Saturday, 10 September 2016

Ringer-ing in the new series

Launch show: Saturday 3 Sep 2016

Welcome back! 

Yes, it’s been a whole year since we last visited the ballroom (well, okay, just under nine months from the Christmas special but you know what I mean). In that time, there has been PRO-AGEDDON with Aliona, Kristina, Ola, Tristan and lovely Gleb all departing the show. Some of those people will be more missed than others, I suspect (Put it this way, it took me ages to think of one of those people, such an impression had they made on me during their two seasons on the show).

Tonight! Let’s see which of the pros announced for the series actually gets a celebrity dancer! Let’s guess how invested Brendan Cole is going to be this year! And in this cast, which looks to be the ringiest of all time (possibly), let’s see if we can spot at this stage who really is a dirty RINGAH! It’s time! To! Troll Simon Cowell by having X Factor runners-up give guest performances! [It'd better not be Ray Quinn or I'm walking. - Steve]

We open with a sci-fi-esque tribute to Star Wars/Trek/etc (and possibly the X Factor’s giant X), with a giant planet glitter ball and a little cutesy rocket. Some Star Wars style text scrolls up, with lots of lame gags until we get to the punch of our planet’s life being in the hands of Tess and Claudia. Let’s just be glad they didn’t get special guest Ollie Mares (Dragon is usually quite good at recognising celebrity’s names, dancers aside, but apparently it doesn’t know who he is and I envy it its blissful ignorance). #justiceforcarolineflack

Somewhere in the bowels of the Tess’n’Claud helmed ship, Bruno “accidentally” finds himself sitting on Len’s lap, Darcey stands around looking vague and Craig turns up in a sub- Darth Vader costume choking on the dry ice – which he calls ‘cosmic dust’ (clearly the substance that the brains behind this sequence were imbibing). Darcey then ‘activates’ some of the pros (Brendan – cuddled up with a kitty, Pasha – wearing a sequined eye mask and both in white vests and boxers which yes I’m sure is how they sleep) [it would be on Hollyoaks, especially if they were lovers - Steve], who have been lying in stasis chambers. As she presses to activate Anton, Craig asks her, anxiously, to THINK IT THROUGH. Heh. Anton is reactivated in a suit. And painted grey. For reasons which I hope are nothing to do with Fifty Shades, but given who his celeb partner will be…

Then we see Aljaz and Janette walking through the corridor carrying bins as… robot… cleaners?  And Kevin exercising with glitterball dumbbells whilst a robot Karen makes the obvious filthy joke about Uranus. [But enough about the VILE TIRADE she had against Ola that time. - Steve] Then Oti turns up in a white frightwig and makes some sort of protein shake –and shakes as well, and looks about as bemused as I feel and she’s also subtitled which… Hmmm.

Then Giovanni gets into a fake tan machine where the settings are ‘orange’, ‘very orange’ and sadly not the correct punchline, ‘Artem’, but the far stupider ‘alien’.  He comes out covered in green paint and I would like to know precisely how much Pasha paid the make-up people for that not to be him yet again. A newly-blonde (or re-blonde given it’s her natural colour) Joanne and Natalie put their hair under driers and come out with dos about half the size of Pixie’s tango hair.

Then they all dance to Nicki Minaj’s ‘Starships’ [though sadly without the "we're higher than a motherfucker" bit, which I for one would've loved to hear at Saturday teatime - Steve], apart from Brendan and Anton who float about in space suits before gazing at each other romantically, then holding hands and dancing together – FOR ALL THOSE WHO WANT SAME-SEX DANCES AMIRITE? We see Natalie and Joanne gushing over this unlikely ship, whilst Craig pulls a ‘hmm, this is skating perilously close to queerbaiting’ face.

