Strictly Come Dancing 13 – Week 4 Performance

The Jamelia Strikes Back

Last Week : Ainsley was a penguin, Daniel was a tubby middle-aged biker, Gleb was a murder victim, Peter was a ratty pirate, Kirsty was a mangy dog that tripped over its own tail, Katie was an immobile prostitute, and Aliona was a crack-addled ho. Ah, the magic of the Movies.

This Week :

I don’t know why they’ve themed the intro like this other than that they literally cannot stop themselves but it gave me the joys of “J.Melia”, Daniel conintuing to audition for “Last Of Hannibal Lecter’s Summer Wine (A Nice Chianti)”, and Jeremy trying to give authentic dirty sexy thug-lyfe right down the camera-lens, so I’m all for it.

Now how do you schpell DUI again? *hic*



The band strike up, and Tess and Claudia emerge, on the arms of Aljaz and Kevin respectively.

Which Cher videos has Tess come as tonight? Did a dog get hold of her dress before she came out? Why is her hair modelled on Pat Sharpe’s Greatest Hits Of Fun House? All these questions and more won’t be answered this evening, but hey, one of the Hairy Bikers is in the audience so who cares! Tess reminds us that last week was Movie Week and also the week that THAT JIVE happened from St Jay of McGuinness do not question the holy jive or hoardes of middle aged women will defend on thee wielding rolled up copies of the Radio Times bellowing “LEAVE HIM ALONE, HE’S JUST A SWEET SHY KID!” and correct thy heathen ways. The altar of St Jill of Halfpenny meanwhile is tended now only by a handful of adherents, all mumbling a sotto voce mantra about bloody props and all these new oversexed foreign pros who look like thugs and don’t even speak proper English all the time. Arbitrating over these matters of ecclesiastes are of course our wise judges who are

yes, still doing The Strictly onto the floor, as Darcey’s slow-morph into Cilla Black continues a-pace. Someone claiming to be from the BBC Press Department approached me on twitter this week asking me to spread the word about The Strictly. Now there’s brand synergy. Personally I would be willing to do the Gleb Special every week over the credits, and if Tristan wants to do a demo video of *that* to teach me, I’d be happy to watch.

Ahem, time to meet our Strictly Stars

ANITA’S TITS! (Thanks Gleb)

Anita Rani & Gleb Savchenko dancing the samba

It’s like someone who really didn’t want to get dragged up onto stage at Dreamboys isn’t it? Tess reminds us that last week saw the birth of the Gleb Special, which Len compared to a “rampant crab”.

One of my favourite subplots of this week has been It Takes Two’s desperate attempts to find someone, anyone, who will take up for the Gleb Special, all culminating in Bonnie Langford on The Friday Panel telling everyone to stop it because it was ugly and vulgar. Gleb and Bonnie Megaringahs 2016 plz!

VT time, and Anita tells us all that last week was lovely, but there is nothing “easy” about Gleb’s choreography. NOTHING! Except how it invariably involves him ripping his shirt off and penetrating her in the middle of the dancefloor.

GLEB SPECIAL STYLE! I mean this was only your third date Anita. I know it’s 2015, but that’s still pretty easy. Oh and at this point Gleb actually points down the camera and says

“GLEB SPECIAL! BOOM!” and that is it, I am his, for as long as he can remain on this show without pissing somebody in authority off too much to stay. Which based on past history is just going to be this one series, so let’s embrace it.

“Training” now, and yet another training VT in which the inside of a dance studio is not seen once, as we immediately start with Anita and Gleb in Windsor Park surrounded by people in Children In Need get up. Gleb asks Anita why they are there, and she replies that they’re there to take part in a charity ramble. Gleb asks

WHAT IS THIS “RAMBLE”? GLEB IS CONFUSED! CAN WE NOT DO CHARITY STRIPATHON INSTEAD GLEB START. Anita explains to Gleb very slowly that rambling is like going for a walk, but “taking in nature” at the same time. Mostly leaves in my experience. Anywho, Gleb and Anita go on a ramble with some civilians and Gleb teaches her, and sundry others, how to samba at the same time. This is probably the most effective cross-promotion this show has ever done, because I now really want to watch Countryfile to see just how Gleb Gleb was.

Very, I’m hoping.


DJ GLEB69 WRECKING DECKS AND GIVIN YA SEX! GETTING IT ORN TIL THA BREAKA DAWWWWWWN BOOOIIIIIIIIIIII! And so on, Anita and Gleb are doing the first samba of the series to “Hips Don’t Lie” by Shakira with a beach party theme and it begins with what looks uncannily like a

reverse Gleb Special. A laicepS belG if you will. Clearly a move so iconic that it has changed the face of dahnce forever. Or at least the ones that Gleb does. There’s no denying that Anita can writhe with the best of them, that she’s got the routine down, and she and Gleb have cute interplay, but it’s missing a real samba bounce from her. To be honest, it’s classic Strictly salsambcha right down to Gleb flinging her randomly between his legs and then flinging open whatever button has somehow remained done up on his shirt. Also

flagrantly playing to the gays. I know the last place I saw poses like that and it wasn’t on this show (although the storyline was very similar to Helen’s party latin later…).


It gets a raucous Standing Ovation (what proportion of that is for Gleb’s Chest I couldn’t possibly comment), and when they’re over at Tess she gurns that she’ll have to book a week’s holiday at that beach.

Don’t stop at just one week Tess, really treat yourself. Take a month. Maybe two. Right through Christmas if needs be. Len starts for the judges and says that Anita’s Hips Don’t Lie and neither does he (apart from that time they found him in the men’s dressing room with Ben Cohen’s SPORTSMAN jockstrap over his head) (note to all men : “IT WASSUN ME!” doesn’t work, Shaggy lied to you all) – she took too long to get into the rhythm and her footwork was a bit suspect.

But otherwise it was good. Bruno is next and Tess asks him if he wanted to gatecrash that party. Well, Gleb was giving him an open invitation in parts. Bruno says that he likes to arrive at parties late and make an entrance (decked in furs and with a wind machine) and Anita seemed to be the same. It took her a while to get there, and she stalled up on the way a few times.

Craig follows by telling Anita that she did freeze up on occasion and she could do with a more efficient spotting technique (yes, it’s almost as though she didn’t get taught one at stage school or something…) but he loved her enthusiasm and her isolations. Darcey closes by saying that Anita’s determination and focus really shine through (especially when Len criticises her) in how she’s improved her hip action and isolation, and whilst it was missing flow, Darcey was too busy being distracted by Gleb’s glebtoral muscles to notice. PROFESSIONAL DARCEY!

Up to Claud 9 they shakira where Claudia is waiting in a

comically oversized shirt. It still looks more natural on her than that Malbiu Barbie pink beach towel they made her wear for her first post-Brucie results show NEVA FORGET. She starts by asking Anita how it felt to go on early, given that she’s normally late in the running order (well at least they’re mentioning it in her case PETER), and Anita says that it was very difficult, especially given how demanding the routine was. Gleb mutters into his chin that Anita did very well for someone who’s never danced before, and the scores are in

27. And I will break my embargo on recapping post scoring nonsense to report that Claudia rips open her shirt to make fun of Gleb and he promptly

one-ups her all “YES I AM A NARCISSIST! BOOM! WHAT OF IT?”. I love Gleb so hard. (There’s also some business with Brendan handing around cocktail sausages and…not based on what I can see based on those trousers it’s not)

Daniel O’Donnell & Kristina Rihanoff dancing the American Smooth

It’s almost as though the semi-naked foreign man scared all his voters away and they never came back isnt it? Oh and it was also an airline themed American Smooth that saw off Fiona Fullerton in Series 11 so start up your “Departure Lounge” based conspiracies here. Before the dance, Tess hands out some cashew nuts as an “inflight snack” to the audience. I can’t believe there’s nibbles here and Alesha’s not around to scarf them, it’s so unfair.

