In the sixth week of the competition, our contestants have to tackle the most advanced dances of all- the whirling Viennese waltz or the passionate paso doble, the dance of the bullfight.
Viennese waltz vs. paso doble
- Lisa & Brendan (paso doble): The paso doble is a very hard dance to sell- get it wrong and you look faintly ridiculous rather than at all convincing. Fortunately, despite a few missteps, Lisa did a good job with Brendan’s strong choreography, making for one of the better pasos of the night.
- Andrew & Ola (Viennese waltz): Although still not perfect, Andrew at least demonstrated an improvement this time around- there may have been a trip and a bit too much rise and fall (required for the English waltz, not the Viennese), but the bum was tucked under and he did a competent job overall.
- Christine & Matthew (paso doble): The paso doble is a dance of aggression, and as Len and Bruno said, Christine is simply too nice a person to perform it properly. Although I loved the dress and quite enjoyed the beginning of the routine on rewatching, overall this wasn’t her dance- she didn’t her lines with enough conviction and sharpness to sell it.
- Austin & Erin (Viennese waltz): What a lovely routine- starting with a fleckerl, Austin and Erin led off into a beautiful romantic Viennese waltz free from gimmicks but packed with great dancing. Due to the lack of steps (although Strictly is more relaxed about that than proper competitions), it can be hard to make the Viennese waltz interesting, but this was definitely one of the best ones ever seen on Strictly.
- Cherie & James (paso doble): As an actress, Cherie should have been perfect for this dance, but a general lack of confidence and a big mistake at the start meant that although she hit the right lines, the dance lacked the attack and intensity that it needed. It’s a shame we can’t see her have a second go at this, to see how it could have gone.
- Heather & Brian (Viennese waltz): Safe in Brian’s arms, Heather managed her best dance yet- instead of failing to impress in yet another lacklustre Latin routine, this time she was able to manage a graceful and elegant number. A worthy improvement.
- Mark & Hayley (paso doble): Poor Mark has struggled to get this far, and unfortunately there was no sign of any improvement this week. His paso was out of time, completely wooden and entirely unspectacular- even Hayley couldn’t save it from being a bit of a disaster.
- Tom & Camilla (Viennese waltz): Tom’s Viennese waltz divided the judges- Arlene and Bruno loved it, but Len wasn’t impressed by the footwork. Personally, it did look a bit unpolished in the footwork department (not to mention the mistake with the fleckerl), but given that Tom had just got married, of course it wasn’t going to be perfect. Still, the performance was good and overall it was a bit of a rough diamond.
- John & Kristina (paso doble): I never thought I’d see Winnie the Pooh doing a paso doble, but thanks to John, I have now seen the next best thing. Do I really need to say any more?
- Rachel & Vincent (Viennese waltz): When Vincent choreographed a Viennese waltz for Louisa Lytton, it didn’t have enough in hold, but this time he came up trumps with a sound routine that the couple performed in a sweet and understated manner. A gentle, pleasant routine overall.
- Jodie & Ian (paso doble): Aside from the odd colour of the costume, Jodie’s performance was rather inconsistent- there were moments where I really got into the dance and felt the intensity, and other points where she simply lacked the requisite precision. A good effort, but not the best delivery.
- The Jersey Boys performed ‘What a Night’ with accompanying samba moves from Darren & Lilia, James & Ola, Brian & Kristina and Matthew & Karen. You can’t really go wrong with such a well-known song, although of course the dancing was the highlight for me.
- Brian and Kristina performed a sizzling mambo that was fast-paced, fun, precise and as red hot as Brian’s shirt. These two have really been a great addition to the show, especially the lovely Kristina.
- Enrique Iglesias performed ‘Hero’ with an accompanying rumba from Vincent & Flavia and Darren & Lilia- since this is a song I’ve heard many times on the original SCD CD I do now quite like it, and even my dread of endless rumbas couldn’t detract from my enjoyment of the performance.
- Elimination: This time around, it was Mark & Hayley and Andrew & Ola who were in the dance-off; as with the first time around, Andrew gave the better performance, and the judges rightfully unanimously voted to save him.