Strictly Come Dancing 11 – Week 12 Performance Summary

Well, we’ve hit the two dance stage and, more importantly, the final stages of operation YEAR OF THE WOMAN. So let’s see how subtly and artfully the producers wangle and weave their web of subtle manipulation, suggestion and Derren-Brown Mind Powers to arrange it for there to be an all-female final without it being too obvious that the….oh wait, they’re just going to give the go-ahead for Patrick to be dropped like a wet sack of manure. That’ll work as well. He gets given the Performance Slot Of Doom, scored with a 7 paddle (IN A STRICTLY SEMI FINAL), told he has trouble walking (lol) and in the end even Darcey turns her back on him. It’s kind of hard to watch. To be fair, his dances aren’t vintage Patrick – his ballroom frame in his waltz still looks odd and stiff, and his paso doble is, if anything, even more surreal than Mark’s. And that was disco-danced on Uranus to Sarah Brightman. Still it *is* to Patti Smith and Anya…well Anya apparently looked at her performance in the rumba last week and thought “that was a bit too naturalistic and, to be honest, I feel I could have overacted a bit harder” so…I kind of love it even though it is, objectively speaking, atrocious. If he doesn’t go home tomorrow I will PERFORM SOME SORT OF PRESERVING PROCESS on A VARIETY OF EDIBLE SEED.

Which really just leaves the remaining women to jostle their individual designated roles around in their slots to get themselves into the best possible position for the final showdown. Natalie, finally, happily, after 11 weeks of wafting around being weird and over-emotional and weepy and doing chewing gum faces and camera-hunting finally knuckles down and becomes the DIRTY COLD HARD SHINY RINGAH I knew she could be all along, throwing 50,000 unnecessary consecutive spins into her salsa and cackling “YOU’RE A VEGETABLE!” in Artem’s face before scoring a perfect 40 – Artem’s first (for once I think Kara ACTUALLY has cause to be jelus). She then goes on to do the best Argentine Tango of the series (apart from one bit where she decides to gurn down the camera-lens again for no reason, SORT IT OUT, GIRL, NOBODY WANTS TO SEE IT). Susanna meanwhile nestles down further into the opposite niche – the “valiant relatable trier” slot – as she reprises her samba with less fancy dress and less screaming “KEVIIIIINNNNNN!” (and therefore less amazingness) for her salsa, and a routine apparently based on Forrest Gump for her foxtrot which makes Craig (eternal enemy of the “valiant relatable trier” (unless he’s doing a 3 month stage tour with them obviously)) want to puke. Happily, everyone else adores it.

Sophie meanwhile continues two-fold on her Journey, collecting two Brownie Badges on her path to becoming Akela Of Dahhhhhnce. First of all her first bona-fide Latin Performance badge in the paso doble which she overacts terrifyingly, pulling the stroppy face to end all stroppy faces to the theme tune of The Apprentice whilst doing a lot of lovely spins on the floor to choreography that gets more laurels for Brenda from the judges but which for me, to be honest, whiffs ever so slightly of bacofoil. Second of all she gets her First 10 from (who else?) Bruno, for her American Smooth that of course fits her like a glove right down to the ridiculous last lift that seems to defy gravity.

So, Dirty Ringah, Plucky Trier and Woman On A Journey roles filled, what does that leave for Abbey? Where does she fit? I have to admit my own feelings are still slightly mixed. One side of me tugs against her, as she bibbles on endlessly about her NYERRRRRRRRVES and produces a George Michael themed samba that now holds the record for the highest scoring ever on the show despite being just more of her doing club dancing. The other side of me tugs in her favour, swept away by a genuinely quite captivating prom themed American Smooth and thinking she might actually be the best ballroom dancer of the series when she’s on form.

It’s a pickle.