In his VT, Daniel reminds us all that he did Grease last week, and was enjoying himself so much he sang along. Both his and Sandy’s parts. Not Rizzo though, the skag. We’re treated to a clip of Kristina kicking off backstage about how 21 is DANIEL’S LOWEST SCORE YET IT’S RIDICULOUS and I’m still so sad they didn’t last longer so she could have a proper Kristina meltdown. We didn’t even get to hear her go “HOH! HOH!” once. Daniel rounds this bit out by telling us that in life your glass is either half full or half empty. Of water, with a lemonade chaser.

Training now, and Tess tells us that Daniel’s American Smooth will be “aviation themed”. It’s plane themed Tess – for “aviation” it would have needed to get off the ground. Daniel tells Kristina that he’s worried about being able to carry off the lifts, but it’s alright, Kristina has a plan!

PLANEWIPE! I so want to see the face of whoever it was who got to insert a planewipe into a Strictly VT. I bet they were happier than Gleb’s wife on laundry day. Kristina’s solution to Daniel’s nerves is to make him do one of those flight training simulator games you used to see on The Krypton Factor. Yeah, that should help. Next up : watch a spoof detective drama starring Tony Slattery and Sandra Dickinson and answer 6 observational questions. Daniel plays his computer game, he’s boringly competent at it, the end.

I do wonder how I’d feel if I was settling down into my seat pre-flight and I heard Daniel O’Donnell’s voice over the tannoy. I’d probably conclude I was about to appear in a Panorama expose about pilots who swig cough syrup on long haul flights and leg it out the door, sharpish.


Kristina and Daniel are dancing to “Fly Me To The Moon”, and really this was never going to be Daniel’s dance. As much as people might have snorfled about his lack of sex appeal for the latin pre-series, there is nothing that Daniel is more fatally lacking in than suave, and you can’t play that off as a joke the same way in an American Smooth that you can in a Danny Zuko From Grease themed cha cha. To match this Kristina has choreographed a routine with an absolute bare minimum of potentially awkward pizzazz (no, him flinging his pilots hat off like The Full Monty does not count) and I’m not sure if this is a good idea as it leaves the whole thing feeling very bland and undercooked, with the two lifts hurled out aimlessly at the very end within seconds of one another, and an awful lot of

dad dancingesque finger clicking and

gawd save us, whatever this is.


Once they’ve reached Tess, she asks Daniel how his nerves are this week.

Moving swiftly on, Bruno starts for the judges by saying that he’s still waiting for his upgrade to first class, because the dance lacked wow factor. At this Kristina inhales so sharply through her nostrils I worry she might actually get uplift and take off backwards into the audience. Daniel jokes to Bruno that there might have been an air pocket. Did Kristina fart idgi? Craig follows by saying that the dance was lacking in swing and sway, which is often difficult for male celebrities to perfect, and therefore style, but Daniel’s got great musicality and the lifts went well. All a bit too safe for him though.

Darcey follows saying that she agrees with Craig that the lifts went well, but she thinks Daniel should use his musicality to hear the swells in the music, and then swell similarly himself. Good to know. Len closes by saying that with Daniel you’re definitely flying on Easyjet. That’s a compliment. I think.

Up to Claud 9 they fly, where Claudia asks Kristina what she thinks about Craig saying it’s “hard for male celebrities to lead or something like that”. Ha! She really isn’t listening at all any more is she? Kristina returns the favour by telling Claudia that NOBODY REALISES HOW NERVOUS HER DANIEL IS AND HOW HARD HE TRIES AND HOW BRILLIANTLY HE DANCES. Claudia follows by asking Daniel if he enjoyed that before Kristina lamps her, and he says he did, because he really enjoys the foxtrot. I know, an American Smooth with actual foxtrot in, when was the last time 2009? Scores are in


Kirsty Gallacher & Brendan Cole dancing the paso doble

Well her smile doesn’t reach her eyes and his barely reaches his mouth so I think we can tell where this is going.

In her VT, Kirsty reminds us that last week she “did Lady And The Tramp” and it was all very sweet and heartwarming and a real family dance. So long as the mics were off and you didn’t hear her screaming “MOTHER******* PIECE OF **** PROP TAIL ****HOLES” when her lift went up the creek. She reminds us that she scored 23, which is her highest score yet, and assures us that all she really wants is improvement. Surrrrrrrrrrre it is Kirsty. Sure it is. Just like all I want from Pasha in bed is to be tucked in.

Training now and

do they think filming these people from the bushes makes it look more naturalistic? Because it doesn’t, it looks like we’re stalking them. Brenda says that he really wants Kirsty to get in touch with authentic Spanish flavours, so she should cook him a paella. Remember “Cooking With Lulu”? Remember that’s when it became obvious that she and Brendan wanted to murder one another? Kirsty starts making her paella and

throws great big whacking carrot rounds in there and I’m sorry, no, that’s it, you do not put CARROTS into a paella, vote her out, vote her out now.

Oh Jesus, Mary and the orphans no. Kirsty tells us that cooking a paella was much easier than she anticipated, and she hopes that the same will be true of the paso doble.


Kirsty’s paso doble has some sort of ill-defined motorway theme, and is being danced to “Beautiful Day” by U2. The whole thing is a veritable festival of awkwardness but here are some highlights :

Pendleton was better than this and she had a sodding flying bicycle to contend with as well as a crap song choice. It’s all so stiff and hard and clenched and mannered and unmusical and blech, and she’s really overdoing the whole angry clenched teeth thing in lieu of “passion”.

Blech blech blech.

Over to the judges, where Craig tells her that she had all the shaping of a broomstick, especially when she was away from Brenda and dancing on her own.

I know right? That’s ridiculous. A broom at least has the brush at the bottom, she was a total pole. He thought it was stilted and that she needs to “dance through the movement more” (?) Darcey follows by saying that she can see that Kirsty’s really trying, but it’s hard for the female celebrities (first time for everything I guess) to produce the “physical physicality” needed for the paso doble, especially in the arms. Thanks Darcey.

Len follows by saying that the dance was in fact a bit like a paella – tasty in places but with “funny bits floatin abaht”. Yeah forrin mukk innit Len. I bet he has to empty half a bottle of Ketchup into it even to make it edible, and fish all them seafood bits abaht you dunno oos tuched em I aint eating nuffings bumhole even if it is from the sea. Bruno closes by calling her a beautiful and deadly paso murderess, who really attacked the dance, but without shaping, finesse or artistry. Brenda protests that they’ve been working very hard on Kirsty’s core strength, and then Kirsty pips in with “yeah and it was really hard with such a lovely song, because it’s not aggressive”. Yeah, nobody said you weren’t being aggressive love, I saw more of your teeth in that routine than your dentist probably does. (Edit : so it turns out that the song choice Kirsty is complaining about here wasn’t pushed on them by the evel producers or Evil Moira Ross In A Rainbow Wig or even the Blindfolded Dart Throwing Monkeys but instead was Brendan’s OWN CHOICE TO DANCE TO which makes this all the more hilarious. I was going to include a poll here asking if Kirsty was right to do this but actually now I just want to glory in this moment, so let’s have THIS annual poll instead)

Up to Claud 9 they go, where Claudia talks about the myriad difficulties of being both the cape and the bull and whatever else you’re supposed to be in the paso doble. The sword, the sand, the woman selling peanuts round the back… Kirsty complains again that she had to dance a paso to a U2 song, and even Brenda at this point is tapping her arm trying to get her to stop it (Edit : tee hee hee hee hee), because seriously this isn’t even in the bottom 7 paso song choices ever on this show (“I Lost My Heart To A Starship Trooper”, “Bicycle Race”, “Since U Been Gone” (after the singers were through with it), “You’ve Got The Love”, “I Believe In A Thing Called Love”, “Maneater”, the effing Superman song…) and nobody else complained this much before.

Scores are in


Georgia May Foote & Giovanni Pernice dancing the quickstep

Tess reminds us all that last week Len and Giovanni had “a bit of a falling out”, but apparently as a make-up gift this week, Giovanni has decided to do the quickstep, which is one of Len’s favourite dances. I love the vision of Len this conjures up. “HE’S PISSED OFF AGAIN, QUICK LADS, THROW HIM ANOTHER QUICKSTEP, AND MAKE IT EXTRA AUTHENTIC!”. I’m not sure how dancing to S Club 7 whilst dressed as Rylan Clarke fits that, but Giovanni’s new, bless ‘im, he’ll get there in the end.

