Strictly Come Dancing 11 – Week 7 Performance


(Editors Note : having been denied the Proud Mary jive he was building himself up to all week, Monkseal has overloaded, and been left temporarily broken. Normal service will resume soon)

Last week : Ben got his spunky tits out, Pasha got his ghoulies out (of a painting), Patrick got his crystal balls out, Karen got her hairy ride out, Anton danced with a hoe, Sophie’s dance ended with four bloody gashes being displayed to the camera, Mark landed face first on Uranus, Susanna fiddled with her hairy growler, and Natalie dragged Artem down into her slimy wetland area. All before the watershed. It’s no wonder professional Nice Young Lady Rachel had enough, and departed skirts in hand to somewhere more sedate and gentile, like Strictly Argentina. [NSFW]

This week :

I know, I know I’m sad that we’ll never get to see that Proud Mary jive as well. We’ll survive somehow guys, now let’s all pull together.


Ish jusht not the schame isch it? *hic*

The opening music strikes up and, emerging from the backstage area are

these two. And just think, when they manage to pry the last of Bruce’s fingernails out of the floorboards of the show, and he finally shuffles off to throw rocks at the kids who accidentally fly a kite over his estate, we’ll be seeing avant-garde poses like that at the start of EVERY performance show. Artem could never.

Once they’ve untangled their limbs, Tess welcomes everyone to the show, particularly, as it’s Rememberance Sunday

some chaps from the army. They’re here to protect Dave in case the rapid 13 year old girls of twitter pop off over him being in the competition still. Don’t be deceived by their pink-hued profile background of the male cast of Revenge. They bite. Tess goes on to say that tonight the girls are running the show (you know, unlike the usual state of affairs where Bruce has FULL COMMAND of everything) and they are PUTTING ON THE GLITZ because it is ALL TO DANCE FOR.

And, you know, other such inanities. Claudia sighs that in the dance-off last week, best friends Abbey and Rachel went head-to-head for their DANCING LIVES. We of course found out they were best friends at the last minute because Abbey blurted it out mid-sob. If they’d been BLOKES what had been friends we would have had about 7 BROMANCE VTs by now.

Anywho, this week the celebrities will be competing to get to dance next week in Blackpool, home of Ballroom.

What? Already? You mean nobody started begging and pleading a clear month before the event? Bloody amateurs. Normally we’d at least have built up to “my wife’s mum’s hairdresser’s gay best friend’s dog accidentally ate a stick of rock once” levels by now.

The stars emerge and Patrick almost takes a flying header down the stairs as he descends.

Forget the Year Of The Woman, this is fast becoming the Year Of The Injury Porn. Once everyone’s out, Tess very sadly announces that we may have noticed that there’s a pair missing. Yes, Artem’s moobs are convalescing backstage alone, as Natalie sadly took ill in the dress rehearsal, and will not be dancing tonight. Tess will tell you why in…ooh, about an hour or so. STAY TUNED. Fiona meanwhile thinks

“oh sure, the old pretend fainting routine, I could do that EASILY if I wanted. How do you think I got out of that “naked hot-tub with Roger Moore” scene in that Bond film I was definitely in, so quickly? Sure I almost drowned, but it was worth it. Fortunately though, FIONA FULLERTON doesn’t need sympathy votes, because she’s got her amazing duck impressions that everyone in the village, and now the nation, loves. QUACK QUACK MOTHERHUBBERDS”.

Claudia reminds us again that all of the couples here are DESPERATE (always an appealing trait) to dance in Blackpool, and that even she herself can hear the Wurlitzer of the Tower Ballroom calling her

Nobody else can. Sadly, she goes on to say, there are only enough seats on the bus to Blackpool for 9 couples. (Actually it’s fitted to carry 30, but they’re having to carry all of Bruce’s outfits, joke books and medications, because there’s no space in his limo).

Tragic Mike & Kristina Rihanoff dancing the jive

Think of the lawsuits Ben. Think of the lovely lovely lawsuits. Seriously, there was an interview on It Takes Two this week entirely about how he danced with his shirt off, and he looked like he wanted to die. Given that Ben’s job since he left the England rugby team could legitimately be described on his passport as “Soft-Porn Model (against bullying)”, you can only imagine how toe-curling it must have been that even he was left embarrassed. Anyway Tess hoots and clicks and rubs her thighs about how Ben is a SAILOR this week, and then tells Bruno to calm down.

It’s been 11 series Tess, it ain’t happening now.

VT time, and Ben says that he really enjoyed the paso doble last week, because it felt like a dance he could really get involved in. As opposed to the rest, where he’s just sat on his arse eating popcorn whilst Kristina flung herself around like a meeting of Baptist Revival strippers. He found it “a little strange” to be dancing with his shirt off, but he felt it really suited the dance. Depending on how your vote holds up Ben, I think you’ll be finding it “suits” several other dances before you leave, including the foxtrot, the Viennese Waltz, and the “just standing there on the Tessanine as other couples are interviewed”. I’m sure Kristina’s petitioning to get the opening credits reshot as we speak.

Ben then takes us through the comment he got regarding the dance from Len, reminding us that he said that there were no fireworks, which made Ben

SAD, but then said there was an explosion (in his pants) and that made Ben

HAPPY. Showing that the target market for Len’s comments, intellectually, are men who repeatedly had other 18 stone men fall on their heads for a living.

Training now, and we learn that Ben has the jive this week. Kristina solemnly says that jive is the fastest and most energetic of all the Latin dances (apart, of course, from Westlife Party Rumba) and I think we all know what that means


Kristina, rather exasperated, points out to Ben that jive is supposed to be their “bridge to Blackpool” and frankly, there’s only so much flesh left for either of them to reveal if he’s not going to even bother to try. She, very briefly, gets Ben to go back and do a bit of speed training at his old rugby ground

but then she notices that the rest of the team aren’t there, and if Kristina’s not going to end a training VT at the bottom of a muddy dogpile of 14 burly men, Kristina’s not interested, so she calls the thing off to

get STRICTLY CHAMPION LOUIS SMITH in instead. Commence writing your slashfics now.

Louis is there to teach Ben how to backwards somersault off a trampoline onto a crash-mat. Because frankly Ben was limiting himself with those sexual-harassment lawsuits. Why not throw a personal injury one in there as well? Anyway, Louis’ advice to Ben is to throw his arms back and grab hold of his legs. Like I said, commence writing your slashfics.


