Movie night – and, dance off aside, it was a tale of two Travoltas. The be-quiffed teenage heartthrob version and the middle-aged man with middle-age spread version…
Let’s just talk about Jay for a minute, who, for his jive, was channeling fat druggy gangster Vincent Vega from Pulp Fiction. Who himself was channeling, albeit in a totally meta way, disco king Tony Manero from Saturday Night Fever.
Now for anyone who wasn’t a The Wanted fan, erstwhile member Jay and his crew prided themselves on their inability to dance. They revelled in looking like ‘normal lads staggering through the pub’ on stage. So where – where??? – did this come from?
Little nervy Jay was a revelation. Those flicks! Those spot turns! Those swivels! His trademark stony/scared stiff gaze fitted the brief brilliantly. Go on – YouTube it if you didn’t watch it or you’re based outside of the UK. Oh, go on…
The best bit? That he started the dance in the same slightly embarrassed, half-arsed fashion JT did in the film. You know, where you think he’s going to unleash the dad dancing only to surprise you with a thunderbolt of silky-hipped, feather-footed rhythmic brilliance. Yippee!
The studio erupted! They were on their feet! The pros didn’t know where to look! Jay’s mum blubbered stoically. Jay was even better than Travolta according to Bruno, who quickly despatched the first 10 of the series. Craig Revel-Horwood, who’d been on particularly mean form all night, said he’d never seen technical ability of its like on Strictly before. Whoa.
Oh, and Daniel O’Donnel pretended to be Danny Zuko from Grease.
Back to the dance-off and it was a sad farewell to Anthony, he of the poorly shoulder. It’s a shame; he and Oti had potential. They were showing week-on-week improvement, if not knock-out performances yet (ber-dum) and they just looked so pretty together. But despite getting in a flap with his penguin moves, it was fellow dance-off contestant Ainsley who lived to waddle around for another week.
Elsewhere, Anton failed Katie by creating a dance routine that had no dancing in it; Helen looked sweet, floaty and elegant as usz (zzzz…); Georgianni did a super-sexy but slightly stiff-hipped Rumba; Carol smiled her way through a Quick Step; Jamelia looked like she was thinking about it all too much and Kirstie was better than last week but still less than paw-fect in her Lady and The Tramp dance. She was the prettiest pretend dog we think we’ve ever seen, though…
There were some pre-Jay show-stoppers, too. Kellie and Kevin, as Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia, looked handy with their lightsabers during their Charleston and lolloping Jeremy made everyone, bar R-H, smile with his. (His Charleston not his lightsaber.)
Fan favourite Peter Andre, doing his best Jack Sparrow, was outshone. He suffered from a too-bulky costume and thumpy choreography and looked a bit more panto character than Paso Doble don. Better luck next week, Pete.
Finally, Anita channeled Demi Moore in a Moira Stewart wig for her Ghost-themed dance. At times she looked lovely and ethereal; at others her wayward twirls made her look like a tiny lump of clay spinning out of control on a potter’s wheel.
Until next Sunday!