Strictly Speaking: Week 10

Saturday Live Show

Oh good lord, Friday’s here and still no Strictly recap. Prepare yourselves for more bullet points!

  • It’s Movie Week! There’s a Strictly twist to the MGM logo, with Brucie as the roaring lion (tbh, he sounds more like a pirate), and a pro dance medley that rampages through Grease, Top Gun (James and Ola with ANOTHER rumba), Easter Parade and Pulp Fiction. I don’t know about you, but this feels EXACTLY like being at the cinema – except for the sticky crunch of popcorn underfoot, of course.
  • Scott and Natalie are performing a paso to the Bond theme. Because Scott’s had a lacklustre/rubbish couple of weeks Natalie is being very strict with him in training, and plans on getting his chest out (no doubt with an eye on the competition from Gavin and Katya). I like their routine – Scott’s definitely back on form – but I’m not wowed. I want to be wowed! As promised Natalie rips Scott’s shirt open at the end, but it goes a little awry as it’s attached to his undercrackers. Ouch! Len enjoys the opportunity to bellow “Double-0 SevUNN!”, and Bruno wheels out “license to thrill”. Craig would have liked to see more paso shaping, and everyone agrees that they performed very well considering the music was difficult (was it?). The score is 35.
  • Widdy thinks the judges are only interested in their own clever comments, not her dancing. Oh do shut up, please. This week it’s the poor American smooth’s turn to be mauled (to the strains of Hello Dolly). I have written the following in my notes: “some attempt at movement” and “lifts not too bad”. FINALLY it looks like she’s attempting to dance rather than just stomp about. It’s still proper bad though, obv. Alesha and Len have clearly decided that, with the semi-final on the horizon, it’s time to get tough – Alesha tells Widdy that although it was nice to see some actual content, for her the honeymoon is over, and Len says Widdy’s like the snow – fun for a while but then you just want it to go away. Bruno likens Widdy to a Dalek in drag, for which he gets told off by Brucie (FFS!). They score 14, which is the lowest for an American smooth ever – Widdy now holds 5 records for lowest scoring dances ever, fact fans.
  • Matt and Aliona get stuck in the Outer Hebrides because of the SNOW, but manage to get to TVC to perform their Austin Powers themed jive. It starts BRILLIANTLY, with Matt doing a backwards somersault off the judges table. Matt’s fully in character, which is admirable, but I don’t know if it’s just me but after the acrobatics I find it a bit boring. There’s not a lot of movement around the floor, I don’t like the semaphore arm bits, it feels a tad slow for a jive and after a while the Austin Powers impersonation is a bit annoying. Plus Matt loses timing (and is alarmingly sweaty thanks to the red velvet suit). Oh, I am FRUSTRATED – I know I banged on about this last week but I really do feel Matt is capable of so much more. Yes Aliona, I am looking at YOU.
  • It’s Pamela’s birthday – she’s 61, a fact James doesn’t tire of announcing to the world. They have a Ghost theme for their Viennese Waltz (I shall gloss over the pottery wheel scene re-enactment in the VT), and the routine is SO lovely – it actually sends shivers down my spine. Pamela looks like she’s truly swept up in the emotion of the dance, and when James turns and starts ascending the stairs, a beam of light catching his white suit….oh! Alesha hits the nail on the head when she says it was the perfect song, the perfect dress, perfect choreography, perfectly danced. Pamela’s birthday present is FOUR TENS!! Whoop!
  • Gavin thinks his jive was better than the judges thought it was. Er, Gavin love, no it really wasn’t. Still, he’s back in hold for the foxtrot this week so let’s be positive. The theme is Blues Brothers, so there’s a cute bit of business with sunglasses at the top, and really it is an improvement on last week – he’s light on his feet and I like the quickstep section. He seems much, much happier in this routine. They score 33.
  • Kara and Artem are last to dance, with a Moulin Rouge-inspired tango. In the VT they address the rumours in the media that they’re having a relationship, with Artem saying that with all the training it would complicate matters if there was any hanky-panky going on (my words, not his). He states very clearly that he’s waiting for Strictly to finish, then he will ask Kara out. My hope is that they win, then as their eyes meet over the glitterball trophy they give in to their passion and have a massive snog. THIS MUST HAPPEN, PEOPLE. Where was I? Oh yes, their tango. It’s fabulous (apart from the usual song murdering – I know this version of Roxanne is meant to be gravelly but this is ridiculous), completely magnetic, dynamic and intense, with Kara producing beautiful lines. There’s some amazing chair-work, including a trick that makes me squeal LOOK AT THAT!!! Alesha, looking utterly gobsmacked, proclaims it the best tango EVER on Strictly, while Bruno yells Spectacular Spectacular! before falling off his chair. Nines from Craig and Len (mean! pfft) and tens from the more excitable judges leave Kara and Artem with a total of 38. UNDERMARKING AHOY!
  • Results show: Well, this Mamma Mia number from the show dancers is pretty horrible, isn’t it? Let’s all have a rousing chorus of BRING BACK LILIA! Tess has gone a step further with the one shoulder look this week, as it’s covered in metal spikes. I do hope she’s extra careful getting out of it, or she’ll do herself an injury. Gavin and Katya are the first to go through to the semi final, which surprises me – even though he was much better this week I still thought his time was up. As they have gone through I am now very worried about who’ll end up in the bottom two (so much so that Mike starts moving all breakable items out of my reach). Next safe are Kara and Artem (yay!), and Scott and Natalie are in the bottom two. What? Bruno is shocked, calling it the baddest and worst joke ever (has he not heard any of Brucie’s gags?). Anton and Erin perform a gorgeous routine to Moon River, and we see Gavin and Katya are a little emotional about making it through to the semi final. Back to the last three couples on the dance floor, Pamela and James are safely through, as are…….Matt and Aliona! My word, Widdy’s in the bottom two! I only vaguely recall the Manic Street Preachers performing before the moment of truth because I’m sat on the sofa chanting ‘calm, calm, calm’ to myself as I’m convinced Scott and Natalie are going. But they’re not! Widdy and Anton are out! AT LAST! Oh, the relief that washes over me at this moment, it’s just blissful.

