Sunday, 29 May 2011

So You Think You Can Leave Matt Flint And Survive?

Top 8 Results: 28th May 2011

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" 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 :

Angry Luke

Bethany Rose-Lee
Fat Deaf Old Foot Phobic Face Planting Darlene Loving Awesome Hugging Kirsty
Katie Love

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]

Couples retreat

Top 8: 28th May 2011

Previously: the promised uncoupling of the pairs didn't materialise, Nigel's interest in the show waned, leading to guest judge BARROWMAN who turned out to not have a single shred of the charm he showed on I'd Do Anything, and poor Tapper Tom was finally put out of his misery, along with Katrina Ballerina.

Tonight, it's the quarter-finals, which doesn't really mean anything apart from "the final's on in two weeks so we're trying to build momentum, even though we're now on at 3.35pm and only watched by a small group of die-hard fans and Sisco's mum" [I think if Sisco's mum paid any attention to his life then he might not be quite so...Sisco, so I doubt it - Chris]. The good news is that the partners have finally changed, so we're going to see some different dynamics amongst the pairings that have never troubled the bottom two (so, MattScallyMania and Team Raggy Dolls, in other words) and we'll get to vote for our favourite individual dancers, which could be interesting. The stakes are moderately high, the tension is vaguely perceptible, so who will be the favourite dancer of 4.3% of Britain?


We welcome the Top 8 to the stage, as individuals this time rather than pairs, and the order for anyone who's interested is as follows: Bethany Rose, Luke, Fat Deaf Old Foot=Phobic Face-Planting Kirsty, Matt, Katie Love, Israel, Charlotte and AndrogyLee. Those are the girls, here are some boys, let's get this mother on the road, eh Cat?

Speak of the devil, Cat enters and has a little shimmy-off with Matt, who somehow even manages to leave the stage obnoxiously. That's quite a talent. She explains how the dancers will be challenged this week: by dancing with someone they've NEVER DANCED WITH BEFORE, doing a solo as well as the usual pair dance, and because the public will be voting for individuals rather than pairs, so we finally get to see how popular Charlotte really is when she's not shackled to Matt The Obvious Winner every week. Cat adds that everyone now has an individual voting number, and proceeds to read them all out even though the lines aren't scheduled to open for another 45 minutes. Are we supposed to start programming them into our handsets or something? Also, Cat's a little weird tonight, she keeps missing words out of her sentences and tripping over her tongue. I wonder if she's ill? She is looking a bit peaky. [She's so bored - Chris]

Oh, and we also have judges, and thankfully Nigel is back and BARROWMAN has been given his marching (like a man, not like a sissy BRUCE) orders. Sisco is dressed like a matador again, Louise's eye make-up is still unenviable, and Arlene is wearing a necklace of popcorn dunked in metallic paint. Cat asks Nigel what he makes of the Top 8, and he says that they're pretty much the people he expected, though he's sad Katrina's not around. Katrina, incidentally, is in the audience, sitting alongside Cabbage Alice and someone who may well be Stephanie. There's no sign of Tom that I can see, but in fairness he's still probably off tapping away somewhere where nobody's going to compare him unfavourably to Katrina/Matt Flint/chalk dust, and loving every minute. Sisco blathers on about nothing very much that Cat hasn't already told us. Cat reminds us that two couples will be in the bottom two and one boy and one girl will be going home. Shall we get on with some dancing now?

Katie and Israel are our first reconstituted pairing of the evening, and Cat says that in an attempt to shore his support, Israel's been talking to the Big Guy - "not Nigel, bigger." Simon Fuller? Danny Cohen? I dunno, but if the answer to this is supposed to be "God", then frankly I think in terms of getting the message of support across, I think God comes a distant second behind Israel's Mum. They've drawn Broadway this week, and Israel recalls last week's show, where he thinks he gave one of his best performances, and was thus surprised to see the public had let him fall into The Danger Zone Or Whatever We're Calling It This Week. Katie, on the other hand, thinks last week went well, but "just as I was hitting a high point with Luke" (after one whole week together - I think Katie Love might be the intense sort who turns up on your doorstep with her cat and her Ikea houseplants after the second date) she's had to switch partners. Again. Israel's pleased to have Katie, and Katie's pleased to have Israel, adding "I'm working my way around the group, aren't I?" Oh Katie Love. You don't want to start spreading rumours like that, especially with a surname like yours that positively encourages childish nicknames. Like Katie FreeLove. Tee hee hee. As promised, Israel heads off to his local church in St Mary's Platt, to meet his supporters. There are indeed a lot of them, but frankly Israel's Mum is the only person we're even remotely interested in. The rest is just window dressing. Israel does some dancing and thanks everyone. They've got Tasty Oreo as their choreographer this week, who appears to be breaking the habit of a lifetime and actually devising an original piece for this show, to 'Roxie' from Chicago. [Original in the sense that he lifted a bunch of Fosse bits and threw them in a hat - Chris] Katie thanks everyone for keeping her in this far. Israel thinks he would've struggled with a routine like this at the start, but he's growing as a dancer and can totally do this. They're assigned a homework task to watch some old-Hollywood musicals and get into the spirit of Chicago (the inner world, obviously, since the film itself was only released nine years ago). Aside from the obligatory "Israel fake-yawns so he can put his arm around Katie Love" trope, this particular narrative track leads us nowhere and appears to have been inserted just to take up another 15 seconds or so of VT time. [Welcome to every VT on this show. Remember when Katie made Lee C breakfast/Salsa Man/when Angry Luke told Danielle her face smelled? - Chris]

Sidebar: I went to see Chicago in London when Ashlee Simpson was playing Roxie, and she was really good. No, seriously: legitimately good. Also, she totally played up the "my nose" lyric in this song since it was not long after she'd been in the papers for having lots of surgery, and I admired her for that. The choreography in this section isn't really blowing me away: I guess because Fosse's style in this show is so distinctive, and really Tasty Oreo's efforts here fall a bit flat in comparison. I know you can't just rip off someone else's work, but when a show is so irrevocably connected with a particular style of dance, it seems odd not to at least acknowledge it in the routine. Katie and Israel are doing an okay job of it - he's pretty good, and selling a role that clearly isn't the showcase, while she's vamping away heartily in the lead role and occasionally chomping at the scenery. It goes a little bit off for Israel towards the end, as he's just sort of throwing his arms around with no real purpose, and I think he's never going to be 100% comfortable in Broadway, but it's still a decent effort from him.

Cat giggles that Israel sashayed over to the judges, and Nigel disagrees with me by saying that he liked the choreography and Tasty's recreation of the Fosse style. Eh, you win some, you lose some. He's very proud of Israel's growth (FNAR) across the season, but he needs to relax his shoulders a little bit. Katie, on the other hand, is every inch a star, and this style suits her brilliantly. Cat admires Katie's fans with the pink hair. Arlene says that this style demands accuracy, technique, timing and a little finger that can do the talking. Presumably like Leon's. Katie, it seems, was talking tonight, while Israel's timing was lazy. Arlene then shoots forth with another of those strange analogies that make sense only to her: "I think you need to play Monopoly and you need a get out of jail free card." I love Arlene. I'm going to miss her when this show gets cancelled. Nigel thinks she's being tough, and Arlene responds that it's the quarter finals, and Israel was out of time. Sisco chimes in that this is absolute nonsense, prompting Cat to zing "I'm getting nonsense from Sisco", like that isn't true every fucking week. Sisco thinks Israel looked like a jazz dancer, and his accuracy and extensions were great. He thinks Israel is what the competition is all about. He thinks Katie is always consistent despite having been held back by her partners, and she's a star. Louise thinks this was a perfect routine for Katie, and it really suited her. She then proceeds to call Israel "Sisco" (ZOMG RACISM, although I like the idea of Louise critiquing Sisco, just in general) and telling him that this is not his sweet spot dance-wise, but he's really had to work to get this far. He wasn't perfect, but she enjoyed it and thought he looked like a jazz dancer.

Katie and Israel scamper off as Bethany Rose scoots onto the stage behind them, which means it's time for the first of tonight's solos, which Cat explains have been choreographed by the contestants themselves. Remember that, it'll be important later. For once, Bethany has come appropriately-bedecked for the occasion in a flowing ocean-blue dress that really enhances her movement and entirely conceals her ladyparts [for once - Chris]. Her solo is to the loud bit of 'Fix You' by Coldplay, and is actually pretty good - it's very dynamic to watch and features deft, flowing movements. She take slightly longer than her allotted 30 seconds, but at least the crowd don't do that obnoxious yelling countdown. Cat asks her if she's feeling the pressure of doing the night's solo, and she says that she is, although it's nice to be able to enjoy it rather than doing it under the pressure of the near-elimination scenario.

And if anyone's wondering what happened to the strippertastic outfits Bethany Rose often wears, here's your answer: Luke is wearing a pair of slashed black trousers (and nothing else) [maybe some knickers - Chris] for his solo, to Muse's 'Supermassive Black Hole', [I'd do a solo to Angry Luke's Supermassive etc etc - Chris] which is a bit flaily and messy for my personal taste, although the writhing is always fun. I just don't think, choreography-wise, it's that great an indicator of what he's capable of. Cat calls him "fancypants" (I sincerely hope those trousers really aren't anyone's idea of the word "fancy", except for maybe that one in the country song about the prostitute), and Luke says that while challenging yourself is good, it's nice to be able to dance in your own style. Apropos of nothing, Cat says that Luke makes her feel like a girl (NOT IN THAT WAY), [I'd let Angry Luke make me feel like etc etc - Chris] because he's one of the few men in the world who's taller than she is.

Time for our second new team, that of Scally and AndrogyLee. Scally got a rave review from BARROWMAN for her contemporary piece, while Lee hit a stumbling block because BARROWMAN didn't think his and Kirsty's version of Hair was appropriately polyamorous. Lee says, however, that knowing that his family were at home supporting him made all the difference, and we are treated to a hilarious reconstruction of this moment, with last week's show crudely superimposed on Lee's living room while his mum (making a late attempt to yoink the Mum Of The Series crown out of Israel's Mum's hands) tuts and rolls her eyes. I swear someone yells "get off!", and if they do, they are my new favourite person. We see Lee calling his family after he gets through, and them cheering loudly as families do. He pulls Charlotte out of the box, as it were, and she's excited to be partnered with him, as she thinks they get along well and there could be a great connection between the two of them. They draw contemporary out of the box and cheer, and then there's an odd bit where Charlotte does an "impression" of Lee that makes little sense, and Lee murmurs that he'll need to get tanning if he doesn't want to look like Caspar the Friendly Ghost next to Scally. Choreographer Mandy Moore explains that their routine is about the last moments before a man is summoned to war, and Charlotte declares that the routine makes her "go tingly". Mandy Moore notes drily that she's asking Charlotte to do something more mature this week (frankly, "getting dressed without assistance" is probably something more mature than Charlotte's used to) and hopes that she can can it with the damn giggling. I may have been paraphrasing slightly. Montage of Charlotte giggling, and Lee explaining patiently that laughter is a Sometime Trait. Charlotte says that she's struggling not to laugh, but she is working hard to get into characters because they want to make the semi-finals.

