Sunday, 27 November 2016

Cha cha squeals

Week 10: Top 6 Perform - 26 November 2016

Last week! Everybody went to BLACKPOOL, where the gulf between the frontrunners and the "just here for the experience" contestants seemed to grow ever-wider, admittedly with Claudia forming something of an outlier, being scored and praised highly by the judges for a jive that was, frankly, all over the place. This left us with a BATTLE OF THE OLYMPIANS dance-off between Greg and Claudia, and even though Greg was arguably the better performer on the night, the judges saved Claudia because of her better long-term potential, meaning that for the second year in a row, the Blackpool dance-off was a decent quickstep versus a sub-par jive, and the judges ignored the actual problems in front of them in favour of the long-term narrative of the series. All I'm saying is that whoever draws the quickstep in Blackpool next year should be worried.

This week! The contestants will have to perform two competitive dances in the same night for the first time in the competition, with their individual performances being supplemented by the Cha Cha Challenge. This is foreshadowed with some grainy "home video" footage of everyone rehearsing, and why exactly is Danny only ever shown in his bathroom at home? Does he have a weak bladder? Is the rest of his house desperately untidy? Does he just stay in there all day because there are mirrors on every surface? I can't rest until I know.

Titles. I really miss Anastacia, guys. Or should I say DANCEASTACIA.

Back in boring old Elstree, Tess and Claudia step onto the stage escorted by Pasha and Aljaž respectively. Pasha is wearing a shirt that is slashed right to the navel, which gives me hope that whatever else might happen this evening, at least there's a higher than average chance of a nip slip from our Pash. Daly Dresswatch: a long white gown that's cut out over both shoulders and slashed right to the upper thigh on her right leg and has such an unwieldy train that Tess has to wrap it around the bannister as she descends the staircase. What Winkleman's Wearing: a deep purple off-the-shouder jumpsuit with a v-shaped décolletage. A bit of a misfire from wardrobe on both counts, sadly. Tess informs us that all of tonight's celebrities will have to raise their game tonight, which should be a bit of a problem for Danny who, after all, achieved actual perfection last week. She's referring, of course, to the addition of the Cha Cha Challenge, and it's a bit unfortunate that as the audience dutifully gives us a "woooo!", the camera cuts to three women in the front row who couldn't look less enthused if you'd told them that this was Agadoo Week. [I swear I've seen several dances incorporate moves from 'Agadoo' this series - Rad]

Tess introduces the judges as "four people who literally never miss a trick", which might have sat a little better if they hadn't spent last week's show trying to convince us that Claudia's jive was near-perfect and hampered only by a small slip-up. Or if they hadn't saved Peter Andre over Jamelia last year. Or...well, you get the general idea. The judges dance on, and just once I wish they would let Darcey start anywhere other than on the stairs, because she always looks so terrified that she's going to fall flat on her arse. Wasting no time, we then get straight into meeting our remaining contestants: Louise and Kevin, Judge Rinder and Oksana, Claudia and AJ, Ore and Joanne, Ed and Katya, and Danny and Oti. Kevin's end-of-sting high kick is a little off-the-beat this week, which concerns me.

Danny and Oti are up first tonight, and naturally their VT opens with Danny reflecting on getting the first perfect score of the series for his charleston last week. Danny says that words can't possibly describe the feeling, and with the best will in the world, I suspect that is true of most situations that Danny finds himself in. Danny says that he just wants to entertain people, and he's so glad that he's got another chance to do it this week. This week they've got the samba, and Oti has decided to do something a little different with it: instead of making it "carnival", she wants to make it "jungle, ethnic and tribal". Frankly you can do what you like with it as long as you don't make it "disco". Oti spends most of the rehearsal period laughing herself inside out at Danny's attempts to do a tribal jungle samba, though by his account, she claimed she was "celebrating the movement of my body". As part of their training, Oti takes Danny out to the London School of Samba, which - from the brief glimpse we get of it - seems to be very much of the "carnival samba" persuasion, though Oti tells us that it's fine because it's more about soaking up the atmosphere and just embracing the dance. Some of the students (teachers?) from the School of Samba tell us that Danny "can really shake his hips", so that's good.

