Sunday, 7 December 2014

Gurn Baby Gurn

I hope you've all gotten over your travel sickness from the shocker that was Around the World Week, may it never darken our doors again. Lets get down to the tension of the quarter finals, hopefully with some proper dancing and battling it out to semis. And we have the waltz-a-thon - a group number based on ballroom, it's a revelation!

Simon and Kristina
These two look absolutely gorgeous, so old Hollywood and divine for an American Smooth. This had so much razzmatazz, Simon's worked so hard on his technique that he's now pulling off the ballroom numbers with aplomb. I think they were both so genuinely excited that the foot bit went wrong at the start of the last lift - other than that he seemed to be pulling off the lifts off with ease. I now want Simon to get to the final to see what Kristina does for their showdance.
I love the word aplomb. Genuinely thought poor Kristina was going to end up in a crumpled heap on the floor, but thankfully they managed to rectify the somewhat dodgy lift situation at the end. This routine may have had more clicks than the Addams Family, but they were seamlessly blended into the choreography and just exhibited Simon's spot on musicality. Love these two. I hope they're final-bound. 

Caroline and Pasha
After the epic horror of the so-called-Argentine-Tango of Jake's last week, this is exactly what we wanted - traditional music, low lighting and a hell of a lot of ooomph. The footwork was intricate and there was all the intensity that can be so hard to get. And like Darcey said, the lifts were great and didn't detract from the whole thing. Also liked the Rocky Horror moment of anticip....ation in the middle!
Great, a back-to-basics Argentine Tango 'show' style dance to a reet proper piece of tango music. Lovely arrangement by the band and this was beautifully danced. The embrace is never quite right for me in this dance, but by the standards of the show, and that neither is a trained AT dancer, this was a great job. Caroline for the final too, puh-lease. 

Pixie and Trent
Wow, Barbie and Ken are back in force! It's also hard to do a cha cha near the end of the series, but when you've got an amazing song like the Love Shack you might as well give it your all. Even if you're given a neon sports headband to wear. This was their 'straightest' routine for a while, I've grown fond of when they're just bonkers. It was fun and technically good, I could have done without Len going on for half an age....
And yes, here were Aerobics Barbie and Ken from circa 1986. This was kitsch, and cute. Yes, Pixie's technique is not perfect but it does seem to me that she was hammered to a different standard. That Len gave it an eight, yet gave Jake's ungainly spectacle a ten, is absurd. This two are an absolute joy to watch. They just exude energy like a shaken up bottle of cherry soda. 

Mark and Karen
The salsa of doom hit them last week, so it's nice that he got a ballroom number to work with, and oh my word Karen's dress is gorgeous. And celeb-girlfriend-prop, even if she is just on the phone - Andy Murray at least turned up eventually! There wasn't a huge amount in hold, but I can see why Karen did it, the foxtrot can be deathly dull and they needed to pull out all the stops this week. Mark's ballroom technique has really come on when you think about where he was at the start - we do love a tryer.
A lovely guy, and probably the most improved of this bunch. He genuinely had come from dodgy nightclub dancing and now look at him. Classy, elegant and charming. I don't see how a routine like this differs from what they call an 'American Smooth' - if routines like this are allowed, then surely the AS is obsolete? And rules apply to Pixie, but not Mark? However, I did like this, and I actually did vote for him. I would love to see him in the final too.

Jake and Janette
Has Jake got stuck in Around the World Week? Crikey there was some hideous gurning going on here, I just wanted to smack him round the face with a wet fish or something. Technically, this was great, there was loads and loads of choreography, energy and swivel, but my god it was annoying.
His technique wasn't bad at all - the little technique that there is in the charleston - but his gurning face made me want to stick red-hot pokers in my head. This did not, I repeat, not deserve a ten. Either: the producers want to keep him in to the final or Len just has a soft spot for him because he's a bit of a blokey LANDANAH. Ah oui, we all have our subconscious biases. He is an absolute good sport, but he is not a good a dancer as you think he is. Or he thinks he is. 

Frankie and Kevin
How many times have these two had the pimp slot this series? And what the hell was the sparkly angle-grinder about, most random proper ever?! I keep laughing at Kevin's lame outfit too, it looks like they got a shirt and trousers from Next and stuck some glitter on them. Yeah, it was a Strictly salsa, not much more to say, lots of steps and well performed and not even a vague attempt at being 'latin'.
This was not salsa. I can't even be bothered to say any more. 


The swing-a-thon has been packed away in a box forever, we can but hope. It's not the Grand Prix style of the crazy group Viennese Waltzes of old, but I'll take it. The dresses are prettier for a start.

As ever, these are designed to make it impossible to blog for, but here's a random stream of conciousness to keep you occupied. Pixie's top line is amazing, Simon and Kristina looked like they were in their own little world, Frankie's ballroom face is scarily blank, Caroline got lumped with the worst dress yet again. The whole thing was too short! Although, shockingly the judging was probably right!
The celeb girls really do have such a strong advantage with this, but Simon held his own - from the little the camera focused on them - and is far and away the best male left in the series. Far and away. Pixie stood out, but then she and Trent kind of draw you, which I guess, is the mark of a true show-person. I more or less agreed with the standings, and I wasn't expecting too, so well, I'm not going to moan about it, and that feels very odd. 

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