Sunday, 8 May 2011

So You Think You Can Take Israel's Mum? I doubt it.

Top 16: 7th May 2011

Last week : Katrina Ballerina married MattFlintMania and hence became the Yoko of the show ; Katya Virshilas turned up and choreographed a couple of ballroom routines like she was still working with Gavin Henson ; the judges treated Tom, Israel and Lee-Boy like they weren't fit to breathe the same air as their partners (get used to it boys...) ; Team Raggy Doll/Rocket did some authentic Nicole Kidman Bollywood ; Danielle and Luke came to blows ; someone called Supple turned up and ruined things for everyone by choreographing an INTENSELY HOMOEROTIC hip-hop routine between Shane and RuPaul's Drag Rithy, which freaked the public out so much that they almost ended up going home.

Oh and Gian Luca was Italian. DID THEY MENTION THIS?

This week : Lee-Boy knees a random in the face, AndrogyLee kicks Kirstie in the head, and MattFlintMania finally snaps and punches Scally in the face. It's Domestic Violence Week on...

SONIA BRAGA CAN DANCE! (all credit to Joel of Bitch Factor for that one. If you have any alternative lyrics you sing during the credits, please let us know. God, I feel like I'm Going Live! now).

We start with a group routine, to "You Can't Stop The Beat" from Hairspray, aka Austin's Jive song. It's like they're inviting comparisons they can't live up to isn't it? All the girls are Doris Day, and all the men are in pink (Angry Luke, AndrogyLee, Lee-Boy, Shane) (I wonder how Lee-Boy feels being on Team Gay there?) or yellow (Charlie Whee!, Tapper Tom, Tapper Matt, Israel) shirts, white belts and ball-crushing jeans, with their hair done up to Max Headroom. Well except Israel, and Tapper Tom, who is of course sporting his usual cropped look. Frankly I'm surprised at this point he's not sporting a dunce-cap and a sandwich board saying "I Am Shit" as determined by wardrobe.

OK, so if I'm ranking quiffs (and I am) :

1. Charlie Whee! (lush, soft, architecturally magnificent)
2. AndrogyLee (the most redolent of Elvis Presley, whilst also being impressively like a poodle.)
3. Angry Luke (rocking the blonde quiff, which is not an easy look, because it can so easily go Mr Whippy) [Or make him look like he's the new host of Scratchy & Co - Steve]
4. MattFlintMania (A bit Mr Gay UK circa 1998)
5. Lee-Boy (Pretty much the same as always, but trying a bit harder)
6. Shane (plastic-fantastic greasy looking nightmare)
DNF : Tapper Tom/Israel

Everyone swings around incredibly sloppily, and at the end they all get in formation and jive out, with Cabbage Alice leading the way. I think this is Cabbage Alice's one moment of glory in this entire show actually. I hope she looks back on it with pride. Tells her grandkids and that. [She really was very good in this whole number. Well done Alice. - Steve]

Once they're done (with Tapper Tom throwing an amazing and appropriate "Word Life" pose at the end) Cat stomps out in lens-flare red, yelling "QUIFFTASTIC!" and talking about their being no ozone layer left over Shepherd's Bush tonight. Because of all the hairspray. And not at all through all the pollutants that the judges produce every time they open their mouths. She tells us all that Giant Lady was the mind behind that performance, as we cut to the woman herself in the audience. Flanked by Karen Hardy. [OTP <3 - Steve] Can't hardly wait.

Cat then tells us that tonight is a night much like any other night on So You Think You Can Dance UK? The eight couples will dance, there will be a bottom 2, two of the four in the bottom two will go home. Also, couples will be portraying a bunch of WACKY characters. Can you remember some of the WACKY characters we've had this series? Mostly vampires admittedly, but also a Bollywood Prince (ZANY!) and a hip-hop robot (who was that?). AND IT'S ONLY GOING TO GET MORE MENTAL! Also there will be some dancing. But mostly KERRAZY CHARACTERS! Next week Angry Luke's coming as a Gay Spanish Robot Pterodactyl With An Ear Fetish And A Complicated Relationship With His Father. Called Juan. BEST BROADWAY EVER. [That, incidentally, is also the plot to every single episode of Lost. - Steve]

Judges time now - Sisco is described as "the best dressed man in that seat", and it's still incorrect (he's come as a bondage Papa Lazarou), Louise is described as "gorgeous" which is more true this week than it has been, Arlene is bigged up as having both seen it and done it (I'll say), and Nigel is described as a man, a myth, and a legend. Sadly not as the "holder of the idiot stick" this week (Pre-emptive : "ANN WIDDECOMBE?!"), which might have been a help.

Nigel is asked if tonight is a clean slate for the couples, or if past performances will be taken into account. Nigel replies "it doesn't matter, we're just going to give EXACTLY the same comments as last week, except maybe we're going to pretend that Angry Luke and Danielle are in love, because we're bored". Oh alright, he says that it's never a clean slate, because they always have to be monitoring the growth of these people. Monitoring their growth? Sounds...cancer-y Nigel, nice choice of words. [Maybe he meant stubble growth? I bet Nigel's keeping a very close eye on the girls' underarms. - Steve] Arlene is asked what makes the perfect dance partnership - Arlene replies that we have to believe that these people really care about and support each other (because that way it's easier to make out like they're having a potentially ratings-grabbing showmance). They also need a thirst for mastery of genres apparently. Cat witters on about the answer being "indefinable chemistry" like she didn't just ask Arlene to define it.

Louise and Sisco don't get asked anything, which is a shame, because I can certainly think of a few questions. Mostly "why?"

First up this week are Angry Luke and Danielle, who are dancing paso doble. Cat tells us all that after only three weeks together, it's apparently time for Danielle to meet Luke's family. Angry Luke looks in pain. I HEAR WEDDING BELLS, I DON'T KNOW ABOUT YOU!

