Strictly Come Dancing 12 – Week 11 Performance


Last week : the show went around the world and it,it,it,it, it couldn’t find its baby (warz) as the traditional stupid Comedy VTs got ditched in favour of SUPER-HYPER COMEDY VTs featuring Naked Pasha and Team Trixie getting high in a canal basin. The contestants danced around Europe and The Americas, and as a measure of the authenticity of the week as an experience, the one celeb with a grounding in what would have been called “Cultural Forms” if this was the 80s (a decade the show would have been lucky to hit modernity wise given the rampant stereotyping going on) got the flick.

This week :

Guys, we did this “NSPCC Charity Campaign Week” thing last week, can we not mix it up a little? Typical Jake as well, ruining the mood of the piece by turning up looking more cheerful than ever.


How the public didn’t find Pixie relatable, when she opened the show each week staring decadently at them like she was about to steal their boyfriend and then make him perform in sordid libidinous bisexy threesomes with her backing dancer here, I do not know.

The band strikes up and guess what ladies? NO MORE AROUND THE WORLD WEEK!


Both Claudia and Tess are of course serving “a curtain fell on me and I just went with it” realness this week. They remind us that this is the quarter-finals and that last week Sunetra went home in her third dance-off appearance in a row. The audience reminds meanwhile us that

Pixie Lott and Kelly Brook both now hold the same finishing position as Robbie Flippin’ Savage. And Widdy. It’s a funny old show isn’t it? Tess takes us through tonight’s proceedings – a new dance from each couple followed by the Waltzathong and then the judges dance/vamp/

read the paper their way on. Those of you who complain regularly about the encroaching influence of the “Dancing With The Stars” style on this show will be pleased to notice that Len is clearly reading a US newspaper there. And because it’s Len, it dates back to 1934.

Simon Webbe & Kristina Rihanoff dancing the American Smooth

As if we weren’t going to hear enough (more than enough) from Len this evening Tess turns to him and asks him what the dancers need to do tonight to get into the semi-finals. He launches into an extended metaphor about how tonight is a game of two halves, like football, and you can’t rest on your laurels in the second half if you’re in the lead at halftime because everything can always change with more goals in the second half and then of course there’s the public vote which is like the referee really, who can decide NOPE, I DON’T CARE THAT GERMANY SCORED MORE GOALS THEY’RE A SMUG RINGER BITCH OUT THEY GO and then there’s the dance-off which represents the militant hooligan fans of Germany who throw a bottle at the referee’s head when they try to send SMUG RINGAH BITCH GERMANY off and get the whole match cancelled. Caroline, bless her

looks most addled at this metaphor and all the different permutations. She’s from X Factor where the result is decided by “what Simon says? Just do that”.

VT now and Simon tells us that last week was like a fairy tale. I don’t remember “The Ungrateful Princess Who Threw A Strop Because She Didn’t Get A Free Holiday To Austria But Then The Prince Gave Her Chocolate And She Calmed Down” featuring much in my childhood story books. One of Hans Christian Andersen’s lesser works I think. I suspect Katherine Heigl would have done the voice in the Disney movie… Simon goes on to say that he’s now very aware that it’s very close to the final, and he’s only two steps away. You’re not Jake Simon, you’ll probably need to do more of them than that.


sorry, “Simon & Kristina’s Date Night” now, as Kristina is taking Simon to see “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels” in the West End. I bet he’s paying. And getting her chocolates. And oiling the backstage cupboard hinges so nobody hears the squeaking… Once the play’s finished, Kristina takes Simon backstage to learn how to be suave and sophisticated from

“My Family” star Robert Lindsay. OK. I’m not saying anything about Kristina that she’s elected a con-man character as a model of debonair and class for Simon to follow. Honest. Also present, as you can see, is Bonnie Langford. Why you’d have a VT with West End Star Of All Stars and Dancing On Ice Runner-Up Bonnie Langford and focus on Robert Lindsay trying to look charming by wobbling about clicking his fingers and squinting, I have no idea.

Robert Lindsay, star of Citizen Smith, tells Simon that to act stylish you just need to…act. It’s a performance that he puts on. A show of pretend. An act of theatre if you will. This whole segment is basically getting an acting coach in without any acting training (unsurprisingly, given that this is one West End Male Lead talking to another here) so…just a load of pretentious waffle really. And a caption that

for some reason made me laugh and laugh and laugh. I hope she’s got business cards that say the same thing.



This is debonair and stylish, as conveyed through Simon Webbe via the magic of Robert Lindsay’s Acting Studio :

Mmmm hmm. Looks like Winston Churchill crossed with one of the Lil Rascals. In case you’re wondering yes he does fiddle with his cufflinks as well as his bow-tie but I’m not sure where

Noel’s House Party finger-pointing comes into Classic Ratpack Style. He and Kristina are doing their American Smooth to…I dunno, some Mickey Bubbles twaddle. Some peak Mickey Bubbles twaddle as well, that by the sounds of it is about shagging in the bushes in a parking lot. Say what you will about Frank Sinatra but he normally left things a *little* more subtle in the lyrics than that, even if he was banging every model in sight. Apropos of which Kristina is particularly erm…

vampy this evening.

The dance itself feels a bit confused, like Kristina prioritised playing to the audience over actually dancing. It feels very much like “step-step-step-WINK-FINGER-CLICK-step-step-step-DOUBLE WINK-FINGER-GUNZ-step-step-step-RUN UP TO AN OLD GUY IN THE FRONT ROW AND FLASH A TIT-step-step-step-LIFT-LIFT-LIFT-end”. Simon’s kind of a frantic dancer as it is, and I think this whole dance would have gone much better and seemed much more suave if he’d been given a bit more time to breathe it. Oh and the lift at the end goes horribly wrong because Kristina can’t quite get her leg up over Simon’s shoulders. And they’ve practised it so many times as well!

