Sunday, 8 May 2011

Alice? Who the bleep is Alice?

Top 16 Results: 7th May 2011

We're straight into the cold open, and Cat's looking quite jolly considering two more contestants are about to have their dreams UTTERLY CRUSHED or something. She reminds us that there are 15 incredible performers and Charlotte Scally all hoping to be crowned Britain's Favourite Dancer, or at least The Dancer That The Relatively Small Percentage Of Britons Who Watch This Show Could Be Bothered To Pick Up The Phone And Vote For. [I am willing to bet that this entire competition is being decided by Israel's Mum - Chris] I can see why they say it the way they do, it's definitely catchier. The phone lines are now closed, and there's about to be an equal opportunities booting.


Our Top 16 rush the stage in case we've forgotten who they are already: Danielle and Luke wear the huge grins of people who are slowly growing to tolerate each other but are still massively overcompensating all the same; Bethany-Rose Lee attempts to completely obscure Israel with the use of her leg; Alice is wearing a red bra under a black mesh top and daring you to challenge her about it while Charlie uses her as a prop for a flip; Katie Love attempts to look supa dupa fly and Lee-Boy enables it; Katrina Ballerina and Tapper Tom remain adorable; Fat Deaf Old Foot-Phobic Darlene-Loving Kirsty and AndrogyLee do some unfortunately out-of-sync high kicks; Rithy and Shane are still doomed forever; Scally and MATTFLINTMANIA can't even manage to hit their marks at the same time, though on this occasion the problem seems to be Shane not getting out of the way in time. All the same, I'm going to blame Charlotte anyway, because it's more fun. I note that when they all hit their end pose and the SHOOGABOOGACANDANCE plays, Tapper Tom and Fat Deaf Old Foot-Phobic Kirsty (who are paired together for this bit) are both pulsing their arms in time with the echo. God bless Kirsty, she's always on, isn't she?

Cat enters and informs the contestants that it was a great show tonight (and indeed it probably was one of the better ones, but there's still something slightly disingenuous about the way she says it). She goes on to bring up the elections again, though to be perfectly honest I think there might actually have been a higher turnout to vote on this show than there was for the AV referendum. Apparently The Wanted will be here later performing "a medley of their hits" (I guess Wagner really made medleys popular), which will no doubt cause their fans to find brand new and freshly obnoxious ways to shoehorn them into Twitter's trending topics. Joy. [Judging from Charlie's elimination, I doubt anyone under 25 is watching, so we should be safe - Chris]

After a brief reminder of how this all works, Cat turns to the judges to find out what the dickens they made of tonight's show. Nigel says that everyone's probably shattered because they've been shuttled off around the country visiting their families and learning two routines (whose fault is that then, eh Nigel?) And that's pretty much it. Your judges, ladies and gentlemen!

Time for some highlights from the first group, starting with Katie and Lee C: Louise thought Katie was slick and professional but Lee was, in a very literal sense, not carrying his own weight in the partnership. As Katie glares at him backstage and briefly considers changing their cutesy sobriquet to Team HateLee, Lee says that he's not trained and is just going to have to keep pushing himself. Or hoping that Katie will push him, one of the two. Katie reasserts her devotion to Team LoveLee, but her heart doesn't seem to be in it. Danielle and Luke impressed Nigel with their chemistry, and they're still a bit reticent around each other backstage, but manage to correctly synchronise a celebratory "olé!" Rithy and Shane got good feedback from Nigel, and backstage Rithy admits that they hope they're not in the danger zone, but they decided to sass it out that they've "done it before" and know what to do. Heh. Unnecessary Extra Sisco Footage tells us that they didn't deserve to be in the bottom two last week, and he hopes they survive this week because their performance was flawless. Bethany Rose and Israel subjected us to FUCKING ADELE again, and frankly anything that the judges had to say paled into insignificance next to the contributions of Israel's mum from the audience. Seriously: do not cross Mama Israel. She'll take you down. Backstage, Israel's all "cheers, Mum."

We return to the studio with Cat saying simply "Israel: your mother." Sadly, Israel does not respond "no, YOUR mother." I think a decent bout of "yo' mama" would do wonders for the ratings, personally. Cat wishes everyone luck, and starts with Danielle and Luke and Luke's Chest Which Might Require Its Own Billing Soon At This Rate, who are safe. Bethany and Israel escaped last week despite the worst routine in the history of everything, so naturally they're safe again this week. Cat informs the remaining two couples that one of them is definitely in the bottom two. She reminds us that Arlene called Lee "an old banger", and the audience boos again for good measure. Arlene just grins coyly, which is another reason to love her. Shane and Rithy got good if slightly nonsensical feedback, and are in danger again, so Katie and Lee are safe for another week.

Cat asks Arlene why the public didn't listen to her [because we've learnt? - Chris], and Arlene finds it hard to explain because she thinks they've improved a lot. Cat points out that the good side of all of this is that we get to see their brilliant solos again, because they went down so well last week (even though Nigel said that Shane was the only person in last week's bottom four who was actually doing what they wanted in his solo) and Rithy and Shane are all "yes, that is indeed the spoonful of sugar that helps the medicine go down. Thank you, Cat Deeley."

