So I was working on a theory that every even numbered series has an amazing Hallowe’en, and every odd numbered one has a pants one. So let’s see how that works out…
Well for starters the opening pro dance (to Hell Raiser by The Sweet) features a lot of random flailing and flopping and asinine gay jokes and Natalie and Brendan as a…zombie (?) bride and groom, and is also to HELL RAISER BY THE SWEET. Gone are the days of a mass Time Warp (Jamelia does one later in the evening though, truly defining “diminishing returns” for that particular number) or Nancy dressed as Morticia Addams or Anton as king of the vampires flying around to Bat Out Of Hell, in is the sensation that this year Best Pro Dance Monkies Poll is really going to be a slog
Plumbing new depths scores wise are two of the women. Firstly, Carol’s Partridge Family Frankenstein Party Rumba. Enough said. It equals the lowest ever score for a rumba, and lord knows there’s been competition. Secondly, Kirsty gets the lowest score ever for a woman in Charleston with a vampiric jig to a jazzified version of Bad Romance. The arrangement is terrible, the choreography is worse, and Kirsty slams the trump card down by ballsing it up all over the shop. She responds to disaster as well as she always does, which is to say “not at all” and Brenda reaches desperately for “well at least she didn’t run out of the studio!!!” (this is still somehow marginally less desperate than Anton having a flop-sweat through his mask and parping “WE’RE DOING QUICKSTEP NEXT WEEK! BALLROOM! NOT LATIN! NICE BALLROOM DANCE!” all the way through Claudia’s interview after a crummy Phantom Of The Opera paso doble with Katie).
So that’s the worst of the evening out of the way (in terms of dances that is – nothing is worse than the judges noticing that Peter does exactly the same dance every week in a different costume (this week? A foxtrot dressed as a ghost to “Ghost”), then holding an intervention which seems to last for a good 10 minutes, followed by Peter launching into an extended tedious speech in response about how performing is for life not just for Strictly or something (and that “or something” is the most “or something” I’ve ever deployed)). So what’s good(ish)? Helen’s mummified samba to “Take Your Mama Out” should be enough to break Aljaz’s Hallowe’en Curse, although frankly I’ve seen enough of Helen’s Party Latin now thanks. Kellie’s Harry Potter paso doble is a crowdpleaser and full of energy but rather hampered by the massive sod-off dining room table parked in the middle of the floor, and Jay’s American Smooth is basically what Aliona always does for Hallowe’en – more of a playthrough of one of her sexual fantasies than a dance. At least she’s moved on from vampires to werewolves. It’s progress of a sort.
Georgia and Giovanni transcend “goodish” though with a good tango to the Ghostbusters theme, extending this series run of good tangos. ALSO Giovanni looks hot for the first time this week that’s the main thing.
Only two pairings truly *get* the spirit of Strictly Hallowe’en though, I think. Camp, explosions, melodrama and stupidity abound in both Jeremy’s Thriller “salsa” (basically the Thriller dance done HORRENDOUSLY BADLY and with Karen having made the frankly bizarre choice to choreograph 95% of the dance to Vincent Price’s spoken word bit which somehow makes it art, what a nutcase) and Anita’s Maleficent Waltz in which she FLIES IN ON GIANT BLACK WINGS WITH DEVIL HORNS, blows SATANIC GLITTER in Gleb’s face and then uses him as her breakdancing royal sex slave. Sure the GIANT DEVIL HORNS get in the way of the armlines of the dance a bit, but what price true art? (She’s also pretty much the only one without a dumb VT this week, which makes her the true winner of Hallowe’en let’s be honest).
So was my theory right? Well let’s see who goes home first…