyes off Iveta’s hair than any of the rest of us can. For some reason the dance starts with a bit of scripted business where he says that he’s scared for the FIRST TIME EVER IN HIS LIFE, and the female pros ask him why and he replies “BECAUSE IT’S HALLOWE’EN!”. Craig’s 48th as a human being and his 4th on this show. Maybe they accumulated. Anyway this is amazing because for some reason they’ve given the speaking part to Kristina, Iveta and Janette simultaneously. IE the three pros with the strongest accents

It’s a glorious concatenation of dialect noises worthy of any giallo film. Anyway, at this fright, what you expect would happen follows

ie Janette looks scared, Iveta looks as scared as her face will allow her to, Kristina swishes her cape so you can see her boobs.

Then everyone does the Time Warp.

If you watched It Takes Two this week, you’ll know that we were supposed to be joining in at home. So I hope this bit

went as well in your living room as it did in mine. Then again, most of the demonstrating of the routine was done by Dave, who managed to make the “…and then a step to ri-igh-igh-igh-igh-ight” bit look impossible so…you probably didn’t even bother trying. In the midst of all the whirling flesh, Bruno gets carried around like he’s in a moshpit, Len & Darcey try to look

intimidating, Anton gets to be the Narrator (poor Anton), Kevin somehow looks more like a werewolf when he’s not supposed to than when he does

and Natalie’s face


THE END! It’s a bit sad how easy it is to do the best group routine of the series isn’t it? Even halfway through.

The SPOOKY Hallowe’en theme tune starts up, and Tess emerges in

one of those dresses that actually looks really stunning as long as you don’t examine what it’s doing to her boobagetoo closely. Meanwhile, in the audience, Lisa Riley continues her role as Strictly Work Experience Girl

carrying out the job of “making sure Louis doesn’t get pissed on Strongbow and start carving things into the arm of his chair”. Well his mummy Flavia’s no longer there to keep an eye on him.

Bruce welcomes everyone to “Spooky Come Dancing” (…so that’s what was all over Ben’s face then) and tells the audience that it’s ROTTEN to see them, to see them ROTTEN. Tess then says the same thing to him and he gets the hump, because he’s allowed to talk to the fans like that, but nobody’s allowed to talk like that to him. The jokes are funnier with a grain of truth in them, aren’t they? He goes on to chortle about how he sleeps in a coffin and drinks bat blood. Meanwhile in the audience

Jelus Kara and Kimbotley share knowing glances whilst completely ignoring him. I like to think there’s a secret cabal of all the half-decent female dancers of the last few series, who all meet up to make fun of The One Show and burn McFlea cds and mutter about how they could do a midair backflip and get their tits out if they wanted. Occasionally Dr Hamela knocks at the door and they all dive behind the sofa and pretend they’re not in, but Chelsee farts loudly and ruins it.

Tess reminds us that last week Deborah lost the dance-off to Patrick, and left the competition, but apparently her spirit lingers on

or at least the smell of it does, mixed with coke. Tess then very very minorly fluffs a line and Bruce calls her out on it. Well…we’ll see how that goes for the rest of the evening. Hope he, you know, gets everyone’s name and gender right. Just the basics like that.

The couples march out in their costumes which…we will get to. Bruce gazes at them all and says that he can’t recognise any of them. I know, 6 weeks in I’m still not sure what a Fiona Fullerton is. Bruce then wrings his hands and says the competition’s so close! Based on previous weeks, any one of Natalie, Sophie, or Abbey could be top of the leaderboard. Their collective attempts at Humble Face are

quite special.

The Voodoo King of New Orleans and The Great Pumpkin dancing the quickstep

The show’s so invested in Patrick and Anya they got bored of doing her make-up halfway through. Bruce warns all the celebrities that if they hear a “bump in the night” it’s only Bruno spontaneously falling off his chair.

Like you’d be able to hear the bump over him cackling, screaming and yelling “SHIT!”. Love the carving job they’ve done on those pumpkins. Not sure why Darcey is a Thundercat.

In his VT, Patrick says that he did his best with his one-handed salsa, and was a little disappointed with the judges comments that it was too stop-starty. Anya meanwhile says that to be in the bottom two was a feeling that’s just indescribable in words. Her face

seems to make up the verbal shortfall adequately. To be fair to her, once she was in her first dance-off on So You Think You Can Dance it was her first of three in a row, and she was eliminated on the third. This must seem like an inescapable abyss to her. (NO I WILL NOT STOP DRAGGING UP SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE FACTS FOR NO REASON, DON’T EVEN ASK).

VT now, and Patrick tells us that he’s dancing the quickstep. Anya

wearing a witches’ hat for no reason (welcome to Hallowe’en Week) tells us that it’s really difficult to do a quickstep with an injured wrist and dodgy knees, so she’s come up with a solution.

A COMEDY VT! (again, welcome to Halowe’en Week). The idea is that Mad Scientist Anya has Patrick on her slab so that she can tune him up with nuts and bolts and electricity and old body parts. They’ve presumably still got all the bits still left over from when Arlene was a judge. I do notice that, after last week’s rollerskating debacle, Patrick has made sure that his comedy VT involves him lying very still and not moving, the bloody diva. The whole thing bears all the gurning that has been a hallmark of this week’s round of

Operation “let’s give Patrick and Anya a personality”, that culminated in an It Takes Two interview a bit like on X Factor when Rachel Adedeji started talking in Stacey Solomon’s voice for no reason COZ SHE WOZ JUST THAT WACKY. It was the scariest thing in Hallowe’en Week by far. Even Zoe thought it was a bit much, and Zoe seems to present each episode whilst on uppers, downers and candy corn.

No Anya, you CAN’T sub Patrick out for a week and dance with Aljaz and think we won’t notice. We’d know our SEXY FRANKENSTEIN anywhere.


The story of Patrick’s Hallowe’en Quickstep is that he is a devilish voodoo fortune-teller, who shows a talentless hoofer her potential future as a dancing star. All she has to do to get fame and fortune is sell him her soul. Somewhere up in the rafters, Evil Moira Ross (in a rainbow wig) shifts uneasily in her chair. It’s being danced to “The Man With The Hex” albeit without the level of ridiculously overpowered drumming that makes the original such a delight. I have to admit, I’m kind of loving this new post-injury Patrick, as he seems a lot more full of energy and pep than the old version.

Who knew that over-compensation would work so well for him? On the dancefloor I mean. He’s full of life and vigour and charisma. Just don’t start yelling about CRYSSSSSTALLLLLLLLS, please Patrick, for the sake of all oureardrums. I’m still not entirely convinced by his ballroom hold, or the way he moves around the floor whilst in it, but for the first time I can really buy Patrick as a contestant. The magic of substandard Injury Porn there I guess.

