Around The World Week returns! The USA, Ireland, Germany, France twice and Hollywood Cockneylan…oh no wait, it’s Movie Week as the celebs perform iconic (*drink*) routines to songs from some of the best loved fil…no hang on. Love Week? Is it Love Week again? What’s going on?
Last week : ladies loved two things – cupcakes and voting Peter Andre out.
This week :
Oh God it gets worse. So gloomy. Next week our final 5 contemplate different methods of offing themselves if they get eliminated, to a soundtrack of “Every Day Is Like Sunday”. Gleb’s the one with the toaster in the bath naturally.
Sexual harassment is not a joke kids. Remember to report any instances of unwanted Glebbing in your workplace to HR.
We start with
Kristina, outside the theatre backstage door, waiting to invite us all in. We’ve presumably just walked past Ola on the pavement touting half-price tickets going “I wouldn’t go if I was you mate, it’s all shit nowadays but if you want ’em I’ll throw in a calendar can’t say fairer than that”. Yes, it’s Musicals Week and you know what that means?
JAZZ HANDS PRO DANCE WOOOOOOO! Also
ANYAAAAAAAAAAAA! The best thing about Ola spitting her dummy and going home because Aliona got a ringer and she didn’t (or you know, whatever serious problems she has with the fairness and impartiality of Strictly Come Dancing production staff) is that, because all of these routines are rehearsed months in advance, we’re hopefully going to get a revolving cameo wheel of women subbing in every week between now and the end of the final.
It’s a very razzle-dazzle, eyes, tits, and teeth routine although
as usual these days Anton’s tits are sadly left on the sidelines for most of it. Is that one of his former partners he’s chatting away to there, I think it is. Heck, even the judges get given more to do than Anton does even if it is
all done a bit like some local dignitaries come to open a new branch of John Lewis. It’s going to revive the town centre darrrlings! Those screens are to hide a costume change as apparently
we all wanted to give Helen PTSD Clone Army flashbacks. Has the poor women not suffered enough? The celebs themselves emerge for the end of the routine bobbing around at the back and faffing with hats. Remember when the celebs actually used to really get involved in these things, not just walk on at the end like they’ve literally just spat the toast crumbs out of their mouths and run on? Although Jay trying to act like there’s any way he’s getting the hat over that massive up-do of his is worth it.
Now THAT’S Entertainment!
(After the dance, everyone disperses randomly into the wings. Except Gleb
who somehow finds the nearest camera and the best angle and works it shamelessly. It’s a pity that America’s Next Top Model just got cancelled as soon as they started accepting male contestants isn’t it?)
Tess and Claudia emerge and
I kind of wish Claude had stayed dressed like that all night. And you wouldn’t put it past her would you? Tess welcomes us all to the Musicals Special, although Anya doesn’t get a special mention for featuring in the opening number so I’m already a bit deflated. Don’t dangle her in front of me then snatch her away again like she never existed guys IT’S NOT FAIR. Yes this week we’ll finally get the chance to see celebrities perform routines to songs from the musicals! Sure in past weeks we may have had routines to songs from Chicago, 42nd Street, Sunny Afternoon, Mamma Mia, Anything Goes, Paris, Call Me Madam, South Pacific, Grease, Top Hat, Phantom Of The Opera, The Rocky Horror Show, Orchestra Wives and God knows how many other ghastly cobbled together jukebox disco musicals I’m forgetting about but…erm…those weren’t Feem Weeks so they didn’t count. Tess also then pays tribute to the show’s very own “Music Man”, Peter Andre, who left last week. The Music Man is a show about a con artist. I’m saying nothing.
The judges come on next as usual, and I’d not recap it, but this week saw the return of Bruno’s signature
sloooooooow pirrrrouetttttttttes. So I have to. Always a pleasure, never a chore. I love how Craig just completely ignores them as well.
Belle & The Beast dancing a foxtrot
I’m still furious over the lack of propah horrid facial fuggery by the way.
JUSTICE 4 PASHA. Tess tells us that Georgia will be dancing to the theme from Beauty & The Beast. Isn’t the theme of Beauty & The Beast “if you try really hard you *can* change your abusive partner”? Quite hard to dance to that isn’t it?
In her VT, Georgia says that she really enjoyed her paso doble, because it gave her the opportunity to go from being elegant (like she was in her Blackpool American Smooth) to being “mean and intense”
ooh it me when I saw Pasha’s trousers for Carol’s American Smooth. We’re reminded however that the judges, particularly Bruno, weren’t so keen on her “Kristen Stewart when someone’s nicked her last rolo” act, particularly her scrunchy shoulders, and had her somewhere towards the lower reaches of the leaderboard before the Rigathon came along and scooped her up to safety again. Georgia promises this week there will be no shoulders in her routine. That seems a little drastic, especially in this week when Gleb’s plastic surgery already wen…sorry, when Gleb already had that allergic reaction to licking a peanut or whatever happened.
