Sunday, 26 October 2008

Show me your Paso Doble!

After last week’s various disasters we all approached this week with caution, but no worries, SCD came up trumps once again!

The title of this week’s blog comes from Strictly Ballroom, which you must see if you have not yet done so. It is an immensely quotable film for dancing fans, sometimes I can just hear Len Goodman shouting “New steps? There are no new steps!’ in an Aussie accent.

Anyway, a twirling and a bull-fighting we go…

Note - I am AWFUL. Frankie had these little snippets ready to put up on Sunday. I am lazy. Or busy. Or both. However, because of various things such as work, ballroom classes, the theatre (daaahling) and generally having a jolly good time, I've only just got round to posting my opinions. Feel free to hate me. If you dare.

Lisa and Brendan
What a dress! It was a frock of Ola Jordan proportions and the skirt certainly made up for the lack of cape. But it was a shame to not see Brendan all swishy again! Overall a good effort but it didn’t have the *grr!* factor.

I liked this. I think it was my favourite of their dances so far. And hurrah! It was fairly marked. No ridiculous 9s or anything to spoil my enjoyment of what was a competent performance.

Andrew and Ola
It was certainly better than last week, but I saw that stumble! Hurrah for the end of ‘Bum-Gate’ too. But I’ve just noticed, why has Andrew done ballroom 3 weeks in a row?

Prizes for improvement! Can't really stand the chappie but kudos for this one. Can't really give credit to Ola for choreography here as there's only about three steps in this dance - but they were well executed by the looks of things. And yes, the judges made the right decision this week (How am I coping? I have nothing to moan about!) And yes again, he has done ballroom three weeks running. What's going on?

Christine and Matthew
Wow, where did the sultry Christine come from?! Arlene’s comments were rubbish, I don’t really care if a paso is Spanish, it doesn’t always have to be! I thought the choices of music and choreography by Matthew were really good. I cannot believe Craig’s 3- will there be a 3-gate?

Bless. This was a gentle Paso Doble. This dance was never going to suit Christine as she's just too delightfully smiley. Matthew did about as good a job as he could with this one and Craig was just being a prune. 3? It was definitely in the 5/6 zone.

Austin and Erin
Sometimes I think Erin is a tad bonkers, Send In The Clowns is such a depressing song! Unfortunately I couldn’t seem to get past that, but I’m sure it was lovely as the judges said.

I liked the song! Does that make me bonkers?! It's so difficult for them to find new songs in 3/4 time...I was surprised there weren't any repeats like there was in week one actually. I wouldn't blame them for it if there were...and it WAS lovely. I love Austin. I'm even warming to Erin (well, maybe...?) It didn't WOW though - hopefully the quickstep will this week!

Cheri and James
Quick, it’s an older woman- she must wear sleeves! Cover her up! Also not sure about James’ choice of circus music or dodgy facial hair. As the judges said she still has fabulous posture and natural grace but that can’t get you through every dance, I personally don’t think it deserved 31 points.

Hmmm, poor Cherie. I felt for her with that stumble and it probably did put her off for the rest of the dance. Again, it was nice but it didn't wow. I want some wow. Where are the wow dances this year?

Heather and Brian
I don’t know if its something to do with Brian, but Heather always looks a bit awkward in hold to me. The shoulder shimmy/funky bit/sass was not good, you don’t do a fleckel in the middle of a samba! I also didn’t think it deserved an 8 from Bruno, am I getting mean in my old age?

That was one heck of a big dress.

Mark and Hayley
I wouldn’t have called it a shambles, but Mark is getting more and more wooden and sometimes looks like he’s just walking.

I would call it a shambles. He's just not a dancer and there's no point trying to prove otherwise. If they had been saved another week then I would have contacted Hayley Holt - I don't know, through a FORUM or something, and suggested she not bother to choreograph a thing. Just plonk him in the middle of the floor, topless and alone.

Tom and Camilla
I was carried away on a cloud of pink fluffy loveliness and that wasn’t just Camilla’s dress. Fabulous choreography and song choice, as romantic as a Viennese Waltz could be. Len suddenly came across as rather grumpy, I am sure there will be words from Claudia on ITT this week!