Have I mentioned we are three and a half minutes into the show, we’ve only met a handful of pros, no celebrities have arrived yet and I’ve already been recapping for half an hour?  Yikes. Craig pushes a button to send them crashing to the floor and then he leads everyone in a corridor dance which seems to involve elements of Thriller and Riverdance and fucking Gangnam Style and what the hell even is this? Then they dance a bit more and the judges throw some score paddles about and the audience do a countdown and the wobbliest cardboard space ship you have ever seen floats onto the red carpet outside with the waiting fans.  Much as I appreciate the sentiment of paying tribute to sci-fi in Star Trek’s 50th anniversary year, I’d rather they brought back the porn train. (I just rewatched it – it has ACTUAL DANCING in it. And a full complement of pros. And Aliona sassing the camera like she knows she’s about to be the most successful pro ever. And Natalie Lowe hitching her skirt a bit too high and loving it, the saucy minx. And it looks fun! Everyone in the space sequence looked painfully aware of how awful the whole thing was.)

The spaceship lifts to reveal Tess’n’Claud (looking lovely by the way – Tess in a long navy blue dress and Claudia in a red strapless number) and the judges. And then the stars – and we get the first glimpse of all our celebrities. Tameka Empson is upfront and centre and already grabbing attention, which bodes well. I think? Danny Mac makes some desperate ‘from Chester to Char Char Char’ comment like anyone’s even remembered you were actually on Hollyoaks given your secret twin sister has just been banged up for the murder of your secret father which was actually committed by your secret incest daughter who found out your secret dad was trying to frame his wife who was your illicit true love for about five minutes and your other dad is sort of missing in action these days and the serial-killer doctor who killed your serial-killer brother who killed your mother - the brother whom your incest serial-killer daughter also tried to kill was killed by yet another serial killer - and no-one’s even bothered to tell you about any of it. 

Also of note? Lesley Joseph and Judge Rinder dance on together which could be an interesting buddy combo. [Insider info: they were paired together for the pre-launch press junket, and they spent pretty much the entirety of their interview arguing about Blackpool, it was amazing. - Steve] Ed Balls does the wiggle that launched a thousand GIFs and Anastacia says this is ‘the madness’ she’s ‘always wanted’. Yes, that Anastacia, whose performance style doesn’t suggest an unfamiliarity with ‘the madness’. I suspect we’re having a year of kooks and I am all for that as long as they are more Mark Benton/Nancy Dell’Olio than Russell Grant/Widdy.

Now, I thought the absence of new pros in the space thing was to save them for some kind of big in-show launch, but as C&C Music Factory’s ‘Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now)’ kicks in, Neil and Katya Jones are present amongst the pros flinging themselves around whilst the celebs stand watching with looks of terror on their faces (hee). The music morphs into a mashup of that and Justin Timberlake’s ‘I Can’t Stop the Feeling (Dance Dance Dance)’. What is with (songs employing parentheses)? This is more like it – we have a frenetic mash-up of ballroom, Latin, disco and god-knows what, from pros old and new, taking us from the carpet to the ballroom. Brendan does a biffed cartwheel, and there’s some weird business where Anton takes Natalie, Jo and Karen to be his three wives in some unholy dance harem (I am already steeling myself for the idea that Brendan and Anton could be even more over this than their previous few series, Katie and Sophie excepted, would suggest), but otherwise it’s glittery and fast and fun.

Tess and Claud come on and I recall my previous comment about their attire – Claudia is actually in bright pink and ’s OK.  Tess is in a ‘blurple’ type dress and whilst the colour is lovely, it has some weird-ass shoulder/arm things going on – one side has a standard strap over bare shoulder thing happening, but the other has a full-on sleeve with a hole cut out on the shoulder. I think Claudia might have been raiding the Sewing Bee cut-off bins again. They preview what’s coming up: 6 new pros! Two of the most annoying ever X-Factor runners up! A final reliving of the blessed Jive of St Jay PBUI despite Aliona’s insistence last year that it was too pure to ever be tainted by a second performance. The judges dance on and Claudia reminds us that it’s Len’s last series ‘and Craig’s too, but we haven’t told him yet. SURPRISE!’ The glee on her face makes the gag worth it.

