Sunday, 17 October 2010

A Rumba & The Jungle

Let's get rrrrready to rrrrrumba! Will that joke ever get old? Here we are in super-hard rumba and quickstep week, get wiggling those hips with those feet....

Kara and Artem

Well this was an energetic start to the show! Quite liked the musicality of the introduction but it did go on a tad too long; twiddle a the top of the stairs, run down the stairs (very impressed with Kara's jazz hands), twiddle at the bottom of the stairs, Charleston, twiddle, me shouting at the screen having been possessed by Len Goodman. Other than that it was a pretty good routine. Pretty dress for Kara too and Artem's super-high trousers!
Is Artem channelling his inner Monsieur Cowell? My, the trousers reached his armpits. Almost. This was OK. I thought it was overmarked in a kind of Ali Bastian/Lisa Snowdon way. Loved the song choice though and the 'rocky' (no, not the movie...I didn't see Sylvestor Stallone anywhere - unless you did...?) vibe though.

Felicity and Vincent

Crikey, I'm more than half Felicity's age and there's no way I can bend like that! I can't even touch my toes even after various yoga sessions and she appears to have no spine! That and Vincent's rather exciting white trousers I was quite distracted from the rumba technique, what with me being a world-renowned rumba specialist of course. Thought it was quite nice myself, subtle, but that is what Felicity appears to be doing. Nice, but how long will it last?
OK, so Felicity is more supple than Bedtime Barbie. (No? My cousin had one. She was so floppy. Like all her bones - if Barbie had bones - had been magically disappeared by, uh, Professor Lockheart. HP joke, natch...I digress too much...) OK, so yes, she's bendy. But the rest of it was a bit pants.

Patsy and Robin

As Claudia would say, it took about 900 years to get in hold, which sometimes wouldn't be bad, but not when you're trying to line dance in a ballgown. There was a bit of gallumphing about (is it just me and my mum who use that word?), but I don't think it was as bad as the judges made out. Plus it's better to see Patsy enjoying herself than looking like she's going to crack at any second. Now I have the Raggy Dolls theme tune stuck in my head. Ah, children of the 80s...I digress again. Erm, back to the point. Sorry, but it was that bad. She was just getting dragged about. There was no gallumphing about it. Good word though. Gallumphing implies she was moving under her own steam. The steam was all Robin's. These guys have a fierce set of fans though - and why shouldn't they? - I don't think they'll be going anywhere soon.

Paul and Ola

Is it only me who would prefer the magic tricks if they were a bit better? Pulling a flower out of your sleeve is hardly David Blaine. Maybe he could learn some sexy mind tricks from Derren Brown and convince us he is a good dancer? (Actually, Derren Brown doesn't need tricks since actually did a fair bit of latin/ballroom is his youth, random fact for you there). Anyway, if we must discuss the dance, I want to make a joke about hip replacements even if it is totally cliche.
Thing is, Ann Widdecombe's getting the John Sergeant vote. I'm all for a gimmicky contestant to a point...but the ballroom's not big enough for two of them.

Matt and Aliona

Bejesus this was fast! I remember looking at the ITT training footage and thinking Matt could trip or really get lost in all that choreography but he handled it pretty well. For the first half of the dance he did look like he was counting in his head but by the end he was really enjoying himself. A bit flying-off-the-seat-of-your-spangly-pants, but I like a bit of that sometimes! Really great song choice from Aliona there too, someone correct me if it's been used before, because I can't believe such as gem hasn't been.
This was quickstep on SPEED. This was quickstep wot haz downed Red Bull and possibly that new, bright green Mountain Dew too. And possibly a Pro Plus. This woz a footwork trip and a half. Luckily not literally. He did marvellously to keep up. Good job, old boy, good job.

