Sunday, 25 October 2015

It's week five on Strictly. Not so much the Dirty Dozen as the Dirty Dancing Dozen. One more celebrity will stash their sequins and soft shoe shuffle out of the competition. So what happened on Saturday night?
Gorgeous but a bit gormless Georgia May Foote got the party started with partner 'Joe Varney' and a sexy little disco salsa to (You Make Me Feel) Mighty Real by Sylvester. There was no pussy-footing around with this number. It had loads of hip action and rotation, but she lost it a little towards the end again. Very high energy with lots of content it was slick, quick and full of tricks - and even a Dirty Dancing lift. Bizarrely, Georgia had said in VT that the aerobatics made her feel like a sausage - and this number had plenty of bang(er). She has to watch the links to her lifts, which she telegraphs (saus)ages in advance. But let's be frank(furter), this wasn't her wurst dance by any means. The judges scored it 31 out of 40.

Clueless Carol Kirkwood was up next with a wet and woeful Viennese waltz to Breaking Hearts. The only broken heart must be Pasha's, saddled with such drip of a partner. The Viennese waltz is supposed to be elegant and graceful - this was stiff and stilted. Carol always looks like she's just going through the motions. She dutifully does the steps she's given, but there's no peformance. She looks dead behind the eyes and sometimes it looks like Pasha is shoving a shop window Mannequin round the dance floor (but there's no danger of her ever turning into Kim Cattrall, I'm afraid). This dance was.....beige. The VT showed that Carol and Pasha had gone to a theme park get used to the spins. Sorry to say this dance was no storm in the teacups and you're not likely to be around for Christmas, Carol. Just 21 out of 40.

The tempo changed with a terrific tango from Anita Rani, dancing to Sweet Disposition by The Temper Trap. Anita was anything but sweet in this fiery, fantastic dance. Gleb (sadly covered up this week) had devised some outstanding choreography and Anita definitely did it justice. Strong, powerful moves, great frame, piles of passion and loads of sweep and grace. Anita acted out her character with a dark menace - something Carol should take a look at - and the dance had plenty of traditional tango content, heel leads, head turns and staccato kicks. The judges likened Anita to a Klingon Queen. I'd certainly Klingon to Gleb - he can say nltebHa' maml' DaneH'a' to me anytime (apparently this means 'Would you like to dance with me?' in Klingon. I googled it, by the way - I'm not that geeky). The United Federation of judges awarded her 32 out of 40.

Up next was upright Andrex puppy Peter Andre and partner Janette ManraraRasputin, dancing a rumba to Thinking Out Loud by Ed Sheeran. You know I find it hard to love a rumba - but this one was nice enough. It had all the ususal rumba content - all walk, wiggle, wave, wepeat....this time  wi' Pete. He got a bit too stompy again - sometimes he looks like he's trying to kill spiders, or he's the back end of a pantomime horse - and he lost the dynamics at times. The routine was loosely based on a photographic studio theme and it's fair to say Peter gave it a good shot, he had decent frame but it wasn't picture perfect. The judges gave him 29 out of 40.

Kirsty Gallacher followed with a weary-looking Viennese waltz to This Year's Love by David Grey. The dance took ages to get going, with loads of faffing about on the stairs. Brendan is probably taking his lead from Anton Du Bec and limiting his partner's time on the actual dancefloor. There were lots of spins and turns and they even threw in a fleckerl, but her arms got really frantic and flappy at times and she clearly hates being out of hold, clinging onto Brendan like an agoraphobic koala. Kirsty still seems to be suffering from nerves as she never looks (or even pretends to look) happy when she dances. I've seen more expression on an artist's dummy. Credit where it's due, though, this was her best dance to date - maybe ballroom suits her better. This routine to music from White Ladder had her climbing up the leaderboard on Saturday, matching Peter with a very respectable 29 out of 40.

Kirsty limbers up for a trot round the dancefloor

Gurning gourmet Ainsley Harriott gave us what was billed as a jive to Shake, Rattle & Roll by Bill Haley and The Comets. Ainsley was certainly spaced out with this dance - and probably not even on this planet. It was the slowest jive I've ever seen in Strictly but even then Ainsley struggled, looking like a jumbo prawn in his bright pink outfit. His frantic antics and wobbly Elvis legs couldn't cover up his poor technique. There were very few kicks and flicks, he was flat-footed with flappy, floppy arms. At one point he looked more like he was playing keepy-uppy than dancing, resembling a drunk uncle - a druncle, if you will - at a wedding. Once again he just seemed to do his own thing and play up to the cameras. The telly chef wasn't cooking on gas with this routine which fell flatter than a flabby souffle. Just 21 out of 40 from the judges.

Loose woman Jamelia came out with a foxtrot to Because You Loved Me by Sealion Diane - sorry, Celine Dion. Jamelia doesn't seem to love ballroom. This routine started okay, but an early mistake put her completely off her stride and it all went down quicker than the Titanic after that. The dance was filled with errors, missed holds and even an illegal lift (how very dare she!) and Jamelia was clearly panicking as partner Tristan desperately tried to get her back on track. She had a nice top line, but it wasn't enough to save the dance. The judges gave her 26 out of 40.

