Strictly Saturdays | The One With The Leaping Cat

It’s that time of year again – dust off your ballgowns, get out those sequins and glitter I know you have, or just get the snacks in and settle down for this year’s Strictly Come DancingThat’s right folks, everyone’s favourite prime-time British TV show is back! No, not Bake Off, the other one – the one where celebrities of varying degrees of apparent “fame” are paired up with dancers who have the thankless task of teaching them how to stop tripping over their feet and actually look graceful instead.

For this year’s Strictly, I happen to be in the fortune position of officially living with a fellow Strictly Come Dancing fan. This means only one thing – doubled-up live-blogging… because just bitching comments to each other verbally clearly isn’t enough – in this technological age, they must be recorded for posterity’s sake. So… that’s what this thing is.

Here’s how it works:
Each week myself and Liz are bringing you a tag-team live-blog of Strictly Come Dancing. We are 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. (/end shameless promotion)

For those who missed it, week one’s recap can be found here and here.

We’re now on week two which means only one thing – the dancing actually matters now because someone will be eliminated. Oooooo…


Opening Credits

Liz: Oh no, someone is going home, mind you it does feel like we’re later than week 2! Noone wants to go home, Laura, but I would like you to go.

Emma: “Competition stars now” says Melvin… idk I was kinda hoping it started week one – don’t tell me you were just larking around first week – this is srs bsns, this is Strictly!

Liz: I spy lifts!! Judge Rinder is lifting people!

Emma: Not surprised, he is buff.

Liz: That Kevin and Louise fist bump gets cuter and cuter every week.

Walkdowns & Intro

Liz: Aljaz and Pasha, I like your choice of walkdown men ladies, much better than Anton and Brendan.

Emma: Darcey looked a bit intense there – no need to eye-fuck the camera, or try to anyway.

Liz: Darcey looks like she is trying really hard to be subtly sexy, but really is just sucking a lemon.

Emma: How can anyone not smile when Len grins and “dances” in – can anyone?

Liz: What was that?! What was that monstrosity Judge Rinder?

Emma: Jesus Gorka, how did you manage to look absolutely dorky in that outfit and yet still kinda hot at the same time? It’s truly a miracle.

Liz: Wow, Naga, Wow. I mean….yeah. Wow.

Emma: Ed Balls can’t even air-lasso properly.


Ore Oduba & Joanne Clifton Cha Cha to ‘Hot Stuff’ (watch here)

Liz: Ore is so adorable, his little face. Oh, oh wait…forget cute, add hot in that uniform!

Emma: “Can I dance like a firefighter?” Don’t worry, Ore, firefighters aren’t known for their dancing prowess.

Liz: This is a lot hotter than I was expecting *fans self* Still cute hot, but hot.

Emma: The dance starts with Ore near a pole… I wish you could all see Liz’s face right now. Jesus, Ore, that’s just unfair.

Liz: Are they actually pole dancing? On the BBC? Before the watershed?

Emma: God Ore really is working the camera, good stuff.

Liz: I love Dave Arch. I’m going to start a Dave Arch appreciation society.

Emma: They didn’t arse around for too long on the pole thank God, otherwise Len would have eviscerated them.

WOAH HEY DON’T YOU DARE BOO, LEN, AUDIENCE, WE RESERVE THAT FOR CRAIG.

Liz: Stop sexually harassing him Bruno, he is too cute for that.

Emma: Bruno, I’ve said it before I’ll say it again – don’t eye up the contestants up and down, that’s just sexual harassment.

Liz: Stiff, STIFF. Take a look at your face in the mirror Craig.

Emma: “Getting your own groove on” says Craig… I don’t know how but he sounded extremely straight white man when he said that. How is that even possible?

Hey, his hands aren’t frilly, Darcey, nothing about that man is frilly.

Judges’ Comments & Scores
Craig: 6 | Darcey: 7 | Len: 7 | Bruno: 7 | Total: 27

Liz: His wife is gorgeous, really beautiful!

Emma: Claudia is now going over the T&Cs whilst Kevin and Giovanni mess around underneath the huge sign she’s using to point to.

Liz: As someone who has to read terms and conditions online all day, I appreciate the attempt to keep attention and levity here.

