We call this “Portrait of a Woman Who Never Has To Salsa Again.”
And now for the most tense Results Show I can ever remember!
We start with a routine that I am choosing to believe is an Unsolved Mysteries style dramatic reconstruction of Aliona Vilani leaving Strictly Come Dancing. With Karen playing the role of Aliona, more specifically Jay Jive Aliona
and all the key players in this tale of contractual woe are here, her accomplice in Strictly Come Burning Bridges, Ola Jordan is being played by who I believe is Jowitza, it’s honestly very hard to tell beneath that wig
I suddenly empathise with everyone who didn’t realise Clark Kent was Superman just because of a pair of glasses, why aren’t more superheroes just running around in Debbie Harry fancy dress? Nobody would ever know!
The role of furious Strictly Producer was of course being played by Graziano
playing a romantic penguin expert AND a corporate hardass in the same weekend while also being everyone’s audience hypeman? He’s got the range, give him a BAFTA.
Contiuing the cast, Nikita is playing the pivotal role of The Photographer Aliona Keeps Hiring To Take Photos of Her Doing Yoga In The Park
and it was obviously a very challenging role for him because it did require him to wear the most clothes we’ve ever seen him in, an actor must suffer for his art! Cameron however has still not been able to rise above bit parts and was very much relegated to Fedoraless Reporter – I can only imagine Graziano’s line of monogrammed fedoras doesn’t come in children’s sizes.
Once Definitely-Not-Aliona and Certainly-Not-Ola-Jordan had ripped up their contracts, and very panickedly put on and buttoned on their cropped peacoats – Luba and Dianne doing anything and everything they can with their ponytails to distract you from Jowitza hating that button with every fibre of her being
once buttoned, they were ready to vamp down the stairs looking distinctly like a pair of 80s pop-rockers preparing for a coke bender – again Definitely-Not-Aliona and Certainly-Not-Ola-Jordan
they needed to find their next big media gig – after all, who’s going to pay The Photographer Aliona Keeps Hiring To Take Photos of Her Doing Yoga In The Park? And so the glittery lights of the nightclub circuit beckons, and who couldn’t be seduced by the suaveness of Aljaz as a sort of Nightclub Owning Colonel Sanders?
And not to mention the Posse of Bibbed Beauties who all seem to be wearing serial killer gloves for no reason at all and it certainly has nothing to do with the fact they need a new pair of lead dancers every couple of weeks because they keep going mysteriously missing…?
Mind you, it is always nice to see Luba not painted green, you know they could have dressed her up as the metaphorical envy Aliona feels whenever she sees someone score higher than a 37 for a jive.
And thus our story of Strictly Come Contractual Woes ends in the obscurity of theatrical glamour
What will become of the dancing duo? Hell if I know, they’re both thoroughly unfollowable on social media.
I do know that Aliona name searches so if anyone reading this is a libel lawyer, hit me up!
Now that we’ve dug up the past and thoroughly mangled it, it’s back to the present to thoroughly mangle that where Claudia apparently just ate the entire sequin budget only leaving but a smattering for Tess
I get that the Results Show is always a bit sombre but I’m getting increasingly worried that we’re heading to a final where Tess just shows up dressed like she’s having a job interview for a HR gig, which given that she’s nowhere to be seen outside of Strictly season maybe is the sensible thing to do. But if you do that to me TessBot, YOU’RE DEAD TO ME. I will unplug and reboot you.
Shirley however was not playing around and only continues to thrive as The Evil Queen in a Disney film
the intricate and slightly gaudy heart pendant only adding to the effect – you know if she rubs it and says the magic words it summons an unspeakable shambling horror from the depths of the underworld. His name is Dan Walker.
Having had a week off from the very long filming schedule and imaginably still recovering from the neck strain of wearing an 8 stack wig on Musicals Week, Motsi had brought in a dress with a built-in neck brace
Glamour can be comfort.
