Saturday, 26 November 2011

Strictly AW: After Wembley

So after all the excitement of SCD at Wembley we return to the studio. After Blackpool (A.B.) episodes have often been terrible (remember Ronnie Corbett? We try not to), so we shall see if Wembley is the same. But then again, Blackpool is obviously better than Wembley. Duuh.

Tonight Tess is looking less frumpy than usual, but also like she's trapped in her Malibu Barbie incarnation again. Karen is increasingly looking like she's locked in the SCD attic like Mr Rochester's wife, get her out of there and on to the panel!

Anita and Brendan
It's rent-a-pro! I was really hoping for a use of the Rentaghost theme-tune. Feeling very sorry for poor Robin and his icky foot. Not sure about her dress, it looks like the ran out of fabric and dodgy-flesh colour was the only one left. Not too sure about this dance, all the steps were there but it all just seemed really slow. Points for doing the middle section on her own though.

Firstly, congrats to those who got #rentapro trending. (Who remembers Rentaghost? Is it the same thing? We were too young, guys, pssyyyccche.) Not sure that anyone other than professional contortionists should wear nude bodystockings covered only in Swarovski. Probablynotanitaski. This would have been a good cha cha. In week one. Please guys, I know she's enjoying it but just draw your eyes away from that hypnotising smile - the technique ain't pretty.

Holly and Artem
Holly has come dressed for a ballroom dance, Artem has come dressed for a latin. Although it's a freeking gorgeous dress, the best Holly has probably had to make up for last week's disaster. Thought the opening on the bar was silly, but the rest of the dance seemed really dull so I won't complain too much. But then again, we should probably be happy to see some actual ballroom. Never satisfied, are we?
Frankie's observation about their costume speaks volumes. These two have never gelled. Holly worked better with Brendan. And she worked better with that lamppost. I can't remember much about this dance. Oh yeah, it was dull. But it was overmarked because it was Holly. Same as ever then. Time to go. Buh Bye.

Alex and James
Points for Alex's face alone! We really need Karen back on the show just to see her do a Charleston. I was really looking forward to this but felt a bit disappointed, there just didn't seem to be enough content. I thought it was building to something but no, it seemed like it could have had twice as many steps.
Hat on. Hat off. Hat on. Hat off. Walk. Hat on. Hat off. Hat on. Charleston step 1, 2. Charleston step 1, 2. Hat on. Oh no, it's already on. Hat off. Hat on. Hat off. Hat on. Hat off. Hat on. Gurn at camera. Jazz hands. Seriously? Though it may have been charleston in 'style', the actual charleston step with that oh-so-mentioned-oh-so-muchly 'double bounce action' was only used for two bars. And there wasn't even any bounce, never mind it being doubled. I like Alex. I didn't like this.

Robbie and Ola
Ola, as ever, looks a-ma-zing and spangle-tatsic. Oddly enough, the first half of this dance seemed to be the same 'latin' dance Robbie has done every time and then he starting bouncing around a bit, which was quite amusing, like had an invisible space-hopper. Not sure about the ripping off of clothes, but I do always like the 'wafting of the skirt' move that seems to be compulsory in the samba.
This samba might have looked like his salsa but this samba was more samba than his salsa was salsa which means his salsa was more samba than his samba was salsa. You got that? Meh.

Chelsee and Pasha
C'mon Chelsee! Wow, that was good. Proper use of the old jigsaw-legs, so much footwork in that number. It was nice to see them being so precise about it all, not a lot of messing around being 'passionate'. I am really liking Pasha as a pro and a choreographer! Also loving Chelsee's cheeky moments...
Other than the fact that she was leaning back away from Pasha as if he smelled of feet (dang, Chels, it's not a ballroom dance) this was really quite stunning. The footwork was delightfully intricate. Are we looking at one of our finalists here?

Jason and Kristina
There will be so much eyes and teeth people will be BLINDED. Kristina has also stolen the comedy headgear moment of the series with the spangly swimming cap, as debuted by Denise Lewis and never seen again. Much more energy and jigging about than Alex and James, but not quite the ZOMG-hyper-active-I'm-going-explode level of excitement I like to see in a Charleston.
Oh the judges like Jason so they forgot to mention that this had no Charleston steps in. They are like sooo professional and consistent. Um. Ok, so the footwork was fancy and there was some double bounce action, but still very little of actual charleston steps. Stoopid.

