Strictly Come Dancing 12 – Week 5 Performance


Last week : TONY GAGA.

This week : as the competition is now really hotting up (is it ever not? is every week now the week the competition REALLY GETS STARTED? is this show now in fact just one big let-down boyfriend claiming that THIS WEEK WILL BE BETTER, WE’LL VOTE SCOTT MILLS OFF, THIS TIME, I SWEAR, IT’LL BE DIFFERENT, NOW GIVE ME THE DOOR KEYS BACK PLEEEEEEEEEASE?) the contestants are really getting down to learning their routines properly.

So many films Thom will be in in LA will be advertised with shots like that one. Before you turn the age-filters off.



The band strike up, and Tess and Claudia descend to the dance-floor, accompanied by Aljaz and Kevin.

If this were any other human being you could make a joke about how she’d dressed for Hallowe’en Week too early by mistake but…it’s Claudia, man. She doesn’t need a festival to dress like Alice Cooper’s lovechild. They welcome everybody as we learn that

Judy has half-delivered on her promise. Unless Andy’s outside in the car playing The Simpsons : Tapped Out on his iPhone and eating a McDonalds. Hey, he said he’d COME. He never said that he’d WATCH. Claudia reminds us that last week Mark defeated “Lovely Tim” in the dance-off, leaving us with our final 12. Tonight they will dance, and then the war between Judy and Scott fans over who is the worst and who is in fact only the second-worst will claim another innocent victim. Said dance-off will be presided over by the “FOUR WHO SCORE” (as opposed to the DONNY WHO’S THANKFULLY GONE-Y), the judges. Now I’m not doing shots of the judges making tits of themselves by twirling on like cut-price Go-Go Boys at Madam Jojos every week, because this blog is a hive of bitchiness and negativity enough. Let’s instead marvel at the fact that

Claudia’s dress has wings.

Oh alright just the one.

That button is doing God’s work isn’t it? I long for Katya to come back just so she could say “I seen you doing a little cha cha” and then kiss her teeth one last time. Claudia instead tells us that next week the judges will be sky-diving in. Maybe Craig could use that jacket as a parachute?

Once the stars of our show are out, Claudia tells us that all 12 couples still in are desperate to make it through to Hallowe’en Week. At this point Trent looks to camera as if to say

“Hallowe’en What now?”. I hope Trent is here to inherit Artem’s mantle of hating (/pretending to hate whilst secretly loving) dressing up. Tess closes out our intros by telling us that LAST WEEK’S SHOCKING RESULT SHOWS US THAT NOBODY IS SAFE. Yes, the 61 year old antiques expert who danced like he’d put his trousers on back-to-front and also somehow upside-down went home. If you want an answer as to why I’m actually more excited than disappointed over Thom leaving this week, there’s your answer. THAT’S A SHOCK BOOT PEOPLE. NOW REMEMBER WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE AND DON’T MISIDENTIFY ONE IN FUTURE.

Jake Wood & Janette Manrara dancing the quickstep

Fun Fact : Tess somehow leaves out the “n” in Janette’s surname, which makes it sounds like she’s actually shouting for someone to “JANET MY RARA!”. Maybe leave that sort of talk for Vernon, Tess. Anywho, Tess introduces this pair by telling us that Jake surprised Janette this week by suggesting that he and she go for a spa, but sadly not the kind involving pedicures and seaweed wraps. I was really hoping that this would somehow result in a comedy VT where Janette was sent down the corner shop for a Lion Bar and a Rubicon Mango (SPAR! SPAR! DO YOU SEE?) but sadly no…

In his VT, Jake says that he loved his jive what a great dance such fun being elvis and shaking my hips i just loved doing it now ive got a man crush on bruno what amazing scores what a feeling being top of the leaderboard

with all the joy and enthusiasm of someone who’s just discovered it’s Tax Return Day.

He closes by saying that he’s really glad that finally, after years of struggle, people are calling him Jake in the street and not Max, thanks to his exposure on Strictly Come Dancing. Meanwhile on It Takes Two there are constant references to contestants called Sinatra, Sinitta, Sinitra, Soonetta and Browny Susan. You don’t how good you’ve got it Jake, you really don’t.

In training, Janette tells Max that he’s doing the quickstep this week, and it’s a really high-energy dance. Why do I get the feeling that with Janette, every dance is a high-energy dance? After their waltz she probably drank three Red Bulls and ran round the car park in her pants just to burn some of the pent-up hyperness off. Somehow she inveigles out of Jake that he occasionally does some boxing, and tells him that they should train together, as sparing really would help with quickstep footwork, as ably demonstrated by every boxer who’s ever done one of these shows anywhere in the world ever. So, you know,

this happens, with Janette screeching “LET’S GET READY TO RUMBA!!!!!!!!!!!” as they enter the building and Jake looking like he quite wishes he had dropped her on her face in the salsa and got a new one. Jake ducks and weaves and Janette looks so comfortable stood there in her helmet and mouth-guard that I wonder if Aljaz has ever taken her in the ring before.

To do some boxing. Hem.


So the idea is that Jake is stood there blocking the tube doors reading the paper and then Janette, a high-powered businesswoman clatters into him whilst running to get to work

and then MISSES HER TRAIN and then they quickstep. Dancers officially solve more daily conflicts with “…and then they dance” than porn films solve them with “…and then they have sex”. Anyway, the key point here is that Jake and Janette are doing their quickstep to “I’m Still Halfpenny” as sung by St Jill Of Halfpenny and which she danced her iconic holy jive to way back in Series 2. That the same song how now been used for such diverse genres as jive, salsa, and now quickstep…well, it suggests something about who’s picking the songs, for sure. AND ALL THREE TIMES POSSIBLY DANCED TO BY A CHAMPION, THINK ON THAT. I guess this show could have a worse patron saint than Elton John, and he’d make a better guest judge than Donny Osmond (“OLA, I’M GIVING YOU A 1 COZ YOU’RE A RUDE VILE PIG, RIGHT I’M LEAVING, START THE LIMO MY PARTNER DAVID FURNISH”).

Oh right, Jake’s doing a quickstep. Quite well. His ballroom face in particular is

impeccably snooty. I think the song’s a bit too fast for the dance and there’s a couple of lifts at the end

which don’t really add anything, but other than that there’s next to no gapping, there’s quite a bit of variety in the steps (no “run round the floor, do some Charleston, run round the floor again” here), and a certain amount of playfulness which really suits Jake’s personality.

Not his best dance (something I get the impression you could say every week for the next two months) but better than last week.
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THE END. (Now that the Man In The Hat isn’t here, I do only really take pleasure from the band in the occasional baleful glares that Davearch gives the celebs, like the Phantom) (Also I hope she realises he’s nicked her briefcase).

