So, this is the first week where one of the Strictly class of ’10 will be voted off by the public. Who will it be ? It’s foxtrot and salsa night !
The show kicks off with Bruce & Tess – Tess in a gunmetal grey satin dress that really doesn’t suit her. Brucie’s jokes don’t get any better either – Kara Tointon ends up as a BB – Brucie’s Bonus! And then I spot Scott Maslen in a check shirt; Patsy Kensit has a better dress than Tess; Pamela Stephenson has enough ruffles to take over the floor and the best pro costume has to go to Katya Virshilas for seriously mobile fringing. And it’s pink.
First up is Matt Baker and Aliona, who made a fantastic start with the Foxtrot. It was sexy, with elegance and passion – almost tango-like. It’s only week 2 and all the judges agree that Matt is just incredible. Aliona’s red hair and magenta dress make quite a statement, and Matt looks as though he’s worked really hard – all week, and on the night !
Peter and Erin have a salsa and a very large dose of nerves. Erin’s electric green skirt certainly draws attention away from her celebrity – is that the idea ? Peter’s feet are just as heavy as last week and he’s concentrating very hard. Not sure the solo spot in front of the judges will save a savaging from Craig. Len picked up on the errors and Bruno pointed out the football on his bottom which didn’t detract from the number of times he went wrong. Must be hard for Erin who takes the competition so seriously.
Tina and Jared’s foxtrot will benefit from their visit to the 1940’s before the show. She has a lovely green dress and though she loooks a little startled, her arms are good. And what a turner ! Under-arm turns are not easy. She improved as the routine went on, which Alesha pointed out. Bruno noticed her strained neck, which was contributing to her startled expression, and Craig pointed out her timing issues.
Patsy Kensit and Robin have had 3 hours training this week because of her workload. So the salsa suffers. Stompy, stiff and rather un-coordinated, she can pout for England but the technique isn’t there. It’s not enough. Bruno picked up on her confidence and her pout and Craig thought she took ownership of the space but found the ‘desk moment’ slightly unnecesary (like Peter, she did a solo spot – really a pout – in front of the judges). I think they’ve been very kind considering her lack of technique. Patsy says the show has changed her life and Craig gives her a 7! I must have been watching a different dance.
Paul Daniels and Ola have the foxtrot. He starts with more magic tricks and a cheeky grin, which Ola said she wanted to bring out this week. He seems a bit lost part-way through the routine and they go for the cute factor at the end with Ola pecking his cheek. He puts ear plugs in before the judges, which Bruno asks him to take out becuase the routine wasn’t that bad. Bruno wants to know why he can’t do the routine properly all the way through, and Paul says it’s because he can’t remember it ! Len says he has improved and Alesha wants to see more.
Scott Maslen (in the check shirt) and his partner Natalie have the salsa and they start on the mezzanine with the classic steps from Grease. Natalie has the most amazing sparkling blue spray-on trousers, just like Olivia Newton John’s black tousers from the show which she has to be sewn. Scott had high energy and he really did go for it – showing that latin and ballroom are both styles he can master. Craig thought the routine was flame-grilled, it was so hot.
Michelle Williams has a lot to prove since last week, when she found the judges harsh comments difficult to take. The foxtrot training was boosted by Kelly Rowland visiting Michelle, but Brendan steals the beginning by sliding down the bannister. Michelle doesn’t look comfortable in hold and mostly what you can see is teeth but she tried hard and again, they went for a cute ending with both of them sat on a bench. Craig pointed out her tense topline but also the amount of work she’s put in.
Goldie has the foxtrot, will Christina pull it out of him in training ? They have a nifty entrance with Goldie making a great shape on the stairs with his back to the camera. His footwork is much improved and Christina has choreographed a routine that really suits him. The routine had a jazzy feel and Len felt it was more brassy than golden but better than last week; bold and well performed. He is working hard and it’s paying off. Smokin’!
Pamela Stephenson and James were joint top last week – and now they have the salsa. Pamela has said that she loves this dance. James starts on the judges table, with Pamela marching around in her doctors coat – revealling a traffic light red dress underneath. She has great feet though they aren’t always used to great effect in the transition steps, and though her turns could do with some work. She is really enjoying the dance and James seems very pleased with her. Len said she was brilliant and Alesha loved her effortlessness. Bruno said it was the best salsa of the night.
Felicity Kendall and Vincent have a great partnership and she looks dreamy in a burnt ochre dress with embellished top. Beautiful lines; she has great balance and strength as well as flexibility. Len wants everything to be stronger and cleaner with more of a flow and Alesha found it average, which I don’t think Felicity was expecting. Her back attitude turns, which are difficult, were very well done and Craig noticed them, though he wants her to open her hips a little more.
Ann Widdecombe’s salsa must be the most hotly anticipated dance of any Strictly series. She’s certainly broken the rules with her dress; more suitable for ballroom than latin. Anton does his best but Hey Mambo ? I don’t think so. It’s all about Anton, who gamely lifts her around because otherwise he’s dancing on his own. I’ve never thought it was one of his favourite dances but he’s really had to put a rabbit out of the hat tonight. Len found it a bit hokey-kokey and a salsa the likes of which we will never see again. Amen to that.
Kara Tointon lifts the mood with her foxtrot. Her partner Artem has chosen From Russia with Love and they have a Bond theme through the dance. The audience go crazy after their beautiful dance. Bruno says “mission accomplished.” Craig thought it was danced very well but she needs to relax her left index finger ! Len picked up on her heel turn and Alesha said she was a fine dancer with a stunning routine. Alesha gives her a 9.
Gavin Henson spends a lot of time on his hair and his chest but when it comes to his partner – he’s having trouble connecting. Oh dear, this is salsa week. He starts of in a pink shirt, aggressively dancing with Katya without any feeling of salsa in his body whatsoever. Craig finds three fundamental flaws and Len wants a bit of decorum in the dance and says that he didn’t live up to expectations. His six pack isn’t cutting it with judges. Gavin says that he probably looked good, which always seems to be his main concern, but they have a low score.
Jimi Mistry is having so much fun with Strictly but Flavia has started getting tough in training because she doesn’t want the foxtrot to be a joke. It’s a dramatic start with Flavia in black and pink, with long pink gloves. Jimi is smiling all the way through, which he’s not supposed to. Len doesn’t like all the “messing about” on the stage, but he gradually warmed to it. Burno says he really took off and performed the dance well, and even Craig loved the dramatic intensity. He also picked up on the way that Jimi was leading Flavia for most the dance, something you don’t often see so early in the competition. 30 out of 40 from the judges.
Last week’s scores are added to tonight’s scores, and so Ann and Anton are at the bottom; Pamela and James at the top.
You can watch all of last weeks It Takes Two with Claudia Winkelman on the BBC iPlayer, along with Strictly Come Dancing from last weekend.
Don’t forget, tomorrow’s results show with Claudia Winkelman starts at 7.30pm tomorrow night :