Sunday, 6 December 2015

West End transfer

Week 11: Top 6 Perform (Musicals Week) - 5 December 2015

I've been recapping this show since 2007, and while I like to think of myself as reasonably familiar with all of the tropes that it deploys year-in-year-out, there are one or two I occasionally forget about. One of them is the recent tendency to open the quarter-final performance show with moody, usually black-and-white, interviews with the celebrities as they talk earnestly about how hard they've worked, how much they've sacrificed, how much they love this show and how they desperately want to make it through to the next round. The whole thing always reads a little bit like a caption should appear at any moment to encourage us to text STRICTLY to 88989 so that we can donate £5 for the betterment of pro-celebrity dance contest awareness. This year is no difference: Sombre Anita opens by telling us about how the pressure is really ramping up, while Sober Katie (lol) says that the competition is getting serious now and Doleful Jay says that everyone at this point is capable of pulling out an amazing dance. Serious Kellie says that a single mistake could land her in the dance-off and she wants to stay to next week (which could possibly come back to haunt her if she does make it through to next week and the viewers assume that's as far as she wanted to get), Downcast Helen says that it's going to be difficult to advance because the judges are expecting so much at this point, and Woebegone Georgia says the pressure is really on now. Colour bleeds into the picture as everyone talks about the importance of nailing this week's routine, and how tough it is to call the result at this point. Apart from the fact that Jay's totally winning, of course.

Titles! Is it wrong that I wish Jamelia was doing air-quotes in her final pose now?

We open with a tribute to the world of theatre, as the pro dancers perform to 'That's Entertainment'. I'm trying to conduct a roll call of who's present for this, in light of recent events: Ola remains conspicuous by her absence, and I can't even see if Pasha's there either. There's someone at the back who I'm 99 per cent sure is Pasha, but he remains at the back the whole time and whenever there's a shot that might have allowed me to get a good look at his face, someone's in the way. On the bright side, Anya is here to replace Ola! Hooray! #bringbackanya2016 (As an aside, it's not that I don't like Kevin and Karen, but do they really have to be front-and-centre in every pro routine? Can't someone else have a go?) The judges shimmy on in front of a stage curtain, and then the top six parade on at the back and everything explodes into glitter, which is basically how most things end on Strictly at this point.

Tess and Claudia emerge from behind two white feather-fans being waved by Tristan and Brendan (the latter sporting a look of "the shit they make me do on this show", which absolutely makes the whole thing). They both look lovely, as well: Tess is in a floor length black sequinned gown (I'm not entirely sure about the caped sleeves, but that's my only gripe) and Claudia in a simple but smart black halter top and matching long trousers. While it's nice that wardrobe really seem to have a much better idea of how to dress both of them these days, I do miss the times when I could spend several paragraphs just pointing out what was wrong with Tess's dress of the week. I'm never going to break out into my dream second career as an acerbic fashion blogger at this rate. Claudia informs the less observant members of the audience that it's Musicals Week, and Tess reminds us that "Music Man Peter Andre" was sent packing last week. I suppose The Music Man is a good musical reference for him, although had I been writing this week's script I may have been more tempted to go for Bat Boy, Billy Noname, or perhaps just Fanny. The judges strut out to give us the full West End tits-and-teeth  - apart from Darcey, of course, whose approach is more like a silicone party bra and a dental bridge.

Our six remaining Strictly stars enter: Kellie and Kevin as Nancy and the Artful Dodger, Anita and Gleb as Velma Kelly and Some Sort Of Stripper (oh Gleb), Katie and Anton as Sally Bowles and Anton Du Beke (oh Anton), Helen and Aljaž as Two Surprisingly Well-Dressed French Revolutionaries, Georgia and Giovanni as Belle and Prince Adam (boo, why is he not being THE BEAST and covered in offcuts of carpet?), and finally Jay and Aliona as...erm...did nobody tell Jay and Aliona it was a theme week this week? Oh, fine: they're being Guy and Girl from Once, whose costumes are rather more workaday than iconic by their very nature, but that's theme weeks for you.

