“Last night”! Not content with having eight contestants, the takeover of this show by womankind continued apace with two female presenters on duty. I can only feel the Daily Mail’s pain as it’s conflicted whether to write more articles about the LEFTIST BBC giving bladdy women jobs, they’ll be giving them the vote next, or to write more sidebar of shame columns about what the women were wearing. Perhaps they’ll go with a little of column A, a little of column B?
We open with a pro dance to ‘Crazy in Love’ set in Chicago with everyone doing the moves from ‘Cell Block Tango’. Artem takes centre stage, even getting to wear a different top to the others. It turns into a Tango/Paso/Miscellaneous Latin showcase. I’m still trying to figure out the pro pairings this series but it looks like along with the usual suspects and offscreen pairings we have Artem and Janette, Iveta and Aljaž and Brendan and Aliona - now with long red hair instead of the blonde bob she’s been sporting, so either this was recorded ages ago or one of her hairstyles is a wig. Anton is persona non grata which I think we can all be thankful for given how… het up he got just doing a regular cha cha with Fiona last night. [Now let us NEVER SPEAK OF THIS AGAIN. - Steve]
Tess and Claudia arrive and Tess, in Bruce mode, remembers that she’s supposed to be the sexual predator, so she does the fishing reel move to try and reel Claudia in. I do really like these two together, because I am one of those EVIL LEFTIES WOT HATE BRITAIN and two women presenting the biggest show in the country without the aid of a proper presenter like a man is surely even more evidence of BROKEN BRITAIN. [Also, Tess is just so much better at Bruce's job than she is at her own. - Steve] As if to further the agenda, Claudia is in TROUSERS. When will this man-hating nonsense end? Black though, obvs. Tess’s dress is a black and white thing that looks fine to me.
Claudia tells us the ‘dreaded dance-off’ is back. Wasn’t it back last series? Or did we all just sleep through that one?
We’re reintroduced to the judges and we’re told to expect a performance from Matt Goss, who either has the best agent ever, and I look forward to next year's Strictly when he's a contestant introduced as VOCAL LEGEND AND POP SUPERSTAR MATT GOSS or the budget on this show for special guests has been slashed to smithereens.
Backstage banter time! Everyone is nervous! Deborah and Vanessa are currently being friends. Come on ladies, that’s not doing TABLOID BITCHWARZ any favours is it? Fiona’s clinginess to Anton is a bit unnerving! Anya and Patrick have a gurn-off! That hot pink and lime combo looks even worse when not under the colourful lights! Natalie’s evil ringer laugh is hilariously awesome! Deborah’s embrace of the dramatic is making me love her even more! Janette’s bodice is made up of glittery spiderwebs and is pretty awesome when seen up close! Brendan and Artem’s fight to be the first pro to win twice is surely a long-running story arc about to start ramping up and annoying us for the rest of the series! [Poor Erin never even got to win once. Sniff. - Steve]
Time for our first set of results even though it’s entirely obvious that it’ll be Tony vs Julien tonight so this seems pretty pointless. Anyway, safe: Patrick and Anya; Deborah and Robin; Natalie and Artem’s teeth; Ben’s Guns and Kristina; Susanna and Kevin from I hope the whole of Grimsby votes for you and Mark and Iveta. The first couple in the dance-off are Tony and Aliona. He looks a little disappointed but as if he knew it was coming. She manages not to look quite as joyful as she feels.
Len is glad that the public didn’t go for the underdog and says all his mates at the golf club were voting for him. Tony sounds sad and says he feels a bit calmer than he did before. Craig says he needs to do everything opposite to the first performance and put in lots of energy. He has nothing to lose – well, except the conversation, which gets an ‘oooh’ from the audience.
Up in Claud’s Counselling Centre, Claudia tells Deborah she gave good safety sex face (TM Monkseal) and reminds Mark that the judges were hard on him. She asks who remembers Bros and all the celebrities say they do. That’s good because Matt Goss is here doing an awful swinged-up version of ‘When Will I Be Famous’. Oh Matt, it barely worked for Kylie (or not at all if you’re Steve), it’s not going to work for you. His vocal sounds a bit rough and his diction is pretty shot. His face looks as though it might have had some ‘assistance’ but then it didn’t exactly look that natural 25 years ago. The female dancers prance around a bit. There isn’t even anyone on backing vocals doing the ‘I can’t answer, I can’t answer that’ retort to his question – and the irony of a former pop-star singing ‘When Will I Be Famous’ on a show that also features several people who are a) formerly famous or b) want to be more famous than they are is also a bit too much.
