Strictly 2023, Week 2, Main Show: A Very Layered Simile

The new series of Our Flag Meets Death has gone in a very different direction.

Anchors aweigh!

Sorry this is a little later in the week than I would have liked to post – life comes at you hard, I guess? For the rest of the year I’m easing the recap schedule, I’m just going to be doing Strictly, I might reassess when other things crop up but I just can’t fit in Bake Off recaps with *gestures at the burning tyre fire behind me* life happening. Hopefully this coming week will look a little more organised for me and I’ll aim for a Tuesday publication, Wednesday at the latest with the results show recap up the next day.

Onwards! And previously on Strictly Come Dancing…

don’t worry though, they’ve found the issue and made sure to fish the blockage out and the water is once again safe(…ish) to drink

it’s all downhill from here though.

Little Richard Simmons and Dianne Buswell
Charleston / Do Your Thing – Basement Jaxx

After last week’s dinosaur sandwich infantilisation technique backfired because it turns out Bobby interviews like a Take Me Out contestant who just admitted their bedroom has a mirrored ceiling, this week he and Dianne had to have a regular Charleston training VT

even Tess was banned from baby voicing – imaginably it’s all because the show has caught on to the fact Bobby’s ~People~ are setting up a million and one extremely candid photo ops to fuel the most tepidly non-existent rumour of 2023 – I would be more inclined to believe that Les and Nancy were, to quote Sir Theobold Gumbar, “slamming it down big style” than Bobby and Dianne. Although you will never in a million years guess who this year’s big AO3 fanfic couple is…

No, go on, have a guess.

the far too long Taylor Swift lyric title and the use of the “Alternate Universe – Vampire” tag are just magnificent, Steinbeck could never.

And as further punishment, Bobby would be doing this Charleston dressed as, and I’m sorry to go all Louis Walsh on you, a little Richard Simmons

at the rate they’re burning through celebrity biopic films “Jazzercise: The Richard Simmons Story” will be a viable option for Movie Week in 2027 and a fair bit of this Charleston did feel a little bit like you were in a particularly competitive Zumba class

and I enjoyed the combat calisthenics during the monochrome breakdown, a move I’m almost certain defies at least one foundational law of physics and requires Dianne to have the neck muscles of a rodeo steer

I don’t entirely gel with Dianne’s brand of modern commercial dance influenced ballroom where everything begins to feel a little bit like a Couple’s Choice routine that’s trying to sell me a pair of Skechers™ but she is a particularly good Charleston dancer, which might explain why Bobby spent a lot of his time watching her than feeling like he was actually present in this routine, especially in the opening when he was noticeably off beat

granted I also think he was bracing himself for the trademarked Buswell Barrel Roll™

a little bit surprised that Craig was so taken aback by it, she brings it every ball(room)

but it was nice that someone finally praised the helically spinning elephant in the room, it was getting dizzy.

Craig: 7
Motsi: 7
Shirley: 7
Anton: 8

Jody CunDy and Jowita Przystal
Paso Doble / Thunderstruck – AC/DC

Well, the resurgence of the Rock Paso continues apace and things did not bode well for Jody when he got out rocked by Carlos doing The Sign of the Horns to a Shampoo song while dressed as a nightlight having an emo phase

and Jowita knew this because a verifiable percentage of the routine is just her giving you a tutorial on how to roast marshmallows to distract from the fact Jody pasos like a clockwork toy that was just granted the curse of sentience

the whole thing was a bit of a disaster that just went more and more off the rails as he progressively forgot more and more of the routine

so it was a bit of a mercy that after last week’s tasteful crankset, the graphic operators just decided to bury the whole thing in a nuclear war of every single particle and lightning effect the graphic system could load before the computer started emitting sparks of its own

truly just… an ugly routine across the board, but a wonderful simulation of what happens when you put two siamese fighting fish in the same tank

nobody wins.

