Top 9 perform: Saturday 5 November 2016
Welcome back! Last week was Halloween and bottom two zombie goddess Anastacia was finally laid to rest! The leaderboard was rattled with subpar performances from most of the alleged contenders and we got to see who, in the absence of Pasha, could be picked on most by hair, make-up and wardrobe (answer: Ore & Jo).
Tess and Claudia enter - Tess in a cobalt blue pants suit, with a kind of cap sleeve on one shoulder and a series of spaghetti straps on the other. It’s one of those things that would look better were one shoulder bare or both shoulders equal. ["Better" very much being a relative term, mind. - Steve] I swear Tess gets her outfits from Ugly Asymmetrical Shoulderlines R Us. This, as with many of her other outfits, would look all right otherwise. Claudia is wearing a black dress with white trim and a very high split up the middle. Risqué! Tess reminds us that it’s fireworks night tonight and I’m always surprised that this show hasn’t done a bonfire night theme. I mean once you’d gone past Katy Perry’s ‘Firework’ (Cha Cha Cha), Roxette’s ‘Fireworks’ (American Smooth), The Crazy World of Arthur Brown’s ‘Fire’ (Paso Doble), Knife Party’s ‘Bonfire’ (Samba), Mary Wells’ ‘My Guy’ (Foxtrot) and the collected works of Catherine Wheel (I don’t know, Tango probably, it seems to be the dance that they dump all the unsuitable music upon) then you would be running out of options, but that’s never stopped this show pursuing a fairly weak theme to the nth degree before.
The judges enter, Len showboating so much that we don’t even get to see Craig’s entrance. For those keeping watch of such things, tonight is the night that we officially see poppies affixed to everyone’s attire. Our couples enter: Louise and Kevin; Judge Rinder and Oksana; Claudia and AJ; Ore and Joanne; Daisy and Aljaž; Greg and Natalie; Adam; Laura and Giovanni; Danny and Oti. For those of you with a conspiracy theorist mindset, when they talk about couples leaving the competition, the camera is focused on a fairly unenthusiastic looking Laura and they’ve not even danced yet.
The first couple tonight are Danny and Oti. We are reminded that last week, their routine went all kinds of wrong and we see footage of them kicking each other, standing on each other’s feet and struggling with the red ribbon that was tied between them. Their VT centres on their routine being based in a pool hall, and Danny asks Oti if she is any good at pool, to which she replies that she is amazing and we see her hustle her way through potting everything using a variety of trick shots. Were this any other pro dancer, I might suspect that they had either rigged this or used a stunt player, but come on, it’s Oti.
Danny’s dressed in high-waisted trousers, braces and a quiff the size of an iceberg, whilst Oti is looking great in red and green (is there a colour she doesn’t look great in? She seems to suit most styles). They are jiving to ‘Long Tall Sally’, and the poor gimmick is only used in so far as Danny is attempting to play pool than Oti shouts ‘Yo, Danny Mac!’ and he ditches the pool cue and they start jiving. [All dances to start with Oti shouting "yo, Danny Mac!" in future please. Even dances that don't actually feature Danny. - Steve] It’s a frenetic, energetic and nimble routine. He is pulling faces that will make Judge Rinder look sedate, wonder if they will pick him up on this in the comments as they would with Rinder though? He’s got plenty of bounce and kick and there’s a couple of impressive splits where he bounces straight back up again. Technically it might be a little bit more accomplished than Ore and Jo’s, at least in terms of the amount of different steps involved (some of the finishing isn’t quite sharp enough) although perhaps lacking the initial impact of that one simply by virtue of them being the second of the two couples to perform the jive. It ends with him dancing on the pool table and then jumping over Oti’s head. A very good routine, but is there room in the holy Trinity of jive for a fourth member?
