Our opening pro routine starts with Brenda and Aliona staring at us out of what, quite frankly, I can only describe as
meat-curtains. These beefy flaps open out onto a fairground of the damned, featuring most of the pro dancers but revolving principally around Kevin and Karen, as “Bad Romance” plays, ably lip-sync’d puppet style by
Karen. I’ll just point out that even with the mask he looks more like a werewolf than he did during his Charleston. This puppet role-play causes Kevin to pull his…erm…
Happy Face. So there’s an insight into their private life I’m sure we all wanted.
Then everyone gets off their respective podium and does slightly manic puppet dancing, except it’s really quite hard to tell what’s going in because the lighting makes everything look like a provincial Laser Quest and then
Kevin gets hypnotised by Aliona’s pocket-watch (/boobs) and then
no, not a clue. It takes a lot for me not to enjoy something being danced to “Bad Romance” (I still remember and adore Dr Hammie’s paso doble and I’m sure none of you do even remotely) but here we are. I think my favourite shot is Iveta
trying to work Aljaz, whilst staring baffled at her puppet-stick-thing like it’s a remote control whose batteries are on their last legs.
Once all the pros have hauled ass off the dancefloor, it’s time for our hosts to arrive
in customary Hallowe’en fashion. Poor Claudia. So terrified. She’s not had to ride a broomstick for a BBC job since the police came in and put a stop to that sort of thing. If this were Hocus Pocus she’d clearly be the Kathy Najimi (Tess would be the Sarah Jessica Parker and…well…nobody could be Bette Midler other than Bette Midler but stick a ginger wig and some buck teeth on Zoe Ball and it’ll have to do). Once they’re down, Tess gets everyone to applaud the opening number again, before Claudia reminds us that tonight the “Strictly Spell” will be broken for one couple, as they are made to leave the competition. I’m not entirely sure what the magic words are to activate the “Strictly Spell” but looking at most of the women’s outfits it’s probably “Bippity, Boppity, Boobs”.
Claudia goes on to say that the decision lies in the hands of the “Dark Lords and Lady Of Dahnce”, and at such an introduction they mug away happily except Darcey who’s all
“oh yeah, you’re still hobbled aren’t you? Oops”. Incidentally, speaking of “Dark Lady”, Len was replaced as Head Judge on Dancing With The Stars this week by Cher. She gave everybody a 9, this happened, people danced both jazz and disco, and there was a rumba face-off to “I Found Someone”. Just in case you wanted to keep track of how far into madness that show has descended. And to think here people get all pouty about a bit of dress-up once a series.
Speaking of Madness…they’re performing tonight!
The segues on this blog. They never stop. And speaking of never stopping
Len’s Glans. Unfortunately.
Time now, for “all the gossip” from last night.
VICTORIA PENDLETON’S BA…oh wait.
Ashley banged James from behind. With a balloon. As mentioned, Ashley is in his 30s.
Len thinks that Hallowe’en Week is a great opportunity to find out who if “frightening” and who is “frightful”. He never specifies which of those is good and which is bad. Although I guess it doesn’t matter because they’ll both get 9s anyway.
Susie Dent was seriously considering signing up on the grounds that she couldn’t do worse than Rachel or Vorderman did, but a whole evening of being sat behind Judy Murray screaming sexual obscenities and all the men with their shirts off changed her mind.
Louis really wanted to get out there and dance. The fact that he was sat next to Funtime Franny for the whole show definitely didn’t influence this impulse at all.
Ben found another defendant for his mass sexual-harassment lawsuit against the show.
Speaking of which, Hi Greg.
Susanna had a feeling before the show something bad might happen, but let Kevin go out there dressed like that anyway.
Iveta loved her Disco Doble very much.
Time now for some Spooky Safety Sex-Faces
ie exactly the same Safety Sex-Faces as usual, but with more slap. This mean of course it’s time to find out who is the Dance-Off and
ZOMGSHOCKBOTTOMTWO. Somewhere in the audience Kimberley starts having PTSD flashbacks whilst Kara fans her and tries to empathise. One woman, and I’ll type this phonetically, goes “OOOOHoooooOOOOooooOOOOOooooOOOOooHHHHHHHHHRGH”. Craig declares, neck
PUCKERING WITH RAGE that he can’t believe that the people at home have done this to Abbey and snits at them all to “start judging with informed choices”. I’ll get right on it Craig. Birds fall from the sky, cats and dogs start living together, 13 year old girls throw huftys on twitter and type all-caps messages to Dave and Mark and God and Gaga. I wonder how it took this long. Julien’s continued presence mostly, I suspect.
