Sunday, 13 December 2009

Ali oops

Semi-final: 12th December 2009

Last weekend! Some accelerated, like Chris Hollins, when Len admitted he could see a dancer emerging (and yes, you might well think the dancer ought to have emerged long before now; I couldn't possibly comment), while others stalled, like Laila Rouass, whose engine coughed and spluttered like Bruce trying to figure out which camera he's supposed to be looking at. So Laila and Anton got the boot, and in tonight's semi-final, three couples must become two. Not only that, but there's no dance-off, which I'm sure is a move in absolutely no way inspired by the mess they got themselves into last year, so essentially the public vote alone will decide who makes it through to next week's grand final (yes, I know the judges' scores are taken into account, but the public basically gets the last say in the matter now). This is Strictly Come Dancing - live!

Titles. Interesting how our top three are actually grouped together in the title sequence, isn't it? I mean, I'm not screaming "fix!" or anything, but it is an interesting thing to note.

We are live in London, and we have Bruce and Tess. Tess's hot pink dress looks acceptable from a distance until she reaches the bottom of the stairs and it becomes apparent that the whole thing is utterly shapeless and does her figure no favours at all. Considering how Tess Daly is a very attractive woman, I'm absolutely stumped at how they manage to make her look so frumpy so often. And the black shoes she's pairing with it don't work at all, just to add insult to injury.

Bruce welcomes us all to the semi-final, and instead of an opening gag, Bruce just says he's really happy Anton's gone. Seriously: this is what actually happens. I kept waiting for a punchline, and yet nothing came. Tess reminds us that there is no longer a dance-off, and thus our votes are more important than ever tonight. Bruce says that "there's only one way to start such an exciting evening". By getting the remaining couples out and getting on with the competition? Of course not, silly: by getting the professionals out for some lovely but ultimately superfluous filler.

My boyfriend and I spent some time trying to establish what discipline they were meant to be showcasing, and in the end decided it was probably a general Latin showcase. Which is fair enough, because there is only one Latin dance scheduled for tonight's competition, and it's a rumba, which is about as ballroomy as Latin dances get. Anyway, the showcasing from the pros is all very nice, and gives me more glimpses between various ladies' legs in the space of five minutes than I would imagine the average gynaecologist gets through in a week. And Darren and Lilia are there! I missed them last week.

When that's all accomplished, Bruce thanks all the pros very much, and explains that the remaining couples will be giving us a rechoreographed version of one of their previous performances tonight, and Tess adds that the other dance will be an Argentine tango. And with that, we're introduced to the stars of the show: Chris and Ola, Ricky and Natalie, and Ali and Brian. There's no line-up this week, just a spotlight each in the centre of the dancefloor for them to head into. Bruce makes a crack about Anton trying to sneak back in, and really, if we're talking about people who just won't go away this year: James Jordan, I choose you! Bruce then claims that "Bastian, Hollins and Whittle" sounds like a firm of solicitors. Well, yes, because it's three surnames, and firms of solicitors tend to name themselves after the senior partners, of which there are often several, so I'm inclined to say that whoever the final three might have been this year, they still would have sounded like a firm of solicitors if you just addressed them by their surnames. This entire exchange is in the end justified by Bruce apparently ad-libbing that we might need a lawyer tonight with it being the semi-final, which I take to be a reference to the aforementioned Big Fucking Mess with last year's scoring. Now if they can just admit that Lisa Snowdon's showdance was an embarrassment of epic proportions, I might be willing at last to acknowledge that series six actually happened.

First on tonight are Chris and Ola, who've rejigged their rumba for the semi-final. There's the obligatory joke about Ola wearing no costume, and Bruce's gag about him making lots of leering comments ends up with the laugh coming too early, because we were all way ahead of him. In his VT, Chris says that the constipated look on his face when he's trying to be romantic might explain why he wasn't always a hit with the girls. Still, it didn't prevent him from obtaining A Very Serious Girlfriend, did it? (I always like to think of Chris's Very Serious Girlfriend dressed in a grey twinset and wearing thick dark-rimmed glasses and just looking worried all the time, because she is Very Serious.) Chris's Breakfast colleagues can't believe he made it this far, and neither can he. The rehearsal section of his VT gives us yet further opportunity to examine his sweat patches in great detail, and I just don't know how much more of those I can take. Dude, antiperspirant: look into it. Chris worries that he will be permanently constipated because he has two sexy dances to do this week. He acknowledges that everyone expects them to be the worst dancers now, but they aren't settling for third: they're aiming for first.