Tess asks if he needs a breather and he gasps ‘please’, so she introduces the singers and Dave Arch and co. Len says his legs could have perhaps been straighter in places, but it was full of content, technique and energy. Bruno exclaims that he doesn’t know what’s going on this season (sic) with having ‘all these boys and jives’. Yes dear, we’ve had two good ones from two dancers who have been pretty good in most genres, calm down. He praises the complexity of the choreography and says that all played out in an unexpected way (I’m not entirely sure what he means here, but… Bruno) and he stands up, claps and he eulogises it some more. Craig says it wasn’t that good, but he did enjoy it, he loved the pirouettes, the split jump over the table and a number of the other techniques-he thought the retractions could have been crisper but otherwise it was incredible. Darcey fans herself, calls them amazing and says she is not surprised that the sharpness of the retractions always though given the speed of the dance. Danny and Oti both seem delighted with those critiques - Danny especially, presumably as he’s going to get less stick in training this week than he must’ve done last.
In the Clauditorium, Danny praises Oti and her choreography as it’s been a tough week, but he’s enjoying it. Scores: 9, 10, 9, 10 for a total of 38. Whilst that has put an end to the when will Poor Danny get 10s narrative, it does mean that we are now officially on the quest for the first 40 and that, I’m guessing, will probably happen in BLACKPOOL, the land of all dance related miracles. Truly, its bouncy dancefloor is the equivalent of the healing waters of Lourdes. Claudia says that it is lovely that all the other dancers were cheering for him and Danny says it’s given him a newfound respect for all and looks around to find him, but he isn’t there. Claudia says ‘he wasn’t clapping’. Hee.
This week’s terms and conditions are delivered with Chas and Dave (Chas & Dave? Chas’n’Dave? They kind of feel like they should be an ’n’) a.k.a. contenders for the Christmas special in 2021 when the Conservatives have ripped all the funding from the BBC even further and the only professional dancers left are Anton and Brendan and the Daily Mail descends into yet more GAY PANIC BAN THIS SICK BBC PC FILTH NOW and then Donald Trump presses the big red button and we all die anyway hooray. [U ok hun? - Steve] Chas’n’Dave lead everyone in a singalong of ‘Snooker Loopy’ (albeit without the Matchroom Mob). Unsurprisingly, Kevin knows all the words, because of course he does. (Yes OK so do I what of it). Claudia tries to make this connect with Oti and Danny’s pool based routine, but I suspect that there is probably some enmity between pool and snooker purists who would be horrified at the thought that the two things could ever be conflated in much the same way that people get pissy about the differences between salsa and samba-oh wait, not on this show they don’t, never mind.
Daisy and Aljaž next, and Tess tells us that as their dances on a flower store, Aljaž has been making sure his Daisy is well watered and given plenty of sunlight. I’m sure that wasn’t meant to sound as filthy as it did.
We are reminded several times the Daisy was in the bottom two last week and nearly died from hyperventilation, so if we could avoid that this week, that would be very nice thank you. As their dances going to be set in the market, they take to a market for their VT. It’s one of those markets in that London where they always send the Apprentice candidates and I suspect that, just out of shot, there’s a bunch of them smelling woss selling, given that, with BBC cutbacks, it only makes sense that they film two shows on one shoot. Next series, the judging on this show and the CV interviews will be combined into one hideous process where all the business ideas will be along the lines of ‘making rumba easier for men’, ‘Komedy Koncept Generator app’ (pair the wacky concepts listed by your Christian and Surname initials to provide a theme for your dance/product/advert/name of firstborn child. Mine is Marrakech AntonLatin!) and ‘Clim Bon Leen 2: Climming Bonnier and Leener’. Hmm I’m sort of wishing we still had the time and energy to recap that show now, even if it has become a parody of a parody of itself. [I'm quite sad I never got to recap Jessica. - Steve]
Anyway, where were we? Oh yes, Daisy and Aljaz’s dance. It’s a Viennese waltz to ‘Daisy Bell’ (Bicycle Built for Two) - which is the kind of on point song choice we would usually get in week one. I swear this is the first time I ever knew that the lyrics for this song are technically ‘built for two’ rather than ‘made for two’. I also looked up the second verse that I remember singing as a child - and I couldn’t remember whether that was a real verse or not - turns out it was an amalgamation of several of the ‘folk’ versions of the second verse, so I learned something from this week’s episode.
