Top 5: 29th November 2009
Last week on Strictly Come Dancing: Jade officially withdrew from this year's competition, and must you remind me of this? SHE'S BARELY EVEN COLD. *sobs bitterly* Anyway, Alesha called Ali and Brian the frontrunners of the series, Len called Craig a donut, Craig called Len dull, and I called the off-licence to ask if they do home deliveries. Ricky Groves squared off against Laila in the dance-off, and the latter emerged victorious, and Erin faced yet another embarrassing elimination: last year she went out with bits of her hair all over the floor, this year she went out dressed for a date with Snufflupagus. Poor Erin.
This week, the competition gets fierce. Has it not been fierce already? I think Alesha certainly thinks so. The contestants are tackling two dances that have never been danced competitively before, and there'll be dirty tricks afoot in a scored group dance. At least, I think that's what Tess says - the absurdly dramatic score here drowns her out so significantly that for a second I thought I was watching The X Factor. But I'm not, because this is Strictly Come Dancing - live! Cue titles.
Bruce is looking lively. Tess is wearing a hot pink Chinese finger trap. There is also something resembling an enormous gold medallion dangling from her neck, about which I have several theories. One is that she has petitioned the Ministry of Magic for a Time Turner and is simultaneously presenting this week's show and next week's, for reasons best known to herself. Another is that with Jade no longer in the competition, the bottom was about to fall out of the UK bling industry and therefore three weeks' worth of Jade's accessories were quickly welded together and hung from Tess's neck so that the BBC could be seen to be supporting British industry. Another still is that this was the only one of those picture-holding pendants she could find that was large enough to fully contain Vernon's teeth. Feel free to send your own suggestions at the usual address. [That she's crap at dressing and accessorising? Her hair was more distressing, anyway. - Carrie]
Bruce pretends to be on the ball by talking in txt spk. OMGWTF, indeed. The stars of the show arrive, still in that weird abridged format. There's Chris and Ola, who look quite spiffy, Natalie and Vincent, who've come tonight dressed as VV Brown and a gay motorcyclist, Ricky and Natalie, Ali and Brian, and Anton and Laila. Laila, it seems, has to leave the studio immediately after the show to attend another audition, this time for a live-action remake of She-Ra: Princess of Power. At least, that's what her outfit leads me to infer.
After a tired gag about Bruno being a drama queen, Tess explains that tonight will be the competitive debut of the Charleston and the "rock and roll" on the show, and Bruce adds that there'll also be a group Viennese waltz, and we'll be told how that will all work later.
But first, to business: Chris and Ola are the first couple to dance tonight. They'll be dancing the Charleston, and Bruce cracks a joke about the BBC bar, which does actually make me laugh because I used to go there quite a bit. I know, I know, I'm such a shameless media whore. Apparently Dick & Dom used to be in there all the time, but I never saw them. Which, now that I think about it, is probably the better scenario. Anyway, let's have a look at Chris and Ola's training, shall we? Chris recalls his Viennese waltz from last week quite proudly, though he notes it was close to a disaster because he forgot a bit and had to make it up on the spot. They're enjoying the Charleston - Chris gets to play the idiot, but he hopes he doesn't get typecast. We also get a look at Chris's swanky new house, where he will be living with his Very Serious Girlfriend, and for the purposes of this VT, he has roped Ola and James in to lift the boxes. James is carrying a very small box, which seems unlike him. Surely with guns like that you go for the big boxes? Chris says that they have to put in the performance of their lives, and hope that looking like such enormous tools on television doesn't wreck either of their careers. I'd say it never did Tom Chambers any harm, but I've been watching his "acting" in Waterloo Road, and therefore I'm not sure I can say that entirely truthfully.
They're dancing to 'Fat Sam's Grand Slam' from Bugsy Malone, and this routine suits Chris so well because he can make all the ridiculous faces he likes and they won't look out of place at all. It's light and very silly, but ultimately the choreography is not very challenging and the pace is a little bit slow, so it's not quite the Charleston I've been dreaming of. It ends in a very bizarre place where Ola supports herself on Chris's thighs as he lies on the floor and shuffles along while she mimes swimming. I'm beginning to wonder what we've all let ourselves in for.