Their new rumba is to 'Total Eclipse Of The Heart', which kind of automatically makes it brilliant, but I guess I can't really judge entirely on choice of soundtrack. More's the pity. Anyway, I rather like the choreography: they do a lot of rolling around on the floor, and I think the Jordans, by and large, know what they're doing with a rumba. I still have issues with Chris's performance, though - his free arm is never straight, and he's still splaying his hands in a really ugly way, and Ola really should've conditioned that out of him weeks ago. You know that Erin or Natalie wouldn't stand for that shit. Ola is doing the lion's share of the actual movement, as well, and there are lots of pivots, of course. I do kind of love Ola, but would it kill her to be a little bit more inventive with her choreography?

Once it's over, they march across to Bruce, who compliments their chemistry, and suggests that every man in the studio envies Chris right now. Craig chides that there's been no real improvement since week one, and cites that the hands were dreadful. He loved the routine and the emotion, but the hands ruined it, and he doesn't understand why they haven't worked on that. Bruce says that he doesn't agree with any of that. Dear Bruce: we don't care. Signed, the entire viewership of this programme. Darcey tells Chris that he's being a very good partner, but she was missing the rumba moves from him. She wants him to show her what he can do with the Argentine tango later. Len, apparently missing Arlene's presence tonight, goes for the "decidedly specious referencing of the music choice" as she used to, saying that 'Total Eclipse Of The Heart' was apt because Chris gave it his heart. Yes, but there has been a TOTAL ECLIPSE of that heart, Len. Pay attention. He says that Chris isn't the most fantastic dancer they've had, but if it were down to hard work and entertainment, he'd top the leaderboard every week. That's kind of patronising, really. Also, I refuse to believe that anyone on this show works harder than the person training with Natalie Lowe. I mean, come on. Alesha thought the rumba was a good choice because it showed their chemistry, but she agrees with Darcey that it exposed his shortcomings and with Craig that the hands weren't good. This is where having five judges starts to become a problem: you just end up with a lot of echoes at the end of the commentary. Bruno said he made a meal out of Ola, and that they can never fault his effort, but the other judges were right about his technical issues. And then Bruno is kind of appalled by all the naked female flesh right in front of him, and loses his train of thought.

In the House of Tesstosterone, Chris admits that they joked for ages that they could do their rumba again in the semi-final, without ever really expecting it to happen. Tess calls them brave for being the only couple to do a Latin dance tonight. Scores: Craig 7, Darcey 7, Len 8, Alesha 8, Bruno 8 for a total of 38. Tess asks if they're going to come back with their Argentine tango and give it more welly. "No, we're going to go home," replies Chris. Snerk.

Who's on next? Why, it's Ali and Brian, who will be dancing the first Argentine tango of the evening. The hair and make-up team have given Ali an Amy Winehouse hairdo for this evening, for reasons best known to them but not apparent to me. Ali's VT rather unfortunately picks out the moments where she stumbled in her tango last week, and then plays up Len's comment about her being a one-trick pony. THROWN UNDER TEH BUS!!!!!ONE!! It's also washed out to an alarming degree. Oh, and just to really scar us all for life, they also drag out Darcey Bussell saying "there was a sexy party going on between you two" again. NO NEED. Ali says that as the last woman standing, she's going to do it for the girls. And she doesn't mean her titties. Her rehearsal footage is not encouraging, as she seems to be struggling to get any of the routines down, and Brian is looking cross with her. Brian says they're there to produce the best results that they can, and Ali says she really doesn't want to go home this week.

Their Argentine tango is to 'Pa Bailar', and first off, I don't really care for Ali's dress, which is black and lacy and yet glittery at the same time, and for reasons that I can't quite define is not flattering on her at all - it just seems to be highlighting the gawkiness that she has sometimes. Her Argentine tango face is not the best either, she just looks she's posing as an undersexed secretary for the front cover of a Mills & Boon. Actually, the whole routine is kind of a disappointment to me - it's just a bit awkward and lacking in the chemistry that it needs, which I guess is as clear an indicator as we're likely to get onscreen that they're totally doing it.

