Sunday, 15 May 2011

Along came a spider

Top 14: 14th May 2011

Last week: the idea of a "tween vote" on this show was destroyed beyond all chance of recovery when adorable Charlie Whee! and Cabbage Alice were sent home after landing in the bottom two with Rithy and Shane, who are spending so much time there these days that they're both considering registering it as an official second home. You know, for the financial benefits. (BITING POLITICAL SATIRE THAT IS IN NO WAY OUTDATED!) Equally, whatever fond memories the contestants may have had of the week one non-elimination special were destroyed by the announcement that we're going to have to have a double elimination to make up for it. Angry Luke in particular had So Many Feelings about this, but it's getting to the point where I feel like there is no situation in life that is not the case for. I imagine he has So Many Feelings about, like, cornflakes. [WHY DO THEY HAVE TO GET SO SOGGY? WHY? THEY'RE SO NICE BUT THEY NEED MILK AND THEN THE MILK DESTROYS THEM! WHYYYYYYY?! - Angry Luke]

Tonight: everyone's panicking, Scally kicks MATTFLINTMANIA! in the tits, Lee-Boy and Katie Love's attempt at a Dancing On Ice-style float spin from a chair ends in disaster (and happens right in front of Emma Bunton, so they're bound to be docked points for that), people get mobbed by hometown supporters, Danielle cries, Fat Deaf Old Foot-Phobic Kirsty gets a second job as a lightning conductor, and lots of other stuff.


There's no opening routine this week, so instead we get the standard dancer introduction thing that usually goes in the results show: Scally & Matt, making the most of their last week as an untouchable power couple before they get uncoupled and we see how popular she is without him [probably depressingly popular - Chris]; Danielle & Luke kicking out at the audience to avoid venting those emotions on each other, Bethany Rose Lee and Israel vamping like their lives depend on it; Rithy & Shane for one more night only; Katie & Lee-Boy still managing surprisingly well in the face of entirely conflicting approaches to everything in life; Katrina & Tom, where Cat says Tom's name in the manner that you'd expect the judges to say it, with a manner of "oh, that one is still here"; FDOFP Kirsty and AndrogyLee, fierce as always. Girls, boys, it's our Top 14.

Cat enters with a full-on "'Allow!", because for some reason tonight she's the Brummiest she's been in years. Midlands represent! She reminds us that the pressure is on because while everyone's only had one week to learn the dances as per usual, they're also contending with a double elimination and the fact that it's the Eurovision Song Contest tonight so the show's on far earlier than usual and is probably going to have a total audience of about six people. And that's factoring in me watching it twice because I'm recapping it. Time to introduce the judges: tonight Sisco has come as Nina Flowers, for reasons known only to him and and his stylists [WASH YOUR MOUTH OUT FOR COMPARING NINA FLOWERS TO THIS ABOMINATION - Chris], Louise has only remembered to wash half of her face again [and sporting a plait which she has apparently used to clean out a drain - Chris], Arlene is wearing a lot of stripes, and Nigel actively rolls his eyes at his own intro. Oh, Nigel. Cat asks Nigel why we're having a double elimination, and he makes it very clear that it was always planned this way to give everyone a kick up the arse, because you just know that a good half of the audience thinks this has been hastily thrown in to speed up the run because no one's watching. Nigel adds that some dancers have been letting their partners down, so it's all going to get mixed up after tonight. Cat clarifies that it will be down to individuals tonight, and then Nigel worries that no one is going to understand the system, so he reminds us that people will still be performing in couples, but we'll be voting for individuals. Cat knows this, Nigel, she's been on this franchise almost as long as you have.

With the operations of the competition from next week onwards now firmly established, Cat turns to Sisco and asks what the dancers can do to proceed in the competition. Sisco says that they need to treat it like their last dance, and the judges want to see that desperation from them. Sure, because nothing goes down better with voters than utter desperation. I for one am hoping that Rithy and Shane stop in the middle of their routine and shrug "you know what? Sod it." Oh, and he also babbles on about *WORD REDACTED NOW TRANSFORMED FROM A VERB INTO A NOUN*, at which point Cat points out that this is a total nonsense and gets him to explain what on earth he's on about every time he utters that wretched phrase, which is apparently operating at a level of 150% or more. Good, glad we've established that scientifically. Cat asks the audience if it makes sense to them, and they reply in the affirmative. They're totally lying.

