Strictly Come Dancing 14 – Week 3 Performance


Last week : A bunch of dances and stuff (mostly waltzes) but more importantly

Brenda was ALREADY GETTING INTO CHARACTER FOR HIS SPARKLY VAMPIRE DANCE, HE KNEW HE WAS GOING TO BE SAFE, RIGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGED. As a result of this RIGGAGE (also because he got no public votes and wasn’t a very good dancer) Melvin went home and Janette joined the First Boot Club which, in terms of currently serving pros, is just her and Anton. Hopefully there are a lot of fun nibbles at the meetings, because I can’t see those two having a lot to talk about.

TONIGHT : We start with a comedy VT themed around an interminable movie press junket, where the stars give long winded pretentious answers that bear little relation to the questions asked. At least I think it was a Comedy VT. One interesting thing to note

Every celebrity agreed to take part in this other than Tameka and Laura. Do we have a new Strictly Curse? Is the Boot Order now in fact being determined by the people who write the Comedy VTs? What a terrifying though.


You’d touch it as often as possible as well wouldn’t you though

We start with a pro dance (and thank God they found something to fill up the space left by Melvin’s departure, as otherwise the show might come in at under 5 hours long) themed around Rodgers & Hammerstein musicals featuring

Natalie Lowe as Maria von Trapp accompanied by Ore, Danny, Cloudia and Louise as the Von Trapp children

Anastacia, Tameka and Lesley as Nuns On The Run (was that a Rodgers & Hammerstein Musical?)

Neil and Laura as Curly and Laurey, with Joanne Clifton as the Girl Who Cain’t Say No (to props)

Ed and Greg as Brokeback Mountain (couple of great tunes from that one – “I Just Don’t Know How To Quit You” is one of the last great 11 O’Clock Numbers and “Spit & Shove” is a truly crowdpleasing Act 1 Finale)

Bald Cap Brenda and Daisy as Richard O’Brien & Mumsy from The Crystal Maze Musical

and Judge Rinder as Jimmy Sommerville from Small Town Boy : The Communards Jukebox Musical. And God bless Naga there managing to make holding a stick of candy floss look awkward as hell. It’s a fun routine, although the show pausing procedings constantly to throw up little title video cards during the transitions between “themes” makes the whole thing feel a bit clunky and stop-starty. You’ve got a great big sign saying CAROUSEL and Brenda dressed as the King Of Siam, I think people will get which musical is which guys.

This is South Pacific right?

The music cues up again, and we’re treated to the arrival of

The Incredible Mixed Up Creature That Stopped Living And Became Tess And Claudia. They tell us that we are broadcasting live tonight on Movie Night from Elstree Studios, where several past Movie Classics were filmed. Star Wars, Indiana Jones, The King’s Speech and the James & Ola Sex Tape : One Night In Jordans (release date March 2017 based on their current fame trajectory). But what would Movie Night be without our critics? Addison DeTwitt, Richard Groeper, Mark Commode,

and Pauline Kael-Over (*hic*).

Once they’re out, our celebrities follow shortly afterwards. Obviously as it’s Movie Week everyone’s dressed up to the nines, which we’ll discuss as we go along and have a poll about later but we’re starting off with a tribute to an iconic Julie Andrews performance.

Victor/Victoria. God bless that little drag king.

Mary Poppins & Bert dancing the quickstep

Tess tells us that these two will be dancing a quickstep to a song from Mary Poppins, and on past form, it’ll be “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious”. Tess, based on the past form of the Blindfolded Dart Throwing Song Choice Monkeys, it’ll be Feed The Birds.

VT time and look

here Daisy and Aljaz are, just hanging out by the piano, don’t mind them.

Aljaz asks Daisy how she felt going through her first Elimination Week (those model diets do funny things to your insides obviously) and she says she was very nervous beforehand, but once she got out there she really enjoyed it. They then move on to discussing their illegal lift with Daisy telling Aljaz that she’s got a “little bone to pick” with him for upsetting Len.

Naughty Aljaz! (As seen on It Takes Two). Daisy should count herself lucky she got the “Len doesn’t like an illegal lift” card out the great Deck Of Random Len Strops, because it usually goes smoother for all concerned than “Len doesn’t like the choreography” or “Len thinks you danced that rumba like a whore” or “Len doesn’t like you because you are gay”. All equally randomly deployed.

Training now, and Aljaz has a present for Daisy to help her get into the character of Mary Poppins.

Really is the definition of “Oh You Shouldn’t Have” isn’t it? As he presents it to her, Aljaz does a cockney accent, and Daisy tells him that she hopes his choreography for the routine is better than his Dick van Dyke. Well quite, that accent was far too good to be Dick van Dyke’s. He needed to swallow his tongue far more. Daisy and Aljaz return to their training room to find it in disarray

Is that someone’s pants on the floor? Has Anton been living in here whilst Daisy and Aljaz are out? Is that the explanation behind why he’s stopped shaving for It Takes Two? What a tragedy. I don’t like to imagine Anton alone and homeless with only the Reindeer Ghosts for company. Anyway, Daisy uses her new magic umbrella to tidy up

Aljaz pulls adorably stupid faces, they train for the quickstep, Daisy actually says “it’s so fast and there are so many steps” (doy), it’s just another Movie Week Comedy VT! It all ends with Aljaz whipping out a tape measure and

I’m no size queen, but nothing 3.5 inches is “practically perfect in every way”, I’m sorry.

To the Banks Living Room!

So we’re starting with the trick from the film wherein Mary Poppins pulls a surprising amount out of a tatty old bag that you wouldn’t expect it from. James Jordan pulled off much the same thing in Series 8. Daisy yanks a teapot, an aspadistra, high heels, a wedding cake, and a lampshade out of the bag all to the spoken word intro of “A Spoonful Of Sugar” before she starts dancing. Faffing? What faffing? I would have gone the whole hog and had the Man In The Hat crawl out of there as well. Once they get going it’s another cute and light routine from Daisy, which moves around the floor nicely with Aljaz incorporating a lot of little character moments that pull her personality out. I feel like this is going to be the Daisy experience this year – a lot of enjoyable 8/10s without ever really exploding, whilst not being as deadeningly nice as Louise. For those on Aljaz Gapping watch, they are tighter than Dick van Dyke’s hatband, although the slightly laboured Charleston section they do augers ill for her ultimate performance in that dance. And the jive. And somehow the Argentine Tango as well. Anything that involves using the legs at all really.

They is cute together though. And that’s half the battle.

It gets a really obviously Ordered In Standing Ovation, whilst up on Claud 9

only two out of six people are even paying any attention at all, our two new pros hanging out pretending to eat propcorn. Is this what they envisioned when they got the call up? Probably not. Daisy and Aljaz jaunt over to Tess, who as usual introduces our singers and Davearch.



Len starts for the judges, saying that Daisy PULLED A LOT OUT OF THAT BAG and also PULLED OUT ALL THE STOPS ON THE DANCEFLOOR! I swear three weeks in and already nobody has ever been more ready than me for someone else to retire. Not even Prince Charles. He praises Daisy for her posture, hold, and movement around the floor. Bruno is next and just yells SUPERCALIFRAGILISTICEXPIRALLYDAISY! That’s closer than I thought he’d get, I’d have envisioned him falling off his chair onto the floor by “listic”. He tells Daisy that he is on Cloud 9, and says it was like Mary Poppins re-envisioned by Christian Dior (/Vicky Giggles From Wardrobe).

Craig’s next and rags on the Charleston section, saying it needed to be lighter and more precise, and then tells Daisy that her left shoulder was too high up in hold.

I love how protective Aljaz is of her here. Definitely not giving me feelings. Darcey closes by saying that Daisy’s footwork was perfect, but she needs a more taut torso. Yes, even models being told that now, what a world.

