Tuesday, October 30, 2007


This week Brucie is even more incoherent than usual and there is plenty of controversy and rows. Hurrah! The dances are the samba, which seems to involve walking and pointing a lot and the American Smooth, which involves pretending to be Fred and Ginger a lot.

BOOBWATCH: Tess wears a nondescript red number for the first show and then a bizarre metallic outfit for the results show that makes her look like a sexy dalek/fembot type thing. Her hair doesn’t really suit her up, either.

ALESHA: Alesha starts us off with an American Smooth, wearing a red dress and with her hair up. I think this is the first time she has done ballroom and she is not bad. She looks elegant and dancerly and can’t stop smiling. The judges criticise her for some technical errors but she still gets pretty good marks.

GETHIN: Gethin is doing the samba and Camilla takes him to a samba club during the week so he can loosen up and get his hips going. I am finding Gethin a bit boring, even if he is quite fit. His routine is OK. Everyone says it is one of his best dances yet but he still needs to loosen up and get sexay.

KATE: Kate does the samba to Dancing Queen, which is not a great song (a) for that dance or (b) for the terrible screechy singers to attempt. She has a couple of OK moments but does seem to spend a lot of time being propped up by Anton (and his hairy chest – rowr!) and being dragged around the floor. She has a laugh about the whole thing at least, and is a lot less sour than Fiona Phillips was last year. I am quite warming to her. She gets predictably terrible marks (and is likened to a rag doll), but is delighted to get a 6 from Len.

KELLY: Kelly is doing the AS and wibbles on about how this dance fulfils all her princess/movie star fantasies. Her hair is all piled up on the front of her head, which looks rather odd and makes her jaw look massive. She is wearing a black shiny dress that appears to be made of vinyl. Hmmm. Her dance is very good but f***face Brendan incorporated 3 lifts into the routine which is a Dance Crime, apparently. They get 8s off everyone (losing a mark for the extra lift, plus Cabby Len calls Brendan a “donut”!) apart from Bruno who gives them 10. WTF? Billy Zane looks troubled.

DOMINIC: Dominic is doing the AS too. In rehearsal he falls over and hurts his shoulder. Good. But he recovers in time for Saturday. Bad. The dance is so so. Lilia, is it really necessary to incorporate some arse-grabbing action into every routine? Dominic is annoying enough without you encouraging him through the medium of choreography. The judges have a few criticisms about his posture, habit of staring at Lilia’s arse etc etc and he gets average marks.

SHAZZA: Shazza is also doing the AS and whinges on about her insecurities etc. She wears a weird grey/purpley dress that has a severe bodice, but the long skirt with slits is quite good as it shows off her legs without making her look like an apple on stilts. She is not bad and Bruno compliments her being for being classy with a touch of camp. She gets a bunch of 8s

MATT: Matt is doing the AS and wears a tuxedo that makes it look like he has no neck. He also has his hair in a Walter The Softy side parting, which pleases his mum no end. Flavia is wearing a bizarre primrose yellow floaty trouser suit thing like something Alexis Carrington Colby would wear to convalesce from a bout of flu. Their dance is very good (but he still has the “grim determination” thing going on at times) and the judges all go ape. Arlene wheels out a laboured pun re “Matt-inee idol”. He gets 4 9’s – the highest score of the night! Matt is the only bloke who has a chance to go far vs the likes of Kelly and Alesha.

GABBY: Gabby is doing the samba and wears a weird grey dress with lots of feathers sticking out of the back. She looks OK to me but loses timing a couple of time and apparently her voltas are bad. I don’t know what that means though. Isn't it a Russian river? She gets 7s and 8s.

KENNY: Kenny is doing the samba and gets a huge cheer just for striking a dramatic pose before the dance starts. He is predictably terrible. Most of the time he just walks around the floor while uber-minx Ola shimmys around in front of him. He does some painful looking hip waggles and messes up a knee slide for the grand finale. The judges are pitiless – Craig is repulsed by the hip thrusts and Bruno says he looks like a vacuum cleaner. Len still gives him a six though. Eh?

JOHN: John wheels out several of his apparently limitless supply of cute kids this week. He is doing the AS but apparently messes up and loses his performance briefly. I don’t remember much about the dance and the judges say it was boring apart from the final lift bit. Perhaps Nicole is just a rubbish choreographer? I know you can't judge a person by their hair, but Nicole's was a bit Hallowe'en tastic this week. John is not looking like such a contender now that the shock “OMG, he isn’t rubbish!” factor has worn off.

