“Week Where The Contenders Mostly Danced Quite Well And The Comedy Dancers Were Quite Funny” Week isn’t really much of a theme to build a recap around is it?
Last Week : Georgia showed us how to bust, Helen had samba pretty sussed, Kevin made his wand combust, Carol’s appeal started to rust but Jeremy’s zombie shook off the dust, Jay’s wolf/cat/hairbrush you found under the sofa was full of lust, Katie’s paso was hammered – it felt unjust, Peter’s speechwriter earned a crust, Jamelia’s Time Warp lost its pelvic thrust, giant hair horns were a must, and Kirsty’s Charleston left us all nonplussed. And she went home.
We’re down to “only” ten couples left so it’s time for our annual VT where things get SERIOUS and everyone is TRYING THEIR HARDEST and this is mostly conveyed by people rolling around on the floor, moping around against radiators, and showing off their bruises in black and white rather than actually, y’know training. Can someone tell Andre to get off that bloody Fire Escape? It’s a Health & Safety nightmare!
Yup, she’s still there, twirling away.
The band flares its horns, and this week Tess is with Giovanni, and Claudia with Pasha. The look of exquisite pain on Claudia’s face as Pasha kisses her mitt is quite something.
She really doesn’t like PDA does she? As Claudia runs off to find a Clinell Wipe, Tess welcomes us to the show, and hypes up the RAMPANT UNPREDICTABILITY of this series by telling us that there’s been a different celebrity at the top of the leaderboard each week :
Wk 1 – Peter
Wk 2 – Jay (or Peter depending on if she means individual weekly leaderboard or combined)
Wk 3 – Jay
Wk 4 – Katie
Wk 5 – Helen/Kellie
Wk 6 – Georgia
“Almost” is a better strike rate than usual for stats with this show, so she can have it. (I know right? Katie topped the leaderboard not even a month ago. It feels so distant…). Claudia, having scrubbed herself harder than Howard Hughes, Lady MacBeth, or me watching Pasha dance in those tr[PUNCHLINE REDACTED] reminds us that Kirsty “sadly” left us last week, making her the first female celeb to leave this series. Unless you count Ola. She does have her own calendar after all. Deciding which lady (because let’s face it, the three men are going nowhwere any time soon) is next will be we the people, and those “with the paddles and the power” (oooh here comes my breakfast again) THE JUDGES
So seductive. Shortly after the judges emerge, so do our contestants, and there is now actual Beatlemania screaming for Jay as soon as he appears. What was that about this series being unpredictable Tess?
Peter Andre & Janette Manrara dancing the Charleston
It’s like Judy and Liza reborn isn’t it? Peter must be such a proud mama. Tess tells us that at the start of the routine Janette will be putting Peter in front of a mirror. Oh God he’d better be wearing clothes…
In his VT, Peter tells us that last week wasn’t his finest hour (although of course he still loved it, it was great fun, he’s really loving being here, it’s a great experience, and if the BBC are looking for someone to replace Tim Wonnacott on Bargain Hunt, you know, spice it up a bit, get some more of those 18-24 C2DEs watching, maybe change the name to Andre’s Antiques Antics, maybe get his kids involved, he is available). We’re reminded that Bruno in particular critiqued Peter for doing every dance the same way, and telling him that he needed to find a new character. Or, do nothing, and conveniently get a dance next week that that character suits. One or the other.
Training now and
a Blazin Squad themed Charleston is a novelty I gue…oh, no, wait, it’s Vaudeville themed, it’s just that Peter is genuinely choosing, as a 42 year old man, to dress like that. Janette thinks that this would be a good week to unleash that new character Bruno suggested. It appears to be
“About To Get Run Over By A Ford Focus Man”. She tells Peter that she knows a guy from a cabaret bar (I bet she does) who can help them out. Is this the guy who taught her how to foxtrot?
Off Peter and Janette go, to meet her friend, Adam, who Janette introuces as a “Vaudeville Enthusiast”. Well my dictionary of “Euphemisms For Homosexuality” just gained another entry. He and Peter and Janette play a bunch of theatre games together to help Peter bring out his “Vaudevillian” side. If we’re going via that euphemistic definition
it appears to be working. Although let’s face it, we all knew that Peter would try to make out with himself eventually.
TO THE DRESSING ROOM!
Peter and Janette are dancing to noted Music Hall Vaudeville classic “Do Your Thing” by Basement Jaxx. As you might expect, that big “mirror” is used for
well, mirroring, before Janette bursts through it and they go Full Charleston. It’s very fast and flappy and silly and goofy and a lot of fun, and whilst he’s not always entirely in sync with Janette and sometimes the performance goes beyond what’s required and into the realms of
parody, it’s obviously and by far his best dance yet and really ahead of what anyone else has produced in the competition so far as an upbeat cheesefest dancealong party popper (Jay’s jive doesn’t count, it was smooth and cool and laid back, you all said so). I’m glad because, whilst Peter’s by far not favourite, he HAS had the air of someone who’s just taking up space recently and this definitely changes all that. I’m glad that Peter has brought the party, even if you do get the impression that it’s probably stocked with king prawn rings that will leave you with food poisoning in the morning.
It gets a standing ovation and a rapturous reception and can I just at this point thank Dr Mrs Emily Andre for clapping so slowly
that it was really easy to screencap her looking like Mr Burns going “excellent”. Next stop in the wicked plan? Dispatch the flying monkies to tell the Star On Sunday that Jeremy and Helen got into a catfight over the last creme caramel in the BBC canteen and Carol smells of WEE WEE.
Over to the judges where they go, where Peter tells Tess to “SAY HELLO TO MAH LITTLE FREN!”. What was Bruno saying last week about seeing his Peter come through in every d… oh wait, it’s a Scarface reference. I’m not sure if he’s comparing himself to Al Pacino (he wishes) or Janette (lol rude). Ah well, at least its not a pun. He gives a little speech about how it’s so nice to finally be able to do a dance where you can smile (/open your jaw wider than Jenna Jameson) and have fun. Thanks Peter.