Training now and Georgia tells us that she’s dancing the “slow foxtrot” to Beauty & The Beast. Are we putting the speed before every dance now? Can I look forward to a “torpid cha cha” and “turbo Argentine Tango” from these two next week? Having said that, Giovanni saying “slow fox” in his accent on It Takes Two this week did give me pause. Anywho, it has always been Georgia’s dream, according to her, to be a princess, try to look surprised. Giovanni, for some reason, is disbelieving, so Georgia invites him to a party with all her friends to celebrate. Giovanni, never being one to pass up the opportunity to attend a Princess Party, obliges and even wears the special outfit Georgia provides for him.
WHY COULDN’T HE HAVE BEEN DANCING IN THIS, IT’S AMAZING. IT’S LIKE DONALD TRUMP AND DAVE LEE TRAVIS HAD A BABY! IT’S LIKE WEEK 1 JAY IS BACK!
Anyway, of course, this is all a trap for Georgia to
unleash a screeching batallion of nieces and nephews upon him, because it’s never too late for Baby Warz. Never. Just when you thought it was safe, somebody’s cousin flies out an air-vent onto your face. Giovanni at least
seems more willing to interact than Gleb was, and by interact I mean “be jumped up and down on”. I guess this is unsurprising given the It Takes Two segment this week where Giovanni brooded to Aljaz about wanting to be a great husband and father, and then asked him to show him what love is. Yes that segment did end slightly differently on the actual show than it did in my head. Eventually the tiny people stop pummeling Giovanni, and they get him to agree that Georgia is the best princess in the world. Is this where I point out that Belle isn’t technically a princess? Except under the Disney “every woman in a Disney film under the age of 35 is a princess” rule.
TO THE CASTLE!
God even the video wall cop-out make-up is rubbish. It’s not Beauty And The School Fete Face-Painting Stall guys. Georgia leans in to kiss Giovanni and this
transforms him into a handsome prince. I think my favourite thing about Beauty & The Beast (and I was the right age for this) were the absolute howls of tears from all the 5 year old boys in the cinema when the beast turned into a human. So many hearts broken. So anyway, needless to say, when I complained two weeks ago that Georgia’s ballroom was still a little juvenile for my tastes, it’s not been mended by a routine where she dresses up as a cartoon character and dances to a Disney song
accompanied by a magic teapot. Yes, it’s Backing Dancers a-go-go this week, in this case, artfully placed
to get right in Bruno’s line-of-sight, much to his comical Bruno-esque frustration. Unfortunately he’s hauled himself out of chair for no good reason too many times before now for anyone to notice or care. Truly it’s the story of the Boy Who Cried “WOOOOO YEAH AMAZING ISSS DIVA TIME POW POW POW BULLS BOLLOCKS”.
It’s a bit of a shame, because on content and form it actually looks like it would probably have been my favourite of her ballroom dances yet but really, who cares about the woman in the yellow when
in the background a giant wardrobe is dancing awkwardly with a candlestick (therefore answering all of us who wondered what it would have been like if Darren Gough had been partnered with Camilla instead of Lilia in Series 3)? The best part is that they’re not even doing much for most of it
just circling the edges looking in like rubberneckers at a dogging hotspot.
WELCOME TO MUSICALS WEEK! Look how sassy Candlestick’s end-pose is, what a diva.
It gets a standing ovation and up on Claud 9
calm down Joanne, Gleb’s not on yet. Once Georgia and Giovanni are over at the judges, Tess of course tells her how pretty she looks this evening, in a shade of custard yellow even Aliona would turn down, and then introduces The Wunnerful Orchestra. No exciting new hot young singers this week ah well (no offence). Len starts for the judges by saying that you could travel from South Pacific to Oklahoma and not see a better foxtrot than that. Wouldn’t that mostly be water? I mean unless they’re doing something truly special with the foxtrot in Baja California that’s not much of a boast. Still, nice ease and flow, although he did spot that she was missing a few heel leads. Bruno follows, saying that her shoulders were much improved, and she was a vision of loveliness out on the floor. When he could see her around the giant preening clock. Oh no wait, as I said, Gleb’s not on yet is he?
Craig’s next, and says that he thought it was delightful. Meanwhile from the audience the
TRUE QUEEN OF DISNEY watches on. Cruella De Vil AND Mary Poppins, what range does your favourite have? Craig goes on to call it “enchanting” and then claims that he’s not usually prone to that sort of overblown Luvvie Speak.
Darcey closes by praising Georgia for hovering in every transition. I’ll take her word for it.
