Welcome to Shoemageddon.
Halloween might have ended but there’s still a killer on the loose!
Previously on The Lost Halloween Recap, we found out Katya Jones somehow still has a soul to sell despite the fact her entire Strictly career feels like endless bargains with the devil
Molly suffered a bad case of hairmeroids
Nikita got away with murder and it’s not just because of the bastardised Icarus routine
that foxtrot has to be one of Strictly’s greatest sins and I refuse to ever talk about it ever again, expunge it from the record like it once performed on Britain’s Got Talent.
And then despite Hamza being the one hitting the floor like a fresh corpse
it was extermination for the Evil Bumblebee and her Zombiekeeper, an entirely concrete and recognisable theme that I cannot believe didn’t connect with the general public
but Halloween wasn’t over, or at least not for Molly who showed up to the dramatic Week 1 vs Week 7 transition montage dressed like Papa Smurf
and I did enjoy that while everyone else tended to go from bright eyed newbie to hardened ballroom warflord, Will Mellor just looked like an advert for Daz
except we all know Will Mellor is FILTH – we all remember the American Smooth.
But to the studio where Tess and Claudia are quite litrally dressed like my sun and stars
as for the judges, Craig looked like James Bond was trying to drink a Martini covertly in the Arctic
which might have been a bit of a theme because Hamza had mistaken Shirley for a polar bear three times backstage and confessed his darkest secrets to her
meanwhile Motsi is just super excited for the Barbie movie
and Anton may have killed a rococo python
nobody tell Hamza.
Hamza Yassin & Jowita
Cha-Cha-Cha / I Can’t Help Myself (Sugar Pie Honey Bunch) – Four Tops
Hamza is one of the last celebs to be fed to the Cha Cha Leviathan, and might well be the last one given it given that it’s incredibly rare to see someone given a Cha Cha Cha after Halloween Week when they traditionally expire and like the Pumpkin-shaped Reese’s Pieces just vanish from the shelves overnight – so congratulations to Kym and Graziano, you managed to dodge THAT bullet, because Hamza was having a terrible time with the counting
and I can only imagine the books for his floristry business, Honey Bunches, are an absolute nightmare and he’s accidentally turned the entire thing into a money laundering business
which is why he’s trying to woo Jowita, the owner of what must be Strictly’s 100th dancefloor bakery, Sugar Pies
and I’m not sure Sugar Pies is long for the Strictly High Street either given that I’m pretty sure just hanging baskets of unsupervised pies outside your shop is a health code violation that’d make Mrs. Lovett wince
I can excuse baking a man into a pie, but I draw the line at the possibility of a dog licking a pie.
I was a little worried when this little rendezvous of a cha cha cha got off to the most tentative start like Hamza was still on Monday’s choreography lesson learning the count
but I think the slightly vacant expression is because Jowita is talking about pain aux raisins and all Hamza wanted to talk about was carnivorous plants and their digestive juices.
The Cha Cha Cha did thankfully pick up more speed than a Bridgerton stroll along the promenade and if there’s one thing Jowita has proven this series, it’s that she knows exactly how to please the judges so in dances that Hamza clearly hates, she focuses intensely on the basic components – and this had all the cha cha goodness they could have possibly wanted – a lot of toe-leads, Cuban Breaks, New Yorkers
which Hamza has been calling “Tony Adamses” all week as Tony Adams continues to accidentally colonise Latin choreography – and there was just no general weirdness, it was perfectly good stockphoto cha cha cha and the judges loved it, and you know Shirley was loathe to admit it because she DESPERATELY wanted to whip out those tiny little shoes she’d stolen from a child to show how a toe-lead works in a Cha Cha Cha. But it was Craig who rained down on the union of Flowers and Flour, although they tried to staunch the blow by offering him a cake
and I’m not saying any of this is a very premeditated pantomime (I wouldn’t dare dream of it) but Jowita was jostling Hamza to go and give Craig the damn bun like a stage mother trying to get their child to say the line they forgot in the nativity play
“And I brought Myrrh.” HOW HARD IS THAT TO REMEMBER HAMZA!? IT’S ONE LINE! And Craig might have been pleased with a box of whatever the hell Myrrh is given the way he looked at the Chelsea Bun
meanwhile the woman behind him, my favourite person of the entire evening, was mentally calculating if she could nab the bun from him because she was facing a long snackless evening because sadly Judi Love wasn’t in the audience to smuggle 10 bags of sharing Maltesers into the studio.
