Sunday, 7 November 2010

It's a Mistry

Top ten
Tx: 6th and 7th November 2010

Last week, there were all sorts of Hallowe'en gimmicks (including pumpkin judging panels), odd contact lenses, Brendan throwing a hissyfit at Len, Gavin taking off his shirt in a desperate but ultimately successful bid to garner votes! Tina and Jared left despite Tina having had CHICKENPOX! Tonight, Tess tells us, we have a tenuous Fireworks Night theme! Cue the titles!

Bruce and Tess bid us good evening, as he gropes her thigh in their little skit. This will not be the only time Bruce is disgustingly inappropriate tonight, just to warn you. Tess is wearing another of her Grecian-style frocks; this one's cerise, with a gold belt, and one-shouldered as always. Camilla Dallerup is in the audience with her HUSBAND who she MARRIED but TOO LATE to have a NEWLYWED-OFF with Tom Chambers and HIS NEW WIFE. [Thank fuck for that. - Steve] And then it's time to meet our couples, who are announced terrifyingly quickly. Maybe the Strictly announcer had to record it quickly before going off on strike. Anyway, our contestants remaining in the competition are Scott and Natalie, Jimi and Flavia, Patsy and Robin, Matt and Aliona, Kara and Artem, Pamela and James, Felicity and Vincent, Michelle and Brendan, Ann and Anton and Gavin and Katya. Bruce makes a joke with a "bangers" punchline. My mind immediately goes to the "breasts" meaning, but I think he might be alluding to "cars". Although Bruce's mind is firmly on female sexuality this evening, so he could well be all about the tits.

And speaking of which, he introduces Kara with yet another letch over her. Seriously, Arlene got a lot of stick from us for her comments about the likes of Austin Healy (though to be fair Tess wasn't entirely innocent with that), but when it's the show's presenter making inappropriate comments at a woman young enough to be his great-great-granddaughter, that's just yuck. She looks at Artem, her showmance partner, for support but he just beams adorably, and his teeth look scarily white against his fake tan, much like Tony Dovolani from Dancing with the Stars. Tonight they're doing a showdancey salsa, incorporating some lovely gymnastics and great hip action, though Kara's ringlets keep getting caught on her lipgloss. The neck drop is a little tentative, but to be fair I wouldn't dare to do that, even if it were Artem catching me. They go over to receive their comments, and Bruce continues to leer at Kara, then lies that the singers are great. Len says it was full-on so Kara loses control sometimes. Alesha says it's one of the best openings to a show ("this Strictly Come Dancing") ever, and Kara isn't capable of doing a bad dance, though she missed the salsa armography. Bruno calls Kara a bombshell and picks up on a few mistakes. Craig says it was ambitious but done brilliantly, and comments on a few things he didn't like in the choreography, but gives Kara a pass on that one - "that's YOU, Artem." Bruce lusts over Kara some more. UGH MAKE IT STOP NOW PLEASE. Scores - Craig 9, Len 9, Alesha 9 and Bruno 9 for a total of 36.

Last week, Pamela and James got a set of low scores for their jive, and so this week James has been in a big strop and Pamela has been psychoanalysing in a really dull way. She recommends they attend couples counselling. Sure his wife and her husband who is BILLY CONNOLLY will be delighted with that. James admits that he does actually like Pamela (does that mean he doesn't usually like his partners? *cough*Georgina Bouzova*cough*) and that their failures are always going to be his fault. Got that one cleared up, then. They're doing the foxtrot this week, and Pamela's hair looks lovely. Pamela's hamming it up magnificently as always, and it looks like she makes a few mistakes, but this is a slick foxtrot that has more of an echo of an American smooth to my eyes. They end with a walk away (copyright Brendan Cole) and a cheek-to-cheek grin into the camera. Alesha says she loves to watch Pamela dance ballroom despite the stumbles. Bruno admires Pamela's cleavage. Craig praises several of the technical aspects, but he didn't like the end of the routine, which he describes as "cheesy" and "1950s". James says, "Well, you're from the 1950s, don't forget; we did it for you." Len grunts. Pamela reminds Tess that she is married to BILLY CONNOLLY. Scores - Craig 8, Len 9, Alesha 8 and Bruno 8 for a score of 33.