Since this is the shortest show of the series (and we're going to overrun a bit, spoilers), there's no time for niceties and we get straight on to our first couple of the night: Georgia and Giovanni. Georgia was very pleased with how her paso doble went last week, although we're reminded that Bruno had a few issues with the tension in her shoulders at certain points, so Georgia promises "no shoulders next week". I think someone might need a little Biology refresher course. This week they are dancing "the slow foxtrot" (stop saying that like it's a genre in its own right) to the title track from Beauty And The Beast, which Georgia is very excited about because she's always wanted to be a princess. Hard luck, Georgia: Belle's not actually a princess at this point in the story, she's just a prisoner in a castle who's well on her way to developing Stockholm syndrome. Giovanni scoffs at the idea of Georgia even knowing how to be a princess, so we segue into the inevitable comedy VT where Georgia invites him around for "a party with my friends", and upon his arrival she makes him dress up as The Beast complete with comedy headpiece (I'm trying not to think too deeply about the possibility of Georgia being a secret furry) and reveals it's actually a princess party with her cousins and her nephew. (Poor the nephew.) Not to cast aspersions, but after the leather daddy look last week and the Whitney Houston obsession the week before, I wouldn't be surprised to discover this is not in fact Giovanni's first princess party. The kids savage Giovanni before he manages to claw his way up to the sofa, where he asks them if Georgia will be a good princess and they insist that she will be THE BEST PRINCESS. Back in the training room, Georgia says she just wants to go out and perform the foxtrot the best she can, like a real-life princess.

At the start of the routine, Giovanni is looking in the mirror (I bet Gleb is furious he didn't get gifted this concept) where he sees his reflection in beastpaint makeup (family show!) before a kiss from Georgia turns him back into her Joe Varney. I'm a bit disappointed that after all the horrible things they've done to Pasha in theme weeks (green facepaint! fuzzy werewolf! that perm wig he had to wear for Caroline's samba!), Giovanni gets off so lightly here [Quite - Rad], but full marks to Vicky Gill and her team for such first-rate Disney cosplay, because even without any other clues you could just look at both of them and know exactly which show they're doing. (Also I remain strangely unmoved by Giovanni for the most part, but I will say that dark blue trousers and tailcoat is a very flattering look on him.) Regular readers will know it's not easy for me to get excited about a foxtrot, but this does have a few additional things working in its favour: Bruno already on his feet and swaying in the background, bonus backing dancers dressed as Cogsworth, Lumière, Mrs Potts and Madame de la Grande Bouche, the fact that everyone bobs at the knees during the line "then somebody bends unexpectedly". Another thing really working for this routine is that Georgia's ballroom has really improved in recent weeks and she dances the whole thing beautifully and delicately with real feeling. And if I weren't giggling enough at the backing dancers' costumes, the routine ends and the camera cuts to Joanne watching the whole thing through opera classes from the Clauditorium and I just lose it completely. That was sheer camp, and I loved it. [Utterly ridiculous - in the best way - Rad]

Len reminds us that it is Musical Week by telling us that if you "went from South Pacific to Oklahoma", you'd be hard pushed to find a better foxtrot. Len's grasp of geographical specifics as strong as ever there. There were a few missing heel leads and she could have driven off slightly more, but it was a fairy tale "and it wasn't Grimm". Bruno compliments her on the improvement in her shoulders and frame, but she dipped her head a bit too far onto her shoulders in her side extensions. Craig thought it was delightful, enchanting even, and she really deserves to be here. Darcey concludes by telling Georgia that she showed no strain in the upper body "as the boys were saying" (apart from Bruno), and she loved the moments of hovering during the transition.

