On last week’s results show Natalie and Trent got the pleasure of dancing as Anthony Dominick Benedetto and Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta dueted, singing two tracks, ‘Anything Goes’ and ‘It Don’t Mean a Thing (if it ain’t got that swing)’. Whilst the singing is a question of taste and choice, not mine, too impure and shouty, it was clear that the producers had had a bet. Let’s see if we can get anyone older than Bruce to appear on the show. Tony Bennett is 88.
So who else is on the show before Christmas? I am told that Chuck Berry and Harry Belafonte will be singing together, Hugh Hefner and Roger Moore will be drawing lots to see who dances with June Brown (Dot Cotton) and Gina Lollobrigida, Sidney Poitier and Nicolas Parsons are going to be guest juddgies, David Attenborough is interviewing Steve Backshall and the The Queen will be presenting the Glitter Ball Trophy to the winners. Now that would be a shock! And talking of Windsors it was good to see Robin in the audience.
Another shock! A surprise dance off and a favourite is eliminated.
Here’s how it goes. You practice for a week, you get frocked up, you have a dance, you are marked and then you have to wait to see if anyone likes you enough for you to come back next week. At the top of the leader board the three pretties are safe. At the bottom the hapless get votes because it’s car crash TV. In the middle there is what is known in crickit as ‘the corridor of uncertainty’. These are the dancers who wait in terror for the trapdoor to open, this week’s victims Thom and Webby, formerly known as Simon.
Throughout the series these two have been a gnat’s whisker apart, Thom averaging 27.4 and Webby 27 points. Both have a high score of 31. So how to separate them?
With his chest bare, a common theme for the evening, Thom and Iveta danced a Cha to ‘It’s My Party’. Both looked great, Iveta sporting another common theme of the evening, the draping tassel look, a fibrous Christmas tree of gold, silver and black. The poppies got an early outing too. Has the date of Armistice Day changed?
When the music kicked in they were on a dais, and there they remained for thirty seconds, thrusting, gyrating, throwing shapes, a clear audition to dance in the cage at a sex club. Eventually they took to the floor, another common theme, and there it was that Thom’s techniques were exposed, a copy of Frankie last week. The musical accents were good and his attitude and efforts were commended but after Iveta’s five turns the dance was lost to pigeon toes, bent knees and a scarcity of basic steps. 27 points was one shy of Webby’s Viennese Waltz that was danced to ‘Somebody to Love’, the producers excelling in their appalling choice of music. There were two Viennese Waltzes, the first two of the series, and we were blessed with Queen and Cilla. Couldn’t make it up.
At least Webby looked the part, smart tail suit, Kristina in an elegant yet sexy little number, and the look continued during the dance though it was difficult to watch his feet given that the floor was flooded with dry ice. You couldn’t spot his knees let alone a heel lead. As for the dance it was a tad weird, 24 seconds to get in hold, a combination of classical steps and three standing turns, all a little flat footed, and accents that matched the music but not the dance. This is what happens when you opt for Freddie and the lads rather than the Strauss boys. The juddgies called it skippy. We all know that Skippy is a brand of Californian peanut butter.
There must have been a competition to see who would take the longest to start to dance because Webby’s 24 seconds was matched by Jake and Janette’s Quick Step to ‘I’m Still Standing’, the wacky theme of them being in a tube station the backdrop. Billed as quick the basics, there were a few, were danced slowly with a gentle ease by Jake, the pace only accelerating when lighter footwork was needed for pendulae, jumping jacks and scatter chassés. He has a good ear does Jake, his timing always good, and he fully embraces the dance though he has a tendency to hunch when he should be standing tall. As for the choreography, he can’t be blamed for an illegal lift, not mentioned by the juddgies, or an inelegant mop roll, the floor obviously needing a sweep. 31 points means he has topped 30 four weeks on the trot.
Did you know that Sunetra is from Liverpool? So is Cilla. See what they did there? I bet that when Bacharach and David wrote ‘Anyone Who Had a Heart’ in 1963 that they would never have dreamed it would be used on primetime TV for a Viennese Waltz. Me neither. That said, the brilliant choreography of Brendan and Anya Garnis made this a sumptuous watch even with the usual delay, Brendan waiting for British Summer Time to finish before getting in hold.