Felicity and Vincent next. She says that she hated being in the bottom two last week, and was amazed at how emotional she got when Tina left, because "she's a much better dancer than me". Vincent says that they stayed in last week because he gets all the women's votes, and Felicity gets all the men's votes. I got a bit of stick for saying this over at the Guardian, but seriously, Vincent? Straight men who lust after Felicity Kendal aren't a huge viewing demographic for this show, in my experience. They're doing a paso, and Vincent seizes the ball of shirtlessness from Artem. Felicity begins the routine by herself (cue the comments about being VERY BRAVE) with some nice hand-shaping and is boasting a spectacular wig with a long plait falling down her back. Once more it's a very well-acted piece, with a very Spanish feel; I almost expect them to brandish some castenets, this series has been so prop-laden. They end with a spin and lift, ending with Felicity being thrown to the floor, and Vincent ripping his tiny jacket off and throwing it at her. "Who do you think you are - Gavin Henson?" asks Bruce. "A miniature," Vincent agrees. Bruno thinks it was an impressive routine. Craig too admires the storytelling and says that he "sort of" liked it, damning them with faint praise. Len thought it was atmospheric, and what it lacked in aggression, it made up in expression. Alesha loved the intent and determination, but Felicity should work on attack and drive "and I've seen one too many splits." That's not the first time Alesha has cut Felicity up. Do we think they don't get along? Scores - Craig 6, Len 8, Alesha 7 and Bruno 8 for a total of 29.

Last week Jimi wore odd contact lenses for their Thriller routine, which, if you recall, made him a winner even if he does not win, for he worships the king of pop. WHO IS DEAD. Oops, sorry, wrong show. This week he is dancing a quickstep and he hopes his nine-year-old daughter is proud of him. Except she's actually a bit embarrassed of him, because he and Flavia go into her school, bounding round the gym and encouraging the assembled pupils to dance. One little girl comments that Jimi is not a professional so he's bound to make mistakes. Another little boy says something else. Jimi's daughter is reserved in her praise. Jimi and Flavia then say they hope they'll wow the judges as much as they wowed the kids. Straight 5s then, if those sentiments are anything to go by. Fortunately, their quickstep is significantly better than the snippets of routine they showed in that VT, though Flavia is still leading. Jimi is acting the part well, though, which is always a strength of their choreography. Craig says that there were some pigeon-toes on evidence and it was heavy at times at which point Bruno screeches an interruption. And once more, I should flag up that this is not the only example of appalling judges' conduct tonight. Craig tells Bruno, "When I want your opinion I will ask for it," to which Bruno responds, "Well, excuse me, JOAN CRAWFORD." Len concurs with Bruno about the lightness of feet, as does Alesha. Scores - Craig 7, Len 8, Alesha 8 and Bruno 9 for a total of 34.

Trouble in paradise this week as Matt and Aliona bicker. Matt does all the talking in their pre-routine VT and reiterates that he wants to get 10s and believes they can. I want to believe that this is just natural self-confidence, but he has such a smug little face while he's doing it. I'm entertained momentarily by him looking very green at all the spinning involved in the Viennese waltz. He promises us a light, lovely, romantic routine danced to a dark song about murder. Aliona sits on a swing. Diana Vickers is at home wishing she was famous enough to compete on Strictly. Still, once they get into the dance it looks nice, though I can't really get over the music choice. The inappropriateness tonight, it makes me weep. [I quite liked the use of the song, I just couldn't get over the bloody swing. DEAR GOD WHY? - Steve] Len was concerned about the MESSING ABAHT - of COURSE HE WAS - at the start but enjoyed it once it got into hold. Alesha worries about Matt forgetting to breathe and the tension showing on his face. Matt and Aliona laugh politely and pretend they weren't expecting straight 10s for that routine. Bruno calls Matt a wonderful dancer. Craig says he missed a few heel-leads ("not many!" interrupts Len. YES, LEN, 'A FEW' IS 'NOT MANY'. SHUT UP NOW). Scores - Craig 8, Len 9, Alesha 9 and Bruno 9 for a total of 35.

