Tuesday, 25 October 2011

If You Wanna Make It, Twinkle While You Shake It

With hope in my heart, a song in my soul, and thoughts of such delights as bunnies and bobbypins and balloons, I sat, eagerly anticipating this week's Strictly Come Dancing. Nay, scratch that, I was actually sitting at my laptop (on Twitter for those of you in the know) typing actually with my fingers crossed ('tis possible you know) in the hope that this week's dancing would make up for that farce-of-a-themed-show last week. Did it? Not really, no. But, as they say in the biz, on with the show.

Hey kids, I'm back! Thanks to Clover for keeping the place so sparkly-ship-shaped. Slightly taken about by Tess' 70s wallpaper dress already.

Jason and Kristina
There was very little Spanish about Jason's line: unfortunately, it was more tatties than tapas. The poor lamb was stomping about like an angry toddler in a Christmas cracker costume. I spotted toe leads and balletic arms, neither of which are gonna be great for a paso, but in contrast, may spell good things for his rumba. Let's hope. He's definitely a trier. But this just wasn't his dance. And that's allowed. But does anyone know why he finished the routine with the Scout salute? Confused me. Dib dib dib.
I probably shouldn't admit it, but I loved the Big Fat Gypsy Wedding tango last week. And you can't beat a bit of Queen and leopard print on a Saturday night. Didn't really think the routine was up to much until the skirt action, which had me in suspense as to whether we were going to have a Spanish Buck's Fizz moment. Perfectly acceptable dance, but not as exciting as I'd hoped.

Alex and James
Alex looked hawwwt. The rumba kinda didn't though, which was a shame. Listen to me, I'm sounding like I'm trying to make out I know, like, every-uh-thing about dance (which I certainly don't - I know as much as the average Joe - and slightly less than the average Bill) but years of watching SCD does rub off on one slightly doesn't it? I think your average fan over the series will have picked up on the fact that in the rumba and cha cha, the toe lead creates zat elusive 'heep action' that Bruno was chunnering on about. This was sadly missing with Alex. But I still like this pair, am glad they are still in and wish them well for next week.
Unless you're going to be amazing at the rumba, the best thing to do is just to survive it. And all whilst looking amazing in a catsuit and dancing to a horrible song, well done Alex! A four was well harsh Craig, innit.

Rory and Erin
Ack. There was some cringeworthy Jimi Mistry like body movement here. Which often results from a non-latino trying to move in a latino-ish way. This was a kind of self-fulfilling prophecy with poor Rory - he had convinced himself that a wee Scot from Edinburgh would never be able to do it. So he didn't. Even the music was shouting at him over and over 'DANCE TO THE MUSIC' and again, he didn't. Erin will be gutted of course. The glitterball out of her grasp yet again. Of course, she will have plenty more time now to devote to bringing down her arch-nemesis Natalie Lowe. Campaign for a good partner next year for Erin please! In her 10th series, just let her win.
Oh dear, Erin was in denial about how good this cha cha could be. I guess Rory has the curse of Man Not Very Good At Latin, but MNVGAL isn't a good acronym. At least Erin's frock was rather nice, and we still love Rory. (Noooooo! I've just seen that Rory went out this week, I am outraged!)

Audley and Natalie
Audley had to channel his inner Billy Elliott for that ballet task this week. What do you mean boxers don't do ballet? It is a bit like ballet. You have to be light on your feet, agile and strong. OK, there's no music and you have to throw a few punches but we can overlook those tiny details. But that's by the by. I counted six bars before Audley did anything other than stand up and grin cheesily at Natalie. Yet les judges said nothing. Gah, shurrup self, this actually was an improvement and a good effort. Natalie was dressed in a proper shower poof princess dress and span around a tad too much but yeah, it wasn't so bad. I guess.
There was spinning and sparkles, but that was about it. Sorry, but I can't bring myself to get excited about Audley. Totally overmarked!

Nancy and Anton
First of all. Hurrah. Paso Doble music. Great. Nancy is also great at drapery. That is, flinging herself dramatically at Anton. It actually looks good. The bits that involved her feet connecting with the floor weren't quite so successful. There seemed to be an element of goose-stepping-crossed-with-sleep-walking to her movement. Anton's playing it for laughs as usual which may not be completely fair - but let's face it, Nancy was counting out loud, she's never going to win, so she might as well have a laugh. And blow me down and Coup de Pique me to Peckham, she actually smiled at the end of this one.
Loving watching Nancy wander around a field of cows in leather trousers, I also love the way she seems to forget she's on TV and starts prattling on about nothing in particular. Not sure what was going on with the arm and skirt, looked like it was in a splint or something. Although, to be fair, at least Anton did try and choreograph a paso, rather than sitting her on a mechanical bull or something.

