Now *there* is a shock boot.
We enter the arena of dance to discover that
Brendan has fallen off the wagon. As has whoever choreographed this week’s opening pro-routine, which is a…*shudders*…country hoe-down. To Cotton Eye Joe. With all the singers in
hats and gingham and denim and cowboy boots. See this is what happens when there isn’t a Theme Week to marshal the madness. Stuff like this. Cheering and yelling and whooping and wanton
arm-swinging, straw-chewing and finger-gunning
(although Aljaz’s fingers look like they’re suggesting…something else, possibly equally as explosive) and
a guy with a lasso (more of him later). I hope this isn’t a sign that they’re going to try to introduce the Country Two-Step as a dance, because they couldn’t even get that to work in America, home of country music, on Dancing With The Stars, a show that has somehow contrived to get its dancers to do the Jitterbug on a semi-regular basis. The whole thing gets a little more bearable when the song changes to “Timber” which…consider the quality of something where you could say adding Pitbull to it made it better. This is also, coincidentally
the point in the routine where Janette gets hurled through the air like someone’s tossing the caber, because Lord knows we can’t go a pro routine these days without Janette bothering the pigeons up in the rafters.
Apparently that was all choreographed by Matt Flint, champion of So You Think You Can Dance UK Series 2. Not So You Think You Can Choreograph UK Series Anything. (I’m just being mean, here, he choreographed this, as well, I think) (s’alright)
The upside of this is of course the sight of Tess and Claudia in cowboy hats wrapped up in a lasso
like a very odd remake of Bound. Once they’re free and Mr Lasso has wandered off, they remind us that it’s not all “fun and games” tonight (thank the lord) because at the end of the night one couple will have to ride off into the Sunset (Lounge in Essex for cheap shooters and to watch Caroline and Ola lezz up apparently). I at this point do wish the cowboy theme had extended too Thom And Iveta dancing off to “Just Like Jesse James”. Deciding who will hit that dusty trail are the ever-dancing judges.
The one week Darcey decides to join in the dancing it’s bloody hoe-down week. That woman’s mind is a mystery. Claudia introduces the four of them as “The Good, The Bad, The Ugly and Darcey, Who We Are Not Allowed To Make Fun Of In Any Way For Contractual Reasons”. Or words to that effect. Last up on our menu of delights this evening are Len’s Glans and Culture Club sound-checking “Karma Chameleon”, which was the first single Tess ever bought. Claudia’s was “Agadoo”. Your recapper’s? “Adia” by Sarah McLachlan (GAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY).
But first? Your Week In Greg :
He’s a constant presence.
Back in the studio, and we’re holding off the first salvo of Safety Sex-Faces for a little section I like to call
“That’s Claudia!”. Think of it as Claudia edging ever closer to her own obligatory and disastrous BBC 1 chat show. Like “Davina” or “Nigella” or “The Maureen From Driving School Power Hour”. This week’s guests are Barbara Windsor and Jamie Murray and very definitely not Wayne Bridge who is sat just out of shot thinking “Am I Not Famous Enough Or Something?”. Barbara and the thing that’s taken up residence on her head have known Jake for 20 years and certainly have never seen him move his hips like he did in his salsa before. Thankfully for those of us running low on brain bleach. They also say that he’s a wonderful sweet guy, who stays out of all the gossip backstage, the great big bore. Jamie meanwhile says that he was mortified by his mother doing the show at first but he’s really proud of her now.
D’AWW, LOOK AT HER MUM FACE (and so on). Happily, Claudia then asks him how sad he’d be if she was eliminated, and he replies that Judy would be much much more sad than he would, the snarky git.
And that’s it for this week’s “That’s Claudia!”.
Now let’s get on with some Sex-Faces.
