In which Anton learns to love again. Maybe too late…
We open on Natalie, who has never looked more
erm…more…erm…well whatever she looks like, she’s looking like it to the absolute maximum she can possibly look it. So the theme for this year’s opening Blackpool number is “Natalie’s Charleston, but if it wasn’t a crushing disappointment”. It’s set in a speakeasy dive, everyone’s dressed as a flapper, it’s got a real 1920s vibe so…of course it’s being danced to a medley of Jackson 5 hits. Of course. Makes perfect sense. Not even in a Puppini Sisters style retro reworking just…disco. Everyone flaps around cracking wise with the dames and throwing down the deuces and putting up the oysters and what have you, before we jump to an in no way pre-recorded
backstage bit of business with the celebs. Mark’s attempts to do anything other than “INANE GRIN” face are hilarious. I can’t wait for his tango. Judy on the other hand
stares at her bottle with the intense stare of someone who’s just been told that if she stays next week, Anton’s going to jive again. “Shake Your Body Down”, “I Want You Back”, “Blame It On The Boogie” (with CLEVER changed lyrics to represent the fact that we are not in Frisco, but in BLAPISCO! (/blackpool), “Don’t Stop Til You Get Enough”…all the hits darling, all the hits. With everyone flailing around dressed like Bugsy Malone.
I got enough about 60 seconds in personally, but there we are. Also, whilst I don’t want to talk about any of the backing dancers other than my bae and future member of Strictly 2015 power couple TRORDANA, Gordana, but
I think maybe a lot of the people who watch Strictly do it to escape to a world where haircut like this one don’t exist. Just saying.
The band strike up again, the theme music plays and out emerges Tess Daly, with dark, black, soulless, bottomless pits where her eyes should be
BECAUSE SHE’S WEARING NOVELTY GLASSES! BLACKPOOL! Zoe is similarly attired, and once they’ve both stopped bumping into one another and cackling, they thank the pros for that opening routine, and also the Jacksons for providing such a bafflingly inappropriate accompaniment. Tess reminds us that last night, the celebrities took the competition to the NEXT LEVEL! Based on Sunetra sliding around everywhere, it was an ice level, and the end-of-level boss was Brenda’s titanic lack of interest. Determining who advances to the NEXT next level tonight, where the competition both heats up and really gets started, will be the judges. And here they are now. Hey Craig and Darcey, where might we find the exits on this aircraft?
Also appearing tonight will be musical legend Shirley Bassey, musical cautionary tale McBusted Royale With Cheese, and a very special BLACKPOOL! Len’s Glans! In honour of Blackpool
Len pulls the same face as one of those fun-fair clowns you shoot in the mouth with a water-pistol to inflate a balloon out of the top of their head. Now, don’t all spray in Len’s mouth at once guys…
First though, your week in BLACKPOOL! Greg.
Time now for some Safety Sex-Faces, as they dwindle ever fewer as we approach the final straight.
The chasm between Janette’s reaction and Jake’s reaction each week is just getting wider and wider isn’t it? If he does win, I can only just how quickly he’ll get trampled by her reaction, like a squirrel getting sucked into one of those ride-on street sweeper things. Anywho, in the Bottom 2 are
these two. Neither of them seem all that surprised. Sunetra saunters over to Tess saying that it’s ok, and she’s fine with this, and it’s perfectly fair, and really it’s going to quite nice getting to dance twice in BLACKPOOL! Brenda’s face
is the best illustration of just how far this is from his own life philosophy. Dancing twice is for LOSERS Sunetra (and/or beautiful leggy models who once met George Clooney whose genius the public JUST CAN’T APPRECIATE). Tess turns to the judges next and asks Craig what Sunetra needs to do in the dance-off to ensure her safety? Make sure she’s against Judy? Nah, Craig doesn’t have any specific advice beyond talking to Sunetra like she’s an actual 5 year old, saying he was only so harsh on her on Saturday night because he twuly beweaves in her as a dancer darling. All she needs to do in the dance-off is SMASH IT. He doesn’t mention what it is. I would personally suggest the knee-caps of whoever themed that dance so she looked like her role in the hen party was to be sat on the steps outside a pub at 2am crying “WHY AREN’T I GETTING MARRIED? WHY CAN’T I FIND A MAN? MAYBE I SHOULD JUST BECOME A LESBIAN!” before puking down herself.
