Sunday, 16 October 2016

The Third Coming

Week 4 Performance Show: Saturday 15 October 2016

Last week! We went to the movies and had our first (sort of) shock bottom two, with Laura facing off against Tameka and the EastEnders star leaving earlier than many of us had expected. Then! Shock news as Will left the show mid-week for personal reasons. Still, the show must go on, and to guide us through these troubled times are Tess (in an odd stripy foil dress thing) and Claudia (in black, with a quirky shoulder arrangement going on), along with the judges, whose notional attempts at dancing are grimaced through even less enthusiastically than usual.

Our contestants arrive: Louise and Kevin; Judge Rinder and Oksana; Lesley and Anton; Claudia and AJ; Ore and Joanne; Daisy and Aljaž; Naga (in a bizarre blue wig and alien-style make-up) and Pasha; Greg and Natalie; Ed and Katya; Laura and Giovanni; Danny and Oti; Anastacia and Brendan. That’s beginning to feel like a more manageable amount of contestants.

Natalie and Greg kick us off, and Greg is wearing some sort of odd Hawaiian shirt… and sporting a bandage due to the injury he sustained in the week (covered in our ITT recap). [It did seem needlessly cruel to put the redhead in a pink floral shirt. - Steve] Their VT goes on about their epic lifts, including a groin spin thing and another one where Natalie backflips through his arms which was the one that damaged his wrist. They have a surprise visitor to lift their spirits. Who could it be? Mo Farah? Jess Ennis-Hill? Louis Smith? The answer is none of the above, sadly. It’s possible Strictly 2018 star (*fingers crossed not*) Olly Murs, for the tenuous reason that they’re dancing to his ‘Wrapped Up’. 

Their salsa opens with Greg waving candy floss around and then Greg goes and gets Natalie from a ‘Shimmy Shack’ which doesn’t at look like the Shake Shack from Grease, no siree, movie week was last week, this is a whole new thing. As with all of his dances, the best portion of it involves Natalie distraction techniques – shimmying in front of him for all she’s worth, getting whirled around with gay abandon – because when he’s dancing alone, it is a bit… dad dancing. His hips and legs aren’t really doing enough and he’s rather static in the (still pretty good, but not as good as they looked in the VT) lifts as well, and they do look like they’re compensating somewhat for his injury although the last lift where he spins her on his shoulders is pretty fine. I mean, the dance still kind of works because Natalie is selling the hell out of it, but it isn’t amazing, much as I’m still rooting for this couple.

Len says it was a bit like candyfloss – tasty and sticky in the middle, and gives a 'woargh' about Greg’s bum. So he likes it this week, then? Bruno says he couldn’t take his eyes off Greg’s bum and I think we might be sailing perilously close to sexual harassment here. Otherwise, he doesn’t think Greg’s footwork was very sharp but he loved the energy. Craig thinks the hip work was a bit too square although he liked the top shimmy. Unlike the other two, he didn’t like Greg’s bum in his face. Darcey, unlike the men, makes no real mention of his bum but she loved it and thought he was in control throughout.

Scores: 7, 7, 7, 7 for a total of 28. Claudia then gets a barbershop quartet to sing part of the terms and conditions, although I think they could have really committed to the randomness of this by having them do the whole spiel.

Laura and Giovanni now and the show is clearly invested in this pairing if they’re sticking them in this slot. [That's two weeks in a row the couple who survived the dance-off turned out to be in the death slot the following week. It's odd. - Steve] Their VT is also about a special guest, Mick Jagger… who turns out to be Laura’s dog. I feel like there should be a bunch of jokes to mine out of this, but it’s too early and too bizarre and I’m too sober…

They are dancing the quickstep to 'Ballroom Blitz' which can surely only suffer in comparison to this, so maybe isn’t the wisest of moves. They’re wearing matching pink and black lacy outfits and look pretty good in them, although Laura’s dress is arguably more rock’n’roll than ballroom. The routine is nice and energetic, with some good upper-body work although the footwork could be more precise in places – from what we can see of it, given the camera keeps hiding their feet. However, she seems to enjoy it and that sells it. [Shame that it looks like her head's about to fall off the whole way through though. - Steve]

Bruno loves how effortless it looked and how they moved into the Charleston section. Craig agrees that that was the strongest part although he thought the bits in hold could have been stronger. Darcey calls it ‘fabulously fast’ and says her right shoulder rolls in a bit when travelling but overall, it was very impressive. Len says her head was overexaggerated at times, but it was flat out and if she’s in the bottom two, he’ll pickle his walnuts. 

