Sunday, 10 October 2010

Golden handshake

Final 14 (again)
Tx: 9th October 2010

Last week, the ballroom burst into action, and so did the judges, but Widdy struck back and Scott and his orangeness tore up the rulebook! Tonight the celebs fight for their right to PAAAAAAAAAAARTAY with a foxtrot or a salsa!

Come on, let's get on with it! We welcome Tess and Bruce. Tess is in a grey silk curtain that ends just above her knee, so when Bruce takes her into their dreadful "dance" skit, she flashes her knickers. Stay classy, show! It is as always nice to see us, to see us nice. Bruce then makes a terrible gag about Kara Tointon being a Brucie Bonus. Yawn. Tess assures us we will have a Ballroom Battle, and Bruce reminds us that one celebrity must leave the competition this week. Who will it be?

We meet the stars of our show - the same ones from last week, obviously. Bruce says Matt Baker makes him feel younger, Tina O'Brien makes him wish he was younger (ew) and Paul Daniels makes him look younger. Shut up, Bruce. Tess reminds us there is no dance-off this year. So - basically this is just Dancing with the Stars now. (Spoiler alert: there'll even be a fucking park bench later tonight.) [Cheer up - at least we haven't got Derek Hough. Or Mark Ballas. Or Maks. God, the male pros on DWTS are vile. - Steve]

Last week Matt and Aliona were top, and that pleases them. Matt films a segment for Countryfile about pumpkins. They dance on the pumpkin farm. "That's the only time we've got! We have no option!" Matt lies. He says that his gymnastics might be an advantage if he ever got to practise. So he's not a ringer, right? Everyone got that? [Hang on...just...writing...that...down... - Steve] Anyway, they foxtrot to music which has an odd speed change halfway through. Sometimes Matt's face looks really strained, and sometimes this feels like a tango. Still, what do I know? And I don't like the bit at the end where they throw themselves to the floor and roll around. Ew. Do not want.

Oh, hello Dave Arch and your wonderful orchestra, but your shitty singers! Bruce thanks Aliona for her cupcakes (fnar). Len says that Matt is getting on his wick by being too good, though the heel-leads were too exaggerated. Alesha enjoyed the tango-twist (available in all good supermarkets). Bruno talks about passion and gets himself over-excited. Craig thought the gymnastics bit at the end was too aggressive and the heel-leads were ludicrous. Bruce interrupts at this point to say he forgot to welcome the judges and recites a terrible list of gags. Oh, Bruce. Matt says the week has been a road-trip (not a JOURNEY?) and thanks Aliona for being a brilliant teacher. Scores - Craig 7, Len 8, Alesha 8 and Bruno 8 for a total of 31.

Bruce introduces Peter Shilton and Erin Boag, with the inevitable Maradona reference, which then goes entirely weird - "[Maradona]'s playing cricket now. But not for the England team." What does that even mean? In VT, Peter thinks he can do better than last week and get more showbizzy. In rehearsal he stands in front of the mirror and tries to gyrate his hips. It's embarrassing. Erin keeps urging him on: "Give it all you've got!" Erin says that if he goes out and sells it, he won't look stupid. That's...not the most ringing endorsement I've ever heard.

Peter has a glitter football picked out on the seat of his trousers. Because he was a footballer. In case you had forgotten. He's always looking at Erin for reassurance but goes wrong a lot. Poor Erin is dancing round him in an Ola-esque fashion, and he keeps brandishing his arms as best he can. Len says there was fun and chemistry and some of what Peter did was very rhythmic, but he got his knickers in a twist at the end. Alesha does not think Latin is Peter's strong point, because older men are bad at Latin as well as older ladies. Bruno says he is unsure whether it was a good idea to attract attention to Peter's bum, because it never got going, and that Peter looked like he had cramps. Craig says that some of the step-togethers were deliberate and childlike, and the walk - "the knicker-twist thing" - looked like he had broken his ankle. Don't worry, Peter, you get to talk to Tess now! Tess says Peter looked like he was enjoying himself and then beseeches the other contestants to cheer him before drawing attention to his spray-tan. Peter hopes it will not be his last spray-tan. Scores - Craig 3, Len 5, Alesha 5 and Bruno 4 for a meagre total of 17.

