Top 12 Results: 28th October 2012
Call me slow if you like, but I've only just realised that the BBC One "dancing" ident that they generally play leading into Strictly still has Jared Murillo in it. That rather dates it, doesn't it? Poor Jared. I guess this means we can't take Erin's presence in the aforementioned ident as any sign of job security for her either.
Not having a pre-titles sequence always feels slightly jarring to me, but nonetheless we go straight into the titles, and from there into another group number courtesy of Pasha, Iveta, Artem, Karen, Vincent, Flavia, Robin and Kristina. The style is...masquerade ball of the undead? It's as good a guess as any. The accompaniment is Yaël Naïm's version of 'Toxic' as they delicately move around the floor, poised and rigid like the ballerina in a music box, and then the music switches into the Britney version that we're all more familiar with, and the group breaks into what I think is a paso doble, but frankly it's quite hard to tell. Thematically it's not a million miles away from this, but I would just like to stress that the choreography and indeed the staging is emphatically different, just so no one thinks I'm alleging infringement of anyone's intellectual copyright. Anyway, it's enjoyably creepy and far spookier than most of the individual dances were last night.
Tess and Claudia arrive - both dressed in black as befits the occasion, although Tess appears to be hiding Tiki Tong in her cleavage. Claudia informs us that there will be a "potentially shocking" Dread Dance-Off tonight which, given that they generally know the results by the time they start recording, suggests to me that there will be at least one candidate making an unexpectedly early visit to the DDD. D3. D-cubed. Whatever you want to call it. Tess tells us that the ever-youthful and understated Paloma Faith will be along later, but first we must head backstage with Claudia to see what really happened last night.
Surprisingly, a lot of it involved "sitting in the make-up chair for ages". Meanwhile, Claudia went trick or treating backstage, and those who selected trick were promptly given a cue card on which to fill in what score they wanted from Craig tonight, and handed a pen that gave them a mild electric shock. Lessons to be taken from this segment are that Robin and Louis are screamers, while Nicky appears to be very well-earthed. (Possibly due to the fact that he has three points of contact with the floor, if you know what I mean.) Also, Craig appears to have a lot of fillings, and struggles to talk with fake fangs in his mouth, while WerePasha growls at the camera. SO CUTE! I make no apologies for having all the feelings for TeenWolf Pasha - judge me all you want, because I do not care in the slightest. If the world doesn't understand our love, that just makes it purer. Or some sub-Twilight shit like that. Other points of interest: Victoria feels rather exposed in her dress for the group number, and Nicky is spreading rumours that Michael is a giant diva. [And vice versa. That segment was a bit more good-natured than the equivalent ones you see on The X Factor though - Rad]
As far as the dances go, Dani and Vincent whoop with excitement about how well their routine went, while Richard announces that he performed his matador with the sort of aggression he normally reserves for the January sales, or when Kate Garraway starts messing with his autocue. Lisa and Robin are also mostly all about the post-performance yelling, while Ola apologises to Sid for not having been there this week. I know, how selfish of her to prioritise her mother's recovery from a heart attack over a light entertainment programme! Nicky yells "get in!" after another batch of promising feedback from the judges, and we get absolutely no reaction shots from Fern and Artem at all. In fact, I don't recall ever getting any "backstage" candids from them so far. Not that I'm suggesting any sort of conspiracy, it just seems odd. Denise and James are SO RELIEVED that things went well, while Michael and Natalie just scream in excitement over their brief stay at the top of the leaderboard. Similarly, Victoria and Brendan go in for a high-ten, and Kristina gives Colin a big hug, so pleased is she with his progress. Louis is pleased that "this zombie just got three 9s", and Kimberley and Pasha howl in glee. And those of you thinking that you'd like to see if Pasha could make you howl, form an orderly queue behind me please. Overall, Len loved it because he thought so many of them upped their game. Apart from Sid. And Denise. And Colin. And Dani. And Fern. And Lisa. And Richard. And Nicky. But, y'know, everyone apart from them.
Now for those of us who didn't look at this series' Wikipedia page on Sunday and who weren't following Louis Smith on Twitter (seriously, there were spoilers EVERYWHERE this weekend) [I got my spoiler by reading the Graun liveblog on Sunday night while I was out and forgetting they did the results and show all in one entry and that the top of the page would be the most recent update. And I'm normally so good at avoiding the internet for these matters. Oops - Rad], here's Tess with the first batch of results. Safely through to next week are: Louis and Flavia, Victoria and Brendan, Kimberley and Pasha, Lisa and Robin, and Michael and Natalie. Confirmed to be facing the Dread Dance-Off, however, are Sid and Ola. Neither of them looks especially surprised. Tess asks Bruno what Sid needs to do to save himself tonight, and Bruno says that he mustn't let the nerves get at him while he performs, and keep a close eye on attention to detail.
Then we go up to Claudia's Counselling Centre with the six safe couples, where Brendan is apple-bobbing in the cauldron. Michael thanks Natalie once again for coaxing a good performance out of him, and Victoria's thrilled to have been called safe in the first group for once. Louis says that everyone's had a stressful week, so it was nice for him to get those 9s as a payoff.
