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Zettel Film Reviews » BBC Strictly Come Dancing – Rory Rory Halleluja

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BBC Strictly Come Dancing – Rory Rory Halleluja

 

Strictly Come Dancing – Rory Rory Halleluja

Ask your friends; consult the tea leaves; scour the twitterscope; Lord help us, if you must, listen to Jeremy Vine and the Mad People on Radio 2 between 12 and 2 each day – your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to find out who the hell is voting for NancyOil. Now there’s a Mission Impossible if ever there was one.

Delicacy and the laws of libel prevent me from speculating about any behind the scenes liaisons that could distort the outcome of the vote. Self-preservation keeps me away from wondering whether there should be 120,000 last minute votes each week from Palermo for La Bella Italiana. But something is, if not rotten, then distinctly past its sell-by date on Strictly, apart from SirBee’s jokes.

Even if you gave NO a rhythm transplant, a personality make-over and something approximating a sense of humour, Rory was a better dancer, a more interesting and likeable competitor than La Donna Diva from the old land of the Boot (re-arrange these words into an apposite expression).

We are never told the voting demographic of Strictly. My hunch is that proportionate to percentage of the population, the biggest voters are Gay guys;, followed by women; followed by the blokes who’re hoping Ray Winstone will pop up soon to offer some in-play odds: Brendan to hang one on Len 3-1; Len to smack Craig around the face 6-4; Tess to wear a dress without any bits missing 4-6 on. This may offer the clue to the mystery of the driving, diving diva’s survival – she’s become a gay icon. Hardly a Kuddly Kylie but our NO could easily pass, especially next week as a Galloping Goth Streisand. Anton has finally won my respect: any man who can stand his ground with Nancy hurtling towards him teeth bared, legs akimbo is made of the right stuff. No wonder our Sven has a permanently spaced out, terrified, over-the shoulder haunted look about him these days – especially as he says he wants his house back.

Like old fashioned cricket players who want to become gentlemen, there was a distinct whiff of mutiny in the hip-wriggling ranks this week. Bolshie Bren is now getting vocal support from Jumped up James questioning the judging credentials of Cruella de Craig. I heard Cruella on ITT (re-arrange these letters into a….) tonight, cheeks akimbo in his Cheshire Cat smile saying that when he called Alex’s dance ‘cold, stiff, and sexless’ it was nothing personal and purely about the dance, not the dancer. Don’t worry Alex – you could take up pole-dancing and try a little extra-curricular light porn and Cruella wouldn’t find you sexy as he definitely paso doble’s on the other side of the bullring. By the way as a mere male with absolutely no innate objection to a glimpse of comely female…er…flesh, and as part of what I assume is the costume department’s ‘target market,’ dresses like Tess’s and Alex’s this week and Holly’s last week with no sides look tarty not sexy at all. And while I’m in the bitchy paragraph, what on earth has poor Winkle (Laudy Laudy Laudy Miss Claudy) done to incur such wrath from the costume department? Mumsy is as mumsy does but if their unflattering choices get any worse she’ll be in an xxxxxtra large t-shirt next week with a downward arrow with the legend ‘3 stone’ above it.

For someone with such undisciplined, lazy speech to show such rigorous commitment to her acting and her dancing, Chelsee continues to surprise and impress. Quite unexpectedly we find she is blessed with superb natural posture, which is no mean feat considering her constant anatomical struggle against gravity. Watch good sportsmen and physical performers and the head always guides, leads and controls everything: and Chelsee has an absolutely superb line in neck and head which not only gives her balance but also gives her dancing a gracefulness her overall shape would not anticipate. Combined with a punishing work ethic and a bubbly sense of fun and enthusiasm makes her the one to watch each week – in every sense. For Alex to feel sexy with James, and look sexy to Craig was a big ask especially in a tarty dress – but my hunch is that she has a very sexy rumba in her for that requires some subtlety and suggestiveness rather than letting it all, well most of it, hang out. Whatever Costume thinks.

Jason’s acting wasn’t up to the macho demands of the Paso and Kristina was oddly subdued and didn’t compensate. Audley shows that likeable big guys can hang in there long enough to improve and Holly and Artem were thoroughly professional if not very exciting. I’m not sure whether the Anita admiration society is deeply patronising or just biased. Len got very close to saying she’d done brilliantly ‘for a 62-year-old’. Well my hunch is this consummate pro would rather be judged straight, not age-adjusted. The Savage paradox deepens: our Robbie giving a delightfully OOOTTTTTT performance with more thrusts than the Three Musketeers and a slide-to-camera kiss that very nearly became a slide-to-broken-nose. One of the more esoteric pleasures of Strictly is to discern the difference in the guys that Craig and Bruno each like. Craig needs nothing to soothe his Savage breast; and the Trouble With Harry is that Bruno is already locked on. Harry continues to impress but there is zero chemistry between him and Aliona.

I still think Lulu would have done better with a different partner. This week she showed a lovely-to-see instinctive feel for the odd rhythm of the Samba which was probably better than Brendan’s. He can dance it, but he doesn’t live it. So he under-challenged her and again she was under-marked. With a knee problem needing an MRI scan this week, Russell proved he’s not just a pretty face or campy cheerleader. He’s such fun to watch with that insouciant, saucy grin that recalls Benny Hill at his naughtiest. Flavia brilliantly plays to his strengths and as a result has almost switched roles offering a strength and severity of line that feminises Russell’s campiness which allied to his good sense of rhythm and nippy feet creates a performance of merged sexual and gender signals.

Flavia and Vincente’s Sunday Argentine Tango seemed to me a triumph of dazzling technique over expressed passion and communicated feeling. These two can bring one close to tears of appreciation when the interpretation drives the technique so this was a small disappointment.

Rory really didn’t deserve to go and after last week’s Quick Step it is disappointing not to see how more he could improve. At least the Beeb can save money on costumes next week – NancyOil only ever wears black anyway. But she’s gotta go – we’ll just have to cut Palermo off the internet for a few days. Or maybe Anton could do a side-step. Or is that a bit cruel?

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