Wednesday, December 19, 2007

STRICTLY COME DANCING: IT'S THE SEMIS

It’s semi final time! After last week’s shock horror of Matt getting a free pass despite being RUBBISH and Alesha having to dance-off despite being as wonderful as ever, anything could happen this week! (they’ve been saying that every week though…). I thought they were going to do three dances each, but instead they just do an Argentine tango and one other.

BOOBWATCH:
Tess must have given a really crap xmas card to the costume department as they let her have it with both barrels this week. The first dress is either black or v dark brown at the back, but with a weird bronze metallic apron/bodice/breastplate combo at the front. It makes no sense at all but for the results show it is even worse! A purple shiny dairy milk wrapper type affair, with weird sticky out boob brackets and a tulip skirt with a huge bow that looks like MC Hammers' unfinished pants. This is accessorised with a huge flat gold pendant thing that looks like one of those stands for hot pans. Very very poor.

There is lots of filler about everyone’s journeys and everyone fawning over their dance partners. Zzzz.

ALESHA:
Alesha seems a bit down after last week’s shock horror etc but is obviously determined to soldier on. Her other dance is a quickstep! Yay! They dance to the Amy Winehouse up tempo version of Valerie by the Zutons - both of which are a bit meh, but here it works quite well. She wears a white dress with glittery purple trim and it is a delight to watch as she prances around with Matt and grins adorably. She gets 2 9s and 2 10s, hurrah!

For her Argentine Tango, she wears a shorter ruffly red dress. The choreography is quite low key, with Alesha sidling up to Matthew in a vaguely seductive stylee. There is a good bit at the end where she hops into the air, wraps her legs sideways round Matthew and they twizzle around a bit. The same marks again put her on top of the leader board! Double hurrah!

MATT:
Matt is determined not to choke again this week. I spend the whole show willing him to choke, because I am evil and I want Gethin to be in the final. He does his Argentango first and it is OK but not as good as I would have expected. Matt shuffles around hesitantly and tries to look louche while Flavia wiggles her legs and slinks around. At the end she sort of does a super leg wiggle and turns upside down! Yikes! The judges all patronise Matt about being so bwave and special and not running away crying after last week (I think that dance-numpties like Kate and Kenny were braver, as they know they have no hope of being any good and at least Matt is theoretically good.) Anyway, he gets 8s and 9s and is relieved to have not messed up.

For his second dance he does a waltz. I think it is good but not special. Matt looks rather shuffly again and there is a part where Flavia kneels down and flourishes her dance hankies in a way that reminds me totally of a move that Phoebe-from-Friends would do. There is a good spinny round bit, I suppose. At the end Cabbie Len makes me throw up in my mouth a bit when he stands up and gives Matt a standing ovation for the first time in SCD history. Oh come off it, it wasn’t even the best dance of the series, let alone the best EVAH!!! He gets 4 10s for it? What? Why? Craig has really let me down – I expect that sort of nonsense from Bruno and Len... Grrrr. He is still only second in the leader board though. Phew.

Brucie seems to be indulging in a bit of saucy banter with Craig. Asking him to "finish them off" and all that. The audience behind Craig is snickering.


GETHIN:
Gethin’s non-tango is the Paso doble. Ohs noes – trust him to have two difficult and weird dances when he really needs to get good points. He wears a partially open, glittery black shirt and Camilla wears something weird and whorish. They dance to The Gossip and start off with Camilla draped in a sort of table cloth thing, which Gethin then flaps around in a bullfighterly stylee. Hmmm, it is not great but not bad either. There is lots of weird camera work and at one point Gethin hurls Camilla roughly to the floor and she lands practically ON a camera (we later learn that Camilla f***ed her shoulder doing this move. Ouch). By the end of the dance, Gethin’s shirt is almost totally open. Rrowwr! The judges are non plussed and he gets mainly 8s.

For the tango, they dance to one of the newer Bond themes and Camilla wears a different whorish dress, this time with some sort of pink floral lurgy spreading over one shoulder and her d├ęcolletage. It is quite moody and atmospheric and a lot better than the last one but still a bit meh. He gets good marks for this one but is still bottom of the leader board at the end of the show.

