So after the bright dazzling lights of Blackpool, it's back to London and back to training for the remaining seven couples. This week sees them all fighting for a place in the quarter-finals and week 11 which is Musicals Week. Another chance for the makeup and wardrobe team to shine but first, the celebs have to get there so, on with the show!
Next up was Alexandra Burke and she was performing the Rumba! Finally, something she's not good at. There wasn't much romance going on with this dance and she lacked emotion. It definitely wasn't her dance this week but no doubt she'll get through, even though the judges did score her pretty low (look what happened to Aston when he scored low). Also, the singers totally murdered the song 'Halo', cringe-worthy!
Following Alex was Gemma doing the Samba. this routine confused me an awful lot. The Samba is usually an energetic, lively dance, almost a party on the dancefloor (although I do get confused with the Samba and Salsa quite a bit). However, Alijaz chose to choreograph a routine in the theme of the song, 'In The Middle of the Night' and although it was part of the routine for Gemma to look sleepy and lethargic, for me it didn't seem in balance with the dance they were performing. Definitely not her best dance and she could be in danger this week.
Next up was Mollie also doing the Quickstep. Mollie has been struggling lately with her routines and has been in the dance-off twice. If she is in the dance-off again this week, I will eat my hat. This routine was full of fun and energy, not quite on a par with Joe but excellent none the less. I do feel she was marked down a touch by the judges but I think she should be okay this week.
Ahhh next we had Davood and he was doing the Waltz. I remember how lovely his Viennese Waltz was (when he wasn't fighting motion sickness). As a regular waltz has fewer spins than the VW, I was expecting a superb routine and I got one. I can't believe how much Davood has grown as a dancer and how much he has improved from some of those earlier iffy routines (the Saturday Night Fever springs to mind). He is definitely a contender for the final and well deserved. If he gets through to next week he will be doing the Argentine Tango, the first male celeb to dance this so far.
Speaking of the Argentine Tango, up next was Debbie McGee doing hers. I have to say I loved this. It started off really slowly, but sensual and sexy like it should be but her steps seemed to be carefully controlled. Then the music took off and so did Debbie. Her footwork was quicker and yet still so controlled and added to this were more splits and twists. Definitely worthy of the 38 points and joint top spot on the leaderboard.
Closing the show tonight was Susan and Kevin. They were dancing the American Smooth to 'Beyond The Sea', a song which I love. I thought what she lacked in technique she certainly made up for in entertainment. However, with such a high standard of dancers left, she will struggle to stay and will have to rely on the public vote to keep her in. Perhaps she has finally run her course.
So by the end of the dances, the leaderboard looked like this
But wait, the celebs have more to do. Yes, it's the Pasodoblethon (no idea on how to spell this, it's not a real word but it looks right ;) ) All seven couples were on the dancefloor and dancing the Paso Doble. There were certain rules, no lifts were allowed, all couples had to be aware of each other's space to avoid any collisions and capes were optional. Ooooer! I absolutely loved Giovanni and Gorka squaring off before they started, it was brilliant. All couples were dressed alike to avoid any distractions from outfits and all couples had to keep dancing until the end of the music. The judges would then rank them from 1 through to 7 and the couple ranked 1st would get an extra 7 points added to their scores on the leaderboard, the 2nd couple would get 6 points and so on down until the bottom couple who would just get one extra point. So the Pasodoblethon results looked like this
So looking at the scores for the final leaderboard, no change to the order, just making Joe clear at the top rather than joint with Debbie.
So on to Sunday night and the results. First of all, there was a fabulous opening routine from the pros based on Fashion Week. I had to look twice as I thought they had Beyonce in to perform before I realised it was Oti! The highlight was the 'designer', it was Bruno Tonioli and oh my, he looked perfect!
So the main thing you are here for (are you still here? Good!) The dance-off and first to go in was Alexandra. Yes, it was a shock but yes it was a poor dance for her. And maybe it will knock her down a peg or two to know she hasn't got this in the bag. Joining her was Susan, not unexpected but a pity because if it had been anyone else we may have seen the back of Alexandra but even Susan knew she was beaten before they had even danced. She was hysterical, and I quote 'I've never seen a more uneven contest in my life." She was realistic and just danced her last dance and had fun. It was obvious that the judges unanimously voted to save Alexandra but in the humility stakes, Susan won hands down. I will miss her as she just brought so much fun and joy to Strictly, which is the idea. Yes, it's a dance contest and the best dancers should go through but its also an entertainment show and that was Susan all over.
So next week is musicals week and until then keep dancing