With the competition hotting up it is the celebrity women who are emerging as the main force in the competition with a three way tie in Week 4 of Strictly Come Dancing between Natalie Gumede, Sophie Ellis-Bextor and Abbey Clancy who all scored 35 for their dances. Patrick Robinson won the battle of the men with a score of 33 with Ashley Taylor Dawson and Ben Cohen two points behind on 31.
At the other end of the judges leaderboard there was a changeover as Dave Myers raised his game to score 23 and leave Fiona Fullerton at the bottom with 22.
The full scores for week 4 were:
- 35 – Natalie Gumede and Artem Chigvinstev
- 35 – Sophie Ellis-Bextor and Brendan Cole
- 35 – Abbey Clancy and Aljaz Skorjanec
- 33 – Patrick Robinson and Anya Garnis
- 31 – Ashley Taylor Dawson and Ola Jordan
- 31 – Ben Cohen And Kristina Rihanoff
- 29 – Susanna Reid and Kevin Clifton
- 26 – Rachel Riley And Pasha Kovalev
- 26 – Mark Benton and Iveta Lukosiute
- 23 – Deborah Meaden and Robin Windsor
- 23 – Julian Macdonald and Janette Manrara
- 23 – Dave Myers And Karen Hauer
- 22 – Fiona Fullerton and Anton DuBeke
Sophie Ellis-Bextor and Brendan Cole opened the show with a Foxtrot to ‘Cheek to Cheek’ by Dick Haymes. Sophie is such a smooth dancer and gets stronger every week. She always appears in control when dancing and when she has the confidence to take more risks is going to be a really exciting dancer. Sophie and Brendan’s Foxtrot earned them a standing ovation from the studio audience.
Len: I loved the routine, I loves the dancing, fabulous.
Bruno: You looked like a Hollywood star from the Hollywood Era.
Craig: Your top line is suffering somewhat but it was elegant and graceful with fabulous clean pivots.
Darcey: You have style and grace all the way through.
A score of 35 was going to put them close to the top of the leaderboard.
Fiona Fullerton and Anton DuBeke were next up, performing a Rumba to Westlife’s number one hit single ‘A World Of Our Own’. It was a good opening but Fiona seemed to get more nervous as the routine went on and there were a couple of “incidents” during the routine. It looked nice in parts but the overall dance was a bit disappointing.
Bruno: The packaging was very enticing but there were some serious issues with balance. You have to concentrate on sustaining the performance.
Craig: The hip action was stiff and plonky and your exit from the floor spin was by jumping.
Darcey: You have the slinky lady effect but you do lose focus. There is so much in you and you have to survive.
Len: The Rumba is hard to cover up mistakes in. I enjoyed watching you.
A score of 22 was a little painful to bear and will put Fiona in dance-off territory without some viewer support.
Mark Benton and Iveta Lukosiute performed the Cha Cha to MC Hammer’s hit track ‘U Can’t Touch This’. Mark is amazingly light on his feet for such a big bloke and his facial expressions must be worth a few extra points. It was a very quirky and enjoyable routine that roused the studio audience.
Craig: It was all very flatfooted and stimpey. The bit of Cha Cha Cha in it was not very good.
Darcey: I disagree with Craig, fabulous.
Len: You’re full of talent. You had so many basic steps in that routine. Do it again.
Bruno: MC Mark. You had plenty of bling. It was unique, memorable and very funny.
My favourite dance of the night as it was so different. A score of 26 is OK for week 4 but Mark will have to be pushing closer to 30 if he is to get close to the final weeks.
Ashley Taylor Dawson and Ola Jordan performed the Viennese Waltz to Sarah McLachlan’s emotional ‘Angel’. It was a solid rather than a spectacular dance for Ashley.
Darcey: It was a little too safe and placed. Just go for it.
Len: It had romance and style. A little wafty at times. It needed a bit more gusto.
Bruno: You extended line beautifully. It was tender and romantic but you did need more Oomph.
Craig: Your arms out of hold looked unnatural.
A score of 31 should see Ashley through to next week.
Julian Macdonald and Janette Manrara tackled the Samba to Spice Girls’ Latin inspired hit single ‘Spice Up Your Life’. Julian is trying to avoid being in the dance-off for the third week in a row. He has clearly put in a lot of effort to practising this week’s routine and is getting better. Whether his improvement is enough to save him is another matter.
Len: It was wild and wacky but needed a bit more control.
Bruno: It was high on the spice. You threw yourself into it. You cannot force yourself on a dance. You were out of time.
Craig: No rotation in the hips department. Your problem is that you lack musicality.
Darcey: It was fun and you tried really hard. I think this was your best dance.
A score of 23 was Julian’s best so far this series and lifts him over Fiona Fullerton on the judges leaderboard. Can he survive again?
Rachel Riley And Pasha Kovalev were dancing Quickstep to Imelda May’s Rockabilly-style hit ‘Johnny Got A Boom’. Rachel is a little stiff on the dance-floor. Hopefully Pasha can help her improve technically.
Bruno: You just about got away with it. Plenty of content but more control needed.
Craig: It was the top line that let you down.
Darcey: That was very fast. Watch you don’t grip on Pasha’s shoulders.
