It’s a tough week on Strictly Come Dancing for the seven remaining couples. Back in television centre, Bruce and Tess open the show, with the front row partially filled with EastEnder actors. Will this be a good night for Kara and Scott ?
First on the dance floor is Kara Tointon, with her dance partner Artem Chigventsev. Blackpool was an emotional roller coaster for Kara, with Artem’s injury and now she has the jive. Training has been difficult as Artem has tonsilitis this week, but he’s determined to dance. Kara starts on the stairs, dressed in glittery silver fringing. The dance is simply stunning, with Kara finishing in a handstand.
Len said they were first out, and first class. Slightly lacking in attack, and slightly hesitant but overall a great start to the show. Bruno called Kara ‘Kara Von Teese’; he felt some of the sharpness was missing, but he loved it. Craig loved the attention to detail however he noticed the loss of timing and he didn’t like the end. Kara admitted that this was the first week where she went out and didn’t really know what she was doing. They score 34, and Kara is amazed; they haven’t had as much time to train this week and she was glad to get through the dance and enjoy it.
Ann and Anton face the rumba next. No-one knows what will happen. Anton comments on her formidable streak in training; Ann says she’s in it to win it.
Ann begins on her own, in a pose reminiscent of the Titanic (they are dancing to the iconic music), dressed in sparkling black pantaloons. Anton rings the bell and they are off through the smoke. Ann is very stilted and there isn’t a lot of movement but the audience loves it. I doubt Craig will. “Frigid, passionless and the iceberg showed more emotion than you did” were his words. Len said he laughed all the way through (in a good way). They score a 1 from Craig, and overall 14.
Patsy Kensit dances the Argentine Tango – a dance she has wanted to learn for a long time. Patsy has had a foot problem, swelling in the toe joint due to the repetative nature of the dance (a real dancers injury), but this week her routine has a chair in it !
She begins on the chair, dressed in a black dress with batwing sleeves and a sparkling nude mesh back. She looks intense; the kicks aren’t sharp enough but she acts her way through it, finishing up where she started, hunched over, on the chair. Bruno said that she has started to focus and place her legs, but it lacked the fleshy, carnal, passionate feel that he likes to see. Craig said that it lacked flair and attack, but he liked the purpose and intensity. Len liked it, but he says that she cannot win Strictly by being careful, and he wants her to really work hard and sell it. The judges give them a score of 30, which they are pleased with – better than last week !
Next week on Strictly is movie week !
Scott Maslen kicks of the American Smooth with his dance partner Natalie Lowe. ‘Fly me to the moon’ starts off well, with Natalie in creamy lemon and sparkly silver; Scott in tails. He hasn’t been well in training, exhausted from doing long hours on EastEnders and literally falling asleep standing up, but he manages some great lifts and they do very well. Natalie looks especially pleased. Craig said it began with terrible footwork but he loved the lifts, and Scott does dance the accents. Len said it wasn’t a disaster, but technically he thinks that people don’t realise that the foxtrot is a difficult dance and that he had a little upset today but that it shouldn’t affect him. Bruno said that Scott is still smoother than anyone else, and that some parts of the dance were excellent, especially his musical phrasing. Scott has had 2 days off in 9 weeks – and he said that he blanked from the moment he started, due to tiredness. They score 31.
The remaining ‘magnificent seven’ have a wild west moment, talking about how pleased they are to have got this far in the competition.
We’re just three weeks away from the final now.
Gavin and Katya tackle his nerves and the jive. Katya says this could be his best dance. He does try, shaking his booty in front of the judges, but it’s a little stilted. He doesn’t look nervous, which is a huge improvement, but the dancing itself lacks musicality. Len says that when you really don’t like something, it’s hard to come out and give it everything. He didn’t enjoy it. Neither did Gavin. Alesha said that he is really trying, even though there were timing issues. Bruno said it was like Clark Kent never quite turning into Superman. He liked the geeky thing and said that Gavin looks great in tight trousers ! Craig felt that Gavin’s bottom wiggle smacked of desperation. Gavin said it took him all week to really get it. They score a 3 from Craig, and overall 22.
Gavin said it felt good, so he’s surprised that the routine wasn’t liked very much by the judges.
Matt & Aliona are an extremely popular couple, and this week they have the American Smooth. Matt starts on his knees, Aliona dancing around him in flowing white with red scarf to match her hair. Great lifts to start with, fabulous musicality. Everyone is on their feet ! Bruno loves that Matt totally commits to the dance, but tonight he goes from smooth to psycho. Aliona says that she wanted to portray a struggle in New york, to match the song. Craig loved the opening sequence and all the lifts. He thought that Matt was trying too hard through the port de bras. Len says that if you have to explain what you are trying to do, the dance hasn’t worked. He noticed that Matt messed up once, and he felt there was something missing tonight. Matt says that he loved the dance, and that it felt amazing. They score 33.
Finally, Pamela Stephenson and James Jordan take to the floor.
Pamela dances the Charleston this week – and training looks a lot of fun. Pamela is 61 next week, and James has to trust her in one lift which means that the boot is very much on the other foot for him this week.
Anything could go wrong. Will it ?
Pamela starts off in a mortar board, sat at a desk, with the gold door from Natalie and Scott’s jive in the background. They are quickly in the routine, which is very funny, though Pamela loses balance and the lower heel height on her shoes this week makes her feet look quite long. She’s a little ungainly in the lifts, especially the last one. Craig loved it, becuase it was danced fearlessly with perilous lifts. They score a 10 from Alesha and Bruno, giving them 38.
Pamela and James lead the table, with Ann & Anton in the bottom slot.
Quarter finals next week; who will go through ?