It gets rapturous applause, but no Standing Ovation, lazy gits. Bruce introduces the judges and seriously, did they get those stupid skeleton hand things off the back of a truck? Is Wardrobe promoting them for a friend? Because they’re ugly and they should stop it. Also, Darcey promised she’d come in a costume, and that is not a costume. Call OFCOM. Bruce starts with a joke about how Craig has been having trouble sleeping because of his dodgy hip. Apparently he’s finding it difficult to support himself from the ceiling by his weak legs. So THAT’S where Flavia’s harness went…

Len starts for the judges saying that he is Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered! Bewitched by the routine, Bothered by the lack of body contact and Bewildered by how he’s got one of Arlene’s cue-cards to read off when she hasn’t been here for night on 5 years now. He then

hauls out the old “IF YOU’RE IN THE DANCE-OFF I’WW PICKHUW MEE WAWNUTS” line. I’m surprised Len’s wawnuts haven’t come out already this series. He’s been positively restrained. Bruno follows by saying that Patrick doesn’t need Len’s wawnuts (who does?), because he performed a spooky riot of a quickstep. “Bruno’s Spooky Riot” sounds like the best Student Union Night ever. He agrees with Len that the frame was a little loose, but otherwise he liked it.

Craig follows saying that he loved the theatricality and the energy of the whole thing, and particularly enjoyed the Charleston sections. If only Charleston had just stayed as some steps to jazz up a quickstep rather than a whole genre in its own right. We can but dream. Meanwhile from the audience Lisa thinks


Darcey closes by complimenting Anya’s choreography and telling Patrick that “that was a spellbounding footwork”.

Keep gurning Patrick, keep gurning. (No seriously, are those hands actually made of Haribo Tangfastics? They’re SO UGLY, PLEASE STOP THEM). Bruce, ever compos mentis

extends the wrong hand to Patrick to shake, until Anya has to point out to him the problem. See? This is why the Injury Porn has to be so melodramatic. Otherwise Bruce won’t get it and still start slapping Natalie on the back and tweaking Artem’s nose. And nudging him in the ribs. And touching his arm. And lightly brushing past him in any way, each time leaving him curled up on the floor in a ball of agony.

Up to the Tessanine they hex, ambushed on the way by Aljaz’s brother

NOTSEXY FRANKENSTEIN! HE JUST WANT TO BE PRO TOO. JUST BECAUSE HE NOT FIT LIKE ALJAZ DOES NOT MEAN HE NOT KNOW HOW TO DANCE. AND LOVE. Once up there, Patrick yells at Tess that he’s got no breath left. Yeah, that won’t stop her Patrick. Nice try. Incidentally, up on the Tessanine there’s a cauldron spewing smoke out.

Normally smoke is to obscure dodgy footwork. I think in this instance it may be to obscure dodgy Tesswork. I hope someone throws up in it at some point. Tess pokes at Patrick’ wrist (literally, jabbing at his cast with her finger) and asks him if being in the dance-off has given him the energy to come back fighting. He says that he’s decided he’s going to dance every week like he’s going to be in the dance-off. And you probably will be Patrick. Finally he gives a little shout-out down the camera to his daughter. Tess clearly does not want this to happen. Scores are in


Aliona wants her paycheque Evil Moira Ross (in a rainbow wig). She knows where you live.

Scarecrow Annie and her Straw-Headed Beau dancing the Charleston

Bruce tells us that tonight, Anton and Fiona will be dressed as scarecrows, which is great for Bruce, because for the past 10 years he’s been dying to tell Anton to go and get stuffed.

OH IT’S ALL COMING OUT TONIGHT ISN’T IT? Hole In The Wall wasn’t that bad. (It so was)

VT time now, and Fiona tells us that she really enjoyed her quickstep and particularly that it got such lovely comments, because the comments she got after Anton’s Westlife Party Rumba Extravaganza made her feel like she was on her final warning.

That and the message written in dog-shit on her car windscreen. DON’T MESS WITH LEN. She closes by saying that she doesn’t think she’s conquered her nerves yet (oh good) but it’s just such an honour to take part in Hallowe’en Week. Sure it is love, they’re going to add it to the EGOT. To make the EGOTH. Ask Bruce. It’s like a goth but a YORKSHIRE-PERSON GOTH. Like Claudia.

Training now, and Anton asks Fiona what her biggest fear is, as it’s Hallowe’en. Fiona says it’s “letting the judges down”. Oh nob off Fiona. Anton then tells Fiona that he’s got a surprise for her then. He’s finally

going to reveal what he had stuffed down his pants in his cha cha. Ahem. Anyway, apparently Fiona is going to overcome her fear of letting Bruno down (I’m sure it’s keeping her awake at night) by spending all day carving his face into a pumpkin then doing 5 seconds of Charleston in front of it. Yeah, that should do it.

That’s “Happy Bruno” by the way. No, me either.


They’re Charleston’ing to Jeepers Creepers and I actually really like the theming again. The sinister carvings and the dangling limbs and the overly jaunty music really remind me of a Simpsons Hallowe’en Special. And obviously there’s no higher praise than that. Unless it’s that time they did a 4 years too late AI parody obviously. Or that one where Piers Brosnan was an evil robot-house. Or that one where it ended with Dennis Rodman turning into a child’s dummy and talking about the importance of adult literacy (LOLRANDOMMMM!). Where was I? Oh yes. It’s really a very nice Charleston, with Fiona definitely having the coquettish flirtiness

that I always prefer in a Charleston to the rampaging gurning. The relation of everything to the music is a little…off, but it’s a lark. Especially when she starts dancing with a hoe.

No, not Susanna. The OTHER hoe. Not the one in the theme tune. It falls to pieces a bit near the end, but whatever, I liked it.


No standing ovation, and as they wander over Bruce calls it “very jolly”, like Lady Violet from Downton Abbey forced to pass comment on something that just bored the arse off her. Bruno starts for the judges, saying that it was so prim and proper that it was like Hallowe’en at Doris Day’s house. You’re only jealous you’ve not been invited Bruno, it’s probably a right piss-up. Two shandies and she’s swinging from the chandelier and singing “Once I Had A Secret Love” dressed as one of the Kardashians. Anyway, Bruno thought it was boring. Is what he’s saying. Craig agrees that it was too polite and nice. It reminded him of a sign from the 1920s that used to say “PCQ” – Please Charleston Quietly.

Anton remembers no such sign.

Bruce then asks Dave to follow up. That’s not a typo on my part either. He calls Darcey “Dave”. I mean…I’m sure he’d make just as much sense at times, but he’s off in his Official Comedy Contestant Hydropoenic Leisure Centre and Relaxation Spa, so we’ll have to make do with Darcey. Darcey grins that her name is Darcey, and Bruce protests that he’s just saying what the cards say. Yeah that’s an excuse. For the rest of the recap, I’m going to call Bruce Widdy. That’s been on the cards for a while now. Anyway, Darcey tells Fiona that she loved how clean and tidy she was, as well as her storytelling. (The story being “I am a scarecrow, I am dancing with a hoe”). She did notice however that Fiona was out of sync with Anton. Len closes by saying he don’t agree wiv nobody and it was a proper Charleston and everyone else can get stuffed coz LEN SEZ. Fiona thanks Len for being so kind. This week.