Up to Claud 9 they chim-chim-cheree where Lesley is

just finding out the popcorn is made out of styrofoam. Daisy says that she loved the whole thing and Aljaz talks about how hard it is to go out first and do such a difficult routine. He then says “well done Mary” a couple of times like he’s getting into the fantasy a LITTLE too much. Scores are in


Bella Swan & Edward Cullen dancing the Viennese Waltz

Oh Make-Up. You aim for Robert Pattinson, but sometimes you land on Julian Clary. Tess reminds us that last week Anastacia suffered an injury (no!) that meant she couldn’t compete in the dance off (never!) but she’s a real fighter (tell me more!) and this week will be back stronger than ever.

Indeed, in her VT, the first half just takes us through Anastacia’s Very Bad No Good Week. First she was injured, then Brenda had to change her choreography at the last minute because of this, then her salsa went badly, then she injured herself further, then the judges hated it, then she was in the bottom 2, then she had a hissy fit backstage and attacked Evil Moira Ross In A Rainbow Wig With A Broken Bott…I mean, then the BBC discovered a rule somewhere towards the back of the Strictly Rulebook that meant she got to stay in after all! Hooray! Anastacia thanks the Universe for this opportunity.

The Universe and the medical bills Ali Bastian landed the BBC with after they made her do a dance-off in Series 7 on a broken metatarsal.

Training now, but first a visit to Anastacia’s Harley Street Consultant

Dr Blurry McQuack. His prescription for Anastacia’s ripped scar tissue? A ONE WAY TICKET TO BLACKPOOL! Oh ok, not really, she’s better than they thought on Saturday Night, so she’s going to carry on with a comparatively restful Viennese Waltz. She and Brendan twirl around each other a bit and Anastacia talks about how the song they’re dancing to from Twilight just melts her. Brenda meanwhile says that he’s VERY EXCITED TO STILL BE IN THE COMPETITION in a way that suggests he’s really not, but whatever Brenda you’re getting to be a sparkly vampire. This is as good as it gets for you outside of 80s Week.


Anastacia and Brenda are dancing to “A Thousand Years” which as he mentioned on It Takes Two he thinks the Strictly audience might not be familiar with despite us having to sit through it three bloody times in Series 10. Then again nobody went broke underestimating the attention span of the British public so maybe he’s got a point. Also in all the ways I’d listed how the show tried to bump Anastacia off this week I missed

“highlight the massive tattoo of a spatchcocked pigeon she’s got on her upper back”. This is a nice enough Viennese Waltz, although she’s very unsteady on her feet in hold and her hands are pinching Brendan like clothes pegs the entire time. As roaring comebacks go it feels very “well how nice for you to get to leave on a high off you go so long what a brave little trooper”. I do love her

serene and dreamy acting face though, and she spins very nicely. The dance ends with the typical choreographical sap of “girl walks off sadly thinking the romance is over, but boy grabs her and tells her, breathlessly

that she’s forgotten her coat”.


It gets no Standing Ovation but, in “NO HARD FEELINGS!” news

Janette leads the cheering section up on Claud 9. Once they’re over at the judges, Tess is very “you alright love? Definitely not torn your boobs open again?” and goes on to say Twilight really is what she personally calls a romance. I’ll bet it is. Bruno starts for the judges, saying it was “very nice, very sweet, and very simple”. Is he reading Tess’ CV there? Also GET that faint praise Anatacia, GET IT. Bruno carries on the very proper burial by telling Anastacia that Brenda guided her around very well, but she needs to work on her balance. Ouch. Craig’s next, and he tells Anastacia that her shoulders were up very high, she lost balance all the time, and she wasn’t as smooth as he’d hoped, but he likes how confident she is. From giving that ropey cha cha an 8 to now. Et tu Craig?

Darcey follows, saying it had a “beautiful quality”, and she understands why Anastacia kept losing balance – it’s because the studio lights were up in her face the whole time. That was the excuse Darcey used when she up-ended herself at the wrap party and flashed her knickers to everyone, nothing to do with the 3/4 empty bottle of Captain Morgan in her hand at the time, so why not Anastacia? Even then Anastacia can rest assured that, according to Darcey, just like Naga, she has a beautiful neck. Len closes by saying that it was quiet, understated, and classy.

Brenda has never been so insulted in all his life.

Up to Claud 9 they vamp, where Claudia says this is a whole new Anastacia that we’ve never seen before. Well yes, you did give her pretty much the same dance style to do two weeks in a row, first off, that will happen. Anastacia says that SHE’S never this side of her before, and it’s so FEMININE. She’s always been a girl, but she’s never realised it until today! The

FACES on the rest of Claud 9 at this American therapy twaddle are truly spectacular.

Brenda is next and he says that he just loves Movie Week, because at least the public at home know from the off what you’re trying to be. (Flashback to last year when he and Kirsty Gallacher turned up looking like they’d been face-painted by a couple of five year olds to be a spider and Nancy Reagan). I’m already excited for his Hallowe’en Speech this year. Thank everyone Brenda. Thank make-up, hair, costumes, the cleaners, everybody. Scores are in


Zorro & Elena Montero dancing the paso doble

Tess does some intro about how this legandary outlaw is sure to steal the show, but you can tell that at dress rehearsals she saw that mask and thought “FINALLY A ROUTINE BASED ON THE LITERARY AND CINEMATIC GENIUS OF 50 SHADES” and got disappointed. Her heart’s not in.

VT time, and Danny says that he was so pleased to be top of the leaderboard last week and hopes he smashes it this week. Yeah, not really feeling the sense of jeopardy here. Maybe they’ll pull a random Len Strop card soon? Fingers crossed.

Training now, and to get into the character of Zorro, Danny and Oti are going

HOUSEPAINTING! Oh no…wait…FENCING! This had got my hopes up that there was going to be an actual sword involved in the routine. We all remember when Natalie swung that axe at Craig’s face after Michael Vaughan’s jive, this could have been good. Both Danny and Oti are getting lessons here, and Gloti emerges yet again, as she’s obscenely smug that not only is Danny a great dancer, he’s also an amazing swordfighter! Attagirl. He’s a triple threat! Dancing, swordfighting, being in Hollyoaks! The VT then sadly descends into complete unbelievability, as Danny and Oti face off in a match, and Danny wins. I’d sooner buy that Daisy legit has magic powers to be honest.


What a big D. Danny is doing his paso to the Zorro Music from Zorro The Movie starring Zorro. I previously remember it from when I kii’d all over Holly’s paso in Series 9, the most forgotten of all the Legendary Dances of Strictly Past. Once the cloth is removed

Danny descends, feeling a little more like Spiderman than Zorro, and then goes right into the usual Oti Mabuse 100mph routine, leaping about the place like a Spanish flea whilst Oti

works every inch of herself about him, very high fashion. It’s another highly accomplished performance from Danny as he works his Spanish lines (the arch of his back in particular is gawjuss) and menaces the dancefloor, although the whole thing is undercut slightly by the ridiculous outfit.

It’s a bit “no hun, it’s just a swingers party, you don’t have to turn up in fancy dress, go change in the toilets if you want, we’ll wait”. Like, if Richard & Judy went to car key parties I guarantee this is how he would turn up. Probably through the French Windows with a rose between his teeth and a box of Thorntons in the other. It’s passionate, it’s dynamic, the song sounds…a little like the theme tune to the Antiques Roadshow in places, it’s another week of Danny being that little bit better than everyone else is at the whole dancing thing. Now, to find a personality!


It gets a Standing O, as we jump to

the Kingmaker herself in the audience, mentally clearing the mantlepiece space not just for the trophy for this series, but also the one for the 2017 Christmas Special as well. Danny gets over to Tess and tells her that he might have worked hard all week but the make up and costume teams this week have really been SMASHING IT! So nice, so humble, Carly Stenson couldn’t have scripted it better. Did Ricky Nipple ever thank the crew backstage? NO. TICK IT OFF THE LIST. Craig starts for the judges, and tells Danny that his timing and shaping were both excellent. To this Gloti gets so gloti that she

actually starts levitating. Maybe it’s a tribute to that scene in Mary Poppins, but instead of laughter it’s hubris that makes her fly? Darcey’s next and dribbles over Danny’s “curves” and admires his tuck. I think…there might just not be that much down there Darce, this isn’t Ru-Paul’s Drag Race. At this point Oti gets so smug

she actually dies, and no longer is Elsie the happiest corpse you’ve ever seen. GET TESS TO CALL THE DOCTOR!

