Strictly Come Dancing 14 – Week 11 Performance


Last Week : Lo, Len did send out the Batsignal and pointed out to us all that Danny, Louise and Ore had all just done really good dances (flailed about a bit, spun around a lot, did the haka near a table respectively) and the public did listen to his sage words and let go of their love for Balls and finally released him, and also put Judge Rinder on notice whilst they were at it. Then someone in production realised that this looked a bit unfair on Cloudia so everyone spent literally every segment of the next week’s It Takes Two saying she should have got a 10, like, even in the middle of the Pro Challenge Pasha yelled out “CLOUDIA SHOULD HAVE GOT A 10!” and the adjudicators from the Guiness Book Of Records gave him three bonus points for it. On the Thursday show, Haircut 100 renamed themselves Haircut 10 and performed their classic hit single “Argentine Tango Score Plus One”.

This week

We see the pay off.


Oooh look it’s Neil Jones looming in from back of shot at the end of the credits. Get ready for some more of that this week.

We open with

oh lord. Let it never be said that I have not demonstrably warmed to Anton over the last few years, but a full song and dance routine where he croaks out an original song written especially for tonight, inaudibly in places, which isn’t even of the standard of that one time they pretended the Strictly Theme Tune had lyrics, which lasts for a full 4 minutes and which feels like it lasts even more? No. As Anton sings about how the magic of musicals is that anything could happen and it’s the most unpredictable type of performance there is (Tonight : Danny tops the leaderboard, Kevin is a massive ham, Cloudia does a bunch of lifts, Rinder gurns his way through a latin dance and nobody cares about Ore) he walks around through everyone else dressed up as various characters from the stage

Natalie as Mary Poppins (I guess if you had a magic umbrella you wouldn’t have to repeatedly park in disabled parking spaces) (yes that’s the scandal this week, I guess we can’t go one week this series without one)

Karen with her rum-tum-tugger hanging out

the entire male pro cast as Danny Zuko because apparently they couldn’t force any of them to be Kenickie or Doody or Ralph Malph or whoever

Brendan as The Ghost Of Anton Past

Bruno playing the piano much like you’d expect one of the puppets from Stingray to “play the piano”

Giovanni as Miserable Les (I know it’s a forlorn hope, but if Helen George had emerged from underneath that giant pile of coats it would have made it all worthwhile) and finally Craig as

a guy who’s just been busted by the police hiring a rent boy for the evening and is trying his best to make out he was just asking for directions.


(It’s also kind of noticable that both Cloudia and Louise get to do walk on parts, and none of the male celebrities do, although

Cloudia looks awkward as fudge throughout and to be honest, the men are probably better off out of it because the whole thing is such a mess)

Once everyone’s run back into make-up Claudia and Tess are out and

Tess has stuck her head through the arm-hole hasn’t she? There is absolutely no other explanation for that…”look”. You can tell Claudia’s dying to tell her but also quite enjoying not doing so. They thank the pros and two of the celebs and assorted children for helping out with that opening routine BUT WAIT THERE’S MORE. Because there’s only five couples left, we’re getting a special bonus pro routine at the end of the show, themed around West Side Story. As a result, Louise is going to get 6 extra marks. Don’t ask why, she just is. Also they remind us that last week a Strictly record was set, as the judges went all the way, and Danny got the first ever perfect score for a samba. This means that the rumba is now the only dance that remains with its virtue intact.

Ore Oduba & Joanne Clifton dancing the foxtrot

I have to say, if Joanne doesn’t turn into a giant blueberry at the end of this number I’m going to be very disappointed. Tess tells us that the story of this dance is that Ore is going to give Joanne a Golden Ticket, in the guise of Willy Wonka, but he’s hoping for his own golden ticket to get automatically at least into the semis in return. No Ore, that’s Kevin Clifton. I can see how you’d get confused.

Incidentally Musicals Week is only elevated

by the presence of these two witheringly eyeing Tess up during this link, clearly wishing she was being played by Bernadette Peters instead. You just can’t get the leading ladies these days.

VT time, and Ore tells us that he loved the paso doble. Ore appears to love a lot of things on Strictly. His pro partner, the audience, the ballroom, It Takes Two, every single dance…well except one. I wouldn’t sit through his Charleston again for anything, but at least it exists as one shining moment in time where Ore effing hated being there and couldn’t disguise it under a sea of benign presenterisms. He does admit that being in the big pressure cooker of the Strictly studio caused him to make a mistake in his paso though, when he nearly drove Joanne halfway into the audience. Joanne tells him that the important thing is that he recovered immediately.

