Sunday, 24 January 2010

Disco, Salsa, Cancer

Top 10: 23rd January 2010

Last week : Our twelve contestants gave it their ALL! Nigel gushed over how HOT AND SEXY Alistair & Mandy were, but we were all distracted by Mandy's revelation that Alistair sweats at a rate faster than Arlene does at a meeting to discuss her future with the BBC! Yanet & Robbie were such a hot mess that even (I wish it was that) Sisco had to criticise. And he thinks everything's phenomenal. Sorry. FERRRRRR-NOM-INNNUW! The judges started to get into bitch-fights over everything, but thankfully this week we've got 17 routines to get through in an hour so there should be less of that. God, imagine if Dancing On Ice had 17 bits of actual content to get into a show. It'd take up a whole day of ITV scheduling. Apart from Wild At Heart obviously. They'd still find a way to sneak that in somehow. Gavin & Chloe's dreams were shattered FOREVER although I get the impression that Gavin's dreams involved Chloe and 5 minutes round the back of the BBC Canteen so...maybe not. This week there is SO MUCH PRESSURE THAT PEOPLE ARE CRYING! TWO PEOPLE WILL BE LEAVING! THIS! IS! SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE!


And now we welcome onto our stage our Top Ten : Yanet (Sexy), Tommy (Happy), Mandy (Doc), Alistair (Prince Charming), Hayley (Grumpy), Mark (Daddy), Charlie (Dopey), Drew (The Wicked Queen), Lizzie (Bashful), Robbie (Snow White). These are the girls, and here are your guys. And yes, I do think, given that Cat towers over all of them as she shimmies through the landscape of frozen dancers, some of them might actually qualify as dwarves. Once out, Cat informs us that if these dancers want to survive, they will have to dance THREE WHOLE TIMES. Actually, I make it six or seven. Those two opening bits, the gendered group dance, the whole group dance, the paired routine, the solo and the dance-off dance if they end up there. I tell you, they don't work this hard on any other reality show. Anyway, this week, we're moving from voting for couples to voting for individuals, so if anybody was holding anybody back vote wise (*COUGH* MANDY *COUGH*) they are no longer a burden. Hooray. The judges are still going to decide on the bottom twos though, because they're nice like that. Also, it's not as though they were doing anything else.

Now it's time to introduce us to said judges and... I kind of wish (IWIWT) Sisco had stuck to his old stupid hat, because his new stupid hat offends me on a number of levels. It looks like it should have a propeller stuck in the top. It looks like it should have two soda cans on each side, attached to his mouth via a straw. It makes him look like a Pokemon Gym Leader. It makes him look like a geek (WHO IT TURNS OUT CAN DANCE) in High School Musical. Basically it looks like 17 different stupid hats, all manifest in the same entity. I want that anonymous choreographer woman from auditions to come and replace him as soon as possible. Whatever happened to her? Anyway, as he's wearing fake army gear (how on trend...for 2004) Cat Deeley goes "you're in the army now, woah, ooh woah, you're in the army now" and seriously when your outfit provokes Status Quo lyrics as a response, maybe it's time to question if you're as cool as you think you are. Please?

Nigel informs us that tonight is going to be super difficult as, just as we were all mashing up Drew and Hayley's names for their impending marriage a la Brangelina (Drayley?) [Haylew? - Steve] the couples have been reshuffled via the HAT OF RANDOM. Oh come on, you know Nigel thought that Drew and Hayley were totally doing it. Nigel then offers the advice to the contestants of using the adrenaline of FEAR to improve their performances. I'd be careful - if Alistair embraced his fear, the floor might become a sliding hazard.

First up, the Vagina Party routine, which is apparently "Bollywood". The problem with this is that it's being danced to "Jai Ho" which to be honest, is about as authentically Bollywood as Chicken Tikka Masala. As such the routine would maybe work as a (borderline racist) pop routine, but as Bollywood it's all a bit fast and cliched (lots of head-jerking and bobbing and sudden pre-emptory use of props at the end) to really come off well. Said props incidentally are some flower petals and some sticks, which are used in a very half-hearted way. Basically the girls clang them together like they're afraid to break a nail/put somebody's eye out. Lizzie and Yanet come across as the ones the cameras are really interested in and they're neither of them awful, although Yanet's Bollywood Smile is a little bit terrifying.