Emma: They’re just like giddy schoolkids – I bet they would be sent to separate corners of the room in class otherwise they’d disrupt everyone.


Claudia Fragapane & AJ Pritchard Waltz to ‘You Light Up My Life’ (watch here)

Liz: I know you’re a brilliant gymnast Claudia, I saw you in the Olympics. Can we please have dancing this week?

Emma: This is nice and graceful and all but can you stop spinning under each others’ arms and actually get in hold? Thanks.

Liz: Is that an illegal lift?

Emma: Her head almost looks too far back? Very extended, though, over-extended but I mean… better than not extended at all?

Liz: They look like little kiddies dancing at the school prom. I mean dancing well, because this is good, shits on Daisy’s last week, but still, two cute children dancing at a prom.

Judges’ Comments & Scores:
Emma: I agree with Craig. Can’t believe I’ve just said that but she was hyper-extended.

Liz: Nothing like a bit of a judge’s panel brawl. I agree with Craig though, it looked like the head of a nodding dog had got stuck.

Craig: 6 | Darcey: 8 | Len: 8 | Bruno: 8 | Total: 30

Liz: The fact that they scored lower than Daisy is an absolute travesty.


Will Young & Karen Clifton Jive to ‘Rock Around The Clock’ (watch here)

Liz: I am going to always question what on earth he views as appropriate dress. Ankle grazers in the tango?

Emma: I sense Will’s clothing will be a problem for you throughout this series.

Liz: They actually drove absolutely no where there.

Emma: When he was like “why are the doors locked”, I found it inordinately funny.

Liz: Oh jesus, seriously, you’re not that tall that you can’t find trousers to fit.

Emma: Ooh, I thought that was gonna end badly  when he went over her neck – was it necessary?

Liz: I like the jive, a lot, just shows up the mistakes. Did he go wrong in the middle there? Shame, because I loved that.

Emma: That looked like a lot of fun.

Judges’ Comments & Scores:
Liz: Yes he made a mistake Craig, but he did do his best to fill it with something and carry on.

Emma: I didn’t think he did that badly hiding whatever mistake he did? Could barely tell, he didn’t even flinch in his face.

Liz: Does Bruno have a ‘turning’ complex? He only seems to sexually harass straight men.

Craig: 5 | Darcey: 7 | Len: 8 | Bruno: 7 | Total: 27

Liz: Who pissed Craig off tonight?

Emma: Yeah Craig is a bit bitchy tonight – something wrong, darling?


Lesley Joseph & Anton Du Beke Cha Cha to ‘Perhaps Perhaps Perhaps’ (watch here)

Emma: Anton, shut up, no one likes you, stop hurrahing, no one is joining in.

Liz: Anton, you not cool enough to pull off cut off joggers.

Emma: Actually, I would happily watch Lesley bossing about Anton instead of watching the dance tbh.

Liz: WHAT ON EARTH ARE THOSE TROUSERS? Thank God her dress is so nice.

Emma: Yeah Anton, you’re not good looking enough to pull off that shininess, sorry.

Liz: I maintain what I said last week, if she was younger she would have been really good.

Emma: Well at least she’s having fun. To be fair, they’re not trying to make her do more than she can do, which is very good.

Judges’ Comments & Scores:
Liz: Fun and enjoyment, Len? I’m not sure if they are being overly nice, but that did sum it up well. She does look like she is just out to have fun.

Emma: Craig admits “I wasn’t expecting that” – that’s a veiled compliment? Or insult? Who knows. “I could watch it again” – wow that’s high praise, coming from him though.

Liz: Wearing those trousers, you have no right to comment on Craig’s shirt.

Craig: 6 | Darcey: 7 | Len: 7 | Bruno: 6 | Total: 26

Liz: That was not just one point worse than Will’s jive.


Greg Rutherford & Natalie Lowe Tango to ‘Jump’ (watch here)

Liz: I forget he is with her, and then I see her, and I sigh. It must be wishful thinking, but I hope every week that she has been replaced.

Emma: It really is as though Liz forgets and remembers anew every single week that she hates Natalie. My point is: her rooting for Greg is really trying for her, such a sacrifice.