They finish, and Bruce thanks the singers/Dave Arch/his wonderful orchestra, having apparently forgotten to do so after Chris and Ola's first routine. Darcey liked Ali's technical proficiency in a complicated dance, but points out that she went wrong and the steps could've been sharper and cleaner. Len says that if Ali wants to be here next week, she needs to lose the nerves because they really inhibit her performance. Alesha agrees, saying that her face was good (no, it wasn't), but the nerves were distracting. She loved the footwork and the moments they created, though. Bruno liked that she'd tried to create a character - the slick, deadly blonde - but that her nerves held her back and led her to make silly mistakes.

As Ali and Brian return to the House of Tesstosterone, Ali is clearly very nervous, and she's thrilled to have made it this far, but wants to get past this weekend. Brian smarms that she deserves praise for putting up with him all week. Scores: Craig 8, Darcey 8, Len 9, Alesha 8, Bruno 9 for a total of 42.

Ricky and Hispartnernatalie are next, dancing a waltz. Their VT shows their triumph last week, which was short-lived when they found themselves in the dance-off at the end of the night despite having been top of the leaderboard. Ricky has wanted to do the Argentine tango since week one, but his spirits are sinking a bit in light of the lack of public support. Ricky didn't think he'd like dancing this much, but says that it's impossible to not love dancing with Natalie. I don't really felt like I learnt much from that VT.

They're dancing to 'Kissing You' from Romeo + Juliet, and their routine is pretty lovely, I have to admit - Natalie's choreography for it is exquisite, and Ricky's giving it his all, quite possibly because he doesn't anticipate still being here next week.

Alesha grins that finally the semi-finals are underway, and compliments Ricky on his leading of Natalie, his posture and his confidence. Bruno calls it "a waltz of timeless elegance", and says that they used the music beautifully and danced through the beat, which was fabulous. Craig thinks his phrasing is exceptional, and calls the performance "simple, elegant, gorgeous". Darcey praises the choreography and agrees with Alesha that Ricky's posture was wonderful. Natalie, by the way, is totally crying while all this goes on.

There's a standing ovation going on in the House of Tesstosterone from the other pros, and Ricky says that they've all been really supportive from the very beginning. Ricky says that he loves the dance so much, and Natalie's still tearful. Tess gives Ricky a chance to beg the camera for support, and he takes full advantage. Scores: Craig 9, Darcey 9, Len 10, Alesha 9, Bruno 10 for a total of 47.

So that's the first half of the dances over, and here comes the leaderboard: Ricky and Natalie in first place, Ali and Brian second, and Chris and Ola in third/last position.

Now it's time for Chris and Ola to return for their Argentine tango. We get a video recap of his JOURNEY, where he started out well in week one, only for it to all go wrong in the second and continue downwards from there, which gave him a crisis of confidence, until he got to BLACKPOOL and got a boost of confidence, which sent him back in the right direction again, and then they done a good Charleston and that. Ola says that they're like an old married couple by now, and then they're adorable together for a bit more, and that's it, really.

Their Argentine tango is to Jazmine Sullivan's 'Bust Your Windows', which is another excellent song choice. The routine is pretty good, although Chris kind of messes up the ganchos, but the standard of dancing is arguably better than it was in his rumba - perhaps because he has a bit more to work with here.

Bruno calls it "an heroic effort", with all the steps going into it, but the face was all wrong again - "you looked like an Argentine who'd just lost the Falklands". He tells Chris what they have told him many times before - he needs to let it happen without forcing it through all the time. Ola and Chris try to joke their way out of it, but Bruno is having none of it. Craig says that the trout-mouth is certainly back, but he's starting to find it oddly endearing. He loved the choreography and thought they danced it really well. Darcey was pleased to see him dancing, and said that they became one person in the dance, which is very important. Len says that it "gets on [his] wick" (SIGH) that they keep going on about Chris's face - because heaven forfend the head judge might condone actual criticism or anything - and that Chris epitomises what he loves about this show, because he has no dance experience but he always comes out and gives it a go. He says he wasn't even looking at Chris's face because he was mesmerised by the couple's chemistry.

Back in the House of Tesstosterone, Chris talks at length about how he's loved dancing with Ola. Tess points out that they're the only couple not to have got a ten so far. Yes, and they've been remarkably quiet about it, TOM CHAMBERS. Anyway, scores: Craig 8, Darcey 8, Len 9, Alesha 9, Bruno 8 for a total of 42. They're happy, since they got "close to a ten" a few times. They have an overall score of 80 for both dances.

