Thursday, 22 October 2009

Simon Says (Week 5)

Back by popular demand, here's this week's round-up from our firm but fair Strictly expert and ballroom dancer, Simon Grogan. We think if the BBC wants to shake up the judging panel next series, he'd be the ideal candidate! - Clover and Frankie.

"Well we're on week 5 and the competition is getting fiercer every week!!!!

First of all I want to say 'Well Done Craig Kelly', no dance of what a relief!!!! Will he make it to Blackpool???? Let's hope so.

Now on to one of my favourite couples, Brian and Ali. I don't know what Len was talking about I thought th choreography was great and really showed what Ali could do. Great outfits too!

Now onto Ricki and Natalie and Alesha's ten. Mmm not a wise move Alesha to soon for tens, but I have to agree that the dance was very good!

Jo and Brendan, it was definitely her best dance and I don't understand why Craig has to be so rude to her. Bruce you ROCK for what you said, yay Brucie we love you!

Right then Zoe and James. Zoe did not deserve to be in the dance-off and people need to support her more. Yes her kicks and flicks were a bit lazy and need sharpening up but she is a brilliant dancer and I look forward to seeing her progress.

Mmmm Laila and Anton. I really like this couple but I think Anton made an absolutely huge mistake. I know he's not the best at the jive but he could at least tried a little harder with his song choice because you couldn't feel the beat clearly which made it even harder for poor Laila. I have done the jive and it's not easy.

Natalie and Vincent are a very nice couple and there viennese waltz was very nice, but on the pivots Natalies feet were too far off the ground. All in all a very good performance.

Ricky and Erin, well I have to say I was quite disappointed, I thought it was going to be very fun and exciting, but was quite boring and repetitive. Like the judges said I have never seen so many kick ball changes in one dance.

Jade and Ian are very promising and I think they could go very far in the compeition, Jade just needs to relax a bit, she seems very tense.

I really like Phil and Katya, I think they are both very laid back and do especially well in their ballroom. They seem to enjoy it a lot! Cricketers always do well in Strictly so keep going Phil!

Chris and Ola, I was disappointed because Chris has the advantage of being small which makes it easier to Jive.

And finally Joe and Christina, brilliant song choice and choreography - what a shame they had to go. Without a doubt his best week I was beginning to quite like him!

My tip for the contestants is if they dont want to be in the dance off then don't dance for Claudia on Fridays It Takes Two! Sorry Claudia. "

Saturday, 17 October 2009

F1, fringing and frights...

After the trauma of the F1 delay (thanks to everyone on Twitter getting us through it!) we begin the show thoroughly annoyed and even tenser than ever. Thankfully, a full procession of comedy outfits comes down the stairs and we’re away!

Ricky and Erin

Oh how I squealed when I saw Erin in that outfit, rumours of a Wonder Woman costume were only slightly exaggerated! Oh dear, a prop, the last refuge of the desperate. Quite a cute routine from Erin, loved the chicken walk, but actually quite simple. Loved Alesha and Bruno laughing away in the background. Slightly concerned about the ongoing comedy vote though…

What was this? This was stupid. Sorry, but there was only one step in the whole routine and that involved Ricky's partially disembodied leg swinging forwards and backwards like a pendulum on a very, very old (and out of time) clock. Frankie's right about the prop - it really is the very last resort. Next week expect to see him ride in on a unicycle.

Jade and Ian

Beautiful hair and makeup, dress like a duvet. Warmed to Ian’s song choice quite quickly, I find too many Viennese Waltzes a little dull but thought this song gave it a bit of an edge but still kept it romantic. Thankfully it is the time of year when we can unashamedly use the word fleckerl and pretend we know what we’re talking about!

I liked this. Thought it was gorgeous. Can't warm to Jade though. Clare-from-Work says that it's Denise Lewis Syndrome. Can we not warm to sportswomen? Is a competitive nature something that goes against women in these things? Answers on a postcard addressed to Gabby Logan.

