Sunday, 11 November 2012

Drain of Britton

Top 10 Results: 11 November 2012

Straight into the titles as always, I spot that the first two celebrities in the sequences have already been voted off the island, as it were. Fern's in spot number three, so it's not looking good for her, is it?

We open with an Argentine tango showcase courtesy of (who else?) Vincent and Flavia. It's very colourful, in that it involves a lot of stereotypical Italians yelling and doing very stereotypical Italian things. Mostly yelling, to be honest. I went to Florence for a holiday this year so I feel like I can say with some confidence that Italians are loud. It is, much as you'd expect, a ridiculously athletic and energetic routine that really shows how brilliant this dance can be when you let really talented people do it. (So far the only celebrity to attempt one this series has been Colin, so I rather hope they're waiting until most of the hoofers have gone before they started wheeling them out in earnest.) [This was just lovely - and exciting - Rad]

Afterwards, Tess and Claudia arrive, and thankfully they've changed out of their earlier outfits. Tess is now in a white dress with some sort of geometric print on it and the most vertiginous red heels you're ever likely to see, while Claudia's back in her trademark black. Tess tells us that the dancers we've just seen were from Vincent and Flavia's stage show Midnight Tango (of course they were - silly of me not to make that connection myself), while Claudia tells us that tonight's show features Len's Lens and the Dread Dance-Off. It's like they're actively trying to make me watch Surprise Surprise, isn't it? Also, Tess tells us, André Rieu will be here. He's been on the show before, right? The name definitely rings a bell.  [I thought it was whatsisname the opera bloke from last week.  SO CULTURED am I - Rad]

Now, since Claudia was otherwise occupied this week, we had to send someone else backstage to do some snooping. And apparently everyone we actually wanted to do it was busy, so here's Anton! Let's just skip through the points of interest as usual, but this bit is inevitably fillerama: Michael trying to show Anton how to do Natalie's scissor-neck lift of death; Robin revealing that all the men's shirts have lycra bottoms on so they don't pop out of their trousers when they spin or reach up (I've got to get myself some of those just for day-to-day wear); Nicky practises his posture by keeping a Malteser in the air with his breath (other chocolates are available); Jon Culshaw's Len Goodman impression is exactly as shit as all of his other impressions. As far as post-performance reactions go: James and Denise are self-congratulatory about getting the highest score of the series, but they've probably earned the right to be; Richard gestures menacingly with those giant prop scissors; Louis was worried that the longer the judges argued, the lower Craig's score for him was going to be; Artem is still carrying Fern (in more ways than one); Victoria and Brendan are simpering around; Dani and Vincent were generally jubilant; Karen sings "the best is yet to come" into Nicky's mic stand (am I alone in thinking that's really not the brilliant compliment everyone seems to think it is?); no reaction from Kimberley and Pasha because we need to cram in MOAR REACTION SHOTS OF CHERYL COLE; Michael's gutted about messing up; Lisa and Robin are just going round and round and round. Len thinks it was an excellent show apart from Craig giving Louis a 6, but at least he's not still harping on about it. Oh no, wait, he is.

Here's Tess with the results. Incidentally, she says there are "nine guaranteed places" in next week's show. Surely not: there are eight guaranteed places, with two couples fighting out for the last one in the dance-off? Oh well, semantics. And speaking of some antics (*tumbleweed*), here are the results! In no particular order, the following couples are safe: Victoria and Brendan, Lisa and Robin, Louis and Flavia, Nicky and Karen, and Denise and James. Who's in danger? LOL EVERYONE BECAUSE WE'RE NOT SAYING WHO'S IN THE DANCE-OFF YET! How very Dancing On Ice. And also: they might as well have just had "it's a really shocking bottom two this week" on a banner running across the bottom of the screen the whole time, given the general air of hand-shaking glee that pervades the results show this week when they know they're going to get a few headlines out of it. [But is it as shocking as the so shocking it also merited a late reveal battle-of-the-interchangeable-rubbish-boy-bands-no-one-likes-who've-both-been-bottom-two-before?  Answer me that, Steve. - Rad]

Tess asks Bruno who, out of the five remaining couples, deserves to advance to next week. Bruno says that everyone did well this week, but out of those remaining, he would have to single out Dani and Kimberley because they've shown versatility and range in ballroom and Latin. Of course, he then hastily suffixes that with "but I don't know, it's up to you". Again, they might as well just have ONE OF THE FRONTRUNNERS IS IN THE DREAD-DANCE OFF THIS WEEK on a big flashing sign behind him the whole time. [You see, I saw all this happen but thought it would all be a big fake-out and Michael and Natalie or Richard and Erin would be there.  I'm a fool. - Rad]