Scores: 8, 8, 8, 9 for a total of 33. All I can think about when I look at the people in the Clauditorium is ‘poor Naga’.

Anastacia and Brendan now and she calls him ‘Big Daddy’ which is some Pamela Stephenson level of over-revelation about the nature of their dynamic. [Either that or she's come over all Tennessee Williams. - Steve] Then she takes Brendan to Ronnie Scott’s where she sings to him about how she’s doing the rumba and doesn’t want to be in the bottom two. They’re the only two there, which gives the place the impression of a private club for men rather than a jazz venue, but then they are doing the dance of pervs, so…

They’re rumba-ing to ‘The Way We Were’ and Anastacia’s dress is odd – it’s half seductress and half business bitch – the black top and blue skirt part meet in the middle as if they were a suit.  They’re dancing to black and white photos of ‘memories’ of their time together: that time they posed for promo shots! That time they were on It Takes Two! That time Anastacia couldn’t dance in the dance-off because she’d torn her mastectomy scars and the Great British Public decided she was the worst thing since having to be in that stupid European Union shit with its healthcare benefits and trade arrangements and council of human rights and ease of travel and our money being worth something and all that other lefty nonsense! It might be that I’ve watched too much X Factor and read too many Sofabet columns, but it strikes me that they’re trying to pull the old ‘see, their time is up now. MEMORIES!’ stuff on these two to get them out of there. It’s the kind of song they play over the credits when a couple dance away, not a sexy tune of sexy times (although I suppose this is Brendan in his NO! FILTHY! DIRTY! RUMBAS! time of life), plus their ‘best bits’ being displayed everywhere adds to this ‘end of the journey’ sensation. The dance itself?  Some nice bits, but not overly complicated, and slightly stilted in places, especially when they’re transitioning from one posed section to the next. It ends with her stroking his face in a total ‘goodbye’ moment.

Craig says it partly worked and partly didn’t – the rondes section was strong and her hand shaping is exquisite, but she did kick Brendan’s toe and parts were stilted. Darcey says her hands and shaping really do go with the music, but she’d rather the body undulated more (at the long word, Len gives a ‘oh, hello’) so the moves flowed into each other rather than being static. Len ‘didn’t mind it at all’ – there were a lot of lines and wiggles and he warns Brendan to not get aggressive. He says he would have liked more rumba in it and some straightening of the legs. Bruno says it was light, glamorous and stylish and looked like Hollywood movie stars, and then he basically segues into that bit in ‘Vogue’ before declaring it very tasteful. A tasteful rumba seems to be damned with faint praise. In the Clauditorium, Claudia declares the show’s new mantra that the rumba is the hardest dance of all (not even just for men!) and Anastacia says once you’re dancing to Barbra Streisand, it can’t be ‘too that way’ because Babs exudes chastity. Scores: 6, 7, 7, 7 for a total of 27.

Claudia (F) and AJ now, whom I’ve yet to warm to, despite their being technically good and entirely inoffensive. Maybe I’m just a jellus hater envying their youth. Or maybe they just don’t have an edit beyond ‘awww cute, plus gymnastics’ which… even Louis Smith had the draw of his cool indifference matched with Flavia’s…full on Flavia. Oh dear God. AJ is telling Claudia that their dance is going to be set in a school. AND THEN, they arrange for her former teachers to arrive –although they call them ‘her teachers’ and them ‘being used to marking her work’ as if she were still at school, and she looks mortified throughout as she would. Dear God show, stop with infantalising these two ACTUAL ADULT HUMANS. They’re probably already self-conscious about looking young and having to take ID with them everywhere (I imagine) – and the last thing any 18 or 21 year old wants is people telling them they’re a cute ickle child. I dread to think what their rumba is going to be like, and their paso at this rate is going to be them sticking their coats up as capes and running round the playground. 

