Sunday, 15 November 2015

Strictly BB - Before Blackpool

Well this was a random episode, wasn't it? So much crazy going on, thank heavens it's Blackpool fun times next week. Let's get down to it...

Anita and Gleb
Death slot again? Pfft, Anita can't be stopped and slays it again! Princess dress and classy routine, and who cares if the song has been used before, it's such a wonderful choice. No gapping that we could see, don't care what you say Craig, as bouncing along in the elegant way a quickstep should, and great hold.

This was lovely. It wasn't perfect and probably received the correct scores. However, other contestants are being comparatively over-marked *cough Peter* *cough Helen* and their - sometimes quite significant - mistakes are completely overlooked. Eg. Helen's lack of latin leg action and Peter's questionable timing. Anita may lack a tiny bit of performance polish, but her natural musicality and energy probably make her - along with Jay - one of the most naturally talented dancers in the competition. Let's go all Lady Catherine D-B on this: had she learned (as a child), she would be a true proficient. 

Jay and Aliona
A foxtrot, now this was an interesting test for Jay, can he make a foxtrot interesting? Well we had the obligatory wafting your arms around for Aliona, obviously, but then again Jay wafts better than any other male contestant. It was all a bit weird, not to do with Jay's technique, but nothing seemed to fit quite right. And then he wacked her in the face, oops. I'm sure people are voting for them, but after the quickstep mistakes, you do wonder if he's being sabotaged by his nerves.

What a bizarre song to foxtrot to. And please can we stop pretending that there's such a thing as an 'American Smooth' when all the ballroom dances on this show now follow that format? This had such a contemporary feel, they might as well have been auditioning for So You Think You Can Dance. The weirdly poor British version. 

Jamelia and Tristan
This girl has had more ups and downs than Blackpool Pleasure Beach - there is your official Blackpool reference from this blog. I am loving Jamelia's 80s-tastic look, and it started well, but then it didn't really go anywhere. Her technique has definitely improved though, there is no way she could have done that a few weeks ago. Also, they just didn't look like they were dancing together, it was like they were trying to recreate when a dodgy bloke tries to accost you on the dancefloor and you keep dancing away trying not to look directly at them.

This was not good. Yes, Jamelia really can do the 'eyes and teeth' technique, but her actual samba technique? It was mostly just jogging to catch up with Tristan's increasingly questionable choreography. Then again, her improvement from the beginning of the series has been quite remarkable. She could be over-taking some of the others soon. 

Helen and Aljaz
I suddenly realised I was waiting for Helen to do this dance, she's not really suited to party dances and y'know, tango stiffness and overall haughtiness. And then I saw that Ajaz had been flocked like a reupholstered sofa. Also, why was Helen doing Carol Voderman rumba faces? And don't get us started on the song choice...amongst all that apparently there was a tango. I genuinely couldn't concentrate.

I'm going to be kind and say that Helen can do the movements. But movement alone isn't dance. And week on week, it's becoming more and more obvious to me that Helen isn't really dancing. She is incredibly poised and placed, which are great traits if you're a porcelain doll on a creepy grandmother's mantlepiece, and not so great if you're trying to win a televised dance competition. It could be that she's just not all that comfortable. So, actress..? Act.
Also, why was Aljaz dressed as Laurence Llewelyn Bowen?

Katie and Anton
Anton doing a rumba klaxon! Stand in a doorway or hide under the kitchen table as per regulations. This was cheesy as a wheel of brie, but I really quite enjoyed it. It was classy and stylish, and actually looked like a rumba, heavens to Betsy. Katie was totally into it and her technique was good. Well done girl!

Remember when week on week, the judges said to Rachel Stevens 'this should have been your dance' and then she did that rumba with Vincent and everyone was like, woah, we were not expecting her breakthrough to be rumba? Well, I'm pretty sure that everyone expected this to be a car crash. Not because of Katie at all, but well, because Anton and rumba go together like peas and chocolate mousse. But this was quite lovely. It was a rumba with... wait for it... rumba steps in it. It wasn't pose, move, pose, arm, pose. It was basics and fans and alemana turns. Beautifully executed too, yes a little melodramatic, but next to Peter's performances was positively staid. Loved it. 
Kellie and Kevin
I wanted to hate this....I didn't hate it 100%. If only because Kellie had a bit of samba technique going on there under the madness. And teenage me would have gone out wearing that skirt if she could've got her plastic bracelet-ed mitts on it. Kevin on the other hand seems to have gone over the edge, mid-life crisis maybe?

About the equivalent of a geography teacher trying to be cool circa 1996 when all this was so over but he hadn't noticed, or even realised that it was primarily novelty to begin with. It's Richard Madeley as Ali G. It's David Brent. It makes me dislike them despite my suspicion they had nothing to do with the theming or music.

Peter and Janette
Oh look Peter's children are finally with us. I was ready to vom at this VW, but it was actually a vague relief to see someone at least having a go at ballroom, and basically it wasn't Boom Boom Shake the Room and I'm exhausted. Good hold, but agree with Craig about the super-human effort in every step, he's still really blocky. Still slightly disorientated that it wasn't absolutely infuriating, so I guess well done Peter?

Did you ever watch Hebburn? One word: Gervaise. Peter's so corny he makes Mark Wright look like Gordon Brown. 

Georgia and Giovanni
Have really been enjoying these two the past few weeks, they've been working hard and putting together some great routines - and then they came and knocked it out of the park with this amazing Charleston! Great routine, so much choreography with changes of pace and gymnastical wonders of lifts. They were about four bars into this dance when I realised we were on to something special, think we may have witnessed a Strictly classic. 

This was great but all I could think was that if this didn't get 10s after Peter's undeserving foray into the top echelons of paddledom, I was going to throw my shoe at the TV. 

Jeremy and Kaen
Completely random theme! Jeremy bent double! John Cleese leg kicks! Karen just laughing her head off for the whole routine! We may have reached peak Jeremy, but if he doesn't get to Blackpool I will be sad. Also, Karen looks like a super-glamorous miner, and I'm glad they resisted the urge to put Jezza in a boiler suit.

Problem was that this became more about the theme and silliness than the dance. Contrary to popular opinion, I would say that in Jeremy's case this was actually the first week that had happened. Yes, last week's horse etc was on the random side, but I could see actual dancing. This week, not so much. His timing wasn't as on point as usual. His joy was still there though. Just let him learn to dance, please, don't turn him into a John Sargeant. He is so much more than that.

1 comment:

Ross Jones said...

For actually, 100% being the dance it was advertised as, as well as being the surprise of the entire series, my favourite of the night has to be... *gulp*, Katie & Anton's Rumba. O.o

I actually thought a 9 or two wouldn't have gone amiss!