Strictly Come Dancing 13 – Week 5 Performance

It’s the cow’s udders!

Last week : Georgia outdanced Jay, Carol outdanced Kirsty, Jamelia outdanced half the cast and Anton topped the leaderboard

AND APPARENTLY USED A SMARTPHONE! CHAOS REIGNED! (For those interested, here is a leaderboard of Strictly pros by number of times they have topped the leaderboard, including this week)

James Jordan – 16
Brendan Cole – 15
Natalie Lowe – 14
Artem Chigvintsev – 13
Ian Waite – 11
Pasha Kovalev – 11
Darren Bennett – 10
Aliona Vilani – 9
Matthew Cutler – 7
Camilla Dallerup – 6
Erin Boag – 6
Karen Hardy – 6
Aljaz Skorjanec – 6
Kevin Clifton – 6
Vincent Simone – 5
Kristina Rihanoff – 5
Brian Fortuna – 5
Anton du Beke – 4
Janette Manrara – 4
Trent Whiddon – 4
Flacia Cacace – 3
Nicole Cutler – 2
Anya Garnis – 2
John Byrnes – 1
Lilia Kopylova – 1
Ola Jordan – 1
Robin Windsor – 1
The Other 17 – Nevah
(Stats innit)


All of youse that said you’d vote for him and didn’t come through on the deal can expect a little present in yer beds tomorrow mornin. A COPY OF HIS NEW CD! HE STILL LOVES YA ALL!

In the studio Tess and Claudia emerge and

Tess looks a bit miffed to have turned up at prom with a boyfriend who apparently doesn’t understand that it’s the GIRL’S SPECIAL DAY and why can’t you stop being “artistic” for once Gleb and just behave like a normal person for a change? She turned down a date from Jared Murillo for THIS? NOW SHE’LL NEVER BE PROM QUEEN! THEY’LL VOTE FOR THAT


Ahem, once they’ve descended the giant staircase, and dispatched their respetive beaus (Claudia had Tristan, who was dressed comparatively normally, if a little shiny), Tess and Claudia welcome us, and remind us what a ROLLERCOASTER it all was last week. Jay PLUNGED down the leaderboard, Katie CLIMBED the leaderboard, and Helen, Kellie, Daniel and Georgia all stayed at exactly the same place on the leaderboard as the week before and wondered what the fuss was all about. Then Georgia got an ice cream and she and Helen went on the teacups and then Georgia threw up and they decided to go home.

Last week briefly recapped (again) it’s time for the judges to emerge from their lair and I must give kudos to the show for continuing to try to push “The Strictly” as a thing, even in the face of complete public disinterest and the fact that one of their judges has just had an operation and can’t even move AND is in a lot of pain because one of the other judges has nicked half their meds.

No prizes for guessing who. CHAIRS ARE FOR SITTING, BRUNO! Claudia asks Len how he’s feeling in the wake of his surgery, and he says that he’s feeling “chipper”. Oh God, we’re not going below a 7 all evening are we?

Georgia May Foote & Giovanni Pernice dancing the disco salsambcha

As Tess is giving these two the usual rote “last week their quickstep was heavenly but can they keep the party going in their salsa” intro, let’s check the results of this year’s New Pro Audit. This is the yearly (since Series 7) poll to determine your collective early approval ratings for the new pros. And having crunched the numbers, here you go :

Pasha : 95%
Oti : 91%
Kevin : 91%
Artem : 89%
Tristan : 85%
Katya : 82%
Iveta : 81%
Aljaz : 77%
Gleb : 77%
Natalie : 76%
Trent : 64%
Anya : 61%
Robin : 49%
Janette : 43%
Aliona : 42%
Giovanni : 40%
Joanne : 31%
Jared : 17%
Karen : 9%

So there we are, Oti is the most popular newbie since Pasha. Giovanni…isn’t. Sorry Giovanni. Erm…I guess Aliona won people around eventually? Sort of?

In her VT, Georgia tells us that looking back she’s over the moon with her quickstep, she’s so proud to have got her first 9 and her highest score to date and she’s worked so hard to get this far. In other news : Georgia’s VTs remain amongst the dullest in the history of this show. At least mention you had little cotton wool wings, Georgia, ANYTHING.

Training now and we start with Georgia upside-down, as she is practicing her salsa lifts. She tells us that all of this being thrown around in the air by her Joe Varney has left her feeling like “a little sausage”. No, I’ve no idea either. Maybe their theme this week was the Grange Hill credits and they changed it last minute when she objected to him trying to fork her? Whatever, thoughts of being indelicately pricked have left Georgia

feeling bruised and sad and a bit like an NSPCC advert, so she calls her mum up for support. She sighs to her that it’s been a rough week with her Joe Varney, and he’s been proper bashing her about. Her mum gives tepid “there there” support and it seems like Georgia will have to soldieron alone but HARK AND WAIT, WHO IS THAT AT THE DOOR?!


Oh no, wait it’s Georgia’s entire family dressed up as Mexican stereotypes! For the salsa! Well I guess it’s the right continent-and-a-third, and her

nephews/nieces/cousins/random kids her sister was babysitting are cute enough so I’ll let it slide. Georgia and Giovanni teach her family how to salsa and she no longer feels like a sausage. HOORAY!


Yes, as it appears, it’s time for another disco salsa. Except this time it’s being done to “You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)” so I’m all for it. If that makes me a hypocrite so be it, I will never not get it up for Sylvester.

She and Giovanni have a bit of a flirty-flirt by the side before she takes to the dance floor and he beckons us to follow. For any Daily Mail journalists looking for another “RUDE ITALIAN SWEARS AT BBC TEATIME AUDIENCE” scandal

you can probably Photoshop this better than I can, right? As disco salsas go it’s a fair enough effort – all the Travolta moves are present and correct and she gives good disco sass. But her transitions are a little bit awkward and she can’t really get her upper half moving sinuously and continuously together with her lower half. Oh and the lifts, whilst impressive

are so telegraphed in advance she might as well be yelling “LIFT!” 3 clear seconds before each one happens. It makes it all feel a bit like a party game where you keep on dancing until the music stops, then you stop, then a Strictly pro crashes through your living room window and does a Dirty Dancing with you. And no , you don’t get to pick which one. (Please note, this is more terrifying if you are a man, because there’s a very real possibility of Natalie Lowe flying squawking down your chimney and good luck to you quite frankly)

MIGHTY REAL nevertheless.

They wander over to the judges where Tess of course goes to praise the Dirty Dancing lift first, and then introduces the Wunnerful Orchestra and the singers of whom Hayley

appears to be wearing her hair in the shape of The Man In The Hat’s hat in protest at the continued embargo on his presence on the show. I blame feminism. Whose safe space was he disrupting, come on guys! It’s just a hat! Len starts for the judges and tells Georgia that that was both a showstarter and a showstopper, and he’s going to change her name to Georgia May HIP, because she was “certainly working her assets down below”. Thanks Len. I know you’re probably on anti-nausea tablets, but the rest of us don’t keep them readily to hand. Bruno follows, yelling at Georgia that she’s a “DELICIOUS LITTLE SCRUMPET!” and asking her where she got her hips from. She says from her dad. Bruno makes a note to check the show’s guest list for a contact number later.

Next Craig mostly criticises the lifts, saying a couple of them were sloppy and they were all really clunkily worked into the routine. He says that in future she should tryto make her routines more of a “free-flow dance experience”. Coming to a provincial theatre near you soon starring Lisa Riley. Darcey closes by saying that watching Georgia all she wanted to do was leap up and join in but she resisted. Thank you for trusting your gut Darcey. No, really.

