Strictly Come Dancing 13 – Week 3 Performance

A long time ago in a galaxy far far away… Aliona last got a ringah.

Last week : Helen’s dirty brain, Tristan’s tongue, Kirsty’s knickers, Daniel’s filthy horseplay, Iwan’s wiggle, Claudia’s handcuffs and Natalie Lowe’s tomato-tits all conspired together to produce the biggest untrammeled torrent of smut this show’s ever seen (post Arlene). Fortunately there were 37 other couples performing on the show, so the effect was diluted down enough that it was safe to have your kids watch. Through a layer of gauze. With smelling salts to hand.

This week :

Do you want to tell her what happens in Anton Party Latin, Anton or should I? At least there was no Westlife this year. Oh and also

it’s Movie Week, so for once my recap is actually going to be more narratively coherent than the show, for a change. Almost. Oh alright let’s call it a tie.


What do you think is distracting Pasha here? I’m going to guess that it is a kitty.

We start our evening with

a very special announcement from Aljaz and Janette. No, she’s not pregnant (although we can all picture the exact lift she’d give birth whilst doing right?). No they’re not having a nude wedding for OK! magazine (curses). No they have nothing to say about the Peter Andre court case…………IT’S TIME FOR MOVIE WEEK 2015! Featuring an opening pro dance with Katie as Holly Golightly

(you wait ages for Katie Derham to play a hooker and then two performances come along in one night), Anthony and Georgia as Rhett and Scarlett (seriously, who would have thought that the typecasting for female celebs this year would be whores and plantation owners?), Jeremy as Forrest Gump

possibly pulling that old popcorn trick until Aljaz has to intervene, Daniel and Carol as Jack and Rose

Kellie as

the evil dwarf from Don’t Look Now on the run with Mother Teresa, Jay as Indiana Jones, Ainsley as Charlie Chaplin, Peter Andre as

Brokeback Mountain (with Anita, Kirsty and Jamelia as his inevitably disappointed cowgirls), and Helen as

Marilyn Monroe, because she has been in character all evening and will not come out of it, possibly ever again, a bit like when Vivien Leigh starting thinking she was Blanche DuBoix when she went gaga. Oh yeah, and all the pros are there as well

being glamorous in a sundry sort of way. HOORAY FOR HOLLYWOOD!

As it’s Movie Week, Tess and Claudia both look primed and ready for the red carpet and actually I think it’s a fairly strong look for both of them

even if Tess’ contouring is a little Coco Montrese. They do a fairly standard “acceptance speech” style introduction to the glamour of Movie Week, thanking the celebs, their partners, the choreographer, God, and of course Michaela, the fake tan lady who applies it liberally via hosepipe. Well I guess an enema’s an enema right? These showbiz types…

They go on to say that they hope that our stars tonight can put on some Oscar worthy performances (Jennifer Hudson has one, it’s not hard) as they’ll be dancing to some of the best known movie songs of all time (and some songs that happened to be in disco sequences in kids cartoons) but they can’t be expected to raise their game without critics to tell them where they’re going wrong and correct them.

Hardly Pauline Kael and Roger Ebert are they? You’ll also be relieved to hear that, after sitting through being taught “The Strictly” on It Takes Two this Friday (in between Russell Grant squawking incessantly about how fat he looks) the judges don’t even bother to do it on this week. Time well spent that really could have been given to Robin Windsor telling us how the alphabet goes, or Christopher Biggins singing the hits of Jamelia whilst driving a golf buggy (I’M NOT MAKING THIS UP, IT HAPPENED).

Our Strictly Stars emerge and years of being a mainstream light entertainment icon has left Daniel O’Donnell with a

keen sense of when the camera is on him. (No I’m not just including that picture because of Pasha’s bolge, how dare you).

Nellie Forbush and Joseph Cable dancing the quickstep

Tess tells us that in this routine, Carol has been offered a hot date with Pasha on a tropical island. Oh no Pasha, it takes more than one series’ worth of duffers before you get passage to Erin Island, back you go. Two more years at least.

In her VT, it’s all smiles as Carol says how happy she was that her foxtrot went much better than her cha cha and that she actually really enjoyed it and that Len’s comments were lovely and that she’s really glad that the judges as a whole are seeing the improvement in her. I would suggest, based on this VT, that if there’s any song from South Pacific Carol should be dancing to it’s “Happy Talk”.

Training now, and it takes us through a day in the life of A-List Weather Queen Carol Kirkwood :

2:45am – get out of bed
4:15am – arrive at work
4:40am – write weather report up
5:00am – hair and make-up
5:40am – struggle with deep and confusing feelings of lust for Bill Turnbull and wonder if today’s the day you finally tell him how you really feel but then decide, no, I can’t, for the sake of the nation things must remain as they are between us lest our tempestuous passions drag down BBC Breakfast, and thereafter the entirity of BBC News
6:00am – go live to the nation

Pasha is notionally shadowing her to learn what her job is like, and he expresses amazement at just how tiring and exhausting her work day is. Pasha, you’re a dancer and she literally just reads words out whilst standing up, I think you could handle it. Having said that, Pasha does show in this VT that his sucky acting extends even to

PRETENDING TO BE ASLEEP, so maybe I’m over-estimating him.


Where Pasha is annoyed that Carol is taking so long in the shower. Quite right, get a move on Carol so Pasha can get in there. She and Pasha are dancing their quickstep to “I’m Gonna Wash That Man Right Out Of My Hair” which is quite a coincidence because I’d wash Pasha out of my hair, off my forehead, from around my mouth, all down my ch[PUNCHLINE REDACTED]. And yes whilst you’re all suitably disgusted let’s cover the most salient point of this entire routine.

Kardashian levels of “on display” isn’t it? Maybe they should have danced to Honey Bun instead? Pasha has put together a nice, light sporty, not terrifyingly demanding quickstep for Carol here, and she does her best to keep up, and in hold, although there are points where she’s obviously being dragged along, her frame’s all over the shop, and her footwork doesn’t really bear thinking about. Less good than last week, better than week 1, and it all ends with her


Once they’re over at the judges, Tess introduces Davearch and the Wunnerful Wunnerful Orchestra and also, as has become habit with Tess, our singers. Longtime blog readers will be sad to learn that emogirl82 is

emo no longer. I guess a lot of them do grow out of it eventually. Maybe it was Zayn leaving One Direction that did it. Len starts, saying he saw a lot more content there than he has the last two weeks. They just cut the trousers differently Len, it’s been there lurking the whole time, trust me. He goes on to say that she may have had a few technical wobbles, but she always looks happy and smiley and that’s nice. Given that Carol said last week that she was wise to “you looked like you were having fun”, you’d think he’d change this critique up but…it is Len. He don’t do change. Bruno follows by cackling that that was more of a lukewarm breeze than a tropical heatwave and that quickstep is defined as “looking like running on hot coals”. No Bruno, it’s defined as “it’s quick and it has a lot of steps”, listen to literally any pre-dance VT since Series 7.

Craig follows with a patented “limp, lame, and lacklustre” and Darcey closes by saying that she thinks Carol achieved a lot with that routine, but next week Darcey wants to see her glued to Pasha. Unless they have a jive presumably. Or a Charleston. Or any dance where you have to go out of hold really.

Up to Claud 9 they lather, with Carol picking up some theme week goodies on the way.

The usherette yells “THAT’S £12.50 LOVE, AND ONLY £30 TO COMBINE IT WITH A HOT DOG AND A MEGABUCKET SUPER MINIONS SLUSH PUPPY WITH FREE TOY MINION!!!” at her as she flees up to the waiting arms of Claudia. Who tells her that it must have been SUPER nerve wracking to open the show, but at least she now gets to sit back and relax and laugh at the shit they’ve made everyone else wear. Pasha’s all “Carol would you like some popcorn?”

and she replies “YES WE’VE GOT POPCORN (BUT I’M DOING AN INTERVIEW SO I CAN’T VERY WELL STAND HERE POPPING IT IN MY GOB CAN I?)!” like she’s speaking to a helper monkey. Mostly I’m wondering which movie has John Major dressed as a sailor. Is Edwina back? Claudia praises Carol for always being cheerful and Pasha mock-grovels that he couldn’t do what she does and get up at 3am every day. Yeah…don’t go getting up the duff for a while Rachel. Scores are in

17. Worst female quickstep score other than the Mighty Garraway there.

Rocky Marciano and Apollo Creed dancing the paso doble

Tess opens by joking that Anthony took Oti for a spa this week, but it wasn’t the spa she was hoping for. I now it’s YEAR OF THE MIDLANDS Oti, but Leamington Spa ain’t that great, you’re alright

VT time, and Anthony tells us that last week was soul-destroying because he thought he’d really aced his waltz and the judges told him that it wasn’t very good. There are few things in this world you should let chip away at your soul Anthony – war, famine, transphobic murders, the letters page of The Daily Express – Len Goodman isn’t one of them. Oti says that because Anthony’s “out of his comfort zone” it’s going to take him a while to get used to dancing. Yet again, the elephant in the room (HIS ARM IS WRAPPED UP TIGHTER THAN TUTENKHAMUN) isn’t mentioned.

