Let’s be honest, Hollywood week is always a little bit shit.
You’d think that the week that takes its inspirations and numbers from famous musicals would work better than the other ten, which allow the professional dancers to choreograph routines to any pop songs that take their fancy.
But no, every single year, Hollywood week features the cheesiest songs and least fabulous routines possible.
It’s enough to make a sane viewer dodge recapping duty in favour of going on the lash with her mother-the-former-dancer, who on arriving home at 4am, will pronounce loudly on the lack of synchronicity in routines, as well as Bruce Forsyth’s general knobbishness.
Or maybe that was just me.
The Hosting:I was getting ready to tell you that the grey sequinned mermaid dress Tess wore for Saturday’s show was waaaaaay better, or at least less horrifying, than her usual choices. Then my husband walked in and asked if it was made of Bacofoil proving that even her best choices are horrendous.
This leads us neatly into Sunday night’s too tight vaguely tweedy gold sparkly weirdness, which sadly the internet hated even more than I did, because I can’t find any pictorial evidence of it to show you.
Also: Claudia Winkleman’s black sequinned frock with chiffon sleeves. I love the Winkleman. Love her orangeness, love her fringe, I know she used to work at Vogue. Couldn’t love the dress though. It was weird.
And finally, Brucie. Has anyone else spotted him on the cover of Loaded magazine this month, or did I just hallucinate it in a Frankenweenie and white wine-induced stupor on Saturday?
I hope so cos the idea of that twat as a role model/figure of ironic fun for Britain’s young males is more than slightly distressing. And I don’t even live in Britain anymore.
[Just checked, and yes, yes it is him. Meh --Rebecca]
The Judging:Craig Revel-Horwood (and this may not need stating, but was anyone ever less suited to having the word “Revel” in their surname than him?) made his entrance this week dressed as the Tin Man from The Wizard of Oz.
The Tin Man, you may recall, was looking for a heart… apt.
And then there’s Darcey Bussell’s accent. I mean, I know she is half-Aussie, half-posh Brit and that there’s nothing wrong with either, but there’s something about recapping Strictly as dawn breaks that makes you reassess your priorities in life. By 6 am my main one was never hearing her voice again.
Also, and this may have just been the light at time of day, but her hair colour annoys me.
Bruno and Len, I know you were there. I made notes. You’re in them. I still cannot remember a bloody thing about you.
The Dancing:Up first was my least favourite day-time television personality Fern Britton, who’d dressed up as Mary Poppins.
Her Charleston to Supercalafragilisticexpialladocious was, frankly, ace. As was her dress. Still don’t like her, though.
Coming in second, and wearing a frock that recalled her Olympic prowess (it was blue with silver racing stripes) was Victoria Pendleton.
She basically had to rely on her professional partner, Brendan Cole, to push her around the floor throughout Love Lifts Us Up Where We Belong (which I would have said was the worst song ever, if that one from Dirty Dancing hadn’t reared its calcified head later in the show).
I’m not sure if it was getting her heel caught in the hem of her frock that did it, or if slow dances really don’t suit her, but the Pendleton really does not know how to shake it down.
Following her on the“cannot move for shit” tip was the cricketer Michael Vaughan who this week fulfilled precisely no housewife’s fantasies by performing a cha cha cha to Irene Cara’s hen party classic Hot Stuff.
Too harsh? Let me give the final-ish word on Vaughan to Mammy Dearest who, opined: “You can’t make a sow’s ear out of an arse. Or whatever the expression is…”
Next up was Jerry Hall who opted to continue the evening’s run of shiteness with her quick step to Mrs. Robinson, Simon and Garfunkel’s theme song to The Graduate. God, it was bad.
I know Jerry’s big thing is being southern and louche and lazy but someone really ought to have explained to her that some sort of movement is essential when entering a dance competition.
Following the less-than-rocking Ms. Hall was Sid Owen who, in the spirit of future panto stars everywhere, donned a super-dodgy wig and bandana that made him look like a member of The Darkness, only with access to really good conditioning hair treatments.
He then went on to dance so badly that I didn’t realise it was meant to be a tango until the end of the night. Great to see Ola back in one of her signature see-through catsuits though.
Thank God, after all this rubbishness, for Kimberley Walsh and the lovely Pasha. They danced an awesome quick step to every (read: my) Granny’s favourite musical number Get Happy.
