Sunday, 28 October 2018

Strictly Come Dancing Week 6 - Halloween Week

There’s something spooky going on at the BBC tonight.  Trolls, vampires, evil queens and….Michael Jackson?  That’s right, it’s Halloween week on Strictly this week.  Bruno is back, Craig is still being sort of nice but the scariest thing of all, even scarier than Shirley Ballas’ contact lenses, is Darcey Bussell was actually mean about a dance.  She’s supposed to be the nice one, she actually got booed much to Craig’s delight.  So with a well-deserved round of applause for the makeup and wardrobe department once again, it’s onto the show and let's see who is going to make us shiver with delight or groan in horror at their routines tonight.

So opening the show tonight is Graeme and his partner Oti and they will be dancing the Cha Cha Cha to the iconic Thriller by Michael Jackson.  Whilst Graeme makes a very convincing zombie, he doesn’t do a convincing Cha Cha Cha.  It was very stiff and wooden and whilst this may be in keeping with his character, unfortunately, it doesn’t lend itself well to a Cha Cha Cha and this was a poor routine.

Next up were the amazing Stacey and Kevin.  Kevin looked so awesome as a Cyberman and his Tango routine was pretty incredible, even changing the roles around part way through the dance so that Stacey was the one leading him.  I think Kevin is an amazing pro dancer and teacher, he always brings out the best in his partners, whether they have any dance background or not.  Stacey was a complete novice with no dance experience and to see what she is now producing week after week is incredible and a testament to both her hard work and Kevin’s teaching.

Next up were Dr Ranj and Janette.  Dancing the Jive, Ranj may look incredibly cute and they even rolled out the puppets but his dancing was truly scary.  I mean wearing big furry slippers on your feet to dance a Jive might not have been the best idea really.  It wasn’t sharp or clean, it was stompy and really not his best dance.  I think Ranj may have reached his peak but I hope he stays safe this week.  Although he’s amongst the bottom of the leaderboard, he might be in trouble if he finds himself in the dance-off.

Speaking of being in trouble, Kate Silverton has been looking a bit iffy the last few weeks.  She was dancing the Rumba tonight, that very odd dance that no-one ever seems to understand.  It seemed okay but not a hit with the judges.  She looked elegant and graceful but to my untrained eye, the dancing seemed to come more from her pro partner Aljaz rather than Kate so that won’t make the judges happy.

Up next was my favourite Danny.  He was dancing the American Smooth and doing lifts for the first time.  Now as much as I like Danny, and I’m sure his footwork is fine, having all that smoke and dry ice on the floor is pretty much a cop-out.  We want to see how good he is and this goes for any of the dancers.  It’s a dance show so how can we see what their feet are doing if we can’t see them.  From what I could see I was very impressed but he does need to watch that thumb, it does pop up from time to time.  But the dance itself was very nice and the lifts weren’t bad for a first attempt.

The next couple up were Ashley and Pasha.  This was a fabulous routine, it was the Charleston and it had everything thrown in it.  It was funny, quirky, energetic and the characters were fabulous.  As much as I don’t like her, this was one of my favourite routines of the night.  There were so many swivels I thought her feet would swivel off, she was extremely impressive tonight.  Just one point off perfect.

Next to dance were Seann and Katya.  They were doing the Viennese Waltz.  Now I normally enjoy Katya’s choreography but I wasn’t impressed with this tonight.  The Viennese Waltz for me should be a smooth and clean dance.  This was jerky and messy, partly due to their characters but I just didn’t like it.  It didn’t look right and they deserved to be at the bottom of the leaderboard, although it’s a bit crowded down there tonight.

The next dancers were Charles and Karen.  They had a storming week last week with their couples choice Street dance and were looking to continue their good streak with a Jive to the Time Warp.  It started off really well but as the dance progressed you could see him tiring and losing his timing.  A good performance and hopefully he should be safe but not a patch on last week’s dance.  A more contemporary style suits Charles more than the conventional dances.

Next, we had the only Couple’s Choice of the evening from Faye and Giovanni.  They chose the Theatre/Jazz category and oh my word! This was incredible, the choreography was simply outstanding.  As with the other couples choice dances, there were no specific rules to follow but there was everything in this routine.  It was sharp, it was pleasing to watch and the two of them were so in sync with each other it would be hard to tell the pro from the celeb if you didn’t know.  This was my absolute favourite routine of the evening and got my extra vote and like Ashley, just one point off perfect.  Joint top!