Up to Claud 9 they shimmy where we catch Janette

mid-bitchface over something or other with Aliona. *shrug* Claudia gives sympathy to Giovanni over the footage shown earlier in the week on It Takes Two of his shoulder repeatedly popping out of its joint. Giovanni says it’s all fine now

as Peter has laid his holy healing hands on it and it realised how important togetherness truly is, and popped right back into its socket. Peter Andre : helping, healing, here to help. At Claudia’s questioning, Georgia says she’s happy with the judges comments, and scores are in

31. Oh and there’s the usual Terms & Conditions Claudia faff here. I won’t go into detail but here’s a shot of Jay looked embarassed as Kevin

quite literally throws his wife into shot.

Carol Kirkwood & Pasha Kovalev dancing the Viennese Waltz

Tess tells us that this week Carol has a dance with a lot of very quick turns where the man leads, so all Carol had to do was scream if she wanted to go faster

That didn’t even make sense Tess, unless this show is now actually scripting things to set up me redacting my punchlines all over Pasha. Don’t make it too easy for me guys, I like the chase.

In her VT

Carol is in raptures over having got her highest score ever last week in the paso doble. She says that she really wants to keep on improving week on week, and begs Pasha to push her even harder. No, seriously, they’re obviously scripting these innuendos in on purpose. I’m not biting guys. Unlik[PUNCHLINE REDACTED]

Training now, and Carol fills us in that she’s drawn Viennese Waltz out of the hat this week, and it’s all making her rather dizzy. She’s had to stop and have a nice sit down a few times now, and it’s annoying her because she wants to do better.

Fortunately Georgia May Foote’s family all rush in dressed as Mexic…oh hang on, no, my iPlayer skipped. Instead Pasha takes her to Legoland to get her over her fear of spinning. They go on the spinning teacups

the spinning Viking Boat

and the spinning horses

I think Legoland might be running out of idea for rides to be honest. You’ve not lived until you’ve seen Pasha get all sarcy about how OF COURSE the horses are going to spin round, how OBVIOUS. I think Numbers might be teaching him British ways. As if to prove it Pasha closes out this “training” VT by snerking that now that Carol has the spinning down all he has left to teach her before she does a perfect Viennese Waltz are “top line, footwork, elegance, arm movements, head, stretch…”


What a lovely pair of chandeliers. She and Pasha are dancing to “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long” by Otis Redding and well…she gives it a go. To be honest, between her and Georgia this week both of their worries in the training VT have actually been relevant to what goes wrong with the dance, and I don’t quite know what to do with myself. This isn’t the Strictly I’ve come to know over the past few series. In short, Carol Kirkwood is not built for 90 seconds of continuous spinning and wafting (her arms are basically her paso arms all over again, in the wrong dance) and she spends most of the end of it looking like

she’s hunting for a bucket. I think my favourite moment is when Pasha reaches longingly for the camera and Carol

pitches sideways like the Leaning Tower Of Pisa. I’ve walked home from the pub at 3am more elegantly than this. She looks like someone on the Night Bus who probably shouldn’t have tried for the top deck. Anyway, it started off nicely, and then slowly melted, but good effort.

They totter over to the judges, where Tess asks Carol if she’s taking any motion sickness tablets. Tess, all the medication in the studio has been hoovered up, passed through a blender, and served as a vodka smoothie for one of the judges, good luck.

Naming no names. He says that it had all the romance of a cleaning session. I dunno Bruno, if I was with Pasha I think I could get a lot of deep feeling into a buff and polish. Anyway Bruno goes on and on and on about how it’s WEEK 5, THIS ISN’T ROCKET SCIENCE and SORT YOUR ARMS OUT LOVE and then even Craig breaks in to tell him that he’s being too mean. Craig says this.

Quite. Of course he follows by being extravagantly bitchy as well (lacked energy, wobbly, bad out of hold) but it’s the thought that counts.

Darcey follows by saying that Pasha gave Carol a lot of content to perform and she didn’t make any mistakes.

No, really, she’s being serious. OK Darce. She goes on to tell Carol that she should imagine her arms breathing as she wafts them about. No, really, is the entire panel on something this week? Did Len go to one of those private hospitals? He closes by barking that we’re going to get to the nitty gritty – Carol has had NO! DANCE! TRAINING! EVER! WHATSOEVER! and that was VERY! NICE! Yes Len, what gritty nits those were.

Up to Claud 9 they weave, where Claudia says it was good to end with Len there, because Bruno was being very harsh. Oh Claudia, it’s only going to get worse from here. Carol says that yes, it was nice when Len was nice, because she was really nervous going into this week with all the spins and stuff, and she’s so lucky to have Pasha, the world’s greatest choreographer who

DOESN’T PICK BLOODY U2 SONGS TO DANCE TO, EH KIRSTY? Pasha tells Carol that it was her that made it happen and everyone goes “awwwwww”. I feel my belief in a Pasha/Wacky Older Lady Pairing has been vindicated, but let’s have a poll here anyway

Claudia for her part seems to agree, saying it’s great that Pasha is giving Carol routines with lots of content and not say, padding them out by just letting her sit on a bench or walk really really really really slowly down some stairs to fill time. Scores are in

21. Lowest Viennese Waltz score ever, never mind.

Anita Rani & Gleb Savchenko dancing the tango

Tess tells us that we’re all about to find out where Anita gets her nifty footwork from. OH JESUS CHRIST, IS SHE A BLEEDIN’ RINGAH AS WELL? GREAT! IS NOTHING SACRED? CALL OFCOM!

VT time and Anita

wearing an 80s hair-do that must be making Brenda even more envious he didn’t get her out of the gumball machine instead of Kirsty, says that last Saturday was incredible. It was terrifying for her to open the show, but Gleb made it worth it.

Oh do ladies enjoy that as well, I never knew. We then revisit a couple of the judges more critical comments, but Anita says she’s not even bovvered, because she’s now moved on to focusing on her next dance. Attagirl.

In training, Anita says she’s really happy, because her mum’s come all the way from Yorkshire to show her some support, and she just radiates positivity.

Anita’s VT acting could do with being dialled down a notch to be honest. It’s your mum love, not the Dalai Lama. She’s radiating positivity, not marijuana fumes. Anita’s mum tells Anita that she loves to dance, and in her day was a trained classical Indian dancer. So THAT’S where Anita gets her talent from! Genetics! Thank God we have one non-ringer left, I already had to sit through stories of Katie’s ballet training at length this week.

Anita’s mum continues to accompany Anita for the rest of the VT, including an impromptu Bollywood Style lesson with Gleb in the dance studio.

Tango? Anyone? (Does this make it 11 whole dance genres that Gleb now knows how to dance by the way?) We close with Anita’s mum saying she can’t put into words how Anita being on Strictly makes her feel (I suspect it’s along the lines of “thank God she’s out of those Doc Martins and in some nice dresses”) and she says she’s floating, which is nice.



I refuse to believe this routine was not originally choreographed to be performed on ice. Refuse. The lights go up and Anita and Gleb




TANGO. (I have to say that I “get” the whole Gleb thing more in this sort of dance. Scowling makes him look a bit less surgery-face). They’re doing the dance to “Sweet Disposition” by Temper Trap, which isn’t really a song I’d associate with the tango, but the plobby synths are playing in nicely with the sci-fi feel, and it gives the thing a very sweeping and dynamic feel that contrasts nicely with the usual sharp biting tango music, whilst still feeling inherently tangoish coz of all the head turns and bent knees and going “argh!” and stuff. Anita dances it well, and very imperiously, with good drama, and manages to stay in tight with Gleb throughout. They’re still lacking a little in genuine on-floor chemistry, but it’s her best dance to date unless you count the surprise element of her cha cha.