Tina and Jared next. In his ballroom outfit, Jared looks oddly like a young Anton du Beke. Tina says that last week Bruno was right with all his critical comments. I'm sure he's thrilled that you agree with him. Jared says that foxtrot is one of the most DIFFICULT DANCES. Tina moans that she will probably only get 1s. So in a not-scripted-at-all interlude, which Tina delivers like she's still in Coronation Street, the young'uns go off to a 1940s night to practise their foxtrot. They still look like little animated dancing dolls.

They dance to Sunny Side Of The Street. Tina seems to be trying to deliver some ACTING to us, but mostly she looks terrified. Bruce calls them a lovely team. Because they both look 12. Alesha says it was graceful and elegant and better than last week, and that they're 90 per cent there. Bruno says Tina looks like a little princess, but also she's trying so hard to get her frame right sometimes she looks like she has a neck brace on. Craig criticises the timing and the height of the hold - and then Bruce interrupts him, while Craig is admirably restrained - but says there is still much to like. Helen Worth, sitting in the audience, looks happy. Len thought as a performance it was good, but thinks Tina should work on her frame and posture. Tina confirms to Tess that she was trying to ACT in the routine but is unsure whether she was convincing. You weren't, love. Scores - sixes from Craig and Len, sevens from Alesha and Bruno, for a total of 26.

Patsy Kensit and Robin to dance next. She looks stunning. Bruce makes a joke about going into Patsy's dressing-room naked. Seriously, is it time for him to retire yet? For those of you who, like me, are struggling to put up with him, just remind yourselves that we've only got him on the Saturday shows this year. Last week, Patsy thought she looked like a sack of potatoes, and Bruno screeched at Patsy to enjoy the experience more. In rehearsal, Robin looks adorably camp in a variety of vests. Patsy left Holby this week so they had to work around both her filming schedule and her crying with nostalgia schedule. She says she's had the best four years of her life on Holby [except, presumably, the last one, which she basically said last week was crap on a stick - Steve] but now she will throw herself into Strictly. As from next week, one presumes, as she admits they've only had three hours of practice this week. Ouch.

They're dancing to Canned Heat (imagine what the singers are doing to this) and Patsy does at least look like she's enjoying it a bit more though her footwork is a bit laboured and not sharp enough for Latin. She's strutting round the floor, draping herself over the judges' desk and giving it a lot of sultry eyes and hard-swishing like Cat Deeley in that really annoying Pantene ad, and she and Robin do seem to have a bit of chemistry. Bruno screams at her again, but this time in a positive manner, calling her a killer Jezebel and worrying about Len fainting, and Craig adds, "I have got to agree, but with not so much ENTHUSIASM." Then everyone says "disaaaaaaaster" for a bit, before Craig adds that he thought the "desk moment" was unnecessary. Len worries about having his eye poked out by Patsy's desk antics. Alesha says Patsy attacked the dance and is a different woman. "You're a different woman, and you're still the same man!" concludes Bruce as he dismisses Patsy and Robin from his presence.

Tess tells Patsy that she is REPRESENTING for the women. Patsy is about to cry again as she says that Robin and the show are changing her life. Tess reminds us that these two had the least amount of training this week. Scores - Craig 7, Len 7, Alesha 7 and Bruno 7 (with increasing pitch on the "UNNNN" sound of "SEVUNNNN!", obviously).

