The sad departure of a BBC Breakfast Presenter who danced so well you’d think she worked for GMTV
We start on a shot of Anton
and then another shot of Anton
which is slightly more unexpected, if you haven’t seen Christopher Scott pull exactly this sort of trick out of people all the time on So You Think You Can Dance. Admittedly not often 50something ballroom dancers, but there we are. The theme for this pro dance is that they’re all in a club in the 60s watching James Brown
do the splits a lot and also perform his seminal hits “I Got You (I Feel Good)” and “Get Up Offa That Thing”. As this is a Strictly Results Show I was expecting “For Goodness Sakes, Look At Those Cakes” and “Chonnie-On-Chon” but I guess once they’re dead you can force them to sing what you like. Like when Barry Manilow was on and duetted with that hologram that one time. At some point James takes a back seat again and Anton leads a truly terrifying line-up of the male pros. And I’m going to double down on the opinion that Anton isn’t very good at dancing in this style I’m sorry. It’s great they’re not just having him be “the director” or “the general” but I would have lived to see Pasha or Gorka head this up. With Anton leading the charge gurning his head off and slapping his trouser pockets like he can’t fIND his keys, dressed in his best 70s courduroy with his shirt hanging half off him, I feel less like I’m in a cool 60s club and more like I’m in
The Walton Hop.
Everyone goons around some more, and then there’s a
lightbox finale. Woo.
Once the funk is done, our hosts emerge, with Tess having apparently got overheated in the space blanket from the main show, nicked Claudia’s outfit, repurposed it into one for her and
left Claud with one of Timmy Mallett’s old jumpers. They thank our guest dancers, and remind us that last night we saw Ore perform an amazing jive. Tess gushes that we’ve waited all series for a 10, and now three of them have come along at once. IT’S WEEK FOUR, WOMAN YOU’VE BARELY STARTED. Our menu tonight? Len’s Glans, Madness, and a dance-off, presided over by our four judges, who emerge from the wings to James Brown, and can I just say that whatever misgivings I had about Anton’s funk is dwarfed by those I have towards that of Craig and Darcey.
It’s like a Mormon disco up in there. Meanwhile on the other side of the stage
Bruno and Len continue to drift towards the inevitable. Last series guys. It’s gonna happen.
BUT FIRST, YOUR WEEK IN GREG!
Some times you just have to go with an inferior knock-off I guess.
And now the first round of Safety Sex Faces
Oksana is clearly forcing Rinder to do that clap-clap-chest bump thing and he still clearly hates it. First to bathe under the glow of the red lights are
Naga and Pasha, with Danny and Louise being the ones teased for a potential leaderboard plunge, but with most of the bottom of the leaderboard still in jeopardy, so probably not. Once she’s over at Tess, Naga is asked how it feels to be in the dance-off for the first time. Her reply? “Eurggkkh”. Your professional journalist ladies and gentlemen. Tess sighs “well, the bottom 2, no-one wants to be here” and you can actually see Pasha
biting his tongue. Len’s advice is sought, and he tells Naga to keep up her level of performance from earlier, but focus more on the timing. He then suggests to Naga that she just watch Pasha and copy him, because those are the BEST Charlestons aren’t they? The ones with the celebs staring at their pro the entire time and dancing everything one beat behind them.
Up to Claud 9 now with our five safe couples, and Claudia turns to Ore and tells him immediately that no couple has scored as high as 39 this early in the competition. Ore is
shocked. SHOCKED I TELL YOU. The previous record holder, who hit 39 in his fifth dance? Scott Maslen. And we all saw how that ended. Stock up on your ProPlus Ore, you just peaked too soon. Ore starts sighing away that he’s so tired and so emotional because he loves the jive so much and it’s been a hard week and then Laura starts wibbling about how she was afraid she was going to be in the Bottom 2 again and her nerves can’t take it and then
they collapse on one another. I love that look between Giovanni and Joanne. Like, it’s the second series for both of them, a bit early to have to double up being a pro with being a therapist, no? Oti meanwhile, in her second series, gets to be an active cause for therapy.
Next up, a couple of previews for next week, as Lesley (after the usual round of “I WAS LEFT UNTIL LAST TO BE CALLED SAFE LAST WEEK!” which, I guarantee she’s going to be complaining about that every week til she gets eliminated like my nan going on about that one time she got short changed in Morrisons) reveals she will be playing a clairvoyant (at this point Laura yells “DO YOU KNOW THE RESULTS?!” across Claud 9 and everyone ignores her and it makes Laura my favourite person for all of 5 seconds, what an Awkward Goddess), and Judge Rinder says he’ll be dancing the jive. Judge Rinder promises he’s going to get 40 and wipe Ore’s jive off the map. He will however, have to do it dressed as a gorilla riding a unicycle so…good luck! We then close with Claudia having exactly the same interview with Daisy about hating waiting for her name as we had last week. Mix it up a bit guys!
it’s Madness! Singing “Mr Apples”, which is apparently about a self-righteous Christian “pillar of the community” type who advocates the return of capital and corporal punishment but who secretly goes out at night in the wrong part of town to frequent prostitutes. Those books have taken an odd turn since Roger Hargreaves died haven’t they? They’re accompanied by Neil & Katya
in what I think is their first showcase as a couple alone on the show. Must be a bit odd to have it be a really slow jive to a song about hooking that sounds a bit like it’s being picked out on the piano one-fingered by an 8 year old, but this is Strictly! Now they can write “have performed with Madness!” on their CV at least. They’re Monkie Award Winners! That’s better than a Grammy!