PENNY: Giantess Penny sambas to “These Boots are made for walking” in a gold mini dress and go-go boots. Much of the dance involves her strutting round looking foxy but there is a fast bit in the middle where they break into a sort of go-go dancing Tina Turner type bit, that I really like. Arlene thinks that it isn’t old school samba enough, but all the other judges enjoy it and she gets decent marks.

THE RESULTS SHOW: Professional dancers demonstrate the dances for next week: The Pasa Doble (aka retarded bullfighting dance that really ups the camp factor/LOL’s in the choreography) – I spend the demo smirking at the GRRR! faces that all the dancers pull as they attack their moves to Seven Nation Army by the White Stripes. Jack White must have been pressured by his English inlaws to let the BBC use it ("There'll be no eccles cake and Marmite food parcels for thee me lad...not unless you let the lovely Anton twirl his cape and make grr faces to one of yer 'its...")

The ballroom dance is the foxtrot, which has no USP that I can notice. Well, it's got swishy trotty bits...

There is some business re Three-Lift-gate, with Arlene and her bitchface and Len really pissed off that Bruno gave Kelly and F***face a 10, even though he cheated. We then get Wet Wet Wet performing a dreary song from the 80s that I find myself singing along to as I do the washing up. The shame! Marti Pellow looks really rough these days.

The results come round and – gasp – all the no hopers and B-listers get through – Kate! Kenny! Dominic! Shazza! Barnesy! The bottom two are Gabby and Penny and everyone is shocked and appalled. I hope Penny doesn’t lose as I really like her now, but Gabby doesn’t deserve to go home either.

They dance off and the judges all talk about how angry they are at having to chose between two good dancers. Craig saves Gabby but all the rest got for Penny. Phew. Gabby is obviously shocked but doesn’t cry and is quite classy about the whole thing. Penny also has the good grace not to look too pleased about being saved. The only good thing about it is that Gabby’s cockfarmer partner will be raging. He picks her and waves her around over his head for a bit in the last dance and that’s it for Gabby!

There’s lots of OMG-ery on various message boards but watching rubbish dancers each week is part of the fun of the show for many people – after all, Spencer off EE and Julian Clary did very well in their series and Fiona Phillips was round for 4 weeks or so, and she makes Kate look like Margot Fonteyn. It Takes Two showed Craig Upper Norwood saying that the Great British Public are FOOLS to make them choose between Gabby and Penny; and Len was practically in tears on the phone from LA, saying that it was the worst thing he has done in forty years of judging. Eh?

Someone, somewhere seems to have forgotten the point. Get over it, dance snobs!!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Older readers may remember the BBC Young Musician of the Year competition being televised on Sunday evenings, inbetween the teatime Dickens adaptation and the obligatory David Attenborough wildlife programme. I certainly do. Every performer (particularly guitarists, clarinettists and pianists) prompted a poke from the nearest available parent, accompanied by a hissed: "See? that's what happens when you PRACTISE!" That was my cue to remember a vital unfinished piece of Physics homework (failed that O-level too).

Young Musician of the Year has been moved to BBC Four, to sit on the Super Spod shelf next to QI. But somebody at BBC2, probably thinking that there aren't enough white middle-class people making utter fools of themselves on TV, came up with the bright idea of an X-factor for classical musicians.

So here's the deal. We get Famous Cellist Matthew Barley who is a kind of Simon Rattle Lite - all curly hair and enthusiastic jeans. Matthew decides to widen the audience for classical music by creating a special school for talented young musicians to compete with each other to be the next classical star. Like..you know...Nigel Kennedy. But not G4, oh no.

Matthew gets his classical expert friends to be the judges and holds auditions around the country, just like on X-factor. However, having a dead dad or acting like a ment doesn't get you far if you can't play an instrument to at least Grade 8 standard. Having said that, we get a few choice specimens who don't make it. Notably a boy with a haystack on his head and a weird embouchure (music speak for not puffing your cheeks out when you play a wind instrument - in this case, a clarinet). Haystacks puffed like a bullfrog in mating season, which is Not Good and leads to a crappy sound. He seemed blissfully unaware of this, and staunchly defended his crap sound, backed up by his formidable mother. Oh yes, there are plenty of formidable parents around in this series. Another generically handsome posh boy flautist declared that he wanted to be a classical equivalent of Robbie Williams. I think Tchaikovsky got there before you, mate.

You can take it as read that all our contestants are a bit...well...intense. And most of them seem to already have places at the Royal College of Music. Which is nice.

