And you thought last year’s semi was ropey…
Last week : a dancing teapot, a truncheon, a dead prostitute, an errant hat, blokerumba 10s and Aljaz on a bungee rope all clattered together aimlessly like some 9 year old trying to make their Barbies shag in a rather lacklustre Musicals Week, as this series started to really show its hand in terms of deciding to top off an exciting beginning and punchy mid-run with a…less than optimum endgame.
This week :
In retrospect, the signs were there at the start really weren’t they? Anyway, we start with a moody VT, again, of all the contestants fretting that their individual flaws might mean they don’t get to be in this year’s final. Anita’s NEVER DANCED BEFORE (*drink*), Katie can’t do Latin, Jay forgets his routines and trips up a lot, Georgia’s confidence has been knocked by last week’s leaderboard plunge, and Kellie thinks nobody likes her because she’s been in more dance-offs than anybody else. All this information and yet still we’re going to have to sit through Judges Holodeck anyway…
Remember when the cast was revealed and everyone was convinced this trainwreck was a shoo-in for the final at the very least? Ah memories…
The band strike up and
Claudia! Claudia! Wake up! There’s still more two weeks to go, stop imagining yourself in the Caribbean. None of us want to look directly at that Mad Max 5 : Cyber Junction outfit Tess has got on, but you are being paid to do this. Whatever it is, it’s not enough, but it is still money. Tess reminds us that last week Les Mis squared off against Beauty And The Beast in the dance-off, and the almighty Disney won out, sending Helen back home to change all the locks and pull down all the blinds so that the combined forces of the reindeer ghosts and the Helen Clone Army didn’t come and get her in her sleep. Tonight, all couples will be dancing twice for our love and votes, and the scoring paddles of our
Katie Derham & Anton du Beke dancing the Charleston
That’s Der with an “e” not Dur with an “ur” because Derham with an “ur” goes DUH DUH DUH, TESS. Tess tells us that these two will be performing their Charleston to “Too Darn Hot”, which is apparently appropriate because the competition to get into the final is really hotting up this evening. Also because in that top under the studio lights Tess’ boobs are already 40% cooked – almost time to pop the roasties in!
In her VT, Katie says that her foxtrot of last week was her favourite dance yet. If this means I get denied of watching her Viennese Waltz, her Tango or her Intergalactic Rumba next week and instead have to sit through that roadkill wig again I’m going to pop off. She says that she can’t quite believe she’s in the semi-finals of Strictly Come Dancing, and Anton sighs that it’s so lovely to see someone develop and grow.
But it’s also fun to make pass-agg jokes about them and cackle up your sleeve about how crap they are. You can see the bind he’s in! The Quandry Of Antonism!
Training now, and Katie says she’s very intimidated by the prospect of the Charleston, because so far this series everyone’s done an amazing job of it and got great scores. I know Hallowe’en Week was a long time ago love, but go and watch Kirstie’s effort on Youtube and then get back to me. Apparently Katie being overawed by others efforts in the same genre is putting her off her training although
those might just be authentic Charleston faces, who can really tell? Anton tells us that the Charleston requires character, strength and animation, and Katie embodies all those qualities. It also requires you to walk like the floor’s made of jelly, and Katie’s had plenty of practice at that as well in this festive season. Oh and also this is the VT where the pro whips their iPad out and shows the celeb a bunch of supportive messages from the little people at home. You will be surprised to learn that there is not a single Katie supporter shown under pensionable age.
TO THE DANCEFLOOR!
Now obviously the choice of “Too Darn Hot” is an attempt to try to repurpose the Charleston as sophisticated and languid and mature in order to fit Katie Derham’s Radio 3 persona, and reclaim the dance from its gurnity Crayola Play Centre Strictly incarnation. It’s a shame then that Katie dances it like she’s just about mastered learning to walk yesterday. She manages about 5 seconds of decent swivel at the start, and after that her legs don’t really seem to know what they’re doing. She seems to be trying to bend her leg from halfway down her thighbone and it looks about as co-orinated as that sounds like it would be. In fact a lot of it rather resembles
something rather unpleasant happening at a wedding disco. Why is Anton going rockabilly in that first picture? Why are they kicking AT one another? She’s flappy, un-coordinated, and the last 30 seconds or so in particular are incredibly grizzly, with her just openly staring at Anton and trying to copy him a beat behind the entire time, completely out of sync, increasingly like
someone’s jumped the stage at a Robbie Williams concert and is trying to join in. The saving grace? The lifts
and obviously, again, her length of bone (as Craig would say) in her legs. That last one in particular is erm…unique.
It gets a standing ovation, which is as sure a sign as any that everything this evening is going to get one, because it was bobbins. They wander over to Tess who introduces the Wunnerful Orchestra and
YAY, PATRICK’S BACK! At least there’ll be something to keep me going through this week’s show. Len starts for the judges by saying that he hopes their waltz later is a lot better than that mess.
Oops. It wasn’t slick, the lifts were messy and worst of all? She didn’t CAHM AHT! Bruno follows by yelling that she has the looks and the figure to Charleston, but unfortunately she just went “loosey goosey”. She looked more than a little turkey-lurkey to me as well Bruno, but I agree with the sentiment. He tells her it wasn’t really the standard you’d expect to see in a quarter-final, and then hastily ammends it to “semi-final” (he was right the first time…). Anton’s all “DON’T TAKE MY SEMI AWAY FROM ME, IT WAS A STRUGGLE TO GET THIS FAR!”. Poor Mrs Anton.