The entirely too on-the-nose routine is to 'Unchained Melody' by the Righteous Brothers, and Scally's dressed like an extra from Goodnight Sweetheart while Lee is, as previously mentioned, a man what is going off to war. [Well if we don't ask, they'll never tell - Chris] Charlotte's attempts at intense angst are unsuccessful: she looks like she's got a fishhook dangling off her lower lip. Lee's doing a pretty good job of intensity and showing the burden on his shoulders (and I don't just mean Scally), although the pair lack the chemistry that he used to have with FDOFPFP Kirsty. Again, it all goes wrong for Scally about halfway through and she just seems to be chucking her limbs around with no great sense of where or why, and then they lose time with each other. There's a nice tabletop lift where Charlotte manages to position her balance very well in order to look practically weightless, but then it descends again into awkwardness and a final fishhook face to end on.

Louise thought Lee was amazing with the storytelling, and that he's danced his way through a lot of very diverse characters, [Week 1 - you are butch and in love with Kirsty, Week 2 - You are butch and in love with Kirsty, Week 3 - You are in love with Kirsty, Week 4 - you are butch - Chris] but advises him to ensure he finishes all his movements properly. She's less keen on Charlotte, though, and thinks this partnership has exposed her a bit. Arlene thinks the B in Lee B stands for "better and better", and she was so moved by him in the routine - she disagrees with Louise and thinks that not finishing the moves actually worked in this piece to create a sense of abandonment. She didn't like Charlotte's faces and felt she was overdancing it, and she didn't get the depth of the potential loss of a husband [*snort* - Chris] out of the routine either. Nigel didn't love the routine, because he didn't believe in it. He thought that they both danced parts of it well, but he doesn't get how Lee can be a soldier with drainpipe trousers and no shoes. Because obviously, the costuming was something Lee had full creative control over. Also, it's CONTEMPORARY DANCE, Nigel, of course he didn't have any bloody shoes on. Be grateful he wasn't just attired in a billowing white sheet. He also thinks that when Charlotte isn't showing her big personality, her flaws come across - she needs to point her toes when she leaves the floor, and she has to straighten her legs in the jumps. Lee's technique was terrific, but Nigel didn't believe in it. Louise thinks Lee could be a trendy soldier. Sisco is not invited to comment. Hooray! Also: anyone even remotely surprised that the Charlotte Scally lovefest came to an abrupt halt the second she was uncoupled from MattFlintMania? No, me neither.

Time for more solos, starting with Fat Deaf Old Foot-Phobic Face-Planting Kirsty, and...oh dear. Remember what Cat said at the beginning about the contestants choreographing the solos themselves? Well, this routine makes it very clear that Kirsty is not not much of a choreographer. And that's putting it politely. It's to 'Candyman' by Christina Aguilera, and it's basically a fairly poor pirouette followed by a lot of twitching. It's the sort of thing that most of us could've choreographed on the dancefloor at the local discotheque if we had a few vodkas inside us and enough room to execute it. It's only through sheer force of Kirsty's goofy personality that the routine makes it through the full 30 seconds at all, but it's safe to say her big weakness has now been exposed, and she's very fortunate that she's never been forced to dance for her life, because that shit would've seen her go home without so much as a by-your-leave. [Because it really matters how they dance in the Dance For Your Bottom Zone - Chris] Because anything is preferable to talking about that hot mess, Cat tells Kirsty she's looking great, and Not-So-Fat Deaf Old Kirsty tells Cat that she's lost one and a half stone over the course of the competition.

Matt's next, wearing that godawful half-denim half-plaid shirt that he's forced to wear every week, delivering a pretty impressive tap routine to Stevie Wonder's 'I Wish'. Cat tries to pretend this is a rare opportunity to see Matt in his area of expertise, like the show hasn't tried to shoehorn it in at every available opportunity. Matt explains that he chose the music because it's from his favourite film, Happy Feet (REALLY?!?!?!?!), and "that little penguin inspires [him]". Okay, that's quite enough pandering there, thank you Matt. I had hoped that being separated from Scally might have made him more tolerable, but apparently not. [He's a dancer! It's a film about dancing and being yourself and that! I bet if you asked EVERY SINGLE GIRL it'd be Dirty Dancing, which is barely less infantile. LEAVE MATTFLINTMANIA ALOOOOOOOOONE! - Chris]

Bethany Rose and Angry Luke are next, and their VT follows the same format as everyone else's, with Luke reminding us that last week was good for him, while Bethany points out that last week was not good for her. We see her getting a hug from BARROWMAN after she's saved, and GO AWAY BARROWMAN, IT WAS BAD ENOUGH THAT YOU WERE HERE LAST WEEK WITHOUT YOU LIVING ON IN FLASHBACK FORM. Bethany says that she's thrilled to be paired with Luke, because she loves him to death and "would marry him like that" *snaps fingers* (the "if he weren't, y'know" left unspoken). [Someone needs to explain to Bethany-Rose that's not how marriage works - Chris] They draw hip hop, and Bethany Rose's entire universe collapses. Choroegrapher Simeon Qysea explains that the routine is about a broken down relationship, which is familiar territory for both of them in this show. Bethany is struggling with the routine and can't quite get all the moves, while Luke worries about having to rely on this routine to get them through the quarter-finals because it is very hard.

The routine is to 'Let You Go' by Chase and Status, and opens with Luke reading a letter and having SO MANY FEELINGS about it while Bethany Rose packs a bag in the background. The whole concept of the routine (that she wants to leave but he PHYSICALLY RESTRAINS HER) is kind of terrifying to start with [DOMESTIC ABOOOOOOOOOS - Chris], and they're both playing it very angrily. Bethany Rose's issues with hip hop are on show here, as once the routine moves into the part where she and Luke need to be synchronised in their solo movements, she's completely behind and struggling to keep up, making the whole thing look very sloppy. She does claw it back eventually, but it's a struggle, and despite her best efforts Luke's just completely outdancing here.

Cat implores Bethany to give Luke his bag back, adding "don't make him get angry, because he will", which is totally a shout-out to this blog, right? Right? Oh, never mind. Sisco thinks Luke is phenomenal, and a great example of what a professional dancer is, because while it wasn't flawless, he was performing with conviction, and made it look like this was a genre that suited him. Deciding to entirely buy into the narrative of the VT, Sisco bitches out Bethany Rose for complaining and says that if she'd spent less time whinging in rehearsals she'd have got a better grasp on the routine. Whatever, Sisco: it's not even like she was complaining that much, just acknowledging that hip hop is not her strong suit and that she was struggling with it. He thinks she should've taken "that" energy, presumably the energy gained from nervousness about an unfamiliar genre, and used it in the routine instead of "doing complaints". Remember earlier how I said I was going to miss Arlene when this show gets cancelled? Well, apply the exact opposite of that to Sisco. Louise loved the energy and the storytelling, and thought that Luke was spot-on, but Bethany struggled to keep up with him, and mistakes this for being a height issue. Arlene to Luke: "why use ten words when you can use one: OLYMPIC!" I guess she finally got those notes from the Strictly Come Dancing producers, a few years too late. [And yet not the one about the words having to make sense - Chris] Bethany Rose, sadly, was all over the place like popcorn in a microwave. And Arlene admitted to me that she's a terrible cook when I interviewed her a few months ago, [NAME DROPPER - Melody Hossaini] so I suspect she is familiar with microwave popcorn disasters.

Katie Love steps up for her solo to 'Seduces Me' by Celine Dion, dressed as Harley Quinn from Batman, and pleases Brian Friedman fans with her literal choreography (dropping to the floor in time with the line "I'll go down with a smile on my face" [F'NAR! - Chris], later dropping to her knees on the line "I'll go down on my knees" [F'NAR! -Chris]). It's pleasingly wiry and spindly, hampered very slightly by the fact that she slips over on her end pose and pulls a giant WHOOPS face as she gets up. [Oh it was more than one, not that she was hamming for all she was worth or anything - Chris] She heads over to Cat and informs us that she TOTALLY PLANNED the bit where it looked like she slipped. Heh. Someone in the audience screams "I BELIEVE IN A THING CALLED LOVE!", and I think it's too late to make catchphrases happen, and it's about six years too late for THAT catchphrase to happen.

Solo Israel next, dancing to 'Move (If You Wanna)' [I don't - Chris] by Mims, and danced almost entirely by his crotch in isolation. I mean, it's no Drew and his cock-phone, but I think it's the closest we're going to get this series. [More's the pity - Chris] Cat gets Israel to turn around, and informs us that they've taken the coolest guy on the show (not that much of an accolade when your competition is AndrogyLee, Matt Flint and Luke and all his FEELINGS) and covered his back pocket in sequins.

