Blackpool : Where good taste, refinement and subtlety go to die horribly.
Last week : the world of Strictly was turned upside down as Kevin Clifton danced hip hop, Gleb went on a date with a woman who isn’t a supermodel, the judges forgot that Jamelia CAN DO LATIN and CAN’T DO BALLROOM, Craig made an inappropriate comment to someone whose beloved relative was about to die (normally that’s Len’s job!), an Anton Rumba was one of the highlights of the evening and most terrifying of all SOMEONE GOT ELIMINATED FROM THE PIMP SLOT! Of course some things remained the same as both Aliona and Janette choreographed ballroom routines that looked bugger all like the name on the tin and Jamelia was yet again in the dance-off, this time booting out Jeremy.
This week :
What a massive cock. (In unrelated news : GLEB HAS CALENDAR OUT FEATURING GLEB IN TWELVE SEXY POSES! JANUARY IS BB MAK GLEB, FEBRUARY IS COLOUR ME BADD GLEB, MARCH IS EAST 17 GLEB, APRIL IS ALL 4 ONE GLEB, MAY IS UPSIDE DOWN GLEB, JUNE IS ORANGE ORANGE GLEB (LOL EVERY MONTH IS ORANGE ORANGE GLEB AM I RIGHT?), JULY IS 911 GLEB, AUGUST IS MILLI VANILLI GLEB! TO FIND OUT OTHER SIX MONTHS YOU JUST HAVE TO BUY GLEB CALENDAR 2016 AND FIND OUT! BOOM!). Yes this is the week. The week we go to Blackpool and all the locals say things like “it really brings the town alive”, “it’s going to be the highlight of my life!” and “I CAN’T BELIEVE PETER ANDRE IS COMING TO BLACKPOOL!”
Really though? Really? I’m pretty sure Blackpool is exactly where I’d expect to find Peter these days, whether it be doing a Butlins tour, opening a new branch of Iceland or helping a single dad really connect with his kids by giving him a free garden makeover courtesy of ITVBe. HE’S HERE TO HELP!
I think the fact that Kevin will Not! Stop! Dancing! even during the opening credits is the most terrifying thing about this generally kind of overwhelming couple. Fun Fact : Next week Kevin will have danced as many competitive episodes in 3 series as Lilia did in 6. Give the man a duffer next year for God’s sake. I think we all of us need a break.
To DOWNTON ABBEY!
For our opening Blackpool group routine, wherein the celebs are decadent aristocrats and their pros are the benighted servants. I love that even in the middle of this refined and elegant formal dinner, Helen is chomping on an ice cream. Truly she is the Bertha Rochester of Strictly Come Dancing. Unfortunately there is a problem with this idyll – PETER ANDRE’S PLATE IS COLD!
ALSO KATIE DERHAM’S GLASS IS EMPTY WHAT SORT OF HOUSE IS THIS THAT WOULD LEAVE ITS GUESTS SO PARCHED! NOO DON’T BOTHER GIVING HER A TOP-UP, JUST GIVE HER THE BOTTLE, SHE’LL DO IT HERSELF! UNDER THE TABLE SO NOBODY CAN SEE THE SHAME THE SERVANTS HAVE BROUGHT UPON THIS HOUSEHOLD!
Anton passes the plate to Natalie in the midst of
Anita and Jay both doing amazing “snotty bitch” and “confused, probably slightly slow, favoured son” faces. She then passes it to Brenda, who takes it to down to the kitchens where we discover who’s in charge of this chaos.
Oh Pasha. I’ve not seen you make such a big mess downstairs since [PUNCHLINE REDACTED]. It then gets passed to Kevin, who then passes it to Giovanni and
oh we can see where this is going can’t we? Hello Chekhov’s Meringue Frosting. The kitchen scrubbers (Karen, Janette, Aliona, Oti, Ola) all get the hump with Giovanni for questionning their cooking and then
everyone does the Lindy. And I mean everyone. There’s about 20 new Cliftons in there for a start.
At some point all the celebs wander downstairs to join in and it all becomes so blurry and laser-filled that my poor laptop can’t take decent pictures but rest assured that if Lindy Hop is just Charleston under another name (and let’s face it, it is, that’s why they had it in the Series 7 final, so The Hobbit could do it twice as well as having to avoid any Propah Latin) then Jay’s got a good one coming up. Oh and at some point some guy gets
stuck up Janette’s vagina and Giovanni
gets cream-pied. You know, the usual stuff.
As punishment for his sloppy dinners, Pasha is stuck escorting Tess out onto the dancefloor. Once out there, she feigns her best
shock and awe at the Blackpool Tower Ballroom’s majesty, even though she has been there how many times now? In fairness, it is a bit like how I still act like I’m in any way surprised by how she chooses to dress herself. She thanks the pros, and the celebs, and the guest dancers, and the cast of Gandhi, and the entire population of San Marino for our opening routine, which was choreographed by Jason Gilkison, who got engaged this week. Do we think he was dropping choreographical hints to his boyfriend throughout the series yes I do too. Get ready for a lot of pro routines set in exotic potential honeymoon destinations all the way to the final.
Claudia reminds us that Jeremy went home last week, and then the judges dance on to Agadoo (I guess after we all mastered The Strictly it was time to move up a gear in terms of choreographical complexity), apart from Craig who
is riding Jeremy’s prop all the way into the ground. On the one hand it at least means little baby Joey Exploding-Guitar isn’t going to go hungry this Christmas. On the other…Jeremy himself is right there in the audience, would it have hurt you not to hog the limelight for yourself for a change Craig? Also have you seen the end of Dr Strangelove?