Up to Claud 9 she goes, where it becomes apparent quite quickly that she’s crying again. Claudia calls her “an emotional creature” making it sound very much like she views Georgia as part of an alien species. Poor Claud. They’ve been a gushy lot this year haven’t they? Georgia says it’s probably just because she was nervous about having to go on first. Take it up with the Pimpslotometer love. Claudia then goes on to say that Georgia really fulfilled her dream there as Beauty And The Beast is her favourite film. Jesus, how many favourite films does Georgia even have? Scores are in
Oh and as it’s Musicals Week, our singer of the Terms & Conditions is
LA PRENJ! Samantha Barks originating roles in new musicals in LA and performing at the Donmar, Jessie Buckley appearing in Kenneth Branagh Shakespeare productions, Rachel Tucker performing on Broadway as Elphaba and…La Prenj doing this. Never mind, she’s ALWAYS going to be the People’s Nancy.
Velma & Hot Guard dancing the Argentine Tango
I think we all know what I’m going to link to here right? Never say I’m not entirely predictable. Tess tells us that this week Anita will be playing a prisoner, but unlike most inmates, she doesn’t want to go home. In fact, she’d like at least two more weeks of hard labour with Gleb. What, is she cleaning his mirrors for him now?
In her VT, Anita says that she really enjoyed her rumba, because it was a really different style of dance. Yes, a really different style of dance to the rumba. We’re reminded that Len hated it so much HE GAVE IT A 7, cueing in a clip backstage of Anita talking about how even though Len didn’t like it, she thinks it was right that they took a risk with the choreography, because sometimes in life you have to take risks right, I mean what is life without pushing yourself occasionally, when you think about it, I mean there’s no point in playing it safe whilst Gleb
mostly hunts the camera.
Training now, and because their dance is themed around a women’s prison, Gleb is taking Anita to the Tower Of London on a day trip. Personally I’m hoping for Gleb to ignore the musical entirely and fashion a revisonist Argentine Tango with Anita as Mary Queen Of Scots and him as Robertoo Di Ridolfi, and a little dog running out from her skirt at the end after she gets decapitated (GLEB SPECIAL!). Gleb is of course dressed appropriately for such a sombre place in British history.
God though, guys who use a scarf basically as just a rubber ring for their neck. Once in the Tower
they awkwardly shuffle around talking about how nice the floor is. Anyone feel like the chemistry’s gone here? A little. At least pretend to be engaged by one another, if only for the space of a Comedy VT. Anyway, Anita is inspired by The Tower Of London yadda yadda let’s go. That week of ALL TRAINING AND ONLY TRAINING VTs feels so far away now doesn’t it?
TO THE PRISON!
Psst. Love. Just nip round the sides, there seems to be a gap. Anita and Gleb are doing the Argentine Tango to “Cellblock Tango” (what else?) and
good grief Gleb, where *have* you been sticking that truncheon? Use lube next time if you’re going to be that ambitious. Ahem. Still, more than this, more than the sleaze, more than even the see-through sexy hot shirt complete with nipple pockets, the MOST Gleb thing about the whole set up is Anita
actually popping his shirt open on the “pop” part of the intro.
So the problem here, as is so often the problem When Argentine Tangos Go Bad is that Anita is aiming for sexy sultry ferocious Fosse femme and ending up on
spider being washed down the drain. I mean, it’s a Chicago theme routiine so it’s full of drama and over-choreography and the backing singers are wailing away at full pelt (a little too much in one case – it sounds like Pinky & Perky have slipped in amongst the usual crew) but it doesn’t really feel particularly like an Argentine Tango other than in the fact that her legs are flapping about everywhere and once again the backing dancers are getting in the way, in this case by
well, just by being better than Anita. Nobody’s going to be pulling the “I COULDN’T TELL WHO WAS THE PROFESSIONAL!” after this one. Also, not that I’d ever accuse Gleb of running his choreographical well dry but
this is not a Gleb Special. That’s barely a Gleb Adequate. I think maybe with these two it might be time to pare it back a little bit, because this and the rumba have both felt a bit like they got high on their own fumes in Blackpool and now don’t know where to stop. Wherever it was, it was before this. Maybe it’ll help them that as they go for their big dramatic end-pose
the set goes all Crossroads Motel on them and nearly pitches them over.
Hopefully that’ll knock the wind out of them.
It gets a raucous standing O, and Bruno starts for the judges by commending Anita for taking on such an iconic routine. Aren’t all of them doing that this evening? Isn’t that the point? Or is he talking about Holly Valance’s tango in which case…ok. He thinks she made a good attempt at the character, but the footwork in particular got very sloppy and she didn’t seem to be comitting fully to the moves. Bruno then shows her the meaning of comitting by
flailing around so hard he knocks his own scoring machine off the table and nearly upends Len’s as well. MADNESS! Craig’s next and tells Anita that that dance exposed all of her weaknesses. In some of those lifts it exposed a few other things as well. Anyway, her feet were flexed, pigeon-toed, and never came together, and she wasn’t following Gleb’s lead. By my count Gleb was leading her for all of about 10 seconds there Craig but well spotted. Still, says Craig, the reason everyone in here loved it because it was based on a dramatic film and all dramatic and stuff so they were confoosed by the flashing woo-woo lights and sexy shirt-poppingness *sigh*. The audience then cheer applaud Craig effectively calling them morons so…can’t really blame him can you?
