All she ever had to say was "I need you". Then I would have been back in a heartbeat.


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"Tainted Love" is the 24th episode in Season 4 of The Next Step and the 118th episode overall. It aired on November 4, 2016.


"West and Eldon battle at the Bangers and Mash Ups competition in London. Noah and Amanda struggle with the next step in their relationship."[1]


James riley season 4 tl 4

James asks Riley who she cheated on him with.

In her office, Riley regards James in shock. James asks Riley what she needed to tell him and Riley begins to cry. As James moves forward to comfort her and she refuses to even look at him, he instinctively realizes that Riley cheated on him. James merely inquires who the person is, and she reveals that it is Alfie. James storms out of Riley's office.

Piper is rehearsing her part in the duet for the third qualifier, but is still thinking about Alfie and Riley's kiss. As she dances, she spots James in the doorway of the Rehearsal Room; the two hug, and James confesses that his heart is breaking, but that he isn't going to let Piper see that. Piper asks James what he is doing at home, and James tells her that he had to make sure that she is okay. Piper tells James that she needs to tell him something about Riley, but he assures her that he already knows. James hugs Piper as she guiltily cries about not telling him sooner. Piper tells James that she loves him, and James assures her that he loves her too.

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West finishes dancing.

In London, the two v. two challenge of Bangers & Mashups is about to begin. Eldon assures Thalia, who is seated at the front of the audience, that he "wuvs" her. Eldon confesses that, with he and Thalia back together, he is in love. West encourages Eldon to get his head in the game. The Masked Man announces that there will be two dancers from each team and West explains that he will dance before Eldon, but if he loses, Eldon will have to compete next. All they have to do is win twice. The Masked Man explains that the first round will be breaking, the second round will be tricking, and the third round will be hard hits and dimes. The opposing team is the Double Deckers, from London. As West dances, Eldon is sure that he is going to win. However, his opponent proves to be superior in breaking and is declared the winner.

Noah sits in his hospital bed on his final day in the hospital and contemplates about his imminent kiss with Amanda. Amanda enters Noah's hospital room and, with Noah's approval, helps him sit up. During the process, Noah attempts and fails to kiss Amanda. Once Noah is seated, he sees another opportunity to kiss Amanda but instead asks Amanda to speak to the nurse. Noah confesses that he doesn't know why he lets these chances slip by.
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Michelle tells Riley that she is there because she is her friend.

Michelle enters Riley's office to be there for Riley since she has heard about James's return. She confesses that regardless of how angry she was, she is going to be there for her best friend. Riley and Michelle share a hug. Moments later, Alfie and James simultaneously enter the office through opposing doors. Michelle asks Riley if she wants her to stay, but Riley tells Michelle that she can leave. When Michelle departs, James urges Alfie if he has somewhere else to be and confesses that he has a lot of nerve. Riley tells Alfie that she thinks he should be rehearsing. Alfie tells Riley that he will be in the Rehearsal Room if she needs him and leaves. Riley turns to James to speak to him, but James says to her that he cannot talk to her at the moment and storms off, leaving Riley in tears. Riley sits at her desk, confessing that she didn't think that things would get so bad - in fact, the problem is that she didn't think at all.
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Eldon competes.

The Masked Man announces the commencement of round two of the two v. two stage. Eldon must win this round, or else they will be going home. The round, which is for tricking, commences. Eldon's opponent from the Double Deckers dances first. As Eldon watches his opponent compete, Eldon confesses that while the opponent may have the advantage of being on his home turf, he has the power of love. After his opponent finishes, Eldon competes amidst Thalia's cheering. Thalia confesses that watching Eldon perform makes her fall in love with him all over again. Eldon easily wins the round.

Noah is lying in his bed, working up the courage to kiss Amanda. Amanda returns and assures Noah that the nurse said he could go home an hour ago. Noah stands and tells Amanda that he is incredibly nervous about their kiss, irritating the other patient in the room, as all he has heard Noah talk about during his week in the hospital is the kiss. Amanda asks Noah if he has ever even kissed a girl before and Noah tells her that he has kissed one girl, but that he blacked out shortly after and didn't remember it. Noah asks Amanda if she even wants to kiss her, and Amanda tells him that she does. Subsequently, Yohance, the other patient, urges Amanda to close the curtain. Noah and Amanda prepare to kiss.
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Amanda reveals that she lied.

Noah continues to express his nervousness, as he fears that if the kiss is wrong, their feelings for each other will be ruined. Wanting to move things along, Amanda tells Noah that she already kissed him while he was under anesthetic (which was surprisingly good given the circumstances), thus making this their second kiss. Hearing this, Noah finally kisses Amanda. Noah asks Amanda if the kiss was better than the first, although Amanda reveals that she lied about kissing him while he was under anesthetic, meaning that this was their first kiss. Noah and Amanda kiss once more, with Noah confessing that now he's ready to go home.

The final round of the two v. two challenge, hard hits and dimes commences. The female competitor from the Double Deckers is easily the best member of her team, but Eldon still beats her, thus moving his team forward in the competition. Upon the announcement, Thalia runs to Eldon and hugs him. Eldon confesses that, with having Thalia back and winning the round, he is pretty sure this is the best day ever.

James is angrily pacing in Studio A. He ponders upon whether he has been replaced by Alfie and subsequently envisions Alfie before him. James begins to dance but continues to envision Alfie near him as he dances. At one point, James even imagines himself rapping about his transgressions. James confesses that all Riley had to say was "I need you," and he would have returned in a heartbeat.



  • James imagining Alfie while he dances after finding out that Riley cheated on him is reminiscent of Riley imagining James dancing with her after seeing him kiss Beth, which occurs in "What'll I Do".


  • Noah claims that he has only kissed one girl before, and that he blacked out afterwards. Since Noah was shown kissing Abi in "It's My Party", it can be concluded that she is the one girl he has kissed; however, he did not black out in that episode, though he could potentially have done so later the same day.

Cultural References

  • The title of this episode refers to a song of the same name by Gloria Jones.





Featured music

Riley season 3 wtm i'll "I'll get to you when I get to you!" - The missing information in this section of the article is to be added.

Featured dances


Main article: Tainted Love/Transcript


Main article: Tainted Love/Quotes


Main article: Tainted Love/Aftershow


Kathy Riley season 3 episode 13 "Look at that painting!"

To view the Tainted Love gallery, click here.


  1. The Next Step Season 4 Episode 24 - Tainted Love - Zap2It TV Listings. Zap2It. Retrieved on October 19, 2016.
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