Craig: 3
Motsi: 4
Shirley: 4
Anton: 5

Ellie Leach and Vito Coppola
Foxtrot / Perfect – Fairground Attraction

Nothing sent fear into my heart quite as much as the moment Vito came out, arms laden with novelty beach supplies because I thought we were seeing the steady reintroduction of ~Comedy~ VTs into Strictly like Natterjack Toads onto coastal saltmarshes

but they were just there for Vito’s top surgery

a success!
And it turns out a giant beach ball is a great preventative measure against Ellie eating cake icing out of your nose

literally not edited for chronology, she did that and obviously would have failed the Covid series within seconds – and please don’t ask her where she got the Mr. Whippy at 7pm on a saturday night

sadly her peaceful stroll along the Strictly shores with the anonymously sourced Whippy were going to be interrupted by the Lesser Spotted Italian Seagull

whose mating ritual does involve dancing like the Michigan J Frog for no other reason than the song has a really weird guitar breakdown in the middle of it and how else are you meant to dance to irate strumming?

I’m not saying you can’t do a dance where your character is essentially a Looney Tunes sex pest, but I do wonder why you’d want to

at least Ellie got through it scott free – lovely dress, cute choreography, well danced. They could have at least thrown a Movie Week quality wig at her to make it look a little less obvious that she’s a favourite for the final but good for her.

Craig: 8
Motsi: 8
Shirley: 7
Anton: 8

Colin the Dance God Your Dad and Katya Jones
Viennese Waltz / Until I Found You – Stephen Sanchez

If you’re wondering why they paired Nigel and Katya, other than for her to completely break him through the medium of DAHNCE! It’s because if there’s one other thing Katya Jones will do, it’s get invited to an Awards Ceremony

if she can wear a pretty dress and stand in front of a board with brand names stamped onto it, she’ll be there with bells on, and for a pair of Loubs she’ll make sure you win too (all 30 people clapped uproariously)

apparently they didn’t have enough confidence in Nigel’s acting to make his entire Viennese Waltz themed around winning an award so instead we’re nosediving in tone from a circus-themed Nirvana Paso Doble to a Viennese Waltz about your dad imagining what would have happened if he’d married his prom date instead while he files for divorce from your mother

don’t do it Nigel, she’s part of a health supplement MLM, she’s a sunk cost BossBabe, RUN YOU FOOL!

like a sailor upon the rocks of a FaceBook Messenger notification.

Quite a bit of the time on Strictly you get a dance that clearly had a lot more effort put into the atmosphere and ~acting~ than it has the technique, which I think this sepia tinted nostalgic melange of “oh no, I peaked in high school!” is more than a little guilty of and unfortunately for Nigel he had the best dance last week so the expectations were particularly high. But don’t worry, he got a McMuffin out of it all

if you listen carefully you can hear Katya’s internal screaming – listen bucko, she’s still clawing her way out of the Homosexual and Duffer Sin Bin™, don’t you dare Mufasa her into a herd of Daily Mail wildebeeste.

Craig: 7
Motsi: 7
Shirley: 6
Anton: 7

Nikita 2: It’s A Kanda Booglaoo and Gorka’s Paycheck
Charleston / Single Ladies – Beyoncé

Does anything bode worse for someone than having the LOOK! PEOPLE KNOW WHO SHE IS! SHE HAS FRIENDS! VT thrown at you in Week 2? And for said VT not to take place while you play a novelty indoor sport because that’s Week 5 money?

You’re going to like your studio lit, early evening, weekday visit to an empty bar with your mother and YOU’RE GOING TO LIKE!
Also not helping is the insistence that “Kanda Chaos” is a catchphrase or everyone touting The Beyoncé Charleston as the dance of the week because everyone felt a little bad that you got saddled with the beige waltz in Week 1 – but at least this time she got to not look like a child at a wedding

the teal and purple is fun? Look, I’m trying to be nice because this was decidedly not good, just the most flat-footed Charleston you’ve ever seen, like fully just duck stomping around that floor like a pissed off mallard

Special shout out to the mercifully horrifically ratioed mid-shots that cut out everything happening below the rigamortis waterline – the camera operator deciding they’re not going to fully murder her was the MVP of the episode

My favourite part was when she forgot she was actually in a Charleston and fully just started running before she remember that in a Charleston you can only move like a child improvising the Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy in a junior school nativity play

just as Beyoncé would have wanted.

