Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Thomas tanks

Week two results: Sunday 4th October 2015

Welcome back! Last night saw 15 dances from our celebrities and everyone slowly losing the will to live, especially Ola who can’t wait to be put out of her misery. But will she achieve that tonight? There’s only one way to find out!

Cue credits! I love how Daniel’s face is immovable even here.

We open with the pro-dance to 'Only Girl In The World', which starts with a very Aliona-centric frame. I think she’s done well in whatever renegotiation of contract process she went through this year. We then get a moment with each of the female dancers having a solo spin around the room. Janette gets to swing from a high wire whilst Karen only gets to play with a hanky.  Joanne doesn’t get her own solo spot but then does get to dance with all the male celebrities so that she doesn’t forget what a partner feels like. We're then treated to some lovely ballroom wafting with Joanne, Natalie, Brendan, Gleb, Anton and some classical musicians which is all quite swoony, before Aliona takes centre stage again in an enormous parachute style dress. Then all of the pros are reunited for waltzing, wafting to the sound of the music being played by a classical ensemble rather than the in-house band. We head up to a balcony for Kristina getting thrown about by four of the male dancers, and then back to the dancefloor. It’s all quite lovely and gives an opportunity for all the dancers to have a go, whilst paying homage to ballroom for a change, rather than the pop/Latin type pro dances we had so much of last series. Then Janette gets spun from the ceiling thousands and thousands of times and manages to descend with a smile, rather than vomiting all over the place, which is more than I can imagine ever being able to achieve, even if I'd had years of dance training.

Tess and Claudia enter. They really are switching up their costumes this series: Daly dress watch: a mostly black shoulderless ensemble, with some cream detailing in the middle which looks quite nice. What Winkleman's wearing: a black shift dress, but with brightly patterned yellow and pink trees on it. I quite like both of the outfits tonight, to be honest, although I imagine some people would think Claudia’s dress perhaps looks a little childish-but then those kinds of people are just funsponges (Remember those 'glory' days of the X Factor with Gary Barlow? I like how that series has tried to forget he ever happened.  I wish we could). Tess welcomes Dave Arch and the brilliant orchestra and we cut to the regular band, rather than the people who seems to be playing in the orchestra, but oh well. Claudia then plugs the website, where apparently we can see performances with a 360° camera. Swishy! Tess and Claudia remind us how the show works and that someone will leave at the end.

The judges arrive, walking fairly slowly on. Thank God the dancing thing seems to have either died a death, or is being restricted to Saturday nights only. Sadly something that hasn’t died a death is Len's lens, which we will be seeing later.

Time for the backstage report and recap and it looks like Joanne will be presenting these or at least some of them. She is captioned, interestingly, as ‘Strictly pro Jo Clifton’, which suggests that she hasn’t yet been retired as an official pro à la Robin and could make a reappearance when the gender balances switch back next series. Much as I was unimpressed with her last year, I'd like to see her work with someone who had potential before writing her off altogether. [Yeah, if Tristan gets a second chance, Joanne deserves one too. - Steve] Of note in the recap: Iwan thinks he can take the British public on (LOL), hot floor manager Greg is back and as masterful as ever, Iwan further demonstrates that he has no self-awareness by not understanding his score when he tried soooooo hard, Karen thinks a three is awesome for her, Kellie and Kevin are trying to invent something called a high 15, which makes no sense whatsoever.  There’s little else to discover from this: I guess when you’re recapping such a long show anyway, there’s not much room for excess filler.

Tess reminds us of the leaderboard and it’s time for our first set of safety announcements. Safe are: Daniel and Kristina; Peter and Janette; Kellie and Kevin; George and Giovanni; Helen and Aljaž; Jeremy and Karen. The first couple in the dance off are: Iwan and Ola - and she looks incredibly relieved, as you might expect. I am guessing either Carol and Pasha or Kirsty and Brendan to join them?

Iwan says he will do everything to stay in the dance off and try and make it less aggressive. Len says it’s difficult to give advice at the dance off stage because they’re beginners. What a great head judge, everyone. Len says he could try and be even more aggressive in the dance off , but sometimes less is more. So helpful.

Up in the Clauditorium now and Georgia says the results were scarier than actually dancing. Kellie says the music gives her nightmares and that was one of the most horrible experiences she’s ever had - even beyond Danny Dyer in that too-tight pink dressing gown they always make him wear. [Hush your mouth, that's amazing. - Steve] Jeremy says he wants to apologise for acting as if he’d won the whole thing, but he’s just delighted to have been voted through and he gushes quite a lot. Daniel and his poker face claim to be delighted. Claudia says he’s like the Danny Zuko of the ensemble, a notion that Daniel is quite taken with. However, isn’t he younger than John Travolta was when he played that part? Helen lies that she is amazed to be through, and Peter says that things are incredible several times. Apparently, he also gets confused by traffic lights backstage where green means go. Claudia calls this adorable. I leave you to draw your own conclusions.

And now we have our first “special” guest, Rod Stewart. I don’t know how it’s possible, but the man hasn’t aged in the last 30 years. That’s not to say he looks especially lot young, just that he looks well… Rod Stewarty. I’m not sure what the new single is that he's shilling, I guess it’s called 'Stay with me Tonight', because that’s the refrain in the chorus. It’s not the most exciting thing in the world and his voice seems a little bit shot in places, but if you like that sort of thing, I’m sure you’ll like this. Some of the pro female dancers come out and do little jigs in leopard print, with Oti and Aliona giving it full booty call down the camera. It’s a little depressing that we have renowned ladies’ man Rod Stewart strutting his stuff whilst a bevy of female dancers are reduced not so much to dancing but to posing around as if this were 1975, not 2015 (not that there’s anything against women being sexy, but there’s not a hell of a lot of dance skill going on, and none of it’s especially original. Also: Rod Stewart. Seriously, Stewart, either be a contestant already or get off the show. Don't think you're above Daniel O'Donnell.  Or, er, him from The Wanted).