Ali and Brian

Oh my word, put Rachel Stevens down Brian! Guess that’s a way of making sure you get a front row seat. Bit worried about Ali’s arms actually, think the routine could have been a bit too tricky for her. Does she seem to be getting more nervous as it goes on?

Good but not great. Speaking of Rachel Stevens, Ali is getting a little bit, uh, Rachel Stevens. Lovely, and technically sound but no wow yet. Hoping there's still wow in her.

Jo and Brendan

Jo seemed a lot more confident this week in the ITT training footage so I was hoping with a simpler dance like the VW might move her along a bit. Too bad about the shameless celeb name-dropping. Boring frock, did they run out of glitter? Omg, there goes Stepford Brendan! Hurrah for Len and Alesha saying it was her best dance.

Don't mind Jo. She really does try and it was her best week. Bruce really came to her defence too - as well as Brendan. And rightly so. What's with Craig? He can't see a belt without hitting below it.

Zoe and James

Wow, Zoe looks stunning! Probably my favourite dress of the night. Really good use of Northern Soul too to keep things nice and bouncy. Thought Zoe right got into the feel of things and looked like she was really enjoying herself.

Aw Zoe, poor Zoe. She did not deserve to be in the dance-off. But this is what happens to James' partners isn't it? He can be as nice as cherry pie and it still doesn't work. Check the evidence: Gabby, Cherie. Both went before their time. Both good dancers (if both a little cold personality-wise). This is the kind of thing that will kick start me to vote next week. This was a good dance. Poor gal.

Ricky and Natalie

Oh dear, extended opening, Len won’t like that Natalie! Wasn’t too sure about this, I’m sure it was technically good but just wasn’t feeling it. Maybe that’s the sign of a good VW! Knew the big points were coming out, but my god what is Alesha doing whipping out the first 10 of the series?! We’ll never hear the end of this!

I can kind of see why she gave a 10. She'd given 9s and it's all relative, innit? And it was a good dance. I think the main thing here to note is that Ricky was leading the dance. That is so unbelieveably important and about as rare as Bruno having a calm evening in with a cup of cocoa. Goughie could lead, Matt Dawson could lead...Gethin got it too. Ricky's an all round good dancing egg - even if his salsa was pants.

Craig and Flavia

And the comedy outfits continue, not even Katy Perry would wear those shorts Flavia was poured into! Thought he went for it in a way he hasn’t done in the previous weeks but it was a bit messy. A four was harsh from Craig and I don’t think he deserved his lowest score for it.

The fact that he got saved this week proves that the very very bottom of the leaderboard is a fairly safe place to be. I was glad for him - as I keep saying, he's a local lad who just wants to get to Blackpool (he's the only one...grim place...) but this dance was not. good.

Joe and Kristina
Kristina is channelling another Christina tonight and looks stunning. Was not looking forward to this jive at all and wow it was bad, despite yet more creative choreography from Kristina. Not sure why the judges are saying he’s getting better, it doesn’t matter when most people were better than him in week 1.

This was the first dance he actually danced. Having said that, it's not so much of a shame he had to go because the competition's getting on a bit and we need to start thinking about voting off the duffers. Ha ha, duffers - I'm cruel.

Natalie and Vincent

So here we are with Natalie’s first elegant dance. Twiddly opening but beautiful music, Vincent really knows how to pick them. Loved Len’s kid in a candy store analogy, that’s what people love about her. Would have liked to have seen a full board of 7s, Bruno seems to be marking a bit harsher than usual tonight.

This was nice. Not much more than nice but it's Natalie and she worked hard and she deserves a bit of credit for that. I've not much else to say other than that she's a little star and I hope she goes far (in a car, wearing a bra, la de da, off to the bar, tra la laaaa....)

Laila and Anton

Was really very nervous for Laila with this dance and also got scared when she came out looking like something from Sesame Street! Very odd song choice, only matched by the oddness of Anton doing the jive. Honestly though, it was a lot better than what I was expecting. They’ll get through this week I think, since she’s proved how good she can be. A seven from Len was daft though!