It gets a Standing Ovation that goes on forever, including a look on Barbara Windsor’s face like she’s actually

experiencing the Rapture. If this can encourage her to take part in the show herself, all’s the better. Tess starts for the judges by asking Len if all that boxing training paid off and Len replying YES IT DID because the footwork throughout was on-point and the whole dance was light and fast, although JAKE did lose definition in his hold a bit as the dance went on. The audience boo this and Len yells

I’M NOT WELL! It’s just a cold though. He’s not making an announcement or anything. Babs meanwhile is still

tip-toeing around with the angels. Has Len maybe been sharing that flu medication around I ask myself? Bruno is next, and congratulates Jake for MINDING THE GAP (lol) and says that’s something he always watches out for. Except maybe when it’s leggy models eh Bruno? He says the dance had “blokish, business-like efficiency” which sounded more complimentary in his head I’m sure.

Tess reminds Craig that last week he said that he wanted Jake to “improve with his arms” and Craig replies that they were admittedly slightly better this week, but Jake was dancing with his frame and pushing Janette around rather than letting his legs do the leading and carrying her with him. Also stuff about loose ankles and turned out pinkie fingers and all the stuff that Craig says about sundry minor body parts that nobody ever listens to. Darcey closes by saying THE BOYS ARE RIGHT. From now on, every time Darcey says THE BOYS ARE RIGHT I’m going to leave her as redundant as she’d clearly like to make herself.

Up to Claud 9 they punch, where everyone is applauding for them (/checking under the sofas to make sure Barbara hasn’t crawled up there to wait for him) and Claudia notes that Jake is one of the few celebs who actually likes going on first. Jake replies that is indeed an honour and privilege to get to open the show (/drink the pain of watching Judy Murray/Comedy VTs/Pasha trying to act away before it happens). Claudia then asks Janette what she thought of the judges’ comments and she gives a total politician’s answer about how they’re right and she appreciates the feedback, at which point Trent gives her a look of such

withering disdain I almost wonder if he’s one of her infamous BACKSTAGE BUM THE FLOOR CONQUESTS. Finally we get the very proud and humbling moment for me personally of

one of my spreadsheets being aired on national tv. LOL, not really, it’s just something Jake’s kids have knocked up. Meanwhile Digital Spy Mentals start a thread about how his kids have ZOMG ALREADY STARTED WRITING IN DATES FOR WEEKS THEY DON’T KNOW HE’S QUALIFIED FOR YET ZOMG SO ARROGANT and/or produce conspiracy theories about how IT SEEMS THE MORE OF HIS FAMILY ARE WATCHING THE BETTER HE DOES, ALMOST AS THOUGH THE BBC HAVE TOLD THEM BEFOREHAND HMMMMMMMMM? Anyway, scores are in


Sunetra Sarker & Brenda Cole dancing the Viennese Waltz

Before her VT, Tess gets Bruno to explain to us how the Viennese Waltz worked, just like Darcey taught us all how to do the rumba a few weeks ago. All I ask is that, in two weeks time or so when the first Argentine Tangos come in, we aren’t told how to do one by Len. I don’t think my stomach could take another round of greasy brothels and dirty pampers.

Anyway, Sunetra was really pleased with how her salsa went, because she finds she normally struggles with the high-energy numbers. By which she means she hates Party Latin. You can see it in her eyes. If she never has to do another hip-wiggle it’ll be too soon. She goes on to say that she doesn’t take her place in the competition for granted and thanks everyone at home who voted for her with a very Scouse thumb-up. Oh Sunetra, if you’re not jumping up and down and clutching yourself and doing this :

nobody’s going to notice. Note there is no mention made in the entire VT of the great Brenda Cole Trouser Explosion, more’s the pity.

Training now and Brenda tells us that Sunetra will be dancing her Viennese Waltz to “Anyone Who Had A Heart” by Cilla Black. NO. IT IS BY DIONNE WARWICK BRENDA, SIT DOWN. (My least favourite part of the Cilla version isn’t even her voice, it’s those drums that sound like somebody’s actually headbutting them)

After a little while of rehearsal, Sunetra reveals she is having trouble keeping her

usual ballroom composure and dignity in all of the spins. She sits Brenda down and asks him, as a dancer, how he copes with all the spins. Brenda gives her a very sage lesson on spotting and moving the focus of your eyes as you turn and then

spins her round on a roundabout in a kiddy playground (which Brendan hilariously calls an “adventure playground”, yeah, you keep on telling yourself that love) until she pukes THE END. Note that this VT is soundtracked both by Spinning Around AND You Spin Me Round. Sadly nothing by The Detroit Spinners or The Spin Doctors though.


Despite being danced in the name of Cilla, I actually really like this Viennese Waltz. There’s a nice sense of

melodrama without it tumbling over the edge into parody – in that sense it really builds on what Patsy and Robin did with the same song back in Series 8. Sunetra does wounded and untrusting very well and the whole dance has a great sweep and elegance about it. By the end she is starting to look a little green about the gills and there are a couple of stumbles, but I’m really happy that Sunetra is kicking things into a higher gear just as mid-table placements start to get important vis-a-vis survival. In retrospect, probably one of my favourite dances of the series so far.

Bruno starts for the judges, saying that the content was spot on, and then for the second week in a row implies that everything great about the routine was due to Brendan and that Sunetra is a

no-neck monster. I’m not sure what Bruno and Sunetra’s feud is over, but it’s one of the more charmingly daffy ones I’ve ever seen, especially as it doesn’t ever seem to effect his score for her. At least this week Brenda disagrees, saying that Sunetra was definitely involved in that routine, and that he can’t move across the floor without a little help from “MY GIRL”. SHE’S 41 BRENDA etc etc. Craig follows, saying that he liked Sunetra’s double-spin, but she needs to stop looking at the floor so much and extend her lines a bit more.

Darcey follows, saying that Sunetra is definitely more at home in-hold than out of it and she needs to lower her shoulders when she raises her arms above her head. Len finishes by saying that actually, he loved it, especially the mixture of steps and the fact that Sunetra didn’t lurch forward as is so easily done in the Viennese Waltz. Apparently.

Up to Claud 9 they honk, where Claudia asks Sunetra if it’s true that she watches herself back on Sundays and marvels at how great she was. What a…leading question Claudia. Sunetra replies that it’s really more a matter of disbelief that she’s actually doing the show that compels her to watch, to ensure it is in fact real, and she did in fact dance a cha cha to Gloria Estefan on national tv in which she played the bongos and Brenda Cole’s dick almost fell out. Claudia congratulates Brenda on his choreography next and Brenda says that he can’t take all the credit, that was a co-production with Anya Garnis. I’m so sad that he had to say both her names and still nobody at home will remember who she is. COME BACK SOON ANYA. I MISS YOU. Scores are in


Scott Mills & Joanne Clifton dancing the Charleston

Tess tells us that in this dance Scott will be playing a photographer, and taking a photo of the judges. And so in that spirit, she asks Craig to give us his best smile.

I bet that’s the face he does when he farts. Bet you anything.

