There’s 15 couples still in, so let’s break this down by genre for ease of digestion :
Waltz : Tim and Jennifer find themselves locked in a fierce battle to see who can do the most “awwwwwww” inspiring older person waltz. And whilst Jennifer might have a cute Irishman and Aretha Franklin on her side, Tim has his actual adoring wife, Disney’s “When You Wish Upon A Star” and a GIANT ACTUAL STAR WITH NATALIE LOWE IN IT, so he wins by TKO. Left to try to be actually good is Pixie who is, quite, but for the second week in a row her VT is her constantly saying how very very busy and in demand she is and it feels a bit desperate in a way that her dancing isn’t. Also they made Trent straighten his hair and wear brown which I’m very much not in favour of.
Tangos To The Worst Music Choices Possible : Caroline has some unidentifiable CLUB BANGAH and it doesn’t really work, Simon has Ed Sheeran (?) and it kind of works out of hold but not so much in it, and Scott has STOP! BY THE SPICE GIRLS (?!??!?!?!?!?!) and he and Joanne are two teens in love who live next door to one another in the 1960s and oh God none of this makes any sense please pick more appropriate songs next week producers for the love of God tango is my favourite dance on Strictly and you are ruining it with this GARBAGE, was Natalie Gumede last year’s wrecked tango not enough?
Foxtrots Mostly Out Of Hold With The Occasional Lift : OK, Mark’s doing an actual American Smooth and Alison’s just doing a foxtrot mostly out of hold with a lot of tittyography but I actually end up forgiving her and preferring hers because she and Aljaz together are a fireball of sex and Mark’s supposedly romantic classic Hollywood dance is limper than Gregg’s wrist in a cha cha. For the second week in a row his theme is entirely random – he’s Karen’s saucy gardener but it’s all really less Lady Chatterley’s Lover and more Lady Chatterley’s Gay Brother Who Models For Matalan At The Weekend.
Charleston : Gregg spends most of his charleston titting around with a cake and then he sticks his face in it at the end, and I pity any of you who bought that line they were selling on It Takes Two this week that he was going to redeem himself with this because LOL.
Rock N Roll : I mean God bless Kevin for his absolute refusal to accept that nobody liked the Rock N Roll in Series 7 (partly because it’s just swing dancing in leather jackets, and partly because it was being danced by a CRIMINAL and Natalie Cassidy who, lest we forget, was too tall for it) but when something is advertised as a Charleston then nobody’s expecting to see two people dressed like it’s the 50s dancing like its the 50s to a song about the 50s. At least Frankie is trying to show some personality. Trying.
Salsambcha : This is really where all the action is though. Thom’s still deathly boring and Steve is still far far camper than he will ever allow himself to believe he is (and still following Chris Hollins’ trajectory through the competition by the way) but in the other three performances we have Strictly moments for the ages. Sunetra breaks through her sarky, chippy and generally too-cool-for-school exterior with a female-empowerment themed cha cha to Whitney Houston that feels a bit like the last few triumphant shots of a Weight Watchers advert. She weeps afterwards. Jake breaks through the perception that he might be a one-dancce-wonder by breaking out all over the place in a salsa which features a display of utter spine-bending insanity from Janette that reminds me why I was so excited by her being a pro in the first place. I weep afterwards. And immediately after JUDY MURRAY has a full body breakdown on the floor as she does a tennis-themed cha-cha in which Anton STICKS HIS FACE IN HER HOO HOO IN THE FIRST 30 SECONDS and then she just kind of wanders around post-coitally confused. Scotland weeps afterwards.