Next up it’s
General Zod, working his panto beard to its fullest saying that the dance lacked swivel, was too stiff, was too placed, thhat she was out of time throughout and that she’d better hope that her next dance is perfect otherwise there’s no way she’ll be in the final.
Craig better watch himself in the bar afterwards, she looks aggro-drunk this week. Darcey’s closing, and does so by basically saying “…well the start was nice”. She does say that despite that she saw Katie “fade” towards the end. That’s one word for it.
Up to Claud 9 they charge, where Brenda is immediately there at the top of stairs to commiserate his fellow vet. After the final’s over they’re going to get so drunk and compare Sophie/Katie war stories until 3am. WE COULDA WIN IF THAT WASN’T FOR THE FUCKING WANTED FANS/ABBEY CLANCY GETTING OVERMARKED UP THE BUM AND THEM MAKING ME DO A LATIN SHOWDANCE WITH SOPHIE I MEAN WHAT THE… (Now this is the sort of thing they should be putting on the red button). Claudia asks Katie if she’s surprised she just got savaged by the judges and she says she enjoyed doing the dance, but she was doing it rather than watching it so she’s no idea how it looked. You certainly spent enough of it watching Anton love… She blathers that she loved it over and over again, and Anton sighs, with the air of someone who got shafted by Christopher Parker in his first series (not like that) and never fully recovered, that the audience will decide these things anyway. The audience at this point cheer themselves. Scores are in
25. Anton asks if we can’t get Donny Osmond back to judge. No we can’t.
Jay McGuiness & Aliona Vilani dancing the Viennese Waltz
Tess introduces these two by saying that the Viennese Waltz is a dance that involves a lot of fast rotations that may cause dizziness, but it’s learning two dances this week that really had Jay’s head in a spin. I feel like at the end of the series Evil Moira Ross In A Rainbow Wig is going to send someone down to the office of Tess’s scriptwriter to thank them for a job well done and drop off their Chocolate Orange for Christmas and find there’s been nobody in there for a month.
In his VT, Jay cops to keeping his rumba really simple last week so they could focus on telling the story of the dance. Also because it was Musicals Week so everyone was on a 5 dance-step limit before they had to dry-hump a teapot or whatever. He tells us that he felt every second and that it was wicked. Ooops, there’s that “gangsta speak” that Alesha used to use, there are his chances of winning over, what a shame. He tells us that his scores have gone 38-39 over the last two weeks so he’s hoping for that trend to continue. To 41 by his Charleston presumably. And his fans would still say he was undermarked.
Training now and
I love that ballroom on this show now involves so little in hold that people thought this bit was the actual dance rather than Aliona doing her usual “no touching me til Wednesdays” training technique (for Gregg Wallace this was extended to Saturday). She explains to us all that the Viennese Waltz is a very delicate dance, and even one tiny misstep can destroy the elegance and beauty of it. It can though, per the judges, survive you jumping up and down on a table yelling “OOM PAH PAH!”. We close with Jay saying that he really needs to get this dance perfect to get into the final. LOL no you don’t…
TO THE DANCEFLOOR!
Jay & Aliona are dancing the Viennese Waltz to “Have You Ever Really Loved A Woman?” so that sound you can hear in the background? The one that sounds a bit like two cats having sex in a dustbin? That’s Carol Kirkwood already trying to multivote her fingers off. The song gives the whole dance a slightly Spanish flavour, which I can’t imagine is on purpose because if it was Jay would be wearing a sombrero and Aliona would be done up like a rainbow donkey pinata. As you might expect
Aliona’s breaking out the wafting again here along with some very nice spins and kneels, although the sheer frequency with which his head
plunges into her cleavage is now starting to get a little “bitty” to be honest. It’s clear once they get started why the time wasting happened, just as it was in the foxtrot and the waltz to a lesser degree – despite his elegant lines and strong bearing, elegant ballroom isn’t really Jay’s strong suit. The dance looks a bit seasick and tossed off and his whole body just looks bored throughout. The music choice obviously lends itself more to delicacy and romance rather than a big finish, but the whole thing just happens, and then stops.
Not leaving a lot of impact really, other than to hope Aliona’s investing in Vaseline for her nipples.
Whilst up on Claud 9 Joanne thinks
“we could have done better than that with him Natalie, come on, you know we could, RINGAH FOR JO & NAT 2016 PLZ!”, a couple more
Wanted members at a loose end fall out of the woodwork. Just Siva to go now isn’t it? I’m sure he’s frantically bringing forward that solo album release date as we speak. Bruno starts for the judges, saying that that was a beautiful routine and signalling
once more to the ovary voters to get multicasting. He loved all the turns and elegant lines and wafting and how deliberate everything looked. He does think it could have done with a little more drive. You won’t be saying that as the St Jay Army aim their Ford Focuses at you in the carpark after the show Bruno. Craig follows, saying that he loved the whole opening sequence including the pirouettes into the chaines turns, but Jay’s topline could have been better and…oh God here we go, he didn’t smile once and Craig felt he was dancing the whole thing like the story was that he’d just got dumped. Everyone boos and so on and I reach for the whiskey bottle and find Katie’s beaten me to it.
Darcey’s next and disagrees with Craig and says that Jay acts the dance with his whole body and everyone goes woopie woo, but, she says, she does think he got a little too comfortable in that routine and didn’t really push himself. Len closes by saying that he’s in a pickle because he doesn’t want to be critical and he loved the start of the routine and the fact that there were not one but TWO flekerls in the routine (lol such Len-baiting Aliona well done) but Jay’s footwork was all wrong throughout, and his feet didn’t come together properly once. So we’re at “IT WAS AWFUL! 7!” and “YOUR FOOTWORK WAS GARBAGE! 8!” from Len this evening. You can tell it’s a semi can’t you?. Meanwhile
Tess subtly drags Jay into her Elephant’s Graveyard yet again.