Up in Claudia's Counselling Centre, the six safe couples are waving glowsticks around excitedly. Claudia congratulates Nicky on a personal best - she points out that he's played Wembley before, "with your band" (lol) and asks how it's going to feel different being there as a dancer. Nicky thinks if you can't dance there, then you can't dance. Well, that's a fairly damning indictment of several of last year's contestants considering what a shitshow Wembley 2011 was. Then we turn to Louis, who apologises for causing an uproar because he's an exceptionally polite young man. Lisa is excited to be going to Wembley. Well, this was informative. Claudia segues into the next segment by telling us that all the greats have played at Wembley, from the Beatles to Beyoncé. "And Westlife," adds Nicky. "Quite," replices Claudia. "Let us not forget The Stools." Heh. Personally I think The Turds would be less ambiguous, but I can see how The Stools is more marketable as a nickname.

Time for a comedy going-to-Wembley VT! Everyone talks excitedly and exaggeratedly about how they'll be dancing in front of 6000 people. Victoria's hilariously OTT acting is possibly my favourite part of the whole thing. The most disturbing part involves Lisa and Dani putting Vincent and Robin's disembodied heads in their backpacks for...reasons. Once they get outside, Dani asks "where's Fern?" (spoiler: Fern's not going to Wembley) and Fern's outside with the limo that she's arranged. But shock horror! The limo only has nine seats! Not all of them are going to Wembley! Shriek! Well, that was a profitable way to spend two minutes.

Speaking of total wastes of time, here's Len's Lens! We begin with a slo-mo shot of the judges arriving and having a little boogie in their seats. Darcey's a big fan of the hand-jive, it seems (not a euphemism). Len says he's never given so many high scores as he did "last night". We see the start of Dani and Vincent's dance with Vincent's mic apparently turned on, and him pretending to be chatting up Darcey, then we have a lot of slow-mo shots of Richard's face in peculiar shapes during the charleston, and a slow-mo close-up of Richard drumming on Erin's arse. I'm sure Erin's just thrilled they chose that bit. Bruno says that he's really getting into bum slapping (Richard, not Bruno, although frankly neither option bears thinking about in too much detail), and that he liked the goldfish mouth. We see how Brendan guided Victoria through her quickstep, and then of course we get a slow-mo edition of Brendan's faceplant at the end of his dance and how he still managed to finish with aplomb. Darcey notes with interest how Victoria "wasn't fazed at all" (/"didn't give a shit"), and that's Len's Lens mercifully concluded for another week. Still, let's say slow-mo a few more times: slow-mo. Slow-mo. Slow-mo. Ahh, that's the stuff.

Back to Tess, and the first couple definitely in the Dread Dance-Off is...Fern and Artem. Neither of them look overly surprised by this news. Safe and through to next week are Dani and Vincent and Richard and Erin. That leaves just one place up for grabs, and it's taken by Michael and Natalie, leaving Kimberley and Pasha in the Dread Dance-Off. Ouch. I mean, I don't mean to rub it in, but Kimberley was joint second on the leaderboard. That is quite the drop. Kimberley looks absolutely devastated. The audience gasps. Bruno can be heard yelling "you must be out of your mind!" It's a bittersweet victory for Michael and Natalie, both of whom seem utterly stunned by this result. (Incidentally, my favourite thing about Michael and Natalie is that you can always see them reaching into the frame when the people next to them are declared safe - they're always the first ones to say "well done" even though their fate is often still up in the air at that point. They're really good sports, the pair of them.)

Tess says that it's shocking to see Fern and Kimberley in the Dread Dance-Off because they both got personal best scores last week. That is technically true, of course, but Fern was ninth out of ten on the leaderboard and Kimberley was joint second, so I'm guessing it's a little bit more of a shock for Kimberley than it is for Fern. Tess asks Darcey what more they can do, and Darcey basically says "well, yes, Fern's fucked, isn't she?" in a slightly more polite way, before adding that basically the only thing Kimberley needs to work on is those promenade turns, because that's the only thing that went wrong.

Then we go up to Claudia's Counselling Centre, which has never been more worthy of its name because Dani is in tears. She says that she's happy she's through, but she doesn't want either of them to go because they're both amazing. Michael's also upset in a rather less demonstrative way, saying that he's flabbergasted - he's glad that he's safe, but he's stunned that Kimberley's in the Dread Dance-Off. Richard's astonished to have been voted through and credits Erin's arse with having got them through to Wembley. Now I find myself wondering what would win in a direct public vote between Erin's arse and Artem's tits. Actually, we should probably through Ola's tits in there as well to make it a truly decisive poll.

