Well look, as a pre-season presumptive winner SPORTS STAH she still turned out better than Joe Calzaghe.
on a shot of a balcony and a slow zoom in on the face of Midlands Icon
Beverley Knight, as she sings the start of “Memory”, from Cats. Just imagine if Tom Hooper, instead of rendering a bunch of beloved celebrities (and James Corden) (and Rebel Wilson) as a nightmarish bundle of fur, flesh, and face, had just given them all really big hair, and trusted that to be enough. What a happier world that would be. Of course, someone would still be singing songs from Cats in it, so not perfect. But happier. A lot of the pros are here as well, standing as still as possible because it’s more dramatic and that. None of them really get to do much dancing but hey
it gives us an opportunity to really truly appreciate Aljaz’s enormous manly jawline (seriously, wouldn’t work as a drag queen, just wouldn’t) and that’s something. Let’s skip to the good bit ie
TOUUUUUUUUUUUUCHHHHHHH MEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE, IT’S SO EASY TO LEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEAVE MEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE.
There that’s the good bit, skip to the end.
As the balcony gets wheeled off until its next needed, our hosts emerge
Do you think Claudia’s collar was made of the bits they’ve cut out of Tess’ shoulders? ECONOMISING! The ladies here remind us that last night Karim got the first perfect score of the series, but Kelvin and Emma both got 39, so all in all an absolutely amazingly ludicrous night of overmarking all round (not you Chris and Alex lol bye). But more importantly than that, Claudia has heard that some of you out there may have had a problem with the online voting, because it was down for about 10 minutes, at which point everyone ran around yelling “CANCEL THE VOTE, IT’S NOT FAIR, THIS ISN’T GOOD ENOUGH, I DEMAND A FULL REFUND AND ALL THE VOTES TO BE CARRIED OVER AND ALSO SACK SHIRLEY FOR SOME REASON!”. So Claudia just wants to reassure you all that the independent Judge Judy caterer went over the figures, pulled on all the wires, sucked her pen, and then re-calibrated the left voting phalange, and she can assure you that the result is absolutely fair. Oh and on a side note, it’s now 4:30am in the studio and Davood has eaten Faye Tozer for sustenance because he got hungry and we’d run out of complementary Freddos, never mind.
All that sorted, there’s still time for another guest performance, Dance Debrief, endless reams of “advice” segments
Shirley and Bruno having a snog and the return of
Your Week In Greg.
After that, two more of these
remember lines open for voting just after next week’s Results Show, it’s going to be brutal this year I can tell. (Remember that little sang-froid interview Anton du Beke gave in the wake of Sargegate about how the show is the show, it is what it is, nobody ever said it ever had to make logical sense, and ever since his Lesley Garrett lost to that Chris Parker he’s known not to take it too seriously or get too invested? It seems so long ago now doesn’t it?) So anyway, that’s the two people you probably assumed were the least popular ones safe, so get ready for some Public Favourites to get the knife
and here’s the first. Of course he’s been practising his magnanimity internally since about Week 3 so he’s well prepared to buff off Tess’s “AWW NO, WOOK AT DA WIDDUW FACE!” baby talk and say it’s been a long time coming. Karen?
Yup, finds it hilarious. Chris says he’s much happier to be doing this dance again than he would have been to do his paso doble again. Is it the backing dancers? Or the array of snacks available? Shirley is asked for her advice, and she instead ploughs in to congratulate Chris, as making the quarter-finals as a complete novice is quite a feat. Someone does it every year Shirls. Last year there were three, if not four, given that who knows where Chucky Venice came from, dance wise, Mars most likely. Anyway, Chris joins the long long roll call of celebs this year who have inspired men up and down the nation to get off their sofas and dance, according to Shirley, and is told to just go out and have fun, because it’s never over til its over. Says the woman who was putting Emma Barton in the final the second she’d finished dancing.
