Monday, 26 October 2015

Swing low, sweet Harriott

Week 5: Top 12 Results - 25 October 2015

We open the show with the hotly anticipated pro charleston number. Those of you who were excited about the thought of it being set in a swimming pool should bear in mind that it was conceived as a kind of Busby Berkeley tribute, so all of the men are in stripey t-shirts and high-waisted trousers, so this will sadly not be your chance to see Gleb/Aljaž/Pasha etc flexing in their Speedos. Sorry. The band is playing an aggressively clipped version of 'The Sun Has Got His Hat On' as well, just to make this all a rather tooth-itching experience. Points of interest: Oti, Joanne and Natalie play with some giant balls, Brendan apparently breaks his neck doing a swan dive onto a hardwood floor, Kristina gets to be the girl who twirls in the overhead shot.

Claudia and Tess arrive, and both look very well turned-out yet again: Tess is wearing a sea-blue a-line dress with capped sleeves, and Claudia has paired a pencil skirt with a white lace top. Tess tells us that while the clocks have gone back, the sun is always shining on Strictly. (Quite brave to include that in a pre-recorded show, what if there had been an apocalypse and we hadn't turned the clocks back after all?) Claudia welcomes the judges back to the room, and I for one am surprised to see that Bruno hasn't had a giant Elastoplast clamped over his gob in the break between shows just in case he decides to get ribald again. I know they can edit it out in this one, but you would think they'd prefer not to take any risks. Len is spared the walk on again, of course, and tells Claudia and Tess that his knee is doing well, and in fact the other one has "come out in sympathy with it". What a distressing mental image.

We then proceed to a recap of last night including all the stuff you didn't see, apart from the head of BBC One Compliance tearing strips off Bruno. Jamelia says she feels like a lottery winner to still be in the competition, and Helen admits that after the last three eliminations were an all-male affair, there's a definite sense of fear among the women that it will be one of them this week. Kellie hopes it won't be her. Jay's getting some last-minute alterations to his costume, Jeremy's doing some last-minute rehearsal for his waltz, Anita hopes to "tango the tango out of the tango", Darcey Shinings her head through the curtain to wish everybody luck. After their salsa, Giovanni throws himself through the studio door with such enthusiasm that he loses his balance and almost topples over, much to Georgia's squeaky alarm. Kirsty is very excited to have had such positive feedback. Anita does a little song and dance to celebrate getting all of the 8s. Katie wanted to prove she could do latin this week, and isn't quite sure what else she can do. I wonder when the warranty on Anton runs out; can she take him back and get a replacement? Even store credit would do at this point. Carol is pleased that Craig came to her defence, but Pasha points out that he still gave her a 4. Kellie and Kevin both do a bit of "no, you're the greatest!" and that brings us right back up to date.

After a quick reminder of the leaderboard, Tess has the cue cards of doom and is ready to reveal who is staying and who is going. In no particular order, the following five couples are definitely safe and through to next week: Helen and Aljaž, Carol and Pasha (both of whom look very surprised, as well they might), Jay and Aliona, Jeremy and Karen, and Anita and Gleb. The first couple in the dance-off is...Jamelia and Tristan, and she looks pretty resigned to this turn of events. They walk over to Tess, who tells them she's sorry to see them here again, and Jamelia replies "me too". Heh. Jamelia says that she's gutted, but she believes she deserves to be in the dance-off after her fucked-up foxtrot, so she's just going to give it her best this time. Len says that Jamelia doesn't deserve to be here, because there were many couples below her on the leaderboard, so that should give her confidence. Yes, the confidence of someone who knows the public doesn't much care for them. Len goes on to say that Tristan's a fantastic ballroom dancer (citation needed), so she should rely on him, and come out and enjoy herself.

Five safe couples WITH THE POWER TO ROCK YOU are with Claudia, and Helen is still in disbelief about receiving three nines earlier. In an endearing detour, it turns out that Carol is a total Bryan Adams stan and thinks he's "the bees' knees" and "has more talent in his pinky than...many others". They do a bit where Carol pretends she slips Bryan Adams lyrics into her weather reports (I hope this is a running gag amongst weather reporters, and that Tomasz Schafernaker is going to have all these allusions to Slipknot in Weather For The Week Ahead tonight), and Claudia asks her if she's going to be all right when he performs. "No," says Carol.

Bryan Adams himself then performs 'Brand New Day', and he's sounding a little bit tired, to be honest. I've got a cold, I can sympathise. Pasha and Ola join him to do a bit of paso in front of the band, and Pasha has his arms out, which has been far too rare an occurrence this year. Don't mind me, I'm just going to stare at Pasha's arms until the song's over.

Ahh, that was nice.

