Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Strictly week 5: Anton's matchstick Tower Ballroom

As if they would ever let you forget it, even for a Strictlyeth of a second, this week's show has a Halloween theme. Well, that's the official line. To me, the theme of this week's show is dry ice and epic patronising.

First off are
Russell and Flavia, dancing the samba. Despite no longer being in the competition, Edwina Currie is still supporting her former dance rivals. This week, she has kindly agreed to have her eyebrows harvested and grafted onto Russell's face in exactly their original shape. Unfortunately, Russell's pact with the devil (I'm talking about his costume, OBVIOUSLY) has meant that he's also absorbed Edwina's non-danceability, as he is all mistakes and mouthing the lyrics. Don't panic, though, fans of Russell and Flavia. For Flavia is wearing a BLACK SEQUINED CATSUIT and in that combination of woman and all-in-one, there lies a power that can never be vanquished.

Pacha and Chelsee are doing the tango, which fills you with terror right from the start, although this fear is not Halloween-related, it is purely for Chelsee's boobs. Really, one wonders not how they popped out (if they did, it's not clear), but how they stayed in for so long. Poor Chelsee is mortified, and Bruce is no help, and god, but Alesha is patronising to her. And then Tess attempts to out-patronise Alesha. Forget Jason vs Harry, this is the show's most fierce contest. But Robin! Robin is gallant and lovely and rushs up to Chelsee when she gets to the top of the stairs to wrap a scarf around her and ease her self-consciousness. Would it have killed you to take your jacket off and wrap it around her, Pasha? If it was stitched to your shirt and trousers, then I guess yes, it probably could, or at least have caused some nasty ligament damage. What's that? Oh yes, the dancing. Hmm. Well, you can't really see much of Chelsee's legwork, what with her long dress and the dry ice. Plus, their conviction is hampered by her boob-flash anxiety, but never mind. I still love Pasha and Chelsee.

Stand well back! A large man is jiving! From the way people talk about this phenomenon, it is akin to looking directly at the sun with the naked eye. Correctly, in this case, I'm sad to say. This was never going to be a good dance for Audley and Natalie, and not even the introduction of his adorable daughter in training can rescue him. Bruce takes up the patronising reins and says afterwards 'He had a go.' This, presumably, is what the BBC say about Bruce's attempts at presentation.

Alex and James are dancing the paso to one of the worst records in popular music, but given these inauspicious circumstances, it could actually be worse. They started by chasing each other around a sacrificial table. Really, all teatime BBC family entertainment should involve some chasing around a sacrificial table. Especially the one with Richard Hammond that's a bit like It's A Knock Out. As regards the rest of their routine, I think we all enjoy the bit when Alex 'stabs' James at the end.

Artem and Holly are channelling Black Swan, a film that I have never seen and have little interest in. May I suggest, in the future, that American Smooths could be on the theme of the following films I do like: Ferris Bueller's Day Off; Clueless; Finding Nemo; Alien. Anyway, this is an American Smooth where Artem has decided to go for Aliona-style 'artistry' rather than, say, Erin-style Hollywood glamour, but despite this, it is, at times, quite beautiful. At some other smaller times, I find it a bit over-intense and embarrassing, but this may be because I'm quite immature.

You might think that the combination of Strictly's worst couple and its worst dance should somehow result in something good. Two negatives make a positive, no? But
Anton and Nancy's rumba is no respecter of maths. It's not even a respector of maths. Anton's hair is grey, his skin ashen, his eyes hollow and dark. Someone should really have made him wear some make-up to cover that up. AHAHAHAHAHA. Poor Anton. Relations between him and Nancy seem to be at an all-time low. If only this ordeal could be over for him. (DRAMATIC IRONY! WHICH IS UTTERLY REDUNDANT WHEN WRITING THIS SO LONG AFTER THE RESULTS SHOW!)

