As I write this I'm conscious that they will be filming the results show and I just hope that my multitudinous votes for my favourite will be enough to save the day. I know I won't be able to resist a wee peek later.
Anyway, the show started with Bruce seemingly shocking the audience with a gag about John Sergeant looking like Jo Brand - well, I thought it was funny, not least because it's not only true but he has the same characterstics and humour as she does.
As the couples paraded on, there were dresses to admire as usual. Cherie has one heck of a figure for her age which was enhanced by her red sheath with fleshy cutouts in all the right places. Erin's was gorgeous - turquoise, shiny, off one shoulder, but Karen's did her no favours - she looked like she had been shrink wrapped in pink tinfoil.
So, on to the dances:
Austin and Erin Wow is all that can be said really - a well deserved 34 points, two 9s, with the boy showing he can do Latin and well as ballroom. It was everything a jive should be - joyful, light, good timing, delightful kicks and flicks. I probably do have to point out the fact that he was wearing a sequinned sleeveless black waistcoat thing which showed off extremely muscly arms. Arlene said "beat that if you can" in a most menacing way. Len said that although he recognised the difficulty of doing perfect flicks and kicks and giving bounce with the supporting leg, he didn't like it when Austin winked at him - who knows, he may have got a 10 if he hadn't done that. Bruno loved it - said they wer "pumping and riding with devilish confidence". It was one hell of a show opener.
It was a bit of a shame that Mark and Hayley had to follow that. I actually thought that it was a bit dull and hesitant. The footwork was competent, but it wasn't going to set the heather on fire.
In giving them 24 marks overall, Craig said it had been a vast improvement on last time when he said that it was d - u - l - l. Arlene implored Hayley to get Mark to an actng coach. Len said that his footwork had been dodgy and it had been longwinded at the start but it was basically an ok effort.
Gary and Karen were third up. Gary had had a troubled week with a fairly major barney with Karen in training cos he wasn't getting the jive at all - a bit of a shame because it is Karen's dance. After landing magical Mark Ramprakash and the delightful Bill Turnbull, it now looks as though Karen is being made to kiss her share of frogs, with Brian last year and Gary this year. It may just be me, but I feel that there's a bit of a concerted effort to keep Gary in - he gets a fair number of mentions on ITT, for a start.
Anyway his jive wasn't the train wreck we had been expecting but it wasn't great. A lot of the time he was posing while Karen did the work in her impossible dress which looked like it should have been more suitable for an Argentine Tango.
The judges' comments could have been worse. Arlene said he had enthusiasm but he needed to stop counting in his head and just feel the music. Bruno said that it had "more holes than the moon" and Craig said that it "wasn't dance disaster" before awarding them just 3 of his 18 points. It was nice to see Karen acknowledge the support Gary had had from all the other professionals and celebrities. In a more telling comment she said "Let us do a ballroom and we'll go". So how well does she really get on with Gary?
Next up were John and Kristina. Now, they weren't as good as the waltz. I had suspected that they would play it for laughs rather than anything else because I just didn't think John was capable of doing the hard gaucho man for the tango. He had said before that the real drama was whether the beautiful Kristina would succeed with him. He said that they had developed a sophisticated relationship where he did what she said.
The dance itself was much as I had thought. It had reasonably competent footwork but not much of the intensity and passion and drama that a tango requires. They went down the steps in hold which I think must be hard. Bruno was quite funny - said that he danced like a jolly godfather after a couple of pints but it worked. He added that Hayley was a bit like Diana Dors but there was no sex because they just couldn't be bothered.
Arlene was topical by saying that it started with the drama of Mandelson's return to the Cabinet but that John really had enjoyed it too much. Len stated that posture couldn't be done after a certain age, but that the footwork was lovely and the attitude was all there.
Craig appalled me by only giving a 3, stating that John was too nice to do the Tango. To equate his effort with Gary Rhodes' was plain wrong.
They finished on 22 points, which is quite scary.
Andrew and Ola followed with their Tango which was, to be honest, not great. The music choice was pretty rubbish - 20th Century Boy and there was a part where Andrew had to headbang in a painful reminder of the school disco. It would have been bad enough for an experienced dancer who was getting the dance. Andrew just didn't manage the hold, as his flexed knees implored him to stick his bum out. Ola's beautiful black and white dress couldn't hide what was behind.
Bruno came up with what I thought was the quote of the night by saying that the dance was like a house with subsidence held together by hope but then said that ht had been painful to watch. Andrew revealed, in what must have been a blatant appeal for votes, that he had been rehearsing naked in the bedroom - but hadn't expected his wife to wake up to see him.
They finished on 22, equal to John.
Tom and Camilla had it all, really - they had Tom's good looks and Camilla's very funky gold dress and black knee boots. Jiving away to Black and Gold, they were good and Tom wasn't as flat footed as the training suggested he would be. However, I didn't think it was as fabulous as Austin and Erin's. The timing wasn't perfect and the flicks and kicks weren't so good. However, the judges were falling over themselves with hyperbole. Arlene said "let the sparring begin". Len said that Austin and Tom were carrying the flag for the boys. They ended up with 33 points, just a single mark separating them. To be honest I thought it was 3,maybe 4 marks worse and wonder why this series is being set up to be some sort of gladatorial fight between the two of them.
The final couple up tonight were Don and Lilia. Their tango was intense, sensual and dramatic. Lilia wore a black and red dress that slit to the thigh to hammer that point home. The judges couldn't get enough of it and gave it a 30 which to be honest was probably a little more than they deserved although it was the best tango of the night.
Len, with his inimitable way with words told Don that he was a "gnat's scrotum" from being eliminated two weeks previously but he could be proud tonight.
Now the reason I'm scared is because, although Gary is on the bottom, the public saved him last time and he does have a wide fan base. Andrew and John are equal on 22 but Andrew has the GMTV fan base. I am most fearing a dance off between Mark and John and I'm scared that the Judges would save Mark and put competence over character.
I have voted for John a fair few times and hope he makes it through.
Now off to the forums to see if the result's through yet........