It’s Week 9, you guys. Is it normal for there to be eight couples left at this stage? I’m sure we should have expected an injury, illness or dignified withdrawal by this point. But eight couples there are, and there is a nice, neat four chaps/four ladies divide. Miss Jones and I discussed, and concluded that I should report on the ladies, because I seem to have some issues to work through with regard to the Pixies, and this is the only way it’s going to get sorted. Basically, it’s like how you cure arachnophobia by putting a tarantula on your face.
(I don’t think this is off to the best start.)
Let’s talk about these issues, though. Is it that I have a problem with ringers? Here’s the thing: NO IT ISN’T. There have been years where I have been emphatically on Team Ringer (Alesha and Kara, most notably), so it’s not as though I reject the breed as a whole. It is just that I am looking for something else too. Chemistry, maybe? Personality? To try to pin this down, I’ve decided to do a Scientific Examination of my favourite couples over the years, wherein I will discuss the concept of the Magic Partner, so look for that midweek. Unless you couldn’t give a flying one about my thoughts and feelings, which is distinctly possible. I don’t know your life.
In this week’s credits report, I can’t help noticing how normal Janette looks. It’s all a façade.
Claudia is back! Hooray! So is Tess, but you can’t have everything. They are back to being helped on, this time by veterans Anton and Brendan. Maybe they were allowed to walk on alone in Blackpool because there weren’t any stairs. Do women generally have problems with stairs? Is that a thing?
ON WITH THE SHOW!
Caroline and Pasha
It becomes clear during her intro that even Tess has a crush on Pasha because OBVIOUSLY. And then he is super-dishy in his VT to boot. The music fires up, and I am immediately on board – Pasha is doing some whizzo moves on the stage, Caroline is kicking up a storm on the stairs, and she has FINALLY been given a dress that doesn’t make me want to put out my own eyes. But then, just to demonstrate that what Wardrobe gives with one hand they take away with the other, Caroline immediately has a dress mishap and nearly falls on her arse. I tried to screencap it. Here is what I managed.
Anyway, she tries jolly hard to style it out, but there’s no doubt the mishap bothers her throughout the dance – she is careful and tentative in a way she never is during her Latin. I must say that I still loved it though – it’s glamorous and dramatic, and has great lifts, and it is another choreographic triumph from Lovely Pasha. It gets 33, which I think was a bit undercooked – BLACKPOOL WEEK OVERSCORE BACKLASH.
Pixie and Trent
I am going to pretend the VT didn’t happen, because there’s putting a tarantula on your face, and then there’s watching the Robot VTs. I genuinely did enjoy quite a lot of this Charleston – Trent’s choreography is inventive and unusual, and this was a complete (and welcome) departure from most of the Charlestons we have had on the show. I will say, though, that Pixie’s exaggerated kneebends, along with the wide-footed stance of the Charleston, did make her look a little bit like a cowboy trying to dance. My sister more colourfully described her as “unable to stop a pig in a passage” and I can’t say I disagree. I’m still not on Team Pixies, but I might finally be boarding the Good Ship Trent, or I will be once he gets his Magic Partner. Just imagine Trent with Alesha for a moment. Go ahead. I’ll wait. Anyway, it’s 37 for these guys – I wouldn’t have given it a 10, but I’m surprised only one of the judges did. BACKLASH, SEE?
Frankie and Kevin
Prior to this dance, Tess manages to patronize Mary Berry. Mary does not rise to it, because she is better than Tess, you, me and everyone else. MARY FOR STRICTLY! My sister (who was full of REAL TALK observations this week) noted that Kevin styled his hair like the Jordan this week, and while I must chastise her for using the J word in public, she’s not wrong. Inevitably, as this is a Viennese Waltz, we get an OH NO NOT THE SPINNING VT, but unlike in most of these cases, Frankie genuinely looks like she is going to vomit for a good part of this dance. Other than that, this shows off all of Kevin’s cheeseball tendencies, as well as once again showing us (as though we were in doubt) that Frankie is The Best Skirt Swisher in Town, but I really liked it – I thought it was a really beautiful dance, and somehow Frankie’s personality manages to carry off the sentimentality without making want to punch Kevin in the face. Quite a skill. 38 from the judges, a score of which I approve, mainly because it ensured Jake’s insanely overscored samba did not stand alone at the top of the leaderboard. I think this was the best dance of the night (though Caroline’s would have beaten it if she had danced it better).
Sunetra and Brendan
The VT is full of a) cute kids and b) Brendan looking like he couldn’t give a rusty one. This is very pretty ballroom again from these two, but I thought it was a bit Waltz by Numbers – nothing we haven’t seen eight million times before, with a half-arsed bit of storylining to open and close it, so it looked like Brendan had made an effort. Sunetra makes mistakes again, and her confidence looks a bit shot at this point. Deservedly in the bottom two, but we knew that was coming this week. She’s for the chop next week, there ain’t no doubt. As for Brendan – is this his last series? Surely a possibility at this point.
A quick word about the results show before I pop off – what on earth was that cops and robbers dance all about? I was utterly baffled. Good to see Darling Bobby back – I assume that means he will be back next year to nurture a Lady With A Confidence Problem through six or seven weeks, which will probably come as a blow to Tristan who was surely eyeing that role up for himself. There is also a lady pro who I don’t recognise – Ola’s replacement, perhaps? Claudia goes into the audience for interviews, talks about the starry front row, then interviews Mary Berry (again) and Dave Myers, while completely ignoring The Other One From Blue who is sitting on her other side, desperate for air time. Then Barry Manilow’s Spitting Image puppet does two songs, and Steve is inevitably shuffled off to the Great Wildlife Show in the Sky, never to receive a Christmas card from the Jordans. On the upside, if you would ever rather put a tarantula on your face than watch a dance by Pixie Lott, Steve is probably your man.
Next week: Round The World Week. The mind boggles. And before we go, here is a bonus screencap which indicates in one picture everything I hated about Jake's samba.
See you next week!