Gavin and Katya

Hmmm...does anyone think they're doing a bit of expectation management on Gavin? Every week I think he's going to be horrendous and then he seems to get through the routine ok. Again, think the judges were a bit harsh on a week 3 rumba, he did seem to be moving those hips to me. It's not like men have much to do in the rumba anyway! Not sure about Katya's dress, looked like something stupidly expensive from Kate Moss' so-called 'festival wear' thankfully glammed up with a pair of sparkly pants.
Ms. Frankie, I agree. There was some movement there. Something which all of the judges seemed to miss. It wasn't great but he's trying. Katya's dress looked like something from Laura Ashley circa 1986. And did you see it bunching up at the stomach? She'll be stealing Lilia's pregnancy rumours with wardrobe choices like that.
Scott and Natalie

This was my favourite performance of theirs so far, so much less gimmicky bits and proper dancing. That girl knows her quickstep and they had a bit of fun at first but didn't take took long to get into hold. Natalie's dress was a bit scary, but I liked what they did with Scott's tie, the song could have been a bit odd but it actually worked out. Job well done.
Have I stumbled into Disneyland? Oh come on, if you're gonna go that twee, at least dress as a monkey. Staying on The Jungle Book theme, Natalie, of course doesn't need to dress as a monkey as she's clearly going for the manic, hypnotic-eyed snake Kaa...Is she trying to hypnotize us at home? Maybe. Who knows. Oh yes, yes, it was a good effort. But I'm not warming to them. It's Ricky Whittle II. Snooze.

Michelle and Brendan
That's Vincent's outfit from last week on Brendan! Have they stretched it from munchkin to kiwi size? How odd. Quite liked this as a controlled and romantic rumba, but at times she did look like she was hanging on for dear life. The four from Craig was well harsh, innit.
Oh I'm just going to come out and say it. She's rubbish. She's never going to be able to dance. She's this year's Craig Kelly. Michelle, Michelle, Michelle...yes, the judges are being more picky with you. Because. There. Is. More. To. Pick. On. Glad to see Brendan doing his best impression of a chocolate mousse.

Peter and Erin

I have to say before this starts Erin looks amazingly good on her top half this week, but has unfortunately fallen prey to the clown trousers! Peter scrubs up quite nice too, ballroom was always going to be more of his thing. Alesha was right that it was his best dance, but not sure about the last bit where they just kinda ran around for a bit. Good on him for doing well, the dads will be proud!
This may surprise you all. I'm all for Erin this year. This was good. And if she got a good performance out of this guy - who, I believe, will only get better and better (if we ignore the latin dances) - she must be a bloody good teacher. Which we know she is. We might joke about the woman being an evil genius and all...she might not be evil, but genius... well, maybe she is that.

Jimi and Flavia

This was an a-ma-zing routine from Flavia, one of the best rumba ones I think I've seen on the show in a while. It wasn't painfully slow like some of them are and there wasn't a chance to get bored. The judges thought it was a bit too frantic, but I think that was part of the storytelling. Flavia also appears to have put her tiny foot down and insisted on having a nice frock again, you go girl!
Poor Jimi. Looked like he hadn't had his All Bran. Think it was a bit try-hard on his part...but come on, the judges were harsh. He clearly has ability. Clare-from-work noticed that his footwork was spot on (that kind of thing gets discussed at her house a lot) and the body movement was almost there...just a bit spasm-y. This guy is loving it. And he's a good sport. I think we can only expect better...

Ann and Anton

Thank god they got around to designing her a new frock, slightly less Queen Mum this week. I don't want to get too carried away, but did anyone else see Ann do some actual steps this week? But are we ready fo her to do another latin? Is ANTON ready for another latin?
That Quickstep footwork that Ann managed, very well, was not easy. I'm glad she got credit for it. I love these two. They should enjoy their time before the inevitable backlash begins. Obviously that will be when a couple of mediocre contestants get thrown out a couple of weeks earlier than they otherwise ought. The only question is who will be this year's Gabby Logan?

Pamela and James

Really wasn't sure about the bacofoil fabric of the dress, but I think that's about the only thing I can criticise about this. Liked Len's use of the word poignant. Good old team PamJam, I guess it's not really a surprise it took a psychologist to make us warm to James Jordan!
I LOVE this woman. She's so full of life and I think she's one of the most talented dancers ever seen on Strictly. This is two fingers up to the BBC over the ageism thing...I'm already putting myself out there saying I'd love Pamela to win. The woman is 60. It's amazing. Long live PamJam. (They should market that).

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