In his VT, Scott says that up until now he’s felt like he was progressing (?) but after his American Smooth last week he thinks he might be back at Square One. Personally I don’t think the board on which Scott is playing this game has squares. Just impressionistic squiggles over terrified looking faces and instructions to PLAY YOUR WICKED WANGO CARD NOW OR DIE. Basically, if the board game of Scott’s Strictly journey was made into a Jumanji style film it would get an 18 certificate and only be sold on the Internet in brown paper bags and everyone who watched it would be found dead three days later. The show plays out black and white shots of the offending dance in slow-motion accompanied by Lana Del Ray wailing about the West Coast Death of the American Dream.

It’s haunting. Anyway we’re reminded that Craig told Scott that he’d never be able to dance and then Scott called Craig mean and so on and so on. Sadly we’re not reminded of the clip on It Takes Two where Karen Hardy said that Craig was wrong and that anybody can be taught to dance and Zoe Ball then asked her “so what about Gary Rhodes then?” although that latter part may just have happened in my head.

Training now, and their antics have become so juvenile that they’re actually

flailing around on the floor like toddlers whilst talking to one another. (Fun Game : find any shot of Scott in any episode that you wouldn’t use to illustrate the concept “Suicide Risk”). Anyway, this is our episode where the Inept Contestant du jour shows us that they are training so so so hard, honest, and to illustrate this “comedically”, Joanne accompanies Scott to his day job of sitting down and chatting about nothing for three hours a day. There they rehearse

IN A LIFT ZOMG SO DEDICATED. Of course that’s not the first time people have opened up the Radio 1 lifts and found a man and a lady in that position. After a while of trudging around Radio 1 periodically doing the Oops Upside Your Head, Scott

murders Joanne and looks for somewhere where nobody goes to hide the body. THE STRICTLY SE7EN SERIAL KILLER STRIKES AGAIN.

Sleep forever, Clifton.


So the idea is that Joanne, despite her Human League haircut is in fact a sophisticated 1920s lady waiting to get her photo taken by Scott, before a Charleston is danced to “What A Picture” by Tommy Steele. This on-going quest to portray the Charleston as having its roots in the East End music halls will never not baffle me. As for the dance

it’s kind of hard to convey just what a shower it is. Everything’s stomped out, the whole thing has clearly been hung around lyrics eg “NOW WHEN THE CHOREOGRAPHY SAYS CLAP YOUR HANDS THEN YOU LET JOANNE CLAP YOUR HANDS AND TRY NOT TO FALL OVER” like he’s dancing to Superman by Black Lace, every single lift

reminds me of my own mortality even more than Bruce’s face used to, there’s one point where Joanne just falls on her arse and Scott’s awkward attempts to pull her back up somehow make it worse

and then they’re off time and have to rush things and oh god it’s just awful.

Awful awful awful.

I find him wanting to stay if only because I do still, despite everything, think he could do, like, a nice waltz or something and then go home happy but the show just will not let him. I think we’ll have to force them through the rumba, the jive, and probably two paso dobles before it’d happen and I’m not sure it’s worth it.

Tess starts for the judges and asks Craig if he’s going to be more positive this week and

he can pull this panto face all he likes, he still gives it a four which is six more than it deserved so I’m ignoring his comments. Darcey follows by saying that she thinks Scott really pulled that off well, and had a nice cheeky character going on. She was however, a bit worried at all the points where Joanne nearly died and she recommends that Scott…wait for it…strengthen his core. I think that’s our first core-strengthening of the series isn’t it? Surprised it took this long.

Len follows saying that the lifts were more CRASH BANG WALLOP than FLASH BANG WALLOP (I dunno Len, Joanne was flashing quite a bit…) but Scott got through it, and it was fun. I’ll be the judge of that Len, thanks. Bruno closes by saying that Scott’s dance skills are unique. In that there’s only one of them, yes. And even that might be over-estimating things. He tells Scott that he could be the love-child of Ann “Witticombe” and John Sergeant.

Let’s all imagine Ann Witticombe having a gay child shall we?

Up to Claud 9 they crash, with Scott apologising to Joanne for the lift on the way up. Just the one? Claudia tells Scott that he looks really pleased and he says that he is. Claudia grins that it was his best dance yet, and his father and boyfriend in the audience must be so proud. Oh…that explains it then. Scores are in


Scott then looks down the camera

and asks to be voted through to Hallowe’en Week

for reasons that I’m guessing will involve a lot of bloodshed.

THAM EFANS & Iveta Lukosiute dancing the cha cha

In his VT Thom tells us that he was over the moon last week to get through his entire foxtrot without making one mistake. Well…other than that hat. We’re reminded that Len called his routine “bloomin lovely” to which Thom replies “well Len’s bloomin lovely so I’ll take it any day”. Steady on Thom, you’re not on the casting couch yet. Thom closes by saying that he was so glad to have his brother in the audience, because they’re very close and it really helped his performance.

Training now and



Thom and Iveta are doing their cha-cha to “It’s My Party” by Jessie J, which contains the line “you think I tweet too much?” which, yes, I am taking as a shout-out. Mostly to get myself through the pain of having to watch a dance done to Jessie J’s 12th song about how everyone’s mean to her. (Why has nobody done a dance to Bang Bang yet? I demand it! It’s, like, her only good one.) The clear highlight here is

Iveta’s dress, which is a truly sexy Christmas-tinsel-trampy-y delight of all-fringing-all-the-time swishing and swirling. Unfortunately, Iveta’s commitment to the best high fashion hookerware does mean that every movement of her own hips is highlighted to the max, leaving Thom looking a bit outmatched in comparison. He’s pretty much relegated to a very supportive pole that she uses for leverage, occasionally breaking off to do a couple of in da club moves on his own before resuming duties. I mean…he’s fine at it, but really Iveta, you should never let your clothing out-dance your celebrity partner.


It gets one of those Standing Ovations where the front row are very definitely sat down, so when Tess yells “LOOK THOM, EVERYONE’S ON THEIR FEET FOR YOU!” she’s jabbing directly at them so it’s extra awkward. Darcey starts for the judges, saying that she could see Thom was slightly overwhelmed by Iveta at the beginning (weren’t we all?) but he really warmed into the routine as he went on. He should be proud, especially given as how cha cha is a very difficult technical dance AND so hard for the male celebrities to do. My eyes roll so hard that briefly a little Ukrainian gymnast starts running around inside them. Len follows, saying that Thom didn’t really know what to do with his arms or his feet (Len is clearly expecting boos here to springboard off into yelling at the audience from but none come) but erm…he CAME AHT WEW DONE.

Tess asks Bruno now if he’d like to party with Thom and Bruno replies OF COURSE, because truly Thom is the toy-boy for any occasion! In fact “He goes with anything!” (God but I hope that was shade on Kelly Brook). Bruno goes on to congratulate Thom on finally growing a personality though. Woo! He does think that dance looked more “disco salsa” than cha cha. Well as a disco salsa I’m sure you’ll be rushing to give it a 10 Bruno (*cough*WAGGYBLOODYCLANCY*cough*) Craig finishes by calling Thom pigeon-toed and saying that he needed a straighter leg but he quite liked the grinding. Well quite.