Once they’re over at the judges, Craig says that he really loved the choreography. Anita and the audience woop it up for Gleb, whose

“no really guys, you’re too too kind” face is another thing to add to the list of things I love about him. Craig also loved Anita’s staccato, power, and punch, although she did lose balance once. Darcey follows by talking about the unusual “Star Trek Contemporary Feel” and how much she loved it. I guess if we have Star Wars Charleston we can have Star Trek Contemporary.

Tess next guardedly asks Len what he thought, given his stance as a traditionalist, and Len replies that he really liked it because he is WITH IT and DOWN WITH THOSE KIDS and TOTALLY HIP, MAN. Yup, all four judges are on drugs, there’s no other explanation. Despite breaking with his role as technical fuddy duddy, Len of course still finds space to congratulate Anita for CAHMIN AHT and GIVINITSAMWELLY and gives her praise for her heel leads. Bruno closes by yelling about TANGO TREK WITH CAPTAIN GLEB AND THE QUEEN OF KLINGONS! Fairly sure this show’s Queen Of “Klingon”s was, and always will be Kate Garraway. (At this point Tess tells Bruno that nobody knows what he’s on about, so the war is real, and it is here)

Up to Claud 9 they teleport where

Claudia and Anita have their own little titter-fest about Anita looking like a Klingon whilst Gleb delivers a speech direct to camera thanking wardrobe and make-up for making him (and Anita, I guess) look so amazing. So on the same page here these two. Claudia pulls “your ickle face!” on Anita over the judges praising her, and Anita talks on about how hard this week was but with Gleb’s great choreography she thinks that she might have made it work whilst

GLEB! GLEB! PARTNERSHIP! SHE’S OVER THERE! I appreciate the eye-sexing but at least try to look like a team. Claudia asks Anita what score she wants, and she pulls the whole “I don’t mind as long as there’s progress” thing everyone’s doing this series and which is LIES, SHE WANTS 9S. Scores are in


Peter Andre & Janette Manrara dancing the rumba

YES, AFTER 5 WEEKS, PETER IS ON IN THE FIRST HALF OF THE SHOW. RELEASE THE BALLOONS! Tess tells us that Peter’s routine will be set in a photographers studio. I’m surprised they all aren’t to be honest.

In his VT, Peter tells us that his tango last week felt good and it felt powerful, sounding a bit like a creepy motivational speaker. We’re then reminded that the judges gave him the full “YOU’RE BACK!!!” treatment after, whatever dance it was the week before that they didn’t like, honestly they’re all the same in different outfits, it’s hard to remember. Oh and we’re also reminded that Janette

did Her Tango/Paso Face a lot. Save it for Hallowe’en luv.

To start training, Janette reveals that this week she’ll be doing rumba with Peter, and that’s great, because it’s her own personal favourite dance. Really? Not salsa? The one that you’re, y’know, fully trained in? OK. She says that she particularly likes it because it’s full of still moments. Which doesn’t sound very Janette to me, and also…is it? Aren’t you supposed to be always moving? Anyway, whatever the rumba’s about, Janette’s found the perfect way to explain it to Peter.

APPEAL TO HIS RAMPANT NARCISSISM! She takes Peter to a photographer’s studio and gets the man in charge to repeatedly photograph them so that she can show Peter the pictures later and they can go through how he looks together. She does know that all of their training is being filmed right? Peter’s all “yes, yes, I can see that I definitely look more amazing in some shots than others. Hey, can we get my kids in? Just so they can be included? I really don’t feel comfortable being photographed if it’s not in some way about how I love my kids? Well can they at least be photoshopped in? Stick one on my shoulders and one on Janette’s it’ll be cute. I do love my kids though.”


It does feel a bit like she’s walked into her secret surprise stalker’s lair isn’t it? Oh Janette, you thought you could rumba with Peter Andre and just stay friends?

YOU’RE HIS WIFE NOW! (ps : you must love his kids).

The pair of them are dancing to “Thinking Out Loud” by Ed Sheeran and it’s pretty much what you’d expect to happen when Peter Andre meets blokerumba – it’s made a bit easier by the fact that he’s clearly not self-conscious about it in any way and blows through it all with gusto, and made a little bit harder by the fact that Peter Andre and subtle elegant tender movements do not go together at all. Everything snaps and pops and lurches and rolls about and his arms in particular

are weird. Personally I think he’s probably struggling with the knowledge that on Dancing With The Stars this week, this happened (AND SCORED 40 SOMEHOW) and it’s basically everything Peter wants to do with his life. If only that attempt at a US career worked out, eh Pete? You could be doing nothing but Laurie Gibson’esque jazz routine for the entire run. Anyway, it’s not schmoopy or mawkish or bathed in mauve lighting to a Celine Dion song, so chalk this one up as a non-score draw and have done.

Before Peter drowns Janette in developing fluid and hopes Inspector Barnaby doesn’t come calling.

Over to the judges they go, and Tess sighs that that was a lovely “roomba”, as her accent is apparently dictating we call it today, then Peter replies “this is a really nice room ba” and gestures around the hall and God watching the combined efforts of Peter and Tess trying to get that one off the ground is like watching a little injured one winged sparrow hopping directly into the M25. Except you’d be rooting for the sparrow. Darcey starts for the judgery by telling Peter that it’s just lovely that he has so much emotion (*snort*) but sometimes he gets the dynamics of the dance all wrong. She then tells him he has to get juicy at both ends. I’d really rather not contemplate that to be honest. Len follows by saying that RUMBA IS DIFFICUWT FOR THE MAYUW CELEBRITIES. (*drin oh no hang on wait, where did it go? My drink was here a second ago. Bruno?

Oh there we go. He tells Peter that that was like a REIKI RUMBA!!! Peter

finds this all very very genuinely amusing. No really Bruno, you’re such a cut-up. Craig closes by saying that Peter’s rumba lacked a certain resistance (not in my living room it didn’t) and his hips looked more like they belonged in a salsa than a rumba, but he loved the way Peter presented Janette in the dance. Ie “I liked the bits where you stood still and grabbed Janette’s hips as she wiggled her bum”.

Up to Claud 9 they develop, where Claudia immediately starts mocking (as nicely as possible of course) Peter for being so obviously overinvested in what the judges say. Peter says that this is because they know everything and are the masters of their craft.

Pasha, Oti and Ola there all trying their best not to laugh. Fortunately for them, Peter then honks at Claudia that he is BLUE PETER today!!! Yeah that should stop it. Scores are in

29. As a bonus Background Pro Face, here’s Tristan as Claudia tells Peter that a lot of rumbas are nauseating but his wasn’t


Kirsty Gallacher & Brendan Cole dancing the Viennese Waltz

Is that lead weight on her head a balance thing or something, I’m not getting it.

In her VT, Kirsty says that the paso doble was always going to be difficult and it was a really hard week and she was expecting to be in the dance-off, she knew it all along, not that she’s over-compensating or anything, it was just fate. She tells us that she took a different attitude in the dance-off, because she knew she had to deliver the goods. Yes, nothing like competing against a 53 year old man who can barely click his fingers in time to really put your irons in the fire is there?

