Week 3: Top 14 Results - 12 October 2014
Okay, so yesterday I thought that Natalie as Drunk Liza was going to be the best thing that happened this weekend, and maybe I was wrong because the results show opens with a group number to 'Step In Time' from Mary Poppins, and not only does it feature Natalie flying in from the sky as a cracked-out Poppins, but it also features the male pros as a variety of sooted-up Dick Van Dykes. (Hey, you have your fantasies and I have mine, let's not judge anybody.) I mean, I'm fairly certain that this particular nanny would terrify children rather than enchant them, but honestly Natalie as a governess in a backless dress is the sort of Victorian nightmare I never knew I always wanted. And fair enough, this pro number might not be to everyone's taste because it's entirely musical theatre choreography and making no pretence at being ballroom or Latin American, but hey, a change is as good as a rest. Besides, we should count our blessings, because on Dancing With The Stars this is the sort of shit they actually make the celebrities do. (Did you know that they actually do contemporary on DWTS these days? I am dying to see Artem wafting about and being scored out of ten for it.) [Didn't we just have several series of that anyway? - Rad]
Tess and Claudia appear from the prop chimneys, and there's an excellent in-joke about Claudia's make-up habits as both of her lower eyelids have been painted completely black and she's carrying a chimney brush. Tess asks her if she's all right, and Claudia responds "yes, just been touching up my eye make-up" with exactly the right panto inflection. Seriously, she is so good at this show. Claudia forever. (Daly Dresswatch: a black off-the-shoulder number. What Winkleman's Wearing: a red two-piece.) [And, scriptwriters take note, Tess works much better as Claudia's straight woman than as a comedian in her own right - Rad]
The judges return, and it is with great regret that I must announce that not only are they flailing onto the stage in pairs again, but that Donny Osmond is still here and still, apparently, a judge. Tess promises that Donny will be performing "a classic movie song" in the studio later. I've got my fingers crossed for this, I don't know about the rest of you.
But before all that, another non-chronological recap of last night's events. We begin in hair and make-up, where Alison reveals that she's very nervous about her shoes because they've just been changed, and Jennifer tells us that the first record she ever bought was a Donny Osmond one, so she's very excited he's in to judge tonight. Much to my distress, we only get to hear Hot Greg The Floor Manager this week, but not see him. I mean, I'll take what I can get, but I was still hoping for more. Alison always comes out and performs, Thom gave his best performance yet, Jake is the coolest man in the room, Judy was giving Len a Saturday night fever, Jennifer was all over the place, Tim was too focused on character over technique, Simon needs to believe in himself and Kristina is proud of him, Scott and Joanne were very excited about getting a seven even if it was only from Donny, Steve gave his best dance so far, Mark was Superman and Bruno quite liked it, Sunetra gave us a little Ginger Rogers and screamed the house down after getting a 9 from Len, Donny mistook Caroline for a pro and she was very glad to have him on board, Pixie and Trent found their scores to be "magnifique", Kevin runs through the doors to the backstage area screaming "I DON'T KNOW WHAT TO DO!" (<3) after getting a 10 from Donny.
But from those high times, we now go to Tess clutching her cue cards, and that means it's judgement day. First, the following six couples are safe: Pixie and Trent, Jake and Janette, Alison and Aljaž, Mark and Karen, Sunetra and Brendan, and Tim and Natalie. The first couple in the dance-off this week is...Simon and Kristina. Oof. I suspected he'd probably be involved in the first SHOCK BOTTOM TWO of the series, but I didn't think it would be quite so early on. Then again, he was on early with an underachieving routine, so perhaps it's not that much of a surprise. Either way, Simon looks alarmed and Kristina looks pissed off, as you might expect. [Poor Kristina and another of her hot-prospects-on-paper-who-turns-out-to-be-rubbish. I'm beginning to think she's cursed - Rad] Darcey says that she's shocked, and that Simon definitely shouldn't be here. If that's the case, Darce, perhaps you shouldn't have scored him only one point higher than Alison, Jennifer, Judy, Tim and Scott? Just a thought. Simon mumbles that "it is what it is" and they've worked hard, so he just hopes they can impress the judges this time. Tess turns to Donny and says that he found himself in the bottom two on Dancing With The Stars and went on to win (which is a lie, Donny was never in the bottom two once the viewer vote had been added to the overall score), and Donny babbles about being at the bottom of the leaderboard in week seven (nope, he was at the bottom of the leaderboard in weeks eight and nine, does nobody on this show do their research?) and then his son came up to him and said something about winning it for All The Osmonds Everywhere, and Donny came back to win, so Simon had better damn well do it for his daughter. Meanwhile Kristina's all "fuck that, WIN IT FOR ME. I've been here since series six and I only got the merest sniff of the trophy with Jason Donovan. IT'S MY TIME, DAMMIT." [Neva4get CHRISTMAS GLITTERBALL BARROWMAN - Rad] Also, as a pep-talk that was fairly useless, because there's a world of difference between having a rough week with the judges when there are only four or five contestants left, and learning that you polled somewhere near the bottom of 14 people. One of these is not like the other.