Darcey follows, saying that she admires Anita’s fearlessness and intent but the fact that her feet were turned in UTTERLY RUINED everything. Never let it be said these guys aren’t melodramatic when warranted. Len closes by yelling that was LIKE A COWPAT ON COUNTRYFILE! HOT AND STEAMING! This is a compliment. No, really, it is. Len says he understands what his colleagues are saying but WORRGH PAMPERS SWEATY SEXY FILTHY DIRTY GANCHOS NURRRRRRSE! He says that he’s going to completely ignore the fact that it was based on a movie (not what you said Hallowe’en Week mate) and give em loads of marks anyway COZ IT’S LEN IN THE ARGENTINE TANGOS INNIT WORRGH GURTCHA!
Up to Claud 9 they pop and
the usher could be a little bit more subtle about his Gleb-Perving here to be honest. Put your torch down love. Once they’re up there
I do love that all the pros being in matching outfits make them look like a bunch of cater-waiters who’ve been asked back to serve vol-au-vents due to BBC cutbacks. Anyway, Claudia asks Gleb what he’d like to say to Craig about his comments. Gleb asks if Craig is the old one or the gay one. OK not really, he just says that he’s very proud of Anita especially as she’s NEVER DANCED BEFORE (*drink*). People may mock but “never danced before” are three of the only 5 words Gleb known in English, and the other two are “boom” and “Gleb”. The rest he’s just copying noises Anita’s made 5 minutes ago and hoping nobody notices. Anita for her part says she knows about the feet but she’d had them for 38 years now so…good luck changing them. Scores are in
Nancy & The Artful Dodger dancing the Viennese Waltz
I’d make fun of them for casting 30something Kevin Clifton as a child and not commenting on it but honestly can you remember the last routine these two had where Kellie didn’t feel like she was playing his mother? Tess tells us they will be dancing to Oom Pah Pah and hoping to leave the judges wanting more. This is a reference to how, in Oliver!, the fare being served up is so meagre and thin that Oliver! begs Mr Bumble for lukewarm reheated slop because it’s the best thing on offer. Great metaphor for this evening then.
VT time, and it’s mostly Kevin and Kellie sharing groaning, thigh-rubbing, bruised recollections of their salsa, the hardest dance ever in the history of Strictly Come Dancing ever over shots of it
not looking terribly difficult to be honest. Still, they console themselves, they somehow managed to get through it twice, and now they find themselves in the quarter-finals. There is not one mention of the Quickstepathon, presumably because Bruno ran through their swear allowance for the series a few weeks back, and it’d probably be expensive to filter the red mist out of Kevin’s eyes.
Training now, and Kellie tells us all that this coming Saturday will be her adorable son Freddie’s fourth birthday!
Are you really going to do it? Are you really going to vote this adorable little chucklehead’s mummy out? AND FREDDIE’S AS WELL? ON HIS BIRTHDAY! I can’t remember such an effective display of emotional blackmail ever on this show. I think everyone’s kids should be on red button at all times, then we might have more parents winning rather than it just being Darren, Mark and Abbey. Freddy’s here to watch training because his mummy’s going to be away for his actual birthday, and Kevin asks him which of Kellie’s dances has been his favourite. Freddy says it was the one where she went crazy. God, narrow it down a bit love. He sits on the side and scores their rehearsal but
to be honest I don’t think they’ve given him much choice as to his opinion. Nice preview of underneath Bruno’s desk in the final there though. We close on Freddy getting his birthday present from Uncle Kevin early and
blee’ing about how it’s a DANCING WOWOT. Somewhere Georgia is glowering at her assorted family members and asking them why had to TALK PROPERLY IN HER VT, THAT’S NO WAY TO GET VOTES! MESS YOUR VOWELS! AND NEXT TIME, DRIBBLE ON YOURSELF A BIT, AND MAYBE FALL OVER AND/OR YAWN ADORABLY! AMATEURS!
TO THE PUB!
“I Was A Backing Dancer On Strictly And All I Did Was Pretend To Be Asleep” would be a t-shirt wouldn’t it? I wonder if they auditioned arses? You know, more than they usually do for this show. Ooom Pah Pah starts up and Kellie emerges from the sidelines and slams some beers down for the judges before emerging fully and
imagine your legitimate sartorial Strictly highlight being the time they dressed you as a Victorian whore? Admittedly in this version of the Oliver! legend Nancy is a barmaid and also doesn’t get shanked to death at the end of the routine but we all know the truth don’t we? As it’s an oom pah Viennese Waltz it’s all very music-hall and GORR BLIMEY and Kevin is
singing along at the top of his lungs throughout. I don’t think I’ve seen a pro’s mouth unhinging that wide open since Pasha [PUNCHLINE REDACTED] It actually starts reasonably well for a fun cockerney knees up sort of interpretation of the Viennese Waltz, and a nice counterpoint to Helen’s hyper-elegance last week but then
oh God she’s up on the bloody tables again I give up. From there it gets more and more and more and more manic until
blood actually starts spurting out the audience. Maybe they were going for the “authentic” ending after all. Then she’s
back up on the table again. ONLY THREE MORE ROUTINES TO GO!
