Strictly Speaking: Week 4

Saturday Live Show

Week 4, and it’s time for the 12 remaining couples to tackle either the tango or the Charleston. I love both these dances so am expecting GOOD THINGS (not from everyone though, obviously). Jimi and Flavia are up first with a Charleston. In the VT Jimi seems bemused by the criticism he got for his rumba last week and warning bells go off in my head *Craig Kelly alert!* He’s by no means as bad as Craig K was, but he does seem to believe he’s much better than he actually is. Humph. Apparently he is also a MOVIE STAR – he’s shown attending a film premiere to hammer the point home. Their routine is quite fun, with prop windows (Len won’t like them), canes and lots of energy, but he’s annoying me now so I don’t really enjoy it. Len says Jimi didn’t get the swivelly feet right, and he didn’t like the windows (told you!), but overall it was good. Craig praises the energy and story but points out that Jimi’s arms and hands need more precision, and says it was flat-footed (to boos from the audience). They score 27.

In the VT before Scott and Natalie’s tango we get to see Scott on the school run – his son is very embarrassed that his dad’s on Strictly, which is probably not helped by mums at the school gate yelling “Scoooottttt!” Natalie’s violently yellow dress aside, I LOVE their tango – it’s sharp, elegant, sexy, with Scott properly leading Natalie. Bravo. They deserve the standing ovation from the audience. Len comments on a little mistake but says he’s in a devil-may-care mood and declares it the best dance of the series so far. Of course Bruno treats us to a “Scoooootttt!”, and commends him for a masterful yet sleek and stealthy performance, while Alesha says it was full of passion. Craig uses the word ‘chutzpah’, for which I love him. Three nines and an eight (from Craig) give Scott and Natalie 35.

Tina is back! after her week off with chicken pox (“That was quick”, says Mike). Makeup have covered her pox spots with glittery beauty spots, and Jared is wearing a shirt made out of silver tissue paper and ridiculous trousers. They’re Charleston-ing to We Could Have Been Anything That We Wanted To Be from Bugsy Malone, which gets a ten straight off from me. The actual routine is ok, quite goofy, although it does seem to go on for ages and they’re out of sync a few times. Alesha thinks it’s Tina’s best routine so far, while Bruno would have liked to see more energy and precision, and Len and Craig both pinpoint some sloppy footwork. Brucie helpfully reminds the judges that Tina’s just had the pox, which must be why Alesha gives an eight (the other scores are sevens, totalling 29). It wasn’t worth an eight.

Felicity is still having trouble telling her left from her right, so in training Vincent shoves a banana down one sock and an apple down the other before wearily declaring that their tango may be more of a tangle. The routine starts with Felicity leaning against the judges table with a cocktail, and Vincent wearing one of Artem’s dodgy hats. At the end Felicity gives him a proper snog, which is really the only exciting thing about the whole routine. I like Felicity, I love Vincent, but I’m still not feeling it. The judges give largely positive comments though, and they get 29 points.

Patsy and Robin are performing their Charleston to Hot Honey Rag from Chicago, so Patsy’s suitably bewigged (and looks like a cross between Catherine Zeta Jones and Sadie Frost). In training she’s unenthusiastic about doing a move called ‘the peck’, as she thinks it makes her look like a chicken – having been likened to a horse last week she’s keen to avoid any more farmyard comparisons. I don’t blame her! Thankfully Robin decides to drop the move in question. The routine starts brightly, but unfortunately flags rather toward the end, which Craig picks up on, calling it ‘heavy’, to which Patsy cries “I’m middle aged, darling!” Len says that this week Patsy’s a thoroughbred and she leaps over to give him a kiss (Mike: “That’ll get her an extra point”), while Bruno praises their performance but agrees that it lacked stamina. A six from Craig, two sevens from  Alesha and Bruno, and an eight from Len (there’s that extra point) gives them a total of 28.