We're reminded at VT open that last week Angry Luke and Danielle did a well-received boxing routine, which apparently Danielle loved. She says this whilst stood in the Docklands dressed in furs. This is never explained. I was hoping that we would be getting an actual hooker-prostitute themed paso doble (it is Karen Hardy, don't tell me that she wouldn't). We're also reminded that Nigel didn't particularly like them last week, but expressed this mostly by talking about wrestling/boxing/ultimate fighting championship like my nan. ("Is this a real one or is this a fake one?" - as someone hits someone in the head with a chair). So nobody really cared.

We're shown their Totally Random Dance Pick, with Angry Luke pulling out Paso Doble and then making bull horns at Cat and a madly skirt swishing Fat Deaf Old Foot-Phobic Kirsty, but not at Danielle, because he might go too far and actually prong her with a pinkie in a sudden FIT OF ANGRY LUKE RAGE. He interviews that they had Latin in week 1 and it didn't go down well then, so hopefully this will go better. I cannot believe these two are about to beat the Latin Curse again. And they also beat the rapidly mounting Commercial Curse. What gives? Are they magic?

Not magic enough to avoid a "Meet The Parents" segment, as they travel up to Leicester so Angry Luke (looking smoking hot in glasses it has to be said) can parade Danielle around like livestock to his family and she can maybe get some understanding as to why he is how he is. I hope they go up to his teenage bedroom and read through all the plays he wrote. Anyway, he kind of disinterestedly points her at people whilst his entire adorable family talk about how amazing he is and ignore her existence. A whole army of brothers snorfle at how Luke is clearly the best even though he hasn't used any of their dance moves yet (Angry Luke : WHY IS IT ALWAYS ABOUT YOU AND YOUR THINGS? *flounce* *flounce* *flounce* *SLAM*) and Danielle lies that she definitely feels at home and Luke looks at her indulgently and mildly patronisingly. A cute child then eats camera.

In the studio Karen Hardy tells us all that she's very excited to be choreographing a paso doble, as it is about PASSION and HATE and FIGHTING, which are all very much things Karen Hardy is about (as Arlene will discover in the car-park later as a warning just in case she thinks she can fill Alesha's soon to be vacant chair on Strictly again). Karen makes a lot of grunting noises, and then, in the most terrifying moment of TV history, plonks Danielle on the floor, stares into her eyes and says with a hint of menace "we need to talk about making you into more of a woman". BRING OUT THE STRAP-ON! NO VIRGINS IN KAREN HARDY'S DANCE CLASS! We don't see the deflowering, but Karen says they were too fluffy and nice to start with (Angry Luke? Really?) and now they're not, so I'm guessing it was SPECTACULAR.

Out to the stage now, and it's very clear very quickly that by "more of a woman", Karen Hardy meant "Karen Hardy", as Danielle is a full-on Mini Me for her. The black hair, the eye make-up, the heels, everything. Totally Karen Hardy. They're both doing their paso thing to Tetsujin, which is from the soundtrack to one of the shit Matrix films (ie all of them, but in this case one of the last two). Certainly from the looks of it, Angry Luke's home-visit has topped up his anger levels, as he is now FURIOUS, leaping around like a demon and staring at Danielle like he wants to hate-shag her to death. Danielle for her part gives it a go, and whilst she's not quite as convincingly ragey as Luke, who is?

Overall I think it's my favourite routine of the night, just for the sheer Karen Hardy overblown angryness of it all, although they do both perform it well. I, in my ignorance of TRUE PASO DOBLE, miss a little bit of the caping that's been sacrificed so that we can see right up Danielle's minge, but if it gets them votes, so be it. In the end, Danielle is sacrificed on the alter of Furious Luke's Furious Boner in a very Karen Hardy sexy way, and the nation waits on their tender hooks to see if he's actually murdered her or not. Not this time nation, not this time.

As they totter over to the judges, and Luke stops seeing shapes, Cat sarkies that she thinks there could have been a more dramatic way to open the show possibly. We're quarter of an hour in Cat - the show opened with Shane's quiff. It turns out in interview that somewhere in that sex-crime, Danielle has lost a bracelet. And a stocking. And probably about a pound of hair from Luke ripping it out her scalp maybe. Whatever Danielle, fame costs, and this is where you start paying in bangles. Arlene is first for the judges, and has successfully identified that there was sexual content in that routine, so she's happy. She praises their Spanish Lines and then z-snaps them and says "bang on, kids!". Bless.

Louise follows, and says the routine was like watching an epic movie, with all the drama and the passion. That was a great way to open the show and set the bar. Sisco bugs his eyes out in disbelief that suddenly, out of nowhere, this couple have chemistry. And all it took was a routine where it looked like Luke wanted to murder her with his penis. Who knew? Nigel closes by saying he loved it, but then praises entirely Karen Hardy and Danielle & Luke barely at all. Karen was on Strictly for 5 seasons ("series" Nigel, and it was 4), she's even won it once (oh God, don't set her off), and he would like to shag her. Thanks Nigel.

Danielle and Angry Luke talk about how great it was, how this was their favourite routine, and it was really great to finally find their connection. I still say they hate one another.

Next up are Bethany-Rose Lee and Israel, and ANOTHER "Meet The Parents" segment. Joy. Oh and Israel is wearing the wide-open billowing white shirt of Boring Contemporary, so I'm setting my phasers to "coma" already.

The VT opens by reminding us that their terrible hip-hop last week got the terrible reviews it deserved. Israel complains that the judges are as tough as they said they were going to be, and Bethany-Rose shrugs that she thinks they did the best they could ([silent] - given the choreography[/silent]). We're then reminded that the judges said that they were in danger until it was guaranteed they'd be safe, and then they were. Bethany-Rose says that this was a real wake-up call and now they're going to show the judges just how good they can be. Woo.