Up to Claud 9 for a chat as I
reflect on how unpleasant that thing they’ve done to Amy’s hair is. Looks like an impacted Walnut Whip. Claudia asks Karim which was more warming for him – getting a 10 from Craig, or his wonderful Strictly family all being there celebrating with him and cheering. Kevin in particular, given that at the time he was about 4 inches behind Karim’s right ear screaming “OH COME ON! PLEASE! PLEEEEEEEEEEEASE! YES! ALMOST THERE NOW! COME ON, GIVE IT UP!”. And Karim of course can ask Stacey Dooley how that feels. Anyway, Karim is of course a big old Needy Nerys, so he says the latter Claudia, his Strictly best friends mean so much to him, their hugs mean more than scores ever could.
Emma and her
raspberry dandruff next, and she’s reminded that she’s been flying high these last three weeks, but before that, she was often right near the bottom of the leaderboard. Almost as though the producers realised neither Michelle nor Saffron were happening and changed the storyboard for the series halfway through or something. Emma says that she’s really thrilled for herself and for Anton (no “…well really I felt it was an ensemble piece” this week) and then talks about how that one Couples Choice VT has made her parents celebrities to the extent that they can’t even go to the supermarket any more. God imagine how Chris’ wife feels she’s probably had to lock herself in the basement like the end of Shaun Of The Dead, fending off dental hygienists from Clacton busting through her windows moaning “you looking for a thirrrrrrrrrrrrrrrd?”
Idina Menzel, singing “Seasons Of Love” from absolutely my least favourite musical, even including ones by Andrew Lloyd Webber, Rent! I also really don’t like Idina Menzel’s singing voice, so this is extra joyous for me. If Beverley had been doing something from Spring Awakening this really would have been the worst Musicals Week Results Show ever. At some point
Giovanni and Karen come out in their jimjams and have a whirlybird about and I’m fine with them, they’re fine, that’s ok.
Rent though. Ugh. Imagine taking La Boheme and doing that to it.
Dance Debrief next and
poor Motsi but she is not comfortable sitting down in that dress. At all. There’s more adjusting of position and wriggling about going on there than Karim’s bangers and mash in that harness in the Charleston. She’s up to start as well, talking us through Kelvin’s amazing acting in his American Smooth.
A shrug, a raised eyebrow, a little Gallic pout AND he’s shoving a woman over? IT’S LIKE I’M IN PARIS LIVE AND IN PERSON! Also let’s just
appreciate Bruno and Craig having a little moment together whilst Motsi and Claudia are chatting. Fifteen years working together, it was bound to happen sooner or later. Shirley next, sticking the fork into Alex by saying that from the footage she’s being shown here Claudia she can’t even tell Alex is supposed to be dancing samba. Shirley says the first thing she learnt as a dancer is that you should be able to watch anyone dance, without the music playing, and work out what dance it is. I mean…I doubt it would have helped here Shirley but sure, I get your general point.
Karim’s dance is then made all about
Craig, as you’d expect, as we zoom in on every pore on his face as he desperately tried to look…disappointed? Annoyed? Like he was having an existential crisis? Like he just remembered he’s the judge on the lowest salary? Whatever it is, it’s deeply unconvincing. Craig explains why he gave Karim’s routine a 10 (it was brilliant, it was marvellous, it was perfect, he enjoyed every second) as the footage of Karim jumping up and down in white trousers gives…an alternative possible explanation, and then Bruno explains to us all again who Josephine Baker was, in reference to Emma’s performance of the choreography she was given in her Charleston.
Anton looking more of a Kenneth Baker. (One for the oldies there, keep reading, do)
More time to fill, so the judges are asked for their advice for the celebrities to survive the travails of Two Dance Week. Motsi tells them to put the work in, Shirley recommends getting the choreography down first then adding detail later, Craig says that two dances means double the rehearsal time (lol no it doesn’t you absolute mad man, how many hours a day would AJ and Saffron have been training, 146? Is that why they were bussed, to avoid them destroying the laws of temporal physics?) and Bruno’s left with “don’t be nervous!”. Wise words.
Back down to the floor now and the Bottom 2 before the Bottom 2
and they absolutely should have announced Alex in danger earlier, because it’s obvious they wouldn’t leave her til last to be called safe two weeks in a row, and also Chris vs Kelvin would have been more of a tantalising face-off here, if only because their adjacent leaderboard positions would have made this a true “which DED NORMAL bloke does the public love more?” face-off. As it is
oops it’s Alex & Neil in trouble. How POISED does Oti look there? An icon.
