For one night only, Strictly is LIVE from the home of ballroom dancing. Where the greats have come for years before, leaving a little trail of glitterball sparkle behind them, and a shimmering sequined haze fills the air. Where legends have been made and broken, all in the same night. That’s right, tonight, Strictly was beamed to us LIVE from the rarefied air of Evil Moira Ross (in a rainbow wig)’s Strictly Props Cupboard. It turns out that she’s stuffed a whole load of backing dancers in here as well. Try to look surprised. We open with a whole dancefloor of them, of all ages, with the celebrities in giant carnival outfits and pushed around on trollies, as the singers yell “SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE” like a marketing agency came up with it in a slightly hungover brainstorming session. It doesn’t have something for everyone guys, what about those people looking for niche Erin Boag foot pornography? Where do THEY end up? OH WAIT, IN MY GOOGLE HITS THAT’S WHERE.
The general explosion of themeography (yes, I invented a word, get over it, it makes as much sense as “armography” does) spreads to almost all the dances, as Patrick’s Copacabana Samba is really the only one which doesn’t have any real theme or propwork, and doesn’t have massive stage-pieces scattered everywhere like the frigging Batcave. So OF COURSE it’s the only one where an actual snafu happens, as Patrick gets tangled up in Anya’s dress and the dance never really recovers. That’s what you get for trying to be CLASSY Anya (whilst of course still dancing in your pants). As for the rest? Awards are given out as follows :
Most baffling use of prop (singular) : The giant bucket & spade in Abbey’s seaside themed quickstep. It’s both out of scale (twice the side of the deckchairs that are also used in the routine) and awkward to dance around. Also easy to confuse for a giant mop and Sanibucket if you’re not looking closely enough. Also the only really interesting part of kind of a dull dance for Abbey.
Most baffling use of props (plural) : The judges scoring paddles. And how
Most generous use of backing dancers : Obviously is awarded to Kristina, who gets the boys to do most of Ben’s American Smooth for him, whilst he walks around them all like he’s examining an installation art piece in a pretentious Euro gallery. The bits she lets him do, he does well. I think. Peering in around the fog.
Routine most choked by overtheming : The decision to set Natalie’s dance in a dive-bar, full of backing dancers, and props, to be performed to Bang Bang by William, as performed by the Strictly band, with the camera flailing at all times to try to fit everything in seems an odd one. In Artem we trust, I guess.
Most phoned in routine : “Yeah you’re a posh bird and I’m a pilot and there’s some luggage and a giant Arrivals board and something and whatever, you don’t even really need to learn the routine because I’m ANTON DU BEKE and this is the American Smooth damnit. Just hold on and enjoy the ride and bring a sick-bag for the lifts”
Routine most benefiting from inspiration from the choreography of other pros: Susanna’s paso, in which Kevin looks at Erin’s burning down of the studio with Richard Arnold set to classical music with Richard last year, and takes it to the NEXT. EFFING. LEVEL.
Routine most benefiting from inspiration from the choreography of exactly the same pro: Sophie’s quickstep, in which Brendan looks at his own quickstep with Victoria from last series, and thinks “I’ll do this again but with someone who can dance without crying more than a winning Olympic female gymnastics team, and with more tables”.
Best Cowboy Gay Bar themed paso doble in the history of Strictly Come Dancing: Ashley Taylor Dawson’s paso doble. FINALLY AN OLA JORDAN ROCK THEMED TANGO/PASO WORKS, SORT OF!
Best Use Of The Dinosaur: Mark & Iveta’s jive which basically feels like a free-form v-flicking to whoever on the production staff forced the dance on them, their third latin in a row, on his dodgy knees. It’s basically him doing his day-job routine from Hairspray with added Dinosaur. I feel like this is the end. It probably should be the end. I kind of hope it isn’t.