It gets a Standing Ovation, and Craig starts for the judges by saying that it was the first Viennese Waltz he’s ever seen done that was so inelegant, classless, and graceless. LOL Craig, we all remember Robin Windsor playing out his menatplay.com fantasies with Debbie Meaden and a spinning boardroom table let’s not. Anyway, despite all that he loved it. Doesn’t say why. There’s critique for you. Darcey follows and congratulates Kevin on tailoring that routine perfectly for Kellie. Is that a back-handed compliment, I think it might be. “Well done on minimising the actual dancing and maximising the stomping on a table and gobbing off”. She then congratulates Kellie on not getting too OTT and punchy with it. OK!
Len’s comments are “oompah oompah stick it up your jooompah”, a Fagin reference, an Old Vic reference (not sure if that was on purpose or he was shooting for Queen Vic and missing) and then him stating a desire to see the whole dance again (sorry, sometimes Len’s stream of puns and inanities are best just ploughed through). Kevin’s all “nooo no dance-off again please”. Alright love, you’ve only been in two, have a word with Tristan, see what he says. Bruno closes by singing “Consider Yourself”. Musicals Week is giving me a migraine. Before she departs, Kellie, Tess and Kevin all wish her Freddy a Happy Birthday.
VOTE HER OUT NOW, I DARE YOU.
Up to Claud 9 they oompa, with Kellie screaming “YES KEVIN CLIFTON! YES KEVIN CLIFTON! YES KEVIN CLIFTON!” all the way up. Oh is “When Harry Met Sally” a musical now? Once up there, Kellie says that she really enjoyed that, because Viennese Waltz is such a beautiful dance, but when she heard she was going to be dancing to “Oom Pah Pah” she was like
this. It’s come to something when you can’t tell if a male pro is supposed to look street-grimy or if that’s just the quality of the spray tan. Also Kellie, imagine being told that you’re doing the Argentine Tango to Zorba The Greek. Now THERE’S a challenge. Claudia next tries for a cute moment by asking Kevin what he tells Kellie every week before they go out onto the floor. Kevin says that he just tells her that it’s only him and her out there on the dancefloor. Not this week it wasn’t love. Scores are in
So halfway through the show and yet again Claudia’s been sticking her mouth where it doesn’t belong.
Around some choc-ices. What? I certainly don’t know what you were thinking.
Guy & Girl dancing the rumba
And I certainly don’t think Jay was thinking it as well. Tess tells us that Jay and Aliona will be dancing to a song from Once, which is a musical about the unrequited love between a busker and a piano player. I think this show’s scriptwriters should look up what “unrequited” means.
In his VT, Jay starts by saying that one of his favourite things about the tango was feeling like he was really in it.
Quite. He reminds us that he got 38, which is his highest score so far, so he’s on “Cloud 9…And Two 10s”.
Let’s just leave the audience with a few minutes to resew their sides before we continue.
Training now, and Aliona tells Jay that the musical they’ve been given to emulate is “Once” and the song they’re doing from it is “Falling Slowly”. Oh boo, and here I was hoping for “Broken Hearted Hoover Fixer Sucker Guy”. Also this week, Aliona is perpetrating her greatest act of defiance against the storyboards of this show yet. Firstly getting in an acting coach long after Jay’s “PULL STUPID FACES!” storyline is over, and secondly that acting coach being
RONAN KEATING! DRESSED LIKE THAT! Amazing. I’m not sure if Ronan winkwink’ing that Falling Slowly is about a man FALLING IN LOVE WITH A MARRIED LADY is part of the troll job or not, but either way, well played. Ronan talks Jay through the method and how every night on the stage you have to show emotion through your face and that this is called “acting”. THANKS RONAN! Aliona and Jay do their rumba for Ronan and he says it’s beautiful and then he slips his card for next year into Aliona’s pocket to hand on to Evil Moira Ross In A Rainbow Wig and then Aliona burns it.
TO THE BAR!
Every time I see a guitar on this show now I want Jamelia to come marauding through like Lady Cluck in Disney’s Robin Hood to stomp on it, I can’t help myself. Anyway : 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 LET’S GET RRRRRRRRRRRREADY TO BLOKERUMBA!
