Strictly Come Dancing: Week 8

Remember Remember it’s well and truly November. The fireworks have been and gone and replacing them is the race to Blackpool. Claudia just informed us that they’re going for a record of 300 mentions after last year’s measly 248!

Last week, well, last week. It got dramatic. It got intense. It got exciting. Last week we saw the first 40 of this year’s competition, and as much as I don’t like Debbie, her Tango was pretty fierce (Craig got out of his seat and bowed at their feet for crying out loud!)

We also had the first shock elimination. I say shock, because at the beginning of the weekend, no one would have said that Aston and Janette would go. They were second bottom of the leader board and they clearly didn’t ignite the viewers to vote, so it can’t be that much of a surprise. I will miss him immensely and I will miss Jeanette, you always know they’ll be super Good, but he was second bottom. I think the message from last week is: VOTE for your favourites because no-one is safe!

I’m not in love with the outfit choices this week guys, but I guess you had to have a weaker week right? Seriously though, how can Kevin get cuter and sweeter. I don’t understand how it’s possible?

Susan Calman and Kevin Clifton | Tango to ‘Firework’ (watch here)

I always go on about these being left until the end, so I’m kinda pleased that they’re at the start for once. I just live for them dancing. I’m a little concerned how intense and broody this needs to be and how smiley and happy they are?

You brought it there gurl, that was on fire. I really liked that, it was flat and it had the sharp elements and the intensity it needed! Yay I am proud of you, you’ll get him to Blackpool, I can feel it!

Craig: 5 Darcey: 6 Shirley: 8 Bruno: 8| Total: 27

Joe McFadden and Katya Jones | Rumba to ‘One’ (watch here)

We all know that rumbas are notoriously rubbish, boring, and awkward, so I am seriously worried for Joe here. I just worry that this is going to pass me by, and therefore, pass everyone by who doesn’t like him.

OK, so in the rumba world, that wasn’t completely unbearable, but it still wasn’t brilliant (for me). I am pleased he got decent scores, because I will forget that by the time it gets to the recap at the end!

Craig: 7 Darcey: 8 Shirley: 9 Bruno: 9| Total: 33

Ruth Langsford and Anton Du Beke | Foxtrot to ‘Mack The Knife’ (watch here)

If she stays on her feet, she will be doing better than last week, because last week, I saw more of Ruth that I wanted to see. I like this dance, but the training room footage doesn’t fill me with much confidence.

They went on about the slow foxtrot and then it really wasn’t slow. Not that I had a problem with that though, I like the aesthetic they were going for, and I like the props and the elegance.

Craig: 4 Darcey: 5 Shirley: 4 Bruno: 5 | Total: 18

Davood Ghadami and Nadiya Bychkova | Charleston to ‘The Lambeth Walk’ (watch here)

I feel like Nadiya has taken a hard look at Susan and Kevin and realised that light and fluffy and amusing is what the British public want. I loved their dance last week and feel like he could nail this. That said, the VT also suggested that there is a high chance it could go very very wrong too….?

Oooo I liked that. There was swivel and comedy and there was big, well executed lifts. I smell 10’s here because I couldn’t see a fault with that. I am pleased they have embraced this side of him now, he looks so much more at ease. I am really starting to like them.

Craig: 9 Darcey: 9 Shirley: 10 Bruno: 10 | Total: 38

******************10 ALERT********************

Gemma Atkinson and Aljaz Skorjanec | Viennese Waltz to ‘You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me’ (watch here)

I am worried that she is going to be sick during this dance. I think it’s been a long time since someone looked at their partner with such adoration and determination to do things well for them. She is working so hard on what they tell her.

That gave me goosebumps, and I am genuinely sitting here thinking that the judges must have watched a different dance to me. I thought it was beautiful and stunning and quite moving.

Craig: 7 Darcey: 7 Shirley: 7 Bruno: 7| Total: 28

Alexandra Burke and Gorka Marquez | Argentine Tango to ‘Mi Confession’ (watch here)

Last week, they were pretty damn good, and I love their Tango the week before, so I have very high expectations here!! Annnnd, it’s the first Argentine Tango of the season! I have really high hopes, and I also believe they will smash this!

