Strictly Speaking: Week 2

Saturday Live Show

Here we go! Week 2 and all 14 couples were dancing in this epic TWO HOUR show. TWO WHOLE HOURS. I recommend that you make yourself comfortable. This week Tess was wearing an immensely unflattering, boob-squishing grey satin frock.  It did not look good.

Matt and Aliona kicked off proceedings with a foxtrot to She Said by Plan B. I really like this song but wasn’t so keen on the arrangement they used, it seemed really disjointed to me. I did enjoy their foxtrot, although I wasn’t wowed by the rather sudden handstand-y jump thing (more technical terms for you there) right at the end, which Craig picked up on. There’s no doubting that Matt is really very good (in fact he’s getting on Len’s wick as he’s “not supposed to dance this well in week 2”), but I’d have preferred Aliona to choreograph something simpler that would show off his dance technique, rather than his gymnastic abilities. They equalled their week 1 result with another 31 out of 40.

Peter Shilton’s hairline with that weird little fringey bit at the front bothers me greatly. As did his salsa. In the VT he claimed that the salsa was bringing out the animal in him, which is an image we could all do without. As was his salsa. This week Wardrobe had stuck a glittery football motif on his backside, as Bruno correctly pointed out it was unwise to draw attention to this area. This was not a good salsa, all stompy and clumsy. Erin, in lurid fluoro green and with skin the colour of teak, gives me a headache. Len and Alesha awarded fives (the total was 17)! FIVES. I wept.

Tina and Jared’s foxtrot (to On the Sunny Side of the Street) was more old-fashioned Hollywood than Matt and Aliona’s and I thought Tina looked graceful and more comfortable than she did in the cha-cha. She was holding her neck at rather a painful-looking angle though, Jared definitely needs to work on her frame and posture. There were some timing issues too, which Craig highlighted, but it was a definite improvement, resulting in a score of 26. I wish someone would improve Alesha’s grammar: “You was charming”. AAARRRGGGHHHHHHH.

I was a bit nervous for Patsy and her salsa – she was so scared last week and latin dances are much more exposing. When I heard that she’d only managed to train for 3 hours this week (due to long days filming her last Holby City scenes) my heart sank. This couldn’t be good, could it? HELL, YES IT COULD. I loved it – she looked amazing (did Wardrobe read last week’s post?), came out with confidence and attacked it. There was a dodgy moment where she went up to shimmy her cleavage at the judges, and her knees were a little bent throughout, but it was great to see her so obviously loving it. Go Patsy! The judges liked it too, giving sevens across the board.

The foxtrot was a better fit for Paul, but you could have driven a bus through the gap between him and Ola. He seems to start quite well but then he loses the plot halfway through and looks like he’s sleepwalking through it. According to Paul this is because he can’t remember what’s next. Well, he *is* 72. Still, it was most certainly not worth the sixes from Len and Alesha (total 21). Ridiculous! I wept again.

In Scott and Natalie’s VT he talked about his Nan who passed away last year – she was a ballroom dancer and Strictly was her favourite show. Then his Grandad visited them in training and there were “ahhhs” all round. I’d cracked open the wine, ok? They started their salsa (to Let’s Hear it for the Boy, which I love) on the platform above the band, and it was a really energetic, fun routine. Scott did lots of leaps and acrobatics – I bet Natalie took one look at Matt’s gymnastics last week and thought “right, time to shoehorn some somersaults in”. Sue Perkins’ tweet about their costumes “I love the Ken and Barbie headline at G-A-Y outfits on these two” was spot on. Craig described their salsa as “flame grilled and red hot”, and they scored eights all round, giving them the highest score so far of 32. We are safe from assimilation for another week.

Michelle is feeling really homesick (and obviously wounded by the criticism she got from the judges last week), so there was much squealing when Kelly Rowland turned up in training. The foxtrot started with her sat on a park bench and Brendan sliding down the banisters, and once they started dancing it was an improvement on last week, but I’m still not convinced. It was ok, but that’s all. The judges all gave constructive criticism (including Alesha!), with a balance between negative and positive but Brendan got the arse and told them off for being negative. SHUT UP BRENDAN. They scored 26, and there was more whining from Brendan about how Michelle deserved higher marks. He’s beginning to annoy me.

Goldie’s real name is Clifford. CLIFFORD. My concentration lapsed quite considerably during his foxtrot with Kristina (blame the wine), it was only really memorable for the gormless faces he was pulling and the gold trilby perched on his head. My notes say he got 26.

I was really looking forward to Pamela and James’s salsa (it looked great in training). Dancing to Dr Beat, they started with James lying on the judges table and Pamela wearing a white doctor’s coat and glasses. Oh, PURLEESE. I am not a fan of all this gimmicky stuff at all, and I actually think it threw Pamela off – although she had good rhythm and hip action there seemed to be lots of mistakes, including one where she nearly fell over. I do love the way she laughed it off and just carried on dancing – where others might have just frozen – but it was messy. But what do I know? The judges loved it, with Bruno saying Pamela had the right balance of rhythm and fluidity and Len calling it the best salsa of the night. REALLY? They scored 32, making them joint top with Scott and Natalie. REALLY?