Group two, anyone? Kirsty and Lee had a lyrical hip-hop routine that didn't really set the world alight, though wasn't actively poor either. Poor old Kirsty had to dress up like Space Hooker Barbie, and Nigel pointed out that Kirsty struggled to get up off the floor, which may be attributable to her Oldness and Fatness, though this was never specified. [Given how much he over-reacted to the one boo he got, I'm guessing fatness. - Chris] Kirsty admits backstage that she wasn't feeling it onstage tonight, gesturing to Lee as she does so, as though she's testifying that no matter where he's pointing to on the doll, she didn't touch him there. Lee says nothing, but just gives her a kiss, and I get a little bit sadder at the prospect of them eventually being split up if they're in the competition much longer. I think they should just blow the competition off and go on tour as a double act. I'd book front-row seats, and you would too. Don't deny it. The Amazing Karen Hardy gave Katrina Ballerina and Tapper Tom a quickstep routine that showed off their individual talents, but it still wasn't enough for Arlene to give Tom any props. We see Katrina wandering into the wings mumbling "oh dear". Tom is so blatantly over the "you're not as good as Katrina" meme by this point and is now just dancing for us, and definitely not for Them. Hip hop caused Charlie and Alice to come unstuck as they were both off the beat in different directions. Louise pointed out that hip hop needs a coolness behind it (or possibly "a cornice", though frankly that's the one bit of architecture Kate Prince has managed to restrain herself from planting on the stage so far [DON'T MENTION IT BY NAME, IT MIGHT COME BACK - Chris]) which wasn't there tonight. Backstage, Charlie and Alice run the chalk and cheese metaphor into the ground. The judges found it impossible to fault Charlotte and Matt even though Charlotte sucks, and backstage, they're obnoxious some more.

Cat starts with Alice and Charlie, reminding them of what little positive feedback they had, and they are told straightaway that they're in the danger zone, which means everyone else is safe. Crikey, talk about getting right to the point. This has the unfortunate effect of leaving everyone else a bit too wracked with survivor's guilt to be able to celebrate their safety properly. Cat asks Louise if perhaps the audience picked up on her comments about hip hop needing a laid-back vibe, as if anyone watching ever listens to anything any of the judges are saying, let alone Louise. Louise thinks the public saw there were stronger routines tonight, but now Charlie and Alice have another chance to prove themselves.

Rithy's up first to do her solo, to 'Cosmic Love' by Florence + The Machine. It starts well as she bounds on with an aerial cartwheel, but it does end up looking a bit sloppy and a bit too small for the stage. I'm just not sure that solos are really where Rithy's skills lie. I mean, it's better than last week's showing, there's no doubt of that, but it still doesn't really move me in the way that I expect these "dance for your life" routines to. [I preferred last week's - Chris] There is also no evidence of her grabbing her crotch at the judges this week. [This is why - Chris] Shane's solo is to 'Red' by Daniel Merriweather, and is much of the same athletic, backflipping, pirouetting shirtlessness we saw last week. The audience resume those annoying countdowns of the final seconds, despite having done so well so far this series. SIGH. Alice is next, dancing to 'Hurt' by Xtina, doing some impressive contemporary moves. Maybe I just have slightly more of a point of reference for contemporary than I do for hip-hop, but I thought Alice's solo was better than Rithy's, and I say that as someone who would choose Rithy over Alice in a heartbeat in pretty much any other situation. Alice gets a bit confused at the end and goes over to Cat, who ushers her off the other side of the stage. Finally we have Charlie, who starts in some kind of ungodly position on the floor, causing Cat to bend over and check if he's ready. (Oh, get your minds out of the gutter.) He's dancing (well, contorting) to 'Kickstarts' by Example, and the moves that he's pulling off are indeed impressive, but they do seem to be the same few moves repeated quite frequently. Oh, and he appears to have ripped the seam of his trousers at the crotch in the process. So yeah, if it were down to me, based on the above I'd save Alice and Shane, but we'll see what the judges decide shortly. [If you thought Rithy and Shane was a height mis-match, just IMAGINE Alice and Shane! Wacky fun! - Chris]

Cat reminds us that the judges will be deliberating over who to send home for the next few minutes, and while Nigel is busy looking very Serious Business and writing notes, Louise is looking benign and Sisco is looking anxious, Arlene is totally laughing behind her hand at Charlie's ripped trousers. I love Arlene so much.

To fill time while the judges deliberate, it's The Wanted. This is blatantly a pre-record, because there's a live band behind them that wasn't there about 10 seconds ago. I know pretty much nothing about The Wanted, so I'm totally going to flamebait myself by saying that one of them is about six and they don't appear to have one personality to share between the five of them. Fortunately, I know enough to recognise that the songs that they're medlifying are 'Heart Vacancy', 'Gold Forever, and 'All Time Low' (with some very squeaky harmonies), in that order. Presumably they received a Cease And Desist from Kings of Leon to stop them from doing 'Lose Somebody My Mind'.