The crowd goes nuts, of course, and following the traditional welcoming back of the singers/orchestra and the judges. Bruce tells us that it was Bruno's birthday during the week, and then asks Alesha if she's also had one recently. She looks a bit confused and says that she hasn't, and Bruce says that he saw her out celebrating. I assume that's a reference to this, and Alesha looks abashed. Len's asked what they're looking for, and Len replies that Bruce would be better placed to judge, since the 1920s was his era. I'm so glad we're getting the evening off to such a sophisticated start. Hilariously, Bruce rather takes umbrage here, huffily informing Len that as it happens he does know a lot about the Charleston, but he would still like Len to explain it. Snerk.
Anyway, Len explains that it was a scandal of a dance because the girls wore short dresses and did scissoring actions with their knees. It was all about emancipation of women too, apparently. Any chance of some feedback on the dance, Len? Yes, finally: he says that Chris and Ola provided fabulous entertainment, though he would've liked more swivelling feet and crossing of the legs, but he did enjoy that last little bit. Alesha says she's seen a whole new side of Chris tonight and that he owned the dance - she found it very enjoyable, and he's set the standard for Charlestons tonight. Bruno thought it was exuberant and exciting, a good competition of "slapstick and dancing, creative, Egyptian, hamster, the swimmer, everything". At least, I think that's what he said. It's Bruno - who really knows? He thinks it's Chris's best performance to date. Craig thought it was very crowd-pleasing, which makes everyone think he's going to slate it, but no - he loves it. Hurrah! They scamper back to the House of Tesstosterone in great excitement.
Tess kicks tonight's backstage shenanigans off in FAILTACULAR style when she begins by saying that it's the first time we've seen the Charleston, which prompts Chris to shout "highest score ever!". Tess responds that they haven't seen it yet, and stumbles over her words until she catches up with what he meant. Oh, Tess. Clearly all of this hosting two shows at once business is making you tired. Return the Time Turner to the Ministry and find a less exhausting way to reduce your workload, eh? In the background, by the way, Anton is finding this hilarious. Heh. Tess moves on to safer ground, saying that it looks like they enjoyed themselves, and Chris says that they really did - they're enjoying every moment of the competition, especially now he's found a dance that matches his facial expressions. Scores: Craig 8, Len 8, Alesha 9, Bruno 9 for a total of 34. It's their joint-highest score with BLACKPOOL, and then Tess adds that it's the highest Charleston score in Strictly history, which would've been funny had Chris not cracked that same joke thirty seconds ago and had it not flown entirely over Tess's head at the time. Oh well, better late than never, I suppose.
Ricky and Natalie are next. Bruce recalls their American smooth to 'Over The Rainbow' just so he can crack a joke about being asked to play the lead in The Wizard of Oz - "I am not Dorothy, Dorothy I am not." Sheesh. The VT reminds us of the epic hissyfit between Len and Craig over whether their lift was appropriate or not, at which point The Fonz (who is doing panto, but not IN WOKING) appears and says he didn't think that it was controversial. Well, given that it made two judges argue quite so vociferously, I don't really think that's your call to make, Mr Fonzarelli. They're finding rehearsals tough because Natalie hasn't done rock and roll dancing before. The Fonz pops in to one of their rehearsals, because he is doing PANTO in LIVERPOOL (not WOKING), and enjoys it very much. Hmmm. That was a bit of a narrative cul-de-sac, wasn't it? [It had THE FONZ in it. Thus worth doing. - Carrie]
They're dancing to 'Hound Dog' and it's a typically showy and acrobatic routine from them. It's not entirely winning me over, because it just feels a little bit too restrained, and also as Craig pointed out on Friday's It Takes Two, Ricky's free arm just hangs there for a lot of the dance and it really does look quite unpleasant. It ends with a really ambitious final pose where Ricky flips Natalie upside down and she somehow supports herself on his thighs, but it's spoiled when he overbalances and has to put a hand out to steady himself.
Len is asked once more what we're looking for in this dance, and he says high energy, quick turns, a flash of knickers, and some throws and tricks - essentially what we saw from Ricky and Natalie tonight. Len thinks it could've been wilder, and there was a mistake early on. Alesha says that Ricky is certainly king of the lifts, and she loved all the throws, but she wanted to see him let go more, and she thought it was lacklustre on his part because she knows he can do better. Bruno says he can clearly chuck a girl up, down, left, right or centre with ease. Or behind, in the case of Carley Stenson. (Too soon?) But, he says, we're getting towards the quarter final and he wants to see Ricky go all the way through without making a mistake. Is this Laila's old storyline that he's suddenly inherited? It seems to have come out of nowhere a little bit. Bruno thinks he's good, but he has to produce dances at a higher level. Craig agrees with Bruno - the timing was appalling at the top, and he needs more height in the lifts, and he was off-balance at the end. It was okay, it just lacked pow. Bruce says that they had less rehearsal time this week than they anticipated. Is Bruce hosting Have I Got News For You this week or something? He seems to have been studying the papers very closely.