Len starts for the judges
oh crap, his knee’s gone again. NURSE! As Evil Moira Ross In A Rainbow Wig jams the “painkillers” button backstage that she normally reserves for personal use during Carol performances, Len just about manages to roll out “first out? First class”, and “started the show? showstopper!” from his big bag o cliches before proclaiming that to be Peter’s best dance yet. He then awkwardly hobbles to his feet to give it his own standing O and Peter sinks to his knees like the end of Planet Of The Apes. Bruno follows, flashes up the (old)batsignal for ovary voters everywhere
and says that that was just what the doctor ordered. Are we talking about Dr Mrs Emily Andre? The 12 year old who looks like she should be in practice with Doogie Hauser and Doc Macstuffins? Because I like the idea of her being the dark mastermind behind Peter Andre’s Fame Empire and ordering that 38 forthwtith *clap clap*
Craig’s next, and says that sadly Peter overbalanced in the final lift (how do you overbalance throwing Janette about, she appears to weigh about as much as a palsied kitten) (oh and Peter’s
“OH YOU!” face is a classic) but other than that it was exceptional. Darcey closes by saying that she could even nearly mistake Peter for a pro in that dance
sort of maybe ish if she squinted.
Up to Claud 9 they rampage, where Peter’s need for human contact and Claudia’s need for that not to happen
clash once again. Her “alright, I’ll cuddle you” is one of the most begurdging statements I’ve heard attached to this show since I had to pretend to be fine with Abbey winning. Claudia then congratules Janette on her amazing choreography and Janette’s all “…you do know that wasn’t my choreography right?” and credits “Jenny and Darren”. Natalie Lowe then, on her own, is all
“WOO JENNY AND DARREN, YEAH!”, which I think is my favourite thing to happen all week. Peter runs through his part of the “HE’S BACK!” narrative, before Claudia reminds him that he’s never had a 9, and then all the pros start chanting “TEN TEN TEN!” because they’ve been here long enough to know where this is going
38. Last time the first dance out stayed at the top of the leaderboard all night long? Natalie’s “YOU’RE A VEGETABLE!” salsa. Or Denise Van Outen’s Seven Nation Army paso if we’re not including “two dance” nights.
Jamelia & Tristan MacManus dancing the Viennese Waltz
Whoever’s told Tristan that he needs to smile more, can you not? Tess tells us that “Lovely Jamelia” has now been in the dance-off three times, and this week will be dancing to a song called “Trouble” so…good luck. She’s also in the death slot and about to be attacked by a guitar case and according to the press is being persecuted by a villainous bitch clique consisting of Georgia and Anita (Northern Birds eh?) so lord knows how she survived this week.
In her VT, Jamelia tells us that she had a brilliant time on Hallowe’en Week on the whole although it was a little bit disheartening to be put into the dance-off again. She puts this down to being in that “dangerous middle of the leaderboard” position, and says that every time she’s been in the dance-off, she’s been in the middle of the leaderboard. Also every week she hasn’t been in the dance-off (barring Charleston) so…think on.
Training now, and Tristan tells Jamelia that as she’s got the Viennese Waltz this week, the theme in training is going to be to focus on her footwork. Underwater? Wearing clogs? Dressed as Laurel & Hardy? No, just…normally? On this show? Jamelia says that her training’s going well and she’s really connecting with ballroom dancing for the first time. She says that she’s not going home until she gets this right and
leaps around the rehearsal space cackling every time she completes a sequence properly. Yeah, I take back what I said last week about Jamelia not making any more happy memories on this show, she’s tougher than I had her down for. Although it is amusing that Tristan has this down as a “new attitude” that she has. We close with Jamelia saying that she’s not happy being mediocre any more and it is imperative that she gets her footwork spot-on so she gets into the top half of the leaderboard. Oh well.
TO THE DANCEFLOOR!
They’re dancing to “Trouble” by Ray LaMontaigne (not Coldplay, or P!nk, or Igloo Australia, or Shampoo, although I wouldn’t have put any of them past the Blindfolded Dart Throwing Song Choice Monkeys) and
Tristan would like to make us all aware that he is available to fill in for the lead role in “Once” if it becomes available any time soon (although he is heroically bad at pretending to play the guitar (HINT – YOUR FINGERS SHOULD MAYBE MOVE) so maybe not). It’s Jamelia’s best ballroom dance yet, not to damn the thing with faint praise. She’s a little bit bobby but she does seem to be finally comitted to the discipline of ballroom dancing and puts on a polished performance. Until her newfound PURITY OF DAHNCE persona extends to hating props, and she
starts stomping on the guitar. Go on Jamelia, smash dat prop. Do it for everyone whose dance has been wrecked by one over the years.
Anyway, from there it all gets a bit tongue-poking-out “concentrate-y” and she loses the routine a little. Gapping creeps in, as does a bit of shoving, but she makes it to the end without throwing in patented Jamelia improv, so she does, *gasp* actually seem to be improving.
Over to the judges they go, where Bruno tells her that she was SAILING ALONG ON THE CREST OF A WAVE, but she needs to arch her back more and reduce the gapping. Craig follows by telling her that her topline is problematic (just like her comments about the overweight!) and she lost focus as she went on, but it did have flow and grace…until she booted the guitar, although Craig blames Tristan for that. So cornered by a judge, Tristan tries to appeal his way out of it with the audience at home in a novel fashion.
Air cunnilingus. Take notes Pash, this might have worked for you last week when Len came at you for Carol’s heel leads.
Darcey’s next, and tells Jamelia she looks very pretty tonight. I do wish they’d stop that. She goes on to say that she could really see the points in the dance where Jamelia was feeling dizzy because she kept on straightening up. To illustrate Darcey’s eyes
start bulging out of her head like Judge Doom revealing he was a toon all along. Speaking of which
OH HAI JUDGE GRINDR!
Len closes by saying that Jamelia breezed through the dance without any TROUBLE at all. She stamped on the guitar Len, maybe show SOME flexibility with your song-title based critiques. He says that if Jamelia’s in the dance off this week he’ll PICKUW IS WAWNUTS! How does that always work? How? Even with this combination of circumstances? Do people actually listen to Len and vote how he tells them to, I’m scared.