Up to Claud 9 they swizzle, where Claudia immediately gives a shout-out to Thom’s mum, who has come all the way from Portugal

and who quickly puts on the glazed rictus grin civilians in the audience of this show always put on when they realise that they’re on camera. Thom’s thankee this week? Claudia. For looking so lovely. Claudia makes a big show of being flattered of course and then gives the camera a look to show that

she wasn’t born yesterday. She then gets Thom to share that, as a human, he’s always been competitive with himself and never other people. Didn’t he used to play rugby? How did that work? It’s almost as though he just speaks in bland media-friendly bollock-bites isn’t it? Scores are in


Frankie Bridge & Kevin Clifton dancing the foxtrot

Tess reminds us that last week was Kevin’s birthday, but this week Frankie had to organise a birthday party for an even more important guy in her life. Her manager? Her hairdresser? Greg The Floor Manager (an important presence in all our lives)? The Man In The Hat? LET’S FIND OUT!

In her VT, Frankie says that she was really nervous because she was first out to perform, but she felt like she just had to go out there and do her best. Oh Frankie. You don’t “go out”, you “CAHM AHT”. Two points off. She goes on to say that she wasn’t confident about the cha cha at all but what do you know, she still got 8s. Such are the benefits of the young and the beautiful on this show I guess.

In training now, possibily anticipating a foxtrot, the most boring of all the dances ahead of her, Frankie finally decides to DROP THE BOMB

and send Baby Wars to the next level. His name’s Parker. Her husband turns up as well but…come on, nothing’s overshadowing that.


This is a bit…erm…bright. Actually the whole thing veers horribly towards the twee right from the outset.

I have to say, my least favourite dances of the Kevin and Susanna pairing last year (other than the Argentine Tango *shudders*) were those where Kevin’s 1950s side came out, just because it all felt like he’d got his vision of the era from a kids colouring book in which neon crayons had been used. I appreciate the need to gussy up a foxtrot but this is a bit much. There’s a lot of skipping and arm-crossover-games and chirpiness and “CHEER UP SLEEPY JEAN!!!” from the band and it’s all a bit HOORAY FOR EVERYTHING! Frankie’s foxtrot technique seems good though (footwork wise if not in terms of posture), and the dance itself has a certain charm to it. Never did I think I’d be saying that I’d appreciate a foxtrot with fewer trimmings, but here we are.

Oh Lord I just noticed that those clouds are made out of actual balloons. Hold me.

It gets a Standing Ovation, which Tess of course points out to Frankie. Frankie’s reaction is probably my favourite yet, as she actually goes “n’awwwww!” like Tess is in fact Parker and showing Frankie that he went potty like a good boy. Len starts for the judges, saying that he’s missed Frankie dancing ballroom, because she floats across the floor like butter on a hot crumpet. She has to avoid leaning on Kevin so much (well in that PURPLE VELOUR who can blame her?) but otherwise it was good. Bruno follows and says he liked Frankie’s transformation over the routine from youthful and bashful and coy

(sorry, Bruno’s attempt at being “coy” just cracked me up) to full on showbiz razzamatazz at the end.

Craig is next and says that he liked her mellifluous opening and loved the genuine sweetness, but she needs to go more extreme with her top-line. Darcey closes by saying that the boys are right *fast forward*

Up to Claud 9 they sweep, where Claudia immediately offers her services for baby-sitting Parker. Imagine. You’d come back and find him dressed in eye-liner and learning how to pick locks and throw popcorn so it lands perfectly in the middle of somebodies tits. Claudia asks Frankie if she enjoyed that and she

genuinely looks a bit like she did bless her. Maybe it’s just coming so soon after Scott who says “I LOVED IT” a bit like he’d got a toothy beej but it as the guy’s first time and he doesn’t want to offend, but it’s nice to see someone actually enjoying themselves. Kevin closes with a joke about cheese & onion crisps for which Ola does not realise she’s supposed to react

for a bit too long. Scores are in


Alison Hammond & Aljaz Skorjanec dancing the tango

Tess tells us that this week, Alison has been living the life of…Riley. Oh joy.

In her VT, Alison says that her samba last week was a dream – she was on form, the judges were smiling, the Beyonce was playing, Aljaz was in tight trousers. See, this is the sort of moment I want for Scott. Does that make me so wrong? Have I become so soft?

Training now and

I love Alison’s top here. Really she’s only second to Iveta now in terms of my favourite training room garb and…well let’s face it, Iveta will rule that for as long as she’s here. Alison tells us that she’s feeling very tired and needs advice on how to get through Strictly as a larger lady with a larger lady’s needs and bone structure. Aljaz says that he knows just the person to teach her :

Lesson 1 : Get a swell head because you did the splits one time
Lesson 2 : Start claiming you invented the cha cha
Lesson 3 : Vanity-search Google for every time your name is mentioned and bury the offenders under a barrage of “HOW NICE THAT THAT’S YOUR OPINION HUN, HAVE A GREAT DAY!”
Lesson 4 : Jazz hands jazz hands jazz hands

Please note, all of this is soundtracked by “Big Girls You Are Beautiful” by Mika because of course it is. Every larger woman longs to be compared to an actual balloon. Anywho, Alison and Lisa bond and the look of absolute terror on Aljaz’s face

is worth it.


They’re dancing their tango to “Addicted To You” by Avicii and I’m sorry but we have three tangos at most left this series and if one of them isn’t to music that even remotely works I am HUNTING YOU DOWN, DART-THROWING SONG CHOICE MONKEY. Alison starts off by getting a headache

which we all learnt on It Takes Two is her way of getting her tango face going. From there it’s kind of obvious that

they’re doing a lot of extraneous drama to avoid ever getting into hold. Ever. This would be less noticable maybe if Lisa Riley hadn’t just spent an entire VT telling Alison how to get into hold. It’s also all a bit soft and weepy for me – I’m not here to see Alison Hammond play the victim of a cad or to show her tenderness. Maybe in a waltz or a rumba. Actually when she’s in hold

I don’t mind her frame. It’s just that there’s not a lot of it. I mean she’s rattling around in there like one of those ride-on floor sweepers but…it’s the thought that counts.

All a bit heatless really.

Once she’s over at Tess, Alison immediately points out that

Wardrobe seem to have bought a job lot. I guess there are only so many lorries in the world that stuff can fall off the back of. Bruno starts for the judges, saying that he found Alison’s dance…intriguing and he can see she put a lot of effort in…and he loved the drama but…the technique wasn’t good. Niice stalling there, subtle. Craig follows saying that he doesn’t even think it had drama – it was just a poor effort all round. Aljaz’s sad face is

really quite something. He says sorry to Alison for choreographing such an undramatic routine (bawwwww) and then she pulls things back by saying, right-at-him, perfectly equably “I always listen to Craig because I like to listen to what you’ve got to say, so I’ll take that on board babes”. It’s the “babes” that makes the passive-aggression exquisite. And the finger-pointing.