Pretty weak guys, step it up. First in danger are
these two, to some murmurs of general disapproval. From Tess reading of the announcement, I’m guessing her card in fact had “THOM AND IVETA??!??!?!?!?!!?!!!!!!” written on it. She turns to Len and asks him how much of a shock it is to him personally to see a hunky-dunky sportsman in the Bottom Two. Not nearly as much of a shock as it was to me (SPOILER) when he didn’t save him later. Anyway Len thinks the whole thing is NONSENSICAL because there wuz LOADS of people worse than Thom. (Number of people Len had as worse than Thom – three). He then has a small psychotic break wherein he actually has a frankly bizarre conversation with himself
complete with funny voices that sound a bit like Mr Punch that ends with him yelling “DON’T MOAN IF YOU DON’T PHONE”. Or indeed “DON’T WHINE IF YOU DON’T VOTE ONLINE!”. You can have that one for free Len. Tess calls this a “very good point actually”. Rather than pointing out that Len didn’t phone, and does currently appear to be moaning. Tess asks Thom if he’s surprised to be in the bottom two, and Thom replies that nobody wants to be in the bottom two and he’s going to give it his best shot in the dance-off. I’m so glad that on his way out on It Takes Two Zoe actually called him out on never ever ever answering the question asked to him, because he never ever did. Iveta just mutters to him that they’ll do it better this time and then looks at the public
thisly wise. Be afraid.
Up on Claud 9
Claudia tells us that there are currently five very happy celebrities. And Scott. In fact she asks Scott first if he thought going into the results show that he would be in the Dance-Off, and he replies that he did. A thought that clearly
makes his face light up just as much as it does mine. She then turns to Sunetra and asks her to tell an amusing anecdote about how Strictly has taken over her life. Sunetra replies that whilst on-set at Casualty she found herself saying not “a possible fatal aneurysm” but instead “a possible fatal oversway”.
I’ve had a couple of those walking home pished over the traffic bridge near my house. Claudia is then clearly out of time so just says “yes yes very good well done pixie now for some Boy George”. She’s not the most subtle at getting the show running to time is she?
what follows is one of the more bizarre pro-dance-singer combinations in the show’s history. On one level you have the drummer, who is radiating
“I can’t be arsed” so hard that I briefly consider introducing him to Aliona. Then on the next level up you have Boy George, who has a cold, or is otherwise unwell, and who is doing a bizarrely subdued smokey old-lady Gospel voice. Then one the next level up you have the rest of Culture Club, who are playing Karma Chameleon just like they would at any other gig of the year. Then several billions of levels up you have Kevin & Karen (and to a lesser extent Tristan & Aliona) who are dancing like their legs are actually on fire. The whole thing is running at about 5 different speeds and 5 different levels of enthusiasm and the only person who really emerges with their dignity intact is
this backing singer on the left who looks like she’s having a whale of a time. What a hidden gem.
This picture does make me wish Boy George was going to be a judge on The Voice instead of another series of Ricky Kaiser Chiefs being a big ol’ creeper. One time the chair could spin around with a rent boy manacled to it.
Less so Len (YOU CAME AHT…I DIDN’T SEE COZ ME BACK WAS TURNED, BUT IT HAPPENED). Yes, it’s time again for Len’s Glans. And yet again…no adorable children! HOORAH!
First up Len is asked what it was that Thom was doing with his free arm that was so wrong.
Apparently it was this. Personally I don’t like seeing Iveta’s equivalent of a Christmas jumper in slow-motion. It ruins the magic. PAY NO ATTENTION TO THE LITHUANIAN BEHIND THE EVER-SWISHING CURTAIN. Darcey follows by praising Mark for even trying to do a batucadas, hooting that most celebrities wouldn’t even TRY. I know a lot of the time this show relies on the viewers having the memories of post-stroke goldfish but Alison Hammond did them last week. Alison Hammond for whom “footwork” means something you’d pay extra for in a Sensual Massage parlour.
Craig is asked next what “isolation” means in relation to dancing, like what he said Pixie done in her samba, and he explains that he meant that she’s capable of moving each individual part of her body independently. He and Darcey then demonstrate, for everyone’s benefit, with their own ribcages.. Claudia then has a go, and then Bruno points at her and screams “NOT LIKE THAT HA HA HA HA HA HA!” in the most bullying way possible before tilting his head back to
roar with laughter.
As if to compound this, Bruno’s segment of Len’s Glans is of
him, rolling his eyes and curling his lip as Craig is talking. Craig good-naturedly mithers about how he was imparting his Words Of Wisdom and all the time Bruno was doing that before Bruno tells him that his words of wisdom are DRIBBLE and then cracks up laughing again. Bruno is a mean cowboy.
Next there’s a clip of Mr Lasso “accidentally” falling over a haybale that might have looked spontaneous at full speed but certainly bloody doesn’t in slow motion so let’s move on.
Speaking of entirely spontaneous comedic outpourings.