Up to the Tessanine they flap, and Tess tells Fiona that she thought her Charleston was really cute. Bear in mind that Tess would call a mudskipper cute if she could marry it off to another mudskipper and wear a hat and call herself “Auntie Tess” whilst doing so. Fiona snarks that she’s really disappointed, because she thinks they did everything as they were told to by the outside choreographers.

Anton’s look of “DON’T BREAK THE FOURTH WALL FIONA” is something to behold. Tess is all “shut up Fiona, Len likes you, that’s enough for you, old-timer, don’t ruin it”. Tess then asks Fiona if her ankle injury she picked up in training held her back and Fiona basically tells her to

stop trying to milk injuries for storylines because it’s getting boring. Off-Piste Fiona is my favourite flavour. Scores are in –


The Ice-King & Ice-Queen dancing the paso doble

No, seriously, there is sticky white gunk all over his face and the top of his chest. I have seen videos that ended like this. Widdy is still introducing him like he’s a stripper by the way. Which I guess, at this point, he kind of is. Widdy tells us that Ben will be doing his romantic paso doble playing the role of an ice-king trying to dodge an ice-queen trying to ensnare him up forever in her desolate frozen kingdom. Yeah, Austin had the same problem in his paso with Arlene. Widdy tells us that he personally loves the cold, because when he breathes out, the clouds that come from his mouth serve as physical evidence that he’s still alive.

Wilnelia helped him out with this the other week by locking him in the walk-in freezer for three hours. Such a giver. Lovely Wilnelia. Widdy then yells at the audience that they’ll all be dead one day. Family entertainment, ladies and gentlemen.

In his VT, Ben tells us that he put some really long hours into learning the quickstep. Some of them were even spent NOT sat on a sofa eating popcorn. He sadly tells us that, despite all this training, 25% of the way through the routine he had calf-burn. A nation weeps that this does not result in Injury Porn involving Ben not wearing any trousers.

Training now, and Ben says that he’s worried that he’s not going to be able to get the fierce face required for the paso doble. Oh Ben, nobody’s going to be looking at your face. And even if they do they’ll be so confused by the spunk all over it to worry about the expressions. Ben tells us that he’s going to practice his paso face whilst he goes out trick or treating with


Then Kristina answers the door and everyone runs away screaming for no reason the end. Seriously, STORYBOARD YOUR COMEDY VTs SO THEY MAKE SENSE, IT’S NOT THAT HARD.


Hmm, yes. I mean…there’s a point where you’ve spent the last ten years off and on seeing pictures of somebody in their pants (or less) and you’re just numb to it. Also nice job making him an “ice-king” Kristina so his face can do

literally nothing. The whole routine he just looks bored and confused simultaneously, and everything’s just walked through with the minimum fuss or effort or passion. I swear, even Louis is probably sat there yelling “GIVE IT SOME GURTCHA, FOR CHRIST’S SAKE!” Of course Kristina’s hurling herself around like a crisp packet in superstorm Jude and the jets in front of the band keep on spurting dramatically so…it’s almost exciting on the whole. And his caping’s very nice. So there’s that.

SHAZAM! (Two more shots of him just lying on the floor in training looking bored and I’ll probably like him again. I’m a fickle beast).

It gets a Standing Ovation, as Widdy yells “WHAT HAVE YOU DONE BEN?”. Danced with his top off? It’s kind of obvious. From the audience

Judy Murray peers out from round Lisa Riley to try to get a closer look, the dirty besom. Widdy tells him to cover himself up, and some mad bint screams “NOOOOOOOOOO!” from the audience. Poor Andy. Can’t take her anywhere. Widdy goes on to ask Ben if he’d ever consider a string-vest. Oh God, let’s not get him started on vests again, we’ll be here all week.

Craig starts by saying that he was slightly distracted by the fact that Ben was half-naked. I’d make the “so much professionalism” gag but he has been like this for about four weeks in a row now, and there’s only so much repetition I can bear. (Don’t laugh). He thought the dance was full of power and machismo, but a little bit blocky. The audience boo lustily. And do everything else lustily by the looks of it. Darcey follows by congratulating Ben on doing more than he did last week. I swear, Craig has done more dancing this week bolted to that chair than Ben did in the quickstep, so it’s hardly an honour. She does think though that if he’s going to take his shirt off again (AGAIN?) then he needs to really work and flex his torso. Darcey then does a little dance to show Ben how to work it.

Oh Darcey.

Len follows by saying that there was a MASSIVE EXPLOSION

but that’s enough about his pants. He says that it could have done with a bit more finesse, but for sheer GUTS AND GURTCHA it won hands down. At least we know what “gurtcha” means now. It means stripping. Bruno closes and

normally I don’t just replace Bruno’s critiques with a picture of his face until the final but…that’ll do it.

Alright, maybe one more.

And another.

Up to the Tessanine they shiver, where Tess hovers

but does not strike. She ponders aloud whether the standing ovation was for his chest or for his dancing. Except when she says dancing she points her hand at his crotch so… Ben tells her that he’s slowly starting to feel like a dancer.

Would that be from the casting couch experience going on all over your face and chest? It’s a rough business. Scores are in

32. Nob off Len.

Bunton Paso-Face Scale: 0 – Dead Polar Bear

Vampirella & An Innocent City Boy dancing the jive

Widdy jokes that Sophie was terrified backstage when she felt a cold bony hand on her shoulder. Widdy apologises but “I get scared at Hallowe’en and I just had to grab hold of someone”.

Tell it to Yewtree.

VT now, and Sophie tells us that she didn’t really feel very comfortable in the cha cha last week.

Yeah, you’re alright Sophie, we noticed.

Training now, and Sophie says that she’s got a real challenge ahead of her this week, because she’s not just got to dance the jive, she’s got to be an evil predatory vampiric slut.

So she asked all her friends round to give her advice on how to do it. I’m sure that sounded different in her head. Anyway, you will be surprised to know that Sophie’s friends are a bunch of RAHs right out of an independent girls day school. They do Sophie’s hair and make-up and run around squealing and to be fair

they make better acting coaches than that bloke Rachel got in last week (and based on the outfit that she ends up in on the night, where she looks like she should be served a la Thermidor, they’d make better Wardrobe as well) (in fact, let’s just have Sophie’s RAH friends run the show for a week, they seem like sorts) and then they all

gang-bang Brenda, the end.