After they settle in to the country house music school (it's never a warehouse in Peckham, is it?), Matthew gets them to improvise. Improvising is not something classical musicians do; this alone probably set jazz musos up and down the country a-cackling gleefully They have to come up with a few bars that epitomises their personality. Going by this, the bassoon player thinks she's Ivor the Engine. Most of them muddle through, and try to get away with playing as few notes as possible. More bizarre, performance-related tests follow, and the poor little scraps are mortified in shopping centres, pushed around by tango teachers, and end up doing a make-or-break performance in front of a group of very patient teenagers in Hoxton.

When not being forced into strange producer-led exercises to 'expand their horizons', they practise. They get up in the morning, and do some scales. Then maybe a lesson. Then more practice. Then lunch, where they talk about music and try to ignore Matthew speaking with his mouth full. And in the afternoon, they practise some more before being forced into the garden by the producers to do non-practising-type shots. Yep, that's right. Musicians are a bit boring - well the proper ones anyway. They play the same thing over and over again for seven hours a day. Then they talk about flattened fifths. And then they go to bed. Trust me, I know. I married a musician.

The Big Performance at the end of each week is where they perform a piece or do something for the judges. This week they each had 15 minutes in front of the incredibly patient East End teenagers. Nerdy guitar boy (the house favourite) demonstrated the versatility of the guitar sound rather well, though he should stay away from funk. The Winehouse-esque pianist made emo hearts go all a-flutter with Chopin's Funeral March (OK, it's really called the third movement of Piano Sonata no. 2 in B-flat minor).

The judges accuse the pretty blonde violinist from Suffolk, who works in a bar and runs jam sessions with bejumpered folkies to make ends meet, of using sex to win over the kidz. Ummm...flicking your hair while you play isn't exactly on a par with Beyonce, but this is Classical World, where talent is everything. Unless your name is Myleene.

In the end, the judgest decide to sack Robbie Williams Boy for being a smug, irritating little twerp, and a taciturn teenage trumpet player who crumples into a quivering heap at the very thought of a three word sentence. Not great for swapping anecdotes on a sofa with Sam and Mark...

Next week: Matthew waves his arms about and wears jeans which don't have the creases ironed in. And the youngsters do a bit more practice.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007


Flight of the Conchords is an HBO comedy show about two hapless New Zealand musicians trying to make it in New York. One of them (Bret aka Brit) looks like a cute version of Peter Sutcliffe and the other one (Jermain) looks like a cute version of Marcus Brigstock. Every week, there is 30 minutes of dead pan, rather repetitive comedy, where Brit and Jermain fall out over something and then they make up at the end. Last week saw the boys falling out over a girl they both liked, and competing to make her the most impressive birthday present – Jermain hand wrought her a butterfly out of glass and Brit produced an amazingly creepy painting of the girl as a bikini clad barbarian queen posing with a wolf with Brit’s face. It isn’t usually that funny though, so hopefully that was a sign that the show will broaden its wings slightly.

The main reason to watch the show is for the musical interludes. In one week, Brit and Jermain tried to fend off some muggers by taking on their rap identities (Rhyme-nocerous and Hiphop-opatumus) and rapping at them.

Later on they walk through the mean streets of NYC singing a motown style protest song that cracked me up (Sample lyrics: “Kids on the street being stabbed by knives and forks, and being called names like dork”).

I also liked Jermain’s Barry White style “It’s business time”, where he sings about treating his girl to two minutes of lovin’, in his socks. (“And then you say something sexy like “Is that it???””).

You can find all the songs on youtube (check out the David Bowie one or the Pet Shop Boys one) and I still sort of think that I am better off just doing that and not watching the program, but there are worse ways to spend a Tuesday evening, I suppose.

Snippets of TV genius

No. 1 in a random series of classic TV quotes

From Oz and James's US Wine Adventure. Oz and James are paying homage at the memorial to James Dean, erected by an eccentric Japanese fan at the very tree that Dean crashed into in 1955.

Oz: He was a rebel without a cause, James.
James: He was a rebel without an airbag...

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

X Factor: Round one, number ones

It was the first week of X Factor proper, having got through the ment-poking audition stages, the not particularly hard boot-camp and the sessions in the judges houses. We'd already lost lovely little Dominic from the boys and the only group in the finals who auditioned as a group are the Carpenters with ADD. Dermot is our new presenter to replace Riddler Kate.

On Saturday we saw the first of the proper singing rounds. This week: number ones.

