Earlier tonight : the Top Eight FINALLY split from their initial partnerships, and all did one new paired routine, a solo, and a group number. Although we're going to more or less completely forget that the latter two of those three things happened. Also earlier this week, the new US series of So You Think You Can Dance started, and Jakob Karr was revealed as a choreographer, so my patience for this show by comparison dropped down yet another notch. FUN!
We open on yet another group routine, with everyone dressed up in their best humbug black and white stripes/check and sat at a big table. To welcome Nigel back, the thing begins with a good 20 seconds or so of armography. TAKE THAT NIGEL, IT'S NEVER GOING AWAY. The song they're dancing to is "Rolling In The Deep", because I officially went the last 5 minutes without hearing Adele somewhere, and that situation needed to be urgently rectified. [Also, because Adele needs more money to complain about paying tax on later. - Steve] I swear, all you people going OH MY GOD AMY WAS A SPACE YOGHURT ALL ALONG! are going to be so disappointed next week when it turns out she's going to give birth to Adele. River Song's secret identity? Also Adele. The little girl in the space-suit? Adele. Then at the end, the Doctor regenerates into Adele. And Adele sings the theme tune. So heartbreaking.
Anyway, I'd heard the theme for this routine was a "freaks dinner party" but...name a group routine this series that hasn't been about freaks to some degree. Not including the slags vs gangstas group routines from the main show this week obviously. And the "freak styling" here seems to stretch to giving Scally Bet Lynche's wig, so it doesn't really stand out as being particularly freakish. Anyway, MattFlintMania and Katie Love exist a lot, and everyone else shuffles their lunch-tables around in the background. At the end, Angry Luke gets MAJOR Matrix-time air off his table, and it's my favourite thing of the whole series I think except when everyone threw Rithy up in the air with blood all over her mouth.
Cat comes out and thanks someone called Katrin Hall for choreographing. In the audience, Katrin Hall claps herself. That business out the way, Cat reminds us that one boy and one girl will be expelled from the competition later, and speaking of expulsion of human waste, the Black Eyed Peas will also be performing. Yay. Which 80s classic will they have violated next? I hope it's "What A Feeling". The judges are then re-introduced. I feel happy that Nigel's back. I think if Arlene had had to try to be the voice of professionalism one more week her vagina would have exploded.
Cat jokes that Nigel might have begged off last week's show on the excuse that he was really busy in LA and couldn't find the time NO MATTER HOW HARD HE TRIED. Well Cat has found out that was a lie (*face of shock*). He was instead getting goosed by Lady Gaga. Him and the rest of America. Sisco is asked to use the following words and phrases in a sentence ; "pressure", "dancing for your life", "there's only X places left", "tense". He just about manages it. I still say that should be Arlene's job again next week. All the random pauses and squints and flaps she inserts into what is essentially the same sentence is what keeps it fresh.
First up on Elimination Row are the girls, and we're reminded what they wrought earlier. Charlotte remained sucked in her weird time-warp where she has to perform at least one routine dressed like she's Dervla Kirwan's slightly backwards friend in Goodnight Sweetheart every week. She overacted insanely, and everyone dropped her like a plate of cold sick. Backstage she hopes that everyone still believes in her, and that she wasn't just leeching off MattFlintMania's fanbase all this time. Oops. Katie Love did Drag-Queen Roxie Hart and then got called a star. Backstage she Gloria Swanson's about how it's all she's wanted ever since she was a little girl was for someone to call her a star. Bless. Tell it to a therapist.
Kirsty was MattFlintMania's Librarian Girl and Nigel made a whole bunch of gross noises and started touching himself and humping the desk and howling and Kirsty thanked the Lord for the first time that she was born a bit deaf, because frankly the visual was bad enough. Backstage she hoots that it was amazing, and Arlene agrees. Bethany-Rose returned to the scene of her hip-hop crimes, except this time without even a skateboard to blame for the fact she was slopping around everywhere like Widdy after a few pints of the Black Stuff. Backstage she worries, and Sisco worries also. I am mostly non-plussed because after nigh on two months of Bethany-Rose Lee all I know is that she's a stripper who was raised by alpacas.
