TO BLACKPOOL! (Via Bel Air, Chicago, the diamond mines of South Africa, outer space and finally heaven to visit Cilla Black)
Last week : Katie hit 42nd Street, Peter did his thing, Carol felt like a woman, Jamelia hit some trouble with her guitar case, Helen said hello (to not being in the top 3 for once), and the love for Kellie wasn’t here any more as she hit the dance off. But Gleb did far from nothing (in fact came perilously close to doing everything), the judges saw little differente about Jay’s performance skills, and Jeremy’s comedy value, if anything, started to go South. Also Georgia danced to Volare.
This week :
yup, we’re still on the moody black and white filter, this time with added slow-mo and a bizarre attempt at trying to make Jeremy look like something out of Inception. The loose theme is “ooh I really would like to get to Blackpool” with Georgia getting to play the “EH UP BARMCAKES I’M REET NORTHERN” card over Anita who just has to say “…I don’t want to miss out”. (Remember when Kevin got to be “this one” even though the place he’s from is on the other side of the country to Blackpool? Ah memories) It all closes with a comedy bit where Jay tries to remember the last time he saw his flip flop.
It was during your quickstep wasn’t it?
Why *hic* hello darling! Shir Anton was jusht showing me hish hankie collection *hic* no funny bishnish here. We’re in the cupboard becosh… that’sh *hic* where he keepsh them all! HA HA MARVELLOUS!
The band strikes up and Tess and Claudia emerge accompanied by Aljaz and Brenda. It’s something to keep him busy until this year’s Pro Challenge I guess (we are getting a Pro Challenge right? On It Takes Two? We’d better, this was a highlight of my Strictly 2014 experience (that and Janette upending herself and destroying Kevin’s World Record Dreams). Our hosts are very
colour co-ordinated tonight as they remind us that last week ended on a real cliffhanger as erstwhile favourite Kellie Bright found herself IN THE DANCE OFF! Which was only a cliffhanger if you neglect to mention that she was there with Carol Kirkwood. Not so much a cliffhanger as a slight skid walking down a grassy verge. Although of course, such weighty and complicated decisions could not be made without the expertise and elegance of our judges.
OK she *has* to be trolling us at this point right? She just has to be.
Anita Rani & Gleb Savchenko dancing the quickstep
You can tell someone’s spent a lot of time practicing in the mirror and decided his best angle is “straight on” can’t you? Tess tells us that Anita’s routine will start with her going on a blind date wth Gleb. And as it’s a quickstep, it’ll probably be a SPEED DATE!!! Ok, I will allow that one. Just about.
In her VT, Anita describes last week’s jive as “Classic Gleb” as it was fast, furious and full of content. Content that mostly involved Gleb. Gleb kicking himself in the face, Gleb humping the floor, Gleb orally penetrating her in mid-air… Anyway, Anita credits Gleb’s teaching with making her the dancer she is today by pushing her beyond her limits sexuall…sorry, where was I? Gleb himself says that he’s very proud of Anita but
he thinks she could do better. Stern Gleb is possibly my favourite Gleb.
Training now, and yes the show really has remembered that Gleb is Russian and that he therefore has a reputation to uphold of being A STERN TASKMASTER. I was wondering how long it was going to take, but I guess the Strictly Stereotype Department’s had its work cut out trying to make Georgia & Giovanni interesting and memorable before their dancing started doing it for them. Anita tells us that Gleb’s teaching style is very stern and “direct” as we see Gleb
standing there with his hands on his hips tutting petulantly and going “again. again. again” in a monotone, like the worst kind of 80s dance movie stereotype. Get him in a onesie Anita, that’ll sort everything right out. We also see Gleb asking Anita if he should make the dance easier for her and her saying “NO, I WANT IT THE HARD WAY”. Such classic negging there. And a contrast to when Victoria Pendleton would scream at Brenda to make the dances easier for her then storm out and demand puppies before she came out (Pendledrama <3). This all ends with
Anita on Blair Witch Cam at 1am saying that all she really wants is for Gleb to turn to her and say “good job”. I have to say, I did say a few times before now that I wanted more insight into the working relationship that these two have. I’m not sure if “semi-abusive” is the angle I was hoping for but OK.
TO THE PARK!
IMAGINE turning up for a blind date dressed like this though. “I’ll be the one dressed as a high class pimp from the 1950s played by Terry Thomas whose girls are all debutantes fallen on hard times”. The story is that Anita is a bit late, so Gleb bins her off, but then notices at the last that she’s turned up after all, probably because it’s hard to miss someone in Central Park dressed as one of the more forgettable Disney Princesses, then approaches her and immediately plonks his arm around her. I’d say this was a bit forward, but on It Takes Two Gleb said that the idea was that they met on Tinder, so she’s probably already seen his dickpix. Also because it’s Gleb let’s face it. After that he
kisses her on the wrist, she is overcome, and then they quickstep. And it’s a good quickstep. There’s a minimum of gapping, Gleb isn’t showboating over-much, there’s fun little
jazzy bits (we saw Anton teaching Gleb how to do this bit on It Takes Two in the week – in return Gleb taught Anton how to do The Gleb Special but they didn’t show it because It Takes Two airs before the watershed and also Anton’s teeth fell out), and there’s more interpersonal chemistry here than there perhaps normally is. There are a couple of small problems (she’s a bit loose in hold, her footwork’s occasionally a bit frantic and of course the whole thing being danced to “Don’t Get Me Wrong” does bring Harry immediately to mind to we obsessives) but all in all a good dance to keep Anita over the 30 barrier she banged against for so long.
It gets a Standing Ovation and I request that we all remember in future that when Claudia claims “WE WERE ALL GOING WILD ABOUT IT UP HERE” it’s probably more likely that she was
having a mug of tea and chatting with a researcher. (Look at Anton though. So pleased for his boy. Maybe teaching Gleb how to do ballroom reignited his love of teaching re : Katie this week). Once the audience have calmed down, Tess introduces to our singers – emogirl82(/Hayley), Andrea, Tommy and “new boy Anthony”.