Styling notes: Kimberluh looked like a sofa had swallowed Kelly Osbourne on her way to a fancy dress party as Gwen Stefani. Niki's DEAD DAD had left her a hairdresser's card and a scribbled post-it note telling her that the perm was a really bad idea in his papers, which she only found after the bootcamp weeks. Emily's stylist had clearly stuck Annabella Lwin's head on Avril Lavigne's body and decided that was a good look for a wholesome looking teenager with puppy fat. A devoted assistant was pulling out Andy's pubes with tweezers, one by one, to maintain the right level of slighltly pained brink of tears that the girlies loves. Beverley was wearing Captain Caveman on her head but had clearly lost weight since the auditions and was looking good otherwise. Rhydian looks like he's made of plastic. A 50p faced plastic Adam Rickett doll in fancy dress as the Judderman. Why does Rhydian look so bloody weird? In Hope, Leah is a foot taller than the rest and they cannot hide it, Raquelle appears to have borrowed her top from Borat. Overall, only Hope and Alisha look like pop stars should. Judges styling: Danni's face can barely move, Sharon's hair shade - crimson.

Performance notes: Same Difference have turned up on the wrong programme as clearly "tonight, Matthew, we are going to be H and Claire after Steps split up". Leon appears to be performing in a dance sequence from Absolute Beginners. Kimberluh will come into her own in about 30 years time, when it's OK to be a larger glamour girl in true Helen Lawson style - on someone barely out of her teens it's just painful. Will Hope ever sing anything other than Umberella-ella-ella-ella? Can any member of Hope other than Leah and Phoebe actually sing in tune? Rhydian keeps getting the words to "I would do anything for love wrong". Would, Rhydian, not Will. Andy is like a singing puppy - the Andyrex puppy. Judges performance: Sharon does an impressive turn as lascivious drunken auntie at the end of a wedding, Louis does bizarre turn as voice of reason.

Results: After an extended delay caused by the Rugby, we find that Alisha and Kimberluh are the bottom two. Sharon refuses to vote as her quite frankly bizarre music taste has put them in this position. Danni votes to send the black girl home. Louis and Simon see sense. Kimberluh is going back to pulling pints.

Next week: Songs from the movies, with special guest Celine Dion. I think I will need a drink.

Have we had an X Factor Drinking Game yet?

Next week's X Factor Drinking Game

1 finger beer/gulp wine/swig of spirits for each mention of the following.

"My/our journey"
Niki's DEAD DAD is DEAD and wanted her to enter the competition.
Emily nearly died
Daniel's child
Rhydian's arrogance/bad reputation
"The girls will love you"
Beverley's class

2 fingers/gulps etc for the following events

Same Difference sing a song which is inappropriate for a brother and sister
Sharon brings one of the family on (dogs included).
Hope find some way to disguise Leah's height.
Louis rants about Same Difference being in the competition.
Danni votes against a black contestant in the bottom two.

Down your drink

Sharon and Celine have the same hairdo.
A judge walks off or refuses to vote at the end.

Monday, October 22, 2007


This week, the ladies and the men compete with each other for the first time, doing either the tango or the jive, which are two of my favourite dances. I notice that there are many EE cast members in attendance tonight, as well as Billy “no life” Zane yet again. Never mind, I'm sure the residuals from the DVD sales of The Phantom will dry up soon.

BOOBWATCH: Tess is wearing not a bad dress, it’s black with a weird gold tape bikini effect that emphasis her boobs. She is also wearing a very odd pendant that looks like a 1950s car hood ornament and has her hair all Farrah-ed up.

GABBY: I think Gabby used to look nicer without her severe fringe. Anyway, she was apparently disappointed to only come 4th last week and is determined to do better today. She is dancing the jive to that Elton John “Saturday! Saturday!” song. She is wearing a very short grey dress that totally shows off her arse when she spins around. She is pretty good, skipping around like a maniac and grinning all the way through. At the end she does a cartwheel and the splits, which is just showing off really. The judges are all pleased (though apparently she made a mistake – I think she was slightly out of time with Ian while they dancing separately) and give her a bunch of 8s.

GETHIN: Gethin was also disappointed with his first score and says he is now used to snuggling up to the lovely Camilla (I love her surname, Dallerup!). He is tango-ing to “Gold! You’re indestructible!!” and is a lot better than last time, though rather blank and emotionless, and I find the choreography a bit dull. The judges pretty much agree with me, but Arlene announces that he is the chosen male contestant that she will sexually harass for the rest of the series (see Mark, last year…) He gets OK marks

PENNY: Penny is also doing the jive, in a very short blue shiny dress (she wears it well though. Ha ha, do you see what I did there…). She gives it her all but is not so great, tottering round and obviously stumbling a couple of times. She seems to have a problem with heels, which is not very Essex. Maybe they should be white. Afterwards there is a big discussion about how it is v hard for tall people to jive because their freakishly long legs are uncontrollable and don’t get with the beat, daddy-o. Way to put me off wanting to learn my favourite dance, judges! (Later on, Alesha and her super long legs jive excellently, btw). Evil Craig gives her a 5 and she gets 6s and 7s off the others, which isn’t so bad, but she still has a little cry in the Tess-aract.