Anton. Your card is marked. Quit larking about with the latin. There is no reason why Laila shouldn't be good at both if you would concentrate an equal amount of time, effort and positivity on both disciplines.

Phil and Katya

Was wondering how Phil would charm his way through the VW, but thankfully he got a spiffy suit and an amazing song choice. Katya knows what she’s doing! But was that an illegal lift I saw there? I do love the way even Phil seems surprised at how good he is though, I whiff a journey.

You know, I found the whole thing a little boring this week. This again was OK, nice, yada yada. Yes, he is charming but I'm bored of pointing that out.

Chris and Ola

What precisely is Ola wearing tonight? Bit too much air guitar but I really thought there was a bit of musicality in this one. Alesha was right, he had the most spring in his step. Does anyone think he would have been scored higher if he was Ricky Groves? And wow, what a spray tan!

Drunk-Uncle-Chris-at-Auntie-Sylvia's-50th-Birthday strikes again! It was not bad but it was not good. Everything is average nowadays.

As for the group dance, I really think the BBC should broadcast a warning: the following programme will contain very scary footage of Anton du Beke. Oh yeah and Spandau Ballet were so dull.

Dance off
First proper dance off shocker of the series! Was worried Zoe would go to pieces due to the sheer weirdness of it all but she got through it fine. Oh well, bye bye Joe, it was fun while it lasted.

Sunday, 11 October 2009

Strictly Salsaaaaa! (Oh yeah, and booooo foxtrot...)

Last week we were all going mad with the length of the show, but we forgot it was going to be just as long this week! So here we are with 13 couples and more than two hours of spangles.

Like Amy Winehouse, Frankie is back in black this week, while Clover is in purple.
Clover also apologies for the extreme lateness of this blog entry. Due to being out on Saturday and Sunday evenings (and having watched Strictly on iPlayer at 3am whilst mildly inebriated...) I have found this week a weelittle tricky.

Zoe and James

Genius song choice from James Jordan shocker! Thought this routine struck the right balance between glitzy and technically good. Not too sure what Bruno was going on about with sex appeal but it was a suitably good way to start the show. And since Len gave it a nine it must have been good.
Great couple, delightful dance, pretty dress. I'm going to be honest though: I hate the foxtrot. Yes, it can be lovely to watch but my painful experience of trying to dance it colours my opinion of the whole thing. Which is a shame really. But it does suck. James is still being lovely. Think someone weally weally nice has locked the real James in a large chest, dosed up on Polyjuice Potion and is masquerading as Mr Jordan. I think it's Carol Smillie.

Chris and Ola

Ola sure seems to like that dress, it’s getting smaller every week! Not so much half naked as two thirds naked! Chris was very brave doing the bits out of hold, but it did turn into dad dancing territory for me.
Great track. Danced to this last night actually. Chris really seemed to enjoy this but I agree with Frankie, it's soooo dad, nay, even perhaps 'drunkle' . Clare-from-Work doesn't like Chris. Thinks he's smug. I am not sure if I am going off him a little. Nothing's topped that rumba yet, has it?

Lynda and Darren

As I sat there with relief thinking oh good a dance where Lynda isn’t going to pull funny faces, I then saw the dress which again looks like it has come from the Primark school of Strictly frocks. Haha, what a twee little song choice from Darren though. Didn’t look to bad to me, but I agree with what Craig said about it being safe. Dunno how they can go on about her walking when that’s all Joe has done for weeks!
Song choice was sooo twee. It was more twee than Jonathan Ross' garden. I kinda liked that though. I didn't think the frock was that bad and I didn't think the dance was that bad. It was just there.

Ali and Brian

The moment we had all been waiting for, thank god it came quickly! Was a bit worried about Ali tensing up but she really went for it. Thought the judges were a bit harsh on her actually, maybe it’s the weight of expectation? Loved Ali’s dress but not quite sure about the colour, it should have been turquoise or something equally bright.