All in all it may well be the best semi final the show’s ever had (although the competition is…not exactly fierce) if you ignore how all the VTs are the usual judges holodeck rubbish (“Natalie needs to make sure all her classic ballroom dances don’t look the same…now for her Argentine Tango!”) and one segment that seems to involve one woman doing a variety of comedy accents in a variety of different wigs over Skype so we can all pretend that Patrick, Abbey and Natalie have fans.


33 thoughts on “Strictly Come Dancing 11 – Week 12 Performance Summary

  1. Huriye

    On a par with the semi-final in series 2, where we had brilliant Pasos from Jill, Denise and Aled, but Julian got through to the Final to pretend he was a butch sailor and sweep Erin off her feet. Still perplexed about that one. No, I really enjoyed last night! 🙂 It was FUN! I had the Faith Samba in mind of Matt Dawson, but thankfully Abbey’s was stonkingly GOOD! Her straight leg action was technically very pleasing to the eye, and I loved the lazy way she just created SEX appeal as soon as she stepped past Aljaz in that gorgeous dress, looking a million dollars! I think he finally found himself in this week’s 2 choreographies – the American Smooth was charm personified – and at last created tailor made routines for Abbey, bringing out all her dancing talent and showing her personality. I still think she’s the ditziest contestant since Patsy Palmer in the Kiss & Cry, and I keep expecting her to blurt out the Scouse equivalent of “Cock-er-ney!” to Tess, a la Palmer, a la Lauren, a la Tate. But Abbey’s dancing speaks for itself, even if she can’t actually manage to. The way the Judges swooned for her AS and scored it ahead of Natalie’s AT and Sophie’s AS (Brenda was seething and ready to explode) you’d have to think she’d win a DDO against ANYONE! But I’m suspecting a Patrick exit v Susannah, though who knows?
    It was great to see Natalie finally getting some good choreography to dance to after several weeks of mediocrity. Both dances were technically very good, but frankly, Abbey and Sophie outshone her in terms of improvement and inner joy expressed on the dance floor.

    1. monkseal Post author

      I know the Series 2 semi left a lot of scars, but that was my first moment of Voting Triumph on Strictly ever. I was convinced there was no way we could keep Denise and Julian (easily my two favourites) and then somehow it happened.

  2. Dancing Cake

    I’m a bit shocked that Kartem never got a 40 … looking back, it feels like they must have had dozens, surely. So who did get 40s that series … anybody?

      1. Dancing Cake

        WHAT??? again … I didn’t realise till now that I have such selective memory. Or maybe the brain bleach really works!

    1. fembot

      Which Kartem dances could have been 40s? I think:
      1) AT
      2) Normal T (her best dance imo)
      3) Rumba
      I think her only disappointing dances were Cha-Cha and Jive, and I think her Salsa is still the best female Salsa evah.

      1. monkseal Post author

        Her Viennese Waltz would have got 40 if her foot hadn’t come off the floor in a drag/spin. Same with the rumba. I could have gone 10 for either of her tangos as well.

  3. pootle

    Still not seeing the wonder that is Abbey. Patrick’s 7 was appalling, though.
    Sophie is a tad undermarked, but maybe they’re doing it to bring out the best of Brendan so that’s ok.
    Love that KFG is such a hardcore pro-for-life that he tried both Cute Glasses and Tits to distract from her feet. In his first year!

