Sunday, 11 November 2007

Expend a Penny

Top 9 Results: 11th November 2007

Our nine remaining couples have taken to the dancefloor, and some of them were flops (Kate and Anton) while others pulled out all the stops (John and Nicole, Gethin and Camilla, Kelly and Brendan). One more couple is about to leave the competition for good, and I've got a loose scart connection so all of my colours are wonky. This is Strictly Come Dancing! We welcome back the dancers, the judges, and Bruce and Tess. Thankfully Tess's hideous dress from yesterday has been consigned to wardrobe hell, and she's wearing some kind of strapless green number (I originally thought it was silver, but it was just my wonky telly) which is not too bad, or at least would be fine if it didn't have a big strange bow around her midriff. [Also, her hair is mysteriously about six inches shorter than it was "last" "night". - Carrie]

Tess tells us that John Barrowman will be giving us a special performance later (too many jokes!) and Bruce tells us that he's just become a great-grandfather for the second time - a little girl, called Poppy. Awww. [Congratulations, Bruce! - Carrie] Time for a recap of "last night": Kate and Anton were not good, but Len applauded her for trying. Sophie Raworth commends Kate for smiling through all of her comments. Letitia's dance was as "Latin as a bag of frocks on the market stall" (sorry, commenter from yesterday, but she definitely says "frocks" and not "frogs"). Letitia cries backstage. John Barrowman thinks it's uncool to be so mean to someone as to make them cry. Didn't they do that to Lewis on Any Dream Will Do every week? [But he should have taken it like a man. Also he was shit and he deserved it. - Georgi] Bobby Davro thought she was good. Penny and Ian's Salsa was hectic and a bit lumpen. Kenny and Ola's Scottish Viennese Waltz was the most virile one Arlene has ever seen, and Len thinks it was their best dance yet. Gabby was so impressed that she thought they could dance together afterwards. Heh. Matt regrets dedicating the Viennese Waltz to his mum and would like to retrospectively dedicate the American Smooth to her instead, when they got three nines. Babs Windsor calls him "a little dreamboat". Alesha and Matthew got very fit doing their Salsa, and Alesha's as hyper as ever backstage. They don't show Arlene's criticism, interestingly, but Craig calls her "a natural talent" in what appears to be a post-show interview. Kelly and Brendan are back from Capegate with a Viennese Waltz that gets the judges' hearts aflutter. Bruno tells them that when they're good, they're very very good. Presumably when she's bad, though, she's horrid. Susie Amy is proud of her, which must be nice. [Do we know who the two other people with Susie Amy were? Anyway, they said they'd have given Kelly 10s. - Carrie] John and Nicole's Salsa was the best dance of this whole series (still not seeing that, Head Judge Len, sorry) and he got a ten from Len. John was unsurprisingly very happy with that. Gethin was gallant and got rave reviews from the judges, and he and Camilla jumped for joy outside and were very cute. Gethin's sister Meredid apparently bears him no ill will for making fun of her in front of eight million viewers last night and thinks he did brilliantly. [Also, Adrian saw Gethin in Blackfriars today! With a girl! Who I'm predicting is Meredid! - Carrie]

Bruce tells us that the judges have just got back from the bar, and makes a "joke" relating to what they all drink, with Craig as the punchline: "a bitter lemon". [The drugs have worn off, and Bruce's jokes aren't funny any more. Shame. - Carrie] Bruce asks Len if he would've expected to give his first ten to someone who's been in the bottom two twice, and Len says that a few weeks ago he would never have thought he'd give John a ten. [I would have thought that this week too, but then I am not Head Judge Len. - Georgi] Len has apparently forgotten that he thinks sportsmen are the best thing ever, but he's not fooling me. But he says that everything came together with John's dance to create "a little bit of Strictly Come Dancing magic." Bruno thinks that this year is very competitive, and every week something happens to change the perspective. Because the scores - both from the judges and the viewers - have been so unpredictable, he thinks no one can rest on their laurel.

