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Week two means that someone’s going home.
In fairness, I’ve usually forgotten they were ever on it by the time the final rolls round, but it’s always a little bit sad when the OAP you were rooting for is booted off in favour of a be-quiffed breakfast television presenter who is exactly the reason you refuse to turn the telly on at that time of day.
No? Just me? Moving on…
The Hosting:I didn’t mind Friday’s black mesh and satin concoction but then - good God, Tess Daly. Is it a sight problem? Is that what’s going on? After Sunday’s snazzy pink and purple monstrosity all. Bets. Are. Off.
Look at it:
On the other hand, CLAUDIA HAS ARRIVED! Yay!! I live and breathe for la Winkleman’s bonkers-ness and presence on this show.
The only way it could be better is if she still presented It Takes Two during the week and co-hosted on the Saturday shows, too. Basically, I want it to be all Winkleman, all the fake-tanned time.
Oh, and Brucie. He’s still with us. Sleazing over every female competitor. Yep.
The Judging:Craig Revel-Horwood was on better form this week. Didn’t reduce a single competitor to tears or anything. Darcy Bussell remains a constructive presence, and Bruno Tonioli an eccentric and enjoyable one.
No telling yet whether Darcy is the new Arlene or not. Tory and I will discuss this over the coming weeks and get back to you.
Head judge Len Goodman did appear to be on slightly moody form this week but – as (for the first time in the history of the show) it wasn’t Craig R-H - I’ll allow it. As you were, Len.
The Dancing:When Nicky Byrne first stood at the front of the dancefloor, I genuinely thought he had an Elvis wig on. Thankfully, it turned out to be a be-sequined hood instead.
I don’t know about his dancing but I have to say I’m not mad about Karen’s choreography so far. Catering to any Irish man’s natural tendency to dance while clapping his hands above his head is not a good thing.
Next up were Colin Salmon and Kristina, performing a frankly gorgeous waltz, dressed like members of a particularly pretty-in-pink wedding party. Inspiration for bridesmaids and sugarplum fairies everywhere.
Oh, Dani Harmer, you tiny teen dream, you. I feel bad for being a bit down on you last week. That cha cha cha looked so much fun. No more hip rolling when the music’s not on, though. It makes me uncomfortable.
Although not as uncomfortable as having to watch Fern Britton and Artem waltz along to Billy Joel’s Always a Woman (which after looking at the lyrics I might rename Always a Woman Hater).
She’s a good mover, is our Fern, but, I’m afraid I can’t suspend my personal dislike of her, and her massive phoniness, even for the purposes of this recap.
Moving on to even more annoying things, TV critic Richard Arnold appeared next, latin dancing in a frankly revolting shirt to Love Shack by The B-52’s before making reference to – eurgh - his “winter panties”.
It’s the word “panties”, OK? I hates it.
Also, Richard, babe? Can we make a rule? No more flirting at Craig R-H. He’s not into it. And, no more punning at the judges and hosts. I’m not into it. M’kay???
Much less annoying, and looking like a cartoon princess, was Victoria Pendleton whose posture when dancing was frankly delightful.
I’m so glad she’s gaining confidence already because the weight of expectation upon her and Brendan must be terrifying. Rotten frock, though. Heinous.
Also rotten: pro-dancer Natalie’s white trash glittery hot pants and bra top/ blazer combo.
Not hating because if I had those legs I would wear nothing but shorts but, um, I really wasn’t into it, and that’s probably the best thing I can say about her jive with cricketer Michael Vaughan, which was bad. Really, really bad.
Olympian Louis Smith and Flavia did much better with their waltz, even if they did lack the emotional connection that Darcy has deemed essential to their success. Think we also had our first fleckerl (for that is how it’s spelt) of the series, too.
