Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Strictly week 9: Not on the good foot

Photo from BBC
The pun in this post's headline doesn't really work, does it? I was trying to make reference to Robin's being out of the show this week due to foot injury but incongruously linking it to a James Brown song. It doesn't make sense. I suppose that's acceptable, however, considering so very little about "Strictly Come Dancing" actually makes any sort of sense. It's just a series of pictures and actions strung together by music and the ramblings of a British national treasure. Speaking of incongruence and Bruce Forsyth, have you ever seen the video of Brucie singing "Let There Be Love" with Miss Piggy? It's worth it just for the line: "Let there be love between Bruce and a pig." That sort of thing is what make the internets so wonderful.

But I'm digressing. This week saw the Strictly pack whittled down to six, with Anita booted from the show and not even her usual partner's shoulder to cry on. Her departure had felt nigh for a while but it still seems a bit cruel for that to have happened on the week Robin was out with injury. But, as I said in my unfinished post last week, the Strictly machine is bigger than all of us. A bit like the actions of the Lord and Google, ours is not to question. We must only accept that what happens on Strictly is for the greater good.

So, here's a look at all the good (and not so good) from this past weekend. You'll note that I've only recorded the scores for the couples' actual dances rather than factoring in their leader board standing after the swing competition.

Anita Dobson and Robin Windsor Brendan Cole ~ Cha Cha Cha ~ 30
Bringing in Brendan to cover for an injured dancer doesn't appear to be a winning strategy. Both the celebrities to have been saddled with the annoying Kiwi found themselves in the bottom two this week. And I'm placing blame for Anita's exit squarely on his shoulders. In the dance, Brendan did his usual jackass thing of out-performing his partner. With one exception, Robin had been very good about not showing up Anita. But Brendan can't stand that sort of thing. He can't suffer the idea the audience wouldn't know for just one moment that he's an awesome dancer.
You ruined it, Brendan Cole. It is all your fault. It has nothing to do with the fact the overall Strictly skill level surpassed Anita a week or two ago, it has nothing to do with her gangly stance, it has nothing to do with her awkward smile, it has nothing to do with the fact she and Robin never really developed a repartee the audience could see and warm to. Nope, it is all your fault, Brendan Cole. Other things that are your fault: the current economic crisis, and Dappy from N-Dubs. I'm not sure how you're to blame, but you are.

Robbie Savage and Ola Jordan ~ Samba ~ 25
Robbie is at risk of becoming the worst dancer on the show now. That's not because he's dancing poorly but simply that he's not really better than the others. He pretty much hit everything right on Saturday night; the steps were right, but the feeling wasn't. His yanking off his trousers was an iconic moment, however. I suppose if you can't make it into the final, you should focus on working yourself into Strictly lore.

Alex Jones and James Jordan ~ Charleston ~ 29
James Jordan needs to shut his whining cake hole. I have grown weary of his getting touchy over the judges' comments. This week, he was the height of ridiculousness -- lambasting Craig's scoring whilst angrily waving about a sparkly top hat. No one takes you seriously when you brandish a sparkly top hat, yo. It removes every ounce of gravitas. This is why no one has ever declared war whilst holding a sparkly top hat, or, if someone has done that, why no one took them seriously. James might as well dress as a cupcake for his bitching sessions.
Tediously, he doesn't stop once the camera goes off. I stopped following him on Twitter today because he was again crying woe to the sky over his and Alex's treatment at the hands of Craig.
Because of James Jordan, I want to see Alex out of the show. Because of James Jordan, I don't know whether this weekend's was a good performance. Though, I suspect it wasn't because James spent a fair amount of time carrying Alex around the floor. When you're not on your feet, you're not dancing.

Holly Valance and Artem Chigvinstev ~ Foxtrot ~ 34
I fear Holly is on the irreversible downward slide. The Strictly audience rarely seems to judge according to individual performance. A person will do well and still go out because their previous weeks were poor and the viewers don't feel that intangible connection that compels them to vote. Holly has been in the bottom two twice now, and that's pretty much a situation from which there is no return. In order to survive next week, Holly would have to do something crazy amazing. Remember when Matt Baker did a muthahuggin back flip off the judges' table? I'm pretty sure Holly would need to do something on that level.
She'd need to do something equally as fantastic the next week, as well. And she'd have to cry. And hook us with a deeply personal story. And possibly fight through a visible injury. 
So, what we're looking for is to have Holly awkwardly dislocate her knee after doing a flip over Artem from the stairs. The music has to stop but she refuses to be carried away. Strapping up her knee with a glittery sash, she begs to be allowed to finish the dance because her boyfriend has only a few weeks to live and seeing Holly dance brings him so much joy. So, they crank up the music again, and again she flips over Artem from the stairs, she lands the move and dances perfectly, tears streaming down her face from emotion and wild pain. On the final note, she simply collapses. Artem's crying. The judges are in an inconsolable state of woe, only just barely able to contain themselves enough to hold up four paddles, each displaying a 10.
If that happens, Holly will carry on.
On a side note, I really liked the music for this past weekend's dance. I had not heard that particular Jessie J song before. The singer on Strictly absolutely killed it. Having now listened to the Jessie J track, I think the Strictly singer performed it just a tiny little bit better, supporting my belief that Jessie J writes better songs than she sings.

Chelsee Healey and Pasha Kovalev ~ Argentine Tango ~ 35
Let me just stress that I still only understand about 60 percent of what Chelsee says and I feel that is 60 percent too much. I dislike her in so many ways. But she was undermarked in this dance. Though, I suppose I do agree with the general judges' feeling that the routine lacked a certain kind of passion. Because it's Chelsee, one could easily believe that she would have sex with Pasha (or just about anyone else) but you didn't really feel she wanted to. The element of desire wasn't there; passion may be too high a brain function for her.

Jason Donovan and Kristina Rihanoff ~ Charleston ~ 36
I like trains, but there always comes that point in a journey when I just want to get off the thing. I've walked up and down the cars, I've seen the buffet car still has nothing I want, I've grown weary of the blurry views of countryside, and all I can think is: "When does this stop?"
So I feel toward the J-Train. Something about him bores me just a little bit. Which is, admittedly, unfair. His Charleston kicked the living hell out of the one performed by Alex Jones and I think there's room to argue he was undermarked by a point or two. I think he's still on track to be in the final but just don't find myself looking forward to his performances.

Harry Judd and Aliona Vilani ~ Quickstep ~ 39
Should that have been given a perfect score? It was brilliant, perfectly in time and with absolutely no faffing about. It's the Strictly way to sit around on swings or twirling on poles or hovering on wires rather than actually dancing but in this performance there may be just 2 seconds in which Harry and Aliona could be said to not be dancing. I thoroughly dislike Harry for making me feel inadequate about my physique but there's no denying he and Aliona are kicking booty. Begrudgingly, he is my favourite.

Predictions
  • I'm guessing Holly Valance and Alex Jones will be in the bottom two next week. Surely I'm not the only one tired of James Jordan's pissing and moaning. But that won't be good enough to spare Holly; I'm predicting she'll be the one to go.
  • It still looks to be a final starring J-Train, Harry and Chelsee. Just to give myself extra incentive to watch, I have put a £5 bet on Harry to win.

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