We're shown them drawing Contemporary, and then being quite happy about this to say the least. In the dance studio Bethany-Rose talks about how this is a routine full of anger and emotions, and she's really glad that both she and Israel will be able to show their sensitive sides this week, as it's just been upbeat and fun til now, and how boring that is. I will say that of all the couples I think this one is right up there in terms of them actually liking one another and it being obvious, if you're looking for reasons why they're continuing to get votes despite they're about to.

Oh yeah, another "Meet The Parents" bit. This time it's Bethany-Rose being inducted into Israel's clan in some restaurant somewhere. He mugs to camera that he thought this was just going to be a quiet occasion, as they walk through the door and about 10,000 people all scream at him from beneath the tables of a fish and chip shop. Israel calls them all "peoples" as he introduces Bethany-Rose to them, and his dad is super-cute with her, and already this feels warmer than Luke's house. She gets many hugs, and then Israel's mum sits them down in a corner for a council of war over a battered saveloy. She gives them a big Churchillian war-speech about believing in themselves and knowing they can do it - increasingly jabbing the air and getting animated before she rouses the entire restaurant to scream to the heavens for Bethany-Rose and Israel. Bethany-Rose nods throughout like everyone does when they meet their partner's parents for the first time. Israel's face reads "Oh, Mum..." throughout.

Out to the stage, and they're dancing to that Adele song that's been everywhere now that's basically "You Oughtta Know" for librarians. The musical equivalent of drunk-dialling but not even bothering to do anything interesting with it. [Or as I like to call it 'No Really, I'm Fine, Your Happiness In No Way Makes Me Miserable And I'm Definitely Not Being a Rancid Passive-Aggressive Arsehole About It, I'll Just Be Sobbing Quietly Over Here But It's Not Your Fault Or Anything'. God, I loathe Adele. She makes Taylor Swift look emotionally mature. - Steve] So already I'm a bit iffy. Bethany-Rose is really good - not quite Katie Love levels of contemporary dance, but certainly up there considering she's a jazz dancer. Israel on the other hand feels a bit lost. He's pretty wobbly throughout, and his physical and facial expressions don't really go beyond "kicked puppy". I get that that's appropriate for the song, and the routine is pretty confused, with who's leaving who changing about every 5 seconds, but he seems pretty weak out there. It's a shame, because she deserved far more criticism last week than he did and didn't get any, but he deserves quite a lot of what's about to come to him.

When they're finished, Cat shuffles over to Bethany-Rose saying that she's not to worry, Israel isn't REALLY walking out on her. Well he wasn't for half the routine either, but there we are. Nigel starts by asking who it was at the end of their VT, giving them the best advice they'll ever hear. Cat replies that it was Israel's mum. Israel's mum then rises from her seat in the audience to give them the second best advice they'll ever hear in their lives : "COME ON BLERRGH MURRRRRRRR GWARRRRRRRRN!". Nigel then goes on to praise them both for their confidence and faith in one another, particularly given that Israel has had much less training than Bethany-Rose. (Hilariously, Nigel blatantly tries to get Israel to say that he only started getting proper training like, a week ago, and Israel ignores the bait). He was credible, that's for sure. Nigel closes by saying that they were both as brave as the actual Dambusters tonight. O...k.

Sisco next, who praises Bethany-Rose to the hilt, before saying that Israel is making progress, but his torso still doesn't contract, and he still isn't really (*word redacted*). This kicks off a lot of hissing and booing from the audience, and Louise to interject flapping her arms all over the place. Sisco tells her to shut up before he slaps her (...), and then carries on talking about how rude everyone is for interrupting him. Nigel mugs to the audience and tries to get them to boo more, before he gets into a fight with Sisco WRT how fast Israel is improving and whether that's enough. So panto. Louise follows saying that Israel lifted like a pro, and she takes back any and all criticism she's made of him ever, signed Louise.

Cat closes by asking Israel's mum to scream at the judges. She does so. Cat grins that this is all very much like the elections that we just had. It certainly feels about as dignified and pointful as the AV election. THE MONEY YOU SPEND ON VOTING FOR ISRAEL COULD BUY A NEW ANTE-NATAL CARE UNIT. CUT IT OUT, YOU'RE KILLING OUR BRAVE BOYS WITH THIS NONSENSE!

Next up are Alice and Charlie Whee!, both dressed up vaguely military style. Cat says that this week they've joined the SAS, which is short for "Sweating and Struggling". For the all-girl dance-troupe at my Uni it stood for "Sexy and Single". In the real world it means "Special Air Service. I kind of wish that it stood in this context for "Sisco and Silence".

We're reminded of last week's performance in their VT, specifically Charlie showing the judges that "contortion breakdancers can do other things". Personally I never had many thoughts either way about the versatility of contortion breakdancers, but I guess that's why I'm not a judge. That and being TOO REAL FOR THEM OH YEAH I SAID IT. Alice has a bit of a whinny in her VT segment about how she feels like she's in Charlie's shadow a little bit, and wants to break out. Ah, the fodder kraken awakes. In context of this "wanting to outshine her partner" set-up she does awfully well not to burst into tears when she pulls hip-hop, which is nominally Charlie's genre, out of the CatBox. Instead she gamely grins and says that she hopes that this means she gets to show off her fiery personality which no-one has seen because she's only done elegant routines up to now (/because she's the most under-the-radar contestant on this show apart from the Sooper-Sekrit 11th couple : Invisible Betty and AnonyBob.)

