Aoibhin & Vitali (I’m so proud that I’ve made it all the way to the quarter finals with this one and I still don’t know how to spell her name without looking it up. And I got “Aljaz Skorjanec” down after one episode. Well done Ireland, you have defeated me.) The story for Aoibhin and Vitali this week was, in the wake of the last two episodes of great big gonzo bonzo lifts and partner swaps and nip-flashing paso dobles, that Vitali had to slow things down, make things less melodramatic, and show off basic ballroom technique and storytelling. In a tango of all dances. To SHAKIRA. Poor Vitali. You could feel the urge to get stupid running through every vein and artery of his body but he resisted. Not that it did him or Aoibhin much good, as Lady Judge went on another random tear (the choreography was still too fast apparently) and the dance ended up in the dance-off. Personally I appreciated the opportunity to be reminded of my all time favourite Shakira lyric (“I love you for free and I’m not your mother”) but this all doesn’t look good for my favourite couple’s chances of winning.
Des & Karen : Fortunately for Aoibhin it was Des she wound up against in the final battle, and not anybody who…well was in with any chance of beating her. Yes, sadly, the producers had it out for Des C this week, bulwarking him at the bottom of the leaderboard with the male frontrunner on a Bottom 2 bounce, the more popular female frontrunner, and a new dad directly above him, and made him jive. TWICE. Yes, this week, on top of the regular dances, we had a “Ballroom Blitz” which was basically a Strictly “athon” but with less build up and less effort put in (I swear, Dayl, Denise and Aoibhin were the only ones doing actual dance moves, and Dayl was the only one not doing the same two or three in a loop). It didn’t affect the leaderboard in the slightest, but it did highlight even further the gulf in quality between the leading pack and the chasers, and the poor old guy never stood a chance. And if that wasn’t enough, they made him do a VT that…well
there we are. A maybe undignified exit for poor Des, but let’s face it, he can be happy to make it this far, and also to live through Karen’s epic pronounciation of “BOORGERS” in person. How many “o”s can one woman fit into a word that’s not actually spelled with any let’s find out.
Aidan & Valeria : Those of you using this show to fuel your homoerotic fantasies probably peaked this week at Nicky Byrne chanting “DADDY! DADDY! DADDY! DADDY!” as Aidan climbed the stairs to the…Byrnes Unit? Does that work? Anyway, this week Aidan’s other half gave birth to a baby girl and of course the show went absolutely nutso overboard over it, festooning the set with big pink balloons and flowers and
whatever’s going on here. Of course despite everything Valeria was here to be weird, and so during this week when Aidan is presumably supposed to be bonding the most with his nearest and dearest, she decided to choreograph an absolutey filthy cha cha to “Cake By The Ocean” which featured her wearing the flimsiest grass-effect skirt and bikini top and which featured choreography wherein Aidan kissed her all over her bare arms. Oh Valeria. If Aidan really is cruising to victory based on County Kerry regional votes, it’s her that’ll make it all bearable.
Denise & Ryan So after a week where Ryan was obviously going to be at his most…Ryanish (indeed the VT opened with him demanding that the judges go to Specsavers for daring to give Denise a 7) the operation to sand down some of his rougher edges hit full speed with a
family visit. How could Ryan continue his bad boy tear with Denise’s mum, dad and adorable children around? Forcefed tea after tea and strapped into his chair to rifle through the scrapbook that Denise’s dad has been making which
principally appeared to be about Des, to be honest. Mercifully this worked, and Ryan got through an entire episode without tantrumming all over Denise’s chances of finishing…well it feels like 2nd is the best she can hope for at this point, but Ore Oduba just won so you never can tell can you? Ryan & Denise were also helped out this week by getting Charleston out of the sorting hat just one week after Aidan got 28 (which in Strictly terms is about a 37/38) for one where his arms and legs barely worked, meaning anybody doing one moving forwards should be aiming for a 30 MINIMUM. Which luckily for Denise, is what she got.
Dayl & Ksenia : With Vitali forcibly neutered by Female Judge, Ryan on tranqs, and Valeria hemmed in by the twn boundaries of a cha cha and a live birth to contend with, it was left to Ksenia to push back the boundaries of DAHNCE this week, which she did via the medium of a BIG POINTY STICK. Which was given to Dayl too wield in the paso doble. In fairness, this is maybe less innovative than Thalia having to swing a giant plastic banana about in the jive, but also less stupid, so it all balances out. To help Dayl get through the technicalities of swinging a stick about, unfortunately Ksenia had to resort to one of the more cliched storyline paths for paso doble week – the flamenco instructor, this iteration
being dressed like she was the maitre d’ in a bad Chinese restaurent for some reason. Still all this was enough to get Dayl decent scores for his dance which, along with his winning (/being the only person to really bother trying in) the Jiveathon, put him back on course after a rough episode last week.