Len follows by yelling that Danny Mac is officially THE GAY BLADE! and Oti’s really made him happy by sticking a coup de pique into the routine. At this point Oti is so pleased with herself she actually starts doing a little dance. She never stops delivering does she? Bruno closes by gushing about the amount of flamenco in the routine (Bruno *loves* flamenco, trust me) and then compares Danny to Carlos Acosta. Not that we’re getting ridiculous here or anything. Although Len probably thinks that Carlos Acosta plays for Arsenal so…

Up to Claud 9 they smuggle, where Claudia claims that Craig has never used the word “excellent” in wk 3 before. I don’t have a spreadsheet for that (no, really, I don’t) but that seems unlikely. Danny piffles some about how it feels like they’re in a movie and Craig’s got the wrong script. Oh I think he’s got the right script Danny, it came in a brown envelope this morning with a bunch of £20s courtesy of Carly S. Scores are in

36. Adding it up, this means that only 6 celebrities have ever scored more over the course of the first three dances than Danny has. On the other hand, only 1 of those 6 celebrities went on to win.

Hannah Brown & Don Hewes dancing the quickstep

Wow, Flavia’s really let herself go si…oh hang on. (I love how EVERY WIG on a theme week ends up being a variation on the The Flavia. Did she leave a job lot?) Given what’s under Anton’s hat…I wish that had stayed on for the entire routine as well.

VT time and Anton tells Lesley that she was officially “marvellous” on Saturday in her cha cha. He doesn’t even say “ha ha”. He means it guys, he really means it.

Training now and Anton tells us that Movie Week is his favourite week, like we don’t all remember Katie’s cha cha from last series where she literally just stood there wiggling on the spot with shopping bags to Pretty Woman, ending her chances of winning the whole series stone dead in Week 3. Lesley meanwhile, thinks that Anton is having problems with his flexibility at his age, so she’s going to take him through some yoga poses. The Cat’s Cradle, The Rising Sun, The Magic Aubergine

The Twisted Gorilla, The Erin Island, and

the Bruno Tonioli. So named because it involves having a man’s legs up over your shoulders.


I have to say, I know I’m always very…free to say if the male pros on this show have ever had an effect on me lower portions, but this is the first time Anton has given me even one swell, let alone two. He and Lesley are, of course, playing the delightful tramps from the routine in Easter Parade. I remember Anton doing this with Erin as part of a group routine previously, so I’m glad to see her spirit live on, even if it is via a septugenarian whose hold still looks like a cat dangling off a washing line and whose gapping is

even bigger than the one they’ve blacked into her teeth. Again though, she’s giving it lots of energy and vigour and determination and it’s definitely still miles away from when Gloria Hunniford walking around pointing. Now if only we could find an older male celebrity who can go with quite the same pizznache. With the over 60s men you’re pretty much topping out at Tim Wonnacott. As fun as the routine is there’s also

little extra moments of Vlademir & Estragon style existential ennui scattered throughout, which is nice. Are you getting that level of depth from Tameka Empson dressed up as like that squeaky one from Police Academy no you are not.


It gets a Standing Ovation including from

both Birds Of A Feather. I wonder if Pauline breaks her supposed inviolate rule of voting once for every contestant every week in order to be fair for Lesley. Probably not. Lesley is UTTERLY out of breath, so Darcey starts quickly for the judges as Tess’ interview is going nowhere fast. She tells Lesley that’s she surprised that she didn’t finish that dance limp on the floor (she…did, were you not watching?) such were the acrobatics and exertions. She then goes on to call Lesley “one fit b……………..unny”. Just say “bitch” Darcey, Bruno’s said worse. Every week. (The thought that Darcey’s judging is so banal because she’s constantly holding back the urge to swear is an appealing one to be honest). Len’s next, and he says that he loved all the little references to the film, blended in with Propah Quickstep Content including a FISHTAIL. Ballroom steps just have the best names don’t they? Still, Len couldn’t hate an Anton Quickstep even if he tried, this is no suurprise.

Bruno’s next, and he says that he loved the roleplay (I’ll bet, look out grindr, Bruno’s on the prowl for a hobo daddy)

(*5 minute pause for Chris to think about the words he just wrote*)

ahem, and the little quirky elements, but he saw her go wrong in the corner. Craig closes by saying that she was taking steps that were far too big, and the knock-on effect was gapping all over the place. On the other hand, he adored the energy and the personality, and he hopes when he’s 70s he can whirl around the floor like that.

And like you as well Lesley.

Up to Claud 9 they go, with Lesley apologising profusely the whole way up for whatever she did wrong in the corner. Once she’s up there, Claudia gets in a quick plug for It Takes Two, saying she watched it this week and saw Lesley going on about her love of quickstep and says it really moved her. Claudia being sincere is WEIRD. Lesley says she just really enjoys the quickstep because she feels like she’s floating when she’s doing it right. Anton for his part says that he can’t remember having had a better week on Strictly, which is sweet given that Lesley clearly knows this is all coming off the back of Anton’s BEST YEAR EVER with his ONE GOOD PARTNER EVER. Part of me would find it reeeeeeeeally funny if these two now won the whole show. Scores are in


And now, our Claudia Prop Comedy Interlude

No, me either

Jamal & Latika dancing the salsa

Tess starts by rhyming “Bollywood” with “Jolly Good”. Well it’s a living.

VT time, and we cover first how Will supposedly messed up his jive choreography last week

by “missing a whole section”. I mean, based on the footage it looked like he *added* a whole section, which in my opinion should if anything get you bonus points. Creativity isn’t it? Sometimes I’d take my own choreography over Karen Clifton’s anyway. Is that worth penalising?

Training, and Will tells us that this week they’ll be doing a Bollywood themed salsa to Jai Ho. No hen, you’ll be doing a Bollywood dance with 5 seconds of twidly arm crossovers in, stop trying to stick a fig leaf on John Holmes. Honestly I think they just chose this theme so they could assert some sort of control over what Will wears in training. I mean, it’s always going to be bizarre but at least this way

they can stick some fences down around the edges. As they’re doing Bollywood, and Karen has no grounding (she didn’t even do it when she was on So You Think You Can Dance) (Iveta did) she’s decided to bring in an expert to teach them the intricacies. She and Will watch agog

as the lady says stuff like “do nice fingers” and “erm…screwing the lightbulb?”. I’m not saying the lady’s not an expert, but I’m also not NOT saying that the segment feels like Karen just went down to the Tesco Metro next to the training room and pulled in the first brown person she saw.


Between this and all the disco you have to wonder if this show is trying slowly to break up with the salsa and it’s just not taking the hint. Odd when statistically speaking it’s the most important dance in the entire repertoire. But yes, this isn’t a salsa this is Bollywood style dancing (apparently as interpreted by the woman who choreographed the Cola Charleston) with some wiggly woo arms. I can honestly count 7 seconds of this that looks anything like salsa as it’s been done on this show before, and then factor in that we’re told by the Authentic Salsa Experts that that’s not salsa either. The Bollywood itself though is fine. It’s interesting to see Will’s low energy style mesh with a dance that’s normally seen as being so peppy and bouncy. Actually I can’t see that he’s taking to it any worse than Karen (and possibly slightly better than Iveta, no offence Iveta don’t hurt me). His face is a little blank, but all the lifts carry off well and there’s a smoothness to his moves that plays well. Unfortunately on the other hand, I watched Dancing On Ice and therefore NEVER NEED TO HEAR THIS SONG IN A REALITY TV CONTEXT EVER AGAIN.

