Sunday, 22 May 2011

So You Think You Can Make Artem Chigvintsev Cry?

Top 10: 21st May 2011

Previously on So You Think You Can Dance? : A mercy killing. No, not of the whole show - just Rithy & Shane. And, as that barely counted as an elimination, we also said goodbye to Lee-Boy and Danielle. Bye Lee-Boy and Danielle! This means we are at our Top Ten, and they must stand in a line and do dramatic head-turn to camera, yes they must. (AndrogyLee kills this bit in particular. I vote for him on that alone. IT'S A RECOGNISED DANCE STYLE!) Five girls! Five boys! Ten dances! A BARROWMANDEMSUGA! This is :


As with last week, we get the "here are the girls, here are your guys" entrance with our remaining ten, rather than a group routine. Which is a shame, because the group routines have generally been good fun this series. I'd take them over most of the partner routines to be honest. Anyway, in makeover news, Katie Love has styled her hair upwards, in a tribute to her new partner Angry Luke, and Charlotte's hair is frankly a ratty mess, although still preferable to what they've done to poor Katrina, which I believe is called a "Croydon Facelift" by the less class-sensitive amongst us. For the boys, it's mostly the same old, cept Matt has his hair done up like an anime hero.

Just whilst we're in a content-light bit of the show, I thought I'd bring you this. Yes, all the best routines on this show really HAVE been done before. [Oh, BOO to this show for that. I should know not to get excited, shouldn't I? - Steve] Glad that Tyce Diorio is here this week to rebalance things, and make sure some of the lame ones are too. (Admittedly that second one is more thematic, but STILL!)

Cat troops out dress as mid-90s Whitney Houston without the massive ear-rings. She thanks us all (/both) for tuning in, and says that as the amount of people in the show DECREASES, the amount of pressure INCREASES. That's reality-show physics that is. Like "Every body remains in a constant state of velocity, unless acted on by getting the pimp spot." Or "The mutual forces of action and reaction between two bodies in a showmance are equal, opposite, and SEXTACULAR". She reminds that the prize for the winner is still £50,000, and the "chance to dance in Hollywood", like Lizzie didn't just hop in a microlite and go there anyway.

Next, it's time to introduce the judges. Cat tells us that she's got some good news and she's got some bad news. No, Cat, this is just bad news. Yes, Nigel's got bored of this and told the producers that he has prior commitments/his gran's just died/he swears he didn't get the e-mail saying he had to turn up this week, and in his place, it's BARROWMAN. Cat tries to milk a disappointed reaction from the audience for Nigel's departure, and when she doesn't get one, she admonishes them "if we're going to do panto, let's do it well". Don't just stick to the audience Cat, go tell the producers. Two months ago, via time-machine.

Anywho, with Nigel gone, Arlene's driving the bus this week, as Head Judge (oh Christ. Seatbelts on everyone. And crash helmets. And better get that "write your own will" kit out your bag ready). Louise's face is decently painted for once, and Sisco has come as Willow Smith circa "I Whip My Hair Back And Forth" but with braids set to "maim". [*thumbs up* - Steve] BARROWMAN says that he's seen the contestants before, and called them all homos, at Choreography Butch, so he will be monitoring their growth, but above that he's going to be focusing on

a) storytelling
b) entertainment

He does not at all drive those themes into the ground over the next hour. He warns the other judges that he is a fresh set of eyes on the panel, so he may see things differently to them. Except for you Tom, you're still shit. He closes by saying that he's expecting some boos. Odd, when he gets them, he certainly doesn't act like it.

Arlene is asked how hard it was for the couples to learn two dances this week. Arlene says "really difficult". But Arlene is BORED of the nursery slopes, let's DOWN THE BLACK RUN AND SET THIS ON FIRE! If you mean "black rum" Arlene, and I think you did, I am with you 100%

Each couple will be dancing two routines this evening, vote for your favourite couple, partner swap, what partner swap, we never promised that, pay no attention to the vegetable behind the curtain, let's begin.

With Tom & Katrina. Cat reminds us that the judges are wankers to Tom every second of every week, but this week, he's come up with a solution! He's going to be a Superhero! Oh God, he's actually cracked hasn't he? Instead of coming out and dancing salsa, he's going to run round the stage in nothing but a pair of y-fronts, cape, and mask made out of banana skin, making trumpet noises with his mouth isn't he? Or at least I certainly hope so.

VT time now, and we open with Tom sighing that the judges comments last really upset him, and he felt nit-picked upon. LAST week? Try every week since birth. I bet when he came out the womb Arlene was there to give him an extra hard slap. And another one just to make sure. Katrina positively BEAMS into the camera that she feels really bad for Tom, because he works so hard, and she loves dancing with him. Also backlash voting for him is the only thing keeping her from joining all the other fodder contestants who got no screen-time before the live shows started.

Out of the CatBox they draw Jazz and Salsa. So poor performance slot AND Latin Curse then? Marvellous. Katrina looks a bit nervous, but Tom reassures her that they'll just try their best, as they always do. Baw.

