So no Alexandra Burke semi-final redemption here, no last minute reprieve in the name of the purity of dahnce, or via a quirk of maths, and for all Pasha’s chivalry and Ashley’s 10s she finds herself in the Bottom 2 again, and she cries lightly and decorously again, and says all the same things about going out and trying her best again, and she wins the dance-off again, on a clean sweep again, this time against Lauren, who holds her tango together slightly better than she did last time, but obviously still not to the level required to take down a ringah. Next week Ashley will be dragged by the press non-stop, sent death threats on twitter, probably cry a bit on It Takes Two, then do two dances she’s already done, quite possibly worse, they often are, and then a Pasha showdance (and I mean…I love Pasha but…), then finish in the great non-winner morass with everyone presuming she finished fourth. She’ll then go on tour and probably not win anything there either.
ARE YOU HAVING FUN YET?!
Lauren meanwhile gets to go out on a redemptive dance done quite well and acutely embarrassing AJ by giving a speech about what a big soft marshmallow he is. Who’s the real winner here? Really? (Ashley)
Elsewhere on the table Little Mix are here, bein’ a bit lesbian, and there’s a pro dance featuring Oti and Nadiya getting a bit lesbian, and the drip-drip-drip on the Chinese Water Torture wait for a same-sex couple some time in 2042 are at least speeding up a bit I guess? Dance Debrief is once again pretty much entirely about bigging the women up as well, so factor that into your duct-taped together YEAR OF THE WOMAN 2.0 conspiracy theorising, and everyone talks vaguely about what their showdances are going to involve. Spoilers : they’re all going to be parp, because they’re showdances, and Kevin gives what feels like a 5 year monologue about how he’s fallen in love with life all over again via Stacey Dooley, whilst Faye has a full on THOOPAFAN meltdown somewhere in the background and Joe reckons with the fact that they really are going to make him dye his hair McDonalds ketchup red.
Very much one of those semi-finals where fate, the judges, the actual quality of the dancing, and the storylining throughout the week as manifest as early as Waite’s Wednesday Warm-Up all conspire to produce a show where ooh look two of the five couples remaining are conspicuously worse than the other three not that we’re suggesting anything, obviously if you want to get rid of one of the good ones that’s entirely up to you.
Faye & Ashley : As you might expect, despite some noises during the week that Ashley might be struggling, our ringah-dingahs end up joint top of the leaderboard, locked together in stalemate conflict to the last. Both of them slightly underwhelm in latin (Faye not quite getting her bounce all the way into her voltas in samba and Ashley deciding to channel the spirit of Kate Bush for her paso for some reason, which is a…choice) to start the evening off, but come back roaring with a crowdpleasing wine-fuelled Argentine Tango and an American Smooth packed with truly jaw-dropping lifts in the second half. Ashley’s American Smooth is even more impressive for the fact that someone’s done an awful parking job of their old banger in the middle of the dancefloor, but she and Pasha work around it ably. Which of the two, if either, escapes the dance-off is up in the air – Faye has the upper hand in the public vote based on the last two weeks and her Argentine Tango feels like the most crowd-pleasing routine of the night between the two of them but Pasha is EXTRA adorable all evening, so who knows?
Stacey : In the “look at me ma, almost keepin up the ringahs even in two dance week OO’D BELEEV IT LITTLE OLD ME FROM LOOTUN?!” position, and comfortably so, is Stacey on a classic flapper Charleston and Cillarific Viennese Waltz. She’s held back from sharing joint honours with our trained dancers by Craig deciding that the latter routine was 3/4 Viennese Waltz and 1/4 American Smooth and therefore Kevin is a DIRTY CHEAT. I feel like there…might have been technical faults on her part they could have used as justification instead, but such is endgame scoring.
Joe & Lauren : Chucked in the bin though are these two, and not entirely unjustifiably so. Over the course of the final we go, via a very bouncy and tilting Viennese Waltz and an Argentine Tango that aspires towards “Supernatural Serial Killer of Fallen Women” and instead lands on “awkward 18 year old who got bought a prostitute for his birthday because his parents are getting a bit worried he might be…y’know”, Joe moves from a contestant who three of the four judges would have in their top 3 of the series based on scores alone to one where none of them would. Lauren meanwhile just about manages to hold it together, albeit with balance issues, through the indignities of a Tina Turner Tango but loses it completely in her samba, completely messing up the second half of the routine, and not exactly producing rosette winning form in the first half. Both of them clearly need their fanbases to mobile tonight (although intriguingly enough, based on comments, you’d expect Lauren to win the dance-off between them) and it feels like they might? It’s been that sort of series.