Aristotle and Socrates have NOTHING on the philosophy of one Katya Jones.
In a week seemed destined to end in a Rumba Off, the potential Shock Boot rises to the top. Or sinks to the bottom, this was a bad analogy.
We kick off the show with Oti and Amy’s Makeover Montage Adventure (working title), or at least that’s what I was lead to believe would be happening during this routine in which they take a whistle-stop tour through Graziano’s 60s Fancy Dress Emporium
might he interest you in a lovely polite little scarf as modelled by Giovanni?
I cannot confirm or deny whether it is monogrammed.
I am loathe to call this a “makeover montage” because not once did Oti or Amy get to try on a comedically large hat or show up dressed like they’re about to go to a rodeo, and clearly Kai wanted to go to the rodeo
Who are you lassoing my dude?
And the pros were very excited for this routine because, and this is a direct quote, “We are going to be using these really cool TikTok effects to change outfits” which is an awful lot of words to use in order to just say “a jump cut”
but I get it, we’re really trying to sell Strictly to Gen Z what with their TikToks, their Olivia Rodrigos and… craving for 60s fashion?
It’s also hard not to point that Oti and Amy had the worst outfits in this routine, as impressive as two chameleon shift dresses are, they’re hardly going to outdo Karen going full Austin Powers Sidekick
Her name would be Domino Chessington.
Gorka’s shirt was also stealing a fair amount of focus
much like the Slight Kerfuffle at the Strictly Corral, there were only so many 60s fancy dress costumes that Vicky could steal from the set of Ridley Road and you can definitely tell who was just sent to River Island with a gift card
Neil Jones, always the dummy, never the mannequin. And he is still very much being punished for shaving his head
extremely powerful Phil Spencer energy
I’m sure Dianne must have had a few hair extensions she could have tossed his way for dramatic effect.
Sadly Tess and Claudia weren’t treated to Graziano’s Magical Dyechromatic Fingers and their trend of rather casual offerings only continues for the week
and yes, on Strictly leopard print trousers do indeed count as casual – leopard is practically a polite nude.
Having had memories of her previous marriages awoken by the power of Rose and Giovanni’s Gossip Girl: The Stage Show! Shirley had come dressed in bridal white and very much looked ready for a registry office wedding
or to officiate any number of doomed marriages in Las Vegas.
Motsi sadly wasn’t committing to a theme of dressing like enraged fruit and showed up in a rather divine red number
I appreciate that you might need to play it a little more simply after dressing like a demonically possessed watermelon for an evening.
Anton continues to inch ever closer to the flagrantly awful suit that I desire him or Craig to wear
this but in red and gold next week, please.
And despite John and Johannes awakening memories of The Moulin Rouge and a g-string, Craig didn’t show up dressed like Mistress SweetJuice from My Dad Wrote a Porno
not a single cheese and ham filled balloon in sight. Disappointed.
With everyone introduced and (mostly) suitably attired, we come to the first dip into The Monkseal Memorial Safety Sex Face Gallery, where Dan stands looking every bit like a Tory who just lost his council seat to the Green Party
Nadiya just really wants to take off the child’s craft project that Vicky Gill inflicted upon her. But to the reason everyone is really here:
and the first couple in the Dance Off is…
Obligatory Potential Shock Boot: Rhys Stephenson! We’re in for an Aston Merrigold-ing aren’t we? Nancy, you only have about 2 weeks to deploy The Passive Aggressive Pot Stirrer before it’s too late!
Shirley is suitably simmering about the fact that her chosen West End protégé is apparently not very popular with the voting public – personally I’m just thrilled that Pissy Shirley is about to ride into Halloween hopefully dressed as a witch
as for her advice to Rhys, she definitely had to hold back telling him “Mate, you’re probably going to be competing against a rumba. You could honestly crash a Boeing into this ballroom and still get through to next week.”
From the Safe Couples we learn that Tilly’s mother is making Nikita’s packed lunches because nobody trusts Gordon enough to not lace it all with arsenic to try and stop the secret that Nikita ABSOLUTELY his long lost son getting out. Nikita is also apparently an incredibly fussy eater and will not eat anything small and round such as lentils, peas, Skittles, sweetcorn or Smarties. They did reveal on It Takes Two that they will be dancing a Cha Cha Cha next week, which happens to be Nikita’s favourite dance because the sweet baby angel is just a little basic, but at least he’s happy
I imagine mostly because he wont have to button up more than a single token button on Halloween where he’ll be dressed as a black cat but sexy.
Tom and Amy, at the request of Tom’s children, because they apparently desire an angry vampire tango as much as I do, will be dancing a Tango to Highway to Hell. I guess I’ll have to kiss my dream of Tom being dressed up as one of the Doctor Who scarecrows for Halloween goodbye then
Pinning all of my scarecrow hopes on a Charleston to If I Only Had a Brain in Musicals Week now. Amy, don’t you dare let me down.
