Saturday, 27 October 2012

Halloween III - The Theme That Would Not Die!

Big guns
Just when you thought it was safe to go back to the TV on a Saturday night...the Halloween theme week is here! Here we are with a third Halloween week, we've really not enjoyed the last two (too many props and gimmicks, wasted dances) but I'm going to go into this with an open mind, not sure about Clover. Anyway, the opening pro number to Thriller was pretty spectacular, I'm all for a massive set-piece to start it off!

I sat down to watch. An eerie set, zombiefied characters, creepy music. Just what I was expecting. But no sign of Derren Brown. Whaddya mean Apocalypse was last night? This is Strictly? Are you kidding moi? Little known factoid: Derren Brown was once a cha cha champion. I'm sure I read it on a blurb somewhere. Shame he wasn't there really. He could have hypnotised some sense into the producers. 

Oh, I'm not a fan of theme nights and I never will be. I be knows some of youse like all the bombast, theatrical or otherwise (yes, channeling Gladstone again) , but it's not my thang. Innit. PS. I'm feeling grumpy today. 

Dani and Vincent

Well we're not off to a good start gimmick-wise, not sure what they did to deserve this combination! Vincent has a dead hamster on his head and Dani is forced into the travesty of under-the-knee-socks. But there was a perfectly respectable cha-cha hidden in there under the themeing, hopefully it'll keep the lovely pocket people in for another week.

Vincent looked like David Walliams poking fun at Dennis Waterman on Little Britain. If it weren't for the ridiculous costumes and music I think I would have liked this. They are much cute and she has much dance potential. I'll stop there on a high, should I?

Richard and Erin

Now these are nice Strictly Halloween outfits, Erin in particular looks amazing! Oh my word and they're using the Satan music, for me I need my paso doble to be completely dramatic and I loved this for going all out. Music! Capes! Explosions! Was quite impressed to see Richard doing some cape-work too, he was a bit stiff but I think the people at home will forgive him that. Halloween week might even get him through a week he wouldn't normally...

Paso Dobles, I always feel, should have an edge of darkness about them (note: not The Darkness - that would be weird) and this one, to its credit, did. And nothing can beat Erin's p-p-p-paso face. It was a tad toy soldier rather than matador in parts - you're not in The Nutcracker, dahling. I'd hazard a guess he might be safe this week - and he deserves to be. Though he looked like he had dipped half his face in Nutella. Or a puddle. 

Lisa and Robin

Now this should have been a delight, but it I was left a bit underwhelmed. It seemed too similar to the jive and cha cha and Robin did seem to be going faster than her for the first time. Ugh, grumpy Halloween, can't even think of anything funny, get them through to do some ballroom again...

Classic-case-of-theme-overshadowing-dance. What a waste. Lisa would have done a tremendulant (I have stolen the word from Miranda Hart. I hope she doesn't mind.) charleston, all twenties-faces and ooopsies-what-have-I-done-nowsies. Love RiRo and Lisa is a very talented dancer. Hope she's given something better to work with next week. 

Sid and Ola

Slightly underwhelming outfits here, considering the amount of effort they seemed to go to with everyone else, they looked like a 1970s Olympics team. Props to Ola for just going a normal cha cha though, think they learnt their lesson with the hideous Rock of Ages tango last week. But Sid seems to have lost his mojo, there wasn't even eyes and teeth!

I ain't afraid of no ghost. But I was a little afraid of this. Let's say it's because of all the upheaval this week but this was not good. 

Nicky and Karen

Loving Karen's Jessie J lips, not sure about Nicky's Clockwork Orange eye makeup - this is a family show! Was actually surprised at how good this was, quite sharp and staccato. Amusingly enough, he seems to be at his best when he's playing a psychopath!

This wasn't horrorshow, it was a horror show. Little literary joke, there. Having said that, it wasn't that bad at all compared to his other efforts. I don't think I was distracted by the rims on his glasses but I think Karen might be thinking - and dancing - along the right lines now regarding choreography. We will see fo' sho' next week when there isn't a theme to hide behind (we hope?!) I'd like to see Nicky keep improving. He's in no danger of leaving any time soon. Armies of Westlife fans will see to that. 