Jay McGuiness & Aliona Vilani dancing the salsa
That My Little Pony top-knot is everything. Which one do we think she is? Custard Sparkle?
VT now, and yet again the sad mournful violins come in, as Jay tells us all that last week’s foxtrot was going so well
until he trod on Aliona’s foot and then promptly forgot the routine. Aliona kindly tried
elbowing him hard in the head to try to jolt his memory, but sadly these things don’t work like they do in the cartoons. The only cute birds he saw whirling around his head were his well horny groupies down the cl…oops, sorry, they were the poor injured sparrows he tends to in his spare time helping out with the RSPB although he doesn’t like to mention it. We’re also reminded that Craig said he had a dead face and he was left until last to be called safe and
woobie woobie wah wah wah etc etc
Training now, and Aliona tells us that they have drawn the salsa this week, and that she’s really going to get Jay focused on getting into the character of the dance via how he moves his body and then hopefully the faces will follow as a natural progression
so you can take your acting coach and stick him up the Blackpool Tower. Initial results from The Aliona Technique of Method Acting are
not great, but I’m sure he’ll get there. Or maybe their salsa is themed around a dog sticking its head out a car window. After Kirsty’s American Smooth, stranger things have happened. As prompting, Aliona tells Jay that the Blackpool Tower Ballroom is a big space, so he’s really going to have to perform big in order to fill it with his energy. This would be more convincing if a previous VT of theirs hadn’t covered how he’s played Wembley Arena. Anyway, Jay says he promises that he’ll make sure everyone leaves Blackpool with a smile on their face (I bet Peter’s was pretty bloody rictus…) and we get yet another sequence of them gawping at the grandeur of the Tower Ballroom.
Well he’s gawping. She seems very “Oh this old dump again” about the whole thing.
TO THE DANCEFLOOR!
Briefly I think that Jay will maybe be dancing the salsa with an actual-size Statue Of Liberty, in a piece with a strong political massage about improving relations between Cuba and The USA which ends with very suggestive use of a cigar. Sadly not, it’s just that Wardrobe think that that’s a flattering shade of green to be addressing Aliona in. Oh yes, they’re doing the salsa to “Cuba” and someone very wise informs me that this is officially the first week ever where all the song choices are do-overs for previously Strictly routines, so here
have a poll.
The story of the salsa is that Jay is constantly harangued by good-looking women
begging, just begging for a dance, but he only has eyes for Aliona, who is doing a
masterful job of being coy whilst also making sure he gets a good look at her arse. I think my favourite bit of the choreography is when Jay physically pushes the two other women aside to get to Aliona. Never let it be said that Aliona is a modest choreographer. (Don’t worry, having been rejected by one man, the two ladies immediately move on to his friends. I think this bit was inspired by Jay’s time in The Wanted…)
FEEL THE LUST!
Anyway, it’s a really fun salsa to start the show, flirty and loose and wiry and fun and it all ends with a lift that goes on for, by my count at least 11 rotations.
When will your favourites etc etc?
Once he’s over at Tess, she octopusses him yet again and asks how that felt. He tells her that it felt good and that she looks very pretty this evening. Good grief. Just because she’s playing Mrs Robinson doesn’t mean you have to play along Benjamin. Tess then introduces the singers, but Anthony’s gone, so allow me a brief moment of mourning.
There we go.
Len starts for the judges by yelling that there is no end to Jay’s talents, and HE JUST MADE BLACKPOOL ROCK!
Yes, truly, he prompted Len into making a crap pun, the man is a marvel the like of which we haven’t seen in a long time. Len goes on to say that he’s been waiting for a dance of that standard from Jay since his jive, and there we got it. I will give Len credit here for the fact that his scores for Jay overall bear out this statement. Normally when they storyline like this they don’t. Bruno’s next, jumping up and down yelling “LOINS OF FIRE!” and “TOP GEAR!”. Two phrases I never want to hear in the same ballpark as one another ever again, hint hint Amazon Prime. He goes on to say that Jay was so accomplished in that routine that Bruno couldn’t tell him apart from the professional dancers. I think maybe we should start colour-coding people for Bruno, he’s clearly lost bless him. HE WAS THE ONE DANCING WITH ALIONA, LOVE.
Craig’s next and says that the armography was great, there was great hip action and fludiity, the lift was brilliant, and finally Jay was showing some facial expression so well done let’s move along, storyline over very good chop chop. (I will say I personally noticed very little difference from his usual facial expressions, if any, but Craig gotta Craig/get bored of death threats from the Jaypet Army). Darcey closes by growling that the whole routine really warmed her up and she really liked how Jay flirted with Aliona from the outset (because she could imagine it was her). Oh God we’ve lost another one.
As usual at Blackpool, there is no Claud 9 just
a little curtained off area that looks like a panto brothel. Claudia reminds Jay that he went on first and did so well, he must be over the moon! Jay says “yes”, hems and haws and fudges a bit and then says sorry for not being a better interviewee. Claudia then reveals that Jay always apologises to her afterwards, saying that he’s sorry that he wasn’t more verbal. I presume she means after the show. For Mr Winkleman’s sake. Aliona then says that tonight she really saw Jay enjoying the dance (CRAIG) and then Claudia asks her to sum up the atmosphere of Blackpool. Aliona says it’s 10 times more atmospheric than usual because of the bigger audience and then thanks them. Claudia CLEARLY wanted her to talk about how the Tower Ballroom is made of magic and wonder and rainbows made out of foxtrot there but oh well. Scores are in
Again, normally I don’t mention any post-scoring antics because it’s mostly just people making “PLEASE VOTE” dialing motions with their hands, but I have to mention Claudia’s decision to call for a conga during her reading the Terms & Conditions, chiefly for Oti not knowing how a conga works and Joanne trying to
latch on to her so violently that it ends up with Oti screaming in her face until she grabs Janette instead.
