Leader board this week:
1. 36 points – Kara & Artem
2. 35 points – Matt & Aliona
3. 33 points – Pamela & James
4. 32 points – Jimi & Flavia
5. 30 points – Michelle & Brendan
6. 29 points – Felicity & Vincent
6. 29 points – Patsy & Robin
6. 29 points – Gavin & Katya
9. 28 points – Scott & Natalie
10. 17 points – Ann & Anton
Ann with less than half of Kara’s points should really be the one going home, but she is definitely entertaining (and probably contributes immensely to the BBC’s 11m viewers). I think Patsy could be in trouble tonight and Felicity may well join her in the bottom two…it is getting very tight to call now though, especially with no dance-off.
Who do you think will be going?
First time I’ve ever seen a Cha Cha Cha with a rugby ball prop. Needs to keep his legs a little closer together in his forward and back rocks as it’s just hampering his hip action a bit. It’s a strange combination of Rumba and Cha Cha but it’s good to see Gavin smiling.
Showing improvement in areas but still a lot of work required. 7.
Craig: 5 “A little bit flat-footed but I can see you’re trying to get onto the balls of your feet…knee spin was very very good”
Len: 8 “Tonight you were slick…dancer is emerging”
Alisha: 8 “Never seen you so happy, bring the rugby ball every week…outdanced Scott tonight.”
Bruno: 8 “Alisha was panting…getting better every week”
Total Score: 29 (highest score to date)
Can Scott pull off one of the hardest dances for male celebs?
Hip action’s not bad, a little bit shaky at times and needs to keep his hands palm down during open outs and finish them better. A very good Rumba though and definitely benefited from having it later in the competition.
I’m going to give it an 8, he needs to work on finishing his hands and just smoothing it a bit.
Craig: 4 “Did look like you’d just come out of hospital after a double hip replacement”
Len: 9 “No one realises how difficult it is for the man…by and large I think you pulled it off”
Alisha: 7 “For me you look a bit stuck in your body…a bit stagnant”
Bruno: 8 “This week not quite so hot…wasn’t horrific…maintaining fluidity [needs work]”
Total Score: 28 (their lowest score to date)
Patsy’s gone all Kylie this week, and it suits her!
It’s hard to know what to say about this routine…it’s ok but still is lacking something. I think she needs to keep her steps a bit smaller to help with the hip action.
For me just a 6 this week I’m afraid.
Craig: 6 “Cha Cha Chavvy I’m afraid…didn’t need all that bump and grind stuff at the beginning…needed more hip action…New Yorkers very clean”
Len: 8 “Fun, cheeky, hot & saucy…you want to go too fast…calm it down…trying to rush to the next bit”
Alisha: 7 “Look like a sexy, confident woman…did fall flat…did lose timing”
Bruno: 8 “You’re very good at sex…pouty…could be cleaner…don’t stop your energy flowing.”
Total Score: 29
Michelle is starting to develop into a more natural looking dancer. Maybe needs to loosen up her back slightly, and needs to ensure she keeps her feet in contact with the floor during those pivots. However I’m please to say that she is showing definite improvements and I’m glad that she was kept in last week to produce this.
Her best dance to date and I’m giving it a high 7.
Craig: 6 “I feel like [Brendan] is really forcing you into certain positions…wasn’t bad but wasn’t good.”
Len: 8 “I thought it was good…straight into the dance, no messing around”
Bruno: 8 “Better frame…better movement…superglued to Brendan”
Total Score: 30 (and her highest score)
Charleston could be a car crash, they’re definitely going to go down the comedy angle on this one.
Ok it seems I spoke too soon. They’ve put lots of dancing into it and although it lacks any foot swivelling I do think it’s got as much energy as Ann could manage. Some jokes surrounding the lifts and when Anton finally gets Ann off the ground she needs to shape her legs better. Entertaining though and I’m sure Craig liked the ending…
Still hard to mark Ann on dance technique but for entertainment value, and her effort in the dancing I’m going to give her a 6.
