Week seven and we’re at the halfway stage of the competition and things are really hotting up, literally. A sizzling Samba, a smoking salsa and a firey Argentine Tango all featured in tonight’s show and the dancers are only getting better, even Ed Balls.
First up was Danny Mac and his jive. After a bad week last week with uncharacteristic errors, he was outstanding with his jive this week and an impressive double splits in his routine earned him his first 10 scores of the series. The Mac is Back!
Ore Oduba also had a bad week last week with the Charleston, especially the lift. However this week was a Salsa and he’s back on top form, the lifts were good and to quote judge Len Goodman his hips were ‘hypnotic’, wonderful moves and great to watch.
Ed Balls is improving. I never thought I’d be writing that, just as Craig Revel Horwood never thought he would say it, but their Quickstep was actually really good. It was a routine in the style of Laurel and Hardy and as well as the comedy elements, it actually had some decent dance steps in there. He’s bottom of the leaderboard once more but with his best score yet, he’s only bottom because everyone else is improving as well as him.
Laura Whitmore performed a Samba tonight and I have to confess, although it was with great difficulty to choose, she was my least favourite performance tonight. It was a decent performance but it certainly wasn’t in the same league as her Tango from last week.
Judge Rinder always makes me smile. He just has so much fun and unfortunately for him, that’s when he starts pulling strange facial expressions which sometimes serve him well but not always and although his Quickstep was fun and well performed, his mad faces let him down.
Louise Redknapp, OMG! The first Argentine Tango of the series and what a benchmark for the others to aim for. She was amazing! It was really sexy and dramatic, she looked so at ease with the dance and her moves were spot on. Thoroughly deserving of the 3 10’s she received from the judges.
Greg Rutherford is definitely my favourite celebrity in this series of Strictly, unfortunately he’s not going to win it as he’s not in the same league as some of the others but he can dance when he gets the right dance. His Viennese Waltz was absolutely lovely, I really liked it and after a few dodgy weeks, he was much, much improved. He got my vote because I really want him to stay.
Finally Claudia Fragapane performed a Paso Doble. I love this partnership with AJ Pritchard, they are so adorable, and their dance was really good. If only Claudia could stop smiling during such a moody dance, but I’ll forgive her because she’s so sweet. Plus they danced to one of my favourite tracks again (Shut Up and Dance With Me). She will be back next week, I’m sure of it.
So by the end of Saturday night, the leaderboard looked like this.
Louise Redknapp & Kevin Clifton 39
Danny Mac & Oti Mabuse 38
Daisy Lowe & Aljaz Skorjanec 34
Ore Oduba & Joanne Clifton 34
Judge Rinder & Oksana Platero 33
Claudia Fragapane & AJ Pritchard 33
Laura Whitmore & Giovanni Pernice 32
Greg Rutherford & Natalie Lowe 32
Ed Balls & Katya Jones 27
It was very hard to choose a favourite dance this week, there were so many strong performances. Which is why I've included three videos tonight and not just two. Roll on Sunday and see how the public voted.
Sunday night on Strictly never fails to surprise me. But before the first shock of the evening, I must mention Gary Barlow’s performance. I’ve always loved Gary and he didn’t disappoint me, his performance of ‘Dare’ was great.
In the end it was unanimous and the judges put Ore through which I am thrilled with. To see him go would have been a travesty even though Laura’s performance in the dance off was much better than Saturday, Ore is the much better dancer and his dance off performance was just as good as Saturday.
We’re getting closer to Blackpool which is the aim for all the dancers and I’m sure there are more surprises on the way.