Training now, and Glasses Oti

tells Anthony that their movie this week, much like their dancing, will be Rocky. Anthony is very excited that their routine is going to have a boxing theme, because it’s his world, and he’ll be in his comfort zone, and if Oti whacks him hard enough in his other shoulder, maybe that’ll at least balance him out. As preparation, Anthony takes Oti for a sparring session which mostly serves to show

what a fasion icon Oti is. Bringing full eye-liner to the world of boxing, just like Dennis Rodman brought it into basketball. Such a pioneer.


Don’t punch yourself out love, you’re better than that, you’re not Audley Harrison. Also, not to make the entirity of the first 20-25% of this recap about my sexuality

Oti as a boxer really is everything. I want to take a picture and hang it in my salon. The song, need you ask, is “Eye Of The Tiger” and the routine starts with Anthony punching along in time with the music and it more or less peaks there. The one arm that’s working does reasonably well for itself

but as for the other…

Oti is clearly working every single angle she can to keep that thing off camera. I’m not surprised she’s a qulified civil engineer, it feels like as much effort has gone into us never seeing his bad side as goes into mapping out an entire city. His movements throughout the whole dance are quite odd and jerky and a little…kabuki is the word that’s popping into my head.

His runs are nice, and he manages to get a decent arch to his back on occasion, but there’s no getting away from the fact that either someone on the show’s medical staff overestimated how long his shoulder would take to heal or they really were struggling for male celebrities this year, because he’s clearly too banged up for a proper run at the sho. Which is a shame because based on It Takes Two, he and Oti have the best interpersonal chemistry of any couple this year. Still I shouldn’t be looking at moves like this

and wondering if that face is real or fake.


Over to the judges, where Bruno says that he’s going to be rough with Anthony because he’s young and fit.

(Poor love). Anyway, that routine, per Bruno, was all aggresion and kung fung moves and no artistry or finesse. Tess honks “we all loved it!” and one woman woops mildly like she’s just emerged from a Ghost Train at a particularly lame funfair. Bruno closes by saying it was “all bang wash (sic) wallop” which…I think that was me in the shower with Pa[JOKE REDACTED]. Anthony puts this down to getting over-excited by the live audience. Bless’im. Tess next points out to Craig that he’s twice scored Anthony 4 now, and asks him if he intends to go higher than that tonight. Craig takes about 60 words to say “no”, as per usual. One of them is “spatulistic”.

Darcey follows by telling Anthony that that was his best dance yet, but he needs to push through fully with his posing and watch his tendency to mouth along with the beat. Given that Kevin and Kristina at the very least are both treating this entire series like karaoke night at the Dog & Duck, I’m not surprised that the celebs are picking up bad habits. Len closes by making a bunch of weird noises and mumbling “what I love…go…

…is that you do…go…erm…for it. Full on”. NURSE!

Up to Claud 9 they punch, where Claudia asks him if he enjoyed that, and he says that he did, although he knows that it wasn’t technically brilliant, and he hopes to continue in the show for a long time. Oops. Claudia then asks if it’s true he listens to Eye Of The Tiger before every fight, and Anthony says that it’s definitely on his playlist. Along with Miley Cyrus and Banarama, right Ant? He goes on to say that he is now thinking he got a bit too over-excited by the music and overdid it. CURSE OF THE IWAN. Scores are in


Vivian Ward & Edward Lewis dancing the cha cha

Tess opens with a joke about how, for this Pretty Woman routine, Katie Derham playing Julia Roberts won’t be a stretch, but Anton as Richard Gere might be. I dunno Tess, he’s already got the gerbil sat there on top of his head by the looks of it. (I really should look into getting legal representation for this blog shouldn’t I? Aliona?)

VT time, and Katie tells us that her tango last week was a bit of a blur because there was so much content.

Yes love, that’s why it was a blur, surrrrrrrrrre. Anyway, looking back now, shes chuffed to bits with how she did, even though there were a couple of obvious mistakes. To be fair Katie, Anton can’t help what Wardrobe make him wear.

Training now and

Katie already kind of looks like she’s doing the Turkey Lurkey dance, so let’s not push all of what’s about to follow on Anton. Just 97% or so. Katie tells us that Anton’s really getting into playing the sophisticated Richard Gere role from the film. I love how artfully this is all dancing around the fact that she’s playing a whore and he’s playing a john. FAMILY SHOW. Anton is showing this sophisticated side by

buying Katie great big slabs of “Millionnaire’s Shortbread” that look like they came from an Esso cafe and gumball machine jewellery, hammering away at his Amstrad Workcentre


no, I give up, let’s rip the sticking plaster off and get the dance over with.


OK first of all, the biggest problem with this routine is not the lack of content, or Katie’s dodgy technique, or even it visiting the thought of Anton curb-crawling into my brain, it’s that it didn’t begin with Ola and Joanne as bitchy shop assistants and Katie telling them that they’d made a BIG MISTAKE! HUGE! Unforgiveable. It’s Movie Week, give it a bit of RAZZLE DAZZLE. The routine itself feels very Jerry Hall 2.0, in that she struts to the stairs, struts down the stairs, struts to the middle of the floor and STAYS THERE FOR THE ENTIRE ROUTINE, whilst Anton flings himself around her like something out of Silent Hill. It’s hard to tell how good her technique is, because she’s not travelling or really even moving at all, even on the spot, except when Anton hauls her about. It’s even harder to find anything meaty to say about what’s going on other than she’s still got great legs. Also this :

takes far too long to get into, is pretty ugly anyway, and at points is definitely a lift if we’re still playing JUSTICE4TRENT which lord knows I am. It’s just…not good, and based on what she’s produced so far it’s hard to say why, other than to start talking in Len-esque “just not your dance” triteisms so let’s not. It’s such a marked change that I start to worry that maybe, just maybe, she got hit by a massive bout of nerves today and, for whatever reason and let’s not judge her, decided to turn up sober.


To the judges and Craig starts by saying that the whole routine was like a bad Internet connection – it kept on stopping and starting. Maybe a rat’s got at Anton’s fibreoptics? Craig says that he blames this on a lack of content and yeah, I take it back

she’s not sober. Anton jokes that he only had 90 seconds so he fit in as much as he could. Darcey follows with a seamless backhanded compliment about how Katie looks the part (the part of a prostitute) but she was expecting so much more from her. There were glimmers, but there wasn’t enough content to the routine to show it off.

Len is next and says that he agrees with Darcey – the expectations Katie set with her first two dances weren’t even remotely met here, and it was a disappointment because all she was doing was posing abaht. Anton at this point breaks in very gallantly with a little speech :

“To be fair, content isn’t Katie’s responsibility, it’s my responsibility really, and it’s up to me to pitch it a level she can do, and she is a bit crap so *shrug* but still she looked pretty didn’t she?”

What a gent. Bruno closes by reiterating to Katie that this is Strictly Come Dancing, not Strictly Come Posing. He doesn’t want to see her squander her potential.

Up to Claud 9 they shop where Claudia apologises for the judges and

even Helen looks a bit traumatised that the Year Of Anton might be over after only three weeks. That’s not even the Month Of Anton. Anton meanwhile continues to speechify Katie under the bus whilst trying to look as noble as possible about it. “Don’t blame her, it’s not her fault that’s all I trusted her to do” basically.

The brief thought that Anton and Katie actually hate one another briefly crosses my mind and for some reason makes me want her to win even more. I think Helen might actually be crying at this point incidentally. What an emotional weather-vane. Scores are in

20. Anton’s AGGRESSIVE shrug at Craig’s 4 is a thing of beauty.

Princess Leia & Luke Skywalker dancing the Charleston

Got voted out. Imagine the fun I could have had with this, you’re all fired.

Mumble And Gloria dancing the cha cha

Tess tells us that from his dances so far this series, we know that Ainsley always has a happy face. Except for his tango, where he didn’t, and his salsa, where nobody was looking a his face because his arse was going 100mph. But yeah, other than that, Ainsley’s happy face has been this year’s banner storyline. Anyway, this is a segue into the fact that he’s dancing to a song from Happy Feet. Just about.

