Sunday, 20 October 2013

Get to Du Beke of Du Leaderboard.

Top 13 Performance Show.  Saturday October 19 2013

Last week! LURVE was the tenuous theme; largely, it seemed, because James and Ola were celebrating their tenth wedding anniversary. The 9s were out in force for Natalie, Dave continued his march towards SargeWiddy-dom, Julien continued to be ignored by the GBP and he found himself in the dance-off with Vanessa, who was swiftly dispatched so that at least one woman could leave before the MAN MASSACRE begins.

This week! ‘Superstition’ is in the air – 13 couples – ‘unlucky for one’ – and they show everyone avoiding ladders, pavement cracks etc, whilst Julien and Janette wear shamrocks, wave horseshoes and scream DOOOOOOMED. Welcome to Strictly Come Dancing!

Bruce arrives in a natty waistcoat, they do the leg to Tess’s delight as per. Daly Dresswatch – black with sparkly lacy sleeves.  It’s unremarkable and therefore it’s actually a success. Bruce makes a political joke about pensioners and heating and shouts ‘VOTE FOR BRUCE’ – but in what sense, Bruce? If we’re getting to vote on the presenting team of this series now then I’m firmly team Tess/Claud – I continue to find it remarkable how Tess is a good lead presenter and a poor second-wheel. Bruce then grabs her with a ‘come here my beauty’ that’s straight out of the Brothers Grimm’s book of fairytales (What?  I’m not going to make any jokes about Operation – redacted).

The couples enter and there’s about 40% participation in jigging along with the theme tune.  Tut tut.  Bruce discusses Craig’s hip operation and makes an obligatory Craig is a pain joke. The camera cuts to Rachel and Pasha. Pasha is stony-faced but Rachel has her Bruce joke faces down pat. She knows her audience. Bruce then calls everyone chicken for not laughing at the obvious joke.

First up, Sophie and Brendan.  Their dance is ‘1920s and 1930s inspired’ because a) Brendan can’t tell the difference and b) it seems to be Sophie’s era, if their Charleston is anything to go by.  ruce says he was born in the 1920s, and the midwife congratulated his mother on having a lovely chin.  The audience laugh at this which gives Bruce another opportunity for one of his crises of conflict where he has got a laugh but at his own expense, so he quickly descends into shouting ‘SHUT UP’ at them all. I think we’re at the stage now where ‘shut up’ is an official Brucie catchphrase, aren’t we? [I think we're at the point where anything he manages to say without fluffing his lines is a catchphrase. - Steve]

Sophie decides that going vintage shopping will help her get into character – cue lots of dress shopping where Sophie looks awesome in an array of period outfits. Their foxtrot is to ‘Cheek to Cheek’. Sophie’s dress is a glittery peachy thing with pink ruffles and her hair’s been curled up with flowers. The foxtrot is glamorous and controlled and fits with the Hollywood themed backdrop they’ve been given. Sophie’s arms seem to flail a little in a couple of places, but other than that it was a decent effort. Bruce reminds us that Craig is having a hip op and gets everyone to shout ‘hip hip hooray’. I’m not entirely sure that’s sensitive, but… Bruce.

Len says Brendan and Sophie got straight into the routine, with no silly stuff (those of you who had MAHCKIN ABAHT on your bingo cards – close, but no cigar). Bruno says she’s brilliant but needs to watch her top line.  Bruce says it’s because she’s a singer, because, erm? Craig agrees with Bruno about the top line (but gets booed for that unlike Bruno) but says other than that it was clean and had some lovely footwork.  Darcy says she has style and grace but needs to watch her spins and her shoulders when she comes out of them. Bruce declares it ‘near perfection’ because he hasn’t yet learned that his opinion doesn’t count. Up in the Tess Circle, Tess says she excels in both ballroom and Latin, although I think it’s too early to tell with the Latin yet, but never mind that, she has a NAN in the audience (DRINK!) Scores: 8, 9, 9, 9 for a total of 35 and I think Brendan is way more nervous about messing this one up than Sophie is. When are we envisaging the ‘Brendan vs Artem (possibly also vs Ola) for the first pro to win twice’ storyline kicking in, by the way? My money’s on either the first or second weekend in November, when they’ve had a chance to lose some more deadweight (otherwise known as 'men').