In training, they've drawn Tyce Diorio (/Tasty Oreo) for jazz, and he tells us all that this routine is going to be classic, sexy jazz. Nice. Katrina, like the best possible friend, tells Tyce that Tom is feeling low this week after the judges savaged him, so they stage a mini-intervention to get him back up on his feet. I'm not really sure what form this intervention takes, as I'm too distracted by the fact that Tyce has a tattoo of a Celtic cross on the back of his neck. Now that IS jazz. Anyway, whatever it is it works, because Tom says he's feeling much better by the time it comes to be shouted at By Shouty Salsa Chris and Mute Jaci for Salsa training.

So much better that he strips his shirt off, rubs in liberal amounts of fake tan, waxes his...elbows, puts on a fake moustache and a hideous red-shirt and proclaims himself to be Salsa Man. I think this intervention went badly, badly wrong. I guess this is what happens when you go to Tasty Oreo rather than a proper professional therapist. Katrina grins down the camera-lens, afraid for her life, and chirps "bring it on".

Out to the stage now, for their salsa routine, with a bar-themed set. Tom is the trumpeter, Katrina is the sexy dancer who is flirtatiously teasing him, and neither one of them is really moving their hips an awful lot. The camera seems far interested than him than her at all points, possibly because they're thinking he might have a Salsa Man psychotic break on live tv, and it's a bit of a shame because she's doing better than he is, albeit not to a blow-out extent. She climbs on a table for a bit, then there's a fake-out kiss at the end with all the explosive sexual chemistry of BARROWMAN and's not great, to be honest. I know the Latin Curse has dissipated somewhat in its powers to get people voted off, but it's clearly not dissipated in terms of producing watchable dances. Also he's wearing artfully unhooked braces, which is right up there with undone bow-ties in terms of things I can't stand. Also it seems impractical, given that the straps are flailing around and may LITERALLY HAVE SOMEONE'S EYE OUT. Where's the Health & Safety on this show this week? [Ask Kirsty. - Steve]

Once they're doing, Shouty Salsa Chris...shouts from the audience, and someone waves a "Team Tom" banner that looks like it's sourced from a picture from before when Tom went mental. Ah, happier times. Arlene starts for the judges, saying that the salsa needs sauce, sex, sizzle, and speaking from the hips. And that had none. She examined Tom's lower half with her imaginary magnifying glass and saw NOTHING. How emasculating. BARROWMAN declares that there was so sex appeal in that routine at all, and it was not at all a spicy dipping sauce. BECAUSE THAT'S ANOTHER WORD FOR SALSA! Thanks BARROWMAN!

Louise follows up by saying that she agrees with the other two - it had no sex appeal whatsoever. She thinks Katrina in particular obviously has a problem letting go and showing her sexy side. BARROWMAN demand that Louise do a sexy face for him, Louise basically tells him to sod off. Cat then reassures the nation that she knows that Louise can do a sexy face (as soon as Rithy's gone she's all over other women. I'm guessing she took that break-up hard) whilst Arlene blathers on about hips some more. Sisco finishes us off by saying that he disagrees with the others - Tom's faces certainly did it for him. Katrina wasn't doing her best dancing of the series, but he'll take it. And besides, who says a salsa has to be sexy? I'm guessing a routine that ended with table dancing, a fake-out kiss and a lift at the end where Katrina pointed her vagina at Tom's face was supposed to be at least a little flirtatious Sisco. Anyway, Sisco starts bellowing about how he's a LATINO SO HE KNOWS and he and Arlene yell at one another til close.

As Cat reads out the numbers, she rubs the back of Tom's head (I swear, Rithy done broke her heart) as Tom looks vaguely concerned and bewildered that one of the judges gave him praise. Don't worry Tapper Tom, it won't last.

Bethany-Rose and Israel now, and Cat informs us that Bethany-Rose set Israel up on a date this week, with someone with long hair, long legs, and great muscle tone. Was it AndrogyLee? NO, IT WAS A HORSE. I am so shocked that Bethany-Rose is a horsey girl I cannot even tell you.

In their VT, Bethany-Rose and Israel both gush about how great it was to get a standing ovation from "all four" (take that Matt & Scally) judges last week, for their "Kiss Of The Spider Woman" routine. Hooray! Out of the CatBox they draw Lyrical Hip Hop (Israel beams "good times" and Bethany-Rose twitters merrily) and Charleston (Bethany-Rose bounces up and down with glee, Israel looks like he's trying to work out a giant fart without making a noise). Israel's obvious disappointment with Charleston does not AT ALL show up doing the routine later or anything.

In additional VT news, it's the turn of these two for a "meet the family" segment this week, except, as Bethany-Rose very solemnly informs us, her family are all animals. That's right, she was raised by donkeys and chickens and horses after they found her abandoned on their doorstep in a basket marked "please look after this dancer". She learned all her best stripper moves from a llama. Israel looks terrified by this insanity, but just passes it off as being a "city boy", rather than at finding out your new best friend thinks she was potty-trained by a Shetland Pony. They go horse-riding for a bit, and Israel comically struggles. Well as would any of us if we were asked to meet a new partner's parent and the first thing you do is ride them around their house on all fours.

Well, except with one boyfriend's father... (F'NAR F'NAR!)