In her VT, Georgia says that last weekend was amazing because Craig was nice. It’s times like these I find these two less Vincent & Louisa 2.0 than Vincent & Rachel 2.0. Can’t wait to hear what a rollercoaster it’s all been! *thumbs up*

Training now, and because Georgia is having trouble with getting the required lightness and bounce for her quickstep, Giovanni suggests that they go

and play Giant Battleships, in which he hurls Georgia out of a trebuchet at various giant squares and if it contains one of his pi…oh alright, she’s going trampolining. She jumps and down squealing, he jumps up and down squealing

kind of looking like he’s been green-screened in, like this segment is not only pointless but also a double waste of time, then he bounces too hard and flies off into the ceiling or something. So far this week we’ve had rambling, flying, “paella making” and now this. And still no training footage. I’d put up a poll now but it’s going to continue for a while so I’ll hold off.


She’s supposed to be an angel, go with it. Unfortunately Georgia is a SAD ANGEL (why? who knows) so her angel friend Giovanni has to tell her to

CHEER UP LUV and then drags her by the arm to the dancefloor to quickstep.

Hey Giovanni, if the lady’s not in the mood, the lady’s not in the mood, leave her be, this all feels a bit “a very special episode of Hollyoaks”. Happily, once Giovanni gets Georgia going she finds she loves it, and dances giddily around the dancefloor to a far far far too manic version of “Reach” by S Club 7. And “Reach” is a really bloody peppy song in the first place, so listening to it played at double speed whilst a minor soap star sprints, leaps and all-round vibrates with energy around the floor doing jazz hands and

actually getting her nose adorably “bipped” whilst dressed all in white is a bit like getting a Haribo Tangfastic worm forcibly inserted up each nostril. It’s all very fun and cute and well done, I just wish there was a bit more light and shade to it. Having said that, it’s been illustrative having Giovanni here, because after watching this I no longer have to wonder how Joanne would have choreographed for a contender.


Over to the judges they go, and once Tess has disentangled Georgia from the rolls and rolls of toilet paper that just got hurled at her, Darcey starts for the judges by saying that it was all very sweet, light and endearing, and she could tell that Georgia was working very hard to keep her legs going and her posture right, but it did get a little tired towards the end.

TESS DONE A SAD FACE! Len follows by saying that whilst Georgia did lose her neck in places, she’s gone from DRAB to FAB in a routine FULL OF CONTENT. I’m so disappointed that the Len vs Giovanni war lasted for only a week, it definitely wouldn’t have got boring at all, ever. Maybe Bruno told him to leave it, coz he’s not worth it.

Speaking of which, Bruno is next and tells Georgia that it all had a weightless quality and was beautiful to watch, especially the footwork, but she just lost the arch in her back on occasion. Can I point out at this point that Darcey is so bored

that she’s playing with her scoring pad like it’s a Dream Phone. We’re only 35 minutes in Darcey, FOCUS. Craig closes by saying that Georgia veritably flew around the floor but he agrees about her top line. Can’t wait to see how Giovanni fixes that. Sumo wrestling? Scuba diving? A game of Kerplunk?

Up to Claud 9 they climb where first Natalie and then Janette

can’t resist playing with Giovanni’s fluffy bits. Claudia congratulates Giovanni on making Len happy and Giovanni says that he made sure to put lots of basic content in the routine. Meanwhile everyone makes angel wings behind him in a way that I’m sure they think is very mocking but which just comes across as a Grade 1 Shaddowpuppetty Convention. Scores are in


Jeremy Vine & Karen Clifton dancing the jive

Tess reminds us all that last week Jeremy managed to get three 7s from the judges, but Craig remained a hold out, with a comparatively miserly 3. She then says that hopefully this week he’ll get even higher scores but…he’s the tallest man (probably) they’ve ever had on the show and he’s dancing a jive. So no.

In his VT, Jeremy tells us that he always values the critique of Darcey the most because he loves her, so he was really pleased when she was so positive about his Charleston. Don’t let Helen hear you moving in on her Darcey Jeremy, YOU DON’T LOVE HER LIKE SHE DOES, DID YOU HAVE HER PICTURE UP ON YOUR WALL AS A LITTLE GIRL? NO! SO BACK OFF!

Training now and guess what? Karen has a leftfield idea to help Jeremy improve his kicks and flicks.

IT’S REHEARSING THEM IN A SWIMMING POOL IN FULL 1920S BATHING COSTUMES!!! This is apparently to improve Jeremy’s leg strength and conditioning because it takes a lot more power to move your legs with purpose underwater. I think I’m doing a better job of explaining it than the VT does to be honest. At one point Karen yells “KARENBALL!” and then

just jumps in (/walks on water because she’s the Second Coming, I’m selling this to The Daily Sport), because actually doing a cannonball is against health and safety. Mrs Vine will also be glad to learn that there is no ducking and no heavy petting. Although probably some running along the side because I’m not convinced that Karen operates at lower speed settings. Karen and Jeremy kick and flick some more and Jeremy says that this has definitely helped strengthen his legs and mostly I’m outraged because

when I do this to the guys at MY local swimming baths I get thrown out, double standards or what?


Jeremy and Karen are jiving to “Splish Splash, I Was Taking A Bath” by Bobby Darin, and you know how I hate to overstep my bounds and comment on the technical aspects of the routine that I don’t have expert knowledge in but…I’m fairly sure he’s taking a shower there. POINTS OFF!

Karen interupts his ablutions by ripping the shower back at which he

frantically scrambles to preserve his modesty. A bit late that for Jeremy. (Also HOW DARE SHE, IMAGINE IF A MALE PRO STARTED A ROUTINE BY FORCIBLY NUDIFYING A POOR SWEET INNOCENT FEMALE etc etc). From there, despite having spent so much time(/a comedy VT) building his legs up, Karen proceeds to make sure he uses them as little as possible, as he mostly does the twist, and the chickenneck, and the bum wiggle, otherwise just there pumping his hands out as she whirls around him, never ever really lifting his feet fully off the floor, and occasionally doing truly bizarre things like the patented Homer Simpson “WOOP WOOP WOOP WOOP WOOP WOOP!” floor spin and

whatever this is (kudos to Karen and Wardrobe’s combined efforts in camouflaging him throughout the routine by the way). I’m still always at least a little entertained by Jeremy’s Theatre Of The Bizarre (apart from last week, which was borin’) but I wouldn’t mind seeing a little more variety. Ah well, there’s still Hallowe’en Week to come for him most likely, hopefully they’ll step it up. Even he looks a little confused at the end by what just happened. It’s not just us.

It gets a Standing Ovation

although Peter’s clearly not into it. You know he would have done it nude, little bit of baby oil for the ladies, proper authentic. Len starts for the judges by joking that as Jeremy got out the bath Len thought his swingometer was on display. Gawd, without any SPORTSMEN Len’s wishful thinking gets more and more desperate and clammy doesn’t it? Len goes on to say that Jeremy is consistantly not the best dancer, but is equally also consistantly the most fun. I miss when we were the ones who supposedly decided that sort of thing, but OK. From the audience Hairy Dave ponders on how

that were him once. And now all he has to fill the void is people giggling at his hipster moustache. Bruno follows by comparing Jeremy to Tracey Emin – no technique, but his productions are so bizarre that they get everyone talking. I think Jeremy’s appeal is maybe a little more mainstream Bruno, but I take your point. I’m not envisioning him emerging next week from a tent embroidered with the names of all the people he’s ever shagged. And you can fill in your own jokes about which female pros would have a Big Top.

Tess next asks Craig if he’s going to give Jeremy more than a 3 this week. Craig says no. It was like watching a stork get struck by lightning. ANIMAL IMAGERY! Darcey closes by telling Jeremy that she finds him inspiring because he never fails to entertain. Well fingers crossed then that that inspiration produces fruit from Darcey in the near future. The very near future. Any time Darcey, any time.

