The big story of the week was the withdrawal of John Sergeant, an event which somehow made the national news and even merited a press conference. With John gone, it meant another two person final, but at leas the show could finally get down to the dancing instead of the media circus.
Now only six remain…
· Lisa & Brendan (quickstep): The samba has always been Brendan’s Achilles’ heel but fortunately Lisa was saved to dance again, and she seems to be back on form with this energetic quickstep. Brendan finally seems to have got the hang of showing off his partner, ensuring that Lisa wasn’t overshadowed as she performed this worthy routine.
· Christine & Matthew (cha cha cha): I loved Christine’s dress and I was fully expecting her to come alive with this dance, but whilst the steps were there, it all felt a little underwhelming. Christine just didn’t seem to give it the cheekiness and energy that the dance requires- if she’d gone all out and sparkled, this would have been a much better performance.
· Jodie & Ian (jive): I feared for Jodie after learning she’d been ill and unable to practise, and indeed it had an adverse effect on her performance. Already a hard dance for taller people, the jive proved to be Jodie’s undoing after several weeks of steady improvement- although she at least seemed to be enjoying herself, she didn’t have the necessary precision and bounce, whilst the routine was understandably simplified to account for the reduced training time.
· Tom & Camilla (tango): Time and again, the tango has been called the actors’ dance, and Tom truly proved it this week- the music, the steps and the story all came together to produce a sharp, strong and passionate routine. Tom is in serious danger of overtaking Austin as my favourite.
· Rachel & Vincent (foxtrot): This was a gentle, subtly understated yet smooth and elegant routine, and certainly it was very good, yet I can’t shake the feeling that it didn’t quite deserve the perfect score of 40/40, because something, some tiny spark was missing. Where was the element that made Jill’s jive, Mark’s Argentine tango and Zoe’s tango so memorable? This was a good dance, but it isn’t one that will stick in the mind through the ages.
· Austin & Erin (cha cha): I’ve been supporting Austin most of the way but this cha cha was somewhat disappointing- and I ended up feeling that both parties were to blame. It would have been a good number at a party, but here the choreography felt uninspired, neither Austin nor Erin seemed to be giving it their all in technique, and Austin’s arms weren’t striking the right lines. Another Latin dud.
At the end of the show, John and Kristina also performed one last waltz.
· Milonga: Apparently a forerunner to the Argentine tango, this dance seems to play out like a country version of the tango, and in the hands of Vincent And Flavia it was spectacular to watch. I can’t believe how flexible Flavia is!
· Group dance- Saturday Night Fever: Arlene choreographed a Saturday Night Fever inspired routine, but for me it wasn’t all that great- I’m sure fans of the original will like it, but that disco style stuff has to be highly polished to have a hope of appealing to me.
· John Barrowman sang ‘Can’t Take My Eyes Off You’ with accompanying dancing from Brian, Darren, Lilia, Ola, Flavia and Hayley- an enjoyable routine overall if marred by over-singing and dodgy camera angles (no change there, then!)
· Elimination: This week, it was Jodie & Ian and Lisa & Brendan‘s turn to compete in the dance-off, and while it was amazing how much both sides upped their game and gave it their all in what could have been their final number, in the end it was Lisa’s inherently superior performance that earned her a unanimous vote from the judges.