It’s that time of year again – get out your spray cans, fish out the rhinestones and sequins I know you have stashed away, and grab the wineglasses – Strictly Come Dancing is back! Yep, you read that right, the nation’s favourite Saturday night show is back on TV. And while last night was really good, I do think Strictly makes a Saturday night, and Saturday nights are made for Strictly.
This year, I happen to be living with a good friend who is also a big Strictly fan and fellow blogger. This means only one thing – doubled-up live-blogging… because bitching comments and shameless perving shouldn’t just be reserved for our living room, it should be shared with the…masses?
Here’s how it works:
Each week myself and Emma will be bringing you a tag-team live-blog of Strictly Come Dancing. We will be alternating whose blog it is posted on so if you want to keep up-to-date with our clearly deeply insightful commentaries, then you should make sure you’re following both of our blogs.
For the first time since this year’s Strictly began, Emma and I will not be watching it together. She has returned to the North-East for a belated birthday trip home to see family and friends, and as the only one with a laptop, I’m taking on the Halloween special. Not only are we separate, but we’re attempting to coordinate this post online from opposite sides of the country, should be fun!
Last week, we had another controversial dance-off as Daisy And Aljaz took on Lesley and Anton, and it was Lesley Joseph that we said good bye too. It’s very sad, I liked Lesley and I will miss her a lot, but it was a fair decision as Daisy was much better on the results show.
The drama that was rife through last weeks show is so far absent this week, as everyone is back and dancing. As much as I dislike Laura and Giovanni, I never wish anyone is genuinely injured so it is good to hear that she is back, and Brendan has recovered from his illness, and is back (a big shout out to the beautiful and wonderful Gorka for filling in so gallantly last week) so we are back to a normal show this week.
Well, I say normal, there is a spooky vibe in the ballroom, because this weekend is the HALLOWEEN SPECIAL!! I’m just a little bit excited. There will be everything from bats to frogs, witches to mad professors, and about everything in between. I love the themed weeks, and the hilarious antics on Halloween week make it pretty much my favourite show of the series. And someone always steps up, turns a corner, so it should be an amazing show. And a stunning one, is Strictly’s Twitter and Instagram are anything to go by!!
So, enough of the preamble, bring on the ghouls, and let’s get on with the show!!
Opening Credits and Pro-Dance (watch here)
Liz: I bloody love the Halloween show.
Emma: Jesus the CGI attempts are even more terrible.
Liz: There is always a good pro dance to open too.
Liz: Nothing like a flying car to start things off.
Emma: Wow if the audience are this easily impressed by a flying car containing the judges then they’d shit themselves of excitement watching Chitty.
Liz: Is this a strictly homage to Pete Burns, or completely coincidence that they use this song on Halloween with all the ghouls and faces?
Emma: Ed Balls is looking terrified and terrifying and it’s just his normal face
Liz: OH Hello Judge Rinder’s chest!
Liz: Oh the judges have done for it with the costumes, I like it. I can buy Len as a vampire!
Emma; I’d pay to see Len do Dracula tbh.
Louise Redknapp and Kevin Clifton: Charleston to Crazy in Love (watch here)
Emma: Charleston?? Yay!
Liz: I love you Kevin, but I would feel better if you lost the hat!
Emma: Kevin is the least terrifying Joker ever, Kevin for Joker 4ever.
Liz: I wasn;t sure how the themes, and the music would mesh with the dance style here.
Emma: Hmm I Don’t think I like the song combined with a Charleston beat, sorry guys.
Liz: See I think it works in an odd way, I love the quirkiness
It wasn’t big enough? I mean I love you both but didn’t feel hammy enough? I mean it was accomplished and hit enough of the steps expected of a Charleston. Hmmm I think I expect too much of Charlestons.
Liz: It’s nice to see her crazy fun side though.
Liz: Kevin you looked creepy at the end there my friend!
Liz: Yes, Dave Arch has dressed up. Love you Davie!
Emma: What on earth is Bruno talking about? Tate Modern? Roy Liechtenstein? Does he even know where he’s going with his sentence when he starts talking?
Liz: I’m surprised that he knows so much about Roy Liechtenstein to be honest!
Emma: I agree with Craig, bit too in control, especially for Harley and the Joker.
Liz: Too controlled one week, too messy the next, I feel like Craig just makes stuff up as he goes along to find a fault. It was a little clean I guess.
Emma: Don’t get me wrong, it’s still very good, I mean it’s Kevin and Louise so it’s great as a base line.
