Evening all, fans of BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing (ooh. We sounded like a policeman)! It’s time once again for another weekend of dazzling celebrity-pro ballroom antics, which means another round of #StrictlyLiveBlogging.
We’ll get under way as usual with a warm up looking ahead to tonight’s dances at 6pm, followed by our live blog starting at 6:35pm with the BBC One show. Don’t forget as always to swipe down or press F5 to refresh to ensure you’re getting all the updates as they happen, and to leave your comments below or Tweet them to us using the hashtag #StrictlyLiveBlogging.
Enjoy – and keeeep dancing 📝💃🎉😄👍
Welcome one and all! So last week, 13 became 12, as after a weekend that saw the first three 10s of the series awarded to singer Alexandra Burke and her partner Gorka Marquez for a Tina Turner inspired Jive, EastEnders actor Davood Ghadami and his partner Nadiya Bychkova found themselves in a shock dance off with Good Morning Britain newsreader Charlotte Hawkins and Brendan Cole, the latter of whom became the third couple to be booted off this year’s Strictly Come Dancing.
Now just twelve couples remain, all of whom are dancing again tonight in hopes of reaching that most coveted of Strictly institutions – Halloween week – next week. Here’s their dances and what music they’ll be dancing to, as always, via the BBC Strictly Twitter:
And here as always are the couples (and Janette’s shoe) after finishing dress rehearsals today, and getting ready for tonight’s show:
20 minutes to go! This week has been quite the week for comedian Susan Calman and her partner, Kevin Clifton. Almost unable to make it up to Glasgow to train with her on Monday (thanks to Storm Ophelia), she experienced two stumbles in rehearsals today:
15 minutes to go! Former Hollyoaks star Gemma Atkinson is feeling the nerves backstage tonight – so much so, she thinks Paralympian Jonnie Peacock once starred with her in Emmerdale:
Meanwhile, Karen Clifton is being made up for a rather interesting look:
And Mollie King is taking inspiration for her Viennese Waltz tonight from pop royalty:
10 minutes to go! Tonight, we almost forgot, is also a Bruno Tonioli free night, as he is away from the panel on a prior commitment, but he will be back for Halloween Week next week – that means that Craig Revel Horwood, Darcey Bussell and head judge Shirley Ballas will be judging tonight, meaning no couple can score higher than 30.
5 minutes to go!
Here we go people!
Aah we miss you Bruno. Roll on next week!
Kicking off the fifth live show tonight, it’s dance off survivors Davood and Nadiya, who have a coffee shop set Jive. Hopefully they give plenty of extra shots!
Other coffee chains are available, ladies and gentlemen…
Very nice from Davood! Great song they’re dancing to from Billy Joel as well. You can see how much he’s enjoying this! Nice and uplifting, good kicks and flicks too!
Our score: 8. A fun filled Jive guaranteed to keep Davood dance off free!
Shirley said he set the tone for the evening and that it was a really good dance, and admired that he did the toe heel swivel. Craig said there was a bit too much upper body movement and that he needs to watch his free arm and that it was a bit heavy footed. Darcey said it was a great opening to the night and he bought so much power and energy to the Jive.
Davood and Nadiya’s scores are in:
Brendan and Pasha making fabulous Björk impersonators!
Mollie and AJ coming up next – this week, a Viennese Waltz to a Cilla Black classic…
So beautiful and graceful everytime she does a ballroom dance like this Mollie! Executing the spins so classily here as well. AJ and her are a good match!
Our score: 8. Beauty and grace – and a high scorer from anyone who had a heart!
Craig loved her armography and that she followed AJ’s lead really well and that there was lots of wonderful Viennese content. Darcey said that Mollie has grown with this dance and that it was romantic with beautiful grace, but that she needs to relax her hold. Shirley said also that it was romantic with believable chemistry, and that Mollie’s dancing transports her to a different place.
Scores for Mollie and AJ:
Simon and Karen are next tonight – how will they get on with their Singin’ in the Rain inspired Charleston?
Tim Lovejoy for Strictly 2018? Hell yeah!
Interesting outfits, very Rupert Bear-esque. I do think however Simon will be in the dance off again tomorrow. He’s still too stilted with his legs and upper body and that’s the one thing you don’t need in a Charleston!
Our score: 5. Fit as a fiddle? More like in need of fine tuning. Sorry Simon!
Darcey said she can see how hard Simon’s been working and that their outfits looked sweet but that he looked nervous and that he was missing too many key moves – the swivel for one! Shirley said it was massively entertaining and that he kept up the change of pace and that she loved his slapstick comedy that he bought to it. Craig said there was no swivel despite Simon’s bad leg, and that he was late on his jump but that he did like the train step and the slapstick ending!
Here’s Simon and Karen’s scores:
Debbie and Giovanni are next up tonight with a Rumba – will her famous flexible legs work in her favour again?
Awww. Bit emotional after watching this! Paul would be proud of Debbie, no question. And this rumba…well. The gold standard for me with this dance is Rachel Stevens’ one from series 6 in 2008. This is up there on that level, no question! So fluid and beautiful and touching!
Our score: 10. A dance that plays to all of Debbie’s strengths and graces and more!
Shirley said she felt the emotion in Debbie in the dance, and that she’s never seen such beautiful moves before. Craig said he felt the need to channel Bruno and say that it was SENSATIONAL! And he’s off his chair! Darcey said it was wonderful how she moved across the floor and that it was her best dance!
Here come Debbie and Giovanni’s scores:
Total: 27 and top of the leaderboard!
Brian and Amy are next tonight with a Jive inspired by a holiday camp – will it be more red hot than red coat?