I think I have now found my ‘in’ with this pairing, and it’s being outraged on their behalf.

Their foxtrot to ‘I Really Like You’ opens with AJ standing by some rainbow-themed lockers (because the show’s masterminds have clearly decided the audience for this pair is Tumblr circa 2012). The dance itself never really gets going, and the song choice really doesn’t suit it – it’s not got any dynamics in it for the footwork to connect with and so, even if some of the moves are technically well executed, the whole thing just looks weird. Then it ends in a really unfortunate pose, where AJ looks like he’s strangling Claudia and he opens a locker TO PUT HER CORPSE IN and grins maniacally in the mirror.  So that escalated quickly. I’m guessing the symbolism of it all was that he was a gay kid being forced to dance with a girl and finding it all awkward and not how things should be, so he then strangles heteronormativity and shoves it in the closet? IDK - I am not sure what I just watched there AT ALL.

Tess repeats the ‘pocket rockets’ and ‘adorable’ lines they keep pulling out. Darcey says she loved the storytelling (umm) and that Claudia’s top line is excellent. Len says she did very very well, because she is YOUNG AND MODERN whilst he is OLD AND TRADITIONAL (which is never really developed because Len) but he liked her footwork and ‘for your class it’s first rate’. Answers on a postcard, please. Tess says it’s a ‘gold star from head teacher’ and Bruno calls them a ‘teenage dream team’. He’s 21, Bruno. He calls them ‘enthusiastic and keen to please’ and I just vomit in my mouth a bit. He could see how she tried to get the technique but there was a moment where it looked like she got on the wrong foot and AJ says ‘no, it was perfect’. Bruno says it needs to look more flowing than angular. Craig says it had gapping and lacked grace and elegance (true dat) and he thought it misrepresented the foxtrot entirely. Youch! (I hated it too, Craig, don’t worry)

In the Clauditorium, Claudia F tries to convince us that AJ’s a hard taskmaster by telling us he says ‘heel turn. Big steps… small’. Yeah, love, you’re going to have to g some to convince us he’s Christian Grey when they’re pretending he’s Kurt Hummell. Scores: 6, 8, 8, 8 for a total of 30.

After a quick preview of what’s coming up, Tess tells us Danny and Oti will be dancing to an orchestral theme, which is our cue for a Claudia misunderstanding – this time an ‘aww, kestrel’ and she has a plastic kestrel on her arm, and to land it, she calls it Snuggles.

OH MY WORD, Ed Balls is wearing a black upturned cauldron or something on his head.  Tess tells us he’s playing a knight. We’re not in a theme week and I’m getting this level of shiz? Their VT involved Katya taking Ed to a medieval banquet place to put on a suit of armour and do some combat training whilst she flounces around in princess gear. The way he delivers ‘I am now Ed the Knight and will slay the paso doble on Saturday’ like he’s your dad telling you he’s popping down the shops for a pint of milk is quite something.

Their paso, to ‘Holding Out For a Hero’ (YASS SLAY ETC) opens with Katya tied to some sort of pillar and calling for help, then Ed bopping on in full on local-community-centre-panto knight garb (sans lance, helmet and shield, but replete with a cape made from a curtain) to untie her. The camera pulls back and we see an actual FIRE BREATHING DRAGON on stage (your definition of actual depends on how far you could say AJ and Claudia’s last dance was a foxtrot). The dance is very lumpen and ungainly and he doesn’t seem to be sure what he’s doing – and it’s not very distinguishable as a paso until the end when they actually remember to use his cape, but you can see he is trying to put the effort in, I  guess. The whole thing is camp as fuck and sits somewhere on the thin line between ‘komedy klassic’ and ‘abomination’ –although probably comes down on the side of the latter. I guess at least the storytelling is clear… In the balcony, Janette is howling with laughter… and probably wishes she’d come up with it. I’m intrigued to know how much of the komedy stylings are Katya and how much are the producers – I feel like we still don’t know much about her yet to understand what she's truly about. [Well, according to Ed on It Takes Two, he wasn't trying to make it camp on purpose, so who even knows what the artistic intention is with these two. - Steve]

Tess says something went wrong – and if Tess can see that, then… Len says they’ve had a bunch of Balls on Strictly – Zoe Ball, Johnny Ball, and Bobby Ball did a Christmas special and, erm, Michael Ball done a singing that time, and NONE OF EM DUN LIFTED THE GLITTERBALL AND NEITHER WILL YOU. Bruno says it had poor shaping and was strangely compelling but won’t get a good score. Craig says he was mincing about and was camper than Frank Spencer and it was utterly dreadful. Darcey says the armography was most upsetting and he’s done better before, but she liked the performance value.