I've noticed that the male slebs like to do "Grr" faces when they want to show that they're really getting into the dance, no honest. Occasionally Matt does a "rrroaow", but mostly its a "rarrrh" face. Gethin, now that he' has discovered his inner BEAST, likes to go "RAAARH" at odd moments.

RESULTS SHOW!!
We voted for Alesha for the first time, as we promised we would when we met the other week (name dropping? Moi?). Lots of recap and filler, blah blah and then a group jive, which I miss as I am pottering round in the kitchen. This is probably just as well, as many small children come out and start dancing.

More filler and then an exhibition dance by a tiny blonde woman in a leotard and a burly, shirtless, heavily waxed and bronzed he-lunk. They start off like a rumba and then the man picks up the woman and starts flipping her round and spinning her round over his head. It is impressive, but all a bit Cirque du Soleil as my boyfriend points out. I think it's all a bit Bromley. Tess asks the final three if they are looking forward to doing that next week and Alesha says yes, if it means she can dance with the shirtless lunk. Heh.

Finally James sodding Blunt comes out and mewls tunelessly while Ola and Lilia(?) prance around with their menfolk whilst wearing hideous black net body stockings. Great.

Results time!!! Oh, I’m nervous! Alesha gets the automatic place – yay! She seems overcome by emotion and turns to be hugged by Matthew as her spotlight goes out. I think her fanbase were shocked into reaching for the phone after last week. Matt and Gethin dance off and then it's down to the judges. Craig picks Matt, Arlene picks Gethin, Bruno picks Matt so it is all down to Len – hmm, I wonder who he is going to pick, given that he has been patronising Matt and making excuses for him for the last two weeks. Oh what a surprise, it’s Matt. Gethin takes it like a good sport and says he is pleased he has some good moves for the dance floor now. He does his American smooth lift on Camilla as their last dance starts.

Can I just say that I think that was a terrible decision by the judges. Matt has been more consistent over the whole series, but even on his good dances (jive, quickstep etc) he was prone to making mistakes and lhe still looks terrified or wan half the time while he’s dancing. Also, there is a good chance he’ll flake out again and the final will be less fun as a result. Since Gethin clicked, he has been a much more confident and consistent and has been much more fun to watch.

SARAH: I disagree. I think Matt has had a dip in form recently, but his mistakes are down to nerves, not bad technique and he has consistently shown himself to be a sensitive, natural dancer who really feels the music. And his arms are better. And I don't fancy either of them.

Oh well, ALESHA TO WIN!!!!

Monday, December 10, 2007

STRICTLY COME DANCING: THE QUARTER FINALS!

This week it's 100% wholesome Mark goodness...

It’s down to the last four couples and “no one wants to go home at this stage!” I like the way that Alesha always dances along to the title music at the start of the show.

BOOBWATCH
For the main show, Tess wears a black dress with a strangely quilted front like a sleeping bag. I am so entranced by this that I fail to notice her boobs

For the results show she has a shorter black skirt, red sash and an asymmetrical white top with a strange square front section like a pillowcase.

GETHIN:
Gethin is all excited after getting good marks last week. He is dancing the American Smooth and the Jive (both crowd pleasers) this week and Camilla now trusts him enough to incorporate lifts into the routine.

His American Smooth is pretty good, and indeed he does flip Camilla onto his shoulder and spin her around for a bit. It is hard to think of different ways to describe these ballroom dances when they are done well as they are all so samey. He gets 2 9s and 2 10s.

They both look raring to go for their jive, which they dance to “Knock on Wood”. It is also very good, with Gethin being all fun and bouncy like he was with his latin last week. He jumps off the steps, slides along on his knees (melting his nylon trousers in the process!) etc and so on. Bruce makes a vaguely amusing remark about a judge throwing knickers onto the stage, which is not about Arlene but Craig. The judges all love it but say his kicks should have been kickier, or something. 3 9s and a 10, to give him the top score of the evening!

ALESHA:
Apparently Alesha has the best marks ever from all the series to date. Matthew makes some comments about how it is not fair that Gethin is suddenly really good and that he should “go back to where he came from”. Wales? The Blue Peter Garden?

