Saturday Live Show
Right, let’s get something out of the way now (to save me typing it a gazillion times): Next week Strictly goes to BLACKPOOL! Everyone wants to get to BLACKPOOL! BLACKPOOL BLACKPOOL BLAAAACKPOOOOL. There.
Tess is not wearing a one-shoulder frock! I rather like the black number with feathery shoulders. Well done, Wardrobe people.
Ok. First to tantalise our terpsichorean tastebuds are Pamela and James. This week they went to Scotland. There is A LOT of tartan on show to remind us of this fact. They begin their cha cha in matching pinstripe suits and bowler hats, typing on glittery laptops. Soon, though, James whips off Pamela’s trousers (Bucks Fizz moment!) and she removes her jacket and hat to reveal her sparkly cha cha frock beneath. The routine is fun – you can tell Pamela is more relaxed and confident this week, and she does have a lovely ease of movement – but it lacks a touch of sauce for me. Len calls Pamela an excellent dancer and thinks the performance was a tad on the careful side but overall lovely. Alesha likes Pamela’s control and the well choreographed routine, but says it was a bit polite and clean, and Bruno would have liked more oomph and hanky panky. Well, quite. Craig tells Pamela that she needs to straighten her legs in the syncopated New Yorkers (James tells him he’s wrong), the routine lacked dynamic and they were late getting into the last lift, but other than that the spins were great and they had fantastic timing. They score 32 (all eights).
After Jimi’s Shock! Exit! last week Michelle doesn’t think she deserves to still be in the show and her confidence has taken a nosedive. Brendan feels they’ve gone back a few weeks and is very frustrated with her in training – there’s quite a bit of yelling. I love her dress for the paso, even if it does look a bit like a giant doily. Michelle looks petrified, as if she’s on a runaway train about to crash into the side of a mountain. It’s such a shame, as I really like the actual routine, but it did need more attack. Before the judges deliver their verdict Michelle tells them “Whatever y’all are about to say, I agree!” Alesha’s pretty kind, saying that Michelle managed to keep in character, and even though she lost balance she liked it. Bruno thinks she started with the necessary aggression but lost it, Craig says it was very gnarled, knotty and nodulistic (eh?) and that Michelle confuses attack with pounding the floor. Len says pretty much the same as Bruno. Their score is 24, and Brendan looks resigned to leaving.
Patsy and Robin are performing the Viennese waltz this week, and in a Strictly first there’s no bleating about dizziness or queasiness in the VT. Instead Robin makes Patsy walk around with books balanced on her head – she jokes that she’s ended up with a head flat enough to balance a pint on. I love Patsy. I think their VW is gorgeous, really elegant and romantic and I love the underarm-turny spins (that’s proper dance jargon, right?). They get a standing ovation – I’m so pleased! Bruno praises Patsy’s ease of movement, confidence and improved frame but tells her she needs to polish her footwork, while Craig calls her classy (a big relief to Patsy after last week’s cha-cha-chavvy comment), confident, delicious and gorgeous but there are some bumps that need smoothing out. Len likens her to sparkling champagne (surely all champagne is sparkling?) and Alesha loves Patsy’s vulnerability, saying she’s not the queen of technique but she dances with her heart. This is cheesy but exactly what I think about Patsy, and it’s why I think she’s so fab. And thus I think Craig is a bit mean only giving a seven – they get 32, which is their best yet, but still.