Our penultimate couple was Joe and Dianne.  They were dancing the Foxtrot and Joe is massively improved in Ballroom.  The foxtrot is the dance that confuses me but apparently, it’s a lot like the American Smooth.  So if we compare this Foxtrot to his American Smooth from week three, you can straightaway see the major differences and complete improvement in his dancing.  Joe has really impressed me and has won me over completely.  He and Dianne make a lovely couple (which I now believe has continued off the dancefloor, awwww).

The final couple to dance tonight were Lauren and AJ.  Lauren has been a little bit hit or miss with her routines so far.  Tonight she was the Evil Queen in her Paso Doble and my word she really got into character.  She was fierce and strong and she danced really well.  Okay, so it wasn’t a traditional Paso with the Spanish lines etc but I thought she did exceptionally well and it was her best dance of the series so far.  Well done!

So by the end of a scarily, spooky evening’s entertainment, the leaderboard looked like this

Faye & Giovanni39
Ashley & Pasha39
Stacey & Kevin35
Joe & Dianne35
Danny & Amy30
Lauren & AJ29
Charles & Karen25
Graeme & Oti21
Kate & Aljaz20
Dr Ranj & Janette20
Seann & Katya20

So onto Spooky Sunday and a devilish dance-off. A spooky start to the show from the pros and an odd song from Rita Ora, using her own dancers (how rude) and its dance-off time. First into the dance-off are Seann and Katya. We've been here before though. They will be facing Graeme and Oti who are experiencing the red light of doom for the first time. Both couples performed badly on Saturday night though so it could be anyone's guess.

Personally, I preferred Graeme dance to Seann's, both Saturday and Sunday. There were issues for both couples in the dance-off with timing and performance but in the end, the judges agreed unanimously 4-0 to save Graeme and Oti and its time for Seann to say goodbye to an interesting stint on Strictly. I'm sure Katya's husband won't be too sorry he's gone.

So onto Week 7 for the remaining ten couples and the competition is hotting up. We are starting to see a clear gap between the two ends of the board but there are a few couples who are consistently around the top half so the final four are still a long way from being clear. Which makes everything all the more exciting for us viewers.

So until next week

Keep Dancing

Monday, 22 October 2018

Strictly Come Dancing 2018 Week Five

Its Week five and the remaining twelve couples are battling for a thrilling spot in the Halloween Special week which is next week. So a scarily bad routine this week sees them sitting at home dodging Trick or Treaters instead of haunting the dancefloor and surviving the Four Horseman of the Apocolypse aka The Judges! So all of the couples were out to impress last night hoping to avoid that red light and the following dance-off. They also had to impress a brand new judge tonight. Did you guess it from my very ambiguous clue last week? Well, this is a previous winner of Dancing With the Stars, the American version of Strictly which also features Bruno Tonioli as a judge alongside Len Goodman who left Strictly a couple of seasons ago. And then there was his iconic dance I mentioned last week which made it into his final routine in the DWTS final. I am of course talking about Alfonso Ribeiro, aka Carlton Banks from The Fresh Prince of Bel Air. His 'Carlton Dance' is infamous and he was so much fun, a worthy stand-in for Bruno, I wish he could stay forever and replace Shirley instead. Tonight also saw the first 10 of the series. Of course, it wasn't from Craig, and surprisingly it wasn't from the stand in judge eager to please but from the very nice Dame Darcey Bussell. But who did she award perfect marks to? Read on my dears, read on.

So opening the show tonight was the adorable Dr Ranj. After last weeks moody Paso, he was back to his smiley self, dancing the American Smooth. It was fun, yet sweet and a lovely start to the show. Ranj has improved on his ballroom and looks a lot more comfortable than he did in week 3 doing the Quickstep. I found this an enjoyable dance to watch and I always enjoy Janette's choreography.

