Previously : We finally crowbarred apart our original couples, and in doing so discovered who'd been pulled this far on the back of a more popular partner (Hi Scally! Hi AndrogyLee!) and who was just unpopular in their own right (Hi Bethany-Rose!). After Chicago, Librarian Girls, AndrogyLee getting drafted off to fight the Nazis, and Angry Luke inviting us all into his Supermassive Black Hole OF FEELINGS, it was Israel and Scally who got the flick, leaving us with, unless Fat Deaf Old Foot-Phobic Face-Planting Kirsty's vote collapses, the most predictable semi-finals OF ALL TIME.
We open with a group number, which appears to be somewhat Riviera themed. All the women are sunning themselves on loungers in their swimming costumes, reading SYTYCD! Magazine (cover star Louise, who is promising to reveal her Top 10 Dance Moves inside. I bet one of them's The Worm. And Emma Bunton's patented titiruba). [I completely did not notice this the first time I watched. Then again, I might have been distracted by the men in tight shorts. - Steve] The boys meanwhile are their waiters/pool boys/gigolos, serving them cocktails and frotting up against them, despite the presence of a giant "No Petting" sign. How rude. I guess if Paige was still here there'd be a "No Bombing" sign as well. Maybe in reference to Angry Luke, Katie Love and Bethany Rose-Lee's past CRIMES AGAINST CHOREOGRAPHY there should be a "No Walking" sign.
Anyway, they're all sexing it up and flouncing around to some song that is familiar to me, but which I couldn't say I really recognised or liked, which automatically means that it's from the Dirty Dancing soundtrack. I've never seen Dirty Dancing. This makes me a bad gay I know. Speaking of which, the whole show this week is basically the infamous Homo Camp that Simon Cowell definitely did not put Ronan Parke through now he did not, don't come after me Syco Lawyers. But we'll get to that. The routine ends with the boys MIND-TRICKING the girls into serving them cocktails and waiting on them instead. THE CLASS SYSTEM IS SUBVERTED, LIVE, ON SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE! I note none of them are so gay yet that they're reading about Nurding's Dream Dresses. That'll change.
Enter Deeley : dressed as a sparkly sea-cucumber. She shoos the dancers, showing that no matter how much the class system of Earth is disrupted, Cat is still God. She tells us that we're only ONE WEEK AWAY from crowning MattFlintMania! as Britain's Favourite Dancer! But who does the audience think MattFlintMania! is going to be? Some poor soul yells "Bethany-Rose". As that MUST be a member of her family to be so happily deluded, they really should have panned to the audience so we could see a goose talk. You know, outside of the Babe movies. But before that, tonight each contestant must perform a group routine, a couples routine, and a solo, to test their bodies and their brains. Then they enter the Fun House itself, for a MAD TWO MINUTE DASH FOR EXCITING PRI...no? Oh, wrong show.
(Sidebar : Cat is pretty much the perfect human being, but I've just noticed she is constantly Lady Macbeth'ing her free hand when she talks. It's distracting Cat. It's pulling me away from appreciating your topical comedy about FIFA.)
Judges are introduced now : Sisco, who has apparently "just beamed down from Planet Fabulous", Louise who is apparently "the most glamorous judge who will never budge" (Arlene demonstrably stops clapping at this point), Arlene Phillips who "before Heat Magazine, gave us REAL Hot Gossip" (so she'll no doubt be attacking FDOFPFP Kirsty's thighs with her RING OF SHA...no, actually if anyone's getting attacked by Arlene's Ring Of Shame it'll be one of the boys), and finally "the man, the maestro, the miracle of movement, Mr" Nigel Lythgowe. Who then dons shades and vaudeville's around about how he's blinded by Cat's dress. Consequently I have donned shades to counter the hangover I'm enduring because of the amount of alcohol I had to consume and get through this and Britain's Got Singers Who Are Too Niche/Unstable For The X Factor in the same evening.
