There are many things I would put into ‘Room 101’. Disrespect, people too lazy to put their trolley away at the supermarket, those who tip ashtrays into carparks, eejits who don’t recycle, wardens who give out tickets on Sundays, the perpetrators of war crimes and the owners of pigeon toes. I could go on. But the worst thing, by far, is tattoos on a male body. Tatts are done for ego, esteem and self-worth. Why, why, why (Delilah)? Why spoil something so precious? Why put stickers on a Ferrari?
You can imagine the cringe then when at least five men from the fifteen cupples gracing the stage together for the first time, the dances open to the voat, all sported differing degrees of body art. It is with that in mind that the GBP spoak and Iwan, pronounced You-An, Thomas was sent hurtling back to Farnham. Not hurdling. He ran the flat race, no jumps, in a Lester Piggott sort of way. First off and a humiliation for a sportsman. That said, there are plenty of humiliated sportsmen in England at the moment.
Iwan’s Cha to ‘Sexy and I Know It’ began with him ripping open his pink shirt exposing his chest and those tatts. A jump followed, then a knee slide and some break dancing. I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking this is a Cha isn’t it? And you knew by then that it was going to be bad and sure enough the poor fella’s lack of timing was as exposed as his torso, subtleties especially absent. Not sure what Ola’s been teaching him this week because this performance had the finesse of a Tiananmen Square tank, pigeon toes aplenty and a misplaced twerk. They should be in ‘Room 101’ too, the tanks. His heart was in the right place but everything resonated with the viewers, 13 points bottoming the Score Board. For those wanting to see Ola again a new calendar of saucy pics will be available at Christmas.
Jamelia, Kellie and Helen all performed Chas too, each matching their scores from Week One. Go on, look them up . . . okay, 21, 27 and 29. Jamelia, dressed like a green tasselled Christmas tree opened to ‘Dontcha’, mistaken at times, for Don’t Cha. She was sassy, cheeky, even baudy, too baudy for a pre-watershed show, but all this hid the technique, or rather it didn’t because there was none to be seen. Surely, once the rhythm is struck, basic technique is taught next? Dontcha? Isn’t it?
Kellie’s theme was the seaside and I know what she was thinking. Get out of The Smoke, head for the beaches of the Costa del Grimsby and join the hoi palloi on Fisheries Marina in the family yacht, The KFG. Imagine her disappointment when it was shown to be just a theme and that her childhood dream would never be realised? ‘Don’t Go Breaking My Heart’ was an apt song, her coeur was truly brisé. That said her Cha was competent for someone of her schooling, if not a tad aggressive.
So too Helen, dancing like an ‘Uptown Girl’ to, er, ‘Uptown Girl.’ Aljaz, another in need of laser surgery for his tatts, was the ruffy under the car bonnet as the Deb took to the floor. He put his spanners down and miraculously didn’t leave a stain on her Coventry City sky blue tassels. The world would be a worse place without tassels. What was missing for Helen though was some dirt, some funk, the grind to take this performance to another level.
Another dance in need of sex, flirting and suggestibility got two outings, two Salsas, never a ‘the’ to be seen, Kirsty and Ainsley in the mix: tomato, onion, guacamole, garlic, lime juice, cilantro. That would have been funn, seeing them do it together. No such luck, neither some conventional steps from Kirsty’s partner save for a cupple of basics, two cross body leads and a pair of opening outs. The rest of the time was like a cheap sausage, no real meat, just substitutes and padding. Why start on the judgge’s desk? Why a knee slide? Why let her walk over him? More seconds gone? There was one outrageously good lift, Kirsty jumping on like the aforementioned Piggott, rolling round to a front straddle, and two attempts to smash her head on the floor like the ice dancers do, but such subterfuge didn’t fool the paddle bearers. 20 points to ‘Can’t Touch It’ shocked Kirsty and Brendan, not as much as we would have been with some proper steps.
Ainsley is a big fella, he’s a game fella, but after just two weeks we are left wondering whether or not we are going to get the same show every week – here’s your bag of contents, what are you going to cook for us? Oh, the same as last week. Salsa is the vertical expression of a horizontal desire, there is no escaping that. Sure there can be fun but he was keener to show her his tomatoes and peppers rather than rip her clothes off to reveal hers. Even the song backed that. ‘Don’t Touch my Tomatoes’. It would have been the first thing any normal man would have gone for. That said the judggies liked it and 26 points hurtled him towards another supermarket sweep next week.
The battle of the Charlestons was won by Bradford’s finest, Anita, with the same score as last week . . . 27 . . . just in front of Daniel, introduced as the Irish Stallion, who sneaked in a 23. I’m not sure what your vision of an Irish Stallion is but it probably isn’t a debonair man of a certain age wearing pink and pastel grey. Me neither. The dance to ‘Let’s Misbehave’, hopefully not a conversation Kristina has had with him, was more of a gentle trot around the parade ring. His timing was ever impeccable but there wasn’t the wildness and wackiness needed, no chance of this being OTT, except for Daniel chewing throughout . . . like a stallion.
Which is exactly what Anita delivered in a not very shy and retiring way to Paolo Nutini’s ubiquitous ‘Pencil Full of Lead’, a song previously used for the Quick Step and the Jive. The lively exposé split the juddgies, for once the right wing scoring lower than the left, Darcey and Craig two points up on Lord Len and Bruno, the latter duo craving more basic content. They both scored it the same as they did Daniel (6) and you only have to watch it to know that this was a misjudgement. Perhaps they’ll play it back again during the video analysis of the weekend and change their minds? Anita can feel hard done by. She was faster, more vivacious, braver, had more energy, more risk, more acrobatics and more delivery, her cheeky red outfit showing midriff and legs aplenty.