Training, and Kirsty is really looking forward to the Viennese Waltz, but Brenda has reservations. He says that the Viennese Waltz is a soft and beautiful dance and we’ve established that

“Kirsty is not a soft dancer”. There speaks a face sat on a body with a lot of torsion marks. He does say that he still has faith in Kirsty, because he believes she’s a natural born dancer. God what’s happened since birth then, it must have been pretty traumatic. Kirsty goes on to say that there’s no hiding place in the Viennese Waltz, so she’d better get it right. And that’s it. This VT has no gimmick. I’m scared.


So this Viennese Waltz (to “This Year’s Love”, let’s not relive the adolescent breakdown I recounted and relived and rebreathed when Harry Judd danced to this in Series 9, I’m an older wiser man now) is set inside a giant clock for some reason. And Hickory Dickory Dock, Kirsty

takes half a clear 25 seconds to get down the bloody stairs. I think Len could probably get down them faster. If it was going to take her this long they might as well have installed a Stanna. Also

this is so much a lift that it makes the ones he used to do with Sophie to draw fire look tame in comparison. That complaining out of the way…there’s no denying that this is Kirsty’s best dance yet and definitely a massive improvement on her first waltz, in which she looked like a human clothespeg. She’s turning fast, mostly not tripping over her own feet (except a bit towards the end), and keeps her head position absolutely rock solid throughout. She’s definitely still relying on Brenda a lot and

there’s still parts where it looks a bit “Weekend At Bernie”s, but on the whole? She acquits herself well.

Not so much with the endpose, but we can’t have everything.

They saunter over to the judges, where Kirsty mugs to Tess that she’s a bit dizzy. Well, yours eyes appear to be focusing, so you’re better off than Carol was. Len starts for the judges with a bit of a whinge about how much faffing there was at the start of the dance but says that once Kirsty got going she was fantastic. Bruno follows by slurring that Kirsty’s stock is on the rise and her tits are grea…her assets are really worth investing in. He thinks Kirsty showed musicality for the first time, and really danced with her partner. Whether her partner danced with her…

Craig follows, saying that he agrees – Kirsty was really dancing for the first time. Her left shoulder was riding up and she still had a death grip on Brenda, but dancing nonetheless. Darcey closes by saying that Kirsty definitely won’t be in the dance-off this week, and she appreciates all the hard work Kirsty put into that, especially the fleckerls.

Up to Claud 9 they bowl, where Kirsty tells Claudia that she nearly cried because that went so well and she loved the song so much (UNLIKE THE SHIT I HAD TO DANCE TO LAST WEEK HINT HINT). I still don’t really like Kirsty but it’s always nice to see someone have at least one moment of triumph (unless it’s, like, Widdy or Matt Dawson, they can fuck off). Claudia then tells Kirsty that she appears to be…having a journey.

Alright, let’s not go nuts

Scores are in


Ainsley Harriott & Natalie Lowe dancing the jive

SO. MUCH. PINK. Tess tells us that Ainsley will be dancing to “Shake, Rattle & Roll”, which represents Ainsley’s Strictly journey so far. He shook with nerves to start off with, he rattled with fear in the dance-ff, and then he ate a bread roll. Something like that.

In his VT, Ainsley says that the waltz is a really graceful dance, and he’s really glad he got to do it. He’d also really like to thank all the judges for their lovely compliments.

If you told me that Ainsley Harriott would be doing Dr Hammie prayer hands at the start of this series I would have been surprised. Surprised and disappointed. He tells us that his aim now is to try really hard and maybe eventually score an 8. Oh well.

Training now and

Natalie has yet another implement of torture to help Ainsley with his dancing. It’s one of those light-up button bashing games that used to be a round on several cheap ITV gameshows in the early 00s. Natalie has bought it in, ostensibly to improve Ainsley’s stamina but I think mostly because the producers told her she can’t do any more VTs that are basically just him cooking her a free meal, and she’s bitter. Ainsley spends all day bipping the buttons and then

has a stroke, well done Natalie, another partner brok…oh no, wait, he’s being Elvis. Stand down Strictly paramedics! And put that fag out.


I honestly cannot think of a female pro on this show who has so ridden both the highs and lows of the jive as Natalie has. From Scott Maslen right down to Michael Vaughan and now this. Whilst this certainly isn’t as iconically bad as Michael’s is it certainly is a complete shambles. His legs look like there’s no actual bones in them, his back is so hunched up I think his face is somehow below shoulderblade level for most of it, there’s more motion coming from his elbows than anywhere on his body and

Karen Hauer, is this you? At one point Natalie choreographs him pecking her on the cheek and then

these faces happen. I’m not saying that Ainsley’s got worse exactly, but Natalie has ironed out precisely none of his faults, although I feel like that would have been a process of decades, not weeks. He seems pretty set in his mould.

His boggle-eyed wacky mould.

Bruno starts for the judges, yelling that there was SO MUCH SHAKING HE ALMOST CURDLED! He tells Ainsley that he couldn’t really tell what was supposed to be going on (he’s a fine one to talk…) and that Ainsley tends to sit with his weight too far back and then Ainsley grins that it’s a “bit of a black thing” and does a bit of a bogle. Let’s ask Karen about it on Khoreography Korner, I want to hear her insight on this. Craig follows by euphemising that it “needs to be more technical at this point”. That’s one way of putting it.

Darcey follows by saying that Ainsley did what he’s here to do, which is to entertain us (and make Natalie dinner) but at times the character got out of control and the technique disappeared. Len closes by saying that it was less “Shake, Rattle & Roll” and more “Shake’N’Vac”.

I have never wanted anything in my life more than to see Natalie Lowe doing the Shake’N’Vac. Get on it It Takes Two. If I have to put up with talking props with boogly eyes, you can give me the Shake’N’Nat.

Up to Claud 9 they rattle, where Claudia says that she doesn’t know what the judges are talking about. It’ll get worse before it gets better Claud. Ainsley says he agrees with what they said about his lack of technique, and then Natalie just squawks that he’s AMOYZING until the scores come in and

not so amoyzing. 21

Jamelia & Tristan MacManus dancing the foxtrot

Tess tells us that Jamelia’s dance will be based around a horse-drawn carriage ride around Central Park in New York. Thankfully, she says, the producers aren’t stupid enough to have actual live animals on the dancefloor, not after Judy Murray’s dogs crapped on Len’s Glans and bit The Man In The Hat. Claudia then appears with

a massive invisble horse. As you do. Imaginary giant rides not being an uncommon event on this show, hi Pash[PUNCHLINE REDACTED]

VT now, and Jamelia says that she’s still in shock from last weekend. As am I. PAULA ABDUL?! Anyway, Jamelia goes on to say that she never thought that her scoring 32 ever was possible and she’s going to try everything in her power to sustain that level over the weeks to come. Oh well.

Training now and in double SHOCK NEWS, Jamelia is awful at the foxtrot and has

a Letterman jacket embossed with her own initial. Which is less of a surprise, I ask you? Tristan, who I’m increasingly thinking is one of those men who only ever truly expresses himself fully via

how ratty his hair is, says that foxtrot’s a really easy dance to learn (don’t tell Len that for God’s Sake) but Jamelia is psyching herself out so much because it’s ballroom and she sees herself more as a latin girl. I guess Charleston is a kind of Latin right? On this show? To boost Jamelia’s spirits

her daughters come in to cheer her on. I like that on this banner even her own daughters are kind of “VOTE FOR TRISTAN…and Jamelia”. Jamelia is boosted by the presence of her offspring and now feels ready to face the yadda yadda you know how BABY WARS goes by now, right?