The audience whoop, for now it is time for Ann and Anton. Ann felt last week was frustrating because she got all the steps right and didn't get praised for it. "They were unremittingly rude!" she concludes. This is one of the most hardline right-wing law-and-order Tory MPs we've had in living memory, remember. This week they have to do the Charleston and Ann is apparently going to "put a different slant" on it. But of course, she's not going to wear a skimpy costume or flash the flesh, which I think we are all thankful for. She informs us that you don't have to flash your knickers to do a good ballroom dance. Seeing as she's never done either, I'm not quite sure how she can be so very definitive about it. Anton gurns his way through the routine - it's set in the prohibition era, of course, and he's coming on to Ann and she's constantly rejecting him while pressing a photo frame into her bosom. Ann looks thoroughly bored by the whole thing. Which is weird, as I actually think she's enjoying herself, she just doesn't know how to look like she's having fun - or perhaps she's concentrating too hard on counting to remember to smile. Anton picks her up at one stage and we see that she's wearing ankle-length green leggings as well as her ankle-length dress. And then we see that the picture frame she's swooning at contains a photo of Craig. Alesha says the actress in Ann is emerging. Really, Alesha? REALLY? Bruno likens Ann to "Vera Duckworth's grandmother" but he seems to mean this as some kind of compliment; nevertheless the audience go crazy and Ann asks him if he enjoys being booed. He shrugs and says he isn't bothered. Craig says he is here to try and help Ann, and lists all the technical flaws as Bruce encourages the audience to say "disaaaaaster", which is counterproductive, disrespectful and unhelpful. "You spend too much time sitting on your backside," says Craig (quite rightly - Anton keeps hauling her all over the floor, and no matter how many comedy "ooh, me back!" faces he makes, it's not the same as dancing). "And what do you do all day?" asks Ann. "I'm paid for an opinion," says Craig, at which point Len interrupts (AGAIN) and says, "Just as well it's not by your marks." If Len was under the impression that he is paid by the mark, that would make a LOT of sense of a LOT of things. Scores - Craig (Ann says a presumptive, "2!") 2, Len 6, Alesha (in hysterics) 5, Bruno 4 for a total of 17. "We'd rather they didn't bother, quite frankly," says Anton. "We don't want the marks. We just want to stand there and accept the applause." And as I said earlier, I think that neatly encapsulates Anton Du Beke's entire career on Strictly. Bruce asks Craig if he realised that was a picture of him that Ann was kissing. "It sounds repulsive," sighs Craig. Hmm, maybe that veers towards the rather too needlessly harsh.

Bruce introduces Michelle and Brendan with a series of woefully misjudged gags about being hip and trendy, at which nobody laughs AT ALL until the final sentence and that seems to be more of a giggle of embarrassment. This week Michelle has been happy because she sang the US National Anthem before the crazy American sportsfest at Wembley. Crazy American sports fans do supportive voxpops for Michelle, because she is FROM AMERICA like THEM. I don't really understand how they can waltz to a 4/4 piece of music (Richard Marx's Right Here Waiting), but this is elegant and nicely done, with Michelle looking very pretty, albeit with the odd terrified expression. Bruno praises her frame and the amount of body contact they have, and says, "You look so much better." Craig thinks Brendan was making the dance work and forcing her into some of the moves - "it wasn't bad, it wasn't good - it was in between." He suggests that Michelle should do a bit more and help him out a bit. Len thought it was good - "straight into the dance, no MESSING ABAHT!" Alesha doesn't get to say anything at all, though whether that's because of time restraints or Bruce's senility is anyone's guess. Michelle wants to kiss Len, and says she might do after the show. "I might too," says Brendan. Scores - Craig 6, Len 8, Alesha 8 and Bruno 8 for a total of 30.