It’s got to be said that, in a series that’s really not been great in terms of wardrobe choices, Kimber has lucked out. She’s looked consistently gorgeous - this weekend’s Hollywood glamour-inspired hair and make-up looked amazing. Brillig.
Though maybe not as brillig as Denise van Outen and James Jordan, who followed them with a high-scoring waltz which they performed as characters from Toy Story. Based on their turn here, these two are probably going to win.
You heard it here (and everywhere else) first.
Also glam was heighty actor Colin Salmon. How tall is that dude? It looked like his dance partner Kristina Rihanoff (who wore virtually nothing and looked fucking amazing for it) had to climb him like a tree at various points in their routine.
I’m not usually a fan of his but I totally would have during his Argentine Tango – before going back for more when, post judging, he announced that he could ‘do dirtier’ next time, if required.
Someone I definitely won’t be shagging – not that he kicks for my team – is breakfast TV reporter Richard Arnold. Bitch has now ruined Dolly Parton’s classic 9-5 for me, amongst his other crimes.
Some songs just should not be messed with – that also goes for Dani Harmer and Vincent Simone, who waltzed to a very pitchy version of Somewhere Over the Rainbow by the Strictly live band.
Then we were on to Lisa Riley and her pro-dancer partner Robin Windsor, who are the stuff of dreams.
I mean seriously, they jived to Madonna’s Hanky Panky, and it was an absolute joy to watch, even if lovely Lisa does need to speed up just a touch to keep up with Robin.
Robin is swiftly becoming my favourite male dancer of this series and I am so glad he’s been partnered with someone like Lisa who not only has the ability to go the distance, who’s also allowing him to show off his abilities and personality properly.
After their performance, Westlife’s Nicky Byrne was always going to be put in the shade, and turning up Jim Carey’s character in The Mask, complete with green face paint didn’t help matters.
I also remain unimpressed by his partner Karen Hauer’s choreography although I can see that his dancing has improved a lot.
Finally, and in a moment of excellent planning, came Louis Smith and Flavia Cacace, who danced a salsa to I’ve Had the Time of My Life from Dirty Dancing, complete with the famous lift.
It was a crowd pleaser, and a great way to end the show. How you felt about it probably depends on your attitude towards the film.
Dirty Dancing has legions of fans, but as someone who once went to the dentist in order to avoid watching it (truth), I’m not convinced.
The Results:Jerry Hall has been sent home. Let us all now take a moment to remember her. Sniff.
She was pitted against cricket “legend” Michael Vaughan in the dance-off. In terms of skill there wasn’t much to choose between them so I can only assume that Vaughan is in fact a national treasure, beloved of sports fans across Britain, and that’s what is keeping him in.
That, or quite a lot of people out there really do think The Full Monty is better than The Graduate.
Favourites:Lisa Riley, obvs. Do you even need to ask? She’s not only working hard and proving mean Craig R-H wrong (everyone else can make out they’ve forgotten that insult from the show’s premiere. I have not), she also looks like she’s having a great time doing it. Awesome.
Denise van Outen, even if, as my-mother-the-former-dancer put it, “Denise is full of shit pretending she can’t dance.”
We all know she went to stage school. Why pretend she’s licked these abilities up off the cobble stones? She’s fierce. She should own it.
Louis Smith. Alright fine, he did the splits in mid-air, but, more importantly, Smith improves every week and appears to be training for the show with the kind of resolve that wins medals. Or in this instance, glitter balls.
Least Favourite: Ummmm, hard to say. I mean, I’m just not into Hollywood week so don’t want to snipe at performers for something that’s way out of their control.
That said, I do have to admit that as much as I have enjoyed her presence, Jerry Hall’s quickstep with Anton was dreadful both on Saturday and in the dance off. It was her time to go.
Quotes of the Week:“I can do dirtier.” Colin Salmon. Tell me about it, stud.
“I never thought my thighs’d be on British television.” Lisa Riley. Diamond.
So, what did you make of this week’s Tinsel-town-influenced shenanigans? I hope next week’s Halloween-themed show will be a much better watch – do you? Also, now that we’re getting a better idea of who’s in it to win it, who are you voting for. Tell. Me. Everything. @AlisandeF