It’s Blackpool next week, in case you missed one of the hundred references to it in this week’s show. Time to get your drinking games on! Blackpool… DRINK! A fact I heard during the week on It Takes Two was that four of the six couples who have left the show so far have gone out on a Charleston, making it the danger dance of the series so far. Ellie’s on for the Charleston this week - uh oh - and she was first up on the dancefloor. Let’s go!
Ellie & Johannes - Charleston
This was good! Great character, fun moments and storytelling, and of course highlighting the incredible friendship that this pair have. Probably one of the weaker dancers of the main pack but I just love her and them together, and this was brilliant. It got good comments from the judges, too. Phew!
Tyler & Dianne - Paso Doble
Very dramatic and full of great moves and intent. It felt to me like he was overdoing the banana in places, or it just wasn’t quite the right line? It just wasn’t as finessed as you’d like, Tyler has incredible talent but not so much the technique.
Kym & Graziano - American Smooth
An emotional story behind this one. I don’t know that it was quite as smooth as they were hoping for, and of course there was the wrong leg thing, but even after those moments, Kym picked it up and kept on going. The rest of it was great, full of emotion and storytelling, it was so mesmirising that it felt really short.
Helen & Gorka - Salsa
Big lifts on display in the training VT. It felt like the first half was a bit stilted, maybe an element of the self-consciousness coming back in. Great moves and very complicated choreography though. The second half picked up pace and the final lift was wow! Gorka: “She loves the lifts, she struggles with the walks.”
Tony & Katya - Jive
The training footage didn’t look that great, Katya is amazing but she’s not superhuman. It was better than I’d expected but pigeon-toed and seemed like he ran out of energy towards the end. The forward rolls are mad! “Do you want to roly-poly with me, Shirley?” he asks. Awkward. Craig said the dance was a bit ‘beyond him’ which is harsh.
Molly & Carlos - Rumba
We know this is Carlos’ favourite dance after the launch show with Claudia. Pretty good intention and emotion from Molly, it just didn’t grab me. It felt like a long 90 seconds, but can appreciate that it was good. Great scores, a 10 from Shirley.
Fleur & Vito - Samba
Samba is hard and I was worried about this, but oh wow, you can see she’s put the training hours in and worked hard. Incredible hips and great bounce. Vito was just flitting around her but as much as I love him, it was all eyes on Fleur - so good. Motsi was in tears.
Will & Nancy - Waltz
Another incredibly emotional backstory. I don’t enjoy the waltz and it’s a pretty dull song which put the pressure on but wow, Will did a great job. He scrubs up well! The end position, the pose, and the lighting was amazing. “Two bodies, moving as one, in harmony, to the music,” Anton said. Great stuff.
Hamza & Jowita - Couple’s Choice
Love a first on Strictly, and someone bringing something to the floor that means so much to them. Hamza was great, of course, but Jowita was INCREDIBLE, I really couldn’t take my eyes off her. I love that Motsi gave her a shoutout for it. The lifts were amazing, of course, Anton said he wants to learn how to do them from Hamza which is a compliment and a half. Poor Motsi had a really emotional night!
Obviously the concern each week is for Molly and Fleur, who seem to have experienced more than their fair share of dance offs. Molly topped the leaderboard and I thought she was safe, but everyone who followed her pushed her down the order to the middle again. Fleur topped the table, with Will and Hamza close behind. Tony was bottom and then Ellie, Tyler and Kym all on the same points.
It’s happened before but it felt a step too far to me that Tony would get through to Blackpool where others wouldn’t… but he’s survived so far. My prediction was Molly and Tyler - of the three in that worrying joint position, he’s had less of a journey and I feel like he’s struggling technically.
In the end it was Tony and Tyler, and of course Tony was voted out. What an incredible journey he’s been on and what a great guy to the end! So, on to Blackpool and I honestly think this is the closest group of dancers we’ve had in such a long time. It really could be anybody’s!