Liz: TUNE!

Emma: Omg he’s pouting and it’s the funniest thing I’ve ever seen. I will watch an hour of Greg trying to maintain a pout.

Liz: Oooo, you’re (lovely) arse is sticking out Greg!

I’ve never sharp, but camp tango before.

Ooooo those spins were good.

Emma: Clearly I’ve been touch distracted by his pout and sticking out bum because I have nothing more to say.

Liz: I think he over jumped there, he looked like a stalking cat.

Emma: He leaped, a little like this?

Judges’ Comments & Scores:
Emma: “Tuck it under”… ahem.

Liz: Yes Len, his bum sticks out. It’s a lovely bum, but it should be tucked in. Called it.

Emma: “What a handsome man” says Bruno, rising from his seat. Is he incapable of keeping his arse on the seat – it’s like he’s preparing to launch himself at Greg, much like Greg did over Natalie at the end. And of course he doesn’t mind the bum… “I’m going to get into trouble yet again” – well at least he knows.

Liz: At least he knows he is talking his way into trouble.

Emma: Can everyone stop commenting on his bum? I mean it’s nice enough but calm down.

Liz: You say intent, I say hilarious pout.

Emma: See they say “brilliant intent” as such a compliment but I always think it slightly smacks of “nice effort” which we all know is a way of saying you were terrible but tried.

Craig: 6 | Darcey: 7 | Len: 6 | Bruno: 7 | Total: 26

Emma: Same as Lesley? Bull. Shit.


Tameka Empson & Gorka Marquez Charleston to ‘Yes Sir, That’s My Baby’ (watch here)

Liz: Brighton’s not quite Spain, is it Gorka?

I love this pairing too. I knew nothing about either of them, but they are both dorky and fun, and I bloody love them. His face and arms and arse help too though.

Emma: Gorka manages to pull off whatever that is. And that’s quite a compliment.

Liz: Yes, how can he be wearing that and still look so good?

Noone will ever overtake Kevin, EVER, but he as close as anyone will ever come.

Emma: I haven’t written anything because I loved that. So. Much. Fun. I bloody love Charlestons. I was under no illusions that she’d thrive in a personality-driven dance though.

Liz: I loved that. Really did, I made me laugh and smile, such a shame she slipped.

Judges’ Comments & Scores:
Liz: Len’s smile at Bruno’s enjoyment, that made my day.

Emma: Finally Bruno leaps out of his seat for non-flirty reasons – yay!

Craig: 7 | Darcey: 7 | Len: 7 | Bruno: 8 | Total: 29


Laura Whitmore & Giovanni Pernice Waltz to ‘If I Ain’t Got You’ (watch here)

Liz: Can we just skip these, or throw them out now? Never mind floating my boat, these are sinking it to the bottom of the ocean.

Emma: In case you didn’t get that, we’re not Laura’s biggest fan.

Liz: These are screwing. And if they’re not already, they will be later tonight.

Emma: Liz is so so sure they’re definitely fucking.

Liz: I’m really depressed that this is so good and that she is wearing such a nice dress. It makes them so much harder to dislike. Don’t worry though, the irrational hate is pulling through.

Emma: I have nothing much to say. Annoyingly elegant, damn it.

Liz: I hate that the comments were so good, and so fair. It was gorgeous and beautiful and good.

Judges’ Comments & Scores:
Craig: 8 | Darcey: 8 | Len: 8 | Bruno: 8 | Total: 32

Liz: I don’t know why, but her being a strictly super fan just makes me dislike her more. She did deserve those scores though.

Emma: Liz just screeched in horror at Ed Balls saying “you’re welcome” – she screeched so hard and squirmed so uncomfortably I had to pause the TV so she had time to recover. I can’t say I blame her though. There are few things I would like entirely wiped from my memory. One of them is J.G. Ballard’s Crash, the other is that “you’re welcome”.


Melvin Odoom & Janette Manrara Tango to ‘Moving On Up’ (watch here)

Liz: These were surprisingly rubbish last week, I hope they step up their game tonight. And I hope he never wears such a dreadful shirt again.

Emma: Melvin says with early morning starts doesn’t have the energy to be moody? I feel u, Melvin, I feel u.