In training they do a lot of what look like "It Ain't 'Alf Hot Mum" gang-show arms, as their choreographer, named Kenrick, tells us all that their characters are going to be running an MI5 secret agent assault course. James Bond and Spooks have a lot to answer for in terms of people thinking this is what spies actually do. You wouldn't get Anna Chapman running up and down an assault course unless it was for a sooper-sexy FHM Russia shoot in her bra and panties. Kenrick gives us advance notice that he is going make Alice and Charlie both cry and sweat, so they know how the audience feel watching this show every week.

There then follows "Fix Up, Look Sharp" on the soundtrack so I'm happy. Dizzee Rascal always makes everything better. [Everything apart from Band Aid 20, although that was pretty much unsalvageable from the get-go, so I'll let him off. - Steve] Kenrick says that he's not here to make friends (hint Kenrick : you're a choreographer, not a contestant) and Charlie and Alice both bond over what an unbearable pushy nightmare he is. Kenrick closes by saying that he's more impressed with Alice than he is with Charlie, as he forces Alice to do 10 push-ups for the fifteenth time today, for no reason. Let's see what benefit all this has had shall we?

Out to the stage, and the whole thing is covered in great scads of camouflage netting. After the relatively prop-free first couple of routines, we are back on familiar territory here with a VENGEANCE. Charlie and Alice BUST through the netting and perform the least aggressive aggressive hip-hop routine I've ever seen. Basically the theme is a couple of recruits scrapping playfully with one another on an assault course to Kanye, constantly jostling and leaping on top of one another and trying to out-do the other. The problem is that they're both, Charlie especially, really really soft. I'm not saying they have to hit as hard as Rithy, because they might dislocate something, but it's so soft it's pretty much butter. Charlie throws a few tricks in there here and there, which all get a mild woo but nothing too overwhelming. They're also out of time with one-another, a lot.

Towards the end, just as I'm about to declare Alice better, they both climb on boxes and do some seated stuff, closing with Alice...just spinning around on her hands for a good 5 seconds like a 4 year old trying to get up for a handstand and failing. It's so sad I have to watch Legacy about five times to calm down again. Oh well.

Over to the judges, as Cat declares herself scared by Alice still being in character. It is pretty terrifying. Sisco starts for the judges by saying that he was sceptical when Crazy Ol'Man Kenrick said in the VT that Alice was out-doing Charlie, but after seeing that he agrees. If Charlie hadn't done a front-sommersault mid-way through, he wouldn't even have noticed him. Alice is BACK IN THE GAME! Was Alice ever in the game? Really? Ever? Come on now.

Arlene then SLAMS her hands down on the desk, and says that he is Mr Chalk and she is Mrs Cheese, because he was behind the music and she was ahead of the music, so not only were they not in time, they were not in time by the Gulf of Mexico. She then proclaims Charlie to be her weak (/moist) spot, because she always loves him no matter how he dances, because he really feels the music. Alice on the other hand rushed it and wasn't authentically hip-hop. Sisco then disagrees noisily and does a swagger dance and says that as the arbiter of hip-hop, he proclaims Arlene wrong. Arlene claps her hands and points everywhere and is incoherent. These judges tonight are just...blah.

Cat then says that it's time for Louise's opinion (is it? is it ever?), and Louise says that she is both staying out of it and agreeing with Arlene. Alice came across like a try-hard and hip-hop needs the more laid back cool vibe that Charlie brought to the routine. Sisco starts blathering about how THE NAME OF THE TRACK WAS POWER AND SHE GAVE IT POWER. I didn't notice him critiquing Katie Love last week when she singularly failed to actually try sleeping with a broken heart mid-routine. Nigel finishes, as the Cat-designated "man on the street" (don't worry Cat, even with this show being a bust, American Idol's doing alright for itself. The mansion's safe yet), saying that neither of them had enough swagger, or as he used to call it "cockiness". Charlie in particular was too floppy, and they were out of time.

As Cat reads out their number, Alice kind of pushes herself completely in front of Charlie and winks at the camera. I hope this is just a minor combination of awkward coincidences and she's not actually getting pushy, because I like Cabbage Alice in all her fodder-ness.

Next up are Lee-Boy and Katie Love, dressed like an advert for a 1920s murder-mystery hotel weekend and three course meal, as Cat informs us that this week they've found themselves on the Most Wanted list. Is it for trying to force that "Team LoveLees" name on us all?

In their VT, both of them gush about how much they loved the Contemporary routine, and Katie Love says that she's so proud of Lee and that he looked like a real contemporary dancer out there. Also when they hug and dance and congratulate themselves on being amazing backstage, Katie Love's hand is RIGHT on Lee's arse with a quickness. If they hadn't so assiduously pressed on us during the Kate Prince Breakfast Show routine that they didn't have any feelings for one another, I'd say they were shagging. Actually, scratch that, they're dancers, what do feelings have to do with any of this? They're definitely shagging.

At the CatBox reveal, they pull out Jazz, and Lee-Boy looks not terribly impressed to be honest. Katie Love demands that he give her jazz-hands, more jazz-hands, BETTER JAZZ HANDS LEE-BOY COME ON. I really enjoy Katie Love now - she's so exhausting. [Me too - she's a lot more entertaining than I thought she'd be. - Steve]

In the training room, Sean Cheesman shows his face again, saying that Katie Love and Lee-Boy's routine this week will be based on Bonnie & Clyde, who were apparently a pair of gangsters in the 1930s. Thank you, Sean Cheesman. Maybe he can come back every week with a new history lesson for us. I guess this makes MattFlintMania John Dillinger and Charlie Whee! Pretty Boy Floyd.

