Monday, 27 November 2017

Calman over

Week 10: Top 7 Results - 26 November 2017

Last night! Joe topped the leaderboard for the first time despite a quickstep that made my already painful teeth itch! The rigathon kept the couples in the exact same order they were before it started! Susan struggled with a bench and Gemma struggled with a sleepy samba that worked as well in practice as it sounds in concept! But what has all of that done to the results?

Before we find out, it's time for our weekly pro dance. And what a gaymazing/bonkers treat this is. Set to a mash-up of 'Fashion' and 'Vogue' it features Oti channelling Beyonce and owning everyone as a bad bitch supermodel, with Chloe and Anton her Michelle and Kelly and various other rejected pros their hangers on. The judges, and celebs 'n' pros-still-in-contention form a sunglasses-clad audience, all except Bruno who vamps on at the end. There's not much in the way of ballroom or latin, but it does give us Neil and Pasha looking like extras from Zoolander, pretty much all the pros supporting the most voluminous hair ever seen on this show that doesn't belong to AJ Pritchard, Oti stamping on Brendan and Karen and then Chloe kicking both of them out of the way so even she can have a go at the endless dogpiling of Brendan Cole that this series has become, Anton trolling Tess by wearing a bright pink cape, Darcey and Shirley tolling Anna Wintour and, IDK, other fashion people, by pulling the best bitch faces seen since that week Nadiya's mum was in the audience and it all adds up to the most blatant and literal trolling of those who claim this show's become all style over substance. Better than 'tributes to our war dead using comedy songs and travelators' at any rate.

Tess and Claudia enter, Tess in a bright blue strapless dress and Claudia in black, or possibly a very deep navy.  They both look fine if unshowy - but then after Oti in a huge wig, silver leotard and actual bum cape, there was little comparison.

Time for our recap of last night in which the following is noteworthy: Davood has a sister who is proud of him, but even better is Debbie's mum Babs McGee who saw her daughter do the filthiest of all the dances and calls it 'breathtaking' but appears not in the least shocked. I wonder what sights she's seen in her time and if she'd like to come on ITT to share them, we'd enjoy that very much. Although they might need a post-watershed special, I suspect. Alexandra and Gemma come in for a kicking; Susan, too, but tempered with praise, and everyone else is mostly treated well.

Time for our first set of results. Safe are: Mollie and AJ, to everyone's shock and Joe and Katya, and that's all for now. Wow, it's harsh when we have so few couples left, right?  The first pair in the bottom? Alexandra and Gorka, which is not necessarily that surprising and the reason I sent my votes her way. She seems pretty gutted although I'm guessing after Aston and Debbie, none of them are necessarily expecting to be safe. She tells Tess she's honoured to be there and she'll do her best.  Tess asks Shirley 'our queen of the rumba' what to do and Alexandra cries 'can she do it for me?' Heh. Shirley tells her to listen to the music. I think the music was half the problem with it, Shirl.

In the Clauditorium, Joe tells us he is 'living his best life' and Claudia says he's been the dark horse (if anyone is a dark horse at this stage it might be... Mollie?) and asks if he eats hay. Joe clarifies 'she sometimes gets on my back and whips me'. The implication seems to be Katya here, so Neil might want to be having words. Katya is excited that next week is her first musicals week. AJ and Mollie are ecstatic at their first 9s and Mollie is also excited about musicals as you would expect (and the show neatly sidesteps Joe's ringer past in musical theatre which they have kept very quiet about so far).

Time for our special guest performer, Kelly Clarkson, looking so much like my friend Sophie it was weirding me out. Also: can we get her on this show in a year or two?  She seems like she'd be fun (or has she done DWTS already?). [Nope, she's not been reduced to that yet, thankfully. - Steve] Now, I saw a screengrab in a preview for this on the BBC site that featured a barefoot Gorka and Janette and I was mentally steeling myself for sitting through another dreary ballad with contempowafting nonsense and so I apologise to all parties concerned, because this song has a lot of DRAMA, and the dance replicates that. Yes, it's contemporary, but choreographed really well to the music so that as the accents come, the dance hits some real peaks. And it's danced at a fair old pace, with Janette in particular flinging herself about like nobody's business. Actually, the random pro pairings they've been hitting up this series seem to be quite fun - Anton and Nadiya were unexpectedly sweet last week (if you muted the fucking racket behind them) and here Gorka and Janette work well together. I actually enjoyed rewatching that and the guest performances are usually my least favourite thing aside from the boring recap of Saturday night. And, unlike most guest performers who treat the pros as an annoying accompaniment at best, Kelly actually applauds them and looks genuinely impressed, which is sweet. [I interviewed Kelly once many years ago, and she was exactly like this then - made a point of saying hello and introducing herself to everyone in the room, even the ones who had nothing to do with the interview. Thoroughly lovely, she was. - Steve]