Remember when Remembrance Sunday meant a whole celebrity group dance with everyone in full authentic military uniform doing the jitterbug as the nation’s ovaries exploded like fused lightbulbs? I’m just saying, whilst I’m not a fan personally, if this is the extent of War-Porn we’re getting all episode it really does feel like standards have slipped. He looks like a background character from Popeye. Anyway, the music (“Jump, Jive And Wail”) starts up and Kristina flings herself around pumping her legs and mugging and wondering

WHERE CAN HER BENNY BOY BE? He’s slowly lowering himself onto the trampolene Kristina, give him a minute.

And there he goes. After everyone breathes a sigh of relief that he didn’t Brock Lesnar himself, he begins the jive.

It is actually probably his best dance yet, although it’s very slow for a jive, and also very self-contained and small. All the kicks and flairs and expressions are very small, but they are there and it feels like a full routine, rather than a bunch of distraction tactics happening around someone periodically peeling their clothes off. Also his backside does suit the sailor slacks, a fact that Kristina takes

personal advantage of a couple of times. Indeed, the whole routine ends with Ben spanking Kristina, her taking umbrage and then shoving him over and stomping on him

for GIRL POWER AND ALL THAT SHET! In summary, what a load of arse.

It gets a standing ovation, including

STRICTLY LEGEND Mark Foster. His was a more innocent series, when they were limited to merely promising they’d dance in their pants if they made the final, rather than doing it every week. Once Ben has docked his tugboat in Tess’ harbour (so to speak), she coos “oooh, hello sailor” at him. Bruno frantically rewrites his judges comments under the table. As does Craig. And Len. She introduces said judges, referring to Craig as “Judge Dredd”

Yes, occasionally I think Craig would benefit from having a bucket on his head. Or, in Ben’s dances, underneath it. To catch the dribble.

Len starts, chortling that the whole routine was “anchors aweigh”. As opposed to the judges, who are wankers astray.

He loved Ben’s commitment, and thinks he’s a very competent dancer, but he needs to work more on his feet. As opposed to lying on the floor? Yes, it might help. Anyway jive is now apparently a HARD DANCE FOR THE BURLY CELEBRITIES TO DO, you will be surprised to hear.

Bruno follows, saying that he’s suddenly got an irresistible urge to join the navy.

Now there’s a man who’d go down on his ship. Sorry, sorry, WITH his ship. Silly typos. Bruno then of course shows the amazing nautical knowledge that means he would slide right into the navy by telling Ben that it looked like he hadn’t lost his sea-legs in thar routine, because he went wobbly “at the bottom” (not from where I was sitting). Craig follows, and unfortunately Ben did not splice his mainbrace, as he thought the whole thing was leaden and laboured, as he was expecting it to be. Len then gets jabby with his pencil and starts yelling about how


Psychology with Len there. Next week : how Craig didn’t like Ben’s foxtrot because of his nascent Oedipus complex. Craig sighs that Len’s talking twaddle, because Ben’s jive was, despite his best “seaman efforts”, a failure. Oh Craig, the “seaman efforts” were

all last week. All over his chest. Anyway Ben pulls sad face again cause Craig said a mean and then

Bruno gives him a hug. Because that gimmick needs to be dragged out more. (All you people who say that Tess keeps Bruce running to time pay attention this week by the way…) Darcey closes by preening that she too had preconceptions about how crap Ben would be, but she’s open-minded so she’s decided it was amazing. SO THERE CRAIG.

Up to Claud 9 they wail, where Claudia hoots that they were magnificent, and that she loved that he did a triple backflip.

Well, at least she didn’t claim it was the splits again. Ben grumbles that he’s had a hard week, and his calves are killing him. Maybe take your training outside the training room Ben. Stand up occasionally. Walk about a bit. Dismantle the Wallace & Gromit contraption that allows you to get dressed, get a beer from the fridge, and take a dump, all without leaving your sofa (/the floor). It all helps. Claudia then tries to gee him up by telling him he’s had a JOURNEY. He couldn’t even MOVE at the beginning of the competition and now he can

sort of, if you give him a few minutes to prepare. Scores are in

26. Incidentally, I’m not claiming that Claud 9 is a more raucous place to be than when it’s the Tessanine but

Ashley totally grabs Pasha’s crotch. And we’re only 14 minutes into the show.

Pat Butcher & Anton du Beke dancing the paso doble

Tess says that Fiona is planning to grab the paso BY THE HORNS. There were moments in the cha cha that looked a bit like that as well…

In her VT, Fiona smiles that she really enjoyed doing the charleston, and was a bit disappointed with the judges comments about her timing, and about how timid it all was. I mean…it’s not her fault she’s polite

that’s just the way she was brought up. We can’t all be oiky welders turned “dance experts” or coke-headed, rent boy drag queens, DAHLING. Some of us have standards. I do love how Fiona spends most of her time either sucking up to the judges or being really rude to/about them. I am on the edge of my seat as to whether she Jan Ravens them on the way out, or leaves them all with a gift hamper from Waitrose. Or both.

Fiona sighs that if she makes it through this week, then Blackpool beckons, and she promises she’ll be first on the coach. Spreading a picnic blanket out on the backseat, lighting a crafty fag, and bitching with Anton about the driving.

Training now, and Anton tells Fiona who, lest we forget, is a STRICTLY SOOPAHFAN that the paso doble is all about bull-fighting. Fiona’s all

duh, I know, I AM THE CAPE, I get it, move on. She says that she’s trying to summon up a new character from deep within her. A fiery senorita who will give Anton hell. You never get the

acting coaches you want, do you? Anyway, Fiona tells us she’s been practising the paso around the house but it’s still not quite clicking and

hands up who’s surprised that Fiona has an Aga? Nobody. OK then.

Anton says that he’s got a special trick up his sleeve to teach Fiona about the paso doble.

I’m not sure I like where this is going. If he tells you to hold your hand out and describe what he puts in it Fiona, then DON’T DO IT. In the end, it turns out that the special trick is

this. I guess clinging desperately to an erratic horny bovine as it randomly flails about almost knocking half the set over worked for Katya for 11 weeks of Series 8. Fiona says that she’s definitely going to take the lessons learned from her time on the bucking bronco and use them in her paso doble

with a face that reads like the leaving speech has been amended to “I HOPE YOU’RE HAPPY CRAIG! AND YOU EVIL MOIRA ROSS (in a rainbow wig)! THOSE COMEDY VTS WERE BENEATH MY DIGNITY! I WAS IN A BOND MOVIE YOU KNOW (I think)!”


This being the dramatisation of the time Frank burnt the car-lot but Pat stuck by him anyway. They’re dancing to “Song 2” by Blur, which means we’re getting a lot of fairly anaemic “WAA OOO”s for our buck. The whole thing really begins with Anton

charging at the camera at speed to hurl himself into a kneeslide. Given what’s going on in the background, it looks a bit like those scenes in a tv cop drama where the heroes sprint out of the warehouse before it explodes and they fling themselves to the ground in slow motion. The warehouse in this instance being “Fiona’s vajayjay”.

