Saturday, 13 December 2008

You know when you've been tango-ed

Semi-finals
Tx 13th December 2008

Last weekend was one of the most dramatic in Strictly history! Austin went out! Brendan had a hissy fit! Three celebrities remain! Two will dance-off LIVE later tonight! This! Is! Strictly! Come! Dancing! Titles!

Welcome your hosts, Brucie and Tess, Daly dresswatch: not too awful, long, red and strapless. Although actually I'm worried her tits might go flying at any moment. Brucie makes a joke about Anton bribing people to vote for him or something. It doesn't really make sense. Let's meet the (dwindling) stars of the show: Tom and Camilla; Lisa and Brendan; Rachel and Vincent. Lisa's got her Alesha hip-shake on, yay. Brucie can't talk properly. Tonight the couples will be doing the Argentine tango, plus their favourite dance of the series - although not the same routine they did before.

First up are Lisa and Brendan. Bruce mentions Brendan storming out of the studio last week, and Brendan looks sheepish, heh. Brendan was ANGRY because he didn't think Austin and Erin's salsa was any better than their jive. He may have a point. They've decided to dance the quickstep this week, which is braver than doing whatever they got their highest mark for. Brendan has never done the Argentine tango before - danger! What Will Happen? Let's see...

First I must say that Lisa's outfit is sexxxxxy, and I love her little gloves. Not sure what the music is, it's tango music with a drum beat behind it. The tango is seriously sultry though - love it. Bruce says it's a good time to welcome the singers, even though they haven't sung anything yet. Brucie harks back to the "SEV-UNN!" joke from a couple of weeks ago, because actually the Severn doesn't run through Bristol. Brucie almost forgets about Lisa and Brendan who are waiting for their comments. [I wanted Brendan to start hitting the desk and telling them, "It's all about LISA, guys!" - Carrie] Len thought they got into the character of the dance, and liked all the moves - in conclusion, he loved it. Bruno says the first thing he saw was "Lisa's legs reaching to the outer limits - you were wrapping around Brendan like Octopussy!" He says some of the footwork could have been more precise, though. Craig liked the spiky nature of it and the passion, and picks on a few little details. Arlene thinks Brendan seems more nervous than any of the celebrities. Awww, he doesn't want to let Lisa down. Arlene says that Lisa's "legs are made for wrapping", but she didn't quite "glide and caress the floor" enough.

In the House of Tesstosterone, Tess explains that the Argentine tango is very difficult, and Brendan says he's brought his mum over from New Zealand to watch the show for the first time. Aww. The judges scores are in: Craig - 8, Arlene - 8, at which point the audience seem to be in a state of shock, but they are followed by: Len - 10, Bruno - 9. So, a total of 35, which may not be good enough at this point, but we'll see.

Bruce is joined by Flavia to demonstrate some Argentine tango moves. She pretends to kick him in the nuts. Tom and Camilla are next, dancing the jive. Tom and Camilla were over the moon with their 10s last week. Tom says he danced as Tom, rather than trying to act. Their VT is quite dull. Tom feels inferior to Lisa and Rachel [because he is - Carrie], and does not want to leave.

Oh, this might be the campest thing all evening. They're dancing to 'Waterloo'. It has great energy, and their synchronisation is good too. I've just realised I'm actually enjoying one of Tom's routines. [I thought it was a pretty rubbish routine. Although I did like Camilla's crazy Latin faces. She and Karen should have a face-off. - Carrie] Tom Chesthair Watch: still there. Craig says Tom had more energy in the kicks and flicks than the last time he jived, but they got a bit lazy towards the end. Craig wasn't thrilled by the routine, which he didn't think showed Tom off to his full potential. Arlene says in terms of energy it was "more exciting than the 50% off sale at Woolworths". [At least now we know Arlene's erratic behaviour is due to a sugar high from discounted pick 'n' mix. - Steve] However, sometimes Tom lost the rhythm. Len liked some of the moves, especially the Miami special, whatever that is, and overall he thought it was brilliant. Bruno wonders if this could be Tom's Waterloo, because it wasn't as good as it could have been.