Eventually they get round to actually training, with the Charleston/Lindy choreographer couple from Strictly. Bethany-Rose worries she might not have the stamina for the routine, as the choreographer man takes us through a whole bunch of moves we already saw Chris & Ola do on Strictly a while back. The things you can actually do in Charleston seem kind Meanwhile, for Lyrical Hip-Hop, Kate Prince is telling us that her routine what she wrote is about the end of a marriage, so it's very RAW AND EMOTIONAL. Bethany-Rose informs us all that in rehearsals she found herself crying all the time for reasons she couldn't identify. If I had to work with Kate Prince I imagine I'd end up the same way. We close with her saying that there's no way they're leaving this week "straight dizzle". THAT'S WHAT YOU BLACK PEOPLE SAY ISN'T IT ISRAEL? Israel agrees that is indeed what black people say.

Out to the stage now, and a giant circle of red rose petals on the floor. I'm so excited. I feel like I've somehow gained access to My Nemesis' Kate Prince's diary, and am reading about all her secret 15 year old girl feelings. I kind of want to photocopy it and staple it to the school noticeboard. Israel and Bethany-Rose are dancing to that version of "Love The Way You Lie" where it's just Rihanna singing rather than the version with Eminem rapping in it as well, which is probably why it feels possibly closer to a straight-up contemporary routine than lyrical hip-hop. Either way, I enjoy it quite lot, mostly because Israel is really selling the emotion and keeping his dancing strong. Bethany-Rose is a bit of an after-thought in terms of what she's being asked to do, but she carries herself well as well. There's a lot of silly petal throwing as a metaphor for emotion, which all feels a bit University Devised Piece, but it's probably my favourite Kate Prince routine ever (*DAMNING WITH FAINT PRAISE KLAXON*).

Cat calls them over to the judges once they're done, smiling that they don't have to solve their problems by shouting at and over one another. Why not talk things through like grown-ups? Sadly, she's referring to Israel and Bethany-Rose, not the judges. Sisco starts by praising Kate Prince for really laying out her true emotions in that routine. It's so rare on this show to have a choreographer produce a great big incontinent and scary fountain of feelings like that. Kate Prince, in her Big Top at Mothercare dress, stares at her feet and mumbles a thanks. Oh and Israel and Bethany-Rose did her justice, whilst being by no means technically perfect. Well done them. From the audience, Israel's mum watches on, waiting.

Louise praises them both for taking the competition in both hands and really pushing hard with that routine, particularly Bethany-Rose. At this, for no reason, Cat brings up the skateboarding routine of two weeks ago again. Why Cat why? The show's already going to have to spend most of its after-care budget on deprogramming Tom, don't traumatise the rest of the cast. And me. As if that's not enough, Arlene leaps to her feet and starts threatening to rush the stage and hug Israel. THAT ROUTINE HAD ALL THE DRAMA AND REALISM OF THE KATIE PRICE AND PETER ANDRE BREAK-UP. NB : she's saying this as a compliment. BARROWMAN closes by saying that he got goosebumps and was in tears (SO MACHO) [SUGASUGASUGA - Steve] over that, so it was perfect storytelling. WELL DONE!

As Cat reads out their number, Israel's mum is on her feet and yelling again. So that's 20 minutes in, if you're in a sweepstake.

Charlotte and Matt are next, as Cat tells us that this week they swapped jazz hands for Scarborough sands. Good lord Cat, the janitors are already going to be busy enough getting all those rose petals off the stage, let alone METAPHORICAL EMOTIONAL SAND.

In their VT, Matt and Scally talk about how intense last week was, and how she wants to make Sisco's job hard every week by making it impossible to criticise them. Oh Charlotte, Sisco's job is hard enough as it is, what with having to remember to both breathe and blink. Don't overload the poor lamb. Out of the CatBox they draw contemporary and disco (THAT'S A TYPE OF CRISP ISN'T IT? HOW DO I DANCE A CRISP?) and Matt proclaims that this is all so exhausting that he feels like he needs a holiday.

TO SCARBOROUGH! Wow, that was in no way a clunky piece of editing. Yes, Matt has brought Scally to Scarborough to teach her what the North is like, as she has never been further North than Watford. Contrary to Arlene's claims earlier in the series, there are minimal shots of teenagers doing foxtrots in the club to Chase & Status, and instead Matt & Scally just tit around on the beach, with her demanding "PONY RIDES!" (*face palm*) and constantly shoving food into Matt's face. Ice-cream, candy floss, possibly a hot dog and a packet of Fun-Yums. They then play on the dodgems and build a sand-castle. I have no idea what it says about the mentality of this show that it's presenting its strongest female dancer (it says here) as having the mentality of a 4 year old who's eaten too many Tangfastics. Matt actually has to tell her that it's time to go home now for the love of...

In training, Charlotte very earnestly says that she really wants to show her true inner emotions in their contemporary routine, rather than hiding behind a smile as she has done in recent weeks. At this Matt mildly takes the piss, saying "inner emotions" in a OTT earnest voice. I'm growing fond of MattFlintMania. Hopefully next week he'll be put in a partnership where he isn't cornered by the edit into acting like a CBBC presenter meeting a fan. For disco, they both again emphasise how very DIFFERENT disco is from everything they've done so far, probably because they've realised that, jazz aside, all their routines thus far could have come from the same slightly dreary 1950s movie. We finish on this in-no way scripted bit :

Scally : YEAH, BUT YOU SAID IT WAS DONKEYS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Matt : HA HA HA!!!!
(*goes to happy place*)

Out to the stage now, and both Matt and Scally are suitably 70s'd up, and are standing on light-boxes, pulsing out bright primary colours. They're dancing to "You Should Be Dancing", although not the Bee Gees version, so what's the point really. They trick their way across the light-boxes to the end, and then take to the floor for a whole lot of lifts (oh hai Giant Lady Disco routine!) and also maybe some dancing in there somewhere as well. It's all a bit gluey and slow for disco for me, and some of the arm cross-overs and lifts are a bit awkward. Still, there's a lot of energy going into it, more-so from him than her, although when your part of the routine is 80% being thrown in the air and 10% having Matt spank your bum, you do what you can I guess.