Jamelia & Tristan MacManus dancing the quickstep
Tess tells us that this week Tristan and Jamelia will be playing a couple of dolls in their routine. Can we get a check if Tristan’s doll is anatomically correct plz? (Based on the outfits I can already tell Jamelia’s is…)
VT time and we are reminded that last week, despite Jamelia having fun in her samba, she was still installed as the Zeus on the Mount Olympus of Bottom 2 Goddesses :
She tells us that, after four dance-offs, it really starts to take a toll on you. Quite. After tonight Jamelia will have danced 14 full routines. I would imagine it’ll take Jay until an hour into the final to have done that many (other people you may think will reach the final without hitting the dance-off are available).
Training now and speaking of feeling the strain
Tristan seems about ready to stop now doesn’t he? He tells Jamelia that he really wants to inject some fun into this week’s quickstep and to do that, he’s decided it’ll have a doll theme. I’m sure he did. Anyway for training he would like Jamelia to get into pretending she’s a doll by keeping perfectly still and not speaking. For an hour or five. To get her in the mood for this, he takes her to Madame Tussauds where they meet at the waxwork of the
American Alesha Dixon (which waxwork did they reuse that wrist from, John Inman?) and formulate a cunning plan. Jamelia will pretend to be a waxwork of herself and people will take a selfie with her and then she’ll go BOO and surprise them.
How gay would you have to be to want a selfie of yourself with a waxwork of Jamelia in 2015? Really? Even the waxwork of Freddie Mercury
jizzing off a microphone into his face looks straighter.
TO THE DOLL HOUSE!
As a regular SYTYCD viewer this is giving me PTSD flashback to this routine. (*shivers*). Jamelia and Tristan
who come with a disappointing lack of accessories (maybe Jamelia stomped on them all and broke them?), however, are doing a much more upbeat and (somewhat) less creepy routine, to “I’m A Believer”. But really though, mummies, zombies and now Mattel Dolls. What theming next will be used to justify contestants stiff jerkiness? Have we done robots yet? Then again Jamelia’s usual problem is the very opposite of stiffness in that she always seems perpetually on the edge of slopping out the sides of whatever she’s doing like an overfilled bathtub, so maybe this helped? It’s easily Jamelia’s best ballroom yet, very fast, covering the floor, with lots of cute doll inspired moments and not too many mistakes, although she does still seem to be inserting moves where Tristan isn’t expecting them.
It gets no standing ovation, sadly, although once Jamelia is over at Tess, the latter hoots that SHE’S NOW A BELIEVER. (*Len hastily scribbles through half the notes on his pad*). Bruno starts for the judges by saying that that was a good quickstep with a lot of content and great packaging, and he really appreciates how much she’s worked on her footwork but she needs to stop her top half jiggling up and down so much. I dunno Bruno, I’m sure the dads at home were happy. Tess follows, asking Craig if Jamelia & Tristan can avoid a fifth dance-off. Craig says “no”. Well that’s us all told. I’m very sad at this point that Len has already played his “PICKLE ME WALNUTS” card on these two, it could have come in handy tonight. Anyway Craig thinks her topline was wobbly, her underarm turns were problematic and she lost body contact throughout. But, y’know, it’s better than she used to be.
Darcey follows, and praises Jamelia for her intent and energy, and the fact that there was not one mistake.
Apart from maybe the wig. Less Naomi Campbell, more Naomi Cup’A’Soup. Len finishes us off by saying that Jamelia really proved to everyone at home there that she REALLY DESERVES TO GET to Blackpool. Lol. He tells her that she’s just like one of the trams out the front of the Tower Balroom. Just what every girl wants to hear. “A Streetcar Named Dance-Off” coming to a theatre near you soon.
Over to Claudia they sprint, where Jamelia has a bit of a teary meltdown about how she has somehow managed to haul herself all the way to Blackpool, through 4 dance-offs, bitchy judges, an army of hatahs, the weakest Hallowe’en theming ever and a selection of the worst wigs’n’weaves in Strictly history.
She and Claudia then chat about how Jamelia never expected to be good at quickstep, because she never saw herself as being suited for ballroom, mostly because the judges spent a lot time telling her she wasn’t suited for ballroom and yet here we are. Yes, what fine mentors those 4 are. Scores are in
Anita Rani & Gleb Savchenko dancing the paso doble
FEEL THE PASSION! FEEL THE INTENSITY! FEEL THE HAIR PRODUCT! Tess tells us that these two are about to deliver a Propah Paso Doble with Propah Spanish Music and Propah Capes and Propah Matadors. Whatever Tess, I still have faith that Gleb will make it look as ridiculous and phony as humanly possible.
In her VT, Anita says that everything she and Gleb trained so hard for came together in her quickstep last weekend and she’s so glad that she got to Blackpool, because it is a MILESTONE in Strictly. Eh, so are the Rigathon and Spooky Dress-Up Week hun, let’s not give it more import than it deserves. Gleb for his part says that he personally has never danced at the Blackpool Tower Ballroom before.
He did, however, perform at the Smash Hits Poll Winners Party when he was 2nd in the award for Cutest Bum In Pop and Mark Owen couldn’t make it. The two experiences are probably quite similar right?