Up to Claud 9 they hobble-de-bobble, where Claudia immediately tells Jay that he’s adorable, especially when it looks like he’s listening to the judges. Jay says that he and Aliona both work on technique and performance to please the judges, so he doesn’t reject any criticism. He then bibbles on aimlessly about how he’s not a robot and he wishes everyone could see his performance and Claudia pats his arms and calls him adorable and Aliona immediately clears a space on her mantlepiece for the Tour trophy as well as the Series trophy. And probably a few Christmas Specials to come as well. Scores are in
34. Jay says he was expecting much lower scores. Kevin doesn’t look convinced.
Georgia May Foote & Giovanni Pernice dancing the cha cha
Photoshop her out and that is an advert asking if you’re looking for fun times and hot chat with boys in your area, I’m sorry. Tess tells us that tonight Team GG are dancing to “I Will Survive” and that the question is “will they?”. Seriously, nobody in that office.
In her VT, Georgia rasps out, with a face like one of The Walking Dead, that she was on first last week and top of the leaderboard but she still found herself in the dance-off against Helen. We’re then treated to a montage o’ despair to reassure us that Georgia really was sorry to knock Helen out and that
Katie really definitely didn’t give the camera the side-eye about it. She’d knock Helen out. She’d knock em all out. Twice.
Training now, and we open with Georgia being sat down by a doctor
with a STETHOSCOPE and everything, and told she’s got pharyngitis. Georgia then asks if that’s ballroom or latin.
The upshot of this is that Georgia is taken off Argentine Tango, which was her original dance allocation, and given the comparatively relaxing cha cha instead. Although of course if you listen to the judges the cha cha is one of the hardest of all the dances along with the samba, the foxtrot, the Viennese Waltz, the paso doble, the rumba, the jive, the waltz, the tango, the Charleston… Anyway, even this Georgia is struggling with, and she has a bit of a moment with her Joe Varney
crying that she wants to give it her all to push on into the final and she can’t because she’s ill. It’s so weird seeing genuine emotions in these VTs it’s freaking me out worse than Helen in Santa’s Grotto. Giovanni also clearly…doesn’t really know what to say, and just puts his arm around Georgia and pats her head.
TO THE DISCO!
Oh bugger, the lights have gone. SOMEONE SEND OTI TO PUT A COIN IN THE METER! Anyway, the story here is that Giovanni and his
errant nipple is in the audience flirting with two girls who have quite literally been inserted right up the middle of The Wanted (part of me wishes that they’d actually just used The Wanted instead), and Georgia is a disco diva goddess OUT FOR REVENGE!
REVENGE BY CHA CHA! GRINDINGLY WORKMANLIKE CHA CHA!
I know that the circumstances around this dance make it difficult to commit 100% to criticising the concept but really, one disco latin per couple per series at most please. I know she’s trying to improv a bit on the choreography by introducing the
Brucie Chin on the New York steps but I feel like I’ve seen her do this before with her salsa, and I wasn’t a huge fan of it then. You can just about get away with doing a cop out on one dance genre because you can do Tony Manero arms love, but not two. The cha cha there is is pretty ropey looking – she clearly can’t master the hip action and her legs are just buckling around at random, and it feels the whole time like she just wants it to be over. Even Giovanni seems a little muted, and it’s “I Will Survive”! After a series of S Club, Sylvester, Whitney and that Leather Twink Paso outfit you’d thing he’d be in hog-heaven here but…nope.
Not even a twitch.
Once they’re over at Tess, she asks Georgia if she’s feeling better. Georgia says “not really”. I think we need to get that doctor back in to check on her throat with his stethoscope. Craig starts for the judges, saying that she had very little hip action but that he loved the disco element and the “storytelling”. Is it because the “storytelling” involved Giovanni’s nipples Craig, I think it was. Darcey’s next, and she says that whilst Georgia could have straightened her legs more, she loved the energy of the performance
Only one ovary though. Sorry.
Len’s next and says that he can see Georgia’s had a tough time of it this week, because that lacked polish, and the hip action wasn’t there, but considering the limited amount of time she had she did great, and Bruno finishes by doing the usual Bruno “you’re a tiny sassy little diva doing tha disco to a camp classic so who cares about the technique? I loved it!” business. Glad to see Giovanni didn’t oil his pecs in va…oh no wait, that’s just sweat.
Up to Claud 9 they bounce, where Karen hands Georgia off a bottle of water and she talks some more with Claudia about how ill she was this week. Claudia then asks her what the nerves are like for everyone backstage. Georgia says that everyone backstage is very nervous. Increasingly Georgia’s interviews are like watching someone conjugate and reconjugate verbs. Claudia asks her which dance she prefers of her two tonight. Georgia says she prefers both of them. Scores are in
33. Oh Bruno…
Anita Rani & Gleb Savchenko dancing the foxtrot
Oh well that’s nice they almost look sophistic…
oh never mind Gleb. Never mind.
In her VT, Anita tells us that last Saturday was incredible fun, and she thought she’d done alright with her Argentine Tango until Craig slated it.
Just watch that West End Roxie dream die in her eyes. Ah well, back to the cowpats.
Training now and
oops Gleb’s got her on the floor again. Anita tells us that, despite seemingly spending the entirity of the last month’s worth of dancing spinning on her arse, she’s starting to get the fear a little bit with the floor spin Gleb has put in her foxtrot. Gleb tells us it’s alright – once you do it a couple of times it stops being so scary. Well that’s my mind sent wandering…
TO THE DANCEFLOOR!