Their samba is to 'Magalenha', and it opens with Danny standing on the floor with Oti directly behind him, and really all you can see of her at this point is her hair spilling out to the side, basically making Danny look like Wolf from Gladiators. Important plot point: Danny's shirt is entirely open, so I guess we've now reached the point where he is not above trading abs and nips for votes. It starts slowly but with the sense that something big is coming, and then as soon as the drum beats kick in, the routine erupts into life - Danny and Oti are rolling their way around the floor, pawing at each other, all extended arms and swaying hips. It's almost hypnotic. What I really like about the routine is the way it looks like wild abandon, but the two of them are clearly in control of every movement. I've perhaps been a little harsh on Danny before because I've found his routines - while technically excellent - to feel a little passionless and clinical, but here I think the atmosphere is electric and the chemistry fantastic. And as for the choreography: Oti is a treasure and the show should pay whatever is necessary to keep her around for a long time.

Hilariously, as they walk over to Tess, it looks like Danny has a massive bruise on his cheek, though I think - I hope - it's just where Oti's contouring appears to have rubbed off on him. Tess thanks the singers and Dave Arch's Wunnerful Orchestra for their fine work there, and Len opens for the judges by saying that Danny is a tease, starting slow and then erupting into those promenade runs. He thinks Danny was fierce like a puma, and other things Len remembers from watching Bravestarr with the kids back in the 80s. Bruno says he's palpitating and hyperventilating, and he doesn't know if he needs a doctor, a pill, a drink or a cold shower. I don't know about you, but I'm not sensing anything unusual from Bruno here. He says it was like watching a pagan mating ritual, and that every sinew was stretched and a slave to the rhythm. Craig says that he found the open shirt "a slight distraction", but Danny's hip action from the voltas was unprecedented for a male celebrity, the isolation was excellent and he loved the tribal theming. Darcey is impressed that Danny achieved that in one week, and it was like watching a perfect samba masterclass.

Everyone is throwing celebratory shapes up in the Clauditorium, and Claudia congratulates Oti on her inventive choreography, saying that normally "a samba's just like, a small parrot, and people just go like that" (bobbing up and down in a disinterested fashion) and she loved that Danny looked so surprised to get such good comments. Danny responds diplomatically, saying that they work hard all week but you never know what the judges are going to say. Scores: 10s all round again for a perfect score of 40. This is the first time anybody has got a perfect score for a samba in Strictly history, breaking the current record of 39 jointly held by Abbey Clancy and Frankie Bridge. As you can imagine, I'm very much in favour of any development that means no longer having to pretend that Abbey Clancy was the best at anything. Anyway, Oti's a little bit overcome by all of this and collapses onto Danny's chest, as would any right-thinking person at this moment. There are no special guests for the terms and conditions this week, just some cha cha music in the background to help everyone get in the mood for the cha cha challenge. Everyone grabs the nearest available partner, which ends up leaving Janette dancing with Karen, and Neil and Giovanni twirling each other around. I have to admit: into it.

As if to cement Ore's role in this series as Danny's beta, he and Joanne are the unfortunate couple who have to follow that barnstorming start. Ore also has fond memories of last week, getting three tens and being in Blackpool, and says he wouldn't change a single moment. In training, Ore tells Joanne that there have been a lot of incredible pasos so far this series, so they really need to make theirs stand out. And, with the benefit of hindsight, I can't help thinking that telling Joanne to do something striking with the paso may have been a mistake. Anyway, Ore and Joanne giggle about how they're not angry people, so this is going to be difficult for them, though we do also see Joanne basically explaining for the uninitiated what the key elements of the paso are, and what the posture is supposed to look like, which is quite good. Informative VTs: who knew?

They're dancing to Lorde's cover of 'Everybody Wants To Rule The World' and there's a table in between them. Really, have we not learned the lesson about tables yet? Apparently not, because quite a lot of this routine is taken up by one or other of them crawling on/across/under the table. Even taking the table sections out of consideration (please), this is quite a strange paso doble. There are a lot of choreographical flourishes which don't really make a lot of sense to me, and the whole thing is happening at breakneck speed. There is a slight air of panic about it, a feel of rushing through each section in order to get to the next bit on time, and I wish they'd just paused for breath and impact a little bit more, because I feel like this could actually have been quite good? But as it is now, it's a bit of a mess. Still: Ore looks great in eyeliner, more of that please. [There were aspects of this that I really liked but it definitely didn't all pull together-it might have made for a more spectacular showdance than a Paso.  With more rehearsal - Rad]