It gets a Standing Ovation, and Tess has apparently added a new line to her range of Tesco’s Finest “Pointing Out The Obvious” comments, as she asks Simon if he can hear the audience. No Tess, having Kristina’s legs wrapped around his head has left him momentarily deaf, how sensitive of you to ask. She also welcomes Davearch and

The Ghost Of The Man In The Hat. *sniff*

Len starts for the judges, calling Simon and Kristina the BOY FROM BLUE AND THE LADY IN RED and saying that there was a lot of lovely swing and sway in that routine, it had a nice mixture of steps and was

PROPAH LUSH. He can tell they’re disappointed they don’t have Bruce around any more to force to say “young person” things, so they’re going with the next best option. Next week : Frankie’s rumba is bare dench. Bruno follows by bellowing that that routine has the WOW FACTOR and that you could open in Vegas with it. Would Kristina really want to open in Vegas though? We know she’s got her heart set on Austria…Anywho, he loved it, but did notice that mistake in the lift at the end, which he blames entirely on Kristina.

You could write a PhD thesis on Kristina’s mouth here. She blames her dress, but Darcey yells that Simon did something wrong with his shoulder that meant it was hard for her to bring her leg to the right place. Tess just yells “WARDROBE MALFUNCTION!” because that is a phrase Tess is comfortable with.

Tess asks Craig if Simon improved his expression in his hands ths week, and Craig says that he did, although he puts that down to Kristina choreographing in a bunch of finger-snaps just so he had something to do.

They’re so poking her at this point. Can’t say as I blame them.

He goes on to say that he lost his frame at points and really could have been more helpful to Kristina in the final lift, but overall he loved it. Darcey closes by

criticising/mocking Simon’s finger-clicking technique. Erm, he was taught that finger-clicking by Robert Lindsay, star of Jericho, who’s forgotten more about finger-clicking than you’ll ever learn Darcey Bussell, sit down.

Up to Claud 9 they click, where Claudia sighs that the judges are being very pernickety as it’s the quarter-final and this is tradition. Like last year, when Patrick got the first ever male 10 for a rumba that nobody even remembered at the time, let alone now. Kristina responds by saying that she was just trying to show via her choreography everything that Simon could do (all at once) and

grins winningly at Claudia, as Iveta and Natalie form a kind of Greek Chorus of Disapproval and Soccer Mom hair around Simon’s head. Scores are in


Caroline Flack & Pasha Kovalev dancing the Argentine Tango

Has anyone seen a movie called Single White Female? I choose to believe her exact mirroring of Kimberley Walsh’s journey-arc is only part of this cunning plan that ends in Pasha’s pants.

In her VT, Caroline tells us that her Charleston really was her favourite moment in all of Strictly.

Especially after Pasha started locking the bathroom door behind him a few weeks ago. We’re also reminded that Craig told her that he’d like to see it again in the final and Caroline’s

entirely genuine reaction to even the possibility of Craig even thinking she might possibly scrape into doing even one dance in the final. (I do find it amusing that Mark gets all the “reality tv expert” flack when Caroline has been so deeply embedded in Simon Cowell’s empire for the last 5 or 6 years that she could probably tell you what dress colour was the best to wear to get votes) is erm…convincing?

Training now, and Caroline opens by saying “if someone asked ‘what’s the opposite to the Charleston?’, the answer would be Argentine Tango”. Wouldn’t it be, like the Notselrahc, the mysterious dance where everyone remains completely poker-faced except for a single tear rolling down one cheek and it’s always danced, with very small subtle movements, to harsh cyperpunk EDM. With moustaches. Actually that sounds like fun, can we have 12 of them next year instead of running aroundy gurn-fests? Caroline says that it’s really not playing to her strengths (what are Caroline’s strengths again? Nice legs and over-acting?) so she’s panicking a tad.

and has a little meltdown over how hard it is, so Pasha decides to bring in Caroline’s “former Xtra Factor co-presenter Olly Murs”.

The presence of those ghostly teenage girls following him around is never mentioned by the way. I guess all Syco stars must be followed be a retinue of screaming girls at all times so their popularity can never be in doubt. They’re off to break into Liam Direction’s bedroom in a minute, then they’ve got throwing their panties at Jake Quickenbush once he returns off I’m A Celebrity scheduled in for the evening. Olly Murs doesn’t really offer anything to the segment other than to give Caroline someone else to flirt with for 5 seconds, but I will put up with it for hearing the words “former Xtra Factor co-presenter Olly Murs” coming out of Pasha’s mouth. He’s so confused, poor bunny.


Caroline and Pasha are dancing to “La Cumparsita” which apparently is a great traditional music choice, but I will always associate it with the evil corrupt dodgy windows empire of Coldseal Windows and their incessant jingles. It begins with

Pasha stroking Caroline’s face (is this like when Kristina allowed Simon to choreograph his own solo?) and proceeds from there slightly more traditionally, with the usual lifts



MOMENTS OF EROTICA. She does most of it very well, and there seems to be a decent amount of interplay and technical business going on throughout. There are quite a few moments halfway through the routine though where she looks a bit lost and like Pasha’s having to push her around, but in retrospect I’m not sure how much of that is her and how much is the choreography, as it’s an Argentine Tango that’s been choreographed such that the female dancer shows a bit more vulnerability than usual.