Cat informs us that the boys will be along later, and tells us all the numbers we need to vote later, and once again that all the couples have been split and reshuffled, as these dancers need to prove they can dance any style with any partner. I think it would be nice if some of them could prove they could dance any style. But in a slightly different way. With sightly different emphasis.

First up are Lizzie and Drew, with Drew informing us all that his overbearing mother will be there in the audience every week, being neurotic and trying to steal the limelight. At this point, the ashes of Sigmund Freud strain from all over the globe to try to reconvene and stroke their beard. We then cut to an interview with Drew's mother, who gets out a baby photo (I'm kind of disappointed he didn't have the same hair as a child as he does now) and talks about how proud she is. Bless her. We are then shown Drew pulling Lizzie's name out of the RANDOM HAT and them going on an afternoon out in London to learn about each other. Specifically they go to a record store, where Drew tells Lizzie that she might not know the type of music he's into, and then pulls out a JUDY GARLAND ALBUM! ON VINYL! LIVE FROM CARNEGIE HALL!

TV highlight of the year so far. [It's a shame we didn't get to see more of Lizzie's reaction. I'm guessing it was along the lines of "no, not a surprise, Drew. I have got eyes, y'know." - Steve]

Lizzie then tries to get Drew interested in some classic hip-hop and then they have an adorable jostle fight with him trying to shove the Judy album into shot and her trying to get the hip-hop album in there. It's like Obama's election all over again. They then go to a diner where Lizzie informs Drew that she likes chips with ice-cream and offers him some, whilst Drew looks REPULSED. Thank you RANDOM HAT for bringing us this pairing.

The style they've pulled this week is Disco, being taught and choreographed by that Giant Lady who is definitely owed after what Gavin and Chloe did to her Broadway routine last week. She speaks for the entire audience with the following exchange :

Giant Lady : Are you quite shy?
Lizzie : Yeah
Giant Lady : Get over it.

I kind of want Giant Lady to be farmed out to other reality shows to bust up other long running contestant tropes :

Giant Lady : Are you getting married soon?
Tom Chambers : Yes
Giant Lady : I don't care

Giant Lady : Are you worried about looking like a tit?
Gary Lucy : A bit
Giant Lady : Nobody gives a shit.

Giant Lady : Is your dad dead?
Niki Evans : Yes, and oh my God, there's a really CRAZY story about how I was going through his things and I fou...
Giant Lady : Fuck off Meaty Minge.


Anyway, Giant Lady then yells at Lizzie, shoving her into Drew (yay! more shoving!) and screaming "KISS HIM! KISS HIM!" at her, like we're at "Grow A Personality Boot Camp" or something. Drew and Lizzie both agree that Lizzie is coming out of her shell, BUT WILL IT BE IN TIME FOR SATURDAY?! Incidentally, this montage was sound tracked by the Amie Stewart version of "Knock On Wood", and if they'd actually danced to that, I might actually have had a little homo explosion. [TMI. - Steve]

Instead they're actually dancing to "Disco Inferno" which is pretty overused at this point. I think it's interesting that the more memorable routines of the series so far have been to less well-known pieces. If the show gets a second series I'd like to see a bit more left field stuff and a bit less of the standards. [I think that's quite likely actually - they're probably a bit wary of alienating viewers at this stage, but if they can keep track of the ones they've got, they might get a bit more out-there with their music choices during the fabled "second season". - Steve] Anyway, they start on giant glitter-boxes, pumping their arms and hips around, and then Drew effing LEAPS off the box and from there I'm just transfixed by his magical dancing hair. I swear, if Drew's hair were a contestant, I would vote for it every week. The routine is pretty fast and enjoyable, and Lizzie certainly doesn't seem particularly reserved in it. The one problem is that some of the lifts are a little bit tentative, but aside from that, a fun time is had by all. Once it's over, an entire army of Drew fans leap to their feet, led by his mother screaming fit to beat the band, and then we cut to... nobody from Lizzie's crew. Bless her. Now she's less shy, maybe she can get some friends.

They walk over to Cat, who tells Lizzie that Kylie would be proud of Lizzie's gold hotpant work. At this point I notice that there are actually flames on said gold hotpants. Lizzie is literally a firecrotch. Nigel starts for the judges by saying that Lizzie obviously stopped being shy when she put that outfit on, to which comment Lizzie gives an adorable little head-flick. Nigel then says that routine was particularly worrying for him and Arlene, because it took him back to the sort of dance they would be doing 40 years ago in Studio 54. Yeah, Arlene and Nigel were so ground-breaking that they danced disco 3 years before the genre (jahhhhhhhhhnre) was invented, on the grounds of a club that wouldn't open for another 7 years. SO AVANT-GARDE!