Ali and Brian are next with their rechoreographed version of their American smooth. Her VT shows her talking about how dancing - especially ballroom - makes her feel special. She was thrilled at getting such good comments on her first night and being top of the leaderboard. Her "friendship" with Brian developed very quickly, but she, like Chris, started heading the wrong direction down the leaderboard, and then had to reprise her paso doble in the dance-off with a bad foot. She was terrified that she could've gone out, but survived, and then got 40/40 in BLACKPOOL on a night that she'll never forget. Then it all gets a bit X Factor as Ali talks about her grandma WHO IS DEAD and who used to ballroom dance and who would be so proud of her, especially if she makes the final. And I was with her right up until those last six words where she rather overplayed her hand, I think.

Their routine is to 'Come Dance With Me' and it's so totally in Ali's wheelhouse, and it's all very graceful and lovely and joyous, with all of Ali's trademark excellent lines and it's very, very nice indeed to watch - though by far the most awesome part is the very end, where clearly the choreography was for them to just have their heads together in the usual romantic ending pose, but Brian takes it one step further and full-on kisses her on the mouth - and judging by Ali's reaction, she totally wasn't expecting it. Hee hee hee.

Bruce is very excited by there being "a real kiss!" on the show, like he's never seen one before, asking "is that allowed?" Given that the judges have turned a blind eye to about ten illegal lifts over the course of the series, I don't think they're going to knock two marks off for a bit of a snog, Bruce. Len tells Ali that he loved her American smooth the first time he saw it, and this was better. Alesha says that Ali is the last girl standing, but she's doing them proud - the dance suits her, and she was classy and elegant. Bruno says "the ballroom dazzler is back" and says that she showcased the best of her qualities. Craig says that he loved the routine, but unfortunately the kiss is not one of the designated moves in the choreography for the American smooth and so the highest he can score it is a six. Kidding! He actually says it was "fab-u-lous", with a "darling" thrown in for good measure.

No standing ovation in the House of Tesstosterone, but a hearty round of applause all the same. The pros are all making kissing noises behind Tess, who wonders if Ali can get another full house. Let's find out: Craig 10, Darcey 10, Len 10, Alesha 10, Bruno 10 for a total of 50, giving them a total score of 92 for both dances. Ali is, unsurprisingly, quite excited.

And finally, Ricky and Natalie are back. Bruce wonders if they can convince the public that they deserve a place in the final. Maybe the answers are in the VT? Natalie calls Ricky "a dream partner", and Ricky recalls Len saying they would be the most formidable couple EVAH. He does, however, think they made a rod for their own backs because ever since then, the judges have been looking really hard for mistakes. There are more sequences of Natalie being very commanding in the training room, and Ricky talking about how he works VERY HARD on Hollyoaks (whatever, Ricky Whittle, I've seen your acting and I can't imagine it causes you to exert yourself all that much. Except for the energy it must take to repeatedly remove your shirt) and so hes tired before he even arrives in training. His biggest highlight was his quickstep, where he got 39. Natalie gets a bit weepy again talking about how talented Ricky is. Ricky would love to get to the final, and is going to work really hard to try to get there. Natalie cries. Again.

Their Argentine tango is to 'Verano Porteno' and they start on the stage. There's a scarcely-noticeable fuckup where they fail to walk down the steps in total synchronisation, but aside from that, it's an amazing and daring routine, requiring some really deft footwork that Ricky pulls off really well, and some truly impressive lifts. It's not quite technically perfect, but damn if it didn't look fantastic. And really, isn't that half the battle?

Everyone in the studio is on their feet again. Craig points out that they came down the stairs at the wrong time and gets booed for his trouble, but admits that he loved the dance, which was great. Darcey says the intensity was wonderful and his musicality was perfect - she couldn't tell that he wasn't a professional dancer. Then read your notes, dear. Alesha says it was sexy, hot, passionate and intense, and made the hairs on her arms stand up. Bruce is horrified that women have hairs on their arms. Body fascist. Len says that the voting public love an underdog (gosh, I wonder who he's referring to?), but more than that they love justice, and if Ricky doesn't make the final, there will be no justice. Do you hear that? JUSTICE FOR NO ONE!

The pros give them another standing ovation in the House of Tesstosterone. Natalie says that Vincent and Flavia were their inspiration, and Ricky does an adequate impression of Vincent. He adds that they've had an amazing time, and they're so close to the final, so they hope they can survive another week. Then there's an amazing moment, where Natalie tries to speak, unaware that Tess is all set to move things on:

NATALIE: And Len's comment was just--
TESS: (dismissively) Itwaswonderful. (Then, brightly:) The scores are in!