Meanwhile, the six safe couples are toasting their good fortune up in the Clauditorium. Tim, who has a massive lipstick print on his cheek (either that or he's developed some wicked liver spots in the last hour or so) says that he's extremely relieved to be safe, and chuckles that he's looking forward to seeing his paso next week. Pixie, we're told, will be doing the rumba next week, and Pixie says that it will be the opposite of what they were doing tonight. Well, not quite, dear. That said, I am very much looking forward to Human Ken Doll Trent performing The Dance Of Physical Love. Alison's excited to be through because she's doing the samba next. Mark plays the Nan Card nice and early by telling us that his nan (Nanny Pat, presumably?) is in the audience.
Then Donny Osmond sings 'Moon River'. *fast-forward*
From bad to worse, we then move on to Len's Lens, and fortunately Donny's guest judge duties do not extend to him being invited to partake in this section. Len talks about Frankie's paso, but I'd be amazed if there was a single heterosexual woman or homosexual man (or bisexual person of either gender) who wasn't staring at Kevin's arse in those tight red trousers in slo-mo and ignoring every single thing that Len says. Even more than usual. Then we see Simon's rumba in slo-mo as well, which really does it absolutely no favours. (Also, stop calling it a "roomba". That's a vacuum cleaner.) Then we see Mark's jeté in his paso doble, which Craig reads for filth, but credits Mark for attempting something so technical. Then Claudia calls Scott's character in The Little Mermaid a lobster (HE IS A CRAB!!!!), and Bruno says that Scott still needs to sort out "a few technical aspects" of his performances. In much the same way that the Liberal Democrats need to sort out "a few PR problems" right now, no doubt. In other news: Anton screamed like a banshee when lifting Judy, and some more people think we are interested in seeing their kids dancing. TAKE IT TO FACEBOOK, folks. (For some reason, Darcey is the technical expert called upon to remind people to film their children in landscape orientation, not portrait. I don't know why this is a thing that happened but it's so surreal as to be funny so I'll let it go.)
Over to Tess, who's now going to reveal which of the remaining couples will be here next week. Safe and advancing are: Caroline and Pasha, Scott and Joanne, Frankie and Kevin, Steve and Ola, Thom and Iveta, and Judy and Anton, meaning that Jennifer and Tristan are going home. I mean, "in the dance-off". But come on, they're clearly going home. This is all a formality at this point. Tess asks Len if he's surprised to see Jennifer here again, and Len says that he is because she looked so much more relaxed this week, as though that's the sort of thing the public take into consideration when voting. Len tells Jennifer to raise her game in the dance-off the way she did last week, though little short of her suddenly mutating into Frankie is going to save her at this point. Tess asks Jennifer if she's going to do that, and Jennifer quotes her song: "mamma mia, here I go again!" Hee. Aw, I'm sad to be losing Jennifer. She may not be much of a dancer, but she seems like a thoroughly nice person. [I agree. Although I don't yet dislike any of the remaining celebs - Rad] Tess asks Donny what he's looking for, and Donny tells her to take some risks and enjoy the dance.
