Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Tameka-ing your mind up

Week 3: Top 14 Results (Movie Week) - 9 October 2016

We begin with a pro routine to 'Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic', starring Giovanni as a cleaner at a movie studio who dreams of being a big star like Aljaž and Joanne, who are the leads in a big romantic movie about...dancing through the library in a stately home. Then Giovanni somehow imagines himself into the movie, all sharply dressed, shoves Aljaž right out the door (poor Aljaž, he really is getting pushed around a lot this year) and takes over as Joanne's dance partner. But it turns out that this is all just a fantasy and Giovanni is kissing his broom (not a euphemism), much to the disgust of arriving bigshot Hollywood director Anton Du Beke and his put-upon assistant Katya. A lovelorn Giovanni watches Joanne walk past, and then Aljaž walks up to him and is a dick for no reason. The rest of the pros run in for a big dance scene and Giovanni continues to dance with his mop until Anton and Katya shoo him off their set. Aljaž continues to glower at Giovanni because he's a rich, handsome douchebag and that's what they do, until Giovanni chucks his mop at Anton before walking off, coming back in his suit and doing exactly what he did in his fantasy, grabbing Aljaž and pulling him in for a deep sensual ki--oh hang on, that's what he did in my fantasy. In his fantasy, he just chucked Aljaž off set, which is what he does here. Joanne's a little shocked but soon realises he's a keeper, and then Anton walks on all "I like that kid's moxie!" and then we see Douchebag Aljaž who's now the cleaner outside the studio, staring forlornly at the poster of Giovanni and Joanne. Even though in real life he'd be getting his own back by making up stories about Giovanni for his wife's autobiography and tweeting pointless incendiary crap all over Twitter every Saturday and then being all "hey guys don't forget to RT if you want me to do this again next week xxx".

Tess and Claudia arrive, having switched outfits and indeed colour schemes from "last night" - Tess is now in black and Claudia is now in white, which means Tess is the evil twin this time. Also, Claudia's dress looks a bit hospital gown-ish, and I say that as someone who recently had to wear one so I speak from experience. The judges return, with Darcey having also switched to the dark side if anyone's keeping score. Tess tells us that also tonight, Michael Ball and Alfie Boe will also be performing somewhere from West Side Story. Yes, Tess, but where? (Ho ho ho.)

Onward, to the recap of last night's episode, wherein I shall only recap the new material: Janette is acting as our backstage guide, Naga thinks the atmosphere backstage is great because everyone's dancing to films that they love, Daisy can't wait, Ore thinks this is what it's all about, Anastacia says that the show goes on, Louise points out that the pressure is on everyone now, Claudia (F) tells us about the big queue for hair and make-up, Laura and AJ are pleased with their hairdos, Will likes the costumes, Craig declares this his favourite week of all time, and Hot Greg The Floor Manager invites everyone onto the set. Darcey wants plenty of sparkle, Len loves a night at the pictures, Ed does an impression of The Mask and Greg (Rutherford) cracks up. After the dance, Brendan congratulates Anastacia on a good comeback. Gorka tells Tameka he's very proud of her, Judge Rinder thinks it's "inevitable" that Craig has finally come to enjoy his face, Naga has still got nerves to battle but vows to conquer them, Ed does another The Mask impression, Louise had the time of her life out there (DIRTY BIT), Aljaž gives Daisy a big hug, Greg gives Natalie a big hug, Danny and Oti are very excited about their nines, Ore asks for a tissue, and Claudia is very excited about her nines while AJ is still cleaning whipped cream off his face.

Tess is holding the Cue Cards Of Doom, so let's see which couples are definitely safe and through to next week's show: Claudia and AJ, Judge Rinder and Oksana, Danny and Oti, Ed and Katya, Naga and Pasha, and Louise and Kevin. The first couple in the dance-off? Laura and Giovanni. There's a gasp of shock from the audience, and while I always thought she'd probably be the first "shock bottom two appearance" of the series, I didn't expect it to happen quite this early. Tess asks her what's going through her head right now, and Laura says she just has to go out there again and give it everything. Craig advises her not to give too much more because it was all there already, and she just needs to try to be more fluid. He tells her she's a wonderful dancer, and he can't believe she's in this situation.