Tess asks Darcey if she saw any improvement in Alison’s feet, and Darcey ignores her entirely to tell Alison to focus on her transitions. She did like the drama though, personally. Len closes by telling Alison to ignore Craig entirely and then says that it did take a while for Alison to get into hold, but that’s probably for the best because it was just Aljaz getting the best out of her. Everyone claps and cheers like Len didn’t just basically tell Alison to not even try to do ballroom because she’s too fat for it. Heartening words.

Up to Claud 9 they stalk, where Claudia asks her if she enjoyed doing something so different to the stuff she’s done before. Alison says that she agreed with the judges, she thinks she should have been much closer in hold to Aljaz the whole time.

Much much closer. Much much much much closer. Scores are in


Mark Wright & Karen Hauer dancing the samba

The sight of Claudia yelling out of her eye-hole is genuinely pretty disturbing. Please let her host the entirety of Hallowe’en Week from under a sheet I would pay cash money for it.

In his VT, Mark says that he was feeling nervous before his dance last week (and cried) but then the dance itself actually “went good” (so he cried again) so he thought he might not be in the dance-off but then oh no he was (so he cried). Karen says it was a shock to be in the dance-off (not to see Mark crying, he does that literally every 5 seconds) but they went out there and gave it their all. The VT then ends with Mark saying “THANK YOU SO MUCH!” to…I dunno, the judges and

oh God he’s off again. Do you think Claudia knew that when she applied her delicate little butter-knife to his head in Week 1 that his mental egg would so irreparably scramble?

VT time now, and Karen says that she thinks that Mark has lost his confidence after being in the dance-off, so she’s going to take him out to a club.

With all his mates to stand around him and have BANTER with him about how he’s good but he’s not Thom Evans hurr hurr ESSEX.

LADDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDS. Mark tells us that this was all a big help, and he could on such a high that he pulled his worm out again and that’s quite enough of that thank you.


I love that Craig and Bruno are at least pretending to look out onto the dance-floor whilst Darcey is blatantly just staring at Mark’s arse. She does have some use sometimes I guess. Her face once he gets going is

a picture as well. Mark is doing his salsambchaco to “That’s The Way I Like At”, as previously sung behind a door by Alison Hammond’s Big Brother 3 nemesis Alex Sibley. They’re clearly just doing this to taunt her. Next week Pixie does an conceptual American Smooth themed around the horrors of pissing in the shower whilst yelling “SANDY BE CAREFUL”. This dance? It’s very very pink and very very camp and very very very disco and Karen takes the idea of hiding her partner behind her fringing

even further than Iveta did, but it’s so much more fun than what Thom did a few minutes ago that it’s easy to forgive her. Actually Karen seems utterly possessed by…

something throughout, because her knees are knocking like Elvis looking through a peep-hole into the ladies changing rooms. Maybe she’s getting back to her mambo roots? Mark’s got his usual goony “please like me” grin on, but his hips are finally matching up to it and for a male celebrity of his general calibre he does some remarkably unsticky samba rolls. And you know…all the pink, all the camp. I’m here for it.

Uh huh uh huh.

It gets a Standing Ovation from the audience and Mark immediately starts mumbling to Tess about how, after being in the dance-off last week he had to give it his all and oh God he’s choking up a little. This is actually now beyond parody.

Craig starts for the judges, after Tess says that Mark’s dancing now has a “touch of the Travoltas” (*no comment for legal reasons*), saying that he really didn’t like all the vulgar gyration at the beginning.

Don’t take Darcey’s vulgar gyrations away from her Craig. It’s all she’s got. But he does, he says, realise that the samba is really hard for male celebrities (*drink*) so well done for trying. He loved the shimmies and the samba rolls, but it needed more bounce. Darcey just lows about how Mark’s hips “know how to party”.

Is there something on Arlene’s chair that makes this happen after a few series of sitting on it? Is it haunted?

Len is next and tells Mark that he did exactly what you should do after being in the dance-off – come back next week and do your best dance. Or at least be scripted that way. (I do actually think that was Mark’s best dance – I’m just overwhelmed as a human by cynicism is all). Bruno closes by cackling that he now sees why Brazilians are so popular in Essex. LOL. Not if Farage has his way and the entire South-East seccedes and forms the new glorious Republic Of Fuckofomia Bruno.

Up to Claud 9 they romp where Natalie

ruffles Mark’s hair because she’s still adjusting to being an Early Boot. She just wants to reach out and touch! Claudia asks Mark how it feels to have come back from the dance-off with that, and Mark replies that when you’re loving something so much it’s always horrible to feel like it might end. Like the last day of the best holiday of your life – that time when they went to Marbs and Arg fell off the pedalo mate it was HILARIOUS like he was WASTED and Kenny The Finger pulled some right ropey bird who blates it was a bloke but nobody wanted to tell him and then Lauren shat herself on the plane home we was CACKLING mate, good times. Scores are in

33. Karen’s highest mark (not including dances that were Doop-assisted) in all three series there. Mark then cries.

Simon Webbe & Kristina Rihanoff dancing the Viennese Waltz

I’m finding it a little odd given her history that, even with those tabloid rumours circling and her on-paper great partnership going down the toilet faster than the aftermath of Mark’s night out, Kristina seems really…eerily calm this series. Like, remember her psychosis towards the end of last series and once the wheels came off Jason and when Sarge quit. This Kristina, who deals with her setbacks maturely and with perspective is new to me. I kind of miss the old nutcase to be honest. BURN something Kristina. Cut up all of Bruno’s trousers.

VT time and Simon says that last week a massive weight was lifted off his shoulders because after being in the dance-off he felt a new sen…hang on VT editors, we just DID this whole bit with Mark. Schedule your show better. Maybe put Pixie on somewhere other than the best performance slots as well, whilst you’re at it.

Training now, and Simon’s attempts to rehearse the Viennese Waltz are being scuppered by the fact that he’s now on tour with Blue. Unlike with Frankie, wherein this was presented as a giddy opportunity for Kevin to go and squeal along with a bunch of 12 year old girls and slightly older gays, this requires a

crisis summit. Kristina is concerned that Simon may no longer be able to give his commitment to Sparkle Mo…I mean Strictly. Simon says that it’s ok, they can rehearse at the venue.

Seriously, how joyless does this look? Simon rehearses a lot in a big anonymous hanger somewhere and almost misses a soundcheck oh no. We also get to spend some more time with Blue, with Duncan praising Simon’s hard work, Anthony doing his best Bruno impersonation and Lee

wondering if you’ve got a couple of grams mate, he’s feeling really hard up for it, he’ll pay you back though honest, once his autobiography money comes in, he’s good for it mate swear to God. Anyway, Simon and Kristina grimly get five minutes of training in around a tour Simon’s only doing because he’s bankrupt. FUNNITY FUN FUN!