It gets a Standing Ovation (and I love the cut to Claud 9 where you can see Louise theatrically miming “THAT WAS REALLY GOOD” to someone just out of shot, like she’s in Noises Off) but there’s no time for good vibes as *cracks knuckles* it’s time for a fight. Len starts (here we go) by saying that Will really got him in the party mood (we’re five dances in Leonard) and he thinks he’s a fantastic dancer but he didn’t see enough salsa in there. There were only 6 or 8 bars, and he wanted more. Will shoots back whipsmart that actually there were 24 “counts of eight” of salsa in there. How fast are you counting there Will? Is that, like, Rain Man counting? Anyway, Len fires back that that’s VERY NICE OF WILL TO SAY but LEN DIDN’T RECOGNISE THEM and BY THE WAY SHUT THE FUCK UP lol just kidding OR AM I. Or words to that effect. My favourite part of all of this is

just how much Karen wants absolutely nothing to do with any of it. I like how Len easily could have made Will look petulant and backchatty and presumtuous there and instead chose to bite his head off. Will giggle-mutters something about how “that” worked for him 15 years ago so he thought he’d just try it again now. Imagine that Simon Cowell was actually more dignified about it as well, you live and learn.

Bruno’s next and just yells “HOORAY FOR BOLLYWOOD! VINDALOO! MATTHEW BOURNE! CONTEMPORARY!” and waves his arms about randomly. On this form he should negotiate the Israel-Palestine conflict.

Craig’s next and picks a fight with Len on Will’s side, saying there was enough salsa in there for him, and he loved that they took a risk and mixed the two styles, and Darcey says she loved the lifts and how they mixed the two styles together. This all feels like everyone’s very deliberately not looking at the car accident that just happened. I’d be reveling in it myself.

Up to Claud 9 they motor, where Claudia’s “well Craig liked it and Darcey loved it, you and Darcey have a thing going on don’t you?” at which point Will clearly remembers that his gimmick at the start of the season was that he wanted Len to be his friend and says that he really loves LEN, and he doesn’t want to be disrespectful but he’s just PASSIONATE. I mean, I’ve often tried to make friends by snottily correcting people in a public forum about things they at least theoretically know more about than me, but I’m not a very popular person generally it has to be said. For her part Karen is all “SHOUT OUT TO ALL THE PEOPLE WHO CHOREOGRAPHED THAT ROUTINE WHO WEREN’T ME, DON’T LOOK AT ME!”

The actual physical pain coursing through Karen at this point is beautiful. Scores are in


Ethan Hunt & Claire Phelps dancing the tango

I’m just glad that bloody wig from last week’s gone. Based on the fact she was already having trouble with her harness it probably would have ended up ripped off her head, taking half her scalp out with it. Tess jokes that Naga is hoping that getting through to next week won’t be Mission Impossible, but I’m distracted by the fact that Darcey and Craig are having a gossip literally the entire time she is talking. I bet they’re talking about Len vs Will. I bet they think it’s HILARIOUS.

Training now and

gosh I’ve never seen anything more casual in my life. Pasha asks Naga how she’s feeling, and Naga says that she’s really pleased that she went out onto the floor and really tried to feel the dance rather than just do the steps, but she’s a bit down about the judges comments. Pasha tells her that they were all constructive, so she should take them and work on it. God when even Pasha’s sounding a bit unsympathetic there’s something wrong isn’t there?

Training now, and Pasha says they’ll be doing their routine to the theme tune to Mission Impossible. Naga bleeps adorably that she’s SEEN ALL THE MISSION IMPOSSIBLES (AN ALL THE DIE HARDS AND ALL THE LANDS BEFORE TIMES!)

Naga’s affect genuinely does read “woman who believes she could be a spy, who really could not be a spy” quite heavily to me, so this makes sense. I bet she’s got a fake name prepared for emergencies just in case. From here the VT moves very quickly to the

“Naga hears the Mission Impossible music everywhere she goes” place and I have officially recapped this VT and variations on it FIFTY TIMES NOW AT LEAST, up to and including Artem hiding an actual mariachi band in the boot of Fern Britton’s Nissan Micra, I ain’t doing it again.


Looks a bit like someone and their skydiving instructor got stuck in a tree doesn’t it? They are lowered slowly to the floor, at which point OF COURSE Naga can’t get herself out of the harness. The show tries to hide this by showing a close-up of the diamond she and Pasha are there to steal, but after a while they realise they can offer

a much more distracting view. Once she’s out…I’m sorry, but nothing this week was as funny as

Naga Munchetty waving a torch around like she has never held one before in her entire life. All topped off with her hurling it at the audience and it nearly rolling into someone in the front row. SUPERSPY! She’s also the first spy I’ve ever seen with

see-through panelling and seatbelts hanging off her arse. What is she, undercover at an International Couture Drag Queen Convention? Anywho her tango? Not very good. She’s very spindly and fidgety and the all-black ensemble combined with the extra legs hanging off her backside make her look like a spider rather manically being flushed down the plughole. Nothing feels finished or polished or really considered – it feels like a Danny Mac routine being done by someone who can’t dance. Also neither of them ever go anywhere near the diamond, what a waste of a prop.

It gets a Standing Ovation (?) and then they head towards Tess, who comiserates with Naga over the harness. Why is nobody mentioning her swinging that torch around like a maiden aunt struggling with the speed settings on her first dildo? Bruno starts for the judges, looking particularly grinchy-pinchy, telling Naga that she certainly looked the part, but she kept on losing focus and he doesn’t know why, because she’s got potential. The part where she started the whole thing off probably thinking she was going to spend the entire routine trapped inside a harness might have…put her off a tad maybe Bruno? Craig follows, calling her out for sloppy footwork and hastiness and saying she didn’t close when she was supposed to. Just like the Eurozone near me. Terribly inconvenient on a night out that. He does say that he “loved the drama” which we all know is code for “well done on wearing costumes”.

Darcey’s next and says that she thinks the problem is that Naga isn’t spotting properly when she turns her head. It’s almost as though she didn’t go to stage school isn’t it, the horrors. Len closes us out by saying that that was Naga’s best dance yet, but she wasn’t crisp or sharp enough. Moves that were supposed to stop dead had a bit of a wobble. He thinks that she’s nervous (REALLY?) but she shouldn’t be, because she’s better than she thinks she is. Jesus, how bad does she think she is?

Up to Claud 9 they go, where the whole interview is

marred somewhat by AJ messing around with a hat that’s several sizes too big for him in the background the whole time. Ah yes, men that age often overestimating the size of their heads when picking out a cap aren’t they? Naga protests to Claudia that she’s nervous, but that’s perfectly natural isn’t it? ISN’T IT? SHE’S LEARNING TO COPE WITH HER NERVES OK! Faced with a slightly defensive Naga, Pasha grins that dealing with her nerves is actually a MISSION POSSIBLE! Oh Pasha you goon never change. Scores are in


Fred & Wilma Flintstone dancing the Charleston

I swear they have just taken that wig directly off Anton’s head. If you don’t see him and Judge Rinder in the same shot for the rest of the night, now you know why.

VT now, and Judge Rinder and Oksana actually get to be outside in the sunshine for their little TOWIE segment, which feels unfair when we just watched Naga and Pasha awkwardly perched on one balance board on top of the other. Judge Rinder tells Oksana that last week was the first dance he really felt comfortable with and able to settle into. It was your second one! Don’t look for patterns here. We’re then reminded that Craig didn’t like Judge Rinder’s facial expressions last week, so Rinder cackles that at the end of the series he’s going to take Craig “to a happy farm”. Is he implying he’s going to have Craig sectioned? Because I’d watch that Comedy VT. Oksana then says that this week she is sure they will PULL OFF MORE FACES THAN THEY EVER HAVE and the laugh afterwards is

so forced I love it. And why are they in a cornfield? Everything about these two is so surreal.

