Oh yeah, I left Gary Barlow out of the summary post, funny that…
We start on
a street in Cuba, where AJ is trying to seduce Oti, before Neil and Anton both crash in to have a go. I’m not sure if it hurts or helps this routine that it revolves around Oti having to fend off attentions from men who she would in real life snap in half with her pinkie toe. About the only real moment of sexual tension in the whole thing is when she
eye-screws the camera. Anyway, nice placement of Schrodinger’s Hydrant there. Can’t wait for it to g
there we are. The whole routine is being danced to “She Bangs” by Ricky Martin and is really just an excuse to watch Oti do latin whilst all the male pros slide around on their knees around her looking various different degrees of gonkish which…I guess how much you enjoyed it depends on how much you love Oti, because there’s precious little else going on. For those of you following It Takes Two you’ll know that Choreographer-In-Chief Jason Gilkison has promised us showcase routines for all the pros this year, which means by my count we’re still waiting for turns from Pasha, Katya, Natalie, AJ, and Chloe. Don’t lie, it’s Chloe’s you’re hankering for most, right? Anyway, as for Oti?
Once the tickertape’s been cleared up and Anton’s heart medication’s been given a top up, the band take to their instruments again, and
sticking a poppy on that Viking Burial Mound is even more bizarre than The One Show pinning one to the Cookie Monster. At least the Cookie Monster’s a vaguely realistic shape. It looks like she’s borrowed those two from Cupid Stunt. It’s like she’s literally stuck a couple of hubcaps down there. If that’s all nude illusion work alone then I’m David Copperfield. Tess’s Twin Towers Of Titty Terror there tell us that tonight we will be witness to Len’s Glans, Gary Barlow, and a dance-off between a woman with one working foot and the world’s most earnest man. Sounds thrilling. But first!
Your Week In Greg. Ooh…Urgent Greg. I like it.
Then, as usual
these guys. And some people are clearly getting more overinvested than others. Natalie. A fair sprinkling around the leaderboard there lining up for the shock
of these two being called there. There’s something quite funny about Ore pulling his best “yes, I understand this and accept it and am fine with it and I’m not saying I saw it coming but I’d like you to know that also it is not a shock because I am not arrogant” face of zen, whilst Bruno screams “WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAT?” at the top of his lungs over from the judges desk. Seriously, I want to give verity to my account here but I fear if I give that “what?” as many “a”s as it deserves then my a button would get wedged in and never come out again. Meanwhile Cloudia
stifles a burp.
Ore wanders over to Tess and says that it’s an awful feeling to be in the Bottom 2, but we’ve reached “that part of the competition” where you know it could be your time to go any week now. I do love it when the contestants define “the part of the competition where literally anyone, even the most amazing people, even the best dancers, the most lovely people, the prettiest and most fragrant of all the flowers can leave” as coincidentally starting at “the point when I first find myself in danger”.
Bruno is asked for his advice but he’s still halfway through “whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat?”
Up to Claud 9 now with our safe couples, and Daisy is first to be spoken to, as Claudia talks with her about how she thought she was guaranteed to be in the Bottom 2…and then she wasn’t! In response Daisy gets so high-pitched in thanking her fans, all culminating in her doing Dr Hamela Prayer Hands
WRAPPING THEM AROUND HER FACE, that I’d just like to apologise again to all the people to whom I was all “yeah Daisy’s super cool, she’s the new Holly Valance, just a chill chick, givin’ no shits”. I mean, I still *like* her but, yes. Claudia then asks Aljaz if he’s going to stop being Strict Aljaz and go back to being Nice Aljaz this week again and
Aljaz looks as confused as I am. Did that happen? Was I strict this week? What VT was this? Let’s just bring Naughty Aljaz back thanks. Preferably in some sort of thong.
Danny’s next, and is congratulated by Claudia for getting his first 10s. Danny’s pleased, Oti’s all
“Scott Maslen got his first 10s at Hallowe’en. Jay got his in Movie Week. Louisa Lytton got hers for HER SECOND DANCE. Don’t praise him Claudia, he’s a SLACKER and a DISAPPOINTMENT”. Greg closes us out by giving some fairly bland thank yous to everyone who voted for him, as Claudia reveals that next week he will be doing a paso and Danny will be doing an Argentine Tango. Well now there’s a testosterone overload. And that’s just in my living room (stop laughing why are you laughing).
Gary Barlow’s eyebrows, looking like a particularly easy jump in a mid 90s platform game. Hang on
There we go. He’s here to sing a particularly dreary song, even by his standards, from his new musical about those WI ladies who got their kit off for a calendar one time. Gary Barlow’s finger as ever being on the very last beat of the pulse of this nation’s cultural rhythms. There’s a giant sunflower on the floor and then all the pros come out and flail around dressed as sunflowers and then the WI Choir comes out
and Gary lets them go “ooo ooo ooo ooo” whilst wearing giant sunflowers and looking bored out of their minds. The song contains the line “there are coastlines in the heart you won’t reach if you don’t start, set a course for off the chart”. And to top everything off, it’s revealed here where all those leaves that have been falling down from the ceiling all show, making it feel a bit like the ceiling was peeling around the dancers the whole time, constantly have come from – they were being used for this. Marvelous.