Training now, and Gleb tells Anita that at Blackpool they will be dancing the paso doble, and Anita is very excited. This sequence would be more convincing if Anita wasn’t wearing the thumb splint she picked up training for…the paso doble. Never mind. Gleb and Anita remenisce about the holidays that Anita used to spend at Blackpool when she was a kid, and we get to see a picture of
Baby Anita. Oh she was the youngest? By a long way? Yeah, that explains a lot. Obviously we also run through Gleb trying fish n chips for the first time (I checked – at least some definitely did go in his mouth) and also
this. What a delight.
TO THE DANCEFLOOR!
Do you know, I’ve got a feeling that this dance isn’t going to be the most subtle they’ve ever had? If you’ve ever watched Birds Of A Feather this is basically how I imagine Dorien Green sees her life
in her head. For those of you waiting for Gleb
here he is. He just has to show off that he’s that little bit more flexible than the other guy, right? For those of you who fret about him stealing the spotlight, don’t worry, he allows Anita to be front and centre for the entirity of the first section, as she twists her arms about all Spanish like and really
feels her fantasy. From glitter wellies to a cleaner to this, it’s been a journey hasn’t it? It’s pretty much all a showcase to allow Anita to be the centre of attention and really work the audience and make her mark as herself, rather than as Gleb’s Flava Flav esque Hype Man, and whilst there are times it resembles yer mum getting up on stage at Dreamboys and managing not to her embarass herself rather than, y’know, A PASO DOBLE, it’s just great fun and pretty gaymazing to boot. Oh and if you like Gleb don’t worry, there are still erm
“moments of worship”.
Oh Fupping Lay.
It gets a MASSIVE Standing Ovation and round of applause, by far the biggest of the entire evening, making me feel like they’ve misdeployed the Pimp Slot again. Anita as well, milks the Beglebsus out of the moment
This isn’t even part of the dance. This is just her being a big ole ham. Once she’s over at Tess, Tess is of course dribbling like a leaky teapot and simpers to Anita that she had FOUR HUNKY MALE DANCERS OUT THERE WITH HER. Anita smirks and says “yes, lucky them”. That’s it, if she’s not at least in the semi-finals I’m going to cry. What SASS. Craig starts for the judges saying it had drama, character, theatre, and tons of Spanish lines. In fact it was right up his strazza. You wish mate. You already got yours once this evening rubbing yourself on that guitar by the looks of it, don’t wear yourself out. Darcey follows, saying that Anita blew her away because she was so powerful and intense whilst also remaining classy.
If’n you say so Darce.
Len’s next and congratulates Anita on turning the dancefloor into the bullring. As opposed to Jamelia, who turns it into The Bull Ring (MIDLANDS PRIDE). He picks out her arms for particular praise and then Darcey starts
miming away like a mad thing next to him. This being International Sign Language for “call me, Gleb, and bring the second dancer from the right”. Bruno closes by saying that that definitely wasn’t a paso for vegetarians because of all the prime beef wandering around. some of those guys looked a bit…Linda McCartney to me, meat wise Bruno. If you catch my drift.
Over to Claudia’s Harem they stalk, where Claudia immediately talks about how Anita’s parents had their honeymoon here. And now they got to watch their little girl all grown up, stalking around in a figure hugging top, pawing at four oiled-up topless men and scowling sexually at an oversexed Russian before slowly and sensually descending to waist height.
Sunrise, sunset. Anita then grins broadly that this is her mum’s dream come true…BUT FOR HER.
LOL at the side-eye on Joanne there. Let’s not delve too closely into your family dynamics either hun. Anita then turns to Gleb and says that she can’t believe the things that she and Gleb are doing together (CALL THE DAILY MAIL). Gleb, as usual, looks like he barely remembers her name (<3). Scores are in
Katie Derham & Anton du Beke dancing the American Smooth
You can tell she’s on the verge of tottering off to Evil Moira Ross In A Rainbow Wig’s Underground Hub and asking why her backing dancers have to have shirts on. THERE’SH SHTILL TIME TO GERREMOFF! ANTON CAN KEEP HISH ON!
VT now, and the first thing Katie says is that she decided before her rumba last week that she wasn’t going to let her nerves get in the way of enjoying her time on Strictly. Any guesses on how she steadied her nerves? Anyone? As a guide, I will allow you up to three uses of the word “glug”, two uses of the words “arsed” and one use of “had to be ridden out of the studio in a Sainsburys trolley”. Anton closes by saying that he was really glad that Katie was able to pull it off in such a dramatic way. I bet you were.
Training now and
OH MY GOD *flails like Kermit The Frog*. Sadly she does not storm in singing “Rolling In The Deep” and punch Katie out because she’s DAMNED if Anton thinks he can just replace her with some two bit newsreader. Instead Erin is there to…be supportive and stuff, as this week is the week that gets to go full Fred & Ginge in the American Smooth, and Erin’s been his Fred for night on three decades now. I don’t think she needed
quite this level of insight Erin, but whatever you say girl, you’re the one who’s…nearly won the show before. She sits Katie down for a private chat,
telling her that the American Smooth is an elegant and sophisticated dance, both of which she knows Katie is, and which SHE thought that SHE was but APPARENTLY the judges would rather drag Lisa Snowdon through another two weeks for no reason oh well, never mind, she lives on her island now what has Arlene Phillips got going on in her life eh? Erin then tells Katie that Anton really cares about her, because obviously Anton is too English to say it himself. Oh the British. We close on Anton saying that he’s very glad that Erin found the time to come in despite having a baby at home and Erin sneaking a laxative to Katie to slip into Len’s coffee as she goes past the judges table. He’ll know why.
TO THE DANCEFLOOR!
Aw look, it’s her biggest fan.