In his VT, Ainsley gets very Laurence Olivier

/Darius Dinesh about how last week he could feel the energy in the room and the energy told him that people had enjoyed his routine and it wasn’t just because Evil Moira Ross In A Rainbow Wig got someone to flash a card up telling people to stand up and clap, it was REAL man, it was REAL.

Training now, and after about 5 seconds of pretend penguin waddling after which she hates herself and everything she’s become, Natalie decides to bin training off and go down Penguin Beach.

Which has now been featured on this show once and The Apprentice twice. Only Bake Off to go and it’s hit the BBC reality holy trinity. (Oh yeah…and The Voice…I guess). There, she and Ainsley “observe the penguins and incorporate their movement style into the routine that they’re going to dance on Saturday”. It says here. Next week : Ainsley and Natalie do a dance themed around “Willy Wonka And The Chocolate, Puppies And Fireworks Factory”.


Remember last year, when Jake got the Greekentine Tango, and we all agreed that that sort of high concept is the sort of thing that only really has a 15% or so of working at all, so maybe it shouldn’t be used on this show for amateurs, and if it is, then it should only be given to the ringiest of ringers, who might be able to carry it off? So what Natalie is trying to do with Ainsley here is to fuse together moving like a penguin with dancing the cha cha with a disco theme. And it doesn’t work. They’re dancing to “Boogie Wonderland” which I’m sure was probably in Happy Feet, to be honest I hated every single second of that goddamned film so it’d make sense that it had the worst disco track of all time in there. It is the opposite of Katie’s cha cha in that it is an absolute hot fried mess from beginning to end because there’s so much going on and lord knows what any of it’s supposed to look like but I’m sure it’s not this waddling with random tap breaks and rampant gurning and god why are the band shouting “MAMBO” every five seconds, make it end, God does not want this. At the end, Natalie taps out a great big ice crack in the floor so a video can reveal them stood on a heart shaped glacier and

it’s far more by luck than judgment that they’re even this close. A noble failure I guess. Some things are beyond even Natalie.

Up on Claud 9

a researcher looks like he’s getting a bit bossy in the background. Can someone squint and see if he’s hot, I’m going lukewarm on Greg since the beard. Len starts for the judges, saying that he loved the performance but he doesn’t know what happened over there *points vaguely* and we best not talk about it. I mean…that is your job, as a judge Len, I could not have picked out the worst bit of that myself, on my own, I need your expert guidance. Bruno follows by saying that if he had to p-p-p-p-pick up a penguin, it’d be Ainsley, and there was nothing frozen about tht routine, although it was off the boil, there were too many fish-fingers and a lot of blankety blanks. Bruno not so much mixing metaphors there as liquidising them. Ainsley admits that Natalie has warned him against over-ebulliance in the training room. I bet she has.

Craig is next and says it was a “cha cha cha disahhhhster” and

your answers for this week’s caption competition in the comments section please. Darcey closes by saying it was first class entertainment yah? (that’s how bad it was, Darcey’s tics are back) and she liked the “percussion section in the middle” (not even dignifying it with the name “tap” there) but there were lots of mistakes. She advises Ainsley that, in future, he shouldn’t look down at his feet when he makes mistakes, he should instead carry on looking out and cover it seemlessly

like so.

On the way up to Claud 9, Natalie liberally lobs popcorn all over the audience. Claudia tells Ainsley that she didn’t see any mistakes, I presume to dissuade Natalie from lobbing popcorn down her top. It does look like it’d be a bugger to get anything out of there. Ainsley tells Claudia that he takes on board everything the judges say and Natalie gives a shout-out to her parents in the audience.

I hope they didn’t come all the way from Australia for that. Scores are in


James Bond & Lucia Sciarra dancing the rumba

James Bond, an undone bow tie and these two. Truly, I am in heaven before we’ve even started. (There’s also a bit here where Claudia bosses Brendan around like he’s a dog, which would be a lot funnier if a) Brendan looked anything like a dog and b) if I hadn’t just watched *that* episode of Orange Is The New Black).

A badger maybe?

VT time and Georgia says she was really disappointed with her waltz last week because she’d done it much better in rehearsals, and we’re reminded that Bruno told her off for losing her neck in a Natalie Lowe roll. Georgia promises that this criticism though has only driven her to come back stronger and WAGGLE HER BUM TO VICTORY.

Training, and Georgia tells us that she will be dancing this week to the James Bond theme tune. I love the idea of James Bond having a theme tune. Like you’d have Dr Kananga waving cheerily over the credits at the end, hanging half out of a shark’s mouth. Very “Live And Let Hi-De-Hi”. She’s talking about the current theme tune incidentally, “Paycheque’s In The Mail” by Sam Smith (aka Evil Adele In A Rainbow Wig). Giovanni asks Georgia what she thinks of when she thinks of James Bond and she says she thinks of somebody cool who’s good with the ladies and drives fast cars. Giovanni’s then all

I LOVE CARS AND THE LADIES, WHY NOT ME? Where to start. The only role this VT has me convinced that Giovanni could play is a nonspeaking Duncan James in a Blue biopic. There’s a lot of attempts to undercut Giovannni’s overblown stereotype here – the flowers he gets Georgia still have the price sticker on and his “fancy car” turns out to be a tram – but I’d rather he not be a massive overblown stereotype in the first place, you know? I do however like when he does “finger guns” and he looks more like he’s auditioning for Dragostea Din Tei.


I think I’ve been to this website before. I hope he’s at least got his trousers on this time. Georgia meanwhile, if I’m giving myself bonus points for being nice before I have at this whole routine, looks

iconic here. Properly Dark Lady and Bad Girl and all of that stuff. I mean look at this!

And her face here!

She is working it like the rent is due. But this routine is being done to that awful squawly neutred new James Bond theme and I cannot endorse that, or undone bow ties or

this level of showmance frot this early on. SEDUCE THE WOMAN SLOWLY GIOVANNI. I don’t need knicker-flashing and necking only three weeks in. The rumba really should be a dance of seduction and this is all consumation from the very first second. There’s no teasing or sensuality or playfulness, just whamming and bamming and the sexy Heimlich Maneouvre all over the place. And whilst Georgia’s A1 at being sexy, nobody needs to swing their bum that wide every time they move their hips, it looks like one of those guys who tries to impress you by working their boxer briefs off sensuously without using their hands. Erm…yeah, you know, theoretically. Oh and the moment where they do a corporate training exercise and she falls backwards into his arms

possibly should have been left on the drawing board. In brief moments I see a more entertaining rumba

One themed around The Exorcist. I also have to report that, at the end of the dance, as Giovanni Bond leaves the Bad Girl in a crumbled heap of self-loathing and semen at the end of the dance he pops, not his collar

but his undone bow tie. These are new levels my friend.

Meanwhile up on Claud 9,

Aliona, Glen and Anita all have an impromptu Flavia Cacace lookalike competition. Who wins? You decide.

Once they’re over at the judges, Georgia wheezes that her clips are falling out. A nation of horny men with bad hearing are about to be very disappointed. Bruno starts for the judges by telling Georgia that that was a good rumba, but she needed to be more sinuous and make sure that her body had continuous movement, because that was all too stop-start. Giovanni

pulls a face and shakes his head. For future reference. Craig follows by saying that actually he agrees with Bruno, but he did love the spins and the drama of it all.

Darcey’s next and says that as soon as Giovanni got hold of Georgia she could feel it running up and down her back. And Darcey could too. She does think it could have been more languid and exagerated though. Exagerated languidness could be a thing, I guess. (Also there’s clearly some needling eye-contact going on between Giovanni and Bruno during this bit for whatever reason). Len closes by getting all

“I JUSS SEEN YOU LOOKING AT MY MATE FUNNY WHAT YOU FINK YOU’RE A BIG MAN OR SUMFIN” with Giovanni over Bruno of all people and tells him that he’s GETTING ON HIS WICK! (*drink*)

LOL busted. Giovanni apologises but of course Len thinks he’s the flipping Pro Whisperer these days and that Giovanni needs breaking in, so he tells him that the routine was too much posing and posturing and not enough basic rumba SUNSHINE. Well this will make for a fun It Takes Two segment. Let’s have a poll about how crummy the Sam Smith Bond song is to break the tension.