Next up was Lauren. She was dancing the first Couples Choice on Strictly. The Couples Choice is a new addition this year to the lineup. Basically, the couple can choose to dance one of three styles,

  • Contemporary – takes inspiration from ballet, lyrical and modern dance
  • Street/Commercial – covers all styles of urban dance as well as allowing couples to go in a more pop, commercial direction
  • Theatre/Jazz – very much the style of musical theatre, includes elements of tap, soft shoe, burlesque and jazz.
Lauren and AJ chose the Contemporary style of dance but for me, it wasn't good. It seemed to be disjointed and not at all connected, more like bits of moves thrown together. As always with AJ, there were a lot of lifts but this meant there wasn't much dancing either which took away from the performance. So I'm not sure if it's the new style dance or just a bad performance.

Next onto the floor was Graeme. He was following his lively Jive with a moody Tango. Graeme has been one of the surprises for me. In the opening dance, he came across as wooden and a bit of a 'dad dancer'. However, having Oti as a partner has certainly improved his performance. This was a clean sharp Tango, he was very focused and his timing was really good. He is shaping up to be a pretty solid performer.

He was followed by Ashley and she was dancing the Rumba. With the exception of her silly pouting at the beginning, I thought this was a pretty good Rumba. I preferred it to Faye's last week and the spin was pretty incredible, I thought she was never going to stop and she was well deserving of four 9's from the judges. I don't want her to win it, even though I adore Pasha but I think unless something horrendous happens, she will be in the final.

Seann was up next doing the Quickstep. I didn't like the beginning, keeping the guitar between them prevented any kind of body contact between the two which is usual in a Quickstep. Maybe it's still a leftover of the scandal but it didn't seem right. It also seemed a bit messy and too bouncy even for a Quickstep. He has improved from Week 1 though, the Paso week was the turning point even though I didn't like last weeks Charleston, you could see the difference in his dancing.

Next up in a flurry of feathers was Stacey and she was dancing the Samba to an excellent song, Tequila! You could tell she didn't enjoy performing it but she did it so well. It was fun, lively and the slowed down Samba roll was inspired. I love Kevin and I think he has a great partner and a great friend in Stacey which transfers well onto the dance floor. I hope Stacey goes very far in this competition.
It was going to be a hard act to follow especially dancing such a slow dance like the Waltz but it was Joe who took on such a challenge. I was so excited as they were dancing to Rainbow Connection (you know me and the Muppets) and I was thrilled Alfonso got the connection. It was sweet and romantic and danced so lovely. I also think Joe was so cute in that cap and he wanted to do so well as his nan was in the audience, I mean this guy has completely won me over and I adore him. He's not a bad dancer either.

Unfortunately, another favourite of mine, Vick, had a bit of a disaster, darling. Her Cha Cha Cha wasn't so great, this is certainly the dance of doom for so many of the celebs, not just this year but in past years too. I think the more experienced dancers fare better but for non-dancers it certainly unravels them. I do love Graziano but his choreography is very hit or miss. He either gets it spot on like the Waltz or the Quickstep or it goes badly wrong like the Jive or this Cha Cha Cha. Considering his specialty is Latin, you'd expect it to be the other way around. Bottom of the leaderboard I'm sorry to say is deserving tonight.

Next up was Kate and she was back to ballroom after a disastrous Samba last week. This was much much better, Kate is most definitely a ballroom girl. This was such a sweet romantic routine and I just love Aljaz, he's adorable. There were definitely bits that needed working on but this was a step in the right direction from Kate.

Next to dance was Danny and he was doing a Jive to Flip Flop Fly. It was amazing, so fast and sharp. There was so much energy and the routine was fantastic. Danny never stopped from the start to the finish and it was always going to impress the judges. Craig told him it was a dance for the final and the lovely Dame Darcey gave the first 10 score of the series and well deserved I have to say. I could watch this routine over and over again.

Next up on the floor was Faye and she was dancing a Foxtrot. I must be confused by the Foxtrot as I always consider it to be a slow dance but some of them have been quite fast this season. Danny's in Week 1, Stacey's last week and now this one had faster sections. I didn't like the music for this one, it didn't seem to fit the tempo of the dance. The judges liked it but again for me, it wasn't my cup of tea.

The final couple to dance were Charles and Karen. Now Charles has been in the dance-off for the last two weeks on the run. If he is there tonight then there is something seriously wrong in the world. They were also dancing the couples choice but they chose Street/Commercial. It really suited Charles to have no restrictions and the style worked so well. There was hip hop and so much rhythm. The routine was choreographed so well and they brought the house down with the routine. He has to be safe this week or I'm never watching again.

