Strictly Come Dancing | The Quarter Finals
This week, in the quarter finals, the Swing-a-thon returns to sort the wheat from the chaff.
Tonight’s Strictly Details are :
Ashley and Ola Salsa to Gloria Estefan’s party tune ‘Conga’.
Patrick and Anya Rumba to ‘When I Was Your Man’ by Bruno Mars.
Abbey and Aljaz perform a Viennese Waltz to the Tom Jones classic ‘Delilha’.
Sophie and Brendan Tango to Madonna’s ‘Material Girl’.
Susanna and Kevin perform the Argentine Tango to Michael Jackson’s ‘Smooth Criminal’.
Natalie and Artem perform the Paso Doble to ‘El Gato Montes’ by Ramon Cortez Pasodoble Orchestra.
Ashley & Ola kicked things off with their Salsa which was packed with tricky lifts, not all of which were successful. Len said “that’s the way to get the party started. There were a couple of little moments. It needed a bit more hip action.” Bruno said, “that was a salsa with so much bite” and Craig commented, “it actually put a smile on my face” giving them a score of 35 before the Swing-a-thon.
Natalie & Artem’s traditional Paso Doble had the judges in a lather, with Bruno saying “it was the undiluted essence of Spain,” Craig saying, “it was precise. Almost too slick. There lacked an element of danger and surprise” and Darcey saying “it was glorious.” Len rounded off by saying, “I loved the focus of the whole thing. It was too much faffing about at the start. For me, you’re in jeopardy after that dance.” They scored 35 before the Swing-a-thon.
Patrick & Anya’s Rhumba found Craig saying “it was a little bit desperate and aggressive” and Darcey said “you were in control. The tension between you, the focus and you really gave us something I haven’t seen before.” Len said, “occasionally it got a bit too intense” and they scored a 10 from Darcey, giving them 36.
Suzanna & Kevin followed that Rhumba with an Argentine Tango to Michael Jackson. Darcey said “the passion and the attack was there. I just missed that steamy effect, that flavour.” Len said, “the steps were there but it lacked mood and atmosphere. The Argentine Tango has to have the feel of a conversation but it was a little bit mechanical.” They scored 32 before the Swing-a-thon.
Abbey & Aljaz took to the floor with a Viennese Waltz which earned them praise from Len, “it’s a proper Viennese Waltz” and “delightful” from Bruno. Craig said the routine was “absolutely brilliant” and Darcey said “that was perfection. That arch you created in that topline.” They scored, inexplicably given the comments, 37.
Sophie & Brendan’s Tango took on a new flavour with Madonna’s Material Girl, and Bruno said “it was different. It was an unexpected treat” and Darcey said “the intent was there. Well done.” They scored 34.
The Swing-a-thon is a device by which the judges get to see all the competing couples on the floor at the same time. The dancers don’t have long to impress the judges with a mix of Lindy, Jive and Swing. There aren’t any rules – lifts and anything else are fine, indeed they are encouraged. Any lag in performance, any awkward moments will be picked up instantly by the judges and that couple is asked to leave the floor. The first couple to leave gets one extra point and so on up the table until the last couple standing is awarded 6 extra points.
Natalie & Artem had a perfect mix of the three styles which they kept up all the way through this gruel-a-thon, and they were the last couple on the floor, earing themselves 6 extra points. Asked why they won, Bruno said “they stood out.”
The live show photographs are at the bottom of this article.
Strictly So Far
Live show photographs © BBC Pictures. Strictly, no unauthorised reproduction.