Monday, 18 January 2010

Chinese Taken Away

Top 12 Results: 16th January 2010

We open on Cat, looking very meth-hair chic, informing us of what's happened already. Twelve people danced, they were mostly a bit rubbish, then people voted, and now those votes have been counted and verified (I always wonder what "verified" means in this context. If you talk back to Cat on the phone does your vote get cancelled? If so, I'm screwed) and next, one boy and one girl will be eliminated.


We open with the group number they hyped up for us at the end of the Performance Show - a pop-jazzy number to "Aint No Other Man" by Christina Aguilera, from that period when she was acting like a wartime starlet from an episode of Look And Read such were the levels of depth of understanding of the period on display. First things first, the entire routine is a massive FASHION CRIME. The leotards on the girls are INSANELY unflattering. I mean the top half of the outfit is like a shit Halifax advert, but my eyes are still drawn there just to get away from the muffin-top effect going on with the bums of half of them, and the unholy amount of side hoo-hoo going on. The boys are all in hats (so that's a no from me), suits, and sparkly trousers which look unfortunately like track-pants given the placing of the sequin stripe. Basically it's a visual abomination.

Oh, the dancing? It's alright. There's still a few notable weak links in the bunch (GAVIN) but overall it's not too bad, if a bit messy. I am at a loss as to how this guy choreographed Single Ladies given his output on this show though. Maybe Alexandra got all his free time.

Cat then comes out, wearing one of the stupid hats (I HATE HATS!) and the best part (possibly of the whole dance) is how they're all still just frozen in place like one of Gaga's bath dancers so the most prominent thing as Cat enters is Chloë's face glaring half-happily, half malevolently at me. Once Cat's hit stage-front, all the dancers retreat into the bowels of the stage, and she reminds us again that some people will be leaving, and some will not and then re-introduces the judges. Nigel and Louise obviously and rightfully get the biggest cheers.

Recap : Yanet & Robbie did some hip-hop where they were invading aliens from another dimension, busting into our world via the StarGate. A dimension without hip-hop dancing in it by the looks of it. Nigel thought there was something lacking, Arlene made a stupid dumb joke about British Rail (TOPICAL ARLENE!) that about 3 people got and it took them about 6 seconds to do so. Backstage, Robbie was hurty and knew he was in trouble. Chloë & Gavin did Broadway. He fell on his arse. Nigel told him that he never really found himself, but (Still not that) Sisco liked it because... I didn't know if you noticed, but he's kind of dumb. Backstage, Gavin has a bit of a cry, and Chloë comforts him. Hayley & Drew did a contemporary routine (variety : fucking AND fighting) and were dead amazing and redeemed the entire show. Arlene called it immense, and backstage he ran around with his shirt open whilst Hayley gushed "WE DID SO WELL" with all the public-vote savvy of a woman who immediately announced on show one that her parents owned Italia Conti.

Mandy & Alistair did a cha cha in which his hips did not move once, not one damn inch. Nigel was impressed by their lifts and (Still not that) Sisco gushed "that was phenomenal" because... see above. Backstage, Mandy was very happy that she pulled it off. Whatever it was. Charlie & Tommy did an awful boring pop-jazz routine, where the choreography was designed to showcase her, and yet the camera spent THE ENTIRE DANCE with him in the centre of shot. Arlene gushed over Tommy because she's found her woobie, Louise praised them for overcoming their god-awful routine and backstage Tommy kissed her on the face. Lizzie & Mark finished the evening with a mediocre Smooth Viennese Waltz that was still the second best dance of the evening, Nigel declared it what this show is all about, (Still not that) Sisco called it "definitely the best performance of the night" (?) and we don't even want to know what they did backstage apparently. Probably appliquéd more sequins to his plasters.

