Saturday, 3 October 2009

Strictly Come Marathon-ing

Here comes the longest night of Strictly ever and therefore the longest blog post ever. Get your scroll button at the ready!

We're back to our old-school blogging of last year now, so Frankie is in black tonight and Clover is rocking the purple.

Ali and Brian

Going first out of fourteen when you're a hotly-tipped couple, no pressure then! But what an utterly charming quickstep Brian put together and Ali really seemed to love the whole thing. Was really impressed at how light-footed and frothy she was. The ending was so cute and Hollywood as well. Plus Brian suddenly seems to have potential as the new face-pulling pro of the series, hurrah!

Oh I love watching a good ol' quickstep...and here be one. This was a little fizzpop of a dance. Ali looked gorgeous in her pastel dress and Brian's choreography was not too flashy - and not too dull. First out too, so nerves must have been on overdrive. These two are, like, sooooo cute together. Get married! Have pretty babies! That's an order.

Lynda and Darren

I did not have very high hopes for this, or the dress (yet more sleeves and about 2 metres of excess fabric). I don't want to sound too Craig R-H about Lynda, but seriously, what was up with her face?! Naff song choice and no passion at all. More importantly, do we think Darren waxed for tonight's show? Now come on Len and Alesha, put those 7s away!

Yes, yeees, we know it was over-marked with sevens. But then so were several other dances this evening. I think the judges are trying to pre-empt the John Sergeant vote by being slightly less cruel than last year. However, I liked the dress, regardless of the fact it had sleeeeeves Frankie (anyone would think this girl wanders round all winter in a vest. Note: she doesn't) This was a good effort from Lynda. Her best so far and definitely deserved to stay in the competition. Despite getting a little Dom Littlewood on Darren's bottom.

Chris and Ola

Brightening up my 6am shifts, I have waited all week to see Chris back on the dancefloor. Besides the distraction of Ola's Mr Whippy hairstyle I really enjoyed this, even with the mistakes. There is something really endearing about Chris, watching him sing along and reminding us of Darren Gough.

I didn't look at his feet so no idea just how technically pitiful it was. He really was having a ball, wasn't he? As Frankie would say, he 'eyes and teethed' his way through- and that is surprisingly endearing. It wasn't so much Ola's hair that distracted me, as the blancmange-like commodities on her shoulders. If Dynasty went ballroom, that is what it would look like. Not acceptable even in the 80s.

Zoe and James

Why does James grow a Satan beard for the paso every year? Plus the outfits looked like something from Ann Summers, so wasn't too struck before the dance even started. Oh yeah, and I hate that song too! Getting to the dance, why was the whole thing so slow? It made it look robotic to me; ok, maybe technically good etc but the paso for me is about drama and spectacle. Not deserving of three 8s to me.

The arrangement of that song was the problem here. It had no attack, it had no crescendo. I don't really know what crescendo means...but it's a good word, non? That made the whole thing pretty flat. Nonetheless, I knew the judges would love it. I got used to them raving about dull performances last year. Lisa Ahem Snowdon Ahem. Oh, I'm not calling this dull...I'm calling it...unfortunate. James is a doll this year. Who is this Mr Nice Guy?

Rav and Aliona

Watching Rav look nervous and twitching in the background when the others were talking to Tess made me want him to do well even more. Actually squealed with delight when the song kicked in and once again at the cartwheel! I know what the judges meant and could see the gap big-enough-for-a-double-decker-bus to use a Len-ism. Overly-harsh marking once again. I really hope Rav doesn't go out tonight, I have the whiff of a possible journey...

I think your bus crashed, Frankie. This was not good, which is a shame because he is delightful to look at. This is MY quickstep song too (stolen?! pah!) - you know, for if ever I'm invited to take part on the show (you never know...) so actually, kudos to Aliona for the music. I've only just realised that their names when said together sound much like 'ravioli'.

Natalie and Vincent and Vincent's eyebrow

Dodgy Betty Boop hairdo on poor Natalie there, but hurrah for some traditional music and kick-ass choreography from Vincent! Ooh the drama! These two are such a good pair together, may we see them for weeks to come.

I adored this dance. It captured the very flavour of the Paso Doble. I could almost taste the paella (though I'm not sure if I've actually ever tasted real which case, I'm not sure what I could taste... ) I thought Natalie looked fabulous in her costume and I thought it was woefully under-marked. Wee Vincent's choreography was magic and it's the first time this series I've gone all goosebumpy. That is a huge compliment

Craig and Flavia

I wouldn't say this was the most exciting quickstep in the world, but I hadn't realised how bad the judges thought it was! Saying that, is it just me or is Craig so much better out of hold? I don't know what it is, maybe it's a posture thing. And if it was so terrible, why did the judges give him one mark higher than Rav?

Because although Rav is prettier (sorry Craig), his dancing was worse. So get over it. What on earth happened to these quicksteps this evening? They were not good. Song however was a deeeelight. I adore Peroxide Swing so was very excited when the first few bars were played. I'm willing him to do well for Flavia more than for himself...and, because of course, he's our local lad. A bit more charisma will go a long way.

(ooh gosh, we're at the halfway point, do we get a tea break or something?)