Fiona and Anton are next. Bruce makes a BOND BOND BOND joke which is offensive to Judi Dench and is also about BOND and I had enough of that storyline last year with Colin Salmon so I refuse to bow to it this year and discuss it in any detail.  Anton is thrilled to have 28 points as he doesn’t think he had that in the last three series put together.  Oh boo hoo, Anton.  WIDDY got you to sixth place, and you had a third with Lesley Garrett, a fifth with Patsy Palmer and a fourth with Laila Rouass, so forgive me if I don’t join your pity party, especially given what they did to Erin most of the time; Robin’s steady stream of mid-table wonders [Robin got a contender last year and failed to do anything useful with her, so I'm still not feeling terribly sorry for Robin - Steve] and Kristina’s ability to get a hoofer on paper who’s a duffer on the dancefloor.

Fiona reminds us she is a SUPERFAN and has a dad WHO IS DEAD (wrong show). She watches Strictly with her mum and daughter [, exactly? She is ON STRICTLY. - Steve] and brings Anton home to dance with her mum. Sidebar: Her daughter looks like Kimberley Walsh.

Their rumba is to ‘World of Our Own’ which is a curious choice, and not one that’s especially suited to the singers. It’s a bit clunky. Fiona does a decent floor spin but has difficulty getting up again, and generally she’s better when she’s being posed than when she’s moving.  Her hair and make-up look lovely though, and it’s nice that they’re both wearing a kind of indigo shade that is not seen enough on this show. Although Anton’s ‘issues’ don’t seem to be as bad as I’d feared given what I saw on Twitter last night as I was on a train home, he would benefit from better tailoring.

Bruce calls them over and shouts ‘DID SOMETHING GO WRONG?’ even though he always snaps at contestants when they point that out themselves. Such a class act. Bruno says it didn’t have enough fluidity for a rumba (not helped by the totally inappropriate song choice, I’d add). Craig says the hips were a bit clunky, her exit from the floor spin was bizarre, she lost her balance in places and the connection with Anton wasn’t really there. I’d kind of blame him for this – I don’t think he’s exactly comfortable with a rumba, what with it being Latin and all. Darcy says she needs to focus more and bring out more fight next time. Len says the steps were there and the attitude was good but the slowness of the rumba amplifies any mistake and he slips in a quick promo for Len’s Lens. He says there were a few issues. Fiona: I thought there was only one issue. Bruno: one in each section. Ouch. Can we get over the ‘Anton’s bestest partner ever’ narrative now? [Especially since Anton's bestest partner ever is and shall always be Nancy Dell'Olio. - Steve] Tess asks if the nerves got to her.  Fiona says she thinks she’s concentrating really hard but she lost her balance which she hadn’t done in rehearsals and she thinks going wrong is something she just seems to do.  Scores: 4, 6, 6, 6 for a (slightly generous) total of 22.

Mark and Iveta are next and OH MY DAYS can we have a moment’s reflection on their costumes?  Iveta is a hardcore urban gangsta princess [someone on Twitter said she was Jentina, which is SO PERFECT - Steve] whilst Mark is a comedy Elvis as a rapper in gold and bling.  I can’t wait to see what’s about to unfold. It’s as if Iveta saw Dave and Karen trying to reap the comedy votes and decided to bring her A-game. Bruce makes a LOL I’M OLD joke which gets a laugh. VT – Mark says he likes that they get good marks for storytelling but when he gets nervous his hands go wrong.  Their cha-cha is going to be to ‘U Can’t Touch This’. Oh Iveta, I am beginning to love your ridiculous ways. If only you’d been here when they randomly did Jive Bunny, it may even have made some ludicrous kind of sense.