Cat explains how this week's eliminations work - basically all three couples with the fewest votes will be sent into the Danger Zone, and the judges will decide which four contestants of the six to send home. So no automatic elimination, although I think everyone knows Rithy & Shane's elimination is kind of inevitable at this point, sadly.

Up first tonight are Charlotte & Matt, who've been on either first or second every week apart from last week - something which I would normally think a tad suspicious, but to be honest I think it's because they're the only couple with a sufficiently resilient fanbase for this not to matter in terms of their safety, so the running order keeps bumping them to the front to give everyone else a chance. [Katie Love and Lee-Boy have seriously had the worst draw out of everyone. Always second to fourth - Chris] Last week they got great feedback for their Broadway routine, and this week they've drawn Lindy Hop. Matt cheers and Charlotte looks doubtful, but he assures her that this is "a good one". It's never established for definite, but considering Charlotte didn't even know what a foxtrot was three weeks ago, I'm guessing this is an entirely unfamiliar concept to her as well. In rehearsals, she admits that she's never done Lindy Hop before, and fears for her chances of another standing ovation. Choreographer Ryan Francois tells us that we want to look out for a snatch, presumably in case Charlotte forgets her underwear. Oh, my mistake - apparently it involves snatching your partner out of the air and catching her on your shoulder. Matt and Charlotte rehearse this move, and the positioning of the camera right behind Charlotte does seem to give us a chance of seeing the other kind of snatch after all. [STOP TALKING ABOUT SCALLY'S SNATCH FFS!- Chris] Montage of the lifts going horribly wrong and Matt getting battered from all directions. Ryan suggests that they do some judo training to help them out, and as they go off to give that a go, Matt draws the parallel between judo and Lindy Hop, explaining that they both require moving large objects with minimal effort. Pages are ripped off a calendar, three general elections are held, Kate Bush releases two more albums, and finally at some point after that Charlotte gets that he's calling her a heifer, and reacts with the appropriate level of offence. Christ on a bike - I know Charlotte's not in this competition for her mental acuity, but if she can't spot a fat joke when it's delivered that bluntly, I really do worry about her. Judo montage: Matt gets battered again, and possibly regrets making that fat joke, as well as the six subsequent unscreened jokes about how long it took Charlotte to get it. Charlotte says that they just don't want to be KNOCKED OUT OF THE COMPETITION, GET IT? Yes, Charlotte, we get it. We are not all you.

They're doing a subway-train themed routine that starts with them holding on to imaginary ceiling-mounted grips, and this particular piece of choreography reveals that MATTFLINTMANIA! has quite sweaty underarms. They're dancing to 'Shout And Feel It' by Count Basie, so Wikipedia tells me anyway, and I think my dislike of this particular pair has been well-documented up to now, but I'm going to put that aside and admit that I thought they were rather good this week. This style of dance is about bounce and energy which they deliver in spades, for the first half of the routine at least (they do struggle to maintain the momentum a bit towards the end), but they're nicely in time with each other and with the accents of the music, and they even manage not to mug at the camera any more than the routine requires. Let me put it this way: on the basis of this routine, I didn't want them to go home tonight, so that should give you a pretty good idea of how impressed I was by it. I WANTED CHARLOTTE SCALLY TO STAY IN THE COMPETITION. It ends with Matt flipping Charlotte over his head and her grabbing onto his waist while upside down. As end positions go, that's a fairly impressive one.

Cat laughs at their not-entirely-graceful attempt at a dismount, and Nigel says that he's exhausted just watching them. He says that the dance needed the energy that they gave it, and they've set the bar for the evening, so everyone else's performance tonight will be measured against this one. Backstage, Tom's all "hmm, being compared to Matt Flint, that'll be a new experience for me." [Rulers out lads - Chris] Arlene agrees - she loved the throws and the air-steps, and she thinks they're dancing their way into everyone's hearts. Louise thinks they're definites for the Top 10 and they just come alive on stage, making a hard dance look easy. Sisco does the "I'm so disappointed...THAT YOU'VE GIVEN ME NOTHING TO CRITICISE!" fake-out. He thinks they ace every genre and are always extremely entertaining, and that's why they're the frontrunners. Nigel adds that no one's guaranteed a place in the Top 10, so we mustn't assume they're safe. Charlotte literally begs for votes. For once, I don't mind. Seriously: good routine.