Cat introduces our final brand new couple "like David Cameron and Barack Obama" - MattFlintMania and Not So Fat Deaf Old Foot-Phobic Face-Planting Non-Choreographing Kirsty, whose acronym is going to go off the end of a line if this carries on. Also, if they really are like Cameron and Obama, then I'm going to assume that before Kirsty was selected for the show, Matt went public with his support for her chief rival, and now is pretending he never did any such thing. NSFDOFPFPNC [Gesundheir - Chris] Kirsty says that she enjoyed last week, while Matt grouses that last week he got negative feedback for the first time in the competition. Excuse me while I hire the world's tiniest string section to play something suitably mournful here. The fact that the negative criticism he got was from BARROWMAN wittering on about how he wanted an Italian spicy meat feast just makes the whole thing more ridiculous. Matt taps for Kirsty when he draws her out of Cat's box. Kirsty: "Matt's an absolutely stunning dancer, how can I complain? Well, that's what everyone keeps telling me, HAHAHAHAHA!" It's funny how manic cackling is so much more endearing when Kirsty does it than when Charlotte does. They draw rumba for this week's dance, and bust out some "sexy" "moves" to celebrate. They have Chris and Jaci as their choreographers, and talk for about six years about how steamy the rumba is. Matt admits that his biggest challenge has been mastering the "rumba walk", and when asked by Chris to strut like he's on the catwalks of Milan, ends up lumbering forward like he's on a 10-mile hike with a backpack full of sand. I'm surprised they don't bring Barrowman back for this, actually - perhaps he's only useful for teaching people how to walk in a more masculine fash--no, I'm sorry, I can't finish that sentence without laughing. Matt "learns" to strut like he loves himself, which I'm sure can't have taken that long, while Kirsty basically has trouble starting the routine on the right foot. Literally. Jaci points out that they've had to be very hard on Kirsty because it's always the woman who gets the attention in a rumba, unless of course you're a male celebrity on Strictly Come Dancing and you've got Len Goodman in the corner wittering on about how THIS DANCE IS HARD FOR MALES. Eventually Kirsty seems to get it, and Matt winds things up by saying that he hopes their rumba makes Arlene so moist that she becomes overcome with lust for Nigel. Again, I paraphrase, but probably not quite as much as you're hoping.

Arlene, bless her heart, decides not to bother waiting for the rumba and plants one on Nigel anyway. ARLENE ♥. Cat expresses disappointment that it was only "on the cheek" and asks for another one later, "Kate and Wills-style". Ew. Anyway, dancing anyone? Their rumba is to 'Librarian Girl' by Michael Jackson (I don't care what you tell me, as far as my eight-year-old self is concerned, THAT IS THE PROPER TITLE) [It makes more sense than the idea that Kirsty dressed up as Princess Jasmine = "Liberian" - Chris] and they actually work very nicely together. Kirsty has lovely rumba arms, and she and Matt seem properly in sync with each other in a way the other couples this evening haven't managed. Also, it probably doesn't hurt that they're both giant hams, because it means they're not remotely concerned about getting properly up in each other's faces for the steamy parts of the routine, and that makes it all the more coherent as a dance of sexual intent. It ends with Matt running his hand down the length of Kirsty's body and Kirsty writhing in pleasure. And no, the watershed is not for another two hours and 35 minutes. FILTH.

Cat, clearly sharing my mind, suggests that it's "a funny outfit for a librarian" and asks Nigel for his feedback. Nigel thought it was very sensual and all about the hips, and then claims that Kirsty was NEVER FAT, even though they [/Arlene, just Arlene - Chris] pretty much said as much during her audition, adding that she's "totally reshaped [her] body" and it's shown off very well in that outfit. Turning to Matt, Nigel says that's the first time he's seen him dance outside of his style ("it's normally Broadway or tap or jazz or something", which, if I can borrow a comment from Chris, is still more recognisable as a genre than "commercial" is) and he's a wonderful partner with terrific shaping. Arlene loves the rumba, and wastes no time in telling Kirsty it was a good job she got this, because she redeemed herself from "that appalling solo", though she would've liked her to hug and caress the floor a bit more. Sisco needs feeding at this point and smarms that if there'd been any more caressing, it would've basically been porn, and while he's not wrong on that score, Arlene is also right to point out that she meant THE FLOOR and not Matt, and Sisco shushes her with Peanuts-teacher noises. Arlene: "You know what? I'm going to call you TESCO: cheap!" That doesn't make an awful lot of sense, but it's Arlene trashing Sisco, so I don't care, I love it. Anyway, Sisco thought it was very sexual and incredibly believable, with Matt oozing sex and Kirsty giving her usual consistent level of performance.

Final solos: up first is Charlotte, doing a routine to Queen's 'Don't Stop Me Now' which looks awfully familiar, though I can't say if it was her audition piece because that feels like it was about three years ago at this point. Anyway, it's all foofy and springy and when it's all over, Cat shames Charlotte some more by telling everyone watching that when Charlotte did the spins in rehearsals, she blew snot everywhere. Charming.

Finally we have AndrogyLee, in those ghastly humbug-striped stretchy pants that are joining Matt's shirt on the bonfire the second this series is over, dancing to 'Fashion' by David Bowie. His routine is a lot of jumping and the splits, whether vertical or horizontal, and decent enough amongst the fairly sub-standard solos we've seen tonight. Lee tells Cat that he loves fashion and dance, so it was nice to put them both together.

Cat turns to Arlene for feedback on the solos as a whole, and unsurprisingly Arlene starts with Kirsty, saying that people have access to the best choreographers to teach them on this show, but some of those solos went right back to the level people were at when they auditioned, and that's not good enough. Kirsty was "like a kid of six" [From Arlene's Paedo Dance-Studios presumably - Chris], while Charlotte wasn't pointing her toes, and wasn't supporting herself properly. On the other hand, some of them have grown, like Luke, who's dancing in a way that Arlene never expected, and Matt never lets anyone down. Despite all of that, though, Arlene reminds us that they have a further solo, if they're in the bottom two, and a group dance still to show, so we shouldn't just take her word for it. I don't think that was ever much of a concern, Arlene.

Cat declares the phone lines open, and a Katie Love fan screams "IBELIEVEINATHINGCALLLEDLOVE!", to which Cat replies "ILLGIVEYOUTHENUMBERINAMINUTE!" It's little things like this that remind me how great Cat is, and so much better with a live crowd than Dermot O'Leary over on The X Factor. I know I say that a lot, but it's true. [I think we were 5 seconds away from a "FUCKING SHUT UP!" - Chris] After that, we get a quick reminder of the night's performances and the numbers to vote for everyone.

So that's everyone taken care of, but we still have 10 minutes of showtime to fill. What next? Why, group dances, of course. Boys vs girls, like it's The Apprentice. The girls are up first, with a jazz number choreographed by Sean Cheesman. He explains to them all that although it is a group number, they'll be judged individually so they can't afford to screw up. NSFDOFPFPNC Kirsty interviews that they're being scored against each other, so it's important to look better than the girl next to you; this is underscored by rehearsal footage of Kirsty totally messing up and looking lost. Sean says that even though they've picked up the routine quickly, things are still not where they should be (Katie Love falls off a chair) and Bethany Rose interviews that when they get on stage, they have to bring it all together and show their inner diva. Katie points out that when you're one of four, you don't want to be identified as the luggage.

They're dancing to 'Dr Feelgood' by Aretha Franklin, and the routine is indeed a bit sloppy in places, with some timing issues - Bethany Rose is the only person I spot not falling victim to this, though she does have an entirely separate problem in that when the routine calls for them to kick their chairs away, she ends up kicking hers right into Kirsty's path [/face - Chris] and Kirsty has to plot an evasion course around it while still hitting her mark at the right moment. Sabotage will not be tolerated, Bethany Rose. As the routine progresses, Charlotte's looking a little blank in the face (more so than usual) and Katie's off-time again.

Louise thinks it was great to see them dancing again and, finally having spotted a situation for which she has relevant experience, points out that she knows what it's like dancing in a four-piece act. She thinks that some dancers were more noticeable than others - Kirsty and Bethany Rose stood out as having the feel of the routine and the easiness, while Katie and Charlotte were left behind in comparison.

Time for the boys: they also have a jazz routine, but theirs is choreographed by Mandy Moore using a heist theme. She claims that there's tension in the room as the guys are competing against each other, though to be honest the VT that they use to illustrate this makes it look more like sexual tension than anything. They were all just kind of leering at each other. Israel says that they're all friends, but they can't forget it's a competition. Angry Luke wants to be sure to stand out. Lee thinks it's been a very different atmosphere. Israel is fighting to stay in the competition. Matt thinks everyone wants to win. Lee wonders if this routine could be the difference between staying and leaving. And so on.

They're dancing to Queen's 'Another One Bites The Dust', all dressed in sharp suits and trilby hats. They're a lot slicker than the girls, in that it's harder to tell if any of them are messing up at any given point, although to be honest I spent most of my time watching this routine thinking how I could totally get on board with these four being the new cast of Hustle, especially if they brought in Kirsty as the honeytrap. I think Luke's the best of the group, with Matt somewhere in the middle, and Israel and Lee lagging behind a little bit, but as I said, the differences between them aren't nearly as pronounced as they are with the girls. Also, I'm disappointed that there was a shot in the rehearsal footage of Luke doing a one-handed cartwheel, and this doesn't seem to have made a final edit. Boo.

The judges are on their feet applauding, and Nigel thinks that unlike the girls, none of the guys stood out in that routine. A few idiots in the audience boo, because they're far too stupid to realise where this is going, and sure enough, Nigel concludes that no one stood out because EVERYONE WAS AMAZING. He thinks they're the proof that British dancers can be just as good as American dancers, and this is his favourite routine in the whole of SYTYCDUK. Somewhere in a distant corner, Drew and Hayley's Bed Dance weeps silently.

And that's it! Coming up in the results show: the fucking Black Eyed Peas. I'll leave that particular agony to Chris.

Sunday, 22 May 2011

Tapped out

Top 10 Results: 21st May 2011

Earlier tonight: BARROWMAN. And what a terrible idea that was. Also, the Top 10 dancers performed twice (twice!) for your votes, and now the lines have closed. There's about to be a gender-balanced elimination, and with Rithy & Shane out of the competition, the danger zone is wide open.


We open with a group number set to Presumed Future X Factor Judge Kelly Rowland's single 'Work', set backstage at a fashion show, featuring Katie Love, Bethany Rose Lee and Katrina Ballerina as fierce diva movel bitches ready to cut each other, with FDOFP Kirsty and Scally as what I assume are meant to be sassy stylists. Scally's carrying a can of hairspray anyway, although to be honest that might just be for spraying in the eyes of whoever she thinks is going to be partnered with Matt next week, assuming the whole partner swap thing EVER ACTUALLY HAPPENS. Kirsty gets a bit lesbionic with Bethany Rose and Katie, while Scally focuses her attentions on Katrina (and sadly this routine does kind of back up Louise's assertion from earlier that Katrina's a bit uncomfortable with doing "sexy"). We pan out to Lee and Israel as the Noted Fashion Photographers of the world, both rocking an androgynous look which obviously Lee has no trouble with, but I'm pleasantly surprised by how good it looks on Israel. The three Fierce Diva Bitches climb onto a clothes rail as Kirsty and Scally wheel them around (I'd feel sorry for Kirsty here being relegated to this role, but given what happened to her in rehearsals, I'm guessing she's absolutely fine with not being asked to perch on flimsy-looking props right now), and if you're wondering what happened to the others, Luke, Matt and Tom now emerge from behind the mirrors as Big-Haired (not so much in Tom's case, obviously) Model Stormtroopers. This is so fucking hot I can't even tell you. Then the whole thing becomes a giant dance fashion show, and Bethany is vamping it up for all she's worth. There's some general whirling around of ladies, and a hilarious piece of blocking where the MaleModelBots stand behind the Fierce Diva Bitches who are all bending forward. Ooh, matron! This whole routine was amazing. I genuinely don't understand why the big group numbers on this show are routinely brilliant when the individual routines that we're actually judging these people on are so frequently underwhelming.