So, there we have it. Gavin, Kara, Pamela, Matt and Scott are in the semi-final, which starts tonight and carries on tomorrow and Sunday, when there’ll be a double elimination. Oooooh!  I know I want Kara and Pamela in the final, but I’m reserving judgement on whether I want Matt or Scott there too until after tomorrow night. Who do you want to see in the final?

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6 thoughts on “Strictly Speaking: Week 10

  1. I’ve enjoyed watching Gavin (some of the time) but clearly he should go. Just not sure who else. Honestly, it all depends how they dance. (Not who stays, who I *want* to stay…) I prefer Matt and think he has more talent than Scott, but you’re right, Aliona is letting him down. The Austin Powers routine would have been great for someone without much talent — it needs characterisation, but an easy, slow routine — and Matt is a lot better than that. The backflip was great but he could do that already. Until last weekend I’d been having a feeling Scott might win, but maybe he’s not as popular as I thought…

    I *want* to be a bigger Kara fan than I am, but I thought there were some slightly messy bits in their tango (and I hate that version of the song, and wasn’t impressed with the chair stuff. NO MORE PROPS!) Pamela hasn’t been as consistent as Kara, but she makes me smile more. Her VW was beautiful (and I usually feel meh about them). Argh! I’m going to be on the edge of my seat, I know that much.

    • You are very right about Matt’s jive – and yes, I felt the same about Scott (and now we know…). Personally I love the props as long as they do something cool with them – with Kara I think the chair thingy helped to show what a good dancer she is.

  2. I was tempted to look that Tango (I do love a good tango) on YouTube but I can’t if the music is bad. Which, incidentally, was the final straw in me watching Strictly. I could FFWD Brucie and all the rubbishy bits (everything that’s not the dancing) but the singing was so bad I had to stop all together. 😦

    • I really don’t know why they don’t do something about the music – twitter and every Strictly blog I look at all say it’s dire.

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