Afterwards, Claudia's up in her usual stomping ground ready for Len's Lens, except this week it must happen without Len himself, because he can't make it up the stairs on his new knee yet. He has, however, franchised out the Lens itself for use in locations where he is not present. Darcey wants to have another look at Helen's quickstep and opens by saying "this is quite beautiful" just as Aljaž's bottom comes into shot. This is literally the most accurate Darcey has ever been about anything. Unfortunately, the section that they're slo-moing, while it does indeed demonstrate the skill of Helen's transitions between movements, also highlights the BIG HONKING GAP between her and Aljaž at that particular point in the routine. Sorry, but I didn't let Clancy get away with it, I can't start turning a blind eye just because this time it's someone I actually like doing it. (Lol I would absolutely do that, who am I kidding.) Craig wants another look at Georgia's lifts, which are more acrobatic than dance, and says that Georgia's landings were rather wobbly, though he concedes that the lifts themselves are difficult. Darcey demonstrates how you need to land with one leg forward to prepare yourself for the next move. This is...strangely helpful. Bruno is asked what was so wrong with Katie's latin, and he says that she's very up on her toes, which is great for ballroom but poor for latin which is much earthier, and ends up throwing her timing off. STOP MAKING SENSE, ALL OF YOU, THERE IS NO FUN HERE FOR ME. Then Claudia wants to know about Jamelia and the art of covering up mistakes - Bruno says that you mustn't go "derp, what have I done" but rather hold yourself there and then pick up the next step. Craig says it's a real shame that she made the mistake so obvious, because she was doing really well up to that point. And there a most informative Len's Lens comes to an end.

It's back over to Tess now for the second batch of results, and these five couples are safe: Kellie and Kevin, Peter and Janette, Georgia and Giovanni, Kirsty and Brendan, and Katie and Anton, which leaves Ainsley and Natalie as the other couple in the dance-off tonight. Ainsley doesn't look too surprised to be there, and says he feels "a bit gutted", but he's always happy to have another chance to dance with Natalie. Craig says that he doesn't want to lose the entertainment factor that Ainsley brings - he just needs to sharpen up and point his toes, and if he can just do that once, then he's in with a chance. Natalie, bless her, is all "just once? He can totally do that!"

Up in the Clauditorium, Kirsty is very grateful to the voters for keeping her around and letting her have another week. Peter says that unless you're actually there with these people and seeing them working, you won't know just how hard they have it. Georgia tells us she'll be doing a tango to 'Ghostbusters' next week, and she's going to have to be serious. She does an early demo of her tango face, which is actually quite passable.

There's a quick preview of Hallowe'en, in which a few of the celebs get spooked by their partners running in wearing masks just when they're in the middle of doing their eerie VT. Some (Kellie, Carol) have the wind put up them more than others (Peter). Katie, of course, prefers Anton with his mask on.

Tess and Claudia are with both dance-off bound couples, and Jamelia says that she is disappointed to be here again, but she did make a huge mistake, so it's fair enough. She's hoping this is a chance to correct where she went wrong before. Tristan tells her to remember that she's done it right more times than she's done it wrong, so she should just smile and enjoy it. They have a little giggle, and make their way down to the comically oversized carriage that I'm sure the tech crew were delighted to have to lug back out of the cupboard. Meanwhile, Ainsley says that he's worked very hard and he loves the wonderful people who are here - "it's such a happy home to be in" - and Natalie's been so great with him. Natalie reminds Ainsley that he's the epitome of Strictly, because he's not a trained dancer but he puts smiles on faces and makes her proud every week.

Jamelia and Tristan reprise their foxtrot, and as far as I can tell she doesn't make any actual mistakes this time around, but it just feels a bit lifeless - I think messing it up the first time really knocked what little confidence she had in ballroom, and she's far too much in her head at this point, worrying too much about getting it right and not just allowing herself to get lost in the dance. Then Ainsley and Natalie go through their jive again, and it has all of the energy that it had the first time, and also all of the precision that it had the first time, i.e. none.

It's over to the judges to decide who gets a stay of execution: Craig thinks Jamelia and Tristan danced the best of both couples, and votes to save them. Darcey enjoyed both performances, but votes to save Jamelia and Tristan. Bruno thinks the couple that danced the best should say, and that's Jamelia and Tristan. So Ainsley and Natalie are out, and Len says that he would also have voted to save Jamelia - who is now having another little cry about Ainsley having to go home.

Ainsley says that he's had an amazing time and he's sad that it can't continue - and he's sad for Natalie that he couldn't take her further in the competition. Hey, she got a whole week more than she had last year, don't be so hard on yourself. Natalie tells Ainsley he's one of the loveliest men she's ever met, he's a real gentleman and he's been a dream to work with. Ainsley and Natalie take the dancefloor for their last dance to 'Go Your Own Way', and the rest of the dances swoop down upon him.

In the week's post-mortem, Katie says that Ainsley is a complete star, Carol says that he's fun and gregarious, Kirsty says that they're all so close that it's hard to watch anyone go home, Jamelia's glad that she got to stay, and Kellie's pleased to still be here as well. Anita is thrilled that she still gets to dance with superstar Gleb, and Peter and Janette are looking forward to Hallowe'en, though Peter can't resist going "hello we'en!" and waving down the camera, seriously how can we stop him. Helen says that Hallowe'en was where she wanted to get to (sure it is), and Jay says that he's excited to learn a new dance every week. Jeremy thinks there's nowhere for him to go but up, and Georgia and Giovanni give us one last tango face each to close out the show.

That's it for another week - Rad will be here to bring you the thrills, spills and chills of Hallowe'en week, and in the meantime I'll be starting up the "Ringer For Natalie 2016" campaign. I know we do this every year, but I've got a good feeling about it this time...


F a t i m a said...

The title should have been Swing LOWE, sweet Harriott. Although ITT already did that

F a t i m a said...

Slipknot did do a song called "If Rain Is What You Want", so The Schaf would have no problem with that.