Her paso? It’s ok. Her skirt wafting is a little feeble and she’s over-doing the imperious face just a tad

but let’s face, there is no Anton partner for whom their best latin dance was anything other than paso, and this isn’t going to change that fact. She’s steady on her feet, there’s a lot of drama, and she seems to be doing a fairly wide range of steps with aplomb. The whole thing is a little marred by

a bit towards the end where they both just standing twizzling on the spot because the routine’s disappeared, but they do recover eventually, and she does a nice death spiral to end.


Fiona picks herself up off the floor like she’s woken up on the floor of a stranger’s bedroom, and her first words to Anton are snitting “what did you forget?”. Grumpy Menopause Goddess ❤ Once they’re over at Tess, Anton does a recreation of the whole affair, complete with

awkward Anton shuffle, and Fiona guffaws that she thought “WHAT’S HE DOING?”. We’ve wondered that for a decade now Fiona. Tess simpers to her that she always does SO WELL when she has a character to play and Fiona giggles “oh! thank you…” with a silent “dear” on the end. Bruno starts for the judges, guffawing that he’s glad to has to mark Fiona and not Anton.

Yes, I’m thinking the “Mr Wonderful” nickname hasn’t been hauled out in a while. He goes on to say that he liked Fiona’s spunky cranky dark side, and praises her for keeping going through the whole Antonpocalypse THERE. Her shoulders were a bit hunched though.

Craig follows by saying that he liked Fiona’s skirt-wafting, and thought her timing was on point, but she did lose her neck and to be honest he thinks the whole routine was vanilla and forgettable.

Hence…Anton forgetting it, I guess. Darcey is next, saying that Fiona created a very convincing dramatic diva but it needed to come from her back, rather than from where it was actually coming from. Maybe she was drawing on that time that delivery boy dropped that box of Royal Doulton she ordered. Darcey then, of course,

demonstrates by waving her arms about. Stick a couple of ping-pong bats in, and she could direct a jumbo jet in to come and land on Craig hair-do.

Len closes, after a lot of everyone gabbling away over one another, saying that he disagrees with all of his colleagues, and says that Fiona needed more FIRE. Craig’s comments about it being forgettable, ironically proving to be forgettable there.

Up to Claud 9 they WAA OOO, where Claudia tells them that everyone was going crazy up there during the dance, particularly during Anton’s knee-slide. Did that include Ola screaming “HE’S STEALING MY CHOREOGRAPHY! IF I SEE A STARFISH, IMMA CUT HIM!”? Anyway, Claudia then says she wants to talk to Anton about “Du Beke Towers”

as if we didn’t see enough of one particular Du Beke Tower in Fiona’s cha cha. She wants to know if he really sits around at home listening to Blur. Given that Anton has, before, choreographed to Kylie Minogue, Girls Aloud, Blondie, The Goo Goo Dolls, ABBA, The Killers, and Badly Drawn Boy, I’m not sure why it’s this particular slice of the Radio 2 playlist that’s sent her off-kilter but ok. Blur being a band so tepid and middle-class they now own cheese farms and run for local parliament. Anyway, we giggle some more (particularly Fiona) about how crap Anton is, and scores are in

26. A tie already. So they’ve clearly learnt.

Abbey Clancy & Aljaz Skorjanec dancing the Charleston

Jesus, did they fish that wig out of a skip? She looks like Widdy. Tess squeals that she wonders if Abbey has managed to turn her FWOWN UPSIDE DOWN? Good grief. I would take 50 Brucie jokes over whoever wrote Tess’ script this week. AMERICANS would find it patronisingly chirpy. I swear, ACTUAL AMERICANS. I’m surprised she isn’t telling everyone to have a nice day as she sends them off up to Claud 9.

VT time, and Abbey says that she thinks her rumba went well last week, and she certainly tried her best. She was really glad that she impressed Craig in particular but then…DISASTER STRUCK. Abbey goes on about how heartbreaking it was to be in the bottom 2

wearing a chunky knit in a blurred out room like she’s on 999 : Lifesavers talking about how she nearly drowned one time. In her own tears presumably. Anyway, she says that she’s really scared, because she doesn’t want her Strictly experience to end. Oh good. More nerves.

Training now though and Abbey has

perked up, thrown off her chunky knit, and committed to bringing a spirit of upbeat positivity to her Charleston. For some reason though, according to Aljaz, her smile’s just not taking, so things get ever more

50 Shades Of Strictly, as he tapes her mouth into a wide grin. You might speculate this is also because, after two months, Aljaz has had enough of Scouse to last him a lifetime.

Unnerving. He also scribbles on her face with lipstick, and even takes BABY WARZ to a new level.

THEY DON’T EVEN HAVE TO BE IN THE ROOM NOW! This is basically the BABY WARZ equivalent of a drone strike. It’s nice we have new pros from new countries to teach us these new methods of post Bottom 2 warfare.


Mercy. Ahem. Anyway, there is a Charleston happening around Aljaz’s erm…obvious asset (seriously, stick Kevin’s glasses on it and I’d never leave my bedroom ever again) and…it’s not great. I don’t really think Abbey has the acting skills required for a Charleston, as she flits almost randomly from model smouldering to a look of mild surprise, and it’s all a bit joyless. It’s not even sassy and cool, just a bit…flappy and un-coordinated. She’s really good at the intense romantic stuff, but I don’t think fun’s really her thing. They’re dancing to “Cabaret”, hence the hats, and they’re also a problem, given that she’s not handling it like a prop, more something that’s just found itself in her hand by mistake. Or indeed, alternatively

falling over her eyes. It flies off in a lift, and never comes back. She’s trying, but I just don’t think she really works out of hold.

Of course it gets a standing ovation, meaning that I remain entirely out-of-sync with the audience in regards to what I want from Abbey. Tess waffles on endlessly about how Abbey has cheered everyone up with her amazing Charleston and grins at her that her 4 year old calls them “Team Abbeyjaz”. I guess that answers the question of who makes those team-names up then. 4 year olds.

Craig starts for the judges, saying that Abbey just secured her place in Blackpool. He loved the Fosse stylisation, the enormous amount of “attention to detail”, and the syncopation particularly in the monkey step. I can see what he means about attention to detail definitely. I could probably draw the pattern on Aljaz’s trousers from memory. Darcey follows, saying she loved seeing the mad side of Abbey, and the ease with which she handled her prop. Heaven help Darcey if she thinks that was the “mad side” of anyone. She probably has to sit down and gather her head after one white wine spritzer.