Yes they have parked a giant carriage in the middle of the dance-floor. No, I’m not entirely sure why. Tristan helps her disembark and they foxtrot to “Because You Loved Me” by Celine Dion and it is as barfy as that sounds. I’m guessing this is Tristan pushing as hard as he can to counter those who say that he and Jamelia hate one another because this is treacle on a scale that only the most…well let’s just say “Peter Andre” could aspire to. The horse carriage even has FAIRY LIGHTS in it for frack’s sake. It’s a noble effort but well

they don’t have chemistry, at all, not in that way. Oh and also she’s not very good at foxtrot. It’s not as bad as it looked in training footage from It Takes Two, which is to say it’s not the worst ballroom dance ever performed on this show ever, but she looks deeply uncomfortable and clearly can’t hear how the steps and music go together at all. And as usual, she seems to have remembered the first half of the routine and then got bored. It’s alright for a pop video Jam Jars but here you only get one take. At the end

Tristan proposes. I know right? There’s a plot twist I wasn’t expecting. (You’ll notice that the champagne is already well past open, not that I’m suggesting he needed to get plastered to pop the question or anything)

Over to the judges they go and Craig starts by saying that it was all going well at the start but the end ruined it for him. Don’t be so jelus Craig – just because Tristan is in love with Jamelia not you, it doesn’t mean you can mark her down for it. You have to be level-headed about these things – just ask Numbers Bitch. Craig also calls them out for an “illegal lift jete en tournant sort of scenario” which…it was a jump Craig, calm down, Brenda was moving Kirsty round like a carriage clock earlier. Darcey follows, saying Jamelia should be proud of holding on to her top line and has clearly worked hard on gliding across the floor, but she lost her confidence when she came out of hold.

Len follows saying that Jamelia is obviously most comfortable with the Latin rhythms (of Charleston) and gets uptight in ballroom (and the rest of the Latin), but he thinks it’s a mental block(/producer mandated storyline) rather than an issue of talent (mm hmm). Just filling in the subtext for you there, don’t mind me. Bruno closes by saying that the second half of the routine was a mess, but the first half was warm and comforting like a nice cup of Horlicks. Is that the bull’s Horlicks Bruno, do elucidate.

Up to Claud 9 they go, with Tristan being really very sweet to Jamelia about how she shouldn’t worry, and things like that happen, whilst

definitely not checking out her boobs in any way. Once they’re up there, Claudia tries to be encouraging but Jamelia is in floods of tears over how she mucked the routine up (I get the impression this is one of those “being nice is making things worse” scenarios) so we move straight to the scores

26. Jamelia’s face there isn’t quite Sunetra tier “WE GOT 8S FOR THAT CRAP?”, but I’ll take it.

Katie Derham & Anton du Beke dancing the salsa

“Oh hello offisher *hic*. No we’re not here on a (*gags a little*) tax schcam, it’s jusht a liddle holiday, Anton’s conshtitchoounts can schtill rely on him to get them the besht…I’ve losht track, where are we again? BERMUDA! THE BESHT TRADE DEALS WITH THE BERMUDAS!”

Tess tells us that Katie is determined to prove that her latin can be just as good as her ballroom.

I don’t think she is Tess. Not tonight at any rate.

In her VT, Katie says that last Saturday was a dream and Anton thanks the judges for being so generous with their marks. I’m telling you now if he’s trying to front that he wasn’t expecting at least a 9 from Len in the pimpslot on a Viennese Waltz with a decent partner doing Anton Classic Ballroom complete with Authentic Improv Ending with fireworks, then he is lying through his veneers. We do get backstage footage of how excited Katie was to top the leaderboard though

Either that or Jeremy actually did the dress rehearsal shower nude.

Training now, and Anton tells Katie that their salsa is going to have to be hot and spicy and Katie actually just says “Anton, I’ve been watching this show for many a year now let’s go straight to the salsa club now and save time”.

And they we are. Less time for filming, more time for drinking. TEAM KATIE! HUZZAH!


And Anton should be fanning himself with that hat, because someone just turned up the COMEDY LATIN TO 11!

They’re dancing to Bublefied 60s Italoswing garbage and it’s basically the reverse of their cha cha – here Katie is the one doing all the wiggling and jiggling and seducing whilst Anton is the one reduced to standing there as a fulcrum, picking her up in the lifts, and pulling comedy faces coz she just bummed him in the balls. Which I guess is the way round the competition is supposed to work. Your philosophy on this sort of routine probably revolves around whether a “serious contender” should be doing comedy routines at all, or I guess more pertinantly whether said comedy routines should actually be funny. Katie’s salsa technique, when it appears, seems very loose and haphazard, although I will say that her arm crossovers are a hell of a lot more smooth and seamless than Georgia’s were at the start of the show. The routine also answers whether Katie Derham can do lifts should the routine require them. The answer is no.

This one in particular, right at the end, goes through more evolutions than a Pokemon before she settles on what she wants it to be. Which seems to be

Upside Down Supergirl loses the power of flight via Kryptonite whilst mid-orgasm.

It gets half a standing ovation before a producer yells at everyone to SIT DOWN BECAUSE YOU’RE SUPPOSED TO THINK THAT WAS RUBBISH, SIT DOWN. Probably. Once they make the judges table, Bruno is clearly revving up so hard to have a go that Tess snaps at him that it’s not his turn yet (think on this : for allthe routines Tess has to stand pretty much right next to Bruno behind a pillar. So she’s had no escape all evening). Instead it’s Darcey, wearing her best pained face

(I think) who begins, and tells Katie that that didn’t have the right spice, that it was messy, that she really didn’t grind down into the floor at all, and that Latin clearly isn’t her thing, sadly, sorry. Only with Darcey could something that ends with “sadly, sorry” be viewed as a savaging by the audience. Because we want Darcey to be more bland apparently. Tess asks Len if he loves Katie in the ballroom and the latin, and Len says he loves Katie wherever he goes. On a plane, in the street, in the toilet after Mrs Len has gone to bed… That said, she had a good go, and it was nice, but no cigar. She needed to shake her bum more and also have more control. In short CAM AHT but…you know, like a lady. He closes by telling her that she’s the opposite of Jamelia. I’m not sure Jamelia comparisons are the best place for this YEAR OF THE ANTON to be right now, but ok.
Bruno’s next and

he leaps out of his seat and tells Katie that he thought she was SUCH A NICE GIRL but she was throwing herself around LIKE A WILD KITTEN there. He then suggest Katie be more grounded through the floor nest time and does, like, 5 pelvic thrusts until Tess snits “THANK YOU BRUNO” and we move on to Craig dissing the armography, telling her that she didn’t even get the basic hip action right and summarising by telling her that it was a dreadful salsa.

Someone in the audience yaps “WEW WE LAHVED IT!”. Len’s mum clearly in tonight. Or Anton’s.

Up to Claud 9 they shimmy

and does Katie look drunker when she’s done a good dance or when she’s done a bad dance, let’s discuss. Once up there, all the celebs and pros honk “WE LOVED IT!” and Claudia tells Katie that the judges were only so harsh on her because they had such high expectation after last week’s leaderboard topping Viennese Waltz. Oh Claud. Nobody had high expectations going into that, come on. Anton says that they’ve got the paso doble next week, which is really just the tango with frilly bits, so they’ll be fine. So we’re down to samba, rumba, or Argentine Tango as the dance they’re going to skip right?

Claudia next calls on Katie’s oldest daughter to score that from the audience.

