Sunday, 31 January 2010

Drew The Short Straw

Top 8 Results: 30th January 2010

We open on Cat telling us that an hour ago, 8 dancers danced to keep their place in the competition. Boo Cat Deeley, they were DANCING FOR THEIR LIVES and you know it. Anyway, unfortunately only 6 can stay, and due to the... unpleasant draw from the bastard RANDOM HAT that was distributed, the two going home will almost certainly be my two favourites so... yeah. Also Cat's hair looks like hot-buttered ass, so it's an unpleasant night all round. Time to stop letting the RANDOM HAT choose your styling Cat.

WOOGE-WOGGA-CAN DANCE! I kind of wish the dancers in the credits were Nigel, Arlene, Louise and (Shut Up) Sisco. That'd make them 15 times more entertaining. It'd be like Clarissa Explains It All.

We start with the group dance for the week, with Cat's eerie disembodied voice booming out over the loudspeakers telling us "the mueseum is now closed". There's a big box labelled "Ripped Off From Got T...", I mean "Fragile" on it, which then opens up, allowing the dancers to emerge. I'm guessing they're supposed to be museum exhibits but... Charlie's got Mickey Mouse ears on, Alistair is dressed up for the Masquerade, Drew's a dandy, Mandy's dressed as the totty character from a 90's Sega racing game, and Lizzie's wearing a fez on top of a trilby. And they're all dancing to "Relight My Fire" (the original). So God only knows what sort of museum this is. Tragically, Yanet is not dressed as a giant Tyrannosaurus Rex, and she does not stomp all over them causing carnage, a la "Night At The Museum". Much like "Night At The Museum" however, it is incoherent and dull. I want to say Mandy is the highlight, but that might just be because I suddenly 180 Love Her after the performance show.

Once they're all back in their box, Cat stalks on from the side to tell us all that that routine was choreographed by Take That's choreographer. Makes sense. I would have preferred the Take That choreography of walking around on a shingle beach looking MATURE and WISER NOW and not really moving much to that nonsense, but hey ho. She also tells us that later we're going to be getting an exclusive performance from MIKA! You know how people complained about the quality of guest performers on Strictly? I would rather Andy Williams chainsaw-voice his way through his entire repertoire, whilst the Bee Gees sweated all over each-other on inaudiable backing vocals than sit through Mika. [Mika AND Sisco. Whatever did we do to deserve this? - Steve]

She then welcomes our judges, and seriously, after the main show, who knew that (Shut Up) Sisco's hats were not in fact a symptom of his twattishness, they were in fact that last barrier holding it all in his stupid honking head. I apologise to you (Shut Up) Sisco's hats. Come back next week. Preferably over his face.

Recap VT : the boys all hug and high-five and hype each other up, and then Cat Deeley comes in like some minor visiting royal and parades herself through them all, kissing them on the cheeks like they're brave little cancer patients. Maybe she got mixed up with last week. Mandy says she's really nervous and Drew mugs some more at the camera. We're then reminded of Robbie and Yanet's shitty awful Lindy Hop and then Sisco suddenly making me like it by being unnecessary all in Yanet's face to hide the fact that Robbie was just as bad. Backstage, Yanet says she's going to cut him open from gizzard to stern... oh no wait she just says she's going to prove she's not the weakest girl. In an actual fight? I'd pay.

Then we're reminded of the fact that KATE PRINCE IS THE WORST CHOREOGRAPHER IN THE WORLD FACT before Drew gets all gay in the camera about how NIGEL SAID HE HEARTED IT. Oh Drew, I love you but I can see why you were occasionally on your own in the playground. That was intense even by stage-school standards. Lizzie and Alastair's not at all gay pubes were next doing contemporary, and whilst Louise and (Shut Up)Sisco loved it, Nigel didn't feel the romance. This is the Nigel who's such an expert in romance he was giving Drew advice how to score with women a few weeks back. Finally, Tommy and Mandy being nuclear strength amazing with some basic choreography - Louise thought it needed more pizazz (/pizznash/pazznish) but (Shut Up) Sisco thought it would be a TRAVESTY AGAINST HUMANITY if the pair of them didn't make the final. Yeah, steal your schtick from Len Goodman, (Shut Up) Sisco. That's the way to get more popular. Nigel and Louise both finish by admitting that quite a few of the dancers tonight were crap, and then Arlene says something, but I'm too busy laughing at Nigel mocking her behind her back (pulling faces and making sock-puppet talky hands) for me to listen. It's probably better that way.

