And before Len even got to use a “swing low sweet Harriott” pun. Too cruel.
We start with
our Parasol Stars enjoying a day at the seaside. For those of you hoping this means a surfeit of Speedoes and itsy-bitsy teeny-weeny polka-dot bikins, shame on you, this is a family show. It’s demure sun-dresses and full length swimming long johns for all. The routine is nominally a Charleston but basically just an excuse to do a big’n’blousy 1930s musical theatre number (to a truly painful version of “The Sun Has Got His Hat On” with whichever male singer is doing the singing aiming for David Niven and ending up on Hyacinth Bucket) complete with
little boats made out of towels
Kirstina as Esther Williams (I think the visual image of her standing still waving her arms about randomly for about half a minute whilst the female pros lie on the floor flapping their legs open and shut was more impressive in the choreographers’s head) and
Natalie, Oti and Joanne all riding giant balls.
Good clean family fun.
Once everyone’s scraped the sand out of their bits, Claudia and Tess emerge from the changing rooms and
good lord, has Missy regenerated already? Moffat doesn’t muck about does he? If she feels like doing a bit of random vapourising, I’ve got a few targets in mind. Tess beams that the clocks may now have gone back (BBC LIES) but the sun is always shining on Strictly. Well it is now, but we all remember of the dark days when they were Team X Factor, and Bruce used to run around press conferences handding out 20 page documents proving that Strictly was definitely almost higher in the ratings than X Factor at 5 minute intervals sometimes. What a long time ago that seems now. Speaking of a long time ago, Bryan Adams will be here to perform his new single, and Tess informs us all that last night the leaderboard was topped jointly by two people who’ve never topped it before. It’s almost like they’re sharing it out like sweets. Remember the good old days when Natasha/St Jill/Zoe/Alesha/Ricky’s Nipples was at the top of the leaderboard pretty much every single week and we knew where we stood vis a vis who we were supposed to vote for. Now it’s just madness. PRIZES FOR EVERYONE [/Daily Mail]
Preamble preambled it’s time for the judges to emerge. I think Len does more dancing confined to his chair than he ever did when he could walk to be honest. Also those hoping Bruno has sobered up
might be in for a disappointment, we’ll see.
First though, your week in Greg
GET OUT THE WAY LEN, FOR GOD’S SAKE THIS ISN’T ABOUT YOU! (On It Takes Zoe said that Greg’s got a calendar coming out. Zoe shouldn’t tease me like that, it’s not good for my blood pressure)
More prepared than Georgia going into a lift, time for our first round of Safety Sex-Faces
I really feel like losing Daniel, and soon Ainsley, so early, means this is going to be a bit of a drab endgame Safety Sex-Face wise, especially with the men, but I’m willing to be proved wrong. Our first couple in danger?
These two. Again. I’m hoping Tristan’s getting extra pro pay for all these extra performances he has to put in. At standard pro rates this would be what, another 50p on his salary? He comforts Jamelia all the way over to the Judges Table where Tess reminds her of how emotional she got over messing up her foxtrot, and Jamelia says that she is indeed gutted, but she thinks she deserves to be in the bottom 2 because of it. Len breaks in to say that Jamelia don’t deserve to be in the Bottom 2, because there was many couples that were below her on the leaderboard (four, one of whom is about to be in the dance-off as well). Len as ever bridling slightly at the public getting a say there. He tells Jamelia that Tristan is a great ballroom dancer (Jamelia says “yeah…” and nods to this, like she’d forgotten and he’d just reminded her) and she should rely on him. Tess then tells Jamelia that we’re all rooting for her, but not like Tyra did it so who cares?
Up to Claud 9 now, where she tells us that all five safe couples are so happy.
