Daisy Gets Plucked
We start, not in the middle of a pro dance extravaganza as per usual, but with the emergence of our hosts from the wings
literally in Tess’ case, to tell us that what we’re about to witness is a very special pro routine being done to remember the lives of ordinary men and women in World War 2. Which is presumably why Tess has come out wearing a parachute. It’s being told through the story of these two
“Basil & Madge”. I love that it’s not enough to have the usual segment about the Poppy Appeal in this weekend’s show, they now have to extend out things I don’t feel comfortable making fun of, like the love and sacrifice of two coot old people, to fill the whole show. What next, Len’s Glans goes over Stalingrad in slow motion whilst Bruno pulls funny faces over the top? DARLING THAT SHRAPNEL WOUND BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA, YOU LOOK LIKE YOU HAVE TOO MANY VODKA I TELL YOU.
Anyway, Basil and Madge fell in love during the war when he was in the army
and was a bit of a fox let’s be honest, and she was a nurse. Here they are
being portrayed by AJ & Chloe, for whom this is the designated showcase of the series. They’re dancing to “I’ll Be Seeing You” and whilst it’s very sweet, it doesn’t really work for me as a dance, just because Basil and Madge are narrating over the whole thing and whilst it’s moving and informative, it’s not exactly the spoken word bit of “Push The Button” is it? I would have preferred it if we’d had Rindy’s grandparents narrating over the top. By the time we got to
AJ going off to war they probably would have been gassing on about that one time they met Des O’Connor and how you can’t get proper meat any more it’s all got chemicals and stuff in it.
Anyway, here’s Basil and Madge
awww, etc etc. Oh no, wait, hang on
who could go “awwwww” in a more authentically patronising way than Tess Daly I stepped out of my lane there. Once she and Claudia are back out they remind us that we had dances from all corners of the globe this week – American Smooth, Spanish Paso Doble, Argentine Tango and Korean Salsa. And Louise got free holidays to all of them! Look forward to that comedy VT next week. Still there’s only room on the bus to Blackpool for 7 couples (they’re using Will’s seat to carry a champagne cooler) so let’s get down to the business of trimming off loose ends.
Bruno looks particularly ready doesn’t he? VENGEANCE FOR LAURA WILL BE HIS!
Your Week In Greg.
And after that
some of these. I do these for a bit of fun but I swear Ore is actually ejaculating there. There’s individual…twitches and everything. First facing the drop are
these two, and I was not ready for Daisy’s mortified little face I truly wasn’t. She goes over to Tess who stands there looking faux-sympathetic in her wimple, like one of the Scottish Widows come round to tell you that sorry but you are now bankrupt and they will be reposessing your conservatory, and says “sowwy, sowwy” about five times. Bloody Tess. Daisy says that she hopes this isn’t going to be her third and final dance-off (yes…I’m sure it’s…possible that Gangnam Style might not get tons of votes I guess) but she loved the dance and she feels sorry for Aljaz. I guess now he can add a “Just Before Blackpool” curse to his Hallowe’en curse. Darcey is asked for her advice for Daisy, and she tells her to soften her knees and transfer her weight forward onto the balls of her feet. Did you not see her face when she realised that she’s still not really that popular? She almost did that then and went arse over tit down the stairs. Poor Daisy.
Up to Claud 9 with our saved couples now and Ore bless him
is still in the afterglow a little bit there. Danny is first to be spoken to, and Claudia announces that at Blackpool he will be doing a Charleston to “Puttin’ On The Ritz”. Oti is going to be Young Frankenstein, and he her dancing Peter Boyle golem. That’s what I’m envisioning anyway. Better that than the Old Hollywood style Charleston we had last year when we all slid into the MultiHelenverse. Genuinely terrifying. Anyway, Danny is very excited and thanks everyone at home who voted for him. Claudia then turns to Cloudia and tells us that she’s going to be doing a jive to Hey Mickey! Jesus, what is this Tunes On Tuesday? Leave us in some suspense for SOME of what’s to come. Claudia also reveals that Cloudia is going to be dressed as a cheerleader for the performance, with pom poms and a rara skirt and everything, which Cloudia
seems very excited about. Less so AJ. It’s taken 10 years to grow those leg hairs in and now he’s going to have to wax them off! Both of them! As recompense he says he’s going to go on a full bender with Cloudia in Blackpool when they’re there. The Big Dipper AND chips! Crazy times. Ore meanwhile
is still going.
Next up, a brief interlude about the Poppy Appeal which features Ore & Joanne, Danny & Oti,
Len getting a selfie (bet he charged her a fiver for that as soon as the cameras are off), Daisy & Aljaz, Rinder, Cloudia & AJ, a smattering of loose pros, and Ed very much not getting hectored about the Iraq War at length by several people, which I imagine they had to cut out. I can’t really make fun of it much to be honest. Go buy a poppy or don’t buy a poppy but do donate or don’t donate but nick a poppy to show solidarity or don’t do anything and give all your money to Children In Need instead. That’s my line on it anyway.