Afterwards Pasha yells “YOU DIDN’T SHOW ANYTHING, YOU’RE FINE!” to her after the dance. At first I thought this was him telling her that nobody noticed her mistakes in the routine. On reviewing I think he’s just reassuring her that nobody saw her pants. Wardrobe ever being Caroline’s greatest enemy of course. Once she’s over at the judges, Tess gushes that Caroline did comedy last week, and now drama! IS THERE NOTHING SHE CAN’T DO? Pasha’s dramatic range, worthy of an Olivier Award, goes uncommented on. The greats are never truly appreciated in the lifetimes are they?


looking perilously close to a Big O, tells Caroline that if she was a violin, she’d be a Stradivarius. Whereas if Pasha was a violin, I’d be glad to have a fiddl[*PUNCHLINE REDACTED*]. Craig follows by saying that he saw Caroline lose balance a couple of times (Tess : “WHAT CRAIG, STOP BEING SO PICKY!!!!!!!!”) but that has to be one of the most thrilling Argentine Tangos he’s ever seen.

Tess next asks Darcey if that was good for her, and Darcey follows by groaning that is was incredibly good for her (get a room ladies) and that Caroline creates the drama and shapes required of her without showing the effort behind it, particularly in the lifts, every single time. Len closes by going to rhapsodies reliving the routine, particularly the bit where Pasha “oozed in like an oil slick”. Which is ironic, because when Pasha entered my own personal oil rig starting gushin[*PUNCHLINE REDACTED*]

Once they’re up on Claud 9 Claudia asks Caroline why she looked so emotional at the end of that routine and she and Pasha both mug that it was because she was SO IN CHARACTER.

Pasha, bless him, is the world’s worst liar. Claudia goes on to say the mood backstage has really changed, it’s stopped being fun and everyone’s now desperate to get that one little step further. Way to really sell the rest of this series to me Claud. Sounds like lots of fun. Caroline goes on to say that it’s really nerve-wracking, especially with such a dance of conflicted emotions as the Argentine Tango. She had to LOVE Pasha but at the same time really really hate


39. Soccer Mom Natalie brought her pom-poms I see. Pasha of course then does whatever any truly sensitive guy does with a woman afraid of flashing her pants to the nation –

picks her up and aims her crotch at the camera. Caroline gripping her dress to her arse squawking “PASHA! MY KNICKERS!” is erm…well an episode highlight let’s say.

Pixie Lott & Trent Whiddon dancing the cha cha

In retrospect I’m sad they’re gone, but at the same time, I think this outfit truly was the zenith of Pixie’s Strictly journey from Skipper to Barbie. It was all downhill from here.

VT now and Pixie tells us that she loved her Viennese Waltz, and that the judges comments were beautiful. She then lies her arse off that she had no idea how far she’d get in the show, and she’s so grateful and surprised to find herself in the quarter-finals.

Mmm hmm. I like Pixie, but if she ever gave even a fleeting thought that she might not be in the final I’d be very surprised.

Training now, and apparently Pixie’s really struggling with one of the moves in her cha cha.

I know the first time can be daunting Pixie, but just pretend it’s an ice-lolly and you’ll be fine. Trent sighs that Pixie seems really daunted and he thinks he needs to remind her just how she’s got to here. Is he going to show her the record sales for her last album? NO!

HE’S TAKING HER BACK TO HER PRIMARY SCHOOL! Well…a primary school anyway. I’m sure if this were Pixie’s Primary School they’d all be tap-dancing down the corridors with mime-face on singing “What I Did For Love”. Once they’re in, Team Trixie

press the flesh like a US presidential candidate leaning out of a motorcade, two kids gush that this is the BEST ASSEMBLY EVAH!, two more say that Pixie has inspired them to want to become dancers, and two more

present Trent and Pixie with a very special card. I would like to forward a motion that if Baby Warz occurs on a week when a couple is eliminated, we get to watch the Babies in question crying on Red Button.


Worst of all about this week’s SHOCK ELIMINATION is that it has brought to my attention that many people hate “Love Shack”. Monsters. All of you. Anyway, Pixie bustles through the beaded curtain to a very

loungey looking Trent and immediately starts swinging her arse around with Jake Wood levels of over-rotation. I think…people appreciate that more in a man than a woman Pixie. Sensual hips, not bucking around like we’re on Strictly Argentina. Regardless, I’m sure you’re all really keen to see these three exciting daring rule-breaking naughty and spectacular lifts Bad-Boy Trent choreogaphed in.

Magnificent weren’t they? One bone-a-fido lift, a drag where Pixie’s foot leaves the floor for a split-second by mistake, and a drop where Pixie’s feet leave the floor briefly. Definitely worth throwing a paddy over considering the…excesses this series. Regardless, it’s not a great cha-cha – her legs frequently either flare out too wide or bang into one another, she stumbls once and as has started to be common

it’s a bit too much about Pixie on her own, rather than the partnership. I hope if Trent comes back, he gets a bit less backwards about pushing himself forward, because the longest serving pros (*COUGH*ANTONANDBRENDA*COUGH*) have never been shy about placing themselves front and centre.

Once they’re over at the judges, with Pixie’s hair

threatening to poof itself out to tango-levels, Craig starts by saying that that routine was spectacular and she danced all of the accents in the music so well (unlike all of the accents in her Around The World Week VT, and there were many) but her legs were a bit too stiff and straight. Darcey follows saying that there was lots of pep and zest and energy to the routine, but “it’s right” – the legs were wrong. I love that she’s taken to calling Craig “it”, because when only one boy has spoken, it kind of screws with her catchphrase a bit.

Len follows (*deep breath*) and says that what follows isn’t directed solely at Pixie

but she put three illegal lifts in and he’s sick of them and next week he’s going to start marking them down. Trent guffaws gently that it’s obviously the Aussie way to break the rules and Len snits back that if they want to break the rules he’s more than happy to give them a 6 instead of a 9.