Up to Claud 9 they posture, where Claudia tells Giovanni to just nod politely along with Bruno in the future, because Len’s got rather fond of him over the years. Georgia giggles and says that she tells Giovanni this all the time in training. Georgia’s actually alright when she’s not drowned in schtick, maybe he should take note. Claudia asks her how she dealt with rumba, given that it’s usually a “repulsive dance” (amen) and Georgia replies that she just used her actings and that. Claudia then boggles at how she did that move where she just fell back on him. She just fell over Claudia, it’s not hard, I get the feeling the floor around Giovanni can get extra slippy anyway… Scores are in

27 Don’t mess with Len’s bird again Giovanni, he’ll cut you up.

Sugar Kowalczyk and Junior dancing the foxtrot

Tess tells us all that Helen has been busy with her job this week but it’s alright, because Aljaz has been pushing her hard. AND WHAT BETTER PLACE TO PUSH HARD THAN THE SET OF CALL THE MIDWIFE!!!

This woman’s face really set that joke off, I think.

In her VT Helen says that she had expected that things would calm down in week 2 but the voic…

the nerves were still there last week. Aljaz mutters that it’s nervewracking for everyone but Helen went out and performed with a lot of confidence anyway. Such nervy ringahs this year, calm down loves.

In training, Helen says that she’s really excited to do the foxtrot because Aljaz is really excited to do the foxtrot because it’s one of his favourite dances. My challenge to you is to keep track of what Aljaz’s favourite dances are, it’s not easy. Like a lot of things with Aljaz I suspect it’s “whatever you want it to be baby” and then back to playing on his XBox. Such a people pleaser. Look at his face when Helen tells him they’re visiting the set of Call The Midwife.

IT’S HIS FAVOURITE PROGRAMME! His favourite part is when the women give birth.

In fact as a special treat, Helen has wangled it so that Aljaz can be an extra.

She tells him he looks like Clark Gable. Aljaz tells her that he doesn’t know who that is. Bless. (He also really doesn’t).


Oh yeah, the VT didn’t really let Helen talk about how she was going to be Marilyn Monroe, because she probably would have exploded. She and Aljaz are being Some Like It Hot, and dancing to “I Wanna Be Loved By You” and she is going the full Marilyn Experience.

The neck-touching, the dress ruffling, the “oop oop ee doop”, the teeth-chattering, the slightly drugged-up eyes and the Chanel Number 5. It’s very glamourous and very parodic of old Hollywood and whilst she doesn’t quite look totally natural and comfortable in hold with Aljaz yet, and she’ll always be a bit too wired and febrile to be Marilyn, just because of her inherent…Helenness, I thank God she is in this series and bringing her energy to it, because she’s now had waltz, cha cha and foxtrot, the three dances with the biggest potential for beigeness and brought them all to life via her ticking timebomb of a brain.


Once they’re over at the judges, Helen gushes at Tess that she’s always wanted to play Marilyn (yes, we noticed) and Craig starts by telling Helen that she was really clawing at Aljaz during the routine

although maybe that was a character choice

YES YES IT WAS A CHARACTER CHOICE, WELL SPOTTED CRAIG A HA HA HA HA HA. And anyway, other than that it was gorgeous. Darcey is next and tells her to do what she did there in every dance – play the star. I hope Helen takes this to mean “Marilyn Monroe” every time. Just for Darcey.

Len follows and praises Helen for working so hard on her footwork and ironing out some of those dastardly ballet kinks that have held her back so much that she’s only second on the overall average score leaderboard. So hard out here for a ballerina. Bruno closes by saying that that was classic Hollywood glamour and made for a winning foxtrot.

Up to Claud 9 they boop, where Claudia tells Aljaz he must be so pleased that Len was finally happy with the footwork. Yes, what a three week journey this has been. Aljaz says he’s very pleased with his “Marilyn with beautiful feet”. Yes, didn’t Marilyn infamously have wopping ugly great hoofs? Claudia next asks Helen about her method and she says it’s really nice to have a part to embrace and that Aljaz really gave her a gift of a part. Look out Janette! Scores are in


Danny Zuko & Sandy Olsson dancing the cha cha

He’s got chills. They’re multiplying. And he’s losing control. Because the power. You’re supplying. It’s quite tingly. Like licking a battery. oooh. Tess jokes that whaever happens in this routine, she’s hopelessly devoted to Daniel. Because he’s got hold of those pictures and is charging her £1000 a month not to leak them to the press. She’ll do anything he asks.

Don’t mess with the mob, is the lesson here.

In his VT, Daniel says that he’s really happy he remembered all of his steps last week in his Charleston and also really happy that Craig told him that he could see a dancer lurking in Daniel somewhere. Daniel’s so pleased in fact that he says he’s going to “join Craig’s team from now on”. Yes he said it. Form an orderly queue boys.

Training now, and Tess tells us that Daniel will be dancing the cha cha to “Summer Nights” from Grease. Which of course means that Kristina is going to play sweet innocent virginal Sandy rather than…well the other options Kristina could have picked from Grease.

As well as Kristina though, Daniel is also going to have to get into character as a slick smooth-talking ladies man biker.

Quite. To help him out he brings his mates along dressed as “the Tea Birds”

ie old men who like tea. He tells Kristina, who drops in a “tell me about it, stud” for no earthly reason, that his boys like to drink “hydromatic…SYSTEMATIC…builders tea”. Lord help me I laughed.


Poor Kristina. Sat all alone at the Strictly lunch table. The oldest pro, cast aside by all these young ones, with only Natalie (eats food so spicy sitting across from her is like being pepper sprayed in the face) and Ola (probably off skiing) as her friends. BUT WAIT! WHO IS THIS, COME TO AWAKE HER FROM HER LONELY SLUMBER!

IT’S RAGING HOT STUD DANNY O DONNELL! Yes, Daniel is very much of the school that believes that wanton machismo is best displayed by letting your jaw hang open like Louis Walsh waiting for the names of his acts to be called as safe. Atlhough, he does do hip thrusts, which is more than I was anticipating getting out of him at any point of the series. His Danny Zuko looks more like Liberace, combs his hair like the Fonz, has the body of Elvis (circa 1974), and dances likes yer ma at a Shakin Stevens gig but it’s still a lot of fun and Kristina is

LIVING for him. The best part of any series for me is waiting to see what week Krazy Kristina comes out and gets over-invested, and I think we’re nearly there. Truly, this is when Strictly starts. I can’t get a decent picture of her belting the last note because the lasers are going like crazy but…she’s almost there alright.


Darcey starts for the judges, saying it was great to watch Daniel have such a good time, but he was really soft and doughy and she would have liked something crisper and cleaner.

Careful Darcey, those press-ons look sharp, she could have your eye out. Len follows by saying that it wasn’t quite Tears On My Pillow but it did lack a bit of Greased Lightning, because it was a mix between Summer Nights and Last Of The Summer Wine, but he enjoyed it. Len’s comments have never been more obviously scripted in advance have they? Daniel could have come out there like Alesha Dixon reborn in the body of a pudgy 50something Irishman and Len still would have got his telly references in there.

Bruno follows by saying it was more Danny Zucchini than Danny Zuco and that Daniel needs to stop treating every dance as if it’s the same. He calls him out for skipping along tweely without really trying to get into the cocky Danny Zuko character and then just…starts cackling insanely over how Danny made a mistake. Kristina starts hooting “HE’S LAUGHING, WHY IS HE LAUGHING?!?!” at Tess, like Tess is going to do anything about it. Craig closes by saying it was very stompy and lacked hip action but he did remember the choreography and show good timing, so there’s that. Craig tries to round this off by saying it lacked pizzazz and punch, but Danny’s Doddery Army are squealing too loud in the audience for anyone to hear, so Tess fully ploughs on hooting “YES, LOTS OF PIZZAZZ!” before Craig tries to splutter out an objection and someone cuts his mic off. Amazing scenes.

Up to Claud 9 they motor, where Claudia asks Daniel how he enjoyed his first latin dance, especially with Bruno being SO RUDE to him. Danny says he loved it and Bruno is juss jelus that he gets to be Danny Zuko and Bruno doesn’t.

Given how I’ve seen Bruno dressing off-panel, I don’t think he’s too far off the mark. Kristina starts yapping about how proud she is of Daniel and how hard he works so GIVE HIM SOME CREDIT and starts tearing up and…yup she’s gone. As is

my lunch. And Kevin’s, by the looks of it. Scores are in


Lady & The Tramp dancing the American Smooth

I mean, you could just about get away with saying Kirsty’s a dog there, but Brenda? Nah. It looks like a classic car’s backfired in his face. Tess jokes that she wants to know who’ll be taking the lead in this dance. Jason Gilkison by the looks of it (apparently this routine was originally ear-marked for Ola and they ported it over to Kirsty when Iwan got eliminated. That’s the worst game of Yankee Swap I’ve ever heard of).

In her VT, Kirsty says that she really enjoyed her salsa last week, particularly the lifts. Wasn’t the whole thing lifts? Anyway, Kirsty says that this was ironic, because she’s afraid of heights. Yeah, alright Alanis.