This week, Paul and the lovely Debbie McGee renewed their wedding vows. And they danced for the first time since their actual wedding. No mention of either Paul's first wife or his son and fellow 80s TV magician Martin Daniels. Do they still exist? He says he is now brave enough to go on any dance floor. Ola shouts at him a lot, but then adds that she wants him to be "fun and cheeky", before Paul talks to the camera about wanting to have a good time and making the audience come along with him. Oh dear. Think we know where this is going to go. Ola then reveals that impressions are not one of her talents as she attempts to imitate Paul.

Paul begins the routine by shuffling through a pack of cards, then he throws them all in the air. He's still singing along to all the words, by the way. It's a tolerable foxtrot, though a little weird when Ola is looking so fabulous and acting out the routine and Paul has a concentrating look on his face and mouthing all the words. But there's no magic. Disappointing.

Paul puts in earplugs before the judges begin. Alesha cackles. Bruno says some sections at the start were not bad - "why can't you do it properly all the way through?" he asks. "Because I can't remember it!" replies Paul. Craig admires Paul's honesty, and notes the rise and fall at the beginning, bemoaning Paul looking at his feet too much, and concludes it is "so much better than last week". Len says it had an appealing ease about it "though a tad pedestrian here and there" and there was an improvement. Ola beams, "There you go, you see!" to her partner. Alesha says, "Ola, I think you did a really good job!" and says that there is more to come from Paul. Tess asks if Paul enjoyed it, and he is unsurprisingly non-committal. She then asks about his honeymoon, and Paul points out that he spent it with Ola, who mouths at the camera, "I'm sorry." I love Ola. The scores - Craig 4, Len 6, Alesha 6 and Bruno 5 for a total of 21.

Scott Maslen and Natalie to dance next. This week, Scott is telling us about his nan WHO IS DEAD. She died a year ago but before she died she did ballroom-dancing and loved to watch Strictly. See, everyone knows that nobody's nans will ever be as good as Alesha's, so they have to wheel out dead ones now. This week, Scott's grandad comes to watch them train, and dances with Natalie - "not bad for an old'un, eh?" he asks. Scott says that everything he does from now on will be in tribute to his grandparents.

OH MY GOODNESS THEY'RE DOING A FOOTLOOSE TRIBUTE! They're salsaing to Let's Hear It For The Boy. Scott does some Kevin Bacon leaps. All the elements are there, but I'm not really sure the costumes work. Len says it was a really good salsa. Alesha says Scott is equally good in the Latin as he is in the ballroom. Bruno miaows at Scott and talks about Footloose and getting one's prey - "after this you're going to get plenty." Craig interjects, "Talk of getting it from Bruno does put me off SLIGHTLY." Scott says the key to success is to trust Natalie. Too right. Else she'd slice you up and eat you. Scores - all 8s.

Michelle Williams and Brendan next. Bruce talks about Michelle's bottom. Michelle says she knew Strictly would be tough, but didn't know to what magnitude. She then glowers about Craig's criticism and the judges not liking her very much, and then whines about being homesick. Oh, Michelle. Have you not seen British reality television before? This is not the way to garner sympathy. Brendan wonders if Michelle is homesick. As if by magic, Michelle confirms that she is indeed homesick. Anyway, then Kelly Rowland turns up and there is much screeching and hugging as Brendan looks on benignly.

They foxtrot to It Had To Be You. There is a park bench. Brendan slides down the banisters. So...this is ACTUALLY Dancing With The Stars now. Michelle does some nauseating "shy" acting. She does have a good ballroom face on, though, with a lovely smile. Alesha says that it is nice to see Michelle in a ballroom gown and she should work on her balance. Bruno says it was beautiful and elegant but there was a little slip, and then gives Michelle advice about her shoulders - "I know we're picky but we have to point these things out." Brendan then gets snippy. Craig lists all the flaws then adds, "I can see you're applying yourself and putting in a lot of hard work and effort." This is met with great applause. Len says he liked the bench. LEN. WHAT HAS BECOME OF YOU? Is a park bench not messing abaaaaaaaaaht? I do believe it is. What's happened to this show? Tess tells Michelle that she has a Strictly family and lots of friends in the audience. Everyone applauds. Michelle thanks everyone for their love and says she is not ready to go home - "my visa doesn't expire for a long time!" Scores - Craig 6, Len 7, Alesha 7, Bruno 6. Brendan whinges. Shut up, Brendan.