Liz: It’s too over-pronounced and over…steppy? I can almost hear him saying this foot here, that one there.

Emma: He was a bit bouncy off his feet there – his face needs to tell his feet it’s a tango because his face is working the moody angle.

Liz: He’s still not that good.

Emma: Stop arsing around with a bell hop trolley and dance. Oh wait, once again – he’s not the best at the actual dancing itself, that’s why they’re arsing around “storytelling” so much.

Judges’ Comments & Scores:
Liz: I can almost hear the but, or the watch, or the unfortunately coming Darcey annnnnnnnnnnnd there it is.

Emma: “It wasn’t five star and it wasn’t Fawlty Towers“… love a Fawlty Towers reference from Len there.

Liz: I love Fawlty Towers.

And some nice Mary Berry-ing of the term “mediocre”, Tess.

Craig: 5 | Darcey: 6 | Len: 6 | Bruno: 6 | Total: 23

Emma: Liz just clapped excitedly… that means Louise and Kevin are up next.


Louise Redknapp & Kevin Clifton Viennese Waltz to ‘Hallelujah’ (watch here)

Liz: I’m calling it now, this is going to be good. She’s so nice and he is so cute, this is going to be cutsie perfection.

And you know what Kevin, I think you’re right. Vomming might be a bad idea. Zorbing however, top notch.

Emma: As a rule vomming = bad.

Liz: That dress is made to turn and float perfectly.

Emma: I just put my pizza down for this dance – that means I’m looking forward to it.

Liz: Wow, that was amazing. Beautiful, stunning, amazing.

Emma: Jesus this is good. And quite… quick? It has a lot of content, to me. Not a bad thing at all, just… wow.

Judges’ Comments & Scores:
Liz: Fleckel alert! Bullshit though, Len, “lumps”?! Clearly you are a blind old bat.

Emma: Compared to Darcey’s elegance? Yeah, I think that’s accurate, to be honest.

Liz: A comparison to Darcey can only be a good thing.

Emma: “Too much rise and fall”, Craig? Can you really have too much of a good thing?

Liz: The first gawjus of the year from Craig. They NAILED IT. Love these two.

Craig: 8 | Darcey: 8 | Len: 8 | Bruno: 8 | Total: 32

Emma: Bull. Shit. That was so much better than Laura’s waltz.

Liz: I am not calm enough to deign the travesty that their score was the same as Laura’s with a comment.

Emma: No, actually, Liz just broke out the planet metaphors to describe the unfairness of this scoring the same as Laura and Giovanni – “that was like fucking Jupiter compared to shitty Mercury!!!” She’s really vehement about this, ok? She ain’t wrong though.

She also just said that if Laura and Louise both make it to the final and Laura wins, she’ll never watch another episode of Strictly again. This is a girl who has watched every single episode ever of Strictly, so you know this is important. You heard it hear first, folks.


Anastacia & Brendan Cole Salsa to ‘Sax’ (watch here)

Emma: She’s injured and had to change choreography today in rehearsal? Well, this will be fun.

Liz: Making the excuses already are we?

This is just going to be sex. And filth. And raunch. Intermixed with walking and pouting.

Emma: That does seem to be her “thing”. She doesn’t seem to have many shades of subtlety.

Liz: I thought loca Anastasia was normal Anastasia?

Emma: That slide through legs on the floor was quite smoothly done, even if I don’t like them.

Liz: Her facial aerobics surprise me, I thought she was full of collagen?

Emma: She seemed to be just holding back a little bit? Mind you, if she’s injured, I get why it’s restrained.

Judges’ Comments & Scores:
Liz: Never leave a turn unstoned? Did you get mixed up there Len?

Emma: I appreciate that Brendan feels the need to defend his partners, there’s something admirable to that sentiment.

Liz: Badboy Brendan is back. He loves a talkback, but it’s the wrong way to do it.

Craig: 4 | Darcey: 6 | Len: 6 | Bruno: 6 | Total: 22


Ed Balls & Katya Jones Charleston to ‘The Banjo’s Back in Town’ (watch here)

Liz: I am not prepared. I don’t see how he is going to do a fun and happy Charleston? There is absolutely nothing wrong with Ed until he opens his mouth. I hope he just let’s go and gives it beans.