No, no, Jay, I’m sure you’ll be fine, you can contempowaft with the best of them, and as it’s Musicals Week none of the dances actually have to look like…well anything really, so you should even be safe with Len. No need for the facepalm
There we are. Jay gives good waft, what can I say? Mostly I’m glad that he’s finally handling Aliona tenderly and like she’s not a mannequin that’s conveniently come to life for him to dance with. There’s a real softness and reciprocity to the dance that was slightly missing when he did it originally as half a foxtrot.
Like I really feel like I understand why he’s burying his face in Aliona’s tits this time, good job Jay. There’s a couple of moments where he seems a little unbalanced and the routine feels a little safe, but hey, it’s a blokerumba, what are you going to do? I’m mostly too glad that the entire cast of Rent isn’t marauding around behind them to care. There’s also been a lot of chatter about his costume this week, like Bruce himself has risen from the de…convalescing to whinge on about how terrible it is that men aren’t all in tails all the time, for every dance, yes even the cha cha WHERE ARE THE TAILS and my considered input is that the jeans are fine but the shirt’s
making him look a little pear-shaped.
AND THAT’S MUSICALS WEEK FASHION TIPS WITH MONKSEAL!
It gets a Standing Ovation and Tess
on heat and ready for action. She tells Aliona that that all looked very…tender and then Aliona just nods and Tess gets all “oooooh, they’re still in THE ZONE!” about it. No Tess, they just don’t want to talk about it with your lame arse. And speaking of lame, Darcey starts for the judges by saying that that dance brought her to tears. Said tears…not obviously being in evidence, but if she says so. Maybe jab your finger into the corner of your eye a bit harder next time before the camera’s upon you, Darce. She says that Jay often seems embarassed (i wonder why *eyes to Tess on the verge of plunging her hand down the front of his trousers*) but tonight was certainly nothing to be embarassed about. Jeez, alright Mrs Robinson. Len’s next and he blarts “IT’S A MUSICAL FROM ONCE AND YOU WON’T BE DANCING TWICE!” (?). He says he knows he’s been critical about rumba content all series but it’s a HARD DANCE FOR MEN so…YEAH! (Average score for men : 27.13, Average score for women : 27.25) He closes by telling Jay that he’s not been convinced by his dancing so far (??? did Jay’s storyboards get dropped into a shredder by mistake by a temp in Blackpool and hastily and randomly sellotaped backtogether again?) but now he is, hooray. Head Judge Anton can’t come quickly enough can he?
Bruno’s next, firing off a bats-signal to the
ovary voters yet again, calling that a “pitch-perfect interpretation of a thing on both levels”. Are any of the judges going to make any sense this evening? Please? Apparently these two levels are “dancer” and “performer”. Are dancers not performers? I *refuse* to believe that Bruno has two scales in his head for “technique” and “performance” I’m sorry – it’s “how gay is this routine?”, that is his only scoring guide. Apparently Bruno was particularly impressed with how Jay used his feet like hands. Oh sure but when I do that to my fiance he freaks out and tells me to stop it! Craig closes by saying that the character (“frustrated dead-ended busker”) really suited Jay and he presented Aliona really well, but he just needed to “dance through the four-one a bit more”. Isn’t that the bus to Chiswick High Road? Anyway this sets Len off all
“OOOOH I’M CRAIG, LOOK AT ME AND MY STUPID BEARD, WHAT WILL I FIND TO CRITICISE SOMEONE ABOUT NEXT?!” (Len being sarcastic about the very role of “judge” there) and God I’m hating this week enough as it is but all of these four need to shut up in the worst way.
Up to Claud 9 they sweep, where Claudia tells Jay that he made Darcey cry. Jay’s response? “Sorry”. (*twitch*) He then goes on to say that it’s really hard to be a man and look like you’re leading your girl but Aliona has been really patient and awesome so thanks Ali
*awkwardly shuffle feet and stare at the floor*. I swear if three-quarters of the interviews in the final are going to be coming from him and Georgia and GLEB I might have to…bring Iveta back or something to jazz things up watch this space. We close with them all waving to Jay’s mum
woobity woobity wing wang. Scores are in
39. First ever Len and Bruno Blokerumba 10s. Darcey already went for Patrick Robinson. I know right? Who even remembers that now…
Sally Bowles & The MC dancing the foxtrot
It’s nice how that as soon as Ola left, Tess started calling this one “Katie Durham”. It’s like the Universe will not allow her through one entire episode saying everyone’s name properly. Not sure why they’ve done her up as the little werewolf boy from The Munsters either but here we are, that wig’s been through pretty much everybody at this point, you can’t expect miracles. Tess starts us off by completely treading on the point of the routine, all “ANTON IS DANCING TO A SONG CALLED “MAYBE THIS TIME” CONTAINING THE LINE “MAYBE THIS TIME I’LL WIN” MAYBE THIS MEANS THAT MAYBE THIS TIME ANTON WILL WIN MAYBE” and can we all sign off on that the fact that I’ve been really positive about this series so far means that I get to say that more or less everything and everybody sucks this week? Please?