So by the end of the evening, the leaderboard looked like this

Danny & Amy37
Ashley & Pasha36
Charles & Karen36
Stacey & Kevin33
Faye & Giovanni33
Joe & Dianne29
Graeme & Oti29
Kate & Alijaz26
Dr Ranj & Janette25
Lauren & AJ24
Seann & Katya24
Vick & Graziano20

So onto Sunday and a baseball themed pro dance and a performance from Paloma Faith, with a lovely dance from Karen Clifton and one of the new pros, Johannes.

And the first couple into the dance off is Seann and Katya.  Will this be the chance we are waiting for to get rid of the scandalous couple?  They are up against Vick and Graziano.  This could be a close call as neither couple danced particularly well on the Saturday night.  Both couples improved in the dance-off.  However with the exception of Craig, the judges voted to keep Seann and Katya in and we say so long to Team Hair and its goodbye to Vick and Graziano.  I'm sad about this because I was really starting to enjoy this couple and I'll miss them.

So next week is Halloween week and another chance for some outrageous costumes and some entertaining dances.  Even the judges get dressed up for Halloween.  Not my favourite holiday but a good night of Strictly entertainment.

Until then, I leave you with the Carlton

Keep dancing

Sunday, 14 October 2018

Strictly Come Dancing - Week 4

Ahhhh Week 4. 

Always a come down after the red carpet comedy and drama of Movie Week.  However, for a certain couple, the drama continued long after the red carpet was rolled up and the Oscars were put away.  I am of course referring to the story that has overshadowed the Strictly headlines this last week concerning Seann Walsh and his dance partner Katya Jones being snapped in a compromising clinch last weekend, Seann had a long-standing girlfriend at the time and of course, Katya is married to fellow pro and Strictly dancer Neil Jones.  Whilst it's really none of my business what they get up to and we can only speculate at what else is going on and how the wronged partners feel, I do find it a shame when these things happen. The people I feel most sorry for are the other contestants on the show.  Whenever it is mentioned, they will be forever associated with 'oh that was the year Seann and Katya had a fling' or all the stories focus on the 'naughty couple' rather than who danced so well that week.   Anyway, Strictly made their decision to keep them in the show, however, they did change their intended Rumba to a less tactile Charleston, and everyone from the Strictly judges down to the next door neighbours had their say on the matter.  Hopefully, it's now done and dusted and we can go back to concentrating on the dancing.

So, Week 4 begins and opening the show tonight were Joe Sugg and Dianne, much to Joe's amusing horror.  He did look rather stunned and scared when it was announced.  They were doing the dreaded Cha Cha Cha which so many celebs have had problems with this year.   However, Joe didn't do too bad a job. He's obviously more comfortable doing the Latin dances than he is doing ballroom, I think the Latin suits his younger demeanour rather than the old-fashioned style dances.  I really enjoyed this dance, but there is still a lot to work on for next week.

Ahhh next up were Vick Hope and Graziano doing a fantastic Quickstep.  I'm really loving them this year.  After a rocky start, Graziano's choreography has really improved and Vick has definitely improved in her technique.  I'm in awe of the fact she can get up at 4am (seriously, there's a 4am?) and do her radio show then spend the rest of the day learning a new dance and routine and still look as amazing as she does.  Their partnership is adorable and they dance extremely well together.

Third onto the floor were my champions Danny John-Jules and Amy.  They were doing the very spinny Viennese Waltz.  The song was one of Danny's favourites which clearly helped him with his routine as they performed it beautifully but I spotted that thumb up and knew Craig would pick up on it, it's one of his pet hates.  Other than that I found it to be a smooth and clean performance, much better than his last couple of weeks where he's seemed a bit stilted in places.

Next, we have Faye Tozer and Giovanni doing the first Rumba of the series.  Faye can really pull off a sexy and sultry vamp look.  I've not especially enjoyed her last couple of dances even if the judges have but I enjoyed this one.  I thought she looked good and the routine was slick and romantic and I can feel the connection with Giovanni.  But who wouldn't enjoy being up close and personal with Giovanni?

After Faye, were Katie Piper and Gorka.  I loved this routine.  Okay so it wasn't technically perfect for a Jive, far from it, but Katie has come on leaps and bounds from her very shaky, nervous start to the little actress we saw tonight.  She is becoming the character when she dances and she's enjoying herself which helps make her performance better.  And how cute is Gorka the Geek?