Over to the judges they strut, and Cat basically commands the audience to stare at MattFlintMania's crotch, as she goes on and on about his tight trousers. Now she knows why John Travolta walked like that in Saturday Night Fever. I can think of a few reasons I've heard rumoured that might explain why John Travolta walks funny occasionally, and they don't involve ti(*Redacted by Bitch Blogs Extensive Team Of Lawyers*). [Don't go naming any footballers with superinjunctions either. - Steve] Matt stretches the crotch out with a squat, to preserve his modesty.

Louise starts for the judges, saying that they were amazing and perfect as always, but she felt that MattFlintMania was more modern and cool with it, and she wanted to see Scally got down and "Saturday Night" a bit more. She can tell that Arlene's about to start yelling like a moron at her though. Arlene yelps "YOU BET!" (Louise looks at her all "well done on not defying my low expectations of you Arlene") and proclaims, jabbing her finger about wildly, that Scally stole the routine, because Matt was overworking it and he hauled her around like a JCB. BARROWMAN says that he agrees with both Arlene and Louise. They were both rubbish. HE WAS HOPING FOR A HOT ITALIAN COUPLE DOING THE DISCO (?!) BUT INSTEAD HE GOT A BLAND ITALIAN MEAL WITH SOME TRICKS IN IT! The audience boo lustily, and BARROWMAN boos them back.

Sisco finishes by saying that BARROWMAN is juss jelus that Matt got the outfit he wanted for the evening, and that that was camptastic fun. Well done. It's nice that the arrival of BARROWMAN has heralded also the arrival of "juss jelus" as a judging critique. Really elevating the show isn't he?

Cat reads out the numbers, and by "reads out the numbers" I mean "asks MattFlintMania if he has a big cock" (/"do you fill those tight trousers out nicely?"). I bet Rithy didn't even leave a goodbye note.

Next up, Fat Deaf Old Foot-Phobic Kirsty and AndrogyLee, who are dressed up as hippies. Cat tells us all that in rehearsal, Kirsty and Lee B fell victim to an accident that nearly saw her off the show for good. OH GOD. HE'S ONLY GONE AND KNOCKED HER UP. You know, free love has its consequences.

VT now, which is being soundtracked by Lipstick by Jedward (amazing). AndrogyLee boasts about how well their Argentine Tango went last week and also about how they're now in the Top Ten. WHOO! Actually, now that Katrina and Tom are gone (spoilers!), he's officially the LAST FODDER STANDING. Who needs audition footage? Backstage, Nigel creeps up behind them and tells them that their Argentine Tango was amazing. AndrogyLee bugs his eyes out in excitement, and Kirsty thanks him profusely. Bless. Out of the CatBox, they draw Broadway and Hip Hop and look like they're trying to hold back feelings of disappointment. At least in Broadway there's SOME chance you might not be subject to endless "BUTCH UP NANCY BOY!" comments though AndrogyLee.

They're with Tasty Oreo for their Broadway, who tells them that their routine is all about free love and flower power, so should be PERFECT for AndrogyLee. AndrogyLee gives the lie to this by slumping up against a mirror looking like one of the living dead. All this free love is hard work it turns out. Fortunately for them, they've got...oh. They've got Kenrick for the hip-hop. Remember? The one who ground Alice and Charlie down into dirt before they went home. Him. He's choreographed a routine based around two business partners deciding to just THROW AWAY THEIR PAPERS and have fun via the medium of hip hop. WHY CAN PEOPLE NEVER JUST DANCE HIP-HOP ON THIS SHOW? WHY DOES IT ALWAYS HAVE TO BE BUSINESS PARTNERS AND LYRICAL ROBOTS AND BOOT-CAMPS AND MANNEQUINS COMING TO LIFE? And...breathe.

We cut to Friday rehearsals, where Kirsty and AndrogyLee are dancing on a table. One of the legs gives way, catapulting Kirsty into the ground face first. (She is now officially Fat Deaf Old Foot-Phobic Face-Planting Kirsty). Kirsty then sues the show, and wins a pay-out of £50,000, making her officially the winner of So You Think You Can Dance Series 2. She takes AndrogyLee to Hollywood with the money, where they blow it all on cocktails and jewellery, and both find rich old Latino millionaires to marry. THE BEST POSSIBLE ENDING IN THE BEST POSSIBLE WORLD. LET'S JUST PRETEND THIS HAPPENED. [It's canon as far as I'm concerned. - Steve]

OK, out to the stage, and I'm not afraid to tell you that the start of this routine coincided with the time the Rapture was supposed to start, and sod the coincidental volcanos and earthquakes, THIS is what scared me the most that it was about to happen. Fat Deaf Old Foot-Phobic Face-Planting Compo-Queen Kirsty and AndrogyLee both loon around the stage like they're on a LOT OF CHEMICAL UPPERS for 90 seconds to the sounds of The Age Of Aquarius. It's amazing. I'm not sure it's a dance. But it's amazing. She's kind of heavy-footed in it, at points he spazzes around like he's in the middle of a werewolf-transformation for much of it, but in terms of capturing the feeling of a performance of Hair, this is right on it.

