Our second helping of the weekend, so let's get right to it...
Jay and Aliona
Well Jay's hair is stuck in 1974. I can't get past that. If he were in series 2, Len would have told him to scrub up a bit. The really scary thing is, when series 2 was aired, Jay was 14. 14! Aliona hasn't the best reputation for choreography but granted, she hasn't had the chance to flex her muscles with a decent contestant for a good few years, and I actually quite liked this routine. And Jay was far better than I expected him to be. His timing was good, but he was doing the huge back step male dancers sometimes tend to do, like they're trying to avoid the splash of a lorry through a puddle at the edge of a pavement. OK, his knees were as bent as an iPhone 6, but he did have some of the technique down, and, was trying really oh-so-very hard. So all in all, I think these guys could do pretty well.
Kirsty and Brendan
We had a wee case of the Kate Garraway 'ragdolls' here. Brendan did a tremendous job holding her up, but I'm not sure Kirsty's feet embarked upon any independent movement at all during that whole routine. I worry dearly for her in a latin routine where she won't have the advantage of Brendan's expert driving.
Jeremy and Karen
Are you familiar with the children's story The Giraffe Who Can't Dance? No? The giraffe's name is Gerald and, well, as the title so clearly states, he can't dance. Jeremy is the SCD equivalent of Gerald. He's notably tall, and rather humble. But when Gerald listens to the rhythm of the sounds in the jungle, he just fecking goes for it. With major abandon. Much like our Mr Vine. There's definitely a message in that. I may send Jeremy a copy through the post. There's something about an underlying latin beat in a disco track that always makes a cracking cha cha, so some of the pure joy of this routine was possibly being carried by the music. Because no, this wasn't technically good at all, but it really did make me smile and he totally sold it. Even though at times it looked like a cross between a toddler riding an imaginary horse and Chandler Bing doing his victory dance.
Georgia and Giovanni
A nice modern, yet appropriate, song choice and a routine so stuffed with content it was oozing out the edges like a plump burrito. They are so the new Louisa and Vincent, which is absolutely adorable and I love them already. Georgia did such a great job at this difficult routine. I think she struggled to keep up towards the end and occasionally her timing issues hit me in the eye like a big pizza pie. I am considering starting a campaign to make 'Giovanni Does Northern' a weekly segment on It Takes Two. Neepy, lols.
Ainsley and Natalie
I was expecting camp, and we got it. With a side serving of drama. Let's face it, he has been blessed with the best pro-teacher. I still take back everything I said about Michael Vaughan not being able to pull off a half-decent dance. I ate so many words that week, I couldn't finish my tea. But back to Ainsley - his tango face was on point, the like of which has not been seen since Don Warrington in 2008. If he's able to avoid being stereotyped as a 'race-to-the-bottom' contestant - and I think Natalie would do her best to resist that anyway - he could do very well. There is now a sense of expectation hanging in the air. Let's hope he brings it again next week.
Katie and Anton
I think this was an achievement for Anton as much as it was for Katie. And despite the horror at the thought of Anton jiving that was being expressed on Twitter, it wasn't half bad. OK, so there were missed steps - I'm convinced from both of them - and it sort of dwindled towards the end, but Katie is clearly the best partner Anton has had for a long time. I've just about forgiven him for his bad attitude with Laila, where he more or less didn't bother teaching her any latin, and I'm hoping he takes his partnership with Katie a little more seriously, whilst still maintaining that imitable Anton charm. Katie wins the prize for the best dress.
Iwan and Ola
I took agin (to use Marian Keyes' word - it's too fitting) Iwan after he thoughtlessly and dangerously flung Ola about on launch night. If she hasn't forgiven him, she's hiding it well. But the comment 'as long as she's fun when she needs to be fun...', well it's clear he thinks he's going to be in charge. I hope Ola kicks his arrogant ass. The dance itself was as stiff as a block of wood blocked inside a tower block in Bloxwich. And no one steals moves from Christopher Parker and gets away with it. No one. Pfft.
Jamelia and Tristan
Jamelia has so much energy it's as though she's downed a bucket of Monster laced with Red Bull laced with Espresso. Trying to contain that within a waltz was quite tricky. She looked completely out of her comfort zone and perhaps week one isn't the easiest week to have the 'Yes, I can be a princess' revelation. She hoped to contain her giggles, but I'm sure I saw one with a little shoulder shrug mid routine. I'm pretty sure she will be able to dance and will come out of herself in a cheeky cha cha brimming with fringe and feathers.
Peter and Janette
He's throwing himself in with vim and vigour. He's also already thinking about winning it. Which usually means a RINGUH, and me not wanting him to win. However, I had him pegged as the Safety Car a la Denise van Outen, but the dance wasn't as good as I was expecting it to be. His showmanship was awesome, but in attempting the style, he went a little jerky. He needs to iron out the remnants of his previous dance experience. Partly, Peter wasn't to blame, as the song was pretty 'angular', and for someone with musicality, it's hard, ahem, not to dance to it. But despite these small niggles, I thank the God of Swarovski crystals he knows how to move more than his hips.
An American in Paris, Dominion Theatre
1 day ago