Len: You started off terrific but you lost your posture as you went on.
A score of 26 should see Rachel though this week but like Mark she need to be pushing more towards scores of 30 to stand a chance of surviving in later weeks.
Ben Cohen And Kristina Rihanoff performed the Salsa to Black Crowes’ version of ‘Hard To Handle’.
Craig: Dirty oiled mechanic. Ticking every box.
Darcey: You can certainly handle Kristina with confidence. You are coming out of your shell. I love it.
Len: That was terrific.
Bruno: Surprisingly smooth for such a big bruiser. I want to see more of you.
A score of 31 should put Ben in the top half of the judges leaderboard.
Deborah Meaden and Robin Windsor tackled the Jive to Eurovision classic ‘Making You Mind Up’ by Bucks Fizz. Deborah is really getting stuck into Strictly. This is a high energy dance and Deborah really put her heart and soul into the dance. It probably wasn’t quite as strong technically as it needed to be.
Darcey: That is a hard dance. You have to have energy and sharp kicks and it was a little soft.
Len: It had plenty of fizz, you have to buck your feet up. You have to work on your technique.
Bruno: It was lighthearted fun but your technique needs working on.
Craig: I agree. Not your dance.
A score of 23 puts Deborah in dance-off territory if she doesn’t get the viewer vote.
Natalie Gumede and Artem Chigvinstev danced the Quickstep to Usher’s club hit ‘Yeah!’ Natalie missed two and a half days training with a back problem and she looked a little more restrained than usual but still a class act with her cane. The worry is whether she has a longer term problem which will handicap her during the series.
Len: It was a bit long winded getting started. The bit in hold I thought was great.
Bruno: I can’t believe you delivered a dance of this standard in such a short time. I thought it was absolutely wonderful.
Craig: I loved the fusion of Jazz and Quickstep.
Darcey: Your style was just perfect.
A score of 35 is joint highest tonight so far and should see Natalie into next week.
Patrick Robinson and Anya Garnis performed the Cha Cha to pop classic ‘Mercy’ by Duffy. Patrick has been threatening a good performance for a few weeks now and tonight he delivered.
Bruno: No need for mercy as you do a mean Cha Cha. Your best dance yet.
Craig: Absolutely brilliant.
Darcey: You are so confident out of hold. You have an inner groove. I’m loving it.
Len: It’s happy hour. You’re happy. I’m happy. You were steaming, I was beaming.
A score of 33 puts Patrick firmly towards the top half of the judges leaderboard.
Abbey Clancy and Aljaz Skorjanec danced the Tango to Florence and the Machine’s anthemic ‘Spectrum’. Abbey has been a little quiet on a couple of the Latin dances but she was back to top form with this Tango.
Craig: Great use of the floor. It had intent and purpose. A-mazing
Darcey: A sexy cool tango and great strength throughout.
Len: In ballroom you are a formidable couple. That was a terrific Tango.
Bruno: Power, drama, beauty. It had it all. The mix and chemistry between the two of you is beautiful.
A score of 35 gives Abbey joint top spot so far tonight with Natalie and Sophie. Only Susanna Reid is left who can realistically beat this score.
Dave Myers And Karen Hauer waltzed to The Eagles’ ‘Take It To The Limit’. Dave has had a bit of a makeover and lost his Hairy Biker image for a smoother, more manicured look. This new look seems to have rippled over to his dancing and he is in danger of moving off the bottom of the leaderboard for a change. The waltz is one of the easier dances but does this herald a whole new approach from “serious” Dave.
Darcey: You started really well. You have elegant long limbs so sue them. Go and try a ballet class and see if we can get your posture right.
Len: On Strictly the only failure is the failure to try and you try very hard.
Bruno: It did look like a waltz.
Craig: It was all over the place and you need to feel the music. …but nice to see the serious Dave.
A score of 23 means Dave is joint second from bottom with Deborah and Julian. Will he have to face the dance-off? We will see on Sunday night.
Susanna Reid and Kevin Clifton closed the show with a Salsa to Shakira’s hit single ‘Whenever, Wherever’. As Susanna was closing the show we had high hopes for a mind blowing routine from our favourite news presenter. Whilst it was good it wasn’t that good and as her number one fan I was left feeling a little disappointed for Susanna. It was quite a quick dance and Susanna didn’t quite flow the way she has in previous dances.
Len: All bounce bum and bongos. You gave it plenty of attack, A bit messy.
Bruno: If you’ve got it flaunt it. You were going for it like a fury. You put so much effort into the dance. Maintain the performance level but don’t lose the finish.
Craig: It was a bit muddy and at times you were fighting one another. You were losing your neck at times. It’s just OK.
Darcey: I liked the wild samba queen. There were a couple of messy bits and try to finish it. I enjoy your energy.
A score of 29 should keep Susanna safe for another week but she will need to step up another level to catch the leaders.
So we have Fiona at the bottom of the leaderboard looking vulnerable with Julian, Dave and Deborah just ahead of her. Who will the viewers vote for? Find out on Sunday night who will become the third celebrity to leave Strictly Come Dancing.
For details on scoring see Strictly Come Dancing Judges Scores