Hello Anthony. And hello
Man In The Hat, we love you still.
Len starts for the judges, saying that Anita is now officially an all-rounder. Mercifully she and Gleb do not create a fate-tempting football chant around this theme like Kevin & Kellie did. Len says it was fast and clean, although the footwork could have been a little bit cleaner.
Bruno is next, and growls that Blackpool is calling Anita’s name. It’s calling Helen’s name as well. And telling her she’s not good enough and Darcey’s only pretending to like her and she’ll be in the dance-off next week because everyone believes the stories in the papers about how she’s a bitch yes she will
Anyway Bruno goes on to say that it was nice and easy and breezy and old-fashioned. It was a lovely Saturday afternoon in the park with Gleb, and who wouldn’t like that? Well quite. I’ll certainly be walking my dog on Hamsptead Heath next weekend just in case…
Craig’s next and slags her off for sickled feet and gapping (lol not compared to most quicksteps this series where you said nowt Craig but ok) but praises her timing and her movement around the floor, and Darcey finishes by praising Anita for coming out week after week and selling it. “It” mostly being Gleb. She tells Anita that when things sped up her moves looked a little unfinished but otherwise it was great, and her jete at the end was bigger than Gleb’s.
Gleb thinks not, pretty lady. Gleb’s jete is pretty fupping huge thank you very much.
Up to Claud 9 they bop (Gleb yelling “BOOM!” five times in total just in case you’re trying to work that into your Strictly Drinking Game) where Claudia reiterates what she said a few weeks ago – that Anita is always happy to take on board criticism and accept her scores. Antia herself then gets a bit Peter Andre and says it’s great to hear advice from four AMAZING DANCERS (I know she’s backstage for the judge introduction part of the show but…they do have monitors back there right?) before Claudia tries to cue Gleb up to say “good job” to pay off their VT but he says “…I’m so proud of you” instead. Oh Gleb. Read the script. Nobody else is going off it all night. Scores are in
32. Oh and Katie?
Gonna be Katie. I know you’ve gots an Anton Rumba coming up luv, but Dutch Courage is normally a shot, not the entire bottle.
Jay McGuiness & Aliona Vilani dancing the foxtrot
Tess would just like to start by reminding us all that last week Craig criticised Jay for his lack of facial expressions. Just a reminder there. No reason. Just so you’re up to speed with the plo…I mean, what’s happening.
In his VT, Jay says that last week in his Argentine Tango, he didn’t feel confident, but he DID feel connected, and that felt great. Well this is all getting a bit self-help isn’t it? Focus your energies on Aliona’s chakras Jay, you’ll be fine. We’re also then, just in case you weren’t paying attention, reminded that as well as Craig, Len and Darcey both told him to ACT WITH HIS FAAAAAAAAAAAACE
ACT WITH HIS FAAAAAAAAAAAAACE! We’re not shown Bruno…I dunno beating the desk with his shoe, panting like a dog and spontaneously masturbating or whatever Bruno even did I can’t remember. Did he swear again?
Training and Jay is now such a woobie
he’s even playing his own tinkly sad piano. Aliona huffs that she hopes that this week the judges see the true story of their dance (is it about a soulful woobie vampire who moves to San Francisco but finds he can’t survive because there’s nowhere selling custard within a 2 mile radius?) and as a way of helping Jay prepare, she leads him out blindfoled to the car park of their training centre where she’s assembled
hoardes of people who want to stroke his hair and call him Jaypet and maybe feed him soup and tell him that it’s all going to be ok. They’re also all students and teachers at the Royal Academy Of Dahnce. Notice that it’s mostly female students that have turned up juss sayin. Aliona gets Jay to rehearse their foxtrot in front of them
and it all gets a bit…weird? Like that there, with him sniffing her boobs whilst a load of 20 year old women stand around them in a leisure centre car park? Anyway, all the trained students and teachers say it’s amazing and emotional and clearly going to get 10s and Aliona blows raspberries and flicks Vs at the judges and starts a petition to Evil Moira Ross In A Rainbow Wig to make Kelly, Kellie, Kelli and Jeff here the new judging panel.
TO THE DANCEFLOOR!
Oh good, giant arm hankies. So, they’re tasked with having an emotional breakthrough in a foxtrot to a Sam Smith whine (Lay Me Down) and in response to this seemingly insurmountable challenge, Aliona has choreographed it to look as much like a rumba plus wafting as humanly possible.
Imagine that – a mission so impossible you’d opt to do a blokerumba instead. Again, his acting is fine (I’ve only personally really had a problem with his acting, once ME NERRRRRRRVES ran out as a storyline, in the jive, and that was probably only because the rest of the dance was so accomplished it stood out that he occasionally looked like he’d lost his mum in ASDA) outside of the odd patented Jay mouth-scrumple and there’s some lovely
arm wafts. It’s still, at base (I think, mostly, he is occasionally in hold) a foxtrot, so it was never going to rock my ovaries completely unless he dressed up as Marilyn Monroe and had a mid-floor nervo, but it’s lovely and Mills & Boon and romantic all the same. Except for the moment where he clomps so hard he almost pulls himself over. And when Aliona elbowsmashes him in the face. Other than that.
It is quite funny to see Jay looking up to the ceiling at the end, all (presumably) post-coitally “satisfied” by his love for Aliona, and Aliona doing the same, but right up into his hair all over her face.
It gets a standing ovation and a rave reaction and Jay mumbling “I’m so sorry, I’m so sorry” to Aliona afterwards because of the trip. I would suggest to Jay that he audibly mumble “I’m so sorry, I’m so sorry” after every routine, I’ve a feeling it may energise his voting base. They wander over to Tess
and I swear next week she’s going to try to start gripping onto his hand with her feet as well.
