Strictly’s like waiting for a bus this weekend. None for ages and then three come at once. Well…in this case two. But that’s enough. Two shows in two days- what a lovely treat for Strictly fans!
And after Friday’s show I have high hopes for this lot, as no one apart from Anita really stood out.
First up were Harry Judd and Aliona , both looking fab-u-lous in dramatic black outfits trimmed with gold. They opened the show with an energetic, confident and sexy cha cha. Harry demonstrated his drummer’s sense of rhythm and gave the dance his all with a series of fantastically over-the-top facial expressions, worthy of Latin supremo Karen Hardy. Suffice to say I loved it.
And so did the judges, on the whole. Alesha, Bruno were generous with their praise and Len thought Harry was ‘bloomin’ good’. Craig, however was not so impressed, commenting bizarrely that he wasn’t properly dancing but ‘depositing the steps’. Whatever that meant. But Harry scored 28, heading the leaderboard from the night before, with Anita and Holly.
Next on were Rory Bremner and Erin, one of my favourite pairs. I am a great fan of Rory’s impressions but had absolutely no idea what sort of a mover he’d turn out to be. Surprisingly, the answer was a very good one. He had a lovely smile throughout their waltz, elegantly leading Erin with poise and confidence.
Len exhausted (surely?!!) the stock of impression-based puns saying Rory did ‘a first class impression of a waltz.’ Even Craig was complimentary, telling him he performed with ‘absolute elegance and panache’. Rory scored a well-deserved 27 points.
Third to show off their moves were Alex Jones and James. Unfortunately, despite looking a million dollars in a sparkly silver dress Alex failed to dazzle in the cha cha. I’m no expert but even to me she seemed distinctly average, with rather limp flailing limbs and not enough attack.
Craig was not impressed, calling it ‘incongruous’. James did a bit of ‘a Brendan’ and had a go at Craig for being overly-harsh to some of the contestants from the previous night. A waste of time of course, but a noble attempt. And fierce James is always fun.
Alesha hastily said she liked it describing it as ‘fun and flirty’, the sort of adjectives she resorts to using when she can’t think of anything technical to say but can’t sit there like a mute. Alex and James scored a modest 22.
Chelsee Healey and Pasha followed them. Thankfully Chelsee had decided to ditch last week’s ‘costume’ and wear more than just underwear and bows, resulting in a gorgeous pink floaty dress which made her look like a princess (if it weren’t for the hair. I really do think she needs to shave it off and start again.)
To my intense surprise (as she made out she had been struggling) she danced her waltz exquisitely with such stunning lines and beautiful graceful hands. I was seriously impressed. Talk about a dark horse! The judges all loved it. Len declared it ‘jolly good’ and she scored 27, which in my opinion was mean marking.
Next on were Edwina Currie and Vincent, dancing the cha cha to ‘Buttercup Baby’. Not a lot to say here, except…oh dear. It was all a bit of a mess, though she tried- lots of bouncing and flailing and touching of Vincent.
After the usual torrent of egg/curry related puns it eventually transpired that the judges weren’t amused, although Bruno amused me by saying ‘It was like the old cougar got the toyboy. Hands everywhere testing the merchandise.’ Very flattering Bruno. A hapless Edwina gained 17, on a par with Lulu who’d forgotten all her choreography.
The penultimate couple were Nancy Dell Olive Oil and Anton. I am a big Anton fan and was desperately hoping that against all odds there’d be a dancer under all Nancy’s fake tan, talk and pouting. And maybe there is but we saw no evidence of it last night.
After spending a good deal of time ‘acting’ whilst sat on a chaise longue, Anton came gliding over to waltz her away, only for her to get caught up in her boa whilst standing up. From then on it was a total shambles, as that sly green boa wound its way round their feet refusing to be free them, even when they stopped and tried to throw it aside. A lot of stumbling and a final illegal lift later, it was over.
Bruno said she looked like ‘a curtain stuck on a spin cycle’ and Craig awarded them a 1, resulting in an all-time low score of 12.
To end the evening, along came Jason Donovan and Kristina to cha cha. And what a surprise that was! I’ll admit it wasn’t actually my favourite dance of the night as I find that perma-grin off-putting, like he’s trying far too hard. But he gave it a lot of energy and rhythm and got that elusive hip action down to a tee.
The judges were all in agreement that in their opinion it was ‘the best dance of the night’. And it must have been good as Craig even dusted off his 8 paddle! 32 points later and Jason was sitting pretty at the top of the leaderboard.
What an exciting evening. If that was Week One, I can’t wait for next week!