Cat enters, barking "work!" at everyone as they stride off, cackling to herself manically. Cat to host Britain's Next Top Model! She thanks Beth Honan for choreographing that awesome group piece (thanks Beth!), before reminding us that we're about to discover who's missing out on a spot in the quarter-finals, and Saturdays are here again as Britain's favourite Girls Aloud substitutes will be in the studio. Or more likely have already been in the studio about four hours ago.

After a quick recap of the rules of reality TV voting, Cat welcomes back the judging panel, including Not Remotely Special Guest Judge BARROWMAN, who didn't take the hint during the performance show. If he'd cut his losses and scarpered, he probably could've caught tonight's performance of Legally Blonde in the West End, and then everyone would've been much better off. Cat asks Arlene how the contestants must be feeling at this point, like we haven't already established that every other week, and Arlene says that there's a reason why they refer to it as "dance for your life"[/Dance For Your Bottom Zone Danger - Chris], and the contestants have to basically act like it's a life-or-death situation.

Highlights from earlier, anyone? Katrina and Tom's salsa got a mixed review from the judges, proving that the Latin curse is alive and well for anyone not called Danielle or Luke, while their jazz performance was rather staccato and did not receive Arlene's approval. Backstage, Tom thinks that they really went for it, while Katrina sighs that they've done it so much better previously. Bethany Rose & Israel got good notes for their lyrical hip hop routine, with Louise thinking that they're getting better and better every week. Their charleston, on the other hand, was sloppy as hell, but the judges decided they didn't mind because it was entertaining, because that's apparently where we are now on this show. Bethany observes backstage that it's nice of the judges to recognise the hard work that they're putting in. Scally and Matt's so-so disco routine brought Barrowman's ire for randomly not being Italian enough (SHUT UP BARROWMAN - God, I can't believe he's actually got me siding with these two, of all people), so backstage Charlotte vows to take his comments on board and become more Italian in the second routine. I hope they've got Fergie on standby. BEEF MEDALLION! Then Matt had really sweaty armpits again in their contemporary routine, and Arlene fell in love with them all over again. Backstage, Scally and Matt act like anyone gives a shit what Barrowman thinks. Kirsty and Lee didn't win over Barrowman either with their Hair-themed Broadway routine, and caused Arlene and Barrowman to argue forever about what free love looks like and whether we can show that on BBC1 at teatime on Saturday. Backstage, they rather sensibly choose to laugh off the feedback since they weren't really given much to work with. They came back strong (as did the table leg, much to the relief of Kirsty's face) in their hip hop routine, and Arlene was wowed by Lee's swagger and Sisco admired their commitment to the task at hand. Katie and Luke enrolled at Dalton Academy for their commercial routine and got rave reviews. Backstage, they celebrate, with Katie calling it "best detention ever!" Louise loved their seamless and fluid Viennese waltz, and Artem comes backstage to hug them, except Luke gets a bit overenthusiastic and refuses to let go. Not that I can blame him. [I'll say - Chris]

The couples are lined up onstage in their elimination outfits, and Cat bemoans the fact that they have to lose anyone from this line-up. We start with Katrina and Tom, and Tom got his first compliment of the entire series tonight while Katrina got her first criticism. Strange times, indeed. We then move over to Kirsty and Lee, whose Broadway routine started such a dispute that it almost caused the Rapture, while their hip-hop number was generally better received. One of these couples is in the bottom two, and it is...Katrina and Tom. Tom takes this news with a "well, that's me boned, then" head-nod. Kirsty and Lee embrace them, and then scarper quickly offstage. Cat beckons Katrina and Tom over, pointing out that she saw them nodding and asking if, then, this was not a surprise for them. Katrina says, somewhat carefully, that she'd prepared herself for this, while Tom is just nodding chirpily behind her, presumably quite looking forward to not having anyone tell him he's rubbish next Saturday night. Cat asks Louise for some advice, and she tautologises "guys, this is never going to get any easier, each week it gets tougher and tougher", and that since the judges have been telling them where they've been going wrong, they need to come out and show that they've taken it on board. I wonder how Tom is going to incorporate "who are you? I could only see Katrina" into his solo. Maybe he'll just not turn up for it. [I hoped he was going to come out wearing but a Hallowe'en pumpkin on his head and done the Monica Gellar Thanksgiving Turkey On The Head dance - Chris]

So who's joining them in the bottom two? Clearly not MATTFLINTMANIA and Charlotte, but we'll humour them all the same. Barrowman did not care for their disco number, but he ranks about six positions below Louise in the ranks of people whose opinions actually matter (in between them are Israel's Mum, Bethany Rose's alpaca, Matt's tap shoes, Drew's Cock-Phone From Last Year, and of course me and Chris. Not necessarily in that order), so that's not really an issue, and their contemporary routine left Arlene speechless. Bethany Rose and Israel's lyrical hip hop had perfect storytelling and Louise noted their ongoing improvement, while their charleston was entertaining, if not actually much cop. Finally, newly-formed couple Katie and Luke, whose routines went down well, even if they weren't technically perfect. Two couples are safe, and one couple is in danger [gurl- Chris]. That couple is...Bethany Rose and Israel, so Scally and Matt and Katie and Luke are safe, with Katie and Luke becoming the first couple all series to bounce back out of the bottom two. Cat asks Sisco why the public might not be connecting with these two, and Sisco says that he's surprised that they're in the bottom two, but Scally and Matt are popular and Katie and Luke have an exciting new dynamic. I think Sisco's taking the format of the results show to mean more than it actually does - they were up against everyone in the vote, Sisco, not just the people they were just stood next to. He tells them not to worry, and to "kill it" in their solos. Is killage the opposite of liveage? I'm so confused. Israel's not looking overly concerned, perhaps because even Charlotte's hair knows that there is no chance of Israel being sent home over Tom.

Cat asks Barrowman if he has any advice for them? NO HE DOESN'T, GOOD, LET'S MOVE ON. Katrina opens with her ballet solo (I'll be bluntly honest and admit that I have no idea what the music is) and it's good - energetic, dynamic and elegant. But will it be enough? Poor Unfortunate Tom does his solo to 'Rockin' Robin', and it is of course a tap number. It's fun, but it's clearly all for naught. Bethany arrives to do her solo, a jazz routine to N.E.R.D.'s 'She Likes To Move' - it's very sexual, lots of leaping around and doing the splits and general feline crawling across the stage. Israel rounds up the event, with a hip hop routine to Steve Angello and Laidback Luke's remix of Robin S's 'Show Me Love', which seems to largely consist of skipping from side to side. Again, I'm probably showing my age here, but I think he'd have a much freer range of movement if the crotch of his trousers weren't hanging below his knees. [Yes dad - Chris]

While the judges deliberate, the Saturdays are here with their new single 'Notorious', which is sadly not a Duran Duran cover. Their dancing involves a lot of thrusting their breasts around (I think that might be lost on the audience of this show, to be perfectly honest) and the staging is themed around a lift, for some reason. The song is about being a gangster on the dancefloor, apparently, so that at least seems fitting for this show, although the back-up dancers in this routine do, for the most part, put the contestants on the show to shame.

As always, Cat applauds like they're just off-camera and not several miles away by now, and summons the dancers in danger back to the stage. As tonight's Head Judge, it's down to Arlene to announce the results, somewhat nervously. She calls Katrina forward first and tells her that the judges have been delighted at how she's risen to the many challenges they've set for her, even though she's a ballet dancer. Tonight, however, was not her best night. Bethany is called forward next, and her feedback is almost the opposite - she had a slow start in the competition but somehow managed to turn it around and become a contender. However, the viewers are obviously not feeling quite so passionate as the judges are. Arlene tells the girls that the result is not unanimous, but they've decided to send Katrina home. Katrina takes the news well enough, but Bethany - who's been rather emotionally intense all evening - sobs right into Katrina's microphone as she hugs her, which clearly makes it that bit harder for Katrina to keep it together. Cat tells Katrina she's been brilliant, and we see her best bits: primarily wowing the judges as a hip hop geisha mannequin, and her revealing that the show has changed her life. When we cut back to Katrina, she's welling up, and she tells Cat that she's loved every minute, and thanks everyone for everything. In the pit, Angry Luke is clearly having LOTS OF FEELINGS about Katrina's elimination, bless him. Katrina says that she's loved performing here every Saturday, and Cat promises not to forget her, and to follow her on Twitter and friend her on Facebook and all that sort of stuff. Katrina hugs Cat tightly and doesn't want to let go.

Tom and Israel move across for the Foregone Conclusion Of The Evening. Arlene tells them that she's going to "cut straight to the chase" because this time it is a unanimous decision (well, duh). Tom nods his head, because he's not stupid and knows this is a Tomlimination. Indeed, Tom's far more concerned about Katrina, and heads straight over to Cat and asks if she's okay, because he's really upset for her. D'awww. I SHIP IT. Cat promises to grab Katrina over in a second, after his best bits: obviously someone who wasn't on the judging panel compiled these, because they do actually show him dancing. I'd forgotten that he had longer hair in his audition - it's cute, but he probably does look better with the buzz cut. [He does not - Chris] He remembers being scared during the first live show and having SO MANY FEELINGS (calm down, Tom, you're not Luke), but despite everything, he's had the best time on this show. Hooray! Back in the studio, he very politely thanks the choreographers and the judges, before clapping the people in the Top 8. Katrina comes back on, having composed herself a bit, and while Cat trails next week's show, Tom leans over and gives Katrina a "buck up, little camper" smile and holds her hand. Next week: The Black Eyed Peas! (Ugh.) The rest of the contestants swarm the stage and Bethany Rose collapses into sobs on Katrina again, and she's got a whole huddle around her, while Tom's just being hugged by Kirsty and Lee. I don't think this is anything personal against him, I just think everyone's realised she's clearly the one more in need of reassurance at this exact moment. Then Matt comes over and hugs Tom, but Not In That Way, while Lee moves over to Katrina and makes efforts to co-ordinate the whole thing into one giant group hug. And we're done! See you next week for the quarter final.

