Strictly Speaking: Week 3

Saturday Live Show

This week’s dances are the quickstep (yay!) and rumba (meh). Brucie tells a very laboured joke about how he’s finally joined the computer age while Tess simpers in a red drapey number.  I yawn. Poor Tina has chicken pox so won’t be dancing this week – she gets a free pass until next week, and if she’s still unable to dance she and Jarred will be out of the competition (Mike is sceptical she’ll recover in time for next week’s show – he had the pox 3 years ago and was poorly for ages, not to mention quarantined!).

Kara and Artem are first to hit the floor with their quickstep to Are You Gonna Be My Girl. Please note, Strictly wardrobe people, I DO NOT like the combination of yellow and black. Don’t do it again (they must be reading my posts – they’ve sorted out Peter’s hair this week). In their VT Artem reveals that he finds Kara adorable when she laughs, and she blushes a bit when she talks about him  – they *are* doing it, aren’t they? Their quickstep is quite hectic, with a lot of faffing about before they get in hold. Kara even does a cartwheel – in heels! Impressive. On the whole I liked it, they do have great chemistry (fnar) and it was a fun, modern routine but there were a few little mistakes. Bruno called it lively but gave a couple of pointers about Kara’s arm placement and the arch of her back, only for Craig to call him “picky, picky, picky”. Pot! Kettle! Three eights and a seven from Bruno (which the audience boo, FFS) give them a total of 31.

Felicity looks fabulous, although I’m not sold on her frock’s  ‘cleavage window’. She and Vincent rumba (Vincent calls it “the dance of the love”. I love him) to True Colours, and although she’s amazingly bendy it doesn’t do much for me I’m afraid. I’ve been trying to work out what’s missing, and I think it’s because when she’s dancing, to me, it feels like she’s doing the steps but she’s not ‘there’. Maybe she’s concentrating on remembering the routine, and her right from her left, but something’s stopping her ‘feeling it’, and thus her performances so far have felt a little flat. The judges all think it’s her best dance so far and award a score of 29. I miss the bit where Felicity mutters “Shit!” in response to Bruno picking her up on her positions (probably because I’m reaching for a Frazzle).

Oh, Patsy. She’s out of time from the very start of her quickstep, and the whole thing is just too frantic. I like Robin but he made the routine far too fast (they’re dancing to Black Horse and the Cherry Tree by KT Tunstall) – Bruno describes the footwork as being like a pony at full gallop, while Len comments that the routine was all quantity, not quality. To be fair, all week Patsy’s been predicting a quickstep disaster, and it wasn’t *quite* that. Their score is 24 out of 40, which Patsy’s happy with. Great red frock, wardrobe people.

And now for something I hoped I’d never have to witness: Paul Daniels doing the rumba. It’s not good at all (no surprise there then) – there’s a ‘comedy’ bit where Paul twirls round clumsily, which Craig calls infantile, and Bruno likens Paul to a giant pepperpot. Craig says that Paul spent most of the routine ogling Ola, to which Len replies “So did I!” OH GOD. I feel a bit sick. The score is 16 – more scoring madness from Len and Alesha, who both give five. ARGHHHH. Paul ‘jokingly’ blames Ola for telling him to make it funny. Ola doesn’t hit him, which is a shame.

There’s a bit of a tetchy atmosphere in Matt and Aliona’s training VT, with Matt finding her quickstep choreography too fast. Hey Matt, there’s a bit of a clue in the name of the dance! He doesn’t look entirely comfortable when they hit the floor, but there are moments when I think he’s just SO GOOD. They get a standing ovation from the audience. Craig commends his timing and his footwork, especially his kicks, but Len finds it too manic (hey audience? Stop booing) and tells Matt that he doesn’t need tricks like the spin at the start to waste time. They get 31. Again.

More training tetchiness, this time with Gavin and Katya – she gets the hump with him for not showing enough emotion, to which Gavin’s response is a defensive “All right, calm down!” Their rumba (to Always On My Mind) is a very staccato affair, with no hip action and horrible arms. Alesha thinks it’s a big improvement on his salsa and tells Gavin that his bum looks great in his trousers. TRIPLE FFS. Craig – the voice of reason – says his floorboards at home have more movement (and, I would argue, more personality) and gives them a 3, making their total 22.

Next up are Scott and Natalie, quickstepping to King of the Swingers from the Jungle Book. They’re in hold quickly and it’s a fab routine, really bright and fun. Scott is so light on his feet, and he really looks at ease – he’s even making Natalie look a bit more human! Seriously, she is a bloody good choreographer – I LOVED the moving splits. The judges think it’s fab too, with Bruno doing his “Scoootttttttt” thing and calling it an action packed adventure – “Indiana Scott and the temple of DANCE!” Craig praises Scott’s swing and sway, and Len thinks he’s close to being a very good dancer. Craig and Len give eights, and there are nines from Alesha and Bruno, resulting in the highest score so far of 34.

