With Misty withdrawing due to injury last week, all of the votes and judges’ scores have been carried over to this round- but this time around no one can escape the possibility of elimination.
Samba vs. tango: A carnival in Rio or a night with a gaucho
- Maurice & Cheryl (samba): After last week’s jive, Maurice seemed to be on the road to improvement, but I found this samba rather disappointing- he may have got the fun element in place, but the technique was generally lacking. It may have been due to the choreography, but Maurice just didn’t seem to be doing much, or doing it all that well.
- Cody & Julianne (tango): I must admit I wasn’t expecting much from Cody this week, but to my surprise he pulled off a surprisingly good tango- admittedly there were a few slips and trips along the way, but overall it was a well-performed routine. Could the boy finally be becoming a man?
- Toni & Alec (samba): After a disappointing Viennese waltz last week, Toni and Alec really needed to pull it together, and luckily this samba was a definite improvement. Although it felt somewhat lacking on the performance side of things, technically there were some good moves (including the challenging samba rolls)- had she just had a bit more party spirit, this dance could have been right up there.
- Cloris & Corky (tango): Cloris has been good entertainment value, but this week she seemed determined to seriously learn a dance, and amazingly, it paid off. Although she’ll never be up there with the best, Cloris gave her all in this tango, with her acting skills enabling her to bring to life the tale of an aloof lady and her young gigolo. Who knew she could actually do it if she tried?
- Rocco & Karina (samba): It’s hard not to be drawn in by Rocco’s infectious sense of fun, but let’s face it- the actual dancing wasn’t all that great, and after all these weeks and a second chance, it’s probably time for him to hang up his dancing shoes. To be fair, there were a couple of good moments shining through, but it may well be too little, too late.
- Susan & Tony (tango): The tango is said to be the actors’ dance, and Susan proved it as she transformed into her character of Erica Kane for this dance. Her best dance so far and certainly the most engaging one of the night up to that point, Susan perfectly captured the character of the dance, melding both Argentine and ballroom tango elements for a sharp, intense routine.
- Brooke & Derek (samba): It may not have been Len’s cup of tea, but I really enjoyed this samba- perhaps the ‘messing about’ could have toned down in terms of the glasses, shirt ripping and shoulder shimmies, but when the rest of the routine is so good, I can live with all that. Brooke is really standing out as the one to beat this season.
- Lance & Lacey (tango): I was expecting this tango to once again be too quirky and modern, but despite putting their own spin on it in places, this was a very good routine without straying too far from what it means to be a tango. It was sharp, precise and a real revelation- from not liking this couple much, I’m ready to root for them now. Oh, and if someone would get me Lacey’s outfit, I’ll be even happier.
- Warren & Kym (samba): As always, Warren had fun out on the floor, but even though we saw evidence of his trademark fast footwork, I didn’t really feel that this was his dance. It may have been the choreography that let him down, but Warren just didn’t seem to have enough content to work with, and by now we know that he can do better.
- Los Vivancos: this all-male flamenco troupe (comprised of seven brothers) put on what must be the Spanish version of ‘Lord of the Dance’, but unfortunately it didn’t do a great deal for me- for me flamenco should have plenty of women in those lovely dresses, so to have some men posturing about and then ripping off their jackets wasn’t really my cup of tea. If you liked Mark Foster’s chest on Strictly, however, you might just be into this.
- Ballroom kids: the junior competition is back, and first up were Jessica (10) and Mitchell (11) performing a cha cha. The performance was good (damn those kids!) although as always with these younger couples the girl always seems a bit better than her partner. Next on the floor were Hanna (10) and Kirill (11) with a samba- their partnership showed more equality, but less consistency, with some very good moments punctuated with less good points. Ultimately, however, the judges chose Kirill and Hannah to go through to the finals.
- Neo performed his hit single ‘Closer’ complete with his own backing dancers; for me it was all a bit repetitive and underwhelming, but obviously there are people out there who like this kind of thing.
- Elimination: predictably, Rocco & Karina and Cloris & Corky were in the bottom two, but in the end it was Rocco & Karina who went home.