They begin with a dance-off of ‘hip-hop’ moves before moving into a more regular cha-cha coupled with some ACTING. Mark’s wearing gold trainers and MC Hammer pants which probably don’t really help his performance, as his feet are quite stompy and flat. He’s having a good go at the steps though – even if he doesn’t always make them – he doesn’t have much refinement in his arms or legs - but he does have good rhythm and energy. It could have had more cha-cha moves in it, but if they’re going down the comedy route, then I’d rather see this semi-competent comedy than whatever it is Dave is doing. [Agreed - it wasn't a cha cha, but it was a lot of fun, and I laughed more at this than I ever have at Dave. - Steve]

The audience give a standing ovation. Craig says he can’t believe the audience, giving him a false sense of security as it was stompy and the cha cha chaaaar bit was very stompy. Darcy says she disagrees and Mark has put a lot of work into the details. She says it was fabulous and she loved it. Len says Mark’s full of talent unlike Craig who is full of… He says the basic steps were all there and he wants him to do it again (is that a backhanded way of saying he wants to see him in the dance-off). Bruno says it was unique, different, memorable and funny – none of which is a comment on the actual steps, purity of the dahnce fans. Tess says the audience loved it and Mark’s found his funky Latin side. Iveta says they have a lot of fun and he works really hard in training. Scores: 3, 8, 8, 7.  Everyone (apart from Bruno, possibly) earns a LOLWHUT from me for those scores.

Ashley and Ola are next. Ashley loved getting good remarks for his salsa. This week he has to be ‘lovey’ in their Viennese Waltz. I thought that theme was last week? They go to a cinema and watch him kissing various women in Hollyoaks (whom he calls birds, nicely done, Ashley). I’m sure watching your work makes you feel totally romantic and not at all awkward. They’re dancing to ‘Angel’ and the singing is as you might expect. The dance is not bad – his arms certainly seem to have improved although there’s a bit where his feet stutter. It’s a sweet dance, although he does look to be concentrating more than enjoying it.

Bruce snaps at him for wearing a lycra vest instead of a proper shirt like wot a proper man would wear all these poofs I dunno (I paraphrase slightly). Darcy tells us what a Viennese Waltz is and says this was many of those things but it was a bit too safe and placed, but his top line has improved. Len says it had romance, elegance and style but it was a bit ‘wafty’ on occasions. He liked the fleckerl but it was a bit stiff. So, was it stiff or was it wafty, Len? Make your mind up. Bruno says he didn’t mind the wafting – it was tender and romantic but it needed more WHOOMPH and drive. Craig says his arms out of hold still seem unnatural and were a bit stiff rather than wafty. Bruce snaps at him for wearing a vest and blames Ola. Somewhere, Vicky from wardrobe is sticking pins in a Bruce voodoo doll. Up in the Tess Circle, Ashley says he probably was a bit stiff with nerves, but he enjoyed it. Scores: 7, 8, 8, 8 for a total of 31. Ola reveals that Ashley is kicking her a lot in training.

Julien and Janette are next, wearing all the colours of the rainbow to dance a samba to the Spice Girls.  It’s as if Janette has decided to throw every GAYTASTIC element she could think of at the dance to go out on a high. Julien’s VT says that he used to dress the Spice Girls and hadn’t realised they were all Strictly fans. Even though one of them came third in THIS VERY SHOW and another was runner-up in Dancing with the Stars. It’s not their fan credentials I’m questioning right now, Macdonald. He gets a voice call from Mel B who half-arsedly tells him not to mess it up and that she'll be 'thinking of' (note: not 'watching' him).

Janette then says “she” created a game show memory game with a Spice Girls theme to help him remember his steps. Oh Janette, bless you and your lack of commitment to the narrative – it’s basically the conveyor belt round from the Generation Game, cuddly toy and all, but she entirely misses that, much, I’m sure, to Bruce’s chagrin. For that alone, it’s my favourite VT so far this series.

OH MY EARS. This intro to ‘Spice Up Your Life’ is quite possibly the worst the singers have been all series, and that’s saying something. If I wasn’t recapping this, I would definitely mute my TV – it’s so, so awful. [You're such a trouper. - Steve] The dancing is ropey in places but in other parts, Julien manages a few more moves than in many other attempts. And he’s in uber-gurn mode. Len says it needs more dynamic but it was an improvement. Bruno says it looked like he was trying to do all the Spice Girls at once. Leave that kind of mental image for your fan fiction Bruno. Bruce starts snapping that Julien was on the beat more. Julien says he loves it but he finds it difficult. Craig says there was no real hip action and Julien lacks musicality. Darcy says it was fun and in sync and his best dance yet. In the Tess Circle, Julien says he’s giving ‘400, 500, 1000 percent’. Reality show percentages are laughable at the best of times but to make up three contradictory figures on the spot is really testing things – I can only assume he’s angling for a spot on the Celebrity Apprentice if they ever do one of those again. Scores: 4, 6, 7, 6 for a total of 23 and their best score yet.