Up to Claud 9 they busk, where Claudia asks Jamelia how much she wants to not be in the dance-off. Jamelia says quite a lot, because she’s working hard, although she doesn’t want to beg. It’s hard to keep my attention on her interview to be honest, because Kellie’s jostling around so much in the background trying to get in place that she
elbows into Oti at one point and has to apologise. D’you know, not that I don’t love Oti, but I do miss when it was just the couples still in the competition up on Claud 9/in the Tess Pit, not the entire cast of Gandhi. Scores are in
Carol Kirkwood & Pasha Kovalev dancing the American Smooth
Tess opens by reminding us that Carol got 13 last week, and that “the honeymoon is over” and that she “really has to up her game”. And no jokes. Gosh the agenda here couldn’t be more clear could it?
In her VT, Carol says that she found her role in the “Hallowe’en Spectacular” really fun. I guess somehow had to be the piss-break, these shows are still quite long aren’t they? Carol reassures us all thought, that rumba wasnt her dance, and she’ll do much better this week. Well it would be hard to be worse wouldn’t it?
Training now, and Pasha
wielding his best Babe Magnet mug, tells Carol that he’s just amazed by how much the public are supporting her. Well that’s supporting. Has Numbers thrown a tanty because he’s gone further with Carol than he went with her in her series? (Not like that). Carol very earnestly tells Pasha that all the support she’s had makes her want to improve, and make sure this is her best dance yet. Oh well. It turns out this week’s dance is the American Smooth. You know, that dance Carol originally had one week and was so bad at it got hastily converted into a foxtrot? That one? Anyway, Pasha tells us that she’s scared of the lifts, although she’s trying to play it off as her being scared of hurting him. Indeed Carol says that she’s afraid of damaging him and ruining his career. Out the way Cazza, I’ll perfectly happily damage him and ruin his [PUNCHLINE REDACTED]. We then close with Carol worrying about her dance in a variety of places, including at home, on her own, at 1am
with her cat. And what woman hasn’t spent significant time alone late at night, thinking about Pasha and playing with her pus[PUNCHLIDE REDACTED]
TO THE MALL!
So the story here is that Pasha works in a dress shop and Carol is a
high power client who stomps in demanding a new dress. Sadly
Pasha’s package isn’t quite big enough for her at first but it soon
swells to an acceptable size. (Can I just say that this part of the dance is only enhanced by Danny Dyer looking bored off his tits and probably tweeting at James Jordan that he’s a FAHCKIN MAHHHPET! in the background throughout?) She then disappears behind a screen and emerges
looking radiant. In a way this whole dance is just a redux of Daniel’s, in that Carol, bless her, has no pizazz or jazz hand or Hollywood within her – her charm and her whole career is based on her relatable normalness – and therefore she spends the whole thing looking a bit dazed and confused. It’s like when Father Ted got lost in the lingerie department except instead of a priest it’s a middle-aged weathergirl. Also they’re dancing to “Man! I Feel Like A Woman” and she doesn’t even get to do the “LET’S GO GIRLS!” bit at the beginning, which is surely the whole point of doing the dance in the first place? It’s not *so* bad that I can say she’s leaving on a low but…it’s not very inspiring and the lifts in particular are not worth it, and she has to be elevated into two of them (one off a box, the other off the stage).
MAN, I FEEL LIKE A W[PUNCHLINE REDACTED] (I am a bit resentful that I already used “LOOK AT PASHA’S ARSE!” as a theme for one of their dance write-ups because…it truly is ridiculous here, but I have my limits in terms of how many times I allow myself to act like a desperate thirsty sadcase ovWHY ARE YOU LAUGHING STOP IT)
They walk over to the judges and I will say this for that dance – the flurry of glitter at the end has afforded me the chance to see Britain’s Prima Ballerina
fishing tickertape out of her tits. Craig starts for the judges, saying it was like watching two bumper cars go at it. [PUNCHLINE REDACTED]. Darcey follows, saying that she can definitely now see the increased confidence and energy and intent Carol’s putting into the dances now but she’d like to see this focus last right until the end of the dance. Or alternatively the dances could be shorter. Much shorter. 70 seconds or so shorter. That might help.
Bruno closes with a pretty standard “Carol, I love that you’re so consistent! CONSISTENTLY BAD THAT IS! *cackle* *cackle* *muppet flop* *spew of weather metaphors*”.
Up to Claud 9 they strut, where Claudia congratulates Carol on her improvement as per…Darcey I guess. Carol says she’s so pleased, and says that felt very high energy, what with all the lifts and all, which she says that she enjoyed, in the end. I do like when a contestant like Carol comes along and reminds us that being hauled off the ground and twirled about like knickers on a stick isn’t a day to day nae bother occurence for most people. Pasha then grins that she’s a whole new person and
hoots at her. Bless. Scores are in
17. Oh well, at least it’s not the worst score ever for something this week, that’s a start.
Helen George & Aljaz Skorjanec dancing the rumba
It’s very “article about sexual health in the middle of The Daily Mail that’s trying not to scare the horses too much” isn’t it? Tess tells us that this week Aljaz has been teaching Helen the dance of love and passion, so it’s no surprise that this was the week Helen’s friends chose to come and hang out with her. And possibly because he filmed a segment about spray-tans on It Takes Two where he was wearing a towel so low you could practically see his balkans.
In her VT, Helen says that she’s feeling the pressure more as she goes on, because she’s enjoying it so much that she doesn’t want to go home. Also Aljaz and Janette have this weird sex game based on who does better in each series they’re in and this is the first year where there’s been any doubt and she doesn’t want to have to wear the tassels.
Training, and as Tess said, Helen’s best friends dropped in on her
oh no wait
there we go. These are Helen’s real friends who exist outside of her head. They include Vikki Stone (the brown haired one), who I am mostly familiar with from the world of Musical Comedy. Let’s leave it there. Helen’s friends tell her that Aljaz seems like he’s sweet and they’re so proud of her, and then Aljaz comes in and they coo over him and have a bit of a twirl.
Like I said, Musical Comedy. I am mostly concerned that Aljaz
appears to have an arrow tattooed on his wrists to tell him where his hands are. (Also, how big?) I give maximum points to that poor woman in the corner by the way, who is being broken up with by her boyfriend as all this whooping and shrieking goes on. Possibly.
