It’s bad news good news time.
The bad news is that you’ve got to have your legs amputated.
The good news is that the bloke in the next bed wants to buy your slippers.
The good news is they play golf in heaven.
The bad news is that you’re teeing off next Wednesday.
The bad news is that you’ve been diagnosed as a diabetic.
The good news is that your prescriptions are free.
The good news is that your leg with gangrene has got better.
The bad news is that we sawed the good one off.
The bad news is Strictly are nine wickets down; Vaughany’s gone.
The good news is that Lance is back.
Without ringing him and asking him we’ll never know where Lance went or even where his stand-in Chris is now. We do know that the singers got to take another bow and there was Lance, quiet, tall, proud. Let’s hope he didn’t have a Len . . . a break for illness. Let’s hope he had a Brucie . . . a mid-season holiday for R & R, rest and recovery.
As for Vaughany, once you saw him bedecked in his Miami Vice outfit (black pants, white top, Hawaiian waistcoat), and you heard the song ‘Tequila’, you sensed that DBS was back, Death By Samba, and that was what it proved to be, though it should be said that Salsa, later, could well have carried the acronym torch even further.
Let’s talk about Vaughany. As a crickiter, a batter and a captain, he was peerless. He was relentless with his pursuit of runs and victory, delivering many to the faithful, a modern day El Cid, without facing the igonomy of riding on a stallion into the sea on his demise.
He was a great crickiter, a leader, a massive brain on so little shoulders. The year he topped the world batting charts there was no finer sight, Vaughany bossing the crease, unless you bought a DVD of Viv Richards in his pomp.
In the nine weeks that Vaughany remained in the show he never quite captured this pomp, this belief, and believe me, much is mental. Seeing himself as a dancer, visualisation, bringing the performance model to the fore, putting yourself into the dance shoes of the greats, it didn’t quite happen.
The first three weeks were bobbins, the Waltz, the Jive, the Cha, pointing him towards an early exit but the renaissance came with a Fox Trot here, a Quick Step there, a New Vaughany, New Vaughany Smooth moment, the highlight of the series so far, an epic from the Arena.
One wonders what would have happened had he really believed, had he transcended, made that step from celeb to a dancer, living the moment, all else worthless, the wave of the art guiding him through the slip stream of the surf. Some never find it.
Even faced with Nat the Stunner again, it wasn’t quite there. She began in a blue Mohican headdress, reminding me of a girl I went to college with, her dad wrongly accused of making love to a parrot. Discarded, her white frock had a beautiful and subtle patternage underneath the right lung all the way down to the curve of her Tangoed buttocks. And this inspired 24 measly pints.
Sorry, wishful thinking. Points. At one stage he went as blatantly wrong as anyone in the series but that shouldn’t deter the effort, the have a go spirit and his Va Va Vaughan. If only that tipping point of belief could have been reached.
In the dance off with Vaughany was that expert of the art, of the dance off, Nicky ‘from that lad band’ – Judgge Hills.
Nicky did a skit about Bond, a few weeks late, this Argie Tango, destined to be danced to the theme from ‘Skyfall’, called . . . er . . . Skyfall . . . by the multimillionaire, Adele, though she herself wasn’t present.
Neither Bond, for as Nicky cracked on with the VT you couldn’t help thinking, double 0 three point five, half the man James Bond ever was. Crikey, if Nicky ever got to MI6 then M would surely be in trubble. She could even get killed. Oops. Hope you’ve seen the film.
As is, this was an Argie Tango and how it shouldn’t have been. Not to this song. In a ‘No Likey No Lighty’ sort of way my light was switched off as soon as the music started. It was not an auspicious beginning.
What transpired in this 30 point offering, the foynal not far away, was a pretty good effort from Nicky though it almost morphed into the structure of his Rumba, presentation, presentation, steps, presentation, without that inner belief that all were related, without the continuity that bedevils most of the dancers. He was powerful and that was commendable but I’m not sure whether he was saving Hottie or having her condemned for daring to cross the Empire. Her best move was surely the straddle and the turn, maybe something she had done before. Please form an orderly queue for the cold shower.
One point more, and still acquiring the voats of the GBP, was Lisa who produced a Quick Step that wasn’t desperately quick nor endearing. At this stage it should have been better.
Lisa and Robin adopted the Morecambe and Wise signature tune ‘Bring Me Sunshine’ and she wore a suitably yellow frock, but on another day this could easily have been the pyre on which her dance career on this show ended.