Liz: Claudia’s tower always looks great on Halloween, crazy, and all of those comments.
Craig: 8 Darcey: 9 Len: 9 Bruno: 9 Total: 35
Liz: I want pizza now! Great, thanks.
Robert ‘Judge’ Rinder and Oksana Platero: Paso Doble to Born This Way (watch here)
Liz: Butterflies don’t seem very spooky.
Emma: A paso as butterflies? Ok, sounds just odd enough for it to work with Judge Rinder.
Liz: I find butterfly houses creepy. I don’t know why, I just do
Emma: The best bit about this is all this was added afterwards so he’s taking to his shoulder pretending there’s a butterfly there.
Liz: For anyone who has ever seen Venture Bros and wants to know what the Monarch would look like in physical form….this is it.
Emma: It’s the campest paso I’ve seen.
Liz: He’s doing his best to keep the shapes, and his face isn’t gurning all over the place either, but it was missing something…
Emma: Maybe I’m a purist but I like a paso with a Spanish feel?
Emma: “I was trying to be butch so I was channeling my inner Craig” – I love his sass.
Liz: I think Craig fancies Judge Rinder like this!
Emma: Is Craig warming to Judge Rinder? What just happened?
Liz: He looks so proud of himself for being powerful and as butch as the king of the butterflies.
Emma: “Theatrical” yeah if there’s one thing he is it’s theatrical.
Liz: HAPPY BIRTHDAY OKSANA. You look stunning, btw.
Craig: 8 Darcey: 8 Len: 8 Bruno: 8 Total: 32
Claudia Fragapane and AJ Pritchard: American Smooth to Black Magic (watch here)
Emma: Does AJ have stubble there on his jaw – is he even old enough for facial hair??
Liz: AJ can grow facial hair?
Emma: This is actually terrifying, the idea of his head being in backwards or having two left feet is making me feel ill.
Liz: I think this could be quite good y’know, despite the dodgy VT.
Emma: And there goes the BBC’s effects budget for the year.
Liz: Oh I love that dress. It spins so prettily. AJ’s trousers are indecently tight on his bum
Emma: That was the cutest dance theme featuring the words “black magic” in the song. they couldn’t be evil if they tried, could they?
Liz: Don’t get me wrong, it was smooth and classy, but I noticed what they were wearing more than dancing?!
Liz: That’s a good start with Craig to your comments, that bodes well!
Emma: Claudia has “beautifully smooth dismounts” Darcey? Well tbh I’ d expect a gymnast to have smooth dismounts but I take your point.
Liz: I do agree but Len is right as well, the lifts really did compliment the dance, they flowed in out of the dance so well.
Liz: Aww her coaches looks so proud of her
Craig: 9 Darcey: 9 Len: 9 Bruno: 9 Total: 36
Emma: It wasn’t a 36 worthy dance, sorry.
Anastasia and Brendan Cole: Jive to Bat Out of Hell (watch here)
Liz: I miss Gorka, again, already! Brendan still looks a little rough.
Emma: Wait. Is he on a Segway? Omg Brendan’s looking so ridiculous.
Liz: Oh that was a creepy entrance Brendan!
Emma: Is this a jive? She’s not very bouncy?
Liz: I am always judgey when people use smoke, I feel like they are hiding dodgy footwork, and in the jive, sharp footwork is key.
Emma: It’s not very dynamic or fast? It seems very sluggish? I like the concept but the energy flagged
Liz: I feel like this is too quick for her, and she is too heavy footed. I don’t like this at all.
Liz: Not out of breath? that’s because it was a little slow
Liz: Craig may be harsh, but I completely agree.
Emma: Well that was an awkward end to the judges portion, I sensed they were ushered away before Brendan had chance to start talking back.
Liz: On fleek, to be fair you’re right Anastasia, hair and costume is crazy.
Emma: Brendan joking about getting his coat and leaving? Please do
Craig: 4 Darcey: 7 Len: 7 Bruno: 7 Total: 25
Liz: I agree with Craig. I think she is really going to struggle this week
Danny Mac and Oti Mabuse: Foxtrot to Take Me to Church (watch here)
Liz: Wow, they look stunning. Wow!
Emma: I like Danny’s coat. That has nothing to do with anything but I do. (I like coats, ok)
Liz: Good use of a glitter pen there Oti. I’m proud of you.
Emma: I take it we’re going to ignore the sex undertone of this take me to church metaphor? Ok fine… sigh.
Liz: I’m surprised in them to be honest, I thought they would have got that in some how!
