Birds Of A Feather, Bugger Off Together.
We open with a pro routine based around a department store in the 1920s all danced to the title number from “Thoroughly Modern Millie” (which I haaaaaaaaaaaate). I guess we had the Downton Abbey routine last year at Blackpool, so it’s time now to ramraid another one of the handful of succesful ITV dramas and do something aping Mr Selfridge. Next Year : Oksana Platero as Queen Victoria. Of course this is all one way traffic – you’d never see X Factor doing a tribute to Call The Midwife. Even if what Honey G transparently needs to take her act to the next level is rapping Missy Elliott in a wimple. The gimmick here is that all of our judges get cameos :
Len as the stern but wise gentleman founder of the store
Darcey a glamorous diva customer
Craig a businessman customer getting his shoes shined by Kevin the bootblack
and Bruno another customer looking to get something else shined by Giovanni the store tailor
Otherwise, Karen is the store manager; Oksana and Katya are shop girls ; Chloe is another shop girl who is having the
world’s most chaste tryst with AJ the delivery boy ; Oti, Gorka, Anton and Joanne are customers (lol at this when Joanne is actually going to play Millie in an actual professional production) and Janette is
well she looks thoroughly something anyway. Everyone titivates around tap dancing on the tables and leaping across hat boxes and I get through the whole thing as quickly as possible so I don’t have to hear the lyric “what we think is chic, unique and quite adorable, they think is odd and Sodom & Gomorrahble” (jesus christ) too many times and right at the end Janette has a quick costume change to finish and
that’s it. BRING ON THE EXCESSES OF HALLOWE’EN PRO DANCES I CAN’T WAIT! VAMPIRES AND GHOULIES AND THE CELEBS VAMPING AROUND IN £10 HALLOWE’EN COSTUMES TRYING TO LOOK SCARED OF PASHA KOVALEV DRESSED UP AS A SPOOKY PANDA!
Next to emerge from the lifts are these two
the joke being that Tess is a glamorous and elegant lady with lots of bas of beautiful designer gear, and Claudia’s just popped out with a plastic bag full of Ribena and Monster Munch and sanitary towels. Like I said, it’s a joke. On the menu tonight? Len’s Glans, Leann Rimes, and the dance-off.
Your Week In Greg. (Loving the judges make-up schedule there. Craig going in twice and Bruno apparently requiring a 25 MINUTE SESSION)
Time now for our first round of these guys
Rinder’s face there very much like I’d expect it would be during sex with a female woman. Can I also just say that in this setting, with the lights dimmed and the smiles wiped off, Daisy’s make-up and hair job is actually
really working for me for the first time? She’ll have to wait a while to experience the Bottom 2, as the first couple finding themselves in jeopardy are
these two. Unfortunately she’s at the top of the stairs as well, and so has to make her way down the whole flight of them before she can get to Tess to be patronised so thoroughly that she might be forgiven for thinking she’s fallen into that bit in Cloud Atlas where a respected publishing agent gets institutionalised in a nursing home against their will (“WOOK AT WOOR WIDDUW FACE!”). I mean
who is this expression for? Lesley tells Tess that it feels strange and unfamiliar to be in the Bottom 2, and Tess asks Len for his advice. His advice is for Lesley not to make the same mistakes she made last time. Wow, I bet she hadn’t thought of that Len, so helpful. No wonder Lesley had that strop on It Takes Two about everyone treating her like the token old dear, it’s been well in evidence here.
To Claud 9 now
where Claudia tells everyone it feels like it’s Getting Serious now. So to lighten the mood, let’s talk to Louise! She says that no matter how high up the leaderboard you are, you can never feel totally safe because you still need the public vote. Well now I’m cheered up. Ore’s next, and he tells Claudia he’s going to be playing a “grotesque shopkeeper” for his dance next week. Apprentice crossover maybe? Anyway, he says it’s been a really emotional day for him. Oh isn’t it always? You’ll also be glad to hear that Joanne has now been elevated to his best mate in the whole world.
Rinder is next, and decides to give a little emotive speech about how all teachers, like Oksana is to him, are so inspirational, because they invest all of their emotional and creative capital in helping novices like him better himself. Oksana meanwhile looks like she’s investing all of her emotional and creative capital in
trying to decide whether to have salad or couscous salad for dinner. Such an odd pairing. Finally Cloudia reveals that she will be playing a witch next week for Hallowe’en, and she’s very excited because she’s never worn a Hallowe’en costume before. Well you’ll be wearing one probably every week between now and Christmas love, so get used to it.
Leann Rimes! Did she see a mouse? She’s up on that single to sing her new song “How To Kiss A Boy”. I’ve seen a lot of people saying they don’t know who Leann Rimes is, which makes me feel very old, because nobody who was alive in 1997 got through it without “How Do I Live?” being burnt into the very core of their brain. And that was 20 years ago now. OLD OLD OLD. Of course we’re not the only ones to have aged – back then Leann was just a fresh-faced virginal innocent farm girl corn fed teenager but look at her now
Not. That. Innocent. She accompanied by Oti and Gorka billowing around the floor with his top open, so if you’ll excuse me for a minute
I’m just going to enjoy that whilst I still feel young enough.
And what’s next is sure to add further years to my life.