Training now, and Kirsty tells us that she and Brenda will be recreating an iconic scene from Lady & The Tramp this week, and they will do it dressed as dogs. So it’s either spaghetti eating or some offensive ching-chonging from a couple of spare female pros dressed up as cats. Does anything else happen in Lady And The Tramp? Anyway, Brendan tells Kirsty that as their routine is based around dogs he wants to “do something a little bit different” and

copy the narrative arc of Ainsley’s training VT of 30 minutes ago exactly. CREATIVITY ABOUNDS.


A mole? He could be a mole? Anyway, yes they’re doing the restuarant scene, although I would have loved to see them go the whole hog and have Brenda shove a giant meatball into her face using his nose. They also don’t get all the way down to the end of the spaghetti to actually kiss so…what’s the point? As a dance it’s a tale of two tails :

the one stuck ram-rod out the back of Brendan’s arse, and Kirsty’s, which is some sort of elegant shrug and which presumably is supposed to be serving the same role for her as Pasha’s brolly was for Carol last week – something to grip onto and focus on that isn’t some dancer’s sweaty palm – but which instead just seems to get in the way and

utterly fouls up whatever lift this is supposed to be. Anyway, it’s all a very nice attempt by Kirsty to be a sexy romantic dog, but her foxtrot base has the opposite problem that her waltz base did. Instead of clinging to Brenda like Peter Andre to panstick, she’s

just not bothering with the frame a lot of the time. It’s not gapping so much as chasming.


Once they’re over at the judges, Kirsty tells Tess that she had a brief “wardrobe malfunction” going into the second lift, and Tess is all “well if you WILL dress up like dogs!” about it. I’m sure it was their choice Tess. I’m sure Brendan was banging down the door of wardrobe demanding werewolf hands, a lot of black smear on his face and a 4 foot tail made out of pipe cleaners that looks like a massive poo. Len starts for the judges, saying that the performance was a lot more assured than previously, although it was a shame about the second lift. Bruno’s next and says that Kirsty was well trained and kept under a tight leash and hey presto! Brenda got results from her. Sort of. How very 50 shades.

Craig follows, and says that it lacked flow and grace, and he thinks that’s principally due to Kirsty’s lack of balance. GET A BALANCE COACH IN! What a great VT that would make. Also her arms are “completely devoid of emotion”. The bastards. Her poor shoulders. Darcey closes by saying that she can see that the nerves are completely gone now, which is great (like you can tell emotion with half of Max Factor all over her face) but she needs to improve her transitions.

Up to Claud 9 they bark, with Kirsty refusing popcorn on the way. Oooh, she mad, huh? Once up there she tells Claudia that it’s such a pity because it was all going so well and then the stoopid costume ruined everything for her and then that threw her off for the rest of the dance. Natalie meanwhile

thinks “hang on, at least your animal doesnt have to waddle, mate”. Claudia goes on to get Brendan to wave to his daughter at home so she can see daddy dressed as a dog and Kirsty parps up “AND MY BOYS TOO!”. Yeah alright love calm down. Scores are in

23. I wonder if when Kirsty signed up she thought she’d be celebrating quite so much over a 23. Also I’m amazed we got through that whole dog themed section without Brenda crowbarring in that he won Flockstars (despite also being first boot) (lol what a mess).

Jack Sparrow and Angelica dancing the paso doble

Less “sailed the seven seas” as “got dragged through seven hedges backwards” isn’t it? Tess tells us that this week, as Peter is playing a pirate, we might get to see his “treasured chest”. He appears to be wearing at least seven layers Tess, I doubt it.

In his VT, Peter tells us that doing so well with his quickstep gave him goosebumps. The end. Wow, they really are shuffling Peter Andre : All-Conquering Frontrunner into the bin as quickly as possible aren’t they? Give him a bit more narrative loves.

Training and, as Peter is pretending to be a pirate, Janette is taking him to a ship to get his sea-legs. Remember when Janette took Jake to a battleship last series to prepare for his Titanic rumba? I think she’s got friends down by the docks is what I’m saying. Oh and he’ll be doing it

dressed like a pirate. Actually I think that costume would have looked 10 times better than what he actually ends up in. In that it’s clearly been washed at some point. Janette and Peter board the ship and then the parrot comes to life and is also Craig and Peter pulls lots of faces

like he’s advertising Immodium. Seriously? You couldn’t have voted this out over Star Wars FanCon 15? OK.


Janette is on the verge of being made to walk the plank, presumably by ballroom dancing experts after what she did to the quickstep last week but WAIT!

HERE’S PONDRAY! I have to say, for a dirty ringah, he did that a lot less convincingly than Steve Backshall did it last year. He also

appears to have landed in the sea. Let’s not ponder the mechanics of this scenario too closely, the Pirates films are a mess anyway. They’re dancing to music that is apparently from Pirates Of The Caribbean, but which sounds uncannily like the theme tune to every BBC Friday night drama of the last year, regardless of appropriateness. Musketeers, Ripper Street, one of the more dynamic Have I Got News For You specials… As a Peter Andre dance it’s probably my favourite yet, just because all of Peter’s dances are exactly the same stompy jerky routine that looks a bit like the Insania dance but with different vague themes and this week’s vague theme was “pirate nonsense with Peter dressed as Brian Blessed going to Hallowe’en as Russell Brand whilst Janette mugs her face off as a saucy pirate wench” and if you didn’t know that sort of thing spoke to me then…you must be new. It’s also (SPOILERS) much easier to enjoy in the knowledge that the judges aren’t going to pretend it was a technical masterpiece and he’s also no longer the frontrunner.


The crowd go wild for it, although that’s probably because it featured the greatest ratio of smoke machine and dry ice to actual dancing of the evening, and Bruno starts for the judges by saying that that was a crowdpleaser, but Peter really needs to work out improving his posture and his Spanish Lines. If you didn’t know that at this point Bruno was going to leap up and demonstrate

again, you must be new. That’s what not to do, incidentally. Craig follows, and tells Peter that he has a tendency to lose his neck, particularly during his apelles. Darcey protests that Craig couldn’t possibly see Peter’s neck under the tent he’s wearing and Craig snorts that he could tell anyway, thanks dahling. Oooh. Tetchy.

Darcey’s next, and praises Peter for managing to pull off most of the choreography, especially given the fact that he was wearing an entire Claire’s Accessories, although she thought his mirroring was a bit dumpy. Whatever that means. Len finishes off by saying that Peter isn’t Jack Sparrow, he’s JACK EAGLE, STALKING HIS PREY. Is this a Lifetime movie? When A Famewhore Calls? Regardless, Len then talks about how much he loves Theme Weeks and how much effort goes into hair and make-up. I guess if Brenda’s not going to do it someone else senior needs to step up to the plate.

Up to Claud 9 they swashbuckle, where we immediately meet and greet with Peter’s parents

who are celebrating 60 years of marriage today. Peter jokes that his dad told him that the secret to 60 years of sucesful marriage is not speaking to one another for 40 of them. Is that because you weren’t letting them get a word in Peter? Anyway, yes, Peter loves his mum and dad and let’s face it, his kids and his wife and his Little Cousin Scampy too. Claudia then compliments him on being so committed and full-on all the time and the backhander sails right over his head. Scores are in


Natalie Cook & Peter Kominsky dancing the salsa

Me either…

VT time, and Jamelia says that she was nervous about going on first last week, but once her cha cha started, she was really feeling it. Until she got to the judges.

The countdown to Jamelia kicking off proper style continues. She goes on to say that she was really gutted to be in the dance-off last week, but she’s going to do everything she can this week to ensure it doesn’t happen again. S’alright Jam-Jam, the judges will be doing most of the heavy lifting for you…

Training now, and as these two will be dancing to a song from Charlie’s Angels this week, Tristan has decided to set Jamelia some “technique based missions” to fulfil. These missions include :

practice your spins and turns in the street

dance your salsa with a shopping trolley (ask Anton about Nancy Dell’Olio), and

somehow don’t make a point about how everyone criticised your mate Alesha for poor grammar and yet Len always gets away scott-free. Needless to say, I would fail at the last of these missions. After all this business, Jamelia grins that she hopes that she now has what it takes to be Tristan’s Angel on the dancefloor. Well, as long as it doesn’t involve him yelling “SEXY SEXY SEXY” again, I’ve only just eaten.