The absolute highlight of this non-event of a Charleston was Tess trying to trick Anton into marrying it, he has however read the classics and wasn’t going to be duped into marriage by a sexily stomping wetland bird

at the other end of the judges’ table, there was a marriage on the rocks as everyone steadfastly refused to dig in in the face of *sigh* Mummy Kanda (who was imaginably on duty to make sure someone got Bobby a glass of warm milk for is 8pm naptime) – Craig however wasted no time and subsequently lost custody of the wigs

I guess it’s back to the Party City Morticia for him

taking bets now on his Halloween costume and who gets the Wednesday Addams Couple’s Choice to Goo Goo Muck.

Craig: 3
Motsi: 5
Shirley: 5
Anton: 5

OceanGate: The Musical!
Samba / Rock the Boat – Hues Corporation

Well, it’s been quite the year for unique maritime disasters as Les Dennis arbitrarily samba’d his way through a visual representation of what happens to the human body under 5500 pounds of pressure

it’s like you can really feel every atom of your being being rent asunder.
Rarely is there a dance on Strictly so devoid of redeeming features that even Tess Daly is granted clarity of thought

because at least in most other rhythmic shipwrecks, they can at least vaguely gesture towards a semblance of storytelling to praise, I cannot tell you what this dance was trying to tell me or how Les was meant to be feeling about Nancy during it because I would expect it to be friendship at least, highly questionable romance at the all inclusive Benidorm holiday at… most-worst, HOWEVER, this face suggests she’s the Francis Drake to his Spanish Armada

it is truly wild to me that Shirley said ANY of this was giving 1,000%

there are more believable ways to lie! You could have told him he did really well to not fall over when he started reversing with all the grace of a reversing dump truck without any tyres on

because I don’t think even Nancy was giving 20% as she went lazily skittering across the floor like a poorly aimed red shell in a game of Mario Kart

Shirley, it’s ok to tell him that he dances like an Admiral car insurance advert from 2008 had a baby with a wacky waving inflatable arm flailing tube man, I can only assume that’s what he was going for as he wobbled off like a penguin trying to start a tavern brawl (it’s a very layered simile)

although I did particularly like the end when he seemed to forget what mode of transport he was meant to be using and began smacking the proverbially dead medium-sized horse, the gracelessness only highlighted by Nancy’s perfectly dainty spins

I can only assume there was not enough training time for Les with his other commitments so Nancy just sent him a link to the Evolution of Dance video that went viral 17 years ago and told him to pick his favourite parts – he accidentally clicked the advert for Merge Mansion before it got to the Cotton Eye Joe section and couldn’t work out how to get back to YouTube.

Craig: 2
Motsi: 4
Shirley: 4
Anton: 5

AdamBot 3000 and Luba Mushtuk
Tango / Somebody Told Me – Maneskin

It was an evening of Strong and Wrong and following the Strongiest and Wrongiest of them all was going to be a tough act so it’s no real surprise that the judges reacted to Adam’s tango like a cat had just dropped a dead rat in front of you – you’re kind of glad the rat is dead, you’re also slightly upset and repulsed but you don’t want to show it because you’re 100% certain your cat has the ability to have its feelings hurt and you don’t want to upset it because it could probably eat your face while you sleep. Just so we’re clear, Luba is the emotionally betrayed cat and Adam is the dead rat

like… sure, man-shaped blob you did… great (QUESTION MARK. QUESTION MARK. QUESTION MARK.) but we are still seeing Les Dennis doing THIS every time we close our eyes so we can’t quite tell

not that the Total Gyrating Eclipse of the Heart could conceal the moment Luba slipped after being used as a mop