Ricky and Natalie

The frocks really haven't been top-notch tonight, but Natalie certainly didn't deserve one that looked like it came from Primark. My word this was an aggressive paso! I could see the fire all the way through it, but like Len said last week I think it might have just been a little bit TOO harsh. At times it looked like Ricky wanted to murder her! Still bloody good though, omg, was that a 35 I just saw?!

Yeah, bad frock. Like something from Fame crossed with Rocky Horror. Or, to go back to Quality Streets, The Big Purple One. And like The Big Purple One, did it have a nut inside? Quite possibly - Natalie does have manic eyes. But my gosh, that girl can dance. And so can that boy. I did find parts a bit Austin-Healey-with-the-hors d'Ĺ“uvres - and I know Espana Cani is the paso track...but it was used last series. And in series one. And I know it's hard to think of Paso music...but... but... but...

Jade and Ian

I was so excited about this dance; the training footage looked great, Jade got the best frock and rumour has it Ian stole one of our song suggestions. Loved all the jetes and they really used the floor (ooh I sound like Arlene!). A really fun, bright quickstep- great routine Ian!

Loved the dress. Loved the song. Loved the routine. Some of it may have been a little sloppy but it had such energy. It reminded me of Denise and Ian's quickstep all those many moons ago. I hope Jade doesn't get lost in the mid to late episodes and end up falling at the last hurdle. Dammit, wrong discipline. It's hard to metaphor longjump.

Joe and Kristina

Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear, just look at that outfit. Uber-cringe. Kristina looks like a genie too, bless her. Saying, that the cape action was quite good and so was the ending. Illegal lift alert! But once again, Joe just looks like he's walking around a lot of the time. For most of the dance I actually just sat and thought about what a great dancer Kristina is! A SIX Alesha? Come off it!

This guy is really starting to creep me out. He has the air of a man who might accidentally crush a small rodent or someone's wife just by uh-I-was-just-uh-hugging-it/her-uh. Uh. This and the fact that it was danced to what is officially The Worst Song Ever. The dancing was better though. Just.

Laila and Anton

Anton gets to do a proper quickstep, we thought this day would never come! Proper music and dancing and everything. Very classy, I just knew Len would love it. But wow, so many people are making footwork mistakes tonight, they must be going mad with nerves.

Classic, classy, no-frills quickstep. Without all those tricks and flicks and kicks, there's nowhere to hide. I think that was the point. Even if Laila doesn't get as far as the final, she will have learned to dance - not just set-routine after set-routine - she will be able to get up, with a partner and waltz, foxtrot, quickstep, to her heart's delight. And that is worth more than any glitterball.

Jo and Brendan

Ok, what is with the dresses tonight? Are the costume people overworked? This dance was actually a bit of a surprise for me, I was thinking it would be a total car crash and it wasn't and I think Brendan choreographed the routine really well for her. Plus Brendan was working some serious sparkle, its all about the sparkle!

I'm not saying I like the woman, but I have come to the conclusion that she's as near as we've ever got to a normal person doing Strictly. You know, a random (albeit a rich one), pulled off the street, with no performance experience or training. Even sportspeople 'perform' so she is unique. And she did improve. And Brendan has gone lovely.

Phil and Katya

I know more than one person who has had a knee cartilage operation and I cannot comprehend how Phil is not only able but allowed to dance with this. I don't know if I am impressed or not! Anyway, a darling little routine from Katya meant I soon forgot. All these mistakes are making me suspicious though, has Erin the evil genius put magnets in the floor again?

There's something amiss with the quicksteps these evening, with only Laila and Ali (Laila Ali? Has she hotfooted it over from DWTS?!) pulling off really good ones. This was my favourite of the rest though - it was charming. And the monochrome dress screamed elegance (if elegance screams, which it probably doesn't, it probably warbles or something like that.)

Ricky and Erin

Wow, Ricky looks sinister! As it started I was just in the process of typing about how much I liked Erin's dress when Ricky started screaming and I was pinned to my seat for the rest of the dance! Cannot believe he managed to raise the roof like that two weeks in a row. Well done for Craig saying he should be proud, I think that is a paso we will remember for quite a while.

Ricky Groves, proving himself to be a fantastic character actor, morphed into a strangely disconcerting and yes, sinister, yet pantomimey (in a good way) villain. He is what this show is about. His enthusiasm even makes Erin like the Paso Doble (I think she has described it in the past as a 'stupid dance'?) This pinned me to my seat too. Something that even Derren Brown can't manage.

Phew, is that everyone? Just as an aside, how much blusher is Craig R-H wearing tonight?! As we go into the voting I once again have no idea who will go, you just can't tell at this stage.


Joe and Kristina make it through first, ho hum what a surprise. The leaderboard was so big I've forgotten who was where now...Rav versus Lynda? It's no secret who I want to go, but I knew the judges wouldn't agree. I felt so sorry for Rav, he was so gutted he couldn't actually speak!

It was a shame but there was no contest really there. Surprising but true. I suspect Lynda will dance a foxtrot this week and that will be the first elegant give-it-to-the-older-lady dance she's done - she's doing very well. Can't wait for the salsas.

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