Len follows, with a terrifying grin that tells you that

Len’s about to make a joke, and tells Abbey that she was so 1920s it was like DOWNTON ABBEY. Increasingly implausible and going rapidly downhill? Sounds about right. Bruno closes by yelling that Abbey is the IT GIRL of the competition, and she has a HUGE HIT in her hands.

Any speculation on what HUGE HIT Bruno is imagining being in his hands?

Up to Claud 9 they go like Elsie, and Abbey drawls that she’s really happy, but half-dead. Claudia first words are, of course, to Aljaz, requesting he turn round.

And so say all of us. Claudia and Abbey both commiserate over her SHOCK BOTTOM 2 appearance, and then Claudia asks Abbey if her daughter was in her head as she played a strung out nightclub hostess on the verge of having a backalley abortion to get rid of her bisexual lover’s child. Abbey says yes. Whatever motivates you I guess… Claudia asks Abbey to demonstrate the monkey step.

She doesn’t have a clue. Scores are in


Blofeld & Jill Masterson dancing the rumba

Abbey! Abbey! Widdy wants her wig ba….oh wait, it’s Mark. Carry on. Tess announces that before Mark crafts a FIENDISH PLAN TO TAKE OVER THE WORLD he has to master the romantic rumba. Yes because it’s Mark who’s bent on world domination in this pairing. For sure.

In his VT, Mark talks about the nerves he gets over trying to perform every routine to the judges’ satisfaction, and also the wonderful feeling he got during his standing ovation for his paso doble. Given that he was wrapped entirely in bacofoil, I guess the collective clapping probably cooled him down.

Training now, and Mark tells us that rumba is one of Iveta’s favourite dances (you wouldn’t know) so Mark’s going to try his very best to get it right. Iveta for her part says she likes rumba so much because it is romantic and slow, and really showcases the relationship between a man and a woman.

So moving.

And so begins a little section about the twoo fwendship between Mark & Iveta. Iveta says, a little sadly and a little sweetly, that Mark is having to act as her surrogate family, because as a Lithuanian in the UK, she has no actual relatives here. Well…not including the ones that don’t speak to her because she nicked their life insurance policies and pensions via complicated system of forged paperwork, but then what is cousin to COLD HARD LITHUANIAN WOMAN? NOTHING.

We then move on to Mark saying very solemnly that

he is definitely here to apply himself and learn how to dance, and he would hate to think anybody believed he wasn’t taking this competition 100% seriously. He says this before he goes out to sit in a chair stroking a toy cat dressed as an irradiated boiled egg, whilst Iveta tarts around in a gold catsuit, and calls it a rumba.


That shot just there for any straight men/lesbian women/all-purpose catsuit fetishes feeling left out over the earlier raptures over Aljaz there. The band strike up “Goldfinger” and Mark swivels the chair around and reveals his

pussy. Which he then strokes. Ahem. Obviously at this point, all those invested in the PURITY OF BOND point out that Blofeld didn’t appear in Goldfinger, so it’s REALLY inappropriate to have him appear in a dance done to its theme song. The rest of us wonder if there’s really any dance where it’d be appropriate to dress up like

sexy time at Chairman Mao’s house, regardless of what it was being danced to.

Anyway, from a dance perspective it’s obviously his worst effort yet. Mark always benefits from routines that can be high-energy and campy and also that avoid too much focus on body control, particularly of his hands, which are always really Chris Hollins levels of borked and…the rumba isn’t any of that. He just looks a bit silly, flinging his arms and belly around and trying to look commanding and sexy. It feels like Iveta has aimed at one particular type of jokey and unfortunately landed on a very different kind that’s not great to watch. Also

yes Iveta, we all know you can do that now. Enough.


They wander over to Tess, who tells Iveta that she’ll have to borrow her catsuit later. It’d be more appropriate than some of your other Results Show outfits Tess. Darcey starts, sighing that the whole routine wasn’t romantic and earth enough, and she wishes that Mark had stroked the floor with his feet just as delicately as he stroked his pussy-cat. The audience then all titter at Darcey sort of almost kind of saying “pussy”, as Bruno

demonstrates on Len. That’s right, Bruno’s demonstrating how best to handle a pussy. Laugh it up. Len follows by saying that he may have been dancing to Goldfinger, but it looked like Mark had LEAD in his BUM.

I wouldn’t wave your pencil around as you say that Len, people will get ideas. Anyway, Len carries on saying that rumba is VERY HARD FOR THE MALE CELEBRITIES because you either look gay or constipated etc etc

Bruno is next and does what he thinks is a Dr Evil impersonation

but which looks more like he’s posing for the box for Dream Phone. “Bobby said what? HE LIKES ME?”. He jokes that Mark tried to be Goldfinger, but ended up as Fishfinger. All that pussy stroking I would imagine… Bruno goes on to say that he didn’t like the dance, because the rumba is supposed to be a dance of perpetual motion, but there was a lot of posing and posturing and not a lot of movement. They DID seem to mostly just hang out at the chair to be honest.

Tess asks Craig if Mark will be spending his birthday in Blackpool, and Craig says that he hopes so, but he imagines it’ll be because the public will save him, cause that dance was pants.

Particularly the hands. Apparently they’re like “wet spatulas”. All in all though, Craig thinks the concept is the one thing that saved the dance from being completely pointless. REALLY? I mean…REALLY? Dressing him up as Uncle Fester’s vestigal twin SAVED it did it? OK.

Up to Claud 9 they are beckoned where they find Claudia making a tribute

both to Mark’s baldness, and Iveta’s habit of sticking a pair of tights over her head and going on the rob. You can find many helpful documents for life-thieving in safety deposit boxes and UK bank staff fold like Superman on laundry day *spit*. Claudia asks Mark if he’s disappointed with how that went, and he sighs that it’s just difficult to get everything right at the same time. Claudia pays tribute to Mark and Iveta’s friendship, and Mark thanks Bryony in make-up, for making him look like something that floats out of a submerged boat in Jaws. NO, REALLY, THANKS BRYONY! Finally Claudia asks Iveta if she wears that cat-suit to go to the supermarket. Iveta snorts that we should see what she really wears when she goes out. I agree. We should. Next week? Please? Scores are in


Susanna Reid & Kevin Clifton dancing the waltz

And yes, he STILL looks more like a werewolf there than he did last week. Tess says that we’re at the half way stage now, and it’s getting tough and when the going gets tough, the tough get Chris Hollins in or something, HONESTLY, WHO IS WRITING HER SCRIPT? IS IT BEING AUTO-GENERATED BY SOMETHING THAT’S ON FIRE?

