Well someone just got a lot less busy…
We open and
the chances of Erin and Anton returning and doing a nice ballroom number to Moon River/dancing with a marauding Tomzilla Clone Army are dwindling with every week aren’t they? Or even of Vincent and Flavia returning and shilling whatever it is they’re doing now. This week’s EDM Contempobollocks is a Splishy Splashy Rain Dance to “Umbrella” and “Here Comes The Rain Again”. It’s being danced by Janette, Ola, Kristina, Pasha, Trent, Aljaz, Karen and Some Guy.
*shrugs*. I remember when this show was an hermetically sealed domes and no professional dancers in the worls existed other than the ones within the four walls of the Strictly Ballroom. Now they’re pouring in from all over the place.
Now, I don’t want to call this dance pretentious twaddle
oh wait I totally do. I’m taking the whole thing as revenge on Annie Lennox for her continued refusal to be accompanied by dancers. SEE WHAT WE DO TO YOUR SONGS IN RETURN ANN! At one point there’s a jump-cut and then there’s
WATER ALL OVER THE FLOOR! IEEEE! I’m saying when you use the same dance performance tricks as Chico at Judges Houses it might be time to dial it back a notch.
The band strikes up (I always love how furiously Davearch’s stand WOBBLES at the first note) and Tess and Claudia emerge.
Can you imagine if Claudia got a dash of water right in her mug? She’d look like she was wearing blackface in about 2 seconds flat. She thanks the pros for the opening numbers, and tells us that “Some Guy” was in fact Latin World Champion…Neil Jones. I don’t know about you, but I don’t find “Neil Jones” a very World Champion-y name to be honest. Apparently his dance partner is called Ekaterina Jones (And The Legend Of The Mayan Gold) which is much more like it. Claudia apologises to everyone in the first few rows who got wet. And as that routine featured Aljaz and Pasha dancing with their shirts slashed open to the pubes, that’d be quite a few people I’d imagine.
Tess reminds us next that our six remaining couples danced last night and whilst for some it was raining 10s, for the rest it was a stormy night of high pressure.
Tess’s Joke Faces get more and more…more don’t they? Anyway, the two lowest scoring couples when you combine judges scores and Waltzathong scores and viewer votes and Evil Moira Ross In A Rainbow Wig’s Emergency TOO MANY POPSTARS Button will face off in the dance-off and 500 Digital Spy Mental Threads O’Doom Will Be Born That Night. Deciding their fate will be (two of) our judges!
Bruno is literally the only person still putting any effort into this bit. I wonder if they’ll do it on tour. Craig coming on doing his tubby little pirouettes and then Tomzilla charging round gurning their faces off to Sweet Charity. Oh and also Len’s Glans and One Republic.
BUT FIRST! Your Week In Greg.
A little anaemic after last week’s Double Dose, but I guess it was too much to hope for two weeks in a row of Greg-Squared.
Yet again no “That’s Claudia!” this week, and straight into the Safety Sex-Faces
Notice that when Karen’s *actually* surprised, she looks it, rather than just hopping around screaming like a Howler Monkey on amphetamines at a One Direction Concert sponsored by Red Bull? Anyway, first in the dance-off are
these two. Now there’s been a lot of discussion as to whether this is Len’s fault for branding them as dirty cheats, or Trent’s fault for being snarky, or Pixie’s fault for not sorting her legs out, or, again, if you’re a Digital Spy Mental Kevin’s fault somehow (…) but I think the real answer is that it’s my fault for writing that paragraph long screed about how Pixie was floating through this competition incident free and jinxing her. Sorry Pixie. I’d say I’d buy your album to make it up to you but…we’d both know that’d be a lie. Of course at this point this still feels a bit like her “oh never mind Denise/Natalie you couldn’t be kept out of the bottom 2 forever, but don’t stop planning your showdance, you’ll be fine” moment.