Between Simon’s Charleston and this Jive, we have our dance off tomorrow. I’ve sat through more entertaining tribute acts on zimmer frames!
Our score: 3. It’s not unusual this Jive from Brian. But for all the wrong reasons!
Craig said it didn’t put him in the holiday mood and that it was flat footed and made him look like a wind up toy! Darcey said she unusually loved it, but that the energy in his face isn’t coming across in his body. Shirley said it had the feel good factor and that it made her nostalgic and that it had a lot of content but that he appears to be safest in hold.
Brian and Amy’s scores:
Susan and Kevin are next tonight – after their dazzling quickstep last week, will they shine with their Little Mix inspired Cha Cha Cha?
Well one thing in Susan’s favour is her commitment to putting in the moves! She looks absolutely beautiful tonight as well, putting in lots of figure 8s and New Yorkers too!
Our score: 8. Shout out to our Susan, she’s really quite the woman!
Darcey said it was packed with dance content but that her technique needs to be tighter. Shirley said she loved Susan and would never break up with her and that she brings the cheek to the Cha Cha Cha. Craig (her ex-boyfriend) said he was sad she ripped his photos up but that he loved her energy and performance!
Susan and Kevin’s scores:
Aston and Janette are next – they’ve got a Waltz this week, how will he get on with a back to basics dance?
How cute are Aston and Sarah? They’re gonna be amazing parents. And wow. Aston’s really selling the romantic feel of this dance. This is definitely showing another side to him and that he can bring his sensitive side to the dancefloor!
Our score: 8. Gorgeous and graceful waltz from Team MnM!
Shirley said Aston was the gentleman and that it was a good mix of contemporary and traditional waltz. Craig said he was impressed but that it was a bit sharp and needed a little more flow and also loved the contemporary feel. Darcey said it had a lovely modern twist but that she found it slightly over detailed but that his control and grace in the hold was there.
The scores for Aston and Janette are in:
Also coming back after a personal best with their Tango last week, Ruth and Anton are next tonight with their Samba…
Nice one Ruth! She’s showing off the cheekiness and flamboyance that the party vibe a Samba gives off. OK bit stompy in places and the arm placement needs work still but a lot of fun!
Our score: 6. Love is in the air? Maybe more like but good fun from Ruth regardless!
Craig said he didn’t know how to judge it as it was a bit send up and reminded him of Strictly Ballroom at the Pan Pacific Grand Prix! Darcey said it was over the top but that they came alive and they were having fun. Shirley said it was a brilliant concept for a dance and a good throwback to the ballrooms of 1976, and that it was bright with Samba content!
Ruth and Anton’s scores are in:
Gemma and Aljaz are next tonight with a Foxtrot – will they go up another level after their passionate Paso Doble last week?
One thing that always wins in Gemma’s favour is her acting ability and the skill to get into the character of each dance. Her hold is getting better with each of these ballroom based dances, she’s also – have to say this – is turning into an accomplished dancer!
Our score: 9. Fantastic foxtrot turning Gemma into a front runner!
Darcey said Gemma is changing each week and is growing in confidence with each new dance, and that the quality throughout was very very good. Shirley said she bought romance, class and elegance to this dance, with a gentle rise and fall. Craig said the frontrunners in this competition need to start looking behind them, dah-ling!
The scores for Gemma and Aljaz are in:
Joe and Katya are next tonight – will they deliver the traditional Flamenco style Paso Doble we’ve been promised?
Great sumo suits guys!
Joe’s bringing a lot of the masculine strength and energy of the bull to his Paso! Fantastic Flamenco arms throughout and framing is great as well.
Our score: 9. Have to say – Joe’s best dance to date!
Shirley said the phoenix has risen from the ashes and that it was the best Paso Doble from a male celeb we’ve seen on Strictly so far. Craig said there were stilted and wooden moments but that he did really well. Darcey said the traditional Spanish style and the choreography were brilliant and that she absolutely loved it!
Joe and Katya’s scores:
Speaking of 10s – Alexandra and Gorka are next, returning after their hour of glory last week with a Samba…
As I said last week, her Jive was good, but not as good as Ore’s was. This Samba however from Alexandra is so suited to her! Bringing the party and sexy for sure with her balance and hip action.
Our score: 9. One of Alexandra’s best to date for me!
Craig said she danced brilliantly but that it was slightly pigeon toed and that she needs to train her feet to turn out slightly. Darcey said she loves her fluid, natural isolations and that she brings the floor alive. Shirley said she has immense power and fantastic energy but that she needs to finnesse the finer details!
Alexandra and Gorka’s scores:
Closing the show tonight we have Jonnie and Oti – he’s back on his blade again this week with a Quickstep to Stevie Wonder – but will he be a ballroom wonder once again?
Jonnie is definitely becoming a contender on the strength of this! It’s matching his athleticism and the level of technique is great here – as Ian Waite said on It Takes Two during the week he just needs to work on the spacing but loved it!
Our score: 8. Part time? I’m a full time lover of Team Glitterblade!
Darcey said he made it look easy and that his cheeky character is coming through and that it was very impressive! Shirley said he put a whole new meaning into spring in your step, and that he had beautiful scatter chasses and scoop chasses and that he was outstanding. Craig said the stars are aligning for Jonnie with all the elements required for this dance.
Here comes Jonnie and Oti’s scores:
That’s it then – all the dances done, and our votes all cast. Who was your favourite tonight? We’ll see you back here tomorrow for the results with our warm up and recap of tonight’s dances at 6:30pm, and the live blog starting at 7:15pm. See you then!