We’re shown Gavin getting a bit of stick from his new rugby team mates, but he’s clearly so happy to be back playing again he just rolls his eyes a little. Then his kids come to visit him in training – they are very cute. His attitude in training is much improved – even though he says he thinks the quickstep is silly he’s obviously enjoying himself. This translates to their performance on the live show – it’s a really fun routine, and I guffaw when Gavin runs over and gives Bruno a snog. He’s light on his feet, and he’s smiling. Much, much, much better! They finish to a standing ovation and Bruno fanning himself, speechless. Craig says “FINALLY, some personality!” and commends Katya for her choreography, calling it a monumental breakthrough, Len says he’ll see Gavin in Blackpool, and Alesha loved it, timing issues aside, saying the quickstep suits him. Bruno, roused from a swoon-induced stupor, tells Gavin he can dance and showed an engaging personality. Up with Tess Gavin is annoyed with himself for making a few mistakes – he tells Tess that seeing his kids on the VT made him ‘have a moment’. He is cheered when the scores come through as they get 33, their best yet – including nines from Alesha and Bruno. For the first time in ages I don’t argue with the telly.
This week we learn that Widdy and Anton have had dishes named after them in a Newton Abbott restaurant. Widdy Chicken, anyone? I have nothing for you here – as they’re dancing the foxtrot they’re doing a ‘straight’ routine, so there’s not even any ‘comedy’ to be scathing about. Len refrains from giving any criticism (as he knows it’s futile, I imagine), instead saying that they’ll be in as long as the public want, and why not. Why not? BECAUSE SHE’S NOT DANCING, FFS, AND I WILL NOT FORGET WHAT SHE STANDS FOR. Alesha liked the fact they did a proper routine, to which Widdy replies that next week they’ll be doing the samba, so the comedy will return. Oh, sweet Jesus, save us! Bruno likens Widdy in her pink frock to a family size bottle of Pepto Bismol (I would say that her dancing is a-Bismol. You can have that one, Brucie), and tells her she needs to look up at Anton, instead of down at her feet. Craig tells her not to let centrifugal force get the better of her. I do not understand such science-y talk. I’m back arguing with the telly when the scores come in – Len and Alesha both give them six (they get 20 overall)! What the effing hell for?
I am EXCITED about Kara and Artem’s Argentine tango. Last week Kara was upset with herself for messing up part of the salsa, despite the fact she was top of the leader board. I like that she’s not complacent. The routine starts with Kara dancing around a hat stand, which is a lot better than it sounds, and just gets even better when Artem (sporting a sequinned jacket) joins her. It’s really sharp, yet fluid, and sexy as hell. She really is SO GOOD. The audience agree and give them a standing ovation. Alesha says the routine was full of passion, and calls Kara the Queen of Technique, Bruno pronounces “fantastic choreography, fantastic dancing, fantastic tango!”, while Craig just has one word: “Ah-may-zing!”. With no time to hear from Len the scores are announced – two nines (Craig and Len) and two tens (Alesha and Bruno), giving them a total of 38.
Felicity and Vincent are wearing a shade of pink so violently bright it burns my eyes. In their training VT Vincent refers to the moment last week when he removed his matador jacket – “Showing the world my cute little body was something I had to do to keep my women public happy”. And we are happy Vincent, we are. Felicity struggles with the salsa armography, so her grandchildren visit their training and pretend to be judges. One of them suggests that Vincent carry her “or something”. Ouch. To be honest, she has a point. It’s not good – the start, with some nicely done slow arm movements, is promising, but then it all gets very tangled and sticky and a bit ‘tipsy mum dancing at a wedding’. Bruno points out that she got in a tangle, while Craig labels it a minor disaaaster. Len liked the start but says it got mangled and a bit squashy. Up with Tess (no time for Alesha) Felicity says she liked the squashy bits. They score 27, which is possibly a teensy bit generous I think. Will they be making a return to the bottom two this week?
It’s rumba time for Matt and Aliona. Now, I know I’ve made fun of Len before and his “It’s a difficult dance for a man” but really, it is. I think Matt makes a pretty good fist of it – his arm placement is good and there’s a great intensity to the routine, but it doesn’t light my fire. The audience love it though, giving them a standing ovation. Craig felt slightly uncomfortable in parts, saying it was a bit too ‘placed’ but can see Matt was working hard and was manful. Len commends Matt’s beautiful lines, and says he was masculine and full of authority but it was a bit jerky. Alesha thinks that Matt coped exceptionally well with a difficult dance and she loved it, praising the incredible storytelling. Bruno tells Matt he switched on the raunch factor so much that the ladies next to him in the audience were panting, and he thought Matt danced beautifully. Tess immediately asks Matt if he thinks he’ll get a ten this week (FFS), to which Matt replies that given the comments, good thought they were, he thinks it unlikely. And he’s right – an eight (from Craig) and three nines leave them with 35.