Also can she have that 50p he owes her for unlocking the air hockey table, she doesn’t mean to be stingy but every penny counts, especially at this time of year.

Training now, and Ore tells us that he will be dancing the foxtrot this week to Pure Imagination from Charlie & The Chocolate Factory. Joanne meanwhile

has started packing up already. She’s not saying that she definitely thinks he’s getting eliminated this week or next week, but the props have all got to go back to The Early Learning Centre at some point so they might as well start boxing them up. Whilst they all get put in a van, she’s going to take him off to the theatre, to the version of Charlie & The Chocolate Factory currently playing in the West End, for inspiration.

I don’t remember there being a giant diarrhoea geyser in the show, but I guess I’m only familiar with the film version. As they gawp

Willy himself emerges and if you saw that walking out and about in your local park your finger would be hovering over the Crimestoppers number already wouldnt it? The actor tells Ore that the character of Willy Wonka is very English, upright, mischievous, playful, mysterious and DEFINITELY NOT A PAEDO. Ore says that he’s going to copy everything the actor does, and bring that to his performance on Saturday Night. Somewhere up in heaven Gene Wilder weeps “but Ore…I thought this was a tribute to me” and sends a message via ouija board to his widow to cancel that Skype congratulations message.


If you’re running a sweepstake at home as to how long it would take this week before a celebrity’s contribution to a dance would be obscured entirely by backing dancers then

congratulations to whoever said “seven seconds”. It’s longer than I would have guessed. I don’t remember the part of Charlie And The Chocolate Factory with the giant dancing flowers, but I guess that’s an easier costume to find than “jitterbugging Gummy Bear”. Although I would have paid cash money to see Chloe as one. Some poor bugger does have to be a sweetie of some sort

although what sort it is I have no idea. A candy turd? (Sorry, the recapping for this dance has been very scatalogical so far hasn’t it?). I think my favourite part is that Chloe (as a flower) takes the hat away from Ore at the beginning, but doesn’t depost it in the audience/on the Judges Table so she’s literally running around with it

for the whole routine, clattering randomly through camerashot, looking ridiculous the whole time. What an awkward star. The whole dance is very reminiscent of Georgia’s Musicals Week routine from last year – a foxtrot that’s on first, quite cute as an idea, but marred by the backing dancers wandering around doing not an awful lot, that ultimately ends up in the dance-off. From memory, Georgia’s technique was probably a bit better though, as Ore gets very skippity at points. Still, probably Ore’s best “pure” ballroom so far, as low a bar as that is to clear. It closes with Chloe handing Ore his hat back

and him whistling through the factory gates with a slightly pained looking Joanne. That is not the face of someone being taken somewhere they want to go.

There’s some limited wooping but it dies quickly, meaning they have to walk from the orchestra pit all the way to Tess, in more or less silence, which is just beyond awkward. Once at Tess, she introduces our orchestra and singers and

Davearch needn’t look so smug that the Man In The Hat has had to go into hospital after choking on his own drumstick. You win this round DAVE but we’ll get the last laugh, YOU’LL SEE. Len starts for the judges, saying that it was all delicious and that if anyone can kick the show off in style the “Candy Man can”. Apparently tha’st Anton’s nickname now. Or at least…it is with Len. He says Ore had style, elegance, and the backing dancers didn’t interfere at all. Well they did Len, repeatedly, but here we are. Bruno’s next and he says he was expecting “Wacky Willy Wonka”, and instead he got “Willy Wonder”. Hard to believe that Bruno was pleased at the absence of Wacky Willy, but apparently it’s a compliment. He liked the simple elegance of the routine, but felt that Ore often stuttered because he couldn’t keep to the slower parts of the song.

Craig’s next, saying that Ore needed to be further up on his toes in the chenais turns and close his feet more and correct his balance issues and all that, but at the heart of it all he felt that the most important thing is that Ore had swing and sway and was very classy. Yes, nothing says “classy” like clinging to a squeaky Northern hoofer with a pink rinse, being chased around a dance floor covered in giant magic mushrooms by a sugar coated dog turd, all dressed as a bar of Dairy Milk, as a perma-tanned geranium serves as your hatrack. Darcey closes by saying that Ore glided with style and brought pure ballroom style back to Strictly whilst also being a mystical Mr Wonka. Was there something in the pollen those dancing flowers were spraying around I want some.