In her VT, Susanna asks us if we can imagine doing the Charleston with Kevin Clifton dressed as a werewolf.

Because SHE had to imagine it given that make-up made him up to look like homeless Yosemite Sam. She thanks Len for scoring her a 9, and then blithers that sometimes the judges are just SO nice to her that it leaves her OVERWHELMED, because they’re telling her she’s JUST THAT AMAZING. Nice backdoor bragging there Susanna.

Training now, and Susanna tells us she and Kevin have become really good friends, and we are treated to a shot of them

hooting at one another like the pre-end credits shot on Murder She Wrote. She goes on to say that this friendship though is starting to get in the way of them doing the romantic and intimate dances. (Actually she says that it’s “a little harder for me” but I think we all know I’m above making any sort of crude innuendo based on THAT thank you very much) Hey, you know what WOULD make the romantic and intimate dances easier?

Hobbity Hollins lurking and watching you from behind a corner and maybe touching himself through his pocket lining. Susanna spies Chris, and asks him for a coffee. To stop him lurking. Ever since he went off to Watchdog, he doesn’t speak to the Breakfast people much any more. Just sits on his own a lot in the BBC canteen muttering “no, Anne, no, not the hose again, no” under his breath. She asks him what his tips for an award winning waltz and he replies



She is proper wafting the Pretty Pretty Princess dress to start off with as well, all “YEAH LINE UP YOUR 6 YEAR OLD GIRLS, THEY’RE GONNA LOVE THIS!”. Woman knows how to work her audience I guess. She and Kevin are dancing their waltz to “You Light Up My Life” by Debby Boone, a song that’s either about God, or Peanut Butter Kit Kat Chunkies, depending on whether it’s me singing it or not. As such it obviously begins, as it should, with a lot of Susanna

hugging herself and staring off into the middle distance like she’s in the shower in a Herbal Essences commercial. She waltzes around on her own for a bit and then Kevin sneaks up behind grabs her by the sides of her bosom and she goes

full Joey Tribbiani smell the fart romance novel acting. What a star. It’s not quite the change of pace I was after, but it’s still a change of pace, and that’s enough.

Their waltz is very nice and floaty and 70s prom and then she takes Chris Hollins’ advice to heart and TURBOPIVOTS

for a clear 10 seconds. Just nothing but pivots in a great big dramatic circle round the dancefloor. It’s truly terrifying, like your mum playing a car-racing game and burning off all her boosts in one go because she doesn’t know what the buttons are for. It’s lucky she doesn’t end up crashing into a pixellated cow’s bum. This all just leaves enough time and energy for a

cheeky flick to camera, a

drag, and a final skirt-twizzle.

I swear, that was the most blatant pandering, overdone, crowd-pleasing choreography I’ve seen in the last four years at least and Kevin I love you for it.

It gets a Standing Ovation (duh) and they wander over to Tess who tells her to LOOK WHAT SHE DID, because that part of the script survived the handover intact unfortunately. She further squeaks that that was a lovely traditional waltz, so she bets Len liked it. I guess a 1977 schmaltz pop ballad written for a movie soundtrack is the closest we’ve ever got to traditional waltz music yes. Len of course doesn’t take the opportunity automatically to praise Susanna, or Kevin’s choreography and teaching but instead to develop a twitch in his eye and

gob on about Jeremy Paxman “on the Steve Wright radio show” saying that Strictly is a bit naff and that serious news journalists like Susanna shouldn’t be doing it. Not that he’s being defensive or anything. He even calls him “Packo”. Because this week he is Grumpy Len. Heaven help the floor manager who gives him his coffee too cold. I of course am on hand to hug it better, if needs be, in certain cases.

Bruno follows by saying that Susanna’s dance had a “timeless elegance” and she “spun everyone into heaven with her”.

Craig is next and says that Susanna brought the frock to life, and that he loved the full circle of pivots, and Darcey closes by saying that she loved the precision in Susanna’s tumble-turns (another Splash crossover?) but the ONE THING THAT WOULD HAVE MADE IT BETTER

would have been if she’d stretched her legs out just a bit more so she covered more of the floor with each step.

Tess sends them off up to Claud 9 with a display of

absolute sincerity, in the same way that you’re absolutely sincere when you tell Mr Whiskers well done for pooping in the litter tray. Once up there, Susanna immediately gets weepy and

cross-eyed and starts telling Kevin, at the pitch of a clanger, what an inspiration he is and what a dream that was to dance. Either this is her polished lacquered newsreader facade crumbling, or her going superfake and I approve either way. Claudia sighs to Kevin that he is Ballroom Royalty and that she’s sure he get Susanna anything she wants in Blackpool. Meanwhile someone else watches on


36. All of you whining it didn’t get 10s…I’m sure it will when we see it again in the final.

Dave Myers & Karen Hauer dancing the tango

Tess grins that Dave is desperate to get to Blackpool, but somehow has ended up in Scotland. Yet again he has GONE TOO FAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thanks Tess.

In his VT, Dave says that last week was “epic”, and that whilst the dancing was nervewracking, he felt he deserved better than being told his dance wasn’t a jive, by Bruno. Let’s be honest, it was hard to pick out what anything was last week around the “creative choreography” and silly string, so he does have a point. He then goes on to say that his aim this series has been to get to Blackpool, because his mother used to take him to the Blackpool Tower Ballroom as a child, and it means SO MUCH TO HIM (LOL OOPS).

Do you know where else means SO MUCH to Dave? Scotland. Seriously Dave, pick one area of regional pandering and stick to it. It doesn’t even have to be specific. Everybody’s already acting like Kevin’s actually FROM Blackpool, even though it’s one entirely the other coast of the country from Grimsby. IT’S ALL JUST THE NORF THOUGH, INNIT? Anyway, Dave lived in Scotland for 15 years, he got

married in a kilt, if you cut him he bleeds haggis etc etc. As he’s blathering on about his genuine love of all things Gallic, Karen

casually noms a nana. I’m sensing a theme here.

As a result of all this, Karen decides to do a tango to “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)” by The Proclaimers complete with kilt and tartan and full Scottish regalia. Dave rushes off excitedly to get changed and

I’m sure that’s not the only pipe involved in dreaming this segment up. Karen then eats a haggis and Dave bowdlerizes the famous speech from Braveheart. Joy.


Just as a reminder, Dave was born in Cumbria, and Karen was born in Venezuela. This is about as authentically Scottish as Jocks In Kilts night at Cath’s Bar in Marbella or Jools Holland’s Hootenany. As a tango it’s very very very stampy and aggressive

and there’s precious little finesse, but just like last week it feels like Dave is actually trying to do a dance, rather than just free-form random playtime, and you have to appreciate the effort. And maybe not think too hard about why this might be why the public lost interest.