Anita and Gleb are dancing their foxtrot to “New York, New York”, which was also the song Michael & Natalie used for their American Smooth aka “The Only Decent Dance To Come Out Of Wembley” (alright, maybe Denise & James’ Charleston as well I guess). And for those of who have missed my encyclopedic knowledge of the hankie code
light pink means that Anita is a dildo receiver. Which I guess explains where Gleb’s truncheon from last week got to. Gleb plays around at the side with a hat, and Anita properly clomps aroun on the lid of the piano in a way that makes me think that
she’s got Craig trapped in there. With 50 hissing cockroaches.
Eventually though, she does get up, and they start to foxtrot. It’s a nice enough performance but I think the problem here is that…it’s “New York, New York”. You can’t do “New York, New York” unless you do it like you’re closing the show. The song itself says “top of the list”, it doesn’t say “fourth on the bill just before a mummy & daddy rumba”. And for the most part Anita’s performing it exactly like a mid-run foxtrot. Not terrible, but not amazing, and whoever decided she needed those arm-hankies to accentuate her arm movements needs their head reading because most of her wafts
look like she’s doing the backstroke rather than Propah Wafting. Although this spin towards the end is great.
Look at her face there and tell me she’s a grim earnest perfectionist who’s punching in her day job clock to try and win and nothing else. She is LIVING IT. And in the final floor spin she was so scared of as well
she’s flipping LEVITATING she’s so full of the joy of dahnce. It’s just a shame they couldn’t put that energy into all the boring old ballroom dancing bits. At the end they plonk themselves on the piano and
disappear behind the hat. Who knows what’s going on back there? Maybe they’re swaping recipes.
Once they’re over at Tess, she tells us all that that was a fitting tribute to Frank Sinatra on what would have been his 100th birthday. Well better than that Alexander Armstrong bobbins anyway, PEE-YEW. Although I’m not sure how Old Blue Eyes would have thought about the torch of his legend being taken up by a “Savchenko”. I guess if it’s good enough for Anton… Darcey starts for the judges, saying that Anita clearly has a great understanding of the style, but she thinks she allowed Gleb to overpower her in hold.
I think my favourite Gleb thing is when people look at him for a reaction. And never get one. Len’s next, and he has a content related cob on – that looked more like an American Smooth than a foxtrot and whilst he liked the foxtrotty bits there were, there weren’t enough. And it’s not a theme week, so that matters. I know it’s hard to keep track of in which weeks it’s fine to do one circuit of the room and spend the rest tarting around, but I think Len’s fine with it in Theme Weeks. And Blackpool. And with Argentine Tango as long as he can see the ladies knickers. Oh Len.
Bruno’s next, and he calls Anita “refined, refitted and empowered”. Has she got a new show on ITVBe? Anyway, he thinks she got the style tonight much better than she did with the Fussy Fosse last week, and she showed real flow and drive. Craig closes by saying that unlike Bruno, he’s personally only slightly more impressed than he was last week – the foxtrot was fine but she didn’t do any of the frippery to its full potential, particularly with her legs, so he’s not sure why Gleb put it in. BECAUSE HE’S GLEB CRAIG. GLEBS GOTTA GLEB. He closes by telling Anita that his advice is “if you can’t do it, then don’t do it”.
And yet every year he tries to grow that beard again…
Up to Claud 9 they sweep, where Anita promises again that she really is trying to improve her feet and she’s taking on board everything the judges say. Gleb clearly just wants to talk about his cool hat. Scores are in
Kellie Bright & Kevin Clifton dancing the rumba
I love that since they made him shave it off for hip-hop samba week Kevin is devoted to trying to sneak in the little patch of his regrowing chest hair. Such small acts of rebellion.
In her VT, Kellie, having nicked her hair from April from the Apprentice
/my Nana Christine tells us all that she was really worried last week, because she really believed and bought into the trap Craig laid down at the start of him comments about thinking that their Viennese Waltz was inelegant and classless. Oh nobody believed that Kellie, don’t try it. Although it might have helped if Craig had actually explained his comments beyond going “…BUT I LOVED IT!” at the end. Kellie also says that she was shocked to not be in the bottom 2 again. Yes, we noticed.
Training now, and Kellie tells us all that this week she will be dancing the DANCE OF LOVE and then cackles like Ursula The Sea Witch. Now THIS I would have liked to have seen with her in her propah East End Rough Bit O Stuff persona from last week. A rumba performed with a kebab in one hand and with your tights already down round your ankles, that’d be impressive. Anyway, Kevin tells us that it’s quite hard to rehearse a rumba with Kellie, because every time he says the word “intense” she bursts out laughing. Why, is it camping themed?
A lot of Holly this week I know, but it is almost Christmas.
Kellie closes by telling us that she and Kevin have, over the weeks, done a lot of fun and entertaining numbers, but this week they’ve got the rumba so GOOD LUCK!
TO THE DANCEFLOOR!
HAIRSNIFFING KLAXON! Kevin and Kellie are rumba’ing to “Songbird” by Fleetwood Mac, as previously utilised by Cherie & James way back in Series 6, and for a woman who would clearly rather be doing another oom pah number than putting us through a rumba, it’s a really nice effort. I mean it feels a bit more like
an Inspiring Tribute To The Survivors Of Breast Cancer than an intimate dance of romance and love but who here really wants to watch Kellie Bright and Kevin Clifton getting bizzay, certainly not me. It’s a little bit wobbly in places and there’s parts where she’s rushing the movements rather than flowing through them easily and also parts where
Kevin is clearly doing his damndest not to burst out laughing, but such is the rumba. After what has generally been a bit of a mess of a first half I guess I’m just glad of the respite before we move on to the dances that people have actually put some effort into.