Jay says “sorry” about twenty more times and then Bruno starts for the judges by saying he was so endearing and calling him his darling (Tess actually squeals “HE’S ADORABLE!” at this point. BRING BACK BRUCIE!) and saying that he particularly loved the “touchy feely contemporary introduction”. Such a shame about the stumble though. I love how Bruno is having NONE of this “acting storyline” and is completely ignoring it. Such a renegade. Say bollocks again Bruno, go on. Craig follows and of course says that it was bland and Jay’s face was dead and his thumb was up and he tripped and he missed Aliona’s hand at the end and it was RUBBISH BAD AWFUL BOOO MEE BOO MEE MORRRRE!
I’m so glad that Craig is back on the mean pills, I was worried for him after that vomitous speech about how wubbwy Carol was last week.
Darcey’s next and actually GNASHES HER TEETH at Craig before saying she disagrees -she loved the story and she thought his technique was outstanding. The only thing she would say now that we’re getting near the end of the competition and the judges are becoming “fanatical” is that he needs to think more about the story of the dance. Ponder for example why you would be putting your head on Aliona’s chest. Oooh, oooh, I can think of a couple of reasons. Len closes by saying that he loved Jay’s performance coz he’s not expecting big oo-ahh faces in a bleedin’ foxtrot and *checks notes* Wanted *checks notes again* had a song out called “We Own The Night” and tonight Jay OWNED THE NIGHT (apart from the trip)
Please don’t force Len to reference pop culture past 1976 at the very latest ever again please.
Up to Claud 9 they woob, where Claudia squeals that the judges had an argument, and tells Aliona that she must side with Len right? Aliona
looks like she’d rather jam pencils into her eyes and then write out “vampires aren’t real love, calm down” 500 times with them. Claud then asks Jay what he thinks, and he says that he really felt the dance but he knows that he has to show that more on his face, and he also knows that he has to get better at doing interviews with Claudia because he knows he’s not very good at them, sorry Claudia.
Jesus, she’s going to mount him isn’t she? Jay promises to “engage his face” more next week, and Claudia then gets us to say hello to the new singer again.
I repeat, hello Anthony. Scores are in
30. LOL Oti’s face. I guess this *is* all new to her.
Jamelia & Tristan MacManus dancing the samba
Tess tells us that Jamelia has been busy this week with her day job – Loose Women. LOL no she hasn’t. “Busy” indeed. 60 minutes of “oooh I love that George Clooney”, “men eh?” and “rape is bad but try not to dress like a tart oops what have I said is this all over twitter now oops” is not busy. Now Pixie Lott. SHE was busy.
VT now, and Jamelia said that she was completely free of nerves before her dance and actually felt it was going really well until she bumped into the guitar. The show of course shows this with crash zoom and thunder effects despite the slow mo showing it was really more of a slight bump than anything else. It’s hardly when that backing dancer clotheslined Jake Wood off his feet yelling “JUSTICE FOR BACKING DANCERS, GIVE ME A CELEB! THAT JANETTE’S NOT EVEN BALLROOM TRAINED!”. Or whatever happened. Jamelia tells us that she’ll do whatever it takes to get to Blackpool and Tristan tells us he’ll do whatever it takes to get to Erin Island. I briefly consider waiving my “five series until you get access” rule, mostly due to that It Takes Two (I know I’m mentioning it a lot this week bear with me) segment where he and Pasha fantasised about running away to a desert island together and yanking on one another’s coconuts.
Training now and Jamelia says that she can’t believe she’s been on the show this long without Tristan meeting the other Loose Women so she’s about to rectify that immediately.
Tristan looks thrilled doesn’t he? They go to Loose Women, he meets Ruth Langsford and Colleen Nolan and Janet Street Porter and he doesn’t really look very into it which…one of them is going to be your dance partner next series Tristan, you might as well start building a rapport now. I don’t really care for this segment either apart from
the revelation that Loose Women also possibly has a hot ginger floor manager. IT’S AN EPIDEMIC!
TO THE PROM!
I love that Tristan’s response to Jamelia actually finally maybe getting some of the public vote last week is to style her as a massively snotty teenage bitch Prom Queen, throwing
shady glances everywhere, huffing fake air kisses to the audience and blowing off
(not like that) the poor sweet geek who wants to ask her out. He’s not chancing losing those extra Dance-Off Repeat Fee pennies again is he?
Jamelia’s samba (danced to “A Little Respect”)? Is a complete mess but I kind of adore it. She’s so devoted to trying to do the samba bounce that absolutely nothing else is going technically right at all, but it’s beyond the point now where I can even take Jamelia seriously as a contestant the public have tried to flush her so many times, and she’s clearly having a riot the whole time, winding her hips up all wonky and shaking her boobs out all lopsided so I’ll let her have this one. She’s channelling Alesha energy whilst giving me Michelle Williams technical t’s, I’m sold.
The great big guffaw she lets out at the end is also the only time her laugh hasn’t got on my nerves as well.
It of course gets no standing ovation, and Bruno starts for the judges by calling her a sexy mama and hooting about how he can feel the party atmopshere. And we all know how Bruno loves a party. You’ll mostly find him in the kitchen. Snorting something off the hob. He does think she needs to be more precise, and be more careful about where she puts her weight. Apropos of nothing
HERE’S NADIYA FROM BAKE-OFF HOORAY. (And also Matt Berry lurking at the back if you’re into that kind of thing) Craig follows and pulls her up on ugly arms and bent knees and unnecessary grinding throughout.
Craig there is no “necessary” and “unnecessary” when it comes to grinding.