Although this does make me imagine Arlene as a contestant again. Sigh.

Anyway, Nigel enjoyed it cause it had a real sense of fun. Arlene next, who nonsenses that disco is like a heartbeat. Yeah, the heartbeat of an arrhythmic asthmatic with heart problems. She then praises Drew for embracing all the styles put before him but says he needs to spend more time building up his strength so he can really throw Lizzie about. Or Lizzie could just lose some weight, the HIP-HOP HEIFER! Alright, not that last part. Arlene then congratulates Lizzie on becoming a "real girl" [she knows exactly who she am - Steve and Mutya Buena] tonight and dancing in heels as she NEVER HAS BEFORE! Except presumably in the Viennese Waltz last week. We then cut to Nigel praising her for one moment where she really looked like she was enjoying herself/having a tiny little orgasm. Hooray! Tiny little orgasm face!

Louise praises Lizzie for coming out of her shell, and Drew on lifting Lizzie so effortlessly that she never felt once that she had to run on stage and catch Lizzie and then maybe do the routine from the "Naked" video to cover it up. Arlene on the other hand, had to be restrained from doing that exact same thing several times. (IWIWT) Sisco finishes by calling Drew a great support system and Lizzie really versatile, before boo-hooing about how we won't get to see them dance together next week. Luckily for Lizzie this is just because they're both going back into the RANDOM HAT (him to Charlie and her to Tommy I'm guessing but shrug, it is TOTALLY RANDOM), but if you look at his partners, he is kind of a black widower at this point.

Cat closes by asking Lizzie about the fear of heights she suddenly realised she had when she got up on that 4ft glitterbox, but apparently Lizzie is totes over that now. Hooray, Reality TV Show as therapy works again! Thank you Giant Lady.

Next up - solos. Charlie's is to "Pop" by N'Sync and she basically jumps around constantly doing side-splits, looking totally Langford and making sure I still don't really get her appeal on any level, and she's followed by Robbie, leaping around terrifyingly with his massive limbs to Switchfoot (*blech* Christian Rock *blech*) and doing one truly impressive movement at the end where he kind of catapults one leg up and over his head from a standing position. Solos are hard to recap y'all.

Next up for the couples are Mandy & Mark. We're reminded that last week she ended up literally (/not actually literally) "dancing for her life" in the bottom 2 which apparently reminded her of all her long years of having people say "no" to her. Sadly none of those times involved her asking people "do you think I should wear ugly hoodies that look like slankets every week?" Anyway, then her husband with the Big Giant Head interviews about how she's come out of retirement for this, after taking 3 years off dancing to put his arse through University and she says she doesn't want to let her family and friends down (Giant Lady : Get over it.) and then she starts crying and oh dearing all over the place, before saying she wants to go into the studio and come out showing people why she's here. Other than the appealing backstory obviously.

We're shown her drawing Mark out of the RANDOM HAT and Cat tells us that it's Mark's job this week to keep her cheerful (/not mind too much as she drags him down into the bottom 2). They've drawn contemporary this week, choreographed by Henri Oguike. Or not actually choreographed by Henri Oguike, as apparently because he's lazy (/wants them to read and understand each other) there will be a lot of improvisation in this week's routine. OH.DEAR. Anyway, as you'd expect, Mark is a little confused by what the hell he's supposed to be doing. But then his child comes in and gets waved in front of the camera a bit and that makes it alright apparently. Although the excuse for bringing him (it's his first birthday and Mark doesn't want to miss it) is better than it usually is for this sort of thing. Mandy gushes about how cute he is, and then jacks in the competition immediately to get back on that "baby having" thing she was talking about. Except not. Unfortunately.

Cat at least gives us notice that they're dancing to "Show Me Heaven" before it starts so I can get the sick-bucket at the ready. Sorry, I can't stand this song. It's like getting stuck inside Heart FM, and not the awesome side of Heart FM where they play Pat Benatar and Barry Manilow. The start's alright, and Mandy does a awesome roll around on the floor, but after that... it frankly looks improvised on the spot. Nothing has any intent or purpose, and there's one particular horrendous moment where they walk around for about 5 seconds and then kind of...flop into each other. Basically, he looks awkward, and she looks deranged, and it officially for me crosses the line for contemporary dance where it just gets parody-funny. They feel like they should be the comedy contestants in Bring It On. It feels like there was angry gay stereotype choreographer behind this (like the sort they're apparently already resorting to in Glee). Oh and at the end, she actually picks his head up by his rat-rail to point it at the camera. GROSS GROSS GROSS.

