It was Love week on Strictly Come Dancing and the fourteen remaining couples had to strut their stuff to show who was going to be happy ever after and who was going for a quick divorce. Sir Bruce Forsyth was back alongside Tess Daley after missing last week through illness.
Natalie Gumede demonstrated her consistency by topping the leaderboard in Strictly Come Dancing this week with a score of 36 for her Rumba. That was after finishing second on the leaderboard in both week 1 and 2.
The full scores were:
- 36 – Natalie Gumede and Artem Chigvinstev
- 34 – Susanna Reid and Kevin Clifton
- 31 – Sophie Ellis-Bextor and Brendan Cole
- 31 – Ashley Taylor Dawson and Ola Jordan
- 28 – Fiona Fullerton and Anton DuBeke
- 28 – Abbey Clancy and Aljaz Skorjanec
- 28 – Ben Cohen And Kristina Rihanoff
- 28 – Deborah Meaden and Robin Windsor
- 27 – Patrick Robinson and Anya Garnis
- 27 – Rachel Riley And Pasha Kovalev
- 26 – Mark Benton and Iveta Lukosiute
- 22 – Julian Macdonald and Janette Manrara
- 20 – Vanessa Feltz and James Jordan
- 16 – Dave Myers And Karen Hauer
Abbey Clancy and Aljaz Skorjanec opened the competition with a Jive to the Beatles’ ‘Can’t Buy Me Love’. Abbey is emphasising her Liverpool background during interviews, looking for the regional vote no doubt. Good on her, as Abbey has a good chance of going far in this competition. It was a not particularly energetic Jive but it had a certain elegance about it.
Len: Overall your energy and enthusiasm was great. Sometimes your legs are a little bit loose but good job overall.
Bruno: Groovy Abbey. The best pout in the business. Len is right the kicks and flicks have to be sharper.
Craig: You were sat for a long time on Penny Lane. When you started to dance your timing was out and it was slightly labour. You lacked a little attack. (Bruno disagreed but Craig was right).
Darcey: From last week the attack was good. You are tall so you do need the attack. The style was good.
A score of 28 was steady rather than spectacular but should get Abbey through this week.
Patrick Robinson and Anya Garnis were tackling the Foxtrot to Nat King Cole’s timeless ‘Let There Be Love’. Patrick is 66-1 to win Strictly which is quite an attractive price for someone with his talent.He does have a dodgy knee but it didn’t show in a very sharply delivered dance.
Bruno: You got your feet in a twist. There were moments of dash and moments of restraint.
Craig: I would like to see a bit more movement and you have gapping issues but you have style
Darcey: You brought class and style to this. It was a bit neat and tidy and I would like to see you take a few more risks
Len: The foxtrot is a difficult dance and it had an ease and an elegance about it. Style with a smile.
A score of 27 was fair and means Patrick has to step up a level if he is grab a top 5 slot.
Dave Myers And Karen Hauer performed the Paso Doble to Meat Loaf’s rock epic ‘I Would Do Anything For Love (But I Won’t Do That)’. Dave is probably not cut out for capework but he made a good fist of the dance, although he looked more like he was handling a motorbike than a woman. Entertaining but a rubbish dance (sorry Dave we love you but have to be honest).
Craig: One word – dreadful.
Darcey: You had a very strong attitude. Maybe not a matador but it didn’t follow through to the shaping. The conviction I loved.
Len: It was like being waxed. Painful whilst it’s happening but lovely after.
Bruno: This tops everything I’ve ever seen. The dance was beyond description.
A score of 16 will leave Dave at the bottom of the judges leaderboard. Can he win the audience vote? We will see tomorrow night.
Fiona Fullerton and Anton DuBeke were waltzing to Pat Boone’s ‘True Love’. Anton must still be in shock to have a partner who can dance a bit and he is making the most of it. The waltz is one of the easier dances on the show and Fiona looked in control although a little wobbly at times. She managed to avoid kicking Anton in the shins this week (shame really).
Darcey: You turned into Grace Kelly. You danced with ease and elegance.You looked much more comfortable.
Len: You are playing snakes and ladders. Last week down a snake but this week up a ladder.Well done.
Bruno: Nice and classy princess Fiona.
Craig: You overbalanced at one stage and timing was slightly out but the whole thing was extremely elegant.
A score of 28 is Fiona’s best and puts her level with Abbey Clancy
Rachel Riley And Pasha Kovalev were Cha Cha Cha’ing to ‘When Love Takes Over’ by David Guetta featuring Kelly Rowland. Rachel said she took some of the judges’ comments from last week to heart so we waited to see if she had taken them on board. She seemed to have her frame more in control as she shook her hips. Rachel is still a bit stiff but it was far better than last week’s Salsa.
Len: You got your hips going. Like a bionic bum. Right on time. Well done.
Bruno: Well well. My little Rachel is starting to feel the tingle and using your assets to your advantage. Don’t doubt yourself you”ve got it. Sometimes you a re a bit automan but well done.
Craig: I thought you plonked your body down a bit heavily but your free arm placement is much better.
Darcey: You took it on board from last week and your finishes were cleaner. Well done.
A score of 27 gives Rachel some hope but some work to do as well.
Mark Benton and Iveta Lukosiute danced the American Smooth to ‘It Must Be Love’ by Madness. Mark makes the most of his acting talents when dancing and it is always great to see his performance. He is a chunky guy who actually dances in quite a delicate way.
Bruno: You can tell a story. It was mimed to perfection.
Craig: You are a fantastic storyteller but you have to work on your hands as they are ruining the performance.