Darcey follows by saying she loved Jamelia’s “upper body isolations” and the relationship between her and Tristan, but she agrees with Craig about her arms and also with Bruno about her weight being too far back. Len closes by saying that he LOVED the grind but felt she had no hip action and her legs were a bit heavy. Do we think Tristan bribed the judges to mention “WEIGHT” and “HEAVY” a lot in reference to Jamelia? Just to remind people? For the extra Dance-Off money? Just a thought.
Up to Claud 9 they beat, where Claudia reminds Jamelia that Darcey was just nice about her, and Jamelia says she just loves hearing anything positive, no matter what it is. I won’t talk about my opinion of what they’ve put Tristan in then. She says that she’s much happier this week for being back in latin again and at the prompting of “Blackpool” from Claudia reveals that this year she took her daughters there for their very first British seaside holiday and she’d love to go back. So in terms of Blackpool begging we’re at “I’m from the North” and “I went there on holiday once”. Craig Kelly, what hath thou wrought? Scores are in
Helen George & Aljaz Skorjanec dancing the tango
Look at those eyes. She’s still not over her brush with sort of almost maybe nearly being a bit near the dance-off is she? Tess tells us that Helen’s rumba last week was arguably the best of the series so far. Of the three they’ve done. One of which was Georgia basically standing still looking sexy and the other of which involved Peter Andre. Arguably. Anyway “arguably” is also a cue for us all to remember how Craig and Len “argued” last week over what is and what isn’t Propah Rumba and whether they wanted to see Aljaz’s hockeystick. Fascinating times.
In her VT, Helen reminisces about what a beautiful song she danced to last week, and what romantic choreography Aljaz produced and what a beautiful twinkly moment it was before gulping loudly and sighing “…it wasn’t to Len’s taste…I was quite upset” all PTSD like. We cut to bonus backstage footage of Aljaz saying “rumba steps or not, you were fantastic”. The hug Helen gives him in response is
not quite the one.
Training now, and still the
dead reindeer are watching Helen all the time, watching her with their DEAD EYES. “We never made it to Christmas” they say “We never made it to Christmas Helen, AND NEITHER WILL YOU”. And then it’s medication time. Aljaz reveals they’re doing a tango and Helen says it’s all very fast, but she quite likes how stern the whole dance is. Helen’s slightly eroticised pronunciation of the word “stern” makes me wish (and this is the only time I will say this in my life ever) that they’d saved this up for Movie Week 2.0 and given it a 50 Shades theme. Anyway, Aljaz gives it the full “Helen is too nice to do the tango” spiel and Helen
tries to give tango face, bless her. Did someone call Emma Bunton in as an acting coach whilst I wasn’t looking? She looks like pissed-off Nemo.
TO THE RIVER!
Yes the arm-hankies are being used to represent running water and Helen is dancing her tango to “Hold Back The River” by James Bay, in one of the show’s more transparent attempts to crowbar in a vaguely trendy track without really thinking about whether it suits the genre it’s being stapled on to. The fact that it’s not an angry or even particularly passionate song (outside the choruses) serve to make the whole dance feel incongruous
particularly Helen’s angry faces which are OTT and aren’t helped by the fact that the make-up department have gone full drag queen with her contouring. I do think she’s better at the
sultrily nasty stuff but a lot of it’s just gnashing her teeth like we’re back in her piranha shimmies. It’s a shame, because the tango itself is good enough – her head position is cartoonishly extreme and she’s giving great headwhip, I just feel a bit robbed we’re not getting the full on Rampaging Bitch Goddess Helen treatment we could have got, with slightly more easily connectable music. It’s like when I spent half of Series 11 waiting eagerly for Natalie Gumede’s tango and got flipping Party Rihanna Chewing Gum Chomping Tango.
Nice end-pose though. (I love how elegantly people sit and wait for their partner to lever them up but I would root for anyone who just decided to roll around and flash their knickers and get themselves up alone) (Just a side note there)
Speaking of classy displays, as soon as Helen gets over to Tess she
picks a bit of hair out from between her teeth (LOOK OUT JANETTE!) Darcey starts by saying that was all beautifully choreographed leading Helen to…
squeeze Aljaz’s chin? I guess the upper middle-classes show afection differently to the rest of us. Darcey praises Helen herself meanwhile for the drama of it all and never losing her tango face, but Darcey could tell she found it hard keeping her knees bent and “staying down”. I know the feeling. Bring a cushion next time girl. Len’s next and says that there was certainly enough content this week to please him (oh good I know we were all on tenterhooks) but he found her head position too extreme and thought she overbalanced in the turns on occasion.
Bruno follows, calling it a “beautifully tailored high-fashion tango” and tells Helen that she looked like a supermodel without a hair out of place. Apart from the pube between her teeth obviously. Tess closes us out by asking Craig if Helen’s tango was enough to “take her up the M1” (…), to which he replies that he agrees with the negatives from the other judges – knees too soft, lost balance, odd weight placement. Although he does give Helen and Aljaz credit for dancing to “a particularly difficult track”. God, you know the music choices are bad when even the judges are calling them out.
Up to Claud 9 we go, where Claudia opens by reminding Helen that Darcey is her hero, like we need more of that storyline, and then moves on to how Helen and Aljaz have such fun in training. Helen says that it was hard this week having the tango because Aljaz kept on trying to get her to be serious but she kept on bursting out laughing. Then crying. Then laughing again. Then she pulled the curtains down and tied them round her face because THE REINDEER WERE LOOKING AT HER AGAIN CLAUDIA.
THEY NEVER STOP! Aljaz jokes that he guesses he just has a funny face like that and I would like to frame Gleb’s
“it is compared to mine mate” face and hang it on the wall of my salon. Scores are in
Katie Derham & Anton du Beke dancing the rumba
Tess’ opening joke? “This week Katie is doing the rumba, which is the dance of love, which is appropriate, because if there’s one thing Katie would love to do, it’s nail this Latin routine”.