She’s my favourite. She does a little “help me!” eye flare to camera as well, it’s amazing. Scores are in


Jeremy Vine & Karen Clifton dancing the waltz

Tess reminds us that last week Jeremy was bottom of the leaderboard and not in the dance-off, so this VINE must really be GROWING ON US. Or people must dislike Kirsty Gallacher that much who can say?

In his VT, Jeremy says that he knows his jive last week was frantic, but it was probably just because he was enjoying being here so very much. Alright Vine, less of the apple polishing. Karen goes on to say that really, re Craig, she’s so over the 3s now. Maybe teach Jeremy to dance better then? Jeremy sighs that really if he’s honest, he’ll take a 3.5 at this stage, and yes I had some nights down the University gay bar like that in my time as well.

Training and

yeah, this wasn’t a height match that was ever going to go anywhere good in ballroom was it? Jeremy tells us that all the dances he’s done up til now have been fun and fast but this is different, because the dance is so slow that all his mistakes are going to show. Does he think they didn’t before? Karen as well has apparently picked a very special song for Jeremy’s waltz. Is it “Vertigo”? “Elevation”? “Sunday Bloody Sunday”? “Dischotheque”? “Hold Me Thrill Me Kiss Me Kill THE BATMAN”? Nope. It’s “She”, by

ELVIS COSTELLO! Jeremy is adorably gushy about how Elvis SAID HIS NAME on the video clip and grins to us all that he’s been to see him in concert 23 times. I presume Jeremy has a general Elvis Costello thing and this is the only song they could clear rather than…anything to do with his cover of “She”. I hope. Elvis Costello tells Jeremy not to take any unnecessary risks in his routine. Then Paula Abdul calls him back to bed.


I know he’s a bit taller than you Karen, but that seems like overcompensating. Of course, she gets down from the tower eventually and then they do the worst waltz I can remember seeing on this show ever that didn’t involve Nancy Dell’Loony’Ho getting eaten alive by a feather boa. It is slow, it is plodding, he is on his tippy toes the entire time, I don’t think they make body contact the entire time they’re out there, he barely has anything to do other than paternally glow down (a long way down) at Karen, there’s one point

where he hauls her across the dancefloor like a particularly joggy wet dog dragging something out of a lake, he’s gritting his teeth and grinning like a really poor Tony Blair impersonation, and this

is his ballroom hold. He’s lucky he’s so charming, I’ll say that.

As they walk over to the judges Bruno cackles loudly over everything Tess is trying to say until she grins “WHY IS BRUNO LAUGHING?” right down the cameralens.

She is five seconds away from giving him such a slap. Len starts for the judges, saying he really enjoyed that, and he’s proud that Jeremy dances to his full height without crouching down or getting off his tiptoes or moving his spine at all. Well done. Bruno follows by yelling that that was a picturebook waltz…from a book that went out of print 50 years ago…BECAUSE THEY BURNT IT

BECAUSE IT WAS WRITTEN IN POOP…WITH ATROCIOUS SPELLING! THEN THE PERSON WHO BURNT IT DIED…OF BAD DANCING! And so on. Someone needs to get Bruno into a taxi and send him home, this is madness. He goes on to criticise Jeremy’s plastered on smile and tells him his zombie act was one week too early for Hallowe’en. Jeremy mutters that his smile was real because he was enjoying himself so much. Are *all* of our top three males this year going to be adept at playing the kicked puppy I ask myself?

Craig is next, saying that was shapeless, ploddy, with poor frame and at one point it looked like Jeremy was dragging a log across the floor. Jeremy reassures Karen that she looks nothing like a log. I mean, he’s smooth, I’ll give him that much. Darcey closes by saying that she’s never seen someone smile all the way through a waltz before.

I think my favourite Jeremy thing is how clearly unimpressed he is every week with Darcey’s faint praise. He’s no dummy.

Up to Claud 9 they skitter, with Jeremy actually telling the audience to take care as he waves goodbye to them. What lovely manners. Once up there he says he’s really glad to have got positive comments from Darcey and Len. Not so much the other two. Claudia fills him in that he’s currently number 4 on the Grazia Lust List. Richard Osman must be SEETHING. Jeremy doesn’t quite know how to respond to this, as you wouldn’t. Scores are in


Helen George & Aljaz Skorjanec dancing the quickstep

I think we can add another one to the list of people who are owed meds back from Bruno. Tess reminds us that last week Helen’s dance was set in a hospital, and then goes on to say that this week she’ll be dancing in a railway station. Remember when dances on this show happened on a dancefloor, as part of a dance competition? It seems so long ago.

To open her VT, Helen says that she really did enjoy doing the salsa far more than she expected to. Grinding up against Aljaz dressed as a doctor with his shirt slashed open to the waist turned out to be fun, who knew? The show then does that thing where it think showing us a spectacular lift in slow motion makes it look more spectacular

rather than less. Helen giggles that Aljaz kept on telling her that the lifts would be easy BUT THEY WEREN’T. And by giggles I mean “chuckles like she’s just about to reveal it was her all along who brutally killed Jimmy, Beth, Yolanda, Chad and Kimmi in the manner of the first five labours of Herclues to avenge her dead father who they ran over on Hallowe’en”.

Training and Helen is finding quickstep harder than she expected, because it’s so quick. (Also because there are a lot of steps?). She seems to find the whole thing faintly embarassing, because she thinks that she and Aljaz look like two little reindeer trotting along together. I would wonder where she got the inspiration for this from but

a quick scan around her training room gives the answer. I hope the reindeer were dead before she tore them off. To help Helen with the speed of the dance and the constant leaping, Aljaz has brought in some little hurdles for her to jump over as she runs around the room. I don’t know why you’d waste time on buying hurdles Aljaz, you’ve got a natural speed-bump for her to leap over already right there…


They’re dancing to “You Can’t Hurry Love” by The Supremes and, OK, so the first 30 seconds or so of this is horrid. Helen undoes her scarf, plonks it on her seat for no reason, leaves to get her train, and is repeatedly grinned at, nuzzled, and cajoled by Aljaz until she notices he’s just bringing her her scarf back, not being a big ol’ creep and then they do

incy-pincy shoulder shruggy poo flirty stuff until they get into hold and quickstep. From there…I just don’t really like it. Her footwork’s very neat and precise and tidy, and light, and she’s moving around the floor at a fair clip, but it all seems very fussy and giddy and bouncy to me, and there’s notable gapping in quite a few places. Also, Aljaz is at his most charming throughout (ie he’s wearing trousers that are three sizes too small) and Helen

is wearing the sort of grin you’d expect on someone who just found out that Aljaz wasn’t talking with them to flirt, he was talking them to work up to asking them if they know a man called Jesus. As Len would say, some dahnces juss done soot sahm peepuw and this one certainly doesn’t suit me. Also, for all the hurdles practice she was getting in the athletic discipline that gets most used in the routine is the hammer.

With Helen as the mallet. Well at least the floor will be clean for all of Jay’s fans to wet themselves all over it.


It gets a standing ovation, which Tess calls the first of the night. I guess if you don’t count the one Anton’s fans did before Evil Moira Ross In A Rainbow Wig started deploying the little red lasersight dots into the audience it was yes. Bruno starts for the judges yelling that the HELEN AND ALJAZ EXPRESS IS ON THE FAST TRACK TO THE TOP! Whereas the Bruno Express is about to derail and plough into an orphanage. Craig follows with “one word


Darcey’s next and she’s similarly gushy about Helen’s “little details”, to the point where I worry we’re going to get a “SO YUMMEH!” again and reflexively hide behind a cushion. Len finishes by saying there was a little bit of gapping and she could have extended out of her top a little bit more (I beg pardon?) but he loved her flicker and thought the whole routine was right on track!

