Week 9: Top 8 Results (Blackpool Week) - 22 November 2015
We open with a pro dance to David Guetta's 'What I Did For Love' (should've been the A Chorus Line one instead if you ask me) that takes full advantage of the towering heights of the Blackpool ballroom by draping lots of fabric and harnesses from the ceiling and wafting all of the women around. Ola is the first to go up in the air, which is remarkably brave of her considering the things she's said about the show in the last 48 hours and how easily it would be for whoever's operating the harness to "have an off day", so to speak. It's a lot of dry ice and contempo-wafting worthy of a showdance or a Karen Clifton rumba, with a little bit of Cirque du Soleil-style aerial contortion and emoting straight down the camera lens thrown in for good measure. Then Aljaž and Joanne do a random and unexpected quickstep down the middle and it all gets a bit more samba-y instead. The routine culminates with the celebrities walking down the steps, colour-coded by gender and really ramming home what an absolute blokeageddon this series has been. Not that I'm complaining. Jay's probably still winning, anyway.
Claudia and Tess emerge from behind windbreaks at either side of the stage: Tess wearing sunglasses and looking immaculate, and Claudia carrying a shattered umbrella and with her hair (/a wig) backcombed like a bird's nest. If, like me, you were too busy looking at Twitter when this particular gag happened, it all got a bit surreal when Claudia remained looking like that for the rest of the opening segment and nobody made any reference to it. Claudia reminds us that one couple (/Jamelia) will be leaving tonight, and Tess summons the judges, none of whom descend from the ceiling this time, which is a bit of a shame. Claudia reminds us that Anastacia will be here later singing 'I'm Outta Love' and that Take That are "in the building", which will prove to be a lie later.
A quick recap of yesterday's events, framed by the judges titting about on a tram. Georgia goes Full Northern as she tells us about having Lancashire hotpot for her dinner, Helen says that everything is bigger and better in Blackpool (oh really?) and Katie says they all need to embrace their inner divas. Peter says it's week nine and nobody's safe (lol foreshadowing) and Jamelia thinks it's great that everyone's bringing their A-game. Anita worries that she hasn't got enough make-up, and Jay is just hoping it all goes well. After their victorious American smooth, Anton tells Katie that she was tremendous, and Jay does a cute but cringeworthy little dance of joy for Aliona backstage after their positive comments and high scores for their salsa. Interestingly we do not see Peter's backstage reaction to his comments this week, but we do see a tearful Helen saying that she wanted the judges to enjoy the dance, and she can't dance any harder or do anything else. I love Helen, but I do fear for her sanity, especially now the competition is getting tighter. Jamelia's pleased to have danced in the Blackpool Tower Ballroom, Anita does not get a backstage reaction moment either, and Kellie's so excited about her 10 that she accidentally lets the sprung door fall back on Kevin's face. Georgia cries a bit, and Giovanni pokes gentle fun at her, and there we have it.
The cue cards of doom are out, and Tess has the first round of results. The first three couples through to next week are Kellie and Kevin, Jay and Aliona, and Georgia and Giovanni. The first couple facing the dance-off is...Peter and Janette. HA! I must admit, I thought his fans would have mobilised to keep him in after he was bottom of the leaderboard, but apparently he doesn't have as many fans as we all assumed. Peter immediately says "that's okay!" in a way that suggests it is probably not actually okay at all. (By the way, Tristan has a huge grin on his face the whole way through this, because he knows they're in the dance-off again and has already expended his extremely limited amount of fucks-to-give per series.)
Tess tells Peter that he hasn't been here before (the dance-off, not Blackpool), and Peter waffles on about rollercoasters and the journey and how lucky he's been so far. "I deserve to be here tonight, and that's the way it is," he declares. Asked for his input, Bruno tells Peter that his performance level is flawless, but he just needs to get on his toes and ensure the kicks and flicks (what kicks and flicks?) are sharp. Peter demonstrates, and Bruno affirms that he can actually do it, so that's what he needs to do in the dance-off.
In Claudia's Corner - Now With Velvet Seating! - Claudia congratulates Georgia on being top of the leaderboard once again, and Georgia adds that it's great to be top of the leaderboard up north. Claudia reveals that Jay has tango next week and asks him to give us his tango face, which is more of a catwalk model face, but still. Kevin then has to explain the quickstepathon that lies ahead next week, where all seven couples will be on the floor at once doing the quickstep, much like they would in an actual ballroom competition, and there may well be carnage of some sort. I hope so, these things haven't been very exciting since The Great Ali Bastian Viennese Waltz Demolition Derby Of 2009.
Next we have Anastacia, who is here to sing 'I'm Outta Love'. I think that she may have spent a little bit of time at the bar with Katie before this performance, because it's certainly...eccentric. But it's fun, and Anastacia is always a delight even when she's singing flat and slurring her words, especially when she changes one of the lines "ANASTACIA be the one to let YOU goooo!". So drunk. [I couldn't care less about her music, but I totally love her as a personality - Rad] Also there are some dancing randoms doing floor gymnastics in front of her, which I guess gives the show's pros a chance for a nice sit down.
After she's finished, it's time for a special Blackpool Len's Lens, and Len opens by celebrating Jamelia with a closer look at her quickstep, in particular marvelling at the synchronicity of the jeté in the running section. Len is very impressed that she pulled that off considering the speed they were going at. Darcey has chosen to watch Anita's paso again - not, inexplicably, for shirtless Gleb, but for the detail and the accents in Anita's hand movements. Craig explains his thinking on Helen's charleston, repeating his point that it should have been messier because the whole point of the charleston is about going mad because you couldn't get any booze. Meanwhile, I still feel that "you weren't gurning enough" has no place in charleston criticism now that we have fully moved on from the Hollinsography era. Bruno wants to talk about Georgia and her beautiful spins and the fluidity of her arms. He thinks she looks very balletic. Darcey chips in that Georgia is perfectly in sync with the men behind her at a point in the video where she is...not so much, but that slo mo footage will get you every time. Then we get one last look at Craig straddling the guitar, and we're done. Len's Lens: mostly useful once again this week, well done everybody.