Up to Claud 9 they floor, where Claudia congratulates them on being the most fun according to Len. Just beating “repeats of Dad’s Army” and “The Wheeltappers And Shunters Club”. Jeremy just muses on how he doesn’t think he’s ever appeared on tv before in a shower cap. Probably not been anywhere near This Week in a while then. Or Newsnight. Or The Daily Politics. God BBC News sucks the bag these days. Scores are in


Kellie Bright & Kevin Clifton dancing the foxtrot

That is the most solid hair I have ever seen on this show, it looks like she’s got a little hairy man on a luge on her head. Tess tells us that this foxtrot will portray the story of how Kellie’s grandparents met, fell in love, and got married. She then cracks a joke about Eastenders weddings and shows she’s added a new face to her comedy repertoire.

This one is “exasperation”. Good job Tess.

In her VT, Kellie says she’s not stopped smiling since her Charleston last week.

Oi, Bright, that’s Carol’s schtick, find your own. Kevin meanwhile says that it was one of the greatest weekends of his life, up there with when Karen accepted his proposal and also when he discovered he could make himself orgasm by jiving really really hard. And lo, his life was changed forever.

Training now, and every year at least one VT comes along that I can’t make fun of ’cause it involves someone’s dead nan or something and here we are. Kellie tells Kevin that she would like her routine this week to be a tribute to her grandmother and grandfather who met at a social dance. Kevin says that it’d be great if they actually acted that out as the dance. Kellie brings in some old footage of her grandparents from when they were younger for her and Kevin to watch to get inspiration. There are no jokes here, move along.


Kellie is sat in the audience and Kevin’s hand

looms in to ask her to dance, and then he himself

looms into camerashot, and already this is rather perilously riding the line between sweet and uncomfortably cheesy for me. I know it’s supposed to be a tribute, but part of my brain has to know that part of Kellie’s brain is pretending that she’s dancing this with her own grandfather, even if not that specifically, and it all feels a bit Back To The Future, In truth the Nanna stuff is really limited to the opening of the routine and the photograph of them hovering in the background the whole time – otherwise the routine is a pretty straight-up, albeit very very sentimentalised foxtrot, well danced, to “Dream A Little Dream” by Mama Cass. Kellie does a nice line in sweet old-fashioned yearning to begin with

but does tend to get a little fussy in her movements and a little moon-eyed and ridiculous with her faces

as the dance wends on. Still, a nice top-of-the-wedding-cake pose to end

and really, it’s a foxtrot, you have to do something to gussy them up a little, don’t you?

They wend over to Tess who tells Kellie that her grandparents would have loved that routine. Kellie says she knows. Pays to be confident I guess. Bruno starts by telling Kellie that he felt like that was a lovely look back at kinder gentler times. Especially for homosexual immigrants from one of the Axis Powers like yourself Bruno right? He goes on to say that it was so retro and period accurate that it felt like watching a documentary on BBC 4. I mean it wasn’t that boring Bruno, don’t be rude. Craig follows by saying that he loved Kellie’s finger placement

but that’s enough about how she bribed him backstage for points earlier – the dance wasn’t bad either.

Darcey follows, saying that Kellie brings a real calm and a graciousness to the competition. Kellie immediately proves this wrong by squealing “hooooooooo” like she’s in the middle of a contraction. Len closes by saying that it was from Albert Square to Memory Lane. Via Sweatpatch Junction and the East London Cheese Cirular.

They dream up to Claud 9, where Kellie immediately gives it the full one about how she didn’t know until this evening just how full of emotion she’d be seeing that VT of her watching old home movies of her beloved family members, really driving it home to her what a privilege it was to be dancing a foxtrot to the memory of her grandparents sweet and innocent 1950s love. Meanwhile you can see Kirsty thinking

“bitch, my VT was about paella”. Scores are in

32. At this Kevin pretends like he’s about to strip off and do a Gleb. Yeah, you’re not taking the momentum of him with that one Kevin, I don’t think, but nice try

Jamelia & Tristan MacManus dancing the Charleston

Sorry ladies, he’s taken. Tess tells us that they’ll be dancing to a song from one of Jamelia’s favourite musical artists – Paula Abdul. Or at least that’s what they told Paula to get her to send a tape in.

In her VT Jamelia tells us that her salsa last weekend didn’t go perfectly (no poo Mr Magoo) and Craig had some harsh comments, but she’ll make sure to do it better next time dahling. I was hoping for more of an all out war between her and Craig than this but I’ll take what I can get. She then says she was very emotional after getting such high scores (for her) and it felt like she’d won an Oscar. Yeah, if you didn’t get one for that one with Vinnie Jones and a bear, you’re never going to get the recognition you deserve are you. Might as well go ape over a Strictly 7.

Training now, and Tristan discloses that the Paula Abdul song he and Jamelia will be dancing to will be “Straight Up”. What, no Cold Hearted Snake? No Vibeology? No album deep cuts? For shame. Anyway, Tristan has a special treat for Jamelia

he’s trapped her idol Paula Abdul (life size) in a magical mirror and will only release her if she does her Charleston right good on Saturday.

Oh, ok, not really, it’s just a video message. Paula tells Jamelia that she’s so pleased to hear that she’s dancing to an amazing version of her song “Straight Up” and tells her to go out there and be the strong and confident woman that Paula has heard she is. There’s also a message to a little gay boy dancing contemporary to Opposites Attract on Hungary’s Got Talent and the start of a deposition in a sexual harassment lawsuit brought against her by a Got To Dance USA contestant on there. It’s a goldmine of material. Jamelia is…embarrassingly happy that Paula Abdul sent her a video message and claims it gave her the boost she needed to go out and perform this weekend. Imagine. Paula Abdul.


Hey Love Tester, what’s the atmosphere going to be like in the rehearsal room between Kirsty and Brenda this week?

Amen. Actually, in dance terms, this is supposedly a test of Tristan and Jamelia’s personal relationship, and Jamelia throws a huff because a random piece of fairground junk has told her that her partner doesn’t really love her. It’s the most accurate dance opener yet, that’d fill a whole 15 minute segment on Loose Women. The version of Straight Up they’re dancing to is, not unsurprisingly, not the original, but the Postmodern Jukebox version (normally I hate Postmodern Jukebox unless they’ve got Haley Reinhart in, but the tapper in that one is cute so have at it). Anyway, all this preamble is to delay talking about the fact that Jamelia is actually quite good at the Charleston. I don’t know if Charleston giving her permission to be a bit loosey-goosey and not tidy has taken the edge off, but she’s dancing it full of character, and energy, and like, glorybehallelujah SHE ACTUALLY KNOWS THE ROUTINE. After the horror show last week

even the lifts go quite well. Her footwork is still a little…inexact, she still dances heavy, and she and Tristan have all the natural chemistry of two people manacled together in a prison escape buddy movie, but somehow it all works.

Ater a fashion. As is so often the case, a couple has clicked exactly one week after the judges start claiming they have. It’s a confidence thing I guess.

Once they’re at the panel, Craig starts by comparing Jamelia to Josephine Baker (let’s not go crazy…) and praising her birdy flaps. He thinks this was her dance. As opposed to the salsa, which was also her dance. Salsambcharleston! Darcey follows by saying that she loved Jamelia’s personality and she played a really strong character all the way through. Just like Paula said! What an inspiration. If this show’s looking for an acting coach, just saying…

Len follows by calling it Jamelia’s best dance with knobs on (I didn’t notice. Not that I was looking, you understand. Hem) and Bruno rounds us off by saying that she was the ultimate flapper, right out of the jazz age. Ultimate Slappers really would be a good title for late night Loose Women wouldn’t it? (It’s interesting how people do their nut over the comments Andre got when she just danced that like she was wearing a lead belt and got not one even remotely critical technical point to work on. Still, Charleston, eh?)

They hie up to Claud 9, where Claudia asks Jamelia about how confusing it is to get nice comments from Craig (very) and then Claudia makes fun of Paula Abdul’s dog, giggling that she’s living with a Gremlin.

