Evening all and welcome back to Strictly Saturdays actually on a Saturday. I don’t want you to be too alarmed that we’re getting close to Christmas and what not, but it’s already Semi Final week! Everyone is doing two brand new dances, and it’s all going to be final preparations. Who will make it? Who will fall at the final hurdle (literally)? I’m so excited! I think this is the week when we really see who copes under pressure. I’m so excited. I almost forgot that Charles and Karen were ever in the show, I wasn’t disappointed to see them go last week.
I don’t want to dilly dally too much, so we’ll skip over the fact that Tess looks like a stripper, Claudia looks like lampshade, Shirley looks like a Christmas tree and Darcey looks like The Duchess (a little Dad Wrote a Porno joke for you there). Seriously, could they not have dressed them a little better for the semi-final, the guys look great!
So, let’s get on with the show and see how many journey’s and dreams we have mentioned!
Stacey Dooley and Kevin Clifton Charleston to ‘Five Foot Two Eyes Of Blue’ (watch here)
She has been so excited about this dance that it has made me so excited about this dance. She is definitely tailor-made for it, she is going to have so much fun and this is hopefully going to be her all over. I love how shocked she is that people like her, of course they do, she’s so cute.
That was properly cute and good. I love the reminiscent old couple and the flashback element, and the dancing, well it’s her all over. Her limbs and face were made for this dance style, and she looks like 20’s flapper girl. That was really good.
Craig: 9 Darcey: 10 Shirley: 10 Bruno: 10 Total: 39
Joe Sugg and Dianne Buswell Viennese Waltz to ‘This Year’s Love’ (watch here)
These two are possibly my favourite left which is quite shocking considering I didn’t like him at the beginning. They’re cute, and I hope the rumours that they’re together are true. He is a ballroom boy so I am very much hoping that he nails this, like he is nailing that waistcoat. I love that he’s the last boy standing, because he is a boy and not a man. I love that the demographic for his fans was so predicable, that was adorable.
They look so sweet. They look like it was effortlessly felt and I bloody loved it. There was sway and chemistry and romance and I really liked it. It flowed and I just lived for how they looked at each other. YES.
Craig: 6 Darcey: 8 Shirley: 7 Bruno: 8 Total: 29
Ashley Roberts and Pasha Kovalev Paso Doble to ‘Spectrum (Say My Name)’ (watch here)
She puts so much attack and fierceness into her dances that I feel like this one should be dramatic and epic and huge. She is so good at shaping (which you would expect from a trained dancer) and this is all about the attack and the body shapes, I have high hopes. But, SEMI NOT SEM-AYE, you’re in the UK now. The little squids who did that lift though! I feel like we’re being forced to like them and it’s putting me off even more.
Erm, a don’t actually think that was that good. There was a lot of fierce ferocity and passion and attack, and that was great, but I feel like there was a few stumbles and slips and adjustments of her feet that were really noticeable. I can’t tell if it was just frantic, or lack of shaping, but the attack didn’t make up for the errors for me, and the fact that he was trying to take the blame has just got my back up. After writing this, I’ve made my mind up that I actually really didn’t like it.
Craig: 9 Darcey: 9 Shirley: 9 Bruno: 9 Total: 36
I haven’t done many P.S. bits this year, but, that score is bullshit. The comments were much harsher than the scores were and it didn’t reflect the actual dance.
Lauren Steadman and AJ Pritchard Tango to ‘Nutbush City’ (watch here)
I love this dance and I think they’ve done really well, but I worry that this will not be the best dance for her. She likes romance and soft ballroom and I worry about how this harsh and fierce dance will work. Plus, I don’t want to see AJ’s tango face, or hear him try to be genuine in his monotonous tone. FINALLY WE GET TO SEE WHO’S VOTING FOR HER. Harsh, but fair.
That was better than I thought it would be but it looks like two kids who are trying to play parts that are too old for them and that they don’t understand. It wasn’t quite right, I think it was a bit soft and not staccato and clipped enough. As Emma says though, he is brave to keep dipping her when he nearly dropped her in the first show. It was just good. Nothing special, nothing dreadful.
Craig: 7 Darcey: 8 Shirley: 8 Bruno: 8 Total: 31
Faye Tozer-Smith and Giovanni Pernice Samba to ‘Rock The Boat’ (watch here)
I feel like I have grown ambivalent to this pair which is surprising as I loved Faye in Steps. I really want her to get to the final because I do love her, but I don’t feel it, I don’t feel like it’s all genuine. I feel like they’ve used these videos with these two to bridge the gap that covers an argument that they’ve been having.
