Ed Balls’s Gangnam Style On Strictly Come Dancing

We can only guess how the historians of the future will report on the events of last week. They will no doubt remember the defeat of the first female US presidential candidate of a major party, the election of Trump and the first historic meeting between Donald and Barack.

Those of us who have lived this time, however, will be able to give testimonials of what actually happened: Ed Balls danced Gangnam Style and moved on to Blackpool.

Now that we have seen it, we can never ignore it. It is a man who learns a dance as if it were Hermione Granger facing the expulsion of Hogwarts.

And he executes it with a level of commitment equaled only by a boa constrictor swallowing the last gerbil left on earth, and with similar aesthetic qualities.

The real test of any dance on Strictly is how often and how often you want to watch it again. And I can not stop.

The biggest credit must be given to Katya Jones, a woman of extraordinary courage. To trust him with these lifts when he almost abandoned it once on live TV … It is 90% bravery, 10% total carefree.

It must have the strongest nucleus of Christendom. It seemed that his hairstyle (super-high pony tail) was designed to act as a cushion and save his life if his skull came close to the floor. What he did.

If you were not already stunned by this phenomenon, Danny Mac was badly marked for not only one of the best Argentinian tangos we’ve ever seen on the show but one of the best routines in the history of the show.

I think the judges play a cautious game with Danny, aware of the potential hysteria of the vote public about “the previous experience.” They are cautious not to abuse it. In reality, he’s so far ahead of the competition, it’s ridiculous. And I can not say enough how much I love Oti and her extraordinary legs.

It was Daisy’s turn to leave? Probably. Is Greg borrowed? Yes. But Natalie can still fire a blind man. Am I the only person who thinks that Joanne and Ore often draw straw on the choice of music? A rumba, the dance of love, to ordinary people? (Example of words: “We are only ordinary people / We do not know where to go.”) He was lucky to avoid the dance without fault on his part. Louise, Judge Rinder and Claudia are constantly improving, but need to pull something spectacular out of the bag.

Highlights of the whole thing (Gangnam apart)? Judge Rinder’s grandmother saying, “We’re watching your husband on TV,” while Ms. Vernon Kay was trying to hide her horror. Invaluable. Here’s what the judges did with all this …

Darcey was curiously restrained this week. It’s as if they’ve asked her to tone down the “Phwooooarr” remarks to the male contestants as there have been (mercifully) few this series. Or there genuinely isn’t anyone she fancies. Favourite moment? Her face during Gangnam Style, screaming with laughter and clinging on to Craig for dear life.

Bruno’s moment of clemency towards Daisy was adorable. I’m sure he’s not briefed to do this and he would never admit to it, but he does have a habit of throwing a bone to the losing side in the dance-off and forcing Len to make the cruellest cut. Here it was a kind thing to do, making sure Daisy went out with her ridiculously beautiful head held high.

An excellent response to Ed Balls. “There are no words in the dictionary to describe that.” And: “There is always a sense of anticipation for you more than for any other couple.” If Len gets stuck for a job when he leaves Strictly, he can always write a compendium of euphemisms.

I’m surprised he hasn’t been hotter on criticising the content of the routines the last couple of weeks. Was Gangnam really a salsa? (Not that anyone cares.) What about Daisy’s routine? (Also supposedly salsa.) Mind you, he won’t come out with critical remarks at feelgood Blackpool either. He must have laid in extra supplies of pickled walnuts under the desk to help him bite his tongue for now.

Is it my imagination or has Craig actually not said “Ah-maz-ing”, “Fab-u-lous” or “Dis-ah-ster” this series? If I’m right, good for him: he seems more like himself this season than ever before, as if he’s finally escaped the shackles of the Darth Vader character who was promised on launch night.

I thought it was a shame his reaction to Ed Balls was reduced to “OMG.” We could have done with hearing a lot from Craig; I wonder why he was silenced. Possibly he was made to sacrifice because Balls got an unprecedentedly long standing ovation. Anyway. My point is: Craig seems happy and I like him that way.

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