Waste not, Wonnacott.
We start with a pro routine.
It’s one of those stage-routines where yer two basic protagonists both start either side of a door and pound
and rub their bums up against it in frustration,
and it takes all the strength you have not to break the magic of theatre and just shout out for them to walk round the bloody side, if they’re that bothered, there’s no wall there. Then there’s
Janette on a swing, because if Janette has a role this series it’s “woman who sits on a swing/in a harness/tangled in a giant sky-hankie whilst everyone with a friend does the actual dancing”. Once she’s fallen off for the routine’s requisite “EXCITING MOMENT!” it all just descends into the usual shapeless “Latin Showcase”, this time being done to “Counting Stars” by OneRepublic. It probably feels more like they cut to Anton *every* time the singers get to the “old, but I’m not that old” line more than it actually happens to be fair, but I laughed anyway. All the men are fraught and manly, all the women have scribbles on their faces and pretending they’re erotic lizards…I dunno.
The band strikes up and out come Claudia and Tess, with Claudia
in a sparkly turquoise mermaid dress. She’s become so mainstream. Tess runs us through the highlights of last night – most principally Pixie having a fit of the vapours after the romantic and epic story of her dance hit a little too close to home, producing an emotionally raw moment of television ; and also when we almost saw Brendan’s cock and balls. What a rollercoaster of a night that was. Claudia tells us that our votes have been counted and verified and as usual the two least loved celebrities will enter into the dance-off, wherein they will be judged by
these four. Still dancing on, just a little less invested each time. By the end of the series they’ll just be walking and doing jazz hands. Well…it worked for Lisa Riley most weeks.
As well the fun of the foregone-conclusion-off, we are also going to be treated with Len’s Glans and a very special live performance from TONY GAGA. Claudia promises that, in honour of TONY GAGA, Len will be performing Len’s Glans for us, dressed in a “meat dress”.
Talk about mutton dressed as scrag end.
After a recap that is again, utterly Gregless (WHY?) we move right into our first round of beautiful, elegant, perfectly deployed with impeccable timing
Strictly Safety Sex-Faces. Our first couple in danger?
This pair. One woman squeals in horror, but that’s about it. Still, Tess tells us all that everyone’s IN SHOCK as the judges put on their best baffled faces,
as though Mark doesn’t perfectly embody the sort of “sort of mid-table-sort-of-alright” celebrity they have been drumming into our heads as the most constantly in danger for the last decade. In reality though, of course, the only person who’s in real shock here is
Scott, whose capacity to at the time give off every impression that he’d rather be in Tenko but after the fact tell everyone that he loves the show and wants to stay in never ceases to amaze me. Bruno at this point launches himself off into a mini rant about how we all have to vote for people in the middle of the leaderboard because we’re really creating very very very difficult situations for him. Yeah, I’m sure you pondered the hunky dunky vs Tim Wonnacott for all of about 5 seconds Bruno, can it. I’m not having the PURITY OF DAHNCE maundering extend out to cover Mark Wright, because he is seriously about 8th or 9th best out of everyone remaining and if you extend the amount of people you vote for you that far out to preserve DAHNCE, you might as well just give in, snap your elastic, and turn into Pauline Quirke and vote for everybody. Anyway, he tells Mark that he doesn’t deserve to be in the bottom 2 (why, did someone miscount the complete lack of public votes he apparently got?) and Mark does his best
Dr Hammie Humble Face. Tess asks him if he’s shocked to be in the Bottom Two and Mark says not, because Simon being in the Bottom Two last week shows that it can happen to even the most incredible dancers. At this he then starts tearing up, because the man literally cannot stop weeping. It was touching in Week 1 but I think he’s blown his Sensitive New TOWIE Man wad a little by now. Anyway, Tess asks Craig what Mark can do in the dance-off and Craig just goes on about how SHOCKED he is some more. His advice is to use his charm and smile and everything will be ok don’t worry pet. So many of this show’s gays seem to be (tony) GAGA for Mark Wright – maybe he just gives off a vibe in person. I fully expect Ian Waite to turn up for his Wednesday Warm-Up in full funeral gear.
Up on Claud 9 meanwhile
(remember, not a Theme Week), away from the SHOCK, Claudia asks Caroline how it felt to be top of the leaderboard. Caroline says that it was brilliant, and so unexpected, but every week from now on is just a bonus. Her only goal was to make it to Movie Week, and she DID IT, HOORAY! Yes, and you now appear to be stuck there. Claudia then turns to Simon and asks him to complete his One-Week-Charleston-Redemption-Arc by saying how great it is not to be in the Bottom Two and Kirstina’s all
“Yeah I’m crying back here, step it up a notch”. Simon just gives pure press-pack interview about how every week from here is just going to get better and better.
Claudia then turns to Judy and asks her if she thinks the nation is ready for her Charleston.
I don’t know about you, but I was born ready. Judy tells us all that she really thinks the Charleston is the dance for her, and I haven’t doubted someone’s sincerity more since the last time Tess spoke.