Training seems to going badly for the pair this week, particularly in the lifts, as there doesn't seem to be one attempt shown that doesn't end with someone being near-crippled. One poor lift in particular leaves Katie Love with a lot of back-pain, as Lee-Boy nail-chews to camera about having done the one thing he really didn't want to do - hurt Katie Love, and this has really knocked his confidence. Given that it appears to have knocked her vertebrae, he should probably consider himself lucky. They then give a really odd interview where Lee-Boy swears this was an accident, and Katie Love very solemnly says that yes, it was definitely an accident. Not jokily or being playfully sarcastic, but straight up serious. Does she think we might think he did it on purpose? I'm not that cynical. Well, not seriously anyway. Cheesman praises them both for continuing to try through all the stresses and strains, and Katie and Lee-Boy close very earnestly saying they are definitely going to do it this week. The routine that is.

I swear, with all the family visits and "boot camps" and so on this week, it's weird to see a VT that feels not at all scripted. I'm not sure I like it. MORE FAKE RUBBISH PLEASE, SYTYCD.

Out to the stage now, and oddly enough the routine doesn't at all focus on the part of the Bonnie & Clyde story where he's repeatedly prison-raped until he switches off from society entirely, or where she gave up a promising life as a straight A-student because life in provincial Texas was too stifling and dead-end and small in order to run round shooting people in the face because it made her feel like a movie-star. Instead they focus on the part where they're all sexy and stuff and she waggles her tits and vagina about like they're really itchy. Sean Cheesman's history lessons are kind of basic like that.

Katie Love is pure filth, and Lee-Boy acts like the wolf from the Droopy Dog cartoon, and that's about it. Some of the lifts go a tiny bit awry, with Lee-Boy munching on Katie Love thigh occasionally, but it's fine. The police come at the end and Bonnie & Clyde jump off-stage to their sexy deaths. Israel's dad gives them a standing ovation. God bless Israel's dad. Katie Love's posters read "I<3KT<3" which saves on printing costs if nothing else. How economical.

Risen from the dead, they stomp over to Cat, and the camera works overtime to make both Katie and Lee's asses look as distracting as possible, if you are capable of being so distracted. Not saying I am. Louise starts for the judges, and that make-up bruise on her left cheek makes me increasingly worry that Sisco has in fact pimp-slapped her at some point off-camera. Get help Louise, even you deserve better than this. She says that Katie Love is amazing, and Lee really struggled with this genre sadly. Katie Love pulls an amazing "bitch please" face in response. Cat asks Lee-Boy how this makes him feel, like Louise's words could ever sting anyone any more than .3 of a paper-cut's amount, and he says that he was outside of his comfort zone, and he knew jazz would be a problem from the start. Still, he tried his best so... *woobie face*.

Sisco follows, saying that he can't believe he's about to agree with Louise, but...he agrees with Louise. Lee needs to pick his own gravity up and be a bit more trust. Let's ask Louise if that's what she was saying shall we? Somehow I doubt it. Katie on the other hand makes him (*word redacted*) every week, and every week she serves. I would imagine that'll be true every week after the show as well, in a Harvester. (OH BURN). Arlene follows, saying that she is still in the middle of her love-affair with Katie Love and she blesses Katie Love for her faith in Lee, but Lee needs to start driving his body like he's a luxury car. Like an Austin Healey Arlene? (*Arlene's vagina essplodes*). She closes by saying that currently Lee is a bit more like an old banger.

Nigel calls out Arlene on calling anyone else an old banger from her vantage point, and then says it's not Lee-Boy's fault he's paired with Girl-Jesus here. He'd probably look alright next to any of the other girls, but there's no comparison. He likes that Cheesman challenged Lee this week, but Lee really needed to step up more than he did. As Cat reads out the numbers, Katie Love offers her Lee's gangster hat to wear. Cat's demures, as any pressure on her forehead will probably leave a dent that she'll have to iron out with an actual clothes-iron later.

Next up are Katrina and Tom, who have apparently been skipping through rehearsal. Hooray! The genre of Skipping Games is here a week early! I hope they do Mary Mack or Bubblegum Bubbleg...oh wait, no, it's Quickstep.

In their VT, Tom adorably doe-eyes about how hard he tried last week, to no avail. Arlene in particular was super-harsh on him (*kicked puppy, sad panda, mournful koala*). We're also reminded that last week also marked Katrina Ballerina touching Tapper Tom all over his face, which is really how all romances start isn't it? Only one week left after this one to consummate before you are TORN ASUNDER you two. Get on it.

They draw a card from Cat's CatBox, with Tapper Tom pulling an anxious face the whole time. Cat asks why he's so on edge, it might be fine, and then draws out Quickstep. Everyone does that thing where they act like ballroom isn't the safest genre in the entire show, particularly Shane, and we cut immediately to Karen Hardy [yay! MOAR KAREN HARDY - Steve], sunglasses on her forehead, also saying that Quickstep is SUPER-HARD. I at least find this more convincing than when they tried to pull it for the pigging foxtrot. She says that Tom and Katrina have got to be both light and fluffy, as they gallumph across the floor, landing more heavily than when Cat tries to make a joke. As a result, Karen sets them the training assignment of learning how to skip, and if they could do it in hold, that'd be great.

Unfortunately for them, Karen Hardy's not holding no jump-ropes, they are despatched, dressed in 80s t-shirts, tiny shorts, and headbands to the local children's adventure playground, as Gold Dust by DJ Fresh plays on the soundtrack. It feels like whoever's soundtracking these VTs this week is trying to pass heavy hints with very sharp elbows to the people who pick the music-selections for the actual routines. They bounce up and down, simultaneously being in quickstep hold and double-dutching, and I'd almost watch this over the actual routine at this point. And not just for Tom bouncing up and down in tiny shorts. But mostly.