TO THE DANCEFLOOR!
Helen and Aljaz are dancing to “Hello” by Adele, and whilst Helen’s eerie face at the beginning promises madness to come
it doesn’t quite come, unless you count the
slightly sea-witch way in which she grabs his face. I think the blame for this one falls equally on both parties. Firstly, God, but Aljaz choreographs some boring bloody rumbas. It’s always at least
70% the woman just lying on the man like she’s a flipping narclopetic and the other 30% her standing there and pointing to the ceiling. He also appears to have loaded all the emotional and dramatic moments into the verses which, hello, it’s HELLO. By Adele. I can’t stand Adele and even I can’t resist doing angsty faced contempowaft around my living room every time I hear her howling that chorus out. The whole thing is only marginally more exciting than the Hallowe’en twonk-waffle that landed Abbey in the Bottom 2. Helen’s failings are more straightforward. It’s too underplayed and her hips don’t move. At all. It ends with
Aljaz wandering off. Feels about right. Even up on Claud 9, Joanne’s very
“…was that it?”. I bet Joanne loves Adele.
They reach the judges, to a smattering of audience applause, and Darcey starts by saying that she was totally transported into Helen’s love story, and she just loved how she caressed the floor with her feet. Well done. Which is a nice set of comments to preface Len pulling a face like a constipated labrador
and snapping that that wasn’t a PROPAH RUMBA. She had a couple of OPENIN AHTs and a FAN but other than that it wasn’t PROPAH. He then says if he had a go at Georgia about it then he has to have a go at Helen. Fair’s fair. Nobody mention that he didn’t have a go at Peter about it, when his rumba looked like something that might be going on behind a bad X Factor ballad performance.
Bruno follows by saying that Helen was a siren (well it was an Adele song, so more of a foghorn really) out there, and her only job was to seduce and entrap. Which he thinks she did. It’s just that her hip action could have been a bit more rounded. We close with Craig saying that he loved the drama and personally *he* much preferred seeing a double underarm turn into a layout then see a boring old hockeystick any day. I’d quite like to see Aljaz’s hockeystick Craig, hush your mouth. Anyway Craig and Len then bicker back and forth in a way we mercifully haven’t seen yet this series and hopefully won’t have to again.
Up to Claud 9 they flounce, where Claudia sighs that it’s always difficult when the judges fight, to which Brenda starts up a pro chorus of “WE LOVE IT!”. I bet he does. Stops them calling him prawn head. Claudia then asks Aljaz to defend his rumba choreography from Len’s critique and he basically says that Len is right, but “there’s always room for more dance”. Not with a rumba there isn’t – do your 90 seconds and hop off. Scores are in
31. I love when a Len 7 is supposed to be a BAD, CHIDING score, and he has to try his damnedest not to yell it like a carnival barker, like he normally would.
Jay McGuiness & Aliona Vilani dancing the Argentine Tango
Again with the squeals. You’re not helping your case that you love him for the pure technical merits of his lines ladies. Tess tells us that it’s the moment we’ve all been waiting for…the FIRST ARGENTINE TANGO OF THE SERIES. Remember when the first Argentine Tango of the series was Tiny Tina in pleather pretending to be a Hallowe’en Bad Gurl? Remember when it was Kirstina dancing in hold ON A TABLE and then doing implied blowjob finger guns? I’ve learned not to expect too much to be honest. As usual Len, is asked to explain how the Argentine Tango differs from the normal tango (marginally more hair sniffing?) and Len says that it’s a lot less formal than the very rigid and unchanging traditional ballroom Tango.
Thank God we’re shaking that straitjacket loose right?
In his VT, Jay said that he had lifts in last week, which he’s never done before. Was it to intimidate Andre by making him feel even shorter in comparison? NO! HE MEANS HE HAD LIFTS IN HIS DANCE!
LOL! We’re also reminded that Craig said that Jay needed to put more personality into his dancing. (*moves Performance Journey Arc Clock forward one notch*)
Training now and Aliona tells us that Argentine Tango is very dynamic and sultry, and she really thinks that will suit Jay. I mean, I’ve seen enough of Jay in VTs and on It Takes Two that I know very well he is neither “dynamic” or “sultry”, but ok. There’s something about both words that
suggests occasional use of an iron for a start. Aliona tells Jay that, as Argentine Tango is a Specialist Dance (ie she doesn’t know how to do it) the show has invited specialists in to help her teach it.
HI SPECIALISTS! I bet Jenny and Darren are spitting at this point. What have these two got that they haven’t? Anyway, the specialists give us a brief history lesson about the origins of the Argentine Tango that thankfully doesn’t mention sweaty pampers once, then they teach Jay and Aliona how to do it. Jay says that he found them so inspirational he even started rehearsing at home.
I…is a lot of the Wanted money still tied up with lawyers or something? That’s a bit depressing. Is the reason we haven’t had any full Strictly Cribs this series because Jay can’t be arsed to sweep the Monster Munch off the floor?
TO THE DANCEFLOOR!
Oh look a lamppost. I hope Aliona’s paid Artem the rental fee. They’re dancing to something traditional and Gotan Project-y, which I’m sure the athenticity of is only enhanced by the audience clapping constantly throughout sort of near the beat most of the time. As a dance I don’t think it’s a bad try from Jay – he looks physically comfortable throughout, his performance isn’t bad, he’s certainly sharp and precise – but there’s one clear problem holding it back from being amongst the top tier of Argentine Tangos on the show. From the moment Aliona fair
goose-steps off the stage kicking him in the arm through her
clinging to him like a baby koala to her
doing the old “splits as substitute for orgasm” routine at the end, he rarely looks like he’s in control or leading, particularly at the beginning. I know the Argentine Tango on this show is practically a female-only dance anyway (go back and look at Ramps’ it’s mostly him just walking around and staring) but he’s being overwhelmed by Aliona here and he’s not doing a lot to struggle against it. His walks don’t look like they’re guiding her, they just…look like walks. Still
we do get the mandatory hair-sniffing at the end, for authenticity’s sake. Not a bad dance, but one that needed the balance of power to be tilted at least 30-40% away from the woman with the red hair.
