So let's quit the waffle and get onto the dances.
Opening the show this week is Stacey Dooley. Last week saw her dance a passable Quickstep which was a first for Strictly week one. This week she was dancing the Cha Cha Cha and unfortunately, it is not her dance. It was alright but seemed to lack the energy of the Cha Cha I'm used to seeing. I think she can do better. Following Stacey was Charles Venn. He and Stacey have switched dances, as last week Charles did the Cha Cha Cha and I really enjoyed it. This week he was doing the Quickstep and he had some very unfortunate timing issues where he was totally out of sync with Karen. I'm not sure if Shirley Ballas has an issue with Karen as last week she bemoaned her for too much disco and this week she blamed her for the timing issues but Craig set her straight and said it was Charles who was off the timing.
Next up was Katie Piper. Last week she suffered badly from nerves, this week she overcame her nerves but suffered from lack of any dancing. She stomped and walked her way through the Paso Doble and not even the gorgeousness of Gorka could save this dance. After two bad weeks, she could be in some serious trouble this week. Following on from Katie was Graeme Swann. After a promising start last week, this week saw him tackle the American Smooth and unfortunately for him there was nothing smooth about it. It was too fast and jivey for an AS and it didn't impress the judges either. Maybe it was partly the song but mainly it was Graeme.
Finally, we saw some decent dancing and it came from the lovely Kate Silverton. I knew she was going to be fun after last weeks Cha Cha Cha but who knew she could vamp it up like that? Wow, a superb Tango and she was showing some real promise. A really good score helping her up that leaderboard and looking like a contender, she was on point, fierce and beautiful timing and shaping.
Next up was Joe Sugg. Stop making me like you, boy! Over the last week, I have watched his Jive a fair few times and I have had Aha stuck in my head all week. I really hope I don't have Cotton-Eye Joe in my head this week. He was dancing a Charleston and it was a really fun routine and fast-paced. Dianne is really putting him through his paces and not taking it easy on him and he's proving more than capable of keeping up with her. We haven't seen him tackle ballroom yet though so we'll see how he handles the more traditional dances in weeks to come probably.
After that high came a real low as Suzannah Constantine took the floor again. She needn't have bothered really. Although it was a marked improvement from last weeks dreadful Samba, her Foxtrot was still wooden and laboured and she just can't dance, no matter how hard Anton tries to convince us otherwise. Next up was Lee Ryan and he did a very convincing Jive to one of my favourite Elvis tracks Blue Suede Shoes. Okay so there were one or two timing issues but he put everything into it and I really liked Nadiya's choreography for this routine.
Following Lee was my favourite Danny John-Jules. He was also dancing the Cha Cha Cha and when it started, the first few lines confused me as it was slow but then it kicked in and I really enjoyed it. He did seem a bit stiff in places but his footwork was impeccable again. For a man of 59, he can seriously move. Then we had Vick Hope and I was really hoping to see an improvement and I was delighted to see I got one. Okay so it was a different style of dance being a Waltz but Graziano put together a routine that allowed Vick to shine and she certainly did. She has beautiful long limbs and her arm work was very impressive as well as the steps from the feet. A huge improvement from both celeb and pro here and I loved it.
Next came the Pocket Rockets, Dr Ranj and Janette. What a routine, what an outfit, what a song. Even a dress malfunction couldn't stop this being a fun-filled routine. You can tell that Salsa is Janette's dance and Ranj is definitely a performer. he just gives it his all and throws his wonderful personality into the dance. Like Joe, we've yet to see him in ballroom where things will naturally be a lot calmer but he is showing a lot of potential, he just needs to loosen up from the hips.
Following Ranj was Faye Tozer and five Giovannis. Yes, you read that right, FIVE Giovannis. But eventually she just danced with one and it was an interesting take on the Viennese Waltz. It impressed Craig but not Shirley and as much as I hate to agree with her, I'm with Shirley. It wasn't my cup of tea at all.
Next, we had Lauren Steadman with AJ dancing the Charleston. I couldn't concentrate on her dancing because of her hair, it completely threw me off. I can't decide if I like it or not. I was impressed that she didn't face plant the floor towards the end. Lifts like that with a partial arm is very brave and shows complete faith and trust in AJ.
Next, we had another 'oh dear' moment from Seann Walsh. Whilst last week's Tango was wooden, it was at least watchable. His Jive this week was poor, he struggled to keep up with the choreography and the steps. If I'm honest the joke at the beginning was the best part of the routine and that was pretty bad. Still, he's quite a likeable guy, just not a dancer.
In complete contrast, closing the show was Ashley Roberts. She also did the Cha Cha Cha and I thought it was going to be another disco routine, despite what Shirley says the dance does lend itself well to disco music, another example here with Boogie Wonderland. However, there was plenty of Cha Cha content and of course, she performed it well. I'm not sure it was worthy of a 9, not yet Bruno but still a good routine and top of the leaderboard. I just think she's my Alexandra this year. She's a good dancer, I just can't warm up to her somehow.
So at the end of Saturday night and all scores combined, this is how the leaderboard looked ahead of the public vote.
But everything can change once the public gets their little mitts on the voting buttons. (A vote from me for Danny, a vote from my wifey Lauren for Danny and the spare this week going to Vick).
So Sunday night saw the first of the results shows. As usual, we have a pro dance to start, not quite sure what was going on there with that one. There was a live performance from George Ezra singing Shotgun. The more I hear this, the more I like it.
But we all know what we came for, we want the results and a dance-off. First into the dance-off was Lee and Nadiya. I don't think anyone could understand this result. I mean he wasn't perfect but there were many more much worse than him. Joining him were more predictably Susannah and Anton. I think we all knew how this was going to end up barring fire, flood or plague of locusts. It was a unanimous decision 4-0 to save Lee and Nadiya which meant Susannah was going home and the first time Anton has been booted out first in the history of Strictly.
So the right result I think this week, even if Lee didn't deserve to be in the bottom two. Next week, I think Seann, Katie and Graeme need to up their game to stay in. it's Movie Week so my favourite week. I already know that Dr Ranj is doing Disney, he's going to be Aladdin. There could be more. As for the pro dance, I'm so excited about this. They are doing...............HARRY POTTER!!!! Be still my beating heart, is it the weekend yet?
Until then, keep dancing!