Also there’s always the fun of singing “WHAT A WANKER!” during the “da da da da!” bits. At least I presume that’s what Sophie was doing

as she pulls “Golly gee, aren’t I a wag? I hope the house mistress didn’t hear!” face to nobody up on Claud 9. It gets a standing ovation from the army contingent, and nobody else. And thus a Blackpool dream dies. Tess squeaks that he might need a BRAVE HEART for this bit, as the judges are about to have their say. Thanks Tess.

Bruno is first, and he squeals that there was too much haggis and not enough Argentine. Dave snorts that it wasn’t supposed to be an Argentine Tango and Bruno’s all

“am I bovvered, it was still crap, it looked you had a cramp” in reply. Smoothly saved there Bruno. Smoothly saved. He compares Dave to John Sergeant and I am to be honest still undecided so

We close with this exchange

Bruno : “Obviously it was very funny but…”
Dave : “It wasn’t SUPPOSED to be funny, it was a TANGO”
Bruno : “Well it’s not funny either then…”


Craig follows by saying that he thinks Karen could probably now write a book on how to survive a grizzly bear attack. Yes but that’s enough about her run-in with [*insert potentially libellous name here*], what about the dance? Craig says it was stompy and Dave had horribly splayed hands. He does congratulate Dave on doing some actual tango steps though. It’s a low bar this series isn’t it? Darcey also follows by congratulating Dave on performing a lot of dance-contents, and says that she thinks she detected passion there. Tess spins round in circles whittering “I SAW THE PASSION, WE ALL SAW THE PASSION, DIDN’T WE LADIES AND GENTS?”. Eesh.

Len closes by saying that normally a flash of leg and a bit of knicker turns him on and let’s all fast-forward now yes let’s. He was only going to say that Dave was GREAT ENTERTAINMENT anyway.

Up to the Tessanine they romp, where Claudia distorts reality into a place where the audience were screaming, hooting, and swinging on the chandeliers for Comedy Dave. I guess some delusions are a kindness really. Although

Anya knows what’s up. Dave says that he just wanted to give the dance some passion, and Robin yells from the back “IT WAS PASSIONATE!”. I know James has a serious back injury so other people are having to take the “cat-calling the judges from the back row” role, but it’s just not the same is it? Scores are in


Natalie Gumede & Artem Chigvintsev not dancing the Injury Porn

Tess knows. She knows. She feels your pain, mortals. Here’s what happened.

In her VT, Natalie recounts that last weekend she felt horrible churning nerves, but was also very aware at the same time that this is the best opportunity of her life.

To get a bit-part in a West End Musical for 6 months, a series of roles in “EXCITING BRITISH MOVIES” that never get released, and a whole bunch of “charity ambassador” positions. She goes on to say that she’s always admired Darcey so much and thinks she’s such a beautiful dancer and human being. I’m sure this has nothing to do with Darcey being the one to give her her first 10 of the series. Natalie then starts crying. OK NATALIE.

Training now, and Natalie says the jive is proving to be really fast, and very exhausting. So exhausting in fact that she says she usually “fades out” two-thirds of the way through. Rather unfortunate choice of wording there. Most importantly though


Sadly, this is the point where Tess Daly’s Voiceover Of Doom kicks in and so does the

INJURY PORN! I have to say, the close-up of Natalie’s face trembling and crying is a…little on the nose, but there we are. We cut straight from this to

Artem looked pained in paisley. Claudia tells us that Natalie has had attention from the Strictly medics and will be getting a further check-up later. She explains that in circumstances such as these, the contestant gets a bye for one week only, and then if they’re not better by next weekend, then they’re out. Those of us who sat through the great “will they won’t they?” of Jade’s leg injury in 2009 feel a slight twinge at this point.

Claudia asks Artem if he’s really disappointed and he says that he is, because Natalie put so many hours into rehearsing for it and was really looking forward to performing the dance for the public. Claudia goes on to ask Artem if Natalie is ok now and he replies

“I dunno Claudia, she’s in hospital innit, pay attention”. To be fair Artem, it’s not unfair to suggest you might know. They have named an entire wing of the hospital after you at this point. He closes by

staring right down the camera and telling Natalie to get well soon. Bless.

Jordan Taylor Jordan & Ola Dawson dancing the quickstep

Ola is clearly thrilled at having to follow that slice of psychodrama. Tess grins that Ashley is criticised often for his posture, but this week he’s been BENDING OVER BACKWARDS to get it right!!!!!! Thanks Tess.

VT time, and Ashley says that he really enjoyed his dance last week, because he got to play a character, and he thinks that takes the pressure off. Maybe you could try playing the character of “shaved bollock in a grey communist jumpsuit” Ashley, like some people have had to. See how easy that is. He goes on to say though that the judges picked up on his posture again. Apparently he has a habit of doing

this. The Hypnoboobs will do that to a man.

In training now, Ashley tells us he’s doing the quickstep and it’s by far the hardest dance he’s done so far. NO ASHLEY. You are 6ft 1 and have done a JIVE. You are HUMAN and you have done a SAMBA. Learn your dances, quickstep isn’t the hardest anything. Whatever the difficulty level, Ola is determined to get his posture right.

But we can’t quite spin a whole Comedy VT out of just that pose, because it’s not Series 9, so the dancing lessons are briefly interrupted by a trip to the Hollyoaks set, so that Ola can watch Ashley at work. Of course it’s Hollyoaks, so Ola gets bored 5 minutes in and wanders off to audition hunks for a series where the producers are less hellbent on a female winner.

She’ll take this one Evil Moira Ross (in a rainbow wig). Have him delivered to her dressing room in 10 months time. Meanwhile Ashley’s focused, serious and dedicated demeanour

clearly extends to his dayjob as well. Look at how amused everyone else is by Ashley’s larking about. WHAT A CARD. We close with plaudits for Ashley from the cast of Hollyoaks.



In terms of the ongoing saga of Ashley’s tiredness, he seems to have broken through The Wall, so to speak, as this is really a very

energetic routine indeed. They charge around the dancefloor, thundering about like rampaging rhinos. It’s a bit like they’re dancing the whole routine on a giant version of Ben’s trampolene. It’s a lot of fun, if a little lacking in refinement or consideration. It feels a bit like Ashley is showing off what he can do now that he’s handed his children off to a nanny for a couple of weeks. A special shout-out must go to the singer (briefly breaking my band related embargo) (JUSTICE 4 THE MAN IN THE HAT!) for having to sing “Are You Gonna Be My Girl?” AND “Song 2”, just one week after shredding his throat to ribbons on Screamin Jay Hawkins. We salute your bravery, sir.

