Sunday, 13 December 2015

Semi-interesting, semi-spectacular, semi-final

The semi-final is upon us already! This year seems to have flown by, like Craig Revel Horwood ostentatiously pirouetting past the camera every week. There's hardly anyone to come down the stairs for us to go 'oooh' at, and everyone's a wee bit knackered. Remember the snore-fest of last year's semi-final? Hopefully we're up for a bit more drama this year...

Katie and Anton
Anton gives good Charleston. You wouldn't think it at first, but the man has been quickstepping half his life. And I mean old school Charleston, not hyperactive gurning. Unfortunately, Katie was not giving us good Charleston, she looked like a gangly drunken spider. Although a drunken spider having a good time, I'll give her that, but it was rather out of sync. Also, are their outfits intentionally supposed to clash?

They really did get out of sync but given the over-inflated scoring (for some contestants) this series, even I think Craig's four was nothing short of ridiculous. Unfortunately, that set me on the back foot for the rest of the show. I beg to differ that she had no swivel. One side was fine. The other was a little awkwardly jerky, but hey, everyone has a good side. 

Jay and Aliona
Starting with a fleckrl, how nice. Of course this is Aliona, so there was wafting, but I do actually like to see Jay wafting. And spinning, gosh, how that boy spins. Although now we're all on boob watch: Jay seems to put his head on Aliona's boobs in every dance, I dread to think how that's going to turn out in the Charleston. Lovely waltz moves in there too, the song was appropriate. It didn't set the world on fire, but it was rather nice.

Jay gives good waft. It was lovely but strangely static in parts. I expect a VW to swing around the room with sway and momentum, and I can't say this did. When he's out on his own, he's exquisite, but in hold (and I know that is hard for a bloke) he's not as good as he could be. Jay has really allowed Aliona to flex her choreography muscles this series though. I haven't been a fan before but I have to admit, she has come up trumps this year. 

Georgia and Giovanni
I wish I looked like that when I had a stinking cold...I assume this routine was brought to us by the incredible healing powers of Lucozade. Problem with doing a late cha cha is that expectations are way too high, like Alesha high. There was plenty of choreography in there, but it did feel a bit like they were going through the motions.

I know cha cha action is difficult, especially at the end of the series when we care about it more, but Georgia's technique was as iffy as 6 week old cheese sandwich that's accidentally been left in a teenager's locker. That's fine, she was poorly. But, the judges should have marked accordingly. Yet another example of the extraordinarily inconsistent comments and marking this year. Yes, Georgia is talented and probably should make the final. But if she has a bad week, maybe not. That's the game. But no one's really playing ball this year, are they?

Anita and Gleb
Antia looks amazing, even with the random arm streamers. It's a toughie to do a foxtrot at this stage, but getting a showstopping number like New York New York is always a help - remember when Natalie pulled off an actual miracle to it with Michael Vaughan? And as foxtrots go, this was one of the more memorable. Don't care what Len says, compared with many other routines this was jam-packed with work in hold and proper foxtrot.

Gleb's coming in for a lot of criticism from Anita fans. But tell me this, how is he supposed to keep to the rules when the rules change on a weekly basis? Len, I just wanted to scream STFU at you. Not because you were wrong - you weren't - you were spot on right, but this had more foxtrot content than Kellie had Viennese Waltz last week, yet there were no comments there. And why was it OK for Georgia's routine to be packed full of disco, then this get penalised for being out of hold too much?

Kellie and Kevin
Never sure about a rumba where you can see someone's pants. Other than that, quite a nice dress and colour on Kellie amid the shockers she's had this series. I thought this was going to be really cringey, but it was actually quite sweet. And it looked like an actual rumba, with lots of flowing steps. She did have that proper wobble that made me gasp though, thought she was going to face-plant down in the middle of the floor. All in all a pretty good turn is a rather patchy first half to the show.

For a rumba, it was very good. Didn't blow my socks off, but my feet were pretty cold anyway so that would have been tricky. I liked that it genuinely had rumba steps in it, and despite starting the show as my least favourite pairing, by this point, this was my favourite dance. 