Bruce says that Goldie has been playing loud music and because he is old and deaf he didn't hear it. Is that meant to be a joke? Goldie and Kristina had too many 80s moves last week, when his mum was in the audience. Goldie was embarrassed because of his "old dear" watching him perform with two left feet. She calls him Clifford. Hahaha! In rehearsal Goldie crosses his eyes at the camera, saying that he feels like a dodo. Kristina is disappointed - she wants a panther. "I want my fun, happy Goldie back! I LIKE him!" says Kristina. Goldie, in a golden hat and waistcoat, of course, is not good at leading the foxtrot, with some gapping between the two of them, and he seems to be bouncing a lot. Kristina's dress seems to be broken before they start dancing, with one of the chain-straps across the back flinging about all over the place. Goldie's mouth is hanging open. Not sure whether that is supposed to be acting or not. They do, however, make it through the routine, and there is a foxtrot flavour to the top and bottom of the dance. Bruno agrees - he liked the beginning and the end, with its free, jazzy feel, criticising "the middle bit", which was like a banana skin. Craig says that Bruno is exaggerating (surely not) - Goldie's weight was too far back when he took his heel-leads, but he enjoyed the interpretation. Alesha says "we" notice the work he's put in, unlike the retards who just WATCH the show. Len says it was more brassy than golden, but it was a far superior performance to last week, and is pleased that Goldie is trying to get the technique right, because apparently some of THESE OTHER COUPLES don't EVEN bother with that. Bruce says people who dance with Kristina are bound to be motivated. Yes, whatever, Bruce. Goldie says he has his mojo back. Scores - Craig 6, Len 7, Alesha 7 and Bruno 6 for a total of 26.

Pamela and James next. Tess says that last week "the doctor got temperatures rising"; backstage Pamela said "I'm in la-la land, and for a psychologist that's really scary." Ah, in-jokes. That'd go down a storm at the British Psychologists' Association Christmas dinner, wouldn't it? In rehearsal they argue about whether or not James is in charge or not; he says he has to be in control if you want to get the best out of him. Pamela says not - if you let someone be in control, then you are really the one with the power. And the DOCTOR is ALWAYS in control. Hey, is Pamela a doctor?

There's a HIDEOUS bit of business at the start of the routine where Pamela's in a lab coat and pretending to be a doctor, while James lies on the judges' table. She strips it off and starts to salsa. This is, as James said on Twitter, a technically complicated routine, but it doesn't feel quite energetic or fast enough for me, but the cameras are moving around so madly you can't really tell. Then Pamela starts skipping around for a bar and looks a bit like Violet Elizabeth Bott with her ringlets bouncing. There's a bit of a stumble but it all seems to finish in the right place. Pamela tells Bruce that Billy is not around at the moment; he says he'll send him a DVD. Craig says, "Daaaahling, you went off like a firecracker!" Len was impressed with Pamela's confidence, and the diversity of styles Pamela has coped with. Yeah, all two of them. Alesha says that she loves Pamela, and the routine was sexy and controlled. Bruno says it is the best salsa of the night, with a combination of rhythm and fluidity. Well, SO FAR, Bruno, but Widdecombe has to dance yet. Tess calls Pamela a firecracker again. Pamela says the salsa is good if you have hot flushes. What the actual fuck? Can we please stop pretending she's a medical doctor? Scores - 8s across the board. Pamela and James are very happy. He was concerned that she might leave the studio at one point (through enthusiasm, presumably, rather than fed-upness).