In the Clauditorium, Ed says he’s trying but it did go a lot better in rehearsals. Scores: 2, 5, 5, 4 for a total of 16 and the lowest of the series so far but not the lowest ever paso on the show (jointly held between two memorably bad ones: Chris and Hanna in S1 and Dennis and Izabella in S3, both with scores of 15). All the women lean into Ed and give him a hug, which might have been his secret plan all along.

Now we come to Pasha and #prayfornaga. Bless her, I bet she never expected to become a full on komedy kontestant, but the ‘mermaid’ that looks more like an alien Oompa Loompa (Gene Wilder version) look they’ve given her certainly suggests that’s the route they’re taking.

Their VT reminds us that Pasha spent an age fiddling with her crotch last week instead of dancing (He can fiddle with…) [WE GET IT  - The world] and then her meeting him at a Sea Life centre or equivalent wearing flippers and a snorkel so they can dance ‘under water’. She does a ‘making a splash’ joke and at least she’s embracing the madness.

Their Charleston, to something called ‘Minnie the Mermaid’, which I do not recognise at all, opens with Pasha in a cut off scuba suit, wielding a trident and opening up Naga’s clam. WHAT? This actually happened. She is in a dress made of silver Christmas trimmings, wearing a blue wig and made up almost entirely in silver. It makes the wig and concealer lips of a fortnight ago look good. I was entirely frightened for this dance, but actually, the fact that she’s fully embracing the madness works in its favour. She seems to have relaxed a bit now she’s come to terms with not being technically that good, and this imbues the dance with more energy than some of her previous, more stilted attempts. She’s buying into the ungainly lifts and wacky arm movements and, as a result, it comes across as quite a confident performance – it’s not very technically precise, but it’s enjoyable to watch rather than something where I’m holding my breath for her. And it ends with Pasha lifting her by the vag as all good Strictly dances do. Everything should have been against that dance, but I think it actually worked – not sure how they’ll manage to capitalise on that madcap energy in ballroom, though.

Bruno calls it fun underwater, but slippery on dry land, but as a mermaid you’d expect that. She says she was finding her sea legs.  He says the legs were messy though, and Craig agrees. He thinks the smile was wonderful but it was messy and the lift made it look like she’d been harpooned. Darcey says it was fun and had a lot of character and energy and was a real improvement. Len says… wait for it… she certainly came out of her shell. Len snarks that Craig has criticised Charlestons in the past for being too precise and this for being too sloppy so ‘I don’t know what you’re on about’ as if it’s not entirely possible for something to find an appropriate mid-point. In other words, fuck off Len.
They bounce up to the Clauditorium. Claudia repeats that this is Naga’s Charleston breakthrough, and I know that’s an annual storyline, but it’s usually bestowed on a mid-range man. Scores: 5, 6, 7, 6 for a total of 24. So… not that much of a breakthrough after all? Brendan calls it undermarked and Claudia compliments Naga’s sequinned eyebrows. Claudia previews ‘Danny conducting an orchestra, and Dave Arch dancing a quickstep’.  Heh.

Louise and Kevin now, and Louise is pretending her bar is set so low that Bruno dancing along with her ‘Flashdance’ is a highlight of her time so far. Their VT takes an interesting tactic – Kevin basically tells her ‘I know you waited until you could ring your way to the final but unfortunately, this is the year of the megaringers so we have to make it look like you’re working doubly hard also we might need a gimmick beyond mum soon, when is Jamie coming to do these VTs?’ Louise is shown dancing in her kitchen, which is very clean and very sparse.

