First of all, I am really taking a dislike to Shirley Ballas. When she first joined as head judge, I thought she wasn't too bad but as the weeks have gone on, she is overly harsh to the dancers she clearly doesn't like and she is definitely biased. She also needs to learn the names of the celebs she is talking to. In the first week, she called Chizzy 'Lizzie' and had to be corrected by Darcey. This week when criticising Charlotte, she called her 'Mollie'. No-one bothered to correct her, they probably didn't think it was worth the effort, given her attitude.
Anyway, onto the dances. First up was Debbie and I have to say the last two weeks have seen a drop in standards from her. This week her Cha Cha Cha wasn't as good as we would expect, given how lithe and supple she has shown herself to be. I had previously thought she was heading straight for the finals but now she may have some competition on her hands. She did do an amazing standing split though. Next up was Brian. Brian never fails to deliver the entertainment factor even if the technique isn't always spot on. He was dancing the Paso Doble and was dressed as a rock star. He really amuses me and he is genuinely delighted with the scores he gets and is always so thrilled with any positive comments he gets. Next up was Mollie doing the Salsa. Mollie is slowly improving but she needs to loosen up a little, although this week wasn't too bad. Again, like in last week's American Smooth, AJ put in some amazing lifts and apart from the final one where she hit the floor slightly, they were impressive.
Davood was next and he had been previously criticised for the routines being overly sexy and not enough dance content. This week he had the Viennese Waltz and all the spinning and turning left him physically ill. In fact, it was touch and go if he would be able to perform after the dress rehearsal on Saturday afternoon. He suffers from motion sickness so he resorted to wearing anti sickness bands on his wrists and he got through it. Not only did he get through but he scored his highest mark yet and gave a beautiful performance, not sexy but romantic. Next, we had Charlotte. I do like Charlotte, she is such a sweet girl, it's just a shame she can't dance. She did the Jive this week and she did show some improvement from the last two weeks. She is heading in the right direction, she just isn't in the same league as some of the others and won't last much longer.
Following Charlotte was Joe. Now Joe is this year's Greg Rutherford for me. If you recall last years blog, I had a real soft spot for Greg and was gutted when he left, even though I knew he wasn't going to make it to the final. Joe is the same for me this year. I adore him, he's such a cheeky chappie and he really tries hard. The problem is that he isn't consistent enough. He had two great weeks in week 1 and week 3. Unfortunate, y he then dipped in Week 2 and again this week. His Cha Cha Cha was too wooden and stilted and not his best routine. Knowing Joe, he'll be back next week with a great performance. Ruth was doing the Tango this week. Now I have never been a big fan of Ruth but this week I was actually quite impressed. She had a good hold, good frame and never missed a beat. You could tell she really worked hard at this routine and clearly, the Tango is her dance. She actually deserves to stay this week, which is not something I have previously thought of her.
Aston was up doing the Quickstep next. Now you all know I am not an Aston fan, but I have not been able to criticise him much. UNTIL NOW! He was still good, compared to a lot of the others, but the Quickstep was not his dance. He's definitely a Latin man, the ballroom is not his forte. He just seemed to struggle to keep up with the pace of the dance and didn't look comfortable at all, although he still continued to play to the cameras with his cockiness. At the other end of the spectrum, Simon was dancing the Samba and it was bad. He hasn't got the natural sway needed for this dance and it was awkward to watch.
Up next was Gemma dancing the Paso Doble. Oh my word, this girl has come on leaps and bounds since week one and has steadily improved week after week. This was an amazing Paso and her whole performance was smooth, polished and fierce. Oh boy was she fierce. She scored a whopping 35 points and has impressed the judges. However, she was followed by Alexandra and if I thought gemma's performance was impressive, Alexandra just blew everyone away. It was almost like deja vu from Ore last year. Ore scored 39 for his jive last year in week four. This year Alexandra performed the Jive in week Four and also scored an incredible 39 points. She got 3 10s, the first of the series, with only Craig scoring her 9. The poor girl was just so overcome she burst into tears. (She lost her mum just after joining the Strictly line up and she was just overcome with the whole result.)
Next up we had the lovely Jonnie, or should that be the sexy, sultry Jonnie. Oooooh, his American Smooth was incredibly smooth. He's also one getting better and better and moving up that leaderboard. Of course, he has the incredible Oti as a partner, her routines and choreography are just outstanding, as we saw last year with her partnership with Danny Mac so she knows exactly how to get the best out of her partners and knows how to show them off to the best of their abilities.
Our final dance came from Susan and she was also dancing the Quickstep. She was absolutely brilliant and so light on her feet which I didn't really expect from her. The routine was lively and fun and a fantastic tribute to Morecambe & Wise at the end. What a way to end the show.
At the end of the night, the leaderboard looked like this
On to Sunday night and the results. The first couple into the dance-off was Davood! I don't think anyone expected this, there were a few gasps and stunned faces all around. He took it well, although I don't think he relished having to spin round so much again. He was joined in the dance-off by Charlotte which wasn't wholly unexpected.
Davood actually performed even better in the dance-off, correcting a mistake from Saturday night (he actually lifted his partner off the ground slightly which is illegal in the Viennese Waltz). This time he left her lower to the ground so her feet remained on it. Charlotte still performed badly so it was inevitable that she would be the one to leave. As I said, lovely girl but she just can't dance so in the end, it was the right result. It was unanimous with the judges as all four votes went to Davood.
So, a great week and the bar has been raised. Let's see what week five will bring us.
Until then, keep dancing.