Up next are Danielle & Luke, who will apparently be revealing what they really think of each other. I hope it involves them basically reciting the lyrics to Daphne & Celeste's 'Ooh Stick You!' Last week they survived the Latin Curse for the second time in the competition with a well-received Paso Doble. This week they've drawn Lyrical Hip Hop, at which point Danielle has a bit of a meltdown, because this week's a double elimination and she was counting on picking a dance that was in her genre. She snits to Luke that "everyone's had their style so far!" Oh yeah, remember that jazz routine FDOFP Kirsty did? Or that week Katrina drew ballet? No, because IT NEVER HAPPENED. Shut up, Danielle. Kenrick is choreographing for them, and explains that the routine is about a couple who've gone out for a meal, had an argument, and are now coming home to continue it. Luke admits that he's worried about having to "lock and pop and be all funky-funky" (BLESS), but has realised that this routine is more about "dancing and feeling", which is what they can do. This is true: a routine about having So Many Feelings is definitely in Luke's wheelhouse. Kenrick tells them to think about the dance and not the technique, which will totally backfire on them when it comes to judging, I bet. Danielle opines that they need more anger in this (yay! Moar anger for Angry Luke!) because it feels so real and raw, so Kenrick suggests they reveal what annoys them about each other. Oh, Kenrick: what hast thou wrought? Their list of grievances includes "nice bleached hair, Luke!" and "your pigtails are rubbish!" in response. [YOUR FACE SMELLS! is srsly the best insult ever - Chris] This is like the gayest fight ever. Although I am quite intrigued by Luke's accusation that Danielle never brushes her teeth, because: ew. Also, it ends with Danielle going "I'm angry!" and Luke growingly "I'M ANGRY!", which is a total shoutout to this blog.

Their routine is to 'Impossible' by Shontelle, and is one of those pieces of choreography that starts out looking a bit like sign language. Their limbs are a little bit loose and flimsy for hip hop - even lyrical hip hop - for my liking, but the emotional intensity is definitely there. I'd say Luke is fractionally better than Danielle in this routine, though they're both doing a pretty good job of it. Then again, Luke has the natural advantage of All Those Feelings.

Cat frets about the dirty trainers treading all over those nice white sofas, but to be honest, anyone who thinks a white sofa is a practical suggestion in any situation deserves whatever stains are coming to them. Sisco loved the commitment of the characters, and felt that this was what the show needed - it was dramatic and sincere. He had a problem with their posture, in that it was too good - they needed to slouch more. Louise thought they did the lyrical part well, and they showed the expression and got into character, though the hip hop stuff needs more work. She thinks they need to listen to the choreographers - which would be sound advice, except this choreographer told them to ignore technique and focus on the emotion, which is what they did. So maybe Louise needs to listen to the choreographers. Arlene talks about solar plexuses and letting the music tell you where to go, and then randomly comes out as a no-longer-closeted Luke stan, declaring that to be the best dancing she's seen from him. Nigel agrees with Arlene, he felt Luke's emotions, though Danielle's not quite so much. He thinks it's hard to get the emotions over with all that armography, so it needed to flow a bit more for him. Cat asks how it compared to the first one, and Nigel declares it not quite as good, though Arlene and Sisco think Luke was up there with Team Scallyflint.