Ah, the fabulously-flashy LA crossbody style salsa! I think the weight of expectation was too high as it didn't blow me away (but I was kind of dozed-by-rum, to be fair) On a rewatch, I appreciate the intricacies of the routine and that neck drop, bloomin' nora, you wouldn't catch me doing a thing like that, not for fifty pounds. This girl is one to watch. And Brian is Strictly's Salsa King: I'm kinda sad that's it for the series...

Jo and Brendan

Thought Jo looked amazing tonight, ok it was obvious Brendan was steering her quite a bit but the judges didn’t need to keep going on about it. Someone on twitter has referred to Brendan as Stepford Brendan and I am starting to see what they mean, he's ridiculously nice this series!
I don't dislike this woman. Which surprises me. Dance was uneventful - but that's good because it means it wasn't memorably awful. Clare-from-Work thinks that Brendan is lovely because he's all engaged and settled. Opinions?

Natalie and Vincent

Someone has finally given Natalie a decent hairdo and she looks fabulous tonight! She looks like a firework! So glad she got over her nerves and she and Vincent are looking like a proper team. I think she could rival Ricky Groves in the gusto stakes, but would like to see what happens when she gets something a bit more graceful.
Natalie looked fantastic. This gal is a star. OK, technique-wise, the hippage was somewhat lacking etc but, as is becoming regular with Natalie, this was a true party performance. Hair, dress, make-up, all fantastic. Must commend Frankie on use of the word 'gusto' - it's one of my favourites. Possibly top 10.

Joe and Kristina

What a song choice! Kristina is a genius when you consider what she has to work with. Plus she had the most amazing mermaid dress on, so OTT but I loved it. I think there was a mild improvement, but nothing to write home about.
Now in my mildly drunken state I was convinced that this song was in waltz timing. A quick one, but still waltzy. If not 3/4 then 2/6 or something (no, I can't tell the difference.) Did anyone else notice this? Please help if you know! This completely left me confounded with confusion and I missed anything else about the routine. From what I gather, that's not such a bad thing.

Laila and Anton

Well this had to be good didn’t it? You can’t go wrong with a bit of Frank and Laila looked stunning. Just knew the judges would go mad for it, there was technique oozing out of every move. Really hope they can pull it together for the latin though.
Laiiiiila, you got me on my knees...well not quite, but this was a bit good, wasn't it? But then it's Anton and it's foxtrot and it's Sinatra and s'wonderful...s'marvellous etc. This girl is also good and deserves to do well in it. If she doesn't then it's Anton's faulty, I'm afraidy.

Ricky and Natalie

Just look at those hips go! Almost makes you want to have Arlene to bang on about them incessantly. Thought Natalie’s frock was nice in a Dirty Dancing style. Quite negative comments from the judges when you think he’s only got two points less than Laila. And Ricky really hasn;t read our SCD Winning Formula, quit your day job!
Er, I didn't see any hips going anywhere. Don't know what Frankie and Bruno are talking about. This what a big disappointment. Alesha was made a fair point, you know, this time. He could have coped with a better routine - but then, for the first time, Natalie didn't shine either. I suspect she's not all familiar with salsa? Just a hunch. And walking around just spinnin' yer woman? That's quite a little pet peeve of mine.

Craig and Flavia

Has Flavia done something to offend the dress designers this year? I am on a one-woman mission to ban the colour grey from SCD. The song also made me cringe so it wasn't a good start. Saying all that, I thought this was Craig’s best dance so far myself. He's got a long way to go but he's trying his bestest.
Flavia's dress made her look like a nun who's been run over by a tram and lost her habit. Kinda ruined the dance for me. Craig is losing his battle with the nerves, which is such a shame. I'm still behind the local lad and wishing him well. Come on, wow-wee us with a jive!
Jade and Ian

God I hate headbands...Loving Ian’s crazy trousers though, how tiny is his waist?! Anyway, loved this as a whole piece, with them both dancing as a team.
They laid into Jade about stepping back too big - fair point but on the whole, but in general her action was fantastic - much better than Ricky's. She shimmies well, there was oodles of energy and the dress was exquisite.