Harry and Aliona are doing the tango, although you would barely know it. At times I think it is a paso. I don't mind the stuff with the masks, which Craig would probably call maskography, but I think that's because I was thinking 'Oh they're going to start tangoing soon. Aren't they? Surely now? Any minute?' I'm running out of ways to say that I think Aliona's choreography is doing Harry a massive disservice and I feel cheated that he doesn't get to do more ballroom dancing. So let's talk about something else. Are Harry and Aliona Doing It? As you can imagine, I am praying as I have never prayed before that they aren't. Not least because Harry has a lovely girlfriend. Members of my Strictly council, or do I mean counsel, are convinced they are. URGH. Returning to the dancing, as with James and Alex, the bit when it seems as though Harry's killed Aliona is a particular highlight that I shall cherish. Also, let me say for the first time this series, I believe, that Alesha is a moron.

Ola looks like she's been styled up for a matinee of We Will Rock You. I think Robbie may be building up to an audition for the Chippendales. This can be the only reason for the amount of groin thrusting that occurs in their paso. Other things I don't care for in this routine are Robbie's hands, and the way he bundles up the cape and chucks it aside like he's throwing a towel in the laundry bin. It's ungainly as anything, but Craig's expression when Robbie jumps on the desk and thrusts in his face makes it all worthwhile. It's almost as good as when Denise Welch's husband tried to stage some kind of intervention with judge Jason Gardiner on Dancing On Ice and Gardiner said to him, aghast, 'Urgh! Your BREATH!'

Anita and Robin are dancing the tango to Devil Woman by Cliff Richard, a soundtrack that carries about as much menace as a trifle. Still it's all perfectly competent, and Anita is quite good, and the judges say fair and constructive things. At this stage, let's spare a thought for poor Robin, valiantly packing his routines with dance content every week, being utterly overshadowed by thrusting and writhing.

Lulu and Brendan are doing the paso. It's OK. Lulu gets to fly. I quite fancy Brendan in eyeliner. Shall we move on?

Last up is
Jason and Kristina's quickstep. THANK GOD. This is a brilliant routine, with humour and character, but lots of ACTUAL PROPER DANCING IN THE STYLE OF BALLROOM DANCING, although I suspect Kristina manipulated the whole scenario just so she could show off how cute she looks doing a Bewitched nose-wiggle (it is an unfortunately legacy of my time working for pop magazines in the late-90s that my instinct is to write that as B*witched). I'm so in love with Kristina this series, and how giddy she is at having a good partner to work with. However, I'm scared that next week, when the most earnest man in the world takes on the most earnest dance – the rumba – the amount of intensity involved may be sufficient to produce some kind of tectonic plate shift.

Still let's worry about that next week. This week, let's be grateful that Anton's ordeal is now over and he can go back to his comfortable old life of teaching the waltz to sane people and making his model of the Tower Ballroom out of matchsticks and practising his magic act. Doesn't Anton look like he should have a magic act?
I think he does.


Alesha Really Is A Moron said...

I don't think they're "at it." The way I see it Aliona's awful over-sexualising of everything would make it seem like she was "doing it" with anyone or anything she happened to be standing next to at the time.

London City Mum said...

I am just grateful that someone else also thinks Alesha is a moron.
Can one of the couples not devise a dance whereby the finish is akin to Robbie's jump-on-the-judges-desk but instead of a groin thrust, kicks her in the head?
All I can think is that she must have done a hell of a lot of 'shagging up the corporate chain' to get on the panel, because she can't half waffle total rubbish. And let's not talk about her (lack of) consistent marking ability!

Rant over.


Alison Cross said...

I don't think they're at it. I thought he was gay, actually. Not that this is a bad thing. In fact it's a positive ASSET when on Strictly and a bit of pash with your partner is de rigour.

I'm loving Kristina too. Thank GOD she's still with the big boxer because I had her pegged as a bit of a serial partner devourer (which turned out to be Flavia) and am ever so glad that she can dance properly.

