Last night! More tens than are surely legal, including another 40 for Kimberley and Pasha for yet another overmarked Charleston! Louis smashing the set and Lisa lying down for parts of their dances and both still achieving 31! Next week! Four places in the final are at stake, which means we have pretty much 0 chance of seeing any couple perform all the dances. Er, hurray?!
We open with a snowy pro-dance: an American Smooth style performance to 'What the World Needs Now is Love', featuring Erin and Anton, Natalie and Brendan, and, in the latest round of partner-swapping, Ola and Artem. I like all this partner switcherooing that’s been happening this series. If I were Monkseal, I’d be hosting a ‘which partner-swap did you like best’ poll, so there’s a hint if you’re reading Chris…
Anyway, it’s all very snowy and swirly and lovely and Christmassy which is about as good as it gets with pro dances this series, and Natalie keeps lifting her skirt up so you can see her bum. Flirt.
Tess and Claudia enter, Claudia tugging at the hem of her dress like she needs a wee throughout and gallopping on. No idea what that's about. They do a booty bump. Daly dresswatch: an odd concoctiona - the top and bottom are quite nice, but there's a hideous mid-section that sticks out and makes the whole thing unflattering. Claudia is wearing a golden/beigey style lacy thing which is alright, but I can't picture it without her holding it in the needing a wee pose. They tell us Katherine Jenkins is the star guest and will be both singing and dancing, though not together. What a treat!
Recap of last night, including a lingering shot of Louis nearly knocking the set off and laughing his head off, Robin abandoning Lisa in her time of need and everyone wanting to get into the final. Why have they never told us this before?
Results time, and the first couple safe are Kimberley and Pasha, whilst the first couple in the bottom two are Lisa and Robin, which means the point of the dance-off tonight will only be to see if Louis is less popular than Denise or Dani, which seems… unlikely, so there’s probably not much we can judge from whichever of the two ends up there in terms of prospects for the final. Craig tells Lisa to 'sell sell sell' his new show. I mean the dance.
Katherine Jenkins is up next, performing an insipid 'Santa Baby'. Given Kylie did a cover of this not that long ago, it's not like the Now! albums need a new version, so I think she picked the wrong choice. She looks entirely uncomfortable doing it too. Robin and Kristina dance about to it, and Kristina does her Kristina thing for all its worth. [The sheer outpouring of bile on Twitter towards her throughout this performance was hilarious. - Steve]
Thankfully, tonight is the last time we'll see Len's Lens. Hurrah! Craig mocks the other judges for showboating when they give a ten and Vincent's caught saying 'please let us be in the final' into his mic. Bruce has a dip in the pretend fountain and that's it because unfortunately it's a 'best of' montage. There is no best of Len's Lens, Claudia! And the bits we see aren't even really from Len's Lens for the most part, except Len doing 'Witch Doctor', which I didn't need to relive.
More results! Safe are: Louis and Flavia, to no-one’s surprise whatsoever. Of the two remaining couples, Denise and James look resigned and Dani and Vincent look scared – but it’s Denise and James who are back in the dance-off. Vincent goes ‘we’re through!’ and sinks to his knees, leaving poor Dani just standing there. Way to be supportive of your celebrity partner, Vincent. Len tells Denise to repeat what she did before because she's through anyway.
In Claudia’s Counselling Circle with the safe couples, she asks Vincent and Dani how they’re feeling about Showdance. Vincent declares they’ll do ten dances. Dani says three is enough and Vincent modifies it to nine.
More Katherine Jenkins now, doing her jive from Dancing With the Stars with Mark Ballas. It’s very fast, Louis and Flavia, take note, but I’m not sure it’s strictly a jive, given all the salsambcha/rock'n'roll/Tina Turner type moves they’re throwing in. It was good, but no Blessed Jive of St Jill, PBUI, obviously. Also it was a bit pointless.
We then get told a bit about how the final will work, and it is not good. They all have to dance three dances, which is fine. They have to do a judges’ pick, which I thought would be one of the three they haven't done yet, but no, it's a choice from their previous dances. Bullshit. Then they have to do SHOWDANCE and the finalists’ favourite dance. You got that right: NONE of them will be doing any of the THREE dances they haven’t (properly) done before, and Flavia won’t even have done the Argentine Tango. This makes me even more angry at the fusion week bullshit. ROBBING BBC, I demand my licence fee back etc etc. (Also: Lisa gets to say much less in the VT than the others. LOLS).
The bottom two couples are with Claudia, who says they have to do their best scoring dance of the two, which makes sense. Lisa basically gives her farewell speech about how much she’s enjoyed being on the show. Denise says she’s disappointed and does seem rather defeated, but says someone has to be in the bottom two.
Lisa and Robin come out and do their Chicago routine presenting as an American Smooth again. I’m struck by how many of the moves in this revised version are similar to those in their salsa, and their cha cha, and all their other dances - not that Robin’s a bad choreographer or anything. [Eh, I think he's a pretty poor choreographer, and I've thought that ever since he joined the show. - Steve] [He's the worst, except Karen, maybe, and Anton's latin. Hence the sarcasm ;) - Rad] Actually, this may not entirely be his fault, as I don't remember all of these moves being in it last time when it was mostly just a JAZZ HANDS explosion. As Lisa/Robin dances go, it’s entertaining and a bit more in sync. At least they're leaving somewhat respectably.
Denise and James’ tango is as fast and fierce as the first time – one of my favourite routines of the series, although about 75% of my favourite dances this series have either been Denise/James or Kimberley/Pasha so it’s unsurprising that I like it.
Voting time. Craig says ‘purely based on technique’ it’s Denise and James, Darcey lies that it’s hard and saves Denise and James for the same reason. Bruno says both couples did very well and gave great dancing and entertainment but Denise and James did the best dance.
Lisa then goes into meltdown about how much she loves Robin and starts clinging to him and crying while Robin thanks her for being amazing and INSPIRATIONAL and she cries some more. We watch their VT: Lisa crying about not being (entirely) rubbish because of her size, lots of sequins and bad eyeshadow, their week one triumph, several less good dances. Lisa is still crying and Tess asks if she can do one more dance. Lisa and Robin hug and she cries some more. She really did think she would make the final, didn’t she? Despite OVARY VOTE and the three RINGERS. Claudia then cries and Tess thanks her for presenting because poor Claudia doesn’t get to be in the final. BOO! Couldn’t we have three presenters to save Bruce’s energy or something? We welcome back the four finalists and Lisa and Robin dance out to ‘Waiting for a star to fall’. I’ve already heard Christopher Maloney murder it this year, I didn’t need the Strictly singers to do the same. Lisa lifts Robin, then they dance a bit and then they’re gone.
Next week: Louis’ showdance and presumably eventual victory, with the other three fighting for the small margins of votes dividing second, third and fourth place. Join Steve then!