This week we learn that Gavin’s idol is Peter Andre (huh?), and that he is very competitive (‘cos he’s a SPORTSMAN) and wants to challenge Scott and Matt. He thinks the tango could be his forte. I am dubious. Correctly so, it turns out, as it’s positively horrible to watch. They go wrong right at the start with something odd on the stairs, and the rest of the routine is just Katya pulling Gavin around to the sound of the Strictly singers mangling Toxic. My eyes! My ears! Ugh. Len finds something positive to say about Gavin’s posture, knees and body contact but says it needed more passion and attack. Alesha thinks Gavin looked vulnerable, and Bruno thinks he had some good moments (really?) but keeps losing it. Craig wants Gavin to show some facial expression (yeah, good luck with that), but does concede that he is better in hold. They’re awarded 23, which is far too high in my opinion. Tsk.

Oh god, Peter and Erin’s Charleston is EVEN WORSE. Seriously, I couldn’t watch after the first few seconds. Bruno’s comment that Peter looks like a penguin stuck in the mud hits the nail on the head – he’s ok doing the lifts but when he moves it’s all stompy and stiff. Really, this must be his last week (I’ve unhappily accepted we’re stuck with Widdy for a bit longer)? Alesha’s scoring is ridiculous – she gives them a six! A six! GAH. With the other, slightly more sensible, scores they finish with 17.

Pamela and James are visited by Pamela’s husband BILLY CONNELLY in training, where the Big Yin picks up a few tips from James regarding how to ‘handle’ his wife. Charming. Their tango to Love is the Drug is great (although it looks like James has drawn his stubble on with a Sharpie), with lovely musicality and a bit of a flamenco feel. The audience love it, giving another standing ovation. On the whole the judges love it too, but Bruno picks up on a problem with Pamela’s shoulders and Craig would have liked a little more theatricality. They get 34 points, meaning they’re not going to be top this week.

This week Matt took Aliona back to his family’s farm, where they practise for their Charleston in a hay barn. For the show Matt is dressed like a Victorian strongman, complete with extravagant moustache, and starts the routine on a unicycle. Matt looks much more at ease this week, and it’s a brilliant, sparky number – thoroughly entertaining. To my untrained eye he looks like a professional dancer. The audience are up and down like yo-yos tonight, giving the third ovation of the show. Craig’s verdict is that it wasn’t perfect (due to some timing issues) but he LOVED it, and Len calls it the best Charleston of the night. Bruno says Matt displayed great showmanship, like Barnum. It looks like they’re in for nines across the board but Bruno gives them an eight (for which he is soundly booed by the audience. And me), so Matt and Aliona are joint top with 35.

Michelle’s dancing with Ian Waite (lovely Ian! I miss him) this week, as Brendan’s back in New Zealand following the death of his father. In the VT Michelle says she wants to do well this week so Brendan’s still got a job to come back to, which is sweet, but I’m afraid she’s still not very good. Her tango is better than last week’s rumba, but she’s still very unsteady and wobbly. The judges are kinder to her this week (and Ian gallantly says one of the mistakes was his fault) and they score 27. I think Michelle hasn’t seen the last of being in the bottom two though.

Kara took Artem to meet her parents in their VT. THEY ARE SO DOING IT. She looks amazing in a sparkly beaded bra top and hot pants. I hate her (not really). I don’t hate their Charleston, in fact I really like it – it’s fun and fluid, and her footwork is fab. The judges are a tad underwhelmed though, saying it needed “more welly, more fire, more sex” (Bruno). All the eights make a score of 32. I did laugh at Tess’s comment of “You’ve got to know someone really well to play her bum like bongos”. Nudge nudge, wink wink 😉

Closing the show are Widdy and Anton with a ‘tango’. They threatened something spectacular last week and it’s *drum roll please* Widdy on a wire. OH SWEET JESUS. Anton takes to the floor with a rose between his teeth, then lo! Widdy appears from on high, flapping her arms as she descends toward him like an Angry Bird. Then, while Widdy is extricated from the harness off screen, Anton twirls about a bit on his own. They finally do a bit of ‘dancing’ together, and it ends with Anton presenting the rose to Widdy and her kicking him away. There’s hysterical hilarity in the studio, and no doubt in many living rooms across the land. *Resigned sigh* Widdy’s straight in there, telling Craig “You do realise the Ark Royal’s been decommissioned, so I thought I’d give you the Flying Fortress”. Len thinks that seeing Widdy in a truss coming out of the sky is worth half the license fee, while Bruno cries “Was it a bird? Was it a plane? No, it’s Starship Widdicombe!”, and then says she tangoed like ET’s mum (ha ha!). Widdy, who has to have both the first AND last word every week says she thinks it was more like Dumbo – “even elephants fly!”. The scores are Craig – three, Len – seven (for entertainment.FFS. Len Goodman, I shake my fist at you), Alesha – six and Bruno – five, giving them a final score of 21. 

