Monday, 22 October 2012

Hall of shame

Top 13 Results: 21st October 2012

Aw, how lovely. After the interactive sexual harassment that was last night's pro dance, they've clearly got something more in accordance with old Hollywood values for us tonight, as here are Anton and Erin, broadcast in full technico--er, black and white, dancing a quickstep to 'Let's Face The Music And Dance'. This is really beautiful, nothing but Anton and Erin and the music and...oh, hang on, the lights are coming up and it's all going into colour and GAH! IT'S TOM CHAMBERS! AND AN ARMY OF ZOMBIE TAP-DANCING CLONES! THERE'S NO WAY OUT! KILL IT WITH FIRE!

*hides behind sofa*

*lobs grenade at dancefloor*

*awaits explosion, peeks gingerly over the back of the sofa to survey the damage*

Well, I think Anton and Erin got away in time. I'm not sure about Summer Strallen - I mean, there was always going to be collateral damage, but I hope she survived somehow. Anyway, the important thing is that we all got through that. Now, I'm going to make myself a nice, soothing mug of Horlicks and we'll watch the rest of the results show to calm our nerves, shall we? (I can only imagine what sort of horrors are in store for next week. Probably a reprise of Lisa Snowdon's cha cha cha the way things are going.)

Tess and Claudia manage to make their way in through the wreckage. Claudia is once again standing like an extra from The Walking Dead, while Tess has seen fit to honour this week's theme by coming dressed as an Academy Award statuette. Claudia reminds us that Tom Chambers won the show a few years back, but does not remember that this ultimate triumph led to Camilla losing her damn mind. Probably just as well. While we must endure the Dreaded Dance Off and Len's Lens later, we do at least have genuine legend Dionne Warwick to look forward to, so small mercies and all that.

First, we go to Claudia's backstage snooping segment, which proves about as illuminating as last week's one. Points of interest include James and Vincent trying to replicate The Lift and both nearly breaking their backs in the process, and Louis showing Claudia his ball. Er, that's his physio ball, which is apparently something you place between you and the wall and start sliding up and down and around and around - much like Baloo from The Jungle Book, as Claudia points out. As far as the backstage insights to the actual performances go, Fern thinks she was practically perfect in every way; Victoria has reached Hollyoaks touching-the-wall-acting levels of emotional commitment to her routines; Michael is quite pleased that he got sixes off Len and Darcey; Jerry insists that Craig loves her really; Sid doesn't know what Bruno's on (neither do we, Sid); Kimberley and Pasha were thrilled with their eight, as were James and Denise with all four of theirs; Colin and Kristina whooped; Richard thinks his typing was the best bit; Dani is feeling over the rainbow; Lisa and Robin are exuberant; Nicky does some more so-so Jim Carrey impressions; and the camera crew are nice enough to treat us to a close-up of Louis's hips. Overall, Len thinks it was a fabulous and effervescent night.

Some people are going to be disappointed with their box-office returns though, so here's Tess with the results. Through to next week are: Kimberley and Pasha, Louis and Flavia, Nicky and Karen, Sid and Ola (screaming so loud that dogs across the country fled into the cupboard-under-the-stairs, and that was just Sid's reaction), Colin and Kristina, and Dani and Vincent. Definitely in the Dreaded Dance-Off, however, are Jerry and Anton. Jerry at least manages to muster a vaguely sincere-looking expression of shock.

Tess asks Len why Jerry Hall ended up in the bottom two, even with the benefit of all her years on the catwalk? I give you EXHIBIT A. Then I give you EXHIBIT B. And as much as I loved her, I give you EXHIBIT C. Quite why this show persists in pretending, in the face of all available evidence, that there's any connection between being a model and being able to dance worth a damn is beyond me. Without the aid of YouTube to make his case, Len thinks that Jerry has wonderful presence, but she just needs to stretch a bit more. Yeah, that'll be why the public didn't vote - not enough stretching. Still, he thinks there's never a dull moment with Jerry.

We join Claudia and the safe couples up on the Tess Circle, and Claudia asks Sid if he's still feeling emotional after "Saturday night". Sid admits that he's "a bit of a wuss" because he worked hard and didn't want to let Ola down, so he's very happy to be going through. Claudia turns to Nicky and remarks that she's so orange she might be clashing with his green face. Nicky's pleased to have done better this week, and hurls his hat at the camera in his excitement. Colin chimes in on the matter of getting dirty, and informs us that he has a salsa next week and that it will be filthier than Bruno's mind.

If you're sick of theme weeks...well, you're SOL, because next week is Halloween week, and to "celebrate" that, we have a comedy VT, which is another of those classic Strictly gags that makes its punchline obvious from the first second and yet still takes nearly a minute to get there. The contestants are having a Halloween party, the judges try to get invited in, only to be told their costumes aren't scary enough, eventually Craig turns up and everyone screams. Ho ho ho. Oh, hang on, that's Christmas. [I am not a theme week person at all, but I can cope with Halloween.  Halloween gave me Pasty'n'Robin's meth lab, Michelle and Brendan's Time Warp and Nancy's coffin.  They're the only dances I remember from any of those people and Nancy's coffin dance was probably my favourite Anton dance ever (ones including Erin aside).  So it's A-OK with me - Rad]

From bad to worse, we segue from comedy VT to Len's Lens. They try to get me onside from the outset with shots of slow-motion Pasha, but my affections are not that easily bought. This week, Len's Lens brings us: footage of Betty the dog doing a better jive than Michael Vaughan's, and Len having to justify himself for not being appropriately reverent towards The Lift. "Can Len see?" asks Claudia to the room at large, before turning to Len himself and asking "are you unwell?" Len says "I'm not always right, but on this occasion I am 100 per cent right." Such humility! He basically thinks that the crowd was baying for the jump and weren't really paying attention to anything that came before it, which was a less than sizzling salsa. School swot Darcey is all "I said it was too controlled!" and Len scoffs that she still gave it an eight. After that, we have Darcey talking on an imaginary phone and even more of Craig as the tin man, this time being critiqued by Bruno. This bit would've been far better if Bruno had remembered the words "spatulistic" or "BIG OLD BANANAS". And honestly, I'm sure it doesn't take much to get Bruno thinking of big old bananas after 9pm on a Saturday night.

