Monday, 10 November 2008

Small wonder

Week 8 Results
TX: 9th November 2008

Pre-recorded from London, it's Strictly Come Dancing! The celebs and their partners do the usual cross-ways march across the stage, though it looks a little clumsy this time - Austin in particular seems to be looking around very carefully to make sure he doesn't walk right into Lisa. Bruce and Tess return. Dresswatch: a plain white thing with broad straps and a band around the waist with some ruffling at the hem. Not too bad. My God, at this rate, we might have to decommission Daly Dresswatch next year.

It's nice to see us, to see us nice, and Bruce promises something for every BBC viewer: singing for fans of Songs of Praise, drama for fans of Little Dorrit...and Brucie for fans of Antiques Roadshow, adds Tess. Mark Foster laughs uproariously in the audience, and is that my arch-nemesis, Nicky Hambleton-Jones, sat behind him? It had better bloody not be. [It's OK, though. She's unemployed, and Myleene Klass has nicked her job. Because Myleene needs more work. - Carrie] There follows a weird moment where Tess appears to be laughing unconvincingly at her own joke, Bruce worries that Tess has suddenly got taller, and Bruce complains that his original punchline would've been better. I don't like it when they do that, it makes me feel squirmy.

Tess sniggers her way through her next link, mentioning that the world number one Latin dancers will be in the studio, and also doing a song later will be Beyoncé - or as Brucie no doubt likes to call her, the American Alesha. But first, let's catch up on last night's highlights! Oh yes, do let's.

At the bottom of the leaderboard were LOL JOHN SERGEANT LEGERND!!!!11! and Kristina, and we're forced to relive that godawful moment where he pretended he was on the phone. No actual dancing is shown, and an unshaven Matt Di Angelo admits he has no idea what was going on. And seriously, if you're sat on the steps looking lost and even MATT DI ANGELO doesn't get it, it's time to go home. [Tragically John Sergeant was not in the audience this time last year to muse on what Di Angelo was doing in his samba. - Carrie] Kirstie Allsopp says that John is here to stay, but she probably said that about buy-to-let boom. As they walk off, John looks vaguely upset (and here I must admit that actual emotion is infinitely preferable to obnoxious sarcasm) and Kristina, perfect example of woman that she is, tells him not to worry about it. John doesn't think he will be in the dance-off. Sadly neither do I.

Despite excellent training footage in the week, Jodie and Ian's samba was not good at all, and the judges handed her her shapely model ass on a plate. Backstage, Ian consoles Jodie; Jodie is all too aware that she fucked up but is proud of her three from Craig. Hee. In the judges' green room, Bruno chastises Craig for being too harsh, while Craig daydreams about kissing Brendan (that last bit may not have happened), and in the stairwell Jodie says she's going to discard Craig's comments because none of them were actually constructive. Fair enough, I suppose.

Poor Heather and Brian were third from bottom, despite their marked improvement. Backstage, Brian and Heather don't really know what else they can do, and neither does Louisa Lytton. Len doesn't think Heather has got stronger, she's just plateaued at the higher level she was at a few weeks ago. That doesn't really make any sense, but then again, it is Len. Heather's partner is angry and doesn't know what Heather has to do to get a good score. Short of "change her name by deed poll to Tom Chambers", I'm plum out of ideas too.

Austin and Erin were surprisingly low, but then: male rumba. Backstage, Erin assures Austin that 29 is a good score. Austin mentally prepares for the dance-off. That's really all that happens here. Shall we move on?

Christine came dressed as Big Bird, but her jive looked good and impressed Len if not Arlene. Christine's pleased with her feedback and does a little encore backstage, bless her.

Rachel and Vincent's quickstep-based American Smooth finally got the positive feedback from Len that they've been hankering for for weeks, and they dance around and clap backstage as though they really do believe in fairies.

Lisa was Len's most improved dancer of the series, and Craig decided he wanted to kiss Brendan for his excellent work with Lisa. Lisa The Slash Fangirl approved of this idea, Gay Panic Brendan did not and hid behind Lisa for the rest of the judges' comments. Heh. [To be fair, I don't think he was hiding, exactly; he took two steps over towards Craig, realised he was on a family show, and returned to his usual hovering-behind-Lisa position. - Carrie] Matt Di Angelo SHAVE THAT THING OFF YOUR PRETTY PRETTY FACE RIGHT NOW thought that Lisa gave him a tingly feeling. The same sort of feeling Brendan is scared of getting when Craig kisses him, I assume. Brendan thinks they were his best comments ever.