Jamelia’s mission, should she choose to accept it, is to find Agent MacManus and dance the perfect sa…

never mind. As usual, Jamelia’s “mission” gets forgotten about 15 seconds in, in favour of her acting out whatever random thought passes through her head. They’re dancing to “Hevaen Must Be Missing An Angel” and whilst it has got a bit more life and energy to it than her effort last week and she does some nice drops and spins, it’s very “drunk in the club at 1am”. All a bit random and haphazard and unfinished and unthought and at one point

yeah, that happens. Tristan’s face is so comedy OTT horrified there that I almost think this might be a deliberate tribute to the delightful and subtle slapstick of the Charlies Angels movies, but let’s face it, what wardrobe have made of Jamelia’s hair is a monster that defies prediction or organisation. Maybe something living in there bit him? I think my favourite part is when she just goes down on her heels and keeps on bouncing there, like she’s warming up for a sumo bout. I guess you have to build up leg strength somehow, but it’s not very salsa.


Once they’re over at the judges, Craig tells her that that was a little rough around the edges

I agree, Tristan. I agree. Anyway Craig reels off an absolutely laundry list of how sticky, laboured, ugly, messy, clumpy and terrible it was, before closing by telling Jamelia that it really was her dance. And he’s not being sarcastic. Oh Craig. Sometimes you are a mystery. Darcey follows by telling Jamelia that she oozes natural rhythm all over the dancefloor, and that’s her selling point. Isn’t her selling point that she called Javine a slag once? Anyway Darcey does think she detected some issues with Jamelia coming into and out of the lifts. Well spotted Darcey, I can see why they’ve kept you on for four series now.

Len follows by basically confirming that they’re throwing Jamelia a freebie this week and telling her that it wasn’t quite Mission Accomplished with the technique, but he loved her energy and enthusiasm, and Bruno closes by trying to appeal to Jamelia as a technically accomplished singer (…) by telling her that she should stop trying to pre-think moves, and just follow the melodic line of the song, like she would a song. Ah yes, the beautiful melodic lines of Beware Of The Dog. Jamelia’s all “ah yes, now I understand”. Tristan meanwhile

looks pained. Honestly would be nice if I felt like Tristan gave a shit at some point.

Up to Claud 9 they shuffle, muttering to one another all the way (I don’t think they hate one another guis, I’m sorry, I just think he’s only here for a pay-cheque, which is not the genre of pro I’m really here for) and Claudia asks Jamelia if it was good to get nice comments from the judges after working so hard this week. Jamelia says that she’s pleased and that her aim to come back each week a little bit better and work a little bit harder. Claudia then asks Tristan if he’s proud of Jamelia and he just mutters “of course of course, every week, she’s getting better, and stuff”. So. invested. Scores are in

25. Jamelia is so pleased she starts crying. Tristan…vaguely rubs her arm a bit.

Jerry Travers & Dale Tremont dancing the Charleston


In his VT, Jeremy says that he was sad that he didn’t quite have the breakthrough with Craig he wanted last week, but he’s so glad that Len noticed his heel lead and complimented him on it and it gave him

a lot of feelings. He’s just clinging to any positives he can find. It’s interesting that Jeremy on this show is basically the personality equivalent of Ian on Bake Off, but what’s been so popular here was so unpopular there. I guess it helps to actually be a bit rubbish at the thing you’re being so humble about, authenticity wise.

Training now, and as Jeremy’s doing the Charleston, he’s drafted his brother in to help

Tim Vine is available for pantos, bar mitzvahs, Radio 4 sitcom pilots and Buzzfeed listicles. Jeremy tells us that Tim is here to help make sure that their Charleston is authentically and actually funny. Well…funny enough to get on Dave, at least. To his credit, once Tim’s there his angle seems to be “I’m not actually a choreographer, so no”, although he does tell Jeremy to make sure he keeps his eyebrows mobile. Good luck competing with Karen’s caterpillars mate.


Jeremy is dancing his Charleston to “Top Hat, White Tie And Tails” and of course, after they got the comedian in, it’s probably the least deliberately comedic Charleston ever in the history of the show. It’s all very small gestures, subtle faces, little movements. No jazz hands, or gurning, or comedy wing-wangs just very contained and insular dancing. The only reason I would have identified it as a Charleston rather than an as an American Smooth : Musical Theatre variation is the lack of stuff in hold (which I could pass off as being because it’s Strictly ’15) and because of the abundance of swivel (which I could pass of as it being Jeremy and him moving in odd random ways generally). I have to admit I’ve seen a lot of people say “WOW JEREMY’S ACTUALLY REALLY GOOD NOW” and…I’m not really seeing it sorry. It just feels a bit like the trainwreck is being contained within a smaller area of floorspace, although I guess he’s got the whole routine down, which is a small mercy. Maybe it’s just that he looks a bit like Slenderman this week I don’t know.

Not that I begrudge him his triumphs obviously, he seems nice and that.

It gets an enthusiastic standing ovation, and Darcey starts for the judges by saying that she was really impressed with how much Jeremy tightened up this week, and kept his limbs under control, and she still thinks he’s “fabulously unusual”. In summary, Fred Astaire would be very happy. I think Fred Astaire’s watching the rugby Darcey, but never mind. Len follows, in tears, saying that that was a great mixture of Hollywood and Borehamwood, and Jeremy can trust him as “the old one who knows everything” (…) when he tells him that was genius.

Bruno follows, declaring Jeremy both the King and Prime Minister of Funny Walks which to be honest I think is going to cause a constitutional crisis at some stage. He goes on to say that Terry Gilliam could not have drawn this dance better and it really was an unexpected delight. Craig closes by huurling cold water all over Jeremy’s little blazing bonfire and tell him that it was dancing by numbers and it looked like he was being operated by strings. Len disagrees with Craig, by which I mean Len jabs his pencil vaguely in Craig’s direction and opens his mouth. It’s symbolic really, and content free. Very Len.

Up to Claud 9 they shuffle, with Karen scooping up arms full of popcorn cartons to shovel into her mouth later on. As Karen scoffs away, Jeremy says that he’s so proud to be called a genius by Len, but he also has faith that he’ll get higher than a 3 from Craig one day.

Just not today. 24.

Molly Jensen & Sam Wheat dancing the American Smooth

I love that Gleb has embraced his destiny and gone full ice-dancer here. I read an interview (I know, I know, The Daily Mail but still, it’s an amazing interview, his wife sounds like a nutter, please read it) with him which contained this amazing quote from him about his time on Strictly Russia :

‘If you want a sheep for your number they’ll give you a real one,’ he says. ‘For one of my dances they built 12 cars and blew them up.”

GLEBMAZING! Tess introduces them by telling us that this week they’ll be recreating the famous scene from Ghost that featured Patrick Swayze and a potters wheel. Is this some sort of tie in with that rather grisly looking “let’s just do Bake Off but with pottery” nonsense on BBC 2 (no, we’re not recapping it, before you ask).

In her VT Anita says that last weekend, with her Charleston, was amazing and she really loved how Craig told her how ambitious she was. Gleb also

looking like his group just got kicked out the Six Chair Challenge, says that he was really really pleased with all the judges comments. Oh are we leaving out how she almost pitched a fit when we went from 7-8 to 6-6 when clearly she was expecting better oh ok we are.

Training, and Anita says that one day into her training for this, a Viennese Waltz based American Smooth she’s feeling like this :

Is that a good thing or a bad thing? You look like you’ve just inhaled hairpsray girl, what am I taking from this? To further muddy the mood, Gleb tells Anita that to get her further into the mood, he’s going to take her how to do pottery.

Yeah, I bet that really boosted her confidence Glebbers well done. He tells her that this is because of his “magic hands, baby” and Anita cackles at the sheer stupidity of it all. This is like 13 Going On 30 where geeky teen Jennifer Garner wakes up as an adult dating the ice-hockey playing stud of her dreams and it lasts for about 5 minutes because he’s such a…Gleb in real life. Anyway, of course this is all an excuse to play out the Frotters Wheel sequence from Ghost as an Anita dream sequence.

Unlike Series 8

where it was all too real.


They are dancing, of course, to Unchained Melody and it is officially the campest thing I’ve seen on Movie/Musicals Night since Brendan redid Phantom Of The Opera with Bloody Lulu as Christine. I mean, Gleb has clearly completely over-estimated Anita, in terms of her dancing,

her acting,

and her ability

not to repeatedly smack him in the head as he hauls her into a lift, but it’s a Theme Week, and what else are Theme Weeks for other than pushing the limit of ludicrousness your celebrity partner is able to push themselves to. Now he needs to step back, recalibrate, remember he’s the one nominal frontrunner pro this year other than Anton without a dirty ringah, and do something a bit less terrifying next week. It all peaks, of course, with the big “I NEEEyYUyyuuuYYUD YOUR LOOOOOOOOOVE” at the climax of the song at which point Gleb pretty much shoves Anita down onto the floor and unleashes this

which I presume is suppose to look like rutting on the floor, but instead ends up looking a bit more like a toddler crawling manically for a bickit that mummy dropped on the floor by accident. No Gleb, bad Gleb, you’ll ruin your dinner. (Although the lift he hurls her into afterwards is pretty fun).