From that VT we segue immeditely into another one - this time the kids on the first chopping block saying they don't want to go home. Drew doesn't want to come out because it'd really upset his parents. Oh, no, wait...go out. He doesn't want to go out. Hayley invokes the memory of poor dead (/not actually dead) Chris, her partner of last week and says she hopes that she's shown he was a dead-weight who was holding her back. Oh no wait, she just wants to show how much she wants it. Mark wants to show the world he can tackle a variety of styles after surviving "being challenged by the Viennese Waltz", making it sound like the Viennese Waltz fronted him down an alley. Or at least Katya did. I can believe that. Lizzie's really proud of herself and wants to show more. Gavin wants to stay because his mum's got the night off next Saturday and she wants to see him perform (should have played that card before lines closed then shouldn't you?). Finally Chloë wants to stay so she can be inspired by more amazing choreographers like that tall lady and him with the thing. [And JAMES JORDAN, don't forget him. - Steve]

Straight to said chopping block now, where Cat wastes very little time in telling Chloë & Gavin that they're in the bottom two. Which is a good fake-out because when does the first couple called-out ever end up in the bottom 2? On the other hand... I now know which man will be eliminated and we are 7 minutes into the programme. Still, not as though it wasn't due. Cat asks Arlene for her opinion as to why these two are in the bottom and she basically says "Gavin you suck, you should have been in the bottom 2 last week, go home. Chloë, I quite like you". Cat calls them "twinkly" and ushers them off to the side. We run through (Still not that) Sisco's gushing comments about Mark & Lizzie, and Arlene calling Drew & Hayley "like Brad & Angelina having a domestic" (he's so the Angelina) but given as how we know neither of these two are in the bottom unless this show has gone MENTAL and torn up all results show convention, it's all a bit "yes yes, get a move on" until they are indeed revealed as safe. Both couples do at least do their best to look surprised.

Straight to chopping block 2 now, and another "I DUNN WANNA GORRR!" VT : Mandy thinks learning new dance styles has been inspirational so she doesn't want to go home yet, Alistair (looking more and more like Rhys Thomas with every passing second) says he doesn't want to go home because the competition is so much fun, Charlie says she feels so under pressure because she was so amazing last week that it's hard to be quite as brilliant two weeks in a row you know?, Tommy wants to stay to show his full potential, Robbie wants to show what he can do before he goes home and he feels he hasn't had the chance yet, what with the new styles he's had to do, and finally Yanet wants to stay in to say thanks to the British Public for voting for her because she's felt so much love from them. All 7 of us who are watching.

Back to the second chopping block and Charlie & Tommy are reminded of Tommy's (justified) concerns over the choreography of their routine and that the judges loved it anyway, before they are told they are safe and Charlie in particular goes happy-mental, skipping off and completely blanking Mandy trying to congratulate her. Yanet & Robbie are then reminded what an abomination everyone thought their hip-hop was, and Alistair & Mandy are reminded how much the judges liked their cha cha (well... Mandy's parts of it) before the former are "shockingly" announced as safe. Well safe after Alistair and Robbie do a lot of bottom 2 nuzzling and hugging. Get a room boys. Yanet's face crumples like a cake left out in the rain and Alistair looks PISSED.

What's sad, and what I notice at this point is that the dancers are wearing the costumes for their dance-offs and Charlie was dressed like a cut-price Roxie Hart, Robbie was an urban lumberjack, and Yanet was dressed as Princess Aurora on ice. I'm sure we were robbed of amazingness. Anyway, Mandy pumps her fist and says "BRING IT!" at the prospect of the bottom 2, and then Nigel goes on a tear, informing us all that this is a TRAVESTY and other couples were far worse, and obviously the public just hate ballroom dancing and were comparing these dancers to the pros on Strictly Come Dancing. I must admit I was looking at Alistair and going "Jeez, even ANTON moves his hips more than that" so...guilty as charged.

Solos time now, although not until Nigel spends about 3 minutes telling us that whilst the judges will be taking into consideration everything they've seen since the auditions started (wait, this show held auditions? I don't remember that happening) their minds can still be changed, just like they were by Drew last week. I'm fairly sure nobody told Nigel that whole "brevity is the soul of not making me throw my shoe at the tv and telling you to HURRY UP!" maxim we were all taught in school.