The professional dancers dance a jive to 'Rebel Yell', and I never really know what to say during these segments because it's pretty hard to criticise them. It's all very fast-paced and excellent, anyway, and it's lovely to see the likes of Erin, Lilia and even James back on our screens. In particular, I am very happy to see James's arms again. Mmmrow.

Backstage in the House of Tesstosterone, the men are all in uniform in honour of it being Remembrance Sunday [least. appropriate. tribute. ever - Carrie], and also because they're doing a group jitterbug shortly. Indeed, Tess draws our attention to the "sexy men in uniform" and Gethin pantomimes a "where? where?" and then goes "oh!" when he looks at Matt. I'm not even making this up, I swear. Gethin gives special props to Camilla for all of her hard work this week, which he credits for getting them to the top of the leaderboard. He says that Camilla being happy was the most important thing. Everyone "awww"s, and Gethin says he didn't mean for it to be an "awwww" moment, and everyone "awwww"s again for the lulz, and Matt, standing behind him, chucks Gethin's cheek. I'M SAYING NOTHING. It was a very emotional night for Letitia, who tried really hard and it got to her when she couldn't get it right. Alesha and Kenny are being very chummy on the other side of Tess, and to absolutely no one's surprise, spent the whole of the jitterbug rehearsals giggling.

Jitterbug rehearsals. The men are all soldiers, and the girls are all their girlfriends, as we are pre-women's lib here. [Alesha goes all lulz and says: "Our boyfriendz is soldiers." Heh. - Carrie] Matthew slides Alesha between his legs so hard that she almost pulls him over, and starts cackling on the floor. Hee. Matt wants to do the macarena instead. Kenny tries to climb out of the window, and is pulled back in by Ian. Kate doesn't think she was meant for rubber legs, and Anton responds: "I don't even have to ask you for rubber legs sometimes and I get them." Hee! Group jitterbug! It starts with Kelly, Alesha and Gethin at the front, doing pretty well as far as I can see. Kelly in particular looks as though she's having a fantastic time, but then Kelly usually does. As much as I find her gigglishness quite annoying at times, I do like that she's enjoying herself so much. It's nice to see. Then Kenny, John and Penny come to the front, and John's NATURAL SENSE OF RHYTHM doesn't seem to be serving him quite so well here. Then Letitia, Kate and Matt, and Kate is doing better than her salsa but still not very well, and my screen's gone all green again. Damn you, loose scart socket! The men (celebrity and professional) all dance together to 'Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy' and Gethin's grinning like mad, heh. [Kenny still struggles to get any synchronised or syncopated movements in the right place. - Carrie] Then they're all rejoined by their ladies for the spectacular ending. Matt lifts Flavia way up in the air and walks around with her even though he clearly can't see where he's going. Pretty brave of both of them. That was great fun, I have to say.

Bruce asks the judges to compare them to five weeks ago. Len says they're "like the Royal Ballet" now and singles out "Flight Officer Gethin" for special praise. Bruno says that Kate is like London in the Blitz - however many times you knock her down, she keeps going. Kate, bless her, finds this hilarious. [Kate seems to take all the criticism she gets with very good humour. It is endearing her to me. - Georgi] Bruce asks Craig who captured the essence of jitterbug. Craig thinks they all did, and singles out Kate for praise for her fabulous "chicken neck" move. I think that was a compliment. Kate's happy with it, anyway. Arlene tells Letitia she's back on her stride.

Before we can get to such trivialities as the results, we have the obligatory performance; this time from West End star John Barrowman [West End LEADING MAN John Barrowman - Carrie], singing 'Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic'. It's so nice to see him getting on the telly, because he's so underexposed normally, isn't he? [But thankfully there are no random jokes about Torchwood which nobody gets. - Georgi] John busts out a few moves of his own during the instrumental breaks, but the stage is totally stolen by James and Ola and Darren and Lilia putting on a heck of a show. Perhaps it's treachery to say such things of West End Star John Barrowman, but I don't think this song really suits him [because it is not from a West End Musical, amongst other things. - Georgi]. It's not a bad performance, but it's not a brilliant one either. Then Karen comes out to dance with John near the end of the song, because well, why not, eh? [Karen is DANCING WITH JOHN BARROWMAN! It is surreal. Also, kids, he has an album out, so make sure you buy it. - Carrie]