They are foxtrotting to ‘Tears Dry on Their Own’ and we open with them seated on the Susanna Reid memorial sofa. Louise even pushes Kevin and everything. On ITT they said this was a 60s-themed dance, although their costuming is borderline 50s/60s and I’m pretty sure there’s a Wonderbra going on, going on Louise’s suddenly fuller frontage, which is very 90s, with a song that’s very 2000s. Sidenote: All four of Kevin’s foxtrots have been retro, and three of them have started sitting down (although in Kellie’s, he was standing). There’s a bit of muckin abaht at the start with her doing the reeling in the fishing line move and there’s another random part half way through where they break genre, but otherwise, it’s your average Kevin Clifton old-fashioned romantic foxtrot. All very lovely and twee and well-danced but leaving you wanting a fiery paso or random witchy tango.

Craig really enjoyed it and calls it clean, engaging, gorgeous. Darcey loved the storytelling and the way she extends – but she thinks Louise is a natural dancer (RINGAH) and Kevin can push her further. Len compliments her excellent footwork but says she got a little too far on Kevin’s right side and her arm had to stretch a bit and then he snarks at people not to boo COS HE’S JUS’ TRUTH TELLIN’. Bruno calls it a soap opera to music. Clearly Bruno hasn’t been watching the same soaps as me, because it’s all hot air balloon crash followed by Surprise! Catholic priest sex and drunk doctors drilling holes in people’s heads and possibly killing them ooops these days. And that was just ten minutes of Tuesday’s Neighbours. [Maybe he's been watching EastEnders, where it's all about fortnightly bin collections. - Steve]

In the Clauditorium we are reminded that Louise TRIES VERY HARD and is also a mum. Scores: 8, 8, 8, 9 for a total of 33 and their highest score. In the background, Karen looks very sad. Awww. Claudia cues up Daisy and Aljaž later by saying they’re dancing to George Michael and Daisy got chocolate on her top. She was careless with her Wispa. OY.

Danny and Oti now and Tess leans on the judges’ table, the act of standing having proved too tiring during a long show like this one. And she sets up Danny’s next storyline (as trailered all week on ITT) – has he ‘coup de’ peaked too soon? Their VT hasn’t quite got that message yet, though, so instead sends him to badly conduct an orchestra and make some terrible Bruce-level puns that he looks so embarrassed by he’s almost crying.

Their quickstep is to ‘I Won’t Dance’ and by god is it glorious. It opens with him (in full tails) as a conductor doing some showboating solo work up on the stage, before a neat move where he and Oti dance with their backs to each other before coming into hold, at first holding the baton and then disposing of it with the neatest sleight of hand deployed by a celeb on this show in… well, probably ever. It’s super-fast and joyous and energetic and mostly smooth (his upper body framing is maybe a touch loose) and he’s such a mega-ringer it’s ridiculous, but it’s so enjoyable nonetheless.

Tess declares it amazing and complicated and Darcey calls it pure class, outstanding, with him leading Oti across the floor, which is HARD FOR A MALE CELEBRITY and calls it one of the best classic quicksteps she’s seen. Len snarks that ‘up on there’ got on his wick but when he got on the dancefloor it was good. Bruno compares it to a Hollywood movie (yet again) and asks if they missed something before retracting his comment. Craig says he’s on fire and applauds him. I’m sensing some 10s maybe?

In the Clauditorium, Claudia tells us Danny’s mum dresses her dogs as Danny and we see a picture of them in top hat and tails. The Sewing Bee is calling! If it’s still allowed to be on in these post-C4 days anyway. Scores: four 9s for a total of 36 and probably what it deserves, but I’m surprised Darcey didn’t whip out her 10 for it.

Now Daisy and Aljaž and Daisy says the best part of their Mary Poppins dance was when she clicked her fingers and he appeared… ie not the actual dancing. I’m not sure if she’s being TV humble or just in love with the show’s gimmicks. Other than that, their VT is super boring and she’s going to have to get a gimmick if she wants to avoid a shock boot.

