After Blackpool, it' s always like the January blues, after all the excitement and glitz there's always a bit of a comedown. On the plus side - so much training footage! Great to see them actually learning the dances rather than prancing about in a field dressed as llamas or whatever, I assume it was because of quickstep-a-thon time constraints, but who cares at the momen
Kellie and Kevin
Is Kevin modelling for the River Island sale rail again? I know wardrobe hate Kellie, but I quite liked her Barbie-does-salsa spangly top. The dreaded Jackson Five music actually had a vague attempt to be remade into something approaching a salsa number, thank heavens. But on the whole it seemed a bit meh, a run of the mill SCD salsa that no one will remember by next week. She's already been in the bottom 2 once, does the death slot not bode well?
Thank goodness it was the latinised version of the song - and the band did a pretty good job with it. Despite my moaning I don't expect all salsa dances on Strictly to be danced to the hits of Hector Lavoe, just some pinch of latin flavour would be nice. This had it. So, win. This wasn't bad, but it wasn't memorably great either. I wouldn't be too surprised to see these guys in the dance off.
Katie and Anton
Anton's first AT, in case you hadn't picked up on the million and one times it was mentioned. Lovely outfits, but not too sure about Katie's sparkly bra, not very Radio 2. Really loved the scissor-tastic opening lift, but also that they didn't obsess over the lifts either. This was technically very difficult and executed pretty well, but was missing the sex appeal of the epic Argentine Tangos - but do you really want to see that from Anton?
Tangos and Argentine Tangos are starting to merge into each other. The hold for this wasn't correct - they couple should be leaning into each other - it would have helped Katie pick up on Anton's lead too. That comment of Craig's I did agree with, though from the perspective of a follower, it could have been Anton's lead that was a tad late, rather than Katie's picking-up-of-it, if he is unfamiliar with the dance, which we know he is.
Helen and Aljaz
Have they chopped the top half off of Katie's week 1 jive dress to make that gown for Helen? Nice to see her looking comfortable in a dance for once, she seems to have been on edge for weeks, but this was a delight. Well done on the choreography from Aljaz, lots of nice flourishes to add a bit of variation, but also not straying too far from the VW. All in all, a lovely a ballroom dance - and sometimes that's all we really want!
THERE it is. I may have moaned that Helen has been overmarked in latin (she has) but this was right up her street and quite evidently the best dance of the night. Absolutely beautiful and well deserving of 9s and 10s. The footwork looked good to me from what I could see. Mistakes in ballroom tend to be trickier to spot on TV than mistakes in latin.
Jay and Aliona
Now this is what happens when you do a tango to appropriate music! Imagine if they'd made them do that routine to the Spice Girls or something. Absolutely loved this routine, it's what I want to see from a tango - staccato, sharp, sexy, serial killer faces. Gotta love a Game of Thrones face at a time like this. Easily his best since the Epic Jive of Epic-ness.
Eep. Again, I keep saying it, but this boy's musicality is to die for. I could watch him dancing all day. In terms of technique, he was too 'up' - should have been more into his knees. But the choreography was genius: played to his strengths, hit every accent and break, just...divine. What a talent.
Peter and Janette
Well this was always going to be awkward after last week's drama...The song did a lot of the work here, along with them trying to bribe us with cake. It was alright, the hold was decent, but it wasn't very memorable. He did look really scared at the start actually, but then it was taken over with crazy faces that reminded me of Jake Wood.
OK. It was better than last week's. It really was. But it was still coated with a thick, saccharine layer of Andre-ness. He is unable to commit fully to a style or character. Where Jay and Anita (for example) are beginning to be able to 'live' the dance they're doing, and perform with conviction, Peter is just always 'Peter moving about', 'Peter moving his leg, 'Peter wafting his arms.' He's unable to escape himself and that is his biggest failing.
Anita and Gleb
After that all-out-amazing paso last week, following it up with a rumba was always going to be hard. This flitted on the edges of contempo-rumba but thankfully not too much to be annoying, and lots of actual content. This wasn't a natural fit and wasn't ever going to be, but she'd obviously worked very hard and made a lot of headway - hopefully she'll never have to do it again and we can all move on...
Oh this wasn't Anita's best dance. Take it from me though, rumba is hard. It's hard to do without toppling over and requires such control. I don't think she was undermarked this week, and the judges' comments were more than fair. Nevertheless, I voted and voted to keep her in because she has such huge potential, but to have her in the dance off this week could end tearfully...
Georgia and Giovanni
Loving Georgia's dress, it's a total Ola Jordan knock-off, she also looks a lot like Kristen Stewart in make-up like that. Also, props to her doing a massive solo at the start with full-on faces and nostril-flaring. This was waaay undermarked by the standards of this series, it had attack, lots of steps and commitment to the drama.
Nah, I think it was marked about right... I know Frankie likes a rock paso, but come on, The Final Countdown?! It's hardly hardcore. Anita was given such an advantage with her traditional music last week - the flavour and movements come so much more naturally with an authentic piece. Georgia didn't do a bad job with it at all but it didn't blow me away.
Ooh we were all ready for a pile up! There wasn't so much a pile-up as a lot of tentative, nervous people trying to smile. Here's a random stream of consciousness...Jay doing some amazing pivots and just Charlestoning when in trouble. Peter and Janette spending the first 30 seconds hogging the middle and hopping around. Helen and Aljaz flitting around looking delightful. Katie and Anton hiding in the corners. Scoring fair on the whole - apart from Jay being put much too low.
This was super hard to keep track of but Helen stood out, and to me, so did Jay. However, the camera didn't focus on any one couple long enough to make a thorough decision, so I will have to trust the judge's judgement on this. Wise, or not, I don't even know any more.
An American in Paris, Dominion Theatre
1 day ago