Tess of course, asks Abbey about her NERVES, because some people are impervious to drama and just plough on down the same furrow regardless.
Up to Claud 9 now where attempts at pulling the appropriate “OH NO MY STWICKLY FWEND ABBEY IS IN THE BOTTOM TWO” face of wistful melancholia are
mixed. Sophie, as Head Girl, is left to give a speech about how Abbey was such a beautiful dancer and we’re all so very sad that this has happened to her, and a collection tin will be left for her family outside the school orchestra rehearsal room. Sophie nobly sighs that it was SHE who messed up her dance, and so SHE should have been the one in the dance-off. So noble. Claudia then asks Patrick if he’s over the moon about his week, and he attributes his success to Anya’s brilliant choreography. Brenda then feels the need to stick his head into shot and say
“it was…it really was”. I’m sure he feels so validated. I’d say I was starting to get the impression that this is Brenda’s last series but…like he’s giving this gig up.
Claudia then turns to Fiona, and she says that she was convinced they were going to be in the dance-off, so she’s very relieved that it’s Abbey instead. No offence Abbey (*sticks pins in voodoo dolly*). Claudia then asks Ben if he’s happy to have got his highest score. He says he is. Especially as he’s going to be picking bits of dried-up spunk out of his hair for days afterwards.
Next up Madness, and the performance starts with Pasha tossing
a coin and then
we’re back in the fairground. They’re doing their new single, a fact which is redeemed at least a little bit with it having some lovely mariachi trumpets on it. It feels more authentically Latin than anything that’s happened on this show since at least Series 7. They’re surrounded by contortionists and
fire-eaters, and occasionally Iveta wanders back on to flirt with Suggs for about 5 seconds before trotting off again. The dance being more or less completely free-form also gives Janette and Aljaz a brief chance to
crawl all over one another, the opportunity normally being denied to them due to their comical height difference. And as we all know, we only have those in the pro-celeb pairings. You know, the ones that don’t really matter.
Back up to Claud 9 now for its temporary guest
Len’s Glans. Happily Craig is getting to endur…contribute to Len’s Glans along with the rest of the judges as, after being tended to be Aljaz last week, he’s managed to find another
special cushion to comfort him. Although I’m sure he wishes he hadn’t bothered, as the first thing we see is Len doing the Time Warp, really really badly, as Craig sadly nods his head along to the music in the corner, like a eunuch in the brothel of his dreams. Len giggles that the Time Warp is really the only dance he can do these days, as Bruno points and laughs at Craig’s sad nodding. Poor Craig.
Len next decides that he’s going to give notice to all the pros that he’s noticed “illegal lifts” creeping in, and is going to do bugger all about them. Sorry, I mean he’s going to definitely consider knocking a mark off in future. Claudia then volunteers to use Len’s Glans to help us spot the illegal lifts we may have missed at home.
Did you see it? It was very subtle.
Next up, forget Iveta’s tribute to Mars Attacks, there was a cameo from another alien of movie legend on Saturday Night you may have missed.
E.T. As if to show she’s still got it, despite that unflattering camera angle, Darcey then gets the gams out
to demonstrate what Sophie should have been doing in her jive. Brenda’s response of course being “that’s rubbish Darcey, you don’t know what you’re talking about, PUMP PUMP PUMP PUMP PUMP PUMP”. Not that he doesn’t love Darcey, obviously, she’s a genuine star of the Royal Ballet and an amazing addition to the Strictly judging line-up (“DON’T BLOW IT BRENDA, DON’T BLOW IT!”)