They scoot up to Claudia, where Georgia says she was really nervous this week because it's hard going on first. Possibly because people keep doing the "who's on first?" routine to her and she doesn't understand it. "What do you mean, 'who's on first'? I am!" "No, you're supposed to say ye--oh, never mind." Claudia tells us that Beauty And The Beast was her favourite film (note the "was", so I assume she meant "as a kid", as opposed to now, when Georgia's favourite film is apparently, er, Tangled) [and Chicago, and about eighteen other things this series - Rad] and Georgia grins that she loves the dress and she's never taking it off. I wouldn't object if Giovanni stayed in that costume for the rest of the series either, to be honest. What? My tastes are unconventional. Scores are in: nines all round for a total of 36. I'm a little surprised by that, I thought it might at least get a 10 from Darcey. As it's musicals week, Claudia informs us that we will be getting the terms and conditions in the medium of song this week, so she summons THE PRENJ out of nowhere to sing them for us. Love a bit of Prenj. Given how she was on It Takes Two's Friday panel and now she's apparently refusing to leave the studio full-stop, I hope they're going to sign her up for next year.

Back to Tess, who pronounces "Prenger" with a hard g, because God knows she's been saying Ola's name wrong for 10 years, you can't expect her to get a bit-player right. Up next in the DEATH SLOT are Anita and Gleb. Uh oh. Last week's rumba was controversial (i.e. Len hated it) but Anita shrugs that sometimes you have to take a risk in life. I like that Anita's approaching Holly Valance-esque levels of not really giving a shit what anyone says to her at this point. She even giggles about being near the bottom of the leaderboard last week, despite having a comparatively good score of 31. They're dancing an Argentine tango to 'Cell Block Tango' from Chicago, and their comedy VT is that Gleb is not in fact taking Anita to Chicago itself, but to the Tower of London to enact his fantasy of her being a prisoner and him being her guard. Considering the training footage we see on It Takes Two I was under the impression he does that most weeks anyway. They dance around a little it and then head back to training, where Anita says it's a beautiful dance and one of the dances she was really desperate to do, but she's finding it very difficult. A quick reminder that Anita Has Never Danced Before, and on we go!

So as I mentioned before, Gleb is wearing a stripperific prison guard outfit with a sleeveless sheer shirt and very tight trousers, and while Anita claws at the bars of her cage, he strides on with his hand on his butt cheek brandishing a truncheon. Anita pops the top of his shirt open, while Gleb Magic Mikes his cap and truncheon off to the side (Gleb can toss off my truncheon any day etc etc) and Anita escapes so they can dance together. As Argentine tangos go, it's not great: Anita's legs are a bit too spindly and spidery to really be as sharp and pointed as they need to be in this dance, and she does look quite stumbly in places. I appreciate that as a card-carrying Anita stan I'm hardly an unbiased witness, but I think they had an uphill struggle this week: the Argentine tango is a tough draw in Musicals Week because there aren't really many songs from musicals that suit it, and this song is clearly more of a traditional tango (hence the title) so as a result the routine is probably a faster tempo than it should have been. While I do think that some of Anita's technical failures in this routine are Gleb's fault for not ironing them out earlier in the competition, I also think he probably did the best he could with a fairly constrictive and unsuitable theme for this dance. (Plus I thought a lot of her rehearsal footage looked fairly decent, so maybe something just went wrong on the night?) Anyway, it's a little gentle and hesitant for an Argentine tango and doesn't really have that much AT content, but the performance level is near-faultless and the spectacle is superb - though it's a shame that she overbalances in the end pose and nearly knocks the cell door right over. If I can borrow a line from the song to sum it up, I'd say it's a murder, but not a crime. Anyway, Anita and Gleb seem pleased with how it went, and it goes down a storm with the audience for whatever that's worth. [Yeah, technically it wasn't amazing  (it wasn't a bloody 6 either) but for performance it was everything - Rad]