Up to Claud 9 they oompa-loompa where Claudia asks Ore if he had a good week, and OF COURSE Ore had a good week. It’s the greatest good week that ever gooded. It was a childhood dream come true. Willy Wonka is his FAVOURITE character from his FAVOURITE film ever and it was SO SPECIAL to perform it with JOANNE CLIFTON. There is a limit to how much of this positivity I can take, it has to be said. Scores are in


This Week’s Terms & Conditions?

Sung to the tune of “Any Dream Will Do” by Brenda Cole, wearing a multicoloured dressing gown. How NOBODY makes a joke about what he might have been doing with that giant sheep is beyond me. It’s all great fun, but no this.

Judge Rinder & Oksana Platero dancing the samba

Mmm, samba in the death slot. Feel the earth opening up beneath your feet Rindy. Tess tells us that Judge Rinder will be performing to a song from “Jersey Boys”, the musical about The Four Seasons, but it’s the four judges Judge Rinder will have to impress. The judges do very much bring to mind a Four Seasons pizza yes. Bruno’s a fun guy, Craig brings the ham, Darcey’s got the salty pucker of an anchovy, and Len’s the olives I pick off and throw in the bin.

VT now and Rinder is sighing to Oksana that rumba wasn’t his best received dance, but he guesses it probably wasn’t his worst and he enjoyed doing it.

I mean, he appears to literally be hailing a taxi at this point, but if he says so. At this point he then turns to Oksana and says that he likes to try everything in life at least once

oh Christ they’re going to do it aren’t they, this is terrifying. Sex with a woman or sex with a robot, whatever he means I don’t want to watch. (He plays it off like he’s talking about being in the dance off, but there’s no mistaking the look in his eyes. These two went out with a bang. A bum bangy bang). Oksana says (again, with reference to the dance off, allegedly) that she was much more stressed than Judge Rinder was. Which sounds a bit “opinion as fact” but then you remember that Oksana has built in probes to detect blood pressure and skin moisture levels. Expect her to be appearing on the next series of Judge Rinder on ITV as the lie detector machine. If you tell the truth? Samba. A lie? She PASOS YOU INTO THE NEXT STUDIO.

Training now, and Oksana tells us that Jersey Boys is based on 1960s rock and roll and to help Judge Rinder to get into the spirit she’s invited

some estate agents in to watch! Fiona Fullerton has sent them from her own agency to give her blessings, after her truly iconic salsambcha in Series 11, which was also to a Four Seasons song. So amazing it awoke…well I think we all remember what it awoke, and would rather not revisit it in too much detail. Oh ok, not really, this is the current cast of Jersey Boys, and they are here to tell Judge Rinder that he is so cool he could easily have been in the actual Four Seasons for sure. They give Rinder the official red blazer that only real Jersey Boys get, and he does his best to seem genuinely chuffed. Well he was never going to be part of the Four Tops was he?


God Oksana’s hard drive is massive. Old Soviet technology I guess. She and Judge Rinder are performing to “Oh What A Night!” which just has “goodbye song” written all over it doesn’t it? “I’ve had a lovely time, it’s been great, but now it’s over, so long”. To bury him further, Rinder’s also been given backing dancers

who make him look like an utter spare part from the very first beat. Really, ultimately, there was just nowhere to go with Rinder and party latin at this stage, other than if they’d given him a more flattering gimmick than “Judge Rinder occasionally dances with a bunch of men who dance better than he does” to allow him to spread his wings performance wise. He’s pulling out all the usual – the silly faces (which at this point have been clearly co-opted to be used so he can count the beats out), the exaggerated hips, the jumping off the stage…but it’s been done. And the less said about his

samba rolls the better. It looks like they’re being performed through jam. I feel like he deserved a better exit, if he was going to go out on Musicals Week, than crap latin to a jukebox musical. This should have been his week damnit!


As Neil Jones runs off for his second costume change of the night already

they walk over to Tess, who calls Judge Rinder “The King Of Cool”. Which is a bit like having Su Pollard calling you a “Master Of Sophisticated Hauteur”. Bruno starts for the judges yelling, goadingly, in reference to another Four Seasons song, “WALK LIKE A MAN, DANCE LIKE A NUT!”