Alright you two calm down, don’t act out the song literally it’s still only 7:40.
Whilst the Joneses have to dance to a “new song by”, the judges of course get to waltz on to Len’s Glans to “House Of Fun”. And they don’t do a lot with it, let’s put it that way. First up to contribute is Len, who gets to enthrall all of us who just love in depth analysis of foxtrot footwork, by zooming right in on
Louise’s dainty little feet dragging backwards across the floor. You know, there are people out there who complain that they don’t show the entire dance live just like this. Odd, odd people. But that’s not at all! We also get to see in slow motion just what Len meant when he said that Louise was too far over to Kevin’s right side!
Also that Kevin had a wedgie. Len then gets up and demonstrates with Darcey what correct foxtrot hold looks like, but he says “chesticle” so let’s glide smoothly over that one.
Darcey gets her turn next, and talks about how Judge Rinder’s Viennese Waltz was all wrong. And by “talks” I chiefly mean “makes a load of disgusted grunting noises”. The crux, she says, is that Judge Rinder is just too good a student, and he needs to make everything look more natural and unrehearsed. Yeah that ain’t happening hun, it’s a nice dream though. Bruno takes us all through a close-up of Ore’s feet in the jive (yes yes enough feet for one week thank you) and then we close with footage of all four judges in awe during the same dance
/three judges and Len excavating his nose with his knuckle. HE’S SO EXCITED!
And speaking of excited faces
there we go. This leaves us with a pre Bottom 2 Bottom 2 of Ed and Anastacia and
yeah, it’s still a little early to lose the show’s mascot isn’t it? Anastacia turns to Brenda and says “YOU GOT IT!”. Just so American. As a side note, Oti’s face and slowly rotating head just at the start of the announcement is
genuinely one of the most eerie things I’ve ever seen on this show, including Hallowe’en Week. Also as a side note, Katya’s turn to the camera to say thank you for being saved is so
the cover of Take A Break Magazine. Her Brave Knight Saved Her From Her Evil Ex Haunting Her Vagina!
Once over at Tess, Anastacia honks “I CAN DANCE OFF (*EXPLETIVE DELETED*) LET’S GO FOR IT!”
The difference between Tess live when someone swears, when she reacts like all of her intestines just fell out of her anus, and Tess recorded when someone swears, when she just breezes through because she knows they’ll edit it out, is quite something. Craig advice for the dance-off is sought, and he tells Anastacia to never stop moving, let the dance live through her, make sure she transitions properly between the 4 and 1 beats, and focus on showing off her beautiful arm movements and her wonderful chemistry with Brendan. Anastacia nods away, trying her best to look like she’s taking all this guff in, but you can so tell she’s thinking
“mf’er, give me a 6 and try to act like my friend and mentor, give me a break”. Brenda on the other hand appears to be trying to disco-nap whilst upright.
To Claud 9 now, and Claudia prompts Ed to give a little speech about how he’s trying hard but he knows he’s only here because of the goodwill and votes of the public. It’s all very politiciany. Danny’s next and Claudia tells us all that he’s got the rumba which is a VERY DIFFICULT DANCE FOR THE MEN TO DO (Again, Paul Daniels, 2010, last time any man was eliminated on it, whilst 5 men have been taken out via cha cha over the last two-and-this-bit series alone). Danny does his best to look scared
and like he’s going to be going anywhere. Louise is next, with Claudia reminding her that Darcey said that Kevin should start really pushing her now. Claudia asks if she is ready and Louise replies that
no she is not Claudia. Can you not just let her coast to fourth place in peace? Also can someone check if that shade on Kevin is actually blacking up? We need a better scandal than IThoughtOreDeservedA9AndAlsoLenSaidJayGate I’m bored of it already.
After this Claudia chats with Cloudia, who reveals that she has the samba next week, and that she and AJ are really going to “bring out the sass” in it.
Firstly I love how excited Natalie is by this, like flipping Dug from Up. Also please tell me how AJ is going to get any sassier than he already looks in that ensemble, because I am dying to hear it. Is the bow tie going to light up and play “Formation” by Beyonce? We close with Claudia chatting with Greg about the “Olympic Breathing” technique he uses to get through the name reveal.
After a quick KitKat break for an advert for It Takes Two, we back on the balcony with a very
“Well you could go out of the competition dressed like THIS, or you could go out of the competition dressed like THAT” moment. Anastacia tells Claudia what a positive person she is (bless her heart) whilst on the other side, when Pasha tries to tell Naga this was her best dance so far, and that she can really pull this off
you can tell she’s staring straight through him and into the car park.
And looks like she gets her wish. It’s a unanimous vote, and not surprisingly as Naga starts the dance-off by going wrong almost immediately and then just kind of hapahazardly glides through the rest from there. Compared to Anastacia giving her all (such as it is) this was always going to end only one way. Naga tells Tess that this has been her favourite week on the show, and then thanks Pasha for being the best teacher she’s ever had. Pasha then calls Naga the best student he’s ever had, and it’s STILL less insincere than when he managed to work in a plug for the title of his next theatre tour into his closing speech to Carol Kirkwood.
As they walk out to take their last bow, Pasha turns directly to camera all
“yes I am getting eliminated in a skintight wetsuit”. Sometimes High Definition just isn’t high enough is it?