Cat and Sisco have a gay-off as to who is dressed in the most homosexual fashion, before Nigel is asked about the emotional, physical and mental struggle of having to get through three group numbers, a paired routine, and potentially two solos all in one week. Nigel's response "tough!". Hopefully we'll have broken someone in the time for the final again, just like last year! Imagine if it was MattFlintMania! IMAGINE the panic from the production team at the thought of who might actually have a chance of winning then. Kirsty would randomly probably randomly draw "Wagon Wheel Watusi" and out of the totally random draw and be made to dance it in a burkini whilst "Peanut Butter Jelly Time" plays as her music. [She'd still get my vote. - Steve]
Arlene is asked to empathetically minge on about how hard dancers work and how underpaid they are, as she is sat there being paid hundreds of thousands of pounds to alliterate, call people fat, and sleaze on men who are less than a third her age. LET THEM EAT CAKE! Arlene declares that just this week she was contacted by someone asking if one of the eliminated girl contestants could come and audition for a top West End Musical. Scally IS Grizabella! Possibly. [Perhaps they want Paige for a production of A Bore-Us Line. No? I'll get my coat. - Steve] Cat gushes that you NEVER KNOW who's watching. Or, frankly, if anyone is. (*pokes ratings machine* *smoke emerges*)
Next up, a very Strictly moment, as all the judges sit around backstage and discuss what they think of each contestant, like that isn't entirely obvious at this point. We do get nice little video-screens beforehand telling us key-details like :
MattFlintMania! - 29 - 5ft 8 - CAN DO ANYTHING
Angry Luke - 30 - 7ft 5 - SO MANY FEEEEEEEEEEELINGS
AndrogyLee - 21 - Special Move : Head Thrash - WEIRRRRRRRRRD
Kirsty - 29- Jazz - FAAAAAAAT
Bethany Rose Lee - 20 - Jazz - DON'T HATE HER BECAUSE YOU AIN'T HER!
Katie Love - 24 - Special Move : Jumps & Drops - THE ONLY CONTEMPORARY DANCER WE HAVE LEFT SO PLEASE VOTE FOR HER BECAUSE WITHOUT CONTEMPORARY TO REGULARLY OVER-PRAISE THE FUCK OUT OF THIS SHOW WOULDN'T KNOW WHAT TO DO WITH ITSELF!
Judges start with Kirsty, with Arlene calling her "adorable" and pondering on her Argentine Tango. "Where did those things come from?" she wonders. Genetics? Sisco calls her a "dark horse", like she hasn't clearly been annihilating all the other women in the vote from second 1. They then move on to Matt, who Nigel (after last week saying that he hadn't really seen Matt expand outside of his JAHNRUH) says has really done well expanding outside of his JAHNRUH. Arlene says that Matt is a "cute little package", and everything about him is small, apart from his personality and his technique. Meow. [But is it truthy? Where's Sheila Hancock when you need her? - Steve]
Sisco says that Katie Love is great to watch in contemporary, but she hasn't unleashed her beast yet. Arlene wants to see her really let herself go and be thrilling. Arlene also wants to kick her in the face. Well that relationship turned abusive fast. Luke is next, and Arlene says he's one of the most exciting dancers in the competition, with Louise saying that he's improved every week to the extent that he's now a front runner. Bethany-Rose Lee is next, with Sisco calling her a vixen, and Louise saying that she's so hungry and driven that she's lost the softer side of herself. That DRIVEN MONSTER! Maybe it's because you've not given her one single routine which wasn't either hip-hop or her having to act like a dutty ho, or wasn't that Charleston where Israel stole the show by flopping around everywhere like a dying mackerel. Nigel says that she has the best technique of all the girls by far. Yeah, that'll win her votes.
We close with AndrogyLee, who Sisco describes as weird and wonderful and eccentric, with Louise chiming in "JUST LIKE YOU!". No Louise, not like Sisco. Profoundly not like Sisco. We close with Nigel being terrified of AndrogyLee's leggings, and how they make him feel as a man. Calm down Nigel, he'll be gone soon.
Back in the studio after that waste of time, it's time for our first couple. Cat explains to us all that this evening, they've mixed the couples up so that each dancer will be partnered with someone they've never danced with before. Despite the fact that this means that there are only two possible combinations, we still go ahead with the totally random drawing anyway because...who's paying attention really? First up, and doomed are AndrogyLee and Bethany-Rose Lee. IT'S TEAM LEELEE! Cat tells us all that this week for them has been all about hair-whips, shoulder-dips and bruised lips. And, judging from the PVC outfits they're wearing, probably chafed nips as well.
In VT, both AndrogyLee and Bethany Rose Lee talk about how gutting it was for them to be in the bottom two last week. Well, for AndorgyLee anyway. Bethany-Rose seems kind of over it at this point. We're shown them totally randomly drawing one-another, and whipping their manes at one-another in delight. Bethany-Rose was of course taught to whip her mane as a greeting by her mother the Palomino Pony. They also totally randomly draw cha cha, which neither of them look particularly happy about.