Poor woman. She went to all the trouble of recording a video message, and this is how she gets treated. Good luck getting Debbie Gibson to endorse Kellie’s samba next week, because now it’s probably not going to happen. Tristan says he’s very proud of Jamelia for improving so much and putting so much hard work in, and Claudia points out that this was his first Charleston. Claud, this is his second series and he was barely in the first one, this is his first time for most things. Scores are in


Before the next couple, there’s a little skit where Aljaz plays doctor to a faint Claudia.

She and Tess do the whole “…he’s not a doctor” “…I’m not ill” bit and I swear at some point when Aljaz arrived they said he was training to be a doctor in Slovenia before he joined Bum The Floor but now I can find no evidence of it so it may have to go on the long list of things I have made up about this show. Oops.

Jay McGuinness & Aliona Vilani dancing the quickstep

How long before another haircut? Two weeks? Sneak one in for Hallowe’en maybe? Tess tells us that Jay’s That Jive has had MILLIONS OF HITS ONLINE. God bless this show still using the word “hits”. And “online”. Tess hoots “NO PRESSURE THEN!” and unleashes another in her range of Nu Tess Comedy Faces.

This new Wallace & Gromit is the worst yet.

In his VT, Jay says that for him Movie Week was “awesome, unreal and unforgettable” and that the huge applause he got when he finished was amazing. Aliona agrees that the audience went CRAZY

not avoiding looking a little unhinged herself. Audience love is a hell of a drug right? And it’s not as though the audience went wild for Tony Jacklin, despite Bruce running around with a whiteboard saying “APPLAUSE, APPLAUSE, HE’S MY MATE YOU BASTARDS”

Training now, and Aliona tells Jay that as they’re dancing the quickstep to “My Generation” by The Who, she thought it would be cool if they went back to his old school and see if he has inspired the next generation.

Yeah looks like it. Is this the dance school he went to, the other dance school he went to, or the school where they made fun of him for the two dance schools he went to? It’s so hard to keep track. Some poor gonk of a teacher has been forced to stand at the back and waft a 10 paddle about and some girls wave about sheets of A4 paper with “Jay 4 The Win” and “Welcome Jay And Aliona” on them, but it’s hardly an X Factor homecoming is it? Jay and Aliona head in, and visit one of Jay’s old teachers.

LOUIS SPENCE? WHAT A BLAHDDY RINGAH. (Not really, his name is Mr Stanton) We close by discovering just how much Jay has inspired and motivated a new generation of boys to take up dance…as we watch them sat on their arses watching him quickstep. SO INSPIRING!


Yes, that is a Strictly routine starting with someone pulling a duckface selfie into a glittery iPhone. What hath we become? Once Aliona and Jay have ripped off their mortarboards and graduation cloaks (YEAH, STICK IT TO THE MAN) and done a circuit of the room slapping the audience’s hands, the routine begins, and whilst I can see why Aliona hasn’t let Jay rest on his laurels after his amazing performance last week…I think it might have been an idea to at least let him have a little lean on them, especially as what little actual training footage we saw showed his leg strapped up. She has incorporated a few things she knows he can do well (ie there’s a LOT OF SPINNING, so much so in fact it starts to resemble a Viennese Waltz in places) but otherwise it’s just a bit of a random sprawl. He’s skidding about, he

jumps at the wrong time (and a bit inelegantly)

twice, he’s a little stumbly wumbly, he seems to be inserting tempo changes in the music that aren’t there and his runs seem to turn into actual Usain Bolt sprints at points. It’s a rock quickstep, so there’s a certain charm to it being all over the place and unrefined but I think maybe a cooldown week would have been best for all concerned. Georgia’s quickstep was already so blitzkrieg intense I almost got a migraine, I didn’t need this as well.


They wander over to Tess, and Jay immediately poutily says that he wishes he’d done that routine better, but he still enjoyed himself.

How long did it take Matt Di Angelo to go full woobie, this is unprecedented. We catch Darcey in full

swoon, sighing about how sad it was and WHAT A SHAME that Jay made those mistakes. (Either that or we’ve just caught her in the middle of wondering if it’s time for a facelift). She knows he managed to right himself after each one, but they really did keep on happening. Still, she’s blaming Aliona and knows he’ll come back better next week. Tess looks at Jay eagerly,

Aliona wraps him in a massive hug, and Jeremy pulls full sadface

right down the cameralens on Claud 9. Jesus, can we get Dr Aljaz back, there appears to have been a serious outbreak of Woobie Flu aka Hysterical Mum Fever. Len follows by agreeing that it was a shame, but his feet were doing far more than his brain could handle and his head kept on drifting around, so if he does ballroom again, he should correct that. Yeah, I’ve got a feeling he might Len.

Bruno follows, saying that on paper that routine should have been a barnstormer, but in reality there were a couple of buts – firstly there was Jay’s which was sticking out, and secondly he didn’t land any of the jumps properly. None of that really works as wordplay when I have to write it down Bruno, but ok. Craig closes by saying that there were too many mistakes, and pouting sternly.

Up to Claud 9 they mope, where Claudia asks him if he agrees with the judges and Jay says they were bang on and he was awful and it all fell to pieces and his brain couldn’t keep up and and and *choke* he’s a terrible terrible mess and won’t someone come and give him a hug just for a moment he’s got a lot of feelings right now. Well at least Jay’s giving his own journey shape, I thought we were going to have to resort to a 5 for bad acting from Craig or a random Len “I DINT LIKE THE WAKKY CHOREOGRAFFEEEEE” 6. Aliona says that the dress rehearsal went perfectly as

the collective faces behind Jay become so maternal I worry he might get mothered so hard he won’t be able to walk in time for next week’s dance. At least Joanne’s proving useful for something, she looks like her ovaries are going to come flying out her mouth and hit Craig in the face. Scores are in

25. Seriously can we have Joanne on Red Button as the face of the Jay Fandom at all times? Her shrug of despair when even Uncle Len Wot Knows Propah Ballroom only gives it a 6 is something as well.

Carol Krirkwood & Pasha Kovalev dancing the paso doble

I think Angry Pasha is very much what the nation needs after that emotional wringer. We all need a laugh to get through troubled times right? And a [PUNCHLINE REDACTED]. Also she might want to watch nobody puts their drink down on her head, to avoid spillage. Just like I’m[PUNCHLINE REDACTED]

In her VT Carol says that it was really thrilling for her and Pasha to open the show last week. I mean technically the show was opened by Katie Derham dressed as Holly Golightly, really, but I guess it still counts. We’re also reminded that Craig called the routine “lame limp and lacklustre” and

really not. (Please can we have Pasha be Stupid Sexy Flanders for Hallowe’en Week? Treehouse Of Horror is enough of a global staple now that we can do that, right?)

In training, Pasha has an idea to help Carol drop the smiley happy-happy persona and get into the role of a feisty sexually charged matador.

LOOK OUT NUMBERS BITCH, SHE’S COMING FOR YOUR MAN! On top of this, Pasha also suggests they go to a flamenco bar to investigate the paso doble’s authentic and earthy roots. Carol asks if this means a trip to Barcelona. Not on this show’s budget hun. Not unless you’re a Saturday. Instead they go to a local friendly bar and watch one lass do the flamenco in a corner near the urinals. Apparently this is Flamenco Club. And we all know the first rule of Flamenco Club is not to talk about Fight Club. It’s not Movie Week or anything. Anyway, Pasha says that Carol’s induction into Flamenco Club has really upped her authenticity as a paso dancer.

Sure it has Pash Pash.

Sure it has.


Carol and Pasha are dancing their paso doble to propah orfentic Spanish paso tune “Espana Cani” or, in the original translation “Dogs With Spanners”. I have to say I’m not too sure how I feel about Pasha being confirmed as a vampire there, he never seemed the type. Although don’t tell Aliona, or Rachel won’t just have Carol, Caroline, and me to deal with, she’ll be fighting her off as well. As you might expect Carol isn’t much of a paso dancer, because she’s too soft and undynamic and slow, but what she is giving for the first time is

drama in abundance. She’s got one of the best paso faces I’ve seen in a while, and she’s really getting to the dramatic sweeping of the arms, even if her back remains as stiff as a poker throughout. Who would have thought that when this line-up was revealed that by Week 4 Weather Carol would be out-dancing Kirsty Gallacher? Such are the joys of Strictly. And Brenda randomly giving in to his love of soft rock I guess. The end pose is a little like

Pasha’s struggling to get an awkward toddler into the car-seat before a family trip to IKEA, but otherwise, good work Carol.