This was not great for surely she was Ernie, her short legs not quite matching the tempo, her feet caught cheating or resting half way through. Ok, we know that the pros are creative with their choreography but when he is doing Jumping Jacks and she is just bouncing on the spot it doesn’t look good. In the finale she ‘Eric and Eernied’ towards a sofa (it looked like a bath) and she did a forward roll . . . and missed.
Oh for the camera to be on the other side.
Lisa made it through avoiding real panto for another week and to all our surprise, a smidgen in front, just the one point, was Denis Outen, Salsa nearly copping for her too. God bless Salsa; it keeps everyone honest.
This routine contained a cupple of lifts that were almost identical, a few basics, and looks of confirmation from Denise to James, as if to say, ‘Am I doing it right? Is this next?’ And with that came timing issues, shimmies that were more shim than shimmy, a fear of letting go grabbing hold, where perhaps technique was the key. It is a well known fact that blokes don’t do body rolls, shoulder shimmies or shake their booty. They don’t have the necessary upper body. Girls do. Those that go 100% are the norm. The reticent are the ones out of kilter.
We were told that James blanked and that they blagged it. Not great, especially when Salsa is ordinarily a freestyle dance.
Perhaps James could look at the final few bars too.
As ‘Rhythm of the Night’ faded from its super-fast tempo Denise was left doing the splits after a nice arm spring and lift with her body suggesting far more that the rhythm of the night. More like a midnight snack.
All in front of the children.
When Kimberley appeared in her intro clip, ‘here’s what they did in training,’ she was pictured with a large rabbit in its mascot outfit, a Jive Bunny.
‘Is that Anton?’ said Juddge Lulu, wondering how he was earning a living these days. Beautiful. Poetic. From the mouth of babes.
What followed was a frantically paced routine, even the audience breaking for a breath, the song ‘The Land of a Thousand Dances’ or as it’s better known, ‘The Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Song’. The lyricist was off that day.
The Russian males are known for offering the most challenging choreography and Pasta duly delivered, fast, complex, a tuff routine that was almost too tuff. Occasionally, by a nanosecond, Kimberley was off piste, and some transitions had to be spot on and because of the speed they weren’t. But these are minor issues. Once again she delivered, her booty well and truly shaken, and this was the best Jive of the series so far, 34 points, her fourth 34 on the trot.
Averaging 34.6 for her last five dances is the dark horse that has become a frunnt runner, Dani, also 34 this week for a super clean, charming Viennese Waltz to the popular Austrian ballad, ‘That’s Amore’.
The lighting superstars were back in business as the backdrop to this lovely effort was ‘The Bridge of Sighs’, not the one in Cambridge, Dani in a gondola, Vincent dressed like a gay gondolier, a straw boater (hat), white scarf, red cummerbund, and a red and white top. Very tempting to push him into the water.
The reason Dani only scored 34 was the pace of the music. Like her slow Samba last week the speed gave her the chance to dance with clinical precision something she does beautifully. But one wonders how they would have coped at 60 bpm rather than the sedentary 40 or so that they chose here? The musicality was spot on so much so that when the lyrics of the song went ‘tip tippy’ both dancers hit the toes of their feet. Sumptuous and now a credible and real challenger.
And that just leaves Louis and Flav, top of the shop with 37 for a Charleston to ‘Dr Wanna Do’ (Caro Emerald). This was a transition week for Louis, from a plastic Paso to a Charleston champ in just seven days.
Flav got an acting coach in to help Lou overcome his inhibitions, he is just a lad after all, and he was encouraged to act like a four year old, something that many petulant adults that I know manage with ease. The theme of a mad doctor didn’t do it for me, nor the twenty second break he took in the first half of the routine, messing about I think Lord Len would call it, but what went before and after were a credit to his coach and teacher, some great legography, a moon walk, a handless spring and a forward flip to straddle his prone partner. That could have gone so wrong but it didn’t such is his gymnastic excellence.
Amidst the tricks Lou came of age so much so that he scored two tens though you can take those with a pinch of salt. One was given by the lady juddge dominated by her lust and the other by a male juddge for the same reason.But this was a real marker from Lou, he was terrific, a note to the ladies that they won’t have it all their own way in December which is just as well because by this time next week he may well be the last man standing.
The question is whether he will be on Saturday 22nd?
December 6th 2012