Sunday, 9 October 2016

Hello again readers! How are we all this week? It's been a strange old week. You know you've been watching too much Strictly when you find yourself having an internal argument about whether you'd do a cha-cha-cha or a samba to the theme from Scooby Doo (the samba won, if you're interested).

Since Melvin had moved on it was Movie Week on Strictly Come Dancing.  We were transported from the ballroom to the silver screen as our celebrities shoehorned danced their routines around songs and themes from famous flicks. The audience were treated to a night of creative costumes, perfect props, lavish lighting and sensational sound as the fourteen couples put on a spirited display of dance.

So who was a box-office smash and who flopped harder than Hudson Hawk? Turn down the lights, grab your popcorn and make sure your phones are on silent. Lights, camera, action - it's the Strictly Week Three round up!!

Daisy Lowe opened the show (see, poetry in the third paragraph!) with a lively quickstep to A Spoonful Of Sugar from Mary Poppins. This was nanny your pedestrian performance. Daisy's dance was floaty light, fast, flirty and fun. Lots of change of pace, great character and the couple covered the whole of the floor. Craig wasn't particularly impressed with the weak Charleston section and Daisy was told she was a bit loose above the waist (I can't talk). All in all, she managed to Step In Time and it was a fairly Jolly Holiday for Daisy and Aljaz. 31 out of 40 from the judges.

Up next was Anastacia dancing a Viennese waltz to A Thousand Years from Twilight. Still recovering from last week, the whole routine had to be carefully choreographed around her injury. Sadly, this showed as the dance was halting and a little hesitant. Brendan had stuck in a rare reverse fleckerl to try to please Len, but the vampire theme lacked any real bite. It was a sweet routine but Anastacia was very wobbly throughout and it looked like Brendan was helping her along at times. Her top line was too raised and there's still room for improvement. Will the judges' score of 27 out of 40 help her stake her claim in next week's show? Or will it be fangs for the memory for Anastacia?

Third to the floor was Danny Mac who performed a pleasing Paso Doble to The Train from The Mask of Zorro. If you've read my blog before you'll remember that the Paso is my favourite dance. And dashing Danny didn't disappoint. From the opening bars he was a chandelier swinging, cape slinging dynamo. My. Word. There was fabulous footwork, sensational shaping and super spins. The whole routine was jam packed with Paso content and cracking character. Danny was totally on (sword) point with full on attack and attitude and he and partner Oti were bang together throughout. Has anyone told Danny it's only week three? An astonishing 36 out of 40 from the panel.

Lesley Joseph had to follow that with a quirky quickstep to We're A Couple Of Swells from Easter Parade. Anton, being a good egg, reverted to his strengths with a comedy caper that was cleverly choreographed to be clumsy and clunky. Made a mistake? That was deliberate, Craig. Missed a turn? Meant to do that Darcy, me dear. It was all very tongue in cheek and fun with plenty of nods to the routine from the film. Loads of character and chock full of content but the fast pace took its toll and poor Lesley was being dragged around like a rag doll towards the end. The judges gave it a respectable 27 out of 40.

Next up was Will Young serving up a salsa to Jai Ho from Slumdog Millionaire. This was a bizarre mix of styles - Latindian, I suppose you could call it. The wide pants hid Will's hips so you couldn't really see if he was giving it proper rotation, but he had nice hands and energy and got into the spirit of the dance. There were some impressive and effortless lifts but was a little stop/start in parts and seemed to favour Indian dance moves over traditional salsa content. This didn't curry favour with Len who likes it old school but everyone else thought it was a Bolly good show. Will had a little bit of a spat with Len about the content, but as he's sweeter than a sugar coated spaniel it was all taken in jest. A decent 31 out of 40.

Naga came next with a tango to the theme from Mission Impossible. How prophetic. It all went wrong right from the start when she couldn't unhook herself from the wire she'd dropped in on. This threw her completely and she never hit Cruise control. The whole routine was too stiff and static, there was no story - or if there was she'd totally forgotten it - and she was really unsure throughout. She was bumbly and stumbly, her legs all over the place like me after a night on the prosecco (my spellchecker wanted to change this to 'prosecutor'). This is just M.I opinion, but Naga may have pressed the self-destruct button this week. I spy a low score of 25 out of 40.

Speaking of prosecutors, Judge Rinder was wearing an entirely different type of wig than he's used to as he came on as caveman Fred Flintstone. Although, to be honest, he looked more like a pound shop Liam Gallagher. This week he gave us a cheeky, cheery Charleston to Meet The Flintstones.  Rob rocked it - even managing swivel and cross while still in the prop Flintstone car at the beginning. Partner Oksana had chucked everything into the routine - birdy flaps, monkey steps, kicks, flicks, tricks and lifts - even a roly poly in the middle. There were a few errors and some missed timing but the judge was dino-mo with the energy all the way through. His dancing career won't be in any (t)Rubble and there were no Barneys with Craig at the end. A mid-table 27 out of 40.

Ore Oduba was in his element with an elegant American Smooth to Singin' In The Rain. This dance was no wash-out, that's for sure. Ore looked sharp and, while there was a lot out of hold, he covered the floor nicely with fab foxtrot feet. The routine was suave and stylish, pretty difficult with some swift changes of pace and he showed some lovely timing. He was in control throughout and the emotional content seemed to have got to him as the poor chap was in tears at the end. His poise and polish impressed the judges and he scored a cracking 35 out of 40.

The second salsa of the night came from Laura Whitmore who was dancing to the Moulin Rouge version of Rhythm Of The Night. This wasn't quite the Gloria-s gambol it could have been. While Laura had good hips and slink, she lost her rhythm a lot and seemed to  be ahead of the (Dr) beat at times. It was very stuttery, especially in and out of the really clunky lifts. The routine didn't flow and she went out of control in the spins and seemed Toulouse her shaping. There was another weird bit where Giovanni seemed to go up and kiss Bruno for some bizarre reason, but this obviously worked as he gave the pair an incomprehensible 9. Thankfully, the other judges were more restrained and Laura ended up with 30 out of 40.