KENNY: Kenny does the tango to a terrible version of “Call Me” with awful screechy singing. He gives a sob story about having dyslexia in the interview section. Whatever!!! He is a bit better than last week, though rather overdoes the glaring and his hands are a bit rubbish (gorilla like, as the judges say). He gets average marks.

Kenny looks more and more like Jamie Redknapp's chunky cousin every week. Actually, that would be a good combination. Lovely Louise-off-Eternal and Jamie...AT WAR. You've got the ex-girl band and sporty angles covered, and he's got a comedy football manager dad too. Everyone's a winner.

MATT: Matt says that dancing live is as embarrassing as losing your virginity on live TV. Eww, and also it can’t be as embarrassing as some of your EE performances. Matt is wearing baggy trousers, two-tone shoes and an open, short sleeved shirt with an odd flesh coloured vest underneath it. I would have gone for a black or white vest, personally. Also, I fear Flavia’s teeth. The performance is pretty good, with lots of twisting and finger snapping etc. Some times he looks like he’s enjoying it but he has a sort of look of grim determination on his face for some of it. Also there is one bit where he stops and just sort of claps and jiggles around a bit until he remembers what he’s supposed to be doing. He gets pretty good marks (7/8s) and the judges comment on how much he’s improved.

KATE: Kate’s fall offy feet crisis is now over and she is determined to do her best! Her best being rather shit, sadly. She does the tango and looks nice in a green and black dress with her hair up. As per last time, she just seems a bit hesitant as though all the moves are taking her by surprise and often it looks like Anton is dragging her around the floor. She seems very lacking in confidence for a presenter, even when she isn’t dancing. The judges all say that she didn’t do much wrong, but it was still rubbish.

Actually, the reason I want Kate to get voted off is because keeping her there means that her ex-spin doctor husband gets to whine to the cameras about how great she was, and what a fighter she is and all I can think of is: "this man used to work for Peter Mandelson". Think on that GMTV viewers!

DOM: There are lots of hilarious shots in training of Lilia shrieking “SHUT UP!!!” right in Dom’s slappable cheeky Ferengi face. I keep expecting him to start going on about Latium bars. They jive to Christina Haguilera’s inexplicable 1940s pastiche Candyman and Lilia wears a lovely sparkly dress and looks v cute with her hair all marcell-waved up. Dom is a bit shit and there is a hilarious arm wavy bit that even I can recognise as being terrible. Also, his braces pop off his trousers so some of the choreography doesn’t quite work. He gets OK marks but looks very serious as he receives his criticism

LETITIA: Shazza dances a tango to a screechy-vocalled version of Material Girl. Why do they do these awful 80s covers when the proper music is much nicer? She is wearing a long black lacy Spanish style dress that is more flattering than the shorter outfits they’ve put her in in previous weeks. She says that having to dance off last time aged her about two years and is determined to do better this week. She is not bad, though she pulls some embarrassing sex faces whilst dancing, and gets average marks.

JOHN: John is dancing the jive and appears to have lost weight since last week, though that may be the effect of a slimming black shirt vs a non-slimming yellow one! My b/f thinks he is too self confident and cocky and has gone off him, but I still like him, so there. I am not keen on Nicole though (for no good reason whatsoever – her hair makes her look like a lost member of Steps or something).

WILLIE: I really wanted to see Willie doing a jive, but unfortunately he is tangoing instead, dressed in a funereal black suit with Erin in a white shiny dress. She has picked some Authentic Tango Music, which to my ears does not have a beat and thus must be very hard to dance to. Apparently his footwork is good, but his posture is terrible, (like a walrus in the Sahara says Bruno, surreally.) He gets below average marks and everyone is disappointed after he did so well last week.

ALESHA: Alesha wears the shortest green dress in Christendom to do her jive to an excellent choice in music - Shake Your Tail Feather. Lots of shots of her bounding round energetically like a loon in rehearsal, laughing a lot and calling her dance partner “Cutler” in a faux stern fashion. I still love her. Her jive is really excellent, with loads of energy and enthusiasm and lots of super fast kicking, despite her freakishly long jive-averse legs. She gets 9 points from each of the judges, and comes off bouncing and shrieking with joy. Alesha to win!!

