Once again we didn’t get a chance to watch any of the training footage this week, though a little birdy tells me that Vincent & Dani are doing a Jive to Olly Murs, a song I choreographed for a charity Strictly-style event I took part in last year…I’m sure mine was better… 😛
Kimberley Walsh & Pasha Kovalev – Salsa
Just because we don’t have a theme this week doesn’t mean we can’t start off with stupid props/stunts does it now.
Kimberley is looking quite awkward in the initial hip movements on stage, and her body roll looks a little wooden. Once they start actually salsaring (is that even a word?!) it starts to improve though I think the armography gets a little too complex as I can’t work out whether they made a mistake, or the ending just looked messy.
The exit from the lift from the judges table sees Kimberley almost falling over but she recovers well, and the entrance to the final lift is a bit jaded too.
It felt messy in places, and I’m not happy with the transition that Strictly has made with regard the amount of lifts we’re now seeing in Salsa. I wasn’t a big fan of it, though some of the actual Salsa they did was quite good at times. Just a 6 for me I’m afraid.
Craig: 8 “Lascivious, licentious and lubricious”
Darcey: 8 “Such a natural performer…seamless wrap lift around Pasha’s neck”
Len: 8 “It’s the return of nimble Kimble…it was a sparkler…I think there was an incident early on with the arms”
Bruno: 9 “Tease me to death…so naughty, so saucy, so fiercely sexy…hip action was spotless…that was brilliant”
Total = 33, were we watching the same dance?!
Lisa Riley & Robin Windsor – Tango
Lisa’s balance and footwork is a little off at times, but it’s great to see her actually dancing this week. A similar issue to Sid from a few weeks ago where it seems to lack aggression at times but vastly improved over her Charleston for content.
A lot of complicated sections, especially with her head movements. It was OK but middle-of-the-road for me, a 7 this week.
Craig: 7 “Need a lot more resistance in your footwork, a lot more glide across the floor [Len doesn’t like this terminology] too much up and down…it’s nice to see you doing something seriously…I thought the routine was amazing”
Darcey: 7 “For me you did create that sharp head…occasionally got a little dizzy…missing [clean and sharp] feet”
Len: 6 “You come out and perform…I thought it was sharp and it had attack…it needed a bit of refinement in the feet and the hold”
Bruno: 7 “Always ready to give plenty…nobody can ever fault you for your delivery…some bits could have been sharper…can never fault your performance”
Total = 27
Richard Arnold & Erin Boag – Foxtrot
I think their intro is just slightly out of time if they were supposed to hit all the big drum crashes but that’s probably just nit-picking.
They look quite good once they start dancing it looks good…oh dear you can see the point that Richard completely forgets what the routine is and it’s all over the place for around 30 seconds of the routine. They kind of recover but what started as a slight loss of concentration soon became a catastrophe, though credit where it’s due he went on to finish the routine (unlike Matt Di Angelo for example).
It started promisingly but I can only really give him a 5.
Craig: 3 “A complete dance dis-aster…it all went horribly wrong…it was going ‘alright'”
Darcey: 5 “You’re a bit wooden…I think that’s when you’re balance went wrong…every week you have improved, it was such a shame you just lost your focus”
Len: 5 “It was a tad ploddy…it was all going quite nicely…if a pro goes wrong, within a bar they’re back…but the celebs can’t do that”
Bruno: 4 “You had a face on you like a frozen haddock…like a puppet when you cut the strings”
Total = 17…same score that saw Sid leave last week…
Denise Van Outen & James Jordan – Viennese Waltz
A lovely synchronised introduction and good to see them ‘mostly’ dancing just pure Viennese steps. A very fast fleckerl at the end but Denise does need to just watch her head when she’s spinning out from hold, just seemed a bit lopsided at one point.
Very well choreographed I thought and a great Viennese Waltz, not perfect but I think I’m going to give me first 9 of the series!
Craig: 9 “A-Ma-Zing”
Len: 9 “Poise, posture, performance – first class…absolutely spectacular”
Bruno: 9 “A romantic dream set to music…rotation exquisite…so pretty”
Total = 35
Victoria Pendleton & Brendan Cole – Samba
There’s been some strained relations between them it seems this week, due to the difficulty of the Samba, but let’s hope they can bring us some carnival fun on the dance floor.
Voltas on the judges table aren’t good, and the whisks need straighter knees at time. Victoria looks like she’s worried and thinking too much, and at times doesn’t really seem to be dancing.
