Tx: Saturday 1st October
Ominous voiceover from Tess! Seven couples to dance tonight! And for the next 12 weeks! Right up until Christmas! Until you lose the will to live!
This! Is! Strictly! Come! Dancing!
Bruce is in a gold waistcoat and suit, Tess is looking vaguely like one of the Addicted to Love girls with bright red lipstick and an odd but quite nice black velvet dress. Last night, seven couples danced, and Steve recapped it. (Bruce doesn't say that; I'm adding it.) [One of these days, though... - Steve]
Time to drag out all 14 couples (they're the same as they were yesterday, in case you're wondering). Valance looks nice but seems to be struggling with stairs; Audley has an outfit that incorporates something that's supposed to be a world title belt. Bruce promises us "ballroom pleasure". Ew. Tess introduces Future Head Judge Karen Hardy alongside Katy Brand, who are doing special commentary. I totally want to be the third commentator.
First tonight, ringer Harry Judd and Aliona. We get a potted history of McFly, which does not take into account their stellar performances in Just My Luck alongside Lindsay Lohan. [I can forgive any oversight considering they decided to just include a brief, random, irrelevant scene of homoeroticism from the 'Party Girl' video. - Steve] Aliona tells the camera her partner must not fight her. Pffft. Fairly sure whoever she got would be able to choreograph better than her. She praises Harry's technical skills. I hope she got on the phone to Ola after rehearsal to thank her for her hard work.
They're doing a cha-cha that doesn't appear to be a cha-cha in any real sense except for brief spells, partly because it's to a song that doesn't have a useful cha-cha beat. Aliona does the splits. Harry messes around with his shirt. Yawn.
Oh hey you guys, it's Dave Arch! Woot! And it's the judges! Woot woot! Len says something about Dirty Harry, make my day, liking the razzmatazz, not liking the mechanical nature of the routine. Alesha says Harry is wasted behind the drums, because drummers are pointless and nobody really needs them. Bruno says Harry is full of spunk. Chortle and indeed snigger. Craig thought it was too placed, too clean and too straight - "depositing the steps rather than dancing through them" - and he did not like the hip action. Bruno squeals about it being a confident debut. But it's NOT, though, is it? He's done it before. That's the point. In the Tess Circle, Harry lies about being nervous, but says he enjoyed it. Scores - Craig 6, Len 7, Alesha 8 and Bruno 7 for a total of 28.
Now Rory and Erin. He talks about impressions coming out at "odd moments" (fnar), and says he feels sorry for Erin because he is not a SPORTSMAN. Erin and her lovely new face says that she doesn't want to talk about whether or not it is her time to win. Rory does impressions through rehearsal, and Erin, wonderful woman that she is, does not kill him; instead she says, "However Rory's brain works, I'll go with it."
They are waltzing, and Erin has a dress that looks a bit like the one my Peaches'n'Cream Barbie used to have, except in blue. [I find it entirely impossible to imagine you playing with a Barbie. Just saying. - Steve] This actually looks pretty good - Rory looks awkward at times, with too much tension in his top line, but he's certainly trying to lead, and they look like they're happy.
Alesha says it wasn't bad at all, but in general it was beautifully played. Bruno makes a gag about "first impressions" and criticises Rory's smile. Craig offers some advice about spotting and posture, but he thought it was danced with elegance and panache. Len says it was a first-class impression of a waltz. I thought it was just, like, a waltz. Tess asks them about next week's salsa. Rory will dance that in the style of Sean Connery. Whatever. Scores - Craig 6, Len 7, Alesha 7 and Bruno 7 for a total of 27. Erin is very happy.
Alex and James next. Lame Tom Jones/Wales joke from Bruce. Alex talks about being mesmerised by the Strictly glitterball. James reckons he is every (insane) woman's dream partner. He does not understand Alex's accent; she does not understand his counting. [I wonder if James did his hilarious "I DON'T UNDERSTAND A WORD YOU'RE SAYING!!111!ONE!" routine when he first met Ola? Did she fall for his amazing sense of humour? - Steve] They too are cha-chaing; James has his arms out. Alex takes both her feet off the ground. Not sure she was supposed to. She looks a bit like Miss Jean Brodie trying to be sexy. Craig thinks it was starchy, then he and James have a bitchfest, during which James says that the dancers from last night are disheartened because OMG Craig is so mean. Man the fuck up, Jordan. [I think I prefered James when he was mean to his partners. That was at least more palatable than James The People's Champion. - Steve] Alesha squees about Alex having all the goods. James is proud of her. Scores - Craig 4, Len 6, Alesha 6 and Bruno 6 for a total of 22.
Chelsee, her fake tits and Pasha now. We see a montage of her fine work in Waterloo Road (I'm being sarcastic, but I think that Steve watches it, so he can advise us further). [She is actually pretty good value in Waterloo Road. I mean, as much as anyone is. - Steve] I then want to slap her for calling herself the baby and telling us that her mum does everything for her. Dude, you're TWENTY-FUCKING-THREE. Grow up and move out. Pasha tells us that he is STRAIGHT and LIKES GIRLS. [*sadcries* - Steve] Glad we've got all that cleared up then.
