For the first time in three years, Strictly was back in the Blackpool ballroom with everything that comes with that - echoey vocals, additional dancers, fish and chips, rollercoasters, and everyone talking about how important the seaside town is to the world of ballroom dancing. Even though we’re all a bit cynical about just how much everyone bangs on about Blackpool, it’s still quite exciting to see how much they all love it and how much it means to them.
With Tony out last week, the remaining celebrities are really SO close in terms of quality and performance. I really feel like the next few weeks are going to be so dependent on who gets what dance at which time. So let’s get into who danced what on the sprung floor!
Hamza & Jowita - American Smooth
These two are just the most adorable partnership ever and I have no doubts that he’s going to make it to the final based on that alone. But of course, he’s also a really great dancer! This dance didn’t particularly grab me but can’t argue with the good comments and high scores. He seemed to be really enjoying himself and not so nervous which is fab.
Molly & Carlos - Jive
Doing a jive on a sprung floor feels like cheating to me, but actually with that, I felt like it was a little bit flat and could have done with more bounce and energy. Great tricks and lifts, of course, but it’s not going on my greatest jives of all time lift. Molly said performing in Elstree felt like being on a TV show whereas in Blackpool it feels like you’re just ‘meant to dance’. Really interesting thought.
Kym & Graziano - Paso Doble
Graziano was quite fun at the amusements in the opening VT, but oof, waxworks just shouldn’t be allowed. Anyway, this was one of those Paso’s that’s not traditional, set to some kind of Rihanna mashup which made my head fizz a bit. Spotted Kelvin cheering on in the audience which is fun. Good intensity but probably not her best dance.
Tyler & Dianne - Salsa
The training footage made those lifts look hard, but they went off alright in the dance itself. They were probably the best bit of the dance though, it didn’t really seem to have that party salsa vibe that we want. Good hips but I do think Tyler is struggling for technique at this point in the competition.
Ellie & Johannes - American Smooth
It seemed like quite a tame American Smooth, compared to some that we’ve seen, but it was better than I was expecting. They had great coverage of the floor, although the cameras went a bit wonky mid-way through which wasn’t helpful. Ellie was apologising at the end and seemed quite upset but I’m not sure what went wrong?
Helen & Gorka - Quickstep
Gorka says ‘us northeners’ which is weird coming from a Spanish guy, bless him. This is another fantastic pairing (the pint pulling!) and I would like a sitcom of them after the competition is over please. It makes sense that Helen would be good at this because it has those Charleston elements to it, which she was great at, but obviously the whole thing was overshadowed by the fab kiss at the end! Great vibes!
Fleur & Vito - Couple’s Choice
I can’t believe this dance got the first 40 of the series. It was a great performance, but it didn’t work for me as a top quality dance really. It didn’t seem like a lot of dancing, it reminded me a lot of Beyoncé at Glastonbury - either you’re with it or you’re not. “I’ve always wanted to be part of Destiny’s Child,” Fleur says. We all want that, don’t we?
Will & Nancy - Samba
Those are some hot pink trousers on Will. I didn’t know this song but it was very Club Tropicana so good vibes. I’d vote for him and his shimmy any day! Good hips, great energy, top work. The judges said he should go backstage and teach Tyler, which felt a bit harsh and out of character.
Every single couple had a score over 30, which stacks up with my thinking they’re all so equal and capable and it’s going to start getting really hard to predict who’s out? Having said that, I did manage to predict the bottom two this time - Molly and Tyler. And comparing those two meant it was always going to be Tyler that was on the way out, although interesting that Anton chose him over Molls.
Can’t wait for next week!