The dancing is lovely and whimsical - possibly a little too sweet for many people’s tastes, but such is this show’s way of presenting the Viennese waltz, I guess. For those interested in Aljaz’s trouser situation - red and moderately tight. [Dat ass tho. - Steve] Daisy is wearing a white frock and smiling throughout. Then there’s some cycling choreography, which is wonderfully twee, and I think the theme and song are just about knowing enough that it isn’t too nauseating. However, the look of thunder on Pearl Lowe’s face in the audience might suggest otherwise. Where’s the pre-Wake Up-era Boo Radleys? The Salad b-sides? The faux-ironic-sell-out Benny-Hill-cum-Keith-Allen-Damien-Hirst-and-Mouse-Trap-not-at-all-coke-fuelled stylings of Blur’s ‘Country House’? Pffft. Bring your daisy stall to her on Four Rooms and she’ll send you packing to Celia Sawyer before you can say ‘where the fuck did Anita Rani go and what’s with this Sarah Beeny’s Four Rooms crap?’.
Bruno calls her ‘easy does it Daisy’. Bit personal there, Bruno. He loves the effortlessness and charm and thoughts the section where they were emulating a tandem was really cute. Craig says she coped really well with the changes in direction and liked that there was a quirkiness to the dance. There were a couple of technical issues, but overall, he thought it was brilliant. Darcey says she looked in control during all the changes in direction but her top line could have been more exaggerated and she says the Daisy has a beautiful aura when she’s on hold. Len thinks it was charming and that, although there isn’t much choreography to a Viennese waltz, they managed to bring in some quirks. He disagrees with Darcy about Daisy’s top line.
In the Clauditorium, Claudia reveals that Aljaž has been strict in training and a whole heap of viewers swoon at the very thought. Scores: eight, eight, nine, nine for a total of 34.
Ore and Joanne now - Ore is wearing the same shade of blue on his top that I’m currently wearing on my fingernails. It’s not a stanning choice, honest. Tess says that last week, Craig gave them poor comments, and leans over his desk so that the strange bangle she is wearing on her upper arm digs into her flesh. Ouch.
Their VT is a purely training footage oriented one - recapping their car crash Charleston (but somehow still got two 9s), Ore trying to wiggle his hips, rehearsing lifts for their salsa.
They are dancing to ‘Turn the Beat Around’ and I’m really glad to see some party Latin back on the agenda this series, which has felt somewhat light on the genre so far. I am, of course, living for the bright colours of their lighting and outfits - what I am not living for so much is the terrible extensions they have whacked on Joanne, which keep getting in her face at every twist, turn and lift, making the whole thing look a bit of a mess. For lovers of white trousers, there is much to be gained from the pair Ore is wearing. [With the blue top though, they do look a bit Bucks-Fizz-at-Eurovision. - Steve] The routine is energetic, fun and fast, his hip work is a bit hit and miss and when he is bringing her into a (usually quite crazy) lift, he tends to stutter to a standstill, rather than it feeling part of the organic flow of movement of the dance. It’s a fun watch, but somewhat sloppy in terms of technique.
Craig said he has much improved and he thought the lifts were great. He praises the syncopated hip work on some of the beats, but says there could be more rotation in the figure eights, which weren’t so smooth. Darcey says she loved the amount of choreography in there, but he needs to watch his arm work, as sometimes that was overemphasised at the expense of his feet. Len says he was ogling Ore’s bum and his hips are hypnotic. It’s all coming out in this last series, isn’t it? Bruno says they have a great partnership and it’s really brave to have those tricky lifts in it. He says he disagrees about the hips, because the music is so syncopated it naturally lends itself to having less fluid sense of movement.
In the Clauditorium, Ore says they’ve had a lot of fun this week and Claudia says that in training footage Joanne said to him that he looked like a chicken and she wanted him to be a jellyfish. Ore says ‘that’s a brief glimpse into the training mind of Joanne Clifton’. I suspect the training mind of Joanne Clifton is a slightly random and somewhat scary place to be much of the time, with an unusual fixation on sea creatures. Scores: eight, eight, nine, nine for a total of 34.