Anita and Gleb make their way over to Tess, with Anita giggling about "nearly taking the set with us" while a reaction shot of the Clauditorium shows Natalie fanning herself. Good old Natalie. Bruno says that he wants to start by praising her for even attempting to take on the iconic number from Chicago. Uh oh. He says that she really went for it, but in the attempt to do so many things at once, her footwork got a little bit sloppy. "There are no half-measures with Fosse!" he bellows. But he thinks what she did "with your ability" was good. They do seem to like backhanding Anita at the moment, don't they? First Craig complimenting her on how much she's developing as an actress (as opposed to a dancer) last week, and now Bruno saying "well, it was quite good by your standards". Craig didn't like it, because he thinks it exposed all of Anita's weak points: her flexed feet, her pigeon toes, not bringing her feet together in the ochos, she wasn't following Gleb's lead, but he thinks she has a great sense of drama and that's why the audience liked it. So now they've moved on from shading Anita to outright shading the audience and assuming that we'll leap to our feet and bay for anything that's even the slightest bit camp or dramatic--actually, that's pretty true. Carry on. Darcey says it's a difficult dance, but the energy and attitude and intent were extraordinary, and she admires Anita's fearlessness. Len refers to it as being "like a cowpat on Countryfile" and I get set for him to absolutely slate the whole thing, but he goes on to say that that means it was "hot and steamy" and it turns out that was actually a compliment? I think maybe Len needs a new scriptwriter. He understands the reservations that the other judges have, but he thought they did a spectacular job with a difficult piece of music. Who'd have thought Len the traditionalist would be the one judge to stand up for this routine? He's really keeping us on our toes tonight.

In the Clauditorium, Claudia asks Gleb if he wants to respond to Craig's comments, which I'm taking as grade A trolling on Claudia's part because we all know Gleb wasn't even listening to any of that. Gleb says that he's so proud of Anita because she had never danced before the show and she's made the quarter finals, and she's doing something that is almost impossible. Anita says that she knows about the problems with her feet and she's working on it, "but I've had feet like this for 38 years". Heh. Scores are in: Craig 6 (there's an appalled scream of "WHAT?" here and I have no idea who from: it's a woman's voice and it has to be someone whose mic is on, but it's not Anita and I can't really imagine Claudia reacting in that way. Maybe it's Natalie? She's standing very close to the action, I could see Claudia's or Anita's mic picking up her voice if she was sufficiently outraged), Darcey 8, Len 9, Bruno 8 for a total of 31. Anita's happy with that score. Claudia previews the upcoming dances and accidentally calls Aliona "Aliano". I could totally see Aliona cutting her hair short and donning a fake moustache to come back as "Aliano" the new Italian male pro back when she got fired, now I think about it. [I think she should do it anyway in order to be the first pro to win three times - entering covertly but in an act of supervillainy she'd whip her disguise off when her dancing partner, La Prenj, wins the glitterball - Rad]

Kellie and Kevin are next, with a Viennese waltz to 'Oom-Pah-Pah' from Oliver!. Last week's salsa was their hardest dance ever, lest we forget, and they had to do it twice because of the dance-off, but they survived and made it through to Musicals Week, which I think was always going to be a good fit for Kellie. And if not Kellie, then definitely for Linda Carter. This week Kellie mentions how tough it's been being away from her son so much, particularly because it's his fourth birthday on show day, so she brings him along to one of their training sessions. Kellie asks Freddie which one of her dances was his favourite, and he replies "when you went crazy". You might have to narrow that down, kid. Freddie watches them train, a 10 paddle by his side ready and waiting (I notice there's no sign of paddles 1-9, this training session is clearly RIGGED) and then Kevin gives Freddie his birthday present of a dancing robot, and Freddie is super-adorable and wishes Kellie good luck before getting distracted by the robot again and going POW POW POW POW POW. Hee.

So Kellie's is redefining the role of Nancy by making her a pub landlady rather than a hooker (well, at least this makes a change from Katie being the one having to pretend not to be a hooker for once), and the Viennese waltz sections themselves are nice enough but the rest of it - and I say this as someone who generally likes Kellie - is pretty horrible. There's far too much oom-pah-pahing and dancing on the tables and I don't want to sound like Bruce here but it's all just so loud. And Kellie has to dance on the table again and she gets lifted onto it and off it by one of the backing dancers and I don't even know if that counts as an illegal lift because no one seems to pay any attention to the rules in the theme weeks and I've got a headache and I need an aspirin and I'm so old leave me alone. [Also they don't even get La Prenj to sing is and so what is the point? - Rad]