In training, Judge Rinder has a plan to help him get into the character of Fred Flintstone

Remember when they used to get an acting coach in for stuff like this? Remember how it didn’t really work much better? Anyway, Judge Rinder has a chat with a painting of Fred Flintstone which he is imagining is talking to him in the voice of your dad doing a Joey Tribbiani impersonation underwater, telling him things like “do me justice” (…) and “YABBA DABBA DOOO!”. And Craig’s going to be the one put in a “happy farm”? OK then.


He’s dancing to the Flintstones theme tune, which makes this the second week in a row that Judge Rinder has danced to a song with “gay” in the lyrics. Never let it be said the Blindfolded Dart Throwing Song Choice Monkies were progressive. Congratulations to Oksana on doing what Aliona never managed to do by the way – talking the show out of dying her hair red. The YABBA DABBA DOOO blares, and then

the first lift goes tits up, which puts Judge Rinder off the count for a lot of the first part of the dance, with him constantly looking at Oksana to try to correct it. He’s VERY stompy and heavy footed as well – I think we’re learning slowly that nothing about Judge Rinder or his dancing is light or effortless. As if the lift didn’t go badly enough for Oksana, there’s also a bit where they’re both supposed to work their stone age clubs like they’re canes, but hers fell out the Flintstonemobile really early on, so it’s too far away for her to reach in time so she just…wafts the air randomly. It’s still not as distracting as Judge Rinder’s Hallowe’en Fred Flintstone costume, which is fine apart from the fact that it’s about 6 inches too short and I don’t think Fred Flintstone wore black compression pants. Oh and they do the coffee-grinder as badly as I’ve seen it done on this show ever. Still there ARE arse bongos, which are always fun, and end up with this

Probably the most bizarre pose I’ve ever seen on this show, and I sat through Snowdance.

Bit of a state all told though.

It gets a Standing Ovation, and once they’re over at Tess, Judge Rinder admits he missed a few steps. Yes, just a few love. Craig starts and says that Judge Rinder’s awful terrible vomitous facial expressions actually came in handy this week, because it was a Charleston (BAN CHARLESTON). He saw that Judge Rinder went off time, had a tight swivel and messed a few lifts up, but he liked the energy and the handspring at the end. I might have too if he hadn’t taken a bloody great run up for it and barely landed it. Darcey’s next and says that Judge Rinder’s very cute as a caveman and he blushes and tells her to stop flirting. Oh Judge Rinder, you’d know if Darcey was flirting. Steve Backshall’s arms have still got the indentations in them.

Len’s next, and he says that he’s going to give that Movie Week dance a “U certificate” because YOU(/U) entertained us and YOU(/U) made us smile but YOU(/U) also made some mistakes. I honestly think that is the worst Len comment ever apart from all the ones about how he thought he saw the lady celeb’s tits/fanny. It’s a pun on “U Certificate” and the word “you”. I am ashamed on behalf of punners everywhere. Is this a dirty protest because he didn’t get to do any “Odoom” jokes? Bruno closes by saying that it was like watching “Judge Neanderthal Goes Mental”. Ah, my favourite Jimmy Stewart classic.

To Claud 9 they club and

I just realised they’ve made Judge Rinder’s Flintstone tie out of Will’s Bollywood Training Top. Reuse and recycle I guess. Claudia asks him how he feels about Darcey’s advances and he makes caveman sex noises at her down the camera. I aint screencapping that I’ll tell you that for free. Scores are in


Don Lockwood & Kathy Selden dancing the American Smooth

Tess introduces them (all with Craig and Darcey still gabbing away, GAWD LenSalsaBollywoodShutUp48BarsOfSalsaGate wasn’t that exciting guys calm down) by telling us that Ore is doing this routine as a tribute to Gene Kelly, who was a professional dancer with a lifetime’s worth of experience of ballroom dancing. SO NO PRESSURE THEN. Whatever Tess, Anastacia had to live up to the legendary performance of ACTING TITAN Kristen Stewart, some fairness please.

VT time, and Ore tells Joanne that it was great to get to open the show, it was an honour and a real pleasure not really it was great gun. Joanne says that she’s very proud of Ore, and he chirups “thanks coach!” If she doesn’t have a headband with that on for next week’s VT/an It Takes Two segment I will be very surprised.

Training now, and Ore tells us he’s dancing to Singing In The Rain this week, and to get into character he really needs to rehearse IN THE RAIN. But the weather’s been so nice recently, what can he do?!?!? Fortunately Joanne has a great idea.

We don’t get to see it though, in favour of Ore and Joanne tarting around in galoshes in a mini fountain. Ore says that all this splashing around is invoking in him a spirit of “wanton abandon”. I repeat

Wanton. Abandon. I appreciate that BBC Sport under the reign of Gabby Logan might not be the most liberated and reckless of environments but…


Jeez, somebody’s been in a few touring production and now thinks she’s Meryl Streep, wind it in a bit Joanne. Whilst she’s adding to her highlight reel, Ore just saunters on

looking very handsome indeed. This may have been lost in the past few weeks of bicycle crashes and naff brace twanging and pole dancing and I’M SCARED OF BIRDS and I CAN’T STOP DANCING and YOU LOOK LIKE MY WIFE LET’S PARTY! but Ore is a handsome man in repose. Like, movie star handsome, let’s focus on that and less on propography and…speaking in general yes? Although speaking of props, it’s indicative that this supposedly counts as a “calmed down” Joanne Clifton routine when there’s constant umbrella tosses, change-overs and, I’ll be honest

I’m not sure what Ore’s doing with it here, but what Gene Kelly got up to on set in his tea breaks was his own business. One week Jo. One week they will lose the keys to the props cupboard and you will be SOL. The bits out of hold and the lifts and all the little pauses here are really very lovely – light, characterful, with lots of

affecting little moments and pauses. In terms of mise en scene and choreograhping and dancing to the music it’s as good as anything we’ve seen this series. The stuff that’s supposed to be foxtrot on the other hand looks awful. His hold’s sliding about like Dom Littlewood trying to find a hole to peep through in the walls of the ladies changing rooms, his bum’s sticking out half a mile, and I don’t think his heels hit the floor once. Overall though, this is a Strictly American Smooth, so by ratio of NotFoxtrot : Foxtrot across the dance as a whole it’s 80% good, 20% bad. Which to be honest is 80% more than his other routines have done for me.

When are we getting a foxtrot by the way? Soon? I need to plump my pillow in preparation.

It gets a Standing Ovation and in the audience Tom Chambers

seethes that they never had Movie Week or fun props and in his series, and when he got American Smooth they made him dance it to sodding Frank Sinatra. That’s not what TOM CHAMBERS was about man. TOM CHAMBERS was about ELEGANCE, WHITE TIE and TAILS. Not some mavia spiv, who couldn’t dance, with a one octave range. Bloody amateurs, he could leave Ore Adobe standing, man. Standing IN TOM CHAMBERS’ DUST.

(Did he mention that he got married?)

Once he’s over at Tess, she’s all “AWWWWWWWW YOU CWYIN?”, because his eyes have gone a little bloodshot, but Ore claims just to have glitter in his eyes. Aiming for masculine resolve there, and not quite landing on it, because of the fact that it’s glitter. It’s like having a stiff upper lip because you injected it with ketamine. Speaking of which

that routine just put Darcey into a k-hole wiith its sophistication and elegance. It’s so powerful that she tells Ore that his physical attributes are identical to that of Gene Kelly. Gene Kelly the 5ft 5 white man built like a Weetabix. (Ore’s

response to this is a “tha-ha-hank yewww” delivered in exactly the same tone as a weeping bridesmaid being told out the Fire Escape of the reception venue that she looks just as pretty as the bride). Len’s next and he tells Joanne that he loved the routine (NOT LIKE THAT BLAHHDY TANGO) and he really felt worried for them getting Singin’ In The Rain because he didn’t know if they could justify doing it when everyone knows the original. I mean, I can think of more justification for trying this than “let’s do an 80s pop-rock tango to Beverly Hills Cop” but ok. They did very well indeed, but this was a plum draw let’s be honest.