Their rumba is to ‘Careless Whisper’ which seems to be a fraction too fast, meaning the dance feels a little unusual for its genre, as we don’t get the long, drawn-out poses (her dress, by the way, has its ‘flesh’ panels made of fabric that is far too orange – even a TOWIE level of tan would look pale against it, so it dulls the mood a little). Aljaž may not be in white trousers, for a change, but they’re still snugly fitted, for those keeping notes on such things. They’re dancing in the centre of a circle of lights which helps keep focus on them and lends it a sultry mood. The technique here is very good – her modelling physique comes into its own as she stretches her legs and they go on forever. It’s also much, much more varied than Anastacia and Brendan’s. It is possibly a little too fast to feel truly romantic, but it’s an enjoyable routine for the most part.

Len says it’s a difficult dance and he loves that she elongates her body and is precise in her movements. Bruno says it featured every single rumba step and it was just spectacular. He says there was one point where the flow stopped a little but other than that, it was what you’d want to see in every rumba. Craig says her free arm lacked a little direction and definition – it was wafting rather than having strength and resistance and it lacked a little chemistry/emotional connection. Darcey disagrees with this and says Darcey used her whole body and its difficult to sustain the balance in the long, languid moves she was executing.

In the Clauditorium, Claudia says she heard Daisy say this week that it was the best experience of her life. Daisy says that it is. Scores: 7, 8, 8, 8 for a total of 31 and I thought they were gearing up for some 9s – but then I feel like the scores have landed a little lower than the comments all night.

Judge Rinder and Oksana now. He looks back over Darcey’s comments that he’s cute and Oksana says it means she has competition. He says he never imagined two women competing for him. He says they’re dancing to ‘Boom Bangy Bang’ (as if he doesn’t know) by BLOODY LULU and pulls the requisite face for that announcement. Other than that, they’re doing a Viennese Waltz, so you can guess how the VT goes from here… At least we’re spared another wind tunnel.

Their dance opens with Oksana, in full milkmaid gear, milking a cow, whilst Rinder, in authentic-looking lederhosen (and a less authentic looking stripy PJ top) arrives with milk pails over his shoulder. I’m not sure I imagined Tulips From Amsterdam being out-tweed but here we have it, although it’s being played slightly more for laughs. Indeed, it’s the kind of routine that would feel very much at home in panto (and I can see him doing the panto circuit in time). His face is till going some, although more cheesy-grinning than full on gurning. It’s not too bad a routine, as comedy ones go – more Mark Benton than Ed Balls, I would say.

Bruno says it showed he can do restrained facial expressions (…ish). Craig says it didn’t make his heart go boom bang a bang but the facial expressions were improving, for a while. He thinks there might be a delicious dancer hidden underneath it all. Darcey says he’s great in hold, but doesn’t want him to over-exaggerate when he comes out of hold as she can see him overthinking. Len says he has a good balance between good dancing and fun. Scores: 6, 7, 7, 7 for a total of 27.

Lesley and Anton now. Their VT takes the Aliona route of a quick jolly for the pro as they rehearse in Malta, where she’s filming what looks to be the Christmas special of Birds of a Feather and he asks her to rehearse in front of the cast. She basically tells him where to go before doing it anyway and we discover that Linda’n’Pauline call her ‘Les’. Nice.

They’re Charlestoning to ‘Won’t You Charleston With Me’ and the range of Charleston steps utilised is fairly minimal, presumably due to the busy filming schedule and flying, but what is there is energetic and delivered with a sense of fun. Some of it could be more precise, but it’s damn fine for a woman of 71, with some fab high kicks, and after I took a little warming up, I am living for this partnership now. Anton seems to actually be having fun for a change, now we don’t need to put him through either ‘poor Anton’ or ‘Anton’s BEST partner ever no honest we mean it this time’ any longer. The audience really, really love this one.

Craig says it was shocking – shockingly good- she has amazing stamina and it was strong and vibrant, the swivel and cross lost it a bit at the end, but he loved it. Darcey says she brings a ‘cheeky, naughty little girl’ to it and somewhere Claudia F weeps at her future. Len wishes her a happy birthday and says it was her best dance. Bruno says she always delivers and was the perfect gangster moll, looking like a 20-year old, with great timing, high performance value and great placing.

In the Clauditorium, Claudia says Anton’s having the time of his life and Lesley says it’s been a hectic week for her and they welcome Lesley’s daughter in the audience, whom Lesley outs as being pregnant. Let’s hope that wasn’t a secret. Scores: 7, 8, 8, 8 for a total of 31 and Anton calls her a dream. This pair could be the surprise success of the series.