Craig says it's the first time that he's seen a Viennese waltz that wasn't elegant, had no class, no grace whatsoever and was "common as", and the audience are booing because they can't anticipate that this is clearly ending on "AND I LOVED IT". Which it does. Darcey congratulates Kevin on tailoring the routine so well to Kellie, and she loved seeing Kellie's joy throughout the routine. I did think some of those high kicks were a bit exposing. Len says that he was "reviewing the situation" and he loved it. He adds that it was "like a knees-up down the Old Vic", and I don't think they have many knees ups down there, Len, because they're normally doing Ibsen. He thinks Kellie embraced both the dance and the character of the musical, and adds that he'd like to see it again, and Kellie and Kevin are both all "well, that would mean us being in the dance-off, so can we not plz?" Heh. Bruno sings 'Consider Yourself' at them and says it was a "Viennese waltz by the people, for the people". Didn't Heather Parsons already do that?

Tess wishes Freddie a happy birthday, and Kellie and Kevin screech their way up to the Clauditorium, where Kevin says he had the time of his life doing that. Kellie says that the Viennese waltz is a gorgeous dance to do, and she wasn't sure at first that it was going to fit this theme, but Kevin's very clever and totally pulled it off. Claudia prompts Kevin to talk about how he always tells her "it's just you and me" at the start of every dance, and this seems like a bad time to have brought that up given that there were also four extra people supporting them this week. Scores: all the nines again for 36, putting her in a tie with Georgia.

After the obligatory halfway preview, it's time for Tess And Claudia's Comedy Bit, where Tess asks Claudia if she managed to get those choc-ices for the interval and Claudia appears on screen with chocolate (well, I hope it's chocolate) smeared all around her lips and apologising that they'd run out. As usual, the gag is carried by Claudia and somehow becomes funnier when she can't keep a straight face while Tess is introducing Jay and Aliona.

Ah yes, Jay and Aliona. Last week's tango went well and earned a personal best score of 38, and Jay declares himself to be "on cloud nine - and two 10s". Heh. Jay gets the short straw VT-wise, because they're dancing the rumba to 'Falling Slowly' from Once and Aliona has summoned Ronan Keating, formerly Guy in the West End, to give them some tips. I can't believe we've been waiting all series for the "Jay gets an acting coach" VT and when it finally happens it's Ronan sodding Keating. Ronan plays the song for them on his acoustic guitar (this is mercifully brief, for us at least) and then tells them how the story is that of a man in love with a woman who he can't be with, because she's already married to someone else. (How nobody involved made a Miranda-style look to the camera at this point, I do not know.) Ronan tells Jay that he understands having to work on showing your emotions, as he had to do that when he was doing an acting, but he thinks Jay will really show people what he's capable of this week. Jay tells us that he hopes people feel what he is feeling. Aliona's boobs?

So Jay and Aliona are the only couple to be spared the backing dancers this week, which is a huge advantage in an intimate genre like this. Aliona has, very savvily, opted not to do a contempowaft rumba but to offer up a more traditional interpretation, though Jay's experience with contemporary dance serves him well here with the extensions and the relaxed pace of the whole thing. I'm still waiting for him to have any sort of performance breakthrough because his facial expression is emptier than the list of people involved with this show who are still talking to the Jordans, but nonetheless there's still lovely chemistry between them here and for a blokerumba it's very good indeed.