GLEB HAS FINISHED SEXING YOU, HUMAN LADY, AND NOW MUST RETURN TO HEAVEN. (Remember when Dr Hammie did this dance and we thought the end pose was a bit OTT because she just sat gazing off into space? I can only apologise Hammie)

They go over to Tess and she asks them what “that move” was and Gleb turns to camera and says

“The Gleb Special”. Amazing. With cheese or without? Len starts by cackling that Gleb scuttled across the dancefloor like a rampant crab, and that if that had been any more theatrical he would have hated it. How could that have got more theatrical Len? How? She was rubbing her own face and neck 5 seconds in and it escalated from there. Bruno follows by saying that Anita looked so possessed during that routine that he nearly called Ghostbusters. He says that he loved how committed Anita was to the dance, but if she’s going to do contemporary she needs to polish it a little, and then offers a demo.

Again – this is what you’re not to do. For the record.

Craig is next, saying that the whole thing lacked finesse, mostly because Anita isn’t a trained dancer, and it really shows with her arm placement. She needs to pull her shoulders down and extend out more, but Craig did love the choreography. I have never been less surprised by anything in my life. You could see Craig nicking bits for “Lisa Riley : My Life Story 2” as they went round. Darcey is asked next by Tess if she liked The Gleb Special and Darcey replies “……..I liked the lift coming out of it, that was my favourite bit”.

Poor Gleb. It’s an acquired taste I guess.

Up to Claud 9 they spirit, where Claudia asks Anita if she’s ok, because the judges seemed to be a little overcome by the dance…other than her arms. Anita says she’s fine, and that her arms is a topic that’s been covered in training. Oh, was she punching him in the back of the head there as well? Claudia cackles to Gleb that at the high point of the dance she thought they’d both fallen over and was hoping they were alright, and Gleb dead pans that it was all a trick and they’re both fine. If Gleb didn’t go backstage and rend down at least two sheets of wallpaper over people not appreciating The Gleb Special properly I will be surprised and disappointed. Scores are in


Vincent Vega & Mia Wallace dancing the jive

Tess tells us that these two will be performing their jive to a medley of songs from Pulp Fiction, and that it will be set in a diner. After all, what better way to prepare for a fast dance than with some fast food? Yes Tess, if you want to spray it all over the front row and get a stitch.

VT time and

Jay’s makeover’s already a little out of control isn’t it? You can see why he normally just lets it grow out, one week on and the thing’s already got a mind of its own. Anyway, Jay thinks their waltz went very well nice time thank you. Aliona says that the scores they got were amazing, but what the judges said about them meant more.


Training, and

give me a minute, the only vaguely attractive male celeb to me this series is rehearsing a bouncy dance in grey flannel.

There we are. Jay and Aliona train for their jive and Aliona jokes that it’s a pity that Jay had his hair cut last week, because he’ll be playing Pulp Fiction John Travolta in this dance, so he needs a ponytail. Jay jokes that John Travolta’s do was probably a clip-on anyway. I mostly ponder Daniel O Donnell being *this* Travolta as well as the Grease one. I mean…he would have played it exactly the same, but I still would have enjoyed it. They go to a diner and recreate the Big Kahuna Burger scene from Pulp Fiction…ish.

This is the closest we get to Aliona actually eating the thing and she already looks disgusted just being in its presence. Dancers eh?


So Jay and Aliona are recreating the dance competition sequence from Pulp Fiction, the idea of which is that, of course, both John Travolta and Uma Thurman’s characters are terrible dancers – him because he doesn’t want to be there, and her because she’s doped up to the eyeballs. And Aliona, as much as I have bagged on her previously for her choreography, plays it all perfectly as a piece of theatre. There’s the

deliberately naff stuff to start off with for 5 or 6 seconds, then

propah impressive jive for the rest of “You Never Can Tell” (which I actually severely under-rated on first watching it) then

fupping AMAZING jive as soon as “Misirlou” kick in for the grand finale. There’s nothing like someone doing something really well, then suddenly realising they were holding back as they really kick in. Boys (*wink*). It’s a real coup de theatre on Aliona’s part, and obviously it wouldn’t work if Jay couldn’t jive, and he can. The only problem for me is that sometimes he is legitimately nonchalant and cool, and sometimes he is

this. And we’ve been here before, with Louis, with Sophie, with Harry, with people saying that they’re above “gurning” and should just be allowed to do the same blank face through everythingwhich…mmaybe they are, but the performance on a week like this has to carry through the whole routine. Still 9s and 10s for sure for this one.

The crowd goes wild, instantly, ie not with a researcher frantically flapping at them as it is sometimes embarasingly obvious is happening, and in the audience we cut to his mum clutching some random and crying and mouthing “oh my god”. The random may well be a girlfriend because let’s face it, they’ll keep that one under wraps for a while if he has one.

Over at the judges, Bruno is already on his feet yelling that that was the BLOCKBUSTAH EVERYONE WAS WAITING FOR

Yeah, she’s out of the wilderness now. He goes on to yell that Jay outdanced Travolta, and everyone here tonight, and that was the BEST DANCE EVER! I love when Bruno goes first on occasions like that, because…how do you follow that? The declaring that that was the best dance that ever existed? Good luck. Craig follows by saying that that was the best technique they’ve ever seen on Strictly, Darcey says that he’s the coolest and sexiest gay on the show, and Len closes by saying that was the best dance so far this series, but it’s all a bit lame after Bruno’s excesses.


Here’s your leaderboard


33 thoughts on “Strictly Come Dancing 13 – Week 3 Performance

  1. Martin

    Great review as always – have to just mention that Craig did also say at the end of his bit for Jay ‘by a male celebrity’ but it all got a bit drowned out by the euphoria – I think that Craig still prefers Jill’s (as do I). Still an amazing dance for week 3 though – we’ll be seeing that again in December, no doubt…and next year when Jay and Aliona kickstart series 14 as this year’s winners?

  2. RhetoricAlley

    Benchmarking The Jive: It already has nearly 350,000 views on youtube, after 2 days, only about a dozen of which are mine. Kellie and Kevin are in second place with about 38,000 (Georgia and Giovanni in third).

    It’s already got more views than Caroline’s charleston last series, but needs to pretty much double its numbers to match Sophie’s…

    (btw, youtube’s favourite jive is Alesha’s, 1.2 mill)

  3. Penny

    I thought the point of the Pulp Fiction dance was that it’s very difficult to dance well as a couple when one of you is on cocaine and the other is on heroin. Tragically even Aliona wasn’t up to the task of expressing that within the routine though I’m sure she tried.

    1. monkseal Post author

      I’m fairly confident there’s at least a couple of pros who’ve shown over the years it’s not VERY difficult to dance well on cocaine nudge nudge

  4. Liz Magnus

    Monkseal I think that is one of your best recaps ever! I have sat here in stitches. Thank you so much for all your hard work. I have read silently over the years but had to write a post here this morning. 🙂 thank you again! x

  5. Pops

    Your Kristina Grease character poll has convinced me that I’d do my Strictly Movie Week tango to Cool Rider from Grease 2. It’s either that or a sensual rumba to Reproduction.
    How much does Aliona suit that wig? If they’re struggling for VT storylines, maybe they could have another trip to the hairdresser’s so she can get that hair do for real.

    1. Lesley Rigg

      a rumba to Reproduction, hilarious, love it!! Preferably with the add on dancers from the film too. Marvellous! Grease 2 is massively unrepresented. I think a nice foxtrot to “Let’s do it for our Country” in a nuclear bunker is something that has been sorely missed in Movie Week!

  6. Sue Howarth

    Boogie Wonderland was a chart hit in the 70’s. I loved it and sang along throughout the routine, so that was one part of that dance I enjoyed.
    It brought back a host of memories
    Back in the day what dance we saw on TV was in 2 camps.
    Pan’s People on Top of the Pops. This was a group of skinny women posturing vaguely with no obvious dance moves wearing very little clothing, The aim was to be oggled at by Jimmy Saville
    Alternatively banned from the BC was the naughty dance group Hot Gossip starring Arlene. Now admittedly the theme was always some sort of fetish that would have Pamela recommending “reward him if he gets it right” But it was a joyful ownership of sexuality and was a much better role model for young people

    1. BeyonceCastle

      Ah hot gossip RIP Kenny Everett.

