Thursday, November 4, 2010

Strictly recap week 5: Like an accident on the motorway

For as many years as I've been watching, I have felt that Strictly was missing a trick by not having Halloween-themed dances on the show. And like a Star Trek geek writing fan fiction, I've even dreamed up possible routines that could be used:

My first idea was a waltz featuring Screamin' Jay Hawkins' "I Put a Spell On You." The story of the dance would be simply a literal interpretation of the song: the pro dancer placing a spell on the celebrity and effectively luring him/her into dance. At one point in the routine, the couple would break out of hold and be on opposite ends of of the floor but still very much in synch (as if still in hold).

The second idea is also a waltz, to Flogging Molly's "Whistles the Wind." The story of the dance would be of a man resurrecting his dead bride for one final moment in her arms. Just before the last refrain the woman would lean back, going slack (dead); the man would sort of jerk her back to life -- a show of desperation to not have this moment slip away so quickly -- the music would swell and they would rapidly spin across the whole of the floor, eventually ending up forward centre, where the woman would die, again, in the husband's arms.

Additionally, I think someone should attempt a paso doble to Metallica's "Battery."

Obviously, I am a genius. Strictly needs to hire me in some sort of capacity because it took them until season 8 to catch up with my thinking.

As it happens, Scott and Natalie did perform a waltz to "I Put a Spell On You" this past weekend. Natalie chose to go with the Nina Simone version, creating a different feel, but I think it's a sign that Natalie and I are on the same wavelength and therefore made for each other. Natalie Lowe, I love you.

What I don't really love are the British television-viewing public. Or, at least, those who voted to keep Ann Widdecombe on the show, at the expense of wee Tina and Jared.
Did you see their sad little faces when they were eliminated from the competition? Britons, every time you make a Mormon sad God kills a kitten. You did this. You didn't just kill kittens, you killed joy. When Tina and Jared were eliminated, a tiny piece of happiness died. It rained most of Sunday night because Jesus was crying.

Tina & Jared ~ Argentine Tango ~ 28
The thing is, their dance was actually quite good. Craig said it was boring, but that is because he is gay. Watching that dance made me upset about being single. I wanted a girl to be there so I could turn off the TV and, uhm, "wrestle." The dance was so good that I've had NeYo's "Monster" (the song they danced to) in my head ever since.
On a side note, I discovered Monday that ominously humming "Monster" in a deep voice while doing my shopping is a great way to get old people to move their damned shopping trolleys out of my way.

Ann & Anton ~ Paso Doble ~ 16
I got bored with their dance within 10 seconds. Despite Len's describing the dance as, "like an accident on the other end of the motorway; you don't want to look, but you can't help yourself," I actually wasn't looking when Anton threw Widdy on her ass, like the proverbial fraternity guy getting thrown out of a strip club. I had to skip back to watch it again. When I did, I was disappointed. Chubby lady being dragged around the floor like a sack of wheat. Yes, Britain: that's worth making cute, tiny people cry. Harrumph.
I am hoping viewers will grow tired of it. If they don't, and Widdy ends up in the final, I demand that she and Anton dance while the X Factor's Wagner performs live.

Felicity & Vincent ~ Viennese Waltz ~ 26
After starting out alright, Felicity and Vincenzo then took roughly 67 minutes to walk down the stairs. I'm not sure they ever danced; I took the opportunity to go get more port. They were, though, in the bottom two with Tina and Jared, thereby illustrating the need to bring back the dance off. That, by the way, is what my sign would have said had I attended the Rally to Restore Sanity: "Bring Back The Dance Off!"

Gavin & Katya ~ Paso Doble ~ 26
Under marked again. Clearly this is a conspiracy against the Welsh, orchestrated by England. You threaten our shitty local television, you take away our MPs, you make us pretend to be proud of Duffy, and now this. Now you are conspiring to cover up the greatness of Gavin Henson. Have you no shame, England? Have you no decency? What's next? Will you get your pals in France to steal away James Hook? How dare you! How very dare you!

Pamela & James ~ Jive ~ 27
The highlight of the dance actually came before it, with the video clip of Robin Williams telling Pamela she had wonderful hands but very clearly referring to her enormous breasts. I found myself delighted with that piece, in part because I had mentioned Pamela's enormous breasts way back on my first recap for this season. Since Robin Williams was my hero well into my 20s, I took certain pleasure in our having commented on the same thing. Of course, we're talking about gigantic boobs here; most men would have commented on them.
Perhaps Pamela's breasts could be blamed for throwing off her balance. Her jive was the sort of thing I would expect to see if the Swansea to Cork ferry had a cabaret show and was struggling through particularly rough seas.