Wow, that was intense, and passionate, and really, really good. There were lots of kicks and flicks, there were dramatic lifts, and there was some Alexandra-standing-on-his-feet-in-the-weird-steppy-move-that-I-love things in there too!

Craig: 9 Darcey: 9 Shirley: 10 Bruno: 10| Total: 38

******************10 ALERT********************

Mollie King and AJ Pritchard| Paso to ‘Layla’ (watch here)

This is one hell of a song, and the dance can be one hell of a dance, and I know it’s one of AJ’s favourites: This is a mixing pot for potential perfection. It’s also a potential for disaster. I fear she is just too nice for this.

Well, I was right. I didn’t want to be, but I was. It lacked attack, and passion, and sharpness, and all the things that make a Paso stand out. I won’t be surprised if she is in the dance off….again.

Craig: 5 Darcey: 6 Shirley: 6 Bruno: 5| Total: 22

Jonnie Peacock and Oti Mabuse | Foxtrot to ‘Someone Like You’ (watch here)

Oti is just stunning. I think I might be a little bit in love with her. I feel like his bum sticking out is such a hard thing for him to correct with his foot and lack of ankle joint, that it makes it even more admirable that he is trying so hard.

Oh, that wasn’t the best dance of his, by any stretch. I liked her dress, and I like how they covered his arse with a long jacket (smart move!) I think Darcey was a bit harsh there, and by a bit harsh, I mean cruel.

Craig: 4 Darcey: 5 Shirley: 6 Bruno: 6| Total: 21


Debbie McGee and Giovanni Pernice | Salsa to ‘I Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You’ (watch here)

I don’t think that their Tango will be forgotten for a while, in fact, I think it will go down in Strictly history. I also think that this salsa will be fairly extraordinary, technically good, and that they will go for it with the lifts to prove that she is just not an old lady who used to be good at dancing?

Yes, the lifts were damn impressive when she was in the air, but getting in and out of them was a little bit unsightly. She definitely missed his arm while she was spinning. Shame really, because that could have been another top top dance.

Gio, put your torso away and do your shirt up, you’re on live TV!

Craig: 9 Darcey: 9 Shirley: 8 Bruno: 9| Total: 35


  1. Alexandra & Gorka/Davood & Nadiya – 38
  2. Debbie & Giovanni – 35
  3. Joe & Katya – 33
  4. Gemma & Aljaz – 28
  5. Susan & Kevin – 27
  6. Mollie & AJ – 22
  7. Jonnie & Oti – 21
  8. Ruth & Anton – 18

The leaderboard is looking sparse this week, I think I am getting more and more aware that there are people leaving this competition every week. I am so pleased that my favourites are still in it, but it does mean that the wait to see if they’re safe gets harder and longer! I have been voting again for Jonnie and Susan, because I just want them to stay.

Blackpool is next week, which brings extra pressure, but also often sees the bottom of the leader board dropped, as comic performances and entertainment value are less valued than quality dancers. Kevin always does a great dance in Blackpool, so Susan and Kevin had better get there. I feel like it wouldn’t be the same without him, y’know?

Until next week…

….keep dancing!

I am seriously starting to wonder just how many times they can get away with saying Blackpool in this show. It is ridiculous, but I guess it does show the importance of the place and just how much it actually means to get to dance there!

The pro dance this week was, naturally given that it was Remembrance Sunday, themed around military wives at home thinking all about their loved ones at war. It was seriously emotional made worse by the fact that it was Kevin and Karen that featured as the centre pair. The opening and closing with the room and mirror and jacket was really well done and made me feel things. Well done guys, a great show and decoration there!!

I am not going to lie guys, my heart was in my mouth once again, and I was devastated to see Jonnie in the dance off. I think I could have passed out if it had been Susan and Kevin there, and it’s been a long time since I was so relieved to hear Ruth and Anton read out. They were entertaining and funny but the road had to end at some point. I think, once they were there, I just felt like Jonnie and Oti were safe and could breathe again, even more so when Ruth went so wrong!

See you in sunny Blackpool next Saturday!

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