Straight into our pre girl-elimination VT, and instead of hearing from them all how much they want this and how devastated they would be to be eliminated, we instead get them all talking passive-aggressive smack about eachother. Yay! Mandy thinks that Lizzie is her main competition because she's a hip-hop dancer but also quite good in other styles (MEOW!). Lizzie thinks that Mandy is her main rival, because she's got the most experience (the haggard old bitch!). Yanet thinks that Mandy's solos are so good that they might even be as good as hers (OUCH!) Charlie thinks that Lizzie's her biggest rival, because she can do things that she could never do, like "popping and locking" and "spinning on her head". Hang on, that one comes up clean. From Charlie of all people. Who knew?

Out onto the stage, and Mandy and Yanet are paried off first, in a "one of these people is in the bottom 2" style. Yanet is reminded that she screwed up the Lindy Hop, and Mandy is reminded that Louise thought she needed more pizznash-pow before... Mandy is told that she's safe, and she collapses in classic "I THOUGHT EVERYBODY HATED ME, BUT NOW I KNOW THEY DON'T!" tears, and everyone hugs her as she runs off safe whilst her husband with the giant head pumps his fist in the audience. Yanet tries to walk off, but Cat grabs her full-on yelling "WOAH-WOAH-WOAH-WOAH!", allowing her the time and space to hear Nigel telling her that he's not shocked and she totally deserved it. I'm sure she's glad of that.

Lizzie and Charlie are left standing there, with Lizzie reminded that Nigel didn't rate her romantic performance, and Charlie reminded that Arlene thought she was too cutesy. Which I'm sure had nothing to do with THE OFFENSIVELY CUTESY CHOREOGRAPHY OR ANYTHING! I'm sure it was entirely possible that Charlie could have invested her role as heart-broken mime with balloons with some real FIRE AND EDGE. [Wasn't that Robbie and Yanet's team name? Or was that Yanet and one of U2? - Steve] Anyway, Lizzie and her terrifying abs are safe, and Charlie is in the bottom 2, looking profoundly unbothered in her Langford kind of way. Arlene tells her she's not surprised because this week's dance was as bad as last week's was good, and showed all sorts of holes in Charlie's abilities. Although none quite so large as the holes in her fishnet top last week.

Next up, the boys "my biggest rival is" VT, spreading the love a little bit more evenly than the girls. Drew feels his biggest competition is Alastair, because he's such a good dancer and has an amazing personality, and he smells of apricots, and like, one time when they were changing Alistair just gave him this *look* you know, it's hard to describe but there totally coully could be something there, and also he has really good hair that would just be really... soft, you know? Something like that. Tommy views Robbie as his main rival, because he's just so TALL and flexible, and Tommy is SHORT and... rigid? Robbie likewise views Tommy as his main rival just because he's so different. Alistair finishes by calling Drew the man to beat because he's got great technique and is a real performer. At this point, Drew becomes so flustered and distracted, that his elimination is assured.