Ricky and Erin

Erin overcomes being toilet rolled and choreographs a great number for them. Also really liked her giggling away in training. I can see what Ricky meant about not wanting to be the comedy vote, maybe he should just embrace the idea he's a bit better at latin that ballroom?
A gallant effort and I really commend Ricky for his attitude. I can't say I enjoyed it as much as that paso - I have my fingers, toes, arms, legs and eyes crossed that he doesn't get boring. Serious, boring Erin-whipped guy will go out mid-series; funny guy could make the final.

Phil and Katya

Wow, I can’t believe how well Phil pulled that off! Very brave choreography from Katya with him doing so much alone at the start but I think he managed it. Cute outfits as well, with Katya dressed as 80s Salsa Barbie. A four versus a seven? Ooh controversial.
Apart from that solo spot at the beginning, he didn't do much. I'll let him off. Still love this guy.

It seems to have been an odd night for dresses, some were great and some were yuck. Loving Tess’ dress, how fabulous and didn't make her look frumpy like she has in some past series. Alesha, take your coat off, you not stopping?

Dance off

No one surprising in the dance off this week, which was a bit of a surprise in itself. I think we're keeping the Joes for a bit longer, and Jo Wood was actually half decent this week. Even though I've not really warmed to Lynda this series I thought this was one of her better dances so she didn't really deserve to go this week. And it was quite cool to have a moment of suspense, since I really didn't know which way the judges were going to go.
Predictable, predictable, predictable. I wasn't surprised at all that Len saved Craig. I don't think either, if I'm honest, could have gone much further, so it didn't matter which went. I'm getting to the point now that I'm wanting rid of Calzage. Bored.
PS. Did anyone else think that Amy Winehouse looked as though she could just topple over?

Saturday, 3 October 2009

Strictly Come Marathon-ing

Here comes the longest night of Strictly ever and therefore the longest blog post ever. Get your scroll button at the ready!

We're back to our old-school blogging of last year now, so Frankie is in black tonight and Clover is rocking the purple.

Ali and Brian

Going first out of fourteen when you're a hotly-tipped couple, no pressure then! But what an utterly charming quickstep Brian put together and Ali really seemed to love the whole thing. Was really impressed at how light-footed and frothy she was. The ending was so cute and Hollywood as well. Plus Brian suddenly seems to have potential as the new face-pulling pro of the series, hurrah!

Oh I love watching a good ol' quickstep...and here be one. This was a little fizzpop of a dance. Ali looked gorgeous in her pastel dress and Brian's choreography was not too flashy - and not too dull. First out too, so nerves must have been on overdrive. These two are, like, sooooo cute together. Get married! Have pretty babies! That's an order.

Lynda and Darren

I did not have very high hopes for this, or the dress (yet more sleeves and about 2 metres of excess fabric). I don't want to sound too Craig R-H about Lynda, but seriously, what was up with her face?! Naff song choice and no passion at all. More importantly, do we think Darren waxed for tonight's show? Now come on Len and Alesha, put those 7s away!

Yes, yeees, we know it was over-marked with sevens. But then so were several other dances this evening. I think the judges are trying to pre-empt the John Sergeant vote by being slightly less cruel than last year. However, I liked the dress, regardless of the fact it had sleeeeeves Frankie (anyone would think this girl wanders round all winter in a vest. Note: she doesn't) This was a good effort from Lynda. Her best so far and definitely deserved to stay in the competition. Despite getting a little Dom Littlewood on Darren's bottom.

Chris and Ola

Brightening up my 6am shifts, I have waited all week to see Chris back on the dancefloor. Besides the distraction of Ola's Mr Whippy hairstyle I really enjoyed this, even with the mistakes. There is something really endearing about Chris, watching him sing along and reminding us of Darren Gough.

I didn't look at his feet so no idea just how technically pitiful it was. He really was having a ball, wasn't he? As Frankie would say, he 'eyes and teethed' his way through- and that is surprisingly endearing. It wasn't so much Ola's hair that distracted me, as the blancmange-like commodities on her shoulders. If Dynasty went ballroom, that is what it would look like. Not acceptable even in the 80s.