(Fun Fact : at my primary school we used to sing the songs of Hair instead of hymns in morning assembly. Oh yes, it was one of THOSE schools. I still now all the words to Good Morning Starshine)

Cat calls them over, laughing that she'll have what they're having. by which she means DRUGS. BARROWMAN is called upon to start, and he tells us all that he was in the 25th anniversary revival of Hair. Any excuse to get your nob out, eh BARROWMAN? He says that they were very brave, and they danced it well, but it was like no style of Broadway he's ever seen, it had no story (dear John : the story is that they were on a lot of drugs) and it just didn't work. Someone very mildly boos him from the audience, and he snaps back "OH, GO BOO YOURSELF!" Great. Cat asks him to clarify that he's just got a bug up his bum about the choreography, and he clarifies that yes, he hated it because there was no story, and also he hates Hair for some reason. Someone (I think it might have been me), yells "BRING BACK NIGEL!" and BARROWMAN throws a huff saying that NIGEL'S NOT HERE, HE'S HERE, AND IF YOU THINK YOU CAN DO A BETTER JOB COME UP HERE. Would that the random booer had been allowed. I'd take him. [There should've been an interactive audience poll at this point. Random booer would've won in a landslide. - Steve]

Arlene then breaks in to say that she saw storytelling, and it was about free love (WHERE?!) as far as she saw it (YOU NEED GLASSES! YOU NEED GLASSES! YOU NEED GLASSES! YOU NEED GLASSES! like, four times he says this, right in her face, jabbing the table) or at least as much as you could do at 5:30 (THEN DON'T DO IT AT 5:30!). It was just like the film Hair (WE'RE NOT DOING A FILM! THEY'RE DANCING ON A STAGE) by Twyla Tharp which portrayed the feeling of the stage show Hair. It was an experimental film, and that was experimental Broadway (I DON'T WANT EXPERIMENTAL BROADWAY, I WANT BLAND ANODYNE TITS AND TEETH SATURDAY NIGHT ENTERTAINMENT SHIT! THIS IS A COMPETITION! YOU NEED TO DO ROUTINES THAT...oh I'm not even going to finish, worst judge ever.)

If BARROWMAN is allowed to snap and cat-call at the audience over one mild boo, then Arlene is allowed to, proportionately, kick him in the nuts repeatedly with Rosa Klebb shoes after that. She finishes by saying that Kirsty and AndrogyLee are great and she hopes they come back next week. This has gone on so long now that Sisco and Louise don't even get to offer their opinions up. And I'm saying this as a COMPLAINT, that's how awful that just was.

Next up, it's Angry Luke and Katie Love, or as Cat refers to them, "Blondie and P!nk". This is actually probably a more accurate idea than "Beiber and Rihanna" was. [Although "Jedward" would've been more accurate still. - Steve]

Their VT reminds us that this is our Frankenstein couple made up out of the survivors of last week's Double Elimination massacre. Both of them say they've just got to plough on and try their hardest, and avoid the fate of every single other person who has ever escaped the Bottom this series - ie going straight back into it. Out of the CatBox they draw Commercial (Katie Love eagerly does up her eyes and hopes for a better genre for their second pick) and Viennese Waltz (the light dies).

Cut now to...Angry Luke and Katie Love frolicking merrily in a meadow as "Just The Two Of Us" plays, and then getting tattooed across their knuckles with the other's name. I think some of the marijuana haze that sat over that last routine might just have leaked out of my television set. I hope those weren't actual tattoos they were getting (NB : I know full well that they were not and there in fact has not been a moment of truth in any VT aired this entire series). [Apart from the "Luke and Danielle hate each other" one, obviously. - Steve]

In rehearsals now, and we learn that their Viennese Waltz is being choreographed by Artem Chigvintsev. Frankly I can't wait for the FEELINGS of Angry Luke to collide with the FEELINGS of Artem Chigvintsev in a glorious explosion of crying. Lots and lots of crying. Artem mumbles something adorable in a thick Russian accent into the camera about how hard the Viennese Waltz is, because of all the lines and the rhythms and the *melts*

Next up is Mandy Moore to teach them about their Commercial routine, and she chides them mildly for their lack of chemistry in a routine about two naughty school kids causing a ruckus in detention. Presumably Angry Luke is there because he hauled off and popped a teacher in the jaw when the teacher rejected his submission of an essay about 16th century Sheep Tax via the medium of interpretive dance. Katie Love's probably there for uniform violation. Of a uniform that wasn't even hers. Luke and Katie finish by worrying slightly about how the newness of their partnership might affect their chemistry. I worry slightly about the effect it's had on her brain, as she has shaved her hair into a semi-mohawk to match his. Oh dear. She looks a bit like a midget Brigitte Nielsen impersonator.

