Welcome one and all to another weekend of #StrictlyLiveBlogging, our weekly live blog of the BBC’s hit celebrity ballroom dance series Strictly Come Dancing. The nine remaining couples are taking to the floor once again tonight in hopes of making the holy grail of dance in Blackpool next week.
We’ll be here with our warm up starting at the slightly later time of 6:20pm tonight, with the blog going live with the BBC One show from 6:45pm. Don’t forget to swipe down or press F5 to refresh for all the action as it happens, and to leave your comments below or Tweet us using the hashtag #StrictlyLiveBlogging. Hope you can join us!
Welcome one and all! So I don’t think I need to tell you all what happened on Strictly last weekend – suffice to say, you can read about it at this part of the blog – so instead let us say there is just one more week until Blackpool, nine couples left, and as of now, it is all to play for. As always, from the BBC Strictly, here’s the dances for the couples this week and what they’ll be dancing to:
And here’s all the remaining couples after finishing dress rehearsals today:
15 minutes to go! Mollie and AJ and Gemma and Aljaz are getting excited ahead of their dances tonight…
10 minutes to go! Aston Merrygold has passed on his good luck to the remaining couples tonight. Whoever said he wasn’t a gent is a liar!
5 minutes to go…celebrity Strictly super fan Miranda Hart has a pre-show message for us all:
Here we go people…
Don’t remind us Tess and Claudia. We still can’t quite believe they’re not in. Ah well…
Oooh. Darcey looks nice tonight!
Dancing first tonight it’s Susan and Kevin. They’ve got our votes throughout now in protest of last week’s decision. They’ve also got a Tango this week so let’s see how they get on!
Oooh. Some serious Tango face from Susan here. Very good armography and footwork it has to be said as well. We love this Katy Perry song they’re dancing to as well (although Bonfire Night was last weekend guys. Catch up!)
Our score: 8. Beautiful and explosive like a Catherine Wheel!
Shirley said she sparkled tonight and that although she is used to seeing Susan in a comic role, she had strong footwork but had to keep working on her frame. Bruno loved how she channelled her dramatic persona and that it was like watching Suranne Jones in Doctor Foster! Craig said her posture bothers him and that it lacked dynamic and attack and that her face looked in pain. Darcey said it was outstanding and that the focus and drama she bought to it was excellent.
In come the scores for Susan and Kevin:
Joe and Katya are next tonight with the second male celebrity led Rumba of the series – let’s see how they get on!
Oh my. This is really so gorgeous – fluid, sensual and the romantic connection is really well conveyed here. I dare say we are potentially looking at a finalist to beat the Burke/McGee duopoly now people!
Our score: 9. Up there with Davood’s from Halloween week for me this rumba!
Bruno said he was a smouldering Latin lover with a caring touch, and that he had a great balance of technique and interaction with his partner. Craig said it was a bit jolty and that it was almost whipped out too quickly but that he said he did the rumba really well aside from that. Darcey said it was good – smooth, earthy and well controlled. Shirley said she still thinks he’s the dark horse and that he did an amazing routine and that he flowed with masculinity throughout.
The scores for Joe and Katya are in:
Time now for Ruth and Anton. Following their Paso Doble that ended with a crash last week, they’ve got a Foxtrot this week – will it be a more graceful finish this week?
Am I imagining things or is that Ruth’s Paso dress from last week with more embellishments? Oh well. Nice old school theatricality in this one this week with the canes and hats – no gimmicks or frills, just a nice classy dance. But then again that’s all there is for me.
Our score: 6. Not bad, but nothing to come stomping home about for me I’m afraid.
Craig said it lacked style, flair and charisma at the beginning, and that the stairs were messed up. She felt that she was foxtroting like a horse also. Darcey said there was a lot of content but no glide and that she felt she was out of her depth with this dance. Shirley said she has to be firm with her this week as Blackpool approaches and that it was too quick for a slow foxtrot. Bruno said she was the fox that lost the trot and that it turned into a quickstep. Possibly in trouble this week? I think so…
Here are Ruth and Anton’s scores:
Davood and Nadiya are next tonight. How will they get on tonight with their Charleston? Let’s find out!
Oh yes! Nice and old school from Davood this week! Feel like I’m watching a silent movie from the 1920s! Nadiya looks amazing as well. Nice armography throughout too!
Our score: 10. Show stopping Charleston with EastEnders charm!
