So it’s Musicals Week, and if you’re wondering if the show has learnt from the problems of last year’s iteration (overproduction, backing dancers a poppin’ all up in everyone’s faces, routines that look entirely like auditions for work in the West End rather than ballroom/latin) then wonder no more, as they absolutely have not. For the overproduction, the show starts with an interminable tribute to musicals that’s 50% costumes and 50% Anton singing like someone’s dad at a wedding who is “surprisingly good” for the first 30 seconds and then it lasts through 8 songs and a costume change and CAN THEY BRING THE STARTERS OUT ALREADY I WANT MY BAKED CAMEMBERT. For the routines that look more like West End numbers, then marvel at Kevin’s cowboy “quickstep” for Louise which makes me long for the authenticity of Kellie Bright Oompa Viennese Waltz where she just jumped up and down on a table swinging her tankards. It combines the choreography of the classic pop videos “5-6-7-8” by Steps and “(Boom!) I Want Your Love” by Atomic Kitten and about three bars worth of quickstep. It’s quite fun but there’s no disguising the fact it’s gone more off-piste than Sonny Bono. As for the pro dancers? I feel like I saw more of Neil Jones this evening than I saw of people who actually were supposed to be the routines. (Chloe meanwhile gets to be a giant flower, somewhere towards the back, once)
Our other celebs? The scripting to give Cloudia a 10 to correct the undermarking she got last week to correct the overmarking she got the week before (keep up at the back) ends up having the untidiest of possible endings – a Lion King salsambcha routine that’s all lifts because they’re what she does best, that are executed spectacularly but with awkward transitions, that ends up getting a Bruno 10 because nobody else can really get the pep up but they’ve been promising her one all week. Oti meanwhile has made more effort than most to get her routine looking like what it’s supposed to be (a disco Dreamgirls tango) than most, so it’s a shame Danny doesn’t seem particularly mindful that what makes a tango is the heel leads, because otherwise it looks like so much angry walking. Ore’s Willy Wonka foxtrot is quite cute, and very appropriate, but is the most stymied by backing dancers, because their costumes make them actively about 10 feet tall and they’re wandering between him and the camera-lens constantly. They also can’t hide his slightly skippy technique. Finally Rinder is just pushed out there to dance, mostly, with a Jersey Boys themed samba with three “seasons” as backing dancers who all outdance him outrageously but no other staging to distract. In the death slot. It feels like the last clod of dirt thrown on the grave of this year’s Underdog Males, but I guess stranger things have happened on this show. Mostly this week.
Finally we get a West Side Story themed pro dance. If Will Young had to die for anything, then it might as well be quality dance filler like that.