Pixie’s face here really is the perfect representation of “trying to look like she’s finding all this funny but in actuality bloody terrified”. Len then goes in on her for having over-corrected her crappy over-flexible leg-action from previous weeks (which he has…never mentioned before) and gone too far the other way, and has produced legs that are too stiff and not flexed enough. The audience boo, Len does his whole “DON’T BOO ME, I’M AN INFALLIBLE TRUTH TELLER!” routine, and then Tess asks Trent if he’ll continue to be a rule-breaker next week, and Trent’s brain

churns visibly until he remembers that next week they’ve got salsa and American Smooth so…not so much with the ability to break the rules regarding lifts there Tess. A lot of people have said that Trent was really rude and arrogant here but…I’m not seeing it, at all, and am officially pulling my “Remember When Everyone Said Natalie Was A Smug Arrogant Bitch In Her First Series And I Said She Wasn’t And In The End I Was Right” card and saying that you are wrong. SO WRONG. LEAVE MY TRENT ALONE. Never mind the absurdity of Len coming for lifts now, in the quarter finals, and never mind him acting like there were three illegal lifts hurled into the routine on purpose when it was only one, and never mind him doing this to a new pro whose contract status is probably the weakest of all the pros outside of those ones already shipping themselves out to crummy Channel 4 reality shows, and never mind how the rule about the proportion of a dance that’s supposed to spent in hold is about to be stomped all over in Mark’s foxtrot, to the comment of absolutely nobody, and never mind that let’s be honest, Jake is clearly on course to win the show despite sticking to the rules of ballroom and latin content about as closely as Iveta sticks to grammatical Queen’s English, never mind any of that, because I don’t have a problem with Len doing this at least beyond him having this strop to no particular end randomly at somebody every series, but HANDS OFF MY TRENT YOU PACK OF VULTURES!

Bruno closes by saying that Pixie is so full of exuberance and neon and fine-details that he doesn’t care if she’s a rebel, he likes it. Oh God if they’d stayed and the show had tried to brand them as “the rebels” I would have laughed and laughed and laughed.

Up to Claud 9 they gavotte, where Claudia sighs that Len’s just decided to get strict as Aliona

remembers visibly in the background what that’s like. Claudia asks Pixie if she had fun out there. Pixie says she had loads and loads of fun out there. Scores are in

35. Bruno’s face though. Claudia sighs that that’s the first time since Week 7 Pixie hasn’t scored at least one 10. Pixie’s all “NUMBERS ARE FUNNY!”

Next up

Mark Wright & Karen Hauer dancing the foxtrot

Tess gushes that Mark’s foxtrot is so beautiful, dreamy, and romantic that it’s the perfect dance for his upcoming wedding.


VT time and Mark tells us that he was really looking forward to his salsa last week, but it went a bit wrong and he found himself in the bottom 2. Again. He was only 90 seconds away from it all being over. The show then tries to play it off that Mark came ROARING BACK in the dance-off by playing “Stronger” by Kelly Clarkson over him

doing a knee-slide into a hip wiggle whilst looking up at Karen like he wants a dog biscuit. This all comes across a lot more comically than they probably intended.

Training now, which looks like it’s being carried out in somebody’s living room on The Sims.

Somebody’s living room who doesn’t care over much about interior deign. TWO bins? Anyway, just like Pixie, Mark too is feeling stiff, out of sorts, and unable to perform this week, but he doesn’t go back to his old school, or summon up a fifth nan, or seek inspiration from Calvin & Hobbes or a giant aubergine, NO he draws on his fiancee Michelle.

Who he calls his “Ultimate Rock”. You know how other people say that their partner, their best friend, or in the case of Lady Di her butler (TRULY THE PEOPLE’S PRINCESS) are their rock? Well screw you guys because Michelle Keegan is the ULTIMATE ROCK. The very last one. Right at the end. She is the Lizard Point of Mark’s emotional wellbeing. Anyway, Michelle tells him to keep on going because when he started he didn’t think he’d make it past Week 3 and look at him now. Why, did he run over Donny Osmond’s cat once?

Anyway, talking to Michelle and making mushy-wushy face about how much he wuvs her has inspired Mark to dance the foxtrot yadda yadda let’s get a move on, I’m starting to understand why being around Mark’s undying love from Her What Used To Be In Corrie has moved Karen to keep two bins around. Sometimes one sick-bag just isn’t enough.


OI! MARK! HANDS OFF! If there’s a giant E on this show then Bruno has it reserved by rights. Mark and Karen are dancing to “L-O-V-E” by Nat King Cole, which was also used by Erin & Austin for their foxtrot, although Karen has cunningly warded off accusation of plagiarism by making so little of this dance in hold that most people watching will think it’s an American Smooth. That said, it’s a really sweet little routine, with

charming little touches(/goose-steps) and posed and even a

little pixie-kick that also makes me wish Around The World Week had in fact been a reprise of Love Week in all its mushy sentimental glory. He’s definitely come on a long way since his messy early ballroom and I find myself…kind of glad he stayed in this week? He danced better than either of the girls on Latin or Simon to be honest. My only problem really remains his absolute unblinking terrifying basilisk dance-grin which scares the jumping Bejesus out of me and will probably haunt my nightmares long after this series is over and we’re all talking about The Voice instead (lol jk nobody’s ever going to be talking about The Voice). I’m sure we’ve all heard those “10 Years at Sylvia Young weekend classes” rumours by this point and whilst I’m happy to accept that they might not have been dance classes, if they were acting classes he should be asking for his money back.