So You Think You Can Make Artem Chigvintsev Cry?

Top 10: 21st May 2011

Previously on So You Think You Can Dance? : A mercy killing. No, not of the whole show - just Rithy & Shane. And, as that barely counted as an elimination, we also said goodbye to Lee-Boy and Danielle. Bye Lee-Boy and Danielle! This means we are at our Top Ten, and they must stand in a line and do dramatic head-turn to camera, yes they must. (AndrogyLee kills this bit in particular. I vote for him on that alone. IT'S A RECOGNISED DANCE STYLE!) Five girls! Five boys! Ten dances! A BARROWMANDEMSUGA! This is :


As with last week, we get the "here are the girls, here are your guys" entrance with our remaining ten, rather than a group routine. Which is a shame, because the group routines have generally been good fun this series. I'd take them over most of the partner routines to be honest. Anyway, in makeover news, Katie Love has styled her hair upwards, in a tribute to her new partner Angry Luke, and Charlotte's hair is frankly a ratty mess, although still preferable to what they've done to poor Katrina, which I believe is called a "Croydon Facelift" by the less class-sensitive amongst us. For the boys, it's mostly the same old, cept Matt has his hair done up like an anime hero.

Just whilst we're in a content-light bit of the show, I thought I'd bring you this. Yes, all the best routines on this show really HAVE been done before. [Oh, BOO to this show for that. I should know not to get excited, shouldn't I? - Steve] Glad that Tyce Diorio is here this week to rebalance things, and make sure some of the lame ones are too. (Admittedly that second one is more thematic, but STILL!)

Cat troops out dress as mid-90s Whitney Houston without the massive ear-rings. She thanks us all (/both) for tuning in, and says that as the amount of people in the show DECREASES, the amount of pressure INCREASES. That's reality-show physics that is. Like "Every body remains in a constant state of velocity, unless acted on by getting the pimp spot." Or "The mutual forces of action and reaction between two bodies in a showmance are equal, opposite, and SEXTACULAR". She reminds that the prize for the winner is still £50,000, and the "chance to dance in Hollywood", like Lizzie didn't just hop in a microlite and go there anyway.

Next, it's time to introduce the judges. Cat tells us that she's got some good news and she's got some bad news. No, Cat, this is just bad news. Yes, Nigel's got bored of this and told the producers that he has prior commitments/his gran's just died/he swears he didn't get the e-mail saying he had to turn up this week, and in his place, it's BARROWMAN. Cat tries to milk a disappointed reaction from the audience for Nigel's departure, and when she doesn't get one, she admonishes them "if we're going to do panto, let's do it well". Don't just stick to the audience Cat, go tell the producers. Two months ago, via time-machine.

Anywho, with Nigel gone, Arlene's driving the bus this week, as Head Judge (oh Christ. Seatbelts on everyone. And crash helmets. And better get that "write your own will" kit out your bag ready). Louise's face is decently painted for once, and Sisco has come as Willow Smith circa "I Whip My Hair Back And Forth" but with braids set to "maim". [*thumbs up* - Steve] BARROWMAN says that he's seen the contestants before, and called them all homos, at Choreography Butch, so he will be monitoring their growth, but above that he's going to be focusing on

a) storytelling
b) entertainment

He does not at all drive those themes into the ground over the next hour. He warns the other judges that he is a fresh set of eyes on the panel, so he may see things differently to them. Except for you Tom, you're still shit. He closes by saying that he's expecting some boos. Odd, when he gets them, he certainly doesn't act like it.

Arlene is asked how hard it was for the couples to learn two dances this week. Arlene says "really difficult". But Arlene is BORED of the nursery slopes, let's DOWN THE BLACK RUN AND SET THIS ON FIRE! If you mean "black rum" Arlene, and I think you did, I am with you 100%

Each couple will be dancing two routines this evening, vote for your favourite couple, partner swap, what partner swap, we never promised that, pay no attention to the vegetable behind the curtain, let's begin.

With Tom & Katrina. Cat reminds us that the judges are wankers to Tom every second of every week, but this week, he's come up with a solution! He's going to be a Superhero! Oh God, he's actually cracked hasn't he? Instead of coming out and dancing salsa, he's going to run round the stage in nothing but a pair of y-fronts, cape, and mask made out of banana skin, making trumpet noises with his mouth isn't he? Or at least I certainly hope so.

VT time now, and we open with Tom sighing that the judges comments last really upset him, and he felt nit-picked upon. LAST week? Try every week since birth. I bet when he came out the womb Arlene was there to give him an extra hard slap. And another one just to make sure. Katrina positively BEAMS into the camera that she feels really bad for Tom, because he works so hard, and she loves dancing with him. Also backlash voting for him is the only thing keeping her from joining all the other fodder contestants who got no screen-time before the live shows started.

Out of the CatBox they draw Jazz and Salsa. So poor performance slot AND Latin Curse then? Marvellous. Katrina looks a bit nervous, but Tom reassures her that they'll just try their best, as they always do. Baw.

In training, they've drawn Tyce Diorio (/Tasty Oreo) for jazz, and he tells us all that this routine is going to be classic, sexy jazz. Nice. Katrina, like the best possible friend, tells Tyce that Tom is feeling low this week after the judges savaged him, so they stage a mini-intervention to get him back up on his feet. I'm not really sure what form this intervention takes, as I'm too distracted by the fact that Tyce has a tattoo of a Celtic cross on the back of his neck. Now that IS jazz. Anyway, whatever it is it works, because Tom says he's feeling much better by the time it comes to be shouted at By Shouty Salsa Chris and Mute Jaci for Salsa training.

So much better that he strips his shirt off, rubs in liberal amounts of fake tan, waxes his...elbows, puts on a fake moustache and a hideous red-shirt and proclaims himself to be Salsa Man. I think this intervention went badly, badly wrong. I guess this is what happens when you go to Tasty Oreo rather than a proper professional therapist. Katrina grins down the camera-lens, afraid for her life, and chirps "bring it on".

Out to the stage now, for their salsa routine, with a bar-themed set. Tom is the trumpeter, Katrina is the sexy dancer who is flirtatiously teasing him, and neither one of them is really moving their hips an awful lot. The camera seems far interested than him than her at all points, possibly because they're thinking he might have a Salsa Man psychotic break on live tv, and it's a bit of a shame because she's doing better than he is, albeit not to a blow-out extent. She climbs on a table for a bit, then there's a fake-out kiss at the end with all the explosive sexual chemistry of BARROWMAN and's not great, to be honest. I know the Latin Curse has dissipated somewhat in its powers to get people voted off, but it's clearly not dissipated in terms of producing watchable dances. Also he's wearing artfully unhooked braces, which is right up there with undone bow-ties in terms of things I can't stand. Also it seems impractical, given that the straps are flailing around and may LITERALLY HAVE SOMEONE'S EYE OUT. Where's the Health & Safety on this show this week? [Ask Kirsty. - Steve]

Once they're doing, Shouty Salsa Chris...shouts from the audience, and someone waves a "Team Tom" banner that looks like it's sourced from a picture from before when Tom went mental. Ah, happier times. Arlene starts for the judges, saying that the salsa needs sauce, sex, sizzle, and speaking from the hips. And that had none. She examined Tom's lower half with her imaginary magnifying glass and saw NOTHING. How emasculating. BARROWMAN declares that there was so sex appeal in that routine at all, and it was not at all a spicy dipping sauce. BECAUSE THAT'S ANOTHER WORD FOR SALSA! Thanks BARROWMAN!

Louise follows up by saying that she agrees with the other two - it had no sex appeal whatsoever. She thinks Katrina in particular obviously has a problem letting go and showing her sexy side. BARROWMAN demand that Louise do a sexy face for him, Louise basically tells him to sod off. Cat then reassures the nation that she knows that Louise can do a sexy face (as soon as Rithy's gone she's all over other women. I'm guessing she took that break-up hard) whilst Arlene blathers on about hips some more. Sisco finishes us off by saying that he disagrees with the others - Tom's faces certainly did it for him. Katrina wasn't doing her best dancing of the series, but he'll take it. And besides, who says a salsa has to be sexy? I'm guessing a routine that ended with table dancing, a fake-out kiss and a lift at the end where Katrina pointed her vagina at Tom's face was supposed to be at least a little flirtatious Sisco. Anyway, Sisco starts bellowing about how he's a LATINO SO HE KNOWS and he and Arlene yell at one another til close.

As Cat reads out the numbers, she rubs the back of Tom's head (I swear, Rithy done broke her heart) as Tom looks vaguely concerned and bewildered that one of the judges gave him praise. Don't worry Tapper Tom, it won't last.

Bethany-Rose and Israel now, and Cat informs us that Bethany-Rose set Israel up on a date this week, with someone with long hair, long legs, and great muscle tone. Was it AndrogyLee? NO, IT WAS A HORSE. I am so shocked that Bethany-Rose is a horsey girl I cannot even tell you.

In their VT, Bethany-Rose and Israel both gush about how great it was to get a standing ovation from "all four" (take that Matt & Scally) judges last week, for their "Kiss Of The Spider Woman" routine. Hooray! Out of the CatBox they draw Lyrical Hip Hop (Israel beams "good times" and Bethany-Rose twitters merrily) and Charleston (Bethany-Rose bounces up and down with glee, Israel looks like he's trying to work out a giant fart without making a noise). Israel's obvious disappointment with Charleston does not AT ALL show up doing the routine later or anything.

In additional VT news, it's the turn of these two for a "meet the family" segment this week, except, as Bethany-Rose very solemnly informs us, her family are all animals. That's right, she was raised by donkeys and chickens and horses after they found her abandoned on their doorstep in a basket marked "please look after this dancer". She learned all her best stripper moves from a llama. Israel looks terrified by this insanity, but just passes it off as being a "city boy", rather than at finding out your new best friend thinks she was potty-trained by a Shetland Pony. They go horse-riding for a bit, and Israel comically struggles. Well as would any of us if we were asked to meet a new partner's parent and the first thing you do is ride them around their house on all fours.