Tess tells Ore that he's "normally such a pussycat", and Ore says that he hasn't got much to be angry about on this show. Really? Not being in the dance-off when you were seven points clear of Ed Balls? I'd have been quite angry about that, personally. Bruno says that he's got goosebumps, and that the routine was "achingly stylish and original", like the film Nocturnal Animals as a paso doble. I haven't seen that film, so I shall just take his word for it. [I have and I'm not sure I see the connection - Rad] He liked how modern it was, and "it captured the zeitgeist of now". I think Bruno can take the rest of the series off, he's never going to top this moment. Craig says that there was an unsure moment where he looked a bit lost, and he needs to watch his port de bras, but he loved the grand jete en tournant, and he loved the power and the engaging story. Darcey says it was dramatic and intense, and Ore has a very supple upper body which really helps with the posture in this dance. Len says it was full of mood and atmosphere, and he doesn't think he's ever seen anyone get that level of shaping in the twist turns - but there was a little incident that he thought he spotted in there.

They report to Claudia, who calls Ore "the friendliest boy in the whole world" and Ore says that it was difficult because whenever Joanne made angry face at him, it made him feel like he'd done something wrong, and Joanne says she had to bite her lip to stop herself from smiling. Scores: Craig 8, Darcey 9, Len 9, Bruno 10 for a total of 36.

Next up are Louise and Kevin. Tess tells us that Louise has undergone a "Strictly transformation" and "really gained in confidence", which is not really what I've taken away from this series, and I say this as someone who has essentially transferred my allegiance to Louise now that Greg's gone. Anyway, Louise was pleased with how Blackpool went, particularly getting a 10 from Len, who it seems is the judge she most wants to impress. This week they have the waltz, and Kevin's hair is getting increasingly dead-spider-like in the training room. Seriously, what is going on there? Kevin tells her that it's a romantic dance and Louise confesses to not being very romantic (poor Jamie) and demonstrates this by burping banana in Kevin's face. To get Louise in the mood, Jamie comes to join them in training and Kevin shows them how to waltz together, though this just ends up with Louise feeling self-conscious and giggly again. Honestly, it's a miracle they ever conceived any children, isn't it? Still, Louise is very pleased to have her husband dancing with her, even if it was mostly giggling. Jamie tells Louise how proud he is of her, and that he and the boys will be supporting her on Saturday. Awww. They might be a rather dull couple, but they are very sweet together.

They're dancing to Michael Bublé's cover of 'At This Moment', and it's one of the more dramatic waltzes I've seen on this show in a while - perhaps Kevin was wary of doing another low-key one after what happened to Kellie last year. This one is all about a couple apparently close to breaking point, and him desperately pleading for another chance. I'm actually pleasantly surprised by Louise's commitment to this performance - the expression on her face reads as genuine emotion for once. It's typically elegantly and cleanly performed by Louise, although there is one moment where I have to pause and consider whether it's an assisted jump or an illegal lift (I think it's the former, although who even knows with this show any more?). Still, I'm just grateful to have a waltz that was actually fun and engaging to watch, because you don't get too many of those in a series.

Tess says that Louise is the highest scoring female of the series (and likely to remain that way, considering there are only two of them left) and asks Craig if she's maintained that standard. Craig says that Louise always maintains standards (way to make her sound like the dormitory mistress of a 1920s boarding school, Craig) but she needs to watch her shoulders raising in the jazz section. The movement around the floor was incredible though, and he could watch her all night. Darcey loves the two of them together and the way they tell a story through their steps. She loves the artistry of how they play with the music. Len says that we've been treated to three fantastic dances to open the show, and tells Louise not to listen to Craig's comments, which were...almost entirely positive? Bruno loved the interpretation of the music and Louise's impeccable phrasing.

They phrase their way up to the Clauditorium impeccably, and Louise says this felt like the hardest week for her - she isn't sure why, but having to be so controlled was difficult, and she worries that she drove Kevin slightly mad. Scores: Craig 9, Darcey 10, Len 10, Bruno 10 for a total of 39. Everyone claps, and I'm distracted by the fact that someone just out of shot keeps trying to push Neil over. Normally I would suspect Brendan or Anton, but they're both over the other side of the balcony. Curious indeed.