Before we go any further, we join Anton and Kristina at Royal Wootton Bassett for a Remembrance Day special VT. You can tell it's a very sombre occasion because Kristina is very soberly dressed. They're going to a dance accompanied by the Military Wives Choir, who are still very much a thing apparently. Some veterans talk about the importance of honouring the dead with dignity, and how Anton and Kristina provided a bit of relief from the overall sadness of the day. [My thought throughout this - other than 'Anton and Kristina??'  was that their 'Nothing Can Divide Us' song was disappointing insofar as it was some ballid dirge and not this.  Come on, Wives (and hidden Military husbands/boyfriends who may or may not also be allowed to sing), inspiring tunes please FOR OUR BOYS (and oft-forgotten girls) - Rad]

When we return, it's time for André Rieu, who will be playing 'The Rose' on the violin while Brendan and Natalie dance a rumba around him. Natalie doing sexyface everywhere feels like a bit of an odd fit with the VT we've just watched, but I guess when you're trying to cram all of this into one 40-minute results show, the occasional bout of mood whiplash is inevitable. It's all very nice, anyway, but frankly it's just delaying the important stuff.

Speaking of which: Claudia's on the balcony with Fern, Artem, Kimberley and Pasha. Fern has taken this whole situation with good humour, saying that she enjoyed dancing the salsa and she's happy to have a chance to go and do it again. Claudia tells her to go and get into position and Fern replies "which position is that?" Heh. She and Artem head down the stairs, while Claudia turns to Kimberley, asking how sad it is to be in the Dread Dance-Off. Kimberley says that she loved her dance this week, but she's not exactly looking forward to having to do it again under the circumstances, adding that it was nice to see everyone sad, before hastily giggling and correcting herself to point out that of course she meant it was nice to have their support, and that she doesn't get sick pleasure out of watching other people cry or anything like that.

Fern and Artem go again, and I'm sure Fern knows this is a foregone conclusion, so she just makes sure to have a lot of fun. In terms of people valiantly battling through dance-offs that they know they have no chance of winning, it's not quite up there with Letitia Dean Viennese waltz-ing her little socks off when she was up against Alesha in series five, but Fern is clearly enjoying the dance just as much as she did first time around, which is pretty much all you can ask of her. After that, Kimberley and Pasha reprise their Viennese waltz, which isn't quite as good as it was the first time - I can't see how it would ever have been, considering they must both be pretty on edge. There are still a few hops in her eros spin, but it's still a much stronger dance overall than Fern's, and short of some sort of bout of temporary insanity from the judges, I can't see Kimberley not being saved.

Craig isn't beating around the bush for a change, and votes to save Kimberley and Pasha. Darcey thinks Kimberley and Pasha gave the cleanest performance. Even Bruno doesn't have a lot to say for himself, and says that Kimberley and Pasha were outstanding and votes for them. Kimberley breaks down and hugs Pasha (well, wouldn't you?) while Fern and Artem both applaud them heartily, with big smiles on their faces. It's a very gracious exit from them. Tess asks Len who he would have saved, and he says he would've saved Kimberley and Pasha too. What, that's it? Nobody having any sort of "NEITHER OF THESE COUPLES SHOULD'VE BEEN IN THE BOTTOM TWO!!" meltdown? Not even the smallest hint of "THIS IS A TRAVESTY OF JUSTICE!!"? Poor Kimberley - even the judges can't seem to muster the enthusiasm to take umbrage on her behalf.

Fern heads over to Tess, still smiling brightly, and says that this is the best party on the television, and she's thrilled to have been part of it, before turning to Artem and saying that she adores him (kisses left cheek) and wouldn't have swapped him for anything (kisses right cheek). Again, if you were about to be parted from Artem forever, you'd make the most of it too, wouldn't you? I'm surprised Fern didn't motorboat him, to be honest. I would've.

"We're going to miss you both," says Tess (to Artem's tits - she's named them Captain and Tennille and everything), and then Claudia reappears to encourage us to visit the show's website and Fern and Artem have their last dance to 'If You Gotta Go, Go Now'. Next week Strictly comes from Wembley with Kylie [Yay! - Rad] and Girls Aloud [Also Yay! - Rad] (good job Kimberley didn't get eliminated this week, because that would've been super-awkward), but Rad will be blogging from the same place as always, unless perhaps she's planning to sit in a café somewhere and do it all via wi-fi. The world's her oyster in this day and age, after all. Join her next week to see if this year's Wembley edition is less of a shambles than last year's.


Katy Boyer said...

I knew about the men's shirt/pants combo...

I have seen a clip of Pasha wiggling into one of his.
I have seen it several times.

Steve said...

This would be the point where you share that clip. Please?

Katy Boyer said...

the clip's quite short (he's there twice) you might want to set it up on a loop... not that i've done that... obviously.

Patrick said...

I'll upload my video of me getting Pasha OUT of one of those outfits..... As soon as I can take one. Mmm.