Time for our musical guest of the evening, a woman who used to get sawn in half every night as a magician's assistant. OH MY GOD IT'S THE LOVELY DEBBIE MCGEE! [That is EXACTLY what I thought too. And the rest of the nation for that matter - Rad] Oh, hang on, it's Paloma Faith. Actually, I credit this show for the fact that I find Paloma Faith increasingly tolerable these days. I don't know if I'll ever buy one of her records, but I find her totally endearing. She's singing 'Never Tear Us Apart', and Seasonal Reductions Cosy Knits Festive Fashions Decorative Accessories Children's Partywear Quilted Coats & Jackets Personal Care Shavers & Dental --- hang on, I seem to have been temporarily possessed by the spirit of John Lewis there. How peculiar. Anyway, Paloma is wearing all the accessories in the world, and has brought her own dancers. I always feel that's a bit wasteful on this show, but nine-tenths of what makes Paloma Faith so enjoyable is her sense of spectacle, so I'm willing to overlook it on this occasion. [And she had Day of the Dead themed accessories too, bless her - Rad]
Once Paloma's finished her business, it's time for Len's Lens. Can't Paloma just do another song instead? Please? Let's skim through this as swiftly as ever: Craig, Darcey and Bruno all dancing like loons during Thriller; Len mouthing the words to 'Witch Doctor'; Lisa almost devouring Robin's crotch; Bruno doing a charleston while sitting down; Len basically claiming there is no technique in the charleston; Darcey pulling all sorts of transparently deliberate if-this-doesn't-get-me-on-Len's-Lens-nothing-will faces during Louis's tango; Craig thinking that Richard's face in the paso was fantastic even if the rest of his body wasn't quite up to the same standard; Bruno pulling Jim Halpert faces into the camera during Michael's quickstep; and of course a reprise of 'Gangnam Style'. Ahh, Len's Lens. Never a pleasure, always a chore.
And now we head back to Tess for the second half of the results. The remaining couples with a guaranteed spot in next week's show are Richard and Erin, Dani and Vincent, Denise and James, Nicky and Karen, and Fern and Artem - leaving Colin and Kristina in the Dread Dance-Off. Kristina, incidentally, has been hanging her head throughout both sets of results announcements, so I think she may have had an inkling this was coming. Tess asks Darcey of all people why Colin ended up in the Dread Dance-Off, and Darcey thinks that people expect more of him because he's an actor. Or because "stood in the background in a few James Bond films" isn't quite the sell this show thinks it is? Either/or, I suppose. Anyway, Darcey gives us our first "natural rhythm" of the series (drink!) and mentions "the nerves" again.
Up in Claudia's Counselling Centre, Artem is in the middle of throttling Fern. This must be some sort of experimental displacement therapy, I suppose. Claudia asks Fern if she's shocked. Fern is indeed, she thought she was about to be sent home to catch up on her ironing. She then kisses Artem's hand repeatedly. I love that Fern is embracing her role as viewer-proxy in this series in that regard. Nicky says he's been lucky in the previous weeks to get named in the first group, but being left to the end as there are fewer and fewer couples remaining is not nice. Richard's all "yeah, TELL ME ABOUT IT". Claudia asks who watches It Takes Two every night, and everyone shoots their hand eagerly up into the air, apart from Artem and Fern who both give off an "eh, if I have to..." vibe. Hee. Naturally from here we cut to a trailer with Zoe, which tries to make us think that It Takes Two is like The Only Way Is Essex and steals the catchphrase "miss it, miss out" from Live And Kicking.
Back in the studio, Claudia's with Sid and Ola, and Colin and Kristina. She asks Sid if he's going to take risks in the Dread Dance-Off just like Bruno wants, and Sid says that yes, he will, because he thinks he let Ola down the first time out. Ola insists that he didn't, and they make their way down to the dancefloor while Claudia turns to Colin and Kristina, who are officially the Shock in this week's Shocking Bottom Two, it seems. Even though they were only ninth out of twelve on the leaderboard, so probably not that much of a shock.
Sid and Ola return to reprise their cha cha cha, and despite Sid's amazing breakdancing skillz looking better the second time, he looks rather like he's checked out of the competition at this point. As a result, his performance is workmanlike, and not really dynamic enough to get him saved. Ola, on the other hand, is really working it. After that, Colin and Kristina head back to reprise their salsa, and it's a little livelier than first time out, but it does still have that section on the far side of the dance floor that Colin can't quite get right, and he fumbles it once again.
So, all things considered, it really could go either way, but Sid and Ola and Colin and Kristina take their marks as the judges decide who is going to get sent packing tonight. Craig wants to save the couple who were more dynamic and generally better: Colin and Kristina. Darcey thinks they both performed so much better than last time (drink!) and had no nerves (drink!), so it's really hard, but she votes to save Colin and Kristina. Bruno thinks both couples switched up a gear, but the strongest couple overall was Colin and Kristina - so with three votes in their favour, Colin and Kristina are safe and Sid and Ola are out. Tess asks Len for his (redundant, at this point) opinion, and Len says that he in fact did not agree - he would've saved Sid and Ola because Colin went wrong in the same part of that routine again, and he can't forgive huge mistakes. I'm sure it will be a huge consolation to Sid and Ola that Len would've voted to save them for...reasons that were nothing whatsoever to do with them. [I think Len's decided Kristina is his new nemesis in the absence of Aliona. Although if the tabloid rumours about her whining that she isn't getting enough attention are true I can understand why. Either way, I'm not sure she's much longer for this show - Rad]
Tess asks Sid if he's enjoyed his time on Strictly, and Sid says that Ola's a hard taskmaster, but he's had so much fun, and now he feels like he can go out comfortably and "have a little dance". Ola says Sid's been a fantastic partner, and it's too early for him to have gone out, and she's sorry. Aww.
So that's it - we say goodbye to Sid and Ola as they dance their final dance to 'It's The End Of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)'. Next week, we'll back to back to normal on the Strictly front as we take a much-needed break from theme weeks, but this blog will be having a slight change of pace as the lovely Rad comes over to join us from sister blog The Bitch Factor. It'll be her first weekend on full Strictly duty, so be nice to her, or I'll send James and Denise round to banter at you until you lose the will to live. I'll be back in a fortnight - see you then!