Yet another iconic Strictly song ripped off this week, as the pair of them are dancing to “Somebody To Love” as used in Dan and Katya’s classic ro…no? Oh ok. I’ll always remember those five minutes when I sort of fancied Dan Lobb, before he spoke. So…what I said earlier about how Brendanya’s Viennese Waltz for Sunetra went right up to melodrama without leaping off the edge? Yeah, this hurls itself off head-first without a bungee. They’re both

flinging their arms around and skipping dementedly from the off with great big cheesy Gentlemen-From-Buffy grins on their faces in a

swirl of drama-fog whilst the singer yells his way through the song at top volume. I think my least favourite part is when Kristina throws in some Natalie Lowe head-rolls and it looks like

this. Actually Kristina seems to be more into this whole routine than Simon

in general. I’m not sure this whole musical-theatreish Viennese Waltz vibe is his thing at all, especially being delivered at this…pitch. He never feels like he’s leading, or even in control, just trying to avoid Kristina taking his eye out with her chin.


Tess hoots “THEY’RE ON THEIR FEET IN THE STUDIO!” but this time it’s the whole of the first two rows who are sat down and I’m sorry, no, I’m not counting that. There are limits. Darcey starts for the judges, praising Simon for becoming an elegant, suave gentleman on the dancefloor, or at least the bits she could see around the pea-souper going on out there. She thought his posture was much improved, but he could have moved more smoothly across the floor. Meanwhile up on Claud 9

Sunetra and Trent are having a bitch about something or other. Is it wrong that I now really wish that pairing had happened and Brendan had been allowed to let rip with another young female pop-star for one last time? Oh well. Len follows by saying that Simon looks very classy but his performance was a bit naff. It was too hectic and it lacked lyricism. Kristinamakes that “hmph!” noise she makes, from underneath her Brigitte Nielsen hair. I love that noise. It’s second only to “hoh!” in my ranking of noises that Kristina makes when she’s pissed off. (No there’s not a spreadsheet).

Bruno is next and calls Simon and Kristina “the prince and the showgirl” and again he seems to praise Simon far more for getting wardrobe to dress him properly than for his dancing. Although based on this series that might actually be the harder battle to win, so well done Simon. Craig closes by sneering “your right thumb was up” with a dead-pan face on and has no other critique. Hilariously Tess is all “HE’S SAYING THAT’S LITERALLY THE ONLY THING WRONG WITH IT HOORAY!” about it, which Craig utterly utterly deserves for phoning that critique in.

Up to Claud 9 they mist, where Claudia congratulates him for doing so well off the back of such a hard week. Simon tells her that this was his favourite dance, and where he’s from, people don’t get to do this sort of thing. Claudia then asks where he’s from like a visiting royal asking “and what is it that you do?” and Simon says “Manchester” and it all descends slightly horribly into Claudia being all “I understand you are working class and this is your angle” and Simon clearly thinking she’s taking the piss out of him a bit from her ivory middle-class tower of eyeliner and pony-riding and God let’s get to the scores. Sometimes removing the banal safety of a Tessterview does actually go horribly wrong doesn’t it?


Judy Murray & Anton du Beke dancing the Charleston

Tess’ intro for Judy is a load of river based puns and a crash-zoom on Jamie’s face. I can’t wait for Andy to be here, whenever that happens. He will be picture-in-picture the whole time.

In her VT Judy tells us that she loved her tango, particularly the bit where Anton hurled her into the audience. She’s also very pleased that she got a 4 from Craig, because it was her highest ever score from him, and her aim is to improve a little every week. Oh Judy. Expecting the judges scores to actually reflect improvement? Never a good idea. Tell you what, find yourself in the dance-off with Scott, beat him, and then you’ll automatically get 2 extra points next week regardless of how you dance…

Training now, and Judy says that she’s concerned about dancing the Charleston, because from what she’s seen of the show so far, facial expressions are key to success. Let me help you out with that one Judy :

Step 1 : Open your mouth as wide as it will go
Step 2 : The End

Anton on the other hand, has other ideas, and teaches Judy to mug outrageously via the medium of Comedy VT

What a beautiful retelling of how Anton met Erin there.


The story of the dance is that Anton and Judy are rowing down the river, and then they Charleston. But not before Judy gives the audience a little

“HI I’M JUDY!” wave that automatically makes this better than Scott’s dance before they’ve even started. Once she gets going it’s not amazing, but also so much better than everything she’s done out-of-hold before to the same magnitude that her tango was last week for the in-hold stuff. Also she is a dab hand at

“oarography” (keep your jokes about the female pros to yourself, thank you). She’s very light on her feet, she’s

loving the lifts, she’s entirely in the spirit of the dance and sure, she’s not entirely on the beat, but at least she’s trying to detect where it is. That’s a start! I’m not entirely sure about the

far-too-lengthy bit of booby business, but I guess Anton really can’t keep his hands to himself this year.

It gets a standing ovation including a

vaguely appalled looking Jamie. Len starts for the judges and frankly

at this point I think he needs dosing with Benylin and sending to bed, not being asked to critically appraise that delight. He tells Judy that it wasn’t as good as her tango, but he liked how much fun she was having. Bruno follows and

lord only knows. At least he stayed on his chair this time. Just about. Craig is next and says he was concerned that Judy was going to be as wooden as one of the oars she was dancing with, but thankfully there was a lot more life in her dancing than that. He liked the polka and the “swimming thing” but thought there was no swivel and that the timing was awful. Darcey praises Judy for putting on a better performance “as the boys said” (so close) so it was a shame she got out of rhythm on occasion.

Up to Claud 9 they romp, where Claudia cackles over how awful the rehearsal run was compared to that (please can we see clips, please can they be shown to Andy?) and Anton does his usual Anton joke about how the routine was supposed to be crap, that was how he choreographed it etc etc. We then cover how Judy is bringing in her mother’s shortbread for everybody each week, and Karen effing SCREAMS “I LOVE THE SHORTBREAD!”

like a woman possessed. Don’t come between that woman and her biscuits. Claudia cracks up at this, thinking it’s Caroline for some reason, and then Caroline, Karen and Sunetra all spend the rest of the interview noisily cracking up as Judy talks about how Jamie has been coaching her through the Charleston via Youtube. Ladies, behave. Scores are in

18. #JUSTICEFORJUDY. I’m boiling. Brendan agrees. Worst marking since Pamela’s Quickstep.

Caroline Flack & Pasha Kovalev dancing the paso doble

Tess tells us that the paso doble is a very theatrical dance and that there could be no better way to prepare for it than treading the boards. Oh God, Pasha’s going to act again, hold me.

In Caroline’s VT…first of all a small song, written by Caroline.

Close your eyes, unzip your pants, Pasha
Can you feel my heart beating?
Do you understand?
Do you feel the same?
Am I only dreaming?
Is this burning an eternal flame?

I believe, it’s meant to be, Pasha


Recovered from her Deleted Items folder, as usual.

Anyway, in her VT, Caroline says that the quickstep was without a doubt her favourite dance. She was so surprised to be top of the leaderboard, and in fact didn’t even realise it had happened until the day afterwards. You may argue that she’s ladling this on a bit thick, I couldn’t possibly comment.