Ellie Taylor & Johannes Radebe
A Clockwork Rumba / Alone – Heart
Do you know what’s really, really sexy? Big, massive, throbbing clocks
Do you know what’s really not sexy? This rumba – and if there’s been an overarching theme of Ellie’s time on Strictly it’s that she doesn’t want to be sexy – she’ll be a deranged shepherdess, she’ll do open-heart surgery, she’ll be an ineffective advert for The Marvellous Mrs. Maisel and she’ll be Cher but she won’t be hot! [Calm down Meatloaf] and I think we’ll just have to be glad that Ellie wasn’t dancing this while dressed as a mouse given that Johannes called this move “grabbing the cheese” – you can really see where the lack of romance came from
but despite the fact Ellie did look like a bit of a smoke show this weekend
that didn’t quite translate to the routine – the judges were correct a lot of her finishing positions and poses were stunning and very well executed and therefore look really beautiful in still photos
but there was an almost overwhelming stiffness (negative) to the movement, like this move which looked like Johannes trying to set up a clothes horse
and a lot of it did feel like she was about to punch Johannes at any given moment because she was hating the whole experience so much – there’s a difference between a closed fist and a clenched fist as I believe this screenshot perfectly illustrates
there just wasn’t any sense of romance or eroticism in this routine, which Craig really went in on them about, and this was when I became acutely aware of The Woman Behind Craig, who is clearly very Team Jellie
He wasn’t wrong though, but I think these two are so deep in their friendship that they couldn’t really achieve the vibe because if anyone is coming away from this series with a free babysitter for life, it’s Ellie Taylor – it’s all very Sara and Aljaz between the two of them.
But having said that the routine was a tonal disaster, a three does seem particularly mean given how much praise everyone else gave a lot of the technique
the fact it’s less than half the score of two other judges just seems a little cruel and Ellie and Johannes were both clearly upset by it because like… even Jodie Kidd scored a 4 and her Rumba mostly featured excessively awkward face rubbing
remember when the papers obsessively tried to convince us that she and Ian were having a fling?
Molly Rainford & Carlos GU
Foxtrot / You Make Me Happy – My Sun and Stars
What would soon become a running theme for the evening, in order to introduce Molly and Carlos’s Foxtrot set in an English Country Garden Tess whipped out a pair of glittery wellies (the amount of times I reread this to make sure it said “wellies”…) from beneath the desk
can you imagine if Shirley had demonstrated Will’s stomping with those? Can you imagine if they had actually made Carlos and Molly dance a foxtrot in a pair of wellies? Shirley would have to stop calling it The Rolls Royce of Ballroom!
Given that the public have taken to Hamza incredibly well and there’s no need to convince us that he’s a real person who has friends because we kind of all just hear he talks to Polar Bears and ran with it, Molly gets a second MOLLY HAS FRIENDS VT – but this isn’t a Having a Night Out With These Two Girls I’m Definitely Not Paying, this is good old HRVY No Vowels, and this definitely isn’t happening because Molly’s vote numbers are struggling and we needed to recruit the nearest possible, easily available fandom – we promise
and the two of them fondly reminisced about their time performing together when Molly had to wear the backwards baseball cap in order to even slightly achieve the weird hair situations that were happening around her on Top of The Kidz Bops
and I did thoroughly enjoy everyone collapsing from the pure cringe of the 2014ness of the whole ordeal
I would have thought that the person who has dressed up as the Tumblr Ball Pit in the past would have long since shrugged off the part of her that cringes
Remember that English garden Tess promised us? You might have imagined a rose garden, maybe a choreography obscuring hedge maze or a fountain featuring a tasteful nude. And yet what we ended up with was a Las Vegas Chapel Wedding which really makes me wonder what Tess’s garden looks like
which looks alarmingly like this scene from Cherry (2021) and if you know, you know
and because we legally cannot show a CBBC actor getting married on screen (a law I completely made up but does somehow sound plausible) we had to insist that this was a fun frolic through a garden and definitely not some booze fuelled nuptials which Molly was wearing the hotel bedspread for and Carlos could be stand let alone say “I do”
I did actually really love her outfit and thought it moved incredibly beautifully throughout the routine
but I so also want to wear Carlos’s suit *quite a bit*.