Emma: Ohhh I’ve got chills and all they did was clasp hands at the start of the dance.
Liz: That is a clever way to avoid gaping!
Jesus those splits Oti did whilst being pulled along by Danny, that’s impressive control and core strength and trust.
Liz: This is so atmospheric. Absolutely stunning.
Emma: Why is he apologising? What went wrong? If something went wrong I didn’t even notice.
Liz: I feel like he is apologising for something that I didn’t see.
Liz: Do you know what, I didn’t see the mistakes, so let’s pretend they didn’t happen.
Emma: Elastic appendage? Cough. Well that was certainly one weird challenge to throw in there so kudos for trying it tbh.
Liz: They’re going on about these mistakes and the appendage, and while they may have been there, he brushed over the mistakes well and took the elastic band in his stride.
Emma: I love how apologetic Danny is about it to Oti though.
Liz: Don’t be too hard on yourself, my little beauties
Craig: 7 Darcey: 8 Len: 7 Bruno: 8 Total: 30
Emma: So even when he’s “bad”, he still gets an amazing score. That says something tbh.
Liz: They just look amazing, that make-up.
Laura Whitmore and Giovanni Pernice: Tango to Paint it Black (watch here)
Liz: OK, I take it back, I wish she wasn’t in the show anymore. As soon as I see her, and she opens her mouth. No. Piss off. I just can’t but think how convenient it is that she misses a hard dance that exposes lack of dance content last wek in the jive.
Emma: The only bit I enjoyed if that training bit was Anton. Which is saying something, because it’s Anton.
Liz: Oh I used to love this song! Great.
Emma: They’re definitely together. I have nothing more to say.
Liz: OK there is a lot of dance content. That’s as far as I will stretch into the compliments
Liz: Oh God, I fear 10s.
Liz: A great dance, well with 2 weeks off what do you expect?
Liz: Stop going on about her being a super fan
Craig: 9 Darcey: 9 Len: 9 Bruno: 9 Total: 36
Liz: Oh stop crying you whinging bitch.
Ore Oduba and Joanne Clifton: Charleston to I Want Candy (watch here)
Liz: He’s such a naturally good dancer, and she is such a good teacher, I have very high hopes for this.
Liz: I love pumpkin carving, I like this already
Emma: He’s got swivel! That’s swivel I spot!
Liz: They’re so in sync!!
Emma: Shit did she slip out of that lift?
Liz: Oh no something didn’t look quite right in the middle there.
Emma: If there’s any week you can faff about with props, it’s Halloween.
Liz: True, and it was so well done, so much energy, swivel, and personality. Brilliantly bonkers is spot on Tess.
Liz: Oh no Ore!! That was a little harsh Craig.
Emma: I thought there was swivel there Craig, clearly I know nothing. I’m fine knowing nothing.
Liz: You say it Darcey!! They may have lost a bit of timing, but just like Danny he did well to get it back.
Liz: It was not a bad week to have a downer, you’ll be fine.
Craig: 6 Darcey: 8 Len: 9 Bruno: 9 Total: 32
Emma: So Ore went wrong and still broke 30? Yeah, that sets the standard when even a person’s dodgy dances are breaking thirty.
Liz: A pick ‘n’ mix score situation there (ba bam bam chhhh)
Greg Rutherford and Natalie Lowe: Rumba to Bring Me to Life (watch here)
Liz: I like Greg, it’s still a shame he is with Natalie, but I hate the rumba.
Emma: It’s a rumba, I’m going for a quick nap.
Liz: You are the cutest ghost ever Greg! And damn that cheeky wink
Emma: I can’t take Evanescence songs seriously. I have to sing along over dramatically every single time.
Liz: I think this could be very haunting, very atmospheric, they’re doing the song a bit seriously for how I belt this out though.
Emma: That was the most dramatic rumba I’ve ever seen. Had elements of paso and tango tone at times due to the intensity.
Liz: This song is adding some much needed drama to such a boring dance
Liz: It was lacking in rumba content and packed with passion and action, maybe that’s why I actually liked a rumba?
Emma: I agree with Craig actually, it didn’t seem very rumba-y at all, which is why I mildly enjoyed it probably.
Liz: AWWWW Kimberly that t-shirt was adorable!!
Liz: Ouch Craig. Natalie looks gutted. Oh stop crying you whinging bitch.
Liz: This is why I love Claudia, yes! Saying what we all think about rumbas
Emma: Ahah Claudia saying what we all think about rumba there “they’re usually very boring”
Liz: Urgh Natalie stop whinging, it’s true, and that is on you.