And so, to Scott and Natalie. After a poor week with the rumba hopes are high for their jive. Boy, do they deliver! Dancing to Hit the Road Jack, they’ve got a prop door on stage and their routine has Natalie kicking Scott out after a row. It’s bloody brilliant – excellently choreographed to fit with the music, Scott’s kicks and flicks are super sharp, their chemistry is crackling with electricity. At one point Natalie dances over to Bruno and kisses him – I wonder if that was originally planned, or did she do it to echo Gavin earlier (given that Gavin’s made a pretty big point of wanting to beat Scott)? Man, I love the whole routine so much I have to watch it again. The studio audience are on their feet once more, rightly so. Len loves it, saying that Scott was dancing right on the edge, Alesha says it was an excellent jive and Bruno relishes his “Sssscccoooottttttttt!”, saying he was so sharp, so on it. Craig thinks it was finger licking good. He gives them a nine (which gets booed), and the rest give tens, so their total is 39. The rumba is now a distant memory….
My prediction for the bottom two? Michelle and Brendan and Felicity and Vincent. Let’s see…..
Sunday Results show
Ah, what a lovely American smooth opener from the professionals. Tess is really working the shoulders this weekend – tonight they’re VERY pointy. Len calls last night’s live show ‘the war on the floor’, and says, regarding Pamela, that ‘chances win dances’. He’ll be the next poet laureate, I’m sure. Gavin entertained, but Felicity got her knickers in a twist. We see Widdy say (re Craig) “Don’t sit down and wait for the enemy to walk all over you”. Hmmm. Matt wants to rename the show ‘Strictly Can You Get a Ten’. Bruno says that Ssssccootttt was spot on, to which Len retorts no, he was Scott on! Gedditt?
Matt and Aliona, Gavin and Katya, Pamela and James and Scott and Natalie are all through to next week, with Michelle and Brendan in the bottom two again. Bruno says that Michelle tried very hard but it didn’t come to fruition in the paso. Claudia chats to the safe celebs and Gavin’s face is a picture – he looks dead chuffed, it’s quite sweet really. Annie Lennox sings something surrounded by about a million candles. Surely that’s a fire hazard, given all the hairspray in that studio? For some reason Claudia calls Scott a clever rabbit. Indeed.
The remaining safe couples are revealed to be Patsy and Robin (yay!), Kara and Artem, and, after a torturously long pause that made me entertain the faintest glimmer of hope that she’d be out, Widdy and Anton. *Insert appropriate swear word here* So, Felicity and Vincent are in the bottom two, again.
Blackpool yadda yadda Blackpool yadda BLAAACKPOOOOL
Alesha performs her new single (looking gorgeous in a dramatic red dress), while the Strictly show dancers twirl around her. Felicity is not surprised to be in the bottom two, she’s thrilled to have stayed in so long and is excited to even have another ten minutes. Claudia has such lovely, shiny hair. I wonder what she uses on it? To commemorate Armistice Day there’s a performance from The Soldiers, and then the ominous music starts and it’s time to find out who’ll be cast adrift from the Strictly ship this week. It’s Michelle and Brendan’s turn to walk the plank….ok, I’ll stop with the pirate analogies now. Michelle is sad to leave as she’s been making friends, but glad that she won’t need to worry about being in the bottom two ever again. So – who were your favourites this week? And are you looking forward to BLAAACKPOOOOOLLLAAAARGHHHHHH………*stabs fork into own hand*