Next up, we're shown AndrogyLee's morning routine. Waking up, showering, applying his eye-liner, eating his toast, and leaving the house at 8am. He does some good-natured moaning about having to leave the house so early. A nation's heart bleeds. Once at training we learn that the choreographers for this routine are Artem and Kristina. Kristina as per usual does not get to speak. I hope she and Mute Jaci choreograph a routine for the final and convey it to the contestants entirely via the art of mime. Artem and Bethany-Rose go for a tricky lift, and he punches Bethany-Rose in the face, and then pulls "erp!" face right down the camera. He explains that the routine he's choreographed is hard, because it's a semi-final, but not that hard, because it's a semi-final. THANKS ARTEM.
Both Bethany-Rose and AndrogyLee interview to the effect that they don't have a bloody clue what's going on, and that this is their most difficult routine yet. Artem bellows "WE ARE FAKING IT UNTIL WE ARE MAKING IT!" right at the camera, which...bodes well. He says that he's glad it is at least going better today than it was yesterday, because following yesterday's rehearsal, Artem felt on the verge of running home and crying. Yeah, that's difficult to imagine...
So out to the stage we go, and each of them is dominatrixed up (well...AndrogyLee's kind of wearing a dominatrix Bowling Shirt) because this is an Artem Chigvintsev cha cha. Remember how he dressed Kara up as his fantasy cha-cha girl? Yeah. That. They're dancing to Judas by Lady Gaga, which really excited me during the week because I want nothing for the best for AndrogyLee on the show this week, like you gather all an elderly great-aunt's favourite things around her so she's extra comfortable before she dies, but I didn't really think how it would work as a cha cha. And neither did Artem by the looks of it.
Bethany-Rose is totally on auto-slag for the entire routine. I think this is her equivalent Slutwalk after Nigel told her to stop being so sexy last week because she was putting women off. She looks AMAZING, but the music's so gloopy and slowed down that there's no real sense of fun or bounce to the routine. I don't know why you'd try to choreograph a tortured cha cha, but there we are. AndrogyLee's trying, but his moves are a bit clicky, and really it's all eyes on Bethany-Rose for me in this dance. They do an amazing lift at the end where she cartwheels into a drop and gives sex eyes to the camera, but I'm basically left wishing they'd done a Commercial or Jazz routine to the same song, because it doesn't really suit this JAHNRUH.
In the audience, Artem and Kristina look non-plussed. Well, you choreographed it. Behind them, Klaus turns to Katya and says something that looks a bit like "well that wasn't bad". Cat coos generically at AndrogyLee as he comes over about how "everything is hanging off those cheekbones". Including the hopes of a nation yes?
Nigel starts by saying that he thinks that if someone tuned on in the middle, they'd be surprised to learn that that was a cha-cha. That's the politest version of "what the fuck was that?" I've ever heard. He doesn't even know how they did that last lift (Artem : "IT WAS TRICKY!"). Apparently if we go by the votes then these are the two who will be leaving this evening. And the show does, so they're eliminated there and then. The End.
No? OK. We've got to string this out for another three hours. Nigel says that he hopes that the other four dancers will be even more amazing than that tonight, so these two going home won't be too much of a wrench. AndrogyLee was so strong, and Bethany-Rose was sensational, and Nigel doesn't understand why the public haven't warmed to her. IT'S CAUSE OF DAT ASS NIGEL, THAT MUST BE WHY!
Arlene is asked if she's ever seen a PVC-clad cha-cha before, and she lies that she hasn't. Whatever Arlene, I would be surprised if your cha-cha wasn't encased in man-made plastics right now. She agrees with Nigel that she didn't see a lot of cha cha going on, but she did see a lot of charm going on. It was fizzing like champagne in a cocktail shaker, and it had WOW FACTOR. Oh sod off with your Wow Factor Arlene. Worst reality tv cliche outside of X Factor. Bethany-Rose could have moved her hips more, and AndrogyLee could have worked the floor more, but other than that? SENSATIONAL.
Louise says that AndrogyLee danced with great "mashcoolinity" for a man wearing so much eye-liner and he really deserves to be there, and that Bethany-Rose really took on their criticism and worked on it in that routine, by improving her arms and gaining the Latin flavour. Sisco does nothing all evening apart from crawl every single dancer's bum and stays there. I ain't recapping that. PRIZES FOR EVERYONE!