The pair of them walk over to Tess, getting a warm round of “you’re clearly about to be eliminated” applause from the audience. Alex, seems, like Chris, to be relatively ok with her potential pending doom, and Tess says that this must be because the thought of the semi-finals don’t daunt her as, being a footballer, she’s used to them. And as an England footballer, no further. Craig is asked for his advice, and he tells Alex to really show her personality and try to get a bit more fluidity in her bounce. Also, if you’ve got time, completely change the choreography so Shirley doesn’t hate it, there’s an idea.
Up to Claud 9 where
Emma, Anton, Karim and Amy are forming the world’s weirdest interview panel, and Kelvin is being reminded that he’s never scored lower than a 7 over the course of the entire competition. Are we getting a DOMINANT CHAMPION for a change after the last three were all “plucky triers who played consistently 3rd to a couple of RINGAHS”? It makes a change I guess. The only other winners to never dip below a 7? Alesha and Kara. What exalted company! (Although there’s a fair few “one 6 in Week One and never again”s studded throughout the line-up). Kelvin does the whole “OOH, NO PRESSURE!” bit, and Oti then has to play through the “Kelvin is crap Monday through Wednesday” storyline that she’s trying to get over, that oddly enough there’s never any footage of. He’s TOTALLY vulnerable Claudia, he definitely DOES have to work hard HONEST. He’s having a jurnee every single week, he’s the biggest jurnee contestant EVAH!
There then follow a load of semi final dance reveals – Emma says she’s doing waltz and cha cha, Karim is doing American Smooth and Argentine Tango (how nasty do you think the fight between Amy and Anton to grab Vincent Simone got? Anton full on biting Amy on the wrist whilst she screamed “NO, I GOT HERE FIRST, YOU’RE DOING PARTY LATIN YOU JUST FOR MEN DRENCHED THROWBACK, HA HA HA HA HA HA!”), and Kelvin is doing paso doble and quickstep, but I’m not even paying attention to that because my quick mental maths adds this up to Chris on rumba, and I’m SO excited. How many times do you think he’ll make Karen accidentally crack up in the middle of it, fifty? Maybe a neater “Once every two seconds” and go for 45. For all those debating by the way, purely on elimination % numbers, Kelvin has the easiest draw, then Chris, then Emma, then Karim. Not that it matters at this stage, Chris has the all important hardest draw of being “not great at dancing”.
Dance-off next and, for the second time this series, Shirley uses her casting vote to
SMITETH THOSE WHO WOULD DO LATIN WRONG! Bruno is the other vote to boot Alex here, which…I have to be honest, I’ve not been mapping out the judges biases sufficiently this series to work out if I’m surprised or not. He did low-score Chris last week and high score Alex, so let’s say I am. Ish. Mildly. Maybe he’s just not down with G-O-D? From here we cut to Claud 9 with
Emma Barton stricken with the revelation that she is this year’s Last Woman Standing. Anton’s first. What an honour.
Alex gives her leaving speech, saying that as a big fan of the show (another rival thoopafan crushed in Emma’s wake, GET A DIFFERENT GIG GUYS, SHE WON THIS ONE) she can’t believe she’s had this opportunity, and thanks Neil for being such a great pro, before Tess cues in her Best Bits, which she calls “a film about your time on Strictly”. Alright Tess, calm down, it’s not The Irishman. When we come back (these clips packages really do make this bit quite stilted don’t they?) Alex says that she’s proud of the process, and proud of the struggle and she’s proud that people got to see her, as I sit and idly wonder if any sportsperson is going to make the final ever again. IT’S BEEN SEVEN YEARS.
Neil? Gets a little choked up and says that Alex has taught him so much, and he’s so glad that he got a partner this year.
Yeah, they didn’t really milk “NEIL FINALLY GETS A PARTNER AFTER THREE YEARS SAT ON THE BENCH!” that much did they? Do you know who would have? Kevin.
BYE NICE SPORTS LADY!