So who will be sailing through the auditions to Musicals Week and who will be going home to find a 'proper job'? Let's see how they fare then shall we?
First up tonight were Graeme and Oti and they were dancing the Quickstep. Graeme always knows how to bring his character out in his dances, even if he's not always spot on technique wise. It was unfortunate he had a bit of a stumble at the end which spoilt an otherwise decent performance. Aye aye, sailor!
Next onto the floor were Ashley and Pasha dancing the Samba. After scoring the perfect 40 in Blackpool, the pressure was on to maintain that high standard but unfortunately, she fell a bit short. It wasn't bad, let's face it this is Ashley the pro dancer, but it wasn't perfect and it showed in the marks given with only Bruno thinking it was perfect and giving a ten.
Following them were Faye and Giovanni. They should have been dancing the American Smooth this week but after a day of rehearsals they had to switch to a Waltz as Giovanni had hurt his back and would be unable to do any lifts so as the Waltz has none, it made sense to change. What a perfect switch as this was the most beautiful waltz I've seen for a long time. It was so classy and elegant, just perfectly in time with the music and divine. One point off perfect and top of the leaderboard. Take that, Ashley!
Next to dance were Joe and Dianne. They were doing the Couples Choice and had opted for Street/Commercial which suited Joe down to the ground. Yes, there were a few timing issues here and there when they were a bit out of sync, however, I thoroughly enjoyed this routine. It was fun, snappy, bouncy and quite daring with all the props.
The next couple up were Charles and Karen. They were dancing the Tango which is quite a change from their fabulous Samba last week. Sadly the performance was quite different too. Charles struggles to keep his frame which needs to be tight for a Tango but sadly he was still quite loose and fluid in the hips which fail for a Tango. I also didn't like the music choice for this either, I don't think it suited a Tango at all. Not his best dance by any stretch of the imagination.
Lauren and AJ were up next and they were dancing a Salsa. This was pretty good and much better than last weeks Argentine Tango. Lauren has really started to get into her characters more and she was loosening up. There were a few issues here and there, some moments when she was a little hesitant but overall I found this quite entertaining. However, the judges didn't and scored her quite low, putting her at the bottom of the leaderboard.
The final couple to dance was Stacey and Kevin and they were doing the Paso Doble. Oh my, this was good. Now Kevin always manages to choreograph a fantastic Paso, they are quite often a sight to behold. The last two years he's done them at Blackpool, and I especially liked the one he did there with Louise Redknapp. This one with Stacey even surpassed that. It had all the elements of a classic Paso, the shaping was clean, the fierce passion and energy were present and the chemistry these two have is outstanding. I was so pleased to see their first tens, and three of them at that. Joint top of the leaderboard with Faye was totally deserving.
So at the end of the regular dances, the leaderboard stands as follows
However, all couples now had to compete in the Lindyhopathon. All couples would be on the dancefloor at the same time. The judges then had to rank them in order from best to worst, with the top couple getting an extra 7 points to add to their score, right down to one extra point for the worst couple. The danceathon was a bit confusing, it's hard to see everything going on when all couples are dancing at the same time but doing different routines. Finally, (after a total cock up with losing the scores on the iPad and then losing the bit of paper, then Shirley announced them in the wrong order), the judges ranked them as such.
When these extra points were added to the scores from their individual dances, the final leaderboard looked like this.
So it didn't change the leaderboard too much, other than giving Faye a clear lead at the top and bumping Ashley into joint second with Stacey, the rest remained unchanged.
But onto Sunday night and the results show. After a fabulous opening routine from some of the pros who were dancing with members of Candoco Dance Company (all of whom were disabled in some capacity but still fabulous dancers), the first couple in the dance-off was Graeme and Oti. No real shocks there as he was next to the bottom of the leaderboard.
After a forgettable performance from Rod Stewart, who really should retire as he's not the singer he once was, the second couple joining Graeme into the dance-off is Ashley and Pasha! Well, I don't think anyone saw that coming, least of all Charles who was the last one to go through and had clearly resigned himself to being in another dance-off but his shock was all too clear to see. I think really everyone knew what was coming next but as per the rules, both couples had to dance again and predictably all four judges opted to put Ashley through. I admit she is the better dancer but a sneaky part of me was hoping she fell over or something. So it's farewell to Graeme but I think this is the first indication that the public is not behind Ashley at all, it's Alexandra Burke all over again.
So it's my second favourite week next week and its Musicals AND the Quarter Finals! The stakes are high and there is so much to play for now. Who will triumph and who will fall? Stay tuned to find out.
Until then, keep dancing!