In training now, Caroline tells us that the paso doble is a fiery, theatrical, passionate dance and to get herself into the mood she’s

bought a leopard-print top from the Iveta Lukosiute Collection – $25.99 via PayPal. She had to give her a LOT of her bank details before she’d deliver it, but it was worth it. Pasha on the other hand, has a slightly more traditional training method in mind, taking Caroline to a West End Theatre to teach her to project to the back of a room. I mean…Caroline has presented The X Factor, a show where you have to scream everything to be heard above 11 year old girls wetting their knickers over milquetoast boys who can sort of play guitar and therefore are TRUE ARTISTS, but ok. Anyway, Pasha “directs” Caroline’s passionate flailing from

as far away as possible. I think this was how Flavia was training with Craig Kelly by the end…

Let’s be honest though, nobody’s here to see Caroline acting

that’s better. In the end, Caroline learns to belt it out to the back row, like we didn’t already see that in her rumba. And every time she looks at Pasha, when her lust can be seen from the Hubble Space Telescope.


They’re dancing the paso to “Live And Let Die” which is another song I have fond memories of from a previous series, from when Letitia Dean went bonkers to it. This is a lot more po-faced and straight-laced obviously

or at least as much as any routine involving a woman in purple and custard flounces pretending to be a bull to a Paul McCartney song can ever avoid the whiff of camp completely. It’s very dramatic and swishy and passionate but on second viewing she’s a little bit more floppy in her movements than really suits a paso doble and it feels a little bit style-over-content. I mean sure

we’d all love to see Pasha swirling his cape around with his nips out, but maybe find more for the contestant to do than just gripping her skirt and giving Bruno the crazy eye? Still it’s a good effort, and really picks up steam when the thing abandons the pretence of moving across the floor in favour of Caroline and Pasha both just throwing mad shapes at the judges table at the very end.


It gets a Standing Ovation, and Bruno starts for the judges by doing his best “passion” faces which

end up looking very much like Cesar Romero’s Joker from the 60s Batman tv series, as ever. He liked the passion and the drama and Caroline’s “feline quality” that makes him tingle all over. He’s on the turn because he likes her pussy Internet.

You heard it here first. Craig follows, saying that the dance was impassioned and heady and really used the accents in the music.

Darcey follows on, blethering a lot about flamenco arms and dynamics changes before just declaring the whole thing SO YUMMEH.

IN HER TUMMEH. Len closes by breaking out “FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE!” again, because Pasha is from Russia and that was a Bond theme and this combination has come up fifty times before but it will never ever stop Len ever, and says he liked it, but he could have done with more shaping.

Up to Claud 9 they go, where Claudia immediately demands that Pasha tell us both that Caroline is good and also that she doesn’t realise it, because heaven forbid a woman have an accurate self-concept. Like, if Caroline didn’t realise it after having 8s and 9s thrown at her for the last few weeks and also winning that previous televised ballroom dancing show we’re not supposed to mention then I’d start think she had some sort of psychological disorder, and as such should just hop off and be on Big Brother, not this show. Anyway, Caroline thanks Pasha for being a great teacher, yadda yadda, scores are in

34. Yummeh.

Ola Jordan & Steve Backshall dancing the waltz

In his VT, Steve says that the salsa was his sort of dance – big lifts, dramatic spins and slides, and an opportunity to slash his shirt to the waist without anyone questioning it. The judges *did* point out his lack of hip action, but as far as Steve is concerned, so long as he’s allowed to shake the rest of it about he should be ok. Hey, it’s always worked for Ola.

Training now and Ola tells us all that Steve is doing the waltz this week. Steve worries that all of his dances so far have been fast-paced and it might throw him off to have to slow things down. Well what better way to learn how to slow down than

a room full of the elderly? Ola tells him that she’s brought him here in order to learn how to lead people around the floor. Steve sits down and asks some septugenarians how it feels to be really lead around the floor by a real man, and they all coo about how lovely it is, and this all sounds a bit too sexual for my liking already. Anyway, Steve’s attempts at buttering-up up his (and indeed this show’s) key demographics pay off

as this woman has now decided that he is her favourite. Meanwhile this guy

tries not to look too jealous that Steve has swooped in and usurped his status as the stud of the room. It’s alright, these fly-by-night tv presenters, they just breeze in and breeze out. You’re there for life.


And the glamorous sight of Steve tossing a coin into a kiddy paddling poll with a £10 water feature from Homebase plonked in it, just like they do in Rome. This causes Ola to

APPEAR suddenly, and really she should reconsider her rates if that’s all it takes. That can’t have been more than a 50p. Anyway, Steve and Ola are doing their waltz to Curtis Steigers which does feel very Ola for some reason. Style is a saxophone solo before the song’s even started after all. The whole thing is very

“woman remembers the burly touch of her Old Spice-laden manly lover” which I guess works for Steve’s musclebound vibe. He moves, as ever, surprisingly deftly for a man of his bulk in ballroom and it’s very charming, but I think he could do with being in hold a little more, and being a little bit less tentative about getting up close and personal with the Hypnoboobs when he is. Oh and the PIVITS aren’t at all necessary, although the camera does contrive to spin so hard when they happen that it actually looks like they’re not moving at all if you zone out the blur in the background.

Fragrance Commercially.

It gets a Standing Ovation, and Craig starts for the judges, saying that it was great to see a softer side of Steve in his dancing, but he needed to get his thumbs down when out of hold and also add a little more swing and sway to it. Tess next asks Darcey if she’s planning to knock marks off for Steve having clothes on and Darcey promises that she won’t. Honest. She says that she loved the grace, elegance, and romance of the dance and how he really led Ola around the floor. I guess all that time drinking tea with the elderly paid off!

Len is next, and says that the footwork was great, but he tended to get crunchy on his PIVITS, before Bruno closes by congratulating him on being a “noble savage” (Bruno does realise that he just works with animals and isn’t actually Tarzan right? He was born in Bagshot and has a degree in English And Theatre Bruno, calm down) and getting his shoulders under control.

Up to Claud 9 they swing where Steve says he’s so pleased to have got good comments from the judges, especially as this was the first time they hadn’t played the “rampaging rhinos charging around the floor”. He thanks Ola for her choreography and scores are in


Pixie Lott & Trent Whiddon dancing the samba

Tess tells us that this week, Pixie found the time to take Trent to an open night mic. Got a bit less busy then I’m guessing…

VT time, and Pixie tells us that her rumba last week was about having a love who then goes away forever, and that was what she was thinking about when she had that great big crying jag at the end. Not the chart position of her last single. Honest. Lost love. Totally.

In training, Trent tells us that he’s really looking forward to moving away from all the sturm und drang of last week’s performance and onto something much more fun and upbeat in the samba. He tells Pixie that her character in the dance will be that of a singer in a cafe. Careful Trent, don’t want to hit too close to home vis a vis her future career prospects. Don’t want another meltdown…

Pixie says that she’s got a great idea about how to get into this role of a singer in a cafe.

