Perhaps this was Cruella’s Villain Origin Story all along?
And so Movie Week must come to a close and it feels only right that on this evening we acknowledge a series of Box Office Disasters…
You can almost pinpoint exactly when these pro-dances were choreographed and recorded because the decision to theme one around In The Heights, a movie I am not sure I have heard anyone say they saw because it was released amidst James Bond playing release date hopscotch and nobody really trusting cinemas enough – oh and of course The Great Springtime Re-evaluation of One Lin-Manuel Miranda didn’t help, I’m sure. It did after all only gross $43 million in the global Box Office, requiring $200 million to break even… is the speak rapping musical genre dead before Strictly can make someone do a Hamilton routine? We can only hope.
Braver still than persevering with immortalising a Box Office disaster, was the decision to have Cameron slumped over the counter of Gorka’s Deli & Grocery as the very first shot of the show
really setting the tone there guys.
Thoroughly missed opportunity to have “Oaty” cereals not branded as “Oti” – WHAT IS THIS, AMATEUR HOUR?
I can only imagine the rest of what followed was the result of Cameron’s hungover fever dream, or at least the road markings suggest as much
M.C. Escher never was very good at highway maintenance.
The most notable feature of In The Heights was the fact it was an almost entirely Latino cast, so you know… that translated well to the Strictly professional dancer demographic… And naturally when the Strictly wardrobe department read the brief of New York Latino Neighbourhood, we of course ended up with Dianne dressed up as Jess Glynne seeking a life of piracy
It’s the risk you run when you do the bandana, the waist scarf AND the gaudy belt.
Karen, who grew up in New York so you know her outfit was as historically accurate as Dan and Nadiya’s Pasoing Spanishless Gladiators, was dressed thusly
I can only imagine she and Katya had to play a thrilling game of Rock, Paper, Scissors to see who got to wear the leopard print catsuit – the loser gets the Avatar body stocking, obviously. So now we know why Peaty wasn’t Bond but can you imagine Greg Wise dressed as a Na’vi? I can only hope Emma Thompson would have stepped in.
And in amongst all the chaos, King Johannes and Sir Kai’s honeymoon is going great
send us a postcard, boys!
This dance did make me a bit sad because Janette would have KILLED in this routine and while she wasn’t permitted a token cameo, Jowita is at least showing potential to be the new Janette in that she spends a lot of time being thrown around
we have yet to see if she has a penchant for increasingly tumultuous Pot Stirrers – give her a partner next year, test the waters!
With the results show obviously being a very serious and sombre occasion, Tess had donned her best funereal black, sans sleeves
and Claudia had… well, shown up in a pair of bike shorts and her fancy Christmas pyjamas
at least she’s comfortable?
Meanwhile Shirley was taking her roll of Head Judge particularly seriously and was dressing like a head teacher
it’s all in the hair, I can’t say I know many head teacher who wear tuxedo jackets on the regular – BUT MAYBE THEY SHOULD.
And while Claudia, Tess and Shirley were all a bit sombre (as sombre as bike shorts can be?) Motsi was spangled enough for all of them
it’s not quite the high glamour of the Bantu Knots and the marabou cuffed mock-robe jumpsuit but I’ll take it!
And Anton had dared to don burgundy while Craig went with a glitter tux that somehow seemed subtle within the confines of the show
for just one week I’d like the two of them to go to town on a pair of suits that look like they’re wearing the wallpaper of a Vegas casino restaurant, then I’ll be happy and we can continue with their regularly scheduled black tie.
But now it’s down to business as we step into The Monkseal Memorial Safety Sex Face Gallery, but before that can we just appreciate the absurdity of Dianne looking incredibly nervous while in That Damn Pig Mask™
and of course Katya just looking thoroughly over everything while in full Na’vi face-paint
It was a divine mercy on Tess’s behalf to call Dianne and her frogman safe first because I was going to lose it every time the camera cut to Dianne, not that you could see how Dianne was reacting AT ALL
And apparently this evening Tess going to be a bit of a tease and the first couple in the dance off isn’t going to revealed until later, earning her a spectacular look of exasperation from John
the Jack Sparrow get-up really heightens the effect, I think.
From this batch of safe couples we learn that AJ will be doing Latin next week, so brace yourself for a trip to Leg City but most of their chat is sensibly dedicated to praising AJ’s mother Florence just for existing. And because Kai’s parents feel a little bit left out he gives them a birthday shout out like he’s a host of a Radio 2 drivetime show – God bless him. No other dance announcements from the other couples except Rose wants to go back to Latin and Dianne gets to say absolutely nothing because apparently the pig mask is also a muzzle.
And then it’s back to the Monkseal Memorial Safety Sex Face Gallery where Tess will actually be revealing who is in the Dance Off this time
I’m going to need the couples to work on their Sex Face Synchronicity because I will not be allowing 2 screenshots per couple in the future but I couldn’t resist this one
Highlight of the entire Strictly Weekend was definitely Karen punching Greg so hard that as their light was dimmed all you could hear was Greg saying “OUCH!” – KAREN SMASH.
and the first couple in the dance off are
I for one will be seeking absolute revenge upon the voting public, HOW DARE YOU, HOW DARE ALL OF YOU.
The advice to Judi is the usual “You’re a star, just do what you do.” from Motsi because really there was nothing wrong with Judi’s performance other than the fact she went first, had she gone in the second half of the show I genuinely think her score would have been a good 4 points higher – whether that would have translated to a safe spot considering how the British public tends to votes remains to be seen…
Meanwhile with the safe couples, Ugo is weighing up his hair options for next week’s Viennese Waltz
I think a nice chignon?
