This week though, EEEEEEEEK! We got tickets for the show! It was all very last-minute, and Mr P had to stay at home with a bag of crisps and a cold-ridden small child. We went with Mark's lovely partner, E, and the lovely N, tanked up on surprisingly good BBC wine, and adrenalin.
There were still loads of couples to get through, so there wasn't much time to hang about. We were ushered up to a seat on the balcony, away from the celebs on the ground floor, and not on the front row either. We protested mildly, but was told cryptically that they were "the best seats in the house...trust us..." Mobiles and cameras were banned, but I did manage to sneak a moby pic of the stage while they were still setting up for Enrique Iglesias (cue disappointed groans from the cheap seats) A small army of women dressed in black, sporting radio headsets and clipboards, were clustered on the dance floor. We weren't quite sure what they did, but whatever it was involved bustling into the middle of the dance floor and chatting urgently with another clipboard carrier, and hugging Kenny Logan. Oh yes, and Dominic Littlewood was there. Ew.
Before we had time to get too sweaty, considering we were right behind a massive lamp that was pumping out greenhouse-style heat right onto our seats, on came a Dale Winton looky-likey who took us through the "Clap You BASTARDS!" routine, and told us how the evening would pan out. This is when we found out that there was no escape from Enrique Iglesias. The judges came on to muted applause, and Len wondered out loud if he looked "like a penis" in his strange 1970s Northern Club compere grey suit. A penis wearing one of those special issue NHS STD-proof condoms that were temporarily popular during the first big HIV/AIDS scare, perhaps.
Kenny and Gaby were in the celeb front row. Kenny bounced around, hugging the floor crew, while Gaby chatted aloofly to various other celeb guests. We also saw Adrian Chiles with two children, who he seemed to ignore in favour of networking with other celebs. There was scurrilous speculation in the cheap seats that it was probably his access day. Meanwhile everybody was surprisingly deferential to Charles Kennedy (looking good), and Alan Hansen (who is quite tall, even when you're looking down on him) strode over to be Scottish with him and Kenny. We were so busy trying to work out who Adrian Chiles was going to network with next, that we didn't notice the front row on the other side of the floor, which was: Noddy Holder, Sue Johnston, Bradley and Dadley (who didn't speak or look at each other), and assorted relatives. We also saw Vernon Kaye and his very sweet little daughter, Roger Black, and Rain Man Charlie Slater. Anybody else we either didn't recognise, or they were under our balcony seat.
Enrique Iglesias was actually OK. He sang that sodding Hero song in tune, and was very professional, so we only had to endure one take. The dancers rumbaed around, with the women wearing bizarre batwing dress-o-tard type outfits. They were a bit ropey and out of time, but it looked like the swoopy camera covered for the ropiness. Then we got the Jersey Boys, who sang a Four Seasons song, naturally, since Jersey Boys is a musical about the Four Seasons - except I had to explain to the Young 'Uns who the Four Seasons were, which made me feel very old indeed. They were a bit thin and nervous, but the group dance samba was less ropey, so they had to go again. But who should walk in and take the seats in front of us, but....
ANT AND DEC!!!
Yep, in they walked with their lady companions, and we tried to look cool while taking secret pictures with our mobiles. Ant looks like he's been eating a few pies, and Dec looks even more like my mate Nige. Dec's lady companion was Sham off Easties-when-we-used-to-blog-it, and he kept casually putting his arm across her back, and then pulling it away when he realised that the civilians behind him were going: "ooooo!" and nudging each other.
Anyway, they were very quiet, and laughed politely at Bruce's lamer jokes, but didn't clap when they were told. God only knows what they were doing in the cheap seats, but maybe their status as Kings of ITV Saturday Night means that they can't be seen to be supporting BBC programmes or something.
ENOUGH SLEBBERY, GET ON WITH THE DANCING!
Oh yes, the dancing...
Boobwatch: Tess's dress was OK. She seems to have made up with the costume dept for this series
LISA & BRENDAN - PASO DOBLE
A rather sedate Paso, and Lisa's dress was pretty. We did like the Eye of the Tiger theme too, though Brendan should have taken it to the extreme and worn a little tigger mask. Lisa prowled around the stage waving her arms in a vaguely flamenco style. I didn’t think it was much good, but little did we know that it would be all downhill from there, paso wise. Bruno thought it was more like Vogueing than a proper Paso Doble, and Lisa got told to watch her shoulders.
CHEAP SEATS VERDICT: 27
ACTUAL JUDGES: 29
ANDREW & OLA - VIENNESE WALTZ
A Viennese waltz to Annie's Song, which is a proper waltz tempo, I suppose. Andrew got the feet right, and we saw footage of him being tied to Ola using a Pilates band to stop his bum sticking out. Andrew was all right whenever he was in hold, but reverted to total Dad Dancer whenever he was left to his own devices.
Len declared that "Bumgate is no longer an issue", and Craig was almost nice. We in the cheap seats were not.