That is going to happen right? Soon?
Meanwhile up on Claud 9
Joanne has exactly the sort of reaction that is going to give Bruno’s comments weight in 2-3 minutes time. Also Karen’s crying. We start with Len, and we round off the saga of Len vs Rumba for this series with him saying that Kellie’s rumba was like a pickled walnut, and he loves them. So why do you only pickle them when something bad or unjust happens Len? Is it a comfort thing? Lie down on this couch and tell me more. Anyway, Len liked it because it had a spiral and a forward basic and a back basic and lots of other things that are moves that don’t have the word “Gleb” before them. Unfortunately though, it had a wobble, and Len don’t like wobble. She’s almost 40 Len, cut her some slack! Bruno follows and he titters that it was a very prim and proper routine that you could show your mother without problems – it was more of a brother and sister dance than the sort of FILTHY DIRTY RUMBA that Bruno loves. Kevin hoots that he’s never danced like that with his sister. Cut out the hair sniffing and I wouldn’t bet against it…
Craig follows and says that he can tell that Kellie’s been working a lot on that because he agrees with Len – almost perfect. Darcey finishes with
that little glint in her eyes that suggests that she’s been at the Shake N Vac, to say that THE BOYS ARE RIGHT on every level – Kellie was technically near perfection but she’d like to see a little bit more chemistry between her and Kevin. She then
winks. Well that’s going in the Nightmare File.
Up to Claud 9 they go, with Kellie yelling “I’M SO ANNOYED WITH MYSELF!” the whole way up. If they could occasionally turn Kellie’s mic off that’d be great. And by “occasionally” I mean “permanantly”. Once they’re up there she finds Brenda and Aljaz all on their knees to worship her, a position Kevin shortly joins them in. Kellie though, is still annoyed with herself over her wobble. Personally I can’t blame her – I’d be milking it until I’d at least got Pasha on his knees, if not Tristan as well. Scores are in
But remember! That could all look very different by the end of the night (lol).
Katie Derham & Anton du Beke dancing the waltz
The dance is introduced with…a section about Jay’s dance, which is going to be Dr Who themed. Seems fair and balanced. Anyway, there’s a giant TARDIS and Claudia goes into it and then emerges a few second later
dressed as a dolphin. Apparently she has been to the future, and the dolphins are in control, so everyone better start pretending they’re a dolphin right now.
Image of the series tbh.
Now, as has become custom our second set of semi-final VTs take place here
on the Judges Holodeck. And as has also become custom, in protest at how much more fun they used to be when this bit was basically just Bruno and Alesha screaming and throwing Twiglets at one another and doing Beyonce dancing and saying “right, Harry’s won clearly, I’m off down the offie, anybody want a Caramac?” I’m just going to do a sum up of the remaining celebs pros and cons, per the judges. So for Katie :
Pros : Classy lady, cracking legs, good in hold, that Viennese Waltz, that American Smooth, YEAR OF THE ANTON
Cons : Latin, that paso, makes mistakes, Jamesons, Manhattans, cava, Lambrini if she’s feeling a little trashy tonight…
TO THE DANCEFLOOR!
Anton and Katie are performing their waltz to “O Mio La Bamba Carol” or whatever it’s called. I’m not bothering fact-checking, because Katie’s supposedly a classical music guru and when she was on It Takes Two she said it was from La Boheme so… Anyway, they is well classy so they’ve got a massive great bugger-off harp plonked on the stage and dry ice everywhere. I have to tell you that when I heard they were doing this, the fear within me that Katherine Jenkins was going to turn up to do it was overwhelming. Instead emogirl82 is giving it her best job, bless her.
As with most of the times this series that a routine has been hyped up to be THE ONE where Anton gets his first ever 10/10s…it’s a bit of a let down. Firstly, after a series of mostly knowing what a ballroom hold is supposed to look like, even if she’s a bit wobbly on occasion,
Katie suddenly decides now that she wants gapping, she wants stepping off on the wrong leg, and wants on occasion hobbling around like someone awkwardly disembarking the HMS Royal. On the other hand
her pivots are nice, her dress is very swooshy and some of the
still moments are quite pretty. I think Anton’s face in the endpose says it all though.
He wanted those 10s. He wanted them bad damnit. Erin’s got 13 of the buggers.
Once it’s finished, up on Claud 9
I can either focus on Georgia looked bored off her tits or Anton’s mate Brenda pulling “welp” face, but I can’t do both at the same time. Bruno starts for the judges
as Darcey either still hasn’t settled on her score or is typing “BOOBIES” into her scoring pad’s calculator function (normally it just gets used to work out how the hell we get rid of Peter Andre), with an almighty strop about how Katie DIDN’T LIVE UP TO THE MAGIC OF PUCCINI! AS AN ITALIAN BRUNO IS OFFENDED! HE LOVES THAT LITTLE DOG! I wish he’d followed this through by giving her his first ever 1, it would have been hilarious. DON’T FUCK WITH PUCCINI ANTON! Craig’s next, and says that he disagrees with Bruno, and thinks Katie really redeemed herself after her Charleston mess. He saw one slight balance issue (was the fog machine firing directly into his face?!) but other than that it was great.
