Sunday, 11 December 2016

Strictly Come Dancing Week 12 - Semi Finals (spoiler alert)

We’re at the semi final stage now and there are only four remaining celebrities.  Only three of them can be in next week’s Grand Final which means someone’s journey will end here tonight, falling at the final hurdle has to be the hardest moment of all.  But it has to happen to someone and there is no-one in tonight’s show that does not deserve a place in the final.  All four are capable of taking that trophy and all four would be worthy of it.

Tonight the celebrities have to perform not one, but two different dances which means they’ve all been training twice as hard as usual.  I couldn’t imagine being able to remember one routine in just a week let alone two.  This is where we really see who has what it takes to win.

So first in the running order is Louise Redknapp.  Her first dance tonight is the Tango.   I remember the week she did the Argentine Tango and scored an amazing 39 points.  Tonight’s Tango was very clean and sharp but also very fast.  Similar to Danny’s last week, it wasn’t the typical Tango music, more rock and roll than anything but Louise and Kevin made it work for them.

Next up was Danny Mac.  Danny has clearly been one of the ones to watch this series but has come in for a lot of criticism from the public given his background training and the fact he has already appeared in musicals.  He was dancing the Salsa this week and after the amazing Samba a couple of weeks ago, I was expecting great things but whilst he was good, he wasn’t at his usual high standard.

The sweet Claudia Fragapane was next and she dancing the very difficult Rumba.  She has been marked down lately due to the lack of chemistry with her partner AJ but this Rumba seemed to work and I felt the chemistry was there between them but the judges still found it lacking.  I think a 19 year old girl who has admitted she has never had a boyfriend would find it hard to demonstrate an in depth chemistry with a young boy she’s only known for 12 weeks but over the series she has developed her character as well as her dancing.  I’m just not sure what the judges are expecting from her.

Last up was Ore Oduba and he was dancing the Quickstep.  This was a modern quickstep to a rock number and it was very slick and fast and filled with energy and life.  I thoroughly enjoyed this routine, especially his leap over a motorbike at the end.  All these celebs are getting very brave and really upping their game in their determination to make that final.

So after their first dances the leader board looked like this

Ore Oduba & Joanne Clifton 38
Danny Mac & Oti Mabuse 37
Louise Redknapp & Kevin Clifton 37
Claudia Fragapane & AJ Pritchard 35

So then after a quick costume change (kudos to the wardrobe and makeup teams as the show is live), they were up for the second dance in the same order as before.

Louise and Kevin were dancing the Samba. This was probably Louise’s weakest performance for many weeks.  I felt like she wasn’t into the character and was struggling to let her personality show.  There was too much going on with her feet but nothing much happening above the waist.   It wasn’t for me, I’m afraid.

Danny and Oti’s second dance was the American Smooth.  Oh my word.  If I wasn’t impressed with his Salsa then this more than made up for it.  It was beautiful, elegant, graceful and classy and I really, truly adored it.  The lift at the end made me gasp with total surprise and it showed just how much faith and trust Oti has in Danny’s abilities.  It was astounding.

Claudia’s last dance of the evening was a Quickstep.  AJ had chosen a classic style Quickstep rather than the modern version like Ore’s.  They were perfectly in time with each other, they flew across the dance floor and her little feet never stopped moving for even a second.  Finishing off with a slide across the floor and this was Claudia’s best performance and even earned her a 10 from head judge Len as well as Bruno.

The final dancer of the night was Ore and he and Joanne did the Argentine Tango. I was curious about this one because I knew they would be dancing to Kylie’s Can’t Get You Out Of My Head which seemed an odd choice for this dance.  However, the way it was sang slowed it down to the right tempo and mood for the dance.  The judges and audience loved the routine and it scored them a massive 39 points BUT for me, I just didn’t enjoy it.  It didn’t move me in the way Louise, Claudia and Danny had in their Argentine Tangos.  Still I’m not a judge, I just know what I enjoy watching.

So after both dances the leader board now looked like this

Ore Oduba & Joanne Clifton 77
Danny Mac & Oti Mabuse 76
Louise Redknapp & Kevin Clifton 73
Claudia Fragapane & AJ Pritchard 73

So who will be in the dance off?

Sunday night’s show and the opening dance by the pros was curious.  It was very beautiful and graceful but it was a little bit strange and I’m not really sure how to describe it.  I think as the main dance Janette started in a cage, they were supposed to be birds but it was just too odd for me.

So the first couple through to the final is Ore and Joanne and they were obviously over the moon about it.  However there were some amazed and stunned looks when the first couple into the dance off was Danny and Oti.  I don’t think anyone expected that to happen.

A performance from Sting who still sounds as good as he ever did and a close up look at some of the dances with the help of the final ever Len’s Lens (Len is retiring after this series in case anyone wasn’t aware) and it’s back to the results.  Joining Danny in the dance off unfortunately is Claudia and AJ which means Louise and Kevin are through to the final.  Now I don’t say unfortunately because I don’t like Louise, on the contrary I think she’s an amazing dancer but I just adore Claudia, I really do.

So both couples danced their hearts out, Claudia and AJ chose to do their Quickstep again and Danny and Oti performed the American Smooth again, both wise choices as these were by far the stronger dance for both couples.  In the end though all four judges opted to save Danny and Oti, which really I wasn’t surprised about but as Craig pointed out, both dance off routines were worthy of a 10 score so it must have been hard to choose between them.  It is stated that elimination should be based on the dance off performance alone but when both couples perform a perfect routine, I think past performance and overall performance must come into it somewhere.

So Claudia and AJ are eliminated and both of them were crying.  Everyone was sorry to see her go, none more than me because she has been so wonderful throughout the series and I really felt this weekend she had done enough to get through.  But the standard is so high, it was always going to be an interesting weekend.

So the finalists are Danny Mac, Ore Oduba and Louise Redknapp.   Do I have a favourite?  You bet I do but given my last two favourites Greg and Claudia are both out, I will keep my hopes to myself so I don’t jinx them.   It will certainly be a stunning final show of amazing quality.

Oh what the heck - GO LOUISE AND KEVIN!!!

1 comment:

  1. Fantastic recap sweetie, absolutely fantastic. I feel like I watched the episode after reading it! Now that I have watched all the dance videos, I get what you mean about the music for Louise's tango once again an odd musical selection but what a fun dance they ended up doing! She looked like she was having a ball. Loving the skirt on Louise's dress in her Samba I think the fringe on the top actually made it harder to see what she was doing with her upper body movements especially in comparison to the bouncy skirt. She definitely looked stiffer than in her tango though which is weird because a tango is a stiffer dance.

    Claudia's quickstep was great!! I'm SO sad she's gone!! I thought she was great. I always thought she'd have done better with a slightly shorter partner, am I crazy in thinking that? There was definitely chemistry between them in their Rumba, but I didn't like the costumes or the musical choice.

    Maybe I just don't like the Argentine Tango - but yeah Ore's did nothing for me either. That may not have been to my taste but I loved EVERYTHING about his quickstep oh my god!

    I didn't know there was controversy surrounding Danny Mac! Probably because I have no real idea who he is off this show hehe. But I'm not surprised because I've always thought he looked more like a pro than the others. I remember your first post I actually thought he was the pro and not his partner. WOWSERS! I see what you mean about that throw at the end of their American Smooth!! That was impressive!! That Salsa, for Danny and what he and Oti do I was kind of meh about it - I mean it was GOOD but those two seem to usually do much more theatrical dances and that was not what I would class as theatrical.