Sophie is doing her jive to Maneater by Hall & Oates, because Brendan Cole still couldn’t get more 80s if he tried. Sophie’s jive action is, as you might have guessed, not the world’s greatest. As I said in the summary, it’s a bit like she’s picking her way through the back-alley looking out for dog-doo, used condoms and discarded syringes. To be honest, I actually think her part of the dance is less woeful than the cha-cha was, because she’s at least trying to act out her vampiric role and not doing an awful job of it but

Brenda has thrown SO much choreographical nonsense at it that it becomes obvious he’s trying to paper over the nothing at the heart of the dance, and it just feels a bit desperate. This isn’t Dave Myers’ cha-cha Brenda. Choke back on the madness. It also features Brenda resorting to his old trick the

“I’ll Throw A Lift In And Hope The Crapness Of The Dance Gets Lost In The Controversy” angle. Those are some some CLAIRE KING tactics there Brenda, you don’t need that bad junk any more. It’s not even an interesting lift. Sigh

In the end, Sophie sends Brenda

flying off a trampolene and then hurls herself after him and it turns out she’s not so much a vampire as a

really desperate back-alley dentist looking for trade.

It gets no standing ovation, and in fact Judy Murray looks more than a bit pissed off. You can tell she’s dying to get in there and coach the girl. MOTHER OF CHAMPIONS. Darcey starts for the judges, similarly disappointed, saying that the only problem (*roll eyes*) is that Sophie’s knees were bent the whole way through, which is a shame, because Sophie normally has beautiful knees. Thanks Darcey. Len follows by giving Sophie an official Len Talking To, saying that she’s a really competent dancer, but she’s lost her impact. She needs to pull her socks up and HAVE A BOUNCE BACK JOURNEY.

Preferably culminating in week 10 if she can manage it. Maybe in a quickstep? Although Harry already did that one so…let’s say a tango. Have we had a bounce-back journey culminating in a tango? OK, that one then.

Bruno closes by saying that he thinks the problem is that Sophie drank too much of Brenda’s blood so she became really heavy and “leggy”. Thanks Dr Bruno. Also her timing was out and it wasn’t precise enough for a jive. Brenda fesses up and says it’s a fair cop and gives a oh so very ‘umble speech about how it wasn’t as good as they could have performed it (“tell him you see his point, be grateful Brenda, don’t say he’s a superannuated theatre queen who doesn’t know what he’s talking about, it won’t go down well, you can still win this, don’t blow it Brenda, DON’T BLOW IT SHE CAN HAVE A JOURNEY DON’T BLOW IT”)

And that, I believe, is our first official missed Judges Comment of the series. We will never know what Craig thought of that jive. You might think that was the end-goal behind Brenda’s little speech there. I couldn’t possibly comment.

Up to the Tessanine they juke, where Tess

rapidly disappearing into a lime-scented fart, asks Sophie about her NERVES. She sighs that she let her nerves get the better of her tonight and it’s really SUPER-ANNOYING. She goes on to say that normally as soon as the music starts she gets IN THE ZONE, but it just didn’t happen tonight, for which there could be a number of reasons which she will sit down and go over in minute detail tonight with her spreadsheets and set-squares.

She says all this with her arms folded tightly over her lobster-tail fanny like she’s explaining to the class why she couldn’t win them the Interschool Hockey Cup against St Agatha’s. Tess then goes about her Charleston some more and ENOUGH ALREADY IT WAS A MONTH AGO. I can’t sit through a whole series of them going on about one sodding dance. St Jill’s Holy Satan-Slaying Jive happened in Week 2 and then it wasn’t mention again til the final and the series was MUCH BETTER FOR IT. There might as well be a segment on It Takes Two called “Let’s Talk Inanely About Sophie’s Charleston Some More”. It would still, admittedly, be better than that Psychic Chihuahua bollocks. SCORES ARE IN

28. Well…I guess that’s what he thought of it. Brendan takes this opportunity to

stare right down the camera and praise every single staff-member on the show for being so wonderful and amazing and especially Evil Moira Ross and if she could somehow institute a twist wherein the celebrities just get to do their Week 2 dance again one week that’d be SUPER. Call it Super-Journey Progress Week or something. Cheers.

The Lady Of The Lake & The Lord Of The Fake-Bake dancing the Viennese Waltz

Widdy tells us that Natalie’s dance is going to be set on a “spooky lake” shrouded in lots and lots of ghostly mist from the haunted smoke machines. Those of you hoping for some sort of Splash! crossover where Natalie does a perfect ringer reverse one and a half somersaults with three and a half twists in the free position, and then goes on to dance a Perfect 40 waltz underwater, will sadly have to go disappointed. It’s just a video effect.

You only wanted to see it for Artem in his trunks anyway, admit it.

In her VT, Natalie says that she really enjoyed last week and that it “doesn’t get any easier”. Maybe not for you, RINGAH.

If Sophie tried to kick like that they’d still be extracting her gym knickers three days later. We’re treated to shots of Natalie and Artem grinning about how amazing it was and how much the audience loved them and then we’re even treated to Artem saying that he

couldn’t wish for anything more, with a tilt of the head that definitely doesn’t read “Cocky Jock in a John Hughes movie”.

Training now, and Natalie’s Worry Of The Week is that she’s going to forget her steps. It’s a Viennese Waltz Natalie, there’s about four of them. Five if you count “wibble your bottom lip and rest your head on your partner’s shoulder like a sad penguin”. Anyway, as it’s Hallowe’en Week, Artem promises to haunt Natalie until she gets it right.

Natalie should at least be glad he cares. He couldn’t be arsed with Fern last year and subcontracted the job out to that demonic mariachi band. He really doesn’t care unless he gets a ringer does he?


It looks straight out of Knightmare. Artem should have danced the whole thing with a bucket on his head whilst Natalie yelled “SIDESTEP TO YOUR LEFT!”. Anyway, the music starts up and she

EMERGES from the lake(/gallons and gallons of fog) and they do a Viennese Waltz together. Natalie is an evil swamp wench drowning Artem with her sex and she’s certainly giving it plenty of glower and smoulder and

SMUGFACE OF DOOM. She’s so captivatingly villainous that I’m even more convinced that Natalie Gumede’s whole journey is to wind me up into a frenzy over her dance-redeeming series-conquering paso doble, which will then CONVENIENTLY fall on Rainbows & Sparkles theme week. It’s also very well choreographed, although there’s one bit where she and Artem just stand and

flick their wrists at the camera five times in a row and seriously, we get that you have metacarpals, move on.

In the end, Artem drowns

and joins Natalie is her watery tomb forever, yadda yadda. This is why you don’t go swimming after eating cheese.

It gets a Standing Ovation, meaning she is now firmly in the lead on my spreadsheet. And that’s really what counts here. To be fair, they might just be standing up to see over the fog. We don’t get to see Jelus Kara’s reaction sadly. She’s probably screaming and throwing things and rending her hair. Meanwhile a couple of Artem’s exs

look on slightly more proudly. It’s always easier being an ex, I guess.

Once she’s over at Widdy, Natalie

theatrically coughs at all the fog, making her look more like The Frog Princess than any Lady Of The Lake, and then gets given some bread by Widdy “for the ducks”, which she promptly

stuffs in her gob. Such an odd woman.