Nadiya’ll get away with the ol’ Murder on the Dancefloor trick next time…

they are at least taking the health and safety precautions of being Nadiya’s Nemesis seriously given that Luba was essential wearing a crash helmet made of hair gel and every bobby pin within her gravitational orbit

that hairstyle has more stability than my mental health

The big story for Adam’s Tango was whether or not he could ~be sexy~ and truly there was not much he had to do to be The Hot One this week because he is a good looking guy and Colin the Dance God was dressed like your dad at prom which is a whole can of worms you don’t want to open, Nikita and Layton were dressed like Guys and Dolls chorus members No.s 3 & 4 (which could do something for you), Carlos is dressed like… this

and Graziano looks like a Gotye music video

but God bless the angst, if he ever gets an Argentine Tango he’s going to fumigate that entire studio with 4 Christmas’ worth of Lynx Africa – all of which he’ll get from Neil Jones.
Did he find the sexy though?

it’s not… not sexy, it’s a little bit off-brand perfume trying to create the same feeling as Kit Harrington’s Jimmy Choo campaign and there’s only so much that eyeliner can do

feelings created or none, the talking point of the dance, for me, did very quickly become the fully LED’d chair that sort of hung around the back of the stage like the ghost of garden chairs past

it just distractingly sits there at the back of the stage and they never go back to it for a dramatic finish, they could have turned the LEDs off, they’re usually remote controlled! It’s such a specific choice and I need to know the metaphorical and metaphysical explanation for it – is the empty chair symbolic of their relationship? Is Luba symbolic of an unattainable Giorgio Collection Oasis Outdoor Dining Chair (now only £1,680!) that Adam saw in the Harrods sale?

“I want you!” Or perhaps, as the poet Luther Vandross once said, “An LED chair is still an LED chair, even when there’s no one sittin’ there”.


He absolutely went and trashed a dressing room after that.

Craig: 5
Motsi: 6
Shirley: 5
Anton: 7

A Retro Strictly Supplement

Catherine Tyldesley and Johannes Radebe
Charleston / Single Ladies – Beyoncé

Last week I revisited Giovanni’s big introduction to the Strictly-verse so I thought this week I’d do the same with Johannes – it turns out it was via a very boring Viennese Waltz to I’ve Got You Babe that tells the tale of Zara and Graziano before they realised they mixed up the LSD sandwiches and the sober sandwiches and spent the afternoon tripping balls on the interstate highway

so instead we’ll go with the more Johannes-core routine and aptly comparative Single Ladies Charleston he and Catherine did in Week 4 at the nail salon

Catherine is an odd one for me because I remember her name but she doesn’t really occupy much space within the Strictly memory bank because at some point she and Mad Eyes Barton kind of just became the same brunette woman to me, the distinguishing feature being that Catherine lived on WhoreNation Street

it was a lot to expect everyone, especially Bruno, to really stress that pronunciation.

We’re not here to discuss the Cha Cha Cha and I imagine Johannes is quite glad

because their Charleston went pretty well, they got a 30 for it which is a fair bit higher than what Nikita’s jewellery shop revival got, I think bitching with the nail tech about your ex is also probably an easier sell than you know, arguing with my boyfriend because I, FOR SOME REASON, thought he was going to propose to me… inside an H. Samuel? Love yourself, have some standards.
Craig still lowballed with a 6 as opposed to the string of 8s the others gave due to Catherine’s energy as illustrated by the dead-eyed shimmy directly to camera

but truly this was more of a routine for Johannes, who had just done an A Star Is Born rumba to Shallow so was living his best 2018 gay life

it’s nice to see how someone could theoretically enjoy a Single Ladies Charleston, even if his partner did just about stick their hand down his throat during a dismount

Johannes swallowed three acrylic nails that evening.

