Strictly Come Dancing – Halloween week with Swan Lake

Strictly Come Dancing – Halloween week (5) 

Strictly Come Dancing

Harry Judd & Aliona Vilani dance the Tango Photograph : BBC Pictures

Last year, one of my all time favourite weeks was Halloween, because everything came together – the costumes, hair and make-up, and the dancing.

3 Tangos, 3 Pasos, 1 Samba, 1 Jive, 1 American Smooth, 1 Rhumba and 1 Quickstep.

But will they match up to last year ?

Great start from all the dancers, incorporating some moves from the judges too!  Princess Bea is in the audience with her beau, and there’s a spider behind Tess… 

Holly Valance is channelling Black Swan tonight, as she dances to Swan Lake, more traditionally seen at the ballet! Whatever does Russell Grant look like ?  Brucie says they all look like the undead.

Oh Lord!  Craig Revel-Horwood arrives on a broomstick, from a highwire, apologising profusely for his lateness but saying that the traffic was a complete “dis-aaaaaa-ster.” Tonight the clocks go back, and it’s already dark, but that broomstick had no headlights!!!

Russell and Flavia have a tricky task tonight, dancing the Samba – a party dance – on Halloween night. He is head to toe in vermillion, avec two red horns on his head and a truck load of face paint! He’s hyper-keen to do this dance, and despite being haunted during training and a sore knee, he’s ready.  Are we ? Beginning in the flames of Hell, he’s more pussy-cat than devil but he has the elusive Samba bounce. He forgets part of the routine but recovers well, and finishes where be began, back in the flames.  Len picked up on the mistakes, but said that when he came thrrough the flames he must have caught his bum on fire because he came out really dancing. Bruno said that he turned Hell into a camp heaven, but said that it went wrong quite a lot. Craig picked up on his bad timing but good bounce action.

They score : 22

Chelsee and Pasha dance the Tango among the bubbling bottles.  Alchemy! Chelsee appears out of the cauldron, and the dance is wild, strong, tense and staccato. Loving the purple and pink, but Chelsee is in tears by the end because of a dress malfunction. Bruno said she did a great dance. Craig wanted flexed knees but said that she coped with the wardrobe malfunction well but it did affect her and the ending was a little messy.  Len said she was like a Lancashinre Hotpot, all lovely and delicious. Poor Chelsee is too distraught to take much notice, but both Bruce and Tess are reassuring. Personally I’d love to see her schedule on Waterloo Road ease up a little so that she could spend more hours training.

They score : 32

Strictly dancers

Chelsee Healey dances the Tango Photograph : BBC Pictures

Audley and Harrison have to follow that with a Jive, and Audley begins on the piano.  Natalie is wearing a tutti-frutti confection of madness but Audley isn’t matching her enthusiasm step for step. He’s too angular; too slow. More stuff on the piano, which Len won’t like. Natalie is dancing for both of them, but it’s not enough. Bruno said it was big smiles from Audley but bad footwork. Craig said Audley is physically unsuited to the dance and that it was heavy. Len disagreed; timing was right all the way through and he never went wrong.

They score : 20

Alex Jones dances the Paso Doble with James Jordan.  Training seems to have been hanging off the side of a wall in a skeleton suit.  Alex is dressed in white, touches of Sarah Brightman as she swirls her skirts.  It’s a bit scratchy by the time James gets hold of her and the floor spin is pretty ungainly, but Alex does show some aggression and the ending is good, with both of them on the floor. Craig said she played it extremely well. Len was expecting a Hammer House of Horror but he was wrong; it was dramatic with intensity thought there was a little bit too much “frock-wafting” for him. Bruno noticed the increase in Alex’s core strength and how she is now linking all the steps.  A dance resurrection!

They score : 31

Black Swan

Holly and Artem tackle Swan Lake. Her dress is pure Black Swan! Not Rodarte, but feathered none the less. Artem is White Swan, mostly Matthew Bourne’s swans!. Heavenly, beautiful swan arms to begin with, beautiful lines, elegance and refinement. Holly has such a small skirt/tutu that she is totally exposed in her lines and footwork, and you really can see how hard she and Artem have worked this week. Len wants the clocks to go back right now because he wants to see it again right now.  He loved it !  What a number ! This is Alesha’s favourite concept so far. Bruno thought that even to attempt the difficult Swan Lake music was barmy, but Holly was excuisite. Craig said “very high risk and perilous concept” but she made it work.

They score : 35 – best score of the night so far!

Black Swan

Holly Valance and Artem Chigvinstev dancing the America Smooth to Swan Lake by Tchaikovsky Photograph : BBC PIctures

Nancy is next.  Anton is looking quite dusty already.  They have the Rhumba. Nancy emerges from the coffin she fought so hard to avoid in training. She’s fairly inelegant and ploddy on her own at the start, her legs are far too far apart to be lady-like and she’s wooden by the time Anton arrives. Her best movements are, as ever, upside down. Alesha said she was a walking disaster and remarked about her legs being wide apart and lack of elegance.  Bruno said she looks like the Queen of the Night but dances like the walking dead.  Craig said “dance horriblé, darling.” Len said “there were moments of Mills and Boon and moments of Meals on Wheels.”