Ed and Katya next. We are reminded that last week, they did a decent performance, and got an eight from Bruno - Claudia’s hysterical fit at this in the recap is a sight to behold as their dance is set in a silent movie, we have a joke whereby Ed gets turned into black and white, start using cue cards and ends up being captured in an old-fashioned TV set. This does, however, all take place in a training room, so it’s almost akin to training footage. Kind of.
They are dancing the quickstep to ‘Help’, dressed as Laurel and Hardy (Ed playing Oliver Hardy, albeit without the moustache) [And Katya looking more like Oliver Hardy than Stan Laurel, but hey, at least they tried. - Steve] it is very identifiable as quickstep-all the core choreography is there, it’s danced with a lot of pace and whilst Ed’s technique is lacking in precision and cleanliness, he is executing all of the moves. There is a little comedy break in between where they do some silent movie style larking around that goes on a fraction too long, but is reasonably justifiable given the seeming of the dance and the fact that Ed is a comedy contestant. Then he kicks Katya up the bum as an ending, if the Daily Mail is looking for a suitable story angle for their lefty-pinko-bias-bbc outrage.
Darcey says there was a lot of good things in it-she liked that they brought a strong narrative and some quirks to a quickstep and she was really surprised by the lightness in his feet as they moved across the floor, although he’s a little too bouncy, rather than smooth, in some of his footwork. Len says he needs some help in his footwork and posture, but he also needs some love from reviewers and Len would like to see him here again next week. Let’s see if he is still singing to that tune when we get our inevitable Daisy versus Laura (or whoever else ends up down there) dance off, shall we?
Bruno praises the amount of content and says that, whilst Ed’s footwork still needs improvement, he’s working really hard and it’s paying off. Craig does his usual ‘your thumb stuck up’ fake out and says it’s brilliant to see Ed improving. We must be running out of time, because that’s the length of critiques. If we can get through everyone so quickly, that will make my job involves a lot easier, not least because I seem to have been wandering off onto many a tangent tonight. In the Clauditorium, Claudia asks if it is too soon to ‘invoke the B word’ and I love that it takes Ed ages to cotton on to it meaning Blackpool and yes, yes it is too soon. Scores: six, seven, seven, seven for a total of 27 and their highest score yet.
Laura and Giovanni now, who were inflated to the top of the leaderboard last week. Is that likely to continue this week, or will she be back in the bottom two where she probably would have been had the judges scores not helped her last time (to be fair, I enjoyed her dance last week a lot - just not enough to vote for her). Their VT involves them going to the Pride of Britain awards and encountering unlikely Strictly super fan Joan Collins, who tells Laura that she has to beat Ed Balls and also tells her off for being out rather than training. Bring on Joan Collins for Strictly 2017, even if it means they can’t afford any other contestants. Heck, Steven and I have both been on television a few times, we’ll do it if they’re desperate (you can still dance if neither of your arms actually works, can’t you?).
Their Samba (to 'Bamboleyo') is set on a red carpet, simulated by a light projection onto the floor-and this really scuppers the dance, because when they are dancing up and down, it looks quite good, but much of the time they are trying to utilise the rest of the dancefloor and therefore keep wandering away from the carpets, giving the resultant effect that they are sloppy and imprecise-even if that’s not the case. Laura is trying to give it her usual sexy face, but there’s also an element of her camping it up and seeming to find it all a little ridiculous. That’s combination of poor lighting and Laura not really being into it doesn’t do the dance any favours - and it’s not the most well danced routine they’ve done either, with a stumble part-way through. Then the whole thing is killed entirely when at the end of the dance, we get a single camera following Giovanni spinning around the dancefloor, making it all about him and not about the celebrity partner, to an extent that puts even Ola Jordan starfishing around her latest no-hoper to shame. [To be fair I think this may have been Giovanni having to cover for Laura not being able to dance on her gammy ankle, but it wasn't the best way of covering it. - Steve]
Len says that, although there was a little mistake, they generally recovered. However, he thinks the music was a little bit fast and they sacrificed some technique for that. Bruno says, they were sizzling-can I get a check on where the showmance is meant to be up to at the moment? He says they put in all of the Samba content that you would need. Craig says they stumbled a bit and that some Lucy Laura quite well but others like. He expresses surprise that Giovanni didn’t give her any bachacadas and took the limelight for himself at the end. Giovanni promises that they will have bachacadas next time-what, in the dance off? Darcey says she enjoyed the travelling and thought Laura heard a lot of work into her hips, but she really enjoyed Giovanni’s end-as do many of the viewers, I’m sure.