After a bit of wafting, she ditches it, and
four men leap out from behind the screens at Anton’s bidding. I don’t think Anton’s ever looked more like a villain from the campy 60s Batman tv show than at this moment, and I don’t say that lightly. He and Katie are dancing to “Ain’t That A Kick In The Head” and I can’t decide if the fact that it’s the most…Katie Derham performance so far (by which I mean she looks like she’s
feeling no pain from beginning to end, is wobbly in her foootwork throughout and frequently seems surprised to see another human being popping up in front of her at all) makes it better or worse for me. It’s nice to see a contestant get a dance that so thoroughly embodies both what they’re about and also what their pro dancer is about, but it doesn’t quite scale the heights of her previous best ballroom for me, excitement wise. It’s a fun routine, and very Anton, but it feels like they thought all week that it was going to go in the Pimp Slot and get 10s and then the producers actually saw it and…moved it back a bit. Almost there, not quite. I would also like to apologise to Anton though for insinuating he didn’t do any lifts himself, he did do one.
Although notably not the end pose one.
It gets a really loud reaction, although not much of a standing ovation, which is odd because even her worst dances have got a full one up to now (why I’m still paying attention to this stuff I don’t know, I think Jeremy not getting one has plunged me right back into the mindset that they actually mean something beyond when some reasearcher’s remembered to flap his arms at the audience to stand up and when he’s off trying to score with oone of the backing dancers instead) and Darcey starts for the judges by saying that that was exquisite.
I’m not sure about the rabbit poo earrings myself, but ok. Darcey goes on to congratulate her on having film star style from the beginning of that dance to the end. Just a shame that the film star in question was Oliver Reed. Len follows by saying that that was better than a kick in the head. High praise indeed.
Bruno’s next and says it was an amazing welcome to the “Temple Of Ballroom”. Welcome? We’re halfway through the show! At least I sincerely hope we are. Has Anita’s paso made him go…funny? He goes on to say that Blackpool really does always bring the best out in people. I think we’re about to find out otherwise in one routine’s time Bruno. He closes by telling Katie that that was a great tribute to the dancing queens of old Hollywood. Ginger Rogers, Rita Hayworth, Eleanor Powell, Lionel Blair, Angela Rippon, Pan’s People, The Roly Polys, Marky Mark & The Funky Bunch, Magenta Devine, Ulrika Jonsson, Lizzie Webb, Mr Motivator, Mr Oizo, Baron von Greenback, Gadget Hackwrench, Angela Anaconda, …the list goes on. Craig closes by saying that we all know by now that Katie can do elegant, but she looked a bit lost coming out of the lifts. Craig, she looked a bit lost for the whole thing, that was the joy of it.
Over to Claudia’s Chamber they saunter, where Claudia congratulates Katie on all the judges liking her routine and then mimics her face as she was waiting for Craig’s comments.
Oh come on Claudia, I have NEVER seen Katie’s eyes that far open. Not both at the same time anyway. Katie goes on to say that it was an honour to dance that sort of dance in this sort of venue, with this sort of professional, and then Anton mugs that
he really thinks wearing this hat makes him look younger. It makes you look younger than Len Anton, and that’s about it. Scores are in
35. Anton’s highest ever score there, just pipping Laila Rouass’ foxtrot, Patsy Palmer’s tango, and Lesley Garrett’s foxtrot (all 34). Still, the quest for that elusive 10 continues.
Next up, Claudia tries on a Kiss Me Quick hat and hopes to use it to seduce the male pro dancers.
In any other week Pasha being left out of this line-up (for BRENDA? COME ON!) would be the biggest injustice of the whole show but…that dance-off man…Speaking of which
Peter Andre & Janette Manrara dancing the jive
Well at least this series has a proper villain now. Tess tells us that Peter’s jive this week will have a 60s tv theme, except instead of standard we’ll have HD, black & white we’ll have…orange, and instead of Skippy The Bush Kangaroo we’ll have…oh wait Brenda just stormed off, can someone go and get him back please? What do you mean he’s not really serving any purpose, it’s BRENDA MAN, HE’S THE HEART OF STRICTLY, NO GO OUT INTO THE CAR PARK AND GET HIM BACK.
In his VT, Peter tells us that he never would have expected his second highest score of the season to come in a Viennese Waltz. Well if it makes you feel any better Peter, it shouldn’t have been. He goes on to say that the look on Janette’s face as they got through made him even more excited about Blackpool and oh alright Andre, that’s sweet, I’ll give you that. Janette meanwhile says that she really wants to see Peter dance on the floor at Blackpool. Will it make up for how Jake didn’t do it, instead just standing there as two burly men hurled you about a bit like he was a paying cuckold?
Training now and Peter sighs that it’d be really great to be able to travel back in time to the 1960s, so he could kill Hitler. Fortunately, says Janette, she has a
time machine. The budget on this show astounds me sometimes. Janette whacks her button and they travel back in time to
ARGH THE HORROR, THE HORROR! Also nice of the show to risk ripping a hole in the space time continuum via paradox here just to get a comedy VT out of it. Just make sure they don’t touch one another. Peter and Janette and Janette and Peter discuss the attempted military coup in Togo, the forthcoming Australian federal election, and what John Lennon’s new relationship with Japanese conceptual artist Yoko Ono might mean for The Beatles. Also that Peter Andre has made it to Blackpool on Strictly Come Dancing 2015. Then a dinosaur stomps on Janette’s time machine and they’re trapped in 1966 forever hooray.
TO THE DANCEFLOOR!