Out on stage now, and Cat runs through a quick summary with all the girls of what we just saw, but with added reminders about the solos and group routines (Bethany-Rose was great in the group routine. Katie Love was not great in the Group Routine. Fat Deaf Old Foot Phobic Face Planting Kirsty's solo was the worst thing I've ever seen.). Not that they mattered. What do you remember about the girls group routine? You are not allowed to use the phrase "not as good as the boys one". Anywho, Bethany-Rose and Scally are the ones who are the bottom two. Both of them do their best "I was expecting this to happen" faces, and Katie Love and FDOFPFP Kirsty do their their best "I am not going to be triumphant about this I am not" faces, Kirsty gives Scally a big old hug (who would not love a hug from Fat Deaf Old Kirsty? I bet they're amazing), and everyone departs.
Boys reminder now : If Katie Love was Renee Zellweger, Israel was playing the role of Taye Diggs' baby brother somewhere towards the back. Arlene slagged him off as lazy, and Israel's dad booed heartily. Israel's mum kept her gob shut, lest everyone call her a disgusting Jeremy Kyle chav again, like that one time Cat asked her a question and she dared to answer it. Backstage Israel says that he had fun out there and a really good time and thank you for having him and can he please have his party bag Mrs Phillips? AndrogyLee tried to keep his head as Scally went Blanche DuBois mental around him, and then Arlene told him the "B stands for Better And Better". I thought it stood for "Butch". I thought we'd established this every week for the past season or so? [I thought it stood for BYOB. - Steve] Backstage AndrogyLee gushes "Good Old Arlene!" and seems to be enjoying it as only someone who made it this far despite being ear-marked as fodder can.
Matt got a really bad wax job that left him looking a bit like a plucked 12 year old with the head of Matthew Perry on painkillers. SAY NO TO WAXING PEOPLE, IT IS WRONG. Oh and he done a rumba with Kirsty in her knickers. Backstage he says he really enjoyed it, whilst awkwardly fiddling with his shirt because he knows that WAXING IS WRONG. Angry Luke threw down whilst Bethany-Rose threw up, and Sisco told him he couldn't praise him any more and then...did. Arlene called him an Olympic. Nobody knew why. Backstage he says that he really, really wants to advance further, and Sisco says "lived/living/livage" Again. One of them. Or more. I've immunised myself against them, you'll have to check for yourself.
Out to the stage now, and the boys who are in the bottom are Israel (looks miserable, but then recovers) and AndrogyLee (looks gutted). Angry Luke pats AndrogyLee on the shoulder for luck, and then he and Matt wander off whispering sweet nothings into one another's neck that I can't hear no matter how high I turn my sound up. I bet it was filthy whatever it was.
Solos time now. Bethany-Rose Lee goes first, to "Layla" (the rocky version) and it's a more subdued solo than usual from Bethany-Rose, in that you can only see the very top of her cleavage. There's lot of jumping around and twirling and sexy arms movements, but mostly I'm distracted by the fact that someone's been at her leotard with a whole set of Waitrose cookie-cutters. Or some very neat and artistic moths got into wardrobe. Israel follows, and he's stuck wearing those low-crotch trousers that probably seemed like a good idea at the beginning, but once you've freaked out the squares with your ability to somehow still be able to dance whilst wearing them one, there's nowhere really else left to go. He dances indifferent hip-hop, fairly indifferently.
Scally follows, to "Listen" by Beyonce, and more specifically the bit where Beyonce tries to give it some mental for the one time in the entire film she's required to act anything other than "blandly superior". Scally of course has done "mental levels of over-wrought emotion" for her last two paired routines in a row, so it's a bit done at this point. She throws herself the stage, pulls at her hair, gurns crazy faces and spins around on her tip-toes, and throws herself to the floor like a Bedlamite. [And making herself so disorientated in the process that Cat practically has to lead her offstage in the right direction so Lee can do his solo. - Steve] Finally there's AndrogyLee in his "Val Kilmer as Jim Morrison" The Doors stripper vest, too tight leopardprint pants, whipping his hair back and forth and jamming his crotch in Nigel's face as Robert Plant squeals about how he's going to give you every inch of his love. It's an image I'll be taking from this series with me for the rest of my life I can tell you. AndrogyLee's solos have been everything I dreamt of and more. So 70s, so glam.
For the next 10 minutes the show turns into The X Factor. William, Sarah Ferguson Duchess Of York, amp-i-app and Taboo all take to the stage after an insanely overwrought intro ("30 MILLION ALBUMS SOLD WORLDWIDE! 6 GRAMMYS! ZERO SENSE OF MUSICALITY AND DIGNITY!") and there's lasers and vocorders and dancers and robots and the death of music and a stretch where the Duchess Of York looks a LOT like Kirstie Alley and old style decks being used to produce a noise like a wasp farting and a chorus that basically goes "STOP IT STOP IT!" making it really really easy for me to sing along. Come back Jessie J - all is forgiven. At least you didn't give off an air of "oh boy am I SLUMMING it tonight or WHAT?" the whole way through. At least you tried to do good. In this, you could never be a Black Eyed Pea.