To close the pair of them

collapse on the judges table. Yes that is Len’s hand hovering near Ashley’s crotch. Try to look surprised.

It gets a Standing Ovation, and Tess asks Darcey if she’s gonna be his GURL after that dance. Darcey just gasps and splutters that that was amazing.

She was really impressed by the speed, the technical merit, and the improvements in posture. Ashley gasps a little gasp of approval as, watching on from the audience, we check in with some old members of

ALLSTABS! FIRE UP THE REUNION RUMOURS. I mean, for those of us who would prefer to remember Sam this way it might be a bit of a comedown but…it’s still far less of a comedown than the transformation of Paul from S Club 7. Tess cheers that Ashley finally got it right with his neck and his posture as he

utterly ignores her. Poor Tess. She’s trying.

Len follows, congratulating Ashley on keeping his energy up throughout, and then baffling on about how HARD THE QUICKSTEP IS! Oh ok Ashley, fair enough. Apparently it’s been added to the pantheon. What’s left that’s easy? Week 1 Waltz? Bruno follows by grinning to Ashley that he’s just seen what a bit of spit and polish can do for him.

Did he visit Bruno in his dressing room earlier? Not trying to start a rumour, just asking. Craig closes by saying that he liked the sharp moves and how Ashley held his frame and posture throughout. Ola though, hasn’t been here for 7 years now without knowing when a “but” is coming.

And come it does, because Craig saw gapping.

Up to Claud 9 they wheel, where Claudia announces very loudly that that dance was a GAMECHANGER. I presume it marked the point in the evening where she got bored of playing Pop Up Pirate in between interviews, and moved on to Hungry Hungry Hippos. Ashley replies that he’s very happy with the comments he got, particularly about his posture. Claudia then asks Ola if she’s very proud of Ashley, especially as she had to go to HOLLYOAKS to train.

The horror. The horror. You can tell she’s still not over it. SCORES ARE IN


Form-Prefect And Vice-Captain of the Lacrosse team Sophie Ellis-Bextor & Brenda Cole dancing the Argentine Tango

Tess says that Sophie is hoping that her Argentine Tango will turn a few heads…AND NOT JUST HER OWN!!!!!!!!

Tess Joke Faces are even better than Brucie Joke Faces. The latter usually just look a bit confused. Sophie and Brenda actually look ANGRY. (For want of there being anywhere better to put it, can we talk about how Brenda has the worst website pro picture of all time? He looks like fat-suit James van der Beek)

In her VT, Sophie says that she loved Hallowe’en Week and seeing everybody else in the make-up and costumes that backstage knocked up for them.

You’ll notice the emphasis on “everybody else” there. None of them being dressed like wipe-clean prawns. She goes on to say that she went really badly wrong in her jive, and she’s very disappointed with herself. Particularly after the rollocking she got from Mr Goodman.

She let him down, she let Brenda down, she let the WHOLE SCHOOL DOWN, but worst of all she let herself down. And it’s her time she’s wasting, not his. She says that she’s trying to be at peace with it though. Trying.

Training now, and Brenda grins that Sophie has the Argentine Tango this week, and audiences LOVE it. So much so that, prior to Sophie’s effort and post the Series 8 unchaining they’d eliminated 27% of them, and dumped a whopping 47% of them into the Bottom 2. (oh yes, there’s a spreadsheet – fun fact, if Natalie had danced her jive this week and survived, the JAHNRE of jive would now be tying Viennese Waltz for the safest to dance, so now you know, I hope you apologised for letting jive down Natalie). Where was I? Oh yes. Sophie will be the first celebrity dancing the Argentine Tango this year and she’s finding it difficult but then Brenda gives her speech

after speech

after speech

after speech

and this does the trick. Apparently. We’ll see. He doesn’t mention gun shows on the sweaty pampers once.


Let’s face it, it was never going to live up to the drama of the opening pose. I’m not sure even Rachel’s Argentine Tango lived up to the drama of this opening pose. They’re dancing to an accordion-led version of “Sweet Dreams” and there’s an awful lot of

chair-sitting and

beautiful lifting to disguise the fact that when she’s in hold with Brendan it’s pretty lacking intensity. She’s actually leaning her body away from him for most of the dance and her feet don’t really caress the floor so much as jerk across it like she’s got jam on the bottom of her shoes. Still, there’s a power and purpose there that has been lacking for the last two weeks, and at least we’re reassured that we’re not getting Snowdance 2.0 out of her in the final. Given that she’s got a run of elegant ballroom coming up, she’s going to be fine, I feel.

Cracking end-pose as well.

Brenda hisses “fantastic” as she finishes, and it gets a Standing Ovation including from

a teary Janet Ellis, and Mr Sophie, who might as well get “Can You Do That Without Touching My Wife?” printed on a t-shirt at this point. Len starts for the judges by getting all unnecessary about how the tango is like a man dancing with his wife, but the Argentine Tango is like a man dancing with his mistress.

I thought Len’s usual line about the ballroom tango was it was danced with stinky cowboys and that’s why the woman leans away? Was that just twaddle? PLEASE DON’T TELL ME LEN WAS TALKING TWADDLE, MY WORLD VIEW MAY COLLAPSE. Len then goes on to congratulate Brendan on his amazing Argentine Tango choreography skills (lest we forget Len also enjoyed his Argentine Tango with Lisa, which involved her flinging her limbs around in the air like a dying daddy-long-legs) but again he wishes Sophie had given it more intensity. Bruno follows and agrees – he thinks it’d do Sophie good to let a bit of dirt and edge into her performances rather than playing it haughty and disdainful the whole time. He’s bored of seeing the same old Sophie week after week. Bruno of course being notorious for changing his schtick constant*falls off chair* Incidentally at this point Don’t Blow It Brenda is holding back invective so hard


Craig follows by saying that there were a few unstable moments where she lost her balance, especially getting up out of lifts.

Sophie disagrees, but hasn’t yet acquired the lifetime of wisdom and middle-class decorum Fiona has, so keeps her gob shut. He loved the routine though. Darcey closes by saying she loved the lifts and some of the magic positions Sophie got herself into but she agrees with the male judges – Sophie needs to start expressing with her face what her body is already expressing. She apologises for being so picky, but she really wants to see Sophie in Brighton next week.

Up to Claud 9 they sail, and Claudia asks Sophie if she had a clue what the judges were going on about with all that talk of dirty fire. Sophie

arms primly folded as ever, says that she’s always grateful for constructive criticism, because it can only help her to grow and learn as a pupil at Strictly Academy for Girls (and some boys, but let’s face it, none of them are graduating). Scores are in

32. Brenda then launches into a speech (again) about how Sophie is a magical girl and deserves better scores than that and so on and so on.