Tess calls them over, and feel free to imagine Tess doing this entire interview like she’s speaking to a toddler. A toddler pug dog. In a cardigan. She reminds Pixie that she was second on the leaderboard last night (not rubbing it in at all) and asks her how she’s feeling. Pixie says she’s scared and then she and Trent just kind of
gaze at one another through gritted teeth. Craig is asked what Pixie needs to do in the dace-off and he tells her to straighten her legs a bit, but very quickly so he can get in a little eulogy about how amazing she’s been all series, presumably because he knows the chances of HEAD JUDGE LEN abandoning Frankie, Jake or Simon for her are pretty slim, and he’s not going to rail against the injustice of it all on It Takes Two this week as he’s off doing something marginally less panto – eg actual panto. Tess then actually goes “BWESS HER SHE’S SHAKING!” right down the camera-lens. Oy.
Up on Claud 9 with Claudia dressed as
your hippy aunt’s bedroom, she talks up how very shocked everyone is. She asks Mark if he expected to be the dance-off and Mark calls himself “The Underdog” about 50 times and says he was stretching himself out backstage in preparation. Oh Mark. I know Craig likes you, but even if you give yourself up like that, he is but one judge. He’s so glad though that he has now reached the part of the competition where he can say that he reached the
“something-finals”. What a noble aim. I believe Patsy Palmer has that on her business cards – “Patsy Palmer – Scrubber In A Puffa Jacket & Strictly Something-Finalist”.
Claudia next asks Caroline if she thought ever that this might be it for her, and Caroline replies that yes, as Pasha will tell you, she’s always talking about the end.
Pasha agrees. Which particular end, I don’t think we have to specify.
The OneRepublics doing that song Mark done his tango to. NOW THAT’S SYNERGY. I can only hope he’s sorted his hair out from when he was on X Factor, when it made Pasha’s Series 10 hair look like a positive masterpiece of construction. At some point
Pixie and Kristina come out and paso. At some point in the series you have to give up trying to find something to say about these guest performances I think, especially when they’re singing a song you’ve heard 50,000 times this year perfectly competently.
Time now for Len’s Glans. The judges are already sat down this week, so rather than mince on and do a half-splits, Bruno just
looms around like an out of control parade-balloon let loose over Manhattan. WATCH OUT REGIS AND KATHY-LEE! We start, as I suppose we must, with the very pressing saga of Pixie’s legs. Claudia asks Len what he thinks of them.
Need I say more? Len says that he thinks Pixie started off well with her legs, but lost it towards the end of the dance. For some reason we get a clip of Pixie’s leg action being good which…nobody watches this segment to see things going well guys. They don’t do slow-mo for the Formula One when someone takes a corner really smoothly. We’re here for the multiple car pile-ups, and Pixie’s knees knocking together like Vincent and Kristina in the cupboard on tour is such a moment. PLAY IT! This is then followed by the most boring clip in Len’s Glans history – Mark Wright going into hold.
YAWN-A-RAMA. Darcey says that Mark was much better at getting into and out of hold this week than he was last week. In the salsa.
We next cover how clever Kristina was making Simon click his fingers all the way through his American Smooth rather than doing anything with his hands. Len preens that this is the pros job – to hide their celebrities deficiencies. Yes, and I’m sure Kristina will thank you for making her job a lot easier by blarting it out that she’s doing it all over the shop. We next cover Craig repairing his 5 paddle after Tess snapped it in twain, and Bruno retiring from the show forever as he has now found the man to whom he can passs his
gurny torch. Bruno sighs yet again that Jake looks like a Fellini character. I never knew that Fellini directed The Hills Have Eyes.
One last Safety Sex-Face now
GOT YOU THIS TIME KEVIN! (Did you hear about that woman who got her face ripped off by a chimpanzee? I would imagine this is like T minus-4) This leaves Simon and Jake facing the news and
I mean…they could have left more suspenseful pairs. Tess welcomes them over and tells Simon that he doesn’t look very surprised. Simon says that he’s not, and then immediately launches into his goodbye speech about how he knew nothing about ballroom and latin before he came here (Katya : “THANKS A LOT, BIZZOTCH!” *throws shoe at tv screen*) and he’s had the best time ever. Tess reminds him (/rubs it in) that he’s been here twice before and Simon is so
clearly holding back “yes, but neither of those times was against Grand High Ringah-Supreme” that Tess is lucky her back is turned. She asks Darcey what Simon should do in the dance-off. She says just do the same as he did on Saturday. What not, even correcting that lift where Kristina nearly stabbed him in the armpit with her stiletto heel? OK DARCE.