On third are Israel and Bethany Rose. Bethany was very pleased with last week's performance, though not nearly as pleased as Israel's mum was. Backstage, Israel's like "yeah, my mum loves me." They draw the ever-undefinable Commercial genre out of Cat's box, and Cat teases that she wishes Israel's mum was here to read out the result. They're pleased with Commercial as their draw. Choreographer Sean Cheesman explains that this dance is about a woman who's like a black widow spider. There is some confusion here - quite how far this particular clip is into the rehearsal process is unclear, but someone explains to Bethany that a black widow is a spider, and in a late bid to wrest the Dumbest Person In The Competition award from Charlotte's hand, she's like "oh, is it a spider? I thought my husband was dead!" Israel finds this hilarious, as well he might. Now that the penny has dropped, Bethany finds the performance easier to comprehend, and they get to work. Bethany hurts her shoulder during a flip but soldiers valiantly on as Sean explains that a good Commercial performance should be like watching a music video. Bethany thinks this is the hardest piece of choreography they've had so far, and Sean tells them that in this routine, it will be very obvious if they're out of sync, and that the judges ("especially Arlene", heh) will not fail to point this out. Bethany says that they're giving it their all to remain in the competition, and Israel adds "straight dizzle, I'm not leaving", at which Bethany cracks up.

They've got 'Hide U' by Kosheen as their music, which is a song I've not heard in about a decade, so that's a nice blast from the past. They start the routine skulking around the side of the set, and Israel demonstrates how flimsy he is when he rests a little bit too much weight on it. Bethany Rose is brilliant in this routine - she's the very essence of spideriness, all limbs and bending. Israel's not bad either - you can really see in this one how much he's improved, how much more fluid he's become. There's a genuinely breathtaking move where Bethany holds Israel's hands, and then basically inverts herself into a headstand where she places her legs around his neck before pulling a full 360° and ending up back on her feet again. I would dislocate so many things if I even attempted that. There's some complex armography that they do perfectly in time with each other, and Bethany totally makes the routine for me at this point by just kind of opening her mouth and leering, which is a perfect little character note. Then there's more synchronisation and another brilliant move where Israel grabs Bethany from behind, drops down to the floor and kicks her up over him and she basically somersaults out of it. My description sucks, let's be honest, so you'll just have to take my word for it that it looks BRILLIANT. It ends with Bethany basically devouring Israel and pushing him to the floor. Awesome, awesome routine, and a good job from both of them - it's a showcase piece for Bethany, obviously, but if Israel hadn't been delivering as well the whole thing would've fallen apart.

Full standing ovation from the judges, and richly deserved. Israel's mum is going nuts in the audience. Arlene thinks Israel found his technique and expression, and now we have Israel. Louise says that she was shocked a few weeks ago that he stayed in, but tonight she was glad he was still here, and adds that they chose the right week to raise their game. Sisco calls it "commercial perfection" and says he would book both of them as a choreographer. He adds that Israel obviously listened to Arlene's words earlier about using your spine and your chest. Nigel says that he has changed his mind about spiders now, and he thinks it's the best Bethany Rose and Israel have ever been, and it was definitely on a par with Matt & Charlotte. Cat asks them how they felt about it and they don't really have a lot to say beyond "we loved it and we worked hard", but in fairness to them the dancing spoke for itself.

Next up: poor, lovely, totally doomed [DOOMED! - Chris] Rithy & Shane. Their comments about last week are obviously a little reserved, since they feel that they're doing their best, but they're obviously not pulling in the votes. They don't want to be in the Danger Zone again, and are thrilled when they draw Contemporary out of Cat's box. Shane is convinced this will be their best week ever. Their choreographer for the week is Tasty Oreo (/Tyce Diorio), who blathers on that this piece does not need to be danced like a dancer, but "felt like a human being". Shane giggles that they've been through a lot and therefore have a lot of emotion bottled up inside, though obviously not as much as Angry Luke. Shane's mum Alison comes to rehearsals to offer some "motherly love". She turns up with cake, and tells them that she's going to start them a fan club. Unfortunately, this seems to consist of riding around in a rickshaw cab with a tiny "vote Shane and Rithy" card stuck on the back, so I'm not entirely sure it's going to make that much difference. Some people at Piccadilly Circus cheer for them, but these people are probably all tourists, so for all we know they'll have left the country before that even becomes a possibility. They go past Downing Street and Rithy implores "dear Mr Prime Minister" to vote for them, but somehow I doubt a Conservative government is going to be that keen on encouraging immigrants to remain in the country.