  4. Kate

    Totally agree with you, Monkseal, about Abbey’s Samba vs her AS. I found the former bafflingly overmarked and not a million miles removed from her Salsa in terms of endless shimmies and wooden hip action and general disco theming, but was utterly and reluctantly captivated by her AS. Still thinking that Sophie and Smugsanna will sail through to the final leaving the DO between Patrick and either Abbey (cue hysterical tears and wailing about not wanting to go home yet, I can already feel the pain) or SMUG RINGAH Natalie. Patrick will definitely go – that Paso was mesmerisingly awful, stiff, flat footed and with all the irritated command and execution of a man taking wheelbarrow loads of manure to the compost heap – but the obvious point of interest will be whom he will face and what this will mean in terms of exit order in the Grand Final.. Not sure his waltz would beat Smugsanna’s FT, though that would be his best option, and either Natalie/ Abbey would sail through against him with either of their dances, unless Abbey’s NYYAIRVES get the better of her and she collapses mid DO.
    I liked both of Sophie’s dances, though the Paso was painfully overacted, and she looked very fragile and a little lost while out of hold in the AS. Smugsanna’s FT was bland to the point of utter beige, and her Salsa, as you pointed out, a lazy, heavy footed, messy reprisal of her Samba, with toned down boob action. Will Boobography become a new word in the Oxford Dictionary, along with Armography?
    As usual Natalie left me cold. Not because of her SMUG RINGAH status. As I think Bruno said, her AT was executed with careful, surgical precision, but lacked any kind of inner fire or connection with Artem, apart from maybe the last few leg movements (sorry, technicalities escape me) before the final hold. I don’t know what it is about the girl. Nothing against her personally, apart from the Eeyore braying, but despite her obvious technical proficiency, I find myself switching off with boredom when she dances. Something is missing.
    So, an all girl final, with Nartem first to exit next week, and probably Smugsanna, with a bottom of table score yet again, to heft the Glitterball. I am backing Sophie to win despite the charms of KFG’s glasses.
    Oh the Year of the Woman.

  5. Missfrankiecat

    I got really excited when I saw the opening of Brenda’s Paso with that crouched arm assisted spin making it look as if he was drilling poor Sophie into the floor. This augurs well for a show dance of Bacofoil epic ness. Having said that, I smiled like a soppy lunatic through their AS and I find Sophie the most watchable celeb in pretty much every dance. It is amazing that the now consistent back to the 50’s ballroom theme Kev/producers have for unmarried ambitious career woman mother of three Susanna seems to be so resonating with Joe Public. I am looking forward to Monkseal’s screen caps from the Tessanine, especially of Lithuanian contempt.

    1. Spongebob No Pants

      Bacofoil be damned: NO showdance Brenda can choreograph is going to stand an earthly against the epic Smugsanna gurn-a-thon/stomp-a-thon which is going to be unleashed upon the GBP next week. If she can do this to a poor, unsuspecting salsa then just WHAT is she going to like with the fetters OFF? The whole thing should be broadcast Clockwork Orange stylee to those Mumsnetters and others who are apparently voting for her in numbers that would be thought iffy in a communist ‘election’.

      1. Missfrankiecat

        I’m sure there”ll be epic gurning but I think there will be more hoofing than stomping from a KFG style show dance and very little lifting/hefting of the patented Brendan tradition. Much more a Tom Chambers style show dance if I read the Grimsby one’s machinations correctly. Like him or loathe him, he really doesn’t have Brenda’s delusional ambition in the choreography stakes and he knows his audience.

      2. monkseal Post author

        I don’t know – maybe not in a showdance but that quickstep I thought was absolutely over-ambitious, for all they claim it “went well in rehearsals”.

    2. pootle

      Just saw the Brenda Bacofoil Experience again and it looked like a spider trapped in a kitkat. I hope he manages to devise something similar for Sophie.

  6. katy

    Do you think Patrick has been told to pack his bags? He’s had this looks of resignation the last couple of weeks, which makes a nice change from the usual bot stare, but that wasn’t an enthusiastic Paso from him.
    Anya was certainly giving it what for though…

  7. ynysmon

    I have been on team Abby since she described the VW as “all twirly” so I am pleased she is filling her role
    Nobody makes me jump for joy like Chealsee used to
    Now all I want for Christmas is for at least one of the showdances not to be pants.
    Fairly unrealistic wish really.
    Main concern is what Kevin could achieve without any sort of control. Sophie potentially could put her foot down and demand decent dance. Artem will produce a tecno lift horror. I love Anya dancing herself and she has produced some wonderful choreo bit we are unlikely to see it. I have high expectations of Ajax but he is young and could become foolish, some sort of disco multi costumed horror rather than old school glamour