Out to the stage now, and they're dancing their commercial to "Who's That Chick?" by Rihanna and that David Guetta person who lurks around in the back of music videos these days looking like a perv. Both Luke and Katie are in their school uniforms, and trying to look suitably juvenile, in a very prop heavy routine. There's lots of playing around with tables and chairs, rolling them over and doing tricks by propping yourself up on the up-turned legs. Sadly in a school context such as this one, this sort of thing reminds me of Hockey-Stick Kirsty, so I'm on the edge of my seat throughout hoping that Katie Love doesn't suffer an injury to her intimates. I would imagine she'll need that vagina for later. She stumbles once or twice, but other than that it's an enjoyable routine, if ultimately pretty forgettable. Mandy Moore obviously doesn't know Angry Luke that well, because if she did (you know, like I do), the routine would have ended not with a kiss, but with the pair of them setting fire to the school.


Cat calls them over, and asks Luke how it feels to be in a new partnership. He replies that it's always difficult when you lose a dance partner (whether it's through different life opportunities, age, or screaming rows where you stick a dustbin over their head and beat it repeatedly with a tennis racquet screaming "I MADE YOU, AND I CAN DESTROY YOU TOO DANIELLE CATO!". Or however it might happen) but he's very glad to still be on the show and he's going to move on to where he needs to be.

Arlene starts by gushing that they look like they both just came straight out of Gossip Girl (I don't think they're old enough to play teenagers on Gossip Girl are they?) and it was super hot. Louise follows by saying that, now that stinky old Lee-Boy's gone, Katie has no excuses for not being at her best every single week. Poor Lee-Boy. Can you imagine how badly they're going to slag Tom once he's out of "the room" next week? The group dance will probably be funeral themed, with all the remaining dancers dance-miming violating his corpse.

Sisco follows, and praises Angry Luke effusively for really LIVING this week after being in the Danger Dancing For Your Life Bottom Zone last week, then smirks to Katie Love about how ironic it is that up to now she's been in a position where her partner's constantly had to come up to her standard, whereas now she's the one lagging behind. Worrabitch. BARROWMAN closes by saying that this was clearly a partnership that was destined to be together BY FATE. Yeah, remember the last time they were together? In Choreography Camp? With the walkography? DESTINY. (Also, how exciting/interesting/depressing/not depressing that 3 out of that Group Of Walkography Doom are now part of the Top Eight, the other one being Bethany.)

Cat reads out the numbers, Katie Love pulls excited gurny faces, and we are at the half-way mark of the show, in terms of routines. Fortunately, we're not getting VTs for the second batch, as the Producers couldn't come up with any feasible way of making them more contrived and intelligence-insulting. Huzzah!

Katrina Ballerina and Tom are up first, doing Tasty Orio's jazz routine to Summertime (the Sylvester version) (not the Sue Sylvester version) (sadly). There's lots of sexy jazztime rolling around on the floor and thrusts and struts and boob-touching and neither of them really look into one another at all. I guess this is one of those things where people who have chemistry off-stage don't have it on the floor, but there's absolutely no heat going on whatsoever, although the fact that they're dressed like a Liberty X Video isn't really helping either. After over a month working together though, you'd expect them at least to be comfortable touching one another's bodies (I know I am with all my work colleagues *thumbs up*), and they're just...not. Also the routine is genericpants, but it's Tasty Oreo, what do you expect?

Cat calls them over, calling them a "sparkly pair", and asks Arlene what she thinks. Arlene thinks that they looked sexy in the very beginning, but from then on it was all a bit smiley and nice. The music was wailing sex, and their routine was whaling sex. IE, got to do it quick before the harpooner notices. As if this wasn't awkward enough, BARROWMAN then decides, for some reason to do with chemistry that we all might think BUT NOT SAY BECAUSE IT'S EMBARRASSING AND IS NEVER GOING TO GET A STRAIGHT ANSWER, to ask Katrina if she has a ladyboner for Tom. Nobody says anything for the next millennium and Cat looks like she wants to die, and Katrina looks like she wants to die, and Tom looks BAFFLED, and we move on. Stay classy BARROWMAN.

Louise follows, by saying that Katrina is a very sexy lady and needs to go home and practice being a very sexy lady, possibly with a hand-mirror and a copy of Playgirl. Tom on the other hand, she's just going to apologise for the last month and a half of flaming dog-poo in a bag criticism he's got, because she feels bad, and it's a handy-dandy way to talk about that routine, about which there is nothing to say. Sisco closes by saying that Tom was in fact very sexy during the routine, but Katrina, whilst she was very sexual with her body, needs to learn how to do "Fire-eyes". Do we all know what "fire-eyes" (burning like fire?) are children? It's when you pooch your mouth up and squint like a Baldwin Brother. Tyra Banks calls it "smizing". Katrina Ballerina apparently does "Fire-eyes", but the camera's too busy with Sisco being Sisco to catch it on film.

Cat reads out their voting number one more time, Tom rubs Cat's arse a bit and winks at her. I'm saying nothing. Poor Rithy. Poor Katrina Ballerina. It was never meant to end this way.

At this interstitial, Cat promises us later AndrogyLee and Kirsty going "bonkers in the Boardroom" and Luke and Katie "taking us back to the 1750s" (when they dance to Billy Joel), but first, it's time for Israel and Bethany-Rose to do the Charleston!