Claudia's with the second batch of saved couples, and Frankie says that she still hasn't recovered from getting the first 10 of the series and asks if Donnie can come back. NO HE CANNOT. Seriously, I've already put in a call to have his working visa rescinded. FOREVER. Judy admits that she's shocked to have been saved again, and was thinking that this might be the last time she saw any of these people. Including Anton, who's probably all set to change the locks the second she gets eliminated. Claudia tells Judy that she's got the tango next week and Judy's all "piece of cake". Then we have a convenient segue to Scott, who just looks like he's been tangoed, and Claudia asks him if he has a message for the voters. Scott, in perhaps his most likeable moment of the series so far, first of all verifies that Claudia wants him to deliver a sincere piece to camera while styled as a glittery Papa Lazarou, and then looks straight down the camera and thanks his supporters "for voting at this difficult time". Hee.
After a brief interlude to plug It Takes Two, where apparently Zoe has recruited Ian and Robin into her domestic staff (this show does like to put its homosexuals into stereotyped roles, doesn't it?), we return to the Clauditorium where Tess has returned to her old stomping ground as Jennifer and Tristan and Simon and Kristina await their fate. Claudia asks if Jennifer will take Donny's advice and take more risks, and Tristan responds that they're always trying to do that, but they do, y'know, need to try to remember the technique and trivial shit like that. Claudia sends them down to get into position while Tess turns to Simon and Kristina, neither of whom seem to have cheered up much, and Simon says he will try to do more hips this time and try to live within the moment while he's dancing. A teary-sounding Kristina tells Simon that she's so proud of him and she knows how hard he's worked, and he's her perfect partner. That's a little bit too much like Brucie's "you're my favourite", isn't it?
Jennifer and Tristan reprise their foxtrot first, and the bit where Tristan physically spins Jennifer around is still in there, so either she messed up in exactly the same way twice or it's just an awkward piece of choreography. She really goes for the miming even more than before, and she does seem more relaxed and like she's enjoying it more this time, but that doesn't really solve the central problem of the incoherent theming of the dance. Still, it's probably the best performance she was ever likely to do within those parameters, so I guess that makes it a success of sorts.
In a nice bit of camaraderie, Simon does a little "whoop whoop" gesture when Jennifer finishes, and Jennifer shoots him two thumbs up in response. Then Simon reprises his rumba and, unsurprisingly, he hasn't suddenly learned how to use his hips properly in the two or three hours since he performed this the first time, but he's working harder to sell it this time, and there's at least some semblance of a connection between the two of them, which does make a difference.
We then go over to the judges for the decision, and dear god, Donny Osmond is sitting there. Does this mean...if Craig and Darcey vote the same way (which they clearly will), does he get the casting vote? What the SHIT? This is so very wrong. Craig votes to save Simon and Kristina. Darcey thinks both couples improved "100 per cent" in the dance-off, but votes to save Simon and Kristina. Donny congratulates them both for committing to their last dances, and votes for Simon and Kristina, so Jennifer and Tristan are out. Obviously. Tess fulfils contractual obligations by asking Len and Bruno if they would've voted the same way, and of course they would.
Jennifer is crying a bit, possibly because she's had the terrible misfortune to be eliminated while wearing a denim pinny (it's not exactly up there in The Great Erin Boag Catalogue Of Catastrophic Elimination Outfits, but it probably merits an honourable mention somewhere at the back). Jennifer says that she didn't know how to dance before she arrived, and she now knows how to jive, waltz and foxtrot - "however badly or otherwise, I've learned three dances." She adds that Tristan will "remain one of the family", which almost sounds like a threat given what she does for a living. Tristan says that Jenny tried her best, and it's a shame that they won't get to dance together again, but it's been a pleasure to get to know her. Bye Tristan! We will miss your chest hair. Please bring it back for the group dances.
Tess encourages us to tune in for the Top 13 next week, which Rad will be here to guide you through, and then Jennifer has a bit of an episode when the band strikes up 'My Heart Will Go On' for her final dance, so she deals with the trauma the same way any sane woman would: by hurling herself into Tristan's arms, and then into Aljaž's. Attagirl.
Final thoughts: Alison's really going to miss Jenny, Tim says, rather amusingly specifically, that the "kindness that has oozed out of [Jenny] over the last three-to-four weeks has been amazing", Simon's glad to get at least one more week, a rather tone-deaf Mark says it's been AN AMAZING WEEK, Caroline can remember nothing about this week already, Iveta warns Thom that every week's training is going to get harder and he deadpans "great", and we're outta there.