Grumpy, jet-lagged Len was certainly in need of a break, but when the powers that be decided to bring in Michael Flatley as a guest judge for this week, you can’t help wishing he’d made the effort to stay on.
- Maurice & Cheryl (Viennese waltz): Given that Maurice hasn’t done a ballroom dance since week one, anything he did here could only be an improvement on that, and indeed the steps were there, and at times the routine came together– but overall it just lacked flow, making it feel disjointed and not at all as smooth as a Viennese waltz should be. Good effort, but could try harder.
- Lance & Lacey (jive): Lance disappointed me last week (and just as I was growing to like him), but he was back on form with this jive- Rachel Stevens, this is what a jive should be. It was fast, sharp, full of bounce and energy (not to mention the right balance of tricks and basic); my only slight nitpick is that Lance could have been on the balls of his feet a little more, but overall a well performed, well delivered routine.
- Susan & Tony (mambo): Although it was an improvement on last week, Susan still didn’t connect with me- her arms were good but her attempts to perform felt forced and she still wasn’t consistently using the energy of the floor.
- Brooke & Derek (rumba): Brooke suffered an injury the previous week that cut down her training time, and sadly it showed- she was a bit careful (not that I can blame her) and whilst it was a good effort, it wasn’t up there with her best routines.
- Cloris & Corky (cha cha): I didn’t think Cloris would even be able to do a cha cha- and, well, I was right. Less of a dance than a mere stepping round the floor, Cloris’ routine was on a par with John Sergeant’s- i.e. not very good at all.
- Cody & Julianne (samba): Poor Julianne has been diagnosed with endometriosis and will be having her appendix out, leaving Cody in Edyta’s hands next week. Meanwhile, this samba clearly suffered from a lack of practice time- taken as just any old dance, it was technically strong, but as a samba it completely lacked any bounce or carnival spirit, instead coming across as too serious and aggressive.
- Warren & Kym (rumba): I like that Warren and Kym told a story with this rumba, and Warren’s enthusiasm was plain, but even so this routine didn’t quite do it for me- there wasn’t enough actual dancing. The latest in a long line of underwhelming male rumbas.
- Group hip-hop: Since hip-hop isn’t my ‘scene’, I wasn’t too gone on this group dance, but it was still a bit of fun- especially the sight of Cloris dressed up in all the gear. Not the best group dance I’ve ever seen, but good for a bit of throwaway entertainment.
- Ballroom kids: The third round started off with Craig (13) and Samantha (11), the siblings of Cara from last season. They performed a cha cha with amazing skill and energy, a hard act for the next couple, Lucy (13) and Simon (13) to follow. They did try their best with a light, bright samba, but I still preferred the first performance, and the judges unanimously agreed (spoiling the previous system of giving the losing couple at least one vote).
- Missy Elliot and the Pussycat Dolls performed together- the routine was definitely not to my tastes although those Pussycats do look nice.
- Michael Flatley wasn’t content with being a guest judge, so he also gave us a performance from his new show Celtic Tiger, which saw Flatley take on the role of Al Capone and dancing amidst flames. I enjoyed the first part, which actually had music and kept Flatley silhouetted behind a screen, but when he came onstage, the whole routine seemed like little more than the latest round of showing off, without even any musical accompaniment.
- Elimination: This week Cloris & Corky dropped back into jeopardy alongside Susan & Tony (not necessarily the bottom two), but in the end its was Cloris & Corky’s time to go. Entertaining as she was, and hard as she’d begun to try, it was long past Cloris’ time to bow out, but here’s hoping Corky returns next season.