  8. minxy

    and about time the ringah did what a ringer is supposed to do again. Dance a lovely dance well and enthrall me in the early stages, before being dumped into 3rd or 4th place What’s the point in being a ringah otherwise? Trouble with being a ringah is that there is no real journey (yep I said the J word) to warm the cockles. And we do generally like our cockles warmed :).
    I really enjoyed last nights show and appreciate Patricks efforts (preferred Ashley tho) but time for him to go – he doesn’t hold my attention. Lol at Anya’s desperate overdancing again (but enjoyed it)- can someone inform her that that only works in the early stages.
    Such a shame Mark’s knees couldn’t hold out – just the thought of his and Iveta’s show dance … breaks my heart to not know what batshit Ivetamazingness they would have produced!

    I had forgotten about Abby in the early days being as closed in as Sophie still is. I love how Abby has taken on board that it produces a better experience for both her and us when she stops being so self conscious on the dance floor. Love that she goes WHEEEEEE! Loved both her dances last night and that AS was sublime.
    It was so good to see Susanna and Abby’s footwork get some good close ups (in the ball room at least) – and stand up to the scrutiny. Susanna’s latin was no messier than Alesha’s for me.

    I like Sophie as a dancer AND a person much more then expected, but her relaxing into properly dancing then retreating into merely doing the steps as she sinks in and out of letting loose and being self conscious really jars and spoils it. She knows how to not do it while singing and needs to transfer that performance confidence across – dammit woman it is only for 90 seconds! No glitterball for you if you don’t step up! She did it in the charleston and still kept her too cool persona

    Quite happy to have an all female finale – Natalie should be there but hopefully first boot, Susanna or Abby to win depending on who does the best on the night. Would be even happier if Sophie pulls her big girl panties up, really goes for it and makes it a proper 3 way fight to the last.

    Can we arrange somehow to have Claudia there instead of Tess. Just somehow – don’t need to know the details, since I want Bruce to do one last final before retiring.

  9. DJ Mikey

    Issues with Judges comments – I’m completely baffled that nobody, not even horrible Craig – who I love, mentioned Susanna’s complete and total lack of hip action during her Salsa. It was very boobalicious, but not even KFG’s lovely torso could distract from the lack of movement in those hips.

    Issues with the Colour Red – I get why Natalie was wearing Red during her AT, traditional colour for streetwalkers – blah blah blah. But did Artem have to wear Red too, my eyes are still recovering from that Hot Mess.

    Possibly controversial here, it’s my considered opinion that Sophie’s AS was better than Abbey’s. Both were technically very good, Sophie’s AS just had that magic quality, which I felt Abbey’s AS lacked.

    I didn’t notice if Abbey’s Samba was any good. Sue me, once Aljaz started moving his hips my powers of deductive reasoning, fine motor-skills and coherent speech completely abandoned me.

    If anybody tries to make me choose between Pasha and Aijaz, they will be killed horribly!

    Guess it’s not too much longer until we see how the YEAR OF THE WOMAN nonsense pans out.

    1. Huriye

      What amazed me was that Susanna and KFG were in their Salsa outfits and not their Foxtrot as their chosen dance for the DDO if needed. Really?! That is truly delusional, and would’ve undoubtedly lost against Patrick’s Waltz, so maybe it was a Hollywood or Bust move, I dunno? That one baffled me.

      1. Min

        I think all the couples were in their second dance outfits. Patrick was in his paso kit until they picked the waltz and went off for a quick change.

      1. Little Nemo

        I’m Team Nartem too! Sadly I don’t think they are going to win but I’m going to vote for them anyway and hope they get to do all 3 dances in the final.

        My favourite moment of Saturday’s show was Natalie screaming “You’re a vegetable” at Artem, hope you’ve got a screencap of that Monkseal 🙂

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