Up to Claud 9 they bound, where Aljaz does a little

twirly hop of delight that I am definitely not complaining about. Definitely not. Helen says that she too really enjoyed that. She was really nervous beforehand and was talking to herself in her head (…at least she thinks it was her) about all the things that could go wrong.

WHAT IF I TRIP? WHAT IF I FORGET THE HANKIE? WHAT IF DARCEY DOESN’T LIKE IT? But it was allllll fiiiiiine and she DIDN’T FORGET THE STEPS YESSSSS HA HA HA. God she’s tightly wound. Scores are in

35. Afterwards she starts clutching and wailing at Claudia screeching “DARCEY GAVE ME A NINE!”. It would have been a 10,

but Bruno’s nicked all the tranqs and they didn’t want to risk it. Poor Darcey. WHEN WILL SHE GET TO GIVE HER 10?

Jay McGuiness & Aliona Vilani dancing the paso doble

Bruno is at almost PEAK BRUNO all the way through Tess’ intro for Jay. Mugging away about giving Jay a 10 for his jive and mouthing at Craig (I’m fairly sure) that he’s a BITCH for having scored Jay a 5 last week the big meanie.

Really Tess should stay away from the judges for these intros, it’s becoming like she’s a picture-in-picture sign language interpreter for the deaf in reverse.

In his VT, Jay very sadly goes over all the mistakes he made in his quickstep, the poor lamb, but says that he’s very hopeful that he’ll come back stronger this week and not muck it up, as long as we all close our eyes and believe in him EXTRA HARD.

Training now, and after the last miserable week, a bit of a boost is needed.

FOR NATHAN SYKES SOLO CAREER! Jay says that he was really happy to meet up with “Little Nate” (is he a rapper now, please say he is) because they’ve not seen one another for ages. And who’d have thought it, a paying gig in front of 10 million people for three months, and he suddenly turns up to lend support. What a pal. Jay sends it’s really nice to feel Nate’s support in person (ooo err) and they then

play ping pong coz that’s just what ladz do. Nathan says that Jay is definitely not a ringah cause all he did in The Wanted was leap around like an idiot, and that watching him from home every week makes him cry because it makes him so emotional.


Also with pride and stuff. Who knew The Wanted were such a group of wet lettuces? Jay says that he had Nathan’s support all the way through The Wanted, like when Siva took the piss out of him coz his pubes hadn’t grown in yet and Max used to call him chicken boy because he liked to eat chicken a lot ok there’s nothing wrong with that. Nate then goes to watch Jay and Aliona in training and calls Jay “mate” four times, but it feels like more.


Their paso is being performed to “It’s My Life” by Bon Jovi, as Aliona continues to merrily plough the rock furrow without pause. And it’s a very good paso – his movements are very precise, he’s very masculine and commanding in and as of himself, and he gives good stamp and arm waft and his back’s decently arched. It’s just all a bit dry and pompous. I don’t think you can dance a paso to Bon Jovi and not embrace the camp and the theatricality of it least a little bit because…it’s Bon Jovi. It’s 80s poodlehair soft rock. You’re going to look a bit fruity doing it regardless, so it might as well be on your own terms. I’m not asking for the full Ashley Taylor Dawson cowboy outfit but it looks a bit Vegas Special Magic Show warming up for Jennifer Lopez On Ice if you don’t acknowledge on some level the routine’s a bit silly. Also

she’s a bull, not a side of beef. She dies at the end of the routine, not at the beginning – handle her like a warm body not a corpse.

Still it was either my second or third or fourth favourite routine of the night depending on how much Kirsty and/or Kellie is ticking me off at any given moment so…ROLL ON HALLOWE’EN!

It gets a rip-roaring reaction from the audience, including Mad Anita

who looks like she’s garotting the guy next to her with delight. Then again she has extra reason to be proud, given that she’s married to Bon Jovi himself right? I think? They mentioned it once in her series I think. Tess gets all unnecessary over Jay, grunting that that was so powerful and MASTERFUL and there were no mistakes at all.

I’m not sure what part of that Jay is erp’ing to be honest. Jay says it felt really cool and Tess sighs

YOU’RE REALLY COOL TOO! Jesus, after this series ends when do you think the next date and time will be when his penis isn’t inside a vagina, let’s run a sweepstake.

Craig starts by saying that it could have done with more menace, but it had great lines and it was a great dance, and Darcey follows by saying that Jay’s arms were the best male arms she’s ever seen from a celebrity.

Nobody point out to Aliona that in all the series Darcey did before this one, there were a sum total of four even half-decent male dancers, and that’s including her Series 7 guest stint. She does think he should act the dance more with his face though, and stop caring so much about Aliona. Stop reading the papers Darcey, it’s all made up, I SWEAR.

Len follows and tells Darcey to calm the eff down because his arms weren’t that good. Yeah Jay, watch Mark Benton’s samba, and see how it really should be done I agree. He goes on to say that Jay’s like Samson in reverse – he got his hair cut and then went from strength to strength. Bless you Len. That would have been a smart comment in week 2 or maybe week 3, don’t blurt it out tonight even though that quickstep happened just because you thought it up driving home last night. And…here we go.Bruno closes by yelling that that was the BULL’S BOLLOCKS! Everyone screams and cackles and hoots and Bruno just carries on, as Len chortles away to Darcey under his breath that one of them should say something because old Tessbot over there doesn’t look like she’s going to. Thankfully, after what seems like forever, we cut to Tess apologising and

firing off a death glare like we’ve never seen from her and then when we cut back to Bruno he’s slumped over the desk with a tranquiliser dart in his neck. Well it was about time someone did something.

Up to Claud 9 they hop, where Claudia asks him how it feels to be back in the judges good books. He says it’s better than going down. It is when it involves a bull’s bollocks yes. Scores are in


Kellie Bright & Kevin Clifton dancing the jive

There’s a touch of the “…well that’s us comprehensively overshadowed then” about that smile isn’t there? Don’t worry Kellie, you were always going to have to follow up some offensive unthought bollocks – Tess’ scriptwriter’s still in employment.

In her VT, Kellie cackles that Saturday was awesome, and she was chuffed to bits with the judges scores. Yes Kellie, but were they the BULL’S BOLLOCKS? Bruno’s said it now so you all can too. Say it around Tess. A lot. Go on.

In training, Kevin starts by telling Kellie that this series Jay has done one of the best jives ever and Jeremy has done one of the most entertaining jives he’s ever seen that was also coincidentally choreographed by his wife not that that’s affecting his judgment by mentioning it over, say, Katie’s or Georgia’s both of which were, y’know, not crap and awful. Anyway, this apparently means there’s a lot of pressure on Kellie so this means, per Kevin, that they have to GO BIGGER THAN EVER! BIGGER BIGGER BIGGER BIGGER BIGGER! Personally I’d be happier you pegged it back to about a 15 or a 16 out of 10 Kevin, but ok. To whit, Kevin has choreographed the most demanding jive evah! He tells her that her technique has to be right, her stamina has to be high

and her stomach has to be strong. I know it’s a jive Kevin, and therefore you’re going to dance the whole thing right on the edge of spooging, but can you go without touching yourself for five seconds, thanks. Kellie meanwhile is all “…well I’ll try to keep up”.