Len starts for the judges by telling her that that was a LOVELY dance and that she’s a LOVELY dancer but he’s SO ANNOYED that she dodged the challenge of the Viennese Waltz. Which is not, as you might expect “not throwing up” or “staying awake”, but to stay in hold throughout. Which precisely no couples have done at least since Series 9, if not earlier. Yes, Len is complaining about “avant-garde” Theme Week choreography again, woot. Natalie incidentally

has a whole half a series of practising her “taking criticism” face ahead of her, and should probably use it. Bruno follows, saying that he is sure that there is not a person in the country right now who isn’t screaming “THAT WAS MAGIC!”. Including the ones not even watching the show. Scary. Just in C & A, randomly. Incidentally Natalie

might want to work on her “taking praise” face as well.

Craig follows and tells Natalie that she makes him sick. IN A GOOD WAY. Honest. Like when you sneeze and money flies out your nose. Darcey closes by saying that she expects so much from Natalie every week, and she never disappoints. Bribery pays off, clearly.

Up to the Tessanine they float, where Tess emphasises that you’d really never know that Natalie is just as nervous as everyone else. Sometimes it’s like they specifically write the script so people who hate ringers can join in isn’t it? This is followed by more of the Saga Of Artem’s Nose.

Poor baby. Tess reminds Artem that Len said he needs to push Natalie (“DOWN SOME STAIRS, THE RINGER!”) to meet the individual challenges of each dance and he says that he’ll try (“OH I’M SURE SHE’LL MANAGE SOMEHOW” *eyeroll* *eyeroll* *eyeroll*). Scores are in


Spaceman Mark & The Thing From Uranus dancing the paso doble

No, really, her hair is a wonder of modern architecture. And looks like a bell-end. And/or Cousin It wearing a wig. Widdy announces that Mark will be playing a “sort of spaceman” in the routine and Iveta will be the beautiful alien creature he falls in love with. Widdy then tells the audience that they will be playing the role of hideous wizened alien onlookers to the mating ritual.

Personally I think I could cast the role better.

VT time, and Mark says that he felt really fulfilled and heartened to have successfully pulled off a “proper dance” last week. He’s so glad that he did something other than make people laugh for a change. (I won’t say that I guffawed noisily when he started melodramatically running his fingers through his hair like he was auditioning for Mental Illness Of The Week on Doctors then? It’d spoil it wouldn’t it? OK).

Training now, and Mark tells us that this week he will be bringing us an other-worldly take on the paso doble.

Too much botox Iveta. Too much. Part of me wishes those had actually been the costumes on the night. They do a brief skit where Mark can’t understand Iveta because she’s wearing her alien head, but then she takes it off and tells him to prepare for lift off. I feel like a joke where he still couldn’t understand her even after she took it off was excised at the last minute.

Anyway, yes, Mark is this year’s Contestant In A Harness,

because that’s always worked so well before. Widdy, Victoria, Bloody Lulu. Classics all of them. In rehearsals, Mark seems to get off the ground well enough, but his problem is producing an exciting performance once up there, so Iveta has yet another GREAT idea. To get Mark into the spirit of needless, ugly, artless gimmicky tinkering with a concept that worked perfectly well without the pointless add-ons



Would it be unkind to suggest I half-expected him to swing in with Miley Cyrus sat on top of him naked, licking a sledgehammer? Yes it would. But Wardrobe drove me to it. Anyway, Mark descends and then of course, as is always the joy with harness-based routines, he spends the next 15 seconds or so getting out of the harness whilst Iveta

runs distraction tactics. Then her alien vageen proves so exciting to Mark that they dance the paso doble. To be honest, Mark was never going to excel at the paso, because it’s all about being able to make strong masculine athletic shapes with your torso and Mark can’t, really, for obvious reasons. But he does a decent enough job with the steps he’s given and definitely has a sense of command over Iveta’s near-naked flouncing.

If a slightly fish-faced one. Then, probably because they’re dancing to novelty disco hit “I Lost My Heart To A Starship Trooper”, Iveta throws in a

15 second disco breakdown, complete with finger-guns, fist-rolling, and the whole of Saturday Night Fever. Oh Iveta, I love you. Unfortunately that emo-waltz has made everyone incredibly po-faced, so you’re going to have to dial it down a notch, because all the people who were previously jam-sandwiching themselves with glee over the Hammer Dance have now apparently decided that “Mark can dance” (were there ever three more dread words?) so everything has to be dulled down a shade. It was fun whilst it lasted.

So much fun.

It gets a Standing Ovation, and Widdy asks Mark if he was scared descending to the dancefloor in that harness, and Mark grins, full of childish glee, that he loved it. Then Widdy jokes that he would hate to have had to catch him if he fell HURR HURR and then Bruno calls him

“Astro-Dave”. Seriously, there is some Freudian slipping going on tonight. I know Dave Myers is the Official Comedy Star of the show, but maybe don’t think about him for all 105 minutes guys? Bruno says it was fun, but “not really a paso”.

Iveta looks like she’s found her next target for life-thieving. That wasn’t a paso Bruno? Get ready to not be a Bruno any more. Or at least not one with any money in his current account. Craig follows by calling Mark’s paso stompy and shapeless (true enough) but he liked his isolations and rhythm, and didn’t really mind the disco section either. At this point Widdy just starts

poking at Mark’s belly and giggling. Good grief. He’s not a toy, Widdy.

Darcey follows by waving her arms around some more, and then Len closes by snarking that

HOUSTON, WE HAVE A PROBLEM. He thinks the dance was full of performance, but low on technique. Widdy snorts “is that it?” and Len replies that yes, they’ve been told to keep things short because Widdy’s rambling has caused them to be about 5 minutes behind schedule as it happens.

DARCEY IS SCANDALISED! I love when Len burns Widdy. So rare, but such fun.

Up to the Tessanine they troop, where Tess asks Mark (again) if he was scared in the harness and Mark (again) replies that no, it was just great fun. Iveta then starts barking about how working with Mark is FUN! 24 HOURS A DAY FUN! As if to prove this, Tess gets Mark to do his Iveta impersonation in which she is a rude bitch called Iveta Luckypoopoo.

He’ll pay for that later. She’ll probably sing. Scores are in


Bunton Paso Face Scale : 0.32 – grumpy disco space catfish

Lady Agatha de Mimsy-Wotsitts & Lord Pashington dancing the American Smooth

Widdy tells us all that Rachel will be playing the part of a haunted portrait that comes to life in a spooky mansion. He tells us that he once spent the night in a house of the restless undead. But that’s enough about the Royal Variety Performance…

In her VT, Rachel says that she always puts so much effort into training that it’s a real shame when it doesn’t come together on the night. She was especially sad last week, because she knew the dancing had gone tits-up but she thought she’d stayed in character throughout, and then the judges said she hadn’t even done that. You did Rachel, the problem is just that the character was “cross-eyed community theatre panto witch”.

