The big story of the week is that John Sergeant has decided to drop out of Strictly, but let’s put that aside for a moment and concentrate on what actually went on last Saturday.
Special- Children in Need
For Children in Need, Tess Daly and Terry Wogan each performed a dance with one of the Strictly pros.
· Tess & Anton (American smooth): Whilst not exactly marvellous, Tess did her best in this dance, and with the capable Anton leading her around the floor, she actually did quite well.
· Terry & Flavia (waltz): Terry may have once presented Come Dancing, but when it came to moving it on the floor he seemed to be in the John Sergeant school of dance, with a waltz that was average at best. Oh well, at least he gave it a go.
In the end, Tess came top with both the judges and the studio audience vote, ensuring that even if Anton never gets his hands on the glitterball, at least he has now won something.
Saturday Night’s all right for dancing
· Jodie & Ian (quickstep): Back in the safety of Ian’s arms, the samba could be forgotten as Jodie got down to what she has come to best- selling the glamour and elegance of a ballroom number. Although it was hard to look at footwork due to the long skirt, she certainly seemed to be doing well, giving the dance the speed and grace that it needed. There may have been a slight mistake in the middle, but a good performance overall.
· Lisa & Brendan (samba): As we so often find, the samba is a difficult dance for the celebs to master, and even though I’ve championed Lisa these last few weeks, this one didn’t impress me. She did try a variety of steps, but it lacked the bounce and the party atmosphere- perhaps a different song would have helped on that front.
· Christine & Matthew (waltz): What a lovely waltz- Christine has been quietly working away in the background this week, but each week she has been on a slow and steady climb, and finally everything has come together in this dance. A worthy effort, and one that was highly enjoyable to watch.
· Cherie & James (cha cha): Never mind about the dance- I want those legs! Anyway, although it didn’t wow me the first time, I rather enjoyed this cha cha on second viewing. It may have been a touch understated but Cherie completed a good range of steps; unfortunately, James was giving it so much that it made her look tamer in comparison. And no more leg guitar, please.
· Austin & Erin (tango): Great music, a great costume, and a dance to match- Austin and Erin have done it again. Perhaps Austin could have put a bit more than a single grim face into his performance, but even so he drove the dance, putting sharpness and aggression into it, and bringing Erin’s splendid choreography to life.
· Rachel & Vincent (rumba): While personally I would have preferred more basic and wouldn’t have given it 39/40, this was still a powerful rumba- the presentation was very intense and it was one of the rare occasions where you could actually believe the relationship between the couple, even if only for a moment (obviously I’m not including pro dances in that).
· John & Kristina (American smooth): To be fair anything would have been an improvement over that cha cha, but this time John actually seemed to dance just a little, and overall it was better than all of his recent Latin efforts.
· Tom & Camilla (salsa): Although this was by no means bad, it did seem a little inconsistent- at times it all went well, but occasionally it seemed as if Tom not really throwing his all into it. A good effort, although when he was dancing towards the judges it felt like a poor man’s version of Matt di Angelo’s shimmy for Arlene.
· Professional cha-cha: Brian, Kristina, Vincent, Flavia, James and Ola all showed off their skills in a cheeky cha cha- I must admit I preferred the part that didn’t involve the chairs, but the pros are so skilled that they’re always enjoyable to watch.
· Bruce and Anton performed ‘Me and My Shadow’ together in an entertaining routine that was something a little different from the norm and more in keeping with old style variety shows. Good, plain fun.
· Tom Jones performed his new single- I’m somewhat distressed at what’s happened to his looks but at least his voice hasn’t changed, and to distract me from the now scary sight of his face we had some Latin action from Darren, Lilia, Ian and Camilla
· Elimination: With the Sergeant effect in place, Lisa and Cherie ended up in the bottom two, and whilst Lisa really upped her game, Cherie couldn’t quite nail it and was ultimately voted out by the judges. And here I had her pegged for the final.