After a brief preview of what's coming up (do we really need this when we only have six couples performing?) and the standard halfway comedy interlude (involving Claudia trying to take a selfie with the camera that Ed will be using for his tango later), it's over to Judge Rinder and Oksana for their rumba. Judge Rinder tells us that he will never forget his Blackpool experience - even though he forgot the steps a bit, he felt like he was having a party. He admits to being apprehensive about the rumba, what with it being A Difficult Dance For The Men and all that, but he's genuinely moved by the routine that Oksana has choreographed for him, which is all about how a teacher can come into your life and make you a dancer. I guess the people who like dirtyfilthyrumbas are going to be quite disappointed by this one. Inspired by the routine, Judge Rinder invites one of his old teachers - the one who did all the school plays - in to meet Oksana, and Wendy (for that is her name) says that she's so proud of "Rob", seeing him dance. They look back at some photos of Diddy Rinder in school plays (one of which looks like Bugsy Malone) and Judge Rinder says that when a teacher believes in you, you can pretty much do anything. So, that's grandparents, war heroes and teachers all checked off the tribute list. I look forward to next week's Argentine tango dedicated to the enduring support shown to him by his make-up artist.

They're dancing to 'Lean On Me', and the routine begins with Judge Rinder leaning on a ballet beam before being encouraged onto the floor by Oksana. It's a sweet and tender routine, sensitively danced, although a little heavy in the feet in places. The rumba clearly isn't a dance where he's naturally strong, but I like his commitment to the mood of the piece, and it's actually a very creditable effort. Honestly, I think his biggest problem here is going to be the fact that this falls at a point in the series where the field is narrow, which makes him vulnerable with a comparatively low-impact dance like this, but we'll see.

His teacher is in the audience and looks on approvingly. Judge Rinder tells Tess that he's definitely not the best dancer here, but he's got the best teacher. Tess asks Darcey if Judge Rinder embraced the character in the story, and Darcey replies "it's difficult, isn't it?" Oof. She didn't think the story gave a purpose to all of those moves, and it is Very Difficult For A Man to have that fluidity that's needed for the rumba. She liked how he used the floor, but she didn't feel he looked comfortable and felt his weight was too far back at times. Len says it wasn't his dance, but it certainly wasn't his worst! He liked the hip action and the arm movement, but he thought it looked a bit taut and lacking in naturalness. Bruno: "Don't worry darling, everything is beautiful at the ballet" - and then goes on to say that Judge Rinder was taking the ballet seriously by acting the dying swan, and develops this thought further by saying there was an element of the funky chicken as well, though somehow this adds up to "it was a brave attempt". Craig finishes by saying it was a bit too spiky and awkward - he thought his body parts were moving independently of his core. But he loved the "earnest" quality of the dance and finds that commendable. This whole section did all feel a bit "you've done well to get this far but we're ready for you to go now", didn't it?

Claudia tells him not to be disheartened and Judge Rinder chirps "I'm not!" Heh, fair enough. Claudia says that his teacher "Wendy" is here, and Rinder replies "no, not Wendy, she's 'Miss'!" That's a whole chunk of backstory right there, isn't it? Judge Rinder says that he hates the word "journey", but that this routine was about their journey, and the teachers on the show are amazing. Scores: Craig 6, Darcey 8, Len 8, Bruno 7 for a total of 29 - sadly bringing Judge Rinder's "your scores have never gone down!" narrative, though given that they also hadn't gone up for the last two weeks either, it was perhaps time. Judge Rinder remains not-disheartened and says that they will just have to win the Cha Cha Challenge now.

Ed and Katya next, and Ed attempts to do Blue Steel straight down the camera. Tess lists Ed's many accomplishments so far this series: rescuing a damsel in distress, flying a flaming piano, and doing a salsa Gangnam style - and now he's going to be a Male Model Activate Ur Lolz Immediately. Ed says that it was a great honour to play a flaming piano in Blackpool, though Katya points out that they have yet to impress Craig. She thinks they need to work harder to prove they deserve to be here. In rehearsals, Katya is wearing some excellent shoes with a lipstick print design all over them as she explains to Ed that she's going to play a male model this week, and Ed does another Spontaneous Reaction Face that looks exactly like every other Spontaneous Reaction Face he's ever done. Apparently Ed bugging his eyes out is just that funny that we need to see it every week. Katya brings in male model Paul Sculfor to show Ed what he needs to be doing, and we approach Maximum Lolz as Ed sashays down an imaginary catwalk and does a series of sexy poses and says that he hopes he can put all of this into practice on Saturday night. Well, I don't know about you guys, but after this VT I am now fully convinced that Ed is dedicated to the craft of dance and deserves to be here.