Time now for Dance Debrief and we revisit Joe and Katya being joined at the groin with their hands behind their back and Shirley calling this outstanding and impressive and being surprised he did that.  I'm sure it was technically difficult, but they both looked super-smug doing it so whatever. Also we get our weekly reminder that Davood is on a JOURNEY and Craig covers what he means by having a looser leg in the gancho and Claudia pipes up 'so it looks almost as if it's a surprise?' and the judges congratulate her for learning and Claudia punches the air and goes '14th year!' and I hurried to the internet to find out when It Takes Two started because it seems like a new innovation, and surely she can't have been doing it in the early days, only to find out it's been around since series two so that taught me. (I dipped in and out of s1-2 and didn't start watching the spin-off until... well until I started recapping it, bad viewer that I am). Also, Mollie has learned to do turns well done her and Shirley thinks the paso doblathon was like watching the best professionals in the world and one of the best things she's ever seen. And now we will never hear of it again.

And on to our remaining couples. Safe are Debbie and Giovanni and Gemma and Aljaž, meaning their vote must be pretty hefty. Davood and Nadiya are the couple who get to be almost in danger, but receive a stay of execution, as the public have obeyed the storylining and stopped voting hard enough for Susan and Kevin to keep them from danger. Susan says 'it's going to be a really hard dance-off and maybe if we work on our technique we can make up the points' and then Kevin hugs her and the audience aww and everyone laughs at the formality of going to the judges for advice as Susan laughs 'I've never seen a more uneven contest in my life!' I know the wheels had come off Scott Maslen by the time he danced against Widdy but that's still quite the burn on him, Suse. [Scott vs Widdy was just a standard bottom two though - there was no dance-off in series eight. - Steve]

Bruno says it could be the Federer vs Nadal of dance-offs and tells her to just do what she did before, but a bit better.  Susan says 'there's always a chance in life, Tess' and Darcey breaks down in hysterics.

With the saved couples, Claudia tells Aljaž he hasn't done well for ages and he's all, yeah but I won once, so who cares. She also tells Nadiya not to get used to having such good fortune. Wow, Claudia's a proper Debbie downer tonight, maybe she believed Kevin would never fail to make a final or something. She also repeats the rumour about (the actual) Kylie wanting to do some of Debbie and Giovanni's lifts and Giovanni says 'well, that came from something her make-up artist said, but I'd love to have a go on Kylie Minogue'. And in front of Debbeh and everything, the cad. Also, Davood has an Argentine Tango next week which Nadiya will no doubt tell us is difficult for men, and her presence is the only reason I kind of miss Len. Nadiya both trumpeting his pet cause and equally embodying his pet hates of illegal lifts and macking abaht would have made his head explode with the conundrum of it all.

Preview of next week, MUSICALS week, in which the celebrities all talk about wanting to get to the QUARTER-FINALS and not a single mention of the theme week making me think there were some last-minute shenanigans going on, because that was very weird indeed.

Alexandra earnestly says she's going to take on Shirley's critique, like it matters and Susan says she'll just go out and have fun and it won't be her last dance with Kevin because they'll keep going after the show. Alexandra and Gorka go first and the singing sounds a bit better this time even if the musical accompaniment is still meagre. You can see Alexandra forcing her legs to be straight in parts and she stumbles at one point which seems to be a case of overthinking, so not quite the fluidity of movement needed but she probably coped a bit better than Debbie did last week with the dance-off. Susan and Kevin reprise theirs and they do try and do the full thing rather than just going 'fuck it' and it's still very cute even if plagued by all the problems it had first time as well.

Obviously it's a clean sweep for Alexandra and Gorka, meaning Kevin Clifton has lost a dance-off for the first time in five years. In a series where everyone has trolled Brendan either by a pot stirrer or taking over his speech duties, these two choose the latter approach, with Susan thanking everyone, including Tess, Claudia and Zoe, who don't get thanks very often, so that was nice. She cries but not perhaps as badly as you might expect because she's obviously had a speech ready for a while. And Kevin gets to speechify for the first time ever, in which he thanks Karen for putting up with him being a dick when he's doing the show (and no doubt rubbing in that he's always gone far and had mostly ringers when she... hasn't), Susan for being great and the show itself for being a beacon of hope in a world of shit. And then they cry and Tess cries and I cry a bit I'm sorry, I know she could be a bit annoying but I also thought they were quite sweet and I genuinely enjoyed several of their dances. Then 'Last Dance' plays and they have to keep doing a 'last move' for AGES (a Morecambe and Wise, a half-lift, a hug, a party dance - everything they can throw at it) before anyone else comes to rescue them.

Post-mortem time involves everyone being happy about the QUARTER FINALS and only Aljaž giving a fuck about musicals week. Also Giovanni makes a claw motion so guessing Cats is going to be their inspiration, which doesn't sound like the Hollywood musical American Smooth extravaganza I want, but also might mean more vaguely-veiled S&M references so I'm torn... Steve will be taking us through it all next week.

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