Rachel and Pasha are playing bank robbers in their dance, which gives Bruce the cue for a half-hearted bank=rip-off joke that gets a half-hearted laugh. He then shouts at the audience ‘well, is it there, or isn’t it?’ until they respond more noisily. He then starts to berate them, saying he hates it when and another awesome Bruce rant is cut off by the editors, whilst someone backstage probably gets the emergency Claudia on standby.

Rachel was pleased with last week’s cha cha and hopes she can only get better.  To help Rachel get into the speed of quickstep, Pasha is taking her to play squash. OK then. Their quickstep is to some Caro Emerald type thing called 'Johnny got a Boom Boom'. [It's Imelda May, apparently. Yeah, I'd never heard of it either. - Steve] They’re wearing natty outfits with leopard print bits and red sparkles. Rachel is in trousers and they just look adawwable as usual. The dance itself is pacy and Rachel’s legs go wrong in a couple of places and she seems a bit scared, but generally this is much better than I could have ever imagined her doing a quickstep and some bits go very right. [Those TROUSERS, though. Good lord. - Steve] There’s a bank vault set behind them and at the end they break in to steal the glitter ball but fall before grabbing it, which is… how Pasha’s narrative usually goes.

Bruno says she almost got away with it and needs to work on her control. Craig says that her top line let her down and it look as though she was being flung about and there were a lot of mistakes. She needs to tighten her bum cheeks to glide more beautifully. Darcy says that was a very challenging dance and she needs to watch not to grip on to him – but it’s Pasha – who wouldn’t? Len says Craig will be clenching his bum cheeks when they dig his hip out. I think Len has some… niche preferences.  He says the quantity of steps was there but the quality in the top and the posture were lacking. ‘Everything downstairs’ was beautiful. Filth. Up in the Tess Circle, Tess asks if she found her dancing feet.  Rachel: ‘Well I found them, then I lost them, then I found them again, so maybe one.’  Dawwww. Scores: 5, 7, 7, 7 for a total of 26.

We then get a trail for all the couples coming up making their faces. We’ll probably see this in their VTs so I’m not recapping that. Get on with it, show. Bruce asks Len why he didn’t say ‘yum yum pig’s bum’. Because, as insufferable as Len is, he doesn’t tend to just randomly shout his catchphrases willy nilly? Bruce then snaps at a camera person ‘I know which camera it is’ and gets all huffy. CONSUMMATE PROFESSIONAL.

Ben and Kristina’s VT is about Ben falling over and Kristina reminding him that Matt Dawson did well and AUSTINWUZROBBED so he has rugby tradition to keep up. Matt Dawson them comes into their training. I don’t like Matt Dawson. [Nobody likes Matt Dawnson. - Steve] The end.

Their salsa to ‘Hot to Handle’ sees them both in powder blue, which is a curious choice. As you might expect, Kristina is doing all the work and BENZ GUNZ get a very early airing. There are lots of lifts and he looks even more like he’s trying to carry her through a scrum than ever, and then there’s a bit where he looks like he’s trying to strangle her. [OH KRISTINA. - Steve] Erm, also, it was fast and there was a quite good bit where he does steps over her. It gets a standing ovation because of BENZ GUNZ. Craig says ‘dirty, oiled, mechanic, ticks every box’. Darcy says he can ‘handle Kristina with ease and confidence’ because he’s just treating her like a rugby ball.  Len says he’s got the guns and tonight he’s got the ammunition. Bruno says it was surprisingly smooth for such a big brute and Bruno wants to see ‘more of you’.  Kristina does the check on which gender Bruno is fancying that week and he confirms Ben.  Am I missing something here?  Kristina worked very hard and the lifts were great (except one really ugly one) but she was pretty much doing the whole thing and all Ben had to do was lift her a bit for the most part. I mean it was enjoyable to watch, but I think the judges are all just hypnotised by BENZ GUNZ at this stage. Even Bruce cops a good feel of them.  (Also: Kristina’s abs. Wowsers).  Tess asks if he was having more fun, he says he feels more comfortable doing some throwing around. Scores: 8, 8, 8, 7 for a total of 31. Nonsense. And Bruno even got booed for the 7!

