Tx: 8th November 2008
Last week, we finally reached the halfway stage. As always, some people were better than others. Bruno was a poet, and he did not know it. This week, Tom has hurt himself, and Cherie thinks she ought to be better. Good plan. This! Is! Strictly Come Dancing! Live!
Titles! Clapping along! Drink!
Bruce greets us; Tess is wearing an indigo duvet cover. Matt di Angelo and Louisa Lytton are in the audience. Bruce starts talking about Barack Obama, which is met with whoops, and concludes, "Didn't he do well?" Hooray! Tess and Bruce then gab a bit about how pleased they are that Obama won; ex-England rugby coach Sir Clive Woodward applauds. Surreal.
Here are the couples - Tom and Camilla; Christine and Matthew; Lisa and Brendan; Austin and Erin; Jodie and Ian; Heather and Brian; John and Kristina; Rachel and Vincent; Cherie and James. Bruce does not want to lose another man tonight because it makes him feel vulnerable. Tess reminds us of the importance of voting.
First to dance, Tom and Camilla. This week, he acknowledged how stupid he looked with his paso face, and crashed into a wall during rehearsal for the quickstep, which he loves because he LOVES FRED ASTAIRE. But not as much as he loves his WIFE. Whom he HAS MARRIED. They're dancing to A Town Called Malice, and begin with Tom doing a tap routine on the stage. It's all fleet of foot, and at least he's smiling this week. Bruce suggests turning Holby into a musical for reasons best known to himself [especially since Tom's already left the show - Steve], and welcomes the band and the judges (along with an unfunny joke re Bruno's underwear). Len doesn't like messing about but at least there were no props, and overall it was a great job, though he didn't approve of his shoes. Bruno thinks it was like Jumpin' Jack Flash, apparently. Craig congratulates Camilla, who cops to having slipped once during the routine. Arlene alliterates and metaphorises. Backstage, Tom admits he has had a clean shave for the first time in three years, but his wife, WHOM HE HAS MARRIED, prefers his paso stubble. Scores - Craig 9; Arlene 9; Len 9; Bruno 9.
Next, Jodie and Ian. Bruce jokes about models being thin. Last week, Jodie and Ian did a lovely waltz, which even Brendan was forced to compliment. This week, they must samba, and Jodie is not happy. "She's not the most coordinated," says Ian, and they both laugh a lot. "There's not a particular thing I struggle with, with the Latin...just all of it...if they like it, I'll - eat my shoe," she declares. Ian kisses her. It is cute. I quite like Jodie's shiny metallic samba dress, but her legwork to Help Yourself is awkward, and Ian has got his chest out as a back-up plan. Bless her, she smiles all the way through, but it's very uncertain. Bruno says Jodie is like the stock market - up and down, and crashed tonight - but does give her credit for entering into the spirit of it, and reminds her that her ballroom is good. Craig says she crucified it, the timing was rushed, it was limp, had no vivacity, and Arlene takes over to tell her it wasn't THAT bad. Len says that Craig is TOTALLY wrong, and then witters on that samba is DIFFICULT for people WHO ARE TALL and it DOESN'T SUIT HER and seriously, fuck the fuck off, Len. Scores - Craig 3; Arlene 6; Len SEV-ENNNN; Bruno 7. [Oh. My. God. You can tell us until you're blue in the face that certain dances don't suit certain people, Head Judge Len, but here is a fact: some people are good at all the dances, both ballroom and Latin. These are the people who should win. People who can only do one or the other ought to bloody well worry. - Georgi]
Last week, Heather and Brian were saved AGAIN. Heather's son was proud of her, which is the only thing that really matters; Brian thinks it is difficult to keep going, so he calls Heather's mum in to cheerlead from the sidelines during rehearsals for the tango. [Heather's Mum - the new Alesha's Nans? - Georgi] The routine is to Rebel Rebel, and Heather's bosom looks magnificent. She has an excellent haughty tango face, and the neck snaps are decent. She seems much more secure in this - possibly because she's in hold rather than being left to her own devices - and it's a good show, if not as dramatic as one would like. Craig thought it was an improvement and offers some constructive technical criticism, with which Arlene concurs. Len drivels about drama and drive and it being an actor's dance. Bruno tells her not to try too hard because it makes her tense. Scores - Craig 6; Arlene 7; Len 7; Bruno 7.
Joke about Arlene sexually harassing Austin. He talks about last week being the anniversary of his mum's death. There is sad music, and a recap of Len ejaculating under the desk as he wheeled out the most extended sporting metaphor ever. Austin and Erin have not been having a good time rehearsing the rumba, because rugby players are not sexy, and they do not fancy each other. [Well, that's ruined the pornographic short story I was writing. - Steve] They are dancing to When You Tell Me That You Love Me, and there's an odd bit at the top where Erin takes Austin's bow tie away. [Well it shocked me, because I'd thought it was one of those sewn-on pretend bow ties. But do you see? It is like she is undressing him! Like they are going to have sex! Like the rumba is foreplay! Eww, eww, ewww. - Georgi] Erin and her new face are looking HOT, by the way, in a shimmery pink dress. It's all right, I suppose. It's better than Lance and Lacey on Dancing with the Stars, anyway. Arlene says he has too many muscles and he needs to open his spine. Even Len thought it lacked romance. Bruno talks about "throbbing", and Arlene purses her lips in disgust. Craig didn't like it at all, though he thought the choreography was clever. Erin looks like she's going to punch him. The judges start bickering. Drink! Austin tries to explain to Tess that he expresses emotion through his eyes, and begs for votes from viewers. Scores - Craig 5 (prompting an "Oh NO" from Bruno); Arlene 8; Len 8; Bruno 8.
