It always surprises me how quickly a theme week arrives but here we are with Movie Week, and boy it was such a colourful collection of characters that gathered at the bottom of the stairs as the show began. We were also treated to a gorgeous pro dance opening the show with the wonderful Johannes and Kai taking centre stage - it made me warm to Kai a little bit more.
Judi & Graziano - Charleston
I was really expecting big things from this dance after seeing so much sass and character from Judi last week. I’m not sure it delivered as much as I wanted, there was character but there didn’t seem to be a lot of fun or humour in there. Although Graziano leaping over her fully standing head was impressive! Bonus Sean Paul was probably the best bit of this dance, to be honest.
Dan & Nadiya - Foxtrot
I’m still really enjoying Nadiya calling him Daniel, like he’s constantly in her bad books. His memorisation techniques are fun too. A good dance, a few mistakes and it felt like he wasn’t always sure what was coming next - but the bits where he was confident were really good. Tess made a mistake in her presenting, just to make him feel better, I’m sure.
Sara & Aljaž - Samba
This already had a hill to climb with me as I just don’t enjoy Shrek-related things, particularly on Strictly. Also hard not to compare to Pasha. But anyway, Sara did a good job, great character, the acting coach seemed to make a difference. Not as good as last week but better than the first week, so fine. Silent maracas though.
AJ & Kai - American Smooth
The goodwill I gained for Kai at the opener was lost pretty much straight away when he tried to be Kevin Costner in the Bodyguard. NOPE. It was a technically lovely dance, I’m sure, but it didn’t grab me or move me at all. I spent the 90 seconds listening to the incredible song instead.
Robert & Dianne - Quickstep
The music feels like it would have worked better as a Charleston, but this was pretty good. The pig mask made me feel very uncomfortable though. I think Robert did an incredible job with what he was given but it felt like quite hard work. The judges were too harsh, I think. Lovely to see the Coren Mitchells supporting him though.
Greg & Karen - Paso Doble
“Greg’s Wife” is an unacceptable lower third, even if in this context that is why she’s there. Although Karen just hugging Emma for ages with Greg as a third wheel kind made up for it. Emma & Karen for the Christmas Special please. It was an okay dance, it felt like Karen was doing most of the work, but he was James Bond, so who can complain? Anton’s score didn’t match his comments, I think he just wanted to do the 007 joke.
Tilly & Nikita - Jive
I love, love, LOVE Hairspray, so this went down very well. This couple aren’t my favourites but this did them a lot of good. It felt like she had was struggling to remember what came next and there were a couple of mistakes, but on the flip side, the dance was stacked with content so it’s hardly surprising. Kicks could be a bit better, but she did that bend-back thing that boggles the mind!
Rose & Giovanni - Foxtrot
Their VT is incredible, she’s so funny and they work so well together. It was a beautiful, amazing dance, I didn’t want it to end… I was surprised when it DID end, it was so absorbing. Simple, but effective, I was happy with the score until later dances got tens. This was worth tens.
Ugo & Oti - Couple’s Choice
I’ve not seen Moana yet which is annoying, so that is going next on the list, thank you very much. Great dance though, bit of a pec wiggle to kick things off. They may not have got every step perfect but some great tricks and that jump at the end was impressive. I’m loving the journey Ugo’s on, I hope it continues a while longer.
Tom & Amy - Jive
This is Tom coming back with a bang, rolling out a jive to Johnny Be Goode from Back to the Future. It’s his favourite movie but oh boy, it’s also mine, so I was nervous about this. Thankfully, he did it justice. It was fun and lively, not a pitch perfect jive but enthusiastic and eye-catching. Plus, it must be really difficult to dance with a guitar, they’re heavier than you think!
Adam & Katya - Rumba
Too much CG, the blue paint was odd to my eyes, and I didn’t like the song, so I found this pretty hard to engage with. But, those are some good hips, and although the judges said they thought it was awkward, I didn’t find it cringey as I have some rumbas in the past. Doing this in the third week is really hard, so I think he did a great job.
Katie & Gorka - American Smooth
Vicky Gill appearing on the Saturday night completely made my night, love her. Katie looked amazing as Cruella, the hair and the make-up was exceptional. I’m not sure of the context of this dance because Cruella wouldn’t actually dance with a Dalmatian surely? It was an ok dance but mostly for looks rather than the steps.
Rhys & Nancy - Couple’s Choice
This routine was stacked with some incredible moves, and it felt strong and powerful as you would hope a superhero routine would. It was still quite frantic, though. Funky, but I’m not sure the song worked, it felt outdated for these two supercool youngsters.
John & Johannes - Paso Doble
Pirates! I’ll be honest, Mr C and I had a raging argument about the acting skills of the lovely Keira Knightley while this was on, so had to give it a second viewing. Glad I was paying attention the second time round as it was incredible. Being able to bring in some of those Spanish vibes always helps a Paso Doble - and as Anton said, this could so easily have been camp but it wasn’t. Such a great partnership.
The same faces at the top of the leaderboard then (Rose was robbed!), and it ended up being Judi and Katie in the bottom two. I think that’s a fair reflection of the dancing we’ve seen. The standard is still so incredibly high but we are starting to see the chinks in the various dancer’s armour, and it will be interesting to see how that develops over the next few weeks.
Poor Katie was the one who went home, so it’s a shame to say goodbye to her and Gorka so soon, but someone has to go! It’s going to be interesting to follow the journeys of those left - AJ being so good constantly hasn’t always been something audiences warm too, and I’m always thinking about who is coming across well and earning themselves votes for being lovely. Next week is back to normal, with the Halloween special rapidly approaching. The Strictly bus rolls on!