Deborah and Robin are doing the jive which leaves Bruce room to make a joke about her doing the ‘cokey cokey’ – which surely is a cue-card to use for Julien, ho ho. Then Bruce moans about having to do live television.

Deborah was pleased with last week and is desperate to keep getting better. Robin has talked her into jiving to Bucks Fizz because he’s desperate to out-camp Janette. Deborah worries about the skirt ripping bit. They watched the Eurovision clip and Deborah says it really helped her remember what the dance was about in the same earnestness she talked about understanding the Latin dance because of her travels (which then led to the dragon v drag queen dance). Aww, bless her taking Bucks Fizz seriously. She’s definitely my favourite Robin pairing yet.

You can tell this is everything Robin has ever wanted to do since he was a kid watching Eurovision – he’s wearing the stripy jacket and everything. [And the wig! ♥ - Steve] They start on Perspex stairs doing a hand jive. The singers continue their ‘form’, and I have no idea what the hell the wig is that they’ve thrust upon Robin – it’s brunette and cut in the style of Clint Boon from the Inspiral Carpets rather than the blonde mullet-mop of the Bucks Fizz boys. He then whips his white trews off to reveal silver ones underneath. Basically, this is his time to shine and so Deborah almost feels like an afterthought here. She is struggling with some of the kicks and flicks and it’s largely another example of Robin giving his partner choreography that’s too hard for them, but he is clearly having the best time of his life (and they do the skirt thing too). Essentially, I imagine Robin when he was younger as Kylie, the best friend from short-lived sitcom Beautiful People – all energy and showboating and desperate for a stage upon which to be fabulous. Deborah smiles throughout, even when Robin seems to be running away from her rather than leading her. The love of dahnce, everyone!

Darcy says it was a difficult dance and a bit soft for a jive and missed her confident self. She says there’s always a dance that isn’t someone’s and that wasn’t hers. Len says it had plenty of fizz and enthusiasm but the feet weren’t there and she needed better technique. Bruno says it was lots of fun but the technique wasn’t there. Craig says there wasn’t much spring and the kicks were lame – not her dance. Deborah loved it anyway even though she knew she was struggling. Scores: 5, 6, 6, 6 for a total of 23. Robin looks like he’s half laughing and half-crying.

Anton and Natalie now. Natalie injured her back and had to take two days off training, but O NOES WHAT IF SHE SUDDENLY GOT RUBBISH THROUGH LACK OF REHEARSAL? The strings of INJURY PORN doom play as she doesn’t want to let Artem down. Who would have thought that it would be Artem’s partner and not Artem himself who got the first injury porn VT of the series?

They’re both in black and white (Natalie in some odd flarey trousers) for their Quickstep to a very weird swing version of Usher’s ‘Yeah’. It starts out with some saucy business with canes before they go into hold. Natalie has excellent sass-face and there are some lovely jumps, flicks and patented Natalie Lowe head rolls. There’s a clicking of fingers bit where they ever-so-slightly get out of time with each other but other than that, it was fast, complicated, energetic and fun. Len says it was a bit long-winded getting started, but still no ‘MAHCKIN ABAHT’ and he doesn’t think they were on hold for long enough. Bruno says he can’t believe she delivered a dance of that standard in such a short space of time and it was like being at the Cotton Club – she has some brilliant musical nuances. Craig loved the fusion of quickstep and jazz and thinks there’s no stopping her. Bruce tries to give his opinion. Darcy says she needs not to be too ambitious in case she breaks again and Natalie cries a bit. Artem holds her back as they go up to the Tess Circle. Natalie says the show has really looked after her this week. [The way things are going, we might all have to become Strictly contestants just for the free healthcare. - Politically Satirical Steve] Scores: 9, 9, 8, 9 for a total of 35.

Spotted in the background! Aliona is still here!

Patrick and Anya are back. Patrick takes Anya on the set of Casualty but they missed an opportunity to cover her in fake blod and make her stiff of the week. Casualty spoiler spot: some new nurse we’ve never seen before!