In a chocolate brown frock with a caramel hem of ostrich feathers Sunetra did two turns to her right to get her into her hold position. Brendan, misgauging the size of her steps, ran frantically to join her and then they were off, great content, a Fleckerl, grace and beauty, Darcey joining Craig with the seven paddle in her tally of 30. Whilst Sunetra’s Latin is unhoned her Ballroom shows clear signs of polish.
I liked Scotty’s Charleston to ‘Flash Bang Wallop, Ooh What a Picture’, a song that doesn’t refer to, but should, Ola’s calendar, photos being tweeted as we speak, (look out for the one with the milk) the song sung with relish by Chas & Dave.
Scotty played a rather well turned out photographer, a natty yellow waistcoat matching JFG’s pastel frock. Each time the lyrics said clap your hands Scotty did. On cue he stamped his feet. When asked to bang the big bass drum he did. It was on ‘flying through the air’ that he reluctantly lifted her off the floor, just. They even did the Gap Band dance, on the floor, rowing, swaying, no mention of ‘Oops Up Side Your Head’. And the drag lift, JFG doing a hand stand so that her leg draped his shoulder, was as manly as Scotty will ever get.
It was terrific funn. Of course there was no swivel, no closing of the feet and at times he looked a little lost but 19 points was a poor reflection for his endeavour.
Back in the day we used to have sing-songs in the college bar. ‘Hi Ho Silver Lining’ always got us going. So too ‘American Pie’. And ‘Sweet Caroline’ was a cert. ‘Daydream Believer’ by The Monkees lifted the roof off. Little did we know it was a piece of Fox Trot music.
Frankie and KFG went for a picnic, her dressed like a cup cake, he as if auditioning for Showaddywaddy though acting like he was Fred Astaire, a soft maroon the pick of tonight’s colours. After 25 seconds of faff and dancing solo, (in the Fox Trot?) what followed was graceful and sweetly delivered save for a lugubrious walk. One technical expert commented that Frankie picks her feet up too much and that she needs to extend through her spine more but in week five this was as charming and enchanting as you will get, 32 points maintaining her high standards. I suppose the saving grace is that at least it wasn’t ‘Mamma Mia’ again.
I mean no disrespect to Mamma Two Shoes/Alison when I refer to her size; she is a big lady. And that offers a challenge to her partner when asked to dance in hold, when you can’t get your arm around her. The result was a Tango that was just odd. She wore a red frock with black trim and belt and black flat shoes. Ali Ash wore last week’s gangster outfit. ‘Addicted to You’ started. And then for 45 seconds there was a surreal feel to the dance. They walked a bit, posed, and even held hands. When were they actually going to dance? No, not yet, now, no, yes, no, ah, now. It was all a little disappointing. Perhaps Ali Ash should have brought in a specialist at dancing with the larger lady? It seemed beyond him. 23 points leaves Alison on borrowed time.
Another underwhelming and soulless dance scored 33 points and nearly won the night, Mark and Hottie, dancing a Samba to ‘That’s The Way I Like It’, K C and The Sunshine Band’s finest hour. Again, you can’t blame Mark for this, as I say each week, he can dance. But there must have been something in Hottie’s drinks recently. If that is the best choreography she can produce there is a problem.
With his waxed chest out, dressed in black, this complemented Hottie whose chest wasn’t out, protected by a red tassel frock with a blue lining. For two thirds of the routine Mark gyrated and shimmied, starting on the judggies’ desk, three of them enjoying it more than Lord Len. But that was it. When eventually asked to dance, to do rolls and a dodgy Volta, Mark was fine. He even did Swayze knee lifts and his feet were quick as they should be for a man of his age. But there didn’t seem much point to it, mutton dressed as lamb. Picture self, scratching head.
Jamie Murray was in the audience to support his mum as she danced a Charleston to ‘Varsity Drag’, another dressed in tassel, this one sky blue and navy hoops. Antony Smith of Bristol wore all white ready to open the batting at Lords, or to punt with Judy, oar in hand. And he wore a cravat for the fifth week on the trot. Of course he did, he showers and sleeps in it.