In the House of Tesstosterone, Ricky says that they've really enjoyed the dance and being able to learn at the same time. Natalie seems entirely unperturbed by having been nearly dropped at the end. [Because she's a crazy robot and being dropped wouldn't hurt her titanium skeleton at all. - Carrie] Scores: Craig 7, Len 8, Alesha 8, Bruno 8 for a total of 31. That's their first seven of the competition, and consequently their lowest score of the competition. Ricky hopes that the people at home enjoyed it. Tess reads out the voting numbers and says that one couple will be leaving this week and they don't want it to be them, which leads Natalie to make a hilarious "nooooooo" face. She's crazy and I adore her.
Next up are Ali and Brian. Ali was thrilled that Alesha called them the frontrunners last week, though admits her disappointment at ending up one place behind "the Incredible Hulk" on the leaderboard. Haha! It's a shame we don't get to see sarky Ali more often - I rather like that side of her personality. Again, they're finding it strange rehearsing the Charleston because Brian doesn't know it, though he thinks it was fun for them to go "back to school" together. I wonder if Naughty Ali was smoking behind the bike sheds. We then relive that hideous moment from their rehearsals where Ali slips in the middle of a high kick and her kicking leg slams into the ground (which still makes me wince even though this is about the fourth time I've seen that clip, just to give you an idea of how thoroughly painful it looked). Ali goes for some painful-looking physio, but the good news is that she hasn't structurally injured anything, apparently. She says it's just going to make it an even bigger challenge, and she's determined to get to the quarter-final, injury or no injury.
Their routine is fantastic - it has a proper narrative and everything, with Ali as some kind of broken puppet who's pushed into life by Brian. They've got the "legs flailing as if independent from body" aspect of the dance that was missing from Chris and Ola's routine, and it's even genuinely funny, because the two of them are selling the hell out of it. Let me put it this way: after seeing this, I felt vindicated for wanting the Charleston to be added to the roster of dances, because they do it really, really well. It's a shame they're dancing to that godawful Paolo Nutini song where he seems to think he's Jackie Wilson, but never mind. Quite possibly my favourite dance of the series - a dead cert for my top five, at least.
Bruno calls Ali a "fabulous flapper", and says it reminded him of Chicago. Craig thought it was goofy and gangly, but absolutely gorgeous. He says that if Josephine Baker were alive today, she'd be giving her a run for her money, at which point I swear to God that someone says "who?" It may have been Brian. Heh. Len says that he's seen another side to Ali, because he thought she just did elegant ballroom, but she came out and cocked her leg up and this was great. Alesha thinks they proved her right for calling her the frontrunner - it was quirky and allowed Ali to show her Acting Skills, and was even more impressive considering the week Ali's had.
Backstage, Ali says that when the adrenaline gets going you don't even notice the injury, but everyone's been injured this year and she's not going to dwell on it. Attagirl. Scores: nines from everyone except Alesha, who whips out the ten again, for a total of 37. There are some "awww"s because Chris has now lost his record for the highest-scoring Charleston. Heh. Brian addresses the camera to thank the people who "wrote in" to support Ali this week after everything that happened.
Next it's Come Back Christine Bleakley All Is Forgiven and her partner Vincent Simone. The VT recalls her hideous samba from last week, which inexplicably did not land her in the dance-off. Natalie says that she needs to come back with a dance that wows everybody. In rehearsals, Natalie crows endlessly about Vincent not knowing the dance and how this means that this week she's better than he is, and I gave my lecture on how unsporting I think this sort of thing comes across last week, so suffice to say my opinion on the matter has not changed. Vincent is struggling with the acrobatics of the dance, and they have to nix their planned cartwheel lift because Vincent can't do it. There's more of Vincent's inability to do a roly poly that we saw on It Takes Two, and then we're out.
Natalie starts by clicking her fingers off the beat, which is rather inauspicious. [I know, right? She had some little bops later in the routine, entirely out of time. - Carrie] Their routine is livelier than Ricky and Natalie's was, but the technique is sorely lacking - the bit where she "slides" between Vincent's legs particularly sticks out as poorly executed. I can't fault them for effort, but it ultimately doesn't lead to much.