Their cha cha is to ‘Mercy’ and his hips are OK, but his arms are a bit clumpy. He has generally good rhythm and timing though, and has been practicing his dance gurn. Anya’s perhaps trying to get more attention by wearing fewer clothes this week. He has a couple of nice bits of footwork and then there’s a clumsy spin where he nearly pushes Anya over. Overall, a solid attempt and he’s still one of the better male dancers but I imagine it’s probably nothing much to propel him out of that upper-middle of the table groove he’s gotten into. Bruno and Craig loved it though, so what do I know? Bruce warns him not to kiss Craig in case the bisexualness catches. Darcy tells him to look at Anya more but he has an inner groove. Len says it’s happy hour, and ‘you were steaming, I was beaming’. Again with the niche fetishes, Len. They bound up to the Tess Circle and Anya tries to get his chest out in the hope of getting more votes. Scores: 8, 8, 9, 8 for a total of 33 and their best score yet.

Abbey and Aljaž are next and I kind of hope they get kicked out soon, only because Aljaž is giving us blog problems which we entirely blame on Blogger, so that sometimes his name looks fine, but sometimes it doesn’t, so Steve’s blogs often look like Alja on my computer but if I put in a ž then they look like Aljažž sometimes. So if you see weird anomalies, it’s not because we can’t write his name properly, but the vagaries of the system. [I think I've found a solution. Famous last words and everything, but we'll see next week when it's my turn to recap again. - Steve] (Their VT is also so boring, involving an assault course and I can’t be bothered recapping it).

Their tango is to ‘Spectrum’ and it has some attack and purpose although Aljaž is clearly driving things. Abbey’s head flicks are a bit sloppy and her ‘fierce’ face looks a little gormless, but it’s a much better attempt than her jive, with a lot of pace and the end pose is great.

Craig says it had great staccato moves, real intent and purpose and was amazing. Darcy wasn’t expecting it but her top line was better, it was sexy and cool with some great changes of direction. Len says they are a formidable couple with snap, crackle and pop. Bruno says it had power, passion, drama and beauty and snappier than the crack of a whip and they have great chemistry. Janette’s reaction to this is not pictured. Tess suggests mud wrestling with Aljaž must have been utter hell. They’re doing this on purpose now. Scores: 9, 8, 9, 9 for a total of 35 and their highest score yet, as well as the joint highest of the night so far.

Dave and Karen next. Dave boasts about how he got a standing ovation last week and moans that he’s trying hard.  I liked Dave in week one but he’s getting more and more like Widdy as the weeks go on. Karen takes him for a manicure and pedicure because so early on, the VTs have already run out of steam. Project SUPERFUNCOMEDYLOLS can only be a week away.

For their waltz to ‘Take it to the Limit’, his hair has been slicked back and their set is all romantic music and flowers even though LOVE WEEK WAS LAST WEEK. He walks very awkwardly with his hands perched behind his back as if he’s pretending to be a chicken and then there’s a bit where he becomes a doll in a music box, which Anya already did with Patrick the other week. In hold he does less damage although it’s pretty stiff and slow and hunched over, then there’s a hug bit that looks like the end even though the music is still going, and then Karen goes home and waves at him and Dave cheers and does an air punch, the moral of the story seemingly being ‘even ugly blokes can get fit girls’. Nice, show, nice. [It's also the moral of about 90 per cent of late nineties US sitcoms. - Steve]

Darcy says he needs to travel more and try a ballet class to sort out his posture, which is the “only” thing letting him down. Len says on Strictly, the only failure is the failure to try - which explains why they keep giving certain singers work on an ongoing basis. Bruno says he scrubs up well and there’s a ray of hope on the horizon – what he did was minimal, but it was a waltz, even though it didn’t travel. Craig says it was very placed and he needs to feel the music a lot more and move more, but it was nice to see a serious side to him. Bruce says they’re still his favourites.  Scores: 5, 6, 6, 6 for a total of 23, which Karen is ecstatic about.

Susanna and KevinfromGrimsby are our final couple. She gets into the BABYWARZ by bringing her three sons in as judges.  Two want more from her, one thinks she’s brilliant.  They score her 8, 8 and 10.