They started sitting in the stranded rowing boat from a previous show. Emerging it showed Judy wearing daps and we quickly found out that you can’t swivel with shoes that grip. Begs the question as to why you wear them? The routine was goofy, typical of Antony, playful and gentle. At one time he lifted her, back to back, and she pedalled the sky. On another there was nearly an around the world but this one managed to get to Dover. And she finished swimming on his shoulder. Her 18 points meant she lost the battle of the Charlestons to Scotty, something I never thought I would ever say.
Live and Let Die was my first proper Bond film. Sure I caught up with its predecessors but Roger Moore, running on alligators, boat chases with jumps and a sultry Jane Seymour did it for me. Its theme tune tops the list too, it crackles with power, energy and drama, perfect for the Paso.
So bring on Caroline and Pasta ready to give the dance some Flack attack. She wore a blue/purple/gold frock and her gym knickers. He was shirtless but sporting a matador’s jacket and cummerbund to cover up his little belly. Together they used the cape; roll in, roll out, swirl. And even when she let go he continued to swash and buckle, so much so that the music was in danger of running out. Half way through they got in hold and off they marched. Caroline’s performance was feisty, tempered, the accents spot on. Passion dominated, this was one bull that was not going to be laid down and slain without a fight, nails out, biting, scratching, gouging. 34 is her highest score to date and deserved.
‘I Wonder Why’ by Curtis Steigers is a perfect Waltz song. Steigers rhymes with tigers. So who was Waltzing? Yup, our Steve. See the jungle connection? Add in the occasional banana hands and the deal was sealed.
Steve is an outdoor guy, rough, tough, fearless, a man with the courage to recover from a broken back – he fell off a mountain – only to go back for more. So the question was, could he do grace and elegance, and the answer was yes. In a posh suit, lovely white tie, Ola in a lime green frock with wings, he flicked a coin into the fountain and made a wish. He turned around and there she was. Will have to try that one.
Apart from a little hunching Steve stood tall and led the way for his belle, the gapping minimal. Who wouldn’t want body contact with Ola? And his feet were good, his frame ox-like, there was genuine care for his partner, and he whizzed in six pivots for good measure near the end, a happy end. It was like he was caring for an injured animal. 30 points is his best yet, another shining in the Ballroom rather than at Latin.
The girl who can do both, Pixie, has the lot. Bring on a Samba to ‘I Yi Yi Yi Yi’ so far a dance unconquered by the celebs. Trent wore black pants and a red shirt. To balance Pixie wore a red Alice band and bangles, some gold, a red bikini top with tassels and a short skirt with tassels, a tail and a gold edge. There were feathers and flowers in her hair. Hot before she started dancing.
On her own, on the stage, she pretended to be a singer in a Brazilian club, shaking her maracas amongst other things. Shimmying for England she took to the floor towards a grateful Trent. The conntnt was bouncy, full on, funky, flirty, again her beautiful legs hit the mark even during a splits, her arm extensions the mark of a pro, the glee and ease in both faces clear for all to see. At the end she sat with Trent at his table like he had pulled. To cement the relationship she threw the plastic flower that was the table decoration at him and it smacked into the side of his face. Perhaps an adrenalin rush. He wasn’t expecting it that hard. This was a funn dance; no celeb has been more confident dancing the Samba than our Pixie. 35 points meant a miserly eight from one juddge for an ‘Amazing!’ routine.
It was terrific to end on a high before they filmed the results show, the BBC still inexplicably pretending that it is live on Sunday. It was here that Thom met his Waterloo. Such was the shock of being in the dance off Thom resigned himself to his fate even before he danced. His effort was limp. Webby, in contrast, was smooth as silk, far better than his first go. Bizarrely Craig and Darcey opted to save Thom. Bruno added the relevant point, they had to be juddged on the dance off, nothing else and he got Webby back in the game before Lord Len sealed Thom’s fate.
So the Great British Public have struck. In the Pointless Celebrities before the show journalists Nick Ferrari and Julia Hartley-Brewer chose Dementia and Miscarriages as their charities.
Thom can now add Miscarriages of Justice to that list.
October 27th 2014