Back with Claudia and she welcomes the judges on. Len does a bit of Robot walk on in homage to SPORTSMAN Peter Crouch no doubt. Claudia, who clearly knows that our friend Monkseal refers to Len’s Lens as Len’s Glans calls it a ‘member’. Hnurr. This week’s SUPERAWESOME CHOICE SPOTS BECAUSE THIS SECTION IS TOTALLY VALID are: Susanna and Kevin doing a difficult move called a Viennese cross; Natalie’s travel-sickness inducing patented Natalie Lowe head rolls; Bruno conducting in time with the music with a pencil in case the BBC make a third series of Maestro (unlikely given the car-crash of series two) which Bruno would be very up for; Mark having a CHARACTER and a PERSONALITY (I like Mark, but I don’t need that storyline, thanks very much); Craig and Darcey having a little dance. So informative, Len’s Lens!
Time for our second round of vote reveals. Safe are: Ashley and Ola, Abbey and Aljaž, Dave and Karen, Rachel and Pasha, Sophie and Brendan, Fiona and Anton and Vanessa and James, leaving Julien and Janette in the dance-off against Tony and Aliona which is the least surprising turn of events imaginable.
Tess asks the judges why they’re in the dance-off. Darcey: ‘you’ve entertained us so the ‘only’ reason would be lack of technique’. I would say that’s a fairly big reason, but I would also say that it’s clearly not the only reason. Julien says he’s had an absolutely fabulously sparkling time and hopes to impress the judges.
Claudia is with the saved celebrities in her Counselling Centre. Vanessa said it prolonged the agony leaving her until last but she’s excited to be dancing again. Dave says he thought he was in pole position for the dance-off but he’s relieved not to be there. Claudia says that Ashley will have another week with the ‘pumpkin’ at home and then corrects herself: ‘it’s not a pumpkin, it’s a baby’. I would have thought he has another eighteen years or so of having Mason at home, Claud, but anyway.
We get a sneaky peak of next week! It’s week three so it’s already time for a theme week! I mean there’s a whole four weeks until Halloween week, and we can’t possibly wait that long! Apparently it’s ‘love’ week next week – and you thought not scheduling this show over February would mean we might avoid such things. This cues up a comedy VT where some of the celebs chat about how they surprise their partners. The others either presumably are a) single or b) not very romantic (I refuse to believe it’s c) unwilling to appear in silly VTs, because they're all on this show). Susanna takes the role of interviewer asking what they’d do. Rachel writes her husband a ‘love equation’ whatever that means. Abbey cooks hers a nice meal. Tony, wearing a towel and headband for some reason, takes his missus out on the golf course (the glamour!) whilst Deborah takes hers out for dinner. Dave does terrible karaoke with a backing band of the other contestants. Susanna refuses to mime playing an instrument but acts as chief backing dancer. If Monkseal doesn’t do a poll about which of these is the most romantic I will have a strop. (I’d do a poll on here, but we’re using Blogger which is the worst of all things and such a move would no doubt break it beyond all repair)
Time for the most obvious week dance-off in the history of dance-offs even though Claudia lies that she’s surprised to see Julien and Tony there. She asks Julien if he’s sad. He burbles for a bit before declaring himself to be excited to do the dance again. She asks the same of the other two. Tony thinks he’ll give it his best shot. She asks Aliona if they’ll do anything differently. She says ‘we’ll do our best’ and then bursts out laughing. Hee. Sarky bitchy Aliona is definitely the Aliona we all knew was in there all the time and therefore the most likeable Aliona yet.
Julien and Janette’s dance has had all the camp heightened – given they’re in sequins dancing to Lady Gaga around some huge thrones, that’s some achievement. It still looks a lot more paso than tango though. And the singers are making my ears bleed. I can’t remember if they were this bad last night but OUCH. Tony’s is, if anything, a bit more leaden than first time round, and it’s obvious that he’s off.
Craig Darcey and Bruno all save Julien and Janette without giving overblown reasons. Tess touches Tony more than Aliona ever has as she says she’ll be sorry to see him go. Len says ‘Tony you’ve been one of my golfing heroes all my life, so sadly I’d have chosen Julien and Janette’. I’m not entirely sure he meant to phrase it like that. Tony says he’ll stick to golf and he appreciates all the hard work that goes into it. He apologises to Aliona for not doing enough. She says he did plenty. Plenty to get her the first boot she dreamed of ever since they begged her to come back following their unceremoniously dumping her. They dance to ‘Don’t Leave Me This Way’ and Aliona laughs her head off and then breaks hold from Tony as soon as possible.
Next week! Steve gets the joy of recapping the LOVE THEME. Join him then!