On the subject of Len leaving, by the way – yes, long overdue, but I am not looking forward to it being dragged out all series in every comment he ever makes with loads of tribute clips of him shouting SEVUUUUN and the endless speculation of whether or not we’ll see Head Judge Anton or Karen Hardy or Ashley Banjo or that man with the bum from Money Supermarket adverts or whoever else the tabloids seize upon take his place (I’m all for head judge Erin Boag. I’d also take Kristina or Joanne going on their choreography corner stints.) [I vote for Erin too. Head Judge Miss Whiplash 4lyf. - Steve]

And now to the best part of any launch night – finding out the job titles our celebrities’ agents have wangled for them: TV presenter and singer Louise Redknapp; BBC Sports Presenter Ore Oduba; Actress Lesley Joseph; Star of Judge Rinder, Robert Rinder (and it’s Rinder like Tinder, which I did not know, having never seen it); Olympic gymnast Claudia Fragapane; TV presenter and radio DJ Melvin Odoom; Model Daisy Lowe; Actor and pop star (not idol?) Will Young; ‘From BBC Breakfast’ Naga Munchetty; World Champion Long-jumper Greg Rutherford (I guess you don’t get to be ‘Olympic Gold Medallist’ if you didn’t win it in the most recent Olympics then?); EastEnders star Tameka Empson; Former Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls, TV host Laura Whitmore; Actor Danny Mac, and finally, singer Anastacia. They are all a little ho-hum, aren’t they? [I'm quite impressed that Daisy is, to my recollection, the only model to compete on Strictly whose agent was happy just to have her identified as a model. Remember when they tried to convince us that Clancy was also a presenter? - Steve] Though I’d say Will Young getting 'actor' from being in that one thing once and Louise Redknapp still getting ‘singer’ 20 years or so after she last released a song are a bit generous. 

Len calls ‘the girls’ risky and frisky and ‘the boys’ powerful and perky (Jeez, Len, we’re onto your private fantasies this early on?!).  Claudia asks Bruno who will win from the way they walked down.  Bruno says some of them were flamingos and cheetahs and some were wildebeests. [Looks like Craig wasn't the only judge exposed to the 'cosmic dust'. - Steve] OK then. Time for our first meeting celebs and pairing them up!

Former reality dance show judge Louise Redknapp tries to counter the ringer accusations by saying she’s not done any preparation at all.  I dunno, there’s something about her that makes me suspect she’s super-competitive and has spent years watching clips on YouTube and forcing Jamie to help her perfect every single damn genre on this show until she’s been ready to finally take to the floor.  She says she wants a kind and patient partner who shouldn’t expect ‘too much too soon’ and that she couldn’t do Strictly before when her kids were young, but now the time is right. See! She’s totally been spending years practising! I knew it!

Naga Munchetty is used to millions watching her on telly, but not hundreds in an audience (fun fact!  I nearly went on BBC Breakfast to talk about celebrity deaths earlier this year and one of my colleagues was very jealous that I’d get to meet Naga. Then Prince died the night before I was due to go over and it was called off because it’d look a bit too on-the-nose, so no nattering with Naga for me). She reminds us of some of the previous Breakfast competitors, omitting Natasha Kaplinksy, who is clearly DEAD TO BREAKFAST for some reason.

Anastacia spends her entire VT gurning it up and says she’s not into militancy in a partner (I didn’t follow James Jordan’s twitter meltdown about how OMG IT SO RIGGED but did he moan about this at all)?

Laura Whitmore says Tom Hanks taught her to dance and we see a slightly cringey clip of her interviewing him. I know the show likes to cast A-listers by proxy by putting their partners on the show, but this is taking things a bit far.