The side by side bachacata parts aren’t great and Victoria looks like a rag doll once Brendan lets go of her. There’s a distinct lack of hip action but I did find it amusing that the floor spin was done by Brendan instead of Victoria.
An ok attempt at a Samba but it lacked any real conviction so just a 5 for me.
Craig: 6 “Little bit lumpish and awkward only in places…those bachacata’s darling…I thought you coped quite well with the whole routine”
Darcy: 6 “You started so well…you just lose your focus at the very end…I did enjoy it though”
Len: 6 “I think you’ve come out of your shell…occasionally you were a little bit unstable in places but your bravery was terrific”
Bruno: 5 “Victoria does Vegas, was all very promising at the beginning…the problem started when you went to the dance floor, it was Vegas with a hangover…Samba has to be much stronger and much more rhythmical…in week 5 the move has to be finished cleanly”
Total = 23
Louis Smith & Flavia Cacace – Samba
Oh dear Louis has brought his lack of emotion forward from the Tango into this Samba…come on Louis, crack us a smile at least!
I feel like his legs are too far apart during the corta jaca’s at the start, and he still looks very wooden at times. He has to think about what he’s doing with his fingers as well, at some points he’s just flapping around with arms and fingers flailing all over the place during the maypole.
Needs to make sure he doesn’t hunch over Flavia in steps like the reverse turns.
Louis shows Victoria how bachacata’s should be danced and makes her and Brendan’s performance in Tess’ corner look even more ridiculous.
A nice knee floor spin at the end.
Louis really needs to tell his face to enjoy the dance. A much better Samba than what we saw previously but Louis really needs to sort out his hands and his wooden posture. A good attempt at a Samba though so I’m going to give him a 7.
Craig: 6 “The Samba can sometimes look a little bit mincy but you made it look masculine…did lose your double bounce action”
Darcey: 7 “I was a bit disappointed, it was a bit safe…moves were too calculated for me…wasn’t one of your best”
Len: 8 “So many recognisable Samba steps…messed up the start of the running promenades though”
Bruno: 8 “These Latin dances suit you perfectly…at times though you turned into Salsa”
Total = 29, Craig scoring the same for this Samba as Victoria’s…really need to rethink your criteria in that case Craig!
Colin Salmon & Kristina Rihanoff – Foxtrot
A much better posture from Colin than I expected, though he is spending most of the dance outside of Kristina which helps as he hasn’t got to try and dance between her legs.
It’s not a bad routine, the big kicks section would have been improved by Colin not having such a large gap between his legs, and there seems to be a mistake as they start the side-by-side section leading into the ending.
Better than I expected I think I’ll give him a 7.
Darcy: 7 “You lifted your chin…glided beautifully…kicks were competing with John Cleese in the funny walks, but your feet were pointed”
Len: 7 “Didn’t think you glided quite enough…a very difficult dance…I thought you coped really well with a difficult dance…move more!”
Bruno: 7 “Suave, elegant with an aura of sophistication…needed a bit more movement but a great performance”
Total = 27, I wouldn’t be surprised if Colin didn’t pull a muscle with those high kicks up in Tess’ corner – a bit too much aggression!
Nicky Byrne & Karen Hauer – Rumba
Nicky’s shoulders are up during the start which gives him a slightly hunched look…and I can’t quite work out whether they’re in time or not. It’s a good attempt at a sliding door though it was only brief, the rest is the usual Strictly fallback of line to line with very little basic Rumba thrown in.
Better than I thought it was going to be, but not great for a Rumba, 6.
Craig: 4 “Just a series of presentations…for me not enough basic Rumba in there…would have liked to have seen more hip action”
Darcy: 7 “This is the dance of love…but I would have liked you to seduce Karen…some beautiful poses…more dance content please”
Bruno: 7 “A little bit more propulsion in the hip action”
Total = 25, don’t think that deserved 7’s guys, admittedly 4 seemed a bit harsh!
Fern Britton & Artem Chigvintsev – Paso Doble
There’s some great emotion at the start, and a dance where Fern’s skirt wafting is positively encouraged!
They miss some arm changes and there are times where Fern loses the intensity she built up at the start. I can’t say I liked the first highlight, with Artem sending Fern sliding between his legs resulting in her sprawled rather ungainly on the floor.
Fern also tries to enter the final floorspin a bit too early.
A promising Paso in parts but ultimately let down. A 6 for me.