Bruce makes a joke at his own expense and shoehorns in the "doddery" non-catchphrase. Last week, Cherie's salsa was rubbish, and she and James think they were fairly judged. This week they are happier because they have the waltz, and Cherie can "cling on" to James. "You're NOT clinging on to me!" he says, through clenched teeth. He does some more adorable asides to camera. They dance to I Wonder Why. Cherie has come dressed as a ballroom version of Ianto's Cyber Bikini Girlfriend. There is a key change for no real reason. It's a waltz. What to say? Perfectly serviceable. Len talks about heel leads; Cherie pouts; Bruno says the English rose is back in full bloom; Craig thought it was enchanting, but points out a minor wobble, and James shushes him; Arlene alliterates and shouts. When she goes on to point out that Cherie has to stop being a woobie, Cherie pulls a snarky face and does a little salute, which comes over as rather ungracious. Scores - Craig 9; Arlene 9; Len 9; Bruno 9.
This week, Christine has been sent off to ballet school. Matthew stands on the sidelines thinking, "Alesha never needed to do this." Lots of ballerinas lie on the floor watching Christine's feet very closely. It's a bit strange. Anyway, they're jiving to Jailhouse Rock, and Matthew's Elvis impression is so sweet. I'm not sure Christine is always flicking at the same time as Matthew, but it's OK. Bruno thinks she needs to sort her arms out next; Craig agrees about the "careless" arms when she brings them down; Arlene is THRILLED that Christine went to a ballet class and it DID make a difference, at which point Craig apologises for saying last week that it wouldn't. Len is beaming because it was lovely. Scores - Craig 7; Arlene 8; Len 8; Bruno 8.
Rachel and Vincent were slagged off by That Bloody Len (c Vincent Simone) last week. Rachel was upset, but now she is fired up for her quickstep-based American Smooth. Bewilderingly, she and Vincent go to meet the cast of Dirty Dancing. [To practise lifts! Not in the water, though. Can't help feeling Vincent missed a trick there. - Georgi] Rachel fancies one of the boys; Vincent isn't happy; and amazingly Rachel starts seeming quite fun. They dance to Ray Charles's I Got A Woman, and this is swishy and elegant, and Rachel looks like she's enjoying it. The most personality we've seen from her by a mile. [And, for my money, the most enjoyable dance to watch so far this series. I loved it. - Steve] Craig loves that it's not a foxtrot-based quickstep, and admired Rachel's animation. Len tells us you can do an American smooth to any ballroom dance. Arlene says the footwork was tricky, but it wasn't perfect because Rachel doesn't use her eyes enough. True fact. Vincent cocks an eyebrow. Len says diamonds come in small packages, and that was a gem of a performance. They are happy. Bruno namedrops Fred and Ginger again. Drink! Bruce calls them "children", which is oddly endearing. Scores - Craig 8; Arlene 9; Len 9; Bruno 9.
Brace yourselves. Time for John and Kristina, and their cha-cha-cha. Last week, John remained dreadful but was saved by the public. Kristina is happy because the public loves him. John didn't think he would get this far. Nor did we. Kristina gets cross in rehearsal because he sits about and chats on the phone. John draws an ironic parallel between himself and President-Elect Obama. The routine, to Twist and Shout, begins with a mobile phone ringing, which I don't understand at all. [It is like in rehearsals! Although one has to wonder if Kristina tries to work everything that happens in rehearsals into their routines. - Georgi] The whole thing is as dreadful as you might expect, with Kristina all shiny and fabulous, and John plodding round. Bruce says, "Looking at Kristina, how do you remember the steps?" Kristina snorts, "He doesn't!" HA! Everyone laughs. Arlene says that John is outstanding at dancing really badly. He thinks that's better than nothing. She summarises, "That dance has nothing to say...neither have I." Bruce talks about "Lionel Flatley", I think? Len goes on a rant about it being unfair if people who are better at dancing get knocked out because of him. Bruno likes John, but says his dancing stinks. "Disaster," concludes Craig. Everyone mocks his accent. John and Kristina are Bruce's favourites. Backstage, John whines about the judges not understanding the rules of the contest. [You didn't seem to mind it so much when they conveniently ignored the illegal lift in your Paso Doble, JOHN. - Steve] Scores - Craig 1; Arlene, "for being here", 3; Len 4; Bruno a "generous" 4.
Last up, Lisa and Brendan's dance of tedium, the Viennese waltz. Last week they did a proper tango to proper tango music and everyone liked it. Lisa's dad wants her to get a 10. In rehearsal, it seems to not be going well. Lisa is obviously quite enjoying winding Brendan up and forcing him to praise her. "Was that beautiful?" she asks while walking away from him, grinning at the camera. Heh. She looks like Audrey Hepburn tonight in a black and white dress, and Brendan is in tails. They're dancing to Bed of Roses, and actually this isn't that dull. [Best. Viennese waltz. Ever. - Georgi] The singers fuck up the song, of course, but then it wouldn't be a Saturday night without that happening. Len says that Lisa is the most improved dancer of the series; Bruno says it was "ballroom magic". THEN Craig says, "Brendan, I could KISS you!" and Lisa shouts, "KISS, KISS!" and Brendan looks like he's about to go over and pucker up, but then he doesn't, and I'm very disappointed. Arlene says the time flew by, and Bruce interjects that the Viennese waltz can be boring. HAHAHA! Brendan tells Tess that he's "a lucky boy" if Craig wants to give him kisses. Scores - Craig 9; Arlene 9; Len 9; Bruno 9. Tess notes that Brendan hasn't stopped smiling, and Lisa surmises, "That's cos Craig wants him now."
A recap, and a reminder to vote. "Tomorrow" "night" - Beyonce! The best Latin couple in the whole world ever! The pros! Keep dancing! And check back here for the results tomorrow!