Darcey’s next, and says that Katie did such a better job in this than her first dance and she thinks the only problem is that Katie was a little bit too upright in her top line. I’m starting to think that smoke machine was actually sat on that end of the judges’ desk throughout, can someone check? Len starts by saying that in this world of glitz and titz and razzamatazz, it’s nice to watch a quite, simple and understated waltz. With a live harpist. And dry ice everywhere. And a bench. All done to an operatic aria. Anyway, Len says that the waltz is a very slow dance that requires great control and Katie had the same amount of ccontrol over that as Olly Murs does over the X Factor Results Show. She went wrong in her whisk, the entire next section went to pot, and there were unstable moments throughout. Next on Nigella Express…
To Claud 9 they speed, where Claudia’s all “LET’S TALK ABOUT CRAIG, HE WAS NICE FOR A CHANGE!”. Katie says that honestly, she knows she says it a lot, but she’s loved every moment of the show, even those moments that involved being told that she has nice legs but she can’t dance latin but she has nice legs and nice legs and looks pretty and did we mention you’ve got nice legs. She’s just ashamed that she
let Anton down coz he’s her best mate he is. Anton says that she shouldn’t worry about letting him down with her footwork, because really he doesn’t care about what happens down below. At this Natale laughs
Georgia looks a bit nauseous. Scores are in
Jay McGuiness & Aliona Vilani dancing the jive
I love that Jay is a combination of Tom Baker and Matt Smith and David Tennant, and Aliona is “oh it’s sci fi innit, stick a stupid wig on her”. Oh and you will be surprised to learn that the intro to Jay’s dance is in fact about Jay, not about Katie. CALL OFCOM!
Judges Holodeck Time!
Pros : Is the last penis standing in a sea of vagina, great technique, musicality, That Jive
Cons : That Quickstep, facial expressions, his fans may kidnap him, take him to a snowbound lodge, and cripple him with a sledgehammer, if he doesn’t do the jive like they wanted SLIPPED AWAY JAY? SLIPPED AWAY? IT DIDN’T JUST SLIP AWAY! YOU DID IT! YOU DID IT! YOU MURDERED MY JIVVVVVVVVVVE YOU DIRTY BIRDIE!
TO THE TARDIS!
So the TARDIS appears and Jay emerges and calls Aliona in and whisks her off to 1923 to do the Charleston. The whole reason behind this is that they’re dancing to a song from “Jelly’s Last Jam” called “Dr Jazz”. At least we’re not getting doctors and nurses again I guess. Also I know Aliona tends towards the sour-faced sometimes but
maybe as you emerge from the TARDIS look a bit less like you’re about to knife the Doctor and whistle down a passing Dalek? As you might expect after the group dance in Blackpool, Jay gives good Charleston. His legs are fast and frenzied, his arms are loose and languid, the choreography’s on point, the facial expressions are
cute enough, even if a lot of them are variations on his usual slight twitchiness, and it’s the boot up the bum this otherwise fairly moribund semi-final needed. The only real problem comes at the end, where Aliona goes to do an assisted cartwheel over Jay’s back
ends up maybe getting a little bit TOO MUCH assistance as she ends up flopping down onto her back and flashing her knickers to the nation. Not sure if that could have been avoided via action from Jay or via action from Alion or both, but it happened.
To kick us off for the panel, Tess asks Craig if he got the facial expressions he was looking for there. Craig neatly dodges the question like he’s stepping around dig dirt and says that JAY *pause for tension*THAT WAS WONDERFUL! *pause for applause* Although he’s not sure if Jay meant to drop Aliona on her bum at the end. Maybe it was a stylistic choice? Jay and Aliona claim it very much was a stylistic choice for Aliona to have legs like particularly mangled Nik Naks in a cartwheel and show the world her Reg Grundys. Just say it was “cool and modern” guys, that’ll make it believable. Darcey’s next and says that that dance was energetic and alive and full of style.
Helen Daniels? Do we think it’s a Helen Daniels wig they got in a joblot of other Neighbours props? Can’t wait to see Bouncer’s corpse next week for that Showdance. Anyway, she loved how Jay accented all the beats and recovered from the botched lift.
Len’s next, and says what was great about that routine was that Jay didn’t appear to be under pressure, and just treated the whole thing like it was a walk in the park. With a TARDIS. Bruno closes by yelling EXHILERATE! EXHILERATE! and saying that he didn’t even notice the botched lift so he’s erm…well you’ll see. He didn’t even have the excuse of a dancing Enchanted Brita Water Filter this week or whatever happened during Beauty And The Beast. Just as Bruno finishes his comments, Tess turns to Jay and says, and I am quote verbatim “It’s so nice to see dat cheeky widdle smile on your face again”
HE’S 25 BREN…TESS!
Up to Claud 9 they shoot, where Claudia teases him over Craig’s dramatic pause before he said he liked the dance, and Jay then says he really enjoyed it because he thought it was cool. The Charleston is cool! I think the Dr Who reference sails over Claudia’s head and lands somewhere in the middle of Craig’s beard. Scores are in
Georgia May Foote & Giovanni Pernice dancing the Viennese Waltz
Tess introduces these two by telling us all that they’ve have been top of the leaderboard three times but ALSO been in the bottom 2, which just shows what a WACKY and UNPREDICTABLE series this has been. Couples this has happened to before :
Natasha & Brendan (Series 1)
Denise & Ian (Series 2)
Zoe & Ian (Series 3)
Emma & Darren (Series 4)
Alesha & Matthew (Series 5)
Gethin & Camilla (Series 5)
Rachel & Vincent (Series 6)
Lisa & Brendan (Series 6)
Austin & Erin (Series 6)
Cherie & James (Series 6)
Ricky & Natalie (Series 7)
Ali & Brian (Series 7)
Scott & Natalie (Series 8)
Jason & Kristina (Series 9)
Denise & James (Series 10)
Abbey & Aljaz (Series 11)
Natalie & Artem (Series 11)
Caroline & Pasha (Series 12)
Jake & Janette (Series 12)
Pixie & Trent (Series 12)
WACKY MAD CRAZY SERIES 13 YOU GUYS!