Training now and

something something judges comments something something Strictly potion something something Pasha’s a cat who doesn’t know what to with his tail

I’ll give him a few suggesti[JOKE REDACTED] something something Darcey juice

something something comedy VT something something

don’t put Bruno-mix into your potion because it’s 100% proof THE END.


Best costumes/staging of the week? I’d say so. Rachel in particular is working film-quality make-up and hair work.

They’re dancing to “I Put A Spell On You” (the Screamin’ Jay Hawkins version, here being given the full throat-shredding, gargling, shrieking whack by…you know, whoever) and really it’s the perfect capper to Rachel’s time on Strictly. I liked her, and on a personal level I’m sad she’s gone, but this whole dance was simultaneously the high that she needed to leave on, and also evidence that her peak probably wasn’t going to be skyscraper. She’s a little wobbly and a little floppy, and the lifts are a little awkward, but she gives a great performance

and remains reasonably elegant and assured throughout. Good job.

Afterwards, Pasha does some

weapons-grade charming fooling around with Rachel’s arm hankies, until he gets tangled up in them and Rachel has to extract him, giggling about a wardrobe malfunction. Widdy then asks “oh, is that what happened in the routine?”. Widdy’s Accidental Insults ❤

Craig starts for the judges by welcoming Rachel back into the competition (LOL OOPS), and Darcey follows by saying that the difference from last week is brilliant. And this is why they should never have acting coaches. Len follows by telling Rachel she just did her best dance to date, and then Bruno just yells something about a zombie bride (SHE WAS A HAUNTED PAINTING BRUNO, GET IT RIGHT, DUH!) finding her mojo. Wow, Widdy really has left them behind schedule hasn’t he?

Up to the Tessanine they spook, with Pasha telling NOTSEXY FRANKENSTEIN that he’s kind of cute on the way up. Quick! Someone write the slashfic! Rachel giggles that she loves the ballroom dances, despite all the blisters on her feet and then very quickly scores are in, and they are


Zombie Ashley & …erm…I don’t know, I think they said on It Takes Two that she was supposed to be an evil tree? dancing the tango

All those dances that didn’t need storyboarding out beforehand explained and yet here Widdy just makes a joke about how allSTABS sang the Scooby Doo theme tune once. You know, the Scooby Doo theme tune that sounds like this. Ashley looks kind of miffed about Widdy making fun of allSTABS.


In his VT, Ashley tells us that last week he was really excited about his jive, so excited that he actually found himself smiling naturally throughout the routine. Oh Ashley, that’ll never do. Natural expressions have no place on this show. The corners of your mouth should look like they’re in a competition to see which can get closest to your earlobes. Ashley says it was really heartening to get “positive praise” from the judges

as opposed to all that “negative praise” the contestant normally gets. Although to be fair, Craig did tell Natalie she made him want to throw up earlier.

Training now, and Ashley tells us that he’ll be doing the tango this week, but he’s finding it hard to pay attention

/stop arseing around in training. Sometimes it is quite hard to remember that Ashley is a man in his 30s with two children. Maybe because it’s hard to believe Hollyoaks lets anybody over the age of 25 through the studio doors to man the cameras, let alone act. Anyone Ola says that Ashley’s childish behaviour, banter, and all around gooning is beginning to get on her nerves.

Her. The wife of James Jordan. It’s affecting HER.

Her solution is to run in and spray Ashley with silly string whilst dressed as a pumpkin and yelling “DON’T LAUGH! DON’T LAUGH!”. Straight out of Dr Hamela’s sex therapy textbook there. It all ends with the return of

Ronnie Corbett, which stops the laughter stone dead.


Ashley and Ola are dancing their tango to “Beautiful Monster” aka The Song That Did For Tiny Tina on her Hallowe’en Week. How brave of Ola to risk the CURSE, although I guess it’s much easier to dance to the song when you’re not dressed in skin-tight pleather shortly after having chickenpox. Much easier to be an

evil tree/zombie/Helena Bonham Carter/parrot/whatever. The whole routine is very dramatic and showy and aggressive, with the two snapping and clawing and biting at one another throughout. His whole ballroom persona is still a little N*Sync, but I don’t really care when it’s this exciting.

The whole routine does get a bit lost and waltzy towards the end, but all in all Ashley is owning the Theme Weeks pretty comprehensively.

Even if I don’t have a clue what it was supposed to be about. Or how close he is to just snapping, mentally.

Although I’d say it must be fairly close. He’s younger and fitter than Scott Maslen was, but he’s still human. It gets a standing ovation, as Widdy mutters “Ola’s pleased, Ola’s very pleased”

Darcey starts for the judges, saying that she really fancies Ashley.

Also, you know, frames and necks and stuff. But mostly that she’s got the hots for him. This week. Len follows saying that if you really want to sparkle, then you have to polish (or take your shirt off). It’s really the little details that bother him with Ashley’s dancing (like the fact he’s wearing a shirt). He says he knows Ashley is busy (/one less cup of coffee away from falling asleep standing up) but he needs to clean up his topline and his feet (and maybe take his shirt off, you know, for Len, get a 9). Bruno follows saying that he basically agrees – Ashley needs polishing up. I’m sure he’d volunteer given half a chance.

Craig closes by saying that it was aggressive, dark and mysterious and that he loved it, but Ashley needs to SORT HIS HEAD OUT!

Might I suggest some sleep? For starters.

Up to the Tessanine they lurch, where Tess reveals that out of everyone Ashley was most enthused about dressing up for Hallowe’en. What, you mean Mark WASN’T begging to be dressed for the oven? You do surprise me. Ashley admits that he is really a big kid, and was having so much fun arseing around backstage that he almost forgot he was here to work. Tess then points out that Ashley has been stalled at 31 for the last few weeks, and Ashley does

prayer hands to be delivered from being stuck on the same score. He

gets absolution. 33. Incidentally, Ola’s face when Tess asks if Ashley’s tango has put the willies up us is

a delight.

Miss Haversham & her SEXY FRANKENSTEIN dancing the rumba

Widdy jokes that he has GREAT EXPECTATIONS for this dance. In fact he’s ALL OF A TWIST (Oliver Twist) and hoping she goes KNICKERLESS (Nickleby) so he might get a glimpse of her BARNABY RUDGE and maybe (David) COP-A-FEEL(D).

VT now, and Abbey says that she’s been really glad to have ballroom dances these last two weeks, as that’s where she feels most at home

in the arms of her Aljaz. I like how every week the show nudge-nudges that Abbey’s cheating on Peter, and then waves her very young child around, and then acts shocked when the public aren’t lined up in support. I mean, I don’t think they’re doing anything at all, because I think Janette would kill her stone-dead on the spot, but there’s only so much pawing at one another I can hand-wave away with “oh she’s just a model, that’s just what models do”. Anyway, Abbey promises to take Craig’s advice to improve her top-line seriously. By which she means she’s about to do a rumba where she remains glued to Aljaz like a limpet to a barnacle to a boat-bottom.

