It struck me just now that Brenda has never choreographed a routine to “This Girl Is On Fire” and he absolutely absolutely should.
It starts with
a foreboding gate, as Gorka chimes out the opening of the show to a bored looking
Emperor Antonius, and his retinue of writhing demi-clad international sex-hoors. The bells signal the arrival of
a couple of goths with tea towels on their heads, banging their mum’s best curtain rails on the floor and trying to look foreboding but instead looking more like they got lost on the way to a Rasmus reunion gig. They have brought with them Kevin – a prisoner – too pure-hearted not to be cast as a good guy, too lumpen of body to take off his top like a good little fetish object like Giovanni and Aljaz. Yes Giovanni was allowed to take his top off this week, he wasn’t being covered up by Mickey Mouse. Suddenly the arrival of Kevin sparks an insurrection, and he and the other two heros commence beating off Pasha, Brenda, Gorka, AJ and Neil, aka THE BADDIES. Meanwhile the writhing mass of medieval promo girls (TWO SHOTS OF MEAD FOR A FIVER BOYS WOOT WOOT!)
look sultry and try not to choke on the talc they’re clapping into their own faces.
Anyway, it turns out that even five on three (one of whom is KEVIN), the bad boy pros can’t keep the good guys down with their poles long enough to finish, so as is so often the case the women have to wade in
and do the Who Run The World? dance at them until they behave. Then our heroes are brought before the Dark Emperor Antonius, who is asked “ANTONIUS! WILL YOU EVER GET TO DO ANYTHING IN A PRO DANCE EVER AGAIN THAT DOESN’T INVOLVE YOU SITTING IN A CHAIR LOOKING 500 YEARS OLD!” and lo Antonius, he said
NAY! And did comdemn the good guys, who we know are good because they have taken their tops off and are not wearing black when, when you think about it, they could be in this prison because they are sex traffickers or child murderers or because they voted for Abbey Clancy to win! At this death sentence from Antonius, Kevin, Aljaz and Giovanni devise the amazing and cunning plan of running away, which works! Despite a small incident involving the big foreboding gate which
good lord Jason Gilkison, have a wank on your own time. The three of them jump up through a magical portal (/this show’s own backside) and emerge in a magical land of Celtic flutes where everyone who just tried to kill them is floating around in white sheets and they’re either back home or everyone’s dead or something, what a load of old tut.
This was supposed to be a paso doble by the way. I know.
Once everything’s swept away, our hosts come out, both dressed in tribute to that whole routine.
Claudia as a convict, and Tess as an amorphous bloody mess. They both thank the pros for the number, and Claudia burbles that she’s not had that much fun in a dungeon since Blackpool.
The one S & M sex dungeon in the world less physically painful and dangerous inside than it is outside. On the order of ceremonies tonight? A “dance debrief”, a Gregory Porter, a dance off, and of course
your Week In Greg.
Leading, as ever, to the first wave of these
For someone so demonstrative at all other times, Alexandra’s not very good at these is she? Do better. Hitting the red light first are
these two. This is what happens when you promise so much (vomit) and then don’t deliver. As this is, notionally, if you ignore the fact that everyone knows that no-one’s voting for Davood, a shock, we do a quick pan of all the other celebrities looking stunned
who’s trying to remember what page of the Kama Sutra she left her bookmark in because it’s RUMBA WEEK NEXT BABY! YOU AMATEURS THOUGHT YOU COULD COMPETE WITH THE RAW SEX OF DEBBIE MCGEE? EAT THIS DANCE-OFF MF’ERS!
Davood and Nadiya make the long walk over to Tess, where Davood says “it is what it is” and rocks about on his heels. “It is what it is” is my absolutely favourite way reality tv people say “well this fucking sucks”. Nobody ever says “it is what it is” when what “it” is, is you winning something or doing a dance well. Davood says he’s glad of the opportunity to do it again, I guess like when that one good puke clears half the hangover. Tess by the way is at peak sympathy face here
She looks like she’s about to tell him there’s two ways you can get to Urmston. Tess asks Craig what they can do in the dance off, and Craig’s all “well the routine sucked, but you can’t do anything about that, so be passionate and stuff”.