It gets a loud reaction from the audience, and Len starts for the judges by saying that that was such a polished performance he must have used a jay cloth HA HA HA. So we’ve been through Jayes fluid and a jay cloth what’s left? Jay bird, J Crew, Jay Z, jaywalking? Is that enough to get us to the final, I’ve lost track of how many weeks are left. Sleek, slick, and intense, but guess what? Len would like to see more emotion from Jay. Bruno follows by saying that he personally…he felt it.
I know Gleb needs the bucket for his and Anita’s routine later but…I might ask if I can borrow it. Anyway, Bruno declares the whole thing to be EXCELLENTE MUY CALIENTE
Craig follows, saying that he agrees with Len about the acting side – it needed a lot more intensity and purpose in the facial expressions. Also, although the footwork was nigh on perfect, he wanted more ganchos. Bruno on the other hand thinks there were plenty of ganchos and
disagrees in his usual articulate and considered fashion. Gosh it’s like a Republican Party candidates debate in here tonight. Darcey finishes by saying that technically it was amazing but GUESS WHAT? She wanted more fire out of his face. Jay mutters “ok” under his breath, perilously close to adding a “miss” or a “ma’am” on the end. What are we thinking for his breakthrough? Gurny Charleston? Out-of-control sex-latin? It never actually happening a la Sophie?
Up to Claud 9 they hook, where Claudia’s all “what are they saying, that they want you to growl or something?” and Aliona snits “probably”. Claudia then asks Jay if he’s alright, and he mutters that yes he is probably and he’ll work on his intensity next week if he’s back sniffle sniffle
woobie woobie wubb waa. (BRENDA’S FACE <3) Let’s counter this by discussing the tabloid story that Peter apparently told Jay to try to look a bit less like he’s shagging Aliona coz the press might get the wrong idea (PETER ANDRE – HERE TO HELP!) and Jay told him to sod off, because it’s almost certainly not true but it gives me an excuse to put up another poll about people lamping one another to cut through how flipping wet this Claud 9 just got
Scores are in
Katie Derham & Anton du Beke dancing the quickstep
Tess tells us that this week Katie and Anton will be doing a dance set in a theatre
Oh Claudia. You can tell she’s trying to entice Dr Aljaz back. Tess clarifies that she means a MUSICAL THEATRE and then mutters a bunch of other stuff. This is the point where you can first tell that Tess has the lurgy and is working with chainsaw-throat. Well, at least she didn’t bin the show off and get whoever the Tess equivalent of Ronnie Corbett is to do the show instead. Edith Bowman?
VT time, and Katie tells us that doing the paso doble with a Phantom Of The Opera theme at Hallowe’en was always going to be epic. Is tat what Anton told her to persuade her to dress up as a 16 year old ingenue? She says that she can’t pretend it was perfect (certainly Anton can’t) but the audience seemed to love it. and she was sadddened when the judges popped her “happy paso balloon”.
Training, and Katie tells us that she’s done a lot of steps for her quickstep in other routines, but this time she’ll be doing them faster. Well as long as we don’t see this one
again, I’m happy. And CERTAINLY not any faster. She goes on to say that mostly she’s just happy to be back in ballroom. Well she’s certainly absorbed her own storylining hasn’t she? What happened to “I really want to learn the samba!”? Anton next tries to inspire Katie with a video clip of a “tremendous ballroom dancer”
and the latest in a long line of disappointments he’s got stuck with HA HA MARVELOUS NOT REALLY, LOVE YA KATIE, LOVELY DANCER FABULOUS MARVELLOUS. Upon seeing the clip Katie actually goes “d’awwwwwwwwwww” and then tells Anton that
he’sh her besht mate he ish shid be nothing without him *hic* she’sh sho glad she got paired with him and not one of the shcary new ones who’d probably try to nick you wallet as shoon ash look at you *hic* Also, says Katie, apparently it’s nice to be reminded of the good times after the last few weeks of savaging from the judges(/Darcey going “sorry sadly sorry not really your dance sorry, no really sorry, so sad, next week though, eh, buck up and that, sorry”)
TO THE DANCEFLOOR!
Katie and Anton are quickstepping to “42nd Street” (I’m hearing a lot of buzz that we’re getting Musicals Week down the line. I just want it noted that we’re doing this this week and a Chicago routine next week and when it comes to actual Musicals Week it’ll probably end up being Disney Movie Dress Up Week again like it was in Series 11) and in terms of the narrative of the YEAR OF ANTON, even I have to admit that this is probably where the train has jumped the track. What seemed like a smart idea to start off with – clearing out all the icky latin dances – hit a stumble when the paso doble (probably supposed to be an uptick leaving us with a good impression of “latin improvement” before leaping back into the ballroom) got crowbarred in the knees by the judges, and now Anton’s made the choice to go in far too hard and fast to compensate with the choreography, leaving Katie stuttering and self-correcting and sputtering and sliding in his wake. It starts off well enough with some
very “Anton & Erin On Tour” propwork, and the first 20 seconds or so of the dance seems fine, but from there it’s a bobbly affair. At one point, during a particularly stuttery introduction into a run you can even see Bruno throw his hands up in the background. And, y’know, it’s not like Bruno is readily given to oerblown expressions of exasperation or anything.
DON’T CALL IT A COMEBACK!
It gets a standing ovation, although the cameras focus on it as little as possible. BAD AUDIENCE, STOP LIKING THINGS THAT YOU’RE NOT SUPPOSED TO. Bruno starts for the judges, purring that at the beginning of the routine it felt like he was on 5th Avenue (fun fact : 5th Avenue and 42nd Street intersect at the New York City Library. How learned of Bruno) but as she went on she kept on hitting potholes and it made her wobble. Craig’s next and says that that was clearly a very ambitious routine, which he applauds Anton for, but he thinks that Katie probably needed one more whole week to get it right. I think that sounded nicer in Craig’s head.