Back up to Claud 9
where Claudia looks more patchouli than ever, where Frankie’s in tears over being safe, and we revisit the “Frankie rehearses for the dance-off” meme again. I hope Frankie was actually there backstage in that glittery welding mask doing the salsa like something out of Silent Hill. She sniffles that Latin isn’t really her thing so she thought she was doomed this week. Kevin gives props to the Waltzathon for giving them a little bounce, and then says that he’s so proud of
THIS GIRL. Brenda’s descent into utter redundancy is complete. When they steal your catchphrases, that’s when you know it’s over.
Jake of course had the opposite trajectory to Frankie – great in his dance but crap in the Waltzathong, so Claudia basically runs the same interview backwards. Jake tells Claudia that he doesn’t think that anybody’s safe at this point. Jake, by my count you, Frankie, Mark and Caroline are all in fact safe at this point. Claudia asks him how he’s going to cope with his Eastenders schedule and learning two dances. TWO? Won’t his cha cha just be his samba again but to Livin La Vida Loca? Jake says that he’s got next week off.
Next Up :
a VT about how everyone’s worried about having to learn two dances in one week. I’ve never wanted to adopt a Saturday more. I wish we’d had this VT when Holly Valance was told she’d have to do two dances in one week. I believe the words “FUCK” and “THIS” would have been quite prominent.
Once this is done, we’re back on the balcony for a pre
dance-off interview, with Claudia reminding us both that both couples scored 35 on the night. SO DIS AINT GONN BE EASY. This is the first time two dances with the same score have faced off in the dance-off since Mark vs Fiona fact-fans. The following exchange opens :
Claudia : “Simon you’ve been in the dance-off…”
Simon : “TOO MANY TIMES!”
Claudia : “Well only twice but…”
Simon : “No, no TWO many times, do you get it?”
Claudia : “…”
Claudia’s interest in anybody else trying to be funny remains low. Simon and Kristina continue to give their Goodbye Speech, and Pixie gushes that she’d be SUPER-SAD to go clearly not thinking it’s about to happen. Trent meanwhile has clearly, fron his face, learnt the most important lesson a pro can learn in their first series.
Don’t trust Len. Not even for a second.
Welp. Before he reveals his death-blow to Team Trixie, Len gives a long-winded speech like he’s at the end of No Country For Old Men about how he needs to do what he needs to do in order to know in his heart of hearts that he did right today, and I swear I briefly contemplate that he might actually pull a Colt 45 out from under the desk and blow his brains out live on tv rather than have to choose. At the stroke
Simon collapses to the floor in a…not entirely unostentatious way, as Pixie and Trent hug it out. Up on Claud 9, Frankie, Kevin and Jake do their best to look sombre whilst Janette is full on
clapping and cheering and going “WOO-HOO ONE LESS PERSON WHO CAN DANCE TO GET IN THE WAY OF MY GLORIOUS PATH TO VICTORY!”.
Once Simon’s been scooped up off the floor with a fish-slice Tess and Pixie
eye-ball one another intensely before Pixie says that she’s so sad to be leaving before she got to learn the salsa and the American Smooth and the 5000 lifts Trent was going to throw in there just to hack Len off. She thanks Trent for being the best possible partner for her (genetically) and says that she loves everybody else in the Class of 2014. Trent calls Pixie the most sweet and genuine girl anyone could want to meet and then Kristina and Darcey
cry her out.
Rare it is to have a series with two actual shock-boots in it. First the hunky-dunky Sportsman on a journey and now the “judges favourite” being cut outside the final. HAS EVERYTHING WE KNOW ABOUT STRICTLY CHANGED? CAN A MAN ON THREE DANCE-OFFS WIN? CAN PASHA DO A DECENT SHOWDANCE? WILL LEN ACTUALLY PENALISE RULE-BREAKS THE WEEK AFTER HE INDICATED HE WAS ABOUT TO START DOING IT? (lolasif) LET’S FIND OUT, OVER THE NEXT TWO WEEKS!