Sunday, 20 November 2016

Seaside Shenanigans!

In the real world, no one would ever get excited about going to wet and windy Blackpool in November - but this is Strictly World and everyone is buzzing with anticipation. We can even live with bucket-and-spade VTs if it means we get the dazzling Tower Ballroom. Especially when we get epic opening numbers like that one, full of retro ballroom glamour and style.

Claudia and AJ
I think this is the first time Claudia's ever performed in the first half the show, and the poor thing is wearing dodgy sportswear - someone obviously fell out with her this week. This was not a good dance for Claudia, she made a few mistakes and just looked massively self-conscious about the whole thing. I know the judges don't want to start the show on a downer, but this was massively overmarked. On the plus side, the extra dancers were unobtrusive.

Ore and Joanne
These two got some of the few decent outfits of the night, and also a dance that travels which is actually useful at Blackpool. Now, I'm all for jazzing up a VW, but there was just so much in this it was confusing - even giving Neil a chance to actually get out on the floor was a bit too much. The waltzy bits were good, as was the never-ending-fleckrl-of-all-fleckrls, but it didn't really flow the way it should have.

Louise and Kevin
The song and production really carried this, oh yes, and Kevin. Because as ever it was all about Kevin and Louise had to try and keep up (whilst looking like a smiley Cersi Lannister). I can't tell you a lot about what I thought of the dancing because there was too much production and extra dancers getting in the way. Although there were some good flamenco arms going on there in places.

Danny and Oti
Thank goodness for these two! I was a delight amid some seriously messy dances, and their costumes were super-cute too, especially Oti's spangle-tastic dress. There was a lot going on but the production actually enhanced it, mainly because Danny was able to hold his own in the middle of it all. Technique and performance were great, and the lifts were seamless. Like Len said, if something had gone wrong the whole thing would've come crashing down, but it didn't!

Ed and Katya
I cannot believe this did not go last, if only because someone might have fallen over and died. Amazingly the histrionics of Blackpool didn't change anything, I really feel like they could've done this dance on any week of the show. And once again, there was a lot of jive content, Kayta didn't just let him sit there, his jive moves even got better towards the end than they were at the start. The cracks were probably showing this week, but jive is very hard and I think he was better than most people thought.

Greg and Natalie
After last week's drama I was wishing so hard for this to be a good number, and it really was! Oh Natalie Lowe doing a quickstep and Blackpool to Grease, what more do you want? Greg really brought it with this performance, working with the theme but also doing good quickstep technique, he's so much better in hold than he was to start with. I also need a GIF of that running splits towards the camera with Natalie pulling the happiest face ever.

Rinder and Oksana
Having these two in the pimp slot with comedy neon outfits was a bit of a concern, and this was a bit of a hot mess. The assisted somersault at the start went wrong but Rinder styled it out in hilarious fashion. Another highlight was Oksana appearing at the end between the legs of five people. In the middle there was some shaking and stuff, but it was a dip in quality for Rinder that might leave him in a dangerous place.

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