Chloë first, and my sole memory of the routine is thinking it's nice that they've bothered to put the umlaut in her name. Because given the general budget of this show you sometimes wonder (I've just officially made myself a hypocrite twice in two paragraphs haven't I? Marvellous). It's a lot of jumping and jazziness and her grinning strongly throughout. Gavin next and... if this is the style of contemporary he's expert in then I can see why it's not been adopted by that guy with the thing who runs the Whoosie Whatsit school of contemporary dance. Still, he looks into it. So I'm glad somebody is.

Mandy next, wearing a pair of what look like Alistair's tiny little panties and looking even more into it, hurling herself around the floor whilst Florence And The Washing Machine hollers in the background. It's kind of tantrummy and angry and when she finishes she properly yells "YEAH! HOW YOU LIKE ME NOW BITCHEZZZZZ!" using only her face and... calm down Mandy. It wasn't that good. She then charges over to Cat as though Cat's interested and basically gets told to bugger off. Alistair finishes off for us, doing ballet to some proper southern twangy twangy cod-blues with sweat-patches THE SIZE OF MY HEAD. He looks kind of apologetic at the end. Hey, at least you tried Alistair. More than most people would have to do when confronted with Gavin as their opponent.

Yeah, I don't think any of those solos are changing anybody's mind. [They probably changed a few channels, though. - Steve]

Whilst the judges "deliberate" (/make fun of Arlene in a really passive aggressive way that she doesn't even notice) we're going to be treated to a performance by Alexandra Burke. Hmm... seems odd that CERTAIN PEOPLE aren't issuing the same celeb guest embargo against this show as they did against Strictly. She's doing her new single "Broken Heels", whilst dressed like an American Football player and flanked by a bunch of models also dressed as American Football players, not that she's gearing up to try to break the US market or anything. It's quite a nice routine, nothing ground-breaking, and rather unfortunately, when she's viewed from certain angles the "Burke" on her top looks a bit like "Puke". Song's catchy enough though even if it owes a heavy debt to both versions of "Maneater" (Furtado and Hall/Oates)

Once that's over, Cat invites the Bottom Four back out onto the floor and the girls are put through the wringer first. Nigel starts by calling out the low standard of dancing tonight, citing "nerves" as an explanation, as pretty much all the routines went better in dress-rehearsals. You know who else said that? Craig Kelly. Yeah yeah. Anyway, Nigel tells us that the decision wasn't unanimous, and Arlene was the hold-out which, given how Arlene was all "Chloë's amazing personality is being held back by GAVIN" about 10 minutes ago, kind of tips us the wink as to which way this went. Chloë gets told that she's got an amazing personality, but her dancing isn't as good, and then Mandy's informed that she's got both an amazing personality AND mad skillz so she's staying. Chloë congratulates her, and then gets the whole "you've got a really nice smile" from Cat schtick that is pretty much the only comment she ever got, as a seque into her Best Bits montage of... her smiling. Nuanced and 3-dimensional portraits of its contestants all-round this show. [Also, her smile was nice and all, but it was so huge it was kind of distracting most of the time. - Steve]

Back in the studio, Arlene gives a little speech about how SHE would have saved Chloë due to her amazing personality and story-telling abilities AND SMILE, and then Cat asks Chloë what her memories of the show will be, and her basic initial response is "h'nurr furr WAH WAH WAH!". Such an amazing personality. She then pulls herself together just about enough to choke out the usual "the show is amazing, I don't regret a second" reality tv blah blah blah before wandering off.

Boys next , and unsurprisingly the judges are unanimous. Alistair is told that he did a good Broadway routine last week, but basically Mandy carried him this week, and she couldn't really carry him very far. Gavin then gets told that he had an awful night tonight and whilst he was really good last week (?!) it was in his own genre so that's to be expected. Basically he's going home, because he doesn't have enough experience and his "dance arsenal" is weak. Alistair apologises to him, and Gavin says it's all alright. I don't think he was expecting to make it much further to be honest. He says he loved the show, his best bits are a lot of reaction shots and not a lot of dancing, and then he thanks the judges and his fellow competitors (but rather bizarrely not Chloë), then said fellow competitors rush the stage and we are out of here whilst the contestants have an impromptu dance-party.

And really, shouldn't every show end like that?

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