The only other routine reveal we get is that AJ and Kai will be dancing my favourite of the spoopy routines, a Viennese Waltz. Putting in a request for a Georgian Ghosts re-do, please Vicky. It’s been two years since Karen’s Georgian Wig Malfunction
if anyone can salvage her hirsute honour, it’s AJ.
As for John and Johannes, John is apparently working on a Strictly fragrance which I imagine smells of coconut, shame and whatever cologne Anton preserves himself in every night.
The guest performers for the evening were Craig David and MNEK, who only continues to serve looks
The eyeshadow, the perfectly draped blush, the coat that looks like he could command an army of scarab beetles? Perfection, bring him back every week.
They were being accompanied by Dianne and Neil doing a contemporary routine and were thus dressed for the occasion
not going to lie, the combination of a sleeveless coat and bike shorts has quite frankly boggled me. Neil’s River Island gift card clearly got a workout, he couldn’t have bought Dianne a pair of jeans? Maybe some chinos? A SKIRT? ANYTHING TO SAVE HER FROM THE BIKE SHORTS?
Up in the Judges Eyrie with Claudia, Motsi waxes lyrical about how Rose and Giovanni’s Foxtrot That Fucks was “truly next level” and apparently Kai romancing a cassowary to a Stevie Nicks song wasn’t – I. DEMAND. A. RECOUNT. Shirley is at least on hand to vouch for the greatness of AJ’s Argentine Tango, comparing her to a Rolls Royce which is probably a lot more complimentary than me likening her to a literal murder bird. Blame that on Kai Troy McClurre-ing it at the aviary.
And then we have to waste time on Anton giving Dan Walker advice on how to reach the lofty score of… an 8 because he is so far the only person remaining who hasn’t scored above a 7, which I’m guessing means we’re in for a high cringe Couple’s Choice routine that gets severely overmarked on Halloween. Anton’s advice being “take longer strides and he’ll be a force to be reckoned with.” which he finished saying by pulling this face
he doesn’t believe A WORD of what he just said.
Craig meanwhile had to adamantly defend his decision to rain Hellfire down on every single rumba so far – basically he’s waiting for either John or AJ to be given a rumba because I think asking any of the others for it might be like drawing blood from a stone.
The Monkseal Memorial Safety Sex Face Gallery continues…
and so the doomed rumba-ing couple joining Rhys and Nancy in the bottom 2 is…
Welp, I wonder how this is going to ending. Despite having just had to fumble for inspirational bon mots about Dan Walker somehow achieving 8s for a Latin routine, Anton has to have a go at inspiring Ugo who before this even began had had his BBC parking certificate revoked. It was rather asking the impossible and he valiantly ploughs his way through a speech that sounded a lot like he had cribbed it from Owen Wilson’s monologue at the end of Marley & Me.
While they get ready to Old Yeller poor Ugo, Rose reveals that she now only calls Giovanni “Lizard”, with sign language demonstration
Vicky Gill, I swear to GOD, if I do not have a dramatic lacertilian tango next week I will be furious. It’s THIS or bust
The frill is absolutely not optional and better be fully operational.
The only other routine reveal we get is that Aljaz will get to dance his first ever Couple’s Choice after admirably dodging it for several years now and I fully suspect it’ll be a full scale audition for the 2022 pantomime circuit from the both of them. Or overly emotionally wrought contempo-wafting about the sacrifices Sara has had to make to build her origami boat flotilla. I can’t really see the two of them opting to do Street but the bar for a street performance is… well on the floor
I think about Karen trying to breakdance just about every single day – you should maybe cut moves from a routine if the professional dancer can’t pull them off guys.
Adam and Katya are mostly just thanking their lucky stars because they took Rhys and Nancy’s bottom two reveal quite hard
and they’ll surely glide safely through Halloween Week given that he’ll almost certainly be doing The Designated Sexy Devil Paso – although with Dan Walker in the room they might have to rejig that concept somewhat – it’s not the devil Dan, he’s dressed as Sexy Beetroot. Speaking of Dan, no word of what high concept Nadiya is cooking up and Claudia very much skirts around the fact he’s going to have to do either a Samba, a Salsa or a Rumba so… I hope he remembers which bin to take out on Sunday night.
And so we come to the Dance Off which as has been stated wasn’t exactly thrilling or tense because there was no way they were going to throw Rhys out of the competition right before a week which actively requires everyone to be in fancy dress and behave a bit like you’re an entertainer at a children’s party. And somebody has to wear the skeleton Morphsuit that Vicky bought on Ebay.
It’s a clean sweep of saves for Rhys, who by all means was the better dancer. It is interestingly also the first time that Motsi has had to vote in a Dance Off involving Oti, who despite her best efforts to bargain with the Dancerly Demonic, will not be getting her third Glitterball Trophy. BETRAYED BY THE SAMBA SUCCUBI!
I’m sad to lose Ugo and Oti, I LOVED their partnership and they were a joy to have around every week, the biggest loss is that we’ll never know what wig Ugo would have worn for Halloween Week. ARE YOU HAPPY BRITAIN? ARE YOU?
And so, with Judi and Graziano hopefully being able to return, 10 couples will get to spoop and creep in Halloween Week
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