In the Clauditorium, everyone is spinning around, trying to pretend to be Giovanni. Claudia compares into windup toy. Emphasis is clearly on Laura here, hey? Scores: seven, eight, eight, nine for a total of 32. Laura looks a little defeated, as well she might, because this is unlikely to lift her outside of the dance-off zone.
The some reason, we then get a preview of what is coming up, which is unnecessary at any stage of the competition particularly when you’re already halfway through and you only have four dances coming up. Tess tells us that we will be having an ‘authentic Spanish Paso Doble’ coming up from AJ and Claudia later, which is the cue for Claudia’s wacky prop hour-a comedy moustache, sombrero, and rose between her teeth. However, it is also clear that Tess has not been watching It Takes Two, wherein we learned that Paso Doble actually originated in France. Spoiler alert - AJ and Claudia’s dance is also likely to be authentic as that Claudia (W) caricature.
Judge Rinder and Oksana now. Their VT is another purely training footage one, focusing on judge Rinder struggling with the timing of the quickstep music and getting frustrated, despite loving the dance. Do we think they blew all their VT budget on sending Louise to Paris the other week?
They are dancing to 'It Don’t Mean a Thing' and are both decked out in full Fred and Ginger - indeed, I kept forgetting that this wasn’t an American smooth, so used am I to the way the show styles that particular dance. You can tell that he is really enjoying this because he is giving it full on open-mouth wonderment. The dancing is light and effective, with some decent legwork and a charming energy. It’s very classical, yet with a sense of cheekiness about it.
Judge Rinder effuses that everyone should learn to dance dance-saying that ‘it is joy’. Bruno praises his dancing, but criticises his expressions, saying that he doesn’t need that. (Didn't say that to Danny Mac, did you?) In other news, pot and kettle get into a minor scuffle. Craig says he needs something to lock his jaw. I’m sure there’s probably something filthy you could make out of that, but I’m tired, do that job for me. Darcey says that sometimes the joy takes over him although she liked it very much. Len calls the face the mirror of the soul, which I’m sure is a very muddled metaphor. Because we are apparently living in opposite land, he enjoyed the gurning. He wonders if something went wrong, because he detected some flatulence in front of the judges table - no, Len, the cast have clearly decided to aim that in your direction as a special parting gift.
In the Clauditorium, Judge Rinder says everything is just joy and compliments Claudia on her lovely smiling face. Scores: eight, nine, eight, eight for a total of 33.
The next couple of the evening are Louise and Kevin. As it is the first Argentine Tango the series, Tess asks Len what to expect and he gets all hot and bothered going on about how steamy it is after describing the intricacies of the different movements. The way he’s going tonight, he needs a cold shower-and it’s usually Bruno who plays that role.
I realised something this week that had been bothering me about Louise all series and I couldn’t quite put my finger on - it’s that she is basically the older version of Zoella (or rather, Zoella is the younger version of Louise). I feel that that is one of those once you’ve realised it, you can’t unrealise it things, and I’m sorry if that has spoiled Louise for any of you in the way it slightly has for me. Anyway, their training VT goes on about how she finds it hard to act sultry and so she and Kevin have invented two characters called Santiago and Valentina for the sake of their performance. Again, another training focused VT. It’s like I don’t even know this show anymore.