Next up : some solos. First up is Fat Deaf Old Foot-Phobic Face-Planting Can't Solo Kirsty. She does her solo to "Feeling Good" by Nina Simone and...it's better than last week. There. I was nice. I have loved everything that Kirsty has done in her pairs, even when she was SheWolf Of The Apprentice, but in the final battle for my heart between her and Angry Luke for the Win, these solos are really what tipped the balance. She's asked by Cat what it would mean to her reach the final, and she says it'll be the culmination of her life-long dream of dance. Bless. She's then asked what she's enjoyed about the show, and she says everything. Even the bits that hurt. And which she didn't sue over. Remember?
Standing alone next Cat officially makes Kirsty look like a dwarf. If she turned to the right she could motorboat her, BURLESQUE STYLE. Just saying. [If only they'd moved the show to a post-watershed graveyard slot instead of an early evening slot o' doom. - Steve]
Speaking of Angry Luke's Angry Solos, we're about to experience one, and Jesus Wept this is pretty much Furious Luke. I haven't seen this amount of emoting to The Flood since Take That performed it for the fiftieth time in the X Factor final and I put my fist through my coffee table. Jumping and punching and growling and rolling about and gravity defying leaps and carthweels and FURIOUS FURIOUS SPINNING. It gets so loud and so angry that when she shoves his pecs at the camera with a flourish half-way through, Take That actually sing a little bit quieter because he's scaring the bejesus out of them. And they're on a pre-recorded backing track. It ends with Luke sprawled on the floor like From Here To Eternity, tummy heaving up and down with spent emotion. Cat asks him about his perspective on this experience. He replies that it is the BEST THING HE'S EVER DONE. ALL THESE NEW EXPERIENCES AND FEEEEEEEEEELINGS. Cat makes him wink like Anne Robinson down the camera-lens just to take the edge off a bit.
Those over, Cat asks us what we were doing at 6:30am on Monday. I was sleeping Cat. Apparently if we were dancing to The Boomtown Rats, we were Matt Flint and Katie Love. This whole "Boomtown Rats" thing is never explained. They're not shown dancing to it - it's just layered on the soundtrack to Matt hitting his alarm clock. It did get my hopes up we were due a school-shooting themed pop-jazz to "I Don't Like Mondays." We Need To Talk About Katie Love.
In VT , we're reminded that last week was officially a good week for Katie Love and Matt Flint, as Katie Love got to vamp around like Roxie Hart, and Matt Flint drew the dance outside of his wheelhouse that just involves standing there and occasionally grabbing a boob. Out of the CatBox, Katie Love draws Matt, and then Matt draws out Contemporary. Both look very pleased indeed. Matt in interview says that, as he's partnered with a contemporary dancer, he's really going to have to up his game to keep up. Yes Matt, because otherwise you might go home. Definitely.
6:30am Monday now, as Matt very diligently prepared breakfast, sniffs his milk, gets dressed, does his hair, climbs in his taxi, and sets off to work. Meanwhile, Katie Love stumbles out her door at 9 or so, clutching her toast and wearing sunglasses. Hands up who thinks Katie Love got trashed last night? Yeah, me too. In rehearsals, there stands Mandy Moore, again, because she's obviously not busy, carrying the weight of this show's choreography entirely on her back for the forseeable. She says that, as it's the semi-finals, and Matt and Katie are a "power couple" they're going to need a routine that really pushes them.
Cue the next 30 seconds or so being Matt struggling manfully through really difficult Contemporary choreography, Katie Love being dumped repeatedly on her spine, and her seeming like she'd quite like to dance this with someone who knows what they're doing so she doesn't end up a vegetable. It's like Lee-Boy never went away isn't it? I'm sure this will end exactly the same way with the judges as well.
Out to the stage now, and they're both dressed in pale-piss yellow and dancing to "Total Eclipse Of The Heart". It's your standard "dress in whites and pale colours and roll around the floor to a woman being overwrought with mostly awkward lifts occasionally shoe-horned in". I love Mandy Moore, but much more as a jazz choreographer than a contemporary one, because her music choices are always a bit...naff. Which works for jazz, but for contemporary routines it takes the edge off the routine a little if I was doing a routine with the same intent around my outdoor chair-swing at my 19th birthday whilst out of my mind on cheap champagne.
