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Strictly Come Dancing 2021, Week 5 thoughts

Published October 25, 2021

Strictly Come Dancing glitterball

The drop out rate this week was somewhat reduced, but sadly Judi and Graziano weren’t able to perform due to testing positive for Covid. I’m sure it’s not outlandish to suggest they might have been in the bottom two this week after a couple of weeks in that position, so that left things a little bit more wide open in terms of who might perform well and who might be going home.


Dan & Nadiya - Viennese Waltz

Dan said he was just looking for an 8, and when he said it I thought it sounded like a bit of a tall order. It turns out he was good enough for all 7s, which isn’t quite what he wanted but still a really good score! The dance didn’t feel technically great, but it was a lot better than I’d expected, and he had all the right steps in the right order, and it had a nice, floaty feel about it. Maybe not the most interesting choreography but still an improvement for Dan.

Adam & Katya - Argentine Tango

This week’s VT for Adam included him hip thrusting at his nan, which I thought was a bit outrageous… until I saw the full routine. Somehow, it didn’t quite work for me - it was amazing and he was really into it, but I think Craig’s comment about being able to see the technique too much is what felt wrong for me. Still I do think Adam is great, and the judges seemed to love this one.

Sara & Aljaž - Rumba

Sara continues to grow on me, and I loved her saying cuca-watchamallits. I don’t know if this dance lived up to her previous couple but it was still very good, strong character as always, but I felt maybe it wasn’t intense enough. Even if it was a balletic rumba rather than a passionate one, it still all felt a bit nice and safe. Craig was brutal, saying he just didn’t like it!

Tom & Amy - Salsa

The thing about this dance is I think Amy packed too much in. It felt quite frantic, not technically great, and I was stressed the entire time in case he was going to miss something or drop her. It all felt a bit clumsy. Not for the first time, though, that’s me being at complete odds with the judges who loved it and said it was his best dance so far.

Tilly & Nikita - Foxtrot

Harry Styles manages not only to get two songs in the same show but also to have them consecutively! Tilly’s dress was absolutely gorgeous, and she danced beautifully… I’m not sure I felt the engagement between them, but she has such great arm placement and that finishing all the way through to the fingers that the judges so often crave. I was expecting a ten from the comments, but it was all 9s.

AJ & Kai - Argentine Tango

I don’t need to keep banging on about how these two aren’t my favourites, because they’re good enough to keep on keeping on without my support. I did love them watching previous dances for inspiration, and their routine was absolutely stacked full of brilliant Argentine Tango choreography. I have to admit I was mostly listening to the excellent version of Edge of Seventeen, though.

Ugo & Oti - Rumba

It’s interesting to me that they advised Ugo to do a rumba, I’ve never really thought there was that much flexibility in who does what. If I’m honest, I found it very difficult to look at anything but Oti in this dance, the dress, the moves, super attractive. Ugo did well though, all the right steps in the right order but a bit tentative, maybe worried about protecting his back.

John & Johannes - Charleston

Lots of Charleston info stacked in the introductory video, but what a difficult song to try and dance to, all those changes in rhythm broke up the flow a little bit. But what there was was brilliant. Great effort, funny in places, and it even had a shaving foam pie in the face, only the best people do that. Swivel did seem to go a bit wonky in places but they were so synchronised. Two tens from the judges as well!

Rose & Giovanni - Viennese Waltz

Rose is always so funny, I love how blunt she is with Giovanni - clapping in his face when he said at the end she leaves him. No one’s ever been like that with him, he had to double check why she was laughing! This might be one of a very few Viennese Waltzes that I’ve properly loved. The drama, the dancing, it was brilliant. Anton does need to work on his comments though, grunting this way and that is surely not translatable into sign language. So glad Rose got a 10, well deserved.

Rhys & Nancy - American Smooth

In the VT, one of Rhys' comments during training was “How much slower do I need to be?” Oh Rhys, babe. I did spend a good 30 seconds or so of the dance trying to figure out which airport they were at - that can get to Australia and New York direct. I feel like he was working on trying to contain that energy, and it was better, but still a long way to go. I quite enjoyed the subsequent mantra though: WWAD. What would Anton do?


Lots of strong dances this weekend, even the judges were a bit overwhelmed at the standard. I have to say my favourite bit of the show, though, was one of Tess' links where in the background Neil was leaning this way and that to try and get on screen… because he was sitting behind Dan.

In the bottom two this week, Rhys and Ugo. I think that stacks up. Ugo was clearly struggling, bless him, and I wonder if there’s a bit of frustration for Rhys who is clearly good but not managing to improve in the key places. We know the audiences love a journey!

In the end it was Ugo that got voted off, which is a shame because he seemed like a nice guy, but he probably just needs to get some rest on his back now and think about what joy he had dancing with Oti. Also, of note, this is the first time since Motsi started judging that her sister hasn’t won it! I know the two things aren’t related, but it was just always there in the back of my mind.

Roll on next week, where it is Halloween week and someone is bound to be painted green.

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