Oh dear: their routine is to an instrumental [on the pan-pipes FFS - Chris] of the theme from Titanic, and someone has made the daft decision to cover the stage in dry ice even though there's quite a bit of floor work in the routine, so big chunks of it are basically invisible to us. They're doing their best with the material - there are some nice positions, and I think the emotions are there, but this routine is a bit of a lemon, and clearly these two can't do anything to save it. I feel bad for them that after a few weeks of well-performed but indifferently-received routines, they're going to go out on this suckfest.

Nigel says it was nicely danced, but he didn't feel the passion in it, and there was a lot of running in it - he counsels Rithy to jump earlier if she's going to do so, so that we can actually see her do it. He says that Shane's straight back is too solid and makes him look stiff. He wasn't sure about this one. Arlene agrees - she didn't feel the danger, or the connection or the passion. Sisco tries to interject here and disagree, but Arlene cuts him off and says that she felt that they were "drowning, not sinking" and that she wanted them to yearn for each other and grab each other. She feels they didn't use their extremities. Sisco thinks it was a stripped performance and "cleverlyly" showed what they can do, particularly Rithy, who's not at home in this genre. He outright begs the public to vote for them, because he thinks they show us a different dimension each week. [The only thing I won't miss about Shane & Rithy is having to align myself with the increasingly desperate stanning of Sisco - Chris] Cat asks if they're feeling the pressure this week, and they agree. Louise finishes for the judges, and says that they're performing as individuals and doing everything right, but it's not coming together - they're just doing the steps. Then she comes over all schoolmarm: "You're shaking your head at me, Shane, but I'm telling you that's what I'm feeling up here." She adds that Rithy's feet "go in a little bit rather than out", which is not exactly technical, but I guess it's helpful feedback all the same. I think Rithy & Shane know they're toast at this point, the poor things. We get one final shot of Shane's mum, who is amazing but in a more low-key way than Israel's mum [Su Pollard is amazing but in a more low-key way than Israel's mum - Chris], and then we're out.

Next: Lee-Boy is going to be taking Katie up the aisle. [F'NAR F'NAR! - Chris] Katie reminds us that the feedback was positive for her last week, but less so for Lee. Lee says that they're trying to get him up to her level in a short amount of time, and he's going to keep pushing and trying. They draw Broadway this week, which Katie's fairly happy with. They go to Lee's home town of Cwmbran to see the support that exists for them at his local Sainsbury's (this will make more sense in a minute) and Katie declares that "Katie Love is speechless", having not realised that talking about yourself in the third person is never, ever a good thing. Lee's impressed at the turnout, which includes a lot of b-boys that he trained with, as well as some adorable breakdancing little moppets. Katie sits on a checkout and asks for a price check on a b-boy: "I think they're reduced." Snerk. Karen Bruce aka Giant Lady is the choreographer, and explains that the routine is about having fun in a supermarket. She thinks it's tough for Lee because Katie's more comfortable in this genre. She offers them some feedback: "That wasn't sexy, that was like a lump of lard." GIANT LADY ♥. She continues to deliver the Real Truth Flavor (™ Ron from The Amazing Race) by saying "Lee's been complaining about the lifts a lot. Yes, it hurts, but he either wants to win or not." This would be amazing in itself, but it's even better because it's accompanied by a shot of Lee dropping Katie Love on her face. Seriously, he is not being made to look good here AT ALL. Katie gives a slightly embittered confessional about how when Lee struggles it affects her too, and it sounds meaner than I think she's actually being here, because she does go on to say that they'll pull together and work hard. [I can't believe she got shit for basically saying "when Lee drops me on my face, it kind of affects my performance level" - Chris]

Unfortunately, they go on to deliver what's feels like a fairly "will this do?" [No- Chris] performance to the Glee version of 'The Lady Is A Tramp'. Katie's phoning it in, and Lee's struggling, and as much as I love Giant Lady, the routine itself is a bit nothing-y. They each get a solo spot that neither one of them really sells, and it ends with Lee spinning Katie around on a chair with her not looking entirely confident that it's going to stay upright. I think these two are in trouble tonight.