Felicity Kendal and Vincent to dance next. Bruce says his favourite episode of The Good Life was the one with the goat and then makes an appalling joke not worth recapping. Felicity doesn't care about being criticised; "How can I not be criticised? I'm not a dancer," she says. "I'm pretty chuffed not to be booed." In rehearsal she keeps wailing about forgetting things -"Oh baby, I forgot that one, I'm so sorry!" she exclaims. "I'm Vincent, you are Felicity," Vincent reminds her. She threatens to kill Vincent and then to kick him in the shins, which would seem a bit over-the-top. Vincent deadpans that he hopes she remembers to turn up.

They foxtrot to Somethin' Stupid. Felicity seems to be dressed as an Edwardian schoolma'am who's forgotten her ruffly shirt. Her hair looks pretty though. When she's doing the Acting part of the routine she is happy, but she doesn't seem secure in the routine, which is gentle and looks serene. Len says everything is OK but needs to improve - her posture, footwork and movement all need some work. Alesha is underwhelmed because she thinks Felicity is a capable dancer. Bruno says it was classy and unhurried, but a bit stately at times. Craig says he liked the foxtrot/tango-ness of it, and would like smoother transitions - other than that, well done. Felicity agrees she can improve. Good, we're glad we're all agreed on that. Felicity tells Tess that remembering lines is much easier than remembering dance routines. Vincent says he will bring the rehearsal tapes next week so everyone can see that she's better in practice. Scores - Craig 6, Len 6, Alesha 6 and Bruno 7 for a total of 25. Tess and Vincent urge all Felicity's friends to vote for her. Felicity says she has no friends left to vote for her because they are all dead. HAHAHA, Daly! {I heart Felicity. - Steve] Felicity Kendal will not bend to your patronising interviewing tactics!

The Widdecombe-Anton salsa! Ann was delighted for the response she got last week and also because she didn't forget the steps or kick Anton. We are reminded of Bruno's bizarre "Ark Royal" reference. In rehearsal they work on their salsa that "Queen Victoria could have watched without blushing" - "you can turn it into a jolly hockey-sticks ROMP!" Ann says that when she does a backbend she looks like a sack of potatoes. Anton is excited. Ann says she cannot force people to like her salsa. Fair enough.

Anton leaps off the stage and rips his shirt open. Brilliantly, there then follows a bit of trademark Anton comedy Latin choreography that actually works - Ann does his buttons up. Ann's clearly struggling with this entire thing, which is simple and clumpily danced, but Anton is talking to her throughout, and she is at least endeavouring to put some personality into it. There's a dreadful lift-spin in there too. At the end, she goes to the top of the stairs alone while there's about eight bars to go, and looks thoroughly angry as Anton continues to dance - from her taking Anton to task after the routine, it seems that genuinely thought she should have been standing there because it was the end. Anton, to his credit, tries to calm her down.

"The House of Commons was never like that!" says Bruce. Ann says she nearly did the splits at the end, by accident. Alesha says it was entertaining, though it wasn't a salsa, but she enjoyed it. Bruno says he doesn't know what was more bewildering - Anton's chest wig or Ann's footwork. It resembled a dance, but he doesn't know what to say. Well, hooray! Ann then mocks Craig - "Oh, don't bother! You haven't got a zero, so you might as well just give us 1 and have done with it" - and he starts to laugh before saying: "There is not one word in the English language, my darling, that can describe what 10m people have just witnessed. (lengthy pause) Len?" he implores. Len comes to his rescue: "That was a salsa the likes of which we shall never see again." True that. "It's all over!" says Tess excitedly. "If I wanted to argue, I'd have stayed in the House of Commons," notes Ann. She is pleased that she made Craig smile. Scores - Craig 1 (for some reason Ann looks outraged at this), Len 4, Alesha 4 and Bruno 3 - for a total of 12. So we have our bottom line, as one of the Guardian commenters pointed out on Saturday. If you just turn up, Len will give you 4 out of 10.