They are dancing to ‘Tanguera’, and the dance definitely benefits from having the more traditional music (something the Argentine Tango seems to be the only dance to get away with these days). It’s very well executed - the blue spotlight lighting adds a real sense of mood to the situation, but her movements are sharp, elegant and intricate. Sometimes their passionate faces read a little bit too overwrought, but then I have a very hard time placing these two as sexual beings (apologies Jamie and Karen) anyway. It ends in a really dramatic flounce to the floor, ending in a passionate clinch, that is well choreographed, rather than just the woman dying or whatever often tends to happen in these things. Overall, though, that set an incredibly high standard for the others to live up to and puts her right back up there after a few weeks where she’s maybe lost a little momentum. Really impressed with her footwork and leg movements in this dance in particular. [Definitely - this was the performance I've been dying for Louise to give us for weeks. - Steve]
Craig says it’s fantastic to see her more serious and he really loved the technicalities of the dance. Darcey praises the excellent choreography and says it seemed effortless, and the shaping, style and drama all came together. Len says he got what he was looking for - Louise under the lampshade. I’m having visions of those Tiki doll lampshades you get and I’m not quite sure that was the mental image he meant to leave us with - although it’s Len, so who knows? Bruno loved it so much that when he describes her going from a list into the sliding back up, he orgasms all over the place. I guess after the lacklustre last two weeks we all needed a little release, huh?
Scores: nine, 10, 10, 10 for a total of 39 and the joint highest score of the series so far. Unsurprisingly, they are very happy about that. I’m guessing somewhere on Twitter, a certain ex-professional was moaning about things being all tens for the Cliftons all the times, whilst Karen was furiously grinding her teeth at the Dave Myers- Nicky Byrne- Jeremy Vine-Will quitting-ness of it all.
The penultimate couple of the evening are Greg and Natalie. Last week, they performed a Halloweentastic Gothic horror contemporary dance rumba waftorama for the ages, which, for some reason, Craig ‘I think Bollywood is very full of salsa’ Revel Horwood decided to throw a snit fit about. To counter this, Greg has gone for the big guns in his VT - bringing his kid, Milo, to training for a full on BABY WARZ assault on the ovary voters.
They are dancing the Viennese waltz to the Grace version of ‘You Don’t Own Me’ (the original is probably normally more suited to the genre but I love the song in either iteration, so I’m not going to complain too much). The singers, who have generally been doing a good job this series, do strain a bit on this one in places, but I’ll let them off given that they’ve done such sterling work this series compared to some of the previous. The dance itself, is absolutely full of drama and passion, with some very quick spins around the floor and Greg giving a face that you might normally expect to see in the tango, but really suits the atmosphere of the song and production. [Haha, personally I thought Greg was wearing the face of someone who was very dizzy and trying not to puke. - Steve] Technically, it’s probably not as sophisticated as Daisy and Aljaz’s, but the performance and atmosphere mostly make up for that.
Greg says he really loved it, that last week and this week were his favourites - who would have thought he would be the one that was into all the sexy routines. It’s always those you least expect, isn’t it? I do hope we get to see their Argentine Tango although I fear it may be too X-rated for prime-time viewing. Darcey praises the use of the gliding movements and his travelling and says he looked really in control. She says he does throw away his free arm when he comes out of hold, so he needs to work on that, but overall - nice. Len compliments his flat back and wide elbows and he loved the travelling and the ‘how’s your father’. He says it lost a little bit of energy towards the end, but it’s great to see him back from the wilderness. Bruno declares him the King of melodrama and calls it a ‘Tennessee Williams Viennese Waltz’, which is actually an apt metaphor, so well done Bruno. Craig says that his thumb went up but he clocked him and he put it back down again. He notes that there were a few issues with the arms as others have noticed, but thinks the choreography was exceptional.
In the Clauditorium, Natalie and Greg praise each other and Greg says dancing has changed his life. Scores: eight, eight, eight, eight for a total of 32.