Darcey follows saying that the quickstep is made for Katie because she’s so light on her feet but it was clear that she found the routine too compliicated, although again DARCEY THINKS ANTON WAS TOTALLY RIGHT TO TRY. I have to say, I think a lot of this “I’m not blaming you Anton” sounds like a lot like…well, blaming Anton. Len finishes by saying that parts of that routine were CLASSY like Radio 3 and parts of it were SPORTY, FAST AND FULL ON like 5 Live (and parts of it were like Radio 2 – committed to mediocrity and parts of it were like Radio 1 – haemorrhaging support at a rate of knots and parts of it were like Radio 4 – completely unmusical, and part of it were like 6Music – insufferably smug and…) but he comiserates with Katie over the fact that it’s easy to lose control when you’re going that fast
/tanked up on white wine spritzers.
Up to Claud 9 they bob, where Claudia does the usual “MISTAKES? WHAT MISTAKES?” bit, and Katie says that there were sadly a couple, but they were only very minor ones weren’t they Anton?
Anton hams that there were indeed only a couple of mistakes…they just went on for rather a long time, and then jokes for no reason other than to pull focus that all the men seem to be in waistcoats this evening, and if he’d have known he personally would have worn sleeves. (IN THE BIN KATIE, THERE YOU GO, MASH YOURSELF DOWN THERE LOVE, HA HA MARVELOUS). How unamused Kellie in particular is with
this, is quite something. In the East End they LOOK AHT FOR ONE ANUVAH I guess. Scores are in
Anita Rani & Gleb Savchenko dancing the jive
She’s starting to look a little…Dorian Green isn’t she? Tess tells us that Anita descending to the studio floor dressed as Maleficent last week was a series highlight. You might want to tell the judges that Tess. Still, this week she is dressed as a CLEANER so she is hoping to CLEAN UP with the judges and SWEEP AWAY her competition. Tess delivering these godawful barely there puns with her lungs quite clearly collapsing inside her gives this whole show a nice post-apocalyptic air to it. Who could be bothered to write decent wordplay with radiation sickness? Just enjoy the silly jigging and wait for the warm embrace of death.
VT time and Anita warmly recounts descending from the ceiling cackling whilst dressed as a bitch queen fairy and also Len telling her she’d done good ballroom. It’s quite clear which she remembers more fondly (sorry Len).
Training, and the boyband look Gleb is sporting this week is
classic 1989 NKOTB. You know it’s a *real* throwback when the baseball cap is on the right way round. He tells Anita that for jive rehearsal this week he’s going to take her to a jive class where the students have more energy than the two of them put together.
It turns out that they’re attending a meeting of
BABY WARS veterans. I swear I saw that one in the white tutu fight in the Great War of Nicky Byrne. Also Len will probably be disappointed to see that despite the show’s best efforts to drive dem poofs off the dancefloor and back onto It Takes Two where they belong, that boys apparently still aren’t taking up dance, oh well. Anita plays with the kids and talks to them
Gleb mostly struggles to interact with people who wouldn’t be impressed by him whipping his nips out. Would these kids understand the beauty and the majesty of the Gleb Special no they would not what a waste of time.
TO THE DANCEFLOOR!
Oh has Bruno had one of his little accidents again, oh dear. As you may have spotted from her clenching hew jaw harder than Craig aftr a Saturday Night aftershow party, Anita is playing the hard-ass boss of the Strictly Cleaning Agency here, stuck with a
lazy shiftless underling. Quite appropriately, they’re dancing to “The Boy Does Nothing” by Alesha (ALEEESHHAAAAAA <3). Appropriately for the theming of the dance that is, obviously Gleb does more than his fair share of
work (/attention seeking). Seriously, floor humping AND a leaping crotch to the face (which he has dubbed “The Flying Teabag” the dirty sod)? The man knows his audience. I’ve seen a few people now start to say that Gleb’s showboating is really distracting everyone from Anita, but I’ve always been a fan of pointless showing off, and I’m voting for a partnership here not just the celeb. Anita’s parts of the jive? Obviously less accomplished than Jay but overall only slightly behind Kellie – less technically exact but I think a more genuine sense of fun and better use of the props (two mops and a bucket) and just ahead of Georgia. I’m just so glad that we’ve got a whole surfeit of fun jives this series, I can’t remember the last time I had four decent ones to mentally rank like that. Maybe not ever? Although on the Glebhog front
I will say that the celebrity dancer probably should be involved in the end-pose. At a minimum. Even if this one does leave Darcey fishing around in her bra again hooray.
Once the judges have done cleaning themselves up, Tess tells Anita that Gleb clearly pushes her to the limit, but she can take it. Anita says that she just says “yes” to everything Gleb suggests and it works out fine. Well this got mucky fast didn’t it? And Craig continues in this vein by saying that Anita and Gleb can come and clean his house any day. There’s one gutter in particular that he’d like Gleb to have a good blast through. He calls her jive fast and furious and says that he loved the stylisation, but thinks she needed to retract her kicks more. Darcey, still
covered in Gleb’s bucket-slop bless her, praises Anita for how fast that routine was and says that she was very impressed with how steady she kept her top as her legs pumped away. She agrees with Craig that the kicks were wonky though – Anita needed to point her feet more.
Len is next and says that that was a “full of” dance – full of energy, full of tricks, full of fun. Well that’s ironic, because many is the time I’ve thought of Len as a “full of” judge… Bruno closes by saying that Anita’s hired and tonight was her breakthrough performance. It says on her storyboard here.
Up to Claud 9 they flick, where Claudia misspeaks and gives the game away by telling Anita that the judges said that “that was your best score yet”. Try to make the strings show a bit less visibly Claud, I know you’re not well and all but still. Anita says that she really loved the jive but it’s SO difficult. There are bits of the week when your brain just goes
“I CAN’T CARRY ON!”. With Helen they’re called Mondays. And Tuesday. Bits of Wednesday. More bits of Wednesday…Anita says she doesn’t really know what happened out there, although she does remember the bit where Gleb jumped her. Funny that. Claudia asks her if she’d like a 9 and Anita makes a particularly poor job of squirming out of looking ambitious about it. Scores are in
35. What are the chances?
Kellie Bright & Kevin Clifton dancing the waltz
Tess tells us that after her full-on paso doble last week, it’s time for Kellie to calm things down with a waltz. Good luck Tess, I don’t think Kevin does “calm”. Even in a waltz I’m anticipating 7 Super Reverse Triple Toe Turns and TURBO PIVOTS.