Well, except with one boyfriend's father... (F'NAR F'NAR!)

Eventually they get round to actually training, with the Charleston/Lindy choreographer couple from Strictly. Bethany-Rose worries she might not have the stamina for the routine, as the choreographer man takes us through a whole bunch of moves we already saw Chris & Ola do on Strictly a while back. The things you can actually do in Charleston seem kind Meanwhile, for Lyrical Hip-Hop, Kate Prince is telling us that her routine what she wrote is about the end of a marriage, so it's very RAW AND EMOTIONAL. Bethany-Rose informs us all that in rehearsals she found herself crying all the time for reasons she couldn't identify. If I had to work with Kate Prince I imagine I'd end up the same way. We close with her saying that there's no way they're leaving this week "straight dizzle". THAT'S WHAT YOU BLACK PEOPLE SAY ISN'T IT ISRAEL? Israel agrees that is indeed what black people say.

Out to the stage now, and a giant circle of red rose petals on the floor. I'm so excited. I feel like I've somehow gained access to My Nemesis' Kate Prince's diary, and am reading about all her secret 15 year old girl feelings. I kind of want to photocopy it and staple it to the school noticeboard. Israel and Bethany-Rose are dancing to that version of "Love The Way You Lie" where it's just Rihanna singing rather than the version with Eminem rapping in it as well, which is probably why it feels possibly closer to a straight-up contemporary routine than lyrical hip-hop. Either way, I enjoy it quite lot, mostly because Israel is really selling the emotion and keeping his dancing strong. Bethany-Rose is a bit of an after-thought in terms of what she's being asked to do, but she carries herself well as well. There's a lot of silly petal throwing as a metaphor for emotion, which all feels a bit University Devised Piece, but it's probably my favourite Kate Prince routine ever (*DAMNING WITH FAINT PRAISE KLAXON*).

Cat calls them over to the judges once they're done, smiling that they don't have to solve their problems by shouting at and over one another. Why not talk things through like grown-ups? Sadly, she's referring to Israel and Bethany-Rose, not the judges. Sisco starts by praising Kate Prince for really laying out her true emotions in that routine. It's so rare on this show to have a choreographer produce a great big incontinent and scary fountain of feelings like that. Kate Prince, in her Big Top at Mothercare dress, stares at her feet and mumbles a thanks. Oh and Israel and Bethany-Rose did her justice, whilst being by no means technically perfect. Well done them. From the audience, Israel's mum watches on, waiting.

Louise praises them both for taking the competition in both hands and really pushing hard with that routine, particularly Bethany-Rose. At this, for no reason, Cat brings up the skateboarding routine of two weeks ago again. Why Cat why? The show's already going to have to spend most of its after-care budget on deprogramming Tom, don't traumatise the rest of the cast. And me. As if that's not enough, Arlene leaps to her feet and starts threatening to rush the stage and hug Israel. THAT ROUTINE HAD ALL THE DRAMA AND REALISM OF THE KATIE PRICE AND PETER ANDRE BREAK-UP. NB : she's saying this as a compliment. BARROWMAN closes by saying that he got goosebumps and was in tears (SO MACHO) [SUGASUGASUGA - Steve] over that, so it was perfect storytelling. WELL DONE!

As Cat reads out their number, Israel's mum is on her feet and yelling again. So that's 20 minutes in, if you're in a sweepstake.

Charlotte and Matt are next, as Cat tells us that this week they swapped jazz hands for Scarborough sands. Good lord Cat, the janitors are already going to be busy enough getting all those rose petals off the stage, let alone METAPHORICAL EMOTIONAL SAND.

In their VT, Matt and Scally talk about how intense last week was, and how she wants to make Sisco's job hard every week by making it impossible to criticise them. Oh Charlotte, Sisco's job is hard enough as it is, what with having to remember to both breathe and blink. Don't overload the poor lamb. Out of the CatBox they draw contemporary and disco (THAT'S A TYPE OF CRISP ISN'T IT? HOW DO I DANCE A CRISP?) and Matt proclaims that this is all so exhausting that he feels like he needs a holiday.

TO SCARBOROUGH! Wow, that was in no way a clunky piece of editing. Yes, Matt has brought Scally to Scarborough to teach her what the North is like, as she has never been further North than Watford. Contrary to Arlene's claims earlier in the series, there are minimal shots of teenagers doing foxtrots in the club to Chase & Status, and instead Matt & Scally just tit around on the beach, with her demanding "PONY RIDES!" (*face palm*) and constantly shoving food into Matt's face. Ice-cream, candy floss, possibly a hot dog and a packet of Fun-Yums. They then play on the dodgems and build a sand-castle. I have no idea what it says about the mentality of this show that it's presenting its strongest female dancer (it says here) as having the mentality of a 4 year old who's eaten too many Tangfastics. Matt actually has to tell her that it's time to go home now for the love of...

In training, Charlotte very earnestly says that she really wants to show her true inner emotions in their contemporary routine, rather than hiding behind a smile as she has done in recent weeks. At this Matt mildly takes the piss, saying "inner emotions" in a OTT earnest voice. I'm growing fond of MattFlintMania. Hopefully next week he'll be put in a partnership where he isn't cornered by the edit into acting like a CBBC presenter meeting a fan. For disco, they both again emphasise how very DIFFERENT disco is from everything they've done so far, probably because they've realised that, jazz aside, all their routines thus far could have come from the same slightly dreary 1950s movie. We finish on this in-no way scripted bit :

Scally : YEAH, BUT YOU SAID IT WAS DONKEYS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Matt : HA HA HA!!!!
(*goes to happy place*)

Out to the stage now, and both Matt and Scally are suitably 70s'd up, and are standing on light-boxes, pulsing out bright primary colours. They're dancing to "You Should Be Dancing", although not the Bee Gees version, so what's the point really. They trick their way across the light-boxes to the end, and then take to the floor for a whole lot of lifts (oh hai Giant Lady Disco routine!) and also maybe some dancing in there somewhere as well. It's all a bit gluey and slow for disco for me, and some of the arm cross-overs and lifts are a bit awkward. Still, there's a lot of energy going into it, more-so from him than her, although when your part of the routine is 80% being thrown in the air and 10% having Matt spank your bum, you do what you can I guess.

Over to the judges they strut, and Cat basically commands the audience to stare at MattFlintMania's crotch, as she goes on and on about his tight trousers. Now she knows why John Travolta walked like that in Saturday Night Fever. I can think of a few reasons I've heard rumoured that might explain why John Travolta walks funny occasionally, and they don't involve ti(*Redacted by Bitch Blogs Extensive Team Of Lawyers*). [Don't go naming any footballers with superinjunctions either. - Steve] Matt stretches the crotch out with a squat, to preserve his modesty.

Louise starts for the judges, saying that they were amazing and perfect as always, but she felt that MattFlintMania was more modern and cool with it, and she wanted to see Scally got down and "Saturday Night" a bit more. She can tell that Arlene's about to start yelling like a moron at her though. Arlene yelps "YOU BET!" (Louise looks at her all "well done on not defying my low expectations of you Arlene") and proclaims, jabbing her finger about wildly, that Scally stole the routine, because Matt was overworking it and he hauled her around like a JCB. BARROWMAN says that he agrees with both Arlene and Louise. They were both rubbish. HE WAS HOPING FOR A HOT ITALIAN COUPLE DOING THE DISCO (?!) BUT INSTEAD HE GOT A BLAND ITALIAN MEAL WITH SOME TRICKS IN IT! The audience boo lustily, and BARROWMAN boos them back.

Sisco finishes by saying that BARROWMAN is juss jelus that Matt got the outfit he wanted for the evening, and that that was camptastic fun. Well done. It's nice that the arrival of BARROWMAN has heralded also the arrival of "juss jelus" as a judging critique. Really elevating the show isn't he?

Cat reads out the numbers, and by "reads out the numbers" I mean "asks MattFlintMania if he has a big cock" (/"do you fill those tight trousers out nicely?"). I bet Rithy didn't even leave a goodbye note.

Next up, Fat Deaf Old Foot-Phobic Kirsty and AndrogyLee, who are dressed up as hippies. Cat tells us all that in rehearsal, Kirsty and Lee B fell victim to an accident that nearly saw her off the show for good. OH GOD. HE'S ONLY GONE AND KNOCKED HER UP. You know, free love has its consequences.

VT now, which is being soundtracked by Lipstick by Jedward (amazing). AndrogyLee boasts about how well their Argentine Tango went last week and also about how they're now in the Top Ten. WHOO! Actually, now that Katrina and Tom are gone (spoilers!), he's officially the LAST FODDER STANDING. Who needs audition footage? Backstage, Nigel creeps up behind them and tells them that their Argentine Tango was amazing. AndrogyLee bugs his eyes out in excitement, and Kirsty thanks him profusely. Bless. Out of the CatBox, they draw Broadway and Hip Hop and look like they're trying to hold back feelings of disappointment. At least in Broadway there's SOME chance you might not be subject to endless "BUTCH UP NANCY BOY!" comments though AndrogyLee.

They're with Tasty Oreo for their Broadway, who tells them that their routine is all about free love and flower power, so should be PERFECT for AndrogyLee. AndrogyLee gives the lie to this by slumping up against a mirror looking like one of the living dead. All this free love is hard work it turns out. Fortunately for them, they've got...oh. They've got Kenrick for the hip-hop. Remember? The one who ground Alice and Charlie down into dirt before they went home. Him. He's choreographed a routine based around two business partners deciding to just THROW AWAY THEIR PAPERS and have fun via the medium of hip hop. WHY CAN PEOPLE NEVER JUST DANCE HIP-HOP ON THIS SHOW? WHY DOES IT ALWAYS HAVE TO BE BUSINESS PARTNERS AND LYRICAL ROBOTS AND BOOT-CAMPS AND MANNEQUINS COMING TO LIFE? And...breathe.

