So after a slightly lacklustre Hallowe’en and the horrors of Week 5, we were owed a good week. And I think we got one. Like all the best weeks it created its own narrative when this year’s Villain Presumptive – Peter Andre, slumming it for once in the first half of the draw – threw down the gauntlet at the start with a truly manic bodypopping Vaudeville Charlestont, scored 38, the highest of the series so far, and dared everyone else to try to match him. Say what you will about Peter, but he works much better as an antagonist when he actually resembles something like a threat, rather than sulking around the tabloids grousing about how he’s not gonna win coz he’s not on da tour and doing mediocre foxtrots.
Making the most ambitious attempts to shoot him down are Georgia, with an incredibly high-velocity samba to Volare, and Katie, with a full-on Broadway showbiz quickstep to 42nd Street. Both Giovanni and Anton are asking a lot of their ladies and neither quite nail it, although the former copes better than the latter. Still, better to aim for the moon and miss than…well we all remember Katie’s cha cha don’t we? Worryingly though, Anton is showing the first signs of getting ready to bury Katie under the patio with all of the rest of his ex wives. Making slightly more safe stabs for glory are Jay, with a broodingly straightforward Argentine Tango that maybe takes a little too long to get going, and Kellie with another nostalgia fest waltz complete with Len baiting heel turns and Clifton Fan-baiting theming that’s comes right out of a building society advert. Neither blow the roof off, but both succeed at what they set out do, and Jay’s *so* poised now for the culmination of his Performance Arc journey I can almost taste it.
Going less well though are the efforts of Jamelia to claw back some sanity out of her doompiral towards the Dance Off record, as she does a sort-of ok Viennese Waltz in the death slot, complete with Tristan as a busker whose guitar case Jamelia wilfully ploughs into heedlessly on the way around the floor. Len busts out a “I’LL PICKLE ME WAWNUTS IF YOU’RE IN THE DANCE OFF!” which…we’ll see. A bigger disaster though is Helen’s attempt to do a sensual rumba to “Hello” by Adele, which should serve as an excuse for some true Helen George “turned up to 11” Emoting, but which instead falls flat, as she moves stiltedly around in her nightie with no warmth whatsoever, right into the path of newly forged Rumba Purist Len, who gives Aljaz a full Giovanni over the lack of content. I think we might just have to accept that Aljaz, as much as we might like to imagine otherwise (and trust me I’ve imagined otherwise), doesn’t give good rumba.
Meanwhile in the battle of the Endearing Comedy Duffers, the show displays its hand harder than ever before, as Carol shuffles around awkwardly in the other death slot with a baffling Shania Twain shopping spree American Smooth, whilst Jeremy gets one of the most ludicrously overthemed comedy routines yet – a Village People Cowboy Tango complete with actual Buckeroo style Plastic Horse live on stage, wildly flaring laser lights and judging stand-up routines about how he looks like Woody From Toy Story. It’d be easy to root for Carol as the TRUE Underdog of Underdogs over this pushy (albeit hilarious) nonsense if she wasn’t increasingly impossible to watch. (Also Peter, Jay and Jeremy get the three clear loudest audience reactions of the evening suggests that the producers attempts to claw this show back from the brink of Total Vagina Domination have been succesful, none of these guys are going anywhere any time soon)
Oh yeah, and Gleb introduced a new Gleb Special tonight as he launched his dicksack at Anita’s face, then flicks her up off the floor with his heel to differentiate it from when Ashley Taylor Dawson did thhe same thing to Ola. Also it’s during a jive to Alesha Dixon. As I said…it was a good episode.