Louise is first to meet her partner, and she has her hair pulled into a ponytail that makes her still look as young as she did twenty-years ago. [And an ill-fitting dress that ages her by 20 years. - Steve] We are shown the line-up of male pros, and Neil Jones is absent – guessing he’s this year’s Joanne, being shunted off to ITT?  I have also heard rumours of the *shudder* dance troupe being revived.  I thought that went back to its home planet never to be seen again? [I think he's down to play a significant part in choreography over the series, so he'll probably be looking after the group numbers and stuff. - Steve] Speaking of being partnered with someone who seems young for her age, Louise is dancing with Kevin. Much as I like Kevin, he really is overdue a duffer and I don’t see Louise being that. They’re both very happy with the pairing, understandably.

Naga, wearing a red dress that flatters her nicely, is partnered with Pasha for a vaguely rhyming partnership. He kneels before her and pulls her onto his lap and a million viewers screengrab the shot and Photoshop their faces into it. [I've told you before, take that camera out of my home. - Steve]

Tess asks Anastacia if she can dance and, straight down the camera, she deadpans ‘There’s no promises here and I’m just glad to be in your country.’ Tess tells her it’s a win win situation whoever she gets, and Anastacia, aware that Anton has not yet been partnered says ‘really?’ She’s paired up with Brendan, who looks a little terrified, but I think I’m going to enjoy her and if the two of them get on, it could be a lot of fun. [I think Brendan's going to find her exhausting, but that could be fun too. - Steve]

Tess asks if Laura ‘can move as well as she looks’. I dunno, Tess but maybe she can grammar as good as you does. Laura is wearing a fringed dress in my favourite shade of bright yellow. Seriously, I’d demand that colour every week if I was on. She’s partnered with Giovanni and she says Irish and Italian is a spicy combo. And the showmance rumours have already started good god.

The first pairings are standing in the Clauditorium because they’re not yet familial enough to sit, I guess. [Either that or the male pros literally can't sit down in those trousers because MY WORD they are tight. - Steve] Laura says it’s even sparklier than she imagined.  Claudia asks Naga whether Carol’s advice was to make sure she was paired with Pasha and Naga says Carol told her to ‘take full advantage’. Ha! I like this year’s female cast a lot already. Claudia and Louise gush over Kevin.

Len says he watches Naga every morning and the female celebrities are a bit like muesli ‘bitty, soggy and give you the shits’. Or you know, fruity and nutty blah blah blah.

Time for our first ‘special’ guest, whose performance I will watch for approximately five seconds in order to answer the following burning question: Does Rebecca Ferguson still honk like a goose? Answer? Yes, unsurprisingly.

Claudia tells us there are six new pros, and we’re going to meet them through the medium of… Conga.  Great. Confusingly, the dance (a Gloria Estefan backed generic party Latin ‘conga’ rather than the Black Lace Party Party variant) opens with the existing female pros beckoning us to the dancefloor, where they dance with the existing male pros who are wearing the most godawful shirts known to man – some black, brown and orange rectangle shape things that even a 70s dad on holiday would think were too ugly.  Even more confusingly, our first introduction is to: ‘Four time British champion Kevin Clifton and World Mambo Champion Karen Clifon’, then ‘Eight time Australian ballroom champion Natalie Lowe.’  Interesting how, when our celebs get slightly underwhelming intros, our pros get the starriest ones they’ve ever had.  We also meet: ‘Nineteen times Slovenian champion (of…?) Aljaž Škorjanec’ and ‘International Latin Superstar (oof) Janette Manrara’; ‘First ever Strictly Champion (damning with the faintest of praises there) Brendan Cole’; ‘Legend of the ballroom (dear oh dear) Anton du Beke’ and ‘World Ballroom Showdance champion Joanne Clifton’; ‘US national finalist and 2014 Stricly champion Pasha Kovalev’; ‘Eight time South African Latin champion Oti Mabuse’; ‘Italian Latin Champion Giovanni Pernice’. 

And now the newbies: ‘Ukrainian Latin Champion Oksana Platero’; ‘British, European and World Latin Champions: Neil and Katya Jones’ ‘Three time undefeated-something-I-couldn’t-make-out ["youth Latin" - Steve] champions and also apparently contestants on BGT once-upon-a-time looking at their website which also looks like it’s emulating the style of a Geocities homepage from 1998 because millennials, huh, AJ Pritchard and Chloe Hewitt’ and finally ‘Spanish Latin Dance Sensation Gorka Marquez’ – who comes on dancing a bit like David Brent infused with Scott Mills as a crab, so… yeah, guessing he’s going to be producing some Gorka Specials before the series is out.

