Sunday, 19 November 2017

Strictly Come Dancing Week 9 - Blackpool Tower Night

Kiss Me Quick, it's Blackpool week on Strictly. The nine remaining couples are heading up North for the bouncy ballroom floor and bright neon lights of the Blackpool Tower Ballroom, the true home of dance.  Everything is bigger, bolder and brighter and everyone is upping their game and the stakes are getting higher.  No-one wants to leave and everyone wants to stay but only eight couples will make it back to London for week 10.

Opening the show tonight were Mollie and AJ. They were dancing a Charleston to 'Wings' by Little Mix.  Last year AJ got some appalling music choices for his dances with Claudia Fragapane and this year they seem to be punishing him again.  There was no way this song was suitable for a Charleston routine. AJ did the best he could with it and threw Mollie up and down in an immense amount of lifts which seemed to impress but for me, it was let down by the choice of music.

Next up were Susan and Kevin and they were dancing the Paso Doble.  This routine had been hyped up last week as Kevin revealed he had been begging the producers of Strictly to let him do this idea for the last five years and they had finally agreed.  It turned out to be the final scene from the film Strictly Ballroom.  Now I have never seen the film so I had nothing to compare it too but either Kevin was overplaying it or he needed a better partner because, for me, this fell flat.  There was too much foot stomping and too little Paso content and it just looked awkward.  I adore Kevin but I think he chose the wrong year to push for this dance, he needed an equal in talent to make this the Paso he wanted.  Deservedly bottom of the leaderboard tonight.

Then we had a real blast from the past and out came Debbie McGee as a Spice Girl.  She had the Geri Halliwell look perfected and being Blackpool she had four other dancers to make up the group.  She was dressed in the iconic Union Jack dress and she and Giovanni Samba'd their way through a 'Wannabe/Who Do You Think You Are' medley.  Only the Samba roll looked awkward for me and didn't seem to come naturally she was a little bit awkward and this didn't gel as well as one would expect.  It would have been nice if Giovanni had more to do as well, at times he may as well not have been there.  Not her best routine and overmarked by the judges.

If Debbie was a blast from the past then Jonnie went in the opposite direction and gave us a futuristic Tango. Set to the Eurythmics 'Sweet Dreams', I really enjoyed the look and theme of the dance.  However (sorry Lauren) I think Jonnie peaked a few weeks back and has been struggling of late.  His posture is awkward and either in or out of hold he no longer looks comfortable in his dancing.  However there were moments when he looked good, they were just outnumbered by those where he didn't.  I think he may find himself in another dance off this week.

Finally, we had someone who lit up the dancefloor like Blackpool deserves.  Gemma and Alijaz were dancing an American Smooth.  Again after a couple of nervy weeks where she limped through, tonight she looked like a proper dancer.  Her moves were elegant and graceful, her lifts were perfect and you could see just how much she was enjoying the dance.  Scoring her first 10s of the series, she got two of them and coming 2nd on the leaderboard was justified.

Following on from Gemma and entering the arena by parachute was Davood as James Bond.  Dancing the Paso Doble to 'Live and Let Die', this started off mediocre but then became pretty darn great about halfway through.  Much more Paso content than Susan and a much tighter performance, Davood has certainly started to emerge as a contender for the final.  he struggled in the early weeks and was saved because there were people far weaker than him, he is now proving worthy of staying in the competition and is equal to the others around him.  A great routine and his chemistry with Nadiya is fantastic. And so cute, he has lucky socks sent to him by a fan but he forgot them this week.  You don't need them, Davood!

Next up was Alexandra.  I'm sorry, I don't like her, her tears are false, she knows she's good but fakes surprise at the judge's comments and scores.  Please please do something wrong next week! This week's Quickstep, however, was good and she was almost flawless.  She's still yet to score a perfect 40, it must be so annoying for her that Debbie has and she hasn't.

Closing the show was my favourite, Joe.  He was doing a Salsa to 'Ride on Time' by Black Box.  He was very glowy in his neon shirt and he looked to be having so much fun with the routine.  Again, plenty of lifts, although the last one was rather iffy and I feel for Katya when she hit the floor (it sounds worse than it was, she slid down his body but his frame wasn't rigid enough and she kind of bumped down to the ground).  He has loosened up his hips though in the dance itself and is a far cry from the awkwardness of the Cha Cha Cha a few weeks back.  He has been better but he wasn't the worst tonight by any stretch of the imagination.