Michelle & Brendan ~ Jive ~ 29
Oh, look, Brendan got pissy with the judges. Maybe next week he'll storm off in a huff. That would be new. Meh.
I've said before that Michelle seems to have all the mental-physical stability of someone in desperate need of a heroin fix. It would appear that Brendan managed to get a hold of some nice shit this week, because baby girl done good. She seemed to be actually enjoying her skinny little self in the dance.
Almost immediately afterward she went back to being right on the edge of completely losing her shit, but in the dance she was OK. One of these days she's either going to break into tears right in the middle of a dance or start evangelising in Tess' area. Mark my words.

Jimi & Flavia ~ Paso Doble ~ 30
My brother and I were eating dinner at Stubb's Bar-B-Que, in Austin, Texas, when we learned about Michael Jackson's death. We learned about it thanks to a text from one of Jon's friends, which read simply: "Hahahaha. Dead."
Which kind of sums up my attitude toward a drug-addicted child predator who had no grasp on reality and never actually produced anything awesome. So, Jimi pissing himself with glee over getting to dance to "Thriller" just didn't win me over. I wasn't drinking that Jesus juice.
Jimi stomped around, looking a bit like a robot, then he waved a cape about for a few hours. I was happy when it stopped.

Patsy & Robin ~ Jive ~ 31
Increasingly I don't care whether mad Patsy and big gay Robin are any good. It's worth it for her weekly freak outs: when Patsy is revealed to be safe until the next week, she does a double- or even triple-take that would rival even the best of Catskills veterans. Yes, that reference is obscure; just roll with it.
The highlight of the dance came when Patsy and Robin proved my assertion that they are the Karen and Jack of Strictly. In the middle of the dance, Robin leaned forward and faux rubbed his face in Patsy's breasts. I'm sure that if the dance had been after the watershed he would have just gone for it full scale, bless his big gay heart. That is the dance I'm waiting for: when Patsy and Robin decide to go all-out bawdy, like something out of A Funny Thing Happened On the Way to the Forum.

Matt & Aliona ~ Argentine Tango ~ 34
The plus side of this week's routine from Matt and Aliona was that it had a section featuring Aliona being lifted up and waving her bum in the air. The down side of it was that it wasn't as kick-ass as we've come to expect. Both factors are down to problems with Aliona's dress. It got caught on her heel at one point, but also was so flimsy as to make it difficult for Matt to get a good grip on her. Make your own jokes about getting a good grip on Aliona.
As a result, their routine changed in the process of its being performed. New choreography was created on the spot. Perhaps, then, their dance really was kick ass.
Can you remember who else bullshit their way through a tango to still earn a high score? Alesha Dixon. That's how awesome Matt Baker is. Soon he, too, will be performing with Roll Deep.

Kara & Artem ~ Paso Doble ~ 37
The first 10 of the season, bitches. It was so good that I didn't even mind their dancing to music from Phantom of the Opera. I suspect Kara probably would have scored a few more 10s had the judges been able to actually see her -- the smoke machine was working overtime. It was like they were dancing at a Great White performance.
One of the highlights of the dance, which was difficult to see through the smoke, was when Kara kicked her foot back and it almost touched her head. That is flexibility, yo. Gotta admire that in a woman. Have I mentioned that I love Kara? Because I do. Have I mentioned that I want to do very naughty things with Kara? Because I do.
Also, have you noticed how good Kara is at being dragged about on the floor? She continues to dance whilst being dragged, if that makes sense. No, it doesn't make sense at all, you say; how does one dance while not dancing?
Watch her at 1:08 in this video from last week. Artem pulls her along on her knees, but instead of simply hanging on, Widdy-style, she keeps character.
Kara Tointon rules you.

Scott & Natalie ~ Viennese Waltz ~ 39
Kara's accomplishment of scoring the first 10 of the season was overshadowed by Scott and Natalie's picking up three 10s later in the evening. Obviously I'm pleased that Natalie used my idea of waltzing to "I Put a Spell On You" (we're soul mates!) but I'm not sure about the giant prop cauldron in the middle of the dance floor. It served no purpose other than to obstruct people's view of the footwork.
Ha. I made it sound as if footwork is my primary interest when Natalie's on my television. Not so much. But the dance was incredibly well done -- to the extent that I've watched it several times and each time forget to look for something snarky to say about it. Generally I feel the Viennese waltz is a bit of a boring dance, but Natalie made it interesting by constantly twirling about. Throughout the thing I don't think there is a single second when she is not in the process of turning. I also liked the very beginning of the dance: Scott disaffectedly walks down the stairs, grabs Natalie and, zoom, off they go.

Elsewhere in the show
- Tess Daly is awesome. That is all.

Who's going to win
This week I'm backing Scott & Natalie to win, in a final with Kara & Artem and Matt & Aliona

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Good summation...........
Huw