It’s week 2 and there has to be an elimination this week. It seems too soon to lose one of the dancers but that’s the way this competition goes. Last week saw great performances from Joe, Aston and Debbie. However Rev Richard, Brian and Ruth all need to improve dramatically in order to stay in.
So what happened next? First of all, two illegal lifts this week. Come on pros, your partners only do what you tell them to do, don't punish them for your mistakes. AJ had an illegal lift in his Tango and Nadiya had one in her Quickstep. Sort it out, you are meant to be professionals.
This week saw some great performances from Gemma Atkinson, Molly King and Jonnie Peacock, all of whom were much improved from week one. Gemma danced the waltz and looked elegant and graceful, Molly did the Tango and channelled her inner mean girl whilst Jonnie replaced his prosthetic leg with his blade and pulled off a fabulous jive.
Alexandra Burke performed a Paso Doble and scored the highest score of the series, getting 4 9s in only week 2. She will certainly be one to watch. Another beautiful waltz, this time from Debbie McGee who has all the makings of a finalist already and an energetic salsa from Aston Merrygold. I don’t want to like him but I can’t deny it was impressive. If it had gone wrong, Janette would have been in traction, but he pulled it off impressively.
However, on the other side of the scale, things are looking a bit nervy for Brian Conley. Last week his Tango failed to impress and this week his Cha Cha Cha was cringeworthy, with more disco than Cha Cha. Chizzy Akudolu also had a bad week and Charlotte Hawkins, god bless her, was appalling. Her Cha Cha Cha was worse than Brian’s with many mistakes and tumbles. I do however think Bruno needs to watch his comments when judging and Brendan was quite right to step in and defend Charlotte. I hope she stays, I really like her. There’s something just so sweet about her but after her dance this week she could well be going home.
Another poor effort from Rev Richard with his American Smooth. Joe McFadden didn’t perform well this week with his Tango, which is a shame after his wonderful Jive last week. Simon Rimmer and Ruth Langsford both continue to be poor and I’m not sure how long Susan Calman can use comedy to compensate for lack of technique in her dances.
So by the end of Saturday evening, week 1 and week 2 scores combined to leave the leaderboard looking like this, with the public able to vote for the first time in this year's competition.
W1 W2 Total
Debbie McGee & Giovanni Pernice 30 34 64
Aston Merrygold & Janette Manrara 31 32 63
Alexandra Burke & Gorka Marquez 24 36 60
Davood Ghadami & Nadiya Bychkova 27 27 54
Joe McFadden & Katya Jones 29 22 51
Jonnie Peacock & Oti Mabuse 20 29 49
Molly King & AJ Pritchard 23 25 48
Gemma Atkinson & Aljaz Skorjanec 20 26 46
Susan Calman & Kevin Clifton 20 22 42
Chizzy Akudolu & Pasha Kovalev 21 16 37
Ruth Langsford & Anton Du Beke 16 20 36
Simon Rimmer & Karen Clifton 17 19 36
Brian Conley & Amy Dowden 16 19 35
Charlotte Hawkins & Brendan Cole 22 12 34
Rev Richard Coles & Dianne Buswell 17 17 34
So onto Sunday evening and a great pro dance to The Blues Brothers number ‘Everybody, Needs Somebody’ set in a bowling alley, could easily have come out of Grease, it was fun and energetic.
So onto the scores and the first couple to enter the dance-off is Chizzy and Pasha. It’s such a shame because she is so much fun but her Foxtrot lacked technical elements and relied too much on theatrics. A brief pause with a performance from Emilie Sande (I muted this as I don’t like her. If you recall she performed in the final show last year and I went and made dinner) and a brief technical close up with the judges. Previously this was called Len’s Lens which was down to head judge Len Goodman but since his retirement, it’s been given the new lacklustre name of ‘Dance Debrief’. Hmmmmm!
So back to the scores and yes, Charlotte is safe and it’s Brian into the dance-off with Chizzy. I don’t think either couple performed any better the second time around. The judges voted 3-1 in favour of keeping Brian, with only Craig choosing to save Chizzy. So we have to bid farewell to Chizzy, the first casualty (Holby City, geddit?) of Strictly 2017. It was emotional, it was tearful, it was not the best decision in my opinion but hey, I’m not a judge, just an armchair dancer.
Movie Week next week, my favourite week. There has to be a Disney song in there somewhere, there usually is!
So until Saturday, keep dancing!