It gets a big reception in the hall, although no standing ovation, and Len starts for the judges by saying that the problem is that Carol is a naturally sunny person and the paso doble is all thunder and lightning but she still she CAME AHT and WENT AHT and GIV IT A GO etc etc Bruno follows and says that Carol looked more like she had a toothache than full of passion. Again, I thought she was fine, although maybe that’s just me because there’s little on this show that annoys me more than “NICE PEOPLE CAN’T PASO”.

Craig follows and is generally more positive. Of course he says it in an “that’s the first time I’ve seen your body engage with dance” sort of foofy backhanded way, and tells her that her hands were too flat (they were) but bravo anyway. Darcey closes by saying that she really enjoyed what Carol produced there, but she needs to empower her body more and create more shape. Is next week’s VT going to be Carol and Pasha at a pole dancing class, please say yes.

Up to Claud 9 they swirl, where Claudia immediately tells them that when Bruno was being really critical of her acting Gleb was screaming “NO THAT’S RUBBISH!”. Carol turns to Gleb and he gives the most amazing Johnny Bravo “aw yeah” face that my picture skills can’t quite capture, but rest assured it’s very Glebmazing. Claudia says that all Carol ever wanted was to hear the judges say that she’s improved and they just did. Well…Craig did. Carol, regardless, says that she needs smelling salts. She says that it’s her favourite dance and Pasha snorfles that that’s just because it’s the one where she can stare at him the whole time. Is Glebitis catching I ask myself? Scores are in

22. Gleb boos the whole time and shouts “SEVEN!”. I’m with Gleb. Ish.

Natalie Lowe & Ainsley Harriott dancing the waltz

I’m not really listening to Tess’ intro because Darcey is quite clearly bitching away to Craig about something or other at the judges desk and I’m trying to lip-read. Also, because it’s Tess’ intro, let’s face it.

In his VT,

dressed and acting more and more like a very earnest ham-radio actor every week, Ainsley speechifies that he feels like he really let himself down last week with his cha cha especially given that he put so much rehearsal time into it. We’re also treated to a particularly Schadenfreuderific edited clip of Ainsley backstage giving out all “well *I* don’t think it was *that* bad” immediately before one of him being shoved into the bottom 2. Which humbled him. Apparently. He says. He closes by saying that he’s now really looking forward to doing a waltz this weekend because it’ll be just another wonderful journey and really isn’t that what Strictly is all about blah blah Donovan blah. You just did the disco cha cha dressed as a penguin Ains, maybe dial it back a notch, you’re not one of the Richardsons.

Training, and Ainsley is having problems with his ballroom frame (wow what a surprise, the man has more wild hunches than Miss Marple) so Natalie straps him into this

torture device. At least the pros are buying in proper equipment to do this now, unlike the old days when you’d see Lilia doing the same thing with a hula hoop, some paperclips and a satsuma. Although apparently we can’t even do this sort of VT any more without it being



Aw bless. Ainsley and Natalie are waltzing to “What A Wonderful World” and if you were expecting Pukeahontas levels of sentiment then congratulations, you forecast accurately. It’s all pink and flower-petals and falling blossom and Natalie Lowe

winking right down the camera lens. I think the cheesiest moment comes when, a minute in, Evil Moira Ross In A Rainbow Wig realises that we haven’t had a dumb gimmick in all of about ten minutes so she just gets an imp to start hurling glittery butterflies at them, which on camera

looks more like they’ve accidentally disturbed a colony of moths (the fans also make a noise a bit like someone supressing a sneeze as well, super romantic) In terms of the dance, Natalie’s done wonders with Ainsley’s top line, and ability to stay close in hold, although he’s somehow developed a really odd tendency to lead with his crotch to overcompensate. Other than that? Perfectly lovely Natalie Surprisingly Sweet Week 1 Waltz, now happening in Week 4.


They wander off to Claud 9 and Daniel lurches over the balcony like an aggro neighbour and waves him off shouting “GET BACK! GET BACK!”. I’m going to miss him. Once Ainsley course-corrects, and has reached Tess, Bruno praises him for managing to stay prim and proper

at least for the duration of the routine. Bruno goes on to say that he particularly liked the focus on technical footwork and the lack of histrionics. Bruno…are you feeling alright? Can we check it’s definitely him? Are we sure it’s not his evil twin Wruno? I hear a chair fell off him once. Craig follows, saying that the frame and posture were ok at the start but decayed as the dance went on, especially towards the end. It’s no surprise Craig , he was practically in the Crystal Dome given all the crap flying around him.

Tess asks Darcey if Ainsley’s done enough to avoid the dance-off and Darcey deftly replies “…well… I enjoyed it as well!”. LOL. Darcey follows up by saying that it had a lovely elegance and Ainsley really led Natalie around the dancefloor. And away from the bat attack. Len closes by saying that Ainsley really has to concentrate on not raising his shoulders, because as it stands, he looks a bit fearful, and when he goes into a line he has to not be so daffy. Thanks Len. I commute to work on the Daffy Line and it is a bit of a state sometimes.

Up to Claud 9 they flutter where Claudia is wearing Ainsley’s torture device. Suffice it to say that something used to teach Ainsley to dance propah hangs off Claudia like an XL t-shirt off Camilla Dallerup. Claudia asks Ainsley if it was hard coming back from the Bottom 2, and Ainsley says that it helped to have waltz, which is very different from the dances he’s done before. In that he wasn’t dressed up like an aquatic bird. Scores are in


Helen George & Aljaz Skorjanec dancing the salsa

The madness continues. Why has she got a marshmallow on her head? I’m going to be spending the routine expecting her to whip it off and take a great big bite. And of the marshmallow as well. Tess squeals, whilst fanning herself, that not only are Helen and Aljaz doing THE PARTY DANCE this week, they’re also playing at doctors and nurses. Aljaz lets out a “woo” like a sad little baby owl. And to think he probably turned to ballroom to avoid a life as a stripper.

Aljaz starts off the VT for these two, saying he was absolutely ecstatic with Helen’s performance last Saturday, whilst we are treated to a clip of Helen

mugging and hamming in slow-motion like a raving hysteric from the casebooks of Dr Sigmund Freud. It AMAZES me that the most common criticism of Helen I see is that she’s bland and robotic. Her dance-acting makes Bette Davis look like Andie MacDowell. Helen tells us that she really tries every week to bring the dance to life (with electrodes and lightning and mixed up corpse parts a la Dr Frankenstein), and not just “do the steps”.

Training now, and Helen looks

even more absurdly anime-eyed than usual. Seriously, Helen, look out for tentacles. Most of the footage focuses on the fact that this is the first dance that Helen is doing that involves lifts, so she’s a little scared, especially as two of them involving her going upside down. Aljaz however, has a solution.

Yeah, you can have that poll now.


Helen and Aljaz are dancing to “Dr Beat” aka that song in which Dr Hamela tripped up a bit and they milked it for laughs on It Takes Two for months. I of course would never take one minor gesture and still be trying desperately to wring a reaction out of it long after its freshness and meaning had been lost.

This whole series actually feels a bit like a long apologia from all of us who found Dr H’s greatest hits a little over the top. First last week her Ghost Extravanganza gets overshadowed by The Gleb Special, and now this, in which Helen “pages Dr Beat” by

slamming a big red button on her nurses station (not enough paperwork) and then flopping and sighing around Aljaz such that at times it looks like he’s struggling to inflate a particularly leaky sex doll.