Bruno’s next and says that he gives credit to Ore for being himself and not just doing a parody of Gene Kelly, and Craig closes by spoiling the party by saying that Ore was leaning over Joanne too much in hold and he should have been up on his toes more. MORE? If he’d been any more up on his toes he’d have been wearing that umbrella as a hat.

Up to Claud 9 they skip, where Claudia tells Ore that she just wanted to zoom down the stairs and cuddle him. I like the implicit criticism of Tess’ handling of human emotions there. She hits the “YOU’VE NEVER DANCED BEFORE” button, and then tells Ore the judges haven’t gushed like that for years. Whatever Claud, Bruno gushes like that parking his car. If he’s got a cute valet. Ore says it’s just been an emotional week because he really wanted to make Joanne proud, because she loves Singin’ In The Rain she does. He then cries some more. This was a turning point for me with Ore potential wise, but if it means he turns into Mark Wright no thanks.

Scores are in


I don’t normally recap post-scoring shenanigans, but at this point Tameka makes it known that she too is crying, and Claudia pulls her in, and then Natalie dives in, and then Neil, and then gradually everybody in Claud 9. I think my favourite part of the whole bizarre scene is

Chloe squawking like Mr Cadburys Parrot as Brenda clothesline her into the huddle by the back of her neck. Poor girl.

Satine & Christian dancing the salsa

HAVE BEEN VOTED OUT OF THE RECAP. Harsh guys. Very harsh. Still, it had to be somebody…

Robin Hood & Maid Marian dancing the American Smooth

Remember when everyone always used to accuse Natalie of making everything all about her and blocking her celebrity partner out? IT’S HAPPENING AGAIN! Tess reminds us all that the judges spent a lot of last week complaining about the size of Greg’s arse, as Bruno purses his lips and wags his finger as if to say “I bloody did not”.

In his VT, Greg sits mopily on the floor with Natalie, and feels it’s very sad that everything last week just ended up being about his arse-meat rather than his dancing. He’s so much more than that Natalie! SO much more. With its customary sensitivity, the show decides to soundtrack this bit with “Shake Your Booty” by KC & The Sunshine Band. If you’re looking for songs to do your inevitable trainwreck salsa to Natalie, you could do worse.

Greg promises to work on getting his butt right this week, and then we unfortunately relive the comment from Len last week about TUCKING IT UNDER that came complete with

unfortunate actions that made me feel a bit nauseous to be honest. Let’s move on.

TRAINING! First of all

talk amongst yourselves about Natalie’s hair for a minute. Done? OK. Natalie tells us that she loves the American Smooth, from when she did it with Michael Vaughan with a kickline at Wembley, from when she made Alesha cry with it with Ricky Nipple, and from when she dragged Scott Maslen around by the throat with it in Series 8. Happy days. BUT IT’S BEEN SO LONG. And to get back on the horse she’s

taking Greg to practice archery. Makes sense. To get into the character of Robin Hood I guess. And if he manages to get one in Cloudia’s knee it can’t hurt their chances can it? Anyway, turns out that Greg is a natural archer (jammy handsome git) and gets lots of 9s and 10s. Natalie tells him to try to get 9s and 10s in the dance on Saturday. This was literally exactly the same VT as Danny got, but Greg was firing the sticks with a bow rather than poking somebody with them. SO LAZY this show is sometimes. SO LAZY.


Briefly I hope Greg might actually fire that arrow, but let’s face it, the atmosphere in that room is 80% Elnett. If he let it loose near any of the pro dancers the movie wouldn’t be Robin Hood : Prince Of Thieves, it’d be Deepwater Horizon. Instead we cut to a rather sad shot of a broomhandle on fire being slowly carried towards a brazier which then bursts(ish) into flame, a cue for Greg to lift his wench up high and

carry her onto the dancefloor. Yes, the posterior issue has been solved not via superior technique from Greg, or Natalie, but by wardrobe. If only this were the first inference towards jerkin all over Greg’s arse whilst he shoots his flaming payload I’d made in this blog this year. They’re dancing to “(Everything I Do) (I Do In Brackets)” by Bryan Adams, which means this is going on mute, I’m sorry. I was 6 when this film came out and by the time this song stopped being Number 1 I’d grown a beard and graduated. With a PhD. Congratulations go to Natalie for the literal choreo for the

LOOK INTO MY EYES bit, the cheese genius. As for the dance, Greg probably suffers a little in comparison with Ore in terms of natural coolness and physical charisma

(I don’t think he bends, as a human being) and he doesn’t really seem to move with the music, but he makes up for it in terms of serving as an adequate base for Natalie to do some truly terrifying lifts, including one where she quite literally jumps ONTO HIS FACE TORSO FIRST, and then dismounts with a patented

Natalie Lowe ninja kick. What a woman. As with Ore, I worry a little about the foxtrot base behind this all but on the other hand I have, on past evidence, slightly more faith in Natalie to drag it out of him when the time comes than I do in Joanne. So far.

*volume back up*

It gets a Standing Ovation and now Natalie’s crying as well. God maybe this did need the natural recap buffer of Laura waggling her bosom in the middle to cut the sentiment. Nat tells Tess that Greg’s worked very hard and she feels very proud of him. Bruno starts for the judges, growling “forget about Prince Of Thieves (I tried Bruno, it was bloody everywhere) THAT WAS PRINCE CHARMING!”. He liked how Greg led Natalie and also all the lifts. Craig’s next, and says it lacked swing and sway and style, but he loved the storytelling (/that they were wearing costumes).

Darcey follows by saying she too loved the storytelling (/costumes) but she felt the lifts were a little too powerful. She knows that both Greg and Natalie are “athletic” dancers, but she felt they were a mismatch in terms of tone with the rest of the dance, which was very smooth and romantic. Yeah, I love Nat and all, but I’m not sure delicte dainty effortless lifts are her thing. There’s a lot of leg to factor in for one. Len closes by saying that he loved the romance, and there was just the right amount of in hold, out of hold, and standin there pretendin to fire a flamin bow and arrow. Hard to get that right in the American Smooth. Also, NO BUM! HOORAY?

To Claud 9 they fire, where Claudia asks him if he enjoyed that more than the tango. He did. It wasn’t going well on Thursday but eventually he did. I wanna know what happened on Thursday. Did Natalie chin him with a ninja kick? Scores are in


Blousey Brown & Bugsy Malone dancing the Charleston

That is PURE “Local 6th Formers Celebrate The End Of Their AS Levels In Style” isn’t it? Tess tells us that AJ & Cloudia are dancing to a song from Bugsy Malone, a film famous for its custard pie fights, and also for the fact it features children singing with adult voices, making it the mirror opposite of those creepy Haribo adverts. What a legacy.

VT time, and Cloudia remembers her waltz of last week, saying that she did it so well she made herself speechless. Modesty often not the strongest card in the arsenal of the high level pro athlete on this show. She also says that she feels a bit annoyed that Craig only gave her a 6, but she’s going to aim to make him change his mind and give her a 10 for her dance this week. The thought of Craig randomly popping a 10 in week 3 is hilarious. Especially if it’s followed by Darcey saying “as it’s week 3…A CRAZY 9!”.

Training and

jeez AJ, get some rest, drink some orange juice, and go outside more often. I feel like filming this is interrupting him from important work playing Call Of Duty and wanking into a sock. He tells us that there have been many great Charlestons on Strictly before (/about three bearable ones) but his and Cloudia’s is going to be THE BEST. To help Cloudia get into character, he tells her to remember to be extra cheeky, just like the kids from Bugsy Malone. It’s hard to describe AJ’s VT acting voice other than to say it’s quite like this. Cloudia rises to the challenge of being cheeky by

repeatedly pieing AJ in the face until he starts to resemble one of my slightly more involved daydreams about Pasha. In the end

AJ gets his own back hooray. Those of you hoping they’re going to start portraying these two as adult human beings any time soon probably shouldn’t hold your breath.