It was nice to see Molly doing something that felt a better fit for her because the hippity hoppity bippity boppity Grange Hill routine was an unsalvageable disaster no matter who would have been given it and her Argentine Tango felt a little like watching a pair of clockwork vampires (calm down Johannes) but this flowery, sorbet coloured foxtrot that she could smile the entire way through? That’s the Molly Rainworth brand! Which is a bit disappointing when THIS could be the Molly Rainworth brand
Nova Jones series 2 dropped, can you tell?
Ellie Simmonds & Nikita Kuzmin
Charleston / Too Darn Hot (From Kiss Me Kate)
While we all whitter away about The Cha Cha Cha Curse because nobody knows where to put the two – like a horror film we’re all following the red herring and the real killer of the series is The Charleston which by this point had picked off 60% of the victims and it’s kill count was only going to grow…
please congratulate me for this poster, I am unreasonably proud of it and crave validation.
This week’s unfortunate Charlstoneers being Ellie and Nikita who were testing the waters for Musicals Fusion Week with their Cabaret themed Kiss Me, Kate number – give me “Jesus Christ, The Superstar Barber of Fleet Street”! I know you have it in your Katya, you insane genius.
This was a very charming number, Ellie really suits a very sultry vintage Hollywood glamour look which is nice for her and she was certainly winning Poppy Wars
and as a production the whole performance felt really good – I loved their outfits, I loved the setting – especially the weekly use of the golden palm trees which have slowly pulled ahead of The Wobbly Lamppost as the most desirable prop
but there was a slight flatness to the choreography, particularly the lifts and acrobatics that they did – we were all so wowed by their Salsa and how most of it involved whipping Ellie around like she was on a test run for a new Alton Towers ride, and this Charleston just didn’t feel like it was building upon anything that we’ve seen Ellie do before which was a bit disappointing, as much as I love seeing her doing a somersault
because the specialists that they bus in to put the Charlestons together for some reason decided to use Amy as the crash test dummy for all of their newfangled, show stopping, spectacular, never the same, totally unique Charleston lifts last week, much to James’s absolute horror
and perhaps that’s the issue, Nikita has been so good at putting together routines that, to quote Motsi, have felt like only he and Ellie could do them, and the Charleston specialists were maybe a little less sure on how to go about that, but I did enjoy the big jump
and most of the judges liked it – Anton once again using any opportunity to disparage the older women who he mostly humiliated on television for the quickest paycheck known to man, but Craig was less enthused and The Woman Behind Craig looked ready to meet him in the carpark over his critique of Ellie not using the full extension of her arm
at the very least she’ll key his car.