TO THE HOLODECK!
Pros : Great all-rounder, That Charleston, That American Smooth, has turned from a “little girl” (of 24) into a mature woman
Cons : Hunchy shoulders, soft lines, the cultural differences between Italy and The North may prove to be too great.
TO THE DANCEFLOOR!
I mean, I know they’re both wee bitty humans but I don’t think they can do an entire dance inside a jam jar.
Oh wait, there they are! Dancing their Viennese Waltz to “Runaway” by The Beautiful Corrs (And Jim). The story here is presumably that Georgia and Giovanni are two young lovers who are running away together because their families can’t see eye to eye. It’s like Romeo & Juliet but with fewer stabbings and more
cuteypoo flower-nuzzling. As I’ve said before, my problem with these two is that the whole atmosphere of every routine is very juvenile, especially in the ballroom, so the daisy-twidling isn’t doing much for me, but otherwise this is clearly the best straight ballroom routine of the night. It’s light, airy and Giovanni is giving it plenty of
cheesy charm in particular. As you might expect from a semi-final dance, the choreography is a little uninspiring in parts (do we need a 10 second standing spin in which Georgia looks like she needs to vomit throughout not really) but at this point it’s definitely looking like our second half is going to be of much higher quality and much saner than our first half. So let’s see how that carries on shall we?
Aw bless etc etc
The audience love it, and in the audience Georgia’s proud boyfriend
just grabs a random for a hug. Or maybe that’s another member of the Foote Clan who can say. WATCH OUT NINJA TURTLES! Anyway, where was I? Darcey. I was at Darcey. She’s starting for the judges by saying that Georgia is a breath of fresh air. She goes into raptures about Georgia’s beautiful frame and then IT all gets a bit
“I’m ready for my close-up Mr De Gilkinson”. At this point, Georgia’s boyfriend is
still there giving her a standing ovation, on his own. Cute. Although it DOESN’T MAKE UP FOR WHAT (I imagined) HE AND GIOVANNI DID IN BLACKPOOL, MATE. Len’s next, and tells her that it was lyrical and full of content and he’s full of admiration for her, well done.
Bruno tells her that she was perfect for that role and he was swept away on a whirlwind of romance. I’m mostly distracted by
just how patchy the fake tan has got on his palms. BLEND BRUNO, BLEND! Or at least have a wash. He tells the pair of them that if Georgia’s in the dance-off tomorrow, he’ll do it in Speedoes. I don’t think you can make that sort of decision for Giovanni hun, it probably counts as sexual harassment. Craig closes by saying that he could watch Georgia dance all night long. Well that’s her getting the stage show. Her and Kellie. It’ll be a stage adaptation of Todd Haynes’ “Carol” you wait.
Up to Claud 9 they pelt, where Claudia talks about Georgia’s lack of training time some more and then gives a shout out to Georgia’s Boyfriend for his Standing Novation. He clearly looks around a bit manically at this, saying “what’s she saying? what about me? what’s she saying I did?” or similar. I think Georgia’s Boyfriend needs to calm right down. Claudia then asks Georgia if that was more comfortable than her cha cha (…) and Georgia gives it the whole “oooh I loved both dances, everything’s so much fun…but yes” answer. She says that she loves ballroom so much more than latin, because she keeps on watching videos of Joanne.
I don’t think you were supposed to talk about those videos on the telly Georgia, but ok. Scores are in
Anita Rani & Gleb Savchenko dancing the…we’ll see…
oh, there he is! Tess tells us that over the course of the series. Anita has been at both the top and the bottom of the leaderboard. Well…not quite the very top but ok. Tess then muses aloud if Anita is consistent and safe enough to make the final. Give it three minutes Tess, you’ll get your answer in spades.
TO THE HOLODECK!
Pros : Determination, risk-taking, improvement, intellectual prowess (?), That Paso Doble
Cons : That Samba (apparently), ugly feet, there are only a finite number of Gleb Specials in the world (the number is 14)
TO THE DANCEFLOOR!
Oh Lord here we go. So as I said in my results show summary, if it was very Helen to go out rampaging around doing musical theatre and pulling bad ham acting faces with an overload of extras and weird shouting and a vague sense of psychological breakage then this is the most Anita way that Anita could go out. By which I mean it’s the most Gleb way she could go out. By which I mean it’s a
Glebtacular salsa-hiphop-clubdance fusion with him dressed in clothes that are three sizes too small for him and her dressed as an extra from a Lady Gaga video, featuring vagina-punching, finger guns, lifts that have been never seen before, never will be again, and barely were this time, ACTUAL
TUTTING, more Gleb Specials
(ever notice that a LOT of Gleb Specials look a bit like Anita’s noshing him off just saying) and a complete absence of anything resmbling salsa other than a few bits of armography, danced in WHITE TRAINERS to PITBULL.
My first thought when it finished was that I should ring Poor Wilnelia up and ask her to check if Bruce has seen what they’ve done to his beloved show and if so can she check his pulse. My second is that I hope Craig as Tour Director forces them to do it on tour EVERY NIGHT. It is so gloriously misguided I want it to live in Strictly infamy forever.