The rumba is described as ‘make or break’ for Michelle and Brendan, and she’s certainly very downhearted in the training VT. I wanted to like their rumba…..but.…no. She’s got no strength in her legs, so it’s all very unsteady (also, as Keris pointed out on Twitter, her shoulders are up around her ears). Alesha and Bruno seem to like it though, giving sevens (*grumbles*), and Len is also fairly complimentary. He does suggest Michelle try lower heeled shoes, which might help with her stability. Craig’s unimpressed though, giving them 4 and calling it stilted and stiff. Their total score is 24, and Brendan is very subdued. It’s since been revealed that his father died earlier on Saturday, and Brendan’s now flown back to New Zealand to be with his family (Michelle will dance with Ian Waite next week, if she’s through). Poor Brendan.

The judges all seem to like Peter and Erin’s quickstep rather more than I did – my notes say ‘hunched neck’ and ‘bad arms’ and ‘not very quick’. Len even threatens to show his bum in Tesco if they’re in the bottom two again. I feel queasy. Still, it *was* better than their salsa, I suppose. They scored 26 out of 40.

Flavia looks amazing in a sparkly flesh-toned dress for her rumba with Jimi, but unfortunately that’s the only amazing thing about it. It looks really awkward to me, and Bruno calls it “neurotic rather than erotic”. Ha! Scores are 3 sixes and a seven (from Len), totalling 25.

Apparently last week Widdy and Anton left a whole section of their salsa routine out (this blogger says thanks), hence the overlong twirl at the end. This week Anton promises us Fred and Ginger, but then likens Widdy to a runaway train. There’s a bit of business at the start with Widdy and a red feather boa (which Craig says she manages to turn into a dishcloth), and once they’re in hold she basically just clings on to Anton for dear life. They get a standing ovation. QUADRUPLE FFS. The judges all say it’s an improvement (and give a total score of 18). The only highlight of this section for me is when Widdy says to Tess “Oh, you *do* go on, don’t you?” If they get through we’re promised a ‘spectacular’ dance next week. I am afeared.

And so to Pamela and James, and their rumba. In the VT James keeps taking the mickey out of Pamela for her flying stumble last week, but there are no mistakes this week. Dancing to Adele’s Make You Feel My Love (excellent song choice), it’s utterly gorgeous: sexy, tender, elegant, and romantic. Pamela dances with such feeling – as Bruno says, she sings with her body. She’s 60! I love her. Craig declares it FAB.U.LOUS (hurrah!). The only negative comment comes from Len, who didn’t like the floor spin at the end (of course) – but he still gives them eight, and with three nines from the others Pamela and James are top of the leaderboard with 35.

My  bottom two predictions at the end of Saturday’s live show are Paul and Ola and Peter and Erin. Will I be right?

Sunday Results Show

We’re treated to a pro charleston first, then Tess (looking very severe with scraped back hair, a bit like one of the women in the Addicted to Love video) informs us that Peter Andre will be performing his new single. Woop-de-doo. Then we get to see the judges discussing the contestants – Kara is not yet wowing Alesha, Paul’s was the worst dance, Len and Craig argue about Aliona’s spin. There’s a clip of Gavin, backstage, saying “What’s his problem?” re Craig. Er, the fact that you were rubbish, maybe?

The first couple safe are Widdy and Anton (*heavy sigh*), then Pamela, Peter (the nation is safe from the sight of Len’s bum!) and Patsy (yay!) are through. Flavia and four of the male pros perform a bondage tango (choreographed by Flavia. Naughty Flavia), then the next three safe are Jimi, Matt and Kara. Paul and Ola are in the bottom two. Ha! Paul thinks he’s the best qualified to go, and would rather it be him than anyone else. Which is as it should be.

Peter Andre performs. Time passes.

And lo, the last couples definitely dancing again next week are Scott and Natalie and Felicity and Vincent, leaving Michelle and Brendan in the bottom two. I’m not terribly surprised, but I am relieved when it’s revealed that Paul will dance no more. Before they have their final turn on the dancefloor (to Magic Moments, natch) Paul tells Ola she’s welcome to visit him any time, “in fact the wife’s away tonight”. Ewwwwwwww. 



{Paul and Ola pic}


{Pamela and James pic}





4 thoughts on “Strictly Speaking: Week 3

  1. Oh, poor Ola. I guess she had to have a really rum one sometime. But WHY has the nation grasped Widdy to its bosom?! She has such repugnant views. Although I understand her brother died this week, too (what’s going on?!) so I’m sure it can’t have been easy to carry on for her or Brendan. I don’t think I’d have been able to.

    • I really don’t know why Widdy’s so popular all of a sudden. Although it could just be that the nation loves anyone who’s really crap on Strictly – a very good (and normally sane) friend of mine told me last week “I’m not really interested in the dancing, I’m only watching to see Widdy”. I despair, I really do.

      Yeah, I really wouldn’t have been able to go on and dance if I’d just lost someone – it must have been so hard for them.

  2. FAB review, Anne-Marie.

    When I tweeted about Widdy’s standing ovation, someone (who must have been following the #scd tag cos they weren’t following me) said she’s popular because of her “personality, courage and strength of character”. I think it’s more a case of “let’s all laugh at the fat old crap one.” Hopefully not for much longer. Surely.

    • Thanks Keris! I do hope it’s not for much longer – even John Sargeant was able to dance a bit, after a fashion, but Widdy just doesn’t have the mobility. Strength of character? PAH.

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