Mr P announced that he had died and gone to heaven after Alesha's dance. I ordered our daughter to kick him.

KELLY: Kelly is doing a tango to Abba’s Gimme Gimme Gimme (A man after midnight). Gay much, Brendan? She wears a red lacy number with a cut out boob-window and odd skirt that starts at her ribs, though her hair and make up are ace - she really has the colouring to pull off a Spanish style look. Her tango is good but not exceptional, in my eyes. There’s a bit where they both spin round doing flicky leg moves (why yes, that is the technical term) which I like and a high point, where she gives Brendon a good slap (if I was her I’d have sewn a few 50p pieces into the lining of my glove for that…). Also her performance is pretty good – she is really emphasising the “I’m an actress too!!” bit of her CV. Brendan gallantly admits to making a mistake in the dance and they get 8s and 9s.

RESULTS SHOW: The pro dancers did a very swoopy American Smooth,and somebody vox popped some of the celebrity audience. Jane Horrocks, surrounded by little Blonde Horrockses, said that poor Anton always got the raw deal. The Stenders gang were out in force, propping up the bar as usual and shouting for Shazza and Beano.

There is opera singing from Katharine Jenkins (going for Gethin because he's Welsh, and so is she...) and Andrea Bocelli. I've heard better - in fact I think I've sung a better tenor part than that. Anyway, Erin and Anton swish about to make sure nobody falls asleep. Woo hoo.

Anyway, the scores come in and Willie and John have to dance off. John!!! Gasp!!! Shurely Shome Mishtake! John gets through obviously – they don’t even pretend to have a casting vote type nail biter. Bye Willie, I am still gutted I didn’t get to see you jive. Next week: The American Smooth (aka the Fred and Ginger-y one) and one of the fast latin ones (salsa perhaps???) – which should be fun.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007


After the men’s poor showing last week, everyone is looking forward to what the ladies (PS stop calling them “girls”, Brucie you old dinosaur) can do. And speaking of Brucie, is it just me or have his scripted links to camera become even more incoherent, garbled, unfunny etc etc than ever before, such that I find myself grinding my teeth whenever he appears on screen? (some of his ad libs are still quite funny, mind you)

BOOBWATCH: Tess wears a strapless green number, which is not bad, but the highly pleated bodice makes it look a bit as if her boobs are made of paper mache. The fabric on the one she wears for the results show looks like old Christmas wrapping paper and has a weird sticky out bit along the neck line, as though a bit of the hem has become unstitched.

I lied last week and said they are doing the foxtrot and the rumba, when actually it is the quickstep and the rumba. The quickstep is the one where they charge from corner to corner of the floor and then do flappery type foot moves, the rumba is the boring one where the woman points to the ceiling and tries to look sensuous while the man writhes around her and rubs his thighs a la Vic Reeves and the judges argue whether it is supposed to be romantic or slutty.


There is a hilarious clip of Stephanie with giant hair as Sable Colby, giving Joan Collins a well deserved choking on Dynasty, and also of her being camp and bossy to creepy lothario Vincent. She has to do the quickstep in a bacofoil dress and does pretty well, even though it is to a dreadfully unsuitable KT Tunstall song – I really don’t understand why they do these period type dances to modern songs, it must be much easier to do it to a 1920s sounding song. Everyone says she has charisma and glamour (TRU!!) but needs to be lighter on her feet and she gets mainly 6s.


Shazza worries about her looks compared to glamazons such as Penny, Alesha and Kelly and who can blame her. Darren seems nice and a good laugh as always. She does the rumba in an unflattering blue dress draped with netting and is OK but not brilliant. The producers have decided to try and draw attention away from Shazza's ample top half by getting her to wave her very shapely legs about, but all you think is: "Hmm...nice legs...Russian tractor driver shoulders...wonder if we're related?"

I have seen a lot worse anyway. The judges say they are too restrained and need to go out and get drunk together. They still get average marks.


When Kate appears, I hope they will pan down and reveal that her feet have been replaced by robotic limbs or roller skates or something but no such luck. She moans about her feet a lot and how it has messed up her training and then does a quickstep to Love Machine (see above re unsuitable modern songs). It is pretty bad. All the steps seem to take Kate by surprise, Anton is visibly dragging her round half the time and when they reach the bit between the flappering and the trotting, they just seem to stand there and mill around aimlessly. All the judges are very mean (with many references to laughing stock Fiona Phillips) and Craig gives her 2 points! The rest give her 4 and 5s. Anton is relieved that their first score is higher than Fiona Phillips. I can just imagine Fiona Phillips sat at home watching the show, drinking neat vodka out of the bottle and swearing blearily at the TV.