That’s it. There. That is the least amount of effort that has ever gone into writing an intro for this show. And I’m including mine for all of Nicky Byrne’s dances in Series 10 where I was like “ehhhhhhhh……….nob joke”.
VT now and Katie, with the usual “UNLIKE THE JUDGES” tacked on silently at the start, says that SHE enjoyed her routine last weekend, because it’s always been a dream of hers to perform a Broadway Number. Yeah, this just reminds me that she loves Phantom, don’t do that Katie. Anton meanwhile says that he personally was really proud of Fion…erm…Jan Ra…hang on let me check with my lawyers, the paperwork from the last one’s still going through…KATIE! BBC 3 GIRL, LOVELY, MARVELLOUS, YES WASN’T SHE GREAT, SHAME ABOUT THE OLD HIP ACTION THOUGH THESE POSH GI…what? They’re still in? Oh alright *laces up dancing shoes”
Training now and
early signs are not good. Katie tells us that she is dancing rumba, which is the dance of love, and whilst she loves her Anton, she loves Bombay Sapphir…sorry, sorry HER HUSBAND even more, so she’s electing to spend some time with him instead of going flat out for the training. He and she meet in a Costa for an (Irish) Coffee and she asks him how he thinks it’s all gone so far. Do they not discuss this at home? Is Anton literally having to load her unconscious body into the back of a taxi every night for her long suffering daughters to carry her off to bed before dragging her out again next morning, throwing a glass of water in her face and dragging her back in the taxi? The life of a BBC presenter I guess. Anyway, Katie’s husband John says that he thinks that the tango and Viennese Waltz were great!!!!
AND THE QUICKSTEP WAS ALMOST OK!!!! Katie then bold face says that her John is so supportive despite him clearly having implied just then that most of her dances have been crap, and he comes to training to meet Anton, where he and Anton dance the rumba a bit. Sweet.
TO THE MOON!
My favourite thing about this routine is that it set in space and also being danced to “Never Never Never” by Shirley Bassey. The Blindfolded Dart-Throwing Song Choice Monkey has prevailed for Katie at least, as it’s the perfect mixture of Bachrachy chintzy charmy and campy suburban sitting room melodrama and suits her and Anton down to a t. They twist (elegantly), they writhe (tastefully), they
approach one another and fling their arms down (with restraint), they do
teasing, tentative, probing, seemingly endless, opening outs (like responsible grown-ups trembling with repressed desire, resisting their feelings for one another over the garden hedge and around the lawn gnomes) before abandoning all decorum and
clutching to one another frantically like Brief Encounter set on Babylon 5 in 1967. Then spinning, flinging, and tossing around recklessly as the song reaches its climax and
this…occurs. This kids, is how babies are made. Outer space babies who come out the womb singing Goldfinger and wondering why they look more like the galactic milkman rather than daddy. What a thought.
What an Anton Rumba. What a moment. Kudos to Katie for managing to live it so thoroughly.
It gets a standing ovation and loud applause and once they’re over at the judges, Tess tells Katie that tonight is the most beautiful she’s seen Katie dressed. You can actually SEE Anton
looking at the get-up that Tess herself is in and wondering how much of a compliment this can be. Len starts for the judges hooting that that was a PROPAH RUMBA and he even saw that Anton put the Aida in. I bet he did. Poor Mr Katie. Bruno’s next and he says that Katie has him on the edge of his seat wondering if she’s going to carry the dance off and this week? SHE DID! IT WAS A HIT!
FETCH THE BRETHALYSER! I have to say, in a series where the storytelling strings are increasingly showing, it is at least nice to look at last week’s quickstep and this week’s rumba for these two and say that some things at least are still unpredictable on this show.
Craig follows, saying that it was all a bit melodramatic for his liking
but hey, at least that’s better than the nothing that Jay was serving up. YES CRAIG! POKE THAT BEEHIVE! POKE IT GOOD! He tells Katie that also her neck was all wrong and he’s going to take a point off for the illegal lift that occured during the…climax to the routine but other than that he absolutely loved it. Darcey closes by saying that she loved the love story Katie and Anton created and how it wasn’t all SENSUAL AND SWEATY (Anton appears to be wearing velour Darce, I think it probably was a little), and particularly noticed that Katie is now finishing her moves much better. She could, though, have done with more eye contact between them. Darcey, it was a tentative rumba of forbidden galactic love, try to follow the story love, come on. THEY COULDN’T MAKE EYE CONTACT OR KATIE’S HUSBAND WOULD CRUSH THEM WITH ONE OF HIS MYRIAD TENTACLES!
Up to Claud 9 they shoot, where Claudia asks that we all give a shout out to Katie’s husband.
I don’t think Katie’s husband wants to be shouted out Claud. Particularly. Just an impression I’m getting. Anton goes on to talk about how he wanted to do a proper grown up rumba (set in outer space) and not any of this filthy dirty rumba stuff you’d see from some of the other pros. I dunno Anton, it appears to be making an impact in
Jay’s trousers at the very least. THE CURSE RETURNETH! Scores are in
31. Do you need telling that that is Anton’s highest rumba score ever no you don’t do you.
Kellie Bright & Kevin Clifton dancing the samba
Have you heard of something called “The End Times”? I fear they may be upon us. Tess and Claudia introduce these two with a joke about those of us at home who play a drinking game in which we take a sip of tea “or whatever beverage” every time anybody on the show says “Blackpool”. With Kellie & Kevin I suspect the drink may be “espresso”. Laced with Red Bull. And crushed up Pro Plus tablets. And cocaine.
VT now, and Kellie says that she personally loved her waltz, but she knows everyone at home could see how disappointed she was when she was called as being in the Bottom 2. I have to say, I was personally too busy scanning the newspapers for reports that Helen George had been sectioned to notice how Kellie was reacting, but I’ll take her word for it. We then get an accidentally funny talking head from Kevin saying that the one thing Kellie really didn’t need reminding of was the fact that it was his first dance off. Well, you just did it again Kev, well done.