Kara and Artem (rawr) next. She was excited last week, and thought she'd be OK as long as she didn't fall over, noting that her slip last week was "possibly the worst thing that has ever happened". Really, really not, Kara. Perspective, please. [Quite. Tom Chambers winning was the worst thing that has ever happened. - Steve] She says she does not want to be the girl who keeps tripping over, "so this week it's about staying up." Fair enough. In rehearsal, Artem keeps unbuttoning his shirt. It is nice. He tells her to stand there and look pretty. Not sure that is good advice. Kara has no problem dancing with Artem because he is gorgeous. He concludes that nothing will go wrong because she has a partner from Moscow (what?) and it will be all right on the night.

Seriously, they have a chair and table on the floor now as if the ballroom is a bar. Enough with the bloody gimmicks, please. If the next step is bringing sodding Carrie Ann Inaba over as guest judge and replacing Tess with bloody Brooke Burke and her waxworkian dialogue, I will be staging a protest on TV Centre. Anyway, they foxtrot to From Russia With Love (do you see? do you see what they did there?). She's another one with a good ballroom face. Also, have not noticed anyone calling her a ringer despite her winning Sport Relief's Strictly thing a few years ago. {In fairness, she was taught to dance by Mark Ramprakash for that. I'm not entirely convinced that wasn't more of a hindrance than a help. - Steve] Bruno growls that the chemistry between them could power a nuclear power station - "whatever you're doing, keep doing it - it's working." Craig thinks they danced it well but Kara needs to sort her top line out. Len begins to stare and proclaim into the camera as if he's doing a public service announcement to his adoring people. He then says, "You did a heel turn!" and there's absolute silence in the ballroom, as if people aren't sure whether that's a good thing or not. Morons. Alesha calls Kara "a fine dancer". Kara says she is chuffed - "we didn't go down". And then everyone cackles. She blushes, and adds, "Every week I say something wrong." Everyone laughs some more. Oh, bless her little heart. [I actually love Kara. I can't wait to see what she says next week. - Steve] Scores - Craig 7, Len 8, Alesha 9 and Bruno 8. Joint top!

Gavin and Katya next. Bruce says that Gavin is famous for shaving his legs, and when Bruce was in panto he too shaved his legs because it made him easier to get his tights on. He utterly cocks up the delivery, though, and repeats the line. Oh, Bruce. Tess does relatively funny occupation-related puns. In rehearsal Gavin rehearses with no shirt on and talks about how much he loves himself and how vain he is, and then reminds us that he is single and "in the shop window", with a little grimace. "My hair is quite key to me," he admits. Is he joking, or is he genuinely that shallow? "I hate the salsa," he says. "I feel like such a loser." The plan is to take Gavin's clothes off to distract people from his dancing. "Maybe his looks are a bit of a weapon," says Katya. "I think this is the first time I am finding you attractive," she concludes.

Why is everyone adding tango to all their routines tonight? This is some kind of weird futuristic thing like that bloody awful routine The Situation did on Dancing with the Stars last week. Gavin and Katya are far too serious until they get about a third into their dance. Katya seems to trip over Gavin's foot at one point. Gavin then can't remember what he's supposed to be doing. Katya rips his shirt open, which is very nice and all that, but it doesn't make the dance any better.

Timing, rhythm and hips were all bad, according to Craig, though if we were voting on abs Gavin would win. Well, I think Erin would give him a run for his money. Len would like Gavin to show a bit of decorum - "you don't see me exposing myself during the show." Bruno screeches at him and then apologises. Len says that everyone's expectations were very high from last week. Katya tells Len that Gavin is very shy so it took a lot for him to do that dance. Everyone whoops and Bruce concludes that it was very well said. Alesha says she was disappointed and the muscles didn't distract her. Pfft. Somewhere Arlene Phillips is watching the telly and shouting, "YOU STUPID COW!" Bruno says that someone as good-looking as Gavin shouldn't be so self-conscious. Right, because good looks are directly correlated to self-confidence. Gavin, when pressed by Tess, says, "Well, I probably looked good." Heh. Tess thanks Gavin and his six-pack on behalf of women across the nation. Scores - Craig 3 ("What?!" shouts Katya), Len 6 and 5s from Alesha and Bruno. Tess says that Wales needs to vote for Gavin. Gavin looks a bit sad and says, "Oh. I love it here. I want to stay. I hope I get better." Oh, show, see what you're doing, you're making me feel sorry for Gavin HENSON. [I'm actually starting to love him a little bit. He's such a woobie. I'm ashamed that I'm falling for it. - Steve]