If this gets anywhere near winning a Monkie you can all go eat a bee.
Next up, the judges promenade on for Len’s Lens to the last few bars of “Stand And Deliver” by Adam And The Ants, surely a Hallowe’en routine in the making. Paso maybe? Anyway
the intros to Len’s Lens are getting barer than Claudia’s Surreal Prop Interludes in terms of thematic desperation, so let’s thank the lord we only have five more of these to go yes? We start with Daisy’s Viennese Waltz, and Len explaining just how limited the steps for a traditional Viennese Waltz are. You can turn to the left, you can turn to the right (fashion!), and you can do the fleckerl, and that’s it really. So all credit to Aljaz, apparently for sticking that step in where they pretended to be a bicycle, and also the cute little hops.
Yes I’m not seeing any problem there either well done everybody concerned. Next up, Greg’s free arm
Yes it’s not the most elegant thing in the world is it? Darcey says that she thinks that Greg is so focused on getting the technique right in hold, that when he leaves it he loses his focus and just lets it go higgledy-piggeldy. Maybe Natalie should choreograph a bit where he just waves a plank in her face for 20 seconds or so?
Craig’s next and has to talk about Danny’s jumping splits which really
speak for themselves to be honest, and then Bruno is tasked with talking about the dramatic and technical perfection of Louise’s Argentine Tango over a slow-mo clip where she clearly has a bit of atumbly-wumbly moment bless her. But the important thing is it got Bruno off. And even more clearly, Len. We close with a “private moment” on the dancefloor between Louise & Kevin, before they start their Argentine Tango, whilst their VT is playing wherein he give her a little pep talk, telling her that no matter what happens she’s brilliant, and that she’s smashed it this week, and he’s proud of her, whilst Louise
glazes over and says “ok” over and over again. LET HER GET INTO CHARACTER KEVIN! SHE NEEDS TO BODY-ROLL INTO CHARACTER!
And from that
to these. I love how Katya is going for it full bore and she’s getting no help at all from Ed. Maybe next year when they give you a hunk and try to sell us BATTLE OF THE JONESESES dear. This leaves us with a NotBottom2 of Laura and Cloudia and as ever on weeks like these, when one of the Judges Faves sits in the Bottom 2, this feels more like the wait to see who’s going home than the actual dance-off result reveal does. In this case
it’s Laura. Don’t worry Laura, you get to go out and potentially do even more lasting damage to your ankle joint on the way out! She walks to Tess, who asks her if this is easier because she’s been in the dance-off already (LOL rub it in why don’t you?) and says that it doesn’t, really, but she wants to do the dance again, so she’s just going to go out there and do what the judges said. I would love if this involves her running across the line of sight of the camera doing batucadas, cucarachas, literally anything, even the Cha Cha Funky Chicken, as Giovanni does his 20 show-off spins at the end. What’s the worst that could happen? Craig tells Laura that she has a fantastic attitude, but she needs to correct the mistakes she made the first time. Pissing off whoever distributed the dance styles this week?
Back to Claud 9 again, where we immediately delve further still into Kevin’s Psychological Regimen for Louise. Apparently he makes her say the same mantra to herself every week before she goes onto the dancefloor. Is it “YOU’RE GOING HOME IN A FAHCKIN’ AMBULANCE?”. No. It’s “I am awesome”. Louis agrees that yes this happens, and no she does not like it. Claudia turns to Ed next and reveals that next week he will be dancing the salsa to Gangnam Style. Wow, I feel like the kitchen sink just straight up hit me right in the middle of my face. Judge Rinder also gets to reveal his dance – it’s the foxtrot – and the reason – because his grandparents are in the audience and he’s doing this whole show for them. Rare instance of the dance draw being kind there, I would have made him do Flintstones Charleston for them. Claudia finally turns to Cloudia and asks her how her gymnastics training is going (fine) and also “how’s your head?”. Cloudia could have won my vote here by saying “I’ve never had any complaints” but she does not, so I must still withhold it.
After a brief It Takes Two advert, it’s time to have one last
sympathy session with our couples on the edge of a salsamba faceoff. Ore tees us off with a vertaible torrent of platitudes (“living the dream”, “part of the process”, “just go out there and give it our all”) and Laura likewise (“Giovanni is brilliant”, “thanks to everyone behind the scenes”, “every week is a bonus”).
The presenter vs presenter dance-offs are always the blandest aren’t they? And yes, Bruno did save Ore and send Laura home. I guess even he has his limits. Tess asks Laura if, as this year’s THOOPAFAN, she felt her Strictly experience lived up to her expectations and Laura’s all “…………everyone backstage is very nice!”. Oh and thanks to Giovanni for stuff. He in turn thanks her for “teaching him a lot” and taking him on this journey.
I think, in the end, they probably didn’t shag. That’s as good a journey’s end as any other, right?