The girls take to the floor for the last time before everyone gets to dance together this week, performing the former week two dances of the quickstep and rumba. Where the quickstep requires fast footwork, the slower rumba needs precise lines and a real chemistry between partners. Who could pull it off on the night?
As an aside, last week we had Peter Jones in the audience; this week it was James Caan. Damn those multimillionaires!
Fast, fun quickstep vs. slow, seductive rumba
- Christine & Matthew (quickstep): Like Len, I wasn’t impressed by the messing about at the start, but once Christine got going, she put in a good effort. There were points where she lost momentum, and she was clinging on a little too tightly, but there were good sections to the dance. Overall, a promising effort and entirely worthy for a second dance.
- Jodie & Ian (rumba): I think anyone should have a go at dancing regardless of height, weight or whatever, but I have to admit that Jodie just looked a little too tall to properly pull of a rumba. What resulted was a routine that had good parts, but mostly felt a little restrained and self-conscious.
- Heather & Brian (quickstep): All the steps were there in this routine, but even though there was a solid foundation, it failed to take off and have the lightness that the quickstep really needs. I don’t blame Heather for this as it can be hard to get from the basic steps to flying across the floor, but she will have to up her game to stay in the competition.
- Cherie & James (rumba): She may have done well in the foxtrot, but the rumba was always going to be the acid test as to whether she could handle the Latin as well as the ballroom. Perhaps surprisingly, however, she was well able to cope with the dance, producing a lovely routine that seems to have secured her place at the top of the girls. And even though it wasn’t all that attractive, I felt oddly drawn to her black-lined white dress.
- Jessie & Darren (quickstep): Darren is always great and Jessie seemed to be trying hard, but in the end, it wasn’t quite enough- she seemed to be out of her depth and clinging on for dear life. She may not be in the leagues of bad that we’ve seen in previous series, but she’s certainly the weakest of the girls.
- Lisa & Brendan (rumba): Although I’m not a big fan of Brendan’s choreography, he did a great rumba last year with Kelly, and this year he’s done it again with Lisa. A very, very worthy routine.
- Rachel & Vincent (quickstep): I’m really enjoying this partnership already, and this wonderful quickstep did nothing to change that. Although Vincent can sometimes go off on odd tangents, when he gets the choreography just right, it goes down very well, and even though calling Rachel his best partner is a bit disrespectful to the lovely Louisa Lytton, I do want these two to go all the way.
- Group Rueda: The rueda isn’t a dance I’d ever heard of before this week, but apparently it’s named after the Spanish word for wheel and involves a wheel of dancers swapping partners- which in my mind equates to a barn dance. Now, I did go to a barn dance last week and it was surprisingly fun, but watching this routine wasn’t nearly as entertaining- it all looked a bit amateurish and silly, and even the best dancer in the world couldn’t have done a great deal to enhance the choreography given to them.
- World champions Bryan Watson and Carmen Vincelj performed a samba; as far as skill goes they are very good but whilst I really liked Carmen’s dancing, I wasn’t so gone on Bryan. Still, I need to watch more of their routines online before I pass any sort of real judgement.
- Pro American Smooth: the pros all came together to dance an American Smooth; as I said last year this dance is supposed to be a mix of waltz, Viennese waltz, tango and foxtrot with breaks in hold (and by show rules, lifts), but as always a bit of quickstep crept in there too. Still, it was good to watch as always.
- Simply Red performed “Something Got Me Started” whilst Ian and Camilla performed a cha cha- the song does get a bit repetitive but Ian and Camilla’s dancing made it all worthwhile.
- Dance-off: this week, the bottom two were Heather & Brian and Jessie & Darren, both of whom had to perform their quickstep again. Heather tried hard and upped her game a bit, but whilst Jessie seemed like she was really going to sparkle when she first took to the floor, it all seemed to dissolve once she got out there. In the end, all except Len chose to save Heather & Brian, leaving Jessie to go home, and marking the first time that Len has disagreed with a majority vote.