Halloween week so we had the usual appalling choice of music and costumes, judges arriving dressed up as vampires, fangs dripping everywhere and Darcy in a blonde wig. Not quite sure why but there you go.
It was all pretty meh and the judges outdid themselves with wild over marking and blinking blatant favouritism. The Clifton family, Kevin and sister Joanne and Kevin's wife are heavily featured in SCD. Karen has no partner since Will Young flounced off in a hissy fit but she certainly still manages to make her presence felt as she was in the opening dance sequence and also has a fair bit to say in the linking bits. People are getting really fed up with their ubiquitous presence. Kevin also seems to have had a hair weave or a transplant or something weird and has spent most of the last two weeks wearing a hat, always a giveaway - his hair is also a seriously odd colour. He and his partner Louise are the two most boring people in this year's Strictly. BUT the judges seem to think they are the next Fred and Ginger and always over mark them.
Another favourite is Daisy. Seems a perfectly nice sweet girl but, again. the judges love her and always find good things to say. Bruno is particularly over the top awarding her a nine for a distinctly average paso. He was outraged when she ended up in the dance off, again.
She was up against Anastasia who I simply have never been able to warm to. Her quickstep last week, sans Brendan, was excellent, her jive this week with Brendan, dire and she quite rightly went. Not before giving a cringing farewell speech worthy of Gwyneth Paltrow at the Oscars.
Danny Mac mucked his routine up this week which, in a way, may do him good because he was so seriously terrific that people might think he does not need votes. Even though he got his foxtrot completely wrong he was still pretty hot and managed to get through.
Craig, after over marking as were the other judges, then woke up to the fact he was being too nice and lambasted Greg and Natalie for doing a rhumba which was not a rhumba more a show dance. Gave them four which was so out of line of his other marks for the evening that it was plain stupid. Greg looked rather fetching with his hair all silvered for Halloween and has a large following it seems as he was voted through. That'll teach Craig to be nasty.
The Hobbits did a dance which I though was ok but the judges, as they are another couple who are faves with them, burbled and went into ecstasies. Just cannot take to these two, AJ is cringeworthy and I get the feeling that every time he passes a mirror he takes a look in it just to remind himself how lovely he is.
Giovanni and Laura did a great tango though she had to wear distinctly unflattering black shoes because of her ankle injury but they ended up top of the leader-board which wiped the smile of the face of Joanne Clifton who did a distinctly unimpressive Charleston with her partner Ore, whose beard and make up defied description.
Ed Balls came out dressed as a mad scientist and proceeded to do a totally outrageous and camp cha cha cha which brought the house down, the audience up, and the judges, including Craig were reduced to helpless and disbelieving laughter. I was pleased to see though that they acknowledged that he was dancing proper cha cha steps and did them well too. James Jordan, no longer a fave at the BBC, was on Twitter saying how wonderful Ed was and that his 'journey' was what it used to be like in the early days of the programme and was just how it should be. I could not find myself in disagreement with him.
Everyone is hoping that Ed will make the B word - Blackpool. Then the serious business and the serious contenders will be clear and the fun candidate always goes home. The judges will find as well that their favourites, which they always deny having, will be whittled out by the voters at home who can spot bias a mile off. The judges never learn and when they find one of their favourites in the dance off get all superior about the proles voting at home which never fails to make me laugh.
Tess and Claudia were as usual, that is dire and brill. Both wearing Halloween black though Claudia is usually in this colour every week and with her black eyeliner looks ready for Halloween throughout the entire year so this week she did not look any different. Tess seems to have a predilection for one armed dressed - Why? Also when she wears this somebody should really make sure she has a good support bra.
So quite glad to get that show out of the way. Onward and upward.