Training now, and guess what? Abbey’s banging on about her nerves again. It’s very rare that I wish for a Comedy VT to suddenly start up, but I am willing to make exceptions. To conquer her nerves, Aljaz takes her to a haunted house and turns all the lights off and then she

jumps on him like Bruce jumps on suggestions he’s too old to present any more. Again, not helping. Abbey and Aljaz wander round the haunted house screaming and groping one another and grabbing each other by the waist and then Abbey says that this has DEFINITELY helped her prepare for Saturday but she’s not quite conquered her nerves yet.

Next week : Abbey tries to complete her conquest of her nerves with a naked jacuzzi with Aljaz. To relax her. In a non-sexual way.


Before I spotted him cowering at her feet I half expected Aljaz to slide in down one of those giant arm-hankies. Bet she wouldn’t have been in the dance-off if he had. Their rumba is being danced to “Stay” by Shakespeare’s Sister, which is one of those songs I’ve always wanted to see danced to on Strictly, but never thought I’d see the day. THANKS SEXY FRANKENSTEIN. Anyway, I know that she’s supposed to be Mis Haversham, but I’ve no idea if Aljaz is supposed to be Pip or Compeyson or the grim spectre of firey death or wot. He does have his tiny nipples out though, which is enough for me. As a rumba, there’s a bit of posing and a little bit of hip-wriggling but it’s mostly them circling one another staring into one another’s eyes, like that couple at the school disco during the slowies, where the teachers always had to check every 5 seconds that he hadn’t just slipped it in her without anybody noticing. An impression that’s not helped by him fumbling with his fingers to get her out of the arm-hankies like a virgin scrabbling at a bra-strap.

They definitely have the most intense on-floor connection of any of the couples this series but…it kind of impedes the idea of this being a dance.

It gets a standing ovation though, presumably because the audience are a bunch of pervs. Widdy tells Abbey that he likes her eyes with that mask on, and Abbey protests that it’s so tight she can’t actually move her face. I doubt it matters – your face was buried in Aljaz’s shoulder for 95% of the routine, love. Len starts by telling Abbey that it’s amazing to consider that 7 weeks ago Abbey had never ever ever ever danced in her life ever before ever.

(“UNLIKE THAT BITCH NATALIE”). Bruno follows by telling Abbey that she’s got him on her side and she’s here to stay (LOL OOPS). He then blows an air-kiss at her which, if anything, is equally as terrifying as all the perving on Ben combined.

Never say that Bruno isn’t an equal opportunity lech.

Craig is next and says “one word – IMPRESSIVE”. I don’t really see it catching on like “fab-u-lous” or “ah-may-zing” Craig but…do keep trying for those new catchphrases. Darcey closes by saying that Abbey needs to smooth out her transitions but she and Aljaz definitely have chemistry. I’ll say.

Up to the Tessanine they wriggle, where Abbey squeaks that she’s really pleased by the judges comments. Tess of course then has to dig her nose in, asking Abbey if it’s really tough getting romantic with Aljaz (*nudge nudge wink wink*), as Aljaz stands there looking like

Ling Ling the impotent panda. Abbey takes the time-honoured PR line of saying that Aljaz feels like he’s her little brother, so OF COURSE it’s hard getting romantic with him. Tess then hoots that she’s sure some women in the audience would like to trade places with Abbey

and one woman screams “YES!”. Again, calm down Judy. It’s not The Chippendales Revue. Scores are in –


Beetlejuice & Barbara dancing the jive

Apparently since he started on the show, Dave’s been hearing a strange spinning noise. Don’t worry Dave, it’s just the giant wheel in the basement Evil Moira Ross (in a rainbow wig) keeps her slaves turning to keep the electricity going.

In his VT, Dave says that he really enjoyed the salsa last week because it allowed him to let loose, but he found the dance elements of the performance really difficult. Like doing a conga. Or shaking a maraca. Or walking. He knows he’ll never be a dancer, but as long as people keep on voting for him, he’s going to try to make it work.

Training now, and Karen is worried that Dave’s not scary enough to perform a Hallowe’en Dance. Are the Hallowe’en dances actually supposed to be scary? The only thing I’ve even been mildly spooked by all evening was Iveta’s hair. Anyway, to remedy this, Karen is going to take him to learn how to be scary from the most unnerving unpleasant and unsettling people in the world.

The ham actors who do interactive theatre at the London Dungeons. Anyway they all teach Dave how to be spooky and then he disappears and Karen wanders around going “Dave? Dave? THIS ISN’T FUNNY!”

You’re telling me.


Well that sign’s not a very nice thing to say about Karen is it? I wonder who put it up? Ahem. They’re dancing to “Monster Mash” and really of all the borrowed Hallowe’en songs on display this week, this was probably the biggest mistake for me. NOBODY can live up to Patsy’s Hallowe’en Jive to the same song, which may well be my favourite piece of Robin Windsor campography ever.

I mean

this just isn’t very exciting by comparison is it? There’s just not a lot going on – it’s all a little tame and contained and wandering. He does have an endearingly dopey monster expression to go along with the music but we’re basically just watching him do a bit of a handjive and then a few hoofy kicks.


It doesn’t get a standing ovation, either, which for a Hallowe’en themed Latin dance feels a bit shocking, considering it’s Dave. You’d think this would be where he cleans up. Widdy asks him if he’s glad it’s over, and Dave protests that no, he really loved doing the jive. At this Bruno all but bellows

WHAT JIVE? He says that it was a soft-shoe shuffle on mashed potatoes and he hopes Dave disappears.

Now so much mixed metaphors there as ones that never existed in the first place. Craig follows by saying that it was like the weather today – grey and dismal. Darcey next scoops in to take up the “I know you try really hard” portion of the clean-up operation after the bitchy judges steamrollering, but says that the one thing that would have improved it (jesuschristwoman) would have been for it to be less flat-footed. Len then of course takes up the “nonsensical analogy” (“like a Cumberland sausage chasing the mustard”) and “great entertainment” parts of the soothing of the audience. They’re like a well-oiled machine at this point aren’t they? Shame that the machine in question is a Betamax video recorder.

Up to the Tessanine they mash, where Tess opens by calling him “Devon Javid”. It’s a long time since I’ve watched Beetlejuice but…what is she on about? She asks Karen if she thinks Dave is undermarked by the judges and Karen

dodges the question as adroitly as she can. Said scores are in

19. I say this in the nicest possible spirit to Dave as I can – if you’re going to have a dancer as bad as him on (and barring Quentin and Widdy I can’t think of many worse) why NOT bring out Craig’s 1? Just the once? For me?