My son calls her the teddy bear. Nothing to do with her cuddly curves, but because of the way she was dragged across the floor by John Sargent last year.

I thought Audley would go out - he just can't get better. Mind you, neither was that an option for Nancy either. I thought Aleisha was VILE to Nancy. Is there another sub-plot going on there that we know nothing about.

Ali x

EJ said...

I am here to leave my regular declaration of love for your Strictly blogging. Here goes: I love your Strictly blogging.

I also wondered whether you puzzled over Alex's boobs the same way that I do. In Latin dances they are HUGE, but seem to have some magic shrinking ability for when she's working on the One Show.

Nicky said...

I think Chelsee felt the purple bow pop off and thought it was the strap breaking. Bless her, she was mortified that she might have shown her boob on National TV, which given the propensity of most "stars" of her age to flash it all about, was refreshingly endearing. I hated hated hated Harry and Aliona's dance. So little tango, such a shame.

Anonymous said...

Please, no more themed shows.

Sarah said...

I am also fascinated by Alex's boobs, which is not something I'd normally admit to, so thanks EJ :) I couldn't get my head around the way they had gravitated to the middle of her chest on the first show & haven't been able to fully concentrate on her dancing since!

And because EJ is my influence of the week, I'm going to declare my love for your Strictly blogging too.

I may as well go public with my utter adoration for Robin at the time. Built like a bouncer and seems to have a heart of gold. What a man! Sigh!

Jenny said...

I so agree about Alesha. The consensus in our house is that it only counts as a 10 if given by Len or Craig.

Also about Anton. I actually cheered when they got sent out - I so wanted him to be put out of his misery! Bless him, he worked very hard not to look relieved when they announced it!

Also, Brendan in eyeliner... I must, completely disturbed, agree...

Miss Jones said...

EJ and Sarah, thank you very much.

Re: Alex's boobs. I never thought anything about them until I saw her rumba (if memory serves me correctly) outfit and my first reaction was 'Where have THEY been?'

Re: Alesha. She doesn't seem to have grasped that handing out 10s to Aliona, even if it is for Harry's dancing and not her choreography, is only likely to encourage Aliona in thinking that she is a creative genius, simply misunderstood by the stuffy old-school likes of Len.

Miss F said...

Did anyone else know that Dave Arch plays a piano solo in The King's Speech? There is surely no end to his talents.

I discovered it on Sunday while reading all the credits at the end of the film (it was a long flight and I couldn't sleep). I assume it was off-screen for I certainly didn't notice him and I feel sure if he'd been in it he would have only appeared accompanied by that man who always stands behind him on Strictly wearing the funny hat; I definitely wouldn't have missed hat man if he'd popped up anywhere near Colin Firth.

Perhaps this is one of those things that I'm the last to know about, nevertheless I genuinely thought it was quite interesting. Good old Dave.

Anonymous said...

Quite fancied Brendan in eyeliner too!

InvisibleWoman said...

Goes without saying I love your Strictly blog too. I loved the Black Swan dance - unlike the movie which I thought was horrible horrible horrible. Backing Anita til she goes out and then Holly because of Robin, Lulu out next week please. Then Robbie. Have you noticed one of the xfactor judges speaks just like Alesha?

Alison said...

I fancied all the men in eyeliner :/

I noticed the wonderful Dave Arch grooving away while he was playing the guitar to AC/DC. I think I might have a bit of a crush on him as a result :/ :/

Also agree about Alesha's 10s being worthless - they are on par to Louis Walsh saying "You made that song your own" or "You owned the stage". She also has a very small head. Check next time the judges give their marks. Or maybe the other judges have massive heads?

Lou said...

Can we please stop calling it the black swan dance? It was swan lake, the ballet which they are producing in the film the black swan (in a play within a play type way). The plot of the film is not that of them balle, they are completely seperate. The ballet is completely lovely, the film, good but disturbing.