Lulu and Brendan
Nice to see Lulu enjoying herself a bit more - and it showed in her performance. Perhaps she liked the choon. Didn't get the whole running up the stairs thing. Perhaps they got confused and thought it was Halloween week and decided to play the dumb-blonde-in-movie-what-runs-up-stairs-and-gets-stabbed-by-psycho. Who knows? And Brendan broke the curse of Samba! I'm pretty sure Frankie might have been the first to point that out to him when she bumped into him at a tube station a few years ago.
Oh crikey, I'd forgotten I'd mentioned the samba to him all that time ago. I had to go all the way back to Natasha to think of a good one! Certainly one of Lulu's best, despite the lack of feathers and her rather odd addiction to her flinging her skirt about - just wait for the paso.

Holly and Artem
And once again, Holly looked more comfortable dancing with the pole/lamp-post than with Artem. There, yet again, was just not enough waltz for something calling itself a waltz here. Viennese or otherwise. I can't call it a waltz. It will have to be a Viennese something else. Perhaps a biscuit. And when the fleckerl are we going to see a fleckerl?
Why were they wandering around lamp posts like she was doing her cycling proficiency test? No attempt at a fleckerl either. Len's repetition of 'yeah, it was alright (me awld mucker etc)' said it all really. Anyone else thinking people will get bored of this you've-got-potential-but-haven't-lived-up-to-it soon?

Chelsee and Pasha
Now I usually despise opening segments and themes but this was nifty and succinct. It got to the point straight away and fitted right in with la musica. And, this is, on the whole, my favourite dance of the series so far. By (air) miles. I am a bit of a sucker for a quickstep it seems but this one was very, very nice. Nippy - she seemed to be dancing on a bed of needles (ouchies) - and full of vim and vigour. The best word I can think of to describe it is 'twinkly'. I likes.
Crikey that was good! Silly opening, but it was over quickly and then it was a proper fabulous quickstep! There wasn't even any gapping, and I love it when Clover gets to shout about gapping. I really wanted to watch it again, this girl is far from dull. When does Waterloo Road finish, follow my Winning Formula and lose the day job Chelsee!

Harry and Aliona
Who else thinks Aliona is trying to use Strictly to break into acting or sumfink else? It's all about her and it's getting annoying. Harry did a good job but it was no way in a squillion-me-jillion years was it worth a ten. A TEN. IS Alesha flibberty-gibberty-CRAZY? Len was right, the first half was quites delightful but the second, no no. But Harry is gonna be gooood. I think we may, along with Chelsee and Jason, be looking at our top three now. Holly who?
Last week he didn't do a jive, the week before he didn't do a foxtrot, so I was quite happy to see at least an attempt at a waltz. But what is Aliona's obsession with spinning around waving your arms in the air? The first half was Harry's best so far, I feel like he's been totally over-rated and think they just want to keep the young man in (someone take Alesha's 10 away). It's not his fault, he can actually dance!

Anita and Robin
This was classy and smooth. But it didn't really stick in my head and it was grossly over-marked. (And I swore to myself I wasn't going to mention that damned irrational scoring on Saturday...ah well...) My major concern in this routine was whether Frankie would object to those semi-sleeves she was wearing or whether she'd consider them more a kind of Mary Portas armery. It was a much more flattering costume than we've been used to with Anita and she did look lovely. And extra points for the heel turns. Take it from someone who tried a couple of times (and fell over repeatedly), it's not easy.

I still can't get over Robin's hair from last week, bring it back for Halloween! And yes, the sleeve shrug thing did confuse me, it was like she'd forgotten to take her jacket off. Very nice routine, but I could have used a little more razzmatazz. Craig is right though, she's such a pro and it's great to see someone loving it so much.

Robbie and Ola

Oh I do like him. And I like Ola. But I didn't like this jive. It had no spring in it. Weeell, it was fun, I guess but I haven't much more to say about this. Sorry guys. Meh.

Well I rather liked it, and can we talk about how spangle-licious Ola's frock was! Thought he showed just as much gusto as Chelsee even if the dance overall wasn't as good. I like these people who are fearless and go for it. Plus a few weeks ago you would have thought a Robbie Savage jive would be a total car crash.

Russell and Flavia

Mama Rose and Gypsy Rose Lee - another cracking performance. And the advice given in that oh-so-famous musical that says you gotta get a gimmick - no, you don't, if yer can dance yer don't need all those props. But I guess if you're Russell, you'd think why not? If you're gonna do it, do it with a horn. Oh no, wait, it was Lulu with the trumpets wasn't it? Russell, you did it with finesse, my dear.
Pahahaha, I love these two, you always need a couple who might collapse in giggles at any moment. A bit more subdued than their other dances, but at least Russell is learning to dance. Also Flavia seems to have put her staccato little foot down this year and demanded decent dresses, good for you!

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