They're waltzing to See The Day. Chelsee needs to sort her neck out because occasionally she looks like a rag doll, but her footwork is excellent and her arms are lovely. Also, I enjoy that they do a little turn at the end to take their applause. Heh, Bruce then comments that Pasha was tossing her around like a rag doll. Craig admires her phrasing; Len liked it, but does not expect elegance "from a young girl" (FUCK OFF, LEN! Ah, I've missed saying that); Alesha says Chelsee looks like a princess, because that's her go-to compliment; Bruno is looking forward to seeing Chelsee grow and grow and grow. (Outwards? In the bosom area?) She bounces up the stairs, and Tess and Chelsee screech about being posh. Shut up, bints. [To be fair to Chelsee, it was mainly Tess being awful and patronising in that bit. Chelsee looked a bit like she wanted to lamp her. Now THAT would have won her a lot of votes. - Steve] Pasha is just generally adorable. Scores - Craig 7, Len 6, Alesha 7 and Bruno 7 for a total of 27.
Next is Edwina (looking like she's being garrotted) and Vincent. Poor the Vincent. Montage of Edwina's political career, including eggs. We are reminded that she is from LIVERPOOL and she used to go dancing at the Cavern Club. She then goes into a rather disturbing fantasy about covering Vincent in icing.
Sorry, I had to go and vomit then.
We're back. They're cha-chaing to Build Me Up Buttercup. Edwina has strong arms and she's having fun, evidently, but there is no technique and her rhythm is all over the place. (Poor John Major.) And then at the end she flashes her gusset. Everyone shrieks. I am horrified. This is the worst thing I have ever seen ever. Ever. [I still preferred it to Bloody Lulu. Or Tom Chambers. - Steve] Len admires her confidence; Alesha says she gave it a go and admires her rhythm (shut UP, Alesha); Bruno calls her a cougar; - "flat-footed and messy, but fun". Craig doesn't get to say anything because he'd be a bitch and it's almost time for Charter Renewal so the BBC can't afford to piss the Tories off. Scores - Craig 2, Len 5, Alesha 5 and Bruno 5 for a total of 17.
Nancy and Anton next. Nancy talks a lot about how wonderful she is and the press being fascinating with her. Apparently she's only 50. I thought she was older than that. Honestly. Anton says that passion is important to Nancy; he had that last year with Ann, but is unsure the same thing will happen with Nancy. She keeps talking about wanting to kiss him. HA. I'VE KISSED ANTON DU BEKE, DELL'OLIO. I AM BETTER THAN YOU.
We begin this waltz with props - a chaise longue on which Nancy is reclining, and a black fan. Anton dances around her for the first twelve bars, and then proceeds to keep her firmly in hold as her feathery dress disintegrates around them. I lose interest. I cannot be bothered with another comedy couple led by bloody Anton. [I blame Anton for this. Obviously the boa was an error that neither one of them could've anticipated, but the tiny bit of dancing that Nancy got to do in the end looked half-decent, and I wish he'd just given her something straightforward instead of more ANTONLOLS. When's he getting put out to pasture? Can it be soon? - Steve] Alesha says Nancy is glamorous and sympathises with how badly wrong it all went. Bruno was looking forward to the storytelling, but she ended up looking like a curtain stuck on a spin-cycle. Best. Simile. Ever. Craig advises them to forget props. Quite. Len says there was TOO MUCH MESSING ABAAAAHT at the start. Of course there was. Anton should know better than that. [And yet... - Steve] Scores - Craig 1, Len 4, Alesha 3 and Bruno 4 for a total of 12.
And finally, we have Jason and Kristina. Jason's face looks different. Botox? [No, it is JUST A GOOD HAIRCUT. - Brendan Cole] He talks about Neighbours and Kylie, and how bad he is at dancing, and how taken aback he was when Kristina hurled herself at him. In rehearsal, Kristina puts him in a neck brace. As a training aid, not because she broke him.
They're cha-chaing to Gimme Some Lovin' and this is the best thing I have seen all evening. It's a bit clumpy in places but they look like a proper couple and the choreography is good. Jason's mouth hangs open occasionally, but most of the time he's smiling and it's all good fun. Bruno shouts a lot, largely positively, I think; Craig exaggerates his Aussie accent and concludes, "Bonzer"; Len deems it the best dance of the night; and Alesha says it was fantastic and super-fun. Hooray! Team Donovan! Scores - Craig 8, Len 8, Alesha 8 and Bruno 8 for a total of 32.
So that's it! Jason and Kristina are at the top, Nancy and Anton are at the bottom. Join us next week for more BALLROOM PLEASURE. Until then - keeeeep dancing!