Much is made of us being at the halfway point of the series, presumably because they can’t make a big deal about going to Blackpool anymore. The montage of contestants talking about how much the series means to them at the start of the show was using footage from two weeks ago (I’m assuming so that no one was painted green) but it really confused me.
Going into the show, my prediction is either Dan or Adam to go.
Adam & Katya - Jive
The training footage didn’t look good so I had low expectations… that meant the dance was better than I’d thought but not great. Adam seemed like he was always waiting for Katya, double checking what was coming next, not quite working through the transitions. The jump up on the pool table was good though. Medium scores from the judges, not a great start.
Rose & Giovanni - Samba
Has it ever happened before in Strictly history, that someone has gone in and made their own costume? Couldn’t love this girl more, and also loving how much Vicky Gill is appearing on the weekend shows as well as It Takes Two. The dance itself was really good, very good hips for a samba, we don’t often get to see it. Craig said she made it look natural and we all know that’s nigh on impossible in this dance, so well done!
Tom & Amy - Paso Doble
Ah, finally Tom has brought out Harry, at the halfway point of the series. At last we have a traditional Paso, where the concept of the dance actually fits with the music and the outfits. It felt a bit flamboyant to me, and the bold colours made it feel like playschool or something. But the cape work and knee slides and all those elemnts were great.
Rhys & Nancy - Quickstep
The CG cars were a bit odd - Rhys, naturally, couldn’t react to the sparks that were right in his face! He has such long strides, this must have been a super-quickstep for poor Nancy. A good dance for using his energy, great pace, kept it up the whole way through, but still probably not enough finesse. It’s the first time he’s not been criticised for being frenetic, so must be progress. Higher scores than I was expecting, highest quickstep of the series!
Tilly & Nikita - Tango
My only question is, are they really playing chess in the VT? The floor graphics were amazing, much better than the cars in the last one, especially how the board followed them around the floor. I wasn’t that bothered about the dance, if I’m honest, but it was a great song. Shirley requested more ‘ankle articulation’ which sounds really picky.
Dan & Nadiya - Couple’s Choice
Went down a bit of a rabbithole trying to identify everyone in the football photo… plus a discussion of Gary Lineker’s career as a footballer. But the dance! Feel like she’s doing a lot of the work here, some great moves, but overall it felt like mostly running around a bit. A sweet street dance, is that a thing? The MJ thing Dan did with the hat might be the best thing he’s done so far!
John & Johannes - Rumba
Actual STING!! Although a message from the actual Sting must pile on the pressure a bit. This was, however, a good a rumba as I’ve ever seen, considering most people find the rumba a little bit cringe. It really felt like it was just the two of them, the music and the dance. Amazing. Shirley got emosh!
AJ & Kai - Charleston
There was something about the way Kai responded to AJ saying she was doing it wrong, ‘yea, I know’, that seemed like two professionals trying to figure it out. That just annoyed me, even though that’s not their fault! An incredible dress, and a proper Charleston song. It didn’t have the great joy and fun that I love about a great Charleston, but it was really well danced. I think she was better than he was!
Sara & Aljaž - Quickstep
That is one heck of a perm. And what is with the yellow socks? The dress kinda meant I couldn’t really tell what was going on, but Aljaž was doing a great job. Good dance overall to a magnificent song. Can’t quite forgive whoever set up the props at the back though, the scissors were all out of order. Oof.
It was a surprise that Tilly & Nikita dropped into the bottom two, but Adam was as predicted, and sadly it was time to bid farewell to our Olympian swimmer. What a great job he did overall! We’re really getting to the nitty gritty now, where it’s hard to pick who’s going to be leaving all week. Also now we’re in the second half of the series, the episodes are a slightly more sensible length - phew!
Onto next week, where just eight couples will take to the floor and we’ll start to realise how few that is when they’re all lined up at the beginning and the end. Can’t wait!