Bruno and Darcey next bond over how they gave the first 10s of the series. Bruno waffles on pretentiously that a 10 is just something you feel within you, internally. I bet it is Bruno. He crows that Natalie was PERFECT and then Craig sniffs that she wobbled a bit to be honest, love. Craig of course will be throwing 10s at people wobbling around like jelly on a plate sat on a motorcycle sidecar by the final. But, you know, he has standards NOW. We close with Rachel’s triumphant lift
and a shot of Claudia descening on her broomstick which we’ve already seen this evening, let’s get a jog on.
To more SPOOKY SAFETY SEX-FACES
This leaves Dave & Karen and Rachel & Pasha as our last two remaining couples to hear the news. I don’t know if this means that they’re trying to dampen Dave’s vote down or to ramp it up as
he’s obviously safe. Poor Rachel. Her chances of making “Rachel” the new “cursed second placers” name along with Denise and Matt dashed. Maybe she can commiserate with Colin Salmon. Dave wanders over to apologise, which seems a little unnecessary. It’s not as though anyone else who beat her in the vote bothered. Tess asks Len if he’s surprised to see Rachel in the bottom two and he says that yes, indeed, he is shocked, as American Smooth was her best dance yet and she’s worked so hard and given so much and she’s looked each day and night in the eye
and so on. He says she definitely doesn’t deserve to be there, and tells her to CAHM AHT in the dance-off and enjoy herself, because she’s going home. You know, more or less.
THE TENSION OF THE DREADED DANCE-OFF!
You could always pretend Abbey was going to go wrong, but her dance was “bury your face in Aljaz’s shoulder like you’re digging for buried treasure in there” so…it seems unlikely. Rachel then gives her goodbye speech about how she’s loved dancing with Pasha and it’s an honour to lose to Abbey if she has to lose to anyone. Tess, narked, tells her not to talk herself out of it – we’ve got another quarter-of-an-hour to fill somehow.
Let’s start with another visit to Claud 9
where Claudia tells them that they all must be so relieved to have avoided the red light. Based on the way Iveta’s dressed…she’s not missed it by much. Claudia asks Mark about his entrance, and Mark reiterates for the THIRD TIME NOW that he enjoyed it. Did you also know that Sophie’s Charleston was quite good? Claudia goes on to ask Ashley about the judges comments regarding his dance, and he flim-flams that he was playing a zombie so his awful posture was on purpose.
Next up a trailer for It Takes Two.
KAREN’S GOT A CARD FROM SOMEONE! (Write your own punchline) Also
the clock on the security footage says 16:58, but when we cut to Zoe watching from the gallery, the clock in the background CLEARLY STATES it’s 15:32. BOY, I HOPE SOMEONE GETS FIRED FOR THAT ONE.
Back to a pre dance-off Claud 9, where Abbey is looking, guess what,
nervous! Claudia asks her if she’s shocked to be in the Bottom 2 and this immediately brings on the waterworks.
She doesn’t wanna leave but she doesn’t wanna knock out Rachel cause Rachel’s her best friend in the whole competition and oooh it’s SO HARD. Abbey then starts swishing her skirt like a fretful 7 year old. Sadly at this point Rachel does not break in with a “WTF? WE’VE NEVER SPOKEN! YOU CALL ME PILEY RILEY!”. She goes off to dance, and Claudia BLATANTLY stares at Aljaz’s arse as he goes down the stairs. Not even subtle Claudia.
Before she starts, Rachel grins to Claudia that she still thinks Abbey can win the competition.
I thought you were supposed to be good at Maths, Riley?
Hope you can at least add that one up.
Len confirms, perfunctorily, that he would have made it 4-0. Will we have have an ununanimous vote this series? Tess asks Rachel to give her leaving speech for the third time and
I do like that Rachel is perfectly dressed, both to leave and for the manner of her exit. I’m surprised she didn’t sprout wings and gently float up to heaven. In previous Hallowe’en Weeks, Tina got eliminated in pleather, Sid got eliminated as a Ghotbuster and Nancy went out…well…Nancy.
Anyway, Rachel grins that she hasn’t cried until now and gurl don’t lie we all saw you during that dance-off with Julien. She thanks hair and make-up and all the staff and then she realises that, for a superfan, she hasn’t taken NEARLY enough opportunities to paw at Pasha and gaze into his eyes and tell him that he’s lovely, whilst she still can.
Bye Rachel, I’ll miss you. Maybe stick to the numbers.