I wish this could be like last year’s Week 8 post when I actually got to go to the show, but alas, it was not to be.
Nine little dancers, waltzing for their fate- one tripped up, and then there were eight
- Tom & Camilla (quickstep): Although it couldn’t quite match up to Austin’s quickstep from last week, Tom still did a very good job, and his energetic solo piece added to the routine rather than distracted from it. Still, I would have preferred a big band number rather than Billy Elliott- after all, Tom is a big Fred Astaire fan.
- Jodie & Ian (samba): Poor Jodie- she may have found her feet in the ballroom, but she’s still sorely lacking in the Latin- she lacked the bounce and energy, resulting in a lacklustre and awkward routine.
- Heather & Brian (tango): There were plenty of technically good moments in this routine, and Heather has shown slow improvement, but I just can’t warm to her dancing. I don’t know what it is, but she doesn’t connect with me.
- Austin & Erin (rumba): The rumba is a notoriously hard dance for the male celebrities in particular, and although I can’t fault him for trying, Austin didn’t quite manage to pull it off. A decent effort, but not in the same league as Colin Jackson or Matt di Angelo’s rumbas.
- Cherie & James (waltz): In contrast to Jodie and Austin, Cherie was back in her comfort zone this week with an elegant waltz that was a real class act. Thanks to the camera, I couldn’t see the toe leads, and so all I can do is praise this routine.
- Christine & Matthew (jive): Although not technically perfect, Christine pulled off a jive that was bright, bubbly and lots of good fun. Even though it wasn’t as complex as Rachel’s routine last week, it ended up scoring higher when it came to energy and entertainment.
- Rachel & Vincent (American smooth): Although quickstep American Smooth doesn’t really exist, it’s allowed in Strictly, and when you combine the allowed breaks in hold with a fast, energetic routine, it’s perfect for Vincent’s style of choreography. Better yet, Rachel danced better than she has in the last couple of weeks, proving strong both in hold and out of it.
- John and Kristina (cha cha): Oh dear, I don’t know what was better- John sitting on the floor pretending to talk on the phone, or him walking around the floor in a poor approximation of the cha cha. John seems to be getting worse every week- his time on the floor really should be curtailed.
- Lisa & Brendan (Viennese waltz): A lovely dress, a lovely dance- yet Lisa and Brendan have done it again. The Viennese waltz can often be dull and underwhelming, but this was an absorbing, charming routine. These two have become real contenders.
- World Latin champions Michael and Joanna returned to do a cha cha- I liked this a lot more than their routine last year, but I find Joanna far better to watch than Michael.
- The pros did a Remembrance Sunday special with a ballroom tribute to songs of the era- I especially loved the quickstep section, but it was all lovely.
- Beyoncé murdered a few cats with her singing, but at least Brian and Kristina ameliorated the whole affair with a nice rumba. I know I complain about excessive rumbas, but this was very watchable, and I really love Kristina and her dancing.
- Elimination: Somehow John escaped elimination once again, leaving Heather & Brian and Rachel & Vincent to battle it out in the dance-off. Heather upped her game but she couldn’t really match Rachel, who shouldn’t have been in the dance-off in the first place- leaving the judges no choice but to unanimously send Heather home.