Now this is where the divide comes between mere mortals like you and I (I assume, I don't know...) who know very little about dance and those who, um, do. Because I LOVED this. I thought it was looovely. I was half expecting exclamations and nines! And then, no, my little bubble of wow burst and they were all pretty mean. Especially Len. I bite my thumb at you, sir.

John and Kristina
Illegal lift alert! I know it was obviously an accident, but the judges have called people up on it in the past. Former leader of the Liberal Democrats in the audience alert too! It all got a bit much for me, but I have definitely seen worse pasos in my time. Please let it be ballroom next week!

I don't care. John is about the only thing that's holding the show together for me at the moment. There's too many contestants and sometimes he's about the only one I can remember. Therefore, he should stay. Plus, he's foxtrotting this week which is bonus for him.

Rachel and Vincent
The cuteness level is cranked up another notch with Rachel in the most darling fairy-princess dress. I knew Len wouldn’t like it though, especially as it took them forever to get into hold at the beginning- but we want to see more interpretations of the Viennese Waltz sometimes.

Darling dress indeed! She looked like a little sugarplum fairy! What is it with Vincent and his long Viennese intros? I remember Len getting grumpy about Louisa's VW for the very same reason. It was nice but come on Rachel, we need wow or I am going to get bored.

Jodie and Ian
Hilarious song choice that somehow worked, Jodie looked great whilst Ian looked like he was off to cycle the Tour de France. However, I agreed with Bruno that she got a bit too aggressive in places and it looked like she was throwing herself about- but then again it’s such fun to see Jodie going at it with gusto!

I was like, BLUR?! What the cucaracha is going on here?! Rather enjoyed the dance on the whole but, like all the pasos, it did kind of fall a little flat. Good use of word GUSTO, of my faves.

In some random news, I saved the staff crossword at work this week by knowing the Rumba is from Cuba. My silly workmates thought it was a Samba- I thought EVERYONE knew that was from Brazil!

I swear I just saw Mrs Antcliffe (former English teacher) on It Takes Two. I swear. I swear.

Tuesday, 21 October 2008

Five Reasons Why Marian Keyes Should Do Strictly 2009

1) She is mad. Only slightly and in the very best possible way, of course. Now why, you may ask, is this bonus? Strictly this year is taking itself too seriously – only John Sergeant brings the delightful British self-deprecation it oh so needs. Marian Keyes, although not British (she’s one better – she’s Irish – it’s like British but with a better accent), would bring this to the show in oodles.

2) She is a superfan. Question: what, my dears, was the most endearing thing about Alesha last year? Answer: she loved the show. She couldn’t believe she was there and she enjoyed every second. This made all us normal superfans (those not celeb-shaped) warm to her because we could identify with her excitement. Marian, I guarantee, would be cooing and oohing over the whole experience – and we would love her for it.

3) She’d think she’d be rubbish – a whole pie full of humble. And we’d adore her for this very reason – even if she did turn out to be rubbish (I’m not saying she would be...I’m just musing over the possibility) – because we love the self-effacing, and we love underdogs, and we love Irish accents.

4) She could get to be Lilia. Marian loves Lilia; Lilia loves Marian. Marian could dance with Darren and get to live her dream of being tiny (though MK is not in the least bit large, from what I can tell from the telly) and Russian. Maybe Darren and Marian could strike up a professional partnership leaving Lilia time to write a best-selling novel. Who knows?

5) We’d get to see more of her on It Takes Two. Once or twice a year is not enough. Marian and Claudia (note: also mad; also in a good way) are the perfect comic duo. And both have fantastic taste in shoes.

Sunday, 19 October 2008

Enough is Enough is Enough is Enough

Okies, so I've already had my say about this week's dances &c but there's no rule to say that I can't have a random rant every now and again. I plan to execute my right to rant (should be on the Universal Charter of Human Rights) right here, right now.

I'm upset about this week's results. Don and Lilia did not deserve to go (and no, I'm not just upset because we're not going to see any more of Lilia's fantastic costumes...) First of all, they shouldn't really have been in the dance-off. For that, I blame you, public. OK, that includes me I guess, because I didn't vote. But I do, oh-so-blame you oh-so much if you voted for any of the following:

1) Mark and Hayley

2) Andrew and Ola

I would add Heather and Brian to the above list but I don't believe anyone voted for them anyway so that would be moot.

