Strictly Come Dancing 2012, Week 11: AKA The One Where Tess Almost Wears A Decent Dress

It’s semi-final time which means five couples, ten dances and a whole lot of sparkle.

Dec 17, 2012 at 2:15pm | Leave a comment

The Hosting:
Forgetting about Brucie for a week, did everyone spot Tess’ actually-kind-of-OK dress on Saturday? Long, black, vaguely vampiric? If only wardrobe could wrestle those shiny belts off of her we’d be away. Or so, I thought.

Then she turned up on Sunday in that flesh-coloured satin evening dress, replete with lacey bodice and pelmet. So, we’re still very much where we started from back in October.

I did half-like Claudia’s gold lacey number (I own something similar in black) but really did not understand that weird bent at the knees walk she did at the start. Bad shoes? Scratchy knickers made out of the same fabric as her skirt? Seriously Winky, I know a girl has to suffer for style but she doesn’t have to suffer that much.

The Judging:
We’ve reached a point in the competition now where everyone who’s in it is pretty good if not excellent. This actually makes the judging kind of lame. It’s all 7, 8, 9 or 10 and constructive remarks instead of needless bitching and in-fighting amongst the panel. Even Darcy and Bruno kept their flirting down to a minimum this week. Yawn.

The Dancing, Round One: 
An American Smooth by Team Smurf aka Dani and Vincent to start us off. I still don’t find her particularly likeable but it’s impossible not to appreciate Dani’s work ethic. I think I enjoyed watching the routine as much as Dani enjoyed performing it. Which is to say, hugely. Nice of Barbie to lend the Smurfette a sparkly frock, too. Pink is definitely her colour.

Louis and Flavia were next. Their jive to the Frankie Lymon classic, Why Do Fools Fall in Love? felt lacking. The judges criticized their timing and Louis’ kicks for not being sharp enough, and I’m inclined to agree. In spite of incorporating yet more gymnastics and half-arsed acting from Louis, it was unimpressive.

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Up next were James and Denise with a smoky Tango to the strains of Roxanne by The Police. Sharply performed, this routine was worth watching for the floor spins alone. Plus one for Denise’s dress this week. I’ll definitely be investing if Ann Summers rips it off in the New Year.

Kimberley and Pasha’s American Smooth gave viewers the first chance to compare and contrast performances this evening. Would they be as good as Dani and Vincent? Could they? The short answer is yes. Putting Kimberley in a red dress and asking her to work it (however classily) to the Peggy Lee song Fever is only ever going to end well.

The timing on this decidedly sultry number was bang on, and their lifts were perfect. Like Dani, Kimberley never fails to put her all in and that high score of was well-deserved as were the comparisons to Jessica Rabbit and Rita Hayworth. Red hot and near perfect.

The last couple of this evening’s first round were Lisa and Robin who I love. Their lively Caribbean-flavoured salsa was joyful to watch, even if that floor spin did leave Lisa performing the dying fly for a few seconds. It was the poorest dance of a technically very good evening but, fuck it, they looked like they were having fun, and why not start the journey home with a laugh?

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Round Two:
Dani and Vincent returned with an Argentine Tango. Regular viewers will be aware that Vincent and his pro-partner Flavia are world champions many times over at this dance so my expectations ran high. A complex dance that originated in Argentine brothels, this tango demands both a steaminess and technical skill that I didn’t think Dani would be able to pull off. More fool me. It was beautiful.

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Foxtrotting along next were Louis and Flavia. I loved the choreography on this but, as is often the problem with Flavia’s routines, I couldn’t take my eyes off her and had to re-watch the routine at least twice before taking note that Louis’ “smelling a turd” face was back. Much better than their jive.

In spite of the fact that Denise and James chose (that ghastly wank of a song) The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face for their Rumba, I did rather love it. Incredible choreography again from James that led to a very emotive and romantic performance. Not sure why Denise was in her nightie though.

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Kimberley and Pasha’s second routine of the night was a Charleston that Kimberley knew “had to be amazing”. Lucky for her, Pasha’s as good on the faster numbers as he is on ballroom. An absolutely brilliant performance of a lively routine that got Kimberley her second perfect score of the series and, even more amazingly, a “Fab-you-luss!” from judge Craig.

Following that was never gonna be easy, so kudos to Robin and Lisa for attempting to in such style. I did love Lisa’s red gown overlaid with black sparkly lace and Robin’s use All That Jazz for the American Smooth. It was a far better performance than their Salsa, and one that will serve them well if it is to be their goodbye. 

Favourites:
Only three couples will go into next week’s final. Of the remaining five, I’d really like to see Dani and Kimberley in there.

Least Favourites:
I will always love them but the weekend definitely did not belong to Robin and Lisa.

The Dance Off:
Lisa versus Denise with Dani not realizing she was in the final ‘til she looked over to Vincent and not finding him, because he’d fallen to his knees, thanking God that he’d finally made it through.

The Results:
Denise was kept unanimously kept in by the judges but no fear. Lisa Riley has worked hard and been an absolute joy to watch for the last eleven weeks. She’s not only “the people’s champion” (Judge Len), and the West End’s “next musical theatre star” (Judge Darcy), she’s also conclusively proved that “chubbers can move,” her aim from the beginning.

That’s Lisa with an “S”, bitches.

Alisande is practicing her jazz hands on Twitter @AlisandeF