Craig: 6 “I was slightly distracted by Artem’s chest…I did manage to see a few wobbles in there”
Darcy: 6 “I liked the choreography…I liked what you did with your skirt…it was assertive for me”
Len: 6 “This fizzed, but it never exploded”
Bruno: 6 “I started to see the Fern on fire…then you start dusting and polishing the floors again…got to deliver”
Total = 24
Michael Vaughan & Natalie Lowe – Foxtrot
It’s looking quite good, not as good as his Quickstep last week, he looks unsteady at times and still has a tendency to stick his bum out.
Another decent attempt at a Foxtrot tonight but just a 6 for me on this one.
Craig: 7 “Steps were all there, just need to add three things…style, swing & sway and then it’ll be perfect”
Darcy: 8 “For me you shine in Ballroom…elegant, graceful, you glide…just watch your neck, can sometimes look a little stiff”
Len: 8 “Best Foxtrot of the night…well done”
Bruno: 8 “Still in the zone…I hope you can carry on the momentum in the Latin”
Total = 31, same as their Quickstep score next week
Dani Harmer & Vincent Simone – Jive
So this is the song I choreographed last February, the video of which you can see here, aside from a poor costume choice (that inexplicably made me look like I had a muffin top) I think the routine went really well…let’s see how Vincent’s choreography compares to mine!
I’d like to see straighter legs in her chicken walks and she looks a bit unsteady at times. Some nice fast flicks though, although she needs to point the toes more. It’d be nice if they could now do a Latin routine that didn’t feature that body roll though as it feels like we see it every time now.
Quite a lot of the routine it feels like Dani is just running around the floor rather than dancing, but she does keep the energy up. A 7 from me.
Craig: 8 “Need to keep your feet together when you go under his legs darling, I copped a massive eyeful!”
Darcey: 8 “I love this Jive, you got the style perfectly…the only that bothered me was your turns, heels need to be together”
Len: 9 “Clean as a whistle…absolutely fabulous”
Bruno: 8 “Really was a cutie-pie of a Jive…hit every beat constantly…turns sometimes could be a bit cleaner”
Total = 33
It’s been a fairly low scoring week this week (from me anyway), that puts the final leader board (my score in brackets) as:
1. 35 – Denise & James 
2. 33 – Kimberley & Pasha 
2. 33 – Dani & Vincent 
4. 31 – Michael & Natalie 
5. 29 – Louis & Flavia 
6. 27 – Lisa & Robin 
6. 27 – Colin & Kristina 
8. 25 – Nicky & Karen 
9. 24 – Fern & Artem 
10. 23 – Victoria & Brendan 
11. 17 – Richard & Erin 
Richard could definitely be in trouble after that performance, I think Victoria could actually be skating on thin ice this week also, I think Artem’s chest will save them tonight.
The Results Show
The first couples safe were as follows:
Denise & James
Fern & Artem
Dani & Vincent
Kimberley & Pasha
Louis & Flavia
First couple in the dance off is Colin & Kristina
Talk with the Judges
- Colin’s high kicks
- Richard & Erin’s microphones, during the dance, after he forgets the routine
- Len’s reaction during Ricard’s dance “Pull Yourself Together” in slow motion
- Dani’s flicks & kicks
- Len’s ‘9’ paddle waving
- Craig analysing Fern’s dance…or Artem’s chest anyway
- The judges enjoying Kimberley’s dancing in front of them
Other couples safe are:
Michael & Natalie
Victoria & Brendan
Nicky & Karen
That leaves Lisa & Robin, or Richard & Erin as the final couple in the bottom two. Joining Colin & Kristina in the dance off is Richard & Erin.
Out of these two Colin could be going home if Richard actually remembers his routine in the dance off. Also note they’re both dancing Foxtrots!
Richard & Erin – Foxtrot
So Richard manages to do the routine perfectly this time. I’d like to see more emotion on his face but the dance itself goes well.
Colin & Kristina – Foxtrot
I think Colin’s made mistakes there and it’s starting to unravel, he pulls it back though but I think his wave goodbye to the judges, and the final look at Kristina reveals who he thinks is going home.
Craig: Richard “One couple in the dance off were better”
Darcey: Richard “I wouldn’t have either of these couple in the dance off”
Len: Richard “I did agree”
Bruno: Richard “One couple risen from the ashes, another couple messing it up”
Going Home: Colin Salmon
Colin: “One of the greatest shows I’ve ever been involved in…a discipline beyond anything you can understand”