All this week, Jimi and Flavia haven't managed to do anything entertaining enough for Bruce to cobble together a dreadful joke. Imagine how dull your week must be if Bruce can't find any comedy material in it. In rehearsal, Jimi and Flavia laugh their way through their foxtrot practice. Jimi thinks Craig was a "bit tight" on him. "It's very strange, I've found the foxtrot hilarious," says Jimi. And so Flavia starts to beat him with a cane. I think we are now seeing why Bruce didn't manage to find any useful pre-watershed jokes there.

They dance to Fever, and Jimi never seems sure about whether he should be smiling or not. It's sleek and dramatic, though they take AGES to get into hold. Len complains about the MESSING ABAAAAAHT on stage at the start, despite the fact that it did not HAVE A PARK BENCH OR A CHAIR AND TABLES OR MAGIC TRICKS, all of which has been fine for the rest of the evening. Alesha loved Jimi's acting throughout the routine. Bruno notes the twinkle in Jimi's eye, and thought Jimi was going to strip, for some reason. Craig adored the dramatic intensity and liked that Jimi was leading Flavia - "unusual for this stage of the competition" - as well as his musicality. Why has nobody told us that it is HARD for CELEBRITY MEN to LEAD? "I can't believe it!" beams Jimi. Tess quickly points out that it's a "Hollywood smile", lest we forget that he is a genuine MOVIE STAR. Scores - Craig 7, Len 7, Alesha 8 and Bruno 8 for a total of 30. Flavia goes a bit crazy.

So with votes from last week and this combined, Pamela and James are top, with Ann and Anton at the bottom. Tess witters on about the rules and regulations governing the judges' marks in the event of a tie, for they fear another Chambers-gate. As do I, but for different reasons. And the lines are now open! VOTE! Who are you voting for?

Results show

This really is the most pointless half-hour ever. There is actually no new content, and the one bright side is the addition of Claudia and the loss of Bruce (HOORAY!). Despite that, we've made a commitment to recap this series, so onward we go...

Tess welcomes us, as per usual, and she's all by herself in the ballroom. She reminds us what happened last night and says that later on we will lose one couple - there'll be no dance-off, and no decision for the judges. She introduces Claudia and there is some dreadful editing where it seems there's a lot of cheering for our new presenter and it's cut down so as not to humiliate everyone else. She throws to a VT about the Strictly story so far. Seriously. The SERIES SO FAR. I'm not recapping this. It's risible. And FIVE MINUTES LONG.

After all that, it's finally time for some results. Who will be back next week? Tess will tell couples include Patsy and Robin; Michelle and Brendan; Pamela and James; Jimi and Flavia; but Peter and Erin are IN JEOPARDY, IN JEOPARDY - THEY ARE IN JEOPARDY, as Brooke Burke might say. Bruno wheels out the first "the standard is so high!" mentalness of the series. He also says "differentiate" in a really cute way. Len is pleased to see Patsy safe after her nervous waltz and hopes she really goes for it in the future.

Some of the couples next week will be dancing a quickstep, and that means it's time to wheel out the Strictly show-dancers to show them how it's done. No Lilia. No Cutler (though there is some Ian). Who cares? (Also, there are some samba rolls in there, which is weird.)