They will be dancing the Viennese Waltz and the Paso Doble, both of which are hard to make look good and get good marks for (compared to Gethin’s dances tonight, for example).

For her waltz, Alesha wears a germolene pink sparkly dress and has those stupid dance hankies stuck to her arms. They dance to Memoriessssss!! from Cats (and we later learn that Elaine Paige is in the audience. Woo). The choreography is quite good and there is a fab bit in the middle where the rousing instrumental bit swells up and they start spinning round like maniacs. Len says that if she doesn’t get 4 10’s that he will go and pickle his walnuts. Get pickling, Len! She only gets 2 9s and 2 10s again.

For her Paso Doble she wears a shorter green dress with lots of ruffly bits around the hem and they dance to that famous Fugue thing that was a pop hit in the 70s (maybe?). It is quite good I suppose. The judges say she wasn’t quite stampy enough and that they also appeared to make a mistake. Alesha says that the last 20 seconds was completely made up as they went along – but I wouldn’t have noticed as she carried on dancing rather than standing there looking hapless, MATT. Later on, her and Matthew do a funny, made-up-on-the-spot Paso whilst beign interviewed in the corridor. She gets 3 9s and a 10 from Bruno, to put her one point lower than Gethin. Gasp!

LETITIA:
After being all poorly last time, Letitia is completely better this week and seems to be really enjoying herself for the first time ever. She will be dancing the standard Waltz and the Jive (ruh roh, not easy for people over 30 to do well).

She wears a light blue ballgown for the waltz, which would be very pretty if it had less nude effect flesh coloured bits on it. She is very elegant and the waltz is very good. Afterwards the judges compliment her but say she should lift her shoulders more, leading to much hilarity when Letitia points out that its hard to lift your shoulders when you’ve got giant boobs. 8s and 9s for a decent overall mark.

They dance the Jive to “Dead Ringer”, which is a good choice. It’s um, energetic and Shazza looks like she’s enjoying herself but her footwork isn’t great. Still, she doesn’t just jiggle around looking vaguely hapless, MATT. The judges kindly say that it wasn’t her dance but she gave it her best shot. Letitia jokes that there’s no chance of getting a ten then, and Bruce adds that she might get two 5s. Heh. She gets 7s and 8s, which is not bad and her best latin score EVAH, apparently. She is 3rd out of 4 at the end of the show.

MATT:
Oh Matt. I have had it with you after this poor showing. His two dances are the foxtrot and the samba. He talks about how he is determined to get to the final for Flavia’s sake.

The foxtrot starts with Flavia and Matt sitting on the steps and flirting like love sick children. Blech. They stand up eventually and start dancing around and at some point in the middle it all goes pear shaped and become really stiff and clunky. By the end, when they return to the naughty step, Matt is blatantly not dancing any more! There is some talk that he pulled a muscle or something but it seems to be mainly nerves. All the judges say that everyone can get nervous and forget the steps, but then it’s a matter of how they cover it up. He gets 4 (ouch) from Craig, 6 from Arlene (fair enough, I think) and 8s from the overmark twins Len and Bruno – that was only one point worse than Alesha, was it? O RLY???

For the samba, Matt wears a black outfit with an orange sparkly sash and Flavia wears some sort of lacy trouser suit ensemble. They dance to the Jackson song “Blame it on the boogie” and I think it is tempting fate a bit to dance to a song that includes the line “I just can’t control my feet”. The exact same thing happens again! It starts out OK and then goes all pear shaped half way through again and he clearly forgets what to do.

In the judging section, Craig is quite harsh and Len has an annoying hissy fit, going on about how Matt is only 20 yrs old. What’s that go to do with it? Davetta last year was even younger and she remembered her steps – if he can’t perform then he should leave the competition. He gets 6s to 8s anyway and is bottom of the leader board.

I really think Matt should go home after this week – even when he has been good he has tripped or messed up, and still looks terrified half the time. I wonder what would happen if he had to dance off vs Letitia.

I also try and work out which dances the celebs have yet to do. Has Alesha done a quickstep yet? That should be fun.