Once they’re over at the judges, Mark gives a little speech about…I dunno love or something. I stopped registering the content of Mark’s little speeches about half a series ago. Darcey starts for the judges looking

more like a Tory wife at a village fete about to be disrupted by a disgruntled goat in an Alan Ayckbourn play than ever. Anyway, she liked that dance. She liked the quality and the style and she liked the transitions between being in and out of hold (he was IN HOLD ever?). Tess asks Len if Mark has come back from being in the dance-off last week and Len says that HE HAS! He then reads out L-O-V-E and tells Mark that in Scrabble that’s SEVERRRRRRRRRRRRN before we even start.

Oh is that how we’re scoring now? Let’s get ready to dances next week to “Congratulations”, “Ooo-Wakka-Doo-Wakka-Day”, “Californication”, “Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik” and “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious”. Bruno follows, calling Mark a smooth charmer and praising him on getting his timing right this week. In terms of pimping out his famous girlfriend and his impending wedding for votes Bruno, yes I agree. Mark then gives another little speech.

Craig closes by saying that Mark is really beginning to look like a dancer!

Is it that homeless guy who does the robot for loose change down at Victoria Station? I must admit to seeing a certain resemblance. Anyway, Craig loved the energy and says that he really liked all the explosions out of hold. The ones in your pants Craig? I would imagine they were very much…erm…”in hold”. So to speak.

To Claud 9 they scamper where Claudia grins that Mark did very well with a very technical dance… by completely ignoring all the technique and just putting on a Mickey Bubbles Telethon Dancearama Special. Mark says that he’s always found the fast dances easy because you can “just go out there and have a laugh” whilst the slow ones have been more tricky. He really feels though, with that one, that he finally nailed it. Also some more speeches in there, I dunno. Scores are in


Jake Wood & Janette Manrara dancing the Charleston

Black lipstick is a erm…well it’s *a* look on Janette. It doesn’t really read circus to me, unless you’re counting those circuses you get on Britain’s Got Talent occasionally where women ram angle-grinders into their crotches and men sneeze out carpet tacks. Tess introduces them by way of a skit over how Craig scored Jake a MISERLY 5 last week, a score paddle she then proceeds to

snap in half. Of all the paddles I’d be starting on…that’d not be amongst my first ports of call I have to say.

VT time now, and Jake sighs that the collision in his dance was “just one of those things”. Now that Evil Moira Ross In A Rainbow Wig has had the errant hoofer taken out the back and shot let’s all just move on with our lives and try to drown out the sound of her screams for mercy by singing circus music to ourselves really loudly. DOO-DOO-DOODLE-OOODLE-DOO-DOO-DOODOO. As her bones get crushed, Jake ponders what it means to get this far, and how he truly is only a few dances away from the final. Makes you think. Or it would if literally every other contestant hadn’t said it already this evening.

Training now and

apparently Jake lives in a great big converted monastery. Good to know. Apparently he’s brought Janette here as he’s called an official Family Meeting.

“Kids, this is urgent, I’m afraid your spreadsheet work has become very subpar. They’re just not cute enough to be featured on the main show any more, as evidenced by a distinct lack of purple felt-tip Crayola fibre-penmanship on BBC 1 since about week 5. Therefore I suggest you increase the level of glitter, stickers, and pictures of sad faces when the judge are mean to daddy on the spreadsheets to ensure maximum cuteness moving forwards. Also if one of you could develop measles, or pneumona (it only has to be in one lung) or some other likely non-fatal but still potentially traumatic disease, that would be a big help in pushing daddy on into the final, especially as Operation Find-A-Nan has failed after the old lady from number 72 slipped her chains and escaped. Finally it would help if you point out that most of the other remaining contestants have no children. Maybe ask if you can meet Mark’s kids, so that daddy has to tell you that he doesn’t have any on camera, or even better, ask if you can have a playdate with Caroline’s boyfriend. Wife – carry on”


Jake and Janette are dancing to “Entrance Of The Gladiators”, which might have led you to expect a Pixie & Trent Paso Doble style swords and sandals epic, if you didn’t know that that music actually is…well the most rinky-dink of all circus music. Fortunately, the circus is kind of the natural home for Jake’s dance style, all big faces, outlandish clowning and the tiny little woman flying through the air with the greatest of ease, so he manages to make the whole thing work.

Also, for a guy whose technique is so often pilloried, he actually seems to be doing a decent enough job here. Lots of swivel, lots of goofiness, although

probably a bit too much gurning for my liking. Rarely has gurning on this show looked more like…well, actual literal gurning. I feel like he should be wearing a tyre round his neck. Still Janette

is off doing things with her body that will make your eyes water so that’s enough to salve the horror a little bit. I’m also not

particularly sure about this use of the floor as a video-wall. It feels very…Dancing On Ice-y.

YET ANOTHER FLIPPING COMEBACK CHARLESTON! Mercifully I think this was the last one. Until the final, when they’ll probably all be hauled out again. Twice. With a Charleston themed showdance for everyone and one final group Charleston from all the departed celebs.

It gets a Standing Ovation and round of applause that goes on forever, with Tess purring throughout about how we really saw a different side to Jake this evening. I mean, I liked that dance well enough but…we bloody didn’t.

We go over to the judges, and Len starts by sighing that last week was a Greek Tragedy (YOU GAVE IT AN EFFING 8 LEN) but this week was a Circus Of Delight. He knows the Waltzathong is coming up, but after that he thinks Jake just took a massive step into the semi-final. Bruno’s next, gushing

that that was just like watching a Fellini movie. Bruno has come out with some absolute mouth-dribble in his time but that takes the cake.