I can’t tell who wants him to shut up more – Robin, Susanna, Sophie or Claudia. Probably Claudia, as she jabbers over the end of it to desperately try and get the show back on time. Take the hint from the fact she only let Sophie say ONE SENTENCE and didn’t even do any wacky skits Brenda. We’re in a rush. Save your speeches for Zoe. Also note that

Aljaz is protecting his crotch to prevent Ashley from adding to his collection.

Patrick Robotson & Anya Garnis dancing the American Smooth

Tess tells us that Patrick had two reasons to celebrate this week – surviving Hallowe’en Week AND turning 50. Here’s how Anya Garnis renders the number 50.

Such an enigma.

In his VT, Patrick says that he really enjoyed Hallowe’en Week because of the energy and the power and the drive of the dance. Also because he got 9s and Len talked about pickling his walnuts. He hopes that the scores will get

ever higher, and Len’s walnuts ever more pickled. I wouldn’t worry about that Patrick. They’re practically 100% vinegar at this point.

Training, and Patrick too would really like to get to Blackpool, home of Ballroom. He says it’d “be like playing football at Wembley if you’re a kid who likes playing football”. Such a way with words. He goes on to say that he’s glad he has American Smooth, as he’ll finally get to do the sort of spectacular lifts he had to take out of his salsa.

As Tess mentioned it’s Patrick’s birthday this week, and he returns to the theme of becoming Strictly’s oldest winner. Like that’d take a lot. SUSANNA would be Strictly’s oldest winner at this point. Heck, Sophie Ellis-Bextor would be the oldest woman ever to win the show, such is the British public’s push for youthful beauty. After a round of work-drinks, Patrick comes back to the training room to find out that Anya has prepared a surprise party for him.

At which she is the only guest. One cake, two plates of crisps, a load of party poppers, seven party hats, and Anya. BEST PARTY EVER!

I’m not saying this is the saddest sight I’ve ever seen on the show, but it’s close.


I have to admit, from the moment that Anya goes tippy-toe up the steps to the band area, as the MGM-esque horns of the start of “It Had To Be You” play,

then does a beautiful spinning lift which stops dramatically under the spotlight exactly at the right moment before the vocals kick in

I’m sold. I’m so glad we’ve got a new pro who can choreograph classic movie glamour for the American Smooth round, rather than just flouncey pseudo-contemporary twaddle. I mean obviously flouncey pseudo-contemporary twaddle has its place on the show, but this was just grand in the way you imagine the American Smooth was when they conceived adding it to the show. Both of them are just so slinky and light and romantic with their bodies that I can overlook the fact that both of the subsequent lifts are messy and Patrick’s face goes

beyond the realms of the human occasionally. The end of the routine in particular, from the

playful stair-hopping to the

jazzy flair to the

old-school romanticism is just spot-on.

Best piece of choreography of the series by far, easy, and finally a pimp-slot dance worthy of the position. It gets his first Standing Ovation since Week 1, and Anya is so excited she squeaks “A 10!” as soon as it’s over.

Bruno starts for the judges, declaring that whole routine was PURE HOLLYWOOD and he particularly liked the contrast between jazzy freedom and tight control in the foxtrot. And considering what a hot mess Patrick’s first foxtrot was, that’s saying something. It’s just such a shame about the final lift. Darcey decides to interject at this point, blaming it on the dress, as Anya

delicately unpicks it from her heel. Craig follows by congratulating him of his professionalism and tells him that he’s the best male celebrity in the competition.

Darcey follows by saying that Patrick is perfection and looked like a movie star. Len closes by yelling that Patrick should be TAKEN TO THE TOWER! Ballroom that is. In Blackpool. Where they’re all going next week. Did they mention it?

Up to Claud 9 they charge where Claudia and Anya have a

little girly shrieky party and then we have to go straight to the scores because OOPS WE’RE OUT OF TIME.

37. His lack of reaction is such that Anya has to scream “YOU GOT A 10!!!!!!!!” at him. So Patrick.

Final Leaderboard?

Blackpool here we come.

16 thoughts on “Strictly Come Dancing 11 – Week 7 Performance

  1. Mojomarm

    Ashley may have broken through the tiredness barrier but Ola looked fricking knackered. With James’ back and practicing til midnight around the ‘Oaks filming, girl needs pro-plus injections, stat

  2. Kate

    “Anyway jive is now apparently a HARD DANCE FOR THE BURLY CELEBRITIES TO DO”
    Is it my imagination or is every dance increasingly “hard” for celebs to do? The jive is hard for burly men (Ben), for people with long legs (Sophie), the rumba is hard full stop. I am sure there have been a few others this series I now can’t remember… Since when did the judges make so many excuses for the celebs, or is the sympathy reserved for their favourites to justify trying to keep them in??? I don’t remember it being so blatant in past series.

    1. monkseal Post author

      I think loads of dances have always been hard (jive for tall people, rumba for men, foxtrot being the hardest ballroom dance even though even Widdy managed 20 for it) it’s just that it’s piling up to the point of self-parody every time something gets added to the bonfire.

  3. Kate

    What I thought was interesting was when Tess asked the judges the usual saccharine question – was Sophie’s AT enough to get her to Blackpool, which was then followed by a few seconds of silence, hastily filled by Len twatting on about the wife/ mistress analogy, before handing Brenda another gold star for choreography (Charleston, anyone?). Were they trying to dodge the question in the face of her blow up doll with slow puncture inertness, or is this just cynicism??

    1. monkseal Post author

      Surely they must have known that Sophie is safe as houses at this point? The novelty factor of the first A.Tango of the series alone would have been enough to see her through.

    2. Matt Clemson

      I suspect the biggie is that the judges – after Abbey’s bottom two earlier – have got a bit wary about saying anything which would imply that a competitor is *definitely* safe, just in case it discourages votes…

      …except Len does seem to forget that quite frequently.

  4. Kate

    “before he goes out to sit in a chair stroking a toy cat dressed as an irradiated boiled egg”, Thank you, Monkseal, for reducing me to tears of helpless laughter with this line. Mind you, I am still recovering, having treated myself to a perusal of your back catalogue, from the loss of bodily fluids induced by your SCD 10 recap of Team RiRo’s Tango and Bruno’s instructions to, “Focus, Intent, Focus” which brought a whole new meaning to the concept of camping, and the unsavoury related images of Mr Tagliatelle being let loose on some hapless wildlife in a national park near you. Thank you.


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