Cherie was back in her comfort zone, and Arlene finally said what we've all been thinking about how the whole "this dance doesn't suit you" thing is an easy excuse, and she expects this standard of Cherie permanently from now on. Backstage, James and Cherie agree to only be unfailingly awesome in future. Len wanted to give it 9.5, because God knows what he needs are more paddles he can overscore things with.

Camilla and Tom clearly have never read any internet forums at all this year, or they would have known that "showy tap solo while wearing spats bookending your quickstep" is possibly not going to stop people calling you "smug". Nonetheless, the judges loved it, and backstage they're very excited. Clare, Tom's wife, WHOM HE RECENTLY MARRIED JSYK, bought him some Fred and Ginger cufflinks. Classy! Camilla and Tom bounce around backstage, aiming for "adorable" and missing by about six inches.

VT over, Bruce catches up with the judges. Len can't remember any previous occasion where there was a three-way tie for first place, or indeed any series where the results were so variable from one way to the next. Len then presents his unique worldview where there is no clear winner this year (please, this whole thing is Austin's to lose and has been since week one), and where there was never any doubt last year that Alesha was going to take the trophy (and you only have to read any of our blog updates to show how untrue that was, given how the slavering Gethin fangirls looked like they had the victory locked for him not long after this point). [Has Len COMPLETELY lost it? He spent the last three weeks of the competition last year rooting for Matt, who WAS YOUNG AND MALE, and sniping at Alesha. - Carrie] Backstage, Rachel and Christine looked bored by this, as well they might. Bruce challenges Craig for the one point he allocated to LOL JOHN SERGEANT LEGERND!!!!111! and asks if John doesn't deserve points for entertainment. Craig clarifies that that was, indeed, what that solitary point was awarded for. Ooohhhh, burn.

Now it's time for the world's number one Latin dancers, whose names appear to be utterly google-proof, so I'm going to hope either Carrie or Georgi knows who they are. [Sorry, fast-forwarded this. Georgi? - Carrie] Anyway, they're dancing a "char char char", per Bruce's impression of Craig, to Santana and Rob Thomas's 'Smooth'. It's an amazing routine to watch, anyway, with both of them moving their legs faster than any normal human being ought to be able to. I must admit, this sort of stuff is where the show earns its public service credentials, because where else on terrestrial TV could you see this?

In the House of Tesstosterone, Austin has royally got his tits out, which is nice. Tess asks Tom how it feels to be top of the leaderboard with his favourite dance, and Tom fake-profounds that "if you want the rainbow, you've got to put up with the rain" and my God, he REALLY wants me to hate him this week, doesn't he? Austin is very scared that he might be in the dance-off, and says he really appreciates how everyone else has felt throughout the contest. HA! Heather in particular is all, "TELL ME ABOUT IT." Tess, in her first and possibly last piece of skilled and attentive presenting for this year, translates for Austin that what he meant is that this is the first time he's been in such a precariously low position, which doesn't sound nearly as douchey, so well done Tess. As Arlene said, we're in week eight, I don't want to hear "this segment doesn't suit you", I expect that standard of presenting at all times from now on.

Oh, and Anton's there - because he's dancing with Tess for Children in Need, and they're up against Flavia and Terry Wogan. Anton says that Tess is "really coming on", which is what he said about Gillian Taylforth, so take that with a hefty pinch of salt. Anton thinks we should see how Tess has been getting on in training. VT time! Tess stands on Anton's feet, but doesn't actually look too bad. Back in the HoT, Tess asks Brucie if he has any tips, to which he replies "don't turn up". Oh Bruce, she didn't mean tips for presenting next week's show!

It's time for the slightly odd Tribute To Wartime again, though this time it's just the professional dancers, with the men in tails and the women in lovely silver dresses as the band play WWII-era songs. Also, somebody in post-production bleaches out all the colour at this point, and probably paints gravy browning onto Ola's legs instead of tights. Oh, and when the colour returns, it turns out the dresses weren't silver at all, they just looked that way, because of the scandalous TV fakery that we cannot escape from these days. Curses!

In the House of Tesstosterone, LOL JOHN SERGEANT LEGERND!!!!111! pretends he is taking the dancing seriously and crabs sarcastically about his lack of praise, since that is the one joke surrounding his entire time on this show. Tess patronises him to an offensive degree, and asks Cherie what happens if she gets a Latin next week - Cherie says she will take Arlene's comments in mind and go into it with a positive mental attitude.