We cut to Friday rehearsals, where Kirsty and AndrogyLee are dancing on a table. One of the legs gives way, catapulting Kirsty into the ground face first. (She is now officially Fat Deaf Old Foot-Phobic Face-Planting Kirsty). Kirsty then sues the show, and wins a pay-out of £50,000, making her officially the winner of So You Think You Can Dance Series 2. She takes AndrogyLee to Hollywood with the money, where they blow it all on cocktails and jewellery, and both find rich old Latino millionaires to marry. THE BEST POSSIBLE ENDING IN THE BEST POSSIBLE WORLD. LET'S JUST PRETEND THIS HAPPENED. [It's canon as far as I'm concerned. - Steve]

OK, out to the stage, and I'm not afraid to tell you that the start of this routine coincided with the time the Rapture was supposed to start, and sod the coincidental volcanos and earthquakes, THIS is what scared me the most that it was about to happen. Fat Deaf Old Foot-Phobic Face-Planting Compo-Queen Kirsty and AndrogyLee both loon around the stage like they're on a LOT OF CHEMICAL UPPERS for 90 seconds to the sounds of The Age Of Aquarius. It's amazing. I'm not sure it's a dance. But it's amazing. She's kind of heavy-footed in it, at points he spazzes around like he's in the middle of a werewolf-transformation for much of it, but in terms of capturing the feeling of a performance of Hair, this is right on it.

(Fun Fact : at my primary school we used to sing the songs of Hair instead of hymns in morning assembly. Oh yes, it was one of THOSE schools. I still now all the words to Good Morning Starshine)

Cat calls them over, laughing that she'll have what they're having. by which she means DRUGS. BARROWMAN is called upon to start, and he tells us all that he was in the 25th anniversary revival of Hair. Any excuse to get your nob out, eh BARROWMAN? He says that they were very brave, and they danced it well, but it was like no style of Broadway he's ever seen, it had no story (dear John : the story is that they were on a lot of drugs) and it just didn't work. Someone very mildly boos him from the audience, and he snaps back "OH, GO BOO YOURSELF!" Great. Cat asks him to clarify that he's just got a bug up his bum about the choreography, and he clarifies that yes, he hated it because there was no story, and also he hates Hair for some reason. Someone (I think it might have been me), yells "BRING BACK NIGEL!" and BARROWMAN throws a huff saying that NIGEL'S NOT HERE, HE'S HERE, AND IF YOU THINK YOU CAN DO A BETTER JOB COME UP HERE. Would that the random booer had been allowed. I'd take him. [There should've been an interactive audience poll at this point. Random booer would've won in a landslide. - Steve]

Arlene then breaks in to say that she saw storytelling, and it was about free love (WHERE?!) as far as she saw it (YOU NEED GLASSES! YOU NEED GLASSES! YOU NEED GLASSES! YOU NEED GLASSES! like, four times he says this, right in her face, jabbing the table) or at least as much as you could do at 5:30 (THEN DON'T DO IT AT 5:30!). It was just like the film Hair (WE'RE NOT DOING A FILM! THEY'RE DANCING ON A STAGE) by Twyla Tharp which portrayed the feeling of the stage show Hair. It was an experimental film, and that was experimental Broadway (I DON'T WANT EXPERIMENTAL BROADWAY, I WANT BLAND ANODYNE TITS AND TEETH SATURDAY NIGHT ENTERTAINMENT SHIT! THIS IS A COMPETITION! YOU NEED TO DO ROUTINES THAT...oh I'm not even going to finish, worst judge ever.)

If BARROWMAN is allowed to snap and cat-call at the audience over one mild boo, then Arlene is allowed to, proportionately, kick him in the nuts repeatedly with Rosa Klebb shoes after that. She finishes by saying that Kirsty and AndrogyLee are great and she hopes they come back next week. This has gone on so long now that Sisco and Louise don't even get to offer their opinions up. And I'm saying this as a COMPLAINT, that's how awful that just was.

Next up, it's Angry Luke and Katie Love, or as Cat refers to them, "Blondie and P!nk". This is actually probably a more accurate idea than "Beiber and Rihanna" was. [Although "Jedward" would've been more accurate still. - Steve]

Their VT reminds us that this is our Frankenstein couple made up out of the survivors of last week's Double Elimination massacre. Both of them say they've just got to plough on and try their hardest, and avoid the fate of every single other person who has ever escaped the Bottom this series - ie going straight back into it. Out of the CatBox they draw Commercial (Katie Love eagerly does up her eyes and hopes for a better genre for their second pick) and Viennese Waltz (the light dies).

Cut now to...Angry Luke and Katie Love frolicking merrily in a meadow as "Just The Two Of Us" plays, and then getting tattooed across their knuckles with the other's name. I think some of the marijuana haze that sat over that last routine might just have leaked out of my television set. I hope those weren't actual tattoos they were getting (NB : I know full well that they were not and there in fact has not been a moment of truth in any VT aired this entire series). [Apart from the "Luke and Danielle hate each other" one, obviously. - Steve]

In rehearsals now, and we learn that their Viennese Waltz is being choreographed by Artem Chigvintsev. Frankly I can't wait for the FEELINGS of Angry Luke to collide with the FEELINGS of Artem Chigvintsev in a glorious explosion of crying. Lots and lots of crying. Artem mumbles something adorable in a thick Russian accent into the camera about how hard the Viennese Waltz is, because of all the lines and the rhythms and the *melts*

Next up is Mandy Moore to teach them about their Commercial routine, and she chides them mildly for their lack of chemistry in a routine about two naughty school kids causing a ruckus in detention. Presumably Angry Luke is there because he hauled off and popped a teacher in the jaw when the teacher rejected his submission of an essay about 16th century Sheep Tax via the medium of interpretive dance. Katie Love's probably there for uniform violation. Of a uniform that wasn't even hers. Luke and Katie finish by worrying slightly about how the newness of their partnership might affect their chemistry. I worry slightly about the effect it's had on her brain, as she has shaved her hair into a semi-mohawk to match his. Oh dear. She looks a bit like a midget Brigitte Nielsen impersonator.

Out to the stage now, and they're dancing their commercial to "Who's That Chick?" by Rihanna and that David Guetta person who lurks around in the back of music videos these days looking like a perv. Both Luke and Katie are in their school uniforms, and trying to look suitably juvenile, in a very prop heavy routine. There's lots of playing around with tables and chairs, rolling them over and doing tricks by propping yourself up on the up-turned legs. Sadly in a school context such as this one, this sort of thing reminds me of Hockey-Stick Kirsty, so I'm on the edge of my seat throughout hoping that Katie Love doesn't suffer an injury to her intimates. I would imagine she'll need that vagina for later. She stumbles once or twice, but other than that it's an enjoyable routine, if ultimately pretty forgettable. Mandy Moore obviously doesn't know Angry Luke that well, because if she did (you know, like I do), the routine would have ended not with a kiss, but with the pair of them setting fire to the school.


Cat calls them over, and asks Luke how it feels to be in a new partnership. He replies that it's always difficult when you lose a dance partner (whether it's through different life opportunities, age, or screaming rows where you stick a dustbin over their head and beat it repeatedly with a tennis racquet screaming "I MADE YOU, AND I CAN DESTROY YOU TOO DANIELLE CATO!". Or however it might happen) but he's very glad to still be on the show and he's going to move on to where he needs to be.

Arlene starts by gushing that they look like they both just came straight out of Gossip Girl (I don't think they're old enough to play teenagers on Gossip Girl are they?) and it was super hot. Louise follows by saying that, now that stinky old Lee-Boy's gone, Katie has no excuses for not being at her best every single week. Poor Lee-Boy. Can you imagine how badly they're going to slag Tom once he's out of "the room" next week? The group dance will probably be funeral themed, with all the remaining dancers dance-miming violating his corpse.

Sisco follows, and praises Angry Luke effusively for really LIVING this week after being in the Danger Dancing For Your Life Bottom Zone last week, then smirks to Katie Love about how ironic it is that up to now she's been in a position where her partner's constantly had to come up to her standard, whereas now she's the one lagging behind. Worrabitch. BARROWMAN closes by saying that this was clearly a partnership that was destined to be together BY FATE. Yeah, remember the last time they were together? In Choreography Camp? With the walkography? DESTINY. (Also, how exciting/interesting/depressing/not depressing that 3 out of that Group Of Walkography Doom are now part of the Top Eight, the other one being Bethany.)

Cat reads out the numbers, Katie Love pulls excited gurny faces, and we are at the half-way mark of the show, in terms of routines. Fortunately, we're not getting VTs for the second batch, as the Producers couldn't come up with any feasible way of making them more contrived and intelligence-insulting. Huzzah!

Katrina Ballerina and Tom are up first, doing Tasty Orio's jazz routine to Summertime (the Sylvester version) (not the Sue Sylvester version) (sadly). There's lots of sexy jazztime rolling around on the floor and thrusts and struts and boob-touching and neither of them really look into one another at all. I guess this is one of those things where people who have chemistry off-stage don't have it on the floor, but there's absolutely no heat going on whatsoever, although the fact that they're dressed like a Liberty X Video isn't really helping either. After over a month working together though, you'd expect them at least to be comfortable touching one another's bodies (I know I am with all my work colleagues *thumbs up*), and they're just...not. Also the routine is genericpants, but it's Tasty Oreo, what do you expect?

Cat calls them over, calling them a "sparkly pair", and asks Arlene what she thinks. Arlene thinks that they looked sexy in the very beginning, but from then on it was all a bit smiley and nice. The music was wailing sex, and their routine was whaling sex. IE, got to do it quick before the harpooner notices. As if this wasn't awkward enough, BARROWMAN then decides, for some reason to do with chemistry that we all might think BUT NOT SAY BECAUSE IT'S EMBARRASSING AND IS NEVER GOING TO GET A STRAIGHT ANSWER, to ask Katrina if she has a ladyboner for Tom. Nobody says anything for the next millennium and Cat looks like she wants to die, and Katrina looks like she wants to die, and Tom looks BAFFLED, and we move on. Stay classy BARROWMAN.

Louise follows, by saying that Katrina is a very sexy lady and needs to go home and practice being a very sexy lady, possibly with a hand-mirror and a copy of Playgirl. Tom on the other hand, she's just going to apologise for the last month and a half of flaming dog-poo in a bag criticism he's got, because she feels bad, and it's a handy-dandy way to talk about that routine, about which there is nothing to say. Sisco closes by saying that Tom was in fact very sexy during the routine, but Katrina, whilst she was very sexual with her body, needs to learn how to do "Fire-eyes". Do we all know what "fire-eyes" (burning like fire?) are children? It's when you pooch your mouth up and squint like a Baldwin Brother. Tyra Banks calls it "smizing". Katrina Ballerina apparently does "Fire-eyes", but the camera's too busy with Sisco being Sisco to catch it on film.

Cat reads out their voting number one more time, Tom rubs Cat's arse a bit and winks at her. I'm saying nothing. Poor Rithy. Poor Katrina Ballerina. It was never meant to end this way.