I love Alesha, she seems like she would be really good fun to go out with and I love her dirty laugh. Also she is a stunner! She is doing the rumba and wears a sparkly red dress that barely contains her bosoms. Unsurprisingly she is very good, looks great and puts in a convincing performance of Mills & Boon style emotion as the dance requires. I really hope she goes far in the competition. The judges compare her to “Salome” and “a gazelle” and she gets mainly 8s. Hurrah!


I was irrationally inclined to dislike Penny but she seems nice enough and quite down to earth. I think it's because we disliked the former Mrs Stewart so much on Make me a Supermodel; and after all, they're both tall blondes married to Rod Stewart, so it's easy to mix them up.

There is a hilarious shot of her in her LA mansion rehearsing while her dad sits there watching in his vest and trakkie bottoms. Class. She is mega tall (as is her partner) and looks great with her posh green dress, up-hairdo etc. Rod Stewart is watching and has a mysterious black eye. Hmmm. She does a quickstep to proper 1920s sounding music – hurrah - and is pretty good, skipping elegantly round the room, and looking like a bona fide Noel Coward character. I think the band like her too because the singers growl: "Go Penny Go!" just before the middle eight. The judges all love her (Bruno says something about “ecstasy” – perhaps that he is on it) and she gets 8s and a 9 – wowsa!


Kelly is not quite as stunning in close up as she was last week and does not seem like the sharpest knife in the drawer, but she is giggly and harmless, and still v beautiful. Brendan is so in awe of her hottness that he almost forgets to be a dickhead. Well I never. Then he mentions that he has to remind himself not to stare at her breasts all the time. Oh well. There is no close-up of Billy Zane polishing a knuckle duster and we are disappointed.

They dance the rumba to a song off Dirty Dancing, which is a bit too obvious for my liking, with Kelly in a high necked gold sparkly dress and pony tail. She is very good (even coping with a stray bit of fringe getting caught on her heel) and looks fantastic and the judges all love her. She gets 8s and a 9 and is now joint first with Penny!


Ian was a right prat last series, but he says he will be nicer this series as Gabby is making an effort to be good, unlike the lazy slut he got landed with last year. The Guardianistas call him "Wolverine", and I think I can see why (ed: he has an adamantium skeleton?).

I think Gabby will be replacing Carol Smilie as the slightly underachieving joyless swot this series, as she goes on about how competitive she is. She does a quickstep to Dean/Nancy’s Things, wearing a red dress. The routine looks quite difficult and complex and Gabby does quite well. The judges are vaguely complimentary and give her 7s and 8s – which would be very good on any series apart from this one. Gabby says tight lippedly that she did it better in rehearsal and probably goes off screen and starts self harming or something to punish herself.


This is supposed to be a merengue but it's more like a hopeless farrago, as they start dancing to a latin tune that then morphs into the Jackson 5. The choreography is all over the place. Stand out moments = a blatant incident of jazz hands and Dominic playing girl dancers’ bottoms like bongos. WTF?? Willy looks like he will struggle with latin. Kenny is as terrible and clunky as last week, Matt and Gethin are improved, Dominic is still annoying and John still looks like he is enjoying himself and is not bad. The judges tell them that they are all doomed. Doomed, I say!!


This is full of filler and a huge waste of time (especially when sodding Westlife show up). The men even do their retarded group dance again and it makes no more sense than it did the night before. The only good bit is when the Professional Dancers strut their stuff to a medley of songs from Chicago. Finally the actual results come on and – gasp – to everyone’s shock horror, Kate is through. Damn you GMTV viewers and your sympathy votes. Stephanie and Shazza have to dance off and Stephanie is much the same, but Shazza puts a bit more over acting into her performance and gets through. Stephanie is v gracious about the whole thing and makes “I’m too old for this shit anyway” type noises. What a shame, she was good value on the show.

Next week it is the tango and the jive, which both have much scope for hilarity. I am guessing that Kenny or Willy will be going home, esp if they both have to jive….

Tuesday, October 09, 2007


It seems like only yesterday when we were praising lovely Ramps to the skies, and here we are again, with a whole new bunch of slebs to slag.

