With one week left before the Blackpool show, all of the celebs are desperate to stay in the show and get to the Tower Ballroom. We are already one celeb down as competition favourite, Natalie Gumede, was taken ill before the show and was missing from the line up. Natalie fainted during the warm up for the dress rehearsals and was granted a bye. So she has no opportunity to perform her Jive.
Patrick Robinson showed that life begins at 50 as he topped the leaderboard with a 37 after he celebrated his 50th birthday this week. Dave and Mark took their now familiar positions at the bottom of the judges leaderboard but we know that no-one is safe un;ess they get the telephone vote behind them
The show this week was presented by Tess Daly and Claudia Winkelmann with Sir Bruce Forsyth being given a rest before the Blackpool show.
This week’s scores
- 37 – Patrick Robinson and Anya Garnis
- 36 – Abbey Clancy and Aljaz Skorjanec
- 36 – Susanna Reid and Kevin Clifton
- 35 – Ashley Taylor Dawson and Ola Jordan
- 32 – Sophie Ellis-Bextor and Brendan Cole
- 26 – Ben Cohen And Kristina Rihanoff
- 26 – Fiona Fullerton and Anton DuBeke
- 23 – Mark Benton and Iveta Lukosiute
- 20 – Dave Myers And Karen Hauer
- Natalie Gumede and Artem Chigvinstev were given a bye to the next round.
Ben Cohen And Kristina Rihanoff opened the show with a Jive to “Jump Jive an’ Wail” by the Burn the Floor Orchestra. Ben has been working with former Strictly champion Louis Smith to learn how to do a backflip and he manged to put it in his routine. Ben’s alround dancing is starting to improve.
Len: Mostly smooth sailing. You are turning out really good. You need to work on your feet. You came out and really worked it. Well done.
Bruno: I have this urge to join the navy. I loved the way you dived in. You lost your sea legs at times and were a bit wobbly. You have to be on your toes and sharpen your feet.
Craig: I thought the best bit was a back somersault. You were a little leaden. I know you are carrying heavy muscles and it is difficult to keep up the pace. Despite your best efforts that was a failure.
Darcey: I disagree. I did believe you would have a hard time with this dance but you proved us wrong. There was a great energy all the way though. I enjoyed it.
A score of 26 including a harsh 4 from Craig will put Ben towards the bottom of the leaderboard.
Fiona Fullerton and Anton DuBeke performed the Paso Doble to Blur’s “Song 2.” Fiona gains in confidence and performance level every week and her balance and rhythm look much better. There was a slight slip from Anton this week as he forgot a bit of the routine. I blame the shock of still being in the competition with a chance of going to Blackpool next week.
Bruno: I like your dark side Fiona. You went for it. Your timing was actually better than Anton’s. Your lines were better. Be careful you arch your shoulders sometimes. Well done.
Craig: I thought you had a good use of skirt and timing was precise. You did lose your neck as Bruno had highlighted. It was adequate but forgettable.
Darcey: A very convincing diva. You created a nice shape from the arms. Anton if you could get hold of her shoulderblades it would help. I liked the energy and attack.
Len: There was plenty of wafting and an element of Flamenco. I thought you could give it a bit more fire and wow. What you did you did well I would just like you to step it up a notch.
A score of 26 leaves Fiona level with Ben. There will be few lower scores tonight.
Abbey Clancy and Aljaz Skorjanec danced the Charleston to Liza Minnelli’s “Cabaret.” After Abbey’s dance-off adventure last week it is clear that no-one is safe without the viewer vote. It was an outstanding performance from Abbey with her new look short hair style and it drew a standing ovation from the studio audience.
Craig: I loved the enormous attention to detail and the syncopated hop. It was loud and it was proud. Well done.
Darcey: I just love the gorgeously mad side of Abbey. You used the hat well. The leg action was fast and furious.
Len: It was a Charleston. That was a beautiful dance. I’ll see you next week in Blackpool.
Bruno: I really liked the Bob Fosse influence. I found it really exciting. This was wonderful.
It was nines all round for Abbey and a score of 36 sets a high standard for this evening.
Mark Benton and Iveta Lukosiute had a James Bond themed Rumba to Shirley Bassey’s “Goldfinger.” It’s Mark’s birthday next week and he hopes to spend it at the Tower Ballroom. I must admit that I found Iveta’s outfit a little distracting and I didn’t really notice Mark. We will have to rely on the judges comments.
Darcey: The Rumba is a dance of love. You did create some nice lines but it was a bit bitty for me. Not bad.
Len: You have gold in your fingers but lead in your bum. You needed more hip action. The Rumba is a difficult dance for men. What I love is every dance you play a part.
Bruno: You tried Goldfinger and it ended up fishfinger. I always enjoy what you do and your characterisations are spot on. The Rumba is a bout flow and it didn’t flow.