From there, we go up to the Clauditorium to join the saved couples thus far: Louise admits to loudly screaming in Kevin's ear when they were declared safe (not that I noticed), Claudia reveals that Ed will dancing a paso doble to Bonnie Tyler next week and Ed reveals that he's going to be playing a man boldly rescuing a princess from a dragon. Ooh, is the dragon Bonnie Tyler? That sounds fun. Claudia (W) asks Claudia (F) if she felt safe being at the top of the leaderboard, and Claudia (F) replies that it doesn't feel safe in the slightest, and she's just praying that the public will vote. Danny has the quickstep next week, and says he will be as fast as Oti wants him to be. Judge Rinder is asked to indicate how excited he is about getting through by the medium of facial muscles alone, and Naga admits that she thought she was in the dance-off, but the public have been so supportive, and she says she's really pleased to be here. And despite the claims from some people I've seen that she's clearly hating every minute, she does seem fairly sincere in that. I guess Naga's just like me, and she has resting "I hate this" face.

Next: Michael Ball and Alfie Boe sing 'Somewhere' from West Side Story while Anton and Joanne dance beautifully in front of them. I'd rather it was the Pet Shop Boys on vocals, but you can't have everything. [Loved the dancing.  HATED the racket of these two trying to out-alpha male each other and pretend that it wasn't a bit gay them singing to each other by studiously avoiding eye contact or even trying to sing in a manner that complemented one another.  Should have just done some Les Mis - Rad]

Now, what we're missing this evening is some real in-depth nuanced, critical discourse, but never mind, we've got Len's Lens instead! Claudia treats us to the Brunocam during Louise's cha cha cha, throwing his arms around like a three-year-old working off his first espresso. There's some moderate insight as Claudia uses the slo-mo footage to show us what the coup de pique in Danny's paso and the fishtail in Lesley's quickstep looked like, and Len demonstrates them for us into the bargain, so there's your "educate" part of the BBC remit for the weekend. Darcey explains why she wasn't that happy with the lifts in Greg's American smooth, which apparently comes down to how you have to "hide the attack [...] not show any effort", so I think basically what she wants to see is a ninja hipster. Or a hipster ninja, I don't know if they're separate things. Then, of course, we must look at Judge Rinder's ever-animated face, this time in its charleston form, and Craig valiantly attempts to explain why the faces were appropriate this time but is drowned out by Claudia, Darcey and Bruno squawking at the hilarity of it all. Claudia then asks Craig to pull the appropriate faces for rumba, tango and charleston, all of which seem to necessitate having some sort of invisible fishhook in one or both eyebrows. Now I want you all to go and practice that in the mirror and be prepared to perform it for the whole class next week.

Back over to Tess now, with the good or bad news for the seven remaining couples. Safe and through to next week are: Ore and Joanne, Greg and Natalie, Daisy and Aljaž, Will and Karen, and Anastacia and Brendan (which is quite the surprise to Anastacia, let me tell you). So that leaves Lesley and Anton, and Tameka and Gorka, waiting to learn which of them is in the dance-off. The couple in the dance-off is...Tameka and Gorka, surprisingly [I was not that surprised at Laura but I was surprised at this - Rad]. My favourite part of this comes after the announcement, when Lesley turns to Anton looking very confused and asks "are we out or are we through?" I can't even begin to imagine what goes through your mind when you're standing up there, so I can totally believe that you tune out everything apart from the names and, having been left until the very end, have no understanding of whether something very good has happened or something very bad has happened.

Tess asks Tameka if she's disappointed to be in this position, and Tameka says yes she is, but they're at that point in the competition now where somebody has to go home - but she doesn't want it to be her, so she's going to "pull out what I can" in the dance-off. Good job this isn't live, otherwise I think the production gallery would be frantically looking through the compliance rules and wondering how you handle a pre-watershed nip slip. Tess then goes "aww, bless you! Shall we ask this little lot?" like she's talking to a particularly slow-developing child, and then asks Len what advice he has for Tameka. Len advises her to lift her ribcage a bit to improve her posture, but says she's not to worry if she can't, because she should just do what she's good at, and that's perform. "The back injury ain't gonna hurt me this time, I'm gonna hurt it," vows Tameka.