Training now, and Kevin tells Kellie that they’re going to have to try really really really really really hard this week to recover from being in the dance-off and Kellie gasps
I REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY WANT TO DANCE AT BLACKPOOL. Why oh why did they have to be Bottom 2 on a relatively subdued waltz? This is it now isn’t it? Mania until the final. Kevin tells Kellie that their theme this week is “90s Hip Hop” to “Boom Shake The Room” because Kevin really is working through all his childhood heroes (he revealed a penchant for the Fresh Prince Of Bel Air on It Takes Two a couple of weeks ago)
To get Kellie in the 90s mood, Kevin shows up at Eastenders wearing rollerblades and with a binbag full of “90s gear”. So that’s Kellie sorted out for Es and Whizz. Also he’s brought footage of her acting in T Bag And The Revenge Of The T Set as a kid which they settle down to watch
aw look, Wardrobe have given her sketches of hers and Kevin’s costumes for the week and she’s pinned them up on the wall how cute. As well as the old tapes Kevin’s also found
an old magazine with child star Kellie. She’s not changed a bit has she?
TO THE GHETTOS OF GRIMSBY!
Wikki-dee-wikki-dee-wack. So this (and by “this” I mean two grown adults in their 30s in 2015 dressed like Kid N Play shaking their rumps
and doing really really really limp hip hop moves to a Will Smith jam) was, depending on your perspective, either a really triumphant return to form and incredibly creative and fun way of dealing with a rotter of a song choice or one of the most unholy messes ever to collide with this show like an asteroid slamming into the Earth and wiping out all the dinosuars. And I would lean more towards the latter camp. The problem isn’t the samba part, which works well and which she’s actually pretty good at and which also lasts about 30 seconds. It’s the hip hop. Oh my eyes the hip hop. I’m not sure this show should be aiming, choreographically, for “what your mum and dad would do at a wedding”. Random bum shakes and shoulders thrusts and dinosaur arms and gang signs and…oh God the horror. I mean, I know it’s clearly beyond the show to treat hip hop and street dancing as anything other than a bit of a laugh, but this is just taking the piss. It’s like one of those Radio 4 comedies where the entire joke is “a posh white person is talking like they is a gangster lol”. Say what you will about Iveta and Mark’s effort but it at least came across as more of an authentic tribute to the era. That looked like something you’d see on Noel’s House Party involving Mr Blobby.
WORD TO YOUR MOTHER!
It gets a standing ovation except from
my Queen Nadiya. I knew I loved her for a reason (no I didn’t spend most of the series thirsting after Tamal hush your mouth what are you talking about). Kym Johnson? You’re on the list.
They go over to Tess, who immediately starts cooing over Kellie’s fab abs and makes a lunge for them.
Jay should probably take lessons on deflection from Kellie, it might help. Bruno starts for the judges, hooting that HE CAN DIG THE VIBE and CAN YOU FEEL ITTTT and THE SAMBA’S GONE STREET-CRED and ALL IT NEEDED WAS A BANKSY MURAL, just heedlessly spewing out random cultural references from different eras and subcultures before landing on saying that was all very appropriate because samba was invented in Brazil. Thanks Bruno. Craig’s next and says that it was an unusual music choice, and it wasn’t his thing at all, and he was thinking throughout about whether he loved it or hated and… he’s decided that…YOU ARE GOING THROUGH TO JUDGES HOUSES!
Sorry, he decided that he loved it. It amuses me that this is the week where Craig has decided to up the insults being thrown at Cowell over the ratings war because…I’m not sure if he’s noticed just how much he’s turned into him. That sort of teasy phrasing in particular. Mean Judge hated by the public at first to the extent where he gets threats of physical violence until at some point people decide for no reason that “he’s the only judge who tells it like it is and is honest with the contestants” at which point he visibly softens until it becomes a panto. Next step : over-extend your media empire until people get sick of you and it all falls to bits (and you retire to your mansion and your huge wealth anyway). Anyway, Darcey calls it an assured performance but says she didn’t like the choreography and Len throws his hands up and calls himself a cuppa tea in a world of skinny lattes and says he’s out but he tells Kevin he admires his nerve. I’m running out of time here, nobody wants this thing to be 20,000 words long.
Up to Claud 9 they romp, where Kellie immediately starts squealing that she LAHVED IT, and Claudia says it was the greatest thing she’s ever seen and claims she was up on her feet SCREAMING IN ECSTACY THROUGHOUT. Kellie and Kevin call one another brilliant 50 times because hubris apparently isn’t even a thing we’re trying to avoid any more and then the scores are in
33. Well there’s a talking point for you.
Peter Andre & Janette Manrara dancing the Viennese Waltz
Tess tells us that this week Peter will be dancing to a song by “the legendary Cilla Black” (You Are My World) and doing it for his kids. Well it’s taken a while, but we’re finally hitting peak Andre. Please affix your gas masks we’re going down the mine.
VT time and Peter tells us that last week he got quite emotional.
NO, REALLY, SO EMOTIONAL, LOOK AT HIS FACE. He went out onto the floor for their Charleston, looked into that giant mirror, and thought “I could have been dancing to Man In The Mirror but NOOOOOO JEREMY VINE GOT TO BE MICHAEL JACKSON, TYPICAL BBC BIAS! DR MRS EMILY ANDRE! DISPATCH THE CAN MANAGEMENT FLYING MONKEYS AND CUT HIS PHONE LINES!”. That and you know “woo hoo, I done a dance well something something love my kids”. Janette beams that she thinks it couldn’t have gone any better. Well
you could have been in sync. Just a suggestion. We also revisit Darcey saying “I could definitely almost maybe confuse you for a professional dancer in the dark if I was recovering from a cataract operation”.