VT, and Katie says that she’s always loved watching the Argentine Tangos on Strictly, so she was really pleased to get to perform one for real, and she thinks it went pretty well. She then breaks the fourth wall to ask
WHO WOULD HAVE EXPECTED ME TO GET THIS FAR? Indeed, the only women of Katie’s age or older who’ve made it this deep into the competition have been Pamela Stephenson and Lesley Garrett. This of course prompts Anton to get all “ME, DANCING IN DECEMBER, WHO’D HAVE THOUGHT IT?” and yes yes, we’ve covered that he’s “danced in December” twice before, three times if you count what Widdy did as dancing, let’s move on, Anton’s mythology in unstoppable at this point apart from how Katie Derham herself is hopefully about to stop it, so let’s just put up with it for two weeks longer and then hopefully never again.
Training now, and Anton tells Katie that they’ve drawn the foxtrot…in the quarter finals…IN MUSICALS WEEK…TO “MAYBE THIS TIME” FROM CABARET! Katie beams that her cup hath runneth over. Oh dear. Can someone get a mop? Anyway, it turns out that Katie has even more in her locker than Anton and classic ballroom on Musicals Week – her daughter was in her school production of Cabaret, and played the Chief Kit Kat Girl. Given that Katie will be playing Sally Bowles this week, this feels a bit like Anita getting to live out her mum’s dream but in reverse.
“Oh did you fail the audition darling never mind, mummy will let you wear the wig afterwards. It’s still got bits of Peter Andre in it, but I think he’s relatively clean.” Derham Minor’s advice to her mumsy is that Sally Bowles is the sort of woman who does whatever she likes, so she should really let go in this routine. Is that wise? Put down the knitting, the book and the broom, don’t pick up the Bombire Sapphire, the Famous Grouse and the Cabernet Sauvignon, there’s a dance to do!
TO THE KIT KAT CLUB!
Where just one finger won’t do! Katie’s given the full “LADIES & GENTLEMEN PLEASE WELCOME TO THE STAGE MISS KATIE DERHAM!” intro, which always makes me laugh because I remember very visibly a school concert where an embarassed boyfriend was made to shuffle on stage and give that as a full intro to his girlfriend who then came on and probably mewled her way through a Damien Rice song or similar whilst he awkwardly twanged his guitar for her. Anyway Katie
OOPS HER LEGS HAVE GONE, HELP HER OUT LADS. Ahem, anyway Katie’s foxtrot is, like Jay’s rumba, a very languid and understated affair on this NIGHT OF STARS AND FIREWORKS and…possibly a little too understated given that the singer is producing noise at the level of an RAF Tornado from the first chorus onwards (I’m not sure this show is familiar with the concept of “dramatic build” a lot of the time to be honest) and Anton’s plodding away underneath doing boring old foxtrot with maybe a few semi-aggressive shoulder pops for a little spice. Despite the pareing back, this routine does feature the one prop malfunction of the week as Katie’s hat falls off and she’s left
flailing at thin air and frowning as she goes to take it off. There’s a bit of gapping, a bit of wobbling, a bit of
the camera not being at the right angle to make these high kicks look quite right…all in all, a fine routine, but a little underwhelming given how much I’d built it up in my head. Also I know this is
the iconic Cabaret pose, but I would have loved a sultry walk back through the curtain again at the end. I don’t ask for much, I know.
There is quite a cute moment at the end when she pips “ANTON DU BEKE!” to get his attention and
oddjobs the hat at him all “bloody props”. I love that three months into their working relationship she’s still calling him by his full (made up) name. What a pair. It gets a standing ovation and Len starts for the judges by saying that it was a bit long-winded getting started, but once it got going it was worth the wait because of the fabulous movement and wonderful lines. TONIGHT we’re picking these two out for faffing? REALLY? TONIGHT OF ALL NIGHTS? Ok. Bruno follows by comparing Katie to a classic sports car. Yes, but what’s she been filling the tank with… He says that she was a fantastic ride (…) but she spent too long parked by the kerb. Right that’s it, I’m counting, let me get me stopclock out –
PRE-DANCE FAFFING LEADERBOARD
Kellie & Kevin – 31 seconds
Katie & Anton – 30 seconds
Anita & Gleb – 28 seconds
Helen & Aljaz – 20 seconds
Georgia & Giovanni – 17 seconds
Jay & Aliona – 5 seconds
REALLY STANDS OUT DOESN’T SHE?
Craig follows and says that it all looked very good to him and he loved the choreography, but he thinks that Katie could have been a little bit sassier and more seductive, and Darcey closes by saying that she thought that Katie oozed confidence out there, but she could have given it a little bit more in her developpes. Well couldn’t we all?