Backstage, Tess points out that the jive was one of Tom and Camilla's lowest scoring dances the first time round. At least they'll probably get better than they did last time. Tess tries to console them with the fact that Austin gave them a standing ovation. The scores are in: 8s from everyone except Len, who gives them a 9, for a total of 33.

The final couple are Rachel and Vincent. Bruce makes a joke about learning modern slang to impress Rachel, because she is like down with the kidz innit. Vincent has an obvious advantage in the Argentine tango, what with being the world champion and everything. Don't forget it is a Very Difficult Dance. Rachel is struggling under the pressure.

Rachel's dress is very glam - black, backless and sparkly. They're dancing to 'When Doves Cry', which... kind of works. It's all very precise, but doesn't have as much character as Lisa and Brendan's tango. They're so going to get 10s though. The audience are on their feet. Arlene says the dance is about longing and yearning, and when Rachel looked into Vincent's eyes, they connected. Also, if legs could talk, Rachel's legs "would be telling so many secrets". Len calls it a "technical tour de force", but if he was going to be finnicky - which of course he isn't - it could have had more of a dramatic edge. But he didn't mention Lisa's stumble, so he is not even bothered. Which is kind of like saying: well, it's the semi-final, let's just give everyone 10s for the hell of it. Bruno says that at moments they "seemed to morph into a sensual being with four legs". He thought it was executed with "finesse and ease". Craig says what's difficult is maintaining the connection and stillness of the upper body while the legs are going mad, but they did it brilliantly. Bruce asks about a particular move, and Craig says it was a bit dodgy and he shouldn't have mentioned it.

In the House of Tesstosterone, Rachel says her legs are like jelly, though not literally. Vincent emphasises how difficult the choreography was. The scores are in: Craig - 9, Arlene - 10, Len - 10, Bruno - 10, for a triumphant 39, which equals Mark Ramprakash's record for the dance.

The leaderboard looks like this at the halfway point: Rachel and Vincent are top with 39, followed by Lisa and Brendan with 35, and Tom and Camilla are at the bottom with 33.

Before Lisa and Brendan do their second dance, the quickstep, we have a VT of their Strictly story. Brendan says he doesn't know how to deal with Lisa crying because he's "not that kind of person". Lulz. By the way, they do not want to leave.

I don't know the song they're dancing to, but I assume it's called 'Dancing in the Dark'. Not the Bruce Springsteen one though. Lisa and Brendan are generally fab. Bruce goes over to Len, who says they had body contact and maintained the movement, and have produced two fantastic dances tonight. Bruno says there's nothing dark about their dance - Lisa was like a shooting star, and he loved it. Craig says his complaint last time was the gapping, and this time they were "velcroed together". Arlene says Lisa has mastered the quickstep - "You've come a long way, baby." Brucie whispers to them that they're his favourites. Jinx!

Backstage, Lisa is all like, "I never thought I'd be in the semi-final, and Brendan is so great." The scores are in: 10s across the board, for a perfect 40! Brendan won't be storming off tonight then.

Tom and Camilla are next, with their Argentine tango. First, their Strictly story. Did you know Tom has recently GOT MARRIED? Tom has always wanted to learn to dance. Blah, blah, blah. Strictly has been the best chapter in Tom's life. Better than GETTING MARRIED?

Tom and Camilla are tangoing to traditional tango music, so yays for that. It's a bit boring though, and Tom isn't masterful enough. The choreography didn't look as difficult as Lisa's or Rachel's. Bruno says that Tom went for performance and got it right. Craig thinks it was right to use Tom's acting experience [since said "acting experience" gave birth to the Paso Face, I have my doubts about this - Steve], but he thought it was style over substance. However, he loved the routine and thought it was controlled and believable. Arlene says there was a lot of story, not a lot of steps and figures, but it was "like moving through mercury". What? Len says he finds this dance hard to judge - so just as usual then. Brucie says they're his favourites.

In the House of Tesstosterone, Tom says he's very nervous. The scores are in: 8s from Craig and Arlene, 9s from Len and Bruno, for a total of 34. Could we see Tom and Camilla in their first dance-off tonight?