[Don’t worry dear readers, I did a spot of research (went on Google) to find out for you all: A fleckerl (Viennese German 'small spot') is a dance step, most commonly found in the Viennese Waltz. Unlike the natural and reverse turns, the fleckerl does not move forwards along the dance floor but instead rotates on the spot. Fleckerls can be danced clockwise or anti-clockwise (natural or reverse), and the basic shape lasts for six steps (two three-note bars). When danced anti-clockwise, the leader crosses his left foot over his right for the first two pairs, and then crosses behind on the third. It is normal for a couple to move to the centre of the dancefloor to dance fleckerls, since this means that other dancers (who, in the Viennese Waltz, are continually moving around the floor) do not have to take avoiding measures. --Rebecca]
It’s a pity that they were promptly outshone by Denise “I-swear-I-don’t-know-how-to-dance” van Outen and her pro-partner, James, who performed the kind of jive that will probably see them win when they perform it again in the final.
She gave herself whiplash while rehearsing it, for god’s sake.
Extra points cos Den looked amazing with a victory roll in her hair, and a red backless dress.
Johnny Ball, let us remind ourselves, is 74 years old. His enthusiastic, if technically not-so-great waltz, was a credit to his willingness to try.
Really, if he wanted to stay longer he should have deliberately been as comedically crap as John Sergeant was in 2008.
The British public loves a novelty act of any kind. It turns out that a likeable and respectful old man who’s doing his best - not so much.
Definitely not heavily pregnant, in spite of last week’s costume, is pro-dancer Ola. Heavily pregnant ladies do not, in my experience, salsa-dance as if Shakira’s about to go out of style.
An “excited” Sid Owen gave it his all, despite showing no discernable talent as a dancer. However, Ola’s a talented choreographer and I’d expect their routines to continue to rock.
Kimberley Walsh, another lady who’s well-known for shaking her hips, then danced the foxtrot with Pasha, who is apparently the “king of ballroom”.
She looked gorgeous but, according to head judge Len, must do better if she wants to really wow them. Having seen my fair share of Girl’s Aloud videos, I suspect she can and will.
Jerry Hall and Anton were on next, foxtrotting so stiffly that the best thing Brucie could say when they finished was, “You got through it!”
I mean, I’m into good posture as a rule, but there were times tonight when Ms. Hall resembled a particularly well-coiffed ironing board. I love her but if she doesn’t want to be compared to John Sergeant at some point over the coming weeks (by me, obvs) something is gonna have to give. Skeletally.
Finally, Lisa Riley and pro-dancer Robin were dancing the Viennese Waltz. Lisa, who was bedecked in the same unflattering shades as Victoria Pendleton, is proving to be a skilled and expressive dancer when it comes to both Latin and Ballroom.
She earned that standing ovation, even if she did insist on leading Robin around the floor. Go, girl!
The Results:This week’s dance-off was between Johnny and Iveta, and Richard and Erin. No prizes for guessing which couple I preferred.
No arguing with the judges, sadly. It was Johnny’s time to go. Ladies and Gentlemen: the lady and gentleman have left the building.
Favourites:Lisa Riley and Robin Windsor. I have enjoyed their dances both weeks and am really excited to see how their routines develop throughout the series.
Denise van Outen and James Jordan. Such a good jive. You can’t mess with it.
Least Favourite:Admittedly, I do not have a lot of time for Fern Britton or Richard Arnold, but I didn’t completely hate anyone this week.
I did wonder whether Craig R-H had been told to behave? Or maybe he’s been reading my recaps. He was significantly nicer, non? Oh to be a fly on the wall of this show’s production meetings.
Quotes of the Week:“You were like a wild goose being chased by foxes. I don’t think I’ve ever seen such bad footwork. It was so funny Richard Attenborough should put it in a nature programme.” Bruno Tonioli to Michael Vaughan.
“Sourpusses.” Anton du Beke to the judges after they, quite rightly, didn’t award Jerry Hall and himself many points.
I am adopting this as my new name-call of choice.
So, who are you liking? Is the costume department particularly hit and miss this year, or is that just me not getting fashion again?