Before we get to the nasty business of elimination, however, there's a brief period of celebration with the six remaining couples up in the Clauditorium. Ore says that he's overwhelmed that they're going to get to dance again, and that the reason he got so emotional after the performance is because he knew how much it meant to Jo, who is "already one of my best mates". D'awww. Then Claudia and Daisy have a giggle over how absolutely shit-scared Daisy gets during the elimination each week, though at least now she has firm proof that she's more popular than Laura (they don't actually discuss that last bit). Daisy does the inevitable "we're all family, we don't want to see anyone go home bit" and Anastacia tells the viewers at home that she loves them for saving her. Then it's over to Greg who reveals that he is doing another dance with lifts next week (salsa? Charleston? Argentine tango? None of those fill me with confidence, to be honest) and Claudia jokes that he could probably just lift up the whole sofa with his little finger, and Greg's all "don't joke with me, Winkleman, I'm up for that". Then Lesley explains to Claudia that she wasn't really sure until she was led up to the Clauditorium that she actually was safe, and finally Claudia reveals that Will has the Viennese waltz next week, and also makes fun of the way Will stares at his feet during the results. They're a very nervous lot this year.

After a quick trailer for It Takes Two, it's time for the dance-off. Giovanni advises Laura to do it just like she did before, because he really enjoyed it. And also the dancing. They go down to take their positions and Tameka says that she's going to try and get her framing right this time around, and Gorka says that he has been proud of her from the very first day, and then they high-five. Well, this is all enormously depressing.

Laura and Giovanni go first, reprising their salsa. It's more or less the same as it was the first time out, and Laura's dancing it with gusto, but it could still do with more hip action, and she still doesn't quite pull off the over-the-shoulder lift. After that, Tameka and Gorka perform their tango for a second time, with Gorka removing his hat voluntarily this time, although it sits rather awkwardly in the middle of the floor throughout and I'm constantly worried one of them is going to slip on it. Tameka's really giving it her all as well, though there are still some problems with her frame, and she does seem to lose her balance in one of the turns. It's a tough one: they both have potential and you could make a case for keeping (or losing) either of them.

Over to the judges, who will be voting on the dance-off alone. Apparently. Craig says that it's a nightmare and he doesn't feel like he's been in this position before, but he thought Laura and Giovanni bettered their performance from the night before, so he votes to save them. Darcey notes that she marked them both the same in the performance show, and that they both improved in the dance-off, but she thought the stronger focus and intent came from Tameka and Gorka. Bruno thinks they're both fantastic and they shouldn't be in the dance-off, but out of the two, the standout was Laura and Giovanni. So it's over to Head Judge Len for the casting vote - he doesn't think either of them should be here either, "but that's the nature of the thing", but he felt the more polished performance came from Laura and Giovanni, so Tameka and Gorka are out.

Gorka drops down to his knees (steady on) and applauds Tameka as the audience get to their feet and Tess tells her it's all been too brief. Tameka agrees that it has been, and says that she's been very grateful to be a part of the whole experience. Gorka thanks her for being such an amazing partner and teaching him so many things. Tameka adds very pointedly that Gorka is such a lovely person and such an asset to the show, i.e. don't you dare Trent him Louise Rainbow. She tells him that she loves him, and he is not to change. I hope by that she means "stay in that police uniform forever", because that would be fine by me.

The band strike up 'My Heart Will Go On' and Tameka and Gorka take the floor for their last dance. He swings her around and around and she stumbles to her feet, then Tameka hikes up her skirt to reveal that her knee is all bandaged up, just to show us what she's been through for this show, and then we cut to the post-elimination confessionals: a tearful Laura says that Tameka is unbelievable, and this has all just become very real. Judge Rinder is really crushed, Daisy thinks no one is safe, Louise thinks each week is a bonus, Karen is grateful to have survived, Lesley can smile again, Ore is thrilled to be in the top three on week three, Claudia is delighted to be through, and believe it or not so is Naga, Danny's pleased that he made it, Ed isn't quite sure how he's going to top this, Natalie's buzzing for next week, Anastacia will be doing a rumba and that's a wrap on movie week - the third movie week in a row where we've lost one of our new pros. Guess there's a new Strictly curse in town...


F a t i m a said...

the third movie week in a row where we've lost one of our new pros

That's an interesting stat. My theory is that 'movie' week requires ever more shoehorning of ballroom dance-unfriendly songs with similarly unsuitable themes. Will got away with his with a slick dance, but those less talented do not, especially when paired with a pro who hasn't built up a fan base. We've hardly heard a peep out of Gorka. Partly his fault for letting Tameka do 95% of the talking.

Steven said...

I imagine it's also not unrelated to the fact that Gorka doesn't appear to be massively confident speaking in English just yet. Hopefully that will change in time.

Steven said...

(Which may even have been the reason they gave him to Tameka in the first place - they knew she'd be more than capable of filling in the silence for him)