Darcey: I missed the glamour and flair of the American Smooth.
Len: Madness really. You capture the essence of every dance and the character of every dance. I’m not saying the dancing was top notch.
Mark scored 26.
Ben Cohen And Kristina Rihanoff performed the Rumba to ‘To Make You Feel My Love’ by Adele. Ben and Kristina make some good lines together. Ben is shaping up as a good dancer and this performance won’t have hurt his chances. A standing ovation from the studio audience was well deserved.
Craig: I am willing you to do well and dance well and you did.
Darcey: I wanted to see a connection and you gave it to me. There was a true intensity between you. Even a hint of hip rotation. Keep that up.
Len: It’s good to see a big bloke being gentle.
Bruno: It was like watching a series of erotic friezes. Keep going.
A score of 28 should put Ben in the top half of the judges leaderboard. We have had six scores so far in the 26-28 range so it’s going to be very tight between the couples this week.
Sophie Ellis-Bextor and Brendan Cole Samba’d to Lionel Richie’s’ brilliant ‘All Night Long’. After topping the leaderboard last week the pressure was on Sophie to maintain her standard of performance. It was a good routine although a little understated and cautious. The footwork was very precise.
Darcey: You bring a cool party vibe and I would like to see a fun carnival vibe. You had good isolation. You have such natural musicality and you will go far because of that.
Len: It lacked a little toning I thought it was lovely.
Bruno: What you did was a sophisticated Samba without breaking a sweat.
Craig: I really loved it. A cleaner finish would have been great but well done.
A score of 31 is down on the 36 of last week but it will still put Sophie near the top tonight.
Julian Macdonald and Janette Manrara were tackling the Jive to the Blues Brothers with ‘Everybody Needs Somebody To Love’. Julian is not a natural dancer but he looks good. The jive suited him better than the other dances and although he struggled with the timing it did actually look like he was dancing with Janette. A big improvement on previous weeks.
Len: I enjoyed it. You had the wild devil may care attitude and it was your best dance to date.
Bruno: Full of wacky attitude. If you stay in the competition you have to focus on timing but the energy was great.
Craig: The energy was great but it was like a three year old at a dance recital after 20 bags of sweets.
Darcey: You brought the energy. I would love you to point those feet and make the kicks sharper.
A score of 22 will leave Julian just one off the bottom of the leaderboard so he will need the support of the viewers to keep him out of the dance-off.
Susanna Reid and Kevin Clifton danced the Viennese Waltz to John Denver’s ‘Annie’s Song’. It was well received by the studio audience who gave a standing ovation.
Bruno: You had a natural feel for the dance. You will go far.
Craig: Chin up and left shoulder down. Gorgeous.
Darcey: Your technique is very good. Every week you get better and better.
Len: I’m in love with that dance. It was the best I’ve seen tonight. You even attempted a fleckle.
A score of 34 moves Susanna to the top of the leaderboard with four more couples to go.
Vanessa Feltz and James Jordan were challenged with a Tango to ‘Lay All Your Love On Me’ by ABBA. Vanessa looks like she is improving but will it be fast enough to keep her in the competition.
Craig: It lacked a little focus and sharpness and your head didn’t looked like it belonged on you.
Darcey: I liked the fire and attack. It’s not about liking the smell of your man so you are meant to keep your head away.
Len: A lot of content in that routine. The overall feeling was like a decaf coffee – it looked OK but lacked a little snap and taste.
Bruno: You messed up a little but you have to keep going.
A score of 20 didn’t really reflect an improvement on last week so Vanessa finds herself behind Julian on the leaderboard and in the bottom two.
Ashley Taylor Dawson and Ola Jordan performed the Samba to the classic ‘Love Is In The Air’ by John Paul Young. Ashley is potentially the best male dancer but has been outshone by some of the female celebs in previous weeks. He really raised his game this week, maybe without the distraction of the imminent arrival of his first child.
Darcey: I liked it. You have to lift up your chin and eye level but very nice. Just do the shirt up next week so I won’t get distracted.
Len: You coped well with a difficult dance.
Bruno: You are going to get plenty of love after this dance you dreamboat from Brazil.
Craig: The hip rolls were absolute filth and I loved them.
A score of 31 puts Ashley in the top five this week
Natalie Gumede and Artem Chigvinstev danced the Rumba to Rihanna’s ‘Love The Way You Lie’. Natalie is the most consistent performer so far and seems to be able to tackle anything thrown at her. It was a passionate rumba with beautiful control which brought the audience to their feet again.
Len: That was fabulous.
Bruno: Beauty in perpetual motion.
Craig: Love love love.
Darcey: You speak with the whole of your body.
A score of 36 takes Natalie to the top of the leaderboard.
Deborah Meaden and Robin Windsor closed the show by performing the Quickstep to Jackie Wilson’s ‘Higher and Higher’. Deborah is certainly a worker and puts everything into her routines. Another standing ovation from the studio audience.
Bruno: The dragon is turning into a butterfly. So much better.
Craig: You put a smile on my face. I really enjoyed it.
Darcey: It was fast and furious. I love the pleasure you get from dancing.
Len: Your best dance yet.
Another score of 28 puts Deborah in a mid table position on the leaderboard.
It looks like Dave, Vanessa and Julian are vulnerable unless people pick up the phone and vote for them. We will find out tomorrow night who is going to have to face the dance-off. My feeling is that Julian will have to stay out of the bottom two to avoid leaving the competition but I could be wrong!
For details on scoring see Strictly Come Dancing Judges Scores