Strictly Come Dancing – Week 11, The Famous Five: Semi-final Strictly

Strictly Come Dancing – Week 11, The Famous Five: Semi-final Strictly

Nicky stumbled at the dance off against Denise last week which left us with a 5-couple line-up. With two dances for each of the couples this week, who would make that wonderful final, and who would be exiting with dignity this week?

Denise Van Outen & James Jordan (Tango 9, 10, 10, 10, T39, Rumba 9, 9, 10, 10, T38 Gran Total 77)
In the last couple of weeks, Denise, for whatever reason, had not managed to bring out her best performances and if ever there was a time for that to change, it was now. Dancing her Tango, you could clearly see the nerves in the legs as they got into their first dance. As the dance progressed, she seemed to settle more and almost got better as the dance went on. This was much better from Denise; a good clean, solid performance and showing more posture and poise than Kimberley’s perfect 40 Tango fusion of last week. Good score at 39, and just what she needed.
Dancing the Rumba, we couldn’t help but feel that they’d slightly craftily hidden Denise hip- and middloe body-line behind a somewhat floaty dress! The dance was lovely, and captivated everyone in the mood, and showing some good dance skills but it that slightly stiffer middle body moving freely? We didn’t think so. Great score from the judges, well desereved we thought but a slight unanswered question for us here. At the moment it looks set to be a Kimberley-Denise fight to the end!

Lisa Riley & Robin Windsor (Salsa 7, 8, 8, 8, T31, Am Smooth 8, 8, 8, 8, T32 Grand Total 63)
Lisa continues to be great fun to watch but there remains those questions hanging over her of should she go through to the final without some of those better dance techniques the others have developed. Her Samba was again brimming with enthusiasm and she even managed to get away with a floor spin as a spectacular splash. The second dance was slightly more refined but needs technical bits and bobs. As a dancer she’s behind, as an on stage fun entertainer she’s miles ahead.

Dani Harmer & Vincent Simone (Am Smooth 8, 9, 8, 9, T34, Arg Tango 9, 10, 9, 10, T38 Grand Total 72)
With her Argentine Tango, we didn’t expect anything other than a good performance dancing with Vincent. Vincent has a repertoire of more than 30 Argentine Tango showdances and is no stranger to what they need If you want to learn, we have a new course starting in January!!). She pulled this off well with some complex elements too. Still we’d like to see her grow in intensity and pull off an even more mature (danse-wise) perforance. Her Foxtrot was good too, but didn’t fire us up as some of the others had done. Good score, well deserved, but could be vulnerable now.

Louis Smith & Flavia Cacace (Jive 7, 8, 8, 8, T31, Foxtrot 9, 9, 9, 10, T38 Grand Total 69)
Oh Louis! You’ve got to feel with him that his body is so capabale of so many things with dancing, he just hasn’t got it under control enough. He has the opposite problem of some of the others where his range of movements is so well developed, the others by contrast have been trying to increase, improve, stretch and develop. Ironic that this might be his undoing then! He wasn’t bad tonight, and has certainly ‘performed’ better over the last few weeks, but his jive was untidy here and there, lacking some finesse, sharpness and looking a bit loose. He’s looking vulnerable here now.

Kimberley Walsh & Pasha Pasha Kovalev (Am Smooth 9, 10, 9, 10, T38 Charleston 10, 10, 10, 10, Total 40 Grand Total 78)
We felt Kimberley was slightly fortunate to have a big show-closing number last week and be handed a perfect 40. Denise pulled off a better Tango tonight, but Kimberley pulled out her Ace card, her Charleston, which got her yet another perfect score. Crucially for her though, this dance wasn’t one to beat Denise’ Charleston from Wembley week. Perhaps this means technically Denise might still be a nose in front on equal terms but boy-oh-boy this is going to be some final…. bring it on!

We thought last week was good, but this week we had some even better dancing from the remaining celebrities. So far you have got to feel that more or less the final five have been deserved of being in this good semi-final, but who should go out now, and who should progress? Lisa and Louis must be looking over their shoulders now, but maybe Dani is the quiet dancer in the middle?