Tess next asks Craig if he’ll be needing his 5 paddle this week, and he sighs that he does try not to use it darling. Well Frankie’s salsa is still to come Craig, don’t speak too soon… He compliments Jake on being a “character dancer” (ie an actor who can wiggle his bum a bit) and Darcey closes by calling Jake “perfectly goofy”. Personally I’m now hoping it turns out that Max killed Lucy, and in the live reveal he has a psychotic break and starts gurning like that dance and making circus noises. On top of a giant beach ball. Dressed as a clown. BEST EASTENDERS MOMENT SINCE “MY SON IS IN THE KITCHEN EATING A BISCUIT!”.

Up to Claud 9 they wibble, where the

process for getting changed for the Waltzathong has clearly begun in earnest. Dear Caroline : you will be dressed as the SURPRISE LESBIAN murderess from a Marple. In a rather hilarious interlude, Claudia then asks Janette if this was always the sort of dance she envisioned doing with Jake, and she replies that yeah, basically Jake can do lots of stupid faces so a circus theme suits him just right.

Some segments you really do want to shove in a time machine and send back into the middle of Series 2 and see what happens. Janette then thanks “Ryan, who helped a lot”. I really do think they should wheel on professional thankist Thom Evans for this sort of thing – I’m not really sure who Ryan is or what he did. Ryan O Neil? Jake sends kisses to his kids and then scores are in


Frankie Bridge & Kevin Clifton dancing the salsa

It may well be the illness this week, but seriously has Strictly ever aged anyone faster than it’s ageing Kevin Clifton? Just as a reminder, here he is, pulling exactly the same Dreamworks Smirk just a year ago with Susanna.

Get out Kevin, get out whilst you still can, this is like the end of Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade. THIS SHOW IS DRAINING YOUR GRIMSBY MAGIC.

VT time now, and Frankie reminds us that last week she had to do the jive on a surfboard in heels. She doesn’t though, explain why she had to do this. Answers on a postcard please. We’re further reminded that she got four 9s for it and also that in the results reveal Kevin has now taken to hurling himself at the floor harder and faster than Iveta does every time a police car drives past her house. (NO, THIS IS IVETA’S LIFE AND IDENTITY SHE WAS BORN WITH FEDERALIST PIGS, GO AWAY!) I can only presume this is because he doesn’t want to win this year’s Monkie for Safety Sex-Face of the series. VOTING BEGINS IN JUST OVER ONE WEEK’S TIME KIDS, GET EXCITED!

Training, and sadly Kevin

has the lurgy-pox. Obviously the nausea obtained from having to sit through one of Mark Wright’s schmoopy skype sessions is sexually contagious. And not only is Kevin’s bout of hysterical vomiting interrupting Frankie’s training, so is her previous engagement with The Saturdays at the…*deep breath*…”Cosmopolitan Ultimate Women Awards”, because they’ve been nominated. I WONDER IF THEY’LL WIN! Frankie really wanted Kevin to come, but sadly he’s too unwell.


Sadly, Frankie wends her way to the awards with only the other four Saturdays for comfort, but thankfully their evening is lifted by their win against all the odds!

All those other nominees in the fight for *checks list* “Cosmopolitan Ultimate Women Awards #FabulousFriends in association with Baileys” Prize must be mortified, but ultimately proud that they lost to such worthy winners in the field of competitive friendship. Other winners on the night included Davina McCall, Melb, Morgana from that Morgana Show thing nobody watched, McBusted, and ABBEY CLANCY! ULTIMATE WOMEN (and McBusted)!


Welp. Frankie is dancing to “Work” by Kelly “Not Now” Rowland, and of course, involves a good 10 seconds of pretend sanding at the start.

What the actual… Anyway, Kevin then emerges from whatever it is that he’s been doing

welding his trousers to his body by the looks of it, and then they salsa. Sort of. To be honest, each iteration of Frankie’s Party Latin has got a bit more ropey since she started, and she wasn’t exactly amazing at it to start off with. Also whatever fever it was that Kevin had seems to have sent his choreography senses hay-wire.

What IS that? It’s like there’s a limbo contest and the bar is Kevin’s dick. Also this random moment here he just stands and

points at her arse, as she waggles it about like a Stars In The Eyes Beyonce. AND THIS

THIS AS THE SINGER IS YELLING “PUT IT IN!” Oh man, this routine is not good and she is not doing it at all well and let’s just end it so we can have the Waltzathong.

Over to the judges they wander, where Tess hoots “YOU CERTAINLY WORKED IT, MISSUS!”. Impeccable “your mum picking you up from a school disco” work there Tess well done. She asks Frankie if she’ll teach her how to shoulder-shimmy at the wrap party. Personally I’m envisioning Frankie at the wrap party slurring “JAKE COULD ONLY DO THE ONE FECKING DANCE, I WUSH ROBBED” as the rest of The Saturday rub her shoulders and tell her not to worry, at least she’s miles better than Rochelle was, WHAT AN EMBARASSMENT THAT WAS.

Bruno starts for the judges, telling Frankie that she really has the tools of the trade.

But what trade? He says that that salsa had more ingredients in than a recipe on Masterchef (if that dance had been a Masterchef recipe it would have had THREE TYPES of foam, and probably an air as well). He does think her mounts and dismount into and out of lifts were a bit rough though. Craig follows by calling it haphazard, which he thinks was caused by her her over-abundance of energy. Really? Frankie Bridge? OK…

Darcey follows by giggling about how Frankie was krumping (…) and twerking (………) and she loved how hot and spicy the routine was. Len closes by saying that Frankie will “never dance bad” (one of those fleeting moments there where I remember people whining at Alesha’s awful ghetto grammar and laugh) but that wasn’t her finest moment, and that salsa was a bit rough around the edges. Kevin protests that he likes a rough salsa and then Len yells OH WEWW YOU DO A ROUGH SALSA THEN AND I’LL GIVE YOU A BLEEDING 4 WE’LL SEE HOW YOU LIKE THAT THEN MY SON!

