When Juddge Lulu was ickle I was forced to pay a three figure sum to help finance a Halloween party. As you can tell I didn’t resent it. Maybe this was the day that my apathy for this imposed celebration began? I don’t do subjugation well.
However, even with this deep-rooted belief the weekend was one of pure enjoyment. There was a Zombie Walk in the city, an annual event in its second year; apparently zombies have only just been found here. That said I think we’ve all done a few of those after a few too many late ones. And the occasional fright night was followed by the morning after and the living dead, or trying to remember which one of the Addams Family was comatose on your favourite pillow.
Back to the show, the fun, the costumes and the make-up fantastic and the dancing, well, let’s just say that the good ones got better and the bad ones got worse. Sort of defeats the objective, sadly.
We were treated to seven different dances this week, three cupples having a go at the Tango, three the Paso, and then one each for the Jive, the Smooth, the Quick Step, the Samba and the Rumba. Whilst this gives the viewer variety it makes it difficult to compare like for like; there is a strong argument to give them all the same dance, with the same choreography, just to see the differences in interpretation, style and quality.
The three to Tango were Harry, Chelsee and Anita, 34, 32 and 31, strong scores that included a 10, misplaced, an illegal lift, not mentioned, probably because it wasn’t Brendan, a routine with no Tango steps at all, and the near miss of a costume malfunction that almost released £1500 worth of appendage. It didn’t so Chelsa’s tears and fears proved unnecessary.
As already noted Harry Judd has talent and he will go far in this competition. A fortnight ago he danced a Jive without a Jive step and this week he and the Princess of Darkness put together a fantastic dance, intense, hypnotic, erotic, a dance full of purpose, performance and power. Had this been in the West End it would have been rightly rewarded. But it wasn’t. It was in a dance competition, a competition where he was supposed to Tango. He didn’t. Len spotted 8 bars of the dance. It was a good spot. How he found eight is anyone’s guess. It’s a shame that Juddge Alice got the ten paddle out again. This was a Tango, not a show dance. Or rather it wasn’t a Tango.
There are times when Chelsa’s feet don’t know where they’re going. She skips along playing catch up, like others, her head a bit wobberla, also catching up, that critical core again a little weak. But in spite of having to cope with the colour clash created by black, purple and red, this was a sumptuous routine, cleverly put together with masses and masses of content, almost making up for the barren lands of Harry and Ali. It was only at the end when she feared the worst and she sensed the movement in her clothes. The score was in the bag by then.
Personally, Duck Tape would have done the job.
Anita appeared from behind a tombstone clad in red like a Devil Woman. Handy then that that was the music that was playing. Here was another routine blessed with content, drama, a high level of acting that you would expect from Anita though at one stage in the VT beforehand it looked like she was going to morph into Dot Cotton.
Anita has to step up a gear now if she wants to keep with the leading pack. Her skippy feet looked under-prepared and chasing. Her flicks were weak. Her top line was challenged again and again. And there was a lift that Robin disguised as a dip. There are far worse dancers in this competition so her longevity should be ensured. There are also some far better, the tails of which she has to catch.
On then to the Paso and some variable marking from the judggies.
Robbie scored just 26 but one score was a 4, another an 8. How on earth can that be? Lulu scored two 8s and didn’t really do anything. Alex got three 8s and if you compare hers to Lulu’s it was at least two points better. But it wasn’t a 10.
What then of young Robert? It’s time for him to look at technique now if he is to lead the chase for the big guns. He’s a fit bloke, not scared of going for it, but he of all people should value the worth of technique. His Paso, to ‘Bad’ by Michael Jackson, was a dance of two halves, the first slow, tepid almost, the second lively, the emphasis on attack. He flashed his waxed chest to all and sundry. He did three or four crotch grabs and thrusts, just like Whacko used to, the last after a leap onto the juddgies’ desk. I’m not sure a bloke grabbin’ his wotsits and thrustin’ makes for family viewing. Didn’t like it when Whacko did it either.
Can I just go back to grabbin’ and thrustin’ for a moment? Thought I’d join in with the rest of the people on the show who have unilaterally decided that the letter ‘G’ no longer exists in the alphabet: darin’, dreddin’, charmin’, interestin’, amazin’, trainin’, frightenin’, jokin’, perfectin’.