Did Mark get votes because he decided to pull a pair of fishnets over his (admittedly fine) torso? OK, I can accept that. At least I can see the reason for it. But Mr. Smugness McSmug of Castle Smugley, Smugtown, Smugashire, SM1 6UG? Why Andrew got votes is beyond comprehension. I can only hope that he trips over his cape in the Paso Doble, lands head first into a front-row celeb, gets sued for ruining his/her fine Versace get-up, starts a fight with said celeb (oh let it be Marian Keyes - she'd eat him for breakfast...), ends up with two black eyes that even Clinque's finest cannot put right and puts us all out of our misery. But of course, all that would probably work in his favour...strike all that. I just hope you DON'T VOTE FOR HIM.

I'm also equally, nay MORE, angry at the judges. Craig, Arlene, Bruno - this one's for you. What the fleckerl were you thinking? Heather may have flashed her eyes and teeth but as Len said, Don's performance was far more polished. Don and Lilia made a lovely partnership and, in hindsight, I'm beginning to think that we didn't see enough of them. It was genuinely touching when they took to the floor for their last dance. But Len, you're not off the hook. I'm still annoyed about Lisa's fact, I became even angrier after watching the quick re-cap of the dance on the results show this evening. 9? Ridiculous.

A friend of mine, Paula, thinks that sometimes the judges decide who is 'good' and who is 'bad' before the celebrities even dance - and then, when they do dance, the judges are blinded by their prior assumptions. This could be said of Heather. Yeah, she did a great Salsa. Therefore she is 'good' - and a questionable Quickstep and a shocking Samba cannot shake that reputation. Well it's shaken it from my point of view, honey, and it's all shook up. Bored now.

Now I'm not one for change, so what I'm going to say now is very controversial. I think it's time to shake up (it's late, I'm running out of cliches) the judging panel. If Arlene truly is thinking of leaving, let her go. I don't think she has said a single thing of note or worth this year so far. I'm all for judges being from different dance backgrounds but I think now the show would benefit from another latin/ballroom specialist judge. And since Karen Hardy has hinted she may not choose to dance another day (well, series), I say get her in as a judge.

Next week I want to see something different. I want to see a wow-factor dance from Rachel and Wee Vincent. One more so-so, pretty but lacklustre performance and I'm going to get tired...I'm giving them one more chance because I'm in a generous mood (can you not tell?). I want to see fair marks for Lisa and Brendan - as I have mentioned already this week, if they're over-marked again, I'll start to smell a Roland. IT DID NOT DESERVE 35; IT DID NOT, IT DID NOT. I want to see Heather's hair crafted into some other strange out-of-date style. I'm thinking bee-hive. Why not? It might distract us from her terrible dancing. I want to see Cherie back at the top of the leaderboard with a decent song to match her beautiful dancing. I want to see Mark Foster and Hayley Holt out - I'm sorry, but I just don't get it. I want to see the sleeves ripped off Austin's costume...well, only if he's dancing latin, I'll admit that would look a little odd if he's waltzing. There is decorum to all this, yer know. I want to see Christine and Matthew carry on smiling (it so should be a film about them) like the happy little bunnies they are. If they're dancing the Paso though, the smiling might seem a tad bizarre - let's hop(e) they're doing the Viennese. I want to see Jodie go from strength to strength. She is cool. We like. I want to see John Sergeant dance the Paso Doble. Enough said. I want to see Mr Charming-Pants Chambers crank it up another notch...come on, I know Austin's going to be on top form (the sportsman spirit!) and I love the rivalry. I want to see Don and Lilia back on the dancefloor where they should be.

And I want to see Andrew Castle stuck in stocks being pounded by rotten tomatoes.

Saturday, 18 October 2008

Dress Dis-arrr-sters and Dancing Dilemmas

All in all I thought last night was a tad disappointing. Several ridiculous music choices, bad costumes and crazy comments and scores from the judges made for an all-round near farce.