Except not.

Up To Claud 9 they ruminate, where Claudia lets everyone know again that Kevin was ill this week, and Frankie snarks “HAS HE, IT’S NOT BEEN MENTIONED?”. I do like her. Kevin follows this by saying that Frankie’s been amazing all week and her spirit has kept him going. Gin or vodka? Claudia then asks Frankie if she’s been finding the lifts difficult, and Frankie says that she has, because it turns out that she has no body strength. D’oops. Is being in The Saturdays don’t a 24/7 full body workout? Scores are in



This is Anton and Iveta. They are here to teach us how to Waltzamathong. The first preparation is apparently to squeeze your partner by the balls until he agrees to tell you his credit-card number. First of all – 6 couples will compete in the waltzamathong and unlike the swingamajig, they won’t be eliminated as we go along. If you start, you finish. Even if you’re Holly Valance and you can’t be arsed. Second of all – your starting position on the floor is predetermined by random draw. As is your finishing position. Third of all

CRUSH KILL DESTROY! Also…Anton and Aljaz wouldn’t be my slash-fic pairing ladies, but I guess you have to work with what you’ve got. Fourth – you will be marked based on your ability to do a waltz. Seems…sensible. Fifthly – no lifts or mucking abaht. AND IF LEN SEES YOU DOING A LIFT HE’LL DEFINITELY CONSIDER MAYBE PENALISING YOU FOR IT IN THE NEXT WALTZATHON YOU DO, JUST YOU WAIT *shakes fist*. At the end, the couples will be ranked from 6 points for the best to 1 point for the worst, and those points will be added to the leaderboard from earlier on.


PIXIE IS! Before they start, Len tells them if they bash into any other couple, they will lose points. Didn’t happen last time, when Ali and Brian pinballed around the floor crashing into everybody and still scored a 10.

The music begins (“The Last Waltz” by Englebert Humpendump) and if you want to know how the Waltzathong works as a televisual spectacle then

there’s a whole lot of this. From my perspective? Jake is awful, Mark barely moves, Caroline is ok but a bit loose in hold, I barely see Frankie or Simon, and Pixie is clearly the best, and Trent knows it as he repeatedly drives her

right up to other couples to put the shits up them. Rebel Trent is officially one of the most rando one-week storylines ever.

Anyway, the judges agree with me, so obviously my impressions were right and the final leaderboard looks like this.

WALTZATHONG! Now let’s never do this again.



41 thoughts on “Strictly Come Dancing 12 – Week 11 Performance

  1. Martin

    Anyone else think that SCD should do what every OTHER competition with a table in the history of the world has done and award the final points correctly, that is if there is a tie, the next position down does NOT get the next points total, as in this week’s leaderboard!

    Introduce it for next year – you shouldn’t luck out if there are couples on the same number of points above you. Mark & Karen should have only got 1 point this week, not 3! Why do they get a bonus of two points because of three couples on the same points above them? Do I remember a series where Len decided the positions when couples were tied, after the Tom Chambers affair, or am I dreaming that?

    1. Reya

      I think the thing where Len decided the positions was a Christmas Special (past contestants iteration) where four of the six couples scored 39, and were then informed that not all 39s are equal. I do sometimes wish that they’d do this in the real show as well, apart from it would probably just prompt loads of accusations of rigging.

      Points for finishing positions were awarded properly before the Tom Chambers affair anyway; it’s only after that that they ruined it. I guess now that there are always four couples going into the final they could switch back again as there will never again be a situation where there are only three contestants remaining and the judges scores actually matter. I do miss those days of two-contestant finals and everyone being made to dance until they actually died though 😦

  2. Rhona

    I consonant-vowel-consonant-consonant-vowel-consonant-consonant love this blog.

    I love Trent as well – he has to come back next year. Lumière! Magnifique! I would much rather have seen Mark or Jake go on Saturday – both of them (especially Mark) are getting on my wick a wee bit now. But though Pixie is a brilliant dancer, she never quite set the heather on fire for me in the was that say Natalie(WUZROBBED) did. If she had to go, I suppose it may as well have been this week with a dance that was a bit below par.

    On the Caroline and Pasha front, from where I was sitting (in front of my laptop), while she was still down in the end pose he clearly said, “Did you forget it?” then she wailed, “I’m sorry!” then he said, “Don’t show anything, you’re fine”, which I took to mean, “Don’t let on anything went wrong and we might get away with it”. Which I suppose is why he then covers for her looking like she wants to vomit by saying she’s still in character. Anyway, they’re my favourites. I love Pasha (don’t we all) and their partnership, though I still carry a torch for him and Chelseeee (though I thought he and Numbers had no chemistry whatsoever, so shows how much I know).

    1. missfrankiecat

      I heard “Both feet together” (not did you forget it) while she is in end pose; he lifts her and she says “I’m sorry” etc. Have a listen on Youtube.

      1. Rhona

        If you mean the youtube clip from the SCD channel, I don’t hear anything about feet on there. While watching live I definitely heard him saying “Did you forget it?” almost immediately after she goes down into the end pose, and watching the dance back she definitely looks like she did in a couple of places. Still a great dance, but it would explain why she looked so terrified.

  3. BeyonceCastle

    Numbers bitch never gets lame.
    Darcy comes across this series as Arlene at her cougar-iest.
    Len and Bruno need to be replaced by Anton and Brenda.
    Keep Craig as head judge. Bring Erin back to replace Darcy.
    Blow up Tessbot. Have a Zoe-Claudia combo. Chloe.
    Bring in two new hot male black dancers. Replace Ola with Jordana.