They’re doing their Charleston to “You Give A Little Love”, as previously danced to by Tiny Tina & Jared in Series 8. But could Tiny Tina do this?

No, no she could not. Jared possibly could if you got a few down him though, you know what those little pocket Mormon guys are like. Yes, this is AJ and Cloudia continuing to utterly ignore Uncle Len’s request for less tricks, although it feels more suitable for a Charleston than when she was taking swandives out her bedroom window last week. Cartwheels


wanton finger wagging, it’s all in there, along with lots of swivel and sass and frantic flapping, all done at 100mph. Is it the best Charleston ever? Not really, if only because Charleston is above all else an actors dance, full of people doing stuff they learnt at stage school then going “YEAH BUT I NEVER DONE BALLROOM AND LATIN!” and dancers like Georgia, Denise, Sophie, and Patrick got far more character across in their respective versions of the dance than Cloudia’s managing here. Of course they didn’t have nearly as many moments where you went “HOLY SHIT WHAT WAS THAT!?!”, unless you’re REALLY impressed by Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, so it all balances out in the end. It all ends with

AJ getting it right in the face, hard, right next to the judges table. So hard that the squirty cream spatters all over Darcey and also Len’s notebook, which he is very quick to make a big show of being grumpy about. HOW WILL HE REMEMBER WHAT THE NAMES OF THE SONGS ARE NOW? Cloudia protests that AJ TOLD her to do it hard. Yes, well, now you’ve broken him and kicked half the set over, well done.

Craig starts for the judges, saying that was all technically perfect, with Darcey following quickly, saying that routine was so quick and made for Cloudia. This all feels a bit like they’re paddling as hard as they can to catch up time wise for the fact that everyone’s having to run round Len with hot towels because he got a bit of foam in his eyebrow. Meanwhile AJ

stands there looking like he’s just started learning to shave and it’s all gone a bit wrong. Len makes a bad Paul Hollywood joke and Bruno screeches about soggy bottoms and then they’re off.

Up to Claud 9, where everyone just faffs around with the cream some more until Claudia gets it all over her hands. AJ gallantly offers to let her “just wipe it off on me” and ooft I just had some flashbacks. Scores are in


Axela Foley & Billy Rosewood dancing the tango

Hrnnnnnnnnnnnk. Ahem. Tess tells us that as it’s Movie Week, all of the celebrities this week have been busy “getting into character” (/fencing/doing archery/going to see Dr Blurry McQuack) but that should be easier for Tameka than anybody, as this week she won a trophy for her acting. Wow, the Reading Women Of Achievement Awards come earlier and earlier every year don’t they?

VT time, and Tameka said that the Charleston was great, because the instant it began she felt like she was in a silent movie. So far as Tameka goes, that’d suit me fine as well. Incidentally this whole segment is done with her

using Gorka as an actual footrest. Can’t say as I blame her, although in those circumstances my foot may have wandered…

“Training” time and Tameka tells us that she’s got the tango this week, which is fast and furious, so she’s really going to have to work hard. The show then all but immediately jumps to

this, which is a bit of an unkind edit. Tameka is taking time out to attend the Inside Soap Awards which…it’s hardly the Fabulous Female Friends Awards or whatever it was Frankie Bridge won in Series 12 is it? Now there’s a real awards ceremony. Tameka tells us that the Inside Soap Awards are the most prestigious awards in all of soap, and she’s not at all saying this because she’s just about to win the award for Funniest Female. Now she’s one step closer to the prestigious EGOTI! Watch out Whoopi Goldberg, she’s coming for you! Tameka larks about on stage and tells everyone to KEEP DANCING, but they don’t show her falling arse over tit so what’s the point really? Here’s Gorka in a suit.



So another dance with a STORY here (and one that has nothing to do with the film) as Gorka is a dirty criminal who is posing as a cop! If they wanted to use this story isn’t there anything from The Departed they could have used foor a song? I’ve always wanted to see a tango on this show to The Dropkick Murphys. Tameka sees that Gorka is a secret crim

SHOWS HIM THE PAPER WHICH REVEALS THIS, which he then screws up and throws away two feet away from her, before running off and hiding behind her car bumper

at which point she loses him. I am not exaggerating when I say that Tameka is the worst policeman I have ever seen. Fortunately, she eventually finds him, and they dance the paso.

And also the tango, but also still a little bit the paso. God I love reused choreography on this show. I know Tameka was off getting pissed for most of this week but an entirely new routine surely isn’t too much to ask? Other than that, actually this is the first week I’ve really liked Tameka at all on and off the dancefloor (so obviously it’s the week she goes home, obviously) and not just because Gorka is dressed as a hen night stripper. Admittedly it’s actually mostly because “The Heat Is On” (which they’re dancing to) is one of my favourite slices of 80s cheese, but she performs it pretty well with a lot of strength and character. The hold’s a bit funny and there’s a clear illegal lift at one point (#JUSTICE4NAUGHTYALJAZ) but she did a good job here.

It gets a Standing Ovation, and Tess coos to Tameka that she looks good in uniform. She’s not going to let you off those 25 parking tickets Daly, give up. Darcey starts for the judges, calling Tameka “mate” exactly like how I call any workmen round to fix my washing machine “mate”, which is to say awkwardly. Anyway she loved the intent the attack and the drama, but felt it needed to be crisper and sharper. Len is next, praising Tameka for her attack and passion, but saying that he felt she had really poor posture, and that was what was distracting him.

Definitely that, definitely, fight the feeling Len fight them, you aint no airy fairy.

Bruno’s next and says that Tameka really WENT FOR IT, and did a good job, but at times it felt like she was leading Gorka, rather than the other way round. I do not doubt it. Still, Bruno says, he would love to have Tameka take care of his street. At least I think he’s talking to Tameka. Craig closes by saying that her left elbow collapsed on occasion and she needed to make more of a v shape in hold, but he loved her aggression.

They charge up to Claud 9, with Tameka favouring her knee the whole way there, so something’s gone a bit amiss there. Once up there she snatches Claudia’s cue card to fan herself with and then discusses with Claudia how she didn’t enjoy this week because she prefers fun dances like the Charleston. When you’re recapping you really can see how a lot of what Tameka did this week was vote-repellant. Scores are in


Stanley Ipkiss & Tina Carlyle dancing the samba

It’s like Grotbags and Dick Tracy had a baby isn’t it?

VT time and we’re reminded that last week the former Education Secretary did a cowboy themed charleston to an Alma Cogan tune. Welcome to 2016. We’re also shown whenLen hooted “people aren’t STOOPID and you got a STANDING OVATION!” regarding the reaction to his dance. I’m not sure choosing to stand up at the end of a dance is an intellectual exercise to be honest. In their cosy corner, Ed and Katya agree that it’s great that the public supported him, but this week they should try not to be bottom of the leaderboard. One day Ed, one day. Not even Widdy was bottom of the leaderboard *every* week.

Training now, and Katya tells Ed that their routine is based on the film “The Mask” and will be a samba.

Quite. Ed is apparently concerned that he’s not going to be able to live up to the wild and crazy character from the film because he’s such a reserved soul himself, but Katya has a solution! She tells him that she has a prop, and when he puts it on, he is officially no longer Ed Balls.

Yeah, I wouldn’t be test-running that excuse out on Yvette any time soon, although I’m sure more than a few politicians have tried similar ones. Ed dons the Mask and becomes a wild and crazy party animal, spouting all the catchphrases from the film and pulling stupid faces and do you know when people say “he’s putting everything into and not being self-conscious at all, which means you can’t really find it embarassing to watch!”. Well, turns out I easily can.

On the dancefloor sure, it’s fine, but I still can’t deal with or process VT Ed Balls, it just makes me feel a bit bad for him for being involved. Although actually Comedy VTs do that to me generally so…


They’re dancing to “Cuban Pete” and bless him, it’s a curious performance. The characterisation isn’t so much wild and out of control party animal, unless you’re referring to that one time Oliver Reed got pished on the Michael Aspel show and danced to be Born To Be Wild. It’s super lascivious but also, strangely really queeny. It’s like Gil from Frasier gone a bit funny at the KBBL Christmas Party, and brings to mind Russell Grant, except without the finesse. I think it’s the black lippy – there’s moments where I feel like I’m watching unseen footage of the last years of Divine.