Much is made in the training VT of Felicity’s inability to tell left from right, and her poor memory – Vincent just hopes she’ll remember to turn up. She seemed to remember the steps to the foxtrot though, and she looked very elegant in a vaguely Edwardian dress, but it felt a bit forced and frozen to me.  Not terrible, but disappointing. The judges seemed to think so too, giving them 25 points.

And now, the moment the country was waiting for/terrified of (delete as inapplicable): WIDDY AND ANTON’S SALSA! According to Widdy “you don’t have to dance a latin dance like a seduction ritual, you can turn it into a good old jolly hockey sticks stomp”. Er, if you say so. I won’t call what occurred in front of the nation’s eyes a salsa, as Widdy didn’t do any actual dancing – she just stomped about looking cross at Anton and wagging her finger disapprovingly. At one point Anton ripped his shirt open and she spent a good few bars buttoning it back up. Oh, my sides. Then at the end Anton picked her up and twirled her round, to shrieks of hysterical laughter from the audience. I poured myself another large glass of wine. And drained it. The judges looked shell-shocked, with Bruno describing it as a cross between horror and comedy. Len and Alesha both gave fours, which was ridiculous – the total score was 12 out of 40. We’ll have to get used to this, Widdy’s going nowhere for a good few weeks yet.

Kara was very worried about falling over again, but her worry was fortunately unfounded as her foxtrot with Artem (to From Russia With Love – cheesy, in a good way) was very elegant and romantic, with Len praising her for the heel turn and Bruno exclaiming “mission accomplished, Mr Bond” to Artem (who I’m, um, warming to). Craig noted that Kara needs to relax her left index finger (I love how specific he is in his comments), which gave us our first glimpse of Grumpy Len. Up with Tess, Kara was relieved they “didn’t go down” – cue much sniggering. They scored 32, with a nine from Alesha. A NINE! Bruno definitely rolled his eyes at that. As did I.

Now that Gavin is single he’s “in the shop window”. Don’t all rush at once, ladies. Katya has decided to use his looks as a weapon, which meant that there was some shirt-off action in their salsa, to make up for the fact that it was very bad. Gavin clearly found the whole thing embarrassing, there was no hip action at all and I was very glad when it was over. Katya was audibly horrified with Craig’s mark of 3, and their total score was 19. Gavin said he wasn’t that bothered though as he still looked good. Whatever.

After what seems like an eternity (largely thanks to Brucie’s energy-sucking interludes) we reached the final dance of the night, Jimi and Flavia’s foxtrot. Jimi hoped to keep a straight face as for some reason he found foxtrot training hilarious, and it did look to me like he was suppressing the giggles throughout. They danced to Fever, but it didn’t raise my temperature. They spent too much time faffing about on the stage before getting into hold (Len wasn’t happy about that), and there’s just something a bit meh about him for me. Still, they got 30 points, which made Flavia jump up and down.

I’m so glad that someone was going to be voted off this week – I love Strictly but 2 hours really is TOO LONG. At the end of the show my notes had Peter and Erin, Goldie and Kristina and Paul and Ola as candidates for the bottom two. Would I be right?

Sunday Results Show

No dance-off (who goes really is up to the public. Eeek)! No Brucie! Claudia! What do you know, two women presented a prime time show and the world didn’t end.

Main show recap recap recap, blah blah blah…..

They announced who was safe in stages, with Patsy and Robin the first to go through to next week. Yay! Peter and Erin were, as predicted, in the bottom two. Then it was time for a quickstep from the new show dance group. Lovely Ian! Lovely Darren! Some other people! After this another 4 couples were put through to next week, leaving Felicity and Vincent, Kara and Artem, Paul and Ola, Goldie and Kristina and Widdy and Anton to sweat it out until the end of the show to hear their fate. Robbie Williams treated us to a rendition of Rock DJ in which he only sang every other word (and methinks he’s really a bit too old now for drop-crotch trousers), and then there was a VT with all the celebs saying how much they’re loving Strictly and they don’t want to leave. Is it me or does it always sound like Widdy’s arguing with someone off camera – “it’s just having fun! Can’t you guys see that it’s just about having fun!” – as if they’re suggesting being on Strictly can cure cancer or solve world hunger.

Finally we got to the last reveal of who was safe, and what a shock, Widdy and Anton and Paul and Ola will be ‘dancing’ again for us all next week. Oh joy. Goldie and Kristina joined Peter and Erin under the spotlights and ominous music and I just knew that Goldie was a goner. And he was – he looked really shocked too. I know his foxtrot wasn’t exactly memorable but he didn’t deserve to be first out. Honestly, sometimes the public can be really stupid (not you, you’re all very wise and sensible).

{images: Patsy 

Goldie }

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4 thoughts on “Strictly Speaking: Week 2

  1. Fabulous review! I completely agree about Tess’ dress – also did you feel that Felicity was trying to keep her teeth in? Found it very offputting. Hx

  2. Fab review, AnneMarie. I completely agree with everything. But if the stupid public are going to keep voting Widdy in, I might have to stop watching. It was bad enough with John Sergeant, but at least he seemed like a nice bloke. (Until he quit, when I came to really dislike him, but still.)

    I’m gobsmacked that Paul is 72 though. He’s very good for 72. So that means four of the 14 contestants are over 60? Crikey.

    • Yep, it’s really frustrating (and I agree with you re John Sargeant). I wonder why some people watch Strictly if they’re not interested in the actual dancing, and all they want to do is vote for the no hopers. Grr.

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