    1. dippydancing

      Agree with all but the Anton-for-judge bit. I still just about find him entertaining as a dancer(/perfect foil for Judy), but as a judge I reckon all of his Anton-ness would quickly become pretty unbearable. I suppose I prefer him diluted, not concentrated. However, I’d love to be proved wrong.

    2. connormuzz

      I’d prefer a judging panel with Craig, Bruno, Karen Hardy and Ian Waite, with either of the last two as head judge. Dump Tess – have Claudia and Zoe host the show and have Anton and Erin as the ITT hosts, except on Fridays when they could have Erin and Julian Clary instead.

  4. Min

    I felt sorry for Trent. It was Tess who brought up the dances for next week. She said American Smooth and Trent had a penny drop moment and added and Salsa. I just got they all thought it was funny rather than ya boo sucks to you.

  5. BeyonceCastle

    Nah I reckon Tony Beak could theoretically talk sense about ballroom whilst Erin reins him in a bit and Brenda talk sense about Latin. Plus he has judging experience already from the kiwi Strictly.
    Craig can tone down the panto villain act a bit but by and large his marks make most sense to me.
    Plus those appointments would make James Jordan even more bitter.
    In my dreams though as Len has recently done a Tess and said he will continue doing Strictly for as long as they keep asking him.

    1. Isolde

      I was so disappointed to see Len has decided to give up Dancing With the Stars, and stay with Strictly. I’d quite happily never see his ‘Salt of the Earth, Cockney Geezer’ act ever again.

  6. Jan

    I like Trent, his permanent state of apparent sarcastic knowingness has really grown on me. Also one week, I forget which, he reacted to getting a 10 in the most Australian way possible, when an attempt to shout “alright!” just came out as a yell of “AAAAAARRAAAAAAAGGGGHHH!!!”. I award many points for people reverting to national stereotype in times of strong emotion.

    I have an issue with this “twerking” thing. Surely that word refers to the one specific move of bending over, at least somewhat, and shaking ones arse up and down? On Strictly they seem to be using it in reference to anything of any kind involving ones arse. What is going on?

    Anyway, I cried laughing at the suggestion of Jake telling his children on camera that Mark has no children; brilliant work as usual, thank you.

    1. monkseal Post author

      Yeah, Miley twisted the meaning of twerking but Strictly has officially snapped it via just finding arses moving funny.

  7. PerfectCustard

    I really was impressed by both Simon’s dance and by Caroline and her Tango. I think that any liking I had for Jake has been fully used up at this point. I couldn’t tell that it was a charleston.
    Is Jake really that popular with voters? I do trust Craig’s marks more than anyone elses.

    1. monkseal Post author

      All we have to go on is dance-off appearances, but he and both Frankie have both had to escape awkward slots to avoid it, unlike Caroline.

  8. Elsa

    “Mmm hmm. I like Pixie, but if she ever gave even a fleeting thought that she might not be in the final I’d be very surprised.”

    I’ve been thinking about this – and rewatched a bit. Caroline and Frankie seemed so neurotically frightened that they’d be going home but Pixie didn’t. She didn’t seem “smug” or anything but didn’t put off the terrified vibe the other girls (and Mark and Simon) do. Maybe that’s what you have to do to stir the public – let them see the terror in your eyes? (unless you’re a bloke on a soap or some such unassailable position of power)

    1. monkseal Post author

      Pixie’s permenantly seemed a bit…off set. Not that I’m blaming Trent for any reason or anything (*cough*RIDINGTHEDONKEY*cough*)

  9. Perfect Custard

    Monkseal I just want you to know that I love the B52’s and you are right about Love Shack being a fun song, and Trent was not being rude. I think Trent is adorable and I want him back.

  10. Agrippina

    I can’t understand the hatred that some viewers seem to have for the “stage school” contestants on Strictly. OK,if this were a serious dance contest, then it might be a fair criticism that there are ringahs everywhere, but it’s not – it’s a big stupid spangly Saturday night entertainment show. The producers have to throw in a few people who are probably going to be good straight away just so that the first five weeks won’t consist of a load of complete beginners stumbling around doing mediocre waltzes and cha chas. Can you imagine how boring it’d be to watch?

    Trent – I have come to form a deep appreciation of your stoned Aussie charm (although not your bony knees in lederhosen) and if you’re not back next year I will be SEVERELY displeased.

  11. John

    The Single White Female dig, – LOL!

    I’d have Trent back before Tristram. I know the latter had one of the Jokers in the pack this year but Trent seems a better pro all-round, despite Trist being the big Oirish Roiyde that everyone except me thinks he is. This has surprised me as I dismissed Trent and Pixie as boring and slightly off-putting blonde ubermensch types in week 1.

    Not that her departure bothers me. She was never going to win in the same way that Natalie and Denise were never going to win. Too ringahry.

    Mark and his downright ODD perma-grin to go next please, though he is an alright sort. One of the blokes anyway.

  12. MorticiaA

    “Darcey…….looking more like a Tory wife at a village fete about to be disrupted by a disgruntled goat in an Alan Ayckbourn play than ever”. I’d say she has almost progressed to Hyacinth Bucket, with the aforementioned goat giving her more of a jolt than she’s enjoyed in the marital bed in years…
    Bravo, Monkseal. You get better and better each week. So many cackle out loud moments.
    Wish I could say that any of the remaining 5 really do it for me. Caroline and Frankie are relatively competent but needily terrified, Jake is a gurning malcompetent, and the less said about ‘umble old Mark the better. Even if Simon can smooth out his rougher edges he still doesn’t stand a snowball’s chance in hell. All a bit meh really..

  13. Marie

    Reading this in work and when I got to “or summon up a fifth nan”, I actually had to leave the office because I couldn’t stop laughing.


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