They score : 14 – putting them in the twilight zone!

Harry and Aliona won a 10 last week. This week they have the Tango. Seated, they begin masked, but quickly introduce themselves and get into hold. Harry is in full vampire mode, and it’s very cleverly done. Strong, masculine and dangerous. Bruno loved it. Craig loved the story-telling and the aggression. Len wants more than 8 bars in hold.  He thought it was crisp and enjoyable but he wanted a Tango in Tango hold. He’s annoyed because when Harry is in hold, he is fantastic. Alesha said Harry is too cool for school.

They score : 34 (a 10 from Alesha)

Robbie & Ola dance the Paso Doble, and Robbie begins on his own, stealing a cape from Ola as she passes.It doesn’t have the aggression needed; Robbie is quite soft and effeminate, and I bet Len will hate the double crotch grabbing shots and the ending on the judges table. Craig said that technically it needed a lot more drive, and his hands were like soup ladles at times. Len said it was a little bit disconcerting (the crotch-thrusting) and he was a little disappointed.

They score : 26

Anita and Robin dance the Tango, so will Anita be able to stop smiling to get into character for the Devil Woman ? Popping up behind a handy tombstone, Anita doesn’t quite have the staccato head movements and she is smiling by the end, but it’s a good shot!  She has huge red feathered false eyelashes! Len picked up on the mistakes, and says that she is too vertical, and her posture is her weakness. Bruno enjoyed her portrayal but her frame needs work. Anita looks disappinted.

They score : 31

Lulu and Brendan tackle the Paso Doble. In training, Lulu is dressed as Batman. She’s going to be flying in this routine! So is Brendan.  Both bats. She’s batting those wings like drumsticks, but they are hiding her lack of footwork. It might have been a brave show but it’s not a dance ! Craig liked the theatrical content but felt that the content in hold looked as though they were fighting for supremacy. Len wants to see more reaction and action, but it was entertainment.

They score : 29

Jason and Kristina take to the stage in emerald costumes to dance the Quickstep. Kristina twitches her nose and has the Bewitched wand and Jason dances to her tune. It’s a beautiful, funny dance despite the mistakes. Craig loved it even though there were a couple of mistakes. Len agreed with Brendan that the whole backstage team tonight have been fantastic tonight, and he too enjoyed the routine.  Alesha said it was charming and interesting. Bruno liked the slightly barmy elements!

They score : 37 – top score of the night and of the series so far.

Tonight’s music was :

Russell Grant and Flavia Cacace dance the Samba to Better The Devil You Know by Kylie Minogue

Chelsee Healy and Pasha Kovalev dance the Tango to Love Potion Number 9 by The Searchers

Audley Harrison and Natalie Lowe dance the Jive to Little Shop of Horrors – Cast Version

Alex Jones and James Jordan dance the Paso Doble to Bring Me to Life by Evanescence

Holly Valance and Artem Chigvinstev dance the American Smooth to Swan Lake by Tchaikovsky

Nancy Dell’olio  and Anton Du Beke dance the Rhumba to Spooky by Dusty Springfield

Harry Judd and Aliona Vilani dance the Tango to Psycho Killer by Talking Heads

Robbie Savage and Ola Jordan dance the Paso Doble to Bad by Michael Jackson

Anita Dobson and Robin Windsor dance the Tango to Devil Woman by Cliff Richard

Lulu and Brendan Cole dance the Paso Doble to Highway to Hell by AC/DC

Jason Donovan and Kristina Rhianoff dance the Quickstep to Bewitched by Steve Lawrence


All Photographs © BBC Pictures. No unauthorised reproduction.

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4 Responses to Strictly Come Dancing – Halloween week with Swan Lake

  1. Debby Pucci October 29, 2011 at 8:24 pm #

    Looks like fun. I think DWTS has that coming up also on Monday!
    Thank you for coming over to visit with me all the time.

  2. Ballet News October 29, 2011 at 10:02 pm #

    thanks Debby! Enjoy the show.

  3. joanne October 31, 2011 at 7:20 pm #

    I loved the show:-) loved pasha and chelsee she is a little star and pasha is delightful 🙂 The swan lake AS was a brilliant concept and the choreography and Artem were outstanding…however Holly although improved still looks awkward and i want to see her perform and she can do it she is an actress and i feel has the capability to go alot further but that straddle on Artems knee was not good, she plonked herself on it 🙂 and whilst i don’t blame her for wanting to sit on his knee :-), it wasn’t the best finish to a good dance 🙂 plus the spin whilst executed well went on too long , something i did agree with Alesha on lol However the concept was outstanding and kudos to Artem for the ideas just wish the execution could have been better:-) However Jason Donavan made obvious mistakes and got a 10….yeah i know he was Scott on Neighbours but come on ….Although Kristina is an amazing choreographer 🙂 still overall a very entertaining show as a viewer just what you want and this shows this show has some of the best pro dancers in the business :-)A big shout out to the production staff, make up and Hair and the SCD band ….wonderful 🙂

  4. Ballet News October 31, 2011 at 8:11 pm #

    Joanne- thank you for your comment. Yes, Holly still has much work too do; that routine wasn’t quite balletic enough for me. Jason works extremely hard; it’s going to be an interesting contest!