Anyway, that’s enough comparisons, Ed is his own man, the samba’s not really great, although it is at least inhabiting the space I am familiar with as belonging to samba, like a squatter that’s using your best vase as a pisspot. The steps are there. Ish. It’s just all a bit

clumsy and flouncy. Don’t get me wrong it’s hilarious, I’m just not sure all the people who are saying that he somehow stands out amongst the Comedy Contestants in this show’s history as having natural ability that Katya is really using well are being strictly honest with themselves. It all ends with Katya just giving up and having him stand there as she does 10 (!) potters wheel spins on the floor before spinning out for the end pose.


It gets a Standing Ovation, as Yvette Cooper in the audience feels a weird mix of pride and

wondering if she maybe shouldn’t just sneak in the back entrance to work tomorrow. Ed bounces over to Tess where he hisses “Schhhhhhhhmokin!” at her. I don’t feel like I know Ed Balls that well, but I feel I know him well enough to know that at least 87% of this is his him trying to really embarass his children. Len starts for the judges, saying that the best part with Ed is the anticipation of waiting to see what he’s going to come out and do. Nice backhanded compliment there. Len also praises Katya for giving him a full routine to do, not just flouncing around him whilst he does nothing, as other pros have done with less talented partners before. Hard not to read that as a burn on a freshly departed Ola isn’t it? (Although to be honest both Anton and Karen have been more than guilty of it before). Bruno’s next and just gibbers about like Jim Carrey. When there’s a Bruno biopic that’s the only choice for the role right? It’s the part he was BORN TO PLAY.

Craig follows and says that he can’t believe what he’s just been witness to – he’s sure someone must have put something into his water. Shouldn’t have given Naga that 5 Craig, she doesn’t play nice. He says that he thinks Ed made the right choice to relinquish any attempts at doing authentic samba properly and just focus on being fun, to which Len hoots “IT’S MOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOVIE WEEK!” like that’s an answer too anything. Was Will Young not dancing in Movie Week Len? Has the show been on that long? If you’d told me Will in fact did his Bollywood salsa back in September I’d believe you. Ed peeps up peevishly “I thought my botofuegos weren’t half bad”. Dear me. Darcey closes by cackling merrily and saying Ed really got into the character and she hopes he stays that way for as long as he’s in the competition. Hopefully they do chisel the green off at some point.

Up to Claud 9 they speed, where Claudia talks about how proud Yvette looked throughout, and asks Ed how his kids have been feeling about all this, to which Ed says they’re really embarassed and then yells “SOMEBODY STOP MEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEH!” again, right into Claudia’s face.

She is shook. Scores are in


Alex Owens & Nick Hurley dancing the cha cha

Yet again, the hair department swing and miss. They aimed for Flashdance, they hit Fatal Attraction. What price a bunny boiling cha cha? Tess says that Louise topped the leaderboard last week! WHAT A FEELING that must have been! And coincidentally WHAT A FEELING is the song she’s dancing to tonight. Len’s scriptwriters are now taking over the entire show it seems.

In her VT, Louise is apparently

having a bit of a spotty chin skin outbreak (we’ve all been there) as she tells Kevin that she was thrilled to bits by her performance last week. Len saw a fleckerl, Craig called her gawjus, she got some 9s, hooray.

Training, and Kevin tells Louise that she’ll be dancing her cha cha this week with a Flashdance theme, to which Louise grins that she used to do the routine all the time in her living room at home as a kid. Whilst other little girls dreamed of being a princess, she wanted to be a welder who could really dance. The whole “working as a stripper” part of course gets brushed under the carper, as it usually does when anybody talks about Flashdance. Oddly enough when Louise talks about “the routine” we cut to

her and Kevin rehearsing a bit from the video for “Naked” with Kevin barely suppressing a smirk the entire time. Bless Kevin and the little in-jokes he smuggles into his routines. Anywho, Kevin and Louise subsequently practice the Flashdance routine (mostly the frenzied Snoopy Dance bit) in her living room and then HER BOYS walk in gosh how embarassing. It is at this point that I’m reminded that not only has Kevin had a Good Dancer every year, he’s also always had a mum, and therefore has had one VT at least per series of him adorably interacting with their children. I am AMAZED Karen hasn’t got up the duff yet, AMAZED.


I have personally never seen Flashdance, so when I saw this start-pose I almost expected a tribute to the Geri Halliwell It’s Raining Men video. The music starts, Louise

does the moves that you’d expect her to do in a Flashdance themed dance, and then she and Kevin get to cha cha’ing. And it’s ok. The leotard makes it really obvious that her hips aren’t really doing a lot because there’s no fringing to flay around at 100mph doing all the work. Her footwork’s probably great, she looks a little more loose than she normally does, and there’s a lot of cute little moments recalling the film but it’s not really a show closer. I do feel like really we could have ended this show with a glorious multi layer custard pie fight with all the judges and everyone joining in from Claud 9 and instead we got a nice cha cha. On the other hand I think this is all a very smart move from Kevin & Louise, as I think her best potential route to victory at this point absolutely involves sliding back into the pack and letting Danny take the “oh he’s amazing every week, this is boring” flack.

I am a little resentful that she gets a full shower of tickertape given what Kara had to put up with for her showdance. No mas

It gets a Standing Ovation, and as they get over to Tess, she giggles that she PASSED THE AUDITION. All of the judges in unison scribble out their opning comments. So let’s see what’s left? Bruno reminiscing about the 80s, Craig criticising the hip action, Darcey recommending that Louise work this look into her regular wardrobe, and Len hooting that he’s LOVED MOVIE NIGHT, EVERYONE’S BEEN AMAZIN, EXCEPT THAT PRICK WILL YOUNG lok just a joke.

Up to Claud 9 they bound, where Claudia reveals that Louise yet again told her this week that she’d forgotten the entire routine. Louise claims that happens a lot, but it always ends up coming together on the night. Yes funny that. Scores are in





24 thoughts on “Strictly Come Dancing 14 – Week 3 Performance

  1. ChaChaChavvy

    I was looking foward to the opening routine but it never really got going. They should’ve stuck to just one song.

    I like Daisy but she’s started to dance like she’s marrying a billionaire.

    Ore got glitter in his eye and, in a ruthless move worthy of Bebe from Frasier, decided to work with it. He’s not Don Lockwood, he’s Lina Lamont!

    I remember Vicky Gill saying the reason they don’t use black tail-suits that much anymore is because the people who do the fancy new lighting schemes hate it. I think Tameka and Gorka’s tango outfits demonstrated how the technique can get lost in a murk of black. We couldn’t see what her legs were doing.

    I wouldn’t ban the Charleston but I hate how it’s used to swerve difficult dances. I’d bring in a rule whereby you’d have to complete all of the 10 dances before the final.

    1. DJ Mikey

      Holly Valance danced like she was marrying a billionaire, and provide some of the greatest entertainment the show has ever seen.

    2. Minxy

      I can kinda believe that lighting did say that.
      The problems I have with that is
      Vicky giggles (sounds like a tickling fetish porno no? ) should be standing up for her dep’t and telling them to sod off and they need to make it work.
      Lighting is supposed to enhance the dancers and costumes not dictate to them
      The lighting so often drowns out the dancers so nothing can be seen
      Yeah the new lighting rigs cost a lot of money but they aren’t the star of the show – the dancers and costumes are

      The lighting annoys me can you tell?

  2. DJ Mikey

    Are the Clifton Siblings sick – it seems like the only explanation for the fact they both provided relatively sedate and subtle performances, and in Movie Week of all places..

    1. monkseal Post author

      I always count the Split Gender series (and 7) as having two First Boots because neither of thefirst two people out really “beat” the other.


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