Zoe and James

Why does James grow a Satan beard for the paso every year? Plus the outfits looked like something from Ann Summers, so wasn't too struck before the dance even started. Oh yeah, and I hate that song too! Getting to the dance, why was the whole thing so slow? It made it look robotic to me; ok, maybe technically good etc but the paso for me is about drama and spectacle. Not deserving of three 8s to me.

The arrangement of that song was the problem here. It had no attack, it had no crescendo. I don't really know what crescendo means...but it's a good word, non? That made the whole thing pretty flat. Nonetheless, I knew the judges would love it. I got used to them raving about dull performances last year. Lisa Ahem Snowdon Ahem. Oh, I'm not calling this dull...I'm calling it...unfortunate. James is a doll this year. Who is this Mr Nice Guy?

Rav and Aliona

Watching Rav look nervous and twitching in the background when the others were talking to Tess made me want him to do well even more. Actually squealed with delight when the song kicked in and once again at the cartwheel! I know what the judges meant and could see the gap big-enough-for-a-double-decker-bus to use a Len-ism. Overly-harsh marking once again. I really hope Rav doesn't go out tonight, I have the whiff of a possible journey...

I think your bus crashed, Frankie. This was not good, which is a shame because he is delightful to look at. This is MY quickstep song too (stolen?! pah!) - you know, for if ever I'm invited to take part on the show (you never know...) so actually, kudos to Aliona for the music. I've only just realised that their names when said together sound much like 'ravioli'.

Natalie and Vincent and Vincent's eyebrow

Dodgy Betty Boop hairdo on poor Natalie there, but hurrah for some traditional music and kick-ass choreography from Vincent! Ooh the drama! These two are such a good pair together, may we see them for weeks to come.

I adored this dance. It captured the very flavour of the Paso Doble. I could almost taste the paella (though I'm not sure if I've actually ever tasted real which case, I'm not sure what I could taste... ) I thought Natalie looked fabulous in her costume and I thought it was woefully under-marked. Wee Vincent's choreography was magic and it's the first time this series I've gone all goosebumpy. That is a huge compliment

Craig and Flavia

I wouldn't say this was the most exciting quickstep in the world, but I hadn't realised how bad the judges thought it was! Saying that, is it just me or is Craig so much better out of hold? I don't know what it is, maybe it's a posture thing. And if it was so terrible, why did the judges give him one mark higher than Rav?

Because although Rav is prettier (sorry Craig), his dancing was worse. So get over it. What on earth happened to these quicksteps this evening? They were not good. Song however was a deeeelight. I adore Peroxide Swing so was very excited when the first few bars were played. I'm willing him to do well for Flavia more than for himself...and, because of course, he's our local lad. A bit more charisma will go a long way.

(ooh gosh, we're at the halfway point, do we get a tea break or something?)

Ricky and Natalie

The frocks really haven't been top-notch tonight, but Natalie certainly didn't deserve one that looked like it came from Primark. My word this was an aggressive paso! I could see the fire all the way through it, but like Len said last week I think it might have just been a little bit TOO harsh. At times it looked like Ricky wanted to murder her! Still bloody good though, omg, was that a 35 I just saw?!

Yeah, bad frock. Like something from Fame crossed with Rocky Horror. Or, to go back to Quality Streets, The Big Purple One. And like The Big Purple One, did it have a nut inside? Quite possibly - Natalie does have manic eyes. But my gosh, that girl can dance. And so can that boy. I did find parts a bit Austin-Healey-with-the-hors d'Ĺ“uvres - and I know Espana Cani is the paso track...but it was used last series. And in series one. And I know it's hard to think of Paso music...but... but... but...

Jade and Ian

I was so excited about this dance; the training footage looked great, Jade got the best frock and rumour has it Ian stole one of our song suggestions. Loved all the jetes and they really used the floor (ooh I sound like Arlene!). A really fun, bright quickstep- great routine Ian!