Oksana likes nuts. She feeds them to her parrot. They make her very happy. Bruno proceeds to wibble on that Rinder was a cross between Frankie Valli and Carmen Miranda and that it was all flat-footed and half-forgotten but great fun. Craig’s next, and he agrees that Rinder was flat footed and stompy but his bottom was bouncing for Brazil so he enjoyed that part. Rinder snarls at Craig that it must have hurt him to say something nice like that, and Craig deadpans that yes it did. Yeah, Craig won that round, I feel.

Darcey follows, saying that Rinder has no problem “catching a vibe at a party”. Is that some sort of DRUG SLANG Darcey, I’m onto you. Still, she loved his energy and had a lot of fun. Len closes by saying that if that dance, done to a FOUR SEASONS song, was a SEASON, it would be SUMMER. In that it looks like Judge Rinder was performing it to the same level he had back in August before this series started, yes it would.

Up to Claud 9 they tilt, where Claudia tells him that his fellow contestants and pros love him so much that they were stood there watching that routine and screaming. Particularly during the samba rolls. Screaming and screaming and screaming. Someone had to slap Pasha to get him to stop. Rinder says everyone there is so lovely and supportive, but you can tell he misses his Greg. Scores are in


Claudia’s Surreal Prop Interlude?

This one. Again.

Louise Redknapp & Kevin Clifton dancing the quickstep

Well at least the hat is appropriate this time I guess. Tess tells us that Louise is playing the part of a cowgirl this week, so she’d better to get ready to harness her horses and whip crack away.

Louise looks very much like she’s going to consult the Yellow Pages for someone to do that for her.

VT time, and Kevin sighs dreamily at Louise “who knew that our waltz would come out like that?”. Well you choreographed it hun. Louise says that she was particularly chuffed to have received good comments from Darcey, who is the Queen Of Ballerinas. I thought ballerinas operated under a system of representative democracy determined by single transferable vote but ok. Finally, we see just how ecstatic Louise was backstage after winnin the Cha Cha Challenge. It is bizarre. She’s running around screaming that she’s the happiest she’s ever been in her entire LIFE over the Cha Cha Challenge. So random.

Training now, and Kevin apparently has the perfect place to take Louise to teach her how to be a cowgirl. Do you know who could have done with that?

Too right. Anyway, Kevin takes Louise to one of those theme “ghost towns” where they film specials of bad sitcoms and

look, I’m not going to pretend I wasn’t a little aroused by this outfit, now let’s all move on with our lives as best we can. Louise on the other hand is

horrified/bored/not into it (*delete as appropriate). Honestly, if Louise *is* looking to parlay her Strictly experience into a stint on the West End stage, we need to find her a role where she gets to look bored, pissy and disgusted, she’s pulling it off in spades here. Velma von Tussle? Joanne from Company? Eeyore in a Winnie The Pooh musical? The whole segment ends with a shoot-out between Louise and Kevin over who can get their 10 paddle out quickest and it’s Louise hooray.


Look at that queen on the right there building up her part, she can come back. Yes Kevin is getting Louise to start her routine by shouting something, to help her get into character. Yes he is making her do it in an awkwardly forced American accent. No, he cannot be stopped. Louise is dancing her quickstep to “The Deadwood Stage” aka that song that goes “whipcrack away whipcrack away whipcrack away” over and over. Happily there is not the relevant prop for Louise to take home, otherwise we’d be seeing clips of Jamie Redknapp next week walking very funnily indeed. It’s a routine of…well five parts really. Firstly there’s

Musical Theatre Louise, slapping her panto thighs, and grinning winningly down the camera, putting a small amount of gambling chips on the possibility of an actual Calamity Jane revival in the near future (this seems unlikely). Then there’s

Quickstep Louise. This lasts for about 30 seconds. It’s quite a lot of running around and not an awful lot of rotation but the footwork and frame looks decent enough. Then there’s Pop Video Louise, who lines up all her backing dancers behind her and does some very Brian Friedman looking choreography whilst they all mirror behind her. Please note that in places this Louise also doubles up as

Cistitis Louise. Fourthly there’s

Coyote Ugly Louise, up on the judges desk stomping it out, looking quite like she’d get to get down now before Len can make a “joke” about how he got an eyeful of her minge. Finally there’s

“How Many More Seconds Of Quickstep Does Kevin Have To Tack On At The End To Keep Len Happy?” Louise. This lasts for about 10 to 15 seconds.

Don’t ever say that her performances don’t have layers.