Craig: 4 Darcey: 7 Len: 7 Bruno: 8 Total: 26
Liz: AWWWW Kimberly that t-shirt was adorable!!
Daisy Lowe and Aljaz Skorjanec: Paso Doble to Please Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood (watch here)
Emma: Paso doble yay!
Liz: Wow, guys, you look breathtaking. I love the Day of the Dead theming, nailing it.
Emma: Omg that makeup is insane.
Liz: I still can’t believe you were in the dance-off last week. I have faith in you!
Emma: Awww Aljaz comforting her and being all encouraging like “that’s why we need to smash it”, love him.
Liz: Oh Aljaz and kids, oh Jesus, my little heart!
Emma: This gun be good, please be good.
Liz: Daisy, Jesus, wow.
Emma: I love this version of this song, I adored the Mexicany feel.
Liz: Dramatic, beautiful I bloody loved it!
Emma: I liked the attack and aggression. Technically it was wonderful, so much detail.
Liz: Aljaz made those knee step things so smooth and well done.
Emma: Aww bless she looked like she was looking up at him asking if she did ok.
Liz: I’ll be pissed off if you’re in the dance-off again! I never thought I’d back these two but she has grown on me
Emma: “Mesmerising” is the word, Bruno, yes.
Liz: I love the flamenco elements.
Liz: She looks sad and disappointed, which is stupid and ridiculous, because I loved that.
Craig: 8 Darcey: 8 Len: 8 Bruno: 9 Total: 33
Liz: There is the smile back, you look lovely not scary when you smile. Aljaz is the one that looks scary when he smiles tonight.
Emma: And we all need to stop and marvel at the costume and makeup department, especially on Halloween because wow they outdid themselves this year.
Liz: PREACH! They’ve done an incredible job!
Ed Balls and Katja Jones: Cha Cha to Love Potion No. 9 (watch here)
Emma: Of course they have put Ed last, fucking brilliant, this is going to be pure entertainment.
Liz: I feel like they’ve left these until last as a comedy element, to get all the actual dances out of the way first.
Emma: Every time I see that bodged lift from last week.
Liz: Oh God that lift, don’t show it anymore!
Emma: I laugh so hard it hurts
Liz: I hope there is actual dance content in this.
Emma: This actually has great timing to the music. Such good choreography and timing.
Liz: He really goes for it, bless him
Emma: Stop singing Ed and concentrate on trying to dance. He’s enjoying himself always, bless. He definitely can’t be faulted for his effort.
Liz: Oh my poor eyes, I feel scarred after that body caress, and his crotch.
Emma: Ahhhh! God I’m traumatised by Ed’s crotch, Jesus wardrobe didn’t think about his bits bouncing about when he’s dancing around.
Liz: This isn’t actually too bad, there is dancing, and I can tell what it should be
Liz: Horribly fabulous. Great description. And that was the best use of the word supernatural ever Len.
Emma: Craig can’t help but smile in spite of himself, look how hard he’s trying to not grin!
Liz: The judges can’t keep a straight face, I’ve never seen Craig smile so much!
Emma: Hahaha them high fiveing for it being on time. Woo!
Liz: It is an entertainment show as well as a dance show, and that was entertaining.
Emma: If you’re mad, I am too, Darcey, because I kind of loved it too.
Liz: He is getting less unbearable when he speaks. It’s the strangest thing.
Craig: 4 Darcey: 7 Len: 7 Bruno: 8 Total: 26
Emma: Katya celebrating because they got a four from Craig. Bloody brilliant. “It’s probably never going to happen again… 8!” says Bruno. Let us all take a moment to commit this day to memory
Liz: That was over-scored. I like him, but that was over-scored.
Liz: There was more Cha Cha in that dance from than there was Rumba in Greg and Natalie’s performance, and I thought even less of Anastasia and Brendan when they replayed it at the end of the dance there, if that was possible?!
Emma: I’m a bit disappointed that there were a couple of slips from my favourite male celebs on Halloween of all weeks!
Liz: I feel like it was a little low scoring all round for a Halloween special. I’m so gutted they made a couple of mistakes”
Emma: However, I always enjoy how much fun Halloween is, and it certainly was full of so much drama and intensity and so entertaining. The Strictly makeup department, I salute you.
And so that is it for another week. The scores may have been lower than expected, but the craziness of Halloween was all there, and one thing is for sure, the make-up department was the real star of the show! Until tomorrow night….