You too Peter.
Training now, and Peter says that Cilla Black is a legend (…someone has told him? Right?) and he really hopes he does her proud by dancing to “You Are My World” on Saturday night in a Viennese Waltz. Then Janette says that she really wants Peter’s love for his kids to show on his face during their dance and what better way to bring that love out than bringing them in for a pre-scripted VT
UNCLE! UNCLE! I QUIT! I do at least commend Peter for managing to hold out until he could be the very last to parade his children before the cameras but enough! The girl one is the cute one, the boy one is the snarky one (and also
looks more comfortable in ballroom hold than his dad does…) kids kids everywhere kids.
TO THE DANCEFLOOR!
I have to admit, I was hoping for a video wall installation of Cilla Black watching over Peter’s kids from heaven. A bit like Mufasa in The Lion King. Why have the King Of Cheese on the show and not work it to the max? As it is, apart from the dry ice and the
great big spin with fireworks shooting off them, it’s a relatively subdued dance for these two, particularly given the big production numbers we normally get. That said, it’s not a particularly good Viennese Waltz. He’s having trouble keeping up with the music and there’s very little there beyond a few rotations and a couple of bits where he slaps Janette into pirouettes like she’s he’s spinning plates to tell me it’s a Viennese Waltz. He’s still boxy in hold, still quite jerky, and they probably should have reconsidered using again the same Catherine Wheel effect for the big (and slow) floor spin at the end
because Janette looks a bit like a lawn sprinkler pissing in a great big circle all over the dancefloor. He does give nice arms though.
It gets a mid-range bog-standard Standing Ovation and I think the editing cut from Tess yelling “THEY’RE GOING WILD!” to
this man, is even more cruel than the one these two got in Len’s Glans last week. Craig starts for the judges saying that Peter danced that very well but it was all a bit frenetic and he could really see the effort going into every clunking gear change. Oh and there needed to be more in hold, as he missed seeing Peter going “woosh” all over the dancefloor, as Craig knows he’s capable of. Was watching Janette “woosh” all over the dancefloor not enough? Darcey’s next and says that she felt the romance and the energy with every movement and he and Janette created a real Disney Moment out there. Beauty & The Beast? The Lyin’ King? Peter Panned? Clarify for us Darce, clarify.
Tess asks Len if that was as good as last week and Len says “no”. To get a 10, like he gave Peter last week, you have to do something really special (/reach wk 11 or so) and that wasn’t really special. It was just good. Also it looked more like an American Smooth to him than a Viennese Waltz.
I think Janette’s attempts to look cheekily naughty rather than flat out Satanic need work. Bruno closes by saying that it reminded him of the ballroom scene in Cinderella, and Peter was more into the dance than he’s ever seen him before.
Anyway, up to Claud 9 they piddle, where Claudia tells him it must be difficult to follow up a FUN CHARLESTON like he had last week with such a serious dance. Peter says that actually he appreciated the change. Claudia reminds Peter about Bruno’s comment about Peter being more into the dance than ever and Peter says that he was. Peter and Claudia don’t have the best natural chemistry do they? Scores are in
Georgia May Foote & Giovanni Pernice dancing the Charleston
Tess tells us that last week’s SHOCK (half) BOTTOM TWO has left all the contestants feeling shaken and nervous about their place in the competition, and none more so than Georgia, who desperately doesn’t want to return home to Bury. You might want to tell the VT editors that then, she appears to be there every bloody week.
In this week’s VT we revisit Georgia’s samba, with it being soundtracked by “Macarena” which if anything makes it even more amazing. Georgia meanwhile bemoans the fact that she made a mistake
(a woman of simple emotions is Georgia) and says that if she hadn’t made that mistake she would have been right up there. Georgia love, you were clear 2nd on the leaderboard and (SPOILERS) you’re about to make minor mistakes this week and be first. Don’t sweat it.
Training now, and Giovanni tells Georgia that this week they will be dancing the Charleston to “Chicago Finale” and Georgia has a weird spasmodic piratical fit because “NUMBER ONE” she’s been looking forward to doing Charleston all series (why am I not surprised?) and “NUMBER TWO” Chicago is her favourite film of all time. Which is odd because that’s not what she said during Movie Week. SOMEONE CALL WOODWARD AND BERNSTEIN, WE GOT THIS SUCKER NAILED!
Ahem, anyway, it’s a Charleston so there’s lots of lifts, and in rehearsals Georgia clips her head on her Joe Varney’s knee during an aerial cartwheel and
he could not look less concerned despite Georgia’s assertion that she has in fact broken her neck. What an ice king. First Gleb and now this – it’s not a great week for the male pros being warm and fuzzy with their ladies. I miss Pasha is what I’m trying to say here. To make it up to Georgia, Giovanni decides to bring an expert in to teach Georgia how to dance Chicago style.
They would have got Denise van Outen but they were missing a chair. Also I wish we’d seen this scene from Ruthie’s perspective as I guarantee Georgia had no idea who she was. Ruthie tells Georgia to really try to connect with Roxie’s obsession with glamour and showbiz and also not to wonder too much why they’ve put her in a Velma wig (and I mean from Scooby Doo, spray painted black). Georgia and Giovanni show Ruthie their dance and she says it’s amazing but this is a woman who gave Zoe Salmon a 6.0 on Dancing On Ice just because she was clearly in lezz with her, so let’s not give her words too much weight eh?
TO THE CHICAGO FINALE!
Miss Georgia May Foote would like to announce her availability to play the role of Roxie Hart in the West End. And if you’re going to desperately pander for a West End part then why not do it like this?
