Saturday, 29 October 2011

Beware, you're in for a scare...

We enter with trepadation the terrifiying week that is Halloween SCD...not because of some panto *oooh-isn't-this-scary* thing, but because we're wondering if this can possibly be as full of plastic props, gimmicks and daft song choices as last year. Saying that, Brucie looks exactly the same and Tess looks pretty hot! Plus Craig arriving on his broomstick was a hoot!

For the sake of not sounding like a broken record, I promise that I will do my best to watch the show, to serve the readers and not to moan about any of the following: songs repeated from previous series, props, inconsistent marking or lack of actual dancing. Brownie honour.

Russell and Flavia

If there was ever a suitably crazy couple to kick off Halloween week it was these two, and with something as surreal as a samba too! Better the Devil You Know makes a brilliantly campstastic samba song for any week and woo look at the hotness of Flavia in a catsuit. And on top of all that, they did some dancing, who would have thunk? Not his best at all, but I don't care.

Dancewise, this was a bit phooey. Samba clearly ain't Russell's thang. His timing was off and it all came off as a wee bit messy. I didn't like the song choice either.

Chelsee and Pasha

This is the problem I have with themed weeks; after that amazing quickstep last week, didn't you just want to see Chelsee do a proper tango? Technically she is definitely improving, but there was no tension in it. I didn't even notice the dress malfunction until the end, it wasn't like the Lilia Samba Disaster of 2005. And shock, horror, Alesha was right, they are a great partnership and she is really coming on.

Chelsee really is coming on and given the extra things she had to think about during that routine, she actually pulled it off (resist temptation to joke there) fairly well. I like Pasha too. He seems to have the energy and enthusiasm that we first saw from Artem last year - but without Artem's arrogance (Preparing for inevitable backlash from Artemites - defence shield activated, pistols at the ready) This was nowhere near as good as her quickstep but given the circumstances, that's more than understandable. Give the girl some support. And I'm talking to the costume department there as well as the general public.

Audley and Natalie

I wasn't sure why Natalie had decided to dress herself as a particularly fabulous Poison Ivy until the song started. In fact Natalie's outfit was the best thing about it. Doing a jive is only going to be hard for Audley and the fact that it was a theme week helped them cover this up.

Frankie tweeted that Natalie (aka evil genius) arranged this entire themed week to get Audley through the inevitable mess that was always going to be his jive. Don't be so ridiculous, Frankie. What a notion! Of course that's not what happened. What happened was: Erin arranged the themed night in the hope that Audley would trip up over his own feet (despite them being so tiny an' all) in the smoke effect that seemed to be covering the entire set. I believe the next stage of her plan involved subliminally messaging Len to blame Natalie, wholly and completely, for Audley's fall and string her up by her spangly sewn-in pants to the aerial attachment that lowered Craig in that evening. However, something to do with the smoke affected Erin's ability to control Len's mind and her whole plan fell apart. It's the only explanation.

If I'm honest though, E.G.E. (Evil Genius Erin - oh we so love you now, we do), may well get her own way this evening anyway as this was so distinctly unwhelming I got distracted by a patch of wet paint drying on my wall.

Alex and James
James might be nicer these days, but he still has the eyes of a killer! Now a paso is always going to be more suited to Halloween than a samba, but using Brendan's goth samba song from seven years ago (SEVEN, I just counted!) is just lazy. Alex looked genuinely terrified, bless her. There was a paso in there for sure, but technique wasn't great. Totally overmarked.

James looked positively frightful. And I forget what Alex SoLovely Jones looked like because I was so freaked out by Mr Vampy Jordan. Oh yes, she was wafting about in a pale chiffon number and spent most of the routine looking surprised yet pained at seeing her own arms. Alex needs to build on her core strength. To me, she looks as though she's about to topple over most of the time and although she is going through the moves, it's like her limbs aren't really connected to her middle. Or like she has little energy in them. I have no idea what to suggest. Perhaps pilates. Or pie, chips and gravy. For the carbs, like.

