Two new styles of dance this week, Charleston and Rock & Roll....
Chris & Ola: Holy Mary, Mother of God, I loved this!! It was absolutely their dance – I thought the energy was great, and the end move was just amazing. Synchronicity was also great! Totally suited their personalities. I would have given it 9’s across the board, I do think they suffered from going first and the judges had to leave themselves somewhere to go. Definitely their best dance so far.
Ricky & Natalie: This felt oddly flat to me. Very little flow, like their jive, it was a bit stop-start; and he went wrong at the beginning and nearly dropped her at the end!! I thought that there were a lot of lifts and tricks, but very little actual dancing. Or, as my Mum so succinctly put it, “she’s doing all the work”. I was amazed that (a) the judges called him out on his mistakes, and (b) marked him accordingly. What became obvious to me during the dance off was that he wasn’t even trying in the original performance – can’t help but wonder if he expected to coast through and the possibility of being in the dance off never entered his head. (And shocked that Len scored this one the same as Chris & Ola when it was not nearly as good!)
Ali & Brian: For somebody who could not walk during the week and was hobbling around on crutches, this was an amazing performance. (Although when Ali told Tess backstage that adrenaline got her through the performance, I turned to my Mum and said “that’s what they’re calling a painkilling injection these days, is it?”). I enjoyed the performance, and I though Brian’s dancing was great. But for me, it lacked the wow factor of Chris & Ola’s, which I found more entertaining.
Natalie & Vincent: After watching the training footage on ITT, I said this had the potential to be a hot mess. Sadly, I wasn’t far wrong. I do like Natalie, but I’ve never thought she was the great dancer that the judges made her out to be. There was a lot of energy in this routine and she tried hard, but they were always going to struggle in lifts because they’re the same height (nothing to do with her weight, as the DS boards keep banging on about). But I felt bad for them when the marks came up – definitely got the feeling that the judges wanted her in the bottom two.
Laila & Anton: Again, loved this! I thought they danced it really well, the energy was great. I was actually amazed at Anton, because he was brilliant! I’ve said it before that Anton can’t do Latin / fast dances, well he proved me wrong here!! Second favourite dance of the night. (And can I just say, it’s comments like, “Dancing in December? It’s like a lifelong ambition!” which make me adore this man!). Re the judges comments, I found myself in the disturbing position of disagreeing with Craig and agreeing with Len. I think this may be a sign of the apocalypse.
Competition Viennese Waltz: OK, I’m incapable of commenting on the actual dance itself, because the overmarking that went on afterwards absolutely made my blood boil. How on earth can Ali & Brian get a 10 when they crashed into two other couples?!?! For me, I think this was where you could see the judges finessing the leaderboard to get the bottom two that they wanted; I think they were terrified of an Ali / Ricky bottom two so they awarded her a 10 and him a 9.
Dance-off: I completely called this after the first set of dances had finished. (Though does it make me a really bad person to confess that I was hoping Chris and Natalie’s fanbases would mobilise and get them through so that it would be the judges dreaded bottom two?) Sadly, it was obvious to everyone that there was no way on earth that the judges would save Natalie over Ricky (not unless he completely effed it up and dropped Natalie L on her head – though my mum was hoping that he’d fall!) I was really upset for Natalie & Vincent, who were just devastated to be out. I think Natalie expected to be in the dance off; Ricky on the other hand looked absolutely disgusted – as I commented earlier, I think he expected to coast through and the dance off never entered his head; he tried a lot harder second time around.
Other random thoughts:
+ Mum reckons that the whole thing is a fix, and I can’t really disagree. The judges definitely played favourites tonight.
+ Will be interested to see what Darcy Bussell brings to the judging panel next week.
+ Am hoping the overmarking stops, because it is really ruining the show. Sadly, having watched the last few seasons, I’m not holding my breath.
+ What on earth was Ricky thinking when he said to Tess that he didn’t make any mistakes last week, but still got marked down?!?! Has he conveniently forgotten the weeks that he made mistakes and didn’t get marked down (tango, anybody?) And as helsinkibaby pointed out, when he made his joke about getting his first 40 (31 for rock & roll and 9 for Viennese = 40) it went down like a lead balloon! Definitely getting the feeling he’s not well liked backstage.
+ Really enjoyed Riverdance. However, James Morrison and Nelly Furtado was a bit of a damn squib, he was flat as a pancake!!