Right, let's go round again!

Katie and Anton
Oh what a delightful dress, it was even good for sweeping away the overload of dry ice, the audience probably needed gas masks. As Len said, it was a nice classy routine, but it just wasn't neat enough to be beautiful. Maybe if it was a different week and they'd had time just to focus on the one dance, they could have nailed it.

This should have been perfect. If you're going to ace a dance with Anton, it should be the waltz and I thought she had kind of lucked out getting it so late in the competition. Nevertheless, there were issues. Gapping, being one. There should be no gapping at this stage. Having said that, I would love to see both of them in the final. Katie is not a trained dancer, and to me that is what Strictly should be about.

Jay and Aliona
We've been building to the Jay Charleston Redemption for weeks now, and we got it! The theme was actually pretty cute, although not sure what Aliona's wig was about. And Len was right, it had a sort of casual charm in it that was great to see. And oof that footwork, Jay's knees obviously have an extra hinge in them. Too bad about the clumsy lift near the end, I think they could have taken at least one lift out at the moment. At the moment, this is the standout dance of the night by a long way.

Now Jay is a trained dancer. I'm not going to make a deal of it, but he is. But sometimes a trained dancer is so unbelievably good, it ceases to matter. I adored this charleston. I loved the modern, cool feel to it and Jay's legs are extraordinary. Hurrahs. 

Georgia and Giovanni
I kind of wished they'd actually dressed Georgia as one of the Corrs, but then they might have made Giovanni be Jim. It was lovely and cute, and they do lovely and cute so well. A nice routine, and her top line has definitely improved. Not much else to say really, the question is whether it will save her from the bottom 2.

A beautiful song to use and quite shocking it hadn't been used before. This was quite adorable. As Len had been getting picky over people's footwork this week, I'd expecting a comment about that good or bad. I couldn't tell from the camera angles but I know I saw a standing spin instead of a flerkerl. If it had been good, would Len have not commented on it? Maybe. Seems like it matters for some contestants but not others. 

Anita and Gleb
What were those outfits about? A tribute to Gwen Stefani's Hollaback Girl? Also, I was expecting there to be a latin version of this rather odd song, but no...So we just had to go with it, as did Anita, throwing herself quite literally into one of  the most surreal SCD moments ever. She was very good with what she was given, she always is, but it was odd odd odd.

Anita is one of my  favourite contestants this series and completely sums up to me what Strictly should be about. I rarely care for the celebs who have come in week one and danced almost perfectly, than hardly improve. I like to see those who haven't had previous dance experience learn. It's why I loved Goughie, and Ramps. Having said that, I despised this dance. It was the furthest thing from salsa I think we have ever seen on the show, and that is saying something. The music was the wrong rhythm and impossible to dance to. How DARE the judges ask for fluidity when they had been expected to dance to an extremely 'unfluid' song? Now someone on Twitter claimed that they had been given a charleston choreographer? If that's true, added to the fact the music was ridiculous, it is totally unreasonable to have a go at Anita (or Gleb) saying there was no salsa in it. This to me summed up everything that is wrong with the show. It failed Anita. And it failed dance. 

Kellie and Kevin
See what happens when you're given an appropriate song choice and theme? Well, the theme was basically just doing the actual dance. This was blummin good, the jumping lifts near the start were an actual delight. And I as watching Kellie throughout, not Kevin, which is always a good sign. I been pretty meh about Kellie most of this series, but tonight she totally raised her game and deserved to go through, even if it means a Kevin Clifton showdance. 

Lovely. But I think most of our couples could have done a great job with this number. I don't want to take away from Kellie though who thoroughly deserves to go through to the final. She was the only contestant who seemed to be fighting for it and that's admirable. As I said earlier, she's been my least favourite for a while but if she gets through, and ups her game next week, with the same pluck, vim and vigour, I can see the public getting right behind her. 


Anonymous said...

Alisha's Cha-Cha was crap.

You're spot on about Anita's Salsa though.

Clover said...

Alesha has similar issues as Georgia. Bent legs if I remember correctly.