Clover's the main text this week as Frankie is probably stuck on a train somewhere at the moment...I'm sure she'll be adding the purple soon.
And here I am, free from the train and ready to comment on last night's utter random-ness...
Rachel and Vincent
In a night of hideous, yes hideous, costumes, this one stood out as being one of the most flattering - but so conservative. Rachel probably is holding back - she's not the confident little minx we thought she'd be and this performance and routine was just meh. So what? But this does make me like her more and I'd love to see her have a crack at the Paso next week.
I agree it was a disappointing performance, but I'm sure going first on such a hard week was part of it. I also rather liked her wiggle at the end!
Lisa and Brendan
I'm warming to Lisa a lot. She genuinely does lack confidence and she's genuinely concerned about the public's perception of her. Ok, Ok, she's genuine (note, she's not Kelly Schmuck...oops, I mean Brook). Lovely performance too. But 35 points? Ludicrous scoring AGAIN. Did they not see her posture and hold? At times she had her chesticles glued to Brendan as though he were covered in Uhu. If this happens again next week I'll start crying conspiracy.
Ditto on warming to Lisa and top points for the use of the word 'chesticles'!
Heather and Brian
Not good. And what was with the hair? Overall, much like The Three Degrees: barely lukewarm.
The Afro was the most interesting thing about it really, plus I was very disappointed on the colour of the dress. What was it not neon pink or turquoise or something!? I somehow have yet to warm to Heather and I think its the same for Brian, I just don't care.
Cherie and James
Craig, quit it with the niggles. This was better than Lisa and Brendan's - well it should have been and if it wasn't I blame the music. American Smooth isn't so much a dance as it is a STYLE of dance and with a style of dance there is a style of music. Stick to it and regardless of how bad you are, the audience will get caught up in the performance. Unless you're called Kate Garraway, I guess.
I agreed with Craig, just to be awkward, you got the impression James just didn't want to do an American Smooth. As much as I love the song it was not right at all and the choreography just seemed to be a repeat of her rumba posturing. Plus the dress was just odd odd odd.
Austin and Erin
Blah. What a shame. He looked like he was concentrating too much, that's all. Samba is tricky and it looked like a rotten routine to accomplish. I don't blame Erin for that (seriously, I don't...I'm coming over all soft...) because if I were her I'd have pushed him too. He'll be back to Viennese Waltz with a vengeance next week. Hopefully not too much is a waltz after all.
I know you want to blame Erin really. Like James I get the feeling she didn't want to do a samba so made the routine rather odd. Nice to see he isn't going to be teacher's pet a la Ms Bunton though.
Don and Lilia
Don is the very definition of introvert and, like Arlene, I saw him smile at the beginning at the routine and it made me smile and I thought 'hurrah!' and then he started thinking again - why do we have contestants with brains? - and it all became a little washed out. A possibility for the dance off but I truly hope he doesn't leave.
Well, I've just watched the results show...and was quite sad to see him go. I thought the dance was very sweet, probably to do with the endearing naffness of Barry Mannilow, and that he really had put the effort in. Nice frock too Lilia, well done, it was a tough week for dresses but you held your place at the top once more!

Mark and Hayley
Hayley's dress was the most hideous thing I've ever seen in my whole life. I've watched horror movies and been less repulsed. And poor was like watching Herman Munster trying to bat a fly from upon his nose. Kudos for spirit, however.
Every week I get the feeling there is less and less chance of Mark doing a final showdance in his swimming trunks. Hopefully a nice Viennese Waltz next week will help him regain control of those wildly flailing limbs.
Andrew and Ola
Are the Jordans having a competition this year to see who can use the most inappropriate song? I admit, sometimes a risk really, really works...but most of the time, no, and especially with a dance like the American Smooth. Part of its appeal is in the glamour and part of the glamour is in the music. Unlike Cherie's, Andrew's dancing couldn't save the routine.
I didn't think it was the most inappropritate song choice of the night, but yes, it should have been saved for a tango or something. After a promising start Andrew seems to have wandered into Dad Dancing territory and I don't think anything is going to bring him back sadly. Saying that, he has not humiliated himself like Fiona and Kate.