The final couple is Rachel and Vincent, doing the American smooth. Will Rachel take Vincent to the final? In their VT, Rachel confesses to being obsessed with Dirty Dancing, so it's a shame she didn't get partnered with Brendan really. Rachel wants her personality to come out, which would be easier if she had one. They are Best Friends 4 Eva. And they want to get to the final.

They're dancing to 'Mandy', and it's good, but dull. Pretty cheesetastic, really. It's obviously a safe option too, considering the high marks they got for their foxtrot. Arlene says that if ever there's a return to Hollywood movies, "Rachel is our Ginger Rogers" - she "puts the Rs in rapture and romance". Len says he didn't think it was a foxtrot, it was "wandering around doing steps". Bruno says it had "the quality of beautiful dreams". Craig says Len is wrong, and in an American smooth you can do whatever you like, and he thought it was gorgeous and he loved it. Well, we haven't had enough arguing this week, have we? Vincent and Rachel are Brucie's favourites.

Backstage, Tess reminds us that they've broken three records this series, and they must be pressed for time because they go straight to the judges' scores: 9s from Craig and Arlene, 8 from Len (boo!), and 10 from Bruno.

There's just time for a look at the final leaderboard: Lisa and Brendan and Rachel and Vincent are tied at the top with 75 points each, while Tom and Camilla have 67. I would think that means that since Lisa and Rachel both get three points and Tom only gets one, Tom won't actually be able to escape the dance-off. I can't say I won't be pleased if my mum is proved wrong about him winning. Recap!

That's your lot for now. Join Carrie later TONIGHT for the results show. The pros will be doing a group jive, and we'll be joined by the cast of Chicago. Until then, keeeeep dancing!

4 comments:

Fran said...

I'm so shocked and pissed off by the results that I can't say anything.
The girls proved themselves again as tom crumbled and deserved to be escorted out of the building, at least. That was really unfair.

Jamie said...

I don't think I agree - it's something they should have been doing since series 4 when Jimmy Tarbuck pulled out, and I was amazed that they didn't seem to have a contingency plan for Kelly Brook's or John Sergeant's early departures in the following series. Had anyone else had to pull out they could have been left with a one person final, so having an elimination-less week is probably one of the wisest decisions they've made - but because it saved someone who you don't like it's suddenly unfair? I don't think so - he's no worse in terms of dancing technique than Lisa, and if he's as unpopular as the internet seems to suggest he is, he'll be out first in the final anyway.

I realise they were forced to do it because Tom couldn't have not been in the bottom two, so anyone voting for him was essentially paying for nothing, but I am hoping that this will now become policy for when anyone drops out in future series!

For two completely selfish reasons, I'm glad they've done it, too. I like Camilla, so I'm glad she's finally made the final, and three person finals are better than two person finals. Don't get me wrong, the last two years were great, but the final two had to do so many dances that the quality started to deteriorate.

Not sure who I want to win - I'm not overly fussed about any of the celebs. I still think Rachel is blank and I've never really "got" Lisa. I'm not counting Tom because I don't think he has a chance in Hell, to be honest...

Christopher said...

The two person final IS the contingency plan for when someone drops out. Just because you don't like it, and it doesn't involve doing an awful lot pro-actively, doesn't mean that it's not been the contingency plan.

It's a much better contingency plan than this, because this is an unholy mess. I feel sorry for whoever wins now, because it's a tainted victory. If Tom wins Rachel/Lisa fans complain (rightly) that he shouldn't even have been there. If Lisa/Rachel wins, then Tom fans (rightly) complain that the voting totals for this week being carried over will have crippled his chances, because his only votes from this week come from people too slow to work out there was no point voting for him.

I don't mind a non-elimination week in case of drop-out becoming the contingency plan next series, but this was an utter farce.

Daiz said...

Anyone else think that Rachel and Vincent's American Smooth was just a Foxtrot with illegal lifts?
I thought the smooth was supposed to be 60% out of hold?

(Note: I love this blog. It is awesome.)