She just has it. The Fosse jazz style, the Charleston swivel, the musical theatre jazz hands, the fearless lifts, that truckin’ step that Craig loves so much, the attitude, the look, the slow build into the grand finale…everything. Everything you’d want from a Charleston on this show, especially now it’s firmly entered its West End Wendy period. And I still can’t really see the mistakes, should any exist. I think it’s safe to say that, even if you were holding out after her Ghostbusters Tango and Volare samba, Georgia has now officially arrived as a force to be reckoned with in the competition.
Y’know, and all that jazz.
It gets a standing ovation and you can tell it was good because Darcey does that thnig where she
bites a giant invisible cheeseburger. She thought WOW-EEE. She thought it was so clean and full of content. She thought it was so brave of Georgia to take risks. She thought Georgia fell back a little on the turns, but she’ll forgive her. Oh was that it? The mistake? Ok.
Len’s next and says that he has just one piece of advice for Georgia after that. Take a coat to Blackpool, because it gets very cold. Oh dear somebody’s forgotten that Georgia is NORTHERN and therefore has skin like a rhino, ROLL ANOTHER VT.
Bruno’s next and of course that was all factory-made to please Bruno Tonioli, so he adored it. Razzle dazzle, Fosse, whadda performance. He tells her that as well as becoming a better dancer, she’s becoming a better all-round performer. Also possibly lover and human being, who can say? I mean…she’s certainly less annoying than she was at the start I’ll give her that much. Mostly. Craig closes by saying “three letters : L U V”.
Giovanni’s all “I worked so hard to learn proper English, for this?”
Up to Claud 9 they brump, where Claudia says that she’s never seen Georgia happier. Georgia gushes that she signed up for Strictly just so that she could do the Charleston. Well that and the fee presumably. Scores are in
FINAL LEADERBO…oh wait we’re not finished.
Jeremy Vine & Karen Clifton dancing the quickstep
I know that distribution of the Holy Pimp Slot can be a complicated and highly political process but…maybe there should have been a reshuffling here? I mean Hot Honey Rag, which Georgia just danced to, closes Chicago, that might have been your first hint. At any rate Tess invites us into the madness by reminding us that last week Jeremy was riding a horse in his tango, and next week he may well be riding a donkey in Blackpool. What a pity this week was pony, eh?
Jeremy’s VT is him saying very sternly that
THINGS JUST GOT REAL. Which is quite hard to take following a clip of him riding a plastic horse dressed as one of The Village People.
Training now, and Jeremy’s Serious Ballroom Dodging can continue no longer, as he has the quickstep. He seems very pleased to be dancing to “Going Underground” by The Jam. Until Karen tells him that they’re going to be doing it dressed up as two of Snow White’s dwarves to a mining theme. Well, fans of Paul Weller aren’t at all notoriously horribly po-faced, so this should go down well.
Oh and Karen has an idea to help Jeremy get into character. THEY’RE GOING TO CROSSRAIL!
Christ almighty. Karen and Jeremy quickstep down the Crossrail tunnels and really, we passed through “trying too hard” a long time ago didn’t we?
TO THE DIAMOND MINES!
Oy… The iconic first few chords of “Going Underground” start up and
I’m not sure you should be doing that with a miner Jeremy. Not in today’s climate. They clamber out of the cart
hack away a bit jerkily with their glittery pick-axes, then do the memorial “crap male quickstep circle round the floor” to start off the dance (seriously, this happens in every single crummy male quickstep, every time, without fail), then he skips…I think the slowest Ive seen any human being skip ever, in hold with Karen, then they do
this on every “Going Underground” in the chorus, presumably so it almost looks like they’re the right height to be partnered with one another then there’s some
John Cleese ninja kicks, then there’s some gummy foxtrot, a run, choo choo arms, and then it finishes. I still quite enjoy it, because I think my bar for Jeremy in quickstep was set so low that it would be impossible not to clear it, and it had far more content (not necessarily quickstep content, but content) than either of his other ballroom routines.
Also it got him eliminated, which I’m not going to pretend I’m not a little happy at, just because my Middle Aged Man allegiance for this series always lay with Ainsley and Daniel.
It doesn’t get a Standing Ovation, which really should have been our first clue. Len starts for the judges, saying that he saw a few………MINOR MISTAKES! And it was appropriate to see the cart after the horse (oh alright that one’s sort of clever I’ll give him that one). He goes on to say that he doesn’t know who’s going to Blackpool but he does know that if Jeremy’s not there, it’ll mean there’s a lot of fun and entertainment missing. LOL oops. Should have offered to pickuw yer wawnuts Len, if you really wanted fun. Bruno’s next, pulling a
frankly hellish face, and say there’s no doubt Jeremy’s been digging very deep, but he’s right to the bottom of his reserves now. Still, Bruno admires his determination and resilience.
Craig is next and says that it didn’t exactly fly around the floor like he was imagining it was going to (who was imagining Jeremy Vine flying around the floor at speed in ballroom hold? Anybody?) and it felt like dressage. The Royal Pony Club would be proud. Tess feigns that she didn’t hear the last comment and Craig snots “probably just as well, my dear”. Oooooooh. Darcey closes by saying it was very…steady but she could see how hard he was working. I’ll say. She thinks he should have used his back more to create the frame (what frame?) rather than his elbows and shoulders but still…a vast improvement. I love that Darcey pulls that line even though she is giving him a 6 every blimmin week and gave him a 7 way back in wk 3.
Up to Claud 9 they dig, and Jeremy immediately lies his face off that Bruno’s words meant so much to him out there. Of course they did. Claudia then asks him what he’ll be doing if he makes Blackpool, and he tells us that he will be descending to the dancefloor on a giant guitar that shoots fireworks out of both ends. I wonder who’ll get to do that now. You can bet Kevin was right in Evil Moira Ross In A Rainbow Wig’s office as soon as the show ended can’t you? Scores are in
Final Leaderboard (for real this time)?