In her VT, Kellie says that last Saturday her paso doble was brilliant fun and she was really pleased that she DIDN’T FALL OFF THE TABLE AND DIE HA HA HA HA HA (*hyperventilates*). However much sleep you got after the Results Show Kellie, it should have been more. She finishes by saying that as long as she does her best each week, then that’s all that she can do. What is this the Girl Scouts now?
Training and we get an immediate insight into how Kevin corrects incorrect ballroom hold
Adorable isn’t it? It looks like he’s finger-painting on her. After some spins around the rehearsal room he tells Kellie that he thinks a good way to get her in the mood for this would be to take her to a tea dance. Oh good grief, so now not only are all the dances for these two from 1963, so are the VTs? Kevin and Kellie go to a tea dance in some local dentists practice it looks like, attended by
Madge Bishop, and Kellie makes all the lovely old chaps say that they like her and Kevin best ha ha, and then they all secretly run off and vote for Katie and Anton instead the end. Kellie?
Still needs more sleep.
TO THE DANCEFLOOR!
I think this whole routine needed more explaining than a throwaway introductory comment from Tess that was so bland I didn’t even bother recapping it. The idea is that Kevin and Kellie are a couple who are moving house and reminiscing over the good times they had whilst living there. The good times being “our Movie Week Charleston”. Not to come over all Simon Cowell but this is all a little self-indulgent.
Also let’s be honest, Kellie’s skirt is the worst sartorial nightmare I’ve seen on this dancefloor since…well the Best Of Erin Boag. To top off the muddy theming, they’re dancing to “Love Ain’t Here Any More” which is the most straightforwardly miserable song in the entire Gary Barlow songbook, and Kevin’s attempts to rebrand it as jolly on the grounds of “Love Ain’t Here Any More…BECAUSE IT MOVED HOUSE” are desperately silly. Would it hurt the Cliftons to embrace negative emotions and heartbreak instead of everything having to be pep pep pep? Anyway, it’s a shame because the dance is good – it’s a very classy and endearing waltz, and she moves around the floor and in and out of hold with Kevin well. The only major fault I can find is that she’s clearly worn out by the end and can’t hold her body up strongly – her arms are shaking madly. I’ve got a feeling the dreaded EASTENDERS CRASH is real, although stamina has always been Kellie’s major problem. At the end
she turns out the lights. Possibly so they can give the house a goodbye shag or something.
It gets a standing ovation, ish, and Tess starts by asking Darcey if she thinks that might push Kellie back to the top of the leaderboard. Darcey says she thinks so. (Fun Fact – Kellie was in fact, when all was said and done, in exactly the same position this week as she was for her paso. The power of context there). She praises Kellie for her finesse and her core strength, but tells her to watch her right shoulder, because it’s a tad untidy and pushy. Kellie brays that her RIGHT SHOULDER HAS A MIND OF ITS OWN DARCEY. Mmmhmm. Len follows, saying that the whole routine was full of charm and grace and he particularly liked the three double reverse turns, although he agrees with Darcey about her right arm. Still, he tells Kellie that she’s a great all-rounder.
COME BACK TOM CHAMBERS, ALL IS SMUG-GIVEN!
Bruno follows by dubbing Kellie and Kevin the King & Queen of Nostalgia and saying that that was as wonderfully detailed and expertly crafted as a Julian Fellowes script. Well there’s no need to be that rude. Craig tells Kellie that she lost balance at the end, and her hard top line prevented her from looking “femme fatale” (I…why would she have…in that dance…oh never mind) but other than that it was a lovely routine, well done.
Up to Claud 9 they whirl, where Claudia reveals that Kellie told her backstage that she was really looking forward to the nice sleep waltz coming off the back of the frantic jive and the hyper-aggro paso and 2 hours sleep. Kellie says that she did enjoy the waltz, and then bellows
BUT IT’S MUCH HARDER THAN IT LOOKS at a volume and intensity that would have Brian Blessed reaching for the earplugs. Kellie then squawks that it’s been a TOUGH WEEK and Kevin reassures her that she managed it. He says that he wanted to show a softer side to Kellie & Kevin after all the hard and fast stuff so far, before Kellie smugs it up some more about how Len called her an all-rounder, and Claudia reveals that Peter turned to her when Len said that and told her that he thought that was a lovely comment to get. Then Claudia slapped him and hissed “what did I say about looking at me when the cameras aren’t on?” Scores are in
Jeremy Vine & Karen Clifton dancing the tango
Tess tells us that to convey the gravitas of the tango, Jeremy will be dressed up as a cowboy and ride in on a giant plastic horse. Sounds about right.
In his VT, Jeremy tells us that he was particularly hoping for good comments from the judges last week as it was Hallowe’en and a fun dance. I’ve got a feeling that for Jeremy it’s ALWAYS going to be Hallowe’en from now on. Anyway, Jeremy grins that the judges were PERFECTLY LOVELY and he’s so pleased that Craig gave him a 4. It’s interesting, because Jeremy is quite clearly by far the biggest threat for a duffer to reach the final since Widdy, but they’re not at all playing up his relationship with the judges as antagonistic. I don’t know if that will help him or not.
Training now, and Karen tells Jeremy that tango is a very serious and dignified dance so she’s going to get herself in the mood by accompanying him to watch him do his very serious and dignified job presenting a hard news show (/lunchtime phone-in titathon for soft-racist nutters) on Radio 2. He and she tart around the studio
pulling tango face, that’s it. Sadly we don’t get to hear Karen’s opinion on the 5p carrier bag tax, public breastfeeding, that cake in the shape of Prince George or the Nation’s Favourite Tree or indeed any of the hard news topic covered by Jeremy Vine in his very important and serious news show.
TO THE DESERT PLAINS!