Also: that's it.  No promo videos where we get to meet them or anything like that, which means they're going to have to work harder than usual to stand out. Also: Neil's role (or lack thereof) is not explained. (Also Chloe's but I entirely forgot about her when I initially wrote this recap. Poor Chloe.)

Claudia, bedecked in a lengthened golf jumper which looks like another Sewing Bee alteration challenge gone wrong, says she’s looking forward to seeing Greg Rutherford because she’s always been a fan of a ‘long jumper’. Ho. Time to pair up the first set of male celebs.

Melvin Odoom looks very cheerful and does a high-pitched impression of his over-excited mum and says you can put him in every kind of outfit and he won’t be scared.

We’re reminded that Greg has won gold and bronze in LIMPICS and he has a young son who likes dancing. BABY WARS KLAXON! Greg says he wants to rectify ‘losing’ in Rio by winning Strictly.

Judge Rinder next.  Having only ever seen pictures of him before (he looks like the baddie from Who Framed Roger Rabbit?), I imagined he’d be some mouthy American type, but no, he’s got a slightly camp and posh British accent. He loves the ‘absolute joy and escapism’ of Strictly. Oh God, he’s a luvvie! *Rubs hands in glee* [He is the absolute luvviest of luvvies and that's precisely why I love him. I'm so excited he's on the show this year. - Steve]

Dodger reminds us about some of his sensational Hollyoaks storylines and says he did to dance at college BUT THAT WAS YEARS AGO AM NO DIRTY RINGAH.  Oh this cast and how defensive they’re all going to be about their SECRET DANCE PASTS.

Melvin says his mum loves Tess and Tess is genuinely surprised at this.  Poor Tess.  He’s paired up with Janette, who does her typical manic ‘can’t tell if real or fake excited because it’s Janette’ reaction.

Greg is shaking and we can see some sort of odd tattoo on his side, a rose? Can’t tell! He is partnered with Natalie, WHO IS TALL and who looks like all her Christmases have come at once. On paper it’s her best chance of a win in years, but athletes are certainly not guaranteed to be any good, so… [Also Greg spent the entire pre-launch telling everyone he was incredibly shit at dancing and that getting Natalie was literally his only hope of not falling on his arse, so...good luck Natalie? - Steve]

Judge Rinder (what are we calling him?  Judge?  Robert?  Rinder?  I can’t wait for the proper credits to actually tell us) makes a joke about looking forward to being judged by Len, Darcy and Bruno (‘I missed someone? Did I?).  He’s paired with Oksana for a series of blonde jokes and he says he’s never been so excited about meeting a girl and Tess says ‘there’s a first time for everything’. Hee.
Tess says Danny played ‘Mark Savage’ on Hollyoaks and that’s also Craig’s judging strategy. She asks Danny how he feels about what he’s wearing and he says it was either what they’ve put him in or nothing and Tess gets the sexual harassment in early by expressing her clear disappointment. Oh dear, I just noticed the weird leg thing on Tess’s dress – one half is straight and normal, the other cuts off with an uncomfortable curve on the thigh. Danny is paired with Oti, who seems happy, but in the Clauditorium, he reveals he has ‘a rogue shoulder’ and you can just tell Oti’s suddenly having flashbacks to last year. [I feel like "poor Oti" is going to become a meme at this rate. - Steve]

Claudia asks Oksana what phrase Judge Rinder will most likely hear in Russian, and she says something… which we don’t get translated. [Was I the only person who found this incredibly uncomfortable, given that Oksana is Ukranian? - Steve] Claudia reminds us of how obscure Melvin is by pointing out he works ‘on Kiss radio’ which is never a thing anyone has actually listened to, right?