Christine and Matthew
I really liked this and I think it's because Christine's beaming smile just suited the Samba so much. It was nowhere near perfect but the music was appropriate, the costume bright and cheerful (though conservative AGAIN - and with hideous sleeves) and the dancing competent enough to make it an all round jolly good show.
Christine was indeed one of the few contestants that seemed to be genuinely enjoying herself and I think it added a lot to her dance. But yes, I spent most of the time shouting 'Sleeeeeves?! Why?!' to myself. Where were the feathers? The entire POINT of a samba is that you get to prance around with feathers on your bum!
Jodie and Ian
I think this one might have been my favourite - just because it was so unexpected. Jodie is extremely cool and this dance was lovely. GREAT song and very classy routine.
And what's more, I don't think they mentioned that she was tall once!
John and Kristina
I can't help but smile at these two. They are so cute. The routine made me smile too despite my head telling me that it was awful- oh, and it was so, so bad - my heart was just going awwwww!
It does indeed defy all logic, but I also thought Kristina did a good job in choosing a song that wasn't too quick and some cute choreography. Please give him the Viennese Waltz next week, I don't think I am quite prepared for John doing a Paso!

Tom and Camilla
Did you know Tom is getting married on Sunday? Really? Had you not heard? Ha ha. Oh I joke because I don't care. This was great (BETTER than Lisa and Brendan's so what was the scoring about, eh?) The only thing that disappointed me was that this was the prime (yet kitsch) opportunity to use the track 'Get Me to the Church on Time' from My Fair Lady. What a waste!
That would have been a step too far on the kitsch-o-meter I think. But best dance of the night all the same, even with Camilla being forced to wear a scary trouser-based outfit!

One last thing: was Arlene drunk?

Yes, as we have commented before she is slowly turning into Karen from Will and Grace.

Saturday, 11 October 2008

Let’s Get Rrready to Rrrrrumbaaa!

Well I must say, there was a lot of chest on display this week! Everyone from the rumba-ing celebs, to the pros and even Tess seemed to have invested in a Wonderbra.

Anyway, two very hard and very different dances tonight; the physically-impossible-for-clumsy-people-like-me quickstep and the often cringe-worthy rumba. The stakes have been raised once more and expectations are very high…

Clover is in purple. Yet again. She keeps beating me. Not with sticks.

Christine and Matt

Lovely song choice, which I expected would make it in somewhere this series, but unfortunately mauled by the singers. However, even with that as a distraction I thought Christine skipped rather merrily in the manner a quickstep should be done. And top marks to Arlene for using ‘beige’ as a synonym for boring- she’s obviously been reading this blog!

I'm getting slightly annoyed by her coquettish batting-of- eye-lashes, but not too annoyed and think she's still quite a sweetie on the whole. I have the problem with quicksteps in that in my unprofessional opinion, blinded by the tricksy moves, I think they always look fairly good (we'll not talk about Kate) But, alas, the judges see what I do not see and I suppose, yes, on a brief second viewing it was a bit heavy. Dress average.

Jodie and Ian

Well after Ian’s slip on Wednesday's ITT about Jodie producing her breast rather than best, I thought we were going to get an eyeful when I saw her in that frock. Saying that, she looked stunning and I thought her emoting was really improved from last week. I think there could be a Gethin Jones-style breakthrough moment if she gets the chance.

Jodie is tall. Can tall people dance? But you know, she is tall. Thought she would be in the dance-off for sure - shows how much I know.

Heather and Brian

That is possibly the most delightfully camp dress I have ever seen in six series of the show! However, it didn’t really float my boat; to me it seemed like she was dramatically better at the beginning and the end when she was out of hold. And we go back to the chests with Len’s reference to her ‘upper portions’, wink wink nudge nudge…

Well, for starters she looked like a packet of synthetic strawberries packaged to be taken on a space-mission. But again, I didn't think the dance looked that bad at all. With all the swooping camera shots I don't suppose it's possible for the viewing public to know that she's not heel-leading. OK, the frame didn't look very elegant but I do feel for them in the quickstep because, to be honest, if I were skipping about at that pace, I'd be clinging on for dear life too.

Cheri and James

Ok, as much as I don’t like James I do have to say that was rather good! Simple and elegant and very lost-in-the-moment-esque. Who else thinks Cheri must have sort of ballet experience?