Next up, the annual horrors of Captain Smugface and his Loo Roll Cover Orchestra
What a smug bastard. It’s like Frasier Crane and Rik from The Young Ones had a particularly pompous baby (Disclaimer : I’m sure there’s every chance Andre Rieu is a lovely person and there’s nothing at all pathological about his desire to tour the world with women arranged in hideous froo-froo dresses about him like taximdermy). He and his army are performing “Hallelujah” by Leonard Cohen in an arrangement that Simon Cowell himself would reject as being inappropriate for the meaning and tone of the song. At some point Brenda & Natalie come out and do lovely ballroom and I can’t even focus on that because
he’s smugging away at the back there the whole time. At some point some flowers fall from the ceiling, done, fin.
War is bad kids, except when it isn’t.
Next up, it’s time for another round of Len’s Glans. We start with Len himself, critiquing Ore’s rumba walks, and saying how he personally used to learn them when he was young – by pushing matchsticks around on the floor with his toes. Gawd alright Cinderellen. Did an army of cartoon mice teach you how to do samba rolls as well? Danny’s Argentine Tango is covered next, on the grounds that it “split the judges”. Yes, between 9s and 10s, what a controversy. Craig explains how he thought that Danny wasn’t truly leading the dance, so it could only be a 9, but then modifies this by saying he’s only being harsh because at this stage all the judges really are shredding the dances to pieces looking for errors in technique. YOU’VE GIVEN ED BALLS AN 8! TWICE!
Bruno follows this up by talking about Cloudia’s lovely Viennese Waltz floatiness and then we finish on everyone
watching the judges’ entirely spontaneous reaction to Ed doing Gangnam Style. Fortunately they’re mostly in shadow.
And now some more entirely unscripted reactions
I know, I can’t quite tell who they thought they were kidding leaving Louise this late either but here we are. This leaves Judge Rinder and Greg left to poner which of them officially is the least popular of the Underdog Males, with Judge Rinder in particularly being particularly impatient to find out. Seriously, he is stood there muttering quite visibly muttering “get on with it” under his breath the whole time. It’s like someone stuck behind an old dear in Tesco counting out her coins one by one.
Possibly Judge Rinder’s nan.
And then it isn’t even him who’s not safe.
Greg and Natalie saunter over to Tess and rather funnily, when Tess says “it’s your first time in the dance-off, are you disappointed?”, Greg misspeaks and says “I’m always disappointed”, to which Natalie’s face responds with a
YOU WOT MATE? How very dare he indeed. Greg expresses a desire to do the ddance again, but without mistakes this time, and then Craig offers him the advice of “don’t panic”, “correct your footwork” and “if I vote you out, I promise you a free handy if you dive between me and the bullet from Natalie’s flintlocks”.
Up to Claud 9 again now where
the thousand-yard-stares on both Kevin and Rinder speak volumes here, as we sat and listen as Claudia goes beyond just telling us the song and the outfit Ed’s getting next week, but also laying out the whole performance for us, potentially step by step. He’ll be performing to “Great Balls Of Fire” and doing a jive and descending from the ceiling playing a piano probably dressed as a chicken. Ed feigns shock at hearing he’s going to be doing all this
It’s not terribly convincing. Speaking of which, Claudia next asks Louise if she ever thought when she signed up that she’d make it this far and she says no of course she didn’t. Mmm hmm. Finally Claudia tells Judge Rinder that he looks very emotional and he says it’s like he’s heard a delicious Not Guilty verdict. Imagine pretending that he doesn’t prefer yelling “GUILTY!” and sentencing some reprobate to 2 weeks hard labour scrubbing the floors of Loose Women. This cluaditorium is full of liars tonight, full of them. He will be dancing the salsa next week, which Claudia says is Oksana’s favourite dance, because her husband is the world champion in it. Feminism in action for you there.
Next, a VT presaging the arrival of Blackpool with Ore imagining eating ice-cream, Greg imagining lounging in a deckchair, Louise imagining building a sandcastle, Ed imagining paddling in the sea, Daisy imagining going on a rollercoaster, Cloudia imagining donkey rides, Rinder imagining eating mushy peas and Danny
imagining everyone at home having a tug over him with his top off. And to think he’s giving interviews about refusing to dance topless because he believes in the purity of dahnce.
Back to the studio now with our
couples in danger. Daisy talks about how she wants to do the routine better, Aljaz says he thinks it was her best performance yet (lol ok), Greg still conntinues to drop his “h”s everywhere at the first hint of stress and
for a dance-off where both performers were going into it having scored equally on the night, this felt oddly pre-ordained even if Greg hadn’t raised his game significantly in his dance-off performance. (Bruno was the hold-out for Daisy by the way, try to look surprised I dare you). On your third go you’d better hope you’re up against a duffer, or time almost certainly will be called. That and Daisy had the most stagnant set of scores ever on Strictly. 32-30-31-31-32-33-34-31. It was like listening to Paloma Faith trying to remember what age she is again.
She gives a nice departure speech, thanking everyone backstage and then
produces a slightly more friendly version of their pose from the opening credits with Aljaz, calling him her hero. He in turn praises her for how upbeat and joyous she always was, and says that she taught him so much. I can only imagine. Tess?
Still needs to nob off and a half.