We throw over to some meaningless glibness from Bruno and Darcy before the annual visit from last year’s winners. Jay says he and ‘Ali’ formed an amazing friendship. Aliona, whose hair has been bleached almost white, says she was glad to leave on a high (/with a ‘fuck you bitchez’). They reprise DAT JIVE and, like all returning winners’ dances, it suffers a little from the loss in athleticism of the celeb involved, but it’s still a stunning routine – just not as stunning as it would have been IN LAST YEAR’S FINAL FGS. [It wasn't quite the disaster that Caroline's salsa was last year, but it really did look quite rough. Maybe they ruined the specialness by doing it EVERY NIGHT ON TOUR and that's why? - Steve] Aliona says she had an amazing seven years and she’ll miss it, but she won the glitterball twice. Jay, out of breath, says to enjoy it, just as Caroline Flack told him to last year. Aww.

It’s been a good twenty minutes since our last comedy VT, so here comes another: Grange Hill music accompanying Tess, Claud and the pros to the first day of training to meet the celebs. Of note: Judge Rinder says he’s never seen so many attractive people in one place before outside of a magazine. Louise is all ‘oh noes I hope I can dance, it’s been sooooooo long.’ Claudia struggles with ‘having a partner… the steps and stuff.’ Anastasia says the thing she can bring to the show is doing the splits. She does the sideways splits… kind of. With a bit of an angle thing going on that makes it look a little like ‘sitting.’ Judge Rinder is secretly ripped. [And so are Ore's trousers. Look, I just get paid to report the facts, okay? - Steve]

Back in the ballroom, Tess says she’s looking forward to Claudia doing gymnastics and then our Claudia (or a body double? Maybe not going on the audience whoops, but who can tell, for as we all know, the BBC LIEZ) does some impressive backflips and splits before Tess says she means Claudia the gymnast contestant (pronounced Cloud-ia to distinguish).

More VTs now.  Claudia F says she loves the audience reaction at the Olympics and she wants the crowd to go wild in the same way on Strictly.  She says she’s 4 foot 7 and can barely walk in heels so she’s nervous about that. 

Daisy says she’s acted and written a cookbook and knows Sam Smith and stuff but is first and foremost a model (/daughter of celebrities /ex of a Doctor.  Sidebar: Why is Pearl Lowe on apparently-still-going-even-though-noone-can-follow-the-scheduling Four Rooms now? And where has Anita Rani gone? And what is Raj Bisram doing on some BBC daytime antiques thing, still wearing the same costume he wears on FR? And why, of all things, is it now Sarah Beeny's Four Rooms?).  Daisy’s looking forward to the costumes, hair and make-up.  I'm more here for the tango to Kraftwerk's 'The Model' but whatever floats your boat.

Lesley, dressing like Dorien, says she’s looking forward to having a spray tan, never having had one in her life. I find that kind of hard to believe. She’s pleased to be the oldest ever female contestant as it could be inspiring.

Tameka says she can’t imagine why people mix her up with Kim and then full-on-Kim-gushes and says she’s most looking forward to doing the showdance in the final. Ha!

Tess reminds Claudia that she’s eighteen and tiny and she looks about half the size of Tess, bless her, although I think the ‘awww isn’t she cute’ thing is going to get old fast, especially as she’s paired up with little puppy AJ. Tess calls them ‘pocket rockets’ and oh yeah, that’s going to be a thing, isn’t it?
Daisy says she wants someone to be tough with her and work her quite hard because it’s going to be intense and she delivers this in a very breathy wanting to meet Christian Grey kind of way. She’s paired with Aljaz, who has form in dancing with models-who-are-closely-associated-with-people more-famous-than-themselves.