Is that enough insight into my life yet? [Never. - Steve]
Matt is pretty good, except when he has to do lifts, when it all gets a bit fumbly. Katie Love is also good, although she radiates about as much connection with her partner as a windsock does to a hippopotamus. They do get killer air off a leap at the end though, which makes the whole thing just about worthwhile. For a lyrical routine though, there's not nearly enough turning around on the "TURN AROUND!" bits.
Everyone in the room gives it a standing O, including the judges, and this time Louise doesn't even have to drag Sisco up by the elbow. Cat gushes about how she was standing there ready to catch Katie Love if Matt missed her. Like Katie Love would let that happen. She'd totally twist mid-air and take him down with her.
Louise starts for the judges saying that she felt really emotional throughout, because she knows these two have been on such a JOURNEY (*drink*). Matt has mutant ninja dance style powers that can't be taught, only bred via a complex chain of genetic accidents through the years, and Katie Love occasionally lacks oomph, but did not then. It was full of oomph. Mostly the noises she was making as Matt dug his fingers into her ribs trying to keep hold of her. Nigel follows, thanking Mandy Moore for that routine, and her routines through the series in general. In the audience (sitting next to what I originally took to be a "yellowed-up" Kate Prince, like she could possibly get more offensive) does the little "prayer hands dip" of thanks that Dr Hamela did all last series on Strictly. It's kind of charming on her though.
Nigel carries on praising Katie Love's leap favourably to Rithy's poor effort from earlier in the series (LEAVE RITHY ALOOOOOOONE!) and also by praising MattFlintMania! for being what this show is all about, because he's a tapper who is now OUTSIDE OF HIS JAHNRUH! Arlene follows by bigging up Matt for showing he could do contemporary dance, and also Katie Love for giving herself entirely to the dance. When she heard Bonnie Tyler yell "I REALLY NEED YOU TONIGHT!", Arlene replied "oh alright Bonnie, do you want me to pick up a copy of More magazine, a Mars Ice Cream Bar and a bottle of Absolut as per usual? We can watch the Britain's Got Talent final and whip bits of nougat at Amanda Holden's head. I've just got to over-praise some contemporary dance first".
More solos now : First up is Bethany-Rose Lee being all floaty and balletic and lyrical to a Kelly Clarkson album track. NB : you can still see her boobs. She's still Bethany-Rose Lee. Of all the solos of the evening it's actually probably the best. I love that Bethany-Rose Lee is bringing it when there's absolutely no need to. At least she's going out on a high. She wanders over to Cat, and tells her that this competition has been a dream come true for her. Cat tries to make her say she really hopes she's in the final. As that kind of relies on that Bonnie Tyler routine having propelled Katie Love above Kirsty in the vote, which is not entirely likely and also nothing to do with her, she kind of shrugs it off all "yeah, that'd be nice".
Next up in the Solos Of The Damned is AndrogyLee, bringing some Beastie Boys ("Whatcha Want?") to So You Think You Can Dance? His leggings are Union Jack themed, his jacket looks like a third-tier Tekken character, and he is giving it edgy style and lots of leg, as per usual. There's a tiny little bit of a hip-hop feel and swagger to the whole number, which is nice given that we put a bullet in the last of our four hip-hop dancers last week. Cat pulls him over, and asks him to explain his leggings. AndrogyLee says that they represent him hopefully being Britain's Favourite Dancer, which he follows up with a little salute. Cat asks him what he'll take out of the experience, and he says that he's learnt so much, and also now got great big muscular arms. Cat tries to get him to play a game of "Which Way To The Beach?" with her. He has no clue what she's on about.
Final couple now, and if I thought Kirsty looked like a midget next to Cat...she's now stood next to Angry Luke. Yeah. Cat says this couple were really happy with the genre they pulled this week, until they got to rehearsals. Was it there that Kirsty discovered that the make-up for this routine was going to be so bad that it would make her look like a cross-eyed badger?
In their VT we are reminded that last week was also a Good Week for these two (apart from when Arlene decided to call out Kirsty's solo after every single routine, like, even the boys group number - "that was really sharp and masculine, MUCH BETTER THAN KIRSTY'S STOOPID SOLO!"). Afterwards both of them apparently retired to the show's Star Bar [otherwise known as the BBC Club Bar on the fifth floor of Television Centre - Steve, the former BBC employee], where Kirsty doled out lots more hugs, and Luke got drunk on pints. We don't see him outside afterwards throwing his shoes at the moon howling "WHY WAS I BORN SO POWERFUL I CAN'T HANDLE IT?!"
