Don’t mess with Scotland.
We start, we do every Remembrance Sunday Strictly Results Show, with a tribute to
Steps. In this case, the Deeper Shade Of Blue video. But who can forget past years, like when everyone line-danced dressed like Coyote Ugly, or when Brenda saved Natalie Lowe from marrying the wrong man and then they both waved their hands at the side of their head at a disco DJd by Pete Waterman, or when everyone saved Matthew Cutler from being held captive at the North Pole by evil dwarves (/Jared Murillo and Hayley Holt)? Never forget.
For some reason though, presumably copyright related, this Steps tribute is being danced to “Sing, Sing, Sing” as performed by everyone’s favourite group of office temps
The Puppini Sisters! Hide your staplers. Do you know who’s most palpably excited to be paying tribute? Gurning away as though her very life depends on it, hamming everything up to a degree that Karen Hardy would find immodest?
Janette Manrara. I dunno, maybe she had a grandfather who served in Lisa Scott-Lee or something. Everyone does a jive/lindy/jitterbug thing that mostly involves them putting their hands in doggy paddle position then flapping them around like they’re under hand-dryer, whilst wiggling their bums with abandon, FOR STEPS!
Oh wait, apparently that was something to do with the Second World War and GIs and stuff. *shrug* Might have helped if you’d not dressed up as flight attendants.
The band strike up as The Puppini Sisters wander off to do the filing, and out wander Claudia and Tess, as usual striking a pose like
the secretly murderous secret lesbians revealing their secret selves at the end of an ITV Marple adaptation. Tess thanks The Puppini Sisters for coming in and fixing that jam with the photocopier, and also all our wonderful professional dancers. Particularly you Anton. It takes years of training to just stand there at the back miming the trombone and doing nothing else for two minutes solid.
Claudia goes on to sadly say that next week will come from the Tower Ballroom, but there’s only time for 9 couples to perform
because the hall’s booked for Suzi Quattro’s Rockin 80s Roadshow (FEATURING AZTEC CAMERA!) from 8pm onwards. So someone’s about to get DANCE-OFFED. Also Len’s Glans will be happening, and some people calling themselves “The Tenors” will be performing. The only ones. Everyone else in the world became a baritone overnight. They’re all we have left.
First though, all the gossip from backstage :
Ashley believes that Blackpool is the Motherland of Ballroom Dancing. I guess this is more salubrious than its other moniker – Heartland of Alley-Pissing.
Karen’s quest for ever more bananas reached an
unfortunate, but logical end.
Mark revealed that he couldn’t really move his face with the bald cap on, because it’d probably crinkle up and fall off. Again, thanks SO MUCH to whoever foisted that theme and costume on them.
After years of wondering, and trying to see behind front-woman Vicky Gill, we FINALLY get to meet the actual Wardrobe Department.
There he is. Can of coke, crazy glue, tiny bowl of sequins and one knitting needle. We salute you.
Natalie fainted, apparently.
Craig better lock his windows tight tonight although whatever happens
he’s going to wake up to find them pelted with Waitrose finest anchovy paste.
If Dave had got to Blackpool, he would have been chuffed as nuts. And given that he’s wearing a kilt in the draughty Elstree studios, those are some pretty chuffed nuts.
Sophie had a simply lovely time in her Argentine Tango, which might have been part of the problem…
Anya decided to close the evening by taking her life into her hands in yet another lift
so expect to see her in a bed in the Artem Chigvintsev Memorial Wing of Northwick Park Hospital very soon.
Time for a round of ever-depleting Safety Sex-Faces now
Running through our fingers… Anyway, the first couple in danger are
these two, so again, 11 minutes in, all the Results Show tension is gone. At least there’s the excitement of someone being in the Bottom Two for the first time I guess. They stump over to Tess, who asks Len what they can do in the dance-off to get through to Blackpool. He says the usual – come out and ATTACK the dance with the same attitude he had on Saturday. Seriously, almost every time in this bit they say “oh just do what you did on Saturday that got you in this mess in the first place”. It’s hardly helpful is it? Tess turns to him and says that she knows how desperate he is
to get to Blackpool. Only on this show is “desperate” used in a positive sense. Dave says that he knows he’s not the best dancer, but he’ll just carry on trying his best, and see what happens. Possibly involving a ‘nana.
