Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Week 4: All the Ballroom and None of the Fun

Oh you guys, I am so late this week. And I had so many fewer dances on which to report than Miss Jones did! I must confess that the delay is partly due to me being all philanthropic on Sunday, but more due to a late lunch that escalated into a four and a half hour karaoke session on Saturday. Anyway, I am here now, and I have some mild and not particularly interesting comments to make on a mild and not particularly interesting week for ballroom dance. 

In this week’s credits report, I finally noticed that Scott actually mimes the “HO”. This makes me like him more.

Tess and Claudia continue their excellent run of quality outfits. They are walked in by Anton and Pasha. I continue to think this is stupid, but I seriously approve of the way Pasha milks his moment in the sun for all it is worth. He’s no fool, our Pasha. 

The judges’ dancing on is dumb. There, I said it.


Mark & Karen
I did not notice that Mark brought his nan last week. And this week he goes uber-Nan with Nanny Pat. Is she as good as Alesha’s nans, the Gold Standard for Strictly Nan Visits? She is not, but this was a very good effort. As for their actual dancing… I mean, basically there is nothing wrong with it, other than a couple of top line issues from Mark and some gapping. But it’s all so GENERIC. Run around, do some steps, run around, do some steps. It has almost no distinguishing features. I felt a bit as though I was at a wedding and the bride and groom had decided to jazz up the first dance a bit, so they’d gone for a quickstep lesson or three, and so the whole wedding stood around clapping in time while they did their thing, then they finished, we all applauded and then the DJ finally started playing the Kenny Loggins we had all been waiting for. It wasn’t bad enough for the bottom two, but it was so uninteresting I think people just forgot Mark even existed.

Judy & Anton
It’s the Murray Boys! On Skype! But still, it’s the Murray Boys, being all embarrassed and sarcastic to their mum! And then Judy shamelessly plays the “one more week and they’ll come and watch me in person” card. BRAVO JUDY, that’s how it’s done. As for the dance itself, we pretty much get a flash of her undercrackers during the first slide, she clings on to Anton for dear life, and then she tremendously just HURLS herself at him at the end and I JUST LOVE HER OK? Even Anton’s Banter (Banton) doesn’t bother me while Judy’s in town. Please don’t let next week be a rumba, though, I can’t deal with that.

Scott & Joanne
Scott tries to get into the Cute Kids War game with an adorable niece. Nice try, Uncle Scott (if that’s even your real name), but I ain’t buying what you’re selling. Joanne from Grimsby is supremely brave, I will give her that. I would not let this fella do any kind of lift for ANY MONEY, and she just goes for it. He does not drop her, which is obviously a plus both for Joanne from Grimsby and the show’s liability insurance, but here is another thing he does not do: dance. His feet are all over the place, his arm placements are a bizarre afterthought, usually just after he has glanced over at Joanne and remembered he should have flung an arm out. It’s actually painful to watch. Also, Joanne does not choreograph him to turn around every time the songs says turn around, which I think we can all agree is a missed opportunity. Len gives this a 4. I didn’t even know Len had a 4 paddle! Next week might be curtains for Scott, to be honest, amazing though it is that any remaining contestant is worse than Judy.

tHom & Iveta
They’re really going for it with the relatives this week, what with sons, nieces, nans, plus Kevin from Grimsby’s parents, so now we get tHom’s brother. Weirdly, the show in no way points out that tHom’s brother is actual talented rugby player Max Evans, who has played 44 times for Scotland. We got more background on Scott’s niece and Mark’s nanna. Unfortunately, we have to suffer through a “dancer does rugby” VT for the eighty-seventh time in show history, but somehow because it is Iveta I am actually amused by it. I love Iveta. Following on from this, we get an excellent florist pun, followed by a dance which is not at all bad. tHom has great posture, and while I wish he could find a personality, Iveta choreographs with enough personality for both of them, because she is amazing. Somehow, this also manages to be camper than last week’s Charleston in which he was dressed as a sailor. That is the power of Iveta. And just in case all that wasn’t enough, tHom busts out another Humble Thank You when he’s with Claudia – this lad has been reading the Strictly Playbook BIG TIME and he is going to bust out every single move. Well played, lad. Well played.

Caroline & Pasha
I will confess to being a little underwhelmed by this, and not being entirely sure why. Was it just that the music was a bit uninspiring? Was I irritated by all the window dressing? (Yes, yes I was.) However, underwhelmed as I was, this was still head and shoulders above Mark and Karen. It was danced better, obviously, but it’s not just that – just like Iveta, Pasha CHOREOGRAPHS with character. The dance speeds up, slows down, changes feel, hits the accents in the music – the changes in dynamic keep me interested, and make the dance memorable. Compared to this, Mark and Karen’s looks like Quickstep 101. She needs help. 

So, farewell Tim Wonnacott (about whom my niece sent me this joke: Tim Wonnacott, we wonnacott you to leave), good effort Natalie and we hope you get a ringer next year, bravo Judy for turning a Murray Boys visit into your own personal Blackpool, and well done Miss Jones for toughing out the lion’s share of the show this week. I’ll see you all at the weekend for more fun and games, and hopefully a last hurrah for Scott Mills and his celebrity pals. 


  1. I've just read through all of this blog and laughed lots. I may have enjoyed it more than Strictly itself. Well done both, and looking forward to next week's.

  2. Thank you, Margot. Love to Jerry. x

  3. 1. I like the judges' dance-on (apart from Darcy who is so, so awkward). I think it's good that we have these differences. On the other hand, I'm glad to have my underwhelming [noun] at the hands of Caroline and Pasha corroborated.

    2. God, I had forgotten how much I LOVED Iveta playing rugby. She is so brilliant. The VTs were actually not all completely awful this week.

    1. Yes, if we MUST have the dancing on, DARCY MUST CONTRIBUTE. This is a woman who went on tour with Katherine Jenkins, for heaven's sake, so we all know she's not afraid to embarrass herself in public.

      And yes, it was a good week for the VTs. The new work experience student must have some imagination.

  4. I am amazed how Judy has managed to inoculate me against my Anton rage. This is a miracle greater than any kind of learning to dance. I love her I love her I love her.

    1. THE POWER OF JUDY. Not quite at the level of the power of Iveta, but still something at which we should all marvel and worship.