The judges are welcomed into the Clauditorium with a somewhat incongruous blast of Bonnie Tyler’s ‘Holding out for a Hero’. Our first Len’s Lens of the series focuses on then saying that when he was younger, used to look at other parts of female anatomy, but now he only looks at the feet: he feels like a cobbler-at which, the other judges burst out laughing. We have a close-up of Georgia not putting her heels on the floor to demonstrate his point about heel leads. Claudia asks Darcey what she means when she said Helen needed more dip in her hip. Darcey says Helen’s done a bit of ballet as has she, at which Claudia points out that Darcey was at one point the best ballerina in the world, and not just some old lush stanning for male winners and telling us that the boys are right all the time.  Darcey says it’s hard for people who have been trained in ballet to be centred in their hips, because they’ve always been taught to put out. What? That’s what she says. Darcey thinks Helen will probably do better in a rumba, where it’s slower. Claudia asks Craig about his obsession with free arms and Craig says you should always be doing something with it: pointing out that Daniel sometimes left it loose, and sometimes did something with it, like waving or pointing in order to give it energy. We then get a recap of the judges’ dance (which they are calling 'the Strictly'.  Nope.), like anybody has time for that nonsense. No. And we hear Len shouting into his mic ‘Come on!’ whilst Jamelia dances and all the judges shouting sexy at her and Tristan (it isn’t clear which of them they were referring to, or whether it was both). [It was actually Tristan saying it to Jamelia. - Steve]

Back to test with the rest of the results now. Safe are: Ainsley and Natalie; Katie and Anton; Jay and Aliona; Anita and Gleb; Anthony and Oti; Carol and Pasha and Kirsty and Brendan. This means to Jamelia and Tristan are in the bottom two, perhaps a surprising turn of events this early on in the series, and one for which I largely blame Tristan’s choreography. Tess asks Jamelia if she’s surprised to be in the bottom two and to Jamelia says not really because she didn’t do a good job. Bruno advises her not to overthink it and to maintain her performance level, which was good, but to be careful with her arm placement. Then he tells us forget about all of that and just have a good time. Our judges are so insightful this year.

In the Clauditorium and we get a reminder that Audley is going to dress as a Penguin next week. Katie says they’re all a gang and they don’t want anyone to leave.  Claudia asks Jay about his makeover and he says that he’s a new man, in a slightly Stockholm syndrome kind of voice. He clarifies that all of them are nervous because they’re all in peril every week. Claudia laughs in the face of peril and says they’re only dancing (she stops short of calling them all big wusses, but you knew that’s what she was thinking).

As we are about to hit week three, apparently we are long overdue a theme week (thank God it’s Steve’s turn). Yes, it still long awaited return of movie week. Although, it’s at least better than Around The World week. We see a comedy VT of everyone pulling faces, which reveals very little about what’s going on, other than Anton’s rehearsal hair is a sight to behold. He looks a bit like Jim Carrey after a fight with a Van der Graff generator.

With the two couples, Jamelia says she is going to try and put everything she can into the dance, and they go off to get ready. Iwan says he won’t quit and he wants to thank everyone including the production team, because he presumably knows that this is likely to be his leaving speech. Ola, for her part, just smiles meekly and thinks of the cocktails she’ll be having in five minutes' time when this is all over.  Good to see the tradition of Erin Island is being kept alive and well.

First to dance are Tristan and Jamelia, and the wind machine hasn’t got any better since their original performance. She seems a little tired in the performance and sometimes seems to be giving it energy, but at other times less so, although overall I get the impression she’s just having a laugh with it all, which is at least better than facing grim death throughout. It suffers from some of the same problems it had first time round, although she is probably a little bit more precise in her steps this time around and it ends well, much to her visible relief.

Iwan’s performance, like last time is essentially a retread of Robbie Savage, with less talent, attractiveness or chemistry. I like that he is dancing to 'Sexy and I Know it', whilst pulling the least sexy faces and moves known to humankind and clod hopping all over the place. Ola also seems to see the fun in this as she’s practically laughing throughout. He ends pulling a face down the camera that I presume is meant to be sultry, but just looks slightly constipated.

Time for the judges’ verdict. Craig saves Jamelia and Tristan for dancing better than the other couple; Darcey saves them as well, without giving a reason; Bruno makes it a third vote for them and the most foregone conclusion in the series happens (Len also would have made the same decision as his fellow judges).

Iwan thanks everyone yet again, even though he’d already done that before his dance off. Ola says she loved dancing with him and he’s a wonderful person. Claudia reminds us about It Takes Two and Tess reminds us about the website, and then our couple dance off to 'We’ve Only Just Begun'. For some reason, it takes an eternity before any of the others come out onto the dancefloor to help them, during which time he hoists above his neck and spends her around in a rather ungainly fashion.

Post show vox pops: Starch Amelia says it was a great feeling to win but she was gutted to see a friend go home; Jeremy says that was brutal, Jay says they’ll miss him; Katie lies that it was shocking; Peter says it was the hardest thing ever apart from giving birth, except that he’s never given birth; most of the people thought it was brutal, except for Carol who thinks it was great fun. Sadist. Next week, join Steve for movie week, when what we lose in time from having fifteen dancers will be made up for via lots of terrible comedy VTs! 

1 comment:

Diana F said...

I thought it was Tristan shouting and cheering in the recap during Len's Lens....