Arlene is unimpressed, and says she would've rather watched Supermarket Sweep. She thinks Katie's Love has gone, as that's the worst she's seen her dance. She actually asks Katie if she's lost her spirit, and Katie's all "this has been the hardest week so far" and cites mental fatigue. Arlene agrees that the attack has gone and the spirit has been lost, saying that Katie has worked hard to support Lee, but now they're too far apart to be brought back together. Lee says that it felt pretty good on stage and that they were together well. Nigel didn't get the supermarket idea of the dance and found it a bit meaningless, and thinks that Lee is holding Katie back now. Bizarrely, someone in the audience whoops and claps at this - I can only assume they're either a mean-spirited Katie Love stan, or a Lee supporter who didn't hear Nigel properly. Sisco loves both of them, but thinks that despite Lee's hard work, he's ready to see them separate because he wants to see Katie reaching her potential. Louise says that this level of tiredness is a dancer's life, and she wonders if Lee is holding Katie back, but Katie needs to put enough energy in for both of them and she can't let things break down.

Up next are Katrina Ballerina & Tapper Tom. Their Quickstep went well last week, and as usual Katrina got a tongue bath while Tom was taken out the back and shot, but he's totally over the judges at this point anyway, so it's all fine. This week they've drawn hip hop, again, which they both do their best to be excited about. INJURY PORN TIME: Tom went to A&E this week about a sore foot blister, and got the go-ahead to dance, but it turned out to still be a problem for him. Cue unnecessary close-up of nasty, weeping foot blister, as Tom says that he's in a lot of pain. Katrina says that he's struggling to put weight on it, much less dance, so it is a bit of an issue. His doctor tells him to spend time in bed resting (and reading USA Today, oddly), so choreographer Supple explains that Katrina's having to learn the routine without him. On Wednesday Tom finally gets the all-clear (again) to dance, and turns up for rehearsals on Thursday. He says that he doesn't want to sit out this week, and hopes his foot won't let him down.

They're performing to 'Yeah 3x' by Chris Brown, and...yeah. The lack of rehearsal in this routine really shows. Neither one of them is on, despite their best efforts. I do admire Supple for placing Tom directly in front of Katrina for a good 15-20 seconds as if trying to deliberately bait the judges into actually paying attention to him. There's not a lot else I can say about it, though - it's a hot mess on both parts. They're not in time, neither one of them is doing the moves especially well, and I just need it to be over because I like these two and it's painful to watch them like this.

Sisco has good and bad news: he thinks the choreography they were given was tough, and it was brave of the choreographer to give that to them. He tells Tom that they give him a hard time because they want him to do well, and also because he's with Katrina who is JUST SO AMAZING (I like Katrina well enough, but I really do not know why the judges think she's so faultless, because she reads to me as a ballerina giving another type of dance a damn good go rather than this master-of-all-styles they keep painting her as). Sure enough, Sisco tells Katrina that her energy and intention made her look like a hip hop dancer in that number and she "made Primark look like Armani". Louise thinks they've had a tough ride because they've had hip hop twice, but that's how the show works. She says that Tom needs to step up to Katrina if he doesn't want them to keep harping on about it. "HE DID!" screams someone from the audience. "ONE WEEK FOR THAT ROUTINE! ONE WEEK!" Hee. Tom says that he's sorry they feel like that, because he tries his hardest. Louise says that she's not saying he doesn't try, but they're just frustrated that he doesn't advance as much as everyone. Arlene calls Katrina "Superwoman, smash, splat, pow" (that's Batman, Arlene) and says that she was at the Royal Ballet last night, and no one there could do what Katrina did tonight. [Nor would they want to - Chris] Tom, on the other hand, "Tom who? I just watched Katrina." OUCH. Nigel agrees - Katrina's a star and a dark horse, but it's not happening for Tom. Also, he wants no more armography next week because it's getting on his nerves now.