Afterwards Tess has a minor coughing fit and talks to Jay and Aliona but gets precisely no response so she says they're "still in the zone". Heh. Then she says that Jay is the last man standing in the competition and somebody in the audience whoops loudly. Darcey says that they brought tears to her eyes (there is no actual evidence of this, but bless her for trying) and that while Jay sometimes comes across as being embarrassed, this routine was not embarrassing at all. I love how neatly she sidesteps actively having to say "you didn't look embarrassed this time". Tess asks Len the contemporumba hater if he liked it, and Len says that he did, adding that it was a HARD DANCE FOR A MAN and that Jay will definitely be in the semi-finals. Bruno says it was a pitch-perfect interpretation both as a performer and as a dancer, and it was "emotionally involving" and he stretched through his legs into the floor, to use his feet like hands. It would've been amazing if he'd stopped midway through to scoop up some coins from the floor. Craig thinks this character suited Jay well (what, the character of Generic Man?) and he enjoyed the control to go from a pirouette into a bust-out (I didn't notice him getting his bust out, personally), but the only thing missing was that he would have liked to see Jay dance through the "four-one" (I think?) a little bit more, and everyone starts complaining about Craig always looking for things to criticise, as though he were some sort of judge or something. Craig says it's "advice for the final", then adds an "if you get there", as if that were even necessary at this point.

Up in the Clauditorium, Jay apologises for making Darcey "cry" (sarcasm quotes ours, thanks to Jamelia for lending them to us) and says that this was a hard dance, but Aliona has been so patient with him. Aliona says that as a dancer and a performer, Jay really grew this week. Claudia throws out a quick hello to Jay's mum's friend Bernie, and then we get the scores: Craig 9, Darcey 10, Len 10, Bruno 10 for a total of 39. It's the joint-highest score for a rumba ever (alongside Rachel, Kara and Chelsee), and the highest in-competition blokerumba score ever (where by "in competition" I mean "not counting Matt Di Angelo in the series five Christmas special).

Katie and Anton are next, with their foxtrot (presumably of standard speed, since no mention is made of it being a Slow Foxtrot) to 'Maybe This Time' from Cabaret. Tess points out what we've all been saying all week: that this is a perfectly apt song choice for Anton. Katie looks back over last week and was very pleased with how her Argentine tango went, especially considering how much she's always wanted to do one. Anton jokes about how dancing in December is a strange feeling for him, but he's got used to it. As they discuss dancing the foxtrot in Musicals Week, Katie comments "my cup runneth over" (though I'm sure she quickly licked the sides and the tablecloth to ensure none of that precious precious booze is wasted). Katie tells us that her daughter Natasha was Chief Kit Kat Girl in a school production of Cabaret, so it's like having her own personal coach at home. And also in the training room, since Natasha comes in to offer some advice like "ignore the judges" and "don't just plonk your foot on a chair like a slattern". Natasha then helps her mum to get her leg over a chair on national television, and I imagine as mortifying teenage experiences go, that has to be reasonably high up.

We're probably a good 20 seconds into the song, minimum, before Anton even appears let alone any actual dancing happens, though I appreciate this is very much par for the course in a theme week. It's a very elegant, smooth and surprisingly restrained routine, which is all very lovely but...I wanted more, I suppose. I really had my heart set on Anton high-kicking his way across the floor to "it's gonna happen, happen sometime, maybe this time, maybe this tiiiiime I'll wiiiiiiiiiin" but I suppose it's sensible of him to make sure that Katie herself is the focus of the routine. It's just a shame that it the dance settled for being just a good foxtrot when it could have been an amazing showstopper. [I didn't really like it - and it suffered a lot by comparison with Georgia's - Rad]

Len says that it was a bit long-winded getting started, but it was worth the wait because the movement when she got into hold was very beautiful and accomplished. Bruno likens her to a classic sports car: tricksy, but under expert guidance. (Hang on, I thought Helen was Trixie?) He notes that she was "parked by the kerb for hours", but she was "firing on all cylinders" once she started moving. Craig says that he loved Anton's choreography, and he rather liked the opening - although he wished Katie had been a little bit sassier with it. Darcey tells Katie it's exactly what they want from her: oozing confidence. However, she wants her to stretch those developpé and twist extensions just a little bit more.

Katie and Anton make their way to the Clauditorium, where Anton tells us that he was being very technical when teaching Katie this routine this week. Claudia points out Judy Murray in the audience and theorises that, after her sons' tennis victory in the Davis Cup this week and now she's seeing her ex-dance partner excel on Strictly, and Anton jokes that it was the best week of her life. He then turns to Katie and tells her she's joyous, fabulous, elegant, sophisticated... Scores are in: Craig 8, Darcey 9, Len 9, Bruno 9 for a total of 35. Anton is still excited to be getting nines.