Harry and Aliona
I think they went for colour blocking with Aliona's dress, but I'm distracted because it reminds me of something I think Lilia wore with Darren Gough many years ago. And also the nicked song choice. But oh my word, there was footwork! It was in hold! There was dancing!
A recent poll in a UK Men's magazine asked which Strictly pro they would most like to see propless. They said Aliona. It is the only explanation. This was in hold, it wasn't flashy - it was, as Arlene might have described, delicious. Len's ten was deserved. Go Harry! Get back on your broom and catch the snitch again next week! Wait, wrong Harry. Go Harry! We hear Pippa's on the market again now if you're still after the sister! Win! Wait, wrong Harry again. Go Harry! Errr, dance, boy, dance! Wooooo.

Oh dear, here we go again...There's always the hope someone will break a nose, but I'd rather have a group Viennese Waltz grand prix pile-up. Holly is in trousers because wardrobe hates her, Chelsee is Minnie Mouse. Anyone else notice Brendan doing 'How dare you throw us off' gestures from the dance-off in Grease? As ever, the whole thing was a bit of a let-down, jigging about with many lifts.

Next week we have the movie themed week, count your blessings, it's the best of the themes!

Theme week. STOP IT ALREADY.

Saturday, 19 November 2011

Think BIG!

Just in case you have had a blow to the head and are also deaf, SCD is coming at us from Wembley. And I do mean coming at us, this whole thing is an assault on all our senses! Robin Windsor in skin-tight zebra skinny jeans gyrating at us at 7pm on a Saturday night seems like a 'start as you mean to go on' tactic. And Alex Jones looks like Bambi about to be run over by a lorry.

OK, has the studio grown or have the dancers shrunk?

Robbie and Ola

Well they said they were going to go big, and I think Ola's hair can be seen from space. But hurrah for the return of the lace catsuit of oblivion. Apparently there was supposed to be a salsa dance going on in there somewhere, but since Robbie isn't very good at latin I guess it's probably a good thing we didn't notice. He was running around like a kid who'd had too much Tizer!

Despite the fact there was, like, no dancing in this, somehow it kind of worked. The size of Wembley means, I guess, that they need big moves (and yes, big hair) to fill it. I think I would have preferred the whole routine if Robbie had had his hair styled the same way as Ola's. I'm not gonna mention it wasn't salsa. It wasn't salsa. Daaang.

Alex and James

Alex looks stunning, major dress envy, I like to think she threw a strop after the frumpy cheerleader outfit last week. Alas, she did seem to have got entangled in some net curtains at the start. Also loving James' purple outfit, it makes him look like the Joker. And I don't care what anyone says, with enough eye makeup anyone can do a tango! Slightly odd song, but a proper good dance.

No, not net curtains. That's clearly giant loo paper. And since when did tango have the whole Austin-Healey-Serving-Hors-D'Oeuvres-Paso moves in it? Other than that, I liked that it actually had some dancing in it. I'm running out of jokes about men in purple suits.

Holly and Artem

Holly's dress might had been an attempt at Amy Winehouse, but it's not very flattering. Too much nude lace, especially since people are at a distance and will think she's naked! Wondering how many drugs Artem is on right now, oh, that's not very appropriate either...Great Charleston opening section and Holly really can work a flouncy skirt. The running steps weren't great, I thought she was going to have to have a lie down halfway through they were galloping so much!

In an attempt to look quirky, Holly looks like an extra from 'Heartbeat.' That is all.

Anita and Robin

Damn that recession, they can't afford buttons for Robin's shirts! This was probably the most surreal dance of the series, and that's saying something, next time I'm at a wedding I'm going to try and samba to Come on Eileen. Might have been the excess space, but Anita seemed a bit lost during it. There were eyes and teeth to the extreme, but the oddness won out for me.

Oh dear god, I hate this song. Who the fleckerl is Eileen anyway and why the hell is she never ready? And what was this dance meant to be? I missed the intro and I just couldn't tell. Oh samba? REALLY? Well, if nothing else, Anita has indeed graduated from the Dallerup-Hardy school of eyes and teeth. But at this point in the series...really???

Harry and Aliona

HEATHENS! This is a song steal of BIBLICAL proportions. And yet amazingly it was...quite good! A lot more content than Robbie's salsa and loads of gusto. Loved the Buck's Fizz/Mummy Returns dress unwinding to reveal a seriously spangle-tastic outfit. If they'd used a different song I'd have loved it. But I'm an awkward SCD fan like that...

There is no such thing as THE salsa. Oh, sorry, have I said that before? And never mind the song's a jive beat. This does not suit salsa at all. Hated it. I had flashes of Jill Halfpenny's kicks and flicks in my head that couldn't be erased. Hated it. Poor Harry.

Russell and Flavia

Flavia looks a-ma-zing! And dancing with sparklers amongst all those man-made fibres and hairspray must have been a health and safety nightmare. The canon bit was hilarious, but it was their most content-lite performance so far. I also think doing a jive when your knee could fall off at any minute must be pretty hard.