And Anton and Craig wore a pair of particularly boring suits that I shall not deign with a screenshot – not even a tie pin between the pair of them.
And so we take an all too short tour through The Monkseal Memorial Safety Sex Face Gallery
Rhys making a late and valiant bid to topple Nadiya as Safety Sex Face Queen, that face is going to haunt me for A WHILE. The poor lad has been on the brink for weeks now.
Now for the first of our bottom 2
It’s gutting but did seem rather the inevitability considering she was at the bottom of the leaderboard and there was a tie at the top.
The advice to Aj is largely what you would expect – that the routine is absolute fire, she just needs to make sure she doesn’t execute that final lift with all the unaired grace of Tess Daly dismounting her favourite dead-eyed prop horse
the things I would give to have that footage released to the world are unfathomable.
While Aj went backstage to have a cup of tea and scream into a pillow for 5 minutes, Rhys got his prescribed Strictly Come Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy session with Dr. Winkleman where we learn that they’ve been giving a Samba and a Tango next week which is a thoroughly terrible twosome to learn at the same time as they require extremely different techniques. I thought it would be a Yogic Stork Rumba that got Rhys but it’s going to be an awkwardly legged Samba that deals the deathly blow.
As for Rose and Giovanni, they’ve got an Argentine Tango for one of their dances, a concept that Giovanni is A LOT more into than Rose is
Very excited to see how they manage to top Rose yeeting herself at him from a solid 7 feet away while dressed as spur-of-the-moment-wedding Carrie Bradshaw but if there’s anyone who can do it, I trust it’s them. Also, you have to follow Nancy’s autoerotic asphyxiation lift
Rhys, stop hogging the Strictly Therapy Chaise, Nancy has some stuff to work through too.
Before we get to the next lot of results, we do have to once again interlude with a Time Travelling Musical Guest as out of Kai’s Temporal Wormhole comes JLS: Reborn who sadly don’t perform elite song The Club Is Alive but are singing a song called Postcard, which is at least a more relatable concept for Kai who still doesn’t understand texting.
By all account JLS are a very lovely group of guys to work with, and they were polite enough to bring along their own subtitles
because 80% of this song is just them “NA NA NA NA-ing” like Batman is about to burst onto stage, instead we got Neil and Dianne artfully mopping the floor
it’s surprisingly easy to trick Neil Jones into doing housework, it does come at the expense of Dianne’s dignity but for a bigger hair extensions budget she’s happy to be the sentient mop.
There is of course The Judges’ Debrief which is largely spent once again uncomfortably laughing at AJ, although at least this time she wasn’t 10 feet away. No, she and Kai were backstage realising they had filmed the social media plug this week which happened to age TERRIBLY
Quick Kai, into the Temporal Wormhole and you can undo it! Just try not to end up in ancient Babylon again, it’s really confusing the archeologists when they keep finding a three piece suit buried amongst the remains of the Kassite Dynasty.
We return to find who Aj will be dancing off against and judging by Nadiya’s reaction to Rhys being called safe, she knew where this was heading
she knew that the only chance that they had of avoiding the Dance Off was if Rhys somehow managed to topple all the way down, and sure enough Beauty and The Birdman were in the bottom 2
There isn’t really much advice to give him but Craig has to desperately try and basically defaults to “Just make it a good last dance!”… and you know, maybe ask the Big Man upstairs if there’s a few heavenly marbles he could scatter across the dancefloor?
While Dan went backstage to ponder the moral quandary as to whether he could pray for AJ to balls up her lift again, John and Johannes very eagerly reveal that next week they’ll be doing a Couple’s Choice routine about their separate but very similar upbringings to Adele’s Hometown Glory, which is some A Grade contempowaft so strong that it might swallow all of Elstree Studios in a tulle void. They’ve also subsequently revealed on It Takes Two that it’s all about rejecting the notions of toxic masculinity, and I’m just wondering if there’s time to change it from Hometown Glory to a 90 second slam poem about Harry Judd? I will write it if necessary, I’m sure Tom Fletcher could provide a guitar riff.