Oh God, someone's let someone in the audience come in with a whistle. PLEASE NO.

Cat giggles about what a sing-along moment that was (yeah, if the lyrics for Show Me Heaven were actually "Woah-oh what are they doing, it looks like turd") and Nigel starts for the judges by saying that the routine and Mandy in particular lacked chemistry and that Mark needs to get all his friends and family (what is it with Nigel constantly talking about Mark's interactions with his mates. Does Nigel want to hang?) to constantly remind him to point his feet and think about his extremities. Does the rat-tail count as an extremity? Would "cutting it the hell off" count as "thinking about it"? Arlene of course disagrees, because if there's one thing Arlene is noted for, it's the fact that she definitely doesn't go after peoples hand/foot technique like (IWIWT) Sisco goes after ugly hats. She thinks that all you need for contemporary dance, is the ability to breathe and find things in yourself that you've never found before (Fun fact : Arlene found a 2p coin up there the other day) and Mark managed to do those things but Mandy didn't because she was just trying to do the steps.

I know Arlene's all about the "BALLROOM AND LATIN ARE THE HARDEST!" but I think contemporary dance requires a little bit more than the ability to breathe. Although if that were true then Gavin's failure is even more tragic. His own style turned out to be breathing and he failed at it.

Louise follows up by pulling out the same bullshit "this is so hard for you because you are hip-hop" card that she rallied so wonderfully against last week and I shake my head in disappointment. Oh Louise, you were doing so well. Anyway, Mark is yay, Mandy is boo says Louise. (IWIWT) Sisco finishes by pulling dumb faces and telling Arlene and Louise that they were wrong, and that Mandy was amazing, and that Mark really did all he could, but his extensions were poor and his hands were mangled. Given that his right hand is clearly still bandaged up, I THINK THERE MIGHT BE A REASON FOR THAT (IWIWT) SISCO. Cat sends them off gleefully, whilst Henri looks on scornfully from the audience. Might have actually choreographed them something Henri? Do you think?

Solos again next with Hayley cartwheelin and smiling around to "Supermassive Black Hole" by Muse and being alright, in a bad-ass Nomi Malone stripper sense, and then...Alastair's got his shirt off and is dancing amazingly! But... it's to Mika, and so will have to be my second favourite tv show of the moment of the year after Drew getting his Judy out and waving it to camera. If you want to follow suit Alastair, you are more than welcome.

Yanet and Tommy are next up and she informs us via VT that her mother was Cuba's national Judo champion and before Yanet came to England, her mother taught her how to do it, so anybody who crosses her better WATCH OUT. Given that Yanet's mothers brand of judo apparently involves a massive fuck-off sword, I'd be doubly worried. Tommy then informs us that he too is schooled in the way of martial arts, as he once spent a year training up Martial Arts Mountain. Martial Arts Mountain totally sounds like a rejected level for Super Mario 64. Anyway, both of these people could cause you pain in ways you can't even imagine, so vote for them ok?

Anyway, this week, when Yanet needs it most, she has apparently drawn salsa out of the TOTALLY RANDOM HAT, and also drawn one of the two most adaptable male dancers. SO VERY RANDOM. There's a lot of talk about how the salsa involves Latin Passion and sex, and whilst Yanet is overjoyed to have drawn her style (THE STYLE OF FILTH!) Tommy is a bit worried, because he's not used to bringing out his sexy side. Bless Tommy, he does come across as quite asexual. Maybe that was just because up til now he's been dancing with a child. To help him bring out said sexy side, Yanet is going to take him out to a salsa club. Hopefully the same one where Cherie Lunghi went last series in Strictly, where they all thought she was amazing. Ie, the salsa club for the easily impressed. I bet they have a statue of her in the middle of the floor. Once there Yanet dances with him for a bit, before throwing him open to the floor, which gobbles him up eagerly, because he's on the telly innit. Anywhoodle, he learns to be sexy, and Yanet is very impressed as he shakes his maracas everywhere.

