Sunday, 1 November 2015

Well hell-oooooooo there. Welcome to the Halloween Strictly Spooktacular round up. I warned you last week that this review will contain terrible puns. Some may make you groan or feel ill. Some may turn your hair white with terror. Most will probably just tut and pull a face, to be honest. Voodoo you think will go? Only one way to find out.......take my hand, stay close behind and come with me into the Strictly Crypt of Critique.......

Creepy Katie Derham kicked off proceedings with a pretty poor Paso Doble to Phantom of The Opera. Latin doesn't seem to be Anton's strong point and he looks to be running out of choreography for Katie - well, it's been a few years since he's been in the competition at this stage. It all went a bit wrong early on with missed holds and wrong footing, forgotten kicks and plonky placement. This Paso was too tame - no attitude, no character and no passion. Katie had lack-lustre limbs, she strolled instead of strode. All very opera-tional, the dance was more Phantom of the Flopera. This just doesn't seem to be in Katie's aria of expertise. The score was a poor 21 out of 40.

Crypt-keeper Kirsty Gallacher was up next with a vampire-themed Charleston to Lady Gaga's Bad Romance. There was a lot at stake this week after Kirsty's small resurgence. Would she go for the jugular and deliver a routine with bite? Erm...I wouldn't Count on it. Bad Romance? This was just Bad Dance, bro. It was a coffin-dodging catastrophic car-crash of a Charleston. Kirsty went wrong very early on and never recovered, not even able to disguise the disasters. The blood-curdling routine went from bad to batty as it got slower and slower and lacked any energy or content. There was no swivel, no character and no fun. It was flat footed and the limp kicks brought the routine to an almost total halt at one point. This dance may have been the Twilight routine for Kirsty. Brendan must have been so cross and they got it in the neck from the judges, scoring a very low 17 out of 40.

Germy Jeremy Vine - one of only three male contestants left - followed with a sorry salsa to Michael Jackson's Thriller. Poor Jeremy. This dance was more ill than thrill. He tried to throw in the iconic zombie walk from the video, but he looked more like an arthritic orang-utan trying to stack supermarket shelves. There was a shocking shimmy, no hip rotation and stompy footwork. A lack of proper transitions and Jeremy's now trademark flapping limbs made him look like a skeleton in a tumble dryer. The stilted & stiff moves might have been excused as his zombie character, but it's really a no-brainer. There's more chance of a Michael Jackson resurrection than Jezza winning Strictly, the judges scoring an undeadly 22 out of 40.

Alarming Anita Rani gave us a wicked waltz to Once Upon A Dream. Anita was a magnificent Maleficent and Gleb made a very handsome prince in guyliner. He could nibble my Granny Smith's anytime. This was a lovely contemporary waltz with a Beauty of a story (which, unfortunately, Len didn't get as he is somewhat out of touch). The routine was far from Grimm, full of style and grace, content and rise and fall. It went a tiny bit spiky at times, but was that the character (which Anita kept throughout) - or the mahoosive horns on Anita's bonce? Craig was a bit grumpy with his comments - maybe he didn't like not being the only Evil Queen in the room. Still, the dance scored a fairy good 29 out of 40.

Gruesome Jamelia followed with a jerky jive to Timewarp from The Rocky Horror Show. The routine was full of gimmicks (skeletons in wardrobes and moving-eye pictures) but lacked any classic jive content. Things went from Brad to Weiss as Jamelia started to run out of energy and the kicks and flicks grew limper and lamer. There was flappy footwork, the kicks were blunt and there was no point - to the toes or the dance. Let's be Frank....she may go no furter if she doesn't improve. The judges gave her 26 out of 40.

Jekyll Jay McGuinness came out with an American Smooth to Little Red Riding Hood. Jay was dressed as The Big Bad Wolf - and I was really Lycan that idea. This was another storybook routine with no howlers. Jay had fabulous footwork, lovely lines and flawless rise and fall - everything in the picnic basket, in fact. His lifts - the first he'd ever tried - went well and were tricky enough to be pleasing but not so difficult that there was danger of dropping Aliona. No (full) mooning about with this dance, wood you believe the judges scored it 34 out of 40.

Cursed Kellie Bright had everyone (JK) Rowling in the aisles with a Harry Potter themed Paso Doble. Starting off with Hedwig's Theme the tune turned to Alice Cooper's School's Out and Kellie came out kicking with a fiery flamenco style. She had plenty of attitude and attack, but lacked shaping in the arms and her top line went too skewy at times. The energy was wand-erful and KevingfromGrimsby went Hog-warts and all with the choreography. But while the tabletop dancing was fun, there was no repeat of Kellie Slytherin to the top of the leaderboard again this week. There was enough wrong with the routine for her to score a less than spell-binding 28 out of 40.

