Saturday, 5 November 2016

Shut up and dance

Come out from behind the sofa, the Halloween scariness is over for another year, and we should be getting down to some vaguely recognisable dancing this week. Look, Tess is even wearing a random brightly-coloured jumpsuit to make us all feel at home once again.

Danny and Oti
Despite it apparently being the worst disaster since the Titanic, I quite liked the foxtrot of doom last week, but what do I know? Not sure why Oti was wearing a Christmas Jive Pixie outfit when she was supposed to be running a pool hall, but she could wear a sparkly bin bag and she'd be fine. All the elements were there, with content and footwork and all that jazz, but nothing about it wowed me, largely because we hold Danny to a very high standard, so I was pretty surprised when the 10s came out.
 I forgot that Danny even got 10s, which shows just how little it wowed me. Of course it wasn't bad but my expectations for this series' Mr Perfect are quite high given he came out in the first show as though he were in a professional production. It didn't have the coolness of Jay's, the sharpness of Jill's or the pizzazz of Ore's so it's not in the realm of Jive Greats for me. But not a bad one to open the show.

Daisy and Aljaz
Poor Daisy getting the death slot again after being in the bottom 2 twice, it doesn't bode well. Although she got to use 'her song' so that's nice, even if she did have to waltz through boxes of turnips (now there's a sentence I never thought I'd type). As ever, these two are a delight, and some how manage to be cute rather than cloying. There's not much you can do with a VW but it was well executed and performed.
I liked this. It was neat and pretty and I loved the little hoppy steps on the musical accents (cute choreo Aljaz...) I also loved Daisy's dress. I find her so inherently likeable so I'm not sure what isn't resonating with the public. Perhaps she's just - much like this dance - too nice. 

Ore and Joanne
Joanne as a tribute to Jem and the Holograms and Ore in the tightest whitest trousers EVER was a...strong look for this dance. A bit like Danny's jive, there were lots of the right bits there but it didn't add up to much. I could have done with a lot more in hold too.
The song did not lend itself to salsa. It would have been fine had it been a cha cha. But alas, it wasn't. It's sad because Ore had all the moves and this potentially could have been great. But alas, it wasn't. I think he could be in danger. But alas, I just like typing alas.

Ed and Katya
After finding his mojo again and then some last week, we were looking forward to Ed once again this week. Plus his return to ballroom too, after the Amarillo Disaster, it was nice to see him back in hold. And do you know what, this was a pretty good quickstep! He was very nimble and light of foot, and managed to nail a routine full of choreography and added twiddly bits. All that and Katya actually looked pretty good in a shiny nylon wig - who would've thunk?
That awkward moment when your joke contestant can actually dance. I like to think that the BBC expected a full on Widdecombe with this one, but he's definitely in a whole different league. No he's not perfect. His basic steps were a tad awkward but his hops, skips and Charlestons were as light and fluffy as a strawberry mousse (mmm mousse *stomach rumbles*) 

Laura and Giovanni
Not nearly enough feathers for a samba, I mean when else do you get the chance to dress up as a neon pink peacock? Other than that, I really enjoyed this, there were a lot of samba steps and the running promenades were great. Slightly odd that Giovanni flew off like a whirling dervish at the end for no apparent reason, I would have much rather seen him take Laura with him on the world's fastest samba rolls.
Giovanni, Giovanni, Giovanni. Never leave your celebrity to wiggle whilst you show off. Especially when you have one who can dance and whose samba action was pretty nifty. Shame. On. You.  

Rinder and Oksana
They are dressed as layers of fabulous upon fabulous, what more would you want to set you up for a quickstep? All the bits came together in one brilliant package here, the choreography, the technique, the song, the look - it was a joy to watch. Also sick of criticising for Rinder for being happy, that is just his face! Totally criminal that it scored lower than Daisy and Laura, criminal I tell you, Rinder should bring legal action.
Here is someone who is living the Strictly experience (as Frankie would say, he is embracing the sparkle...) He exudes joy and isn't what that is about. He's also technically very good (on a different level to Ed), has great musicality, good style and knows how to perform. 

Louise and Kevin
After Harley Quinn in a baggy jumper, we now have an Argentine Tango in a Dorothy Perkins Christmas party frock. Saying that, this was a lot better than I was expecting, the song lent it a lot of drama and they managed to dial down the vacant grins. Lots of AT content, jigsaw-legs, all in there alongside the fan-favourite wobbly lamp post. There's also the unquantifiable 'grrrrrr' factor in the AT, that I never thought Louise would be able to bring, but she managed it.
I was expecting to be all the meh with this, but no, it's the first dance from Louise I have actually liked. It was atmospheric and dramatic (the music certainly helped), but her ochos could have been neater and kicks sharper. 

Greg and Natalie
Ooooh I'm all of a flutter! Last week he learned how to do performance, and this week he got to bring it to a proper ballroom number. He also held on towards the end when he was looking a wee bit dizzy, I myself would've fallen over and vommed. But no, Natalie would never let that happen, and despite what is obviously some uber-intense training she's putting him through, they are still a lovely team. Bum update: much improved.
I said 'Ooh his bum is tucked in'. Frankie said 'Are you just watching his bum?' In my defence, I was admiring his much-improved post...ure. Natalie choreographed a routine that screamed manically YOU WANT A CLASSIC DANCE? DO YOU? DOOO YOOOU? It was lovely. And Greg does dance tortured angst well. 

Claudia and AJ
I spent all week thinking this would be the worst song choice ever, but it was actually quite good - the band's choice was rockier than I was expecting. Marvellous shaping from Claudia, especially with the flamenco arms. I have love-hate moments with these two, but this was probably my favourite dance from them - it just really suited her, probably more so than super-smiley AJ. Also, who else things that AJ's pink spangly bolero jacket was originally meant for Rinder?
I watched this with my fingers in my ears and decided in terms of shaping and style it is one of the best pasos I have actually seen on the show. It hurts me that it wasn't done to a traditional piece of music and I genuinely think she would have received different comments from the judges had that been the case. Still my favourite dance of hers but the music? No, there are no words.

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