Drive-In Betty & The Angry Leprechaun dancing the Charleston

There’s no way anybody would look at that and think “werewolf” unbidden, I’m sorry. Widdy says that Susanna’s been finding it really hard to train with a werewolf all week. I mean…you’d still fancy your chances with a bloodthirsty shapeshifting monster more than you would with Jared Murillo though Susanna, let’s face it. Quit your whining.

VT time now and Susanna says that she was worried that her dance with Kevin last week would turn out not to be an American Smooth but an

“American Little-Bit-Rough”. Nice wordplay there Susanna. Personally I wouldn’t mind dancing the “American Little-Bit-Rough” with Kevin. You know, just about rough enough to knock his glasses off. Then I’d probably lose interest. Where was I? Oh yes, Susanna is glad she brought a little bit of sunshine to the nation’s living rooms and so on.

Training now, and Susanna says that she hopes that the Charleston is going to be fun. HOW COULD IT BE ANYTHING BUT? IT’S THE FUNNIEST FUN FUN FUNNITY DANCE THAT EVER FUNNED. MORE FUN THAN LISA RILEY AND RUSSELL GRANT AT A FUNFAIR OF FUN! Anyway, as Widdy mentioned, this week Kevin turned into a werewolf and yet still maintained the

Hauer-Clifton love of bananas. I guess the undead still need their potassium.


Their Charleston is being danced to “Bad Moon Rising” and I can definitely see why it got the Pimp Slot, even though other couples are technically “owed”, just because it feels like an evening-closing dance. The whole thing slightly has the tone of people goofing around over movie credits, in this case the story being that Kevin is

after Susanna’s Lucky Charms. There’s a lot of high-energy gurning and fooling around and silliness

and I must admit, I hope that Susanna has paso doble next, because tango aside, every dance she’s done so far has felt a bit like she’s still doing it for Comic Relief. And whilst that’s fun, I’m ready for a change of tone. Beyond that? It’s a gurny Charleston. You know I can’t endorse that, it goes against every philosophy I have.

Sorry bout it.

They go over to Widdy, and he tell Kevin that he really doesn’t look like a werewolf. Kevin chortles that he’s come as Jethro. Now THERE’S someone who’s tailoring his references to his audience. I’m sure Widdy loves a bit of Jethro.

Craig starts for the judges, saying that what he loves about Susanna is that she “takes complete and full advantage of the freedom of expression”.

What a lovely euphemism for “are a big old glazed family-sized clove-studed ham”. Darcey follows by saying that the dance was sweet, fun and cheeky, but it needed a little more crispness. Although it sounds a bit like “Christmas”. Maybe she’s got her theme weeks mixed up. Len follows by saying that the routine had PLENTY OF TRICKS and PLENTY OF TREATS. I love when time constraints just force Len to boil everything down to one snappy cliche. Bruno closes by complimenting Susanna on taming Kevin. Yes, I’m sure it was a real effort.

Up to the Tessanine they howl and we start off with cast-iron solid proof that Abbey and Rachel really are best of friends.

See? They’re hugging and everything. And you thought it was all Results Show flim-flam. Shame on you. Susanna beams that she loved the dance, but the best part was Kevin “looking like this”. It really, truly wasn’t. Tess tells Kevin that he’s putting the “Grim” in “Grimsby” and gets him to howl for her. I’d make him howl for me, etc etc.

My gimmick for talking about Pasha and my gimmick for talking about Kevin are very different. Hush, you.

Tess next asks Susanna about a back injury she picked up in training, and Susanna says it’s all her fault. She was “pushing or pulling too hard on something” and put her back out.

I bet she was. Scores are in


Final leaderboard?


20 thoughts on “Strictly Come Dancing 11 – Week 6 Performance

  1. Penny

    Do we think it’s just a coincidence that they saved the Time Warp for the one time that Craig was physically incapable of monopolising it in full Frank’n’Furter drag, whether the choreographers had put him there or not.

  2. mazylou

    You owe me a new monitor AGAIN, Monkseal, for this line: Hallowe’en at Doris Day’s house. You’re only jealous you’ve not been invited Bruno, it’s probably a right piss-up. Two shandies and she’s swinging from the chandelier and singing “Once I Had A Secret Love” dressed as one of the Kardashians.

  3. Jenni the Elephant

    Kristina – crisp-packet in a hurricane (shaddup, I like my version even better, if that’s even POSSIBLE!)

    She so does/is/always will.


  4. dgreeny85

    I cannot tell you how ridiculously happy seeing that Tim Curry video has made me. The Worst Witch was the defining film of my childhood. Probably explains a lot. Thanks for the LOLZ as always!!

  5. Kate

    Forget a new monitor, you owe me a new laptop…innuendo bingo results but with biting wit preceding it. I am hooked..

  6. Pops

    Great blog as always. Fiona’s offpiste comments reminded me that at one point they actually used to show the outside experts doing the choreography for the non-traditional-ballroom dances the pros wouldn’t have done before, like the salsa (there was a redhead) and the charleston (the bloke with the bum-bongo obsession). Weren’t Flavia and Vincent first bussed in as Argentine tango coaches before they became fully fledged pros as well? I wonder why it’s suddenly become taboo to mention them? (More BBC lies! Call Ofcom! etc).

    1. monkseal Post author

      The Shouty Salsa Hobbit is Strictly legend. I guess they want us to think the pros are experts in everything. WE’VE ALL SEEN THEIR ATTEMPTS AT ARGENTINE TANGO GUYS, WE KNOW.

  7. PadsterMo

    For once I agreed with Len – even as I was watching Natalie and Artem I was thinking ‘this isn’t enough in hold’. I’m going to pickle my own walnuts as punishment.

    I’m not overly surprised Abbey ended up in the bottom 2 – her and Aljaz are good, but not the best; and a bit blander than than e.g. Dave and Karen or Susanna and Kevin. She also had a rumba, which is frankly the dullest dance apart from a foxtrot this show has to offer – the only 2 I liked were Rachel’s and Kara’s, but I don’t need to see them again.
    Her bottom 2 placement could have an interesting side-effect; will she start being pushed/supported at the expense of Sophie, or will she be thrown under the bus now? They’re similar in terms of ability, both undergoing something of a rough patch, and neither are the big personality of the series. They could start to cancel one another out; I’m betting one of them will be the ‘shock boot’ that deals the death blow to Dave and Karen.

    Speaking of whom – I’m officially over them now. They were great fun to start, and Dave was clearly this year’s designated ‘Comedy Contestant’, which Karen has fully embraced – I’m actually impressed by her this year. However, the combination of Mark’s ability to actually dance and Iveta’s Batshit Insane Choreography (TM Camilla) means I’ve switched allegiances. I’m much more interested in seeing what they come up with each week than Dave and Karen.

    And if it came down to it, in a fight between Ola and Karen, my money’s on Aliona. You just know she’s winning that one.

  8. Elaine

    Am I alone in thinking that Kevin looked like a Harry Enfield character? Couldn’t concentrate on their dance at all…kept thinking of the Fast Show!


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