Up to Claud 9
with our safe couples. Yes Alexandra is clutching a teddy bear. We’ll get to it. Susan is first up, talking about how Morecombe & Wise mean so much to so many people (really? That many? Still living?) and also how she’s really enjoying
holding hands with Jonnie Peacock. Kevin feigns jealousy in a very jocular manner, and this feels very much like the PG-13 version of all those weeks when Richard Arnold tried to stick his tongue down Erin Boag’s ear. Jonnie himself is asked about the possibility of him having acting lessons, and he’s very much “yeah…no”, before demonstrating to Craig his “relieved” face, to show he can act.
Please note Jonnie, if you pouch your cheeks out like that, Craig may be imagining your face in different circumstances involving relief ie his. Ruth follows up by talking about how she loved the tango, but had to pull herself through a really difficult dress rehearsal. Next week she has the samba, which Anton claims will be remarkably similar to the tango that we just saw. Ah, Anton’s latin.
Alexandra’s bear is indeed discussed next – his name is Family, because she was brought for Alexandra by her family. Great naming skills there Alex. Apparently he goes everywhere with her, so he’s a little bit tatty and torn now. Claudia then tries interviewing the teddy bear, and frankly she’d probably get more interesting content out of him than Davood or Charlotte so…worth a go I guess. Finally Simon thanks everyone for keeping him in, and good naturedly grizzles that Alexandra got more marks tonight than he’s got in the last two weeks combined. Claudia jokes that what Simon needs is a mascot, and Alexandra
plonks Family on his lap. Genuinely would prefer to see Simon dancing with Family than with Karen to be honest.
Gregory Porter! Singing “Smile”, as a preview of his forthcoming tribute album to Lily Allen. You should hear his version of “Hard Out Here For A Bitch”. Trascendent. Accompanying him are Dianne, dressed in a carpet remnant and Pasha, dressed for a Bonnie Tyler video
clutching a single flower. Dianne seems oblivious to Pasha’s attentions at first, which is odd, because if Pasha was stood there offering up his rosebud to me I’d be right [PUNCHLINE REDACTED]. Fortunately for the purposes of the dance, she eventually notices him, and they’re soon
flinging one another abaht. Obviously this should really be a nice elgant ballroom routine rather than contempowafting but God, after that intro I’m just grateful for something that looks like an actual dance, rather than an action sequence from a direct-to-video Croatian remake of Krull.
See? The classic “stick your face right between her boobs” end-pose. Pure class.
Up to “Dance Debrief” now, and it was at this point truly I marvelled at the transformation of Shirley Ballas from 16th century queen consort to
Cher Lloyd between shows. What a chameleon. We start with Shirley and Bruno as we witness them dancing away in their seats to Proud Mary during Alexandra’s dance.
Darcey’s face there I like in particular. Also, you can tell from this clip that like me Bruno was REALLY anticipating the use of Proud Mary arms and felt a bit hollow when they never came. If Ian Waite can work them into These Boots Are Made For Walking Gorka, you can work them into THE DANCE THEY’RE FROM. Shirley also lists a load of technical things that were right with Alexandra’s jive, but who cares about that? Darcey is next asked to explain exactly what’s wrong with Aston’s feet, and she gives us a physical demonstration
The camera zooms in further, but this is as close as I’m getting. I do not mess with ballerina feet, they are a warzone. Rest assured that the way Aston is dancing will ruin his ankles and he’ll be unable to move under his own steam from the age of 35 at least, if not earlier.
Craig is next up, to tell us what he meant when he said that Charlotte was dancing with her shoulders in her jive and really what is shown is a beautiful piece of footage of Charlotte bobbing about on the spot
flapping her hands like the hand-dryer in the ladies lavs just broke. Bruno closes with a bunch of jabber about how Ruth go much better this week because she really WENT FOR IT. Sound technical insight there.
Now time for Round 2
Thus leaving Joe and Charlotte as the Bottom 2 before the Bottom 2. I can’t believe they’re teasing me with Joe going home in WEEK FOUR how wantonly cruel. Fortunately
the wheels have come off the Brenda train as soon as he stopped shoveling controversy into the engine, like someone feeding one of the Hungry Hungry Hippos, as usually happens. They walk over to Tess, and Charlotte tells her that she really wanted to have a comeback and has been working really hard, and really loved this dance. The range of phrases on Charlotte’s Strictly drawstring really is quite limited isn’t it? Tess then asks Darcey what her advice for Charlotte is, and Darcey basically says “just do what you did last time, you’re going home anyway, might as well have a laugh”.