Patsy reminds us that she has had a crummy year what with HER DIVORCE AND THINGS AND BEING MIDDLE-AGED and that she has wept on Robin and his vests. This week, he's added a checked shirt to his wardrobe, and sartorial choices remains the focus of this VT as Patsy talks about dropping two dress sizes and wanting to wear a more revealing costume this week. Robin says that Patsy would never have worn anything like that in the first week of competition. She's worried that she will look like a sausage, but she won't worry too much because she likes sausages. Fnar. She stands on the balcony at the start of the routine and...really does look like Kylie Minogue as she dances to a Kylie song. She looks beautiful and does seems to be having fun rather than looking as wobbly as she normally does, looking confident if not entirely in time with her partner. Craig thought it was cha-cha-chavvy. Bruce murmurs about Craig being in a funny mood all night. I'd be in a bloody funny mood if I had to work with these clowns. Len says Patsy tries to do everything too fast. Alesha says it fell a bit flat but she's an entirely different woman now - a STRONG, CONFIDENT WOMAN, WHO DOES NOT NEED TO SMOKE. [Hahaha, that was totally where my brain went too. We need to get out more. - Steve] Bruno says Patsy should not worry - "you're very good at sex!" Patsy replies, "Bruno, it's been a very long time!" And there is some information I never needed to know about Patsy Kensit. Although it does remind me horribly of this week's Dancing with the Stars and the continual insistence that abstinent Teen Activist Bristol Palin cannot be sexy because she doesn't have sex (any more). As Kim on Television Without Pity quite rightly pointed out, surely it would be a better message to point out that you can be sexy and feel sexy without actually having sex all the time. [NOT POSSIBLE. - The Republican Party] Still, that's a minor digression. Sorry. Scores - Craig 6, Len 8, Alesha 7 and Bruno 8 for a total of 29.

Scott and Natalie next. This week - wait for it - Scott has gone to HIS WORKPLACE and talked to HIS COLLEAGUES who said things TO HIM. And this week they're rumbaing to Wishing On A Star, which Elaine Paige told us last night that she recorded, and even that would be preferable to this version of it. Scott seems to forget what he's doing at a couple of points, and Natalie has to say something to him to get him back in the moment. Even then, he looks a bit static. At the end they have a little cuddle - I think this routine has gone horribly wrong somewhere. Len reminds us that the rumba is really hard for MEN because it is MASCULINE but still SOFT and SHUT UP LEN FOR FUCK'S SAKE DO WE HAVE TO HAVE THIS EVERY FUCKING YEAR SERIOUSLY? Alesha says there were some good lines but he did look a bit stagnant. Ooh, stagnant, what a good word, Alesha! Bruno hisses at Ssssssscott as usual and says it was not quite so hot as normal. Craig thought it looked like he'd just come out of hospital after a double hip replacement. Up in the Tess Circle, Tess tries to encourage Scott to make excuses for his poor performance, and to his credit he refuses, even though she keeps offering him the easy-to-play "it's HARD FOR MALE CELEBRITIES!" card. Scores - Craig 4 (ouch), Len 9 (Bruno has his head in his hands), Alesha 7 and Bruno 8 for a total of 28. [I love that somehow we entered Bizarro Strictly and now Alesha's one of the only judges we can trust to score people sensibly. - Steve]

Next we have Gavin and Katya. Gavin beams that he "didn't mind" taking his shirt off last week, and comments that doing so pleased the audience, pleased Katya and pleased him. Oh, he's clearly so horribly vain but he seems to manage it in a nice way. How? He's all happy because he's going back to his day job soon (NB: that is playing rugby), which merits a rugby ball being included in their cha-cha routine, apparently. Having a rugby ball in the training room seems to spark Gavin's love of dance. Katya doesn't understand rugby at all - "do you throw it like in American football?" she asks, to which Gavin replies with a look of horror, "NO!" - so they go to the park and have a training session. She is unsurprisingly not great - "hang on, let me just get my self-esteem back," she calls, and rolls up her top to look at her tummy. [I love Katya. - Steve] Anyway they cha-cha to Don't Cha, with Katya in a sequinned rugby kit, and beginning with the much-fabled silver rugby ball. This seems a bit slow for a cha-cha, though it's very sexy and he is looking better. Some good hip rolling in there, and Katya fans herself, and rightly so. Bruce thinks it's "a definite improvement". I'm sure we were all waiting with bated breath to get his thoughts on everyone's routines. Shut UP, Bruce. Learn your job. Alesha tells him that he outdanced Scott, which may be true but seems rather cruel to single him out like that; Bruno says it was hot; Craig is a bit picky but gives him credit for what he's doing well. Len concludes that "the dancer is emerging!" Scores - Craig 5, Len 8, Alesha 8 and Bruno 8 for a total of 29.