It’s a sliding scale really, isn’t it? Claudia reminds Helen that she was top of the leaderboard last night and got her best scores yet, and Helen gushes that she’s been PRAYING for a 9 and then three came along at once, it’s BRILLIANT. (You can totally hear the Midlands in her on that BRILLIANT by the way. As she slowly cracks, it will emerge. By the final she’s going to sound like Reggie Rat). We next deal with Carol Kirkwood’s Bryan Adams fandom, and as she reels off how the man is so handsome and so brilliant and fragrant and quiet and modest and has more talent in his pinkie than most people have in their entire bodies and one time instead of doing the weather report she just yelled the entirity of Summer Of 69 whilst dressed in only a tour t-shirt and when Chris Fawkes tried to do an emergency sub-in she STABBED THE LANKIE STREAK OF PISH WITH HER WEATHER WAND
I sincerely hope that the man does the show as a contestant next year and she shows Jay’s fanbase how it’s really done.
And here he is
with a new single, probably on pre-record because you know…restraining orders. Also
because Pasha doesn’t rip his clothes off this quickly except wh[PUNCHLINE REDACTED]. He and Ola do a paso doble which…you might as well I guess? So yeah, new single, Johnny and some bird running of to Ontario and then he doesn’t or she doesn’t and there’s a train and a phone call and it sounds a bit like Summer of 69 and I’m a bit bored of “new singles” at this point aren’t you? I’m itching for the equivalent of Shirley just booming “GOLDFINGAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH”.
For Hallowe’en maybe?
Time now for Len’s Glans, except Len isn’t able to be present, as his freshly scoped out knee means that he cant get up the stairs, so as past precedent with regards to the Head Judge role dictates, we are in fact now going to be viewing Craig’s Glans. I know some of you have waited a very long time for this. And I judge you for it. Also some of you will be relieved to hear that Bruno has sobered up.
Look! His legs are almost together and everything! It’s a whole new Bruno, he’s behaving!
We start with Darcey taking us through Helen’s transitions between moves in her quickstep, to explain how perfect they were. Do you know, I had a feeling from the very start that this was going to be the best edition of Len’s Glans ever, but I still can’t put my finger on why.
Janette would kill me, for starters. (The clip they’ve chosen also really highlights the gapping between Helen and Aljaz, which Darcey doesn’t mention, but whatever, I’ve been harsh enough on that dance as it is). Craig is next up, and explains to us why Georgia’s lifts were so ropey, as we’re treated to slow motion footage of her standing still to prepare to do them. He says it’s because they were too gymnastic and didn’t involve any actual dance. Never hurt Louis Smith (hi-oh!). As well as criticising her for signposting her entry to the lift like someone really keen to piss off some dieters who are taking the stairs, he also calls her out for awkward landings, and Darcey helps the nation by showing how not to land a lift.
Claudia kind of ignores her, mostly because I feel like all of her efforts are being diverted into making sure she’s not showing the nation her winklewoman.
Bruno then gets up to show us all vis a vis Katie, the difference between ballroom (lifting up) and latin (grinding down) but Evil Moira Ross In A Rainbow Wig has had the Thumbscrew Imps out so he does it very soberly and precisely. He compares it to the difference between performing a comedy and performing Hamlet. I refuse to believe that Bruno would approach those differently sorry. Hamlet would be dressed as a leather daddy, fall off his chair mid “To Be Or Not To Be” and charge into the final climactic battle yelling “ISSSS DIVA TIME!”
We close with Bruno being asked how best to paper over obvious massive mistakes, which seems a little bit too on the nose for me to even make jokes about, even on this blog. Bruno says you should just keep on going like nothing has happened, and then they’ll edit it off iPlayer and only order you one rent boy for after the show. Once we’re done giggling up our sleeves we check back on Len
and this gets demoted to only the second best Len’s Glans ever. Don’t ask me which one’s the best, it’s just not this one. Not any more.
Second round of Safety Sex-Faces follows thusly :
This just leaves Katie and Ainsley left facing their fates and as usual in this situation
you should always bet on the ones who’ve been in danger before. What we do get this week, which I’m not sure we’ve ever had before, is the look on a pair’s face as another pair’s names are called as safe over them.
