With the Blackpool Tower looming in the Strictly contestant’s sights, this week’s Strictly Come Dancing saw the couples stepping up their dancing game. With Claudia still away due to family reasons, Zoe Ball filled her shoes once more. Hopefully Claudia will be able to come back next week and join the Strictly cast at the Tower! Anyway, this week there was no Halloween theme, which meant that the plastic bats and brooms were put away and the ballroom was cleared.
Simon and Kristina were first up this week, and after facing the bottom two a couple of times Simon is desperate to prove his place in the competition. Luckily, he proved it, with a skippy Quickstep and a constant smile on his face. With the judges awarding him a total of 33 for the night, he looked like he might have set the bar high for the other couples. But the scoring of the night did end up going a little bonkers. There were nines and eights everywhere, and even a ten for Pixie and Trent who impressed judge Darcey with their foxtrot. They topped the leader board with an impressive 36. Not far behind them were Frankie and Kevin, who managed a 32 with their samba. Craig did describe it as Frankie’s worst dance yet, but she still managed to come second overall, so her worst obviously isn’t as bad as some others. There were three couples joint third place with 31 points. Caroline and Pasha and Sunetra and Brendan both danced a waltz. Sunetra messed up a few of her steps whilst Caroline was criticised for looking too stiff during the dance. Mark and Karen danced a waltz and the majority of the judges were impressed with the romantic mood, but head judge Len thought the dance lacked any swing and sway.
Not faring so well at the bottom half of the leader board was Judy and Anton. Their Paso Doble lacked any real passion and any real movement. But Andy Murray did turn up in the VT before the main dance. Let’s be honest, he had to show up at some point, but better now than being forced to sit in the live audience. Their Paso involved Judy sentencing Anton to jail by banging a gavel and then proceeding to lock him away. You have to give it to Anton Du Beke; he does try to make his dances theatrical and memorable. Their score of 18 left them at the bottom, a whole nine points away from second to bottom couple Jake and Janette. Jake’s rumba was stiff and his arm shaping was scarcely there. It wasn’t his best dance and it is a far cry from his week two samba. Alison and Aljaz danced a Charleston which earned her a lot of praise for its high energy and slapstick jazz hands to Aladdin’s ‘Friend Like Me’. The final couple of the evening was Steve and Ola, who managed a safe score of 28 for a Paso Doble which felt far too violent for such an early time on Saturday night. The judges didn’t even mention the quality of the dancing, just the forceful nature of the Paso.
But the dance off came and there was shock in the ballroom. Alison and Alijaz found themselves facing Caroline and Pasha, who in turn found themselves in unfamiliar territory as they have always been consistent and near the top of the leader board. But that is the curse of Strictly: no one is safe. It was time for Alison and Aljaz to leave and miss the bus to the Blackpool Tower, but Alison had lovely things to say about all the contestants and especially Aljaz.
So next week the Blackpool Tower looms. Don’t forget the deckchairs and sticks of rock, but in the meantime remember to keep dancing! (And dancing in Willow until four in the morning does count).
Worst Dance of the Night: Judy and Anton’s Paso Doble
Best Moment: Has anyone else been waiting for Andy Murray to make his appearance? And it finally happened!
Best Outfit of the Night: Ola Jordan’s green dress which made her look like a Christmas tree. Is Strictly feeling festive already?