And that's it, meaning the lines are now open. We have Ann and Anton at the bottom of the leaderboard, but they're clearly not going yet, so who might? Well, Scott and Natalie are second from bottom, with Gavin and Katya just above them, but the scores are so close tonight (apart from Ann and Anton, obviously) it's tough to call. Results show "tomorrow"!

Results show

Tess continues her ominous voiceover with the fireworks theme, and reminds us yet again of the entire concept of the show, ie that one couple will be eliminated tonight.

Hey, it's the Lesser-Spotted Strictly Showdancers! Otherwise known as one of the weirdest and perhaps wrongest decisions in television history. They do a 50s-themed jive/rock'n'roll number (EVEN IAN, DESPITE IT BEING REALLY HARD FOR TALL PEOPLE). I chuckle at the bit where Ian and The Other Man lift tiny Darren. Then Darren does a bit of Karen Hardy-esque choreography where he plays the piano over his partner's tummy.

And then Tess wanders out as if she's dressed to dance the principal role in Swan Lake, before Claudia announces to us that Bryan Ferry will be performing later. Wowee. The judges chat about the performances: Alesha and Bruno clap hands about Pamela, James Jordan drops the first "Fred and Ginge" of the series, Vincent takes his tiny jacket off again, Bruno tells Craig he is an evil man because he didn't like Jimi, and Craig is surprisingly unbovvered, Len moans at Craig for criticising Matt's thumbs, and then Craig quite rightly says, "Does he want a ten, or does he want a nine?" Ann bizarrely says that she could do Craig's job, but he couldn't dance as well as Anton. I think not, Ann. Do you know who Craig IS? Alesha wasn't nervous watching Michelle. Patsy objected to being called a chav. Len tells Craig he undermarked Scott. We do not hear his response to Craig telling Len he overmarked him. Len concludes that it was a really interesting night. Thanks, Len!

Some results - Felicity and Vincent, Gavin and Katya, Kara and Artem, Pamela and James...but Jimi and Flavia are in jeopardy. Bruno declares this to be "madness" and he does not understand how this can possibly be. Len admits that there are lots of illegal lifts creeping in. THEN POINT THEM OUT AND MARK THEM DOWN THEN, YOU FUCKING MORON. He says that if that continues, they will be penalised. The audience murmur in horror, possibly at the shock of Len doing his job for once.

After a showdance foxtrot, Kara tells Claudia that she is glad that Len is cracking down on the lifts because now she doesn't have to do them and scare the hell out of herself in the future. Then we can have some more results - Patsy and Robin, Matt and Aliona and Ann and Anton (they laugh a LOT at this) are all safe...and the other couple in the bottom two is Michelle and Brendan (again!), meaning that Scott and Natalie are safe as well. Alesha says she feels sorry for Michelle, and can only put the result down to being in the dangerous middle of the pack. Craig says he wasn't harsh on Scott, it was what he deserved, and he should work on his Latin technique even though it is VERY HARD FOR THE MEN. Michelle and Brendan and Jimi and Flavia do their sad-face interviews with Claudia.

Then Bryan Ferry performs. Gosh, Strictly is packing in the male singers d'un certain age this series. This is a dull song. I go and tidy the kitchen instead. Sorry.

Michelle and Jimi both have their little VTs where they talk about not wanting to go. Then it's time for the moment of truth...and it's Jimi and Flavia to go. Michelle and Brendan look utterly horrified. Brendan apologises to Jimi and Flavia, Jimi says he's gutted, and they all look like they're about to cry. Flavia, don't cry, you'll ruin your lovely eye make-up. Then Jimi is too choked to actually say anything. Oh, dear dear dear.

Well, possibly not a fair result based on dancing, but at least he got to wear those weirdo contact lenses. Join us again next week to see just how long this ludicrous Widdecombe rebranding can continue!

1 comment:

Kelly said...

Where did Patsy get that copy of Chandler Bing's anti-smoking tape? I'm really starting to like her, having never really given her much thought before...well, ever. She did look like Kylie this week.

I was impressed Gavin at last tried to secure the Sportsman vote from Len by throwing him the ball.

It was a shock result this week but the thing I'm finding most entertaining about this series is the way the judges want Anne to go but can't/won't risk another John Sargeant-like backlash by actually saying it, so instead they have to try to be subtle about it. And I think we all know they can't really do subtle.