And just in case you thought the Hometown Glory Contempowaft about the upbringing of two gay men was too homosexual, don’t worry because they’re doing a jive to Coldplay’s Higher Power, which is the sort of vehement heterosexual content I would expect from Dan Walker. I can only guess that they paid for the song rights months ago for Dan and with him very obviously on his way out and because AJ and Rhys have both done the Jive and Rose isn’t getting any too kick heavy dances (such as the Charleston and Jive) – it fell on John and Johannes’s shoulders to make this pay off.
And so to the Dance Off where we start with Dan and rather alarmingly it’s not a bad re-take, he certainly looked a lot less like a man frantically looking for a public restroom in an unfamiliar Spanish resort town for starters. And you know, given that it was quite obviously going to be their last lap of the ballroom, Dan even dared to get THIS close to Nadiya’s face
it’s the most terrified of Dan Walker’s sensuality that I have ever been.
And it certainly got rave reviews from Nancy who had probably fully prepared herself for that strangling spin again and was just living out the catharsis of not having to do it again
meanwhile AJ and Kai offer a supportive thumbs up that has all the energy of the You Tried star meme
and then it was AJ’s go as all of us either watched transfixed in morbid simmering horror or hid behind our pillows like this was a very glittery James Wan film, knowing that potential jumpscare of a lift was coming.
AJ was, understandably, quite visibly nervous and while I think she managed to improve in a lot of places, specifically the ins and outs of her lifts and spins, there was still a buzzing anxiety in her upper body – which again, I can understand given that most of the evening prior has been people making fun of you and now all of them are staring at you almost palpably waiting for you to screw up. And then she did the do SPECTACULARLY, followed by a particularly triumphant shimmy directed at Anton <3
I haven’t been this proud of someone since Nadiya cracked her first joke!
There is of course a contingent of conspiracy theorists who seem to think that Kai managed to teach Aj a whole new lift in the space of the 3 hours between their original dance and this dance off. Seemingly not realising that the lift looks significantly better when your partner’s head doesn’t get in the way, leaving you stranded on his shoulder like Humpty Dumpty staring into the void that is his slow and agonising death. Or a bit like Dan Walker having just watched this dance
Should’ve prayed for the heavenly marble intervention, huh?
Oh, and Nancy update?
Still very relieved.
Despite the fact AJ pulled off the lift at the end, I still wasn’t absolutely certain that the judges weren’t above some shenanigans – particularly Anton and Shirley given their fondness for Dan and his vanilla glory. Luckily we were in luck and it was a unanimous decision to save AJ and Kai, which does mean that, probably later than necessary, we do get to say goodbye to Dan and Nadiya
and while I may have cooled off on Dan in the later weeks, I think there’s a lot to be thankful to him for and it’s mostly just that he was a fantastic partner for Nadiya – and with early departures from both Karen and Oti, I have to say Nadiya was my Queen of Pros this year. It’s been really great to see her come out of shell, to showcase some really fun and silly routines and just generally be a goofball – her Yorkshire accent that sounded suspiciously Italian still rings in my ears. She’s certainly clawed her way out of The Interchangeable Blondes Box and has to be main cast from now on, surely? I also demand a ringer for her next year, even if I have to build The RingerBot 5000 myself. Or you know, as a statuesque 6ft1 woman, might I volunteer as tribute? Someone recognised me in public the other week, is that celebrity status? I’m prepared to roast myself in these recaps. LET’S GET META BABY!
Dan Walker does just now have to promise not to make a bid for Sheffield Mayor, I will not allow it. Rhys’s woobie face will not allow it
I had nowhere else to put that shot but my soul needed it to be in the recap somewhere.
And so, to the semi-finals we go where I have to recap 8 dances again just as I got comfy with only 5.
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