This means Lesley and Tameka are left to discover who’ll be the Anton – it’s Lesley, unsurprisingly, with Tameka getting Gorka.  Lesley says she’s reasonably fit for a woman of her age, and the hairstyle and purple they’ve got her in make her look like an older Deanna Troi. She doesn’t appear to be that thrilled to get Anton but jumps into his arms and calls him a legend anyway. Tameka (who plays a Salsa teacher in EE, RINGER ALERT), fakes spinning herself dizzy and then says she’s happy to be working with a dancer who can lift her up and place her down on the dance floor and she and Gorka hug and his arms are kind of stuck out at weird uncomfortable angles like he doesn’t quite know what to make of it all.

In the Clauditorium, Tameka writes Len’s jokes for him by saying she has a ‘corker’ of a partner.  Lesley says she’ll be sleeping in her dance for the rest of her time, Daisy claimed she had a bath of just glitter and Claudia says she feels sick. Claudia says AJ looks 11 and a half and asks if his school has given him permission to be here. [We're really going to need some sort of code to distinguish the two Claudias in these segments, aren't we? - Steve] Craig says he adores Tameka and he’s looking forward to seeing Oti and Danny.

Time for our second ‘special’ guest, whose performance I will watch for approximately five seconds in order to answer the following burning question: Does Olly Murs still come across as an unsufferable twat whose face I would like to punch? Answer? Obviously. 

Time for our final set of celebs and our first Ed Balls. Ed Balls. Joke. Cos that’s not getting tired.
Ore shows us that he was in Rio, in case you don’t know who he is.  He also says he’s a crybaby.  He doesn’t mention he has RINGER FORM from Let’s Dance. Ed Balls says he’s coming in below novice level and that this is going to be tougher than politics. Will Young enthuses about all the characters he plays in his pop videos. The luvvie-offing between him and Rinder is going to be what I live for, I can sense it. He says he’s done lots of dance at college BUT NOT LATIN OR BALLROOM OK.

Ore says he’s going to just dance everywhere in his daily life and that he’s really looking forward to the jive. He is partnered with Joanne who seems quite pleased. Hopefully he’s as much of a contender as I suspect, because I would love to see her with a serious contender (and for some reason, her blonde hair seems more serious than the red as well).

Ed is partnered with Katya, who will at least get herself some publicity for having the komedy kontestant, I guess. Maybe it’s punishment for that fat suit internet outrage thing the other week. That leaves Will to be partnered with Karen, who is delighted, much to the rage of James Jordan (who got to the final twice, whilst Karen has had to dance with the likes of Dave Myers and Nicky’s nono). [You'd need a microscope to find the amount of fucks I give about James Jordan's opinion, but it really is rich of him to complain about anyone getting preferential treatment considering he got megaringer after megaringer during his time on the show, and usually managed to guide them to an early boot. Eat shit, James Jordan, I hope we have our first three-way tie for the win this year and it's ALL CLIFTONS. - Steve]

Then there’s the usual rounds of gushing and judgely ‘advice’ about having fun and hard work. 
And now we come to the annual car crash group dance! Given that there’s been little in the way of actual content, recapping this show has felt like a slog so I’m happy to get here.

First impressions? Ed Balls is as dad dancey as we all expected, Ore looks to have some moves, Anastacia can growl, Daisy can pose, Naga can flirt, Claudia seems a little nervous, Tameka is less OTT than expected, Laura looks more Rachel Riley than Caroline Flack, Judge Rinder has the energy at least [he moves like a muppet and it amuses me so much, his body moves about a clear second before his head follows it <3 - Steve], Louise and Will seem to be coping well, Lesley seems enthusiastic and the others are a bit obscured in the crowd apart from one moment where Greg does the mashed potato.

Tess and Claudia remind us to come back later in the month, and we'll be back with you then.  But for now… Start Dancing!


Katy Boyer said...

I think my favourite bit was Will Young's "I went to stage school BUT ONLY FOR ONE TERM"

Soph said...

Poor Neil. Him and Chloe on the sidelines, weeping.

Rad said...

It'll be interesting to see if Neil and Chloe actually get to speak. I do wonder why they need two spare pros, unless they're planning some injuries!

Katy - the NOT A RINGER!! desperation can only increase can't it? I think there might be more ringers than not in this cast.

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