Hee hee hee. Scores: Craig 9 (boos, of course), Darcey 10, Len 10, Alesha 10 and Bruno 10, for a total of 49 - and then all the other judges look at Craig and start fanning themselves with their ten paddles. Hee. Natalie wonders what they have to do to get a 10 from Craig. They've got 96/100 though, so they really shouldn't be too worried at this point.

Final leaderboard: Ricky and Natalie are top, Ali and Brian in second, then Chris and Ola. Tess clarifies that in the event of a tie, the couple with the lowest public vote will be leaving. That'll make a nice change.

Video recap! I love this bit as it means I don't have to do any work.

Bruce claims "it couldn't be closer". Except it could be, like last year when there was a tie for first place. Anyway, we are reminded that Darcey has joined the judging panel (from her contributions thus far, you could be forgiven for not having noticed). To prove her mettle, she's going to do a bit of dancing, so we get her training VT where she claps a lot and talks about how big a fan she is and how excited she is, and her dance partner Ian is VERY excited, saying what an honour it is, although it's "like carrying bone china, and as a child, they used to call me Frank Spencer." Bless. He promises that we'll love what they have in store.

They arrive on the stage and do a jive to 'Stuff Like That There', and - well, she's a professional dancer, isn't she? So obviously it's excellent. If you are looking for any kind of suspense here, you're going to be very disappointed. It's a nice fun routine, anyway, and Darcey's slightly knackered afterwards, which is rather endearing. She tells Bruce she probably shouldn't have chosen the jive. Ian says he's been asking to be partnered with Darcey for years and finally his dreams have come true. Hee. The other judges give her a standing ovation (and yes, Alesha is clapping this time. Stopping looking for female discord!) Bruce angles to be asked to dance with Darcey at some point in the future, and she says rather unconvincingly that she'd love to have him dance with her.

Tess is back in the House of Tesstosterone with all of the couples, who all want to make it to the final, which rather goes without saying. Cue the obligatory "I want to make it to the final" VT. Because they all want to make it to the final. And if Louis Walsh were here, he'd tell them they should all make it to the final, because he's incapable of basic maths.

And then we're back with Bruce and Tess, who encourage us to get voting, and tease the content of the results show which is coming!


Bruce nasally welcomes us back and reminds us that earlier tonight, we saw three couples dancing to remain in the competition. Just in case we wandered off to The X Factor or something. Tess introduces a VT of what happened earlier, presumably for the same reason. Essentially: everyone was quite nervous before they went on, Chris and Ola had a lovely time despite some lukewarm feedback, Ali emerged after her Argentine tango a little bit stressed out, Natalie was still crying after the waltz, Chris thought they were in for a rough ride but that the atmosphere in the room was incredible, Ali cheered quite loudly when she got her perfect score and then she and Brian collapsed against the wall, as I believe is the fashion in Hollyoaks (ask Monkseal, he'll explain everything), and Ricky took his shirt off just for a change, and was happy that he'd made his dad proud. However, they know from last week that being top of the leaderboard isn't enough, and they just have to hope people vote for them.

Tess reminds us of where everyone is on the leaderboard (answer: exactly where you'd guess they'd be), and Bruce says that the phonelines have now closed. Gasp!

Time for the first of many pieces of filler - first of all, Ian and Natalie doing a foxtrot. Natalie's been busy tonight, hasn't she? Still, Ian and Natalie is a pairing of awesomeness, so I am happy for this to continue. They're dancing to 'You Don't Bring Me Flowers', and well, it's all very nice, isn't it? It's quite hard to recap the professional routines, as I'm sure I've said a great many times, because there are only so many ways you can say "it is really good" without starting to sound a bit insipid. But, well, it is really good.

Once that's finished, it's time for our annual showdance exhibition thingy. You know, the one that inexplicably convinced Lisa and Brendan last year that they could pull off this in a week. Again, I await the moment the show does to Lisa and Brendan what they did to Colin and Erin, and actively admits that was a really bad idea. Anyway, Craig Smith and Natalie Woolfe perform on the South Bank talking about how this is the dance that the audience have been waiting for, because there are no limits, no rules, and you have to blow their socks off. Natalie says that for the female dancers, your life is in your partner's hands and the medics have to be on standby. Hee.