Following them were Charles Venn and Karen.  Oh my, Charles can rotate those hips which is good for a Salsa.  Not sure about the music choice though but they made it work and Charles did a really good job of saving that final lift which could have gone very badly wrong otherwise.  I was glad to see Shirley finally give Karen some praise this week (I wonder if she's been reading the Twitter comments as I'm not the only one picking up on the bad vibes from Shirley towards Karen, even Karen didn't know what she'd done to deserve it), although Darcey was right that he needs to get down more to get more rotation which they acknowledged was difficult as Charles is so tall.

Also dancing the Quickstep this week were Lauren Steadman and AJ.  I loved the vlog section before the dance showing how training went when AJ tried to keep up with Lauren doing a triathlon.  AJ, there is a reason she's a gold medal winner, she's fast!!! Still, they had enough energy left to do a pretty decent Quickstep.  it's hard to judge sometimes because the frame is never going to be right given AJ has to compensate for Lauren's disability but they make it work and AJ is another one who's choreography is improving all the time.

Following on from Lauren and AJ was the most shocking headline in the whole of Strictly.  No, not Seann and Katya again but DR RANJ STOPPED SMILING!!!! Hold the press, what is going on here?  Yes Dr Ranj Singh and his partner Janette were doing the mean and moody Paso Doble.  How does the smiliest man in Britain do a Paso?  I don't know how he managed it, but he did it and it was brilliant.  It was a nice traditional style Paso and there were some very nice moves in there.  It seemed like Janette almost kicked him in the head at one point but I think it was the camera angle, he never seemed to flinch so he must have been fine.  This was definitely an improvement from last week.

Unfortunately for the next pairing, it wasn't so great.  Kate Silverton and Aljaz were dancing the Samba.  Let's just say it was not her dance and leave it at that.  She could be in trouble this week.

Following them were Graeme Swann and Oti.  Now Oti always looks good but I wasn't enamoured with Graeme this week.  His Jive wasn't as sharp as some of the others we've seen, his flicks and kicks looked a bit heavy but he certainly put everything into it, and dressed in bright pink too I might add.  He has the personality and can go far if he just works on his technique.  He's not the worst but he has a long way to go before he looks like a contender.

Next up were Ashley Roberts and Pasha.  They were dancing the Tango and although I have been critical of her in the past, I really really liked this Tango.  It was sharp, sexy and the choreography was spot on from Pasha.  They were both right in the moment, keeping the character right through to the end.  A lot of comments on YouTube were more about the poor version of the song but as I don't know the original I can't comment.  I also think that shouldn't take away from the dance.  I hated the version of Graeme's song, I hate it when people attempt to sing Queen songs but I made sure I watched the dance, rather than focus on the song.  Ashley got a thumbs up from me this week, even if I don't particularly like her.  This was good for me, I'll even overlook the slight error where her feet left the floor illegally in a Tango (although it was a 'blink and you'll miss it' moment and the judges missed it too, but it didn't get past me).

Finally, the shamed couple take to the floor and Seann Walsh and Katya danced their Charleston.  I felt this was hideously overmarked by the judges, there was no way with deserved to be near the top of the leaderboard.  Yes Seann had swivels in his feet, especially the bit when he's holding all the pizza boxes, and the ladder when Katya walked up his back was particularly impressive but the rest just seemed messy and frantic, even for a Charleston.  I think the judges were over making a point here.

The final dance of the night went to Stacey Dooley and Kevin.  Hot on the heels of their impressive Jive last week, this week saw them do the Foxtrot.  Whoever chose the music for this needs to be taken out and shot because it was a hideous choice and didn't seem fitting for a Foxtrot.  However, Kevin is so talented as a choreographer and can make even the worst choices work and that's what he did here.  I didn't much like the faffing at the start, it seemed ages before they actually started dancing but once they did, they produced a very good routine and it was well deserving of their place at the top of the leaderboard.  Oh and Happy Birthday Kevin.

So at the end of Saturday night, here's how the leaderboard looked.