After showing so much prom-ise last and topping the leaderboard a week ago, Katie Derham suffered the same fate as Jay experienced last week and crashed to earth. Instead of spark and spice she served up a sorry, sloppy salsa. It looked like she'd been on the sauce as she clomped her way through this routine. Where was the wiggle and jiggle? Katie was far too stiff and upright with limp hips and aimless arms. There was lots of content - Anton had put everything in but the kitchen sink - but this was a substance over style salsa. The lifts all went horribly wrong, Anton nearly dropped her at one point and it just didn't work. Katie's Latin lacked lustre. It had all the intention, but none of the execution. A disappointing 21 out of 40.

Up next was Jeremy Vine dancing a wooden waltz to She, by Elvis Costello. Actually, this reminds me of my Elvis Costello joke I made up when I was about 12 or so. It's still as bad now as it was then....I hear Elvis Costello really loves gardening. Last week he made a beautiful planter for his flowers out of an old tyre. Yes, it was a Goodyear for the roses! SEE - this is why I'm not a regular on Mock The Week or The Edinburgh Fringe. Anyway...that joke was probably better than Jeremy's dancing, which was stiff and stilted. Looking like a scarecrow in a suit, Jeremy plodded around with bent knees, poor frame and frantically flingy free arms. There were no transitions to speak of and a bigger gap than the Cheddar Gorge between Jeremy and his partner. It was terribly stop / start - like watching a flickerbook in slow motion. Jeremy ended up propping up the leaderboard with a dismal 18 out of 40.

Heavenly Helen George lit up the dancefloor with a cracker of a quickstep to You Can't Hurry Love. This was a joy to watch. Helen and Aljaz sped across the dancefloor faster than my brother-in-law when someone announces the buffet has been served. It was clippy, tricky, skippier than a bush kangaroo and chock full of difficult content. The pair were on point and together throughout the whole routine and Helen sparkled to the end. It was fast, furious and earned a 'Fab-u-lous' from Craig. It was a leaderboard topping 35 out of 40 for Helen.

Jay McGuinness was back on form last night, and how! A princely performance of a Paso Doble to It's My Life by Bon Jovi. This dance - and Jay - was strong, powerful and passionate throughout. Loads of lovely drama and attitude, great shaping and command, Jay made a masterful matador. He may have lacked a little arrogance, but its probably because he's such a nice guy. He certainly wasn't Livin' On A Prayer, this dance was a Bed of Roses. Bruno got so excited he got all sweary - dropping a 'bollock' before the watershed earned him a stern look from Len and telling off from Tess who had to apologise to the audience for his outburst. Someone really needs to keep the bloke away from the Red Bull and Sherbet Dib-Dabs before the show - his hyper behaviour was getting out of hand last night, and even Craig said he was being mean at one point, which is a bit like Darth Vader having a pop at Davros, but there you go. I can understand his excitement though, and so could the rest of the judges. Jay scored a much-improved 33 out of 40.

Closing the show was Kellie Bright and pocket prancer KevinfromGrimsby. Their spy-themed jive to One Way Or Another by Blondie (I refuse to accept One Direction's version as 'music' - don't get me started on what they did to Teenage Kicks) left me shaken and stirred. This dance was fast, frenetic, fabulous and fun. There was loads of tricky content, kicks and flicks, fancy footwork and fluid action. It was clean and sharp, Kellie and Kevin were together throughout - they have a terrific Bond as a couple. Maybe not quite as good as Jay's jive the other week, but excellent all the same. A triumphant way to end the night. The judges loved it too and awarded Kellie a table-top sharing 35 out of 40.

And then it was time for the sham Sunday show. The judges scores and viewer votes had been tallied. The pro dancers showed us all how it's supposed to be done. Bryan Adams came on to warble his way through his new single (yes, I'm showing my age) Brand New Day, probably hoping to flog a few before Christmas. Len's Lens - sans Len who was deskbound after his knee op - dissected the finer points we mere mortals can't see and don't really understand. Lots of tension, heartbeat music (you know, ba-bum, ba-bum - not Nick Berry murdering the theme tune to that TV show). Nearly thirty unnecessary minutes later, the bottom two dancers were finalised.......Jamelia and Ainsley were in the danger zone.

Second time around Jamelia appeared to get her act together and there were slightly fewer mistakes. Ainsley, however, served up a sloppy second helping pretty much the same as the first. The judges had no appetite for any more of Ainsley's shenanigans and he was finally given the chop and shown the door. Another contender bites the dust and the eleven remaining survive to dance another week. So far, it's the dancers who deserve to go that are being voted off, which makes a pleasant change.

It's the Hallowe'en special next week so I'm giving you all advance notice there will be some TERRIBLE puns. Don't say you haven't been warned! Until then, my little cherry bakewells.......KEEP DANCING!!!!

Aimless Ainsley is off the menu

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