Nerves ahoy as this is the first week when someone actually gets voted out. After last week’s incredible opener, where everyone put in a good show and we saw a minimum of mistakes, I think the nerves and the training schedules started to get the better of some people as there were a lot more wobbles during the evening. But let’s see how that played out, couple by couple.
No Tom & Amy this week, but hopefully they’ll be back next week.
Rhys & Nancy - Cha Cha Cha
Very entertaining, good straight legs, but that made it a bit jerky. I’ve never understood how you dance and walk on straight legs though. Again there just seems to be too much energy, and some of it needs to be contained. Craig called it frantic, which is exactly the right word.
Nina & Neil - Tango
Good character, continuing the fierce thing from last week. I’m not sure it was a particularly good dance and the song just didn’t work at all - whose idea was that to make it a Tango? Quite a few mistakes, and the Argentine Tango stuff looked just a bit too advanced, unfortunately.
Adam & Katya - Quickstep
Very interesting in the VT to hear Adam talking about how he’s a top athlete but actually spending so long on his feet is hindering him a bit. Good dance, light and fluffy. He’s not shying away from the Kelvin comparisons with that press up jump thing. The judges seemed a bit harsh on this.
Katie & Gorka - Jive
Quote of the day from Gorka: “It’s not wrong, it’s… different.” Quite flat and quite a lot of mistakes. Most of the steps in the right order but it didn’t seem to flow right. Great song though. Anton said it wasn’t your best but not your worst… out of two, surely it has to be one of those things?
Greg & Karen - Couple’s Choice
Very moving story, I’ll have to buy the book. It always feels to early for a couple’s choice, only because how can he know what he wants to do? Must be Karen’s choice. Not a technically good dance but that’s not at all what it was about.
John & Johannes - Cha Cha Cha
John said he was scared of this dance after Peachy Peaty, and also nervous about being too flamboyent. Dude, that’s what Strictly is all about! It was another great dance, maybe not quite straight leg enough, but very funky.
AJ & Kai - Foxtrot
AJ admitted to struggling with control and elegance. Also got dizzy doing the foxtrot, how’s she going to cope with a Viennese Waltz? Good dance, nothing to worry about elegance-wise. Just still not grabbing me as a couple, seems to be a lack of chemistry there.
Judi & Graziano - Samba
Already 100% more charisma and charm between these two compared to the previous couple. Stamina a bit of a problem, but she’s so sassy and amazing it doesn’t matter. “A technical disaster, but I love you,” says Craig. Fab twerking.
Robert & Dianne - Tango
It was hard to tell whether Robert was doing an intense Tango face or whether it was just serious concentration face. Maybe a bit of both. A lot better than last week, though, no mistakes, and the judges were absolutely wowed. Good work!
Rose & Giovanni - Jive
Really love how cheeky these two are together. So good, and the lfits were incredible. I don’t think I’ve ever heard anybody say they loved doing the lifts before. Very groovy dance, slightly undermarked, I think.
Sara & Aljaž - Foxtrot
Much better than last week, so potentially one of those competitors who is better at the ballroom than the latin. I was convinced Sara would be in the bottom two but after this dance, perhaps not. The judges were gushing over it, which I’m not sure I was, but great work from Sara.
Dan & Nadiya - Quickstep
“We do need your elbows, as long as it’s not into my face.” Training going well then! Good dance, intense, Dan’s outfit was weird with the trousers under the skirt panels. I feel like it’s always hard to get a Paso Doble right when it’s not in the Matador style. But Giant is a tune, and I quite liked it. Mixed messages from the judges.
Ugo & Oti - Quickstep
Much better than I had expected, the beefy sports people sometimes struggle to be light on their fee but this worked. Oti’s wig game is huge. And Ugo continues to be adorable. What’s not to like?
Tilly & Nikita - Charleston
Is tea and scones a traditional picnic? I’m thinking more lemonade and sausage rolls but whatever. I love a Charleston and this was good but it didn’t grab me. I think it’s hard as the professionals don’t always feel comfortable with this dance either. Good for the third week, and Nikita is growing on me which helps.
So AJ, John and Rhys topped the leaderboard, with two weeks of scores added together. Again I felt the leaderboard pretty much reflected the dancing although there are a few places I would switch around. In trouble at the bottom was Katie, Ugo and Nina, and unfortunately the two ladies had to dance off.
Nina said goodbye after being the first person voted off the show. I think that’s ultimately fair although it’s always sad to see someone’s journey cut short - at least she got to do the dance she came on the show for. I had predicted Sara to go out, but she really pulled it out of the bag this week, so hopefully next week’s show will be another that confounds my predictions. The uncertainty is where the fun is!