Krishnan Guru-Murthy and Vicky Gill’s Darkside
Foxtrot / Love Really Hurts Without You – Billy Ocean

There are MANY things on Strictly that will forever perplex me – were Shirley’s little shoes a premeditated character assassination? What is the carbon footprint of Motsi’s under the table air conditioning unit? Where *is* the medium-sized horse?

but I’m not sure many things will keep me up at night quite like the conundrum that is “What lead us to the point that Lauren would wear a bedazzled dungaree ballgown like she’s Elly May Clampett having to go to the cotillion ball to prove she’s just as much a lady as the smarmy city girls and the moral of the story is to be true to yourself?”

there is explicitly no reason to have conducted the three-day demonic ritual that it took to summon that dress from the Nine Hells, at no point does the song mention a market, denim or, as it may surprise you to hear, glittery dungarees haphazardly godet’d to death. No, this was an organic, home-grown Rube Goldberg Machine of logic that they created themselves. Then the set designers apparently couldn’t budget in 100 pieces of medium-sized plastic vegetables because Gorka has decided he won’t get out of bed for anything less than 5 fake Rolex watches

and so what I imagine was meant to be “LAUREN’S 24 HOUR BROOKLYN MELON KIOSK!” swiftly became The Annual Elstree Pansexual Book Fair

and don’t worry, they’ve got plenty of inclusive audio options for the hard of sight, as Lauren reading all 1440 pages of War and Peace aloud to Krishnan FOR THE ENTIRE ROUTINE will wonderfully illustrate

you wait, she’s going to tactile sign him Gravity’s Rainbow the entire way through a paso doble.
Krishnan did not look like he took too well to the impenetrability of a Tolstoy novel without Keira Knightley showing up in a pretty dress to distract you from the fact you already forgot who 4 of the characters in any one given scene are

but they did find something a little more his speed by the time his in-person Audible free trial ran out (it’s got pictures)

potentially a better place to have started, Lauren. Although I’m still not convinced how much of the… not-goodness of this dance was Krishnan’s actual dancing and how much of it was the fact glitter reinforced denim doesn’t move particularly well, and I’m not sure many of us could win a fight against a lone JNCO jean leg.

Craig: 4
Motsi: 5
Shirley: 5
Anton: 6

Eddie Kadi and Karen Hauer [Pissy Version]
A Salsambacha Salad of Ideas / Rie y Llora – Celia Cruz

Who doesn’t love Latin dance discourse?

Narrator’s Voice: They did not have more freedom in this one.

Karen’s approach to this Cha Cha seems to have been to combine her Venezuelan heritage and Eddie’s Congolese heritage to create an international medley of a cha cha which on paper is a cool idea but it might have served them well to have just thrown in a real basic Strictly standard cha cha cluster into the middle instead of having Eddie do his favourite wiggly hip move for the 5th time in one routine

doing so may have made it read more as a cha cha and less like the end of act 2 dance break in a Jennifer Lopez movie, which to be fair is routinely the best part of any Jennifer Lopez movie

but you know, it’s not Movie Week yet and you’re not weirdly doing a Second Act (2018) themed routine, so you kind of have to play the Strictly game until everyone puts on the themed week blinders and mindlessly claps at the 15th dance ripped from the pages of the Cabaret and Grease playbooks – which sounds like a dig at Helen Skelton because she did both of those last year but it’s not her fault they threw her head first through the closed down community library’s 2 DVDs musicals section.
They did at least praise Eddie’s rhythm which to be honest I think is all he really cares about at this point with Shirley describing him as having “the most musical body” because she is all too familiar with his horn section now