Craig: Your arms my dear fellow – on the end of your arms are hands and they need shaping. It was the concept that saved this dance.
A score of 23 leaves Mark at the bottom of the leaderboard. Will Dave be able to beat this? We will find out later.
Susanna Reid and Kevin Clifton waltzed to “You Light Up My Life” by Whitney Houston. At last Susanna had an outfit that suited her and she responded with a stunning waltz. For me it was the best dance of the night so far. Go Susanna!
Len: This is why newsreaders go on Strictly. You lit up my life and you lit up this ballroom.
Bruno: Those spins were heavenly. It was beautiful.
Craig: You brought that frock to life. The hesitation moments were perfect. I loved it.
Darcey: The precision in your tumble turns and those pivots. I am getting fussy so just stretch a bit more. A beautiful romantic waltz.
A score of 36 is Susanna’s best of the series and leaves her level with Abbey at the top of the leaderboard
Dave Myers And Karen Hauer tackled the Tango to The Proclaimers’ “I’m Gonna Be.” We all know that Dave is a lost cause when it comes to dancing so the theme and the comedy is key to Dave getting the telephone vote. It was a truly dreadful dance experience. Still, he makes a great cook.
Dave: Too much Haggis and not enough Tango. There wasn’t any Tango. It was walked rather than danced. It’s very funny.
Craig: Karen could write a book on surviving a grizzly bear attack. It was very stompy. Well done for trying.
Darcey: There was more dance content than other dances you have done. One of your better dances.
Len: I think you needed more IrnBru. You are unforgettable and unmissable. Well done.
A score of 20 leaves Dave welded to the bottom of the judges leaderboard. It’s down to the viewers to save him.
Ashley Taylor Dawson and Ola Jordan performed the Quickstep to “Are You Gonna be My Girl” by Jet. Ashley has great potential but his lack of training time has always stopped him from scoring more highly. We hope that as the competition goes on Ashley can devote more time to rehearsing. This week it was obvious he had worked hard on his posture.
Darcey: That was amazing. You gave us so much and it was consistent. It’s very technically demanding. The improvement in your top line was great.
Len: You kept the energy levels up. It’s such a demanding dance. That was Taylor made.
Bruno: A bit of spit and polish and the sparks fly. Your frame was better and your footwork and timing.
Craig: Some sharp moves. You have to fix the gapping. I loved the scissor step. Absolutely amazing.
A score of 35 puts Ashley just behind Susanna and Abbey
Sophie Ellis-Bextor and Brendan Cole were the first couple to perform the Argentine Tango this series, to Tanghetto’s “Sweet Dreams.” Sophie had a poor week last week so she really needs to up her game and attack the dance. Sophie makes some great lines and looks good in the lifts. It was a strong performance although maybe lacking a little sharpness and passion.
Len: Fantastic choreography Brendan. All the ingredients. Sophie I would like a little more passion and more involvement in the dance.It was a cracking routine.
Bruno: Release the fire. We want to see another facet from you. It needs a bit more strength and variety in the characterisation.
Craig: You lost your balance a little at the start. Also when you did the spin lift you looked a little precarious. I absolutely loved the routine.
Darcey: Each lift you got into a magic position and a beautiful line. If you could get the character in the face we would have a greater level of performance. I want to see you in Brighton (we think she means Blackpool).
A score of 32 is steady rather than spectacular for Sophie but a big improvement on last week’s score of 28.
Patrick Robinson and Anya Garnis performed the American Smooth to Harry Connick Junior’s “It Had to Be You.” Patrick has just celebrated his 50th birthday and he’s looking good. Can he get to Blackpool? We will see on Sunday night. He certainly has the poise and rhythm to go much further if he gets viewer support. There was a bit of a moment at the end of his routine when Anya’s dress got tied up in Patrick’s feet. He recovered well though and finished with a flourish.
Bruno: That was pure Hollywood. The razzle dazzle of tinsel town. What was amazing was you kept going into these wonderful jazzy sequences into the control and restraint of the Foxtrot. It’s so hard to do. You just messed up at the end. (Darcey commented that “it was the dress”).
Craig: An incredible save at the end. A true professional darling. That was exquisite. You are the best male celebrity in this competition.
Darcey: Craig is right. You ooze style. You are my movie star. Perfection. You showed no weaknesses in those lifts. Even though there was a slight fluff at the end it didn’t matter for me at all. I loved it.
Len: As Henry the eighth would say – take him to the Tower – that’s the Tower Ballroom Blackpool.
A score of 37 including an enthusiastic 10 from Darcey puts Patrick at the top of the leaderboard for the first time this series.
An eventful night with Patrick at the top of the leaderboard and Dave and Mark at the bottom. We know that things can be turned upside down by the telephone vote so we will have to wait until Sunday night.
For details on scoring see Strictly Come Dancing Judges Scores