Oy. So this is a mess. They’re dancing to “River Deep, Mountain High” and it’s just…a mess. A sloppy sloppy mess. Even the presence of
my boy Greg in a cameo role can’t save it. The major problem is that it looks sweet f all like a jive. The subsidiary problem is that it doesn’t look much like anything else either. Peter and Janette were very excited on It Takes Two this week to be incorporating lots of different authentic 60s dances into this jive and…I was born in the 80s so I don’t know. I think I can spot
The Camera Slap
The Getting Into The Bath (kudos to Janette for choreographing in a move from St Jay’s Holy Jive which Peter isn’t even 10% capable of doing as well by the way, really showing him off there)
The 90 Degree Hitler
The Back To Your Room Mr Andre And Stop Bothering The Female Residents
and The I Can’t Find My Penis. None of which have survived to be part of the modern day art of the dahnce. They could have at least done The Monkey. Oh and the bits in there that do look like jive are terribly done. Oddly enough for a man who spends so much time in his dances nearly kneeing himself in the face, he barely seems able to get his feet off the floor, awkwardly scuffing them like someone trying to flick away a puppy humping his leg. It’s weird, because you’d think Peter’s pop-dance style would lend itself to the jive just as it did to the Charleston but…it really really doesnt.
It gets half a standing ovation, most noticably from the celebrity filled part of the audience, and Len starts for the judges by saying that it’s always a joy to watch Peter dance (…) but that wasn’t his finest hour. His hands got really wide, especially in the pivots and the chassis could have been crisper…and then he apologises for making it sound like the dance was terrible, when it wasn’t. Len, it was, and also you criticised, like, two things. Stop mollycoddling the man. Meanwhile Dr Mrs Emily Andre
watches on serenely and wonders who’s going to get thrown off the tower for this one. Bruno’s next and says for energy and enthusiasm it was top of the pops but once again Peter lost the style of the dance and just reverted to doing his Peter Goes Pop thing. At this point Peter’s already going “yes right true fair enough” at a rate of knots.
Next Tess asks Craig where that jive falls in terms of the great numbers we’ve seen this series from Jay, Kellie, Anita, Georgia, Katie…Craig says it’s right at the bottom unfortunately.
You’d think so Craig, but as a group you’re about to vote it the fourth best one out of ten. Thanks Blackpool. Anyway, flat-footed, lack of retraction, odd kicks, his weight was in the wrong place etc etc etc Darcey’s next and says that it was fast and furious but she think the springiness of the floor made him ricochet and made his balance funny. Oh sure Darcey blame the floor. She does think though, that when he got on the stage it went really well – there were points where he reminded her of Bruno. Oh bless, she means that as a compliment. Peter next of course, bugging his eyes out, launches into a speech about how the judges are right and he got some of the dance wrong but we had a great time Janette didn’t we, didn’t we, DIDN’T WE? WE HAD A BALL! WE HAD A BALLROOM!
Can we add judges votes for Tess and Claudia in future?
They wander over to Claudia’s Arabian Nights Boogie Lounge and Peter immediately starts giving out about how it’s all great because he’s always learning new techniques and it was fun, lots of fun WE HAD FUN DIDN’T WE JANETTE super fun. Claudia then asks if it’s difficult for him hearing criticism after the last two weeks of gush and Peter says not, because it’s be expected because that’s how the scri…I mean that’s just what happens, you know
not every week can be amazing Claudia, he’s been SO GOOD for SO LONG now you can’t expect him to be the best every week Claudia you just can’t, he has to let someone else have a turn sometimes. Scores are in
29. The same score as the original Michelle & Brenda Time Warp. Who knew I’d get outraged over its memory being disrespected twice in one series?
Georgia May Foote & Giovanni Pernice dancing the American Smooth
Tess introduces them by reminding us all that Georgia set the series benchmark score last week when she got 39 for her Charleston, and then asks the audience if they think she can do it again. Anita’s mum’s reaction is
very Anita’s mum I think. Nice polite handclap whilst wishing death on her daughter’s enemies.
In her VT, Georgia says that last Saturday night was amazing and that she couldn’t believe it and Darcey said “wow” and that made her very excited. Then she makes a shrieky noise like someone sitting on a hamster. Honestly Georgia’s VTs are the absolute highlight of this series for me, I can’t even tell you.
Training now, and Georgia tells us that this week she and Giovanni will be dancing an American Smooth to “I Have Nothing” by Whitney Houston, which is Giovanni’s favourite song and sorry, that’s it, sorry to those of you who think this is tacky but
Anywho, apparently Giovanni’s been howling out this song, out of tune, non-stop, since about week 3 (I love that some couple clearly get their routines cleared months in advance and others get told “right, we wanted to dress Ola up as a dog but she got the boot so you’re doing it now. Tomorrow”. Not that I am suggesting favouritism in any way) and it’s finally time for him to live out his Whitney dream on the main stage at Strictly. Although
with a dry run in a karaoke bar first, she doesn’t want him actually ejaculating on the stage on Saturday Night. You’ll notice that the cleared the room of other patrons first. Remember when Iveta had this gimmick? Oh Iveta…
TO THE DANCEFLOOR!
She’s come for her shoes back Mr Lloyd Webber, and she’s not taking no for an answer. This is revenge for all the musical theatre hopefuls whose footwear you purloined over the series. Connie Fisher’s socks, Pirate Jessie’s Crocs, Lee Mead’s insoles, probably someone from the ITV series that crashed and burned’s tights, YOUR REIGN OF TERROR IS AT AN END!