Out on the floor and watching this for the second time, I can now actually force my eyes away from her amazingness to focus on what he's doing because the first time... she was just captivating. He's actually pretty good from the neck down - very fast and fluid and down into the floor, but he's still grinning inanely most of the time bless him and there's still something about his movement I find a little bit too muscular and forceful. On the other hand if there's any male performance that should have broken the LATIN CURSE this series it was this one. She, of course, is effortless in her own style, and I can even forgive them for ganking Jade's end pose from her Strictly salsa for it. Oh and the whole "playing a woman like she's the bongos" move, which is but one step above "leg-guitar".

Louise starts for the judges by saying "that's what I'm talking about" all Lee McQueen and praising Tommy for managing to keep up with Yanet in her own style, whilst inserting some of his own (aimless grinning?) into it. Arlene next, and she goes mental over the pair of them, saying they single-handedly demonstrate why there's been a salsa explosion in this country (so tacky Arlene, four people died in that salsa explosion) and that Tommy is so smart and adaptable. Who would have thought that this hip-hop dancer and this "Cuban Motion Girl" would make such a great pairing? The RANDOM HAT that's who. ALL PRAISE THE RANDOM HAT!

Nigel next and he calls Yanet a real "Alpha Female who knows what she wants" (and how nice that the GBP actually appear to have taken to that attitude for once) but she's got a heart of gold, because she put so much effort into teaching Tommy this week, and it paid off. And he got to show off his versatility in new jahhhhhhhhhnres some more as well. Winner winner chicken dinner all round. Thankfully (IWIWT) Sisco doesn't get to speak, and instead we just cut to Gavin somewhere in the back row of the audience looking proud for them. Aw. I did like Gavin even if his dancing was sometimes a bit... suspect.

Some more solos now, with Lizzie doing that Chitty Chitty Bang Bang style "clockwork doll comes to life" routine we saw her do in auditions. Well, which we saw 5 seconds of her doing in auditions. It's quite nice, if a bit off-style for a hip-hop specialist. [It wasn't exactly the showiest solo I've ever seen, but it was my favourite because there was something really charming about it. For what that's worth, anyway. - Steve] Drew then follows by dancing to more Judy Garland. Specifically the end of "The Trolley Song" complete with actual heartstring(/brace-strap) twanging. Bless his little gay cotton socks.

Next up, a couple who have both found themselves in the danger zone before - Hayley & Alistair. And again, it's nice to see the public not automatically saving definitely the best looking man and (probably, I don't know) the best looking girl. I swear, the fewer people watch a show the more happy I usually am with the public vote. I have no idea what that says about me, but it's probably not positive. Alistair talks a little bit about how he put everything into his routine last week but still wound up in the dance-off but this week he's going to try to yadda yadda, you know the drill.

We're shown next that Hayley managed to pick hip-hop out of the RANDOM HAT and thereby scuppered herself permnantly and forever. They're dancing to a routine by Simeon Qseya who apparently has done the MOBOs and MTV Awards and stuff, and so presumably knows his onions in terms of commercial hip-hop dancing. Both Hayley and Alistair snort around sarcastically in training about how much they looooooove the routine and how grrrrrrreat they are at it, but then Hayley goes boo-hoo mental and runs out into the corridor crying about how the routine doesn't play to her strengths and how it's just "a load of gymnastics". Oh Hayley you fool. You were probably eliminated the second you started crying, but that stuff just made it worse. [Also, "just a load of gymnastics" is kind of how I would've described Hayley's solo for this evening, so....yeah. - Steve] Alistair also has a bit of a mither and a panic, but at least manages to do it without falling into an already half-formed stereotype of himself as a bit of a stage school brat.


Anyway, we then get a brief visit to Alistair's farm, where his parents are holding a big party to try and rally support for him. Everyone waves banners and sports self-made t-shirts and shouts and cheers for Alistair, before his mother yells at them all through a megaphone to VOTE FOR ALISTAIR. Given what the voting figures probably are, it might just swing the balance.