A few interesting stats for you before we go:

  • Highest Average score so far is Denise on 33.6, then Kimberley on 32.9.
  • The average score for the Charleston is higher than any other dance.
  • Louis, Lisa and Dani are below the average score improvements now.
  • Denise holds the highest number of chart-topping scores at 6.
  • Over the last 4 weeks, the couple with the lowest judges score has exited.
  • Looking at the mean scores, and rates of improvement, Denise should win, Kimberley second, with a tie between Dani & Louis, and Lisa not making the final.

Somehow we don’t even what to look at the public effect; far too complicated!

With one week left to go for that wonderful final, it’s looking like a tough, tough competition, particularly between Kimberley and Denise….. great! We can’t wait.

Strictly Come Dancing – Week 10, The Dirty Dozen: The Dancing Mission

Strictly Come Dancing – Week 10, The Dirty Dozen: The Dancing Mission

After Michael was caught out by his Samba in last Sunday’s dance off, that left us the last 6 couples to tussle for the top spoils tonight. After a slightly below par week from Denise too, would she bounce back this week?

Denise Van Outen & James Jordan (8, 9, 9, 9, Total 35)
Dancing the fusion of Quickstep and Jive, Denise and James really had an energetic pair of dances to contend with. With all the talk of James’ blooper last week, this was a pressure cooker waiting for something to happen… and it did! They did a great job with their jive, and the quickstpe, if a little bouncey, was respectable, but the heel got caught in the dress gremlin krept in just to keep things exciting! She receovered well but you couldn’t help but feel the judges we’ren’t understanding enough. Top scores were spoilt we felt and another week below par for her. It’s still all there when it comes together.

Lisa Riley & Robin Windsor (7, 8, 7, 8, Total 30)
For the last few weeks we have seen Lisa increasingly vulnerable as her dance improvements hadn’t kept pace with the others; her energetic joyful character aside. Dancing the Tango-Cha Cha Cha fusion, there are a good few things needed to make a more refined performance now, although she still was full of character. She needs more refinements and up against some of the others, she will need to address these. Beginning to look a little more vulnerable here, although hugely popular.

Nicky Byrne & Karen Hauer (5, 7, 8, 7, Total 27)
Nicky really stepped up in the dance off last week to get through here but here he had his hands full having to dance the Samba-American Smooth fusion. His Samba needed to be stronger through his centre but did have some bounce, and the Smooth part needed more smooth, flowing movement and better posture. The overall dance was nice, but left him a bit expsosed this week. Tough draw, not looking that safe either.

Dani Harmer & Vincent Simone (9, 10, 9, 10, Total 38)
The fusion of Charleston-Quickstep was probably a match made in heaven, the dances being very strongly related, and we haven’t often seen a week Charleston have we? That being said, they did a good job here, with plenty of stylish elements of both dances, being performed well. There is something with Dani that sometimes doesn’t look too sophisticated but these dances really suited her. Great score, well deserved!

Louis Smith & Flavia Cacace (9, 9, 9, 10, Total 37)
Finally Louis gave us some personality in his performance last week and we hope that’s just the start for him. Dancing the Tango-Rumba fusion, this was one of hte better male celebrity Rumbas we’ve had, although the Tango lacked some attack and stronger demeanour. He did ‘perform’ again which is great. Fix that thumb Louis! Another strong score from Louis keeps him up there.

Kimberley Walsh & Pasha Pasha Kovalev (10, 10, 10, 10, Total 40)
Traditionally the Strictly gods had determined that the show should open with a strong performance, and finish with a good crowd pleaser too, so our hopes were high. Dancing the Cha Cha Cha-Tango fusion to “Raining Men,” this was certainly a big, extrovert performance to close the show. Her Cha Cha Cha was much improved and performed fully for this big song, the Tango for us showed some weakness still in her neck line which should follow the line of her back, but was often held forward. If we ignored that, this was a step up from Kimberley and we hoped enough to take the fight of the others all the way to the end now. Unbeatable score, caught us slightly by surprise as we’d put her 38-39, but not yet that 40. A lovely emotional reaction from Kimberley really shows just what they’re putting into it. Well done Kimberley!!