Stacey & Kevin33
Ashley & Pasha32
Vick & Graziano29
Faye & Giovanni29
Seann & Katya28
Danny & Amy27
Dr Ranj & Janette27
Joe & Dianne26
Graeme & Oti26
Charles & Karen25
Lauren & AJ25
Kate & Alijaz20
Katie & Gorka18

So onto the results show on Sunday and after a fairly risque routine from the Pros and OMG moment from me when the Backstreet Boys perfomed a medley of their hits (I LOVE THEM), the couples facing the dance off tonight were Katie Piper and Charles Venn.  Shame to see Charles there again although no surprises to see Katie.

Also, no surprises that all four judges chose to save Charles so it was Katie who was eliminated.  It was a shame as she was just starting to enjoy herself but she is such an inspiration and she is a remarkable young lady who danced her way through what was bound to be a traumatic weekend as her acid attacker was released this weekend.  She bravely went on and proved she is stronger than those who tried to bring her down and I'm so pleased with how she progressed in the few short weeks she was on the show. And her partnership with Gorka was adorable.

So next week there is no Bruno but we have a guest judge and its so exciting, but I shall leave you in suspense until next week.  I shall give you a clue, he gave us an iconic dance in the 90s.

Until then, keep dancing!

Week Three | Week Two  | Week One

Monday, 8 October 2018

Strictly Come Dancing 2018 - Week 3 MOVIE WEEK

Lights, camera, action.  Get your popcorn and hot dogs at the ready and strut down that red carpet because it's Movie Week on Strictly.  This is, without a shadow of a doubt, my all-time favourite week on Strictly.  I just love the costumes, the sets, the music.  It's just a fantastic week and always so much fun.  There are always good dances and bad dances but there are always movies and movie themes.  However, this year's movie week was even more exciting for me because before the remaining fourteen celebs even came out onto the stage, the pro dancers did a fantastic Harry Potter themed dance to a selection of themes from the magical movies.  I was always going to enjoy this being a huge Potterhead myself but there were aspects that made it even more magical, the main one being that the dance began at the Warner Brothers Studio Tour that myself and my fellow blogger Lauren visited last year when she came to visit me.  Not only was it great seeing the dancers do their routine but it was fun spotting the various sets we had actually been in ourselves quite recently and I'm sure Lauren will get a kick from watching that too. Plus little AJ looked so natural as a schoolboy, I'm sure he's not graduated yet.  Speaking of schoolboys, I'm not sure what was going on with Bruno and Craig but they were bickering and scrapping like they were back in the playground, all in good nature I would like to point out, even if Bruno did fall off his chair.

Anyways, onto the celebs and we kicked off with Vick Hope.  She was returning to Latin which I was apprehensive about given her poor Jive in Week 1.  She was doing the Salsa to Take a Chance on Me from Mamma Mia.  it was actually really good, she got her hips moving well, she and Graziano seem to have a good chemistry together and the captured the fun element of both the film and the dance.  Following on from them was the delightful Dr Ranj and Janette.  Here was my first Disney fix of the night as they did the Quickstep to Prince Ali from Aladdin.  Alas, it was not their finest hour and as I predicted he is not so far adept at the ballroom.  However, it was his first ballroom dance so there is room for improvement.

Next up were Lee Ryan and Nadiya.  They were doing the Cha Cha Cha to The Power of Love from Back To The Future.  All I can say is the best parts were Lee entering on a hoverboard and Nadiya's hair.  The dance, unfortunately, was not as memorable, and Lee needs to work on his facial expressions.  After being in the dance-off last week, we may just see a repeat fate this week. After Lee came the lovely Kate Silverton with a second Disney fix for me.  She and Aljaz were dancing the Foxtrot to Why Don't You Do Right from Who Framed Roger Rabbit. Despite an unfortunate trip coming down the steps right at the start, Kate was still channelling her inner vamp and this was a fantastic routine.

Speaking of fantastic, next up were Stacey Dooley and Kevin. They definitely won the award for best costume, whereas most of the girls were in beautiful sweeping ballgowns, Stacey was covered in yellow facepaint as a Minion as they did the Jive to Happy from Despicable Me.  It was a fabulous routine, the kicks were sharp and the pace fast and snappy.  Really good fun.  Next up with my final Disney fix of the night were Joe Sugg and Dianne.  They were doing the American Smooth to Breaking Free from High School Musical.  Like Ranj, Joe had never done any ballroom dances until now yet he fared a bit better than Ranj.  It was a good routine, he kept his hold quite well but he needs to work on his posture as his bum sticks out quite a bit and unlike Johnny Peacock last year or Greg Rutherford the year before, he can't blame athletics for that. Something for him to work on.