Craig comments that it was lacking and very one-dimensional. Len says that "we all love Natalie" (OBJECTION! Sustained) and that it needed more of a wow factor. Natalie interrupts here and attempts to justify their difficulties by saying that she and Vincent are exactly the same size. Now, I know it's in the nature of this blog to be unkind, but the obvious comment about their relative girth is too cheap a shot even for me. I will, however, draw your attention to the following:
Even height-wise, I think to say they're "the same size" is stretching the truth a tad.
Anyway, she says that lifts are very difficult for them. Alesha says that Natalie can sell the dance on her personality, but she was distracted by the clumsiness of it, especially when Vincent was pulling her through his legs because her legs should've been together. Bruno says, "You're a goer, we love you for it" (heh) and proceeds to have a go at Vincent for Natalie's lack of technical finesse, which Bruno perceives to be the result of poor teaching.
In the House of Tesstosterone, Natalie remarks that the judges are in a bad mood at this point. She loved the routine, but accepts that this one was particularly difficult because they're the "same size". Scores: Craig 5 (Natalie repeats this in disbelief), Len 7 (Natalie is still on "five?", heh), Alesha 7, Bruno 7 for a total of 26. Natalie and Vincent concede that it's "better than last week".
Tonight's final couple are Laila and Anton, who will also be dancing the Charleston. There's a very odd bit here, first because Bruce can't say the word "speakeasy" (yes, I spotted the irony there too), and then because he explains how people in speakeasys would hide their alcohol in teacups in case of a raid - which he asserts is "like Tess's area backstage". Then there's a protracted pause before we cut to backstage, where everyone (including Katya, Brendan, Mattthew and Aliona, who've been roped in somehow) is drinking out of teacups and cheering. It would've worked - possibly - had the cut to backstage been instant, rather than as it stood where we had to listen to Bruce reiterating what he'd already said a few times first. The pacing of tonight's show is very odd.
Laila's VT sees her bemoaning her lack of rehearsal time. It neatly sidesteps the bit where she buggered off to Morocco, mind. Laila says that being in the bottom two has given her a kick up the backside. She thinks the Charleston was made for Anton, who looks like he should be in the 1920s. Anton is enjoying the opportunity to ham it up. Anton is not, however, enjoying being taught to dance by someone else. Laila says that she has to do all the rehearsal that she can do and go out there and give it some welly on Saturday.
Anton and Princess Adora, He-Man's twin sister, take to the stage, and again, they've got a nice little narrative built into theirs, with Laila being a surprisingly bashful flapper. There's some lovely hammy Acting in it, anyway. And all this without having to call on the services of Barrowman! Laila's legs aren't flyaway enough for my liking, but aside from that she's embracing the kookiness of the dance, which works for me.
Alesha thanks Laila for getting Anton so far into the competition - she enjoyed the fooling around and the storytelling and thought it really suited Laila. Bruno calls it "a glitzy panto" and for once Laila didn't go wrong. Craig thought it was very heavy and laboured and poorly danced, but he loved the storytelling and the fun. Len, who has been sat there looking like he's just eaten a whole bar of shit before Craig even said a word, decides to get on his high horse again and calls Craig "absolutely 100 per cent wrong", saying that it was brilliant and wondering whether Craig does it "just to create boos". Yes, Len, truly Craig is the judge who blindly panders to the audience. Those of you who are drinking along at home, take a swig for the obligatory "you're getting on my wick". Laila sticks her tongue out at Craig for some reason - perhaps there's something innately Charlestony about it.
In the House of Tesstosterone, Laila thanks Jenny and Ryan the choreographers for all their help. Tess says to Anton that you "can teach an old dog new tricks" Anton agrees that "you can make good soup with an old chicken". Laila says they'd love to avoid the dance-off and make the quarter finals. Scores: Craig 6, Len 9, Alesha 8, Bruno 8 for a total of 31. Anton wonders if "whatsisname at the end" was holding his paddle upside down.
Leaderboard: Ali at the top, Chris in the dizzying heights of second place, Ricky and Laila tying for third, and Natalie in last place.
