Week 12: Top Five results (Semi-Final Week) - 14 December 2014
Last night! Two-dance night, as is its wont, showed that most celebrities cave under the pressure of learning two routines. Everyone's first dance was pretty underwhelming, Simon, Frankie and Jake somewhat picked up in their second, Mark's rumba split the judges (and almost his trousers) and Caroline's salsa got the first 40 of the series. Tonight! Someone is going home! And Paloma Faith finally returns to her spiritual home!
We open with a disco-themed pro dance to 'Everybody Get On Up and Dance' and 'He's the Greatest Dancer' (minus Anton - presumably because of a vague Latin-tinge to the dance and Ola - presumably because of injuring herself on that other reality show of which we will not speak) but with secret added Anya sporting VOLUMINOUS HAIR. The moral of the story is that the pros are at a sleazy school disco presided over by DJ Bruno but no-one wants to dance with Aliona because she's such a bitch and then random Louis Smith comes out and she dances with a WINNER after all those first boot disgusting old men she's had to put up with so who's laughing now BITCHEZ. Also of note: Tristan can't disco to save his life and Joanne's metamorphosis into Karen Hardy is almost complete.
Tess and Claud enter, sans male accompaniments, but wearting sparkly sunglasses. Daly Dresswatch: black with a leg split. What Winkleman's Wearing: also black, with an asymmetrical shoulder-line. Tess says it's good to see Louis Smith (and Anya! Hi Anya!) and he'll be dancing with Aliona in the 'all-stars' Christmas special.
The judges' entrance retains its lack of arsedness - except for Bruno who is still in the disco spirit.
Boring recap bit! Of note: Bruno wearing a bright blue scarf with a red cardi like a colour blocking fiend; hot Greg reminding everyone it's the semi-final; everyone reminding everyone it's the semi-final.
Results time! Safe are: Caroline and Pasha and Frankie and Kevin. So at least one of them will get to choreograph a showdance because their previous form at that genre is so spectacular. [They both will - everyone gets to do their showdance these days. - Steve] The first couple in the dance off? Mark and Karen oh dear what a shame. I would love it if Simon was up against them and triumphed yet again. Mark says he never even dreamt he'd get to the semi-final and he COULD NEVER DANCE before but now he can because he's been on a wonderful journey etc etc. Tess asks which dance they've chosen to do again and he says the rumba because they both loved it. Darcey says they should just to what they did before because it worked. Although... that wasn't exactly your commentary at the time, Bussell.
In the Clauditorium, Caroline is really happy and says Strictly is all she thinks about. I feel right now might not be the time to tell her she's the only contestant whose VT hasn't been full of HOW VERY BUSY she is which might suggest there's little else for her to think about. (I like Caroline. I'm kind of sad she doesn't have a regular presenting gig). [When they sack Tess and give Zoe the main show gig, Caroline can have It Takes Two. - Steve] Frankie and Kevin are also happy to be in the final.
Now, with 'Changing', it's Paloma Faith. Given her appearance on all those X Factor bumpers I was worrying she wouldn't be here to grace us with her special brand of loonery and seeing as she was absent last year that wouldn't do at all. Sadly her usual Carmen Miranda style get up has been replaced by some sort of dressing-gown made of silk curtains and her mouth sounds more like it's got a bag of marbles in it than usual. She jigs about a bit, and it's almost as bad as Lennox, but fortunately Janette and Aljaž come on and hide us from her mum-moves with a disco-Latin-lifty thing.
Time for Len's Lens. The last of the series? One can hope. Len explains that a reverse wave in foxtrot is about the way the heel and toe move when going backwards. Claudia asks Darcey to confirm she is a fully-signed up member of the Church of Brendan Cole of the Holy Chaste Rumba. She isn't, but Bruno is. Ish. [That's odd, I assumed Bruno would burst into flames the second he crossed the threshold. - Steve] Claudia gives Craig a framed (sans glass) picture of him with a 10 paddle. He says he absolutely loved Caroline's salsa and was overwhelmed. Claudia confirms that this is indeed the last Len's Lens of the series and gives us the judges' best bits. Weirdly they include several of their entrances and some footage of Donny, so... not what I'd have chosen.
More results! Simon and Kristina are safe, leaving Jake and Janette to dance-off against Mark and Karen. Not entirely the result I was expecting although a fair one on reflection. Kristina covers her mouth to stop herself exploding. Of all the journeys this series, I think she's come furthest. [At least until she lost her damn mind on Twitter. - Steve] Jake and Janette seem quite fine about being in the dance-off and Janette thanks everyone that's voted for them so far. Jake says they're going to dance the cha cha cha again because he feels more comfortable with Latin. Craig says he should go out there and be a fantastic actor and they've given the judges and the nation some extraordinary routines. And some boring ones. And some flat-out ridiculous ones. And that American Smooth where Jake just stood around whilst prop dancers flung Janette in the air and they still got high scores.
In the Clauditorium, Kristina says it's her second final in seven years and she thinks it'll be her lucky 7. I did think at the start that these two might win, what with it being YEAR OF THE MAN and all, but with his several dance-offs I'm not quite sure I can see it, even if she probably does deserve the Camilla/Flavia victory she's been after for ages with her series of hunks on paper, clunk(er)s on dancefloor. Sorry Kristina.
Whilst Jake and Janette get ready to dance we get more Marky Marky Humble Journeyman talk bollocks about how much he loves Jake and Karen. At least he doesn't cry.
Jake and Janette dance first. Given the routine wasn't much cop in the first place, there's not a lot he can do here to improve it although he puts a lot of performance energy into it. It's vaguely an improvement on the first performance, I guess? Either way, it's still more enjoyable than Karen and Mark's routine which I still hate and which I HAVE NOW HAD TO WATCH FOUR TIMES WHAT HAVE I DONE TO DESERVE THIS? Karen kind of cries again and the audience cheer loudly.
Craig saves Mark and Karen. Darcey saves Jake and Janette. Bruno loves both but also saves Jake and Janette, meaning Len once more has the casting vote. Len snarks that the cha cha cha had little cha cha cha content and the rumba had little rumba content. I love that the semi-final dance-off basically is a case of 'YER ALL SHIT'. He pontificates that one had performance and one had artistry and he saves Mark and Karen as if we needed further proof that his special Head Judge powers needed redacting. It baffles me that Craig is still MEEN JUDGE OMG when Len makes notoriously bad judgements. Every. Series. Jake is glad to have gotten so far as a 42-year old dad. Janette says he's amazing and her friend for life and we even get a best bits montage for some reason. Did a guest performer drop out? His best bits include lack of expression, the best salsa ever TM (except it was too early on to get a perfect score), hips, bum, bad ballroom and more hips and bum.
The audience give them a standing ovation and they dance out to 'Didn't We Almost Have It All' (ouch). Mark is very happy to be in the final, so is Kristina. Frankie can't take much more of this but fortunately only has one more week to take! Caroline doesn't think it will sink in... until training. Hee.
Next week! Finals week! Join Steve then to see if one of the men can overcome their dance-off shame to take the trophy or if we'll get two female winners in a row for the first time since the first two series.