VIA AN ADEQUATE AMERICAN SMOOTH WITH A FOOFY DRESS! It’s a very sweet dance, as you might expect, and her classic ballroom hold has improved a little over the weeks, but my problem with Georgia generally, and it’s very evident here, is that when she tries to come across as elegant she can’t help being a little juvenile in the way she holds herself. There’s some awkward skirt swishing at the beginning that’s very classic “my first Communion”, her legs are a little comically flaily in the lifts and the faces she pulls when she’s trying to look grown-up are very
“dancing to mummy’s tapes in the bedroom when she’s not around”. You know, I would imagine… Nice arms, nice spins, nice dress, not so keen on the Heidi plait or the billoughing dry ice everywhere, and I just think if she wants to make a case for really winning this she needs to show a little bit more sophistication.
It gets a standing ovation, and once they’re over at Tess she tells Georgia that you could hear the audience collectively going “awwwwwwwwww!”. Yes, that’s my problem with it in a nutshell. It’s already bad enough with Jay’s fans, I don’t need this level of goo goo gaa gaa from the audience for the entire final thx. Bruno starts for the judges, calling Georgia a “heavenly creature” and says that he’s experiencing “pure ballroom bliss”. Clearly this touches Georgia as, for once, it’s hard to tell whether there’s more moisture coming off her face or Giovanni’s. Craig’s next and he tells Georgia that he noticed the mishap in the lift but he thinks it’s because she got caught in her dress and the same thing happened to him the other night, so he’ll write it off. Did Cleethrops Town Hall get a glimpse of Miss Havisham’s Little Girls I wonder…
Darcey follows by dubbing her “Gracious Georgia” and telling her that she’s going to go far in the competition. Does Darcey think “Gracious Georgia” alliterates? Do we need to bring Arlene back to give lessons? We finish with Tess asking Len if Georgia can top the leaderboard again this week, and Len as usual ignores the question and says that between the storm last night and Georgia’s dance tonight, that’s the second time he’s been blown away in Blackpool.
I refuse to believe that. Refuse. I bet Blackpool was a HOT BED back in the day.
Over to Claudia’s Curtain Warehouse they mosey and Giovanni immediately breaks into “I Have Nothing” again at such an ear-splitting volume and…tone that Kellie’s face
briefly threatens to retreat so far into her skull that it pops out the other side. Claudia’s all “thanks for the singing Joe, oh by the way Georgia you seem very emotional and technically speaking this is about you I guess…” about it. Georgia says she’s very emotional because her grandma’s in the audience (she’s the woman who was yelling next to Anita’s mum earlier) and then reveals that she’s wearing her great grandmother’s ear-rings and brooch tonight, because she used to be a ballroom dancer. Kevin meanwhile
thinks “so what, I’m wearing Granny Clifton’s Magic Blackpool Knickers”. Scores are in
Helen George & Aljaz Skorjanec dancing the Charleston
It’s like he just screwed that head into place before they turned the cameras on isn’t it? Truly she is the Mombi of Strictly Come Dancing. Tess tells us that Helen and Aljaz are best of friends, and Aljaz can often be heard backstage saying that he can’t think of anyone he’d rather have as a partner than Helen. Often quite loudly. To a locked toilet door. For two hours. Until she comes out again.
In her VT, Gelen says that she really enjoyed doing the tango last week because it was a chance to be aggressive and fierce. Do we think there’s quite a lot of aggression built up back there? Because we’ve still potentially got an Argentine Tango and a paso doble to come. A man can dream. And hopefully next time it won’t be held back by stupid bedwetter fauxk singers in stupid hats. Aljaz says that he was very proud of Helen for how well she did her tango, and we get a clip of her
celebrating backstage. Just in case you wanted a memory of Helen in happier times after the meltdown of the week before. And before the meltdown of this week. She’s such a yoyo isn’t she?
Training now, and Helen says that as the plan is for her Charleston to feature backing dancers on a giant video wall who all look like her (who came up with this plan can I kiss them?) she’s invited her
mutiple personalities into the training room with her. There’s Sleepy Helen, Angry Helen and Oversexed Helen. It’s nice to have Helen’s DSMV diagnosis officially confirmed as MPD. Sleepy Helen sleeps, Angry Helen runs around the training room yelling, Oversexed Helen throws rolled up wads of paper at Aljaz’s nose to get his attention (she’s such a copy, when I met Pasha I threw my balls at his head to g[PUNCHLINE REDACTED]) and it all drives Aljaz to such distraction that he runs out of the rehearsal room into a waiting car
unfortunately being driven by Burns Things Helen. Poor guy. Although not the first time we’ve all discussed the Arson Aljaz.
TO THE DANCEFLOOR!
It’s already a little bit barking mad isn’t it? The outfit, the wildly wonky spotlights, her name up in 10ft tall lights. The whole routine in fact feels a bit like a protracted choreographed nervous breakdown. It starts off well – she comes to life, descends the stairs, and starts doing some very good, tighly performed Charleston steps with goofy faces and
wacky lifts and chirpy musical theatre singing going on in the background. All ship shape and upbeat and, whilst not quite as fun or warm as Georgia’s efforts last week, great on its own merits. Then it all starts to get a bit David Lynch and unsettling. “Other” Helens (so over made-up as to resemble drag queens) start to
creep in to the back of shot as Helen’s faces get more and more manic and the dancing gets punchier, more aggressive, and a little desperate looking. Then Helen goes for a lift that
brings back the halcyon deflating blow-up doll days of her salsa and the singing stops and then the music gets faster and faster and hinkier and hinkier and she goes to climb up the steps but she stumbles and then the other Helens appear again and Aljaz
is more in tune with them than the Real Helen and then
OH GOOD GOD HUNDREDS OF THEM, HUNDREDS OF OTHER HELENS ALL WITH ROBOTIC EYES AND MOVING IN PERFECT SYNC COME TO TAKE HER AWAY FROM HER ALJAZ. HUNDREDS UPON HUNDREDS UPON HUNDREDS ALL THE SAME! AND I LOOKED OUT INTO THE AUDIENCE AND THERE WAS ANOTHER HELEN AND ANOTHER HELEN AND ANOTHER HELEN AND FOUR MORE HELENS BEHIND THE JUDGES DESK AND A HELEN IN CLAUDIA’S AREA AND A HELEN CLUTCHING MY HAND AND CALLING ME LOVE AND ASKING ME IF I’M ALRIGHT AND THEN TWO MORE HELENS PUT ME INTO THE BACK OF AN AMBULANCE AND THEN THERE WAS NOTHING, ONLY DARKNESS.