(as are we all)

you can actually spot the exact moment Shirley realised this was not a Cha Cha Cha

whether Karen actually heard the praise for his rhythm or not I can’t say because the moment they started critiquing it as not a cha cha she was astral projecting her consciousness to Bermuda

you can hear the loud mental sipping of a mojito

Karen, just take the propranolol, it’s going to be ok. I mean, it’s not, Karen “12th Place” Hauer will be riding again but you can at least preserve your superficial temporal artery.
I worry she may have looked for too long into the Brendan Cole Abyss but it’s also fun because it’s been a hot minute since someone activated Full Pissy Mode

ah the classic, “I respect the judges” line <3

Craig: 3
Motsi: 6
Shirley: 5
Anton: 7

Zara McDermott and Graziano Di Prima
Quickstep / Anyone for You – George Ezra

Can you imagine being Zara’s grandparents, spending all week getting hyped for your granddaughter’s big quickstep that she’s dedicating to you, expecting her to be in the full Come Dancing glamour only for her to come out with Graziano dressed like two people at Woodstock blazed out of their mind with no idea where they are?

Perhaps her grandparents were Woodstockers. Perhaps they hitchhiked across America? Perhaps her grandmother was crowned The Hotdog Queen of Greene County, Alabama in 1974

nothing can convince me the pattern on that dress isn’t a spread of mustard slathered hotdogs – which does make the fact Vicky has been waiting all year to use it that much funnier, as does the fact she didn’t have enough of it so Zara had a bandaid coloured bodice

it might still be my favourite outfit of the week, even if just for the sleeves that you could lose a packed lunch in.

But how did she do in the dance?

an astute observation absolutely damning with faint praise – she wasn’t bad though and was certainly an improvement, she doubled her score from Craig despite nearly over balancing because she lifted her leg too close to the sun and melted her waxen wings

not pictured: Angela Rippon limbering up on the balcony while making direct eye contact with her.
It wasn’t the quickest quickstep and there was an extensive bit in the middle where Graziano treated her like she had all the agency of a difficult to unfold ironing board

pull the lever Graz! You have to pull the lever!

I do think she was a little overmarked purely because her grandparents were in the audience and her granddad had bought a new novelty slogan t-shirt off of RedBubble for the occasion (he paid £6 for express shipping)

because I do not think Craig would have given anyone else who had done this glue factory destined canter right in front of him a 6 without the grandparent buffering shield

I’d have said solid 5s all round, which isn’t exactly gratuitous overmarking, but it was all just a little bit unsure and wobbly for quite a bit of the routine

help, I agree with Shirley.

Craig: 6
Motsi: 6
Shirley: 5
Anton: 6

Angela Scanlon and Carlos Gu
Jive / Trouble – Shampoo

I’m not entirely sure this is the reaction I’m meant to be having to the ESCANDALO! of Strictly 2023, but congratulations to Angela Scanlon for vanquising, once and for all, the “finding out my music this week in a limp effort to piggyback off the success of Carpool Karaoke!” VTs…

Uh oh, we’re in trouble indeed.

So with the Strictly Medium-sized Car bricked up in a tunnel somewhere

Angela and Carlos just had to have a very normal THE BASICS OF JIVE! masterclass in The Third Dimension until the heat died off

which did bely the fact that this was a tangentially school yard themed Jive – I think? I can only deduce Carlos’s outfit was inspired by an unruly 5 year old waking up and insisting they dress themself – I can’t imagine many punks wake up and think “Yeah, today is culottes day!”

they were at least more stylised than most previous schoolyard jives, it leans a little more St. Trinians – of all the pop culture school costumes they could deck someone out with, I am truly shocked they’ve never gone to the St. Trinians watering hole. Perhaps it would give the game away as to why they keep dressing the young women up as schoolgirls though. Although the jury is still out on quite what was happening with Angela’s outfit because it’s just two garments that seem to have been thrown at one another and it brings to mind the Kimono Wetsuit from Junior Apprentice

there’s 15 couples to dress, someone is going to look like beach hut Carol Burnett.