Out to the floor, Cat proclaims that Katrina Ballerina and Tapper Tom will be performing a "quintessential quickstep" and is immediately proved a liar when the first few bars of "Let Me Entertain You" play through the speakers, before for some reason the whole thing goes mute and Tom and Katrina both quickstep in silence. Or at least that's how it worked on my TV. She's also proved a liar by the fact that, beyond a couple of (literally in a couple of cases) runs across the stage in hold, it's mostly solo stuff, in a Broadway sort of style, and some alright but a bit heavy lifts. Judging from the camerawork, I think the cameraman might actually be doing more quickstep than the dancers here.

Katrina is lovely and imperfect as ever, and Tom is to be honest trying a little bit too hard to show personality. DON'T LISTEN TO THE JUDGES TOM, YOU'RE AMAZING JUST AS YOU ARE! Sigh.

They go over to the judges, and Cat makes sure to check Katrina's shoes to ensure they're still properly on her feet. Cat's such a mum sometimes. Nigel starts for the judges, getting the most ridiculous he's ever been, saying that the point of this show is to removing people from the genres that they're experienced in and making them show their skills in other JAHN-RUHS (except MattFlintMania), and he didn't see enough Quickstep in there tonight. Which is fair enough, but then he starts implying that Tom did that worse than Ann Widdecombe on Strictly Come Dancing and then a red mist descends over my eyes and when I come too again there's a broken table and a dead pigeon and a lot of blood in my living room. As it does Karen's as she starts bellowing at Nigel from the audience. Cat looks livid quite frankly, and decides to bring Arlene in.

And you know when we're bringing in Arlene Phillips FOR A SENSE OF PERSPECTIVE AND CALM, that you're in trouble. ANN WIDDECOMBE?!

Arlene of course does what she's programmed to do, which is to say that Katrina was amazing and rose to the challenge given to her, just like she always does, and Tom was rubbish and out-matched by her. Someone in the audience bellows "SAME OLD STORY!" and "BORING!" which...pantomime booing is one thing but when the audience is actually shouting out "BORING!" I think you're on a level of actual trouble here in terms of saying exactly the same thing and praising exactly the same people week after week. Tom looks like he wants to cut a bitch. Louise closes with a pleasant lemon-sorbet cleansing burst of vapidity by saying that the routine made her smile and she would have enjoyed it if she was sat at home. For once Louise, thanks. Actual thanks. Cat makes a joke about Tom's VT headband, Tom is clearly too full of rage and too covered in sweat to reply gracefully, and they wander off, with Katrina giving Tom an awkward sideways glance as they go.

Next up, Kirstie and AndrogyLee with her dressed as as glittery used condom and him as a nerd. Apparently they're dancing "Hollywood Hip-hop". Possibly about some lonely geek having a posh wank.

In their VT, they both gush about how much they loved the Bollywood routine, and how much the audience loved it. We're also reminded that it rendered Sisco incoherent, which was frankly a blessing. Out of the CatBox they draw hip-hop, specifically "lyrical hip-hop" ie "contemporary to R & B music". AndrogyLee thinks that people will think "how is this one going to do hip hop?". I must admit, of all the pairings I would expect to do hip-hop well...this is not one of them. Then again, it'll probably be hip-hop where the entire routine is them hitting a hula-hoop with a stick whilst dressed as coot penguins, so why worry?

Simeon Qsyea pops up now to tell us all that the story of the dance involving AndrogyLee and Kirstie is that of a geek who falls in love with a hot girl, but she's too good for him and at the end she disappears. This is the story of their routine EVERY.SINGLE.WEEK. It's not only the judges comments that have been getting repetitious. Kirsty's cute, but I don't need to see him lusting pathetically after her every time I turn this show on. Anyway, as AndrogyLee is playing a geek, obviously he is being made to wear glasses, and Kirstie giggles that AndrogyLee looks really hot in them. She is now officially Fat Deaf Old Foot-Phobic Kirsty Who Has A Crush On Darlene From Roseanne.

In training, AndrogyLee kicks Kirsty in the head repeatedly, and they're both very sweet about it. These two are so cute together. Simeon then explains to us all that Lyrical Hip-Hop involves a deep understanding of the lyrics of the track, and we then cut to Kirsty pointing at her face and honking "I CAN'T HEAR WORDS!" as AndrogyLee falls about laughing in the background. I know she's going to get a lot of shit every time she brings up her deafness because she's "ZOMG MILKING TEH SYMPATHY VOTEZ!" but who could hate on her for that? That's just funny. She then very earnestly explains that she's partially deaf and relies on hearing the beat not listening to the words and wears hearing aids and yadda yadda but come on... "I CAN'T HEAR WORDS! HONK HONK!". Gold. AndrogyLee is really supportive and tells her she understands rhythm better than he does, and honestly, this is the one couple I'm not tired of as a couple yet (I think my OTP Katrina and Tom needs some time apart to really appreciate one another). I could watch them forever.

So anyway, out on stage, and AndrogyLee is indeed a big old geek, sat at his laptop, disinterestedly tapping away on the verge of falling asleep (I can so identify at this point) when suddenly A GIANT GLITTERY GOLDEN CONDOM BEAMS IN FROM MARS AND BEGINS DANCING! AndrogyLee fumbles around for his glasses and does double-takes to a hip-hop beat whilst a giant laser Chewbacca head is projected onto the screen behind him and the GLITTERY GOLDEN CONDOM FROM MARS starts rolling round on the floor and miming and acting like it's a team captain on Give Us A Clue with Michael Parkinson. Then they run around making airplane arms, before the geek sits back down again, the GLITTERY GOLDEN CONDOM FROM MARS gives him a hug, then disappears below the desk. Then some sparks fly out of the geek's crotch and he starts tapping away mentally at his computer and staring in disbelief at thin air.