Erm, I don’t think that was brilliant and I don’t think it felt like a carnival. Her dress was moving, but wasn’t sure her hips was. I didn’t think it flowed or felt like a samba should. It was quite flat and dare I say, boring. I don’t think I’ll be remembering that at the end of the night.
Craig: 9 Darcey: 9 Shirley: 9 Bruno: 10 Total: 37
RIGHT, before we go into the second half, I need to have a rant. I get that Joe did something that doesn’t belong in his dance, and I want to preface this rant by saying that I don’t think he was under marked if his dance was full of rise and fall when it shouldn’t have been there. But I am absolutely seething that they think it’s OK to mark Ashley and Faye’s dances that high! Ashley literally stumbled and corrected footwork repeatedly throughout, how was it worth 36?! And Faye’s dance was lacking in any party atmosphere and felt like someone who had learnt a dance and was bored of performing it so was just going through the motions, her hips didn’t move that much but they put her in a dress that made it seem like they did. It’s bullshit! I they have them two 9’s and Bruno gave a 10 then they should have had much high paddles for Stacey’s dance. If I was her I would feel outraged that I hadn’t got 40 because she was leagues ahead of everyone else so far.
OK, deep breaths Liz, on we go to round 2.
Stacey Dooley and Kevin Clifton Viennese Waltz to ‘You’re My World’ (watch here)
I like that the judges like her. Bruno is right, she embraces every style and feels it. She puts it on the line and really learns from what they’ve said. They have a great relationship, they’re both wild and silly, but they’re so good and he can really go for the choreography with her. I hope this is really serene and special. THE RETURN OF DISHEVELLED KEV IS JUST WHAT I NEEDED AFTER MY RANT. I feel like this will be fleckerl central.
Kev in tails though. That was like a proper celebration, I live for the giggle in the middle and just thought it was really heart warming and genuinely brilliant. I love these so much. That was a second dance that said we have smashed this semi-final and deserve our place in the final.
Craig: 8 Darcey: 9 Shirley: 10 Bruno: 9 Total: 36
Joe Sugg and Dianne Buswell Argentine Tango to ‘Red Right Hand’ (watch here)
I love how the judges are as surprised as we are about how good he’s been. Darcey, I loved that Quickstep too!! They are brave and take chance and trust each other implicitly. I love these, right, I really do, but I just feel like they’re too nice and smiley for this. I loved that they’ve gone full Peaky Blinder with his outfit, I love this song, and I hope I am proved wrong. I worry he is a bit too young for this, they seem to think it too.
I will never be able to watch that again. His little hand at the beginning and his little face doing things that he thought was manly and looked like he was sucking on a lemon. I love the song and it was much better than I thought it was going to be but that just, oh Joe. Let’s have Cotton Eyed Joe back please.
Craig: 6 Darcey: 8 Shirley: 8 Bruno: 8 Total: 30
Ashley Roberts and Pasha Kovalev American Smooth to ‘Ain’t That A Kick In The Head’ (watch here)
I love how the judges are like what a dancer. She IS a dancer that’s why. They’re right about the attack and the focus, she just goes for it so much. I think they need to realise that people don’t love the dance training like the judges do, we like a novice on a journey. I have a feeling that this will be epic and really nice. This is their aesthetic and I think it will be stunning.
That was seriously good, The lifts were special, and even though I thought she might die on quite a few occasions and saw a lot of more of her than I ever want to see, I have to say that was spectacular. The core strength for that swan like lift at the end too.
Craig: 10 Darcey: 10 Shirley: 10 Bruno: 10 Total: 40
Lauren Steadman and AJ Pritchard Samba to ‘Rock The Boat’ (watch here)
I like how the judges are all about her athletic and competitive edges and were trying to avoid the literal lack of arm. I am worried as anything about this. I just think this won’t come naturally and will be awkward. I worry that she doesn’t have the personality to make up for any lack of technique with this and yes, I worry this will be a bad dance to finish her semi-final effort on.
It looks like kids at a disco or drunk groupies at a 70’s impersonation night. She doesn’t look like she is enjoying it, so why would I if she clearly isn’t. It looks like she has no clue what she is doing, and to be honest I feel like that’s how she feels, like she doesn’t have a clue. There was so many mistakes.