OK first sabotaging thing first, they are dancing right into a giant NEON WALL WITH A BROKEN HEART ON IT. That's just tacky. Also they're dancing to Chris Brown, and I can just about forgive the us of his wife-beating ass if the routine's amazing (like Russell and Kathryn dancing to "I Can Transform Ya" in the final of the US version and ACTUALLY PRETENDING TO BE A TRANSFORMER!) but not for some common or garden Hollyoaks TOUCHING THE WALL ACTING. Finally she is wearing Heelies and sorry, if I were a professional dancer and I was asked to dance in sodding Heelies I would have an eppy fit at least as big as hers. What the fun? Basically she just slides around the floor like Stan Laurel. They're both trying, but it's just not very interesting and again feels a bit too poppy and not "authentic". Not that I want to use dread words like "authentic", like I'm any sodding judge of hip hop authenticity, but that's what they've driven me to. [On the plus side, Alastair should wear red vests more often. And I quite want the tracksuit bottoms he was wearing for this routine. I mean, not that EXACT pair...although, actually... - Steve]

(IWIWT) Sisco starts for the judges by putting Hayley on blast for her bad attitude going into the routine, telling her she let Alistair down. And I like Alistair but... his attitude wasn't exactly brilliant either. It was more of a mutual spiral of destruction thing, and she just let herself get carried away with it more than he did, and so made herself look uglier. Then again, she was the one WHO HAD TO WEAR SODDING HEELIES so I guess they come out about even. Anyway, he then says they did a really good job of it, and then apologises for being so contradictory but a bad attitude is one of (IWIWT) Sisco's pet hates.

(IWIWT) Sisco's other pet hates :

Rude people
Trains being delayed
Dog poo on pavements
That Coming Of Age keeps on getting recomissioned.

Basically not so much a "pet hate" as a "universal human experience" then. [As far as I was concerned, he deserved a Heelie to the face for telling her to "keep it cute and mute". Dickhead. - Steve]

Louise breaks in all "I'm confused" and if I did that every time a judge said something that wasn't internally consistent, this recap would be twice the length (I know, I know, doesn't bear thinking about does it?) Arlene then jumps in to defend Hayley, saying what she was doing was really difficult and disorientating, so it's no surprise she had a conniption fit over it. Nigel then interjects to say that he agrees with "our little desert rat corporal Sisco" (see? EVEN NIGEL IS MOCKING THE HAT!) that both dancers built up a metaphorical wall with the routine before they even started LIKE THE WALL ON THE STAGE, DO YOU SEE?! Which isn't what (IWIWT) Sisco was saying, but which I think is actually closer to the truth so... good. He puts them both on blast a bit for being so whiny and says the only reason the routine was so gymnastic was because neither of them can dance hip hop worth a lick, so it's their fault really, before saying they both did a good job with what they had, particularly Hayley. Cat sends them off, with Hayley clearly doomed.

Some more solos now. Mandy leaps and bounds around to that awesome Beth Ditto/Simian Mobile Disco collaboration that's going around, in a spangly hoodie that I'm sure I would covet if I were that sort of person, but I am not. [*conspicuous silence* - Steve] Mark follows and you can really tell that he produces his own stuff for the public, because he's probably the best self-choreographer here, although his final flip goes a bit wrong and he lands a bit on his head. Again. Also he's dancing to Alicia Keys so... bleh. What I do like is that one of his supporters - an old woman and possibly a relative - is waving around a sheet of A4 paper with the words "GUEST OF MARK" written on it in Times New Roman Bold Caps.


(Yes, yes I know it's probably the sheet of paper used to mark where the family of each dancer should sit, whatever, it's funny)

Oh boy. Next up, it's Charlie & Robbie and... she's got all her make-up scrubbed off and is wearing a headscarf. This ladies and gentlemen? Is So You Think You Can Dance Wank.

But first, a bit of light relief, in the form of a visit to Robbie's local area, where the butchers have written out "Vote Robbie" in sausages, and the local bakers have made a cake in the shape of Robbie's most well-known pose (head back, legs back, chest looking like a xylophone and pushed forward) and it's all very Wallace & Gromit. Said butcher incidentally informs us that "Robbie loves his meat". I'm saying nowt. We then visit Charlie's MASSIVE HOUSE wth a big shiny banner out the front, where her mother and grandmother inform us that they're really proud of Charlie, and every time they watch her, their hearts feel like they're bursting. I'd see a doctor about that, ladies.

Anyway, to the studio, where we see the pair of them with noted choreographer from the US version, Tyce Diorio (/Tasty Oreo), who we are told is an "Emmy Award Winning Choreographer". What we are not then told is that one of said Emmys was won FOR THIS DANCE. Because this? Is Breast Cancer Dance. A dance that Tyce choreographed about a friend of his suffering from breast cancer, which has already been performed on the US version. Incidentally when it was performed on the US version, it was performed by two dancers who had both been bottom 2 for two weeks prior to it, and then went home the week afterwards. They were not in the bottom 2 that week, I can tell you. We are then informed of the story behind the dance by Charlie, who reassures us all that her family are going to be in floods of tears after the dance, and so proud of her.