To the other safe couples now
and the first thing we cover is Aston and Brian’s friendship and the word “bromance” is actually used and nah mate, next celebrity please, not having that. Debbie is next, and she’s told that she will have the rumba next, the dance of love/hiding behind a cushion. Claudia asks Debbie if she’s ready to “do that” with her delivery boy (and if he’s not there in 30 minutes she gets a discount) (no just flinging it into next door’s rose bushes either Gio) and she’s clearly not sure, but Giovanni says she’s ready so she must be. Yeah…a lot of 15/16 year old girls talked like that at my school Debbie, and they were wrong as well.
Gemma’s next, and Claudia tells her that she’s now the last pro standing whose score has increased every week, after Aston, Brian and Mollie all stacked it and broke their streak this week. Gemma’s all
“oooh that’s nice” like she’s told her she’s just won a coupon for two smoothies for the price of one at her local Virgin Active. Claudia tells Gemma she’s on foxtrot next, and she does not seem best pleased to be back in ballroom again after two weeks of free roaming. Mollie meanwhile is desperate to be back in ballroom because she hates latin. Such a contrast these two. The Goofus and Gallant of Strictly. Finally Claudia covers all of the furnishings that have been used in Joe’s dances so far (a desk, a window, a door, a wardrobe) and asks if he is in fact building a house with all his props. Joe’s says that if that’s so, he’d like a pizza oven or a Lamborghini next. So middle class. Maybe he and Mollie are meant to be together after all (*sniggers*)
After a quick advert for It Takes Two we’re back and
goodness Davood doesn’t fill a suit poorly does he? Claudia asks him what’s running through his head and
unsurprisingly it’s not a lot. He’s still trying to process how he got his highest score yet and yet is still in the dance-off. I know. It’s a head-scratcher. Charlotte meanwhile says that she’s going to go out there and dance her socks off. In fact, she’s going to go out and dance like she’s never danced before.
Oh hun, you did every dance like you’d never danced before. Ever. Also I’m not sure if that look to camera’s supposed to convey “oh of COURSE Bruno sent us home, he hated us” but, if so, come on. (Shirley OF COURSE would have voted to save Davood if she’d been given a choice. Shirley would have voted to save CHIZZY over Charlotte if had come to it, and she’s not even there.)
Charlotte in her leaving speech says, guess what, she had a GREAT TIME in ALL OF THE DANCES, and also thanks everyone who voted for her, and also says “y’know” about twenty times. Brenda then gets to give his speech, and he says it’s been quite often now that he’s stood here saying “it was our time to go”, but it’s so rare to say it with such sadness
because let’s face it Tess, I’ve hated most of my partners, and they’ve hated me right back, but this year I was gifted someone who was already my mate, really good looking, and who didn’t answer back, and who I got to play protective Daddy Brenda for for a month and a bit, and isn’t that really what Strictly is all about? PEAK THIS GIRL! THIS GIRLIEST GIRL THAT EVER DID GIRL! GIRLIEST GIRL IN 100 SERIES, GIRLIEST THIS GIRL GIRL MCGIRL THIS GIRL FOREVER! SCREW YOU SHIRLEY! YOU COULD NEVER BE THIS GIRL BECAUSE YOU ARE NOT THAT KIND OF GIRL! THIS GIRL THOUGH? THIS GIRL IS *THE* THIS GIRL! MISS THIS GIRL! MISS THIS GIRL UNIVERSE! OH I’LL BE BACK THOUGH! DON’T YOU WORRY! THIS ISN’T OVER! AND YOU BRUNO! I’LL BUILD A NEW THIS GIRL! AND SHE’S BE THINNER, AND BLONDER, AND MEEKER, AND EVEN CRAPPER AT DANCING, AND WE’LL DO ALL OF THIS ALL OVER AGAIN! THIS GIRL VERSION 16! THIS GIRL 2018! THE SEQUEL! YOU’LL NEVER GET ME OFF STRICTLY! ME AND ANTON AND THIS GIRL AND WHATEVER 90 YEAR OLD BUZZARD HE’S STUCK WITH! WE’LL BURY THE LOT OF YOU! I’LL NEVER DIEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!
(Charlotte was also there)