In which the rumba gets me a bit hot and bothered

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This week was another Strictly double whammy, and yet again I was away (wearing a befeathered hat at a lovely wedding in Wales) so relied on my good old DVR to capture both nights.  I didn’t get to watch them until Sunday and Monday nights which required staying away from newspapers and websites where I might have accidentally seen who got kicked out, but apart from a frantic scramble to turn Five off when I saw Karen Hardy being interviewed, I managed to watch it for myself without it being ruined.

Maybe because they had an extra week to practise, but this second group of celebrities seemed to fare better in their dancing.  There were still some tragic moments, though; Richard Dunwoody, bless him, didn’t fare too well  With his arms flailing all over the place, a complete and utter lack of rhythm and the inability oto keep in time with the music, he looked like looked like the kind of uncle who gets up to dance at weddings and manages to embarrass his young nieces and nephews with his lack of cool moves.  But a happy one – the grin never left his face, bless him.  Lilia, meanwhile, was equally smiley but rather than enjoyment it was a pasted on rictus grin that didn’t quite manage to cover up the pain she was feeling at being partnered with someone so inept.  To go from Darren Gough and Matt Dawson to a jockey unable to straighten his shoulders due to constant injury must be a little disheartening.

James Jordan and Zoe Lucker’s rumba was one of the highlights, although it left me feeling that I’d interrupted something I shouldn’t – a sentiment that was echoed by Craig’s comment of “it felt like we were watching something through a key hole”.  To be truthful, I did feel a little bit dirty afterwards, and in need of a shower.  But hey, she can dance, and that’s the most important thing.

Although I don’t think she’ll manage to survive very long, I’m rooting for Natalie Cassidy – good old Sonia.  She seems like such a nice person, and anyone who can put up with the pint size Italian cheese-meister that is Vincent deserves to stay in.

When it got down to Richard and Lilia versus Craig and Flavia in the dance off, it was pretty obvious who was going to stay.  Still, the judges can sometimes make surprising decisions (remembering the Gaby Logan/Penny Lancaster dance off from two years ago) so it never pays to be too complacent.  Craig the judge, predictably and swiftly, put Craig from Corrie through.  Alesha padded it out a bit, but followed suit.

Then came Bruno, who could make it or break it for either couple…

… and the programme abruptly ended.

Clearly agreeing with Middle England in its condemnation of the costumes, the DVR had decided to put its foot down.  The annoyance of not knowing nothwithstanding, its timing could not have been better in terms of comedy value – it cut out just as Bruno opened his mouth to deliver his verdict.  Luckily a quick scan of the internet confirmed what I thought: Bruno went with Flavia and Craig, and it was the end of the road for Lilia and Richard.

So we are down to 14 contestants and a show that is a little more manageable in terms of length.  I think the knives are being sharpened by the judges for Jo Wood, although the audience seem to like her – she could follow the footsteps of Kate Garraway and John Sergeant to become The Contestant That Always Gets Through, No Matter How Unco-ordinated They Are.

* Brucey blunder of the night: I can’t choose one this week as thanks to the joys of taped shows, I was able to fast forward through Bruce’s scripted “jokes” and not hear any of them.  Hurrah!

* Best judge’s comment of the night: “You’ve gone from magic to tragic” (Len to Phil Tufnell)

* Number of times Craig said “darling”: I lost count after the first 7

* Worst dance outfit of the night: Natalie Lowe’s rumba dress looked like one of those bead curtains you see in student houses, held up with a beauty pageant winner’s sash.

* Tess’ dress score: 7 out of 10.   She was back in a one shoulder dress on Friday but deviated from the (so far) norm on Saturday with a halter neck, which looked much better in my opinion.

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