She's dressed as a flapper, he's dressed as a 1920s airman, and they have a jolly good time. Well, Bethany-Rose Lee does anyway. Just like in disco, Israel kind of looks like he'd rather be having his teeth pulled. I don't think he's really got the hang of faking upbeat beyond just plastering on a smile not quite big enough to stop the cracks of confusion and concentration coming through. There's a lot going on, quite a bit of it going wrong, but they plough on regardless and it's not a complete waste of time. I do think they might have done a bit better votes-wise if their performance order had been reversed, although between their first routine and Matt/Scally's second we would have been drowning in emo come AndrogyLee/Kirsty.

Cat calls them over with Cat winking at Israel that she likes how he adjusts his goggles once the performance is over. GOOD LORD CAT, WILL YOU CALM YOUR VAGINA DOWN? She'll be back for the final! Sisco starts for the judges, saying that there were technical mistakes (blah blah blah) left, right and centre, but this is apparently what Saturday Night TV is about. Tragically, he's right. At this point in time. BARROWMAN agrees that it was great SATURDAY NIGHT ENTERTAINMENT (*drink*), although it started to lose energy by the end.

Arlene follows up by telling Israel that he looks like an idiot, but he really portrayed the character well. She would have appreciated a few more technical elements in there, but apart from that, this couple are RACING ahead. Cat giggles also at Israel's outlandish uniform, saying it's like the last day of term at school, when you can pick whatever you want to wear. Yes Cat, the amount of people who came in for non-uniform at my school dressed as Amelia Earhart and/or Charles Lindburgh was LEGION. Louise finishes by saying that this routine shows why the show is so great - Israel was just a hip hop boy at the beginning, and here he is DOING THE CHARLESTON! This alone is enough to justify his staying in.

As the numbers are read out, Israel is asked if he ever thought he'd be stood here on SATURDAYNIGHTENTERTAINMENT TV, dressed like this. He says no. Good enough for me.

Next up are Matt & Scally, doing their Contemporary routine to some cover (sadly not SuBo's) of "Wild Horses". It's very, very, very overwrought and histrionic. Lots of thrashing of hair and sad faces and STRONG EMOTIONS, and not at all my cup of tea. It reminds me very much of Cancer Dance, which Tasty Oreo also choreographed, in that it's all a little too much to the extent that Charlotte's little frozen face of being a terrified Wild Horse being broken by arrogant stable boy Matt (or whatever the storyline is. It could easily be "America's Next Top Model contestant breaks down over her shitty new weave, but Jay Manuel forces her to do the photoshoot anyway") becomes mildly comedic. They're both dancing their guns off, and I think it's the first routine where she really outshines him (although he is still good, and she is admittedly the focus of the routine) but all in all I find it a bit baffling.

Cat pulls them over, and says that that was the COMPLETE antithesis of disco. Wasn't it? Wasn't it ARLENE? Sadly (?), Arlene proclaims herself to be speechless at the poetic rendering of dance she just saw, particularly from Charlotte, who is a WILD HORSE DANCE GODDESS. This sets Charlotte off crying, as she's clearly been on the edge of doing since the end of the routine. Arlene expresses her sorrow that this couple will be be split up next week, until the producers decide that they won't be.

Cat asks Charlotte why she's crying IS IT CAUSE SHE LEFT THE OVEN ON? Charlotte replies that it isn't, and then Cat makes fun of her funny accent. Being Brummy, I feel that was something of payback for her. Cat ascertains that Scally is crying for mysterious reasons she will not divulge, and we move on. BARROWMAN, with tears in his eyes, says he could have watched that routine all evening, and after their crappy disco, they just set the bar for the evening. There's only two routines to go BARROWMAN, it's a bit let to be setting the bar. Although not too early to be hitting the bar, from my perspective.

Louise calls them both truly beautiful and says that both of them finished every last motion they did all the way through with both their arms and their feet. Well done them. Charlotte at this point breaks down further and starts muttering to herself to GET IT TOGETHER SCALLY! Cat, not missing an opportunity to make fun, of course broadcasts this to the entire room. Sisco finishes by saying that, he's probably going to get in trouble for saying this, but he thinks that...maybe...just maybe they might be two of the finalists. Keep up Sisco. Nigel declared them the actual Top Two at least a month ago. Anyway, they are both technically flawless in everything they do, well done them.

Cat reads out the numbers, Scally continues to weep.

OK, next up at the end of this accelerated portion of the show are Fat Deaf Old Foot-Phobic Face-Planting Compo-Queen Kirsty and AndrogyLee, bravely facing up to the table that nearly killed Kirsty's face. And...I feel bad at pointing out the accidental comedy I saw in the Wild Horses routine, because this is unintentional laffos from beginning to end. I think it's the combination of the fact that it's a comedic idea in the first place, being played out by the two people least redolent of actual hip-hop dancers, and they're giving it MAJOR butch lesbian energy. Like, EVERYWHERE. On the table, on the chairs, sprinting around the floor. Kirsty in particular is serving up 100% Ruth Badger Realness. It's high-energy hand-flapping, armography-free madness the whole way through. It's not hip-hop as we know it. It may be an evolution. It's to "Pass Out" by Tinie Tempah. And at the end, they do indeed pass out. Then Kirsty rips open her business shirt to reveal "YOU'RE FIRED" written across her boobs.

One for the ages.

Cat pulls them over, and congratulates Kirsty on her bravery on getting back up on the table after the thing that happened (PLEASE DON'T SUE PLEASE DON'T SUE PLEASE DON'T SUE!). Kirsty said that she was really nervous, because falling onto her face was really awful, but she just had to face up to her demons. Which now include a table.