Cackling Carol Kirkwood followed with a really rotten rumba to I Think I Love You by David Cassidy. Dressed as The Bride of Frankenstein, Carol spent most of her time in hold instead of in free movement and when she was on her own she just stood and wiggled her bum a bit, smiling benignly at Pasha who was desperately trying to hold the body parts of the dance together. Despite moves that seemed more bolted on than Pasha's head, Carol seemed to forget the routine halfway through again and had to be reanimated by Pasha pushing her into place. This was pretty monstrous, even by Carol's previous performances with frighteningly bad footwork and......shock horror....HEEL WALKS (no, I didn't know they were A Bad Thing either until Len went loopy). Even for a rumba this was a rum do. Carol scored a shocking 13 out of 40.

Ghastly Georgia May Foote trotted out a terrific tango to Ghostbusters. This was a difficult dance, full of content and energy - an exorcise in excellence. Georgia had gorgeous foote-work and plenty of passion in a routine full of tricky moves. She was sharp and sassy, clean and comfortable with spine-chilling staccato. While stamina has been a previous problem, she managed to Stay-Puft through this proton-charged performance. The crossed beams of the judges said it all - Georgia May top this week's leaderboard with a magnificent 35 out of 40.

Petrifying Peter Andre was the penultimate performer, following with partner Janette Manmwhahhahaha and feasible foxtrot to Ghost by Ella Henderson. This was quite a spectre-cal and you can tell Peter gets into the spirit of things. He's still haunted by hunched shoulders and has a tendency to stomp around like the headless horseman. His problems were manifest and the same moves keep appearing week after week. Last night there was too much rise and not enough fall, more gallumph than glide. Pete still gets poppy and the judges are getting stroppy reminding him of it every week. He scored a grave 28 out of 40.

Haunting Helen George wrapped up the show with a mummy themed routine, dancing a seriously sexy samba to Take Your Mamma by the Scissor Sisters. Helen showed she was a cut above many of the other dancers with plenty of hot hip action, sexy shimmys and a fair bit of required double bounce action (I thought Bruno was talking about me running downstairs when he started going on about double bouncing. Turns out it's a samba staple). When one sphinx about it, you'd have to be in de-Nile not to fancy Helen's chances. She may have to visit the Cairo-practer this morning after this routine, though. After all your tut-n-calmin' down, you may like to know Helen was near the top of the pyramid with a respectable 34 out of 40.

Yay. It's Sunday. Doesn't time fly when you're hopped up on your son's Halloween Haribo (what, just me?). More pro-dance performances bulking out the show. The poor sods certainly earn their Strictly Sterling. They must be knackered after rehearsing all week and THEN dancing several more routines every weekend. I get worn out opening a bag of Maltesers. Len's Lens peered into the pickier points of performances and mulled over the minutiae of moves, showing us mere mortals why they're paid the big bucks as judges.

Anyhoo....singer of the week James Morrison came on crooning a theme-fitting song called Demons. Pity he sounds like a bag of nostrils doing karaoke. At least his wobbly warbling gave some of the poor buggers a break and we were down to announcing the dance-off duo.

Several ba-bums, red lights, screeches, squeals and tears later (and that's just me) the troubled two were revealed. Yet again, Jamelia was in the dance off, along with Kirsty Gallacher. Carol must have some serious dirt on someone to keep getting through. Either that or a REALLY big family. The viewers just aren't getting behind Jamelia and it was sad to see her in earlier VT getting upset about it, but pulling a 'the public are all picking on me' card isn't going to win the audience over. It must be something she says in her day job as my daytime TV spies tell me she sometimes comes out with really outrageous statements on Loose Women. That may be putting the people off. I'll have to take their word for it - I'm usually watching much more highbrow television at the time. What?? I watch Toddlers & Tiaras ironically, you know.....

The imperilled pairs danced again for the judges' final decision. Jamelia dug deep and delivered a better performance than previously, but Kirsty's confidence had suffered a serious knock (she's no stranger to dance-off danger herself) and she just couldn't pull it together, going wrong again almost immediately from the off, missing out vital moves. Poor Brendan. It was no surprise when the judges announced it would be Jamelia surviving for another week. Kirsty was shown the red card and took an early bath.

Ten couples remain. Who will be looking forward to further forays on the dancefloor? There's only one way to find out - join me next week for another rundown. Until then................KEEP DANCING!!!!

 Crusty Kirsty crashes out

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