Tyler West & Dianne Buswell
Viennese Waltz / I’ve Been Loving You Too Long – Seal
I cannot believe we have reached Week 7 and this is the first outing of the park bench – we’ve had a wishing well, the fake tree, beehives and a bespoke TRON bike – Tess has been waiting all series to sit on a bench
but this wasn’t any Obligatory Waltz In A Park, this was an Obligatory Waltz In A Park IN THE CITY OF HEARTBREAK
obviously Tyler and Dianne hadn’t moved into the New York Penthouse of Relationship Woes though and were still in their park-bound honeymoon period
there’s still time for them to do the first Foxtrot That Fucks in front of whichever corner sofa they can find to fit in the studio, but for now it’s all very romantic – or as romantic as it can be with Tyler galumphing about more like a very happy labrador chasing pigeons than trying to romance Dianne, albeit a very well synchronised labrador
and very nearly completely decking it during the last few second of the routine after his final spin
“I JUST HAVE REALLY BIG SIZE 12 FEET, THEY’RE REALLY BIG! DO YOU KNOW WHAT THEY SAY ABOUT MEN WITH BIG FEET? AND MINE ARE MASSIVE!” he said directly to camera, 5 times, which is probably what stopped Shirley from whipping out the miniature shoe to illustrated everything Tyler did wrong with HIS VERY BIG BOY FEET, but it might have helped distract everyone from the fact she called Dianne “Diana”, thus sending Dianne’s entire mostly tween fanbase into a bloodthirsty rage across all of Shirley’s socials to the point where Dianne had to actively tell the 14 years to stop bullying someone who is old enough to be their grandmother.
As the judges pointed out, Tyler just didn’t look comfortable in this routine, which you can probably tell from the fact he was sweating like he’d just done a quickstep to the unhinged Glee version of Walking On Sunshine that they did while on uppers
are you ok mate? This was a Viennese Waltz? You ran a marathon, between a Jive and a Charleston!
And his discomfort was only made all the more obvious with just how serene and happy Dianne looked because she was dressed up as Poison Ivy when the Batman Universe gets rebooted and placed in Victorian London (the exposed gold zipper, I choose not to see it)
it took Vicky long enough to get the hint she was dropping throughout Halloween Week, but nooooo they had to do Beetlejuice
eventually they’re going to have to let her do a routine that lets her emerge from a gorilla costume to Hot Voodoo – give her what she wants. GIVE HER WHAT I WANT.
Woman Behind Craig Update:
incredibly curious about the big feet.
Kym Marsh & Graziano Di Prima
Argentine Tango / Assassin’s Tango – John Powell
It’s an important night for science as we get to see Graziano do his first ever Argentine Tango – unfortunately though he wasn’t given the full Strictlitine Tango experience because he and Kym didn’t get to feature a novelty location – Fleur and Vito go the Taskmaster Industrial Garage
and Molly and Carlos had to go and practice on an episode of Homes Under The Hammer last week
It also turns out that last week’s Rumba, which I truly thought was going to be a very obvious pulling of the glittery trapdoor on Kym because you know… she looked like she was about to star in The Crowening and Graziano looked like Jack Frost in iconic Christmas movie disaster, Santa Girl
but it turns out it was a revelatory dance for Kym who realised all she wanted from Strictly was to be sexy, so good for her because good Lord did they lean into it with this dance right from the top of the show
weirdly enough it reminded me a lot of Sophie Ellis Bextor’s Charleston in that there was almost a lackadaisical disinterest to how effortlessly Kym struck some of the poses
like yes, I will make love to and murder you without breaking a sweat and you’ll love both events. And this smoothe glide, really stuck in my memory, I think it’s utterly divine
and then once the tempo really kicked in an Andrew Powell went a little Philip Glass it struck camp gold with Kym sticking her leg dead straight up into the air like Victoria Beckham posting a very casual photo
and of course the whole thing had to end in a long, lingering shot full of quivering lips and intense eye contact
the finger may say “married” but the face says “I buried him for you!” – this joke is not endorsed by Dee on Twitter, but I think Robert Duvall would approve as this was unabashedly mostly just an Assassin’s Tango (2022) themed routine, he himself a confessed “tango addict” – much like Tess Daly who had naturally become A Bisexual Disaster Zone the minute the routine finished
and The Woman Behind Craig wasn’t far behind her
Craig meanwhile critiqued the shoulders that nobody noticed because you know… LEGS
the one concerning aspect of this routine and Kym being clad in nothing but a nude illusion and black netting is that this routine will inevitably end up as a clipshow on some weird dad’s YouTube channel that also documents every time a BBC Breakfast presenter wears black tights. You play by the sexy sword, you get unfortunately fetishised by the sexy sword.