When it's over, Simeon Qsyea gives a really half-hearted round of applause from the audience. Whatever Simeon, YOU WROTE THIS SHIT.

(He was I think as good as he was ever going to be at this, and she had a nice attitude, but was out of time, and couldn't really get herself off the floor in anything like an elegant fashion. Still, GIANT GLITTERY CONDOM FROM MARS. Come on...)

As they wander over, Cat burbles about how AnrogyLee has gone from glam-rock to "geek-chic". Which is a bit much, but given that the other option is to talk about what they've decked Kirsty out in, I can see why. Sisco starts for the judges, and says that that routine was clearly a load of old horse-feathers, but what he likes about these two is that they take whatever's given to them and turn it into gold (en glittery space condoms). Nigel follows, and says that the floor work was poor and someone was off the beat, and when Kirsty tried to get herself off the floor it was really heavy and awkward. One person boos and Nigels throws a shit-fit, yelling "SHUT UP AND LISTEN TO WHAT'S BEING SAID! BOO BOO!".

I hope whatever crawled up Nigel's ass and died this week has been passed out of his system by next Friday, because I can't deal with a Double Elimination AND him in this state at the same time.

Arlene closes by saying that the routine was "dull, dull, triple dull", which adding up makes it quintuple dull. She doesn't understand how anyone can dance to Bruno Mars and not express passion and excitement through every inch of their bodies. Erm...this is the Bruno Mars who's just released a track about scratching his balls, Arlene, yes? Anyway Arlene starts stroking herself and moaning about the "Nth Degree", and let's just move on shall we? Cat gives out the numbers, Kirsty is still a glittery gold space condom.

Rithy and Shane are next, dressed as the Renaissance, and Cat tells us that, after their Bottom 2 appearance last week with their silent movie routine, they're coming back with a bang. Does this means they have actual guns? Cool.

In VT, Shane and Rithy recall the nightmare that was last week, when they both struggled to get into character, their routine was criticised for lack of character, and that they then wound up "in the Danger Zone". I believe the show-approved term is now "Dancing For Your Life", for whatever reason Shane. Get on it. Rithy then says that she really hopes that this week they can make the public love them again. Oh Rithy, the public never loved you and never will. I don't understand it, but there we go. I'm already transferring my loyalties elsewhere because I can't stand the pain. Oh and then they draw the black spot (unless you have Angry Luke's Magic Curse-Defying Powers) of Commercial. Whoopie. This is like the last half-hour of Requiem For A Dream with how depressing it is. Can we cut to him having a limb amputated and her getting eaten by her fridge?

Cheesman's back anyway, telling us that this week's Commercial routine is based around the idea of "Emperor's New Clothes" and it's more about the style and the story. Does this mean Shane's going to be naked? Have I in fact done enough perving this week? (Readership In Unison : YES). Anyway, whatever happens, Rithy is going to have to be girly and sexy and defy her tomboy leanings in order to tit around in a frock making dirty faces. This doesn't really seem to bother Rithy much and she does it without a struggle. I can't help feeling it might have been better for her votes (/vote) if she'd pretended it had been.

Next Rithy and Shane make doe-eyes at one another and say that they've been through so much together that they've really bonded, and their partnership now feels like a marriage. Can you imagine the children? The gorgeous, gorgeous children? Sigh. Obviously a turkey baster would be involved at some point know...but it's a beautiful dream. Anyway, yadda yadda, we're so in sync, blah blah, some bickering but we love one another really, ying yang, not getting divorced yet, tum-ti-tum fodder VT interviews 4eva, let's get to the dancing.

Which is apparently to "Slow" by Kylie. Hmm. Rithy starts looking very "Emperor's New Drag Queen", powdered and wigged and made up to the eye-balls, pulling sexy lines with very muscular shoulders behind an elaborate dress, then dismounts and she and Shane do a whole lot of nothing in elaborate corsetry. This is pretty much the opposite of the last routine, in that they're both looking gorgeous (him especially) (Readership In Unison : WE SAID ENOUGH WITH THE PERVING ALREADY!), but the routine is a whiter shade of beige. Lots of rolling around on the floor, lots of geometric and gynaecological lifts. Lots of sex-face, but ultimately pretty cold. Maybe Cheesman was taking the brief of "Emperor's New Clothes" to its logical narrative conclusion, but there's nothing here I was remembering even whilst I was looking at it. I think it broke my short-term memory briefly. It ends with Rithy climbing back inside her Renaissance shell, and I kind of wonder if it even happened.

Over to the judges, and Cat burbles to Rithy about how it's amazing that she went from being a proper hip-hop girl last week (you know, when she was Charlie Chaplin) to being a sex-kitten this week. Shane also still exists.

Arlene starts for the judges saying that she's trying to get the image of the thigh-to-thigh head spin out of her head. It was amazing. I can't say as I disagree, because I would have to remember it happening. The editors even show us a clip and I'm coming up with nothing. Arlene tells Rithy that she could dance the phone directory and she'd still drool over it ( don't say) and Shane was doing the best work he's ever done outside of his solo last week, but she doesn't think he can do a contraction. DO A CONTRACTION SHANE! Shane does a contraction. Arlene pops a £5 note into his g-string.

Nigel follows up by saying that he's so glad that Rithy is dressed as a girl again after last week (ciscentric bastard) and that he doesn't understand why this pair were in the bottom two last week, and this week was even better, so he CERTAINLY hopes it doesn't happen again. Maybe try not comparing other dancers to Ann Widdecombe then Nigel? Maybe? We close with Louise being asked if she has any constructive criticism to offer. She tells Rithy that she is amazing and sexy and perfect and beautiful and stunning and so versatile, but she might want to practice moving around in heels a bit more. Shane continues to also exist.