Out on the stage, Cat starts with Drew, and the remarks she chooses to recall are complimentary, so you know he's in trouble. And indeed he is, dumped right into the bottom 2 straight off. Robbie gives him a little shoulder squeeze of support, before we have to hear (Shut Up) Sisco's opinion, which is that Drew is an amazing dancer but the lyrical hip-hop routine he did "exposed him" on the stage. [Maybe things would've worked out better if he had been properly exposed and Drew's Nipple had popped out to talk to us again. - Steve] Actually, given Kate Prince's choreography "skills" I wouldn't be surprised if she didn't work some sort of work with a Boogie Nights style prop dick at some point in the future. Cat asks Drew how many pirouettes he thinks he can do, and Drew basically doesn't give a crap at this point. Twelve or something, WHATEVER CAT. (*runs off crying*)

Cat then runs her way through the remaining male dancers, and again, that they're using what positive remarks they can find about what Robbie did to the Lindy Hop suggests he's cruising for a bruising. We rehash Nigel's comments about the unromantic nature of Alastair's contemporary piece for, like, the zillionth time and the collective cheerleading the judges did for Tommy, before it is revealed that the latter two are safe, and it's Robbie who is in the danger zone. So much for Cancer Dance propelling its participants to victory. Then again, both performers in Bed Dance will soon be gone as well. Anyway, when Alastair is revealed to be safe he is STUNNED and wanders off doing what looks an awful lot like Brendan Fraser's offensive clapping

Cat goes to Louise for a response, highlighting the fact that Robbie has never been in the bottom 2 before. Indeed, at this point, Lizzie is the only one of these people never to grace the bottom two. Not that that'll stop her finishing in third to two boys in the final but... Anyway Louise whitters that as a whole Robbie probably doesn't deserve to be bottom 2, but based on tonight he totally does. Finally, (Shut Up) Sisco is asked how the dancers need to perform in order to save themselves in his eyes and... I know people complain that Nigel talks too much but I'd rather him than (Shut Up) Sisco saying that all the dancers need to dance for their lives and show why they deserve a place in next week's show when he wouldn't vote for Yanet if he had a gun to his head. [Which I totally was not holding. What? Don't look at me like that. - Steve]

Solos time now, and Cat actually looks a bit nervous for a moment that Yanet might actually have stormed off à la Lady Sovereign on This Week, but phew, she is here. Vamping around in a Latin style to 'Let's Get Loud' and looking amazing. I just kind of wish she was even half as good at this as any other discipline and I don't know that she is. Charlie follows, doing more random jerking around to pop music and... even if you're a fan of Charlie's I'm guessing it's probably not for her solos. Oh and the audience chanting during the countdown is OFFENSIVELY loud at this point.

Boys next, opening with Drew and his phone-cock doing pirouettes to 'Call Me' which is really energetic and fun but also kind of desperate as a concept and also... he's got a phone cord coming out of his crotch. Who wants to think about that? It's terrifying. Where would you put the coins? What if you had a special card? What sort of noise does he make when you're running out of minutes? [I'm sure there's some kind of dictaphone/dick-to-phone joke to be made here, but I just can't pin it down. - Steve] Robbie follows up, reminding us of the ways that his long limbs can be a boon, rather than crippling disadvantage they had been up this point of the evening. It's still to The Calling though, and I would be more than happy to completely forget that whole period of musical history.

Cat foolishly goes immediately to Arlene afterwards and she starts gushing hysterically about how she doesn't want to let anyone go, and "those two boys" are amongst the most the phenomenal dancers in the country, and this is so harrrrrrrrrrd Cat, why are they making her choooooooooooose? If it's that hard Arlene, toss a coin or something. You know what you signed up for.

Next : Mika. The last time I recapped Mika, I got death threats. I think I said I was quite glad he lost at the Brit Awards because I preferred the artist who won. Oh and also that he was gay. Lots of Mika fans seem to have a problem with that entirely obvious fact. So forgive me if I'm not exactly chomping at the bit to do it again. All I'll say is that the song has hand-clapping in it, and I still don't like it. Quite an achievement. It's a bit like 'No Scrubs' in the verses except not nearly as good. I'm so aggravated that I get this, and Steve gets pop-cultural robot phenomenon Leona next week. Lucky bastard. [Then again... - Steve]

Once Mika's gone, and I've put my earphones back in, out troop the four people in danger, ready to receive judgment from Nigel, who starts with Yanet and Charlie, and tells them that the judges were unanimous. Yanet gives this comment the look of "...ugh." it deserves whilst Charlie continues to nod most Langford-like. Every time anybody says anything negative, she just nods eagerly. Probably because she's 19, and still thinks being gracious is going to get her anywhere.