Final performance time: Fat Deaf Old Foot-Phobic Kirsty & AndrogyLee. Kirsty says that she wasn't well last week and was feeling low and heavy (no jokes please, Nigel) and wobbly on her feet. This week they've drawn the Argentine Tango, and to get some moral support, they head back to FDOFP Kirsty's Dance School. She walks through the door and is instantly mobbed by a mass of screaming children; Kirsty and Lee joke that they could use the kids to be chanting outside their dressing room to spur them on. Lee explains that this dance is all about the chemistry, and that they can't look at the audience, they must just look at each other. Choreographer Leonardo Barrionuevo (I believe that's Argentinian for BARROWMAN) says that Lee needs to be masculine and strong and solid for this routine, and Lee says that it's completely not him. He confirms that he is masculine and A Man, and he keeps getting people needing him to establish this every week. Kirsty jokes that this is because she's more butch than he is.

They're dancing to 'Libertango' and the routine's a good one. As always, these two sell the hell out of it, and there's lots of intensity and smouldering going on. There are some lovely kicks and crosswork and extensions, though there are some parts where I think things don't quite come off as intended - a bit where Kirsty hangs from Lee's neck and kicks her legs out, for example, which is a bit sluggish, and another lift, which looks like it doesn't fully work. The camerawork on this routine [/entire show - Chris] is shockingly bad, by the way, which in some ways works in their favour - you can't always tell if they got something right or not because you couldn't bloody see properly. However, in terms of character and effort, they're doing a grand job, and it's arguably one of the better routines of the night. Also, credit to both of them for the lifts, because Lee lifts Kirsty like she's nothing at all, which speaks highly of both of them for having strong technique.

Louise loved it because they did so much in one week - she thinks Kirsty danced with passion and intensity, and Lee didn't take his eyes off her, which is what this dance requires. Arlene declares it "epic, edge of the seat action" and likens Lee to Antonio Banderas. She loved the interlacing of the legs and the embrace, and the caressing. She just wishes they could've caressed the floor a little more, but commends them for having so many genres that were out of their comfort zone and always rising to the challenge. Nigel loved it too - the music, the choreography, and the dancers. He thinks they were acting, and cites this as an example of what he's talking about when he says he needs to feel the emotion. Sisco is impressed that Lee was so masculine and forceful, and that Kirsty was a great complement to him. Woo! Team Raggy Dolls FTW!

With everyone having danced, Cat goes back to the judges for final, Jerry Springer-style, thoughts. Nigel doesn't want to name anyone specific because he thinks that focuses people's attention and galvanises the votes [certainly I have no idea who Nigel wants rid of, none at all. Because he didn't mention any names now, the entire last month of live shows is STRICKEN FROM MEMORY - Chris], so he simply wants us to vote for the people we thought were the best tonight. Arlene thinks the public have a tough job tonight. Louise thinks some people have been overlooked before now, like Bethany Rose and Israel, who blew the judges away tonight. Sisco is asked who was the strongest, and he thinks that Israel and Bethany nailed it. He loved Scally and Matt, and wants to defend Rithy and Shane too for their consistency.

The phone lines are opened, and it's time for us to vote. Quick reminder, anyone? Scally & MATTFLINTMANIA being surprisingly enjoyable for once; Danielle & Luke both having SO, SO MANY FEELINGS; Bethany & Israel baiting the arachnophobes in the audience with their awesomeness; Rithy & Shane being so doomed that they got a Titanic-themed routine; Katie & Lee C ending up in the "reduced to clear" aisle; Katrina & Tom both being the worst they've ever been; Kirsty & Lee B delivering one heck of an Argentine Tango.

Four dancers are going home, but who will they be? Just as a point of interest, my unspoiled pick for the bottom three at this point was Rithy & Shane, Katie & Lee C, and Danielle & Luke. Now go and read Chris's recap and see if I was right. [Show off - Chris]


  1. Angry Luke's monologue about cornflakes had me in stitches XD
    Kirsty and Lee B's argetine tango was great in parts, and slightly uncomfortable in others. but still, I'm impressed with these two.
    I'd love it if the final is between Tom and Matt: the judges' favourite vs the resident punchbag, and the public chooses Tom instead

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  3. Brilliant blog! Had been looking for something to fill the TWOP gap with the UK version of the show, and this totally delivers and more.

    The spider routine was done on the US version as well, with Season 7's winner dancing it -- see here: -- but I think Bethany actually did a better job.