So if there was a Blackpool Hangover this week, it only lasted for the first couple of dances, as Steve opens by stumbling around woozy-headed looking for a curry dressed like an American Football player (I’m not sure if it’s a credit to Steve’s physique that I genuinely can’t tell if he’s wearing pads or not) and calls it a jive. Caroline on the other hand appears to have settled on Hair Of The Dog for her hangover cure of choice, as she slops around in her American Smooth to Mack The Knife, tripping up over her dress, wobbling up and down the stairs and wearing a performance face that can be best described as “I LOVE YOU PASHASHSA *hic*”.
After that though? It feels like everyone is firing on all cylinders. A little bit…too much maybe in some cases, as Jake’s samba goes officially absolutely out of control, like his salsa on cocaine, with extra gyrations, extra tooth-grinding, extra snorting, and above all, extra camp, as it’s performed at full-tilt to the Macarena in a truly vomitous pink shirt. It still…kind of works? But the judges probably should note that saying something was technically poor and a bit of a mess doesn’t really follow with then giving it 10s. Also getting 10s are our two pop princesses as the show’s pretence that “Charleston” is a genre collapses utterly as Pixie just straight up-performs her climactic Musical Theatre number from her starring role in “Moulin Rouge : The Musical” (and utterly ignores Darcey’s “…less with the legs love” advice as she does so) in which Trent appears not once and Frankie does a quite nice, liddle bit dull Viennese Waltz with what sounds like someone noisily doing the washing-up in the background.
Less feted by the judges, but still somewhat adored are Simon & Kristina, who jank Scott and Natalie’s salsa music and do more or less the same routine, except without the gingham realness that made that routine so epicmazing (just me?). The show tries to make “WOW, IT’S HIS FIRST 9 FROM CRAIG!” a thing but, let’s face it, with all the 10s flying around in the air like Janette in a pro-dance, a 9 doesn’t cut it any more. In danger of facing off in the dance-off on paper though are Mark and Sunetra. Both there before, both with nice-enough but fairly underwhelming ballroom dances that get nice-enough but underwhelming scores. Time will tell if it’s the obvious combination of two out of the three of them and Steve in the dance-off, or if it’s time for another SHOCK BOOT(OM TWO APPEARANCE) after the last few weeks of comfortable cuts of stragglers.
Most important though, Claudia is back, and just about holding it together until the very end, when Kristina says something sweet that sets her off and chokes her up and then it all feels very genuine and a bit real, which let’s face it is anomalous and terrifying on this show. Fortunately we’re back with Tess repeating back what she’s just heard an octave higher and calling it an interview shortly afterwards. Phew.