To the Ball Pit now with
three of our four presumptive finalists. Caroline is the first to be spoken to, and she says that she was really sad all week after the public rejection of her waltz, but Pasha brought her back round and they worked so hard on this dance and it was so worth it and he’s just so amazing.
Aim a little lower Caroline, but you’re getting there. Jake is next, as we celebrate Janette’s birthday, and talk about the prospect of everyone going out clubbing in Blackpool to celebrate. Is it just me, or does this cast seem to be out on the piss every single night? I can’t remember SO MANY It Takes Twos where the dark spectre of “what happened the night before” looms over everything. I can’t help but think it’d be more interesting than our current set of VTs. Anyway, next week Jake has the samba, hooray snake hips is back etc etc.
We close with Zoe begging Pixie to form a “supergroup” with Simon Blue and Frankie Saturdays, to match the amazing and legendary BLACKPOOL! moment last year when Sophie led everyone in a singsong of Murder On The Dancefloor round the old piano. Caroline for one
could not look more excited, as she scratches her elbow and prays for death.
Speaking of supergroups, it’s now time for
6 McBusted Nuggets With BBQ Dipping Sauce. What kind of Thundercats cosplay mess, I hear you ask? They’re here to perform their debut (oh god they’re planning more than one, hold me) single “Air Guitar”. It sounds like “My Own Worst Enemy” by Lit translated via a bad West End Teen-Rock Musical, all scuttering along on the fact that the two of Busted who are in Egg McBusted can’t sing at all, and I mean at all, and they are taking the lead. It’s really noticeable that every time one of McFlea take the lead the thing almost coalesces and then NO THANKS FAKE AMERICAN WHINE FROM THE BACK OF A SMOKERS COUGH COMES ROARING BACK. Couldn’t they just have aired the interview with Harry, which is the only reason they’re here, and stuck all this on the Red Button?
he’s still got GUNZ, you can put your hearing aids back in now. The first thing we’re reminded of is the quintessential Harry Judd moment. Not that quickstep, not that American Smooth, not the last fleeting glimpses of joy we ever saw behind Aliona’s eyes, no, when he won and Bruce chased the rest of McFlea off with a broom. How he is missed in moments like these. Harry does his usual nice young bank manager thing and then offers Judy a shag. And who wouldn’t watch that sex tape?
Now it’s time for LEN’S BLACKPOOL GLANS!
If it was a stick of rock it’d have “POINTLESS FILLER” running all the way down it. We start with a look at Craig’s Dance Face
truly terrifying. Imagine that staring at you at 3am at Madame Jojo’s in an “end-of-the-night” sort of way. In terms of actual proper CELEBRITY dances, we watch Simon and Kristina first, showing the true usefulness of Len’s Glans, as slowing down any Argentine Tango will automatically look like the man is doing even less than it looks like they’re doing at full speed.
Yes, yes, I’m sure that there are any number of subtle Argentine Tango things going on here that I could never hope to appreciate etc etc. We also get to hear the throaty joys of “Roxanne” being played at half speed, which makes me long for a Strepsil even more. This is followed by Darcey being asked to explain what that pretentious waffle she was talking about to Steve with regards to the light and shade in his American Smooth was supposed to mean, and she replies with a load more of it
including an anecdote where it sounds a bit like she’s saying that her ballet coach was always telling her to be less amazing, because it was getting boring. Thanks Darcey.
We follow with a whole bunch of feting of Mark’s Charleston including Zoe bellowing
“WHAT’S THIS MOVE CALLED?”. The Human Centipede? The Averted Rim? The Essex Hello? Everyone agrees that Mark has amazing swivel and Bruno waxes lyrical about the Fosse element he apparently saw all over that routine, and we then close by
watching Judy’s dress go “whee!” as everyone agrees very much that she has improved and finally done a dance recognisable as being the genre it was assigned to. In this series, I’m wondering how many other couples we’ll eventually get to apply that to…
Time now for three more Safety Sex-Faces
Only the three?! Well…two and a half. This leaves Judy and Steve as our two in peril and sadly
the journey is over and Ola’s
cheery face will live to see another dawn. Once Judy has arrived at Tess, she boo-hoos with Judy about how she just received her first 7s and did her best dance yet, so must be really disappointed to find herself here. Judy says that actually she’s delighted just to be here and Tess brays “AWWW IN’T THAT LOVELY?”.