We're shown the formality of Kirsty "drawing" Luke out of the CatBox, even though both could only conceivably be paired with the other this week, and also drawing Broadway, which is really probably the best for both of them. Could you imagine them doing that Contemporary? Yeah, me either.
In training, they encounter Bill Deamer, of "Matt & Scally go to the seaside" fame, who says that their routine this week will be 1950s Prom themed, and have to bounce with a Charleston rhythm. Oh good. More Charleston. He says that the routine will be of the standard of that which he would give two professional theatre dancers. Which...is what Luke is, so...good? Everyone huffs and puffs and gets out of breath, and I'm mostly distracted by how stacked Kirsty is now. She is officially Muscly Old Deaf Foot-Phobic Face-Planting Kirsty now. WHAT A JOURNEY! [Seriously, the final numbers show that absolutely everyone in the top six ended up with a six-pack, so now I wish I'd entered this show. Because, erm, I'd totally have made the top six. - Steve] Kirsty tries to start a football fan-esque "WE'RE GOING TO THE FINAL!" chant. Angry Luke looks a bit sick. It's like him and Danielle Week One all over again, and we all know how that ended right? With SO MANY FEELINGS!
Out on stage and they're dancing to Varsity Drag from the god-awful 20's musical "Good News". I dare you to sit through the film version. It's a MARATHON. Awful. It's infamous for being set in the 20s and using 1940s styles. So obviously this version sees both Kirsty and Angry Luke dressed up like the 50s. The whole routine is very very very very very fast to begin with, then gets slower and less manic as it goes on. Either that or they just run out of puff. Luke is demonstrably more on top of things than Kirsty is, and she occasionally seems a bit disorientated but it's not as though she's particularly shaming herself, and by very design she's better at the whole "Joan Leslie On Uppers" vibe of the routine. I am a bit disappointed it doesn't end like Angry Luke's actual prom though - ie him getting a bucket of pig's blood dumped on his head and killing everyone via telekinesis. As they finish, Kirsty honks "I COULDN'T SEE!" at Angry Luke, and then Cat pulls her over and gets her to explain that she was having trouble because of all the masses of hair that were in her face throughout. It's not quite "I CAN'T HEAR WORDS!", but it'll do. Kirsty half cracks up, and half breaks down over this. It's quite a combo of FEELINGS. Obviously Luke is rubbing off on her.
Arlene starts for the judges (well, actually it's Sisco, but, you know, I'm never going to have to recap him again after next week, so why not start now?) by saying that Kirsty was soft and blunted and let Luke down in that routine. From somewhere off in irrelevance Sisco starts screaming until Nigel gets him to shut up. Louise follows by saying that that wasn't her favourite routine she's seen the pair of them do (I hope she means individually, rather than as a couple. Louise does seem a bit out of it this evening), but she hopes the people at home realise how difficult it is for TALL PEOPLE TO DANCE. Yes dear, I think Len Goodman has covered that more than accurately for the last few millennia of Strictly. She says that Kirsty was, as always, great at the characterisation, but she's not sure that was good enough to be in the final.
Nigel finishes by saying that he thought that was the weakest of the routines this evening, but also that Kirsty should probably feel glad she got this routine, because it was all about personality and she can't dance. Or words to that effect. I don't think "under the bus" adequately covers how quickly this thing has driven over Kirsty this week. It's more "under the Space Shuttle". Angry Luke is then praised for being tall, like Tommy Tune, and still being able to dance. I love that Nigel looks at Angry Luke and sees this.
More solos now : first up, Katie Love, dancing to Mary J Blige's version of "Stairway To Heaven", which sounds a bit like someone trying to play Eye Of The Tiger by memory alone after having only heard 5 seconds of it. It's very much a typical Katie Love solo in that I don't really care, and neither does she by the looks of it. Everything's very loose and thrown away and unfinished and limp, and it's all a bit meh. Katie Love is asked by Cat if the show has been harder than she anticipated. After a lot of huffing and puffing and talk of new lives and dreams coming true, and her body doing things she never thought it would do before (*eyebrow*), she says yes.