Highlight of the night. And Flavia did a nice bit of jive.

Chelsee and Pasha

There's feathers on a bum, I'm happy! The intro to this was amazing and the fact that Chelsee did it entirely on her own without any evidence of nerves was fabulous. Karen Hardy will approve. Not perfect all the way through, but she's great this girl.

Nowhere near perfect but damn, the girl is brave. As far as intros go, that was a good 'un - in front of 6000 people...didn't she do well? (Stole ya line, Brucie). It had a nice party feel. Chelsee's definitely a contender these days.

Jason and Kristina

What is poor Kristina wearing? It looks like Ola had an acid trip in the middle of an aerobics class! Jason looked oddly sedate in comparison. Too bad for the slip-ups, it could have been really good. Also finding it amusing that every dance tonight has had a 'running around for a bit' section.

Oooh bless, I liked this. He picked up after the slip ups remarkably well - and it was so footwork heavy it was hardly surprising that happened. Where can I buy that T-shirt?

So Wembley is over, I'm a bit worn out after all that sensory overload!

Saturday, 5 November 2011

Nobody puts 8 in the corner...

Well here we are, it's as if Halloween was all a bad dream. Tonight we once again dice with SCD drama with Jennifer Grey on the judging panel...

Lulu and Brendan
Lulu is wearing trousers and experience tells us that means wardrobe hates her and wants her to leave. Or maybe it was the only way of stopping her swinging her skirt around again. Loved Lulu's haughty-but-really-concentrating face, she's so expressive that it's sometimes not a good thing! Nice tango actually, fully of content an definitely improved footwork. Unfortunately it was a bit dull!

Audley and Natalie
If Natalie can't make this man do a decent VW no one can, she'll staple his hands to her if she has to. Thought it was a lovely song choice, the band were great, but the fact that the song mentions a bridge and they just had to have a bridge was hilarious! There's a line about rain, were they going to throw a bucket of water at them? Sorry, I sound really down on Audley, I'm sure he's lovely, but I have no idea what people see in his dancing!

Harry and Aliona
Wow, they actually did the dance they were supposed to, and without props! I need a lie down...Plus Aliona's dress was a-ma-zing, my favourite of the night despite the lack of feathers. Although Harry didn't look like he was enjoying himself that much, maybe we shouldn't have constantly reminded him the samba is the dance of doom.

Anita and Robin
Anita strangely reminds me of Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey in that outfit. I don't even watch Downton Abbey so I might be totally wrong. I love have they came out and just started to Charleston, bam! (Gosh, I may have been possessed by Len!) It was so vintage I wanted to watch it in black and white, whilst wearing gloves and a hat. Not her best, but certainly good fun.

Jason and Kristina
It's not to Especially For You, but I need to get over my sulk about that. Can't believe this is Kristina's first rumba, the poor woman has really paid her dues! Really lovely song, the band are on top form tonight. It held my attention, which a rumba rarely does, and I thought the judges were a bit harsh on it. He is a man doing the rumba, if they get through it still standing up they deserve praise!

Alex and James
Alex was pulling some proper Karen Hardy faces during that, nice to know she's still with us in spirit! Falling over at the end made it even more endearing, especially since James had totally run her ragged in that dance. There's a conspicuous lack of props this week, it's quite refreshing.

Robbie and Ola
The dancing was lovely, Robbie's acting was highly amusing. Great to see him working on his dancing, he really hasn't done enough ballroom yet, I hope he gets to do some more next week. Not really much more to say, it was a waltz, what do you want people?

Russell and Flavia
So THAT'S where this week's props budget went! I mentioned Anton getting a mechanical bull for Nancy weeks ago, was Russell reading this?! *waves* How Flavia got through that with a straight face I do not know. Is this up there with the Christopher Parker and John Sargent pasos? What a joy.

Chelsee and Pasha
This is the one we have been waiting for, c'mon Chelsee! It was the perfect dance for her and so much fun, although to me she looked a tad nervous and I've never seen that before from her. But since it made Jennifer put down her 8 panel it totally deserves a cheer!

Holly and Artem
Holly looks really 80s to me and I'm not sure that was the intention. Although I think it was all a conspiracy to let her do a jive in flats, but then again no one has told them suits are cursed on SCD! Really loved the choreography from Artem, something different but still obviously a jive. You could see Holly was behind Artem a bit, but nothing too disastrous. Plus the footage of Bruce dancing with her on Sunday was simultaneously hilarious and terrifying!

As for Sunday, sorry but it's bye bye Lulu, but still not good news for Audley. I guess the Curse of the SCD Trousers caught up with her, despite her dodging the Curse of the Brendan Samba and the Curse of the Suits. We are a superstitious lot all of a sudden.