Up to Claud 9 now,
where the currently safe couples are relaxing. I can’t help wishing slightly for Natalie’s face (and more importantly hair) to be appearing vis Skype on a video screen, periodically popping a grape into her mouth and calling for MOAR PAINKILLERS. Claudia turns to Kevin first and declares him as the show’s King Of Ballroom above all the others, because not only is he a wonderful dancer, his parents are wonderful dancers and his sister’s a wonderful dancer as well.
Somewhere Olga Chigvintsev’s spitting her coke out and splurting “EXCUSE ME, I ALSO AM WONDERFUL DANCER! I 3 TIME IRKUTSK LIMBO CHAMPION!”. Anywho, being King Of Ballroom, Kevin is this year’s designated ambassador for the spirit of Blackpool, saying that all ballroom dancers want to compete there and dance there and do comedy VTs involving donkeys there and so on.
Claudia turns to Patrick and tells him he must have had the best birthday weekend ever, and Patrick says there’s really nothing he can say to add to that.
No change there then. Claudia then asks Abbey if she was nervous again. Abbey says she was nervous again.
Next, the bit we get every year where some of the pros and some of the celebs go collecting money for servicemen via the British Legion Poppy Appeal.
It’s quite hard to snark about, so instead, let’s all take a moment to remember those who gave their lives in the bloody conflicts of the last century. World War 2. The Falklands. The Gulf War. The Series 5 semi-finals.
Of course we segue from that to
LEN’S GLANS. Looks like it’s not been washed for a while. For those of you keeping track, Craig is currently sporting a sparkly cane. Hopefully he will be recovered enough by Saturday to do the level of Blackpool Dancing he normally produces for sport on the arena weeks. Let’s face it, it’d be hard not to be.
We start with Len’s pick for persusal, which is Kevin and Susanna’s waltz, mostly so we can see that dress
flaring up faster than Len’s impetigo in April. He tells us all that he thinks the dance was gorgeous, and fast, and really effortlessly covered the floor. Darcey’s next and she wants to see one of Sophie’s Argentine Tango lifts in slow motion. Specifically the part where her knee
slams into the floor. Violent Darcey. Did Sophie beat you to the Florence Tupper Memorial U6th Prize for Home Economics? Let it go. She can quilt, you can’t. Claudia though, isn’t happy just letting Darcey use Len’s Glans for Schadenfreude purposes, so asks her to justify her 10 for Patrick despite the
mild horror of his lifts. Darcey just mutters on about how professionally he delt with the botch and ooh he’s had real problems with his wrist and he IS just turned 50 you know and OOH LOOK A PUPPY *Darcey shaped dust-cloud*
Next up, from Bruno, a clip of Abbey’s Charleston, demonstrating how she and Aljaz were exactly in-sync at all times.
Quite. This is followed by Claudia trying to persuade Craig that Ben’s jive was actually a masterpiece of DAHNCE deserving far more than a paltry 4.
Again, quite. Craig protests that it’s all very inelegant and he should be pointing his feet more, which prompts a rant from Len
where he snots that the difference between him and Craig is that Craig always looks for the BAD in any given dance, whilst Len always looks for the GOOD. That’s just what makes him a superior judge and, generally, human being. Don’t just throw this Len Rant in the bin along with the rest, hold onto it. For the next…20 minutes. You’ll be needing it later. To finish we smooth things over by all agreeing that Mark is an amazing actor and performer.
Give that man an Oscar. Principally for managing not to tell “THIS DEMEANS US ALL!” at the end. It’s the new “BOOM!”