Emma: Wanting to show us “a totally different Ed”? Please do, because I hate politician Ed. I really hope he just fully goes for it and lets go.

Liz: He’s not rubbish? It’s got personality, and it’s obvious what it is. He’s camped this up, and it he could swivel it would be really good.

Emma: He’s not shit. How?? More and more I’m finding Ed Balls weirdly endearing. Like… he genuinely just went for it. And that was a Charleston and I loved it.

Liz: I’m strangely…proud? He kept that going all the way to the end. That was definitely better than Anastasia and Melvin.

Judges’ Comments & Scores:

Emma: Everyone sounds so amazed he was doing a proper dance. I’m so proud.

Liz: Goofy is exactly what that dance was Craig. I feel like they’re just being unnecessarily mean now. Emma just proclaimed ‘don’t be rude to Ed’ outloud!

… In one swoop there you ruined it, Ed.

Craig: 3 | Darcey: 7 | Len: 6 | Bruno: 7 | Total: 23

Emma: Fucking 3, THREE???

Liz: THAT IS NONSENSE CRAIG, NONSENSE.


Naga Munchetty & Pasha Kovalev Cha Cha to ‘Fool In Love’ (watch here)

Liz: Naga looks fierce. Wow.

Emma: Ok yeah, I could watch Pasha’s hips hula hoop all day. Although I do feel like I am watching him do moves I shouldn’t be watching him do in public.

Liz: His hula hooping is very hypnotic.

Emma: Liz just whistled at Naga at the start. I concur.

Liz: It’s a little bit stiff and clunky. I still like it though.

Emma: I love the feel of this dance. She looks a-ma-zing. Such attitude.

Liz: I feel like they have frayed her dress to make it seem like her hips move more than they actually do. I enjoyed it, but I just don’t think it was her dance.

Judges’ Comments & Scores:
Liz: Yes Darcey, she really does look stunning.

Emma: That was unnecessarily harsh, Craig, not at all constructive.

Liz: Disconnected and tense, that’s a good way of putting the brutal words Craig decided to go with. Where was the constructive criticism?

Craig: 4 | Darcey: 6 | Len: 6 | Bruno: 7 | Total: 23


Judge Rinder & Oksana Platero American Smooth to ‘Marvin Gaye’ (watch here)

Liz: I think Judge Rinder and Craig get their shirts from the same person. And a waistcoat with joggers is just wrong. Sorry, but it is.

Emma: This is so smooth and fun.

Liz: His facial aerobics are astounding.

Emma: It isn’t even effort for him to lift her. Jeez.

Liz: He lifts with effortless ease. Emma informed me ‘’well he’s buff, isn’t he?’’

Emma: Well he is!

Liz: Emma’s face and arms, I wish I could have caught that on camera. Emma is beaming.

Emma: I can’t help but smile when I see him dance.

Judges’ Comments & Scores:
Emma: “You can actually dance” says Bruno. It’s true, he can! I don’t know why there’s a hint of incredulity at this knowledge.

Liz: You’re right, Bruno. I would quite like to see him dance without over camping for the sake of it because he is good enough.

Emma: “Unfortunately you have hands like brick layer’s trowels” says Craig. Cue Liz choking on pizza.

Liz: I agree with Craig to a point, just not quite so harshly.

Emma: Yes, Darcey, those are difficult lifts. I was likewise taken aback with the ease at which he lifted Oxana.

Craig: 6 | Darcey: 7 | Len: 7 | Bruno: 7 | Total: 27


Daisy Lowe & Aljaz Skorjanec Cha Cha to ‘Forget You’ (watch here)

Liz: I don’t dislike her, I just don’t like her.

Emma: Aaaaand I’m now just staring at Daisy’s legs.

Liz: Lucky bitch!

Emma: And Aljaz’s arse. I mean it’s right there so no one can blame me.

Liz: Erm, was that an illegal lift there?

Emma: Was that a lift? A lift – what are you thinking??!

Liz: I know that she danced, but everytime she finished, I don’t feel like she has danced. Maybe I was too distracted by his bum?