At this interstitial, Cat promises us later AndrogyLee and Kirsty going "bonkers in the Boardroom" and Luke and Katie "taking us back to the 1750s" (when they dance to Billy Joel), but first, it's time for Israel and Bethany-Rose to do the Charleston!

She's dressed as a flapper, he's dressed as a 1920s airman, and they have a jolly good time. Well, Bethany-Rose Lee does anyway. Just like in disco, Israel kind of looks like he'd rather be having his teeth pulled. I don't think he's really got the hang of faking upbeat beyond just plastering on a smile not quite big enough to stop the cracks of confusion and concentration coming through. There's a lot going on, quite a bit of it going wrong, but they plough on regardless and it's not a complete waste of time. I do think they might have done a bit better votes-wise if their performance order had been reversed, although between their first routine and Matt/Scally's second we would have been drowning in emo come AndrogyLee/Kirsty.

Cat calls them over with Cat winking at Israel that she likes how he adjusts his goggles once the performance is over. GOOD LORD CAT, WILL YOU CALM YOUR VAGINA DOWN? She'll be back for the final! Sisco starts for the judges, saying that there were technical mistakes (blah blah blah) left, right and centre, but this is apparently what Saturday Night TV is about. Tragically, he's right. At this point in time. BARROWMAN agrees that it was great SATURDAY NIGHT ENTERTAINMENT (*drink*), although it started to lose energy by the end.

Arlene follows up by telling Israel that he looks like an idiot, but he really portrayed the character well. She would have appreciated a few more technical elements in there, but apart from that, this couple are RACING ahead. Cat giggles also at Israel's outlandish uniform, saying it's like the last day of term at school, when you can pick whatever you want to wear. Yes Cat, the amount of people who came in for non-uniform at my school dressed as Amelia Earhart and/or Charles Lindburgh was LEGION. Louise finishes by saying that this routine shows why the show is so great - Israel was just a hip hop boy at the beginning, and here he is DOING THE CHARLESTON! This alone is enough to justify his staying in.

As the numbers are read out, Israel is asked if he ever thought he'd be stood here on SATURDAYNIGHTENTERTAINMENT TV, dressed like this. He says no. Good enough for me.

Next up are Matt & Scally, doing their Contemporary routine to some cover (sadly not SuBo's) of "Wild Horses". It's very, very, very overwrought and histrionic. Lots of thrashing of hair and sad faces and STRONG EMOTIONS, and not at all my cup of tea. It reminds me very much of Cancer Dance, which Tasty Oreo also choreographed, in that it's all a little too much to the extent that Charlotte's little frozen face of being a terrified Wild Horse being broken by arrogant stable boy Matt (or whatever the storyline is. It could easily be "America's Next Top Model contestant breaks down over her shitty new weave, but Jay Manuel forces her to do the photoshoot anyway") becomes mildly comedic. They're both dancing their guns off, and I think it's the first routine where she really outshines him (although he is still good, and she is admittedly the focus of the routine) but all in all I find it a bit baffling.

Cat pulls them over, and says that that was the COMPLETE antithesis of disco. Wasn't it? Wasn't it ARLENE? Sadly (?), Arlene proclaims herself to be speechless at the poetic rendering of dance she just saw, particularly from Charlotte, who is a WILD HORSE DANCE GODDESS. This sets Charlotte off crying, as she's clearly been on the edge of doing since the end of the routine. Arlene expresses her sorrow that this couple will be be split up next week, until the producers decide that they won't be.

Cat asks Charlotte why she's crying IS IT CAUSE SHE LEFT THE OVEN ON? Charlotte replies that it isn't, and then Cat makes fun of her funny accent. Being Brummy, I feel that was something of payback for her. Cat ascertains that Scally is crying for mysterious reasons she will not divulge, and we move on. BARROWMAN, with tears in his eyes, says he could have watched that routine all evening, and after their crappy disco, they just set the bar for the evening. There's only two routines to go BARROWMAN, it's a bit let to be setting the bar. Although not too early to be hitting the bar, from my perspective.

Louise calls them both truly beautiful and says that both of them finished every last motion they did all the way through with both their arms and their feet. Well done them. Charlotte at this point breaks down further and starts muttering to herself to GET IT TOGETHER SCALLY! Cat, not missing an opportunity to make fun, of course broadcasts this to the entire room. Sisco finishes by saying that, he's probably going to get in trouble for saying this, but he thinks that...maybe...just maybe they might be two of the finalists. Keep up Sisco. Nigel declared them the actual Top Two at least a month ago. Anyway, they are both technically flawless in everything they do, well done them.

Cat reads out the numbers, Scally continues to weep.

OK, next up at the end of this accelerated portion of the show are Fat Deaf Old Foot-Phobic Face-Planting Compo-Queen Kirsty and AndrogyLee, bravely facing up to the table that nearly killed Kirsty's face. And...I feel bad at pointing out the accidental comedy I saw in the Wild Horses routine, because this is unintentional laffos from beginning to end. I think it's the combination of the fact that it's a comedic idea in the first place, being played out by the two people least redolent of actual hip-hop dancers, and they're giving it MAJOR butch lesbian energy. Like, EVERYWHERE. On the table, on the chairs, sprinting around the floor. Kirsty in particular is serving up 100% Ruth Badger Realness. It's high-energy hand-flapping, armography-free madness the whole way through. It's not hip-hop as we know it. It may be an evolution. It's to "Pass Out" by Tinie Tempah. And at the end, they do indeed pass out. Then Kirsty rips open her business shirt to reveal "YOU'RE FIRED" written across her boobs.

One for the ages.

Cat pulls them over, and congratulates Kirsty on her bravery on getting back up on the table after the thing that happened (PLEASE DON'T SUE PLEASE DON'T SUE PLEASE DON'T SUE!). Kirsty said that she was really nervous, because falling onto her face was really awful, but she just had to face up to her demons. Which now include a table.

Sisco starts and, as hip-hop is his speciality, he says he's going to get technical. They were no swagger, it was a bit stiff, the grooves weren't easy to digest because they were getting all the different elements of style in the routine (which apparently included something called the "Willy bounce") [I think that was a key part of Danielle and Luke's commercial routine. You know, the one where he was just wearing a pair of shorts. Er, not that I was looking. - Steve] were all mushed up, but he really loved how they gave it 110% (TM The Apprentice). He really hopes they both stay in.

Cat asks Louise if an A for effort would be right, and Louise says NO, THAT WAS AMAZING AND SHE KNOWS A THING OR TWO ABOUT HIP-HOP LET HER TELL YOU. She thinks that these two come out every week, take in everything the judges say, and learn and grow from it. Hooray. Arlene next, and she says that that was the BEST DANCING SHE'S EVER SEEN HIM DO. Kirsty was rushing the beat, but AndrogyLee is OFFICIALLY IN THIS TO STILL BE IN THIS! Of course she didn't say "to win it". Even this show isn't that factually inaccurate.

BARROWMAN closes by praising their STORYTELLING (*drink*) and tells Kirsty that she is so cute and cute as pie. Well that's not at all patronising. Do you know what, I'm just going to pretend that Giant Lady was the Special Guest Judge this week for the final routine. Any objections? Yes? Good.

Last to the floor are Angry Luke and Katie Love, doing their Viennese Waltz to "She's Always A Woman" (original version), which is about a woman who's a huge pain in the tail, but gets away with it because she's charming. I'm saying nothing, except that I reiterate my love for Katie Love, despite all her...foibles. Anyway, this is really romantic and charming, although so little like a Viennese Waltz that I expect Len Goodman to storm across the stage waving a 6 paddle and for Artem to burst into tears. Angry Luke utilises his height in Ian Waite ways (albeit slightly less bulky and gaymazing) (slightly), and Katie Love is very delicate and soft. Good job.

Louise starts for the judges calling the routine seamless and fluid. She's sure that there's technical things that all these other judges who know things are going to pull apart, but it looked effortless to her, and they make a gorgeous pair. Arlene follows up on this technical point by saying that their frame was great and Artem must have taught them really well. Cut to Artem in the audience looking on the verge of tears and really disappointed and pissy all in the one facial expression. Kristina Rihanoff is also sat there, and HER face is reading "I GET NO BLOODY CREDIT ALL BLOODY EPISODE, THANKS A BLOODY LOT ARLENE, I'M GLAD YOU GOT FIRED". Arlene thinks that Katie Love in particular was great, although Luke could have been better with his arms and flowed more. Sisco huffs that Arlene is being technical (having just talked at length about the lack of locked in swagger groove thrustbase alpha in the last routine) and Arlene huffs back that she was just picking up on technicalities as asked.

Sisco takes his shoes off (which he claims are Louboutins but which more like Converse but with tinsel left over from Jessie J applied with a Pritt Stick by one of Bethany-Rose's sister-horses) and bangs them together and starts yelling about how ghetto he is. Giant Lady yells at him to "GET OVER IT!". Cat reads out the numbers, and sends Angry Luke and Katie on their merry way.

Judges Questions Time : Louise is asked if the pressure is really on now? Louise says this it is. Giant Lady is asked if she enjoyed herself. She says that she's had a fabulous time Cat, and thank you for having her, and she's really enjoying her party bag complete with noise-maker and slice of cake. Arlene is asked who stood out for her as being amazing, and she replies that Bethany-Rose and Israel are the stand-outs for her. Israel embodies everything the competition is all about and has now changed her mind about him. Who wants to bet that next week with Tom gone, she's right back on him with a VENGEANCE?

Sisco closes and is asked who thinks is in trouble and who gave the stand-out performance. He says that we're going to call him rubbish (YOU'RE RUBBISH SISCO), but he loves them all like they're his children, so he can't choose who's leaving. But Katie & Luke were the best at the end there with the Viennese Waltz.

Lines open and we get our obligatory recap portion of the evening : Tom and Katrina apparently ending sex everywhere for everyone forever ; Bethany-Rose and Israel acting out Kate Prince's teenage journal then flapping around at random to a 20s beat ; Matt and Charlotte making me wish Giant Lady HAD been a Guest Judge this week rather than a choreographer then crying blood over how awful Scally's hair has got ; Kirsty and Lee B being on drugs then making us all feel like we were ; Danielle and Angry Luke finding one another in detention, then always being a woman TO ME.

Everyone lines up in their exciting costumes, and that is the end. Steven has your results recap...right now.