RESULTS SHOW
Lots of filler as always. Flavia and Vincent do an Argentine tango (next week the celebs have to do that as well as their latin and ballroom) which seems a bit over complicated and contrived to me.

For more dance fun, a load of shiny german dancers come on and do a synchronised latin routine. It rather descends into lite entertainment hell at this point, esp with the hideous musak style pop medley they dance to.

Finally, Cliff sodding Richard sings a cover version while Anton and Erin and Brendon and Nicole waltz around aimlessly. At one point, Nicole and Erin join Cliff on stage for a bit of dance themed, three way action. I think he would have preferred it if the boys had gone up there, to be honest.

Results time finally and the first through is… Matt! Oh FFS. How you disappoint me, Great British Public. Next is … Gethin. WTF? Alesha is in the dance off? Travesty. Also, buh bye Letitia. Alesha seems more upset than Letitia as they prepare to Dance Off. They both do their highest scored dances – the waltzes – and are both very good again (the lady singing Memories – not so much). Of course Letitia goes and she seems very gracious and resigned to leaving. I am amazed she did this well and really warmed to her (once she stopped snivelling all the time…). Well done, Letitia!

Friday, December 07, 2007

Monday, December 03, 2007

STRICTLY COME DANCING: SHOW 9 OR IS IT 10?

After last week’s excitement, I am back watching it on telly like a prole normal person. Thankfully, we did not appear on “It Takes Two” during the week (Booo! - Sarah), but our comedy shenanigans did end up on the BBC website.

Sadly, Kelly has had to drop out of the competition, as her father died during the week. Poor Kelly, she obviously loved dancing on the show and I will miss her. Brendan; not so much. Bruce and Tess say nice things about her at various points on the show.

BOOBWATCH: Tess is wearing an asymmetric number in a rather hard blue. I do not love the colour on her. The cut is OK, but I’m not sure about the gold belt. It looks as if you could take it off and use it as a Xena-esque Frisbee of Death type thing.

SARAH: I'm not sure about the asymmetric dress. It looks like it was made in a hurry and the seamstress forgot one of the sleeves, a bit like they do on Project Runway, and then try to explain it as a forward looking design decision.

This week everyone is doing two dances each. Gasp!!

MATT:
Matt is first in each round and is doing a tango for his ballroom. He has his hair slicked back and is wearing a comedy cravat. They do it to that Gwen Stefani “tick tock tick tock” song (which I do like), but the screechy singers change the words when it comes to the “Take a chance, you stupid ho” bit. Wimps. The dance is a bit meh. I’m not sure why. I think I expected more of Flavia’s choreography, as she is supposed to be a tango expert. Craig complains that they stop doing weird tick tock arm movements and then go into a bland tango. Matt gets OK-but-not-great-for-week-9 scores of 7s and 8s.

BTW, I am sick of everyone hinting that Matt and Flavia have a secret luuurve connection. It’s not Big Brother and I don’t care! Tess Daly is particularly embarrassing, like your auntie who asks if you're courtin' at family Christmas parties, and then proceeds to try and cop you off with anybody male, single and in possession of their own teeth.

For his latin he does a rumba in an open white shirt. I (still) hate the rumba but he is OK I suppose. I notice that his pointy arm movements are good and the judges agree with me. Flavia is very bendy. He gets better marks than for the tango and is left firmly in the middle of the table.

LETITIA:
More scenes of Letitia crying and gurning all through the weekly rehearsals. Get a grip, woman! She whinges that she is the oldest in the competition and has to learn two energetic dances in the same week. Oh boo hoo. On the actual night of the show however, she is struggling with gastric flu and has to keep running off camera to throw up. OK, I feel a bit sorry for her now. Darren makes it even worse by yelling: "She's spent the last fifteen minutes vomiting, for God's sake! Have you no heart?" at anybody who dares to criticise her. Tess is v. concerned and clucky, bit like that auntie...etc.

Her ballroom dance is the quickstep. She wears a flowing dress of royal purple silk that makes her look like a giant bar of Cadburys dairy milk. The dance is OK – it is not really light and sprightly enough and the choreography is not the most demanding – resembling an overdressed game of hopscotch in parts. She gets Ok-ish marks.