Yes it’s Len’s Glans. (If you look closely enough you’ll see some of the text there is actually about gangs of baseball bat wielding thugs, which feels somewhat appropriate). We start with Len being asked to comment on Judge Rinder’s footwork in the jive, specifically his toe-heel-swivel. Which on closer inspection via slowmo turns out to be more of a toe-toe-nothing. Once the clip’s finished, Len pulls a bunch of ugly faces and grumbles away disgustedly that he wishes he hadn’t had to sit through that again.
Now you know how I feel during this segment every bloody week. He then launches into an extended story about how he used to practice his toe-heel-swivels at home by clinging on to the banister, which he then broke, which sent his mother ballistic. I’m feeling a new It Takes Two segment about Len’s dance stories of old coming on. I’m also feeling me fast-forwarding it quite a lot. Darcey’s next and she talks about
Anastacia’s quickstep footwork, and somehow manages to do it without dredging up some story about how she once kicked Wayne Sleep in the nutsack during a pas de bourree.
Craig is next asked to tell us what it means when he says that Greg is pigeon toed and flat-footed, like we don’t all have access to a dictionary, and Bruno closes us out by getting to guffaw noisily over footage of The Lift That Went Wrong.
There it is again, just in case you missed it. Bruno was of course very concerned for Katya’s safety and was terrified that she was going to be completely dropped, and crack her head open on the ballroom floor. If the tape picks up someone chanting “DROP HER ON HER FACE! DROP HER ON HER FACE!” it most certainly wasn’t him, you can’t prove anything.
these guys again. Anastacia’s face remaining an absolute highlight every week. I’m also lad I got to see Gorka’s sex face, at least one time. This leaves Greg and Daisy waiting to hear who is going to be squaring off with Lesley in the Bottom 2, and of course there’s absolutely no point leaving Daisy this late if you’re going to call her safe so
it’s her. My two best girls in the Bottom 2 in the same week, what a calamity. Greg mouths “what?!” and pulls a
disgruntled face at this turn of events, which is a surefire way of telling that he’s from the world of sport, rather than the world of light entertainment. Greg, being in the Bottom 2 for no discernable reason around this point in the competition is just a rite of passage that all young women have to go through in our culture. You may not understand it, you may even not like it, and feel an urgent urge to throw yourself on your sword to save her honour, possibly whilst ripping your shirt open, who am I to suggest anything, but it’s just how it is. Trust the Strictly anthropologists amongst us.
Daisy walks over to Tess and
the look on the girl in the audience there speaks for me. Also STOP TRYING TO DRAG HER HAND INTO YOUR ACTUAL VAJAYHOLE DALY, WE’VE TALKED ABOUT THIS BEFORE. Daisy says she really enjoyed the dance, so she’s happy that she gets to do it again, and Craig tells her to try to keep her stamina up this time and not look so exhausted. Given that in interview Daisy already wheezing like she’s coming up 10 flights of stairs, it seems unlikely.
Back to Claud 9 now with
the second half of our retinue of saved couples. Claudia asks Ed how he feels about playing a mad scientist for Hallowe’en Week, and he spools out a load of politician blah about thanking everyone who’s returned him as the MP for Strictlyshire for another year and he promises not to let them down next week. For this year’s Comedy Contestant, he’s really bloody boring isn’t he? Greg’s next and explains to Claudia that he was so shocked by the results because he danced much worse than other couples here tonight, so he thought for sure he’d be in the Bottom 2. Sat next to ED BALLS he says this.
Claudia next tells Anastacia that she loved her reaction to being called safe, particularly the bit where she screamed repeatedly right down the microphone. Anastacia apologises, and says she sometimes forgets she’s mic’d up. She says this whilst repeatedly tapping the thing with her hand, sending someone in the sound editing booth into a conniption fit. She thanks Gorka for stepping in and being her Prince Charming and thanks us all for saving her
right down the camera lens. Finally Claudia tries to get everyone excited about Danny doing the foxtrot next week, but it has to be cut to ribbons in the editing suite because that is literally an impossible task. It’s a foxtrot Claudia, you throw as much spooky woo over it as you like, and it’ll still be the okra of Strictly.
Next up a VT promoting Hallowe’en Week.
Well now I’m hyped.
Back to the balcony with our Bottom 2 in their final moments together and I swear
if Tess doesn’t take that look off her face soon, Lesley is going to slap it right off her. She tells Claudia that she feels glad that she’s got an opportunity to put her mistakes right, and Anton says that if he was a judge he’d have marked her into the final on Week 1. Really gunning for that empty chair isn’t he? Daisy follows up by saying she really wants to be in Hallowe’en Week, but Lesley is a fantastic dancer and she wishes her all the best.
Not such a fantastic dancer that this isn’t a fairly easy decision for the judges to make in the end though. Daisy and Aljaz wander over and give Lesley a big hug and
if Tess wants to know what genuine empathy looks like on a human face she could do worse than look here.
Lesley says she’s had a wonderful time and accepts that it has come to an end, and Anton credits her with pushing him really hard creatively to make all his routines for her as good as they could possibly be. It’s a sad goodbye for me, because Lesley could always be relief upon to bring entertainment to the show, especially speaking in this year where I’m paying more attention to It Takes Two than usual.
Ah well, Ed Balls lives on to forget entire routines and nearly drop women on their heads AM I BITTER MAYBE A LITTLE.