Kevin from Grimsby has nicked Pasha’s braces and is wearing his glasses. [I don't think they're his usual glasses, though. They're bigger, I think, and a slightly different shape. I didn't like them as much. I'm very finicky. - Steve] Unfortunately he’s also wearing explorer garb for their jungle-themed samba, and Susanna is wearing a ‘tribal’ print dress and it’s vaguely close to the edge, xenophobic-stereotype-wise.  They’re dancing to ‘Whenever, Wherever’ and it’s all a bit over the top although Susanna’s face sits between embarrassment and enjoyment at times. They spend quite a bit of it away from each other. It’s quite exuberant and fun and silly although I’m not sure how the judges will take to it. Len says she should be ashamed as a nice girl off the news being all ‘bounce, bum and bongos’. Bruno says she can go for it any time, any place with him but she needs a cleaner finish. Bruno is such a slut, I love it. Craig thought it was a bit muddy and they seemed to be fighting each other at times. He thinks it lost impact and she’s losing her neck at times, and she could go further with the hips – it’s OK and he wants more. Darcy likes the wild samba queen and thinks she should ‘go for it’. Thanks Darcy! Up on the Tess Circle and Susanna shakes it some more. Tess mentions a standing ovation like that’s even a thing that means anything on this show any more. Tess and Susanna then get into mutual appreciation about being mums and having careers and that. Right on, sisters. Tess reminds us that Kevin’s family are ballroom champions, the dirty ringer… oh wait. Wrong side of the partnership. Scores: 6, 7, 8, 8 for a total of 29.

Scoreboard time and it’s all quite samey –
Sophie and Brendan 35
Natalie and Artem 35
Abbey and Aljaž 35 – all of whom get 13 points
Patrick and Anya 33 for 12 points
Ashley and Ola 31
Ben and Kristina 31, both for 11 points (MAN POWER in this bottom half of the top half)
Susanna and Kevin 29 for 10 points
Mark and Iveta 26
Rachel and Pasha 26 – both couples get 9 points
Julien and Janette 23
Deborah and Robin 23
Dave and Karen 23 – all on 8 points
Fiona and Anton 21 for 7 points.  ANTON’S “BEST” PARTNER EVER, EVERYBODY.

Tess implores us to ‘use and abuse’ our voting power – I’m sure someone from BBC Compliance is having kittens about that statement right now.

And now for the epic, beautiful Doctor Who trailer (*crosses fingers* please don’t be rubbish, anniversary special). A part of me did hope they’d gone completely mad in Who’s 50th year and cast Strictly entirely from Who cast members. It would be pretty easy, after all, Kate O’Mara could be the older woman who’s still ‘got it’ and is also a bit of a sassy bitch, Bonnie Langford could be the ringer, Sophie Aldred could be the mum doing it for all the other over-50s mums (HOW?  How can that woman be over 50?), Sylvester McCoy could be the sweet older man first boot, Katy Manning could be the eccentric whom the VT makers love, Colin Baker and Tom Baker could fight to be the Dave, Arthur Darvill could be the first man to be paired with a man and he and Kevin from Grimsby could together take adorkability to a whole new level, and the final would probably be BARROWMAN vs Freema Agyeman, Jenna Coleman and a Dalek - cast for comedic purposes and coasting its way through via a combination of public love/terror and its smooth gliding across the dancefloor (Ola would be its partner, as I think she’s the pro most likely to replicate this for publicity shots, plus the Dalek would likely give ample starfish choreography options). I may have thought about this whole scenario a bit too much. [Just a smidge. - Steve]

Anyway, join me tomorrow when one of these couples, whose names probably both begin with J, will be leaving, and we’ll get performances from Keane, who are apparently still a thing, and Andrea from The Voice, who is probably never going to be a thing.  Join me then!


Katy Boyer said...

Worry not, Steve. They were comedy glasses.
They had no lenses...
It's nice that my career in optics comes in useful for something!

Rad said...

I guess it's the fault of elf and safety and all that /Daily Mail

Mark said...

Why am I only discovering this blog now?? It's absolutely hilariously astute. Crying laughing. I now look forward to reading the blog review as much as the show itself. Love your work guys. Mark.