this time last year we were knee deep in jives, they do seem to have learned from that mistake and this was only the second one after they decided to let Ellie sink or swim last week. Angela was probably a safer bet for Jive success given she does Irish dancing so has an idea of the desired speed and general ankle flicking technique so I wasn’t surprised that this was as good as it was – it was still very Week 2 Jive and I did laugh when it cut from Carlos doing a fairly complex sequence to Angela, who you thought was going to respond in kind as some sort of back alley jive battle and then she… did the cheer routine of a disheartened cheerleader watching their high school football team lose

there was a reason more of the praise was for her leg work than her arms, with Shirley going on to lay down the gauntlet

she has a terrible track record of predicting good Rumba dancers, she is afterall the Queen of Rumba not the Seer of Rumba so quick Angela, get on Carlos’s tiny little circus bike and ride for your life, you’re doomed!

I do love that Carlos clearly watched season 16 of Drag Race and decided that he was going to spend the rest of the year learning how he too could learn to No-gue the shouse down boots

he’ll break out the Sasha Colby hair whip next.

Craig: 7
Motsi: 7
Shirley: 7
Anton: 8

Angela Rippon and Kai Widdrington
Foxtrot / You Make Me Feel So Young – Frank Sinatra

I was a little surprised last week that they started Angela off with Latin but you know WHAT a Latin it was

but a price had to be paid in order to pass the Strictly MOT

and it was worth taking the time to replace the fluid reservoir because The Rippon Leg™ was back in action

it is at this point its own contestant, Nadiya will partner it.

Much less surprisingly her first dip into ballroom was with a Frank Sinatra Foxtrot to “You Make Me Feel So Young” (said the 1,471 year old time traveller Kai to the 78 year old Angela Rippon) like the one vaguely passable routine that Anton’s partners got to do before being pummeled to death by whatever it was he loosely called a samba

it was a very costume-y routine, to the point where it did veer into feeling a little like we were watching a Julie Walters sketch without a punchline – which I guess is a compliment because I don’t think a foxtrot should involve two soups or a wobbling tray of teacups (Fiona Phillips has a name!) but that may have made this routine slightly more memorable and less like I was watching a distant memory of the time that time travelling lothario Kai Widdrington almost seduced Mamie Eisenhower

it was quite the scandal.

Craig: 8
Motsi: 8
Shirley: 7
Anton: 8

Layton Williams and Nikita [Original Flavour]
The Full Ringer Quickstep / Puttin’ On The Ritz – Gregory Porter

I have been staring at the blank space of this recap section for A WHILE – it’s very hard to be insightful or humorous about a routine that was so good and also so unsurprisingly good. It does somewhat confirm to me that the show doesn’t really see Layton as a viable winner if they’re going to throw the quintessential ringer quickstep at him in Week 2 and then praise it as such – they could have staved off for a couple of weeks and let some of the others catch up a little bit rather than having him blow them out of the water quite so spectacularly ahead of the first elimination leaving the balcony in a confused state of having to be happy for him and also feeling a bit like Ralph Wiggum in a runaway school bus

if Shirley’s 10 paddle hadn’t been on security lockdown after the Les Dennis threat, I think she may have been tempted but it turns out that there is such thing as being too early for a 10 from Shirley

by all means this could have been the big Blackpool ballroom number with the full set dressing and extra dancers and it would have brought the 124 year old house down (boots); I can only imagine he’s the designated Blackpool Paso at best and the high concept contempowaft couple’s choice at worst. Although with forward rolls like this in his pocket he’s probably destined for street commercial success

I’m glad someone is carrying the torch that Cameron Lombard roly-polied into all of our hearts, and he’s also laying down the gauntlet in the leg extension arena

There are a lot of moments you could call your favourite part in this routine, and it might even be some of the choreography or it might be Motsi’s clapping and hollering on the sidelines like a mother at a sports day

*OR* it might be just how much fun the singer was having singing the words “super duper” – you could feel his anticipation every time that part of the chorus came around.

Craig: 9
Motsi: 9
Shirley: 9
Anton: 9

And that’s it for Week 2! And I’ll see you for the results show!

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