Cat pretends that they're still here and applauds them before welcoming in the four dancers awaiting to learn their fate. We're starting with Alice and Rithy, and Nigel says that it's a tough decision tonight, because he doesn't think that they should all necessarily be in the bottom two. Alice is called forward and told that she doesn't seem to be making a mark, because none of the judges could remember anything she's done prior to this point. [Which obviously is entirely her fault - Chris] Poor Invisible Alice. The judges don't understand why Rithy is not pulling in the votes, leading Nigel into an odd little tangent about whether she has any relations in this country (she doesn't, so Nigel suggests she get someone to adopt her). Alice is called forward again, and told she'll be going home tonight. Alice, to her credit, clearly saw that one coming given that the summary of her contribution to the show thus far was "who are you? How did you get in?" and takes it like a trouper. Cat asks Alice how she feels, and Alice replies that she believes Rithy will win [*FALLS OVER LAUGHING LIKE SCALLY JUST GOT ELIMINATED* - Chris], and Rithy's going to take her to LA, so it's all fine. Yep, nothing says "sure-fire winner" like being bottom two with the public in the second and third weeks consecutively. Or, indeed, being from Brazil. Alice cries a little bit and says she feels stupid for doing so, at which point Cat rather overcompensates by being all "you're not stupid, you're INCREDIBLY TALENTED." Alice goes on to thank Kenrick the choreographer, because she knew that even if she went home this week, she was going to have a blast with his routine. Then there's a bit of mistiming fun where Cat goes in to give her a hug and a kiss and Alice sticks her hands up at the same time and almost punches Cat in the face. Hee. Poor Cat, she always seems to be narrowly missing the end of someone's limbs.

Charlie and Shane are called over, and Nigel calls Shane forward first, saying that despite his obvious talent, he's not connecting with the audience and wonders what's missing. A UK passport? No, apparently it's personality, which Charlie has in spades, as he is called forward to hear his feedback. Nigel calls him "a charming little scamp" and wishes they could somehow create some kind of Frankenstein's dancer out of the two of them with personality and technique. Nigel doesn't think Charlie is growing fast enough, and while he's unique, he doesn't have the skills that a lot of the others have, and it's a big ask for him to do what the others do, even though that's the entire point of the show and they knew that when they picked him for the Top 20. Charlie is sent home "with our best wishes" to protect the integrity of the programme or some shit, and Shane looks almost as upset about this as Charlie does. Cat tells Charlie he did really well to get this far, and a lost-for-words Charlie says that he's learned so much from everyone and he very classily thanks the judges for the opportunity to "do my stupid stuff on TV." Bless. Cat, in much the same way as she was with Alice, is all "DEFINITELY SPECIAL AND NOT STUPID."

Cat calls Alice back over to join Charlie, and beckons the Top 14 to join her on stage as well. She tells us that this is usually the end of the show, but tonight we have a shock announcement, courtesy of Nigel. Nigel says that it's always a sad night when two dancers go home, and that will not happen next week...because next week FOUR dancers are going home, bitches. Two boys, and two girls. Katie looks glum, while Scally looks like she just barfed in her hand. Cat asks Sisco what the remaining contestants can do to ensure they're not in danger next week, and Sisco very helpfully tells them not to sleep, but to do That Thing That We're Refusing To Quote several times. Nigel, on the other hand, tells them to get lots of rest and eat the right food. We're on earlier next week because of the Eurovision Song Contest which will probably send the ratings even further into the toilet, but nonetheless, Chris and I will be here to bring you every little detail. See you then!


  1. Rithy is a bit of a lady killer isn't she? Cat is clearly smitten, now Alice too? dayum

  2. They definitely did manage to shoehorn in obnoxious Twitter trending topics- number 1 was #twsytycd (very catchy...) with thousands of them begging the show to "STOP DIS DANCIN' CRAP SO WE CAN SEE OUR FIT BOYZ IN THE WANTTTTED!!!11!' Delightful. Brilliant recaps as always, any predictions for the 4 dancers out next week?

  3. I lurve SYTYCD but this is far better. You are the Eurovision Terry Wogan of oogaboogadance and I love you x

  4. On the proviso that it depends how they do it, I'd predict Katrina, Rithy, Shane, Tom. PROVE ME WRONG, PUBLIC!

  5. I'm with Chris in that I'd need to know exactly how they're planning to do it. If they're doing it X Factor style and the bottom couple with the public is gone right away, then I'm guessing Rithy and Shane are toast. If not, they might somehow miraculously scrape through a bottom six because I think there are a lot of people who the judges like less than them.

    I wouldn't be surprised if Kirsty & Lee B are in trouble this week, as much as I love them, and I think they're both going the second they hit the Danger Zone. So yeah, what the hell, I'll say: Rithy, Shane, Kirsty, Lee B and a large part of my interest in this series will all be departing next week. It'll pretty much just be Angry Luke and his Feelings keeping me going at that point.

  6. In that case, they might as well give MATTFLINTMANIA the trophy next week and be done with it.
    I never expected Rithy to win, but I'd like to see her get to top 10 at least ;;_;;

  7. All the best ones are gone, its like all these so-called talent shows, anyone with any is off early in the series!