Do you know, I think these two might be on the verge of maybe trying slightly too hard? Just a smidge? Anyway Karen yells “JEREMY YOU’RE BACK!” and then it becomes clear that this entire routine is just enabling Jeremy to do that terrible American accent he does all the time whether it’s appropriate or not, and he guh’huyucks “AHM BACK COZ AH WANNA DAYUNCE WITH YOOOO”. Then they do the tango to “Go West”. By The Village People. Like I said…maybe trying a bit too hard. And of course it’s terrible
the hold is terrible, the footwork is terrible, it barely moves across the floor, when Karen does a death drop it almost pulls him over with her and if it wasn’t for the theme honestly this would be dying an absolute death because his own performance doesn’t carry any of the inherent comedy of the Thriller dance or even the TABLOID SHOCKER NAKED SHOWER JIVE. And the terrifying thing is that waltz and tango should theoretically be his best ballroom dances. I’ve got no idea at all what levels of terrifying overtheming guff we’re going to have to resort to when we reach a foxtrot or (good grief) a quickstep. On the other hand…ZOMG COWBOY VILLAGE PEOPLE CAMP COWBOY TANGO YEEHAW
If you’re into that sort of thing I guess.
The studio audience very much are, as Kenny Logan wonders why the heck he wasn’t allowed a giant plastic farmyard animal to ride around on in his series, he would have finished at least 3rd. Len starts for the judges saying that there’s always an anticipation with Jeremy, wondering what he’s going to come out and do next, and this week it was CAHM AHT looking like Woody from Toy Story and sitting on a plastic horse.
IT WAS WILD AND WACKY AND FUN AND HE ALWAYS LAHVS WATCHING IT. Bruno then leaps in as Bad Cop, yelling that that was HOW THE WEST WAS LOST and comparing it to Custer’s Last Stand and calling it a GLORIOUS DISASTER. The audience panto boo, then we get our token sort-of-but-not-really technical critiques from Craig (“we never know where your limbs are going to land darling it’s like playing the lotto” “I enjoyed your little bottom going chunk chunk”) and Darcey (“I liked your determination” “Well done on keeping a straight face”) and then it’s all back in the box ready for the next round of Jeremy Vine’s Comedy Tour 2015 HOORAH!
Up to Claud 9 they charge, where Claudia calls him an “extraordinary creature” and tells everyone at home to get their iPhones ready to record Jeremy’s Tango Face to use it as their screensaver because it’s going to be HILARIOUS
Maybe you have to be there, idk. Karen rolls out the usual “he’s trying really hard” (undoubtedly) and “he’s really improving” (…) lines just to keep things sane and provide the show plausible deniability for this chap reaching the end stage of a dance competition despite the fact he can barely do ballroom hold without snapping something. Jeremy thanks the horse. Scores are in
Georgia May Foote & Giovanni Pernice dancing the samba
I love that they’ve taken what could be such a fun, vibrant, exciting young couple and officially made their team colours brown and beige. Tess tells us, hacking up her lungs, that Georgia is doing a Samba to a Gypsy Kings track and hopefully it’ll be fit for royalty. And if there’s any royalty in, maybe they could give Tess the Royal Touch coz it sounds like she’s got the plague.
In her VT, Georgia tells us that Hallowe’en was the greatest night of her life. Wow, did she hate Kirsty that much? FIRE UP THE RUMOURMILL, TABLOIDS! Georgia actually clarifies that it was the greatest night of her life because she topped the leaderboard on Strictly Come Dancing. She says that she’s now achieved her goal, and would be happy to leave right now, but also be equally happy to keep on. I’m fairly sure you’ll still be here in the final love, but don’t let us keep you if you’ve got better things to do.
Training now and Georgia asks her Joe Varney what the concept for this week’s samba is. Is it that they just dance the samba? NO. OF COURSE NOT! Giovanni tells her that the concept is that she has to pretend to be an actress (MEOW) in a restaurant on the Italian Riviera. Georgia very seriously then asks Giovanni if he misses home
maybe suggesting that pretending to be an actress might actually be slightly beyond her. Giovanni says he misses the gondolas and his mother’s cooking, so Georgia says that she’ll take him on a tour of Manchester and pretend it’s Italy.
Didn’t we already do this? Didn’t he eat blood sausage and puke it up? Do they not think we know that SHE IS NORTHERN and HE IS ITALIAN yet? Although kudos to Evil Moira’s imps for nicking that plate away from Pasha. I bet he got quite stabbity with the fork.
TO THE RESTAURANT!
Does anyone else find themselves missing Katya all of a sudden? Certainly she would have found a way to wear this hat
and not look like something out of Dr Seuss. Anyway, Georgia’s going to be sat on her arse for the next 30 seconds, whilst the music plays in “Volare” so let’s have one last Poll Of Violence to keep things going.
OH SHIT THERE THEY GO *falls off chair a la Bruno*. As always with Georgia’s best dances, it’s FAST and furious but I think I can relate to that more in the latin than the ballroom so I’m loving it. She’s zipping around the dancefloor faster than Widdy chaining pregnant mothers to hospital prison beds, and giving it plenty of whatever Len always suggests people give it plenty of. Also Giovanni sticking
the bloody Macarena in the middle of it is the moment I decide he can stay. ALL THE NEWBIES CAN STAY! MERRY CHRISTMAS! There’s one really awkward moment where she misses an arm and ends up looking a bit like a
sulky toddler being forced into a car seat, but otherwise? Good lord she earnt her first Pimp Slot here.
Once she stood up at least.
It gets a Standing Ovation, and Bruno starts bellowing at Giovanni in Italian. Or, judging from the look on Giovanni’s face
Klingon. Wouldn’t it be great if it turned out that Bruno was in fact Swedish this whole time? He just tans easily! Anyway, apparently Bruno said that they are premier league dancers, but Giovanni checks that he’s allowed to translate it so that Bruno’s just calling Georgia a premier league dancer, which is really rather sweet. Craig follows by saying that Georgia handled the speed of the dance well but lost technique at times.
Darcey’s next, comparing their speed to a bullet coming out of a gun and Len closes by saying that Georgia certainly wasn’t drinking decaf coffee and then bellowing that Georgia CAME AHT THE AHVEN like his favourite pizza
FISH AND CHIPS WITH YORKSHIRE PUDDING, NO FOREIGN MUCK FOR LEN GOODMAN THANK YOU VERY MUCH
Up to Claud 9 they bounce, where Giovanni immediately
decides to take his life into his hands. And he was never seen again. Scores are in