I, like many other people, found myself crying for the full two hours of the Strictly final - for the second year in a row. But this year did feel different. The 2020 final was a celebration of joy and glitter and sparkles and fun after a dreadful year. We needed that release. This time, although we still need that in our lives, it was more about the couples taking part.
Semi-finals!! Somehow it feels like it’s come round really quickly but at the same time, when you watch the opening credits featuring all the participants of 2021, some of them seem like such a long time ago! I really think this is one of the closest competitions we’ve had in a long time, every one of the semi finalists has topped the leaderboard, so how can we possibly predict? Anything can happen.
We were greeted with two group dances by the professional this week, one at the start of each day’s show, but I much preferred the first one. Oti and Graziano portrayed a great story, I love it when the dance is completely mesmorising and even more so when the leads hug at the end.
Good to see all the judges back in action, a full house of our favourites, but just five couples to take to the floor!
The show was only just over an hour this week, and it was really clear how few people are left when they were all waiting at the bottom of the stairs for the action to begin. Just six couples left and three spots in the final. Things are getting tough!
Poor Motsi had to miss this show so we had the wonderful Cynthia Erivo back again, and it was very clear that she’d stepped right into Motsi’s shoes when it came to not putting up with any of Craig’s nonsense.
Musicals week has arrived, and it’s one of those that all the couples say they were desperate to participate in… but we’re getting to the sharp end now and the good have to be even greater to get through.
Also, this is the first week in Strictly history that Craig Revel Horwood wasn’t on the judging panel, replaced by Cynthia Erivo. It was fitting, as she’s a superb theatre star with plenty to add on the couples performances.
Just your regularly scheduled week this time, with plenty of excitement building up to musicals week next time out. My only thought from the intro sequence is to pity the colour balancing people, Motsi’s dress was something else entirely.
On with the show, predictions this week have to return to Dan, unfortunately, and perhaps Tilly following last week. Talking of which, Tilly opened the show!
Tilly & Nikita - Quickstep Nice concept, I thought the dance was a bit kicky, and I was really concerned that she was going to trip over her own or Nikita’s feet, which suggests it wasn’t as smooth as you might like.
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.
Woohoo, Halloween! Actually, if I’m honest, I’m not normally that bothered about Halloween week - the costumes are always exceptional but as a holiday, it’s not that interesting. The only prediction I had coming into this week was that someone would definitely be painted green. I wasn’t expecting that to happen right in the opening Pro number, but there it was!
We also had someone painted red, but hey, I’m getting ahead of myself.
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.
It was a bad week for Strictly drop outs leading up to Saturday’s show. First, Robert and Dianne had to withdraw, which was a shame but totally understandable - health comes first! I hadn’t realised Robert had been through the heart surgery two years ago, so definitely the right thing to do. And then Ugo had to take a week out (hopefully!) due to a back issue - I’m guessing that high jump into forward roll over Oti last week wasn’t such a good idea?