She walks over to Tess who, by the looks of it

tries to break every bone in her hand. Craig starts for the judges, saying that he loved the routine and that all the ideas in there were great. There were just so many genres in that quickstep! None of them quickstep, but there we are. Can’t have it all. Darcey’s next, saying that Louise really became “Miss Calamity” in that routine (WWF Women’s Champion March 1982 to January 1983) but felt she obviously enjoyed the hoedown/linedance parts more than the quickstep parts. And people say Darcey’s a useless judge – you would have needed a mass spectrometer to even locate the quickstep parts of that routine, let alone weigh in on Louise’s relative enjoyment of them.

Len’s next and tells Louise that he doesn’t know about the DEADWOOD STAGE but she could definitely go on the (*thousand year long pause whilst he checks his script*) (RETIRE) West End Stage. I would imagine that’s the aim yes. As long as Jamie approves of the part. No kissing other boys or songs about fannies. Anyway as much as Len liked it, he would have preferred there to be more quickstep in there. Bruno closes by yelling that Louise whipped the quickstep into perfect shape, and there was so much character, choreography and content in there. Wow, choreography AND content?! Louise is a DOUBLE THREAT!

Up to Claud 9 they canter, where Claudia immediately tells Louise that Tim Peake is in the audience and he loved it. Ore’s all

“NO FAIR. Tim Peake is my favourite fictional character, I wanted him to like MY dance, I’ve wanted Tim Peake to be my friend since I was 5, I’m going to do an outer space samba next week and it’s going to be the best dance ever”. Meanwhile Kevin enthuses about how this is a great week for him because he gets to wear assless chaps.

I’ve seen men use that stance at urinals before. It was never as impressive as they thought it was there either. Giovanni looks into it though. Scores are in


Cloudia Fragapane & AJ Pritchard dancing the salsa

Already this feels like one of those Channel 4 documentaries with clickbait titles about people who live life with “alternative sexualities” that I always have to turn off after at most 3 minutes because the combination of hysterical laughter and extreme mortification makes me feel like I just ingested Pop Rocks and Pepsi at the same time and my intestines might explode. Tess tells us that despite her “brilliant dancing” Cloudia still hasn’t received a 10. Every time I think they need to stop whining about this I remember this is the series where Ed Balls got an 8 for 20 seconds of quickstep and swinging a plank in someone’s face. And then I remember I can complain about two things at once. If not more.

VT time, and Cloudia tells AJ that she felt nervous before her Argentine Tango last week, because she wanted to do her best and not be in the Bottom 2 again. AJ says that he enjoyed the Cha Cha Challenge because all of the couples were on the floor at the same time. Cloudia then says she was sad not to win it, because she is competitive, but she is glad that she did not finish last! There’s something increasingly “what I did on my holidays” about these pre-training VTs isn’t there? Can’t wait for the edition where Claudia teaches her a coming-of-age life lesson about what boys like AJ really mean when they say they respect your decision to take it slow and that they don’t have to stick lifts and somersaults into every routine if you don’t want to.

Training now, and AJ says that salsa training is going quite well, but his big problem is trying to teach Cloudia how to get into character.

To help with the process, AJ takes Cloudia to the zoo to watch lions in their natural state.

Doing absolutely fuck all. Frankly, I would have loved it if Cloudia and AJ had taken inspiration from this and produced an authentic leonine salsa where Cloudia lay flat on her back on the giant polystyrene rock yawning, whilst AJ licked his balls and all the backing dancers bobbed around the floor looking confused waiting for them to get on with it already. They then speak to some sort of weird MRA zookeeper who tells Cloudia that as lions live in a pride that means Cloudia has to follow AJ’s lead and do everything he says. Fairly sure lion prides are matriarchal but ok. AJ and Cloudia then

stand around taking selfies and desperately trying to pretend the lions are doing anything.


I have to say, when I said the quantity of grass involved in this week’s show was getting in the way of the performances this isn’t quite what I had in mind but it’s a handy visual metaphor all the same. Cloudia and AJ come bouncing out through the weeds and then




backwards roll thingummy that ends up with her

skirt getting hitched to her right tit which she has to hastily uncouple

weird Rhythm Nation cod-African dance breakdown

awkward lift to finish. Oh and

her dress is stuck to her tit again. I have to say I’m slightly surprised that this got such a positive reaction from people in general, because it feels a bit like a Supermarket Own-Brand version of Danny’s dance last week, except with added lifts, but I guess it’s such a dry week generally that people are lurching for any port in a storm. I will say that the lifts themselves are her weakest demonstrations of her gymnastic ability yet, just because the transitions into and out of them are pretty clunky, and nothing much else about the routine really gets going, other than AJ’s arse in those trousers.