Ore and Joanne are in the pimps slot following their success last week. Their VT mentions how they did well last week so to up the game, they need to go to Wembley to rehearse their jive in football gear. Because… kicks, apparently. And he presents sports?

Their jive is to ‘Runaway Baby’ and it’s super-fast and energetic, and those of us who saw Ore’s ‘Hey Ya’ were looking forward to seeing this from him – he is very limber, so his legwork is great, the performance frenetic and whilst it doesn’t have the gimmick of the newly blessed Jive of St Jay Peace Be Upon It, it’s a damn good classic example of the genre.  If I’m being picky, Joanne’s doing too much skirt swishing, but I’ll give the girl a break as she’s put the props down (in a week where most other people were using them). I feel breathless just watching that.

Darcey loves it and is astonished by the pace and the high standard. Len calls it ‘show stopping, jaw dropping, eye popping’ and ‘move over Jay’. At this stage I’m thinking it’s Ore vs Danny for the trophy with the third finalist being a woman? (Daisy, Louise… possibly Lesley as an outside bet?).  

Bruno says it’s joined the ‘holy trinity’. Guessing that’s now to be known as Jill, Jay and Jo (sorry Ore, but you don’t alliterate). Craig says Danny had better watch it as Ore’s now the one to beat. See, told you. I can see why they didn’t give Danny 10s now, they were clearly waiting for this one. Scores: 9, 10 (delivered in the usual obnoxious way Darcey delivers her first 10 of the series), 10, 10 for a total of 39 and they’re both in tears of unbelief, Ore especially. Claudia asks him if he’s alright and he blubs ‘I’m not!’ Aww. And after a shaky start, Jo’s last two dances are really repaying our hope that she could do something great given a good partner. [Agreed - I was a bit worried at first but I think Joanne is really delivering now, and I love this partnership. - Steve] Claudia declares it better than her own wedding.

1. Ore and Joanne - 39
2. Danny and Oti - 36
3=. Laura and Giovanni - 33
3=. Louise and Kevin - 33
5=. Daisy and Aljaž - 31
5=. Lesley and Anton - 31
7. Claudia and AJ - 30
8. Greg and Natalie - 28
9=. Anastacia and Brendan - 27
9=. Judge Rinder and Oksana - 27
11. Naga and Pasha - 24
12. Ed and Katya - 16

That’s looking like the judges have pushed Laura and Giovanni towards safety, with Anastacia and Naga at risk (possibly Ed, but I suspect he’ll hang on until Halloween at least), and Claudia and Greg on the edge of SHOCK! BOTTOM! TWO! Danger. Join me tomorrow to see who actually goes!


F a t i m a said...

I don't know about you but I'm bored now with people going bananas for jives on Strictly. It wasn't THAT good
Also someone needs to tell Ore that tears in this context won't win votes, quite the reverse I think
Natalie Lowe deserves extra points for the acting effort involved in showing such excitement when seeing Olly Murs
How dare Judge Rinder sneer at Boom Bang-A-Bang. He ought to know his audience a bit better than that

Rad said...

Maybe one day they'll decide to bestow their love on.. I dunno, samba? It'd make a change anyway! Ah, Boom Bang a Bang... on the one hand, Eurovision. On the other, BLOODY LULU.

General Hogbuffer said...

Ha - was that shade being thrown, or did you inadvertedly mix up Louis Smith and Louis Spence ?
Also, never mind about Olly Murs in 2018, I am fully expecting him in 2017 !

I have a feeling there me be surprises yet to come - neither Danny (no personality) nor Ore (wrong kind of personality) have completely captured the viewers' imagination, I think. We'll see...

Rad said...

Ha, It was subliminal I think but let's pretend it was deliberate. If Will was still in I would have thought he might be a decent bet. Louise is maybe the next most likely? They did cast the ringers less on personality than ability this year I think.

Steven said...

The Louis Smith / Spence thing was, er, a glitch in the matrix. Whoops. Sorry everyone! (It has now been fixed, nothing to see here, these are not the droids you're looking for etc.)

leang heng said...

Nice post,thanks for sharing!