PUMP HARDER ALJAZ, PUMP HARDER. The whole thing is aiming for “flirty” and is landing on “shark attack” and she looks particularly piranha like as she snaps “DOC DOC DOC DOC DOCTOR BEAT” through a very very aggressive shimmy. I don’t know if she’s jealous because it’s Jay & Aliona who are the…beneficiaries of the first Naughty Showmance rumours, but she’s attacking Aljaz like he’s a 6 inch meatball sub and she’s not eaten for 24 hours. The lifts go

well though, so that’s that fear over with. It’s fun and there’s nothing glaringly wrong with it (although she’s working less of a back step and more of a back lunge) but I suspect your enjoyment of it may depend on your levels of grot tolerance and if they’re any lower than

this, you were probably hiding behind a cushion throughout. It is amusing that as soon as she hits the end-pose she’s right back to

smiley grinny what me? butter-wouldn’t-melt Helen. Lady, you all but just fingered your own anus live on national television whilst pulling a Cissy & Ada face, let’s not.

It gets a Hen Night standing ovation and Craig starts for the judges by saying that he would have liked to see her “earth her grind” a little bit more.

I think she’s ground Aljaz down as far as it will go Craig, don’t leave him with a nub. But despite that, she is an incredible dancer. Says Craig.

I’m not sure I’ve ever seen one woman look so consistantly cartoonish. Kudos to the wrists of whatever animator is drawing her live for us all. Darcey congratulates Helen on the risky lifts and tells her that the one thing she would say is that she should get more plie going into them. Helen mouths “yes!” in a particularly spooky fashion before Darcey explains to us mere mortals that she means “bend”. (Helen George’s Journal Entry 17/10/15 : Today Darcey spoke to me in a SPECIAL CODE that nobody else understands because we are BEST FRIENDS and nobody else gets me like she does NOT EVEN MY DOG FRIENDS).

Len starts by telling us that in two days time he’s going to be getting a new knee (lol remember when Craig got a hip op and we all heard about it 3 months in advance?) and he wants to go to her hospital because BY GEORGE that was great. He then says that when he returns from his operation next week he’ll show us all his crutch.

Yeah, no thanks Len. Bruno closes by calling it sexy, flirty and hot and asking for a house call.

Up to Claud 9 they beat, where Aljaz frantically does his shirt back up and Helen offers to show Claudia her bruises. Aljaz can’t show where Helen has left bruises on him, as we are before the watershed. Claudia then reveals that apparently Helen and Aljaz have nicknames for one another every week. Apparently this week it was Roger and Lolita. There are no words. Other than “porn”. Scores are in


Peter Andre & Janette Manrara dancing the tango

Upstaged by who? No longer frontrunners what? NOTHING BUT SMILES HERE, WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT? Tess explains to us all that this week Peter and Janette will be doing a dance based on a game of cards. Unlike every other week, when it’s been craps.

In his VT, Peter reminds us that he had to swing in on a rope for his paso doble, and he is clumsy so it really could have gone terribly wrong. Peter’s view was endorsed this week on It Takes Two by a very breathy Karen gushing about how hard it was for him to SWING IN ON A ROPE, DO A SHAPE, then TAKE HIS COAT OFF. Although nothing will ever surpass when she said Harry was very brave when he let the backing dancers run past with a parachute over his head in his salsa. Janette says that she wants Peter to love every second on the dancefloor, and she’s working very hard to make sure this happens. I mean, there *are* cameras there Jan, I wouldn’t worry, he’ll be fine.

In training, Peter Andre is apparently Pixie Lott levels of SO BUSY SUPER BUSY CAN’T STOP. Every song for his new swing album is taking as many as TWO TAKES, this is madness. He tells us that if we go to the dictionary and look it up, we’ll see his face looking like this next to the word

enema. Sorry, sorry “chaos”. Next to the word “chaos”. And what better time honoured Strictly trope can we bust out in these times of strife to get sympathy from a cooing public but

BABY WAR…oh, no, wait, that’s his wife. So many fact checking problems in this segment this week I do apologise. He does call her “baby” a lot though, let’s pretend I was referring to that. Anyway, Dr Mrs Andre is very proud of how quickly Peter has picked up his steps given that it’s so hard to learn. YOU’RE A FULL DR AT THE AGE OF 14 LOVE, DON’T PRETEND THIS IS SOMEHOW IMPRESSIVE TO YOU.


The idea here is that Peter is a card cheat who Janette has found out and then she pulls this face

ie the face Janette does every 5 seconds in every single tango or paso doble she ever does, without fail, and then they tango to “Blue Monday” to New Order, which I will say now works fairly well, in that Blue Monday is basically functionally exactly the same as Relax by Frankie Goes To Hollywood aka the dance which saw Alex Jones’ greatest triumph other than when she learnt to ride her Mulan bike without stabilisers on. My Andre upswing continues here as I actually don’t mind this – his ridiculous stompiness and the absurd sharpness of everything he does suits a tango more than it does everything else and he’s even giving fairly decent Blue Steel

as Janette continues to do that one face over and over again. There’s one point halfway through where they both clear the card table to the beat

and it’s SO absurd and SO 80s that I think whoever choreographed the 80s mess on the Results Show should take note to be honest. Although given how the show works these days he probably choreographed this as well. There’s the usual problems – as Peter will tell you himself, fifty times, repeatedly pointing to a cue-card he takes everywhere with the word “Jay” underlined on it three times, he’s not technically great because he not a trained dancer, there are a few little flubs, and he could do with swinging his shoulders about a lot less – but maybe it’s because I just heard that he’s got rumba next week and I’m already preparing to vomit myself inside out, but this was rather fun.

And then they shagged on the table, the end.

It gets a Standing Ovation, and Tess Daly shares with Peter Andre that Blue Monday is her FAVOURITE SONG. That sound you just heard was a thousand Serious Music snobs curling up in a corner clutching their livers. Darcey congratulates Janette to start off with for the judges, telling her that she’s really using Peter to show off his best skills. Peter Andre has SKILLS? First I’ve heard of it. Len follows by saying that there was plenty of Snap in the tango (is that the level of card game complexity Peter tops out at, probably) but he has to be careful that he doesn’t overdance things, because it’s often a problem, although he only saw it in his Viennese Crosses tonight. Peter clutches himself and chuckles “oh she’s told me so many times about that” in a way that sounds very much like someone running through a first rehearsal for an Alan Ayckbourn.

Bruno follows saying that Peter played his trump card with that dance – great character work – but he did see some, minimal, errors, and Craig closes by saying that Peter was picking his feet up too much on the walks but it had purpose and dynamism and was great.

Up to Claud 9 they deal, with Peter actually blowing kisses to his family on the way (barf), and then once up there Claudia asks us to all marvel in how pretty

Dr Mrs Andre is. In case you forgot, she’s the one in the middle. Peter points out that that’s his brother next to her, and actually there are loads more of his family there if the camera cares to pan along. Claudia tells him to nob off. Basically. Scores are in

32. Again. Peter grabs Claudia and kisses her. Claudia looks like she wants to self-immolate.

Katie Derham & Anton du Beke dancing the Viennese Waltz

You can just hear the “HA HA MARVELLOUS” radiating out can’t you? Tess jokes that the Viennese Waltz is a difficult dance with a lot of rotations that may put the judges IN A SPIN, but Katie is happy to GIVE IT A WHIRL! I despair sometimes, I honestly do.

In her VT, Katie says that she’s watched a lot of cha chas over the last few weeks, and briefly I think she means on Youtube on research for something and then I remember that no, these couples do watch one another, notionally, even if it is whilst hissing “triptriptriptriptrip” under their breaths. Katie says all cha chas are different and hers just happened to be like a bad Internet connection.

NURSE. She says that she hopes that routine was her blip, and it’ll be plain sailing from here on out. Nope, still possibly two party latins to go, sorry. We’re treated to a clip of Anton grizzling backstage that the judges should have marked Katie on what she did, rather than what she should have done. What, were you expecting a 10 for strutting Anton, give over.

Training now, and Katie tells us that her two daughters are her biggest fans. Never underestimate the news-perverts of Youtube Katie. Anyway, as such it’s time for

ACTUAL BABY WARS. Who’s left to go? Jamelia? Peter? Remember it doesn’t count until they’re in a propah VT or in the studio audience. Katie’s kids joke around about how mummy’s so embarassing and her top line is a bit stiff and it’s all very jolly and then this happens

and Anton’s all “oooh, I wonder if I could ever possibly get a 10” about it and I thought this was going to be foreshadowing and it turns out that it’s NOT and I was so angry.