Craig: 2 “I’m here to try and help you…double bounce action was missing entirely…fish lift complete and absolute disaster”
Len: 6 “I thought you were gonna conk out at one stage…never a chore to watch you cos it makes me laugh”
Alisha: 5 “Actress is emerging…more of a comedy sketch than a dance routine [Ann – no change there then]…only sign of Charleston was the headdress”
Bruno: 4 “Anton you must have a slipped disc…love you anyway”
Total Score: 17
First prop of the night an arched swing, which almost gets in the way as they’re dancing between it. Matt needs to translate his rise and fall into more of a sway but it’s a nice performance. Loses it in the fleckerl though and does look a bit green afterwards. Second-half looks less confident.
A nice Viennese but doesn’t quite live up to Scott Baker’s from last week, but I’d still give it an 8.
Craig: 8 “Missing a few heel leads…upsets the balance of the rise and fall…thumbs are driving me insane”
Len: 9 “Once you got into hold…lovely flat back…attempted the fleckerl…truly fabulous”
Alisha: 9 “Leading Aliona round the floor like a true gentleman…wasn’t sure if you were breathing though that”
Bruno: 9 “So elegant…so graceful…wonderful dancer”
Total Score: 35
I’m hoping their performance in front of his daughter’s school was early on in training, as it did look pretty awful!
Thankfully that does seem to be the case. Again a little too much faffing about at the start (as Len would put it) but once they get going it’s fast-paced and intricate. Jimi needs to take a look at his right hand on Flavia’s back though as it’s a little high and his fingers are spread like a bunch of bananas (to coin a phrase of Craig’s).
Looks a little laboured in the final third which is a shame but I’m going to give it an 8.
Craig: 7 “You went very pigeon-toed in the grapevine…elevate more onto the balls of the feet [cue enraged interruption from Bruno]…you know what, I really like it”
Len: 8 “Bright, breezy…light…[I’d like] cleaner in your hold and a little bit sharper in your feet…best dance”
Alisha: 8 “Not perfect but getting there”
Bruno: 9 “Slick…polished…best performance to date” [Jimi’s eyebrows go mental at this point]
Total Score: 32
Finally the judges and I start to agree!
Felicity is a celeb who hasn’t lived up to my expectations, though is definitely a lot more flexible than I gave her credit for (and definitely than me!)
A nice Spanish start and I like how they’ve made her hair look a bit like a bull’s tail. Felicity needs to be careful not to skip, but that was only very briefly. The ending seems slightly out of time but then vincent strips off and drags Felicity across the floor to the judges.
For me it’s Felicity’s best dance, I can’t find anything to fault it on but just a few niggles means I’m going to give it a 9.
Craig: 6 “Storytelling absolutely wonderful…thought you could’ve used the floor a bit more…a bit rough”
Len: 8 “Very atmospheric…captured the mood…lacked in agression, made up in expression…best dance so far”
Alisha: 7 “Loved the drama…arm shaping great…still need to work on the attack and drive…one to many splits in your dancing”
Bruno: 8″That had more drama…tried to put a lot of flamenco into it…at times not as well-placed as it could have been.”
Total Score: 29
Now it seems I’ve gone the other way! Much, much better than a 6 though Craig. Whilst it lacked aggression I personally felt that was more to do with the story and expression and no less of a Paso because of it.
My favourite dance is up next and I expect Pamela to return to form tonight after a disappointing couple of weeks.
Still not a fan of the short jacket though James! Slight slip from Pamela at the start, and it’s taking far too long to get going. Another couple of slips in front of the judges which is a real shame as it’s looking quite good at times. The trouble with Foxtrot is it is so technically difficult. Their throwaway oversway is awfully executed and the whole thing ends as a another let down.
Really good at points but far too many mistakes and the beginning took too long to get going. In retrospect I may have considered giving Kara an 8 (still not a nine for me personally) but this is definitely a 7.
Craig: 8 “I thought you coped very well…heel turn very good…lost your balance on that throwaway oversway”
Len: 9 “I loved it…I’m not worried about the odd little [mistake]…lovely elegance”
Alisha: 8 “I love to watch you dance…couple of stumbles…don’t care”
Bruno: 8 “Shame that you missed…stumbled a bit at the end…beautiful dancing”
So Strictly no longer cares about lifts…they no longer care if the celeb makes mistakes even in front of them. Am I being too harsh though I wonder???