Top 6 Results: 8 December 2013
Last night! Ashley got yet another 35! Patrick did a boring rumba that still got the first male 10 because DIFFICULT yadda yadda...! Susanna got lumbered with terrible choreography where Kevin or whoever choreographed it thought a Michael Jackson Argentine Tango could be a thing! Natalie and Artem sort of stood across from each other and postured a bit! Brendan's 80s fantasies went a step further! And Abbey did a genuinely good dance and still scored three marks lower than that thing of which we do not speak!
For our pro dance this evening, we follow Janette doing Fame, Iveta doing flying and Kristina doing the Kristina with an Aliona showcase. I guess it's year of the woman after all, and the female pros therefore aren't doing much competitive dancing, so it's only fitting that they should dominate the pro dances (*prays really hard for an epic NATALIE LOWE RETURNS BITCHEZ prodance in the final*). The theme of this dance seems to be that Aliona is a goddess of dahnce who should never have been pushed, and she's capable of dancing with every man out there (except James and Robin who are still injured and replaced by lovely Shem and some other bloke - maybe the fella from last week? Steve has a better eye for these things than I do). [I think so, yes, but I'm not entirely sure - Steve] It's to 'Titanium' and you can just imagine what a mess the singers make of that one. I'm interested by all these randoms (long lost Cliftons) turning up in pro dances this year. I know lots of pros have been injured but I wonder if this is also a sneaky test run for new dancers coming in. And I bet there are probably already about fifteen DS threads dedicated to that very topic as there are.
Claudia and Tess enter and remind us how the results show works. DALY DRESSWATCH: red, plain, not too offensive. Claudia is back to the black lace.
Recap of last night - the new bits of note are Susanna eating pasta covered in hairspray; Ashley getting excited by Artem getting felt up; Craig's post-op props now being reduced to a mere cushion. [I note that Darcey has one too. Maybe she has an especially sensitive posterior? - Steve]
Results time and the first couples safe are: Sophie and Brendan and Abbey and Aljaž, with Ashley and Ola being in the bottom two, to no-one's surprise, least of all theirs. Craig tells them to do what they did before because it was great (not 36+ great though, hey?) and Bruno tells him he sometimes overworks his hips and they need to be smoother and he needs not to be tense. Ashley grimaces that he can't wait to do it again.
In Claudia's Counselling Centre, Sophie and Abbey are very relieved to be through and Claudia takes the piss out of Brendan for being too excited by it because he's been here forever. It occurred to me yesterday that we're at the stage where the final six are three new pros and three former champions, which surely would have been a strong narrative arc to pursue. I mean, Lord knows this show has created long-running storylines out of far, far less. I guess that's an angle they can use in the final given that I'm expecting one of the couples featuring a new pro to go home next week, but it surprises me they haven't gone there already.
Our special musical guests this evening are The Saturdays, a group so bland it took me five minutes to think of the name of the one song of theirs I actually liked enough to download ('Up'). When the most exciting thing about you is that one of you is married to the most boring one of JLS there's really not much point, is there? They're performing 'What About Us'. Like the contestants' song on The X Factor, or 95% of the songs on this show, hearing this sung live was not a pleasant experience. They have some random men dancing around them but it's not even Pasha and Aljaž so there goes my interest. At least it's not dreary faux-classical nonsense I guess.
Claudia plugs the Christmas special and says one of The Saturdays will be in it. Time for Len's Lens now and Claudia lies that the swingathon was great fun. I have no objection to the idea in theory but for it to have worked, it needed to be long enough that each couple had time to dance and we needed the camera to let us see them all. She asks why Natalie and Artem won. [Yeah, because THAT was the part that none of us could understand. Good grief. - Steve] Len thinks it was their energy and Darcey says she was bouncy all the way through. Claudia asks us to look at Ashley's hips in a clip where his shirt billows out so much that we can't see them. Len demonstrates that it's hard to wiggle your hips if you move your legs too far forward which means I have to see far more of his derrière than I would have ever liked to see in my life. [Well, you got to recap a Bruce-free week, so this is the natural balance of the universe restoring itself. - Steve] He says it's designed for a smaller floor - a dancefloor that's packed, rather than the wide dancefloors of Strictly, which is an actual fact I learned, so well done Len's Lens. Darcey then says nothing of note about Patrick, because: Patrick and Bruno says he loves the little touches Abbey puts into dancing. Craig explains what he meant by a V in Sophie and Brendan's dance - connection at the hip, spacing at the chest - again, another informative bit of info, so that makes a rather nice change for that section tonight.