So get ready to be blitzed by pure Anton. They’re dancing to “If I Can Dream” by Elvis (Anton related subtext CLANGING away there). After some initial windmill wafting (which really they could have left out because it’s the worst bit – they’re out of sync pretty much for the entire thing) they take hold and do a good 1 minute and 15 seconds of nothing but spinning around the dancefloor, rapidly, in hold, with copious turns and fleckerls and checks and everything. The impact of this after so many series of diluted ballroom in silly costumes to 90s pop hits is undeniable. It just feels different and impressive to be doing something so straightforward so well and so fast and so joyously. I mean, we all know I’m not entirely against props, theatricality, faffing abaht and Alison Hammond descending from the heavens on a flying sofa to Kate Bush dressed as a 200lb black Catherine Earnshaw, but there is something very “purity of dahnce” and appealing about this. She looks a little seasick and a little bit urged in places but I’m now even more in favour of this routine now that Anton has told us all that the last 20 seconds or so were improvised, and not in the usual “do whatever move from the Macarena dance pops into your head” sort of way.

Yeah, you should bow.

It gets a standing ovation, with whistling and everything, and Katie looks like she just had

an experience. I hope she can still remember it in the morning. Len starts for the judges, saying that he didn’t expect Katie to be able to pull that off, but she did, and her hand placement was lovely and light, without any of the clawing or digging in of nails you see with other female celebrities. And some male. Bruno follows by hooting that this lady is MADE FOR TURNING. Hey, don’t rub it in to poor Anton that he never got to compete with Maggie as a partner before she died, he would have been in HEAVEN. The former PM of the UK flying in on a motorcycle to Leader Of The Pack. Amazing ha ha marvellous.

Craig follows, saying that there were skippy moments, but otherwise it was incredible and he doesn’t know how she learnt that in a week. Does anyone get the feeling she learned it in two? Does anyone feel like we’re about to get a salsa that feels like it was knocked off in a day followed by a truly lavish Hallowe’en Quickstep with all bells and whistles and garters? Just throwing questions out there, you understand. Darcey closes by repeating the same “WOW SO MUCH CONTENT THIS WEEK” storyline closer the other judges just did, and yes, Anton is now redeemed, off he goes.

Up to Claud 9, where Claudia tells them that it’s such a different story from last week, and she thought Katie was going to cry. Bet they would have got a 10 if she’d cried. YOU’RE LETTING ANTON DOWN KATIE, GET IT TOGETHER. Scores are in

33. You stingy bastard Len. Oh yeah, and I promised you this.

Your Final Leaderboard?



33 thoughts on “Strictly Come Dancing 13 – Week 4 Performance

  1. perdiedumpling

    That photo of Tess grabbing Jay’s hand with one hand and fondling his arse with her other hand, is the most alive she looked all night!

  2. DJMikey80

    I’m not inflexible this was the week when my shallowness came stampeding to the forefront and I realised it might be possible for me to like Gleb after all – it’s certainly resulted in me re-evaluating his theme tune.

    I like how Jamelia’s Charleston was both a fun dance and a realistic interpretation of the current state of her relationship with Tristan, they’re getting on now but it will be fun to see if that continues through the inevitable train wreck of what ballroom/party latin they get next.

    I think Erin forgot to teach Anton the rules of Arm Hankies before she left, Katie’s Arm Hankies were only ickle babies.

    With Valerie Solanis, Andrea Dworkin or whichever Rad Fem is the casting director this year, it’s probably a good thing that Jay has got his Quickstep out of the way. I’m expecting a great Charleston and a great American Smooth from him.

    1. monkseal Post author

      T/J’s foxtrot looked TERRIBLE on It Takes Two so I’m sure they’ll be back at daggers drawn soon enough.

  3. Home Run

    Oooh yes I suddenly have the feeling that I once knew Aljaz was training to be a doctor, too. Maybe it was mentioned in his intro VT or on ITT, as I don’t watch DWTS. he and Janette could have been such a different kind of couple had they not discovered the joy of dance.

  4. Stormy

    Hey, it’s not our fault Jay is so quiet and self-effacing, combined with looking like a puppy from one of those “please help and donate to the pound” advertisements with sad Sarah McLachlan music playing in the background. We (approaching) middle-aged women only have so much resistance. The woob is strong with that one. Resistance is futile.

    I could have done with a bit less of Tess and Aliona pawing at the poor boy, though. There’s consoling and then there’s…well, *that*.

  5. Agrippina

    Oh God, no, I don’t want to start being drawn in by Gleb, but… he does look so much better without the weaselly little moustache, and he does seem to have developed the glimmerings of a sense of humour since his first appearance. Unless all that “Look at how sexy I am” stuff is actually serious and not tongue-in-cheek, as I’m hoping?

    I was only mildly irritated by the Andre to start with, but that bit where he hugged Claudia after he got his scores was full-on awkward. He obviously can’t read body language, since she was radiating fuck-off vibes so hard that I could feel them coming at me through the telly.

    1. monkseal Post author

      I want to know what this secret dinosaur thing he and Anita have it sounds amazing (I bet it is literally NOTHING)

      1. Agrippina

        Perhaps Anita has to hide in a kitchen unit while Gleb prowls around outside making menacing shrieking noises? I’d pay to watch that.

      2. monkseal Post author

        I can see Gleb’s face bashing into a shiny counter coz he thinks it’s him for sure.

  6. Pops

    Top class re-capping as always. I rolled my eyes a bit when Kirsty blamed her paso on the song choice, but the fact that Brendan chose it himself makes it much funnier. I wonder if he told her he thought he’d made a mistake (I remember seeing Vincent on It Takes Two, beating himself up about choosing Holiday by Madonna for Natalie Cassidy’s samba) or if she just sprang her newfound enthusiasm for the purity of dahnce on him?

  7. Isolde

    Good to see that the BBC’s top notch researchers couldn’t spell Ainsley’s name properly in his mugshot. Is this what I pay my licence fee for blah blah blah..

  8. Jaysfluid

    Perfect 10.
    I laughed and then cried laughing. Glad I stumbled across this. As much fun reading this as sofa dancing to the live show on Saturday.
    Jeremy is a bit like a puppet on a string. All the bits separately appear to be doing the right thing but somehow they don’t go together. A waltz should suit him though.
    Aliona displaying much tenderness towards her boy. I would too (probably) but not in front of his mum, she looks a bit fierce.
    In anticipation of next week.

    1. monkseal Post author

      I can’t see Jeremy and Karen working in hold at all, but we shall see. A lot of them look to be cruising towards a bad week.

  9. Dancing Cake

    Brilliant recap, thank you Monkseal. And Holly’s back! Can she make a weekly appearance from now?
    Those three shots of Helen as a blow up doll are extremely creepy. Her face in the third pic… sheesh. I don’t think I’ll be able to think of Helen as a real person any more, so will have to watch my lovely Alijaz dancing with a rubber sex doll every week. This is NOT part of my Alijaz fantasy.

  10. Marcela

    Holly’s limp wrist ❤ ❤
    Great recap, thanks! Too many highlights to mention but I loved Toddler Carol and Anime Helen. I agree re Kate's waltz, it was simple and beautiful. I just hope the poor thing was alright after all that spinning, that bottle of gin she necked in the backstage might not have agreed with her after that.
    That Charleston was the most animated I've Tristan on this show since he joined it. Imagine if someone could choreograph his routines for him from now, just imagine that.

  11. Minxy

    Old Ains is turning into Jason blahblahblah donovan isn’t he?
    Helen’s creepy sex doll and anime faces pics Genius

    Oh and just a thought …. Next time you allow “Us who can’t be trusted to choose the right one” to vote on who to not recap – how about not recapping the second polled place instead. That may switch it up a bit – otherwise it is inevitably going to be KFG unless some sleb/dirty ringah.really gets on peeps tits. I really felt bad for you having to not recap pixie and Trent last year. Then to have to miss out KFG and the light Sabres this was too too much

    1. monkseal Post author

      It was fairly close between four couples this year to be honest. I trust you will all do better next year.


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