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I mean it was memorable if nothing else.
It gets a smattering of Staning Ovations, but nothing that really tips the scale, and once they’re over at Tess Helen thanks all the backing dancers for working so hard to get the routine down. It was a video Helen, you’re alright. Craig is first up to bat for the judges, and says that that all lacked a bit of quirkiness for him, and he found it all a bit safe. He really thought it needed to be messed up a little bit.
Are you kidding Craig? That was one of the most messed up things I’ve seen on this show in a long time. I felt like I was watching Black Swan 2 : Ballet Goes Bananas. Craig then gives Helen permission to look ugly in her dances and yet again there is nobody on this show this year other than maybe Anita who is more willing to overcommit than Helen I do not get this critique. Darcey follows, saying that she disagrees with Craig. She personally thought it was a very appropriate and classy Charleston.
Len is next, with a choreographical bone to pick, as usual, saying that there was too much side-by-side and he wanted more interaction between Aljaz and Helen. And Helen. And Helen. And Helen. And Helen. And Helen. And Helen. And Helen. And Helen. And Helen. And Helen. And Helen. And Helen. And Helen. And Helen. And Helen. And Helen. And Helen. And Helen. Bruno is last and says that he thought that that was very glam and glitzy and that Helen had the style down perfectly, but it looked like she got off on the wrong foot going up the stairs. Helen clarifies that she tripped. Aljaz claims that the steps themselves moved under her weight and God Aljaz, don’t have her thinking the furniture’s out to get her as well…
Over to Claudia’s Cavern they go, where Helen says that it was so ncie to go out there and just have fun and forget about “the steps”. Apart from the ones she tripped on presumably. Scores are in
34. They literally have 10 minutes left to finish the entire show at this point so GET READY FOR A RUSH!
Not that kind of rush Helen.
Kellie Bright & Kevin Clifton dancing the quickstep
Tess tells us that they’re going to be doing a quickstep set in an office to a Dolly Parton classic. I’d say I hope it isn’t “Coat Of Many Colours” but my laptop screen isn’t strobing out so obviously it isn’t. It is in fact “9 To 5”. Tess tells us that Kellie has put in a lot of overtime working on this routine, and hopes to get promoted to the top of the leaderboard. Well it appears that someone discovered that Georgia is the boss’s daughter about a month ago Kellie so GOOD LUCK.
In her VT, Kellie says that her hip hop samba last week with Kevin was so overwhelming. You’re telling me. She says that she got particularly emotional when Craig gave her a 9.
D’you know, I didn’t notice at the time just how appalled Anita looked? According to her Ask Me Anything session on the official twitter account last week, she’s a bit of a hip hop head, so it doesn’t really surprise me. (I know right? Someone asked Anita a question and it wasn’t about Gleb’s nipples, I’m as surprised as you are)
Training now and Kevin tells Kellie that this week they’ve got the quickstep and asks her if she’d like to go and see people doing it in Blackpool. Because if she does they can go to Stanley Park after dark, that’s where he and Joanne first learnt what a condom was but then Mummy Clifton came and took them away from the bad man. Oh alright, it turns out that by “doing it” Kevin means dancing, as he invites Kellie to watch the finals of the British Championships at the Winter Gardens.
Calm down love.
So off they go and of course it all turns out to be an excuse for Kevin to talk about how he used to compete and this is all so special for him and yadda yadda yadda (on It Takes Two they showed the roster for a 6 couple competition that included Kevin, Joanne, Mark Ballas from Dancing With The Stars, and Ray Quinn. Such reality tv royalty all in one ballroom.) and
I hope someone had a word with that guy covertly filming Kellie the entire time just sayin’.
TO THE OFFICE!
The idea of the routine here is that Kellie is a fearsome dragon of a boss
nicking her employees coffee and
sexually harassing them before laughing in their faces and dispatching them back to the typing pool. From there she quicksteps and whilst it’s a fun little routine, it is actually kind of shown up by the routine that Tristan put together for Jamelia earlier, which was full of a much greater variety of steps and with a lot more variation. Kellie really just goes round the floor once, does some jazzy bits near the table that go on for ages and which include
THIS FILTH (I THOUGHT THIS WAS A FAMILY SHOW?) then the backing dancers form some sort of
train and this goes on even longer without anything really resmbling a quickstep going on, and then she goes around the floor again, then a running splits
the end. It was cute, it was jazzy…but I don’t think it really deserved to close the show.
It gets a standing ovation though, so what do I know? (Don’t answer that). Darcey starts for the judges, saying that Kellie made that look like one easy day at the office. Well not for her employees Darcey, she was being a right cow. Len’s next, and tells Kellie that she can file that under “B” for brilliant, Bruno ftells her it was a brilliant performance on a night filled with dancing delight, and then Craig said it was tight and clean and he loved it.
Yep, we’re running out of time.
Over to Claudia’s Corner they sprint where Claudia’s all “that was mesmerising happy nice time woo here are your scores”
37. Oh Bruno. Not really, was it?