Results time! Eeep. Mood lighting, and the couples who are safe are announced in random order: Gethin and Camilla, John and Nicole, Alesha and Matthew, Kelly and Brendan (Kelly still doing the "ohhhh!" noise of relief, which I can forgive her for because given the erratic nature of the voting this series, no matter how high up the leaderboard you are, you can never assume your guaranteed safety I suppose), Kenny and Ola, Kate and Anton (Kate very sincerely thanking the viewers, God love her) and the final couple is...Letitia and Darren! Which leaves Penny and Ian and Matt and Flavia in the bottom two. I am very surprised by this result. [Me - not so much. We all know the middle of the table is the most dangerous place to be [Drink! - Georgi], and much as I like Penny, she still doesn't have a natural fanbase out there voting to keep her in. - Carrie] Len advises Penny and Ian to keep loose and rhythmic and not to tense up under pressure, and Matt should focus on his footwork and give it their best shot.

Penny and Ian dance first. Their dance is much the same as it was the first time: in hold they're pretty good, out of hold Penny's a bit awkward, but it does seem to be a little tighter this time around. Then Matt and Flavia Flav take to the floor again, and their routine still isn't very interesting. Matt looks a bit crestfallen throughout the whole thing, the poor bloke. The male singer's voice completely gives up on one of the high notes, as well. Then it's all over and it's down to the judges to decide whose future in the ballroom is assured for another week: Craig is the first to cast his vote, and he thinks it's a criminal result [which would have been a great pun had Matt and Flavia been in the dance-off last week - Georgi], and votes on this performance alone to save Matt and Flavia. Arlene is impressed by the improvement of both couples since the first time, but votes to save Penny and Ian. Bruno similarly applauds both of them, but thought the Viennese Waltz had more polish and votes to save Matt and Flavia. So it's over to Head Judge Len and his casting vote. Head Judge Len is not pleased to be putting one couple out of a show that they don't deserve to go out of. [Blah blah fucking blah. Shut up, Head Judge Len. - Carrie] He can only judge it on what he's just seen, etc etc, and votes to save Matt and Flavia, so it's the end of the road for Penny and Ian. Matt hugs Flavia tightly and wishes she were Gethin. Penny breaks down and says this was the best time of her life, and thanks Ian, saying she couldn't have done anything without Ian. Ian tells everyone he couldn't have asked for a better partner. Penny wouldn't have changed a thing, apart from obviously being allowed to stay in might've been quite nice. My flatmate makes the entirely correct point that Penny is fortunate enough to still look like a human being when she cries, and not like an alien snot monster like the rest of us. They get a standing ovation from the judges and the studio audience, and head off for their last dance together to 'Didn't I Blow Your Mind This Time'. Apparently not, since they're gone and everything. See you next week!


wordsmith_for_hire said...

Harrumph! Overexposed? Barrowman? I don't think so! It's been quite a while since we saw him on the telly. But I agree the song was a poor choice - I mean, we all know he is GAY so why is he singing about a SHE? It's totally unconvincing and much as I'd love to shag him (and I know there is more chance of Thatcher being re-elected), it just doesn't work.

You're right about the frocks btw - I've reached for the cotton buds.

CCB said...

Len's my favourite but... his "advice" to Penny and Ian couldn't have done much good, he said "So, keep it loose. But you've got to keep it tight."

Also, fed up with the judges complaining about having to make a choice between two couples who are good. As soon as the idea was floated the judges should have realised that in the week before the final, if not sooner, they would have to make a choice between two good couples. Read the job description guys, you judge!

On the other hand, if the judges don't like the format, and the public don't like the format maybe we'll see a return to dancing, publicity-puff-slot and results on Saturday night next year.