Greg Rutherford had his bottom well and truly Tucked in this week as he danced an American Smooth to Everything I Do (I Do It For You) from Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves. Graceful Greg had the audience all of a quiver with this romantic routine that had lots of character but his costume did look a bit like his mum had made it from stuff she'd found in the airing cupboard. That aside, there was a lovely connection with partner Natalie and he led really well - a difficult thing for a male celeb, especially in week three. The content was a bit more lift than legwork, but Greg pulled them off well. Overall it was pretty much on target. The judges Sherwood like to see him next week, awarding 32 out of 40.

Babyfaced bendy bopper Claudia Fragapane came out with a cracker of a Charleston to You Give A Little Love from Bugsy Malone. This dance really suited Claudia. It was fast and frenzied with clever slapstick choreography from pint-sized partner AJ. There was bags of character and oodles of content with beautiful swivel and cross. Some great flicks and tricks shone throughout a routine that was spot on with timing and totally on point. Claudia got a bit carried away and nearly gave poor AJ a concussion with a custard pie at the end, but the judges splurged out a whopping 36 out of 40.
Tameka trotted out a tepid tango to The Heat Is On from Beverly Hills Cop. However, she looked more like a reject from Police Academy and had about as much aptitude. She had a good tango face and gave it plenty of attack and attitude, but there was too much gapping and not much of the classic tango V shape required. The dance was speedy but Tameka seemed to sink lower and lower as the routine went on. It was all a bit of a cop out and the judges didn't find it very arresting. They gave her just 28 out of 40.

The first samba of the series was performed by Ed Balls who danced to Cuban Pete from The Mask. What a Carrey on! Ed had a good go but there was no real technique or style. It wasn't entirely joyless but I've seen more bounce in a half-deflated space hopper. The make-up and costume was the best part of this dance that seemed to be all about partner Katya detracting the judges' attention from Ed's lumpy, leaden lolloping. Bless him, he got into the character and can't be accused of taking himself too seriously but he was left propping up the leaderboard with just 24 out of 40. Somebody stop him!

The show closed with a cha-cha-cha from Louise Redknapp dancing to What A Feeling from Flashdance. Have you ever seen the Robert Webb version from Let's Dance For Comic Relief? If you haven't I can't recommend that you do strongly enough. Seriously, go look it up. I swear they just recycled Robert's costume and wig for Louise. And most of the routine, too, by the looks of it. Poor Louise is really lacking in confidence and self-belief - and she shouldn't be. She had lots of rhythm and was in time for most of the routine, although she was lacking a little in hip rotation. There were also some issues with togetherness - she wasn't exactly welded to partner Kevin towards the end. Still, we got the old 'bucket of glitter tipped over her', which was nice for the viewers (but I bet the cleaner was bloody fuming!). The judges liked it - 31 out of 40 for Louise.

Super Sunday hurtled along like it was hour or so after Saturday. Which, of course, it was. The results show follows the same routine each week. Opening group dance, Tess and Claudia's bezzie mate banter, Len's Lens - I wonder what they're going to call THAT when he leaves at the end of this series? Craig's Camera doesn't quite have the same ring to it.

And, of course, there were the musical fillers....I mean, special guest stars. Stage stalwarts Michael Ball and Alfie Boe popped along to give us a rendition of Somewhere from West Side Story. Pity. I was hoping they'd belt out Lust For Life from Trainspotting. It certainly would have been more interesting. Especially for the pro-dance along - Pasha as Renton, Aljaz as Tommy, AJ as Sick Boy, Brendan as Spud. Anton as Begbie. On second thoughts.........

Anyway. Enough of my application for a job as Strictly showrunner. The viewer votes were in and had been carefully counted. Palms sweated, hearts raced, mouths were dry and lips were stuck to teeth as Tess. Dragged. Out. The. Results. I know it's supposed to create dramatic tension but it's all rather tedious now. I'm never sure if it's deliberate or if she's nodded off.

Then the results were finally announced. Laura and Tameka were in the dance off! What? I mean, I know I slagged them off was slightly critical of them earlier but really? WHO is phoning in for Ed Balls? He's getting more votes now than he ever did as an MP! Please, people. Enough. Okay, he's not as bad as Scott Mills or Anne Widdecome but he's no Harry Judd or Jay McGuinness either. His time has GOT to come.

The ladies repeated their routines one more time. Laura came out with more attitude and intent and there was certainly more hip action but it wasn't without errors. Tameka still forgot to lift her frame and it looked like her confidence had been rocked. Partner Gorka had to knock her into place a couple of times but the performance was an improvement on the previous one.

At least this week it was the judges who made the final decision. After a second relatively poor showing they cast their admittedly difficult - and split - votes. Len, as head judge, had the casting vote.........

TAMEKA was booted out of the ballroom. Our endearing EastEnders enchantress hung up her handcuffs, binned her badge and trashed her truncheon and she left the show. Too early in my opinion - I think she had a lot more to show us.

                                Tameka's time was tempered by a tatty tango. Ta ta!

And so, that's Movie Week finished. The final credits have rolled, the curtains have closed. I do hope you haven't left the floor all sticky this time. Off you go now, no hanging around - there's no Marvel Studios teaser trailer on this blog. Oh, go on then, seeing as it's you! If the link doesn't work, I'm sorry - you'll have to do it the old fashioned way and Google (other search engines are available).

Robert Webb Flashdance (thanks BBC!!)

Until next week............KEEP DANCING!!

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