Tess cares. She then asks Len for his advice. His advice is to CAHM AHT. Thanks Len. I’m sure as an experienced coach herself, she gave that advice to Andy many times on the eve of a Grand Slam final. Federer? Djokovic? NUFFIN! YOU JUST GOTTA CAHM AHT AND GIVE IT SAHM!
Back to the Ball Pit now with
one of our presumptive finalists, one of our presumptive semi-finalists, one presumptive “well it depends how high the judges intend to keep on scoring him really” and one presumptive “probably gone next week if Sunetra nails her waltz, which she probably will BECAUSE IT’S A WALTZ”. Steve is first up, and asked about the BLACKPOOL! effect. He says that he felt simultaneously both a bit buoyed up and also intimidated by the venue. It’s kind of hard to concentrate on him given that
Ola has not stopped glowering at any point in the last quarter-hour. Mark is next, with talk of his day job (“Take Me Out : The Gossip”) and how it might interfere with his tango training, although Zoe says that he’s going to Tenerife and not the sunny Isle Of Fernandos, so I’m presuming her research is a bit dodgy here. Finally Simon talks about what it’s like to get three 10s. It is, officially, a “privilege”.
Which is the best of all Bond theme tunes because :
a) It’s loud
b) It’s really effing loud
c) It features the title of the Bond film it is featured in (very important)
d) It’s not sung by Adele
e) or Bloody Lulu
f) It’s like an ever spinning belisha beacon flashing “MONEY-SEX-POWER-DEATH” at you for two minutes solid
g It rhymes “Goldfinger” with “Cold Finger”
h) Tee hee “finger”
i) It rhymes “Midas Touch” with “Spider’s Touch”
j) That bit where Shirley milks every last second of “it’s the kiss of….DEATH!!!”
k) “BUT! DON’T! GO! IN!” (/Ian Paisley)
l) the end, where it just devolves into Shirley shouting “HE LOVES GOLD! HE LOVES GOLD! HE LOVES GOOOOOOOOOOLD! HE LOVES GOLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLD!” because they’d clearly run out of lyrics
m) that episode of Frasier when they sing it
n) The intro where it goes “wah wahhhhhhhh WOHHHHHHHHHHHH” imitating the noises that are about to come tumbling forth from the Pride Of Tiger Bay
o) Goldfinger is officially the best Bond film (apparently, I’ve ever actually watched one of the bloody things)
Iveta related reasons
q) : “Bassey did initially have issues with the climactic final note which necessitated her slipping behind a studio partition between takes to remove her brassiere”
HE LOVES GOOOOOOOOOOOLDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD!
I’ve got my vote for “Best Guest Performer” of the series, I don’t know about you.
Now, before the dance-off
a brief message from Ian Waite, telling us all to watch It Takes Two. Fun Fact : I watched Zoe’s samba earlier this week on the Youtubes, and the training VT beforehand (I know right, remember them?) featured Ian making fun of her love handles and telling her to EAT ANOTHER BAG OF CRISPS THEN FATTY, and Zoe’s freakout in the old Tesspit (from when it looked like an actual brothel) yelling “HE WAS JUST JOKING, WE’RE FRIENDS REALLY, I WOULD NEVER WANT ANYONE TO THINK BAD OF IAN, PLEASE DON’T BOO HIM!” after the dance was a beautiful reminder of what a glorious grubbing teacher’s pet of a contestant she was. (It also reminded me of the weird “last girls standing” friendship between her and Patsy Palmer, which would have launched a thousand slash-fics these days). (I’m covering for the fact that this VT is super boring and goes on forever by the way)
Back to the BLACKPOOL! Ball Pit now
for one last chat. Judy says that she’s looking forward to flying again and Sunetra maunders on about the magic of BLACKPOOL! some more but this is all so much chatter because
the 7s worked (unlike with Kate Garraway, when they absolutely didn’t, and the show panicked so hard its eyes almost fell out).
Judy thanks Anton for his patience and sense-of-humour, Anton talks about Judy’s warmth and genuine love for the show and then we run through
Judy’s greatest hits. She will be missed. This feels a bit like when Jodie went out of Series 6. Sure she wasn’t the best dancer. But she was the warm jolly, not-taking-it-too-seriously spirit of the series. There’s nothing but hardcore battle from here on out.