Up on Claud 9 in particular
Anton is in raptures. Either he really loves hip hop fusion routines danced to Pitbull, or he realises he’s just been waved on into the final. You decide. Once they’re over to Tess, she asks Gleb if he’s allergic to buttons or something. Allergic to Buttons Tess?
He’s bloody dressed as him. Tess then turns to Len and
oh God I just want to stay paused on that face forever. In actuality, Len is very…kind about the whole thing given how loudly he must be screaming inside. He says it was very athletic and energetic and admirable but they “lost a little bit of the salsa”. A little bit yes. Bruno’s next, cackling that Anita was being thrown into positions in that dance that anywhere else in the world you’d get arrested for. Don’t encourage them Bruno, I think half of Tumbridge Wells just called the police as it was. He, like Len, says that he appreciated the effort but it “lost a little fluidity”.
Craig speaks next and tells Anita that she’s a very brave woman.
You can see at this point that Anita is starting to realise that these compliments are increasingly back-handed ones. Craig goes on to say that that was more like watching the Olympics than the salsa, but he strangely enjoyed it. Semi-finals dances here getting the sort of compliments that were hauled out for Jeremy Vine in the earlier weeks. I am though admittedly at this point totting up which Olympic sports can be safely tossed out and replaced with Glebnastics. Nobody cares about weightlifting right? Darcey finishes us off by saying that she has no idea how Anita learnt that entire routine, and her foxtrot, in the space of a week. Yes it was…quite the expedition. I’m not sure it’s one she’s ever going to come back from.
Up to Claud 9 they go, with Gleb skipping and cheering the whole way bless him, because he’s not so quick on the uptake as Anita, and as soon as they’re up there Claudia says “that was more like a showdance!”. Yeah, as fun as that was, I’m not really here for showdances creeping outside the finals. I’m barely here for them creeping inside the finals. Claudia then asks Anita if she was scared in the lifts, and Anita replies that she has no time for fear. Alright love, you’re not Rambo. Scores are in
32. “8” with a side of “NEVER AGAIN” there from Len.
Kellie Bright & Kevin Clifton dancing the American Smooth
You can almost hear him yelling “COME OUT GRANNIES! THE BAD MAN’S GONE! KEVI’S HERE! FROM GRIMSBY! HE’S GOT SOME FRED AND GINNNNNNNGE!” can’t you? Internally, but outwards, through his eyes.
TO THE HOLODECK!
Pros : All-rounder, not inhibited, strong at acting the dances, That Quickstep, name offers most potential for Len to pun off
Cons : Stiff back, dance off queen of those remaining, outbreaks of tinnitus have been reported during her interviews
TO THE DANCEFLOOR!
Ping! I’m not sure you could segue harder from the last dance into this one. Pitbull to Nat King Cole. Club/Latin fusion to Fred & Ginge. Miniskirts and gym pumps to
beautiful eveningwear. Lasers and fireworks to Art Deco styling. Mania to serenity. Sticking your dick in a ladies face and flipping your leg over her head to
tenderly caressing her face. Lifts that look like a pelvic floor exam to
lifts that make your dress look impossibly sweeping and chaste. Sloppy scuffed up edges to
impeccably placeed fingers and refinement. Bizarre alien choreography born out of the Russian equivalent of Area 51 to a slight twist on a familiar routine from a classic film. An end pose that looked profoundly uncomfortable to one that looked
effortless and triumphant. Great Strictly routines are often as much about the context they’re in as the dance itself (which is why my picking Holly’s paso as my favourite dance of Series 9 feels ever more bizarre with the passing of time as I forget what a comeback it felt at the time) and with this one Kevin tweaked Gleb’s little Errol Flynn moustache and gave Kellie the best present she could get at this point in the show. From the ridiculous to the sublime. As much as this show ever does that.
They go over to the judges, where Bruno crows that Fred & Ginge just came back to life, and congratulates Kevin for clearly rifling through their old films for all his choreography and Kellie for living up to it. In the audience
Kellie’s husband looks very proud, although he’s not stood up on his own clapping like a loon so clearly Georgia’s Boyfriend Wins. Craig’s next and calls it a classic American Smooth and tells her that she danced it very well – it’s just a shame that the lift at the end went slightly wrong. Craig bellows “BUT THAT’S OK IF YOU ENJOY IT, REMEMBER?” in what is a quite transparent dig at Bruno’s 10 for Jay’s Charleston earlier. I guess after that Quickstepathon result that’s it. All bets are off. Kevin’s getting MEAN, I can’t wait.
Darcey’s next and
*slams door* (it was heaven, apparently). Len finishes, as you know he must after that, and gives us his annual semi-final spit-flecked rant about how TONIGHT IS ABOUT WHO DESERVES TO BE IN THE FINAL AND THIS HITHERTO UNPOPULAR DANCER DESERVES TO BE IN THE FINAL SAYS LEN SO YOU’D BETTER VOTE FOR THEM OR HE’LL COME ROUND AND CUT YOUR BRAKES! Then he slams down the “Pickle Me Walnuts” card, so you know it’s a done deal.
Up to Claud 9 they rampage, where Claudia tells us all of Kellie’s 3 month long quest to get a dress that’s not hideous. It’s been quite the journey. Kellie agrees that it’s great to finally be in a classy ballroom dress, and she loved that SO MUCH. We also cover Kellie’s manic schedule, with Kevin saying that Kellie is the hardest working woman he’s ever met. I’d say Susanna Reid just put something through her telly but we all know she’s too busy snogging Piers Morgan to care. Scores are in