Look at dose faces. This leaves Simon and Mark wondering who of them will be up against Thom in the dance-off, both reacting in very different ways. Simon mugs to Judy the whole time, doing pretend-shaking and thumb-sucking, whilst Mark just stands there staring off into the mid-distance doing little terrified shakes of his head like he’s about to executed in The Sopranos. Fortunately for him
said whacking has been put on hold.
Normally I have respect for any man who shows his emotions freely without fear of mockery but seriously
worrawuss. Simon wanders over to Tess, whose first words to him are “HERE WE ARE AGAIN!”. Such sensitivity. Tess asks Darcey if she’s surprised to see Simon in the dance-off for the second time and Darcey just about flibbles out that there’s no way he should be in the bottom two, no way, this is awful. Oh innit always? She tells him that he’s improved so much, and he did his Viennese Waltz so well, that this is a travesty again nature etc etc forever. Incidentally I was promised on the Digital Spy Spoiler thread that Darcey burst into floods of tears at some point, and I’m so sad they edited it out. Because I would have laughed. Tess asks Simon if he’s disappointed and he replies rather tersely that it’s all down to the public’s opinion at the end of the day and he’s had a great journey, and loves dancing with Kristina.
Seriously, why isn’t Kristina scowling and staring daggers at everything and bitching on It Takes Two that if the judges had given Simon the marks he deserved this would never have happened? She’s changed man, she’s changed. Rather sadly at this point Simon and Kristina go to walk up to Claud 9 and Tess is all “nope, Claud 9 is for closers, not losers, stay here”.
Up in the Pantheon
Mark looks like he just got told that the price of pejazzles just doubled due to a sequin warehouse fire. Claudia asks him if he wants to say anything to the public and he’s all “*hock* *splutter* *hand wave* *choke* I can’t *gag*”.
Norman Desmond is ready for his close-up Mrs Winkelman. To cheer Mark up, Claudia asks Judy what A-list film star she was channelling in her Charleston. Judy gleefully tells Mark that it was Sharon Stone, causing Mark to giggle a little. Attaboy. Judy explains that Sharon Stone is such a great actress (…) and trying to match her performing skills makes her hope nobody looks at her feet. Channel her performance in Basic Instinct Jude, then nobody will be looking at your feet I guarantee it. Somewhere around here Mark miraculously regains the power of speech to thank everyone at home. Mmm hmmm.
Claudia asks Jake and Frankie if they’re shocked about who’s in the dance-off, because Lord knows we’ve not asked that question enough this evening, and Jake replies that it just goes to show that there are no guarantees on this show. Except apparently that there will never be another decent tango song-choice ever again (DEFYING GRAVITY?!).
Next up a comedy VT pimping out Hallowe’en Week which involves as usual the contestants being haunted by the judges being mean. The only bit you need to see is
Judy’s demonic cackle.
A quick return to Claud 9 now and
I just google’d to see if there are any flags in the colours of Iveta’s dress, but all I can find are some cock-eyed suggestions for a new German flag, so I’m saying here that Iveta is basically her own republic. Thom pays tribute to
what a true friend Simon has been, and if he ever feels the need to do a naked photoshoot in which another guy rests his balls on the back of his head, then he knows who he can always call on. Simon grumps good-naturedly that he wanted to say that first, and then everyone has a hug. My favourite part of the whole preamble is that, as Thom and Iveta walk down the stairs, she turns to him and says a very warlike “……ok”. As in “……ok, let’s smash their f****** heads in”. Sadly
it is not to be.
Still, it was a close vote, with Craig and Darcey both electing to save Thom before Bruno and Head Judge Len reverse the momentum and boot him out. This incidentally is the first boot since Series 9 not to be suggested as an option on the WHO’S NEXT poll (it’s done mathematically, don’t accuse of no bias!) so, you know, there’s your actual Shock Boot, judges. Thom gives a little speech about how his experience on the show exceeded all his expectations and he’d like to thank the judges, other contestants, backroom staff and especially Iveta for making it so special. It’s Iveta where the real money lies though as she gives a heartfelt speech about how
rewarding it was to see Thom slowly come to share her love of dance, which for her is more than a job, it’s her lifestyle and her deepest love. Seeing Thom come to the same point was “like butter to her heart”.
That’s right, Thom left her full of his butter. Call the papers.