But screw that it’s time for
TONY GAGA. Just a hint to the pop community – if a duet comes across like you’re doing it as part of community service for a drink-driving charge, just say no. Apparently there’s a whole album of this shit. Lady Gaga (who I adore) shouting her way through the American Songbook dressed as Cher for some reason whilst Tony Bennett stares vacantly at her like he can’t believe he made it this many years into the 21st Century and occasionally parping out one of the three notes he can still do. A WHOOOOOOLE ALBUM. Tonight they’re singing “Anything Goes” and “It Don’t Mean A Thing”, periodically enlivened by Natalie Lowe
charging around breaking her own neck every 5 seconds whilst Trent tries to keep up. I would pay a large amount of money to see Natalie Lowe in a Lady Gaga video back when the latter gets back on with at least trying to have an actual career. I don’t think anyone embodies “Born This Way” more than Natalie Lowe, who probably came out the womb doing those patented head rolls. “SHE’S CROWNING…AND ROTATING!”
When they’re finished Lady
thanks Natalie and Trent for their services, whilst Tony eyes up a hot water bottle.
Anyway, such offerings…having been offered, it’s time for Len’s Glans where Bruno is doing his level best
to give Wardrobe yet another pair of trousers to sew up. We start with actually the first useful piece of slo-mo footage on Len’s Lens all series, showing the sway that Thom had in his foxtrot, as compared to the complete lack of it in his waltz. Len talks about how well he’s coming along and seriously,
could you have imagined him being this expressive in Week 1? Or anybody wanting him to be? Darcey next mumbles her way through talking about how impressive Steve’s lifts were, before Craig is asked to explain for us some of the more complicated dance-terms he used on Saturday’s show. This
is an Abbaesque, this is a
spit drag, this is
Kristina’s flaps. Sadly he’s never asked to explain what a truckin’ step is, because I’d like to truckin’ know if he could be truckin’ bothered to explain it to me. Bruno next covers just how high Jake’s knees got in his jive, as we watch many shots of him stomping so hard his trouser leg flaps up past his knees, and also Tim’s paso caping, which results in Bruno singing “SLIGHTLY DEPRESSED!” to the tune of “SIMPLY THE BEST!” which I would buy as a single, I don’t know about you”.
We close, as we must, on the sounds of Darcey SCREAMING over a shot of
Sunetra coming very very close to a literal rendering of the phrase “to prick up one’s ears”. And not an ADORABLE DANCING TODDLER IN SIGHT, PRAISE JEVUS. I guess Darcey’s skills at giving people constructive criticism about how to use their phone are about on the same level as that for dancing…
And now, back to Tess, for another round of the stars of our show
erm…shooting. Janette really does just have that one face doesn’t she? This leaves Scott and Tim waiting to see who gets fed to Mark, with the answer being
this’un. I’m guessing the public recognised the true peak of Natalie swishing her skirts to Tina Turner and knew it’d all be downhill from there.
Remember kids – he’s loving every second.
Once they’re over at Tess, she turns to Darcey and asks her, if Tim stays in the competition (lol) would it be possible for him to get better every single week and Darcey says “yes” rather than the actual answer, which is “yes until he gets rumba or salsa or samba or jive or American Smooth-Samba Fusion Week if we really can’t get rid of him”. Tess tells Tim that he loved the paso but CAN HE GIVE IT EVEN MORE ATTACK IN THE DANCE-OFF?
What I think I would have liked is if Tim had taken to the floor for his paso, lifted the cape, signalled to Natalie, and then just told the band to play “Don’t Stop Thinking About Tomorrow”, called everyone else to the floor, plus TONY GAGA, and done his Exit Dance there and then. Then told the judges to stick that in their pipes and score it. What he actually does, is say “sure”.
Tess asks Len to say “CAHM AHT” some more
he does so.
Back up to Claud 9 now where Claudia shrieks about how happy everyone is to be there as Scott
contemplates becoming a Se7en style serial-killer, bumping off a different person who voted for him each week in the style of whatever bloody stupid dance he was made to. (“COULDN’T BE HAVING A BETTER TIME, ZOE”). Claudia turns to Jake and discusses how he has to film the Eastenders Christmas Special next week at the same time as teaching Janette how to quickstep. Jake promises he’ll be practising with Dot in the launderette. It’s a Christmas Special, won’t someone be getting raped in there? Claudia then asks Alison how nervewracking being in the “Bottom 3” was, but Alison just wants to talk about how she’s got the tango next week, and this will give her the chance to get her hands on her “little Aljaz” again. Poor Janette.
Claudia asks Scott how he’s feeling. He says he’s feeling sick.
SIMPLY HAAAAAVING, A WONDERFUL STRICTLY TIME!
Claudia tells us that the dance-off is up next but first, here’s Robin and Ian being bitchy queens to one another.
Back to the Claud 9 balcony now, where our couples in danger await.
Remember – not a theme week. Claudia literally cannot think of anything to ask Mark and Karen beyond “HOW SHOCKED ARE YOU?” so just goes for the classic
YOUR WIDDLE FACE! bit. Always a reliable fall-back for Claudia that one. Quite funnily, asking Mark if he’s shocked, again, leads him to saying “as I said last night, I’m not shocked because Simon being in the dance off means…” etc etc. He literally cannot remember what day it’s supposed to be any more, bless him. It’s no wonder he made so many mistakes in the dance-off, the show’s broken his brain. Tess then turns to Tim and asks him how much he wants to be back on the show next week, and Tim asks her if she’s asking him to put a monetary sum on it. These antiquers. So mercenary.
However much he was willing to pay Evil Moira Ross In A Rainbow Wig though
it’s not enough. (Mark cries again – Natalie calls him “babyface”)
For his leaving, Tim gives a very sweet little speech about how before Strictly he was feeling fat and past it but now Natalie has left him feeling thinner, vital and a better man, and it really has been a very special experience, but sod all that
DANCE TIM DANCE!