(I still quite like "I Got A Feeling" though) [DRANK! - Steve]
Cat thanks the Black Eyed Peas, through time, back to when they filmed that bit three years ago. But forget all that fun, it's now Decision Time in the Danger Dance For Your Bottom Zone. Girls first, and Bethany-Rose steps forward. Nigel decides to start by REALLY not caring any more, and saying that Bethany-Rose Lee is obviously not connecting with the audience, specifically women, because she's too beautiful and too sexy. For a start Nigel, she made it past half the female cast without ever being the bottom - it's not as thought she's Rithy (sadly). Secondly, I love that he's saying this when she's stood next to Scally who has never been sexy ONCE, because it'd presumably spoil the show's presentation of her as a 7 year old, and whilst Kirsty (who spent the entirety of the first episode in her pants, twitching her bum around to Candyman and having MattFlintMania paw at her bosom whilst Nigel beat himself round the head with a shoe and made wolf-whistles) and Katie Love (who made a joke about how she's shagged every man on the show) remain safe. Yes Nigel, that's why she's here. WIMMINZ IS JUSS JELUS OF HER WEW LUSH BOOBZ.
Bethany-Rose is stepped back, and Scally is stepped forward, and told that there was a split decision 2-2 on her and Bethany-Rose, so the decision is up to him. Last time it was up to the tea lady Nigel. I swear, if anyone cared about this show there'd be a million conspiracy theories about why this changed this week, but nobody does, not really, so there aren't. Anyway, unfortunately for Scally, Nigel has decided she's going home, because whilst they love her personality she really needs to show more technique. Hey, remember last week when the line was that Charlotte was the only girl in the competition who was always technically flawless? THESE ARE NOT THE DROIDS YOU'RE LOOKING FOR. [Eh, Nigel wasn't here then, and I can't imagine he bothered to catch up on his missed homework. - Steve] Anywho, Bethany-Rose and Scally have a hug, Scally says "well done babe" five times in a row, and Bethany-Rose wanders off in a daze right into a bone-crushing hug from Angry Luke. I guess they bonded quickly. We see Scally's best bits. Thankfully they consist mostly of brief clips of her dancing interspersed with her being calm and articulate and thanking everyone for being so nice, rather than say, her screaming "WHAT AM DONKEY?" and running headlong into plate-glass windows.
Back in the studio, Cat asks her what she enjoyed. She says everything. Cat asks her what she'll remember. She says everything. She then thanks the judges for the opportunity, and MattFlintMania for being an amazing partner. Matt looks on nobly and solemnly from the audience. Kirsty cries her eyes out at his side.
Boys Judgment Day falls next, and Israel is asked to step forward. Nigel tells him that all the panel agree that he's had the most growth of all the contestants this series, and they all really admire how far he's come, and his commitment to excelling in all genres of dance, no matter how far outside of his comfort zone they are. That said, piss off, you're eliminated, and it's unanimous. BYEEE! Israel looks sad for a picosecond, then smiles and makes a little prayer gesture. AndrogyLee walks off to the side, where he immediately gets grabbed by Kirsty, lowing "WELL DONE BAY-BEEE!"
Team Raggy Dolls 4 Life!
Israel's Best Bits (ie, his mum) follows. Cat asks him to sum up his feelings, and he says that he really feels like he's grown as a performer as well as a dancer. This isn't the end! This is only the beginning! You have not heard the last of Israel Donowa! Israel, I know you might have been confused by the Black Eyes Peas bit, but this really isn't X Factor. Cat asks him what he'll remember. He also says "everything". He doesn't remember Bethany-Rose specifically though. Ah well. I thought they got on.
To end, Matt and Katie Love hoist up Scally on their shoulders, Angry Luke and AndrogyLee hoist up Israel, Kirsty pokes at Scally's bum like she thinks she can find a way to help, but instead just settles with dishing out another hug, this time to Bethany-Rose. Let the music play!
Next week, this is your Top Six :
Fat Deaf Old Foot Phobic Face Planting Darlene Loving Awesome Hugging Kirsty
All told, it could have been MUCH worse. [Speaking of how much worse things could be, next week I have to recap Mr Schuester from Glee performing his new single. THANKS. - Steve]