This was a real corker of a show, full with everything from beginning to end, and really signifying the competition has hotted up, possibly beyond what we have seen before. With another slightly weaker outing from Denise, Kimberley stepped up, and the others did too! That left Nicky and Lisa trailing at the bottom (with Denise next up!). Is it Lisa’s time? Maybe a reality check has come at the right time for Denise and it’s now left us with a tough, tough competition….. great! We can’t wait.

Strictly Come Dancing – Week 9, The Magnificent Seven

Strictly Come Dancing – Week 9, The Magnificent Seven?!

After Victoria had to get on her bike in last Sunday’s dance off, that left us the last 7 couples to tussle for the top spoils tonight Would anyone be able to challenge that elusive Denise?

Kimberley Walsh & Pasha Pasha Kovalev (9, 8, 8, 9, Total 34)
Kimberley’s Jive showed a great amount of energy and character. There were a couple of slightly bumpy places but in general she really got into this dance and did as good a job as she could have hoped for with that tricky, fast footwork. She did well here and didn’t shy away from the more difficult aspects of the Jive too.

Dani Harmer & Vincent Simone (8, 8, 9, 9, Total 34)
This Viennese Waltz was danced with a wonderful character – the Venetian Gondola boy whisking away the lovely girl. This was a really sweet performance. Craig pulled them up for not having the wow factor but this dance wasn’t really about that. We thought she pulled this one off well, yes, still some improvements here and there, but good job Dani.

Michael Vaughan & Natalie Lowe (5, 7, 6, 6, Total 24)
Dancing the Samba, Michael had to show an improvement in his Latin or his weakness would be exposed once more. Well, certainly he’d improved and obviously worked hard to get it better. There is still more to come but here he danced more, was braver, got into the steps a bit more. Fingers crossed he can keep improving his Latin as that will really determine now how much further he can go. Not the best score for this one so will he be in trouble?

Nicky Byrne & Karen Hauer (7, 8, 7, 8, Total 30)
Nicky pulled out a great Charleston last week and certainly that would be tough to follow. This week, his Argentine Tango he did show yet another quite strong performance to “Skyfall”. Sometimes this had too much of a brisk or brittle look to the dance, making it look a little stompy here and there, but in general it was full of quite strong character with a nice story. Not as good as last time, but what would have been?

Lisa Riley & Robin Windsor (7, 8, 8, 8, Total 31)
Our happy dancer brought her happy feel to the wet weather tonight with a bit of sunshine in her quickstep. She’s the sort of dancer that really cheers you up, regardless of some of the weaknesses in the technique; that’s been her strength from the first week and it continues. Sometimes she needs more refinements and up against some of the others, she will need to address these. Little Miss Sunshine this week though.

Denise Van Outen & James Jordan (8, 8, 8, 8, Total 32)
Would it be another board topper? Dancing the Salsa, this was packed full of everything, in fact maybe too much of everything! There were lifts, multiple spins, a big package of choreography. Maybe this was just a but too much choreography here which sometimes left her looking shaky. She showed good skills again but a few minor niggles here. James confessed to not quite holding it together for her too. Their lowest score for a while but you’ve still got to see a big dancing toolbox under all that.

Louis Smith & Flavia Cacace (8, 10, 9, 10, Total 37)
We’ve wanted a bit more personality from Lewis over the last few weeks, and dancing the Charleston, this gave him that opportunity to express himself more. This was lovely, full of character and oozing facial expression too. Hooray! This was a dance, a performance, sprinkled with tricks, and a nice little act too. Without knowing the scores, you could see he was going to rise through the ashes this week. With a less strong outing from Denise, Louis finally steps up! We have a competition on our hands!

Well, this was an interesting week. With a slightly weaker outing from Denise, Louis headed the leader board confidently, hotly followed by Kimberley and Dani. That left Nicky and Michael trailing at the bottom. Surely Michael hasn’t done enough in his Latin here but we’ll have to wait to find out.