Will Mellor & Nancy Xu
Quickstep / Soda Pop – Robbie Williams feat. Michael Bublé
Tragedy has struck the ballroom! Sadly Luba’s Pancake Shake has gone under and been replaced Nancy’s Incredibly Lengthily Named Strictly Soda Pop Sweet Shop
and she’s trying to convince us it was established in 1919 for some unknown reason
YOU’RE A DIRTY LIAR MISS XU!
But things aren’t looking to good for Nancy “Sells Eggs and Sweets” Xu who apparently can’t afford to pay Lemonade Man (that very real profession), Will Mellor a dime
and this bloody lemonade bill caused more that just financial trouble as in his desperation to get her to pay, Will was not dropping it – HE HAS CHILDREN TO FEED NANCY! So they had to take hold with this balled up piece of paper in their hands and play a game of papercut roulette that they were both losing
DROP IT! GET RID OF IT! FLING IT LIKE NIKITA FLINGING HIS CHEEK EXTRACTOR AFTER A DENTAL EXAM!
Nancy did eventually managed to wrangle it out of his hands and thus the High Speed Sweet Shoppe Chase could commence
unfortunately the desperation to just get the goddamn lemonade money making the whole thing a little bit too stompy (Will Mellor is afterall a method actor) – which was bad news for him but EXCELLENT news for Shirley who began her critique with one hand very awkwardly remaining under the table, so you kind of knew something was up because normally she’s expressively waving her hands around like she’s performing sleight of hand table magic
the other clue that Shirley was hiding something being The Woman Behind Craig craning her head for a better look to make sure she was witnessing Shirley holding a child’s shoe on her lap
and sure enough, the second pair of shoes of the night were revealed from beneath the table
there’s an entire Schuh down there, or at least an entire basement of presumably barefooted children because Shirley has decided nobody is listening to her footwork critiques and wanted to directly show Will what she means about the fact he was running around that dancefloor like a grumpy dressage pony
I hope all of the judges bring props next week and we can have a full show and tell judging critique. Anton, no you are not allowed to bring in Ann Widdecombe and Motsi, I challenge you to fit as many of your wigs as you can under that desk.
Helen Skelton & Gorka Marquez
Jive / Tightrope – Janelle Monae
Welcome to The BBC’s hottest new detective series, Sci-Fi Witness, the tale of a pair of time hopping PIs on the hunt of the most prolific time travelling criminal, Kai Widdrington
quite why we had to wait until week 7 for a Jive masterclass in the ring of fluorescent tube lights, I don’t know, especially given that by this point half the cast have curb stomped the jive into remission, but it was about time somebody came out and showed us how it was done (how quickly and conveniently we all forgot about Tyler’s Jive) with our two temporally displaced detectives trapped in M.C. Escher’s piano
and if you’re wondering where Helen’s hat is, she knocked it off within one second of the routine starting
at lest the amount of mime work she did in her Charleston was not put to waste because she was going to pretend she had a hat to tip like her life depended on it
Carlos would like to know exactly how much you have to bribe Vicky Gill into making your bedazzle suit into a sleeveless bedazzled suit – HIS ARMS WANT TO BE FREE VICKY!
I was a little worried that Helen wouldn’t be able to get the necessary groove needed for a Janelle Monae inspired jive but I needn’t have worried because this was effortlessly slick
and I loved all the little pieces of accent work they had put into the routine – if you wear a tie, you are contractually obligated to do the little tie adjustment bit
there was minor hairy moment (calm down Vito, your chest is not under threat) when Helen was just slightly ahead and had to (very briefly) take a, to quote Anton, “believably held moment” (which is what I’m calling readied actions in D&D from now on) but it helped that she recovered into some perfectly synchronised side-by-side kicks
which Craig did notice and Helen tried to make up for it by doing a spontaneous cartwheel to show she’s now Helen “Zany” Skelton
and the woman lurking in the shadows was ready to go to war if necessary, all Helen had to do was give her a nod
meanwhile Gorka cut straight to the chase and put his best feature forward to bargain Craig into that 10
Craig may not have been swayed, but we do at this point know that Anton is an arse man
we all would have done it.