Closing the show, therefore, are Helen and Aljaž, with their paso doble to 'At The End Of The Day' from Les Misérables. Last week they were ecstatic to get their first 10s, and Helen can't quite believe she's in the quarter-final. Helen's perfecting her paso snarl in training when Aljaž tells her that he's taking her to meet the cast of Les Mis to help her get into the role. Helen says, for the benefit of those who didn't watch that segment on It Takes Two, that it was going to see this show in the first place that inspired her to become an actress. At the Queen's Theatre, they meet Peter Lockyer (Jean Valjean) and Carrie Hope Fletcher (Éponine), and Carrie says that the show being about the French revolution ties in with the fieriness of the paso, while Peter says that he's never really thought of this song as a paso before, but now he will. Helen and Aljaž do their paso on the Les Mis stage and Helen says that it's inspired her to be more theatrical in her performance. More theatrical? Sweet Jesus. *hugs self*

Helen certainly delivers on the "more theatrical" promise as she's playing to the back row from the very beginning, and I love it. She's got total commitment to the performance, and Aljaž swings in on a rope as a revolutionary and they dance in formation with their backing dancers. Helen's maybe a touch late on the first step, but her paso shaping in her arms is marvellous, there are some lovely sharp kicks, and her skirt-wafting is superb. It's a shame that she gets a slight touch of the Anitas and overbalances right at the end, which leaves her tottering forward when everyone else is frozen, but the sheer scale and theatricality of this routine is magical. I know it won't be to everyone's taste, but I thought it was fantastic.

Bruno screams about it being a "full-blooded melodrama" and says that there was so much going on he felt punch-drunk. Or perhaps just drunk, who knows? He warns her to watch for the balance issues, and then screams "VICTORY VICTORY!" Oh Bruno. Craig says that her first appel was late, and it's really easy to notice that when you're in a line-up, and she lost her balance at the end - but he loved everything that happened in between those moments. Darcey doesn't know how she fitted in all that dance content, and she worried at times that Helen wasn't on top of it all - she was a little bit upright when she needed to make more curves with her body. Len winds up by saying this was a fitting end to a fantastic quarter-final, and he loved the "sassy cape" and the twist turns, and most of all he loved Helen's facial expression. Hey, me too!

Aljaž very sweetly checks to make sure Helen's got her big swooshing skirt under control as they head up the stairs to the Clauditorium (such a gent!). When they get there, Helen jokes that Aljaž has had a hard week with her having to be so "angry" all the time, but she loved how he choreographed such a big production for her. Scores are in: Craig 8, Darcey 8, Len 9, Bruno 9 for a total of 34. Well, I thought it was worth more than that, but there you go.

Musicals week leaderboard:

1. Jay & Aliona - 39
2=. Georgia & Giovanni - 36
2=. Kellie & Kevin - 36
4. Katie & Anton - 35
5. Helen & Aljaž - 34
6. Anita & Gleb - 31

A chorus line erupts behind Claudia as she declares the phone lines open and reads out the terms and conditions once again, and then we get the final recap of this week's performances. And that's it! On Sunday, there'll be a performance from the cast of The Lion King, and one couple will be posting early closing notices - but who will it be?


Chris Hill said...

I read Bruno's moving about at the beginning of Georgia and Giovanni's routine as desperately trying to see them past the backup cast!

My problem with Katie and Anton's dance is that I don't think what they were doing really matched the song. 'Maybe this time' is a bitter, heartbroken song that builds up to a defiant climax and Katie was just too cheery and upbeat all the way through. I know expecting the dance to match the tone of the chosen music is very old fashioned of me, but I can't help it!

Steven said...

On reflection, I think you're right about Bruno. I think I was just too in love with the idea of him already up and out of his seat with excitement so early in the show...