Oooh what a delight. And right now I'm just talking about the deliciously refreshing monochrome costume. She just looked so damned classy. What I liked most about this dance was its simplicity - I actually recognised some steps and that's so rare with the rumba. I am beginning to wonder if James and Ola are big Eva Cassidy fans.

Jessie and Darren

Darren once again picks a song that has the right tempo but has absolutely nothing else to do with the dance (remember last year’s Material Girl tango debacle?). And oh my word another reference to boobs! I agree with what the judges said; as much as I want to like Jessie, she’s not doing very well…

Poor dress - I don't know what all that was about. Poor dance. Poor Jessie. Though I think those tears were a bit fishy (in the sense of said fish being caught in a crocodile's jaws), I did feel for her a little (and I'm a cold-hearted biatch) because the judges were harsh. She was not half as bad as Kate or Gary or Fiona or squazillions of other contestants but they really laid into her. She went fair and square but I think the fearsome threesome (and Len) were meanies nonetheless.

Lisa and Brendan

The training footage looked very good on ITT and the performance certainly lived up to that. I thought it smouldered a bit more than Cheri and James’, but maybe it wasn’t as technically as good. Plus it’s always fabulous watching Brendan doing the rumba.

What the heck was this about? It was OK. No, OK, it was good. But they were waxing lyrical about her technique when I'm pretty sure her knees were bent most of the way through. This is not the way to rumba. Over-marked. (Note - I didn't pick the picture for this blog entry.)

Rachel and Vincent

Great dress, great song, great dance. I’m always waiting for these two to come on and Vincent just has a fabulous knack for fancy choreography- I don't care what Len says, I like extended openings! Can’t wait to see her take on the boys!

Oh they are so wee. And they are so cute. I haven't much else to say. I wasn't blown away but oh! they are so wee.

Group dance (don’t ask me to spell it!) R-U-E-D-A (I'm testing you next week.)

Wow, that was a number and a half! Loved the en masse lift at the end and also the costumes- Lilia once again gets the best, but Ola scored high too. I thought Mark was a bit behind everyone else despite the spectacular shimmy, but Tom was very good. Kristina seems to be turning a deeper shade of orange every week though!

Holy guapea! What was this? It looked like a total shambles. There hasn't been a Cuban-related crisis quite as bad as this since 1962. However, I think that was partly due to the fact that a rueda is never going to lend itself well to being filmed. I think they should have considered a fixed camera for this dance so we would at least have been able to admire the pretty patterns a cuban wheel creates - or should do, at least. Maybe even an aerial view would have worked! It looked like they had a mighty fine fun time though regardless of what it actually looked like.

Results Show

Bryan and Carmen - what a treat! Received at angry text message from Frankie about him being evil for ditching Karen for the German chick (is she German?) but even so, that was a cracking samba...could it be anything else? Loved the candy-coloured dresses in the pro-American Smooth...and the song, aces! 'Hello Dolly' - that really speaks to my inner showtune maniac (I call her Liza). Glad we didn't have to suffer the rueda again and it was lovely to see Ian and Camilla perform to Simply Red - sometimes I forget it's not the James and Ola and Vincent and Flavia Show.

Saturday, 4 October 2008

A Point About Pointing

Our assesssment of this week's dances...

Frankie is main text and Clover is in PURPLE again.

Austin and Erin
Now they bigged this up so much on ITT that I think I was just set up for a disappointment, especially with them dancing to a song from Hairspray. To me it was technically good but it didn’t have enough zing for me, it just looked like repeated hopping. Nice frock for Erin though and she’s stopped looking like she’s doing Riverdance when she jives.

Austin has a bad back. Really? Does he? I hadn't heard. Did love the dance however; it was far too good for a second-week attempt. Could Austin be this year's Bunton? By week four nobody really cared about her...Mais non, I think, like Alesha, Austin has personality and charm to carry him through too. I'm not an Erin fan (as you know - and I know I said I would cut her some slack so here we are...) but that was a super song choice and a nice zippy routine. I thought it had zing. Frankie's being a doughnut.

Mark and Hayley
Beautiful dress for Hayley, we love a bit of flamenco! And what a song choice too, it went with Mark’s serial-killer face rather well. Ok it wasn’t the best tango ever, but I think 5s were a bit harsh.

Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. Zzz.

Gary and Karen
Deary me, Gary Rhodes might be a bad dancer but there was no need to put Karen in such a horrible dress! I hope he stays this week though so they can finally let him do some ballroom, it only seems fair.

Karen, Karen, Karen, now you know we love you, right? Look! You're top in our poll...just over there to the right. But, please, I beg you, please stop POINTING. I didn't notice this until my wonderfully Strictly-obsessed colleague Clare, um, pointed it out to me. She points at her partners, she points at the the merengue last week, she even pointed at her though to make sure that, we, the audience at home know what shoes actually are. Note, Karen, we do and we love. Not sure what the Quality Street wrapper dress was about either.

John and Kristina
Dress of the night, oh my word it was lovely! John’s great big grin for most of the dance spoilt the drama, but since the cuddly old man thing has become his USP it wasn’t the end of the world. Surely its time for some Latin next?

Looooooved the dress. John is such a sweetheart I don't think I can imagine him ever being able to pull off an authentic tango. But yeah, Frankie's right, if all goes well (and he definitely shouldn't be out this week although I do think he was over-marked) he will be dancing latin next - probably a paso doble or a samba. Now paso would be a problem but I can actually imagine him with a pair of maracas (he's old, we can forgive props) shakin' his thang to Ricky Martin or similar.

Andrew and Ola
I find Andrew quite endearing, which is rather odd for a GMTV presenter, but I don’t think I can excuse that utterly random headbanging! Poor thing, he swerved from looking like a vampire to being totally scared throughout. The song choice was a bit strange too; it could have worked as an instrumental but it was rather distracting with the singers going on about moving like cats and talking like rats…

Song didn't work. Don't remember much else about it.

Tom and Camilla
My favourite dance of the night! I loved how they looked like a team doing an actual routine, with a great song and outfits to match. Gotta love Camilla and her inventive moments with choreography and musicality. And she loves making her men slide around the floor doesn’t she?! Alas, not a Gethin Jones melting-trousers moment, but still rather good fun.

Now Camilla's another pointer, though not as much as Karen so we'll forgive her. I think Camilla was trying to recreate the magic of Gethin's jive last year but the magic of that was that it was unGethinlike. But definitely matched Austin - it's a two horse race at the moment the girls are going to struggle to catch these two fiercly competitive guys. Camilla likes fringy dresses, doesn't she? This one may be the fringiest yet.

Dom and Lilia
Dom’s pout! I don’t care what the judges said about atmosphere, his trout-pout ruined it for me. Saying that, another cracking routine from Lilia, who had a rather fabulous pair of shoes on too! Very nice way to throw the results show wide open…

Yes, he did look a little bit like a fish but I LOVED this. For starters, the Gotan Project's remix of 'Whatever Lola Wants' is one of my favourite EVER tracks so that made me sit there and go 'ooooooh' before a step had even been taken. I thought this was wonderfully choreographed and I'm glad CRH gave Lilia some praise for that (the girl is good - she made Dom Littlewood look OK for three weeks running - that kind of genius deserves New Year Honours) I wouldn't go crazy, Lilia fans, thinking that this couple could win however; of all the dances, I think this is the one that he was always going to do well. I can't see any others making the same impact - but on the strength of this they may stay in longer than we thought.

Group swing
Oh what a clumsy thing poor Jodie Kidd is turning out to be, I dread the poor girl doing Latin. I genuinely don’t think it’s because she’s tall but rather that she’s really heavy footed or something. Other than that I can’t really muster much enthusiasm for the group numbers anymore, I want more proper dancing!

What's wrong with group dances? I loved this and I agreed with Len - it was fantastic! Cherie seems to have taken to swing well - if she can manage the latin dances as well then she will go far. Jodie hmm, she's the only one who stood out for me - for bad reasons anyway - maybe because of her height, I don't know. It's a shame because I do still think she is seriously cool. No one really stood out apart from that and I see that as a good thing - that's what made the dance so great - it was a real formation team effort.

If I had my way I'd have two of Mark, Gary and Andrew in the dance-off - and Gary to go, I'm afraid. Shame for Karen - hope she wouldn't be too disa-point-ed ( ha ha).