So the idea here is some sort of Spy vs Spy thing where Kellie and Kevin are both battling for control of a suitcase that contains a mysterious secret. If you’ve seen Pulp Fiction it’s therefore very much the sequel to Jay & Aliona’s routine, except no-one’s tied to a chair with a ball-gag in. More’s the pity, some might say. The rest of us just don’t see Kevin that way. It’s very cute

for about 15 seconds, and then it gets old. The presene of the suitcase in particular feels a little bit like the presence of flying surfboards in Frankie’s jive last year. I’m sure I’m very impressed that nobody injured themselves but it didn’t really add anything other than an air of dread over the whole enterprise and the distraction of people constantly reaching for it, running after it, and

dropping it because you can’t really jive holding it for more than three seconds at a time. Kellie’s jive on the other hand is great. It’s more of a classic hoofers effort than Jay’s was with lots and lots of kicks and jazz hands and stage school faces, but it’s a fun enough romp (to “One Way Or Another” by…One Direction according to the show’s website) (yes I know that’s the arrangement, I don’t care) even if she does run out of energy at the end and start getting a little flaily.

It still looked better on It Takes Two though.

Over to Tess they go, with Kevin literally crawling there to ham up how demanding that routine was, before Darcey starts for the judges, braying that Kellie really delivered the goods, so fast, and with added details. Kellie to this

gives a little mock “you’re too kind” bow to Darcey. Or she’s got wind. Len follows by honking that the clocks may be going back tonight, but he wants to DO IT NOW SO HE CAN SEE THAT AGAIN. That’s not really how time works Len but ok. Also I’m fairly sure Kevin’s routines turn the clocks back every week.

Bruno slumps in his chair and dribbles out the corner of his mouth and says “that was a nice jive, well done Kellie” in a monotone with glazed over eyes. There is now a suspicious looking scar running along his forehead. Craig closes by saying it needed more leg retraction, but he loved it.

Up to Claud 9 they spook, where Kellie and Claudia clatter over one another about how jive is KEVIN’S DANCE but no it’s KELLIE’S DANCE NOW and I’m fairly sure

still Jay’s dance, but ok. 35.




44 thoughts on “Strictly Come Dancing 13 – Week 5 Performance

  1. Dancing cake

    This blog is like the marshmallow test (or whatever it’s called) – I always think I’ll wait till Tuesday morning to read it as I really need the laughs most before I start work, but in practice I always end up lurking about on Monday night tapping my fingers and checking the time, so I can read it as soon as it appears.

    I might read this one tomorrow morning too though, cos I’ll still lol second time round.

    PS I really think Claudia should walk down the stairs with the Man in the Hat. It’s the least he deserves.(Unlike some of the miserable gits in the Wunnerful Orchestra, if that shot of them behind the singers is anything to go by.)

  2. Pops

    Great job capturing the death glare!
    James Jordan really was the King of the Ringers for a while there, wasn’t he? He should think on that when he’s tweeting about Strictly having too many trained dancers on this year.

  3. DJMikey80

    Idea for Poll – Is this this year Bruno gets fired?? Arlene and Alisha didn’t have to do anything close to this level of obnoxious BS to get axed..

    Kellie and Kevin subjected me to the worse version of one of my favourite songs ever – this is unforgivable and I’m now praying for broken legs (I don’t much care who’s)

  4. BeyonceCastle

    Thank God someone else echoed my sentiments on Helen’s quickstep, thought I was going mad there for a minute. If Bruno had said cojones no one would have fluttered an eyelid. I’m with him on this, bollocks isn’t swearing in our house, he needs to lift it a notch next week: I dunno, call Kev a twat or something. That oughta do it. Cheers as ever Chris, looking forward to Halloween. Karen as a wolf, Aliona as little Red Riding hood, what’s not to love?

      1. BeyonceCastle

        Yes, usually. Tis why Strictly stalwarts foam at the mouth when it comes to props and theme weeks here (fair dos, every week this season of dwts has had a theme. EVERY. WEEK). That said there are some lovely trad routines: Rumer’s rumba and paso spring to mind). I like a spectacle but the overproduction even surprises me sometimes. I still watch it and bias aside Derek, Mark and Val blow me away with their choreo and originality. But Mark did a Halloween paso as Edward Scissorhands this week…you can either embrace it wholeheartedly or you can hark to old school earlier series..

      2. BeyonceCastle

        Sorry, better link for Mark’s paso (the other one is a cropped version)

    1. monkseal Post author

      That is literally the only good routine all week though. I will not have positivity about the gaudy nasty tacky mess of DWTS on this blog.

      1. Elsa

        You didn’t enjoy Louis van Amstel and his boys dancing in their pants (or short shorts) with Paula Deen as Marie Antoinette? Stay classy DWTS 🙂

      2. BeyonceCastle

        Aw Chris, I only do tacky. Not quite gaudy on an apprentice Ruth level but give me time. C’mon though, a teenage mutant ninja turtle themed jitsu jive was a thing to behold… 😉

  5. Geordiegump

    Great start to a soggy Tuesday morning! The pantomime is even better to re-watch once I’ve
    read your comments…massive thanks

  6. J K K

    Glorious recap as ever, I look forward to them more than the show.

    They didn’t announce it but this week was clearly Stairs Week, given the numbers of couples faffing around on, over and behind them.

    1. monkseal Post author

      It’s got nothing on the week Rory Bremner got eliminated in Series 9, there was barely a second when someone wasnt faffing on the sodding things. Aliona made having a nice sit down an actual part of the choreography, Matt Di Angelo should only dream.


    HIL-AR-I-OUS! (And I thought there was time wasting, illegal lifts, and ridiculous props.). I’m disappointed you didn’t address “dress-gate” (why Karen Clifton ended up wearing Helen’s dress and Helen was wearing a dress that showed her bra . . . and not in a good way).

    1. Minxy

      I was so transfixed by Helen’s boobs in that outfit I barely noticed Alijaz!
      They really are rubber doll boobs aren’t they?

  8. Marcela

    “talking props with boogly eyes”…now now, that’s no way to talk about Joanne, poor thing.
    Can you add Tess death glare to your collection of screen caps along with Holly’s limp wrist? Please?
    Thank you so much, great recap as always, my weekly dose of laughter guaranteed!

  9. missfrankiecat

    I don’t think I have ever loved Tess more than this week. She’s a surprisingly strait-laced woman given she’s married to Verne.
    Greatly enjoyed the Strictlification of a typical Wanted boys’ ‘get-together’ – I’m sure Lindsey Lohan’s parole officer would have been a much happier man had they suggested a table tennis match.
    Great recap of lacklustre show this week – ‘watching the combined efforts of Peter and Tess trying to get that one off the ground is like watching a little injured one winged sparrow hopping directly into the M25. Except you’d be rooting for the sparrow’ is a corker!

  10. Minxy

    Now now Monkie – I take umbrage at you describing Vaughnie’s Jive as a low point!
    As a matter of fact it is my FAVOURITE jive of all time. And I love Scott’s!
    Not the Best Jive obviously, but most definitely a high point! And Nat loved it too!

    Whereas Nat wasn’t really feeling this one either
    This was just crap with no redeeming qualities

    1. monkseal Post author

      I can’t believe Nat choreographed another Rock’N’Roll after how the last one went (per ITT). The woman’s a jive maverick I’ll give her that.

  11. Lougarry

    Oh my word. Just watched an old Gogglebox featuring this episode and Bruno appears to have the bull’s bollocks in his trousers. Much more shocking than his language.


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