Claudia talks to Peter and Erin and does actually manage to make herself sound sympathetic, which is more than Tess has done ever. Peter makes the classic sportsman's error of thinking that the more you train, the better you get and the more you will be rewarded. Tess announces some more couples who are safe - Tina and Jared; Scott and Natalie; Gavin and Katya; and Matt and Aliona. Craig tells Gavin that he needs to get rid of his inhibitions about Latin, but failing that he can always take his shirt off. Tess is very excited about this. Alesha will be sad if the show loses a great dancer when there's no dance-off, but "this is the public's show, they should have the final say, not us." Oh Alesha. Talk about a rod for your own OMG I H8 ALEESHA WHERE IS ARLENE? back.

Claudia cheers all the safe couples backstage. Pamela is excited; Tina is happy. And now we must sit through ROBBIE WILLIAMS SINGING ROCK DJ because he is CAUGHT IN A TIMEWARP. You know what this song is like. You don't ever need to hear it again. That's exactly how I feel now. He dances around on a podium. It is not pretty. [Also considering that they recorded this when he was in last week, it saddens me deeply that what we saw was the most broadcastable take. - Steve]

Then it's time for another VT, more suited to ITT, where the celebrities talk about how much they love Strictly and how they've contracted "the ballroom bug". After that, back to business - Tess announces more safe couples - Felicity and Vincent; Kara and Artem; Paul and Ola (much to their shared surprise, it seems). The other couple in the bottom two tonight...Goldie and Kristina, meaning that Ann and Anton are safe.

So it's Goldie and Kristina and Peter and Erin in the bottom two. Peter says he doesn't want to go out first because he's been knocked out of football competitions in the first round; Goldie doesn't want to go out because it'll disappoint his mum. Who will be the first to leave? It's the MOMENT OF TRUTH. And it's Goldie and Kristina to go out. Ah, Kristina, another series of epic fail for you.

There's a standing ovation in the studio for Goldie and Kristina. "It's all right," says Goldie. "I've had a great time, I'm super fit," and promises us he'll still have a "little jig". He thanks Kristina for being wonderful and is sorry that he couldn't do better for her. Aw. They take their place for the final dance, while Claudia thanks Tess for having her and reminds us about ITT...and then attempts to do the keeeeeeeeep dancing thing with Tess - "That's why I've come, Daly. That's WHY I'VE COME." I heart Claudia.

Join us again next week for a thankfully less elongated show...


ht said...

I got VERY cross watching the show this weekend. Alesha's comment "It was entertaining, though it wasn't a salsa" could have been applied to all the salsas except Pamela and James (I didn't see a single salsa basic in any of the other routines and, despite what Len says, there IS such a thing as a correct salsa step).
Also, despite being Welsh, I still find Gavin Henson to be a bit of a tit.

However, many hurrahs for Claudia's attempt to "keeeeeep dancing" with Daly - almost made the results show worthwhile!

ht said...

PS I am very much afraid that we may see more of Robbie in future weeks - after all, he's just had a lavish wedding, and they don't pay for themselves.

Katy said...

Dreadful show.
Robbie was dreadful (and seemed to forget most of his words... or was he trying to get the audience to join in? I'm not falling for that Williams. I'm paying for this. You sing it.)
Bruce was dreadful.
Tess was dreadful.
Tesses dresses were awful.
(that sencond one looked like she'd been in a car accident with a seat belt wrapped around her...)
The salsa was dreadful (I saw Anton starting on the 5. No, Anton. Don't start on the 5. Start on 1.)
The result was dreadful.
Claudia was brilliant!

I love to watch salsa, having done it (not particularly well... but that still gives me licence to criticise) and no, there weren't many proper salsa steps in that little lot.
And why such big steps from all the ladies? HUGES steps. Not pretty.

And, to agree with ht, I live in Wales and also find Gavin a bit of a tit.

Katy said...

oh, and the singers. dreadful!

Patrick said...

The new singer from the first show was LURVELY.