Final solo of the evening now (until Dance For Your Danger Bottom Zone Life), and Matt is tapping it out to Jason Mraz going "skibbity bibbity bop". [I really like this song, but I freely admit that the bit they use for his solo is probably the worst bit of it. - Steve] It's very moderny tap ie it involves a lot of falling down and jumping about and being jazzy. It's quite enjoyable, whatever, Nigel's enjoying himself. He also has apparently choreographed in a move from the god-awful movie Happy Feet as part of it. Happily not the hour long chase scene bit, or the bit where Robin Williams breaks out his best James Brown impersonation and diverts the plot up his backside. He's asked what his favourite moment was, and he says it was working with Mandy Moore. Amen.
Solos over, and Arlene is asked her opinion on the solos. Guess who she hates? It is Kirsty. Guess who she likes? It's both men what are masculine. She also gives props to Bethany-Rose for skimming across the floor. She deems Katie Love to be not a choreographer (ouch), and then says that AndrogyLee is weird and quirky and eccentric, and avoids talking about his dancing, as the show has done since the beginning. But hey, he's BIZARRE.
Now it's time for the group routines. So, you know how this evening has basically been an escalation of homosexuality, building up from Dirty Dancing and the French Riviera, through Bonnie Tyler and Lady Gaga, cresting on 1920s musicals and Rock Hudson and Doris Day comedies? Well the boys routine is the coitus and the girls routine is the cigarette afterwards. Get ready kids, this is about to get SUPER-GAY.
First up are the boys, and who better to choreograph this orgy of sexual tension than Katya Virshilas, the woman who got male-snogging on prime-time Strictly Come Dancing? [♥ Katya - Steve] She's thrown together a paso doble, with the help of Klaus. In training all three men talk about how much they want to be in the final, and how much they want to out-do and out-shine one another with their manly male masculinity. Katya affects to be terrified of all the testosterone flying around the room, although this is then nicely undercut with a shot of Luke falling on his bum and Matt gazing balefully up at him from nipple-height. MACHO!
Out to the stage now, where everyone's topless (well topless in trousers that come up to their nipples, and bathed in a bright orange glow. The Pirates Of The Caribbean Music strikes up, and BATTLE(/SEX) commences. Katya's actually choreographed this very well, as AndrogyLee takes a lot of the more sinuous creeping insinuating movements, Matt handles the impetuous, boyish, darting stuff, and Angry Luke, with the most muscular frame, handles the power and strength and drive. Also they all have their nips out and are grunting at one another. It's...quite a spectacle. There's memorial Strictly capework on show (which I think Luke wins, just via muscular structure, although Matt Flint gives it a good go) and then fire start shooting everywhere on the backdrop video screens, and it all goes backflip bonkers and yes, this routine is certainly FLAMING.
Standing Os everywhere, and Sisco starts barking like a dog on heat. Oh very dear. Arlene is asked her opinion, and she crows about their delicious Spanish lines. She loved their passion, she loved their grit, she loved their grace. AndrogyLee was fearless, Matt was feisty, but Angry Luke was Arlene's PRINCE OF PASSION! At this point Arlene stands up, and she's shot only from the ribs upwards. Whether this is because she wearing nothing from the waist down at this point I cannot confirm.
Nigel starts whiffling on about masculinity and strength and toughness and Billy Elliott and homophobic dads and yadda yadda yadda. I'm mostly taken up with the fact that, now MattFlint is no longer bathed in orange, how he still REALLY needs to have words with whoever did that horrific wax job on his chest last week, because the hair's growing back so sporadically it looks a bit...scrotumy. Cat asks us all to put our hands together for THE LADS. PHWOARRRRRRR!
Next up are the girls who, as per Cat, should apparently be used to wearing a skirt. As if that wasn't gender-stereotypical enough, after the men's routine all about competition and tesosterone and violence and thrusting passion, we're now getting a routine about friendship and beauty to "The Rose" set in the snow. Bless. Maybe they can all braid one another daisy-chains in their hair as a finale.
In rehearsal, we learn that the routine requires the girls to wear great big peasant dresses, which are apparently causing problems for Kirsty in particular, because she keeps treading on hers. Bored out of her skull, Mandy asks her why she auditioned for the show, and Kirsty replies that she really wanted to do the best dancing she could. Mandy Moore sighs in response that it'd be great if she could try and remember that during this routine. Worrabitch. Kirsty continues to struggle, and everyone tries their best to keep their laughter at her antics good-natured. Mandy Moore politics that all of the top three girls are quite...different from one another. Outside TV Centre, the three of them huddle together, and Katie Love explains to camera like they're like a garden - you have all these different flowers next to one another, like a tulip, and a rose and a...what's another one?
