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Good afternoon one and all. I’m taking over from Alisande and Tory for this week’s Strictly recap. Public Health Warning: this recap was bought to you from the depths of Gastric Flu/Norovirus,* which should explain any factual inaccuracies/delirious ramblings about Artem’s chest. God, I miss Artem’s chest.
Anyway, lets crack on:
The Presenting:I’m not Tess Daly’s biggest fan, but she deserves some kudos for attempting to present this week’s episode like a pro with Brucie chundering away next to her and blinking like a deranged vole.
I have to say, Saturday night’s dress wasn’t the worst thing I’ve seen Tess in. I’m starting to think that most of her sartorial disasters are down to the wardrobe department’s inability to dress anyone bigger than a B cup. Poor Tess and her slightly larger than average boobs.
As ever, Claudia Winkleman FTW.
The Judging:Craig Revel Horwood (henceforth known as CRH because I'm lazy) was being quite… nice this week. What’s going on? Len Goodman actually gave some useful advice and Darcey has fallen into the Alesha Dixon trap of just agreeing with what everyone else says. Bruno, as always, sits on the end shouting incomprehensibly in a thick Italian accent, but it’s his birthday this week, so we’ll forgive him.
The Dancing:First up was Dani Harmer, dancing the Samba to Single Ladies. She looks absolutely fantastic, and is a total pro. In fact, Dani is fast becoming my favourite to win (I reckon she could dance the socks off Denise with a bit more practice). You heard it here first, folks.
Second we had Kimberley Walsh doing the Tango to When Doves Cry by Prince. We kick off with lots of stuff about how Kimberley is such a nice girl that she’s struggling to cobble together the requisite anger for a good tango.
She seems to overcome this by pulling an excellent dog’s bottom face. That said, I do like her blue dress and her Rihanna hair looks very regal. The dancing looks excellent to my untrained eye, although it does lead to CRH making an unfortunate thumb/crack comment.
Score: 34. Fair enough, she was good, but no Dani.
Victoria Pendleton’s dance coincided with a strong period of nausea, and I can’t decide if it was the stomach-bug talking, or the fact that her deer-caught-in-headlights face plays to my high levels of social embarrassment.
This week she was dancing a Salsa to Candy by Robbie Williams, which… OK, fine we get it, Brendan, you’re stuck with a blubbering dud each week, and you want out. But still, do you have to make it quite so hard on the girl?
The dance was pretty shocking. It’s amazing that someone as athletic and graceful as Victoria can look so clompy on the dance floor. That said, despite the fact that she’s been annoying me all season, I found her hysterical laughing/crying jag as she waited for her results quite endearing. She clearly just wants to go home.
Score: 21. I don’t think there’s much more to say about that.
Next up it’s Louis, who’s dancing the Paso Doble to Dirty Diana by Michael Jackson. In my delirious notes I’ve written LOUIS HAS HIS GUNS OUT, and that’s all. I do vaguely remember some nice cape waving, but possibly only because that involved his arms.
Score: 27, which seemed a bit tight. Darcey didn’t feel like the storytelling in the dance was strong enough. I think she’s just trying to play hard-to-get after making it abundantly clear in the first few weeks that she’s got a monstrous crush on him. Or she was blinded by the guns.
Next up it’s yours, mine, and everyone’s favourite, Lisa, dancing the Rumba to As If We Never Said Goodbye by Barbara Streisand/Dave Arch singers.
I liked this, because I really like Lisa, but it lacked the pizzazz of some of her earlier performances.
Score: 27 – Lisa looks PISSED OFF.
This was followed by Michael Vaughn trying to do his best shag face for an Argentine Tango. He looked pretty dapper, but lets face it, Vaughny has all the sexual allure of a damp Cath Kidston tea towel. Nice guy, though.
The judges agree – even Bruno’s unmoved. Score: a fair 26
Then we have Nicky Byrne dancing the Charleston, and just when we’d all written him off as The One That Would Leave After Victoria Pendleton, he pulled a total blinder.
Admittedly, the choreography still had him clapping his hands above his head far too much, but his timing was excellent.
Score: 36. Ok fair enough, he’s loads better than he used to be, but is he really as good as Dani?
Finally we have Denise ‘oh no I’m definitely not a professional dancer’ van Outen, dancing American Smooth to Imagine by John Lennon by Eva Cassidy by Dave Arch Band.
DRAMA – Denise fell on her head in dance practice! And they’re doing a really hard lift in the dance, so she might fall on her head again!
And does she? Does she heck. Talk about creating convoluted drama for the sake of it. Denise is a total pro as ever, and looks blooming amazing. Someone in hair and makeup clearly LOVES HER AND HATES VICTORIA PENDLETON.
Score: 37. Meh. I’m still Team Dani.
The results:As the suspense is killing no-one we might as well cut to the chase. Michael and Victoria ended up in the bottom two, and Pendleton gets the chop.
Victoria FINALLY gets to shake all that bloody glitter our of her hair and go back to playing with her bike chain. Brendan gets to go back to playing with his Craig Revel Horwood voodoo doll backstage, and everything is right with the world.
*Depending on whether you trust Ma Holman’s diagnosis, or the internet's.