      Pan’s people? There was one special girl. Beautiful Babs. Don’t know what her name was.
      (Porridge Ronnie Barker)

      But let us not forget Legs and co who took dancing in their nighties to new levels.

  7. Marcela

    Great recap, thanks for that!
    I know the claws are out there for Giovanni but I like him a lot. I’ve watched some of his videos on YT and he sure knows about competitive dance. What I’m not really getting is the Gleblove. Sorry, he is just too weird, too robotic, he seems like a Stepford husband with that perma smile on him. Crawling on the floor and calling it “the Gleb special”? I’ve watched the whole thing with a mixture of embarrassment and horror, the pose in the beginning with them staring at each other non stop totally freaked me out!!! Massive “eeeeeeek” for me.

    Tristan is just not arsed, is he? Not one bit. He could at least fake a bit of enthusiasm for the sake of his partner (who I don’t really like but let’s be fair, every celeb deserves an invested pro, don’t they?)

    Am I allowed to say I miss Iveta AND her Socials Korner? Can we bring her back? I don’t think I’ve ever missed a dancer that much 😦

    1. MorticiaA

      Totally with you on the Giovanni like, swimming pools of sweat aside. He comes across as completely overwhelmed by the whole Strictly lunacy, and very uncomfortable with the Italian stallion mark 2 role the producers have clearly asked him to play. Besides, I suspect that spending hours teaching little miss dim must be soul destroying. As for Gleb…. Methinks Glebbie has got away with social murder by cheese for years due to his pretty cheekbones, and not spent enough time developing any non Mattel doll pull his chord and he speaks personality or wit therein. Gleb special…… Meh…… Rapidly losing any interest in Tristan, who really cannot be arsed, can he? How did he get the Strictly gig as such a giant lump of inertia???? Or is he Anton’s replacement to take on the duffers in future series?

  8. Left Feet

    I am 95% sure that he will win that Jive was knockout, it will be like 2011 again, except that Jay has started much quicker then Harry (by being a much bigger Ringer). Short of injury, prison or hitting royalty he will win.

  9. Huriye

    Cheers Monkseal for a very entertaining read as always. 😀
    Was it wishful thinking or a typo calling Jay a “gay”? 😉

    If you think Boogie Wonderland was bad Disco then you can’t have heard Tina Charles.
    I’m with Sue, it was a fabulous track, and I’m only sorry poor Ainsley had to faff abaaht pretending to be a penguin instead of letting rip with the moves and grooves you know he’s got.
    BTW Sue, Arlene didn’t star in Hot Gossip did she? She was only the Choreographer, Sarah Brightman was the Star. And I LOVED Pan’s People. Their sexy routine to Bowie’s Jean Genie in 1973 was more amazing than anything Hot Gossip ever did (which was generally tacky).

    It was nice to see Xtina giving it large with the ending, and showing some enthusiasm for being with DOD, even though she looked like the oldest teenager in history. She does create good routines though.

    Thanks for the drooly pics of Aljaz, that look on him is a combination of gorgeous, sexy, charming and amusing. I still don’t know what he sees in Janette.

    As for this week: a) No, Jo Clifton, the 70s were way better than the boring 80s, and Oh No! The naff SYTYCD choreographer again. Do you think he’s ever even seen an episode of Strictly? I can feel a letter to the Radio Times brewing.

    Finally, if you’ve got any Dance ability whatsoever, you can add Tristan to the List of Pros you certainly don’t wanna be paired with and have a hope. Never has someone with so many admirers lead me to believe he was somefin when the sum total of him is absolutely nuffin.

  10. Chris

    Well I’ve got to cast this hypothetical Grease production now.

    Bitter Pregnant Rizzo – Aliona (nobody else gets as close to jaded as Aliona)
    Slutty Sandy – Kristina (sorry)
    Cha Cha DeGregorio – Janette (ba-duh, except we’ll have to call her Salsa DeGregorio)
    That One From Grease 2 What Dry-Humps A Ladder – it sounds very Joanne
    Beauty School Drop Out Frenchy – Oti (because she could rock pink hair)
    Innocent Sandy – Natalie (ROYDILL HOY IS JUST AMOYZING)
    Jan Who Loves Food – Karen
    Marty Who Likes Older Guys – Ola (I know James isn’t much older but… he’s not aging well)
    Principal Eve Arden – Craig in drag

    This was fun.

  11. Lisa

    Wot no T-Birds in this hypothetical Grease?

    Danny Who’s Meant To Be The BEST But Just Isn’t As Cool As Everyone Wants Him To Be – surely Gleb
    Kenickie, actually not giving an actual fuck actually cool – Trent. Bring back Trent!
    Comedy Doody With The Serious Crowd-Pleasing Streak – Kevin
    Fat Sonny Who’s A Bit Of A Comedy Perv – Giovanni. For perviness and unintentional comedy.
    Sweet Virginal Putzie Who’s A Bit Naïve But Hey Who Cares – Pasha
    Balmudo, Aging Leader Of The Rebels – Anton (natch)
    I Don’t Give A Fuck They Pay Me No Matter What Shit You Lot Come Up With Coach Calhoun – Darcey, perhaps…

  12. stevenperkins

    Gleb’s account of Strictly Russia does sound amazing. It also makes me wonder what sort of requests he’s already had vetoed by the producers for reasons of budget/health and safety/actual insanity.

  13. DJ Mikey

    Carol’s Quickstep wasn’t great – but it was honestly better than I expected. Also Army Pasha, there is no way this can be a bad thing – especially when he had to be poured into those trousers.

    Anthony’s Paso Doble was actually really good, it’s a little stiff at times but he produced some nice lines and it’s a real dance (insisted of that mess Le Andre vomited up). I was truly hoping he could stay in the competition until his arm was healed and we could see doing really well unencumbered.

    Katie’s Cha Cha was horrible – but I’m giving it a pass because Pretty Woman is legit one of the best movie’s ever.

    Kellie’s Charleston should have been something special, I’m sure it was for most people. But they allowed her to speak, so I was hyper alert of the fact that I really can’t stand Kellie or Kevin. Thus the whole thing just annoyed me.

    Ainsley’s Cha Cha reminded me of Priscilla Queen Of The Desert – so I approve. Natalie’s making camp her full time occupation (even more so than usual). Future music choices should include:

    Alicia Bridges – I Love The Night Life
    Gloria Gaynor – I Will Survive
    Kylie Minogue – It’s Never Too Late
    Olivia Newton-John – Hopelessly Devoted

    Georgia looked gorgeous and her Rhumba had some nice moments in it, but’s never going to be one of the iconic dances of Strictly – like Kara’s Rhumba. I still find them annoying, but it’s overshadowed by Kellie and Kevin, also by my current intense dislike of Jamelia.

    Aljaz wore glasses other stuff happened!! I’m sorry what was I talking about again, was I supposed to be paying attention to something? Who’s Helen?? Aljaz’s celebrity you say, nope still don’t have a clue who you mean. Alijaz wear a sailor’s hat, officially now the 1st best abandoned hat on Strictly – because it was worn by Alijaz.

    Daniel’s Cha Cha was several dozen levels of disturbing, top off with “Why is this happening”??

    Kirsty’s American Smooth was a previously unimagined level of WTF, that I still haven’t fully recovered from and might never comprehend.

    Le Andre’s Paso Doble was an abomination. Seriously I’m surprised we didn’t grab torches and pitchforks, and chase it to some abandoned castle or underground crypt. Karen’s vamping couldn’t save this train wreck. Why on earth was this allowed to happen, why on earth did this score more than Anthony’s Paso? The world is stupid and I don’t want to live in it any more.

    Jamelia’s Salsa was more of Jamelia being irritating and increasingly shit. I can’t help but feel that Tristan’s internal monologue is muttering under it’s breath about “the horror”. I remain confident that someone on set had to remind him, “You’re supposed to be happy, you’ve survived another week” this is why he spent the results show looking like a Ken doll.

    I’m still finding Jeremy weirdly adorable, he’s so endearing but I had no idea this was a Charleston. Still a Charleston that arguably isn’t a Charleston might be a good thing.

    Anita was completely out of her depth, Gleb’s choreography was beyond her capabilities and it showed. I hope he gets his act together because I like Anita and she was showing some promise before this. Can it be arranged that we never see a “Gleb Special” again?

    Jay’s Jive was amazing and Aliona’s levels of smug are going to be off the charts. That’s my girl, I am expecting to see a Paso with custard induced death and an American Smooth so wafty that Natalie Gumede cries at how half-hearted her wafting was.

  14. SV

    Re Jay’s jive (its the only bit Ive read so far)… the random next to his mum…. are we sure its not a sister (they looked a bit alike – that’s all)?


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