Holly and Artem

Goregous costumes and a genuinely interesting idea. I was properly surprised when they actually did some dancing in hold, but it only lasted for about five seconds so I got over it. I love how we can judge on the American Smooth even though it's a totally made-up dance. Oh hang on, that's what overmarking looks like...

Alesha loved the concept. Probably this was because this was the dance that has the least to do with Strictly that has ever been on the show. And Alesha don't know nuffink about nuffink. The music and costumes were beautiful - and on another show, the choreography would have been OK. But 'American Smooth' (even if it were a real dance rather than a dance style - grr grr) isn't an excuse to do whateverrr you want - you don't - or shouldn't earn that right until you reach the final and get to perform a showdance. I wasn't all that impressed with Holly's performance either. She just seems to be going through the motions. She is so passive it is like the dance is something she's allowing to happen to her rather than something she is actively engaging in. She is winning points for a perception that is never going to become reality. And that is not fair.

Nancy and Anton

There's nothing better than a rumba between two people who probably hate each other. Also quote of the year "The coffin needs to be sparkly". Shockingly, there was a lot rumba content in there, whether is was done well is a different matter. Keeping with the Halloween theme Anton resurrected his sparkly Widdecombe pants and was prompty buried in them.

Forgive me for smirking at Nancy emerging from the coffin and taking a swig from that goblet. It reminded me of Karen from Will & Grace. That is all.

Harry and Aliona

After the 50% waltz last week, maybe we can get up to around 75% tango this week? Wishful thinking, this week's excuses for not being in hold include sitting down and holding masks. Len said what we are all thinking, Harry is really good when he's doing the dance he's supposed to. I'm getting bored of this week after week!

Remember when Hershey's chocolate Kissables could not longer be called chocolate because they didn't have enough chocolate/cocoa content? This is the same. This was not a tango. It was, like, tango candy. Full of rubbish and no good for you. Sort it, Aliona.

Robbie and Ola

Robbie is dressed as a member of My Chemical Romance, while Ola is a goth Red Indian, Halloween week continues its never ending parade of randomness. Ola was brave for giving him so much content on his own, but the standard really wasn't good and I'm worrying he's losing momentum.

Ola looked as though she might break into the children's classic 'Pow wow, pow wow, we're the men of the old Dun Cow' (moo?) either that or she was looking for a bit part in Pocahontas The Musical. Yay for content, nay for technique. Robbie is a ballroom man so he may have a week or two left...but can't see him surviving a samba.

Anita and Robin

I do love Robin's super-high trousers and Anita's crazy faces. This was actually a tango; she's mastered learning a dance and then performing it, rather than the other way round. Slightly worried she might get forgotten in all the excitement of the rest of the show.

Kudos for Robin and the content. But I am getting mightly scared by Anita's manic faces. Yes, she's not doing so badly but she's not as good as some are making her out to be. It's Robin's choreography that is winning this corner.

Lulu and Brendan

If you were a celeb on SCD and someone said to you "go on, do some flying, Ann Widdecombe did it!" would you consider that a great idea? Brendan is amazing at the paso and that showed up the fact that Lulu basically had no idea what she was doing and was just waving her arms about. I did enjoy Brendan's Edward Cullen hair.

Put your right arm in, your right arm out, your right arm in and waft it all about. You do the hokey cokey, Brendan drags you round. And that's what it's all about. Meh.

Jason and Kristina

Well after all the crazyness of the night I found this quite delightful. Kristina managed the amazing feat of having Jason dancing as if he was in hold while he was out of hold, Len will be so impressed! He is also a master of eyes and teeth, which I am a big fan of. Jason really could be on to a winner here...did I say that too early?

Hippity hoppity, bibbity bobbity, skippity, pippity boo. Kristina, my my, there was quickstep in this quickstep. What a revelation. I enjoyed this. Didn't deserve a ten (sorry I had to bring that up - who's for a Twitter campaign for hiding Alesha's 10 paddle?) but other than that THANK GOODNESS FOR JASON. Strictly clearly needs a good neighbour.

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