They go over to Tess, Cloudia peels her dress off her cleavage again, and Darcey starts for the judges by saying that that was a high energy routine that was full of content and she feels like Cloudia is starting to show character details now in her performances now, although she would have liked a little more fierceness in her roars. Yes it’s the fine details now isn’t it? The timbre of a roar, the angle of a thigh slap, the smoothness with which you throw your hat at a giant pink polystyrene flower. MUSICALS WEEK! Len follows by saying that Cloudia definitely captured the flavour of both The Lion King and salsa and that he never has any worries that she’s going to do anything wrong. Cloudia’s dad looks on like he does, this week, with those backing dancers again. He told the show after the last lot at Blackpool NO MORE NEW BOYS, but did they listen, no they didn’t.

Bruno’s next, and he rolls out his Pumbaa as he tells Cloudia

Hakuna Matata. Bloody BBC. Celebates these Muslim holidays but I bet they don’t even mention when it’s Christmas eh? Anyway, Bruno tells Cloudia that tonight he saw that the kitten finally had a bit of bite and that she reminded him of a little Spice Girl out there. Oh THAT explains the undeserved 10, he thought Bunto was back. He does admit that he saw a mistake with the final lift, but he’s going to blame it on AJ. Fair enough. Quite a lot about this couple I’m blaming on AJ. Craig closes by telling Cloudia that she was still spotting the floor throughout that routine, some of her dismounts were ugly, and that she needed to create more hip action by pressing through the balls of her feet. But her body isolations were great and the lifts for the most part were fine so have a 9 dahling, he’s giving one to everyone this evening! (Except you Rinder go home0

Up to Claud 9 now, where Cloudia waxes lyrical about how this was her favourite week because of the theme and the hair and the costume and make-up. So maybe everyone should stop saying how the show should let her be a sophisticated grown-up because she seems perfectly happy running around dressed as toddler Hamlet with kids party face paints on. Scores are in

37. Bless you Bruno, for being so obliging to the show’s storyboarders

Danny Mac & Oti Mabuse dancing the tango

CARLEY STENSON IS READY. Tess tells us that Danny will be performing to the song “One Night Only” from Dreamgirls, but the only thing Danny is dreaming of is a spot in the semi finals.

Also for Oti to let go of his testicles now please. He learnt the steps, you can let go now Oti. OTI.

VT time and it’s mostly just footage of Danny’s samba from last week, overlaid with the judges commentary. Not nearly enough of it Bruno’s. Danny confides in Oti that that samba was the first time this series he’s ever let go on the dancefloor.

Good job he was wearing brown trousers.

Training now, and Danny and Oti get into a small passive aggressive debate via talking head interview over whether Oti is shouting at Danny or just “talking in a really loud voice”. She’s shouting. She then starts singing. And she’s no Anton du Beke in the vocal department let’s put it that way. Once this has all been settled (I think) Oti takes Danny out to see Dreamgirls, a segment which is actually soundtracked with “I’m Coming Out” by Diana Ross because the music department didn’t have enough fun soundtracking his Blackpool VT to “Fuck You” by Lily Allen. Although even harsher is Danny himself saying that it was great to meet “the star of the show Amber Riley” over this shot of him

hugging her whilst the other two main Dreamgirls stand at the side looking like chopped mince. We can’t all be in Glee you know. Danny says that it was particularly helpful to speak with Amber as she won Dancing With The Stars in America so she can give him advice. She tells him to make sure he doesn’t get cast in the same year as a gymnast, because they always bloody win. NOT REALLY, SHE JUST TALKS ABOUT HER NERVES, WHICH I’M FAIRLY SURE HE’S COVERED HIMSELF ALREADY AT SOME POINT!