For latin, she does the cha cha cha in an unflattering black corset with pearly highlights and a feather skirt. The dance is not great and the gap in talent between Letitia and the top 3 is pretty evident now. Her scores put her second to bottom

KENNY:
He Lunk Kenny starts out doing a foxtrot. Ola appears to have a number of stoats attached to her arm??? It is, well, it’s not great but it’s not terrible either. I think this is the first week that he actually looks vaguely like a dancer. There's still too much pratting about and walking Ola around the floor though.

For his latin he does a rumba (sigh). He doesn’t do any hip-gyrating, but again, looks vaguely dancerly and manages a suitable mills and boonish performance of lurve. The judges don’t really like it though and Arlene makes a terrible pun re “pole dancing” (Ola being Polish) that she should be ashamed of. Ola barely restrains herself from leaping over the desk and lamping Arlene, but you can see that Arlene will pay...oh yes...

His overall marks put him bottom.

GETHIN:

This week, Camilla ropes in an acting coach to try and overcome Gethin’s stage fright and unleash the real Gethin. Acting Coach arrives and Gethin asks: "Are you an acting coach". The Acting Coach declaims: "YES! I am...an ACTING coach."

There is cute footage of “the real Gethin” bouncing round the rehearsal studio like Tigger. For his ballroom, he is doing a waltz. He has been pretty good at this kind of thing in the past and does an excellent job, getting a 9 and 3 10s.

For his latin, he is doing a salsa in an unfortunate see through blouse (which he later jokes about) OMG, what a transformation! He is super confident and puts in a great performance, charging round the floor whilst gyrating like a maniac. It is great fun to watch and he seems to be really enjoying it. For the first time ever, he leaves Matt in the dust. He gets an 8 from Craig and 9’s from the others. Come on, that definitely deserved a ten! His overall marks leave him joint top with Alesha.

ALESHA:
My pal Alesha gets all tired and emotional this week. Don’t cry, Alesha! She is doing the tango (yay!) and the samba (boo!). For her tango she wears a rather nasty yellow and red dress and has a huge red fake flower glued to her head. I am not loving the costumes this week, I must say. Her tango is very good and there is an awesome bit where Matt grabs her and drags her backwards for five yards or so. The judges like it and make a few teeny tiny technical points, as she is not as perfect as they want her to be. 9’s and 10s! Hurrah!

For her samba she wears another white dress and they dance to the 4 tops, “I’ll be there”. The band must be trying out a new arranger, because the music is dreadfully clunky, and the brass section appears be be playing another tune entirely.

The “dun duh dun duh dun duh dun” bits are quite good for booty shaking, but this dance leaves me a bit cold – I think it is her worst to date. The judges say that if she had started dancing as a child, she could be pro level by now, and criticise her knees a bit. She gets 8s and 9s to put her equal to Gethin.

SARAH: The problem with the Results Show is that it frequently brings back memories of cheesy 70s Light Ent programmes, and not in a good way, so I find my attention wandering to the washing machine...

This results show has Kylie (gasp!) performing her new single dressed as one of those frilly toilet roll covers that my nan used to make. I'm sure somebody liked the performance, but I thought she was miming, and the single channelled last year's cheesy electro. The best thing about it was when the male pro dancers came on and started doing Young Generation-style arm waving and gyrating. Brendan does lots of strutting to get Kylie's attention, but she ignores him.

There were the usual dances from the professionals, and Flavia's tango was pretty exciting. The judges line the dancers up and take pot-shots at them. Then we discover that Kenny and Letitia are in the dance-off. Poor old Letitia practically needs a bucket onstage, but she soldiers on through the purple armwavy dance, and everybody knows that Kenny's for the chop anyway. The judges don't even bother making any excuses about "judging the dancer on the night's performance", and choose Letitia.

Surely it will be Letitia to go next week and Matt and Gethin battling to lose to Alesha in the final. I am hoping it’s Alesha vs Gethin, after this week’s performance.

SARAH: I still have hopes for Matt, whose puppyish intensity is beginning to make me feel all motherly. But definitely Aleesha 2 win!!

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