Loved the dress. Loved the song. Loved the routine. Some of it may have been a little sloppy but it had such energy. It reminded me of Denise and Ian's quickstep all those many moons ago. I hope Jade doesn't get lost in the mid to late episodes and end up falling at the last hurdle. Dammit, wrong discipline. It's hard to metaphor longjump.

Joe and Kristina

Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear, just look at that outfit. Uber-cringe. Kristina looks like a genie too, bless her. Saying, that the cape action was quite good and so was the ending. Illegal lift alert! But once again, Joe just looks like he's walking around a lot of the time. For most of the dance I actually just sat and thought about what a great dancer Kristina is! A SIX Alesha? Come off it!

This guy is really starting to creep me out. He has the air of a man who might accidentally crush a small rodent or someone's wife just by uh-I-was-just-uh-hugging-it/her-uh. Uh. This and the fact that it was danced to what is officially The Worst Song Ever. The dancing was better though. Just.

Laila and Anton

Anton gets to do a proper quickstep, we thought this day would never come! Proper music and dancing and everything. Very classy, I just knew Len would love it. But wow, so many people are making footwork mistakes tonight, they must be going mad with nerves.

Classic, classy, no-frills quickstep. Without all those tricks and flicks and kicks, there's nowhere to hide. I think that was the point. Even if Laila doesn't get as far as the final, she will have learned to dance - not just set-routine after set-routine - she will be able to get up, with a partner and waltz, foxtrot, quickstep, to her heart's delight. And that is worth more than any glitterball.

Jo and Brendan

Ok, what is with the dresses tonight? Are the costume people overworked? This dance was actually a bit of a surprise for me, I was thinking it would be a total car crash and it wasn't and I think Brendan choreographed the routine really well for her. Plus Brendan was working some serious sparkle, its all about the sparkle!

I'm not saying I like the woman, but I have come to the conclusion that she's as near as we've ever got to a normal person doing Strictly. You know, a random (albeit a rich one), pulled off the street, with no performance experience or training. Even sportspeople 'perform' so she is unique. And she did improve. And Brendan has gone lovely.

Phil and Katya

I know more than one person who has had a knee cartilage operation and I cannot comprehend how Phil is not only able but allowed to dance with this. I don't know if I am impressed or not! Anyway, a darling little routine from Katya meant I soon forgot. All these mistakes are making me suspicious though, has Erin the evil genius put magnets in the floor again?

There's something amiss with the quicksteps these evening, with only Laila and Ali (Laila Ali? Has she hotfooted it over from DWTS?!) pulling off really good ones. This was my favourite of the rest though - it was charming. And the monochrome dress screamed elegance (if elegance screams, which it probably doesn't, it probably warbles or something like that.)

Ricky and Erin

Wow, Ricky looks sinister! As it started I was just in the process of typing about how much I liked Erin's dress when Ricky started screaming and I was pinned to my seat for the rest of the dance! Cannot believe he managed to raise the roof like that two weeks in a row. Well done for Craig saying he should be proud, I think that is a paso we will remember for quite a while.

Ricky Groves, proving himself to be a fantastic character actor, morphed into a strangely disconcerting and yes, sinister, yet pantomimey (in a good way) villain. He is what this show is about. His enthusiasm even makes Erin like the Paso Doble (I think she has described it in the past as a 'stupid dance'?) This pinned me to my seat too. Something that even Derren Brown can't manage.

Phew, is that everyone? Just as an aside, how much blusher is Craig R-H wearing tonight?! As we go into the voting I once again have no idea who will go, you just can't tell at this stage.


Joe and Kristina make it through first, ho hum what a surprise. The leaderboard was so big I've forgotten who was where now...Rav versus Lynda? It's no secret who I want to go, but I knew the judges wouldn't agree. I felt so sorry for Rav, he was so gutted he couldn't actually speak!

It was a shame but there was no contest really there. Surprising but true. I suspect Lynda will dance a foxtrot this week and that will be the first elegant give-it-to-the-older-lady dance she's done - she's doing very well. Can't wait for the salsas.