Judges’ Comments & Scores:
Liz: Darcey, I have never agreed with something so much ever, her legs are just….phwoar.

Emma: I concur Darcey – Daisy’s legs need to leave, I can’t even look at them, I feel inadequate.

Liz: OK Len, I apologise for my earlier bat outburst as you spotted that rule break.

Craig: 7 | Darcey: 8 | Len: 7 | Bruno: 8 | Total: 30


Danny Mac & Oti Mabuse Viennese Waltz to ‘Never Tear Us Apart’ (watch here)

Liz: I’m glad this is the end, this has been a marathon.

Emma: I swear we’ve been watching this for about three hours.

Liz: He looks seriously good dishevelled and tired. Emma thinks he is the “exact kind of fuckboy” she should hate.

Emma: And, yet, I do not hate him. A miracle, frankly.

Yeah, the lack of commentary is because me and Liz are just occasionally making noises. Shitting hell, this is smooth.

Liz: I absolutely loved that to the point I forgot to type. D’you know what, that is one of my favourite ballroom dances ever on Strictly. It was so smooth and intense, and he led it so well.

Emma: Right now, in these flourishes, I can’t tell who is the professional and who is the celebrity. And it’s only week two.

Liz: Definitely the best dance so far.

Judges’ Comments & Scores:
Emma: Yeah, hearing Len say that he enjoys a modern take on a traditional dance is really the highest praise you can hope to get. Oti’s scream of joy at that really says it all.

Liz: Nothing wrong with a modern twist Len. I feel like Oti loses it like I would if someone said that to me!

Emma: Bruno says Danny acts well. I’m gonna tell him-

Liz: I’m not being funny Bruno, but his job is an actor. Waltzing heart-throb.

Emma: As if he “struggled”, psh bull.

Liz: You could not tell you were struggling, Danny.

Craig: 8 | Darcey: 8 | Len: 8 | Bruno: 8 | Total: 32

Emma: WHAT THE FUCK, WHERE ARE THE NINES? HAVE THEY TAKEN THE NINE PADDLE AWAY FROM THEM ALL?

Liz: Emma was almost screaming at the screen for a 9 paddle there. She wasn’t wrong. She is vehemently stating that it is disgraceful.

Emma: It is.

Liz: I…I just..I don’t know how that scored the same as Laura. It was so much better.


Conclusion:
Emma: My problem with this year’s Strictly is that I like a lot of the people a lot. Which makes it hard to choose favourites at this stage. Maybe that will change as the weeks go by and people leave. But this week I particularly enjoyed Danny (well who wouldn’t) and Louise.

Liz: My problem is that it’s not so much about the people I like (since I like so many of them) than the people I dislike because the ones I dislike I really vehemently dislike.

Emma: Cough Laura cough.

Well, luckily, by tomorrow comes *cue dramatic music* elimination! Until then… keep dancing!


Results Show:

Pro Dance
Emma: After staring mostly at Gorka (and what we assume is Gorka’s amazing choreography), we both have to say wow. The phrase “shitting hell” might have been uttered by myself and “if he dances with the guitar I’ll shit myself with excitement” might have been uttered by Liz. So, yeah, we maybe liked that pro dance a little bit.

Intros
Liz: I feel like what they’ve done there is gone ”That shirt was awful on Craig, let’s make it into a dress for Darcey”

Dance-Off
Well, we called who would be in the bottom two. Can’t help but think if Anastasia is already injured, having to dance it a second time will absolute knack. That’s a highly professional diagnosis, obviously.

… Wait, what the hell – who made up those fucking rules? If one of the couples is injured and can’t dance, why do we go to just to the public’s vote without giving the other couple a chance to save themselves? And without letting the judges have a say? To me, that’s just unfair. And, as proved by Brexit, the public are fucking idiots. Never underestimate the capacity of the British public to vote wrongly.

Liz concurs that we have just witnessed a travesty. She thinks we should have just cancelled the entire dance-off and sent Laura home. (I don’t think she’s her biggest fan)

Moving on from that disaster of a dance-off, next week… is Movies Night!
It is by far my favourite night of the Strictly season, I’m so excited for it.
So, until next time, keep dancing!

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