Darcey said he is on the way up and that he has a strong frame but keeps all the detail throughout or the character! Shirley said he is a genuine contender now and that he executed the choreography to the best of his ability. Bruno said his star is rising high and that he’s getting better week by week. Craig just said UH. MAY. ZING!
Davood and Nadiya’s scores are in:
Total: 38 – top of the leaderboard!
Time for Gemma and Aljaz now, with a railway station set Viennese Waltz – let’s see how they do!
Oh wow. This dance really is a thing of cinematic beauty, Gemma and Aljaz really look the part here with their outfits and this is such a beautiful routine. Definitely a step back up from last week!
Our score: 9. They’re definitely on the train to Blackpool next week!
Shirley said she hasn’t upped her game (bollocks) and that despite having natural turns she was flat throughout. Bruno said she looked pretty in an extremely difficult dance but that she had to express the feeling throughout and play the part. Craig said it felt like she was struggling and that it lacked emotion. Darcey said she saw a great difference in her eye level and that it had a full rotation throughout.
Here come Gemma and Aljaz’s scores:
First of the judges (well, Craig and Shirley’s) favourites now as Alexandra and Gorka are doing the first Argentine Tango of the series. I usually love this dance so let’s see if it’s of Harry Judd/Emma Bunton/Louise Redknapp standard…
Hmm. Quite good this. But good in the sense that it knows it’s good. I like the traditional music and feel of the dance which always helps. But that’s all there is for me!
Our Score: 8. An Argentine Tango with kick – but a predictable one at that.
Bruno said she was a magnificent creature fuelled by pure, undiluted passion. Craig said she never ceases to amaze him and that it was incredible. Darcey said it was engaging throughout and that she was excited by it and that it was so passionate. Shirley said she felt she was transported to a private nightclub. Four 10s are coming then I think…
Alexandra and Gorka’s scores are in:
Perennial dance off regulars Mollie and AJ are next tonight – will they take a step back up with their Paso Doble?
If this doesn’t keep them out the dance off nothing well. A really old school Paso Doble with attack, verve and drive and a very traditional feel! Nice one Mollie and AJ!
Our score: 9. Perfect comeback with a perfect Paso Doble!
Craig said some of her shapes were awkward but that it had power and presence. Darcey said it had attitude, drama and determination but that she has to work on capturing the still moments to help her balance. Shirley said it had nice Paso Doble content but that she lost her core and had to maintain it throughout. Bruno said she was so pumped up but that the control and artistry of the Paso went away with it. Total rubbish if you ask me!
The scores for Mollie and AJ are in:
Total: 22. So undermarked!
Jonnie and Oti are up next tonight with their Parisian themed foxtrot – will it send him to Blackpool next week? Let’s see…
Much better from Jonnie this week. Have to say his characterisation of each dance has come on leaps and bounds from Week 1 and his control in this is so incredible. Hats off to Oti for her choreography here!
Our score: 9. Romantic and heartbreaking foxtrot from Jonnie and Oti!
Darcey said he is always such a gentleman with care but that he lost it a bit tonight as he was getting into hold and keep it back throughout. Shirley said there were parts of it that had improved but parts that needed to keep improving from previous weeks. Bruno said it was emotional and that he tried very hard to get it right but it’s just a question of balance. Craig said it was dull, dull, dull!? Rubbish!
The scores for Jonnie and Oti are in:
Second and last of the Craig/Shirley favourites now as Debbie and Giovanni close the show with a Salsa. Oh and Caroline Flack is in the audience tonight! Love her.
Well I do have to say – this for me is better than their Tango was last week. Cheeky, bouncy and spicy as a good Salsa should be. So of course it will get lower marks than 40 knowing the way certain people have been.
Our score: 10. Now this is what I call a good Salsa from Debbie and Giovanni.
Shirley said it wasn’t quite a championship salsa because of some mistakes (told you) but she commends how she went for the lifts. Bruno said she’s got a first class ticket to Blackpool and that she was a saucy scrumpet (is that even a thing?) throughout. Craig said whatever she’s on he wants some and that it was ridiculous. Darcey said it was extraordinary and that the execution of the speed and how she made it look graceful was impressive.
Debbie and Giovanni’s scores are in:
Total: 35. What did I tell you?
So that’s it – all the couples have danced and now the voting has opened – who was your favourite tonight? We’ll be back tomorrow for the results with our warm up at 6:35pm and the live blog at 7:15pm. See you all then and keeep dancing!