Go and sing in a pub. We see Pixie warm the crowd up with a quick blast of Copacabana (off her forthcoming album of Barry Manilow covers entitled “Someone Else Writes The Songs”) before Trent gets to sing

one line. Of something. He’s giving it good face whatever it is. I demand MORE. This better be a whole 5 minutes on It Takes Two or I will be writing to the BBC.


So this week’s attempt to give Pixie a personality is to stick a flamboyant hat on her and have her advance on the dance-floor

AGGRESSIVELY shaking her tatas. Works for me. She’s dancing to “I Yi Yi Yi Yi”, which viewers of a certain age will remember from the old Kellogs Fruit And Fibre adverts. Pixie’s dancing very flirtily and very bouncily and very

provocatively and it’s a lot more fun than the overly intense spasm’ing of last week for sure. At times it does feel a little bit out of control and wild and indefinite but it’s nice to see Pixie being fun and letting loose. Without hoe’downing. I’m only disappointed that they didn’t go the full Carmen Miranda with her headgear. Any routine is improved with a bunch of grapes and a nana.

It gets a Standing Ovation and Trent gives

possibly the most adorable reaction to getting one ever. Darcey starts for the judges by saying that that dance definitely got her in the carnival spirit and Pixie transported her into Carmen Miranda, which sounds unpleasant. And also a bit of a tight fit. Tess asks Len if that fruity dance made him want to pickle his walnuts (…a walnut is not a fruit Daly) and he replies that no, it didn’t, it made him want to get his maracas out. Good grief.

Bruno follows, hooting and a-hollering about how tutti-frutti and camp the whole thing was. I love that this is the niche the show has found to slot the samba in to make it more interesting. Beyonce, Pink Disco, Carmen Miranda and…well whatever Scott did but let’s not count it. Robin must be mortified to be missing out. Craig closes by basically saying “yeah, capital knockers, shake it madam”. Which I guess is how you always want your judging to end really.

Up to Claud 9 they boing, where Claudia is immediately all over Pixie’s ruffles like a wharf rat on a dead pigeon and asks her if she was terrified or excited to close the show. Doesn’t she do it more or less every week? Pixie says…SHE DUNNO. Scores are in


Final Leaderboard?



29 thoughts on “Strictly Come Dancing 12 – Week 5 Performance

  1. JB

    ” I’m not sure what Bruno and Sunetra’s feud is over, but…it doesn’t ever seem to effect his score for her.”

    Affect, m’dear Monkseal. Bruno effects his score by waving a paddle and shouting a number.

    Great blog, as ever. Mark really is increasingly beginning to resemble Hilaire Belloc’s Lord Lundy.

    It feels slightly seedy of me to say I found Pixie was the pick of the Lott, as t’were, given her dance, as ably pointed out by your good self, consisted primarily of her dressed in bra and panties shaking her chest like she wished to lactate butter, but there we go.

  2. Scottieboy (@merseytart)

    Is Sunetra from Liverpool? They hardly ever mention it. I’m glad they whacked a picture of the Liver Building up behind her while they danced to ARRR CILLLAAAA.

    Next week: she dresses as Eleanor Rigby and Brendan is The Fool On The Hill.

  3. Beyonce Castle

    Thank you Monkseal, I yi yi yi yi yi love your recaps very much Xxx
    Halloween…so much to look forward to. DWTS yesterday was truly awful and Len is officially Victor Meldrew so hopefully will become apoplectic at the beeb’s theming too.

  4. Isolde

    Seriously the props are getting out of control this series. The picnic basket, tube train etc added NOTHING to those dances. And I’m with you on the lack of tango music. I hate, hate, hate tango to pop music.

    1. monkseal Post author

      I don’t mind the pop music (Prince, Eurythmics, Madonna, Gloria Gaynor etc etc forever have soundtracked good tangos) – it’s specifically the dance music they’re doing it to now. It feels like they think it’s the one ballroom dance you can put a donk on, so why not?

  5. Robbie

    You had me at ‘Browny Susan’ this week, Monkseal…! So many brilliant moments in this re-cap (I particularly love the wharf rat on a dead pigeon simile: poor Claudia hehe).

    And I find the Cilla version of ‘Anyone Who…’ weirdly addictive – there’s something quite compelling in that faintly pitchy honk of hers. And I agree with you about Sunetra’s Viennese Waltz – one of the best ballroom routines of the series so far.

    I will miss Iveta’s social media round-up, and Iveta in general. She needs a proper ringah next year; but so does Natalie! Aargh!

    Let’s hope Scott is put out of his misery as soon as humanly possible. His face is becoming a mask of soul-wrenching melancholy, and Joanne is looking like a terrible choreographer: all the gurning of Karen Hardy, but without the redeeming teaching talent, frankly.

  6. General Hogbuffer

    While I was slightly freaked out by him at the beginning I am now starting to warm to Trent. Am I the only one that was slightly taken by surprise (in the best possible way) by the general hairyness on show this week ?

    1. Aoife

      Me too! Didn’t take to him before this week. Reminded me of amateriallooking Romeo from Home and Away bit the bit of stubble in the VT has made him a bit more appealing to me.
      Aliona looks totally out of place standing there in so little material. Natalie blends in as does Tristan. Would love to see the eliminated dancers just hanging around Claud 9 in jeans and tshirts getting drunker and louder as the evening goes on.

  7. Monaogg

    Wondering if the Oops Upside Your Head section of Scott & Joanne’s Charleston was included as the only bit of “dancing” 😉 Scott has ever done? As for Karen & her hips she looks like she is trying to catch a goat with her knees that keeps changing size. Vey ugly move.

  8. Sue Howarth

    Pixie is such a life thief. Last week she channeled Caroline with her tears(lol) This week she went for a bit of Sunetra with the ” I watched it back and could not believe I had done that”. So I am guessing next week she will be Judy force feeding Karen Ferrero rocher

  9. Wilko

    ❤ the reference to Alex behind the door, although that crush was short-lived.
    Looking back at Karen's possessed and knee-knocking samba, I thought Iveta's "My name's Iveta and I'm addicted to Samba" frenzied jiggle on ITT was hilariously similar.

    1. monkseal Post author

      Or more accurately rendered “My name is Iveta and I’m addicted to *inaudible*ba”. Such amazing acting all round. NATALIE’S FAKE CRYING ❤

  10. Marcela

    You get better every week Monkseal, I had a genuine pmsl with “JANETTE MY RARA” and the many names of Sunetra. I was fully prepared to dislike Pixie before the series started (dirty filthy ringah, etc) but I’m warming to her now, I think she and Trent have a good partnership going on. And I’m quite like you re Judy, her first two routines I just watched through my fingers and I was praying for her to be booted off, but now? I don’t know, she seems to be having a good time (opposite to Scott) and she is so…nice? She seems to be quite a nice lady and is having a good time so what’s wrong with that? I’d rather watch her anytime than Abbey Menehves (God forbid), honestly.

    1. monkseal Post author

      I’m finding Pixie’s routines more and more filled with personality. Her herself…I’m still not sure.


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