Basically there's been a lot of wank about this dance, and I personally don't object to a story about cancer being told via a light entertainment show, or even the slightly overwrought nature of the way it was framed - it just feels like it was, maybe, deployed? For these two people and for the good of the show in general by getting people and talking. And that makes me feel a bit icky, although no more so than the constant sob stories on X Factor, and none of those were in service to something as... I hesitate to say "entertaining", but you know, quite good, as this.

Also I kind of object that it's being done to a cover version of "This Woman's Work" when the original is RIGHT THERE. It's performed really well, and it seems to have hit something in Charlie in particular, who is giving the first performance I've really liked from her all series. [I concur. I'm not a big fan of Charlie, and a lot of the context for this performance didn't sit well with me, but I genuinely thought she really upped her game with this one. - Steve] Sometimes she gets a little bit too "acty" and not enough "dancey", but physically she's really giving herself to the performance, and Robbie's not looking too shabby either. I'm glad that we're getting to see routines this good on the show, because a lot of the choreography thus far has been a bit drab.

This next week plz? It's totally about the horrors of domestic violence or summat. [SECONDED. Failing that, please give us this one. It's about ALEXANDER GRAHAM BELL! - Steve]

Over to the judges they go, with Charlie in absolute floods already, and (IWIWT) Sisco very ostentatiously already wiping tears from his eyes with his wrists. Tit. Nigel starts for the judges with a SERIOUS BUSINESS face and voice on, and tells Charlie that it's amazing she was able to produce a display of such emotional maturity at such a young age. Robbie gets similar props for portraying the long-suffering partner of the woman with cancer, before we get informed the irony of it all is that it's Nigel's wedding day and IT'S TOTALLY RAINING! Oh no, wait, it's that Tyce has had to go back to America because his mother has pancreatic cancer. Which is apparently is "the reality catching up with the fantasy" and that is some gross awful tacky wording there. Ech.

Arlene next who says that she's never seen Robbie pull his heart out on stage quite like he did then, and then apologises to Charlie, because Arlene didn't want Charlie in the top 14, and the others had to literally sit on her to stop her sticking her photo in her mouth and eating it during deliberations, and she was SO WRONG. Louise then follows by saying that they brought her to tears (although she is notably not making as big a show of it as CERTAIN OTHER JUDGES DID) and gave her goosebumps and praises Robbie for his technical skill and for Charlie becoming a woman on the stage in front of her. Speaking of said CERTAIN OTHER JUDGES, (IWIWT) Sisco boo-hoos his way through saying that Robbie and Charlie and the audience did what dancers and audience are supposed to do during a routine and then punches his fist into his hand. Apparently this symbolises "merging" but I kind of wish that in one of the routines a dancer randomly popped off at an audience member. IT REPRESENTS THE WAR IN IRAQISTAN! Everyone in tears, Charlie and Robbie leave.

Following that... WHO'S IN THE MOOD FOR SOME LATIN PASSION?! Poor Yanet. She ain't representing nothing but her hips. Her (good but nothing blow-away) solo, is followed by Tommy's solo, a hip hop number to "Beggin" by Madcon and it's equally quite strong, but nothing you'll really remember having your tea next day.

Next up, Cat hyped up the arrival of JLS, and I wonder if the quality dip between the second and third single will be the same as between the first and second and if we all might not be pitched into hell as a result.

Finally, it's time for the SAUSAGE-FEST performance, with the boys repeatedly throwing themselves at two wire fences to the tune of "When You're A Jet" from West Side Story. Even as a confirmed Sondheim stan, I can't endorse this song. Anyway, it's all disjointed, and serves to remind me that, outside of BCD, I don't really enjoy Tasty Oreo's choreography very often. Drew and Alistair probably stand out the most, but it's quite hard to locate where the action actually is most of the time. [The routine was a bit of a mess, but Alastair as a Jet had a funny effect on me. I'm not proud. - Steve]

Once that's over, we get a reminder of what's happened this evening (CANCER DANCE! HAYLEY'S HEELIES! FLAMING COOCHES! THE DOWNSIDE OF CONTEMPORARY! TOMMY UNLEASHING HIS LATIN PASSION!) Oddly enough, none of the solos and neither of the group dances are represented in the recap. Funny that.

Steve will have your results very soon!

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