Bethany-Rose says "dandelion", and Kirsty says "daffodil". Katie Love looks baffled and goes "DANDELION?! Yeah, ok, daffodil" and everyone laughs and I've never liked Katie Love more. [Me neither - that was hilarious. - Steve] Anyway, these three flowers apparently will go together to make a beautiful and varied garden. For the purposes of this metaphor. Both Kirsty and Bethany-Rose coo that this makes a really good metaphor, although Bethany-Rose looks a bit put out that her dandelion suggestion didn't get picked, and Katie Love mugs all "yeah, yeah, that's it" like she knows how forced that metaphor she made is, but she doesn't care. I swear Katie Love and Bethany-Rose Lee just got more character development in those 10 seconds than they did in the entirety of the rest of the series.
Out to the stage now, in the middle of a BLIZZARD of fake snow, dancing to Bette Midler. It's contemporary, and Mandy Moore, so yeah, it's a lot of rolling around in white whilst overwrought ovaries hum in the background, but at least they're keeping off the floor for most of it. I actually think it's a really well-choreographed number, but Bethany-Rose I'd say is the only one completely hitting it. Kirsty I think is just emotionally exhausted from having Arlene on her back all evening, and Katie Love seems to be placed really oddly compared to other two a lot of the time. It's nice for Bethany-Rose that she's scudded the other two so thoroughly in this performance show, because it's always nice when people go out on a high. The routine ends with them plonked on the floor, in the middle of the snow, growing LIKE THE FLOWERS THAT THEY ARE.
It gets another standing Ovation, although we cut to Mandy giving an almighty "WTF?" face in the audience. Why, I cannot say. Nigel starts for the judges saying that was a really beautiful routine, danced by some really beautiful girls. At the start of the series he says he would have expected to see both Danielle and Scally in the final, because of Danielle's beauty and grace, and Scally's...personality (*cut to Scally in the audience trying to fit her entire fist in her mouth, later series Ralph Wiggumming it up til the bitter end*), but...well this is what we're left with, so so be it. Whoever the public pick, we'll have a truly beautiful finale next week. Kirsty showed that she COULD dance well technically, Katie Love was very beautiful and musical, and Bethany-Rose was just beyond. Arlene breaks in to say that Bethany-Rose has been truly phenomenal this evening. She never knew Bethany-Rose had it in her, but SHE DOES, JUST LIKE NIGEL TOLD ARLENE SHE DOES.
Nigel closes by saying that normally the aim of the judges is to get rid of the rubbish dancers, but that's not the case tonight, because whoever leaves is AMAZING AND WONDERFUL AND DID YOU HEAR THAT KIRSTY VOTERS PLEASE DON'T ANTI-JUDGE HER INTO THE FINAL WE DO LIKE HER HONEST.
Louise is asked if she enjoyed tonight, and she says that she did. She's going to have THE MOST DIFFICULT JOB EVER, MORE THAN BOMB DISPOSAL choosing who goes home tonight. She says it's really unpredictable what's going to happen next, as though a blind pug up a tree couldn't see that AndrogyLee is doomed, and Bethany-Rose Lee is relying on nobody noticing Arlene going Mean Girl on Kirsty again for the second week running.
Sisco says something about wanting to have sex with all the boy dancers in the middle of that paso doble. So over him.
Speaking of which, we're now getting a brief fillerific "let's visit each contestant's home town and prod yokels into saying they want them to win!". Bethany-Rose is, as usual, mostly supported by the animal kingdom of Devon and as they don't have opposable thumbs for dialling, she is mostly still screwed. People in Scarborough love Matt Flint, although I notice that none of them are foxtrotting yet. Not a single person in Worcester knows who Katie Love is, but some kid does drop a chicken. Luke is promised fish and chips in Melton Mowbray, and also some old woman trying to frot him. In the mythical kingdom of Banstead...people familiar with Kirsty exist, and finally, in Plymouth, two kids on a barge full of trash sail off screaming "WE LOVE YOU LEE B!".
Even by this show's standards that was an almighty waste of time wasn't it?
Lines are open, dances are recapped, and that is it. Join Steve up the page a little for the tragic dissolution of Team Raggy Dolls. *sniff*