Hello my lovely people, and welcome back. I really feel that the fireworks are over for Bonfire night and that I am super ready for the countdown to Christmas to begin in earnest. ‘Blackpool’ is going to be the buzz word of the week because next week we’re off to the Tower Ballroom and no-one will want to miss out.
Strictly Saturdays is a weekly review of Strictly Come Dancing. Expect biased reviews, uneducated dancing critique, and sass.
I feel like quite a lot of things have happened in the world of Strictly this week, most importantly, that NEIL IS BACK. They’ve announced the Christmas Special line-up that means Gemma Atkinson and Joe Sugg are both back in the ballroom! I am actually really looking forward to the show this Christmas. There has been a lot of backlash and fix claims this week and I feel like some (or actually quite a lot of it) is harsh. Look I get it, overall Emma and Aljaz were a better pair than Mike and Katya, but the Salsa was not her dance and Mike really stepped it up a notch in the dance off (because the edited results show meant you didn’t see the bit where the lift error was apparently Katya and he saved it). Ultimately, in that dance off, he was better than her and the judges are supposed to vote on the dance alone, which they did. Johannes and Graziano did an amazing routine that was joyous and inspirational to watch and I have watched it about 1263 this week.
The last thing is twitter, because there was a bit of a twitter storm last week over on my handle. I tweeted to chide Anton and what I believed to be a rude and disrespectful act during the judges feedback section last weekend. Emma’s Rumba was sadly the worst dance of the evening, and he allowed all the judges to finish but her. In fact, she didn’t actually get beyond the initial positive comment before he began talking over her. Well, I was apparently in the wrong for believing that it was rude. I genuinely wasn’t commenting on the feedback (which I thought was valid critique but could have been presented in a more constrictive way – but then Shirley was being attacked so was maybe more short than she otherwise would be), I wasn’t saying pros can’t defend their celebs (I like it when Katya/Neil/Kevin/Aljaz do it as they all wait for the judge to finish and defend their celeb – they’re not rude), I don’t think either were bullying the other and didn’t think Shirley was bullying Emma, I wasn’t saying I thought Anton should go or be sacked (some people seemed to have a go at me with this tone even though that wasn’t what I said) and yeah, there was a lot of back lash and rudeness and a lack of understanding about what I was tweeting about which was super sad. It put a little bit of a downer on the show last week, and to be honest, doing these reviews and commenting on twitter at all, but I’ve decided I like to be able to look back, so I’m sticking with it.
Right, enough about last week and twitter and moaning, let’s see what we have this week huh?! Tess is back to the one shoulder outfits, but she is really running with the sequins. Once again, Claudia is looking great in her outfit. I feel like I’ve really noticed Claudia this year so much more than previous seasons. Shirley is looking great in her dress and looks more comfortable this week, and Motsi just looks devastating (dang those mamas!). The boys have worn some really cool suits this year, Bruno’s especially was really nice!
Alex Scott and Neil Jones | Jive to ‘Let’s Twist Again’ (watch here)
I am literally so happy that Neil is back, and I really love that Kevin is still in their training room, she is so lucky. I really feel like she is stunning and loving it so much and it’s great to see. I think, in dancing with someone else and showing them the routine, she has really realised she can do it.
Neil is back, Alex and him look great, her smile is infectious, and the joy in that could be felt through the TV. The feel was really sweet, it was varied, and light, and she just looks like she’s having the time of your life. Oh and Kevin’s face and celebration were brilliant, I am liking Kevin again and it’s good. Oh Motsi, Motsi Motsi, what were you thinking with that there, awkward much?
Craig: 7 Motsi: 8 Shirley: 8 Bruno: 8 Total: 31
Liz: 8 | 9 Emma: 8 | 9
Mike Bushell and Katya Jones | Paso Doble to ‘Tamacun’ (watch here)
Oh I am worried about this. I can see already that he is struggling a bit with the shaping, and even though he is willing to give everything, he can’t over egg this in a comic way and I think that might be his downfall.
There was a bit of shaping and there was notable Paso Doble moves and things but it was so stomps and rigid and not quite right. The ending was impressive but a little unnecessary. He felt it though, he had the face and I felt like he was trying really hard, and had a great timing element too.
Craig: 5 Motsi: 7 Shirley: 7 Bruno: 6 Total: 25
Liz: 6 | 7 Emma: 6 | 8
Karim Zeroual and Amy Dowden | Viennese Waltz to ‘Give Me Love’ (watch here)
I have to agree, it was a special bang of a dance last week. I think it will be interesting to see how he deals with a softer flowing dance instead of a fast and high energy one. Oh hello, fleckerl alert! I think these deserve Blackpool so far tbh, I really want them to get there.
