#AlmostStrictlyLiveBlogging Week 7: Halloween Week Review

As darkness fell across the UK last night, and the Halloween week edition of the BBC hit Strictly Come Dancing went on air, the first live blog of this weekend’s #StrictlyLiveBlogging made it’s way to WordPress – only to be chowed down en route by a zombie invasion, and only now, in broad daylight does it reanimate itself… *does evil laugh*

Well, sort of. Basically, we were unable to live blog the Halloween week show last night due to family commitments, so instead, just for this week, we’re doing a review of last night’s frighteningly ghoul-d (and devilishly disastrous) dances from the eleven remaining couples today. 

The live blog for the results show will be here as always tonight, with a slightly later warm up of 6:45pm, followed by the live blog starting at 7:15pm. So for now, grab a coffee and kick back, as we give our reviews and scores on each couple’s dance…

🎃🎃🎃 👻👻👻 💃💃💃 📝📝📝 👍👍👍
1. JONNIE AND OTI – CHA CHA CHA

(MUSIC: ‘Troublemaker’ by Olly Murs and Flo Rida)

Dressed as undead pirates (good call Jonnie, we did that last year for Halloween), it was obvious that this wasn’t his dance, especially coming so soon after last week’s awesome Quickstep. The truth is you need hip action here, which he didn’t have, and he seemed to struggle throughout. Bit of a disappointing effort overall, and one which I suspect could put him and Oti in danger.

Our Score: 5

Judge’s Scores:

Craig – 4 / Darcey – 6 / Shirley – 5 / Bruno – 5 / Total: 20

2. RUTH AND ANTON – QUICKSTEP

(MUSIC: ‘Bewitched Theme’ by Steve Lawrence)

Well, as with their Samba last week, what this dance lacked in technique it made up for with content and comedy. Ruth pulled off Elizabeth Montgomery’s role of Samantha from the popular 60s TV sitcom with charm and a divine nose twitch – and Anton made a dapper if hapless Darrin!

Our Score: 6

Judge’s Scores

Craig – 4 / Darcey – 6 / Shirley – 6 / Bruno – 6 / Total: 22

3. SIMON AND KAREN – AMERICAN SMOOTH

(MUSIC: Tom Jones – ‘Delilah’)

Now don’t get me wrong. Simon is a nice chap and we love him on Sunday Brunch, but let’s be brutally honest here. He was very lucky to find himself in the dance off with Brian last week, as I suspect he wouldn’t be here for Halloween week otherwise. God knows he tries but he cannot dance for love nor money, despite Karen’s good choreography here. Then again, Strictly seems to have a ‘cats with nine lives’ trajectory when it comes to celebrities whose dancing skills leave little to be desired…

Our Score: 2

Judge’s Scores:

Craig – 2 / Darcey – 5 / Shirley – 5 / Bruno – 4 / Total: 16

4. GEMMA AND ALJAZ – Jive

(MUSIC: ‘Ever Fallen in Love (With Someone You Shouldn’tve)’ – The Buzzcocks)

What Craig said last week about Gemma being a front runner remains true this week. An edgy style of Jive here, plenty of kicks, flicks and sass, and we are especially loving the Buffy the Vampire Slayer theme that her and Aljaz went for with their dance this week! Long may they continue (so long as Aljaz doesn’t recieve exposure to sunlight, garlic or stakes through the heart)…

Our Score: 9

Judge’s Scores:

Craig – 7 / Darcey – 8 / Shirley – 7 / Bruno – 8 / Total: 30

5. JOE AND KATYA – Foxtrot

(MUSIC: ‘Trouble’ – Coldplay)

Hmmm. Bit of an odd one this. Laboured emphasis on the lyrics about spiderwebs that are in this particular Coldplay song they danced to at a level only rivalled by Pan’s People in the 70s, it wasn’t as great as their Paso Doble last week, but formidable enough. Joe’s hold and frame is getting much better with each week that passes as well.

