Saturday, 30 September 2017

Gorka, what a corker!

Wow, that was a lengthy show. These early ones take it out of me. I'm getting so old. Honestly, it was so long I managed to get through a total of 432 Tunnocks Caramel Wafters and a vegetarian roast dinner whilst watching that. Such a joy to see all the celebs still all caught up with the Strictly bug. It's all very real once one goes home...

Chizzy and Pasha  
She's so Chizzy (and pretty good at spinning...) That was kind of the problem though - it was sassy and brash and it just didn't gel. She brought the performance factor but the technique was a tad lacklustre. And it's all well and good to dress Pasha as Professor Plum but did you know he did it? In the library with a candlestick. Maybe. 

Aston and Janette  
Now I'm not going with the Despacito hating. It's as latin as it gets on Strictly and I welcome that. I had such. high. hopes. for this. Yes, despite the most-totes unnecessary theme-age. But mostly I was just freaked out by Janette's dress. A plastic doll wouldn't have been seen dead in it circa 1986. The dance though. Not going to lie. I actually really liked it. Anyone who has been following this blog for a while will know that is a rare compliment from me regarding salsa... maybe my standards are lowering, or maybe that side by side footwork was just plain cool. 

Susan and Kevin  
If I knew Susan, I'd be telling her YAY. This was a decent job. Not only did she look rather fabulous, it was jolly and relatively entertaining. However, the dance itself was a tad heavy and lacking of swivel. She also seemed slightly out of time in parts (Has Suze been on the booze? - I totally would have done an accompanying meme to this but hey, I just didn't.) I love these two, and that's coming from someone who's struggled with Kevin for the past few seasons.

Charlotte and Brendan  
Ah Charlotte is quite clearly a ballroom girl then. There was no fluidity between movements here, and to me it seemed as though she were casually sauntering through her routine, as though out in the park on a Sunday afternoon, rather than dancing it to millions on viewers on live TV. And where she wasn't sauntering, she was being dragged about like an awkward toddler at the Pick and Mix at Wilko. I think the routine was too difficult for her. Badly done, Brendan, badly done. 

How fabulous was Charlotte's costume though? And how bleedingly gorgeous did she look in it?

Joe and Katya  
YAAAAAAS Katya bringing out the Lilia Broomstick Method. That is so Strictly Old School and I LOVE it. I do so wish they didn't waste the first half of the routine with Joe just casually popping on his waistcoat. He could have got dressed before the show aired, surely. Tango posture was not there in the actual performance though and it was a terrible, terrible song choice. 

Brian and Amy  
So this is what the Grinch would look like if you dipped him in glitter and forced him to audition for Saturday Night Fever. The timing was abysmal, the technique was non-existant and the scores were... weirdly high. It was entertaining of course (that old chestnut) but Brian, oh poor Brian, it was about as close to a cha cha cha as a tin of baked beans. 

Gemma and Aljaz  
Being in the arms of a professional dancer can mask a lot, but unfortunately not stumbly feet. Gemma had beautifully expressive arms though, it was a huge improvement and she looked stunning in midnight blue. Gemma has everything going for her to become one of this series biggest j-j-j-journeys. And Aljaz mimicking a northern accent is the highlight of my life so far. 

Rev Richard and Diane  
Well, the Rev actually has timing. I'm not convinced he was supposed to break out into the funky chicken mid way through the routine, but hey. The race to the bottom is between Brian and the Rev. And the Rev is just adorbs. No contest.

Ruth and Anton  
I love a bit of gold fringing. Ruth was actually quite nifty with a swivvelly basic. She could have committed to the moves more but it was a fast piece of music (obvs) and WHAT. AN. IMPROVEMENT. I love an Anton Charleston though, I suspect he was born dancing it.

Simon and Karen
Ah, I saw heel leads, and Simon managing incredibly well to waltz to a difficult piece of music. It must have been really tricky to pick out the rhythm in that arrangement so kudos for keeping it going. But the end? I thought it was trying to fling Karen across the studio as though he were an Olympic hammer thrower. Ouch.

Mollie and AJ
It was an improvement but I get a sense that Mollie isn't quite as good as she thinks she should be. Perhaps I was expecting Mollie to be better than this too. Perhaps I was expecting her to be a ringer. That she isn't. But that gives her the advantage of improvement. Like Gemma, there's potential for a real journey here. Not sure why someone had drawn a line of red glitter glue across her head as though she is a pre-school craft project.

Johnny and Oti  
I was sure hoping Johnny would be good. Boom boom. He didn't disappoint. That was so quick, and boy, Oti didn't hold back with the choreography did she? The kicks and flicks were quite something to behold, although there were slight timing issues elsewhere. I couldn't quite tell if that's because he was struggling with the rhythm or it was just far too fast. Time will tell. 

Debbie and Giovanni
Is Debbie always a woman? Or is she sometimes a small white bunny who lives inside a top hat? Conspiracy? Maybe. This was exquisite as expected, the dirteh ringeh. Debbie actually made Giovanni look like the celeb in this partnership, and she can extend her leg as far as Japan, but you know what? I don't care. She looks as though she is having the time of her life. Let's let her. 

Davood and Nadiya  
This never happens in my library. I'm totally going to quickstep at work on Monday. (PS. Also, can we stop with this outdated nonsense that libraries are always quiet? This is not the 1950s, BBC.) Can I just say that I love, love, love this music choice. But wasted with flashy, trashy moves. It's the curse of having a new pro isn't it? Sometimes takes a while to get the gist. And of course, the goal posts are always changing. This wasn't a bad job at all though. And Davood is quite the darling. 

Alexandra and Gorka
Wow, this had attack! Could have done with a wee little more polish and softness in places, but there's no doubt this girl can dance. This was one of those cases where the music and the dance and the partnership all came together, and for that to happen so early on in the series is very rare. Think Louisa Lytton and her jive. Fierce. One I'll be watching back on Youtube later. The only dance from last year that got that honour from me was Danny's samba. Yes, Alexandra, you're that good.