Top 11 results show: 4 Nov 2011
Has anyone else noticed how in the opening credits, Erin and Natalie are wearing the same snake bracelet? Is it BBC cutbacks, or is it A SIGN? (Of what, I don't know - insert your theories here).
We open with an all-male (minus Anton, for reasons we'll become grateful for in a moment) pro-dance to A Little Less Conversation. Apart from a mini Pasha solo followed by Artem FLYING IN, it basically involves the men dressed like strippers and Pasha and Artem knowing their audience by getting their tits out again [TEN!!!!! - Steve], plus lots of arse wiggling and plenty of this kind of thing. It's also highly energetic and very entertaining, if hilariously competitive as they all try and get the most attention. There's a bit where James and Brendan attempt to do a fully (ish) clothed spit-roasting of Darcey and another bit where Brendan backflips off the judges' table. The competitive spirit does kind of douse the spirit of teamwork, though, and they all get out of time with each other several times. But I can imagine the target audience don't mind that so much, considering.
Tess and Claudia arrive, brandishing sparklers. Tess's white dress, whilst cut rather well for her for a change, contains lace. I repeat - Tess Daly, lace and a sparkler. This is exactly the kind of thing all those Public Information Films they made us watch when we were children were made for. They apologise for the props being a bit rubbish and said they spent all the money on Halloween week. Then Tess burns herself. I KNEW that was a bad idea. She soon recovers enough to remind us of how sexy the male dancers were, because she's Tess. Len looks especially pleased at that comment even though none of the male pros are SPORTSMEN as far as I know.
We're treated to the usual recap of "last night" replete with Claudia's backstage snooping. I'm only going to recap the best of the backstage bits if that's OK with you. Vincent is mobbed by women (including Denise and Karen Hauer - and while we're on that subject, having two Karens in the Strictly 'family' would be bad enough, but two Karen Hs is taking the mick), Victoria flashes Claudia, Nicky and Michael continue BANTERWARS, Craig lies that there are no gimmicks, Karen Hauer gets her kicks from Claudia touching herself, Lionel Blair has just discovered Gangnam style, Lisa fancies Artem, Nicky doesn't give a shit about being shit but Karen Hauer has turned to self-flagellation, Natalie is working miracles.
Time for our first reveals of the night. Safe are: Denise and James, Fern and Artem's tits, Dani and Vincent, Kimberley and Pasha, Louis and Flavia. In the bottom two are Colin and Kristina, who look like they knew. Then Tess does a big ol' fake out 'Also joining them in the bottom two will be' thing which actually gets Lisa looking sick and the audience going 'oooh' even though we all know the punchline to that is going to be 'revealed later on'. [Seriously. I'd say "does no one watch Dancing On Ice?" but this year no one did. - Steve]
Tess asks what Colin needs to do. Len says glide more and drive off from his standing leg. Thanks Len!
Up on Claudia's Counselling Circle, Dani reveals she's cricked her neck. Hooray! Most of the celebrities and pros are broken and we're not even halfway through the series! We're also reminded that DARCEY FANCIES LOUIS. Because that's not old already.
Because we're in for a super-special treat, we have TWO - count-em - guest performers tonight! We know this is a super treat because earlier, Tess and Claudia both had to tell us between gritted teeth that the show was spoiling us with two guest performances. Sadly neither of them are Paloma Faith, but thankfully neither of them are Bruce doing his annual attempt at singing. Bagsy that being Steve's recap week! Although that would still be preferable to the performance from our first guest stars The Wanted and their new single 'Only Dogs Can Hear Us' which sounds like what would happen if Jake Shears, the Bee Gees, Matt Cardle and Johnny Robinson formed a band and were told their collective falsetto wasn't high pitched enough. It's straight into my worst three aural assaults of the weekend, along with the Strictly singers mauling 'Naughty Girl' and that thing Jahmene did on The X Factor. They bring with them the most dancers ever seen on TV, but as they're doing some kind of generic 'party' dance most of the time, they don't really count.