Bruce explains that the remaining couples will be doing a group Viennese waltz, like what they do in real dance contests. We see a VT of their training, led by the almighty Flavia. Something very odd has happened to the grading of this whole section, incidentally - everyone looks really washed out. The couples are informed that it is a competitive dance; Ali queries whether this means they're allowed to elbow each other. Flavia confirms they can do whatever the hell they want. They have lots of fun crashing into each other. Anton clarifies that they all have to follow the line of dance, but it's a fairly loose rule. Flavia points out that if they're seen to be deliberately obstructing each other, they will lose points. Chris and Ola think they're "easy meat" because they're so small. Natalie Cassidy elbows Ricky "in the kidneys", assuming his kidneys are inside his ribcage. Ali notes that it could be "carnage" come Saturday.
It's over to Len to explain how it's going to be judged. Len takes a very long time to basically say that someone will stand out as being the best, someone will stand out as being the least, and the others will all be ranked in turn. Seriously, it takes him like five minutes to make this very simple point. He says there should be a bit of bashing and bumping, and couples will have to stop and carry on, but he can't wait to see it.
Crikey, this is going to be hard to recap. So everyone dances at once - Ali and Brian look the most comfortable, but her arm is still shaking a little bit. Natalie (Cassidy) is rictus-grinning her way through it. Anton and Laila seem to be bearing up well enough. Chris and Ola are doing lots of pivots, as you might expect. Ricky and Natalie are, oddly, not shown all that much, except in group shots. Then towards the end the anticipated carnage arrives, as Ali and Brian collide with Anton and Laila (with their hands going into Laila's head, or so it appears) and then from there bump into Ricky and Natalie, who fumble momentarily but quickly get back on track.
Each judge has been monitoring a different couple: Len was watching Ali and thought she did a great job moving smoothly about the room. Alesha was watching Chris and thought he stood out despite being the smallest, and did a good job of leading. Bruno thought Laila coped well, though she had Anton in the driving seat which is an obvious advantage. Craig watched Natalie and thought she redeemed herself with this dance, and was particularly brilliant in how she narrowly escaped being boxed in. And finally back to Len, who also watched Ricky, and thought he coped beautifully with leading despite being up against three male professionals who are used to dancing in groups. The five couples head to the House of Tesstosterone while Bruce explains the scoring: the judges will get together to discuss the performances, and Len will give out the individual scores, which will be marked out of 10.
Backstage, Chris says that he thinks he got lapped twice, and it felt like driving Formula 1 cars with L-plates. Ricky says it was hard because the routine wasn't choreographed and they were all ad-libbing, and apologised to Brian for bumping into him. Natalie (Lowe) taps him on the shoulder and assures him that Brian did it on purpose. Snerk. Ali, who's the Strictly record-holder for the Viennese waltz, really enjoyed it, and Natalie (Cassidy) loved it, saying she could spend all day in Vincent's arms, and loved just following him without having any choreography to remember. Laila felt very safe in Anton's arms, and thought it was an amazing experience to have to ad lib a dance.
Time to deliver the scores. Chris and Ola are awarded a 7 for a good job despite being a bit skippy, Ricky and Natalie get a 9 for their "lovely and lyrical" performance, Ali and Brian get another 10, Natalie and Vincent needed more musicality, but get a 7 for a well-danced performance, and Laila and Anton are given an 8 for a "good job".
So, let's see how that affects the scores: Ali now has a total of 47 and is top of the leaderboard, Chris has a total of 41 and is second, Ricky has a total of 40 and is third, Laila has a total of 38 and is fourth, and Natalie has a total of 33 and is fifth. The lines open to much cheering - Ricky and Chris pantomime trying to find phones inside their jackets.
After the video recap, which is more enjoyable this week considering how lively all the dances were, we're back with Tess. Ali is really relieved to still be on top Viennese waltz-wise. Natalie is scared to be at the bottom and hopes the public save her. Ricky is asked whether it's a fair comment that he was told he constantly makes mistakes, and Ricky sensibly says yes it is, although he rather swiftly undoes this good work by complaining that he didn't make any mistakes last week and was still marked down for it. He says that he's got his "first 40", which feels rather a presumptuous comment.
There follows a puff-piece of a VT about the introduction of Darcey Bussell to the judging panel, where the judges sound excited about it and the contestants sound terrified. Anton wonders how it might feel to get 50 points. I think he'll be wondering for a while.