Hmmm, not too sure if Davearch is going to be too happy about you bringing your own pre-prepared backing track with you Danny, this isn’t Dancing On Ice. We all know what happened to the Man In The Hat when he got sassy. Danny lays the track down and then we cut to

Oti as Deena. I have to say, between the black Willy Wonka, the white Dreamgirls, the gay Frankie Valli, and most of all the Anglo-Italian female Simba, we’re living in a post-identity paradise of cross-casting this week, and I haven’t even seen the Daily Express complain once. I have on the other hand see a lot of people expressing pity for Oti for having this music choice “forced” on her, but between how hard she is

feeling her fantasy here and how much almost every dance she’s done for Danny has focused on speed over accuracy, I’m not convinced she didn’t pick it herself. For whatever reason though, it’s not working this week, as you want a tango to move stealthily and moodily around the dancefloor, and Danny’s just running about kicking and crouching. Also, I’m not going to do a poll on the worst use of backing dancers because let’s face it, the giant flowers would win but

tango is an intimate couples dance, not some sort of six person shoulder massage cum gang bang. This is dumb.


Once they’re over at Tess she gets the approval from the most important person.

Apparently that is Danny’s Mum. Danny Mac’s Mum For Head Judge 2017! Len starts for the judges, gamping that it’s not just ONE NIGHT ONLY, Danny produces great dances EVERY NIGHT (RETIRE!). Unfortunately he didn’t see much in the way of heel leads, which are kind of essential for tango, but here we are. He did like the part where all six of the dancers walked down the floor in hold together though. He’s the only one. Bruno’s next, hollering that that dreamboat of a tango could run for years as far as he’s concerned. A West End presided over by Bruno Tonioli is a happy thought indeed. PLAYS? WHAT ARE THESE PLAYS? SINGING AND BOYS IN THEIR PANTS AND DANCE DANCE DANCE!

Craig’s next, chiding Danny for his footwork, saying he’s never going to get a 10 for that dance unless he sorts his heel leads out. Wanna bet Craig? It’s Week 11 and he’s the Judges Favourite. He’d have to go a lot further than messing up some heel leads to get that 10 paddle out of Bruno’s hands. Darcey closes, presumably awkwardly fingering the 10 paddle under her desk that she’s already locked in on her electronic keypad saying that she didn’t even NOTICE the footwork because his TOP LINE was so BEAUTIFUL. Oh Darcey.

Up to Claud 9 they disco, where Claudia slurs “HYUGE MUSHICALS….FAN” in his face whilst wagging her finger an inch from his nose. She’s so drunk. Honestly, go to iPlayer and play those two seconds or so for yourself, it’s the drunkest I’ve ever heard anyone sound on this show and I am including both Katie Derham and Nancy Dell’olio in that. Danny for his part thanks Oti for the routine and then the “backin…EXTRA pros”. Such a politician. Scores are in



But wait, yet again…THERE’S MORE! It’s time for that bonus pro routine we were promised. Firstly, the Jets (Brenda, Aljaz, Neil)

face off against the Sharks (Giovanni, Gorka, Pasha) in a scaffolding themed face off. It’s hard to focus on anything here other than Brenda leaping around gurning his face off (small mercies it’s not Kevin I guess) because Giovanni’s leading the other side but with the camera constantly wodged too close to his face to be able to tell what’s going on. Next up are

Aljaz and Janette as young lovers Tony and Maria although we do get a brief interlude so that

Karen Clifton can let us all know that she is playing the part of Anita this evening, and she’s playin’ it BITCHAY. With an A.

BITCHAAAAAAAY. Anyway, the bit with Aljaz and Janette is very sweet, and they do clearly have genuine chemistry together, even if all they can do together dance wise is have Aljaz chuck Janette about because he’s three foot taller than her. Finally, as it’s West Side Story, we close on America and all the female pros

wooshing their skirts about clappin and yelling “AI AI AI!”.

Truly this was the best bit of Musicals Week. By which I mean it was the only good bit of Musicals Week. By which I mean it was short.


32 thoughts on “Strictly Come Dancing 14 – Week 11 Performance

  1. ChaChaChavvy

    That ‘Natalie Lowe Parks in the Disabled Space’ thread title on DS just reminds me of some weird sexual euphemism. ‘You know, that Natalie Lowe? (nudge, nudge) She likes to park in the disabled space, don’t you know?’ ‘She never does!’ ‘She does. I read it somewhere.’

      1. Evenratsdance

        Yep. I’ll take anything that brings out the Holly hand, but the Four Tops joke was excellent. ( I hope you never played word association when you were a child, Monkseal – all the other kids would have hated you.)

  2. catherinehirst

    This may have been your best one yet. I snort-laughed my way through it. I don’t say it enough, but you are 50% (some weeks even higher, like this one) of my
    enjoyment of this stupid show. So thank you.

  3. DJ Mikey

    I love that they showed the contrast between Joanne and Oti’s coaching styles.