I'd say I was relieved that was all over, but it's now time for Len's Lens, which Claudia describes as a 'member', so clearly she's seen what Monkseal calls this section. First up, we have Richard and Erin's mics turned up so we can hear them in the dance. Erin is saying 'follow me' through gritted teeth, whilst Richard keeps going 'Oh no' and then they both crack up <3 <3. Len says everyone forgets their routines (insert obvious Bruce Forsyth joke here). We see that during Richard and Erin's dance, Len shouted 'pull yourself together', whilst Bruno was literally crying with laughter. So telling. Len then gets apoplectic and the other three crack up. Heh. Darcey played with Craig's hair, Len showed off about giving Dani and Vincent a 9 and then strops that he was right and the other judges were wrong like the mardy arse he is. Craig then lusts over Artem some more and Bruno is shown lusting over Kimberley and Pasha's performance - I'm guessing in another Bruno has a bisexual moment kind of way.
Back to the results and all the weaker couples are left til this last group for some more suspense - and Lisa looks sick the whole time. Anyway, safe are: Michael and Natalie, Victoria and Brendan, Nicky and Karen, and, after an eternity, Lisa and Robin, meaning Richard and Erin are in the bottom two, neither of whom seem especially surprised. He kisses her and Craig points out they have an opportunity to redeem their routine.
Up in Claudia's Counselling Circle, Lisa still looks petrified and Victoria is glad never to have to samba again. Michael's putting his faith in Natalie for their salsa. Aww. Love those two so much.
Our second 'special' guest is Andrea Bocelli, for the mams (although I'd argue the mams have been pretty well served tonight, all in all). He's doing Nessun Dorma, which is one of the two opera songs I know (along with O Sole Mio/Just One Cornetto), like the rest of the country - note not the only two I've heard, but the ones I've heard enough to remember. I don't count Time To Say Goodnight as proper opera, by the way. It might be, but I suspect it's the kind of thing opera purists would turn their noses up at. The interesting thing about this performance is a pro dance from Pasha and Karen which is one for the rumour mill. Have they sent poor Iveta back home? (And shouldn't Aliona's ankle be fixed by now?) Has Artem fallen out with Karen? Are we going to have loads of pro switch-ups from now on? I'm all for this last one, by the way, depending on the combinations created. [For what it's worth, I heard this performance was recorded several weeks ago, possibly back before they knew whether Aliona was going to be able to come back or not, so maybe they subbed in Karen to avoid complicating matters. - Steve] I suspect this is the kind of comment Strictly purists would turn their noses up at. It's all very pretty anyway and it's nice to see a bit of a Karen showcase to prove she can actually dance (or at least be chucked around gracefully). I was beginning to wonder.
Claudia is with the bottom two couples and Richard jokes that it's not doing the dance again, it will be his first time [Except the dress rehearsal! - Bruce]. Colin and Kristina seem much more subdued about their chances.
Richard and Erin are up first and this time Richard remembers his steps and it's actually pretty good: in time, some nifty footwork, plenty of turns. Colin and Kristina are still beset by some of the problems from before: Colin's knees, their height difference, the stupid kicks, that bloody singer going 'Acent-tuate' all the time.
Over to the judges: Craig saves Richard and Erin for being better than the first time, whilst Colin and Kristina were worse; Darcey saves Richard and Erin via a spot of nonsense 'I wouldn't have either couple in the dance off' business; Bruno also saves Richard and Erin for turning things completely around whilst the others messed it up a little. Len says he would also have saved them.
Kristina is clearly annoyed and clings to Colin for dear life, representing all the mams who have one less piece of eye candy for next week. Colin then gives a long speech about this being one of the best shows he's ever been involved in, calling it seminal and telling the judges they have knowledge and then he says he 'accepts [defeat] with grace' - not sure you can say that about yourself, but anyhoo. Kristina cries and I don't know if that's because she's sad to be out, sad to lose Colin or sensing her time on this show is coming to its natural end. (I hope not, I like her, but I just get the feeling that's the way the wind's blowing. Maybe I'm just being a pessimist, but then... poor Katya and Ian and Matthew and Nicole and the Bennetts and Karen Hardy and... the other, less useful, ones Neva4get).
Next week: Claudia replaces Bruce! Hooray! Join us then!