Fleur East & Vito Coppola
Waltz / I Guess That’s Why They Call It The Blues – Elton John
Ah, I once again come up against my greatest nemesis: A Sentimental Memorial Waltz, with Fleur dedicating hers to her father and getting a bit of a hodge podge in terms of Sentimental Aesthetics – I feel like you might have to choose either the beachside floor projection OR the entire scented candle aisle of Laura Ashley
both together somehow takes us into tropical beachside Pinterest wedding, especially when the two of you are also wearing white
she looked so pretty and I greatly enjoy that for her.
But(t) if you’re wondering where the full moon that is an obligatory feature of many a memorial routine, well…
I assure you, we are looking somberly and respectfully.
It was a very beautiful and tender routine and it was nice to see Fleur getting to do some proper classical ballroom that wasn’t gummed up with theme or crapped up with contemporary choreography but once again, you knew something was up with Shirley because she was awkwardly holding her hand under the table again
and sure enough, out came the third pair of shoes
much to everyone’s joy
What’s wrong guys? Do you not love being slightly patronised? But she persisted to demonstrate that while Fleur had got most the technique right, she was clonking on the heel – a demonstration she gave while making unbreaking eye contact with Fleur like this was actually a Mafia threat
I hope to God she has a pair of stilettos under that desk just in case someone cocks up the footwork in their Argentine Tango – any excuse to flash The Loubs.
The Woman Behind Craig Update:
suddenly realising she’s just appeared on national television for almost 2 hours looking a little bit like she’s doing Liz Truss cosplay complete with O-ring necklace.
DJ Tony Adams & Katya Jones
Salsa / I Know You Want Me – Pitbull
This week Tony would be playing the role of an Ibiza DJ and with the entire Radio 1 and 1Xtra team at their disposal they could have had anyone come in and give Tony a lesson in DJ etiquette as a teaser for the obligatory radio DJ slot on next year’s cast, they instead just had Tyler West from down the corridor step in for a few minutes
I’m also going to place a cool £20 that Katya is dressed like Emily In Paris’ For Christmas’s Christmas episode because she was filming something from the Christmas special – and I desperately want that outfit.
If your concerns with Tony doing a salsa this week were about the lifts, don’t worry – they were training in a room with enough crash mats to allow you to survive a parachuteless skydive
if your concern with Tony doing a Salsa was the fact he was doing it to a Pitbull song with an extremely fast Spanish chorus, I’m afraid all of your biggest fears were realised as the song was speaking Spanish, his brain is screaming in English and his feet were tapping out the Voynich Manuscript in Morse Code
and the relief he felt when he got to the part at the end of it when he could just jump around a bit was palpable
and yet despite the whole thing falling apart faster than Tony or Katya could wrap duct tape around it, Katya persisted with carrying on with her signature nonsense lifts
at this point Katya’s gusset is cashing its own paycheck.
It was another round of very “Umm… what the Hell was that?” and nervous giggling from the judges – but with admittance that it was still an improvement, and Motsi giving him the sort of encouraging feedback you might find in a fortune cookie
made all the funnier by the slight sigh and 1000 yard stare as she seemed to be momentarily crushed by the memories of all the things that had gone wrong in her own life
and no amount of shoes were going to help Shirley illustrate all of the foot faults that Tony endured and The Woman Behind Craig let out the most almighty sigh
the BBC owes her therapy and a BAFTA.
And that’s it for Post-Halloween Hangover Week, see you in The Results Show recap!
And if you’ve enjoyed this recap of Strictly 2022’s Musicals Week and would like to support the blog, you can leave a small donation via my Ko-fi HERE.