I believe the words running through her head at this point are “fricking Andre…” They walk over to Tess, and she asks him how it feels to be in the dance-off for a second time. Natalie lows “baaaad” and Ainsley tells her it’s a great chance to get out there and dance with “this lovely lady” again. I mean, if you want to call it dancing, go ahead. Tess asks Craig what Ainsley should do in the dance-off, and Craig says that he should maybe “consider a little bit mote technique”. In particular getting up on his toes. Craig promises that if he gets up on them just once, the judges will definitely consider saving him in the dance-off. Natalie bless her
takes this at face value, because in 7 years, she has not learnt.
Up to Claud 9 where Kellie this week is molesting
both Kirsty and Katie. She’s escalating. Or maybe she’s taking the opportunity of an all black Bottom 2 to hold a KKK rally (it’s their initials, calm down madam). Peter’s also realised that he was theoretically a bit maybe in danger of being in the Bottom 2 there sort of, so should show
serious and grave face and shake his head and look sad and stuff. Claudia asks Kirsty how it feels to be safe given that she was clearly thinking “here we go again, but it’s fine, totally fine, everyone hates me but it’s fine” and Kirsty parps “YEAH, LIKE A LIAR!” and then thanks everyone at home who voted for her, or at least as many is it took to haul her her above Jamelia. As if this wasn’t enough gush, Claudia then turns to Peter to ask him how it’s going to feel to lose yet another friend, because everyone’s SO CLOSE this series. SO CLOSE. Peter tells us that we don’t know man, we don’t know unless we’re right there in the thick of it what great friends everyone makes and how hard it is to see your friends picked off one by one.
Alright luv, it’s not ‘Nam.
For a bit of life relief, Claudia turns to Georgia, who’s all
SOD THAT, AM GONNA BE A GHOSTBUSTER, WOOOOOOO! This is is for her Hallowe’en tango next week. Some times I forget why I bore such animus towards Georgia at the start of the series, as opposed the vaguely warm nothingness I feel now. Andre will do that to you I guess.
Next up a pre-Hallowe’en VT but Ainsley’s so clearly the one who’s most into it
that it gets a bit sad. He would loved it. Dressing up, stupid music, wiggling his bum around dressed as Uncle Fester…It’s making me tear up just now. Having said that, the VT is a piece of valuable psychological insight
into how Helen views the world at all times.
Back to the pre-dance off Claud 9 and
ZOMG CURSE OF THE PINK/PURPLE! Take note wardrobe. Claudia asks Jamelia how she’s feeling, and she says that she thinks she sees it as an opportunity to show everyone that she can do the foxtrot right, rather than spoiling it with a big mistake like she did the first time. She thinks. She doesn’t sound terribly sure. Tristan reassures Jamelia that they’ve done the dance in training more times than they’ve done it wrong, so she’ll be fine. He then adorably chucks her under the chin
/threatens to slit her throat, you decide commentariat. Ainsley follows, giving a speech where he says that he’s loved everything about being on Strictly, and making friends with everybody. And not just the celebrities, “you guys as well”. LOL Ainsley, I’m fairly sure Claudia’s a bigger celebrity at this point than Georgie May Footy and Him From The Wanted. He then calls the whole show a “happy home to be in” and I think Ainsley’s one of those people who can do about a month of reality tv before he needs removing from it for his own good.
And there we go. Natalie did manage to get one flying elbow in at all the ringahs by saying how well Ainsley did for a “non dancer”. Yeah, you tell em, Nat.
In his leaving speech, Ainsley says that the judges were right to send him home, because they all know what they’re talking about, and he’s just sorry for Nat that he couldn’t just push it that little bit further. Nat for her part tells Ainsley that he’s one of the loveliest men she’s ever met, and everyone from the people in the street (da da dee da dee da) to the judges tell her how amazing he is. She then gives him
one final Natalie Lowe wink for good luck. I meanwhile think about how Natalie is never going to win the glitterball and go and punch something. Then she and Ainsley dance out to “Go Your Own Way”, so that’s what I’m singing(/yelling) for the next hour at least.