This week we're only seeing the men...uh...perform. Which is good for Kate Garraway because she's been working her feet so hard, they've rebelled and swollen to the point where she could easily don a periwig and play George IV in the GMTV Xmas Regency Revels. I know this because Ceej's childminder watches GMTV in the mornings, and we've been treated to regular updates and explanations of tendonitis with X-rays from Dr Hilary Jones all bloody week. Well, at least she has lovely Anton for a partner.

None of the men particularly stand out as being super skill from the start this year, like Lovely Mark Ramprakash and Colin Jackson did in previous years. Could this be a year for the ladies?

BOOBWATCH: Tess has them firmly strapped down this week, but what's with the plastic cummerbund?


We all know and not-quite-love-not-quite-despise Beano from our Easties days. He's quite cute with stubble, and says that learning to dance might help him pull. Flavia says that he'll need all his acting skillz to create the right atmosphere. She's obviously never seen Eastenders - I don't think there is a dance that requires one to snivel damply in a public toilet. He does OK with the cha-cha-cha. Bit nervous and over-concerned with getting his steps right but he might improve when he relaxes a bit and gets over his nerves.


Karen won last year, so this year she gets the no-hoper. That doesn't stop her being grimly perky about the whole fandango (they don't do the fandango, do they?) Former Corrie Baddie Brian Capron tries to tell us that he's done other stuff than Corrie, but they play his best Corrie psycho scenes anyway. Though anybody who tries to off Gail Tilsley can't possibly be all that bad in my book. He's...ummm...not that great, but game enough. Sadly he ends up in the bottom two and has to "dance off" vs Kenny Logan. The judges dump him. How I will miss Karen's mad facial expressions and naked emotion this series.


Professional cockernee who possibly does some daytime property programme. Anyway, Sarah is reminded of an Arthur Rackham pixie, and not in a good way. He's pretty light on his feet and gets through with his OTT performance - he basically leers a lot and sexually harrasses Lilia to a latin beat. The judges praise his "big personality" (a polite way of saying he's annoying) but that won't help with the ballroom dances, methinks.


Now this is a bit weird because Sarah knows a girl called Gethan, but this is Gethin with an I, and he's a chap. He appears to be the John Noakes one on Blue Peter. Apparently he's rather hunky - Sarah doesn't see it but Mark does, oh yes. Anyway, he's godawful (but fills out his shiny purple cha cha cha shirt very nicely) and as Craig Upper-Norwood says, he'll need the teeny texter vote to keep him in unless he improves big time.


Willie is an old snooker player apparently and everyone expects him to be rubbish. In your face, haytas! He gets the best waltz score of the night from the judges. I can't really see him being any good at latin, though. Bring on the jive!


Awww...look at the big slab of yellow former football genius! He was so cute in that New Order video. Actually, he's pretty light on his feet and seems very jolly and to be having a good time. That enormous yellow blouse was a mistake though. Arlene tells him to stop eating all the pies and shape up. Craig provokes LOL's aplenty when he says that he likes a man with a bit of meat on his bones - a bit TMI there, Craig. John gets top marks of the night! Hurrah!


Oh, this is the COUPLES AT WAR! twist. Kenny is Mr Gabby Logan and also an ex scottish rugger player. He also has a huge Desperate Dan style chin. His waltz is pretty clumpy and graceless and he doesn't take the judge's criticism well. He improves a lot in the dance-off though and scrapes through to dance again.


It’s hard to tell who is any good in the group dance, but lovely Alesha Dixon (the girl who used to break it down and start shouting “boom shakka lacka!” in the middle of every Mis Teeq song), Stunner Kelly Brook (I’m not being sarcastic, she is really incredibly beautiful) though unfortunately she is stuck with cockfarmer Brendan as her partner, Gabby Logan and Mrs Rod “I’m a photographer too! Yes really!” Stewart all look they will do well. Bruno is going to run out of OTT metaphors to describe that lot. Stephanie Beacham adds camp value and I’m not sure how Shazza off EE will do - she seems to be trying to be bubbly and wacky to make up for her inferior looks/skillz. It’ll be fun to watch the wardrobe dept try to cope with her top heavy figure, anway. She looked like an apple on stilts on the Sunday show.


Alesha and Kelly are my favourites to win so far, even though I barely saw them dance, plus I am liking John Barnes (and Gethin for Shallow And Obvious Reasons).


I think John Barnes is this year's stalking horse, and am also liking Dulwich Girlz Alesha and Kelly - despite having to mop up after a drooling spouse...


The men do a group dance and the women dance individually, doing either the foxtrot (yay!) or the rumba (boo!) Will Kate Garraway's feet have fallen off by then? Tune in and see!

Related Posts with Thumbnails