Second set of results. Safe are: Susanna and Kevin (to rapturous noises from the audience - much more than any other couple, if we're to take the studio audience as any sort of barometer) and Natalie and Artem, meaning the top of the table tie hasn't helped Patrick and Anya as they plummet back into the dance-off. YEAR OF THE WOMAN.
Darcey says she's shocked that they're in the bottom two and only a true professional can get lost in the role. Patrick's face is epic, trying not to crack up laughing at all the bullshit. Perhaps he's been learning from Ashley about how to be over this thing. [Patrick's definitely one of those contestants who gets more fun the less he cares about sticking around, isn't he? If only he'd tapped into his inner Holly Valance sooner. - Steve]
Up in Claudia's Counselling Centre, Susanna says she was saddened that the passion in her dance didn't get through and she was looking forward to getting that over in the dance-off. Oh, Susanna, no dance that has a random Michael Jackson breakdown is ever going to convey passion. I know everyone else hated that dance last night, but I maintain that she did an OK job with it - she just didn't have much to work with because the choreography was shocking, and we could blame it on Kevin for not knowing the genre, but given I'm not sure he even choreographed it, I have no idea what happened. (Look, I know the wheels have come off Susanna in reality, as they have with Natalie, and Sophie is on and off the rails so much she might as well be run by British Rail /ohsotopicaljokejustcallmebruce but I want to believe these people who are not Abbey can still be good as I don't think Abbey has any chance at all of winning, and also her Latin is crap. Except the rumba.) Susanna gushes that she wants to go to everyone's house and thank them personally. Oh Susanna, you loon. Speaking of people this process has broken, Natalie is more subdued today than normal about being through but she's excited to be in the semi-final.
A VT of our last remaining men now and Ashley's has a 'convincing' voiceover about wanting to stay, whilst Patrick deadpans that he would like to stay. SUCH INSPIRING BLOKE CASTING! Ola says she's proud of Ashley and they basically know they're going although their pre-dance-off goodbye speech isn't quite as effusive as those of Fiona and Mark. Patrick says he's not confident, but he'll just do it again and enjoy it.
Ashley and Ola are first to dance and Ashley hams up a conga rhythm whilst Ola shakes her bum - aspects I didn't notice first time. This remains a good, fast, fun routine and THAT leap still looks like it will decapitate Ola, so maybe it was intentional after all. The ending is a bit laboured as if Ashley just wants to make sure he goes tonight.
Patrick and Anya's dance is much the same as it was although perhaps uses a bit more floor space this time around. Given that the judges were all 'oh, this dance is so intense' last night I was watching Patrick's face closely but it veers between constipation and indifference as far as I can tell. Still, it's smooth and everything and not unpleasant to watch.
Craig says one couple had crowd pleasing moves and the other delivered style, class and quality of dahnce, so he saves that couple, Patrick and Anya. Darcey is sad that the two men left in the competition are in the dance-off because it makes the whole YEAR OF THE WOMAN thing a bit blatant [I think Darcey's mostly sad because Patrick makes her a bit moist, but your interpretation of events is also valid - Steve] but she saves Patrick and Anya for having more 'quality'. Bruno says both couples improved and he'd like them both in the semi-final but he has to save Patrick and Anya. Len is asked for his opinion and this is our cue for yet more Len's random dance-off madness, squawking that he totally disagrees and Ashley and Ola should go through because the CARDINAL SIN OF RUMBA IS HEEL LEADS. Oh shush, where was all this PURITY OF THE DAHNCE outrage last night when all you could talk about was RUMBA IS DIFFICULT FOR BLOKES, eh?
Ashley thanks his fiancee for being wonderful and looking after the kids and he's very happy to be finally able to see her and their kids and get some sleep and Ola wishes him goodbye and Ashley jokes: 'Is that it, then, we're not going to see each other again?'. Tess reminds us that Bruce is back next week just for Steve, and it's TWO DANCE TIME! Ashley and Ola dance out to 'Never Can Say Goodbye' with some handjiving and gurning. A quick cut to the judges reveals Darcey having a little bop to it. And we're done. Join Steve next week to see who makes the final!