With Len's Lens mercifully over for another week, Tess has got the results for the remaining six couples. Definitely safe and returning next week are Denise and James, Fern and Artem, Lisa and Robin, Victoria and Brendan (just as well, since Victoria was having a full-on attack of the vapours at this point, so I doubt she'd have coped with the Dreaded Dance-Off at all well) and Richard and Erin, leaving Michael and Natalie to battle it out with Jerry and Anton in the aforementioned Dreaded Dance-Off. "Ahh, we'll go for it," says Michael to a facepalming Natalie. Tess asks Craig if he has any last-minute advice for the couple, and Craig says that they need to listen to the music and get the rhythm sorted out, and that Michael needs to remember everything Natalie has taught him. Especially the bit about how the Australians are definitely better than the Brits at the cricket.

Up in Claudia's Counselling Centre (formerly known as the Tess Circle), the show takes time out to prop up Victoria's ever-fragile psyche, because she's crying again. She admits that watching the numbers go down and down and the Dread Dance-Off get agonisingly close was, well, agonising because she's having so much fun and doesn't want to go yet. She probably needn't have worried because short of accidentally impaling herself in the head with one of her own heels, I doubt Victoria would have lost a Dread Dance-Off to Jerry bloody Hall however either of them performed on the night. The show's far too invested in its Olympic heroes this year for that ever to be a realistic prospect. Victoria sobs that she really wants a chance to do a good dance, and everyone's all "YOU WILL! YOU'RE AMAZING! WE LOVE YOU! DID YOU NOT GET ENOUGH HUGS AS A CHILD OR SOMETHING?" Claudia turns to Richard, who was also tearful but not as much as Victoria (obviously), who says he assumed he would be in the Dread Dance-Off, but he owes his not being there to Erin. Also pleased to be safe is Denise, the dirty ringer.

Time for Dionne Warwick! She's perched on a stool because she hurt her ankle the night before the performance, and she's singing '(There's) Always Something There To Remind Me'. To be honest, she's really not in the finest vocal form of her life these days, but that's probably to be expected, and I'd much rather she supported herself via music rather than doing another reality show since I gather she did not come across well on Celebrity Apprentice (although if she wants to sign up for The Amazing Race with Burt Bacharach, I am so on board). Meanwhile, Pasha and Iveta are here doing a jive, which is an odd fit with this song genre-wise, but it's Pasha and Iveta and they're adorable, so I'm not feeling overly critical.

Up in Claudia's Counselling Centre, the two couples in the Dread Dance-Off are preparing to dance for their lives, and Claudia asks Jerry if she expected to be here. Jerry can only offer a series of hoots and clicks, and Claudia snarks "everybody understands that noise, it makes absolutely total sense". Jerry vows to try her best in the Dread Dance-Off, and then Claudia sends them downstairs to get into position while she talks to Michael and Natalie. Michael's philosophical about it, and says he's going to try to get it right second time round, and that he loves Jerry. I really am staggered and a little unnerved by how much I love Michael Vaughan on this show. Seriously, what a dude. [It's the Sheffield influence.  Everyone here is unfailingly awesome - Rad]

Jerry and Anton reprise their quickstep, and it's a little sloppier than it was the first time out, with Jerry's posture definitely taking a backslide in every sense of the word. Then Michael and Natalie reprise their cha cha cha, and it's about the same as it was earlier, with all the timing issues that go with that, although he does at least manage to land in the chair properly this time.

It's time for the judges to make their decision. Craig thinks one couple improved slightly and were a little bit better, so he votes to save Michael and Natalie. Darcey thinks both couples have improved "so much" and it's "so hard" to judge on this performance because nerves got them both (or they were both just shit, your call really), but she's voting to save Michael and Natalie, because reasons. Bruno thinks both couples were very nervous and didn't improve, but by a whisker he votes to save Jerry and Anton. Len's looking rather sourfaced, and says that he thought neither couple impressed him because the pressure got to both of them: Jerry's routine was full of mistakes while Michael's went out of time. He looks like he's on the verge of pulling a full Louis and taking it to deadlock, but then he remembers that Michael is a SPORTSMAN and votes to save him, so Jerry and Anton are out.

Up in Claudia's Counselling Centre, Dani is crying (though for once Victoria is not) and Jerry says that she's had a lot of fun, and she's loved hanging out with Anton, and even dancing with him when she absolutely had to. Anton says that Jerry is gorgeous and fabulous and has been a star. Claudia reappears to plug the website and It Takes Two, while Tess reminds us that she and Bruce will be back next Saturday for the Halloween special. Jerry and Anton have their last dance to 'You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin''. I feel the sombre nature of this occasion is undermined slightly by Kristina striding around the group hug in full view of the camera wearing what amounts to Batgirl's lingerie, but never mind. See you next week!

1 comment:

Scott Willison said...

I am loving Michael Vaughan and I'm not sure why. I think it's because he's just so bad, but bless him, he's trying. Unlike Jerry or Nicky who clearly couldn't give two shits.