After that, we get a "foxtrot with a bit of a modern twist", as Matthew, Aliona, Brendan and Katya do a hyper-sexualised routine to Muse's 'Time Is Running Out'. I like Matthew Cutler as much as the next person, but does he have to do the exhibition dance every week? [YES. MOAR CUTLER. - Carrie] It's enjoyable enough, anyway, and I don't think last year's finale would have been quite so tedious if even one of the THREE(!) foxtrots had been done like this.
Time for some judges' feedback: Bruno says that he's seen Ali in a new light and finally having some fun with her choreography, and also that Chris stuck a great balance between performance and choreography. And then that's it. Oh well - brevity is the soul of wit, I suppose.
A late contender for the most bizarre piece of filler of the series follows: a VT in which "national trinket" and former runner-up Julian Clary comes to talk to the contestants. He gives them a bit of a pep-talk, suggesting that Ricky camp it up a bit more - "there's a camp man in there trying to get out - in Chris's case, he got out some time ago". Snerk. Anton and Laila are greeted with "hello - you still here?" and some Footballers' Wives jokes. Julian does a Vincent impression, suggests that Chris gets his jaw wired up, and then asks where Ali and Brian are. Ali's off at physio, so Julian offers to send some "psychic healing". Julian asks about Brian, and Chris comments, "I think he's helping with the healing". Dirty! He finishes by asking them to get his corset back from Craig, and saying "may the best man or woman win". And don't fuck it up.
Backstage with Tess again, they look ahead to next week. Chris has the samba, and whines that it's taken him 11 weeks to get four judges on side, and now they're adding a fifth one. Heh. Laila loved every second of her Charleston, and thinks she did her best.
AMAZING IT TAKES TWO TRAILER: this week the professional dancers were forced to undertake a "dance mat challenge", the results of which will be shown this week. Claudia asserts that "blackmail is an ugly word" but that certain dancers ("I'm looking at you, Brendan Cole") may wish to get in touch with a cash offer. This is going to be the most brilliant thing ever.
Before the results, there's another guest performance: Riverdance. Come on, I'm not recapping this. No way do you need me to tell you what Riverdance is. Although if they're adding any more dances in future, they should totally stick Riverdance on the shortlist just for the lulz. Apparently it's 15 years since Riverdance first appeared on our screens. Egad.
The lines have now closed, which means time for just one further performance: a world exclusive, James Morrison and Nelly Furtado performing 'Broken Strings' live together for the first time, apparently, which seems surprising since it came out a year ago. James Morrison sings rather sharply for the first verse or so, and Nelly Furtado is wearing some scarily tall shoes. Aside from that, it's a decent enough performance, and it's just refreshing to have an act performing whose demographic skews a little bit younger than the sort of people they've been getting on recently. Oh, and Darren and Lilia perform a lovely rumba at the front. At the end, James and Nelly don't seem to know quite what to do with each other, and he kisses her on the cheek rather awkwardly. Aww.
Obligatory filler VT: I LOVE MY DANCING PARTNER. I DON'T WANT TO GO HOME. You get the general idea.
After all that distractingness, it's time for the results. Only three couples have a guaranteed spot in next week's quarter final, and they are: Ali and Brian, Chris and Ola and a visibly shocked Laila and Anton. That leaves Ricky and Natalie to face off against Natalie and Vincent in the dance-off, so whatever happens tonight, we're definitely losing a Natalie. Also, as my boyfriend pointed out, it suggests the general public does not care for rock and/or roll. [Or Natalies. - Carrie]
Ricky and Natalie reprise their routine and are demonstrably giving it a lot more energy this time around, with Natalie being whirled in the air every which way. Crucially, they also manage to get their balance right on the finishing pose this time, which does look a lot more impressive. Though Ricky does suddenly get overcome with an urge to cover Natalie's boobs, which is quite funny. Natalie and Vincent then perform their routine again with the kind of spirit that comes from knowing that whatever you do, you're going home, so you might as well just enjoy yourself. It's still rather clumsily executed, but then the problems with this routine the first time around were not the sort that were likely to be fixed in an hour.
The judges cast their deciding votes, and obviously it's a formality: everyone says that it's been lovely to have Natalie and Vincent here and they did really well to get this far, but Ricky and Natalie are the ones who are staying.
Natalie says that she's had the most amazing time on the show, and they get a standing ovation from everyone, including the judges. Natalie gets a bit tearful, and vows to stay friends with Vincent, who's also getting a bit weepy.
Next week, the couples face two individual dance routines, and Bette Midler will be the special guest, along with DARCEY BUSSELL! Exciting stuff indeed.