Amy. Looks. Devastating. Karim is a ballroom boy eh, because this was cute and soft and flowing and really lovely. They are such a perfectly matched pair. It was so sad that there was a mistake. Oh God I cannot deal with his sad little face, I really feel for him.
Craig: 6 Motsi: 8 Shirley: 8 Bruno: 8 Total: 30
Liz: 8 | 8 Emma: 8 | 8
Chris Ramsay and Karen Hauer | Tango to ‘Survivor’ (watch here)
Last week’s dance will never be foChris’s smile literally lights up a room, so how will he do a dance where he can’t smile? I love how these look together, and that little moment when he takes the piss out of her.
FIRE. VELVET. SERIOUS FACE. I mean his elbow was a bit low, and there was points where it wasn’t quite sharp or unstompy enough, but there was attack and intent and passion and I felt it and even though I realise it wasn’t technically the absolutely bet. He really gave it a lot, I want him to be here so much. I love that they have switched from praise and are actually giving him constructive criticism.
Craig: 5 Motsi: 7 Shirley: 7 Bruno: 7 Total: 26
Liz: 7 | 8 Emma: 7 | 7
Michelle Visage and Giovanni Pernice | American Smooth to ‘I Just Want To Make Love To You’ (watch here)
7:30pm and they’re making close the bone lesbian jokes – LOVING THIS NEW BBC. I think the relationship between them, and I live for Gio saying ‘don’t be such a drama queen’ to her. I think this could be really really good. Michelle in Blackpool, she’ll rule the place within a week.
START DANCING. I live for her drawing him from the couch though. She’s so good in hold, with the accents and the pizazz. I live for they sexual jokiness, and Gio’s comic side. That was funny and so enjoyable, with just a bit of sass in there. Shirley, take a chill pill!
Craig: 9 Motsi: 9 Shirley: 9 Bruno: 9 Total: 36
Liz: 9 | 9 Emma: 8 | 9
Emma Barton and Anton du Beke | Couple’s Choice Theatre/Jazz to ‘Right Now’ (watch here)
I think these could be seriously good at a more acted theatrical dance. I love that these are living it, but I am a little fed up of hearing her Strictly Super Fan status. Her Mum is stunning!
Cool opening stance, but that for me was the best bit. Like it wasn’t bad, and it was right up her street/well acted, but it fell slow and flat. Maybe I don’t get this genre completely because it fell quite short for me.
Craig: 8 Motsi: 9 Shirley: 8 Bruno: 8 Total: 33
Liz: 7 | 4 Emma: 7 | 5
Saffron Barker and A J Pritchard | Waltz to ‘Your Song’ (watch here)
I feel like this could be quite good, because she is often better when she is in hold. I really don’t like this song, which is a shame, but I have started to warm a bit to her despite AJ.
I kinda felt like I was looking at something I shouldn’t have been, but not sure if I mean that in a good way. It was soft and sweet definitely, and had a feeling of some sort of love story for sure, but I still don’t love him. He is so contained and just doesn’t seem to feel or show emotion which I am not a lover of. That was beautiful though.
Craig: 9 Motsi: 10 Shirley: 10 Bruno: 10 Total: 39
Liz: 10 | 7 Emma: 9 | 8
Why do they insist on doing links next to Bruno because he is a liability!
Kelvin Fletcher and Oti Mabuse | Salsa to ‘Let’s Hear It For The Boy’ (watch here)
I loved that racing car bit. I really liked him before but it was both lovely and attrractive to see him driving a fast car and interacting with his friend, that was so lovely. I am hoping this is good, I think he will go for it for sure, and they are allowed lifts…it could be big.
The lifts were insane. The moon walk was really good. The hips were going, the shoulders are shimmying and he was just living his best life there. Oti’s legs too…don’t usually look that low and they were insane. It was so quick and full of energy and I really liked it.
Craig: 8 Motsi: 9 Shirley: 9 Bruno: 9 Total: 35
Liz: 8 | 9 Emma: 9 | 9
1. Saffron and AJ – 39
2. Michelle and Giovanni – 36
3. Kelvin and Oti – 35
4. Emma and Anton – 33
5. Alex and Neil – 31
6. Karim and Amy – 30
7. Chris and Karen – 26
8. Mike and Katya – 25
Judges Favourite – Saffron and AJ’s Waltz
Liz’s Favourite – Michelle and Giovanni’s American Smooth
Emma’s Favourite – Kelvin and Oti’s Salsa
Blackpool prep was the order of the night and Blackpool prep is what we were delivered. I think the pressure got to some (sorry Karim but I am looking mostly at you) and the seriousness got to others (sorry Mike and Chris) but overall it was a night full of pretty entertaining routines. I loved Michelle and Alex, and think there is staring to be a bit of a gap now between the boys at the bottom and the rest of the pack. I really just want Chris to make it one more week, I want him to get to Blackpool! That’s it for tonight, so until tomorrow….