Our Score: 7

Judge’s Scores:

Craig – 8 / Darcey – 8 / Shirley – 8 / Bruno – 8 / Total: 32

6. MOLLIE AND AJ – CHA CHA CHA

(MUSIC: ‘Better the Devil You Know’ – Kylie Minogue)

Watching the Friday edition of It Takes Two, Ed Balls (last year’s partner for Katya, who was on the Friday panel) made the insightful comment that whilst Mollie and AJ are brilliant, they’re in need of a ‘moment’ dance to take them to the next level as your Astons and Debbies. I’m inclined to believe looking at this that their Cha Cha Cha was rather close to being that ‘moment’ indeed. They looked fabulous in their red devil outfits, Mollie was fun, cheeky, flirty and had great hip action and New Yorkers throughout as well, great choreography by AJ as well. A very good effort indeed!

Our Score: 9

Judge’s Scores:

Craig – 6 / Darcey – 7 / Shirley – 7 / Bruno – 7 / Total: 27

7. ALEXANDRA AND GORKA – TANGO

(MUSIC: ‘Maneater’ – Nelly Furtado)

A zombie themed Tango here, greatly done by the make up and costume team. But – and I suspect I will be unpopular for saying this – for some reason, I just couldn’t quite get into this one. Alexandra, for me, is suffering a tad from ‘How do you follow that?’ Syndrome since doing her Jive two weeks ago (I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again. It was good, just not enough to warrant three 10s in my view). It was fine, very polished, had the attitude a Tango needs but…that’s all there was for me.

Our Score: 7

Judge’s Scores:

Craig – 9 / Darcey – 9 / Shirley – 9 / Bruno – 8 / Total: 35

8. DAVOOD AND NADIYA – RUMBA

(MUSIC: ‘Wicked Game’ by Chris Isaak)

Well. Well. Well! We’d just got over the brilliance of Debbie and Giovanni’s Rumba last week, and then Davood goes and pulls this out the bag! So romantic, but with the right amount of haunting chill to it (and to one of my favourite songs too, it has to be said), I felt it was believable, good line extension, very graceful and yet sensual at the same time. His. Best. Dance. To Date!

Our Score: 10

Judge’s Scores:

Craig – 5 / Darcey – 7 / Shirley – 6 / Bruno – 7 / Total: 25

9. SUSAN AND KEVIN – FOXTROT

(MUSIC: ‘Killer Queen’ – Queen)

I do love Susan and Kevin, and think they are an adorable partnership with some of the best dances on this series so far – but this wasn’t one of them sadly. Did love her Game of Thrones style dragon she ascended to the dance floor on, but a lot of the time it was a bit stilted and laboured. But I do love them all the same!

Our Score: 6

Judge’s Scores:

Craig – 3 / Darcey – 5 / Shirley – 5 / Bruno – 5 / Total: 17

10. DEBBIE AND GIOVANNI – CHARLESTON

(MUSIC: ‘Frankie’ – Sister Sledge)

Or the ‘Char Les Ston’ as Giovanni has now taken to calling it on It Takes Two. Well. Remember last year when the judges said Jill Halfpenny, Jay McGuinness and Ore Oduba had formed the holy trinity of world class Jives on Strictly? Well, step forward Debbie, because along with Caroline Flack and Sophie Ellis-Bextor, you have just formed the holy trinity of great Charlestons. UH. MAY. ZING!

Our Score: 10

Judge’s Scores:

Craig – 9 / Darcey – 10 / Shirley – 10 / Bruno – 10 / Total: 39

11. ASTON AND JANETTE – PASO DOBLE

(MUSIC: ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ – Nirvana)

Where do you even start with this? The bullfighter in the graveyard via a 90s grunger anthem? Who’d thunk it? Fantastic choreography, with Janette just giving Aston enough to work with, and executing the simplest of moves – the feet stamping in particular – with the conviction of a leading matador. Quite simply the dance of last night!

Our Score: 10

Judge’s Scores:

Craig – 9 / Darcey – 10 / Shirley – 9 / Bruno – 10 / Total: 38

So what were your thoughts on last night’s dances? Leave your comments below, or you can Tweet us, for one week only, with the hashtag #AlmostStrictlyLiveBlogging – and we’ll see you back here a bit later on for the live blog of the results show!

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