They're dancing to '(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction', and Katya plays the photographer as Ed lies on a chaise longue and attempts to evoke Derek Zoolander. Positives: while there is still a fair bit of faffing in there, there is also a decent amount of tango content. Negatives: the tango is danced badly throughout. It's leaden and sloppy, and for all that Ed's fans keep trying to push this narrative that he "really is improving", there's absolutely nothing in this routine to back that up. In fact, I went back to look at his week one waltz where he had some basic grasp of the technique but little finesse or flair, and that's exactly what I'm seeing here. It even feels like the comedic aspects of the Ed Balls engine are running on fumes at this point and I dare to hope that this might be the routine that marks his departure from the show, since it's not really memorable for either good or bad reasons. It's just sort of 'there'. [Also, it's a tango, which has been a bit of a dance of death this series - Rad]

Tess hoots that it's "always a joy" to watch Ed and compliments him on his pout. Len snorts that Ed was dancing to "Craig's signature song", and says that there was plenty of content in the routine, and while he's not always the judges' number one choice (he has literally never been the judges' number one choice), he's the people's champion. Remember when they started saying this to Lisa Riley right before she went home? *hugs self hopefully* Bruno says that Ed is like junk food - you shouldn't have it, but you can't help wanting more. Craig, on the other hand, feels overfull and says that Ed's frame was completely hunched over, he had splayed hands, sloppy feet on the kick ball changes and it was very stompy. Darcey loved his focus at the beginning, but then he started to lose it. She thinks it was too bouncy, and that Ed maybe got a bit lost in the character.

Claudia reiterates that Ed works really hard every week, and Ed chuckles that "being a male model, it's not really me, is it?" Yes Ed, that was the joke. I think you were supposed to be in on it. Scores: Craig 4, Darcey 6, Len 7, Bruno 6 for a total of 23. The exact same score as last week, in the exact same format. Ed chuckles that he thinks he's going to win the Cha Cha Challenge.

In the pimp slot for the third time this series (statswatch: Louise has had it twice, while Danny, Greg, Judge Rinder, Ed, Ore and Will have each had it once), it's Claudia and AJ. They reflect on last week's Blackpool jive, where AJ applauds her for carrying on after the mistake and picking up the routine, and Claudia says that being in the dance-off was horrible, but she's so grateful to be here for another week. In our weekly trip to Bad Acting Corner, AJ shouts at Claudia that the Argentine tango is full of speed, quick turns and fast footwork, so he's taking her go-karting (?????), and Claudia responds that she can't actually drive. Honestly, I've seen better line-readings on The Only Way Is Essex. Anyway, it turns out that Claudia is crap at go-karting and AJ beat her soundly, so that was an excellent way to waste valuable training time, well done everyone.

They're dancing to a truly ghastly arrangement of Justin Timberlake's 'Cry Me A River', and Claudia spends a lot of time in the air. Truly she is our champion of Strictly Come Lifting. Overall it's pretty impressive: very sharp and staccato with quick, snappy movements, but the section where they hook their legs around each other is a little sloppy, and also in the running jumps they look a little more like show ponies than I would personally prefer them to. [I would have liked more of her feet touching the ground, to be honest, again it felt more showdancey - but a vast improvement on last week - Rad]

Tess squeals that their routine was "breathtaking! breathtaking!" Bruno calls the routine a "tour de force", as opposed to last week's jive, which was a tour de farce. He loved the aerial displays and thought that she was never going to land. I must admit I thought the same at one point, though I don't quite mean it as complimentarily as Bruno does. He did think she was strong, controlled and precise, and he liked that she developed a dramatic persona. Craig would've liked her legs to be looser for the ganchos and it was a little placed, but he loved it and thought it was incredible. Darcey loved her balance, control and upper body strength to produce those lifts while keeping her body so calm. She echoes Bruno in saying that it's great to see her playing a sultry, moody character. Len says that she had total control over what she was doing - a mixture of frisky movement and risky lifts.