Sisco starts and, as hip-hop is his speciality, he says he's going to get technical. They were no swagger, it was a bit stiff, the grooves weren't easy to digest because they were getting all the different elements of style in the routine (which apparently included something called the "Willy bounce") [I think that was a key part of Danielle and Luke's commercial routine. You know, the one where he was just wearing a pair of shorts. Er, not that I was looking. - Steve] were all mushed up, but he really loved how they gave it 110% (TM The Apprentice). He really hopes they both stay in.

Cat asks Louise if an A for effort would be right, and Louise says NO, THAT WAS AMAZING AND SHE KNOWS A THING OR TWO ABOUT HIP-HOP LET HER TELL YOU. She thinks that these two come out every week, take in everything the judges say, and learn and grow from it. Hooray. Arlene next, and she says that that was the BEST DANCING SHE'S EVER SEEN HIM DO. Kirsty was rushing the beat, but AndrogyLee is OFFICIALLY IN THIS TO STILL BE IN THIS! Of course she didn't say "to win it". Even this show isn't that factually inaccurate.

BARROWMAN closes by praising their STORYTELLING (*drink*) and tells Kirsty that she is so cute and cute as pie. Well that's not at all patronising. Do you know what, I'm just going to pretend that Giant Lady was the Special Guest Judge this week for the final routine. Any objections? Yes? Good.

Last to the floor are Angry Luke and Katie Love, doing their Viennese Waltz to "She's Always A Woman" (original version), which is about a woman who's a huge pain in the tail, but gets away with it because she's charming. I'm saying nothing, except that I reiterate my love for Katie Love, despite all her...foibles. Anyway, this is really romantic and charming, although so little like a Viennese Waltz that I expect Len Goodman to storm across the stage waving a 6 paddle and for Artem to burst into tears. Angry Luke utilises his height in Ian Waite ways (albeit slightly less bulky and gaymazing) (slightly), and Katie Love is very delicate and soft. Good job.

Louise starts for the judges calling the routine seamless and fluid. She's sure that there's technical things that all these other judges who know things are going to pull apart, but it looked effortless to her, and they make a gorgeous pair. Arlene follows up on this technical point by saying that their frame was great and Artem must have taught them really well. Cut to Artem in the audience looking on the verge of tears and really disappointed and pissy all in the one facial expression. Kristina Rihanoff is also sat there, and HER face is reading "I GET NO BLOODY CREDIT ALL BLOODY EPISODE, THANKS A BLOODY LOT ARLENE, I'M GLAD YOU GOT FIRED". Arlene thinks that Katie Love in particular was great, although Luke could have been better with his arms and flowed more. Sisco huffs that Arlene is being technical (having just talked at length about the lack of locked in swagger groove thrustbase alpha in the last routine) and Arlene huffs back that she was just picking up on technicalities as asked.

Sisco takes his shoes off (which he claims are Louboutins but which more like Converse but with tinsel left over from Jessie J applied with a Pritt Stick by one of Bethany-Rose's sister-horses) and bangs them together and starts yelling about how ghetto he is. Giant Lady yells at him to "GET OVER IT!". Cat reads out the numbers, and sends Angry Luke and Katie on their merry way.

Judges Questions Time : Louise is asked if the pressure is really on now? Louise says this it is. Giant Lady is asked if she enjoyed herself. She says that she's had a fabulous time Cat, and thank you for having her, and she's really enjoying her party bag complete with noise-maker and slice of cake. Arlene is asked who stood out for her as being amazing, and she replies that Bethany-Rose and Israel are the stand-outs for her. Israel embodies everything the competition is all about and has now changed her mind about him. Who wants to bet that next week with Tom gone, she's right back on him with a VENGEANCE?

Sisco closes and is asked who thinks is in trouble and who gave the stand-out performance. He says that we're going to call him rubbish (YOU'RE RUBBISH SISCO), but he loves them all like they're his children, so he can't choose who's leaving. But Katie & Luke were the best at the end there with the Viennese Waltz.

Lines open and we get our obligatory recap portion of the evening : Tom and Katrina apparently ending sex everywhere for everyone forever ; Bethany-Rose and Israel acting out Kate Prince's teenage journal then flapping around at random to a 20s beat ; Matt and Charlotte making me wish Giant Lady HAD been a Guest Judge this week rather than a choreographer then crying blood over how awful Scally's hair has got ; Kirsty and Lee B being on drugs then making us all feel like we were ; Danielle and Angry Luke finding one another in detention, then always being a woman TO ME.

Everyone lines up in their exciting costumes, and that is the end. Steven has your results recap...right now.


  1. Normally I laugh when I read this blog. When I read "she just had to face up to her demons. Which now include a table."? I laugh a lot. Thank you.

  2. I don't think I've ever seen costume piece as hideous and unflattering on this show as Kirsty's pants in that hip hop. And I'm including space condom, so that's saying something.

  3. Chimera - It was one of the more slow episodes of Buffy that one I think.

    Ali - I wasn't going to be mean, because so much else about that routine was...bizarre, but seriously, those trousers were not fitted by anyone with an understanding of the female form.

  4. This blog makes me laugh an awful lot, especially for a Sunday

  5. We do like to think we fill the gap left by the departure of Last Of The Summer Wine.

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