    Joanne “You messed up, but you got it back and finished the performance brilliantly.”

    Oti “You will get this right or I’m going to cut off the one body part you don’t really need for dancing. Now I’m going to stop water boarding you and we’ll do it again from the top.”

  4. DJ Mikey

    Also I can’t believe you let me down dear Monkie – how could possibly fail to get a screenshot/comment on the moment immediately after Danny hands the record to Neil and it looks like they’re flirting awkwardly in some gay bar..

  5. Coz

    Your blog makes the show for me. All the internalised ranting and raving I do is sublimely expressed right here. Thank you 🙂

  6. Madmags

    So many great musicals out there! Why the heck do TPTB pick 2 kids’ films, 2 jukeboxes and Deadwood Stage? Are they on some kind of commission? (Except Kevin’s number which, of course, is his own fantasy.) And who let Anton sing? Are the blind music-picking monkeys deaf as well?

    Rubbish programme this week, great blog as usual but sorry, Monkseal, it’s chaîné turns (or chaînés) not chenais.

    Giovanni as Miserable Les! Love it. I’ll never think of him as anything else now.

    1. Baby Jane Hudson

      My thoughts exactly – there’s such an amazing choice of musicals to pick from the past 90 years and they chose these?! It’s almost as if the person choosing the songs doesn’t actually like or have any knowledge of the genre (or just appropriate songs for dances full stop). And then of course there was the obligatory Chicago tribute in the results show, because there aren’t any other musicals in existence with amazing dancing in them.

      The West Side Story routine didn’t really work for me. I’m not sure re-choreographing Jerome Robbins’s iconic work was the wisest move and the pros, as great as they are at ballroom and Latin, are not ballet/jazz dancers and it showed, especially in the Sharks and Jets number.

      Anyway, thanks for the laughs Monkseal, it was good to see the Holly hand back – if we could just have Dr Hamela’s mad squiggle eyes back my Strictly experience will be complete.

  7. DJ Mikey

    “Giovanni as Miserable Les! Love it. I’ll never think of him as anything else now.”

    Until next year when they dress him up as a sexy, sparkly, vampire lion – it may or may not be during Halloween week..

  8. StormyTV

    Good lord, Musicals Week was so bad this year it almost made me wish for Around the World Week again. Whoever thought gigantic flowers blocking the camera was a good idea needs to be shot.

    1. BeyonceCastle

      Indeed. Georgia O’Queef eat your heart out.
      I have worked out who is doing Kev’s hair….MrsAnt. She not only does face painting, she has taken over Kev’s coiff. That is the only explanation why he now looks like AntNotDec, minus the beard (sorry MrsDec). Seriously stick him in khaki, it’s uncanny man.

    2. monkseal Post author

      I’ve no idea when the second theme week went from “the best contestants get given big dramatic routine to show their full performance capability” to “the best contestants get given BACKIN DANSUHS AND FLYIN SERFBOARDS” but it wasn’t an improvement.

  9. John

    Stay with here a second people. I think that lame ballroom number for Ore plus wafting obscuring flower people was to dump him in the bottom two this week – to engineer the bottom two bounce. They want him in the final.

    I’m not sure of the why. Does there have to be a why? I’ll get back to you on the why.

    1. BeyonceCastle

      Clifton duel (if Will hadn’t flounced, it would have been Clifton trio vs Oti).
      As it is, they better hope Ore gets through, or it’ll be Jo and Karen trolling everyone by screeching support for Kev on the balcony again.

    2. monkseal Post author

      I’m not sure the bottom 2 bounce is a thing at this point as Rindy just demonstrated. Maybe if it’s an Alesha level OUTRAGE but not really otherwise.

  10. Isolde

    Rather than two dances by the pros, I’d have preferred a little quiz about the musicals featured.
    Q1. (to Kevin and Louise) What makes you think that Calamity Jane was a cowgirl?

    1. Gerry

      Q2. (to Claudia and AJ) Shouldn’t a sleek Claudia have leapt nimbly onto the Judges’ table and dragged Craig by the neck to the middle of the floor, while AJ loafed around indolently, licking himself intimately, as he watched her make her kill?

      1. Gerry

        You could also have had the other backing dancers all being females dressed as lionesses waiting until Claudia had eaten her fill

  11. Elaine

    Didn’t even watch the show till Sunday, so un invested was I. Dear me, what a car crash. The ” best” thing may even have been Anton’s singing…god help us all!


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