Craig: 5 Darcey: 6 Shirley: 6 Bruno: 6 Total: 23
Faye Tozer-Smith and Giovanni Pernice Argentine Tango to ‘La Cumparsita’ (watch here)
Of course Faye is a contender, she has been trained. And the reason she is better in ballroom is because she is a bit detached and you notice that less in a classy, less extravagant dance. She is brilliantly technical, but I don’t think they feel it, like, she dances it so well she just doesn’t ooze it, it doesn’t translate as well. That said, this could be spectacular. It’s so technical that if she gets this right and gets into a character and connects with him and tells the story it will be epic. It could also fall so flat if their is no chemistry.
Technically that was something else. The problem? They don’t seem to be in it together. There was drama, but not with each other. A good Argentine tango should almost make you feel uncomfortable it is that intense, and it wasn’t like that. The lifts were impressive and the flicks and tricks were amazing, but it was a bit flat. They were in their own worlds, but I feel like they could have been a world away from each other. I also feel like they could have been dancing it to any music, it didn’t hit the beats and accents of the music. I don’t believe it.
Craig: 9 Darcey: 10 Shirley: 10 Bruno: 10 Total: 39
I don’t want to be dramatic, but I am seriously sitting here debating whether I want to watch next week. Darcey has criticised her twice in the last two weeks and still given her a 10, like, no that’s not perfection and a 10 if you have to say someone did something wrong. I get that dance is subjective and if you feel it then you’ll vote it higher, but you knocked points of Joe’s dance because it had a bit of rise and fall. You said it was stunning and romantic and made you feel it but you knocked marks off and then you go and make a mockery of the scoring by saying that the dancer made a mistake but it’s OK because we’re biased so here’s a 10.
1= Ashley and Pasha – 36 + 40 = 76
1= Faye and Giovanni – 37 + 39 = 76
3. Stacey and Kevin – 39 + 36 = 75
4. Joe and Dianne – 29 + 30 = 59
5. Lauren and AJ – 31 + 23 = 54
*dance links to follow
I am really gutted to be saying it, but for the first time ever I have absolutely lost it with Strictly this week and genuinely wonder what the point of watching it is if it’s going to feel so biased. The scoring was a shitshow throughout tonight’s show, with overmarking left, right, and centre when it came to the trained dancers that they want in the final because they’re capable of incredible tricks. It doesn’t matter that your freestyle might be incredible and you may be able to do amazing lifts, overscoring them to get there is just crap. I just feel like tonight didn’t seem fair. It’s never fair that people have dance training beforehand but that’s not their fault as producers let them on. What is unfair is when they’re then overmarked because the panel have decided they want them in the final.
D’you know what else had rubbed me up the wrong way this week? The sycophantic comments on why people should be in the final. It felt forced and false and actually put me off a lot of the pairs. I was warming to Ashley after her special American Smooth and then BOOM Pasha puts me off. I don’t want to hear why AJ thinks Lauren is inspirational, she doesn’t deserve to be in the final because she simply isn’t as good. It has nothing to do with her only having one arm, her waltz proved she is more than capable than doing a beautiful and acted dance, she just isn’t good enough.
Sorry for the rants and the moaning. I am more annoyed with Strictly and myself than I thought I ever would be and as much as I know I will still tune in and watch as normal next week I will definitely not love it as much as I should do after this week. Maybe 15 years is the limit for me? I don’t even know. I’m going to end it here because I will inevitably feel guilty tomorrow for saying anymore. Until tomorrow night…
I kind of watched the results show on fast forward this week because I just wanted to see who was going out and I really don’t like Little Mix all that much. There was a cool pro dance at the beginning of the show which you can watch here, and some of the female pros joined the Little Mix Gals during their performance too.
I don’t think it was all that shocking that Lauren was finally in a dance off, or that Ashley was really. It was time for Lauren to bow out, and Ashley really isn’t like by the popular vote. It must feel rubbish to be in the dance off when one of your dances scored 40, and it must also be crap to be against someone who’s dance scored 40. It wasn’t a surprise that Lauren went, but if Ashley wants to win this thing, she needs to stop sulking and actually look like she wants to be there.
The finalists are: FAYE AND GIOVANNI, JOE AND DIANNE, ASHLEY AND PASHA, and STACEY AND KEVIN. Who do you want to win? Tune in to next weeks final to find out, don’t forget to vote! See you then!