So who's joining Peter in the dance-off? It's not Anita and Gleb, Katie and Anton or Helen and Aljaž (who don't even seem that worried when left until the very end, because of who's standing there with them), so Jamelia is heading for her fifth dance-off. They're stood right at the other end of the room, so they practically have to quickstep over to Tess before the dance off even starts. Jamelia is philosophical about her situation, saying that she's got another chance to dance in Blackpool, and she's really looking forward to it. Len is asked what Jamelia can do to survive, and Len says she just needs to show that exact attitude she's just shown us, and enjoy herself.
Over to Claudia's Corner, where Anita says that nothing can prepare you for dancing in Blackpool, and doing the paso doble made it better because that was one of the dances that she really wanted to do. Katie admits that she would've laughed in Claudia's face if she'd been told at the beginning that she would make it to week 10 (as you would, when given Anton as a partner), and Claudia tells us that Katie has the Argentine tango next week.
Now Take That are performing - not in the building, as Claudia said ealrier, but just pulling up outside. I'd love to recap this performance but unfortunately I don't recap tax cheats, so *fast-forwards*. [Note: I have probably recapped some tax cheats without realising it, but I really don't have the time or opportunity to check everyone's records with HMRC before the start of each series.] [They looked and sounded a total mess, so goodness knows what they're doing with taxpayers' money, but it certainly isn't going to stylists or vocal coaches - Rad]
Tess thinks this could be the closest dance-off of the series (spoiler: it sort of will be), and Jamelia says that she's loved performing here and she's actually quite happy to be able to perform it again. Claudia points out that the judges said it was Jamelia's best ballroom dance, and asks Tristan if he's proud of her; he replies that of course he's proud of her, and he actually thinks it's her best dance, full-stop, not just ballroom. Aww, that's sweet. They head off to get into their boxes while Tess and Claudia turn their attention to Peter and Janette. Peter says he isn't sure how he's going to attack the dance-off, but he'll take on board what the judges said about being light on his toes. Janette says that she always tells Peter to go out and give it his all and enjoy the ride, and if they have to go out, then go out with a bang. Peter then chirps up that he didn't want to be here with Jamelia because she's been here so many times and he just wants her to do well. Hmm, even when he tries to be nice he's still incredibly annoying, isn't he? Slay him, Jamelia!
Jamelia take to the floor once again and reprise their quickstep with an impressive amount of energy, and I think the body contact is better this time around too. She finishes with a big grin on her face, which is all you can ask for, really. Then Peter and Janette reprise That Thing That Called Itself A Jive, and it's somehow worse than it was the first time out: Peter seems genuinely rattled and makes a few mistakes - nothing major, but his timing just seems to be off this time. So, if it's actually down to the best performance in the dance-off, Jamelia should be the one staying. But let's see how this goes.
Craig votes to keep Peter and Janette in the competition. Darcey votes to save Peter and Janette, "on their improvement in tonight's performance" (justify it to yourself however you like, Darcey, but don't lie to the British public) [Quite. They should have just been honest and said because she's always in the bottom two so they're letting her go. I mean, that makes the dance-off pointless, but given she was brilliant and Peter was terrible, the dance-off was pointless anyway - Rad]. Bruno says he would like Peter and Janette to stay on the show, so they are through and Jamelia finally falls. Tess goes to Len to ask how he would have voted, and he says that actually he would have voted to keep Jamelia and Tristan because of their fine quickstep. The audience hollers in approval at this, so whatever support there may have been for Peter, it looks like there was a lot of support for keeping Jamelia around too - and who would have thought that a few weeks ago? (Also how amazing that Jamelia's eventual exit is the first split decision of the series, and that she was only one vote from seeing off Peter Andre?) Darcey has her head in her hands at this point as well, which does make me wonder if she might be slightly regretting her choice now she knows how Len would have voted. Too little too late, Bussell!
Jamelia says that she's sorry to go, but she's had an amazing time, made some brilliant friends, and got farther in the competition than she ever thought she would. Tess says that Jamelia and Tristan have clearly become great mates, and Jamelia says that she could not have had a better partner - he's been so positive and it's all thanks to him that she's made it this far, so she thanks him. Tristan says that as a dance teacher he wants to pass on information to people, and he's so proud of how much Jamelia has learned in her time on the show. Jamelia thanks Tess and Claudia for their encouragement, and the judges for helping her to leave as "a bit of a dancer".
Jamelia and Tristan have their final dance to 'Don't Leave Me This Way (Not With Peter Andre Still In The Competition)', and as the others rush on to say goodbye to her, it's Helen who absolutely tacklehugs Jamelia, so I'm guessing they were quite close. Sure enough, in the post-show VT, Helen says that they've become good friends and she'll be sad to see Jamelia go, while Peter says he's grateful to have got through, but it could easily have gone the other way. Georgia says she'll never forget this night, Kellie feels chuffed to have been a part of this, and Jay says that he will be "tent-faced again" next week, while Anton vows to take out everyone in the quickstepathon, and Anita is looking forward to doing a rumba with Gleb, as would we all.
That's it from Blackpool. Join Rad next week for the top seven couples and the quickstepathon, and the elimination of our first contender, I suppose.