Time again for those Safety Sex-Faces :
This leaving Fiona vs Mark facing the chop and, ultimately,
these two in harms way. Who would have thought Fiona would be the undisputed queen of the bottom half of the leaderboard? Maybe everyone’s just voting in case we ever solve the mystery of who she actually is. They have to reveal it at some point right? Once Mark’s over, Craig is asked what he needs to do to survive the Dance-Off. Turn up? Craig suggests he smooth out his transitions
try to get some hip action, and sort his hands out. But he closes by saying that, as Mark is one of the luvvie contestants, he adores him and wants him to do well. He never changes does he? Tess asks Mark how he’s feeling and he sighs that everyone’s got to be here in the bottom 2 sooner or later, he guesses. But not all of them wearing something that
makes it look like the back of their scalp is being tugged off by an invisible vacuum cleaner, eh?
Back on Claud 9 and
still no Natalie, in a onesie, poking at her IV and wondering if she can pour vodka shots in there. She asks Sophie if she’s pleased to have survived, given how picky the judges were about her Argentine Tango. Sophie just gushes that
she’s so excited to be going on a trip to Blackpool! She’s packed her thermos and she’s going to be entertaining everyone with her AA spotter’s guide to Lancashire on the way up. Maybe sir will even let everyone sing songs from Mary Poppins! Claudia tells her that everyone goes up on a big bus, driven by her and Tess. For some reason I’m imagining it like Marge and Maggie driving the Simpsons car. Not getting a judge-spiting reaction from Sophie like she wanted, Claudia turns to a far more reliable source
and gets what she wanted. “THAT 4 WAS RIDICULOUS CLAUDIA! CRAIG IS A RUDDY SHIT!”. Oh Kristina. Reliable old Kristina. Always vexed.
Ashley gurns that he’s on the FUN BUS TO BLACKPOOL now, and Fiona squeaks that she’s so glad to be safe whilst
clearly plotting death against whoever decided she was to be left til last. Watch out Moira (in a rainbow wig), you may have met your match. We close with Anton grinning that he’s so glad that he’ll get to dance at Blackpool, because “it just goes up Another Level somehow”. Just like Katie Price’s [JOKE REDACTED ON ADVICE OF LAWYERS].
Next up, The Tenors!
Fitty (sort of) and
They’re singing “Forever Young”, in the operatic style (*shakes head*) whilst Janette and Aljaz
throw on another around because they’re the wrong heights to dance together. It’s like Romeo & Juliet…IN DANCE FORM. I guess since G4 got contracted out to do the security for the Olympics and never came back, someone needed to fill this niche. This niche I would never listen to by choice, ever.
Once this is all over, Tess reappears to tell us that this Friday on Children In Need, she will be compering a very special Strictly face-off between
TORVILL AND DEAN! (And James and Aliona (looking as invested as ever)).
To our pre-dance-off chat now and
it’s come to something when you look at this bit and think “wow, Claudia is the one who is LEAST bizarrely dressed!”. Even on Theme Weeks it’s usually touch and go. Karen turns to Dave and tells him that he has to give it all the beans he has, and Dave promises he will. In fact he thinks the berlottis might even come out. In that kilt, I wouldn’t doubt it. He pops down, and Mark says that he wishes Dave luck, and that he personally found the rumba a really hard dance, so he’s not surprised he’s in the bottom 2 for the first time.
And, let’s face it, it won’t be the last.
Incidentally, Craig, Darcey and Bruno all hem and haw and say what good sports and great entertainment both couples have fun, and then Len “I Always Look For The Good” Goodman effing LAUNCHES
into a rant about how Mark was rubbish and made loads of mistakes and his colleagues are full of it and HE would have saved Dave so THERE.
As he leaves, Dave gives a little speech about how he’s made so many friends on the show, but most of all
“our Karen”. He tears up a bit, Karen tears up a lot, and then Kevin marches out to give the most touching display of husbandly support since Darren Bennett in Series 5.
And this time it doesn’t even involve punching someone out for grabbing his wife’s arse.