Sunday Results Show

Proceedings open with a 1940s jive from the pro dancers (choreographed by Matthew Cutler), with a bit of Bucks Fizz-esque skirt removal, and then the judges discuss the contestants. All agree that Peter’s Charleston was not good (cue cut to Peter who thinks they’re ‘nitpicking’. No, they’re really not), Len says that Gavin’s nerves are breaking him, Kara is not engaging Craig, and Pamela can do anything. They show a clip of Jimi backstage saying that the technical side isn’t that important, which maddens me. Right, Jimi, JFFO.

The first reveal sees Gavin, Scott, Matt, Tina and Patsy safe, and Michelle in the bottom two. I’m not surprised – she’s not the worst (obviously), but her performances have been disappointing and I don’t think the British public feel any connection with her.

There’s a spicy Argentine tango (which the celebs will tackle next week – yay!), then Widdy, Pamela, Kara, Felicity and Jimi are revealed as safe, leaving Peter to join Michelle in the bottom two. Tess asks the judges if this is the right result and Craig says no, Widdy should be there with Peter, not Michelle. Of course the audience boo like crazy at this point, because they’re stupid. There’s just time for a performance from Neil Diamond before it’s announced that Peter and Erin are the ones to go (thankfully). 

And that, my friends, was week 4. What did you think?

{Pics: Shilton, Widdy, Scott}



3 thoughts on “Strictly Speaking: Week 4

  1. Oh such a fab recap. I actually quite guiltily enjoyed Widdy’s performance this week. I know, I know. I have to keep reminding myself what an awful woman she is, but what I like is that she actually seems to be having fun. Possibly for the first time in her life. And I thought she looked better than she’s ever looked before too. Still, wasn’t the high wire thing an illegal lift? 😉

    I was surprised by Jimi too, but I’m so busy hating on Gavin, I haven’t the energy for yet another one of them. The Peter Andre idol thing made me hoot, but then “I’m better looking than the others, I’ve got a better body…” But you can’t dance, jackass! Grr.

    Oh and I’m glad you said Tina’s charleston seemed to go on forever – I thought the same. It was easily twice as long as Matt’s!

    Just one last whinge… I saw a tweet from Michelle: “I don’t know what else to do when ur best still doesn’t seem 2 be good enough!” Well there’s nothing you can do, is there? You’re just not good enough! Deal with it!

    I’m kind of hoping Pamela will win. I wonder if that’s possible… Who do you want to win?

    • Thanks! I do actually like the way that Widdy and Anton are ramping up the entertainment factor, rather than just attempting to dance – I’m just scared that someone good will go before they do. Interestingly, in her Radio Times column Widdy says that “when we dance ballroom we shall follow the rules and when we dance Latin we shall produce a comedy routine”. I suppose, as Anton didn’t actually lift her, it can’t be counted as an illegal lift? Her outfit and hair were great though.

      With Gavin, I don’t think it’s helping that the judges keep telling him that he can do it, cos he can’t! And better looking? He leaves me utterly cold. Re Michelle, I agree – I don’t think she’ll get much better technically – but maybe she could work some more on the performance side? Surely THAT should come naturally?

      I don’t know who I want to win! At the moment I’ll certainly be happy for Pamela to win, but I also really like Scott, Matt and Kara. My favourite is Patsy (I love how giddy she is when she gets to Tess’s area) but I know she won’t win.

      • I don’t know what the rules are re lifts, but I’m sure a good dancer wouldn’t be allowed to do the wire thing! Carrie Ann on DWTS says a lift is anything one person couldn’t do on his/her own, but that’s clearly bollocks – there’s loads of things they can’t do on their own that aren’t lifts.

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