Tess of the Tumbleweeds is back in a less-than-fetching one shoulder number, flashing her gusset at the audience as she executes her one remaining dance step with abandon. Wonder what the insurance premium is for an 82 year old having to endure that klutz aiming random kicks around his anatomy every Saturday night?
Jimi and Flavia
I have been looking forward to this partnership since it was announced, and have convinced myself that this is the year of the Flav. It may be that I have lost some sense of perspective about this couple, particularly as I was rather distracted by costuming issues. Flavia seemed to have been dressed in bows salvaged from last year's Christmas wrapping paper, and Jimi, whose hips I was greatly looking forward to seeing, was encased in black fabric, such that no hips were visible. I have a feeling that he may have slightly underperformed, but there was no doubting his enthusiasm for SCD and for the dance itself, which is a definite plus for me. Needs to get those windmill arms under control though.
Bless Erin, always one of my fave female pros, declaring that she is the only female pro still standing from Series 1. And Series 2 and 3. She must know that her chances at the glitterball have run out, and that she is only back to shepherd one of the hopeless cases round the floor till the fun runs out. Peter Shilton probably knows as well that his pay cheque is for engaging in the type of banter along the lines of "You almost dropped her" (Craig); "I never drop anything" (Peter). Kudos to Erin though for bringing her own dress, and therefore winning "Best dress of the night" and for doing as good a job as possible. She nicked Natalie Lowe's dive through the legs at the end of the routine move, but maybe after 8 series, she has run out of ideas. Or maybe she thought it was a football/goal scoring reference.
The expensive American import and the cat that got the cream that curdled
So can we at last put the "fact" to rest that ex-members of girl bands have a stinking great advantage due to their experience of flinging their arms about and shaking their booty? 'Cos Michelle Williams tanked completely. Starting off with a "turn the voters off" statement that she wanted nothing less than 8s, followed by a bombastic strut down the long, long stairs, she proceeded to dance like a spider skedaddling across a slippery surface. Arms and legs were flailing everywhere, and I surprised she didn't take someone's eye out. At least she sold the performance, but Brendan made the whole situation worse by over-dancing and over-shadowing her completely. So much so that the "One who isn't Beyonce" may be a shoo in for first boot of the series.
The Gavbot and the Katbot
I like to be proved wrong about SCD, and proved wrong I was. I thought that Gavin would dance like a plank and act like a plank, and he actually turned in quite a creditable waltz. But then he did "come aht there like a SportsMan" and took the competition seriously. Mayhap a journey in the making? I can't quite forgive Katya's comment though that this year she is glad to have someone nice to look at. Some of us ladies of a certain age would have quite enjoyed having Tuffer's rather raddled countenance to look at every day, if you please.
OK so the BBC are going for the tweenie vote. Get a 15-year old boy whose voice is yet to break, pair him with Barbie, and style them as though they are escapees from a U rated remake of the Rocky Horror Show, and this is what you get. On the plus said, Tina wasn't wearing the hideous ballroom dress that reminds me of the crotcheted doll that my grandmother used to use as a loo roll cover. On the minus side, she was wearing silver hot pants, and a pink nightie that disguised any attempt at hip movement. Jared is a weak dancer. In fact Matt Baker outdanced him easily on Friday. And we lost Matt Cutler for this milksop!
And we all knew what was coming next. The highpoint of the weekend and WiddiduBeke did not disappoint. They knew that they were there to dance badly, smile throughout and deliver acidic lines. "If you think this is bad, you should see the salsa" will probably go down as the line of the series.
The Ringer and the Eye Candy
Oh my god it's so unfair, three years ago she did a couple of days training at the samba with the Ramps, it is so unfair, she has an advantage! Well if the Beeb are going to continue to promote her midway between vamp and tramp, there is no way she is getting the votes anyway. A VT dwelling on her liaisons with co-stars, followed by an appearance stylised as a dominatrix, will do nothing to win kudos for a pretty good cha cha, and an amazing recovery from a fall. And Artem is the only new guy who gets any credit from me for this week's dances.
So Series 8 at this stage looks to be much wider open than Series 7 was. There are at least 6 couples who I wouldn't mind seeing in the latter stages, and a couple of surprises, maybe waiting in the wings. The main thing is that most of the couples this year look as if they are having fun, and fun was the thing that was seriously lacking in the better dancers last year, hence the Cola win.
It could well be the year of the men, even to having three guys in the final. The loss of the dance off will remove the safety net from the likes of Kara, and replacing four of the consistently best teachers/choreographers among the male pros with unknowns and also-rans will take its toll. Tina and Patsy have been particularly badly served. It could well be that Pamela is flying the flag for the women, and the older women at that. And if her salsa is any where near as good as her waltz, and if she continues to exude the joy of dance with every step, I for one will be (multiple) voting for beautiful Pamela and the rehabilitated at last James Jordan.