In the Clauditorium, Claudia W tells us that the pros were very excited about the choreography and that Natalie in particular was blown away by it. Claudia F says that she loved being moody and that she went for the performance so much that her toe popped out of her shoe. AJ says that it was his favourite routine of the series too. Scores: unanimous nines for a total of 36. I've seen people say this was undermarked, and I'm not sure I agree - I think 36 is about what it deserved, but what's clearly wrong here is that it scored the same as her terrible jive from last week, so if someone could just get hold of a time machine and go back and get that corrected, that'd just be super. Claudia W ushers them off to get changed for the Cha Cha Challenge, since they only have about three minutes to do so.

Pre Cha Cha Challenge leaderboard:
1. Danny & Oti - 40
2. Louise & Kevin - 39
3. Ore & Joanne - 36
4. Claudia & AJ - 36
5. Judge Rinder & Oksana - 29
6. Ed & Katya - 23

Here's Len with a VT to explain how it's all going to work and also to give Claudia a bit longer to get changed. The rules are as follows: the professionals have drawn positions on the dancefloor from a hat, so it's all above board (I love it when things happen off-camera and we are assured they were DEFINITELY NOT RIGGED, that doesn't ring any alarm bells at all) - they must keep dancing for the duration of the music, and halfway through they will switch positions so everyone gets equal time close to the judges. There are to be no lifts, and if anyone tries a lift, they will get zero points. And everyone will get their scores at the end - the weakest couple will get one point, and the strongest couple will get six - and this will be added to their overall score. Len says that this has the opportunity to "well and truly shake up the leaderboard", and I appreciate that this VT was pre-recorded, but Judge Rinder and Ed are going to be fifth and sixth whatever happens, because there aren't enough points available to change that (unless Ed wins the whole thing and Rinder is disqualified, but that seems fairly unlikely).

Before the dance begins, Claudia reveals that the couples won't know what song they're going to dance to, and Len explains that this is how it works in a professional ballroom competition - you have to make do with what you're given, stay on time and keep it rhythmic. Bruno warns us that the couples have to stand out for the right reasons, Ed, and they need to maintain the look of the dance throughout without getting carried away with the improvising.

The couples arrive on the floor and dance to 'I Like It Like That'. As ever with the -athons, it's pretty hard to keep track of what's going on and who's doing what, but Danny and Oti seem to be the clear standouts, with Louise and Kevin not too far behind (although she could do with straightening her legs a bit), then Ore and Claudia in the middle with not much to choose between them, then Rinder and Ed clearly at the back of the pack. Nobody seems to be expecting the music to end when it does, although Ed carries on for about an extra six beats, bless him. If I were ranking it, it'd be Danny, Louise, Ore, Claudia, Judge Rinder, Ed in declining order of skill, but I imagine the judges will have other ideas.

Bruno cackles that it was nerve-wracking for him, never mind anyone else, and he thinks everyone has improved very much since week one (note: Ed's cha cha cha happened in week six). He thought they all worked hard, and while not everyone had correct timing, they did a wonderful job. Claudia says that they all looked magnificent to her, and Craig says that they weren't, of course, but the judges are really struggling to agree on the ranking, and it was wonderful to see so much great hip action. Tess says that the results could turn the leaderboard on its head (not unless they're planning on offering Ed the 18 points he needs to overtake Danny, it won't), and Len reveals the verdict: Ed is in sixth place of course, Judge Rinder is fifth, Claudia and AJ are fourth, Ore and Joanne are third, Danny and Oti are second, which puts Louise and Kevin in first. I find that slightly hard to get my head around because Danny was clearly the best one out there to my eyes [and mine - Rad], but then there was a lot going on that the camera didn't capture, so I can't bring myself to feel too cheated by it - it is what it is. Let's see what that does to the leaderboard:

1=. Danny & Oti - 40+5=45
1=. Louise & Kevin - 39+6=45
3. Ore & Joanne - 36+4=40
4. Claudia & AJ - 36+3=39
5. Judge Rinder & Oksana - 29+2=31
6. Ed & Katya - 23+1=24

So that potentially earth-shattering Cha Cha Challenge has...broken the tie between Ore and Claudia and created a new one between Danny and Louise. And that's it. Well, it filled 10 minutes of airtime, didn't it? It's still possible for Ed to be saved by the public, though the tie happening right at the very top makes it harder for him to overtake Claudia, whose vote I would think is fairly strong this week after a) being in the bottom two last week and b) a dance that was widely perceived as being undermarked. We'll find out soon enough...

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