Sunday, 23 October 2016
The Curse of Strictly?
Rinder and Oksana
Those were the campest outfits since...er, Rinder's last dance? And then they added a sparkly playground, because we might as well keep those props people in employment. Now it's always hard to do a dance after someone just did a first-tens-of-the-series-showstopper, but these two put a hell of a lot of work into this and it largely paid off. OK, the technique wasn't as sharp as it could've been, but there was a lot of content and it was a fun routine, and didn't shy away from solo work from Rinder. GI Barbie Oksana was also a treat, I think she could go on to be a real Strictly trooper.
Lesley and Anton
Forget any questions about the theme, the biggest mystery was why Anton was wearing eyeliner? He looks creepy during Halloween, we don't need more. Aside from all that (and Anton's crazy trousers), this was obviously a tango, with proper choreography and music - and we should always appreciate a good tango song choice these days. It wasn't her best dance, especially in comparison to the delightful Charleston last week, and the mistakes showed and threw off the balance, and she still has issues with frame. Hopefully they will make it through, because we always want more from these two.
Greg and Natalie
Oh how we adore that multicoloured car-wash dress Natalie is wearing, it's so old-school SCD it brings a nostalgic tear to the eye. This was indeed a bit of a mess, and Greg was obviously not feeling the cha cha vibe, but he pulled his way through it and kept up. I also can't decide whether his face said 'uncomfortable' or 'smouldering', I'll stick with smouldering.
Rumours of Brendan Cole's death have been greatly exaggerated, but thankfully Gorka stepped into the breach. Quickstep is a tricky dance to learn with a new partner, but this was definitely her best ballroom and was a delightfully old-school routine choreographed by Brendan. Anastacia also looked gorgeous, I wish Brendan could've been there to do it with her, there'd be 'This Girl' all over the place. There was indeed some gapping, but a definite improvement in technique they can't all be ringers.
Louise and Kevin
So sad to see the elephant grey fabric return, but who else would they put it on than Louise? I could see where they were going with the romance theme, rather than the 'sexy smouldering rumba' school of thought, but it was all just a bit dull. She's been very balletic and flowing so far, so I expected this to be good to an extent, but there could've been more hip action. On he plus side, the band did a beautiful performance of the song.
Ed and Katya
After last week's hilarious disaster, it was nice to see Ed allowed to do some ballroom again, even if he's forced to do it to a comedy song. The sheer concentration on his face when they were in hold was lovely, as was his foxtrot footwork...and then the lifts came! Poor thing, it's not like you get much practice at lifts when you've spent your life hanging around constituency offices. They managed to soldier on, but this is the first week when I might be worried for him...
Ore and Joanne
Well if Ore is prone to tears you might as well give him a blubfest of a song and totes emotes choreography and run with it, I can only imagine what their rumba is going to be like! There was pretty much everything you'd want from a waltz routine here, with added twiddly bits to keep you interested. There was rise and fall and control and top lines and all that, although maybe a few frantic fast moments.
Daisy and Aljaz
Will these two ever stop being delightful? This was a really fun routine without straying into gurning and Aljaz's face was a picture. I was terrified at the start that the whole thing was going to be done in the dark (I wouldn't put it past them!) but it turned out to be the sort of experimental cabaret type-thing that brightens our day. She had swivel and crispness for someone who's 5ft10 with legs that go on forever - great job guys.
Danny and Oti
I was dreading the sheer level of emooootion we were about to be exposed to, but it was actually quite smiley for a rumba and not painfully slow either. In fact, I think this was my favourite of Danny's dances! Yes, it was ringer to the max as usual, but that's better than watching another painful rumba. Maybe a bit too contempo in places, but there was still rumba in there. Only other point was that Oti was in a rather glitzy dress, spangly beaded lampshade does not usually make me think rumba.
Claudia and AJ
I've much preferred their latin to ballroom so far, and that definitely played out again this week. That and a super-spangly Lilia Kopylova dress will always win my favour. They said it was fast and it really was, it looked like the footage had been sped up at times! This was pitched as disco, but it really wasn't compared to some of the disco-sambas we've seen in the past, there was even a samba roll, which I cheered at home on the sofa because I'm sad like that. All the criticism was about the routine being so hard and fast, but she did a pretty amazing job keeping up with it and not tripping over her own feet.