He can always borrow Tilly Ramsay’s hair bow because the two of them are apparently neighbours and communicate with each other via walkie-talkies while watching TV. I just want to know what they’re watching together – I’d like to think it’s an exchange of 1 episode of Gossip Girl for every episode of Kitchen Nightmares Ugo makes Tilly watch.
Greg and Karen also get to reveal their routine for next week which is a Samba to The Macarena and I swear to God if I don’t get footage of Thee Dame Emma Thompson performing The Macarena I will be on the warpath. Bonus points if it’s in their immaculately white kitchen which is always the optimal space to perform The Macarena.
Tom and Amy meanwhile are finally getting their first classic ballroom dance in a Foxtrot, which I believe they were meant to do in Week 2 but because of their isolation they never got much training time for it. I’m looking forward to seeing how Amy can work an air guitar into that routine – she will find a way. And John and Johannes are still riding high off their three 10s, which John dedicates to a taxi driver’s mother called Sandra because apparently this segment with Claudia is now just the end of Popmaster with less prizes given out, somehow.
And now for my absolute favourite part of the results show as Ben Platt is forced onto that stage to perform You Will Be Found from Dear Evan Hansen as part of Ben Platt’s Promotional Tour From Hell
I have never seen anyone want to do anything less than when Max George had to sit on It Takes Two during his and Dianne’s elimination interview and watch them play clips from The Marquis de Sade-esque Simpsons Nightmare
the complete disassociation was a joy to behold – no thoughts, no vibes, just a shell of a man.
But at least he had been praised for his waking nightmare, Ben Platt has to go around promoting a film that is being slammed by everyone that has had the misfortune of seeing it and I can only imagine the process does very much feel like being a prisoner forced to walk through a quagmire
where was this set for the Shrek Samba?
It’s of course a contempo-waft number from Cameron and Jowita and I can only hope that with Ben Platt being a special guest performance and the general opinion towards Evan Hansen Whomst Is Bad, Actually that we will hopefully be able to avoid a Dear Evan Hansen number during Musicals Week. Although I might allow them to make Greg Wise do it just to make fun of Ben Platt looking like a middle aged man going to high school in the film.
Up in the Judges Debrief and there’s a valiant effort to start beef between Craig and Shirley over Tom’s flat feet with them choosing a segment of the dance that Craig explicitly said had good footwork, when he clearly meant the section where Tom was having to wield a guitar while also jiving. Can’t believe they’re wasting time on this when Karen is over on It Takes Two firing shots left and right over Craig calling Greg’s inner-rhythm into question.
And now for the final trip through the Monkseal Memorial Safety Sex Face Gallery of the evening
I’m tempted to submit that last one to The Tate Modern, or at least to Judi Love’s Nouveau Louvre when I eventually get the planning permission to bulldoze the current Louvre – French building regulations are a red tape nightmare!
And this does of course mean it’s either Katie and Gorka or Dan and Nadiya in the bottom two. Joining Judi and Graziano being…
Dan once again, Delivering in terms of his reaction faces, while Nadiya looks like she caused that light to go red through the power of her mind alone.
From the safe couples we learn that we have exactly a week to mentally fortify ourselves against Dan Walker doing a Cha Cha Cha to Can’t Touch This by MC Hammer. While Adam continues his run of firsts and will be debuting the Argentine Tango next week – I love that they’re front loading him with all the tantrically sexual dances because they’ve absolutely realised he might be on borrowed time without it – shirtless paso to follow, I’ll put £50 on it. And speaking of Pasos, next week Tilly is going to be doing one which was very much news to her
it better just be an interpretive dance of the Amy’s Baking Company episode of Kitchen Nightmares – Nikita has to be in full Gordon Ramsay cosplay so we can finally expose him as his long lost son.
And then Sara just tells us that the other mothers at her kids’ school are all a bunch of feeders and have set up Aljaz with an unlimited brownie supply – it is after all what he deserves.
With everything foreshadowed and warned against, we come to the dance off where both couples do reasonably well – Judi’s technique is a lot more accurate and light, I was concerned that they’d use Graziano’s rogue braces as an excuse to eliminate her
and then I would have been forced to fight them in the Elstree car park, where me and my noodle arms would have been beaten by two scraps of fabric – I do not have the time or inclination to lift. Thankfully it didn’t phase her and she still gave a thoroughly engaging dance.
Katie’s routine I think was one that lived and died by its first performance – the fun jazziness of it was novel the first time around but nothing about it really sparkled when she performed it again. Even the studio applause was tepid compared to the rousing standing ovation Judi got so the decision was pretty clear with both Craig and Motsi opting to save Judi and Graziano while Anton steadfastly refuses to be the decider and splits the vote by opting for Katie due to the rogue braces. Meaning Shirley had the deciding vote, choosing to save Judi and Graziano for having more edge and rhythm.
I think it was the right decision. Based on technique, Katie was probably the better dancer but this is also a television show and Katie just wasn’t translating in terms of entertainment whereas Judi Love was providing trending topics by the arseload.
So here’s to Pissy Gorka and Katie McGlynn who showed up on It Takes Two as a duo of mournful Danny Zukos
where Rylan did of course read Gemma Atkinson’s tweets to Gorka and Katie – I find it very weird that they read the tweets of celebrities to the celebrities and pro dancers, and even more so the tweets of their spouses.
And so, 13 couples move on to Thankfully Not a Themed Week next week
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