THAT pro-celebrity gymnastics mess on BBC1, from where I’m looking, is a cheap Saturday night distraction.
Someone, then, seems to have supplied the judges with magical 3D glasses, vibrating chairs and electrodes wired deep into their frontal cortex...
“I was watching this and thought I find myself at a Broadway show.” (Nadia Comaneci to H from Steps.)
“You guys are ready for Las Vegas.” (Sebastien Stella to Bobby Lockwood.)
“You do the best splits I have ever seen.” (Comaneci to Christian from EastEnders.)
“You are no longer a celebrity. You are a gymnast now.” (Louis Smith to Lockwood who, to be accurate, wasn’t a celebrity in the first place.)
Whatever they’re seeing on Tumble, it’s not the same as me.
The truth is the Beeb cannot wait for this decaying fart to end and Strictly to start.
So much so that ballroom references are shoved in everywhere...
The mirror balls during Sarah Harding’s rhythmic gymnastics.
Craig Heap announcing a Len Goodman “seVEN”.
Host Alex Jones calling him “Craig from Burnley” because it worked for pro-dancer “Kevin from Grimsby”.
Carl Froch swashing his cape as if launching into a paso doble.
And guest performers, like Frankie from The Saturdays, interviewed about their forthcoming stint on Strictly Come Dancing.
We’ve had sliding door malfunctions, endless overhype about “the dreaded vault” and all manner of gibberish: “Amelle’s out to prove that when the going gets tough, the tough get bouncing.”
Alex Jones has talked all over the panel, wished Lucy from Towie a happy birthday, twice, when it wasn’t her birthday, appears to be making stuff up (“They say behind every tumbling celebrity is a great coach”) called Carl “Craig” and Craig “Carl” and almost came a cropper tripping over the crash mat.
Presumably she was given the gig on account of her gymnastics knowledge: “There was a lot of jazz handy stuff.”
Because it sure as hell couldn’t have been her TV hosting skills.
The male judges have assumed they are the real stars, delivering talent show clichés (“You delivered”, “You nailed it”, “It wasn’t very good... it was FORMIDABLE”) and having a backflip competition among themselves last weekend.
They can build next Saturday’s final all they like but they cannot conceal the fact that the standard of routines ranges from adequate all the way to moderate and that Tumble has tried to get away with Peter Duncan waggling a ribbon as acceptable primetime TV.
Series like this, however, have a tendency to provide their own damning verdict.
So I’ll leave it in their capable hands.
John Partridge: “I’m really going to enjoy it when it’s over.”
Carl Froch: “If it doesn’t go right, it’s going to be disastrous.”
And Louis Smith: “There’s wasn’t much pizzazz, there wasn’t much oomph, there wasn’t much difficulty. It was just very dancey and very polite.”
Here lies Tumble, 2014 to 2014, prostrate over a vault.
Rewind one week. Kitten & the Hip (replacement) and Jimmy Cheung’s voice-creaking O Sole MIAOOOW hinted at X Factor back on form.
It vamoosed in last night’s blur of anonymous young singers, tears, Judge’s House failures, “music saved my life” baloney, Charlie Brown who “works in an arcade”, presumably for Peanuts, and US Air Force pilot Charlie Martinez who had to sing to his female commander.
If he didn’t do You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling, it’s a chance wasted.
This week’s Couch Potato Spudulikes...
Goose-honking Gary Busey telling Celebrity Big Brother housemate James Jordan: “You’re not really there yet for compatible communication.”
The One Show Music Festival’s rock ‘n’ roll start – Alex Jones asking Smokey Robinson about the EU’s ban on vacuum cleaners over 1,600 watts.
And Sky Sports’ Transfer Deadline Day with dream team Jim White and Natalie Sawyer, fans with sex toys and blow-up dolls behind hapless reporters, Gary Cotterill’s vanishing spray to ward off QPR hecklers, and tongue-tied Charles Paterson on Celtic buying John Guidetti: “It looks like the signing of the day will be John Beged... degebede... bedege... Degetty.” White: “Charles, never buy teeth from a catalogue.”
Forget Bake Off. Best food-based game show is ITV’s Who’s Doing The Dishes?
If only for contestants wildly guessing the mystery celebrity cooking their meal.
At Louis Walsh’s home: “Frank Sinatra?” “Tommy Cooper?”
At Bobby George’s pad: “Chas & Dave?” “A sumo woman?” “That guy in EastEnders. The one who did Runaround. He’s not dead, is he?”
And at Amy Childs’ house: “Jodie Marsh?” “Katie Price?” “A drag queen?”
This week’s Football Reporter award goes to...
Sky Sports’ bedraggled Geraint Hughes, at 11.07pm on Deadline Day, on Arsenal signing Danny Welbeck: “We knew the deal was developing but it was getting the I’s crossed and the T’s dotted.”
Celeb Big Bro’s Bit On The Side berk Dr Teeth: “Frenchy, I’ve got to ask you as an American...”
American? She’s French, Rylan.
Which part of her name threw you?
Congratulations, of sorts, to the star of Educating Joey Essex.
The ITV2 chimpanzee made an “alien abductee” consider HIM the crazy one, during “an intergalactic odyssey of America” for ITV2.
He mistook cows for a UFO, claimed: “The worst thing for me would be to meet an alien and be abducted,” (let’s beg to differ, sunshine) and explained the Moon’s origins: “Billions of years ago, some sort of species or alien or dinosaur put it up in the sky.”
And a Nasa engineer taught him about spaceships: “That’s called the nose cone.”
“Because it’s a nose and it’s in the shape of a cone.”
Come on, Joe. It’s not rocket science.
Phillip Schofield to Katie Hopkins, “temporarily unbanned” from This Morning for her fatso stunt: “Why are you doing this?”
Hopkins: “The real reason I want to do this is...” for the usual claptrap-spewing self-publicity, by any chance?
This week’s Couch Potato Spuduhates...
The inescapable Ice Bucket Challenge.
EastEnders turning Alfie Moon into a racist.
Harvey Keitel selling his soul, along with insurance, on those god-awful ads.
Jamie Oliver affectionately referring to himself in the third person: “Comfort food is 100 per cent JO.”
Lee Nelson comedy pillock Simon Brodkin hijacking Transfer Deadline Day.
Celeb Big Bro letting its vindictive £400,000 asset Kellie Maloney get away with violent threats.
And everyone on (Prince) Harry At 30 insisting he’s just a “normal guy”, including his polo coach Claire Tomlinson. Because what could be more normal than having a polo coach?