Up to Claud 9 they stroll, where Claudia tells her that she looks gorgeous and Katie fluffs her wig up. I think it’s beyond saving Katie, let it die with dignity. Claudia and Katie chat a bit about what it’s like to learn foxtrot at the hands of the king of it, and then Claudia moves on to telling us that Judy Murray is in the audience. At this, in the background, Natalie actually goes “YAHS!” like we’re talking about Lady Gaga. I think it’s my favourite moment of the entire week to be honest.
YAHS MAMMA MURRAY SLAYYYYYYYYYY HUNTY! Claudia then compares Judy watching her sons with the Davis Cup with watching Anton maybe make it through to the semi-finals of Strictly and with the best will in the world Claudia… Anton of course agrees that this is the greatest week of Judy’s life. Scores are in
35. Anton’s best score ever, again, some more. He crows that he loves quarter-finals because there’s 9S EVERYWHERE. Wanna go back and watch your quarter final with Laila again love? The one where your salsa scored 26. With five judges.
Cosette & Marius dancing the paso doble
Well I guess if it worked for Anita and Gleb for all those weeks… And don’t worry, she’s got a variety of headshots in her portfolio.
I think that one at the end is her Silly Sailor. Tess tells us that these two will be performing to a song from Les Mis, which is the musical that inspired Helen to become an actress. I bet it was.
VT time, and Helen and Aljaz both reminisce happily about her Viennese Waltz from last week, and the fact that it scored 39. Aljaz in particular says it meant a lot to him, because he and Helen have been hoping for a 10 since Week 1. This all just reminds me of how Natalie Lowe’s first impression on a horrified British public was bounding onto It Takes Two with Ricky Nipple in tow behind her all “HIS INNYONE GOTTA 10 IN WOYK 1 BEFOOWAH, BECAUSE OY THINK OY MOIGHT GIT ONE!”. (Nat Nat <3)
Training, and Helen tells us that, as she has the paso doble this week, it’s all about aggressive arms and
even more aggressive faces. I’m glad that her id’s getting a thorough exorcising if nothing else. Aljaz says that to inspire Helen, he’s going to take her to meet the cast of Les Miserables, and Helen reiterates what Tess said earlier – that when she saw the show as a teenager she loved it so much it propelled her into a career as an actress. Off they pop and
bless her she’s come home. They meet the current Eponine and Jean Valjean, who talk them through the plot of Les Miserables, like Helen doesn’t already know it forward and back. Helen says that has all been a great help, then whams a sack over Carrie Hope Fletcher’s head yelling “YOU ONLY GOT THIS PART COZ YOU’RE ON YOUTUBE, I’M THE REAL EPONINE! ON MY OWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWN! PRETENDING HE’S BESSSSYUD MEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!”
TO THE BARRICADES!
I mean…as exits go I can’t imagine one more Heleny. Even in a series of Gleb Specials, Star Wars Charlestons, and Natalie Lowe’s Tomato Tits this stands out as the most overblown and ridiculous dance of them all. I mean
LOOK AT THIS FRAMING!
AND THIS ONE!
LOOK AT THIS GRASPING!
LOOK AT THIS FACE!
AND THIS ONE!
AND THIS ONE!!!
LOOK AT THIS KICK!
LOOK AT THIS KATE BUSH VIDEO REALNESS!
LOOK AT THIS ENDPOSE!
If Helen’s time on Strictly has been spent pinballing wildly from one emotional breakdown to another in a Musical Theatre stage school haze, and let’s face it, it very much has, then as much as I would have liked to see her make the semi-finals to do a beautifully refined American Smooth and High School Musical Sharpay jive, this was the perfect way for it all to end. There’s men flying in on ropes, giant blood red arm hankies, flouncing a plenty and she’s finally throwing any attention to technique out the window in a glorious orgy of ham acting, Aljaz in tight trousers, and her own teenage dreams of stardom. In terms of crummy messy dances this series I have loved, it is up there with Jeremy’s Thriller. VIVA HELEN! VIVA LA REVOLUTION DE LA TETE!
Guess who else liked it?
There we go. PASSION AND VICTORY AND BLOODY MELODRAMA! There was so much going on, he felt punch-drunk (yeah sure, blame the dance) but he did see a few balance issues. Mental balance issues? Because they’ve been going on for a while. Craig follows and said that she came in late to start and almost fell over at the end, but everything in-between was great.
Darcey’s next and says she appreciated that there was so much going on there, but a lot of the time she feels like Helen was out of control and not on top of it. As I said, the perfect way for her to be eliminated. Len closes us off by saying it’s been a great night (…) and that was the perfect end. Well I agree with the second half at least. In that it was a mess.
Up to Claud 9 they bonk, where Helen gives Aljaz credit for the “great production” he put on, and also talks to Claudia about the whole TOO NICE TO PASO thing. Oh can it with the “too nice” thing Helen
We remember. We will always remember. Scores are in