From here we move to that whole "take one step forward, take one step back, do the hokey cokey and you're ELIMINATED" business which advances nothing and nobody with Yanet being told she's not showing her animal sexual magnetism out of her face as much she should be, and the judges wants her to smile more. Anybody who has watched the US version for more than 5 minutes (and apologies for the diversion into racial politics) knows this is Nigel for "you're black and you're about to be eliminated". Nigel then tells Charlie that it's amazing that her routine put her at the top this week, and now another routine has put her at the bottom, and really how much does this show thinks it needs Kate Prince that it feels it can't call out that awful routine for what it was explicitly?

Anyway, no duh, Yanet is eliminated, and Nigel at least acknowledges that she seems like she knew it already. Brilliantly, because Yanet is still in "take a step forward" mode Charlie comes at her from behind to hug her with her arms out-stretched, meaning that Yanet doesn't see her, meaning that she basically looks like a crazed zombie attacking her. CHARLIE WANT BRAINS! Yanet would be so amazing as the heroine in a zombie movie. Give this girl a shotgun and a cigar (Cuban, naturally) and we are MADE.

Yanet's best bits are actually probably the first where it feels like the participant has a body of work large enough to be memorialised. Poor Anabel having her best bits basically be her bucking around like a mule in her Jive. We are reminded of her stunning foxtrot and salsa, and her god-awful hip-hop and Lindy routines, as well as the fact that whenever cut to her in a group dance she was always doing the same goshdarn thing. When we come back, Yanet gives a little speech about how she's disappointed and how she'll miss working with the great choreographers, but she'll take the positive comments from the judges (*points to Nigel, Arlene and Louise, and then all but flips the bird at (Shut Up) Sisco*) and use them in her career going forward.

Can we have her on Strictly to at least choreograph some of the salsas? Or is Shouty Dwarf Man too well entrenched?

To the boys now, and Nigel starts by saying that the judges were unanimous in their decision but also a decision that "we were unanimous in that we did not want to give". MANGLE that syntax Nigel. Anyway they didn't want to make the decision, because they were certain that both of these two would be in the final, and one of them would probably win. Well... Robbie still might, I guess. They're both told they've done amazing solos before, although Drew is mildly admonished for his cock-phone, because "his dancing is so good that he doesn't need props". Yeah, I can't see why he would have missed the "props=bad" message when for his partner routine about 5 sq ft of the floor wasn't covered in extraneous crap. Anyway, Robbie's "double turn into the side-split" was amazing, and probably sealed it for him because (*step forward for no earthly reason*) Drew is eliminated.

I always kind of hope they're being made to step forward so something can drop on them.

Robbie gives it proper Steps "Tragedy" face, before hugging Drew mumbling "no, no, no". We then move on to Drew's "Best Bits" - him zinging his heartstrings, his hair being a terrifying force of nature at all times, poor Anabel, the Bed Dance, the disco, the man, the myth, the Judy - Drew McOnie. I must admit, he was the one I wanted to win towards the end there. [Me too. Sniff. - Steve]

Back in the studio, he says he can't articulate what he's feeling, but he really feels like he's been on a journey, and wants to take the lessons he's learnt from working with some great choreographers (and Kate EFFING Prince) and use them in his life to become a better dancer and person. Also he wants to inspire people to want to dance as much as he does. Oh Drew, I don't think anybody could.

The stage is mobbed, Robbie and Alistair in particular look devastated, your recapper's two favourites (although with Yanet it was more for sentimental reasons towards the end there it had to be said) are gone [same here - the only person left I feel remotely inspired to root for is Lizzie, so watch her go home next week - Steve], Shugga-Bugga OUT.

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