In the audience, Tess pounces on Caroline Flack who smiles at the camera, possibly in an ‘I’m looking for work, don’t worry, I will try and keep Olly Murs out of it this time’ kind of way, whilst also still giving off a little bit of the ‘Oh my God Tess is touching me’ eyes that all Strictly contestants, past and present give off when being pawed by her. (Ordinarily, this would be the cue for a Brucie joke, but as he’s apparently not well, I’ll just say best wishes to you Bruce hope you get well soon). The final couple of the evening are AJ and Claudia and they are dressed in some Day-glo pink Paso outfits. The costuming and theming for these two has been pretty atrocious all series, bless them. Oops, not ‘bless them’, I don’t need to add to the baby talk they get.
In their VT, AJ says the Paso Doble is his favourite dance, and to get Claudia in the mood, he’s going to show her some balls. STEADY ON. Claudia replies ‘balls, aren’t they dangerous?’ Yes, if you don’t use protection. [I would've gone with the "only if you're Katya during the American smooth" joke myself. - Steve]
He takes her to a leisure centre and she is surprised that there are balls in there, which is a bit weird, given that it’s a sporting facility. It’s only when Claudia asks about the animals that I realise they are both saying ‘bulls’ and not balls #accentracism. However, there are none of those either, it’s some Bristol-based basketball team, of all the tenuous VT storylines. Also, Claudia is tiny, it seems a bit mean to make her play basketball, no?
They are dancing to yet another inappropriate music choice, ‘Shut up and Dance’- they really have had the worst draw of song choices of all the couples, haven’t they? I suppose they’re using contemporary pop songs to make an appeal to the young audience, but they’re up against it in trying to make the dancing work to these songs a lot of the time. That said, they manage pretty well, other than at one point where Claudia gets stuck in a turn with her arms across her face. There’s plenty of Paso shaping here and if you watch it with the sound down, which I have done as part of recapping, it actually makes more sense than when the music’s playing. As ever, from them, it’s a creditable performance, with lots going for it, yet still something slightly forgettable about it-I think last weeks may have been there only real wow moment so far and I do hope they can find something else to make them stand out in the future, because I keep forgetting that they are even in the competition half of the time.
Len says he likes them and enjoyed a lot of it, but thinks AJ overpowered the dance and then he has a go at the audience for daring to boo him, as he always does. Tess tells him not be means AJ because it’s his birthday, and Bruno ‘awwws’, at which AJ pulls a face down the camera all ‘stop babying me pleeeeeeeeease’ and has never looked more stroppy teenager, sorry AJ. Also: is there anyone who HASN’T had their birthday this series? Bruno says she’s really strong but that means she has a tendency to hold poses rather than flow into the next movement (probably a gymnastic issue, I’m guessing?) Craig thought it was really powerful and loved it. Darcey liked the passion but wanted some more shaping as Bruno said, and thought Claudia lost character sometimes, smiling, rather than keeping her expressions fierce.
In the Clauditorium, AJ is presented with ‘22’ balloons as if they’ll ever treat him like he’s a day over 17. Scores: 8, 8, 8, 9 for a total of 33.
Louise and Kevin 39
Danny and Oti 38
Daisy and Aljaž 34
Ore and Joanne 34
Judge Rinder and Oksana 33
Claudia and AJ 33
Laura and Giovanni 32
Greg and Natalie 32
Ed and Katya 27
We open the phone lines with Chas and Dave singing rabbit - except they forget the words to their own song. Guys, it’s one of two songs of yours that anybody knows, how can you forget the words?
That leaderboard presents a lot of ties, doesn’t it? I would say from that that Laura is a locked on cert for the bottom two, and pretty much anyone other than Louise and Kevin and Danny and Oti could be down there with her – a Daisy versus Laura dance off would not be surprising, although with all the hints about how much Daisy doesn’t want to be in the bottom, maybe the public will take pity on her this week and keep her in, in which case I would think that Ore, Claudia and Ed might be the next likely suspects - possibly Greg, but I think his vote will still be good enough to clear him this week.
Either way, join us tomorrow to see what happens!