Claudia teases that she will have celebrities, pro-dancers and judges on It Takes Two this week. That's that.

Back in the studio, Arlene is asked who stood out most out of the three couples tying for first place, and Arlene praises Lisa, saying that she was the closest to perfection, and that she also had a brilliant Latin dance last week, CHERIE. Bruno is asked how he anticipates the show going forward, and he thinks the ballroom has been stronger than the Latin - the Latin dances have not ignited yet.

Nope, still no results yet: it's time for Beyoncé first, singing that song she stole off Ciara and rocking a fierce Croydon facelift. Her performance is slightly more lively than Mariah Carey on last night's X Factor, but that's about as much of a compliment as if I were to say it was more lively than John's cha cha cha. Anyway, the song is boring and goes on for too long, but at least Brian and Kristina come out and do some lovely dancing in front of it. Plus, Beyoncé appearing on this show made Simon Cowell angry, which makes it all OK in my book.

The audience gives Beyoncé a standing ovation, although it looks a little bit like they only did it because they were told to. And it's almost time for the results, but not before the obligatory tedious VT about how the celebs don't want to go home. Austin feels indebted to Erin! Jodie and Ian are BFFs! Brian makes Heather feel like a dancer! Cherie and James are a partnership! Tom thinks Camilla is the most perfect partner ever! Vincent is very passionate and makes Rachel smile! Christine would miss Matthew so much if she left! Somewhat implausibly, Brendan boosts Lisa's confidence! John and Kristina get on well! Etc.

Results, at bloody last. In no particular order, the following couples are safe: John and Kristina (LEGERND!!!!11!), Tom and Camilla, Lisa and Brendan, Cherie and James, Christine and Matthew (both of whom look extremely surprised, bless them), Austin and Erin, and Jodie and Ian. Which leaves Heather and Brian and Rachel and Vincent in the dance-off. I know some people were surprised by this, but I knew we were due a surprise bottom two at some point, and I would've put money on it being Rachel, because she's got Bunton 2.0 written all over her, the poor thing.

Len advises Heather to draw on her previous experience in the bottom two (rude), and tells her to dance with a bit more fire this time, and tells Rachel and Vincent to do what they did all over again, because it was nine-worthy.

Heather and Brian reprise their tango, and it's pretty much the same as it was before, but they're ever so slighty more in synch with each other this time. I think they both know they're on borrowed time at this point, though. Rachel and Vincent return, and really, I'm horrified this is in the bottom two, because it was pretty much the only dance I truly enjoyed last night. Then again, I did consider voting for Rachel and didn't bother because I thought she was far enough up the board not to be in any real trouble, and concentrated my efforts on saving Jodie and Ian instead, so I have only myself to blame. The three-part lift runs more smoothly this time, and Rachel's emotional detachment comes in handy for once to stop her from going to pieces at this stage.

Time for the judges to decide who stays: Craig says it's a travesty that these two are the bottom two, and votes to save Rachel and Vincent. Arlene says she respects the public's decision, but it makes their lives so difficult to choose between people who are not John Sergeant, and she saves Rachel and Vincent. Bruno says it's "like being in the twilight zone" and votes to save Rachel and Vincent.

So Heather and Brian's luck has finally run out, and Bruce tosses to Len for the obligatory "academic" opinion at this point, and Len says he agrees with the others, but he thought that final tango was the best dance Heather's ever done. Heather's had a ball with Heather, and Brian is charming as ever as he thanks us all for having him and says the best part of the whole experience has been meeting Heather, and you know what? I believe him.

Next week: eight couples dance again, and hopefully the voting public's love affair with John Sergeant finally expires. Keeeeeeeeeeeeeep dancing!


Essen said...

John Sergeant needs to borrow a bit of Kate Garraway's tune and also convince me he's actually trying. If he were sweet and entertaining and tried really hard and was still shit, I'd like him more.

You just know Craig and Brenda have already kissed. They were on that other show together and everything.

I'm amazed Claudia has the cheek to tease us with the line up on ITT when we all know it's going to be LEN LEN LEN all the way.

tornasunder said...

There was a stunning piece of continuity f-up during Beyonce's performance, big spangly glitter ball earrings during song and no earrings at all during standing ovation, gave me quite a turn!