Sunday, 19 October 2014

Anton du Beke: Bad(ish) Boy of the Ballroom

....and we're back! Donny is gone and there's no themes, maybe we can just have a nice spangly week on Strictly? Even Tess and Claudia have brought out some nice dresses and Darcey is dressed like some sort of fabulous ghost of Miss Havisham.

Frankie and Kevin
It's a Call Me Maybe cha cha - my dreams her finally been realised! After all the dross we've suffered in song choices and then the perfect cha cha song choice comes along, and Frankie has the fringe-tastic dress to end all dresses - I hope she realises how lucky she is! It wasn't the pinnacle of cha cha-ing on Strictly, but it was fun and cute. The judges suddenly got a bit technical too - maybe they realised how embarrassing Donny was last week.

Mark and Karen
Pardon my French, but this had a serious case of the trots. He was trotting around that dancefloor like an over-excited little shetland pony. It was a tough, jam-packed routine from Karen that I think he was struggling to keep up a little bit. The Charleston section was promising though and that boy can eyes and teeth with the best of them too! He should stay in for a bit, he's working hard and his technique is starting to improve. Karen just rocked that amazing dress, by the way, on anyone else it would have looked like loo roll cover.

Judy and Anton
Illegal lift! Judy sliding on her bum and nearly mooning the camera! Anton just trolling us like he did with Widdy! This was completely bonkers but also her best dance so far, gotta love that natural stiffness being put to use. Despite all the weirdness, I feel like she deserves to stay in this week, some of the footwork was pretty decent. I also feel sorry for her because they didn't bother to make her a new dress and just stuck a frill on her launch show one.

Simon and Kristina
Well that was....interesting. It was cute, it was a Charleston, it was full of moves and swivel. IT HAD A PROPER GURNING FACE. But it was also themed to Pearly Kings and Queens -  why?! Kristina is wearing a random 99p wig, why? Fair play to them though, despite all the randomness they pulled off something pretty good - probably the best since his jive. This bodes well for a good cha cha.

Alison and Aljaz
That was a bit of anticlimax, wasn't it? A bit like last week's jive, there just wasn't enough going on - which is odd when you think how much oomph there was in her cha cha moves. There were also some really quite bad samba rolls. Amazing lampshade dress though and somehow I am also loving Aljaz's mustard ruffled shirt.

Scott and Joanne
Will Scott and Joanne be able to do a routine that isn't a comedy cringe-fest? Well they had a go at it at least! I would rather watch that than the stupid lobster routine. Although the problem might have been that his contribution the routine seemed to be entirely walk-then-grab. We did also have the delight of Total Eclipse of the Heart, which I love and Clover hates, so that kept us entertained!

Steve and Ola
Wasn't sure about the cocktail opening, it's a good idea to keep us away from the idea of dodgy suburban wine bars with the salsa. This was alright, but interchangeable with a lot of male salsas on the show - a bit awkward and not enough fluidity in the hips etc. Not his best by far, but he's so chipper and likeable I'm sure he'll get through another week.

Pixie and Trent
It's Jamie and Cersi Lannister all over again, cover your eyes children. A bit balletic, but not enough hips. What is it about ringers and not being able to do the rumba? Then again the judges followed the pattern of pick-a-dance-apart-then-give-it-8s, which takes us all the way back to the grand old tradition of Emma Bunton. Also, at the end I thought she was injured, but no, she was just milking it.

Tim and Natalie
Natalie looking absolutely gorgeous, steeling herself for the campest paso ever. And THEN unleashing some seriously fierce paso faces, I admit I was hardly looking at Tim. It was the John Sargent school of walking with a funny hat as far as I can tell. He's such a good egg though and really trying for Natalie, keep at it you two!

Sunetra and Brendan
Not her best, after the marvellous American Smooth last week, but there's something totally infectious about Sunetra when she's dancing, she's just so happy and in the zone! I can't really comment on the salsa-ness of it (maybe I was distracted by Brendan's trousers) I just hope they don't end up in middle-table danger.

Thom and Iveta
This was weird, there were so many things that were just a little off. The song, It also doesn't help that the foxtrot really isn't the most exciting of dances. I was expecting Thom to whip out some sort of Dick Van Dyke accent afterwards since he's going all method acting these days. Definite improvement to his ballroom technique, but nothing much to write home about. 

Jake and Janette
What will the most left-field of couples be bringing out this week? A totally bonkers jive, that's what! There was so much energy I thought Jake was going to swing Janette around by her ponytail at one point. It was kind of bitty, going from section to section, but I don't feel like I can complain about there being too much choreography these days.

Caroline and Pasha
The costume people really don't like Caroline, do they? Gorgeous pouffy skirt, horrible top. I am however totally enamoured of Pasha's Palma Violet pants. I do love this song, but I'm also ambivalent to it being a quickstep. But these two were very fleet of foot and super-cute - and Pasha manipulating the British public by playing with that teddy bear, that's Erin levels of evil genius!

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