When a juddge gives you fifteen years instead of life in prison I guess that you cheer. When you get a three instead of a two would you do the same? Bring in Jezza and Karen, whose American Smooth to ‘Happy Together’ scored two points lower than last week, just the seventeen. And still they cheered. Perhaps it was the relief that this dance had been ticked off. Or perhaps it was Jezza knowing he is another day closer to being voated off? It will be a sad day but his only hope is if the choreographer ups her game. The Smooth is supposed to be Hollywood, glamour and glitz, not like a group aerobics class in the local village library. This was more Cricklewood and only one person is responsible.
So too the person who decided that Carol and Pasta were to dance their entire Fox Trot routine holding a transparent umbrella to ‘Isn’t This a Lovey Day’. Because she is a weather girl. I know. Had to go to Oxbridge to come up with that one. In fact Pasta danced more with the brolley than he did with Carol, as big an insult as there is. Who did you lose out to? A right hottie? No, a brolley. Carol was much improved hitting the heights of 20 points and one day will be proud to boast that she was twelfth out of fifteen, a three place climb from Week One. As a beginner she has grace and heart, no bad thing.
Back in the seventies, so I’m told, the sophisticated man about town could be seen wearing a velvet jacket and a polo neck sweater, think Roger Moore in The Persuaders, or the Bond of the era. Antony Smith of Bristol is an unlikely Bond, more Basildon than James, but add Katie Derham to the mix and you have the ingredients for the poshest totty Tango of all time to a song called ‘Telephone’. Which is what we got, straight sevens adding to the credibility of last week’s Jive.
Katie started lying on a chaise longue, was raised to her full height before being dropped rigidly to be held by her beau. It set the scene for sharpness and quality, for a Week Two performance from a beginner that was as good as it gets at this stage. There were minor issues, core to neck perhaps, but these were transcended by the scene, a beautifully used false finish and a great feel. She is a joy.
In the battle of Farm Foods versus Iceland Peter produced another high quality performance doing the first Quick Step of the season to ‘Valerie’, pick your version, Zutons, Ronson, Winehouse, Singleton, another matching his Week One score, 30, a marker, a target.
Dressed like an extra from Showaddywaddy, crimson suit with black lapels, you get the picture, Peter was light on his feet, he was sharp, fast, crisp and on time, once he started, another dance that waited twenty five seconds or so to hit the floor. But amidst all that the lack of sophistication shone through like a beacon. Perhaps a shave? A proper suit? A real piece of music? Standing tall? Runs not gallops, his knees higher than any steed racing against the Irish Stallion. Picky I know but I’m not sure you’ll see Pete in Waitrose at any time soon though he will smash it through till the final at Christmas. I wonder if he’ll close the show every week?
The three remaining performances were all of the Waltz and they veered from the scary, a 19 from Anthony TH, a disappointing 25 from Georgia and Gio, to a shocking and show changing 31 from Jay NotenuffNs.
The Waltz is the game changer in anyone’s life. Soft, gentle, romantic, where the knight cares for the princess, where she luxuriates in the comfort and security provided by his sword and white charger. I’m sure that Oti felt protected. Anyone fancying a dust up with TH would need to be sectioned or carrying. But that’s where the story ended. Another with misplaced tatts he looked beautiful in pastel yellows and greys and the song, ‘If You Don’t know Me by Now’, filled the glass over half full. But he is a fighter not a lover, finesse and the air of the sophisticat still hiding somewhere in the mysterious forest. Apparently he’s the best boxer ever on the show. Early days but he’s only being compared to Audley Harrison (please look him up, adverts on the soles of his shoes) and Joe Calzaghe, a man of other talents.
Georgia and Gio let us down as well as themselves. The romance here was bountiful, the chemistry sizzling, the interpretation smart, class exuding, a sneaky jealousy inducing kiss slipping into the mix. The song though, ‘Georgia on My Mind’, see what they did there, was as slow as it was cringing, and whilst they both sang along, the detail disappeared, the rise and fall like a flat bread, heel leads replaced by toes. Lord Len wasn’t seduced, not a good place to be.
And that leaves Jay and Aliona, the best of the night in every and many other way. It was a surprise, but then it wasn’t.
Previously Jay looked like a yeti with dreads, another with body paint ready for the laser, and some bright spark decided he should get hissen to a barber and lose some of the weight off his head. He did and there beneath lurked a good looking young fella, a glint in his eye, a charm ready to be braceleted. If only he’d had a shave and sorted his tatts? ‘See the Day’ was the song, probably relating to his skull.
Clad in white from head to toe the foreplay was just twenty seconds and then they danced, with grace, with balance, with feeling, Aliona thinking she’d fallen into a fairy tale. Apart from a face that didn’t exude enjoyment, why on earth not, a Waltz with such a hottie, Jay’s delivery was as beautiful as his suit, his timing, his steps full of grace.
The kicker came after 73 seconds. The scene was set. Jay danced a dubble turn to left. And he spotted. This is a technique used where the eyes are held in place as the head turns to minimise dizziness and then they follow the body at the last moment. Where on earth did he learn that? This was followed by a tripple turn to right, the arms a tad blatty but high quality nonetheless. None of the other celebs can do that now. Most won’t be able to by Christmas. And then we are reminded of his pedigree, the years at a prominent song and dance school in The Midlands. No walk in beginner here. His turn arm was better than the pros and as he led his partner a small smile lit up his eyes, and then hers. They both know don’t they? And now, so do we. The nerves are gone along with the hair. This is no Samson, the talent is revealed. No ‘Room 101’ for Jay.
October 7th 2015