So by the end of Saturday night, the leaderboard looked like this

Alexandra & Gorka39
Gemma & Alijaz38
Davood & Nadiya35
Joe & Katya34
Debbie & Giovanni33
Mollie & AJ29
Jonnie & Oti26
Susan & Kevin25

So on to Sunday night and a lacklustre opening number from the Pros although I don't like Northern Soul so that could be why I didn't enjoy it.  Two musical numbers tonight, one from Tears for Fears with their classic hit 'Everybody Wants To Rule The World' which had everyone on their feet dancing and singing along.  Also performing were Michael Ball and Alfie Boe. Anyone who knows me knows how much I love Michael Ball but he needs to drop Alfie Boe and get back to being a solo artist again, he might actually be good again then.

So dance-off time and in a shocking twist, Debbie McGee is the first to get the red light, followed by Jonnie Peacock.  Are we about to have another Astongate on our hands?  No, the judges unanimously chose to save Debbie and sadly we have to say farewell to the gentleman Jonnie.  He is such a lovely lovely man and has come so far, even with his disability.  The most touching aspect, apart from his respect for Oti and her choreography, was his thanks to the judges for treating him as an equal despite dancing with a prosthetic.  He will be missed a lot.

So next week sees a Paso Doblethon.  Much like the Cha Cha Challenge last year, all remaining couples will be on the floor dancing the Paso Doble and will be ranked best to worst giving them a chance to score extra points and change the leaderboard.

Until then my friends, keep dancing

Week 8 | Week 7 | Week 6 | Week 4 | Week 3 | Week 2 | Week 1

1 comment:

  1. Okay I didn't read the title so when I started watching Mollie's video and heard that music I was NOT expecting a Charleston, I was expecting a jive for sure. Her Charleston moves were pretty good I thought! So I'm 100% with you they screwed them over AGAIN with this music. Seriously who picks the music for these dances? Because more than half the time they do it badly!

    Susan looked great this week, until she tried to make an angry face, she does not do good angry face haha. Okay thank you for explaining what the hell was going on in that routine cause I had no idea hehe. I was thinking that I really liked that paso and now after reading your comment I'm realising that was probably because of it's lack of paso elements haha.

    OMG DEBBIE DANCING TO THE SPICE GIRLS!??! YESSSSSS *watches it* I wish they'd actually gotten the Spice Girls in for it haha because this recording is not great haha. Oh my god Giovanni is lip syncing, okay he is definitely my favourite. She looks great as Geri. I really can't help but love these two haha they are so much fun. That being said Wannabe and Who do you think you are really don't work for a Samba (or rather Who do you think you are would have but I feel like they slowed it down? Which is weird?), Spice Up Your Life would have been much better and JUST as emblematic of the Spice Girls. It was fun, but it could definitely have been better, you're right in that it was certainly not their best.

    I *LOVE* Sweet Dreams, it's a great song, I never thought of it as a tango song but, yeah that makes sense to me now. I am loving the tron vibe of the costumes and set design too. Jonnie is SUPER wooden this week!! I can't help but be super proud of him week after week though (sorry we disagree here Angie, unusual for us hehe). I agree that his posture is not the greatest, but I can only imagine how incredibly uncomfortable it must be to do those dances on his prosthetic. I don't know much about them but I know they are not the most comfortable things in the world and dancing is hard on a body when you've got two legs, so I admire his dedication and persistence week after week, that's mainly why he's one of my favourites, not because he's a fantastic dancer.

    Gemma looks great I really love this week's dress. And this was a really beautiful dance! She's gotten more confident in herself this week. She's definitely improving, good for her!!

    Okay, I love Live and Let Die, it's one of my favourite Bond themes. And I love that they put in a nod to the parachut opening of The Spy Who Loved me heheh, it combined with the song is like a tribute to Roger Moore haha. I think they found a way to make me like Pasos haha. Davood has grown on me over the weeks.

    That was a great quick step...but it also looked like a charleston? That's the first time I've ever felt that way about a quick step - am I going crazy??

    Another am I crazy question - is it just me or does Joe look sorta like Edward Norton? I am loving the 80s madness of this dance. I would totally wear Joe's shirt haha. But yeah suuuuuper dance!! So much fun. I do love a good salsa. That last lift made me cringe too all I could think was bravo to her for not faltering on her smile when she hit!

    Awwwwwwwwwwwwww Jonnie!! :( I will miss him and his perseverance, but I am 100% willing to admit his was the weakest dance this week for sure. I'd say you can move my vote to Gemma now sweetie hehe.