Then they're in the studio, dancing to 'Uninvited'. As you might expect, it features a great many lifts that laugh in the face of physics, and I am agog at how Craig lifts and throws Natalie around as though she's about the same weight as a bag of satsumas. Although looking at her, perhaps she is. Once again, he picks her up from the floor and she rolls up his body, and I'm sure it goes without saying at this point, but here's a note to the finalists: DO NOT ATTEMPT TO DO THIS YOURSELVES.

The remaining three couples are in the House of Tesstosterone, laughing at the idea of attempting something like that next week. Ricky jokes that they stole some of the choreography from his American smooth. Tess reveals that the final will feature another new dance - the lindyhop, which Natalie squeals is her favourite dance. Ali is asked about her perfect score, which she is very happy about. Ricky is asked why Craig won't give him a ten, and - well, what can you say to that? Ricky decides to just mock-cry his way out of it, and claim it's because he's "so bandy". Hee. Chris grins that he was "a long way from perfect", but appreciated Len saying that he epitomises what the show was all about. He says that they like to think of it as coming third rather than being last, and if this is the end of the road for them, he's had a fantastic time.

It Takes Two trailer! Complete with awesome Dance Machine action.

Back to Brucie for more filler: the cast of Hairspray (West End version, not Hollywood), performing 'You Can't Stop The Beat'. They don't exactly cover themselves in glory, since the current cast seems to include a Tracy who cannot sing or dance, and Phill Jupitus cannot sing in time or in tune, and can barely walk in his costume, let alone dance. Still, at least the pros are behind him, doing a lovely dance, and then - surprise! - Austin and Erin! The quality of the singing improves significantly as Sharon D. Clarke arrives (though her mic seems to be set too low), and then Belinda Carlisle, who also acquits herself well. Austin looks a little out of practice, so I hope he gets back in the training room before they film the Christmas special.

Tess welcomes "Awstin Healey" back to the show, and he says that in all his years of rugby playing, he always dreamed he'd be on the stage with Hairspray, at which Tess does a poor imitation of Claudia's laugh. Austin says that he's with Priscilla: Queen of the Desert next week, and admits that he's got a lot fatter since he finished on the show because his trousers are really tight now. Hee. He denies Tess's request to see the guns (thank GOD) and won't name a favourite couple either, though he admits to enjoying "cola, the drink". Ooh, clever.

One last bit of filler ("while we make the final verification", claims Tess - Jesus Fried Chicken, how long does it take?) - Lily Allen! Weirdly, even when they get a contemporary artist on the show, she's still not even singing her current single - though given that her current single is the fairly bland 'Who'd Have Known' (or as my boyfriend and I call it, 'Ooh Danone') and instead we're getting the awesome 'Not Fair', I'm not complaining. Sadly we get the censored version (so, no "wet patch" and no "I spent ages giving head" - boo), and Matthew and Aliona come out to dance halfway through. It's nice that they're both being given a reason to stick around, but I'm a little bit bored of them being the special guest dancers so very often. Also, Matthew really needs a haircut.

Right, finally time for the results. There's a quick recap of some feedback for each couple - Chris and Ola had the judges "mesmerised by your chemistry", Ali and Brian's performances were "simple, elegant and classy", and Ricky and Natalie were told it would be an injustice if they didn't make the final. So, in no particular order, the first couple through to the final is...Ricky and Natalie! Good for them - they really earned it. Natalie totally loses it, naturally. Her sobbing face is slightly terrifying. So it's between Chris and Ola and Ali and Brian for the final place, and I think we all know how this is going to go. Who'll be joining Ricky and Natalie in the final? Chris and Ola. Ali and Brian applaud gallantly, and there are hugs exchanged, and it takes Bruce and Tess ages to get them to come over and join them. "Please! Brian and Ali! Come on! You must come to us, please!" urges Bruce. It sounds like he's running a cult. Bruce wonders how they can go out after getting five tens. Yes, rub it in, Bruce. Ali is sad, but she feels like she's going on out on a tremendous high, and it's been an incredible experience. She thanks everybody for their support, and says it's been a wonderful show to be part of. Bruce says that as far as he's concerned they have three finalists tonight. And in normal circumstances, of course, we would have had three finalists anyway. Although given that we've had a couple pull out every series since series three, maybe a two couple final is what constitutes "normal circumstances" these days. Ali tearfully thanks Brian for anything, and they kiss a little bit, and then Brian thanks her too. They head out for their last dance.

Bruce says that next week, the remaining couples will go head to head in the final. As always, I will be here, on my sofa, recapping it and eating biscuits. I do hope you'll join me. Until next week!

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