Didn’t these people learn English at school?
Like Robbie, Alex is no actress, but she is going to have to find some inner-actress if she too is to march on. 31 points resurrected her confidence but her natural beauty alone will not win out at the end of the day. For a girl from mainstream telly she looks remarkably ill at ease in front of the camera on the dance floor.
Lulu is an actress, of that we can be sure. She is also not a dancer in spite of scoring 29 points, her personal best so far. Remember Michelle Williams in last year’s show? The singer from Destiny’s Child? Couldn’t walk let alone dance. It seems Lulu has based her style on Michelle’s. That’s two years on the trot that Brendan has been lumbered.
At the outset Lulu appeared on a wire, high in the studio, and bat-like she descended with grace sporting a mask that almost turned her into catwoman. Brendan slid down the bannister to enter, almost Fonz-like. There was an inner smirk when he knew it had gone well. After a minute of walking and prancing, oh yes, I saw a cupple of changes of place, the camera focussed on Brendan as the wire was re-attached to Lulu and off she was back into the sky, moon bound. Great entrance, great exit.
Soon it will be.
And others will follow.
Audley turned 40 last week and he must have had too much cake for in his Jive he looked heavy, out of shape, cumbersome, 20 points matching his Waltz in Week 1. Here is a bloke used to stamina training who couldn’t cope with eighty or ninety seconds on his toes. Bizarre. His timing was fine, the rhythm cool, and his attitude is first class but this dance demands bounce and speed, both sadly lacking. He dropped in to the last two.
There was a time I knew what normal was. I don’t anymore.
Bring on then Holly and R-Tem, her dressed like a black swan, he like the Lone Ranger, the music Swan Lake by R-Tem’s great uncle, the dance a Fox Trot based American Smooth.
What followed was a sumptuous exposé, beautiful lines, a great mood, plenty of lifts, one turning four, five or six times, but here was another dance with more style than substance. It was terrific and the juddgies agreed, 35, Holly’s highest, but the Fox Trot is supposed to be in hold not just in lift.
This week Holly was trumped by Jason’s Quick Step, 37, another ten, yup, you’re right, a dance performed to the theme to ‘Bewitched’, both dancers in leprechaun green. For sure this was another classy performance, a routine full of whizz, great to watch, high quality choreography and more evidence of Jason’s history on the boards. To score a ten it should be faultless and Craig spotted enough to withhold the maximum paddle. Why not everyone?
For me he wasn’t vertical enough, not tall enough and that all goes back to his top line. But it was really well dunn and he is back in the groove.
Russell’s 22 point Samba was far from groovy. The routine had some basics, blimey, at last, well dunn Flav, voltas, whisks, bota fogos, but it was also full of mistakes, getting the timing wrong and not even his red devil outfit could hide the errors. Thankfully I was watching his feet except for one unfortunate hideous camera shot that the director insisted on. You’ll have to watch it again to make your own choice. It’ll be easy to spot. Sends a shiver.
The high spot was Flav’s black cat suit and Kylie on microphone.
And finally the star turn, a timely, gruesome end.
Do you remember that TV show from 1969 where the ghost wore white? Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased) it was called, used to love it; I watched the re-runs, obviously. On Saturday Anthony Smith of Bristol auditioned for the part of the ghost, either that or he was playing the photo negative of a chimney sweep from Mary Poppins. I bet he wished he’d got stuck up a chimney too rather than having to plunder on with Nancy, another in the ‘I Need To Be Taught How To Walk School’.
Apparently this was a Rumba. I had to be reminded.
There was a coffin involved, Nancy emerged. A tomb stone, Anton from the grave. She walked around a bit, not a straightening of the leg to be seen, there was a drag, a rope spin assisted by a very forceful lead, a dip, a stamp, land mines again, an illegal lift, the same one they used last week and it ended with Anton in the coffin after a sneaky thrust and knowing look to camera, somewhere you’d suspect he’d be happy to stay until next September.
In a night of horrors, it was truly shocking, just 14 points, and Nancy is now free to concentrate on her life as a celebrity.
Fabio Capello is the England football team’s current manager.
If I were in his shoes I’d be a little worried.
November 2nd 2011