Fern and Artem

Are they dressed Game of Thrones style? I've never watched it, but that's what it looks like inside my head. Still no idea how it connects to Killer Queen, but I think the nation appreciates Artem's outfit nonetheless. Which is at least helpful, because the whole dance was D-U-double-L. I feel like she's coasting, could she be in the bottom 2?

Fern is so smiley that she just couldn't pull off a scary, moody face. It was a credible dance but a tad passive in the Holly Valance sense of the word. Perhaps it's Artem's fault. But then dressed like that...who really cares?! I hope they stay in. 

Denise and James

I spent the whole time being distracted by Denise's wonky eye makeup, I hardly noticed how frightful James looked. Liked how he had her on a chair and then quickly whipped her off it before someone could remember Chicago. It was alright, an actual cha cha but a bit wobbly in places. God, this Halloween week isn't so much annoying as dull!

James looked as though he had fallen into a vat of talc. Or he hadn't been using his Head and Shoulders. This wasn't bad but it wasn't Denise's best. 

Michael and Natalie

Well thank god for that! Natalie forced this to be a good dance, she probably got the electrodes out again. And what's more it looked like a lot of hard work had gone into it, which is what we like to see. Certainly not perfect, but I'll take an unexpected success on a night like this.

People. People, people, people. I'm not saying it was bad. Because it wasn't. But can we just clarify one thing? He was still rushing ahead of time in this dance, the only difference is, in hold, Natalie can do something about it. She can squeeze his hands until they're white. She can utter death threats into his ear. (Disclaimer: not saying she did, just that she can.) That's credit to her by the way because she's practically been a miracle worker this week. To get someone to dance like that who'd previously danced a jive like an intoxicated penguin is quite an achievement. Don't get your hopes up though, folks. As Monkseal said to us on Twitter: just wait for rumba week.

Victoria and Brendan

Come on girl, you've got to nail one! She looks amazing as a corpse bride and Brendan just loves dressing up as Edward Cullen. Ok, it wasn't spectacular, but it was a proper tango and she actually looked like she was enjoying herself. This night now seems to be picking up...

There is no one I'd like to have done better this evening than Victoria and she performed admirably. She's not yet wowed us but she's creeping (creeping, Halloween, geddit?) slowly and surely into the upper echelons of the scoring system. Perhaps she's this year's J - j - j - no, I can't say it, I can't say The J Word. Good job Brendan and Victoria worked the Kate Bush chic well. 

Colin and Kristina

Kristina is brilliant, isn't she? Maybe a bit too brilliant, since I always end up watching her rather than her partner. Not sure he really had a lot do do, and Clover will now rant about how this wasn't a salsa...take it away, girl....

This was not salsa. 

Louis and Flavia

Loving how Flavia looks completely normal apart from a bit more eye makeup, while Louis looks spectacular without being too fancy dress. And it was pretty much a normal tango - and done well at that!

I don't think this was worth all the fuss but really by this point I think the judges were getting desperate. He did appear to be doing some leading however and for a non-actor-type, his performances are always very good. He must be favourite to win at the moment, non? And we so would love to see Flavia win the Glitterball. Still waiting for his Wow Dance. The-first-time-you-go-JEEZ-that-person's-amazing. Eg. Alesha's waltz or Rachel Stevens' rumba. 

Kimberley and Pasha

Pasha seems distinctly under-dressed, like he's going to try and sell me some crappy art in Hoxton. Also, this might actually be the maddest costume moment of the night, why would you put Little Red Riding Hood in a blue dress?! And yet again, under all the pointless themeing, there was a decent paso in there. I'm warming to our Nimble Kimble...

It's a paso. Your partner's wearing a cape. Yet there's no cape swooshing, Pasha? How truly disappointing. Again, credible Kimbobs but not 'wow'. Perhaps there's going to be one of those weeks where they all step up a gear, that we all remember, like the-week-of-Matt's-salsa-and-Alesha's-cha-cha? Here's hoping. So much potential this year but there's an air of complacency. Agree with Frankie re. the dress though. Last minute theme change and panic buying of cape on Ebay, perchance?

See you all next week when it's all (hopefully - please pleeeeeeeease) back to normal. Or as normal as #SCD can be. 

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