It's Week 8 and the remaining nine couples have one thing in their sights. Blackpool! Yep, next week sees Strictly broadcasting live from the Tower Ballroom in Blackpool. It's the home of dance and has hosted so many dance competitions over many many years and many of the pro dancers have special memories of performing there over the years. It's always a spectacular event with great routines, great costumes, extra dancers and of course the famous springy ballroom floor. To get there is the one aim of all the contestants but sadly one will not make it.
Following the shock of last weeks departure of Aston, one of the series favourites to lift the Glitterball means no-one is safe, anyone can be voted off so it's time to raise the bar and get your serious dancing shoes on.
First up this week was the adorable Susan. I just love her routines with Kevin. I think Kevin knows that he and Susan won't make the final so he is just having fun and using his talented choreography to highlight Susan the best he can. She's had a wobbly couple of weeks of late with her Cha Cha Cha and her Halloween week Foxtrot, however, last week saw an improvement in the Jive and this week her Tango was pretty impressive. She really gives it her all on the dancefloor and although her technique isn't always perfect, her effort is A+.
Second on the dancefloor was my lovely Joe. Yes, he is my favourite, I have loved him from the start when he smashed his Jive in week 1 and although he was up and down for a few weeks, he has been steadily improving with a great Paso, a beautiful Foxtrot and a fabulous Charleston in weeks 5, 6 and 7 respectively. This week saw him tackle the notorious Rumba, a nightmare for some especially the male celebs but he nailed it. It was stylish and smooth and he and Katya have a great connection and wonderful chemistry on the dancefloor.
Next came Ruth with a Foxtrot. Ruth has been struggling lately and hit an all-time low last week with the Paso and sadly this week wasn't much better. She was choppy and not very graceful and for once lacking in any kind of humour to save her. Bottom of the leaderboard yet again.
However, following on from Ruth was Davood and he was doing the Charleston. It was FANTASTIC!! He is slowly coming up and up and the others need to watch themselves because he is a real contender for the final. He was cheeky and cheerful, he had swivel in his feet and his strength on the lifts is incredible. Another one to watch.
Next to dance was Gemma. Now, I really liked her Viennese Waltz. I thought she looked very elegant and graceful and she performed an amazing number of turns at the end, so much so she went dizzy. However, the judges didn't really rate her that highly and felt she wasn't up to standard although she did end up mid-table. Still, I hope she's safe because I really enjoy watching her.
Alexandra was next and she and her partner Gorka were performing the first Argentine Tango of the series. I like the dramatic feel of the Argentine Tango and I especially enjoyed the one from Lousie Redknapp last year so I was looking forward to this, even though I am not a fan of Alexandra. She didn't disappoint me though and her footwork was excellent and the whole feel of the dance was sharp and sexy from start to finish.
Mollie was up next and she was dancing the Paso Doble. Mollie has been in the dance-off for the last two weeks so she must have been hoping to improve but her confidence is shot. You can tell when she dances and the judges picked up on it, although I don't feel it was as bad as they marked her. The scores won't have done well for her nerves.
Jonnie was our penultimate dancer of the evening. He was also doing the Foxtrot, it's a dance that a lot of celebs have struggled with this year and Jonnie was no exception. After a bad couple of weeks doing Latin numbers, I was looking forward to seeing him return to the comfort of ballroom this week. However, he looked very uncomfortable and his posture seemed all wrong. It was almost as though he was concentrating so hard on holding his lower half in (which is hard for an athlete as that's where their power comes from) that everything else seemed to be lost and he did not look comfortable at all. he could be in real danger this week coming in just above Ruth on the leaderboard.
Closing the show was Debbie. She was dancing a Salsa this week, trying to emulate her perfect score of last week. Sadly, it wasn't quite up to par and a few little mistakes should really have cost her more than it did. I think she was slightly overmarked by the judges but it was still a great routine and a jaw-dropping spinning lift that shows just how agile and nimble she really is for her age.
So by the end of the evening, the leaderboard looked like this
So Sunday night saw a beautiful Remembrance Day routine from the Pro Dancers and a performance from Seal, accompanied by a lovely performance from Anton and Nadiya.
Then onto the results and the first couple into the dance off was Jonnie. Not really a surprise given his position on the leaderboard and it certainly wasn't his best dance. He was joined in the dance-off by Ruth, which shows there is justice in the world. So it was the battle of the Foxtrots. Ruth went wrong after about 20 seconds and whilst Jonnie didn't look much more comfortable than he did the first time around, the judges felt he had improved and unanimously chose to save him and send Ruth home.
So once again Anton misses out on Blackpool, it's time the poor guy caught a break but sadly not this year. it's farewell to Ruth and for the remaining eight celebs it's time to bring out the Kiss Me Quick Hats and the stick of Rock. Blackpool here we come!
Until then, keep dancing!
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