CHEAP SEATS VERDICT: 21
ACTUAL JUDGES: 24
CHRISTINE & MATTHEW - PASO DOBLE
Christine Presenternator Paso-ed to Xtina Aguilera's Stronger, and made lots of duck faces to prove that she had PASSION. The judges weren't impressed. Arlene said it wasn't dramatic enough, and we were a bit meh too. But that might be because N said Ant had just farted.
CHEAP SEATS VERDICT: 22
ACTUAL JUDGES: 22
AUSTIN & ERIN - VIENNESE WALTZ
OK, he still looks like Brains off Thunderbirds, but he's actually rather cute from the neck down. And I was so NOT checking him out in the bar afterwards, so don't listen to Mark. The waltz was quite light and twinkly. Bruno said it was like watching The Return of the King. If he means the final film in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, I think I fell asleep during one of the interminable battle scenes (perhaps he means it had fifteen fake endings, dragged out for eons…). Anyway, Craig was a bit meh, and we saw Len do a great "hate Craig" face. The fleckles were good, apparently.
CHEAP SEATS VERDICT: 32
ACTUAL JUDGES: 34
CHERIE &WOLVERINE - PASO DOBLE
Ooh, this was a bit clunky, and there seems to be something in Cherie's contract that she can only wear monochrome. She stumbled right at the beginning of the dance, patently setting off in the wrong direction, and took her time to get back into the mood. The judges were quite kind, though
CHEAP SEATS VERDICT: 26
ACTUAL JUDGES: 31
HEATHER & BRIAN - VIENNESE WALTZ
Heather wore a pretty fuschia dress that did wonders for her rack. Up in the cheap seats, there was a heated debate between me and E about whether Brian was good or not. Actually in the flesh, he's more like the results of a twisted experiment to clone John Waters with Donny Osmond, and the gaydar was going crazy. Still, he's a damn fine dancer, and the waltz was really nice. Craig hated it.
CHEAP SEATS VERDICT: 32
ACTUAL JUDGES: 27 - boo!
MARK & HAYLEY - PASO DOBLE
Oh dear. Oh dear oh dear. Mark's boobs are bigger than mine, and the dance was stompy and out of time and featured many sections with Mark just running around at random. Vernon got a bit over-excited at Craig calling it a "painful shambles", but it was. Sorry Vernon. Mind you, Mark does have an absolutely incredible body...
CHEAP SEATS VERDICT: 8 (E gave it -4)
ACTUAL JUDGES: 16
TOM & CAMILLA - VIENNESE WALTZ
He had to interrupt his honeymoon to train with Camilla, who dragged him from the marital bed. Poor old Mrs Tom, is what I say. Tom had his slicked down 15-year-old-boy-from-WW2 hair back in effect. He comes across as a bit of a smug tosser, but the dance was very good indeed. The judges loved, except Len, who didn't like the missed fleckles.
CHEAP SEATS VERDICT: 35
ACTUAL JUDGES: 32
JOHN & KRISTINA - PASO DOBLE
Hilarious. Xtina was in a glittery dress in Palace colours, so they were doomed from the off. Most of the time, Kristina danced like a maniac while John stomped around to a vaguely military tempo, though there was a funny bit where he dragged her along the floor “like he was taking out the recycling”, and there was also a lift! Woo!
CHEAP SEATS VERDICT: 22
ACTUAL JUDGES: 21
RACHEL & VINCENT - VIENNESE WALTZ
N and I agreed that her 1950s prom dress was all wrong and kept rucking up in the wrong places, but the dance (to Everybody Hurts by REM), was pretty good. Len, who was surprisingly arsey and under generous with the points all night, wasn't excited. Len, the suit isn’t that bad!
CHEAP SEATS VERDICT: 33
ACTUAL JUDGES: 32
JODIE & IAN - PASO DOBLE
We nearly packed up at this point, but then there was ONE MORE COUPLE TO GO. Well, they weren't very good, to be honest, with more of the Lisa style voguing and arm wavery. I initially gave them a 7 because I quite like Jodie, but E persuaded me to mark her down a bit.
CHEAP SEATS VERDICT: 22
ACTUAL JUDGES: 26
After the show ended, we got packed off to the bar to drink another bottle of suprisingly good BBC wine, and compare notes. An hour later, we were all whipped in again for the results show. There was a mock dance competition involving members of the audience. A couple of drunk BBC designers on a night out had us all in stitches with their ladette moves, and even the celebs came out to have a look.
Mark was danced out, even though his dance off dance was better than the first time, and ripped off his shirt during the farewell section. Slut. Then it was off to the BBC bar to drink more wine and
ogle Austin Healy watch who talked to whom.
We sat meekly going “oo look there’s so-and-so” for most of the evening, but were then fuelled by enough drink to start talking to people. We told John and Kristina they were fab (and Kristina thanked John for making her famous!), told Austin he was going to WIN!!! Commiserated with Karen for getting two duffers in a row, and MOTD2 fan N persuaded Adrian Chiles to pose for a photo!