The next couple to dance was Graeme Swann and Oti.  They had a bad week last week but were back with a bang as they danced the Charleston to the theme from Spiderman.  It was fun, energetic and the steps had plenty of swivels.  Looks like Graeme is a Latin man for sure.  Next to the floor were Ashley Roberts and Pasha.  They were dancing the Salsa to The Time of My Life from Dirty Dancing.  Now when I heard they were doing this, complete with lift, my mind immediately flashed back to when Louis Smith did this a few years ago with his partner.  Same dance, same song, same lift.  But this was a different choreographer so I gave it a chance.  It was good, and yes they nailed the lift but to me, this was nothing special, I actually preferred Vick's Salsa.

The next routine was from Katie Piper and Gorka.  They were dancing the Foxtrot to City of Stars from La La Land.  This was a vast improvement from Katie.  She looked a lot more relaxed and as though she was actually enjoying herself.  She also seems to trust in Gorka more and that showed in the routine.  Okay so it wasn't as technically perfect or full of content as some of the others but considering her last two weeks, this was a joy to watch, and Gorka seems to be really taking care of her to show her off as best he can.  After Katie came Seann Walsh and Katya.  They were dancing the Paso Doble to the Matrix theme.  OMG!! What a transformation from Seann after his terrible Jive last week.  This was a slick routine, plenty of Paso content and Seann's timing was amazing.  And Katya's choreography as always was absolutely phenomenal, especially the slow-mo section.

Next up we were back in the eighties for Lauren Steadman and AJ dancing the Cha Cha Cha to the theme from Fame.  I loved the whole look and Lauren seems to be enjoying herself but the technique wasn't quite there.  It looks like the Cha Cha Cha is proving to be the Achilles heel of a lot of the celebs again this year.  Staying in the eighties we had Charles Venn and Karen dancing the American Smooth to Up Where We Belong from An Officer and a Gentleman.  Charles certainly looked the part, and the lifts were amazing but he was lacking in his holds and his frame, not great but not horrendous.

The penultimate dance was clearly a favourite with the judges earning a 9 from all four judges but I wasn't entirely sure myself.  It was from Faye Tozer and Giovanni.  Faye is definitely a frontrunner and with Giovanni, she has a great partner and she's a favourite with the judges.  This week saw her dancing the Quickstep to You're The One That I Want from Grease.  There were some brilliant sections but there was too much of the original Grease routine especially towards the end which didn't feel like a Quickstep to me.  The beginning was fabulous, Faye was a convincing Sandy and Giovanni's 'FAYE?!' was reminiscent of his infamous 'DEBBIE!' from last year which was great, I also enjoyed the more traditional Quickstep action as well but something was just a bit off for me, however I seem to be in the minority on this one.

The final dance came from Danny John-Jules and Amy.  I was expecting big things from this and being the last couple to dance clearly the producers expected a big finale.  Dancing the Paso Doble, they were performing to The Greatest Show from The Greatest Showman.  It had all the elements to be a showstopping ending however it fell a bit short.  I love Danny but this week he seemed a bit stiff and seemed to be a bit hesitant at times.  Still, it was a decent routine, not quite the dance to bring the house down though.

After everyone had danced the leaderboard looked like this

Faye & Giovanni36
Ashley & Pasha35
Stacey & Kevin32
Graeme & Oti31
Seann & Katya30
Kate & Alijaz29
Danny & Amy28
Vick & Graziano27
Joe & Dianne26
Charles & Karen25
Katie & Gorka22
Lauren & AJ20
Dr Ranj & Janette20
Lee & Nadiya19

Onto Sunday night and a rather wet opening dance to Singing in the Rain and a performance from the legendary Gladys Knight singing Licence to Kill, let's get to the voting and dance-off.  First into the Dance-off is Charles.  Maybe a little unexpected but I guess it wasn't his best dance.  Joining him a little later was Lee.  This one was less of a surprise given it wasn't a great dance.  Not surprisingly the judges voted to keep Charles 3-1 with only Shirley opting to save Lee.  I'm still not sure what Shirley has against Karen.

Anyway, thirteen celebs continue onto Week 4 which sees our first Rumba of the series.

Until then, keep dancing