(I'm going to stop with the "how to get votes for Rithy and Shane" stuff at some point soon, maybe in time for the London Olympics, but as people are voting for pairs, it might be helpful to acknowledge that they are one).

Last up are Scally and MattFlintMania, dressed like Mirror-Universe Hindley & Brady where they were super-nice and ran a sweet shop. They're doing Broadway, although apparently not with Giant Lady, despite her being in the audience, so I'm going to deem it "Lyrical Broadway".

Their VT cuts in, with Scally saying that during rehearsals on Friday Matt dropped her on her head, and she went dizzy and couldn't see much. Which was not the best preparation for the routine. Still, on the night they danced it the best they've ever danced it, so in the end, it was all for the best, even if she drops dead of a brain-bleed in nine months time. SACRIFICING HERSELF FOR HER DANCE. IF SCALLY WERE EVER A SWEET GIRL IT'S GONE!

Out of the CatBox they draw Broadway, after Matt Flint mock-threatens Scally to pick a decent genre this time. Otherwise she'll be DROPPED ON HER HEAD AGAIN and probably pick up the ability to speak Spanish and needle-point. Let's keep banging Scally on the head like a detuned radio until the result is tolerable. Come Sunday she toddles off to hospital to learn from the doctors if she's allowed to dance. She is. Hooray.

In training, their choreographer, the fairly scary looking Bill Deamer tells us all that this is a very traditional Broadway routine, redolent of the 1930s and 1940s. I can't wait for Rithy to very conveniently draw out the hip-hop routine next week, followed by Simeon Qsyea coming in saying that he's suddenly decided to do a routine centred around a Brazillian tom-boy and her friend who stands around her with his shirt off. There's a designated prop (a case) that Scally claims got Matt more and more excited until he had to elbow her in the face. We see the offending incident, after which Charlotte cooks a perfect souffle, solves Fermat's Last Theorem, and asks that someone put flowers on Algernon's grave. She then punches Matt in the face and giggles like a 2 year old. Matt then gurgles like a toddler and announces "of course Matt and Charlotte can do it", in a CBeebies voice like he's talking about potty training. So tiring. So very very tiring.

Out to the stage, and the theme of the routine is "newlyweds on honeymoon, probably in Bridlington or something" and they're dancing to "Sing Sing Sing" aka "Denise Lewis' Quickstep song" which is a memory I will treasure forever. The routine is very very fast paced and cheery and bouncy and very enjoyable indeed. I've always thought Matt was one of the better male dancers even if this pairing does give me the squits, and tonight is the first time I think he's really excelled. He's just so in sync with the music and the feel of the piece. Her I'm still less keen on, to put it mildly, but it's definitely enough to be the second best routine of the night.

Over to the judges, with Nigel and Arlene giving a standing ovation, Louise bobbing up and down like a buoy, and Sisco resolutely sat down. To be fair, if Sisco stood up all those bondage straps he's wearing would probably tear his clothes to shreds and we don't want that do we no we don't. Cat squawks and giggles at them that they've certainly packed light - those suitcases wouldn't even hold her make-up. You don't say Cat?

Nigel starts for the judges by staying that they got a standing O from them, by which he means himself. He then lists everyone who was ever in a film between 1930 and 1943. It's quite a list. He tells MattFlintMania that he is without question the best man in the competition, and what Scally lacks for in technique she makes up for in personality. Arlene says it was stupid-fast and she felt all the razzle-dazzle of Broadway in the studio. Louise follows up by saying that she's been struggling to say anything critical all night, but even with that in mind these two are the front-runners for the competition by far. Sisco closes by saying that there's nothing they can't do, and that they're the front-runners of the competition by far. They both gush and grin and toddle off happily.

Cat informs us that that's it, and that all the couples have danced, but Matt & Scally didn't get enough of a bum-licking there, so before the recap, we're going to ask the judges their opinions on the night. Arlene's first and continues to gush more sacrificial blood all over the altar of MattFlintMania, then says she can think of a few couples who might be in danger, but it's not necessarily because of the couple, more one person within that couple. In some cases. Tom. Not naming names or anything.

Louise follows, and is asked if there were any surprises. She opens that obviously Matt and Charlotte being perfect wasn't a surprise, because they're always perfect, but it was really great that Danielle & Angry Luke finally managed to make their mutual loathing work for them. Except she calls them "Matt & Danielle" because...I'm sure you can fill in the gaps. Nigel is told that he's already said that he loves Matt & Charlotte, can you please say another couple just to make this whole segment a bit less tragic. He points out Bethany-Rose and Danielle, who aren't a couple per se, but also aren't men who aren't Matt, so why not? Speaking of men who aren't Matt, Sisco singles out Lee-Boy and Israel as being potentially in trouble, although he does throw one last noble roll of the dice after Shane & Rithy as being stand-outs, like that's going to make any difference.

Recap now : Angry Luke evolving to his new Pokemon form of Furious Luke ; the programme getting its RDA (Recommended Dreary Adele) out of the way for another week ; Alice and Charlie being more MI : High than MI5 ; Kate Love & Lee-Boy going down in a hail of bullets ; something apparently worse than Ann Widdecombe ; the GIANT GLITTERY GOLDEN SPACE CONDOM FROM (BRUNO) MARS ; the Emperor's New Clothes ; a giant sign saying "MattFlintMania Just Won and there's still over a month of this crap left!"

Results will follow. Apparently they featured The Wanted. Joy effulgent.


  1. I thought putting Kirsty in shiny leggins was about the unkindest thing ever but.....used condom, nice one, could never unsee that image, ever again.

  2. The use of sparkly Gold spackle as make-up wasn't the most flattering either.

  3. is it just me or does Isreal wear the same blue chequered shirt every week???

  4. There is a lot of fashion repetition on this show. Thank the Lord for Lee B.