Sunday, 15 October 2017

Bling me Sunshine

Week 4, where the judges apparently get notoriously tough (since when?! I feel like history is being rewritten this series.) However, I'm not hating on Craig's new found respect for rules. This, in addition to the back-to-basics approach to choreography (Nadiya aside), and the fact that props just appear to be background scenes instead of infiltrating the dances to the point of stupidity (let's ignore Brian's glittery stick...), means I am enjoying the routines far more than I have for quite some years. Is this Shirley's influence? Whether it is or not, I approve nonetheless.

Debbie and Giovanni 

They were pretty tough on poor Debs. However, her legs were as straight as matchsticks and her footwork was a wee bit sloppy in places. I would have thought the scores would be higher but perhaps Giovanni has got lazy teaching her technique, assuming she's a natural. But the movement in each dance is so different, she's not going to pick them all up without help. I bet we'll see a mahoosive improvement next week. This lady is nothing if not plucky.

Brian and Amy  
We have reached Peak. Camp. Not sure why Brian was having a toddler tantrum on a block at the beginning of the routine. Despite the horrific song choice and garish costumes, this actually genuinely did have paso content. And it wasn't executed all that terribly either. Brian's timing isn't bad. He's not good enough to be good, but he's not bad enough to be good either. I wonder how long he will last. 

Mollie and AJ  
YAAAS another latin track for salsa? What are you doing to me BBC?! I'm delighted. It's AJ I'm going to critique here. Ballroom dancers always take such huge steps on salsa basics and it's so blooming unnatural. And if AJ is doing that, Mollie is bound to follow. Gives it all an awkward edge to be honest. So yeah, not my favourite. And he dropped her didn't he? She bounced off the floor.

Davood and Nadiya  
Oh bless, we're still at the point where we have many contestants, some just get lost in the process. Davood's performance was forgettable. In fact, I genuinely forgot it whilst writing this blog. He's such a contender in the sense that he's ripe for a journey. I want him to come out and WOW us, with pizzazz, like the time Gethin found his Salsa. 

Charlotte and Brendan  
Poor Charlotte. She's the sort of contestant we just would have expected to be better. I think she probably thought she'd be better too. That's a tough glitterball to swallow. I thought she improved though actually. 

Joe and Katya  
So Joe's graduating from the Jake Wood school of body movement. He's trying but it's not quite there. I'm loving that this series it's at least being called out instead of praised. Movement has to come from the feet/legs/core, not from the hips themselves. I saw timing issues but perhaps I was wrong given the judges said that was spot on. I'll have to rewatch. He's a nice chap and has potential. I don't think we'll be losing him yet. 

Ruth and Anton  
A dramatic Anton Tango (and Ant-ango?) But, like, Davood, this wasn't good enough to be all that memorable. Or bad enough to be all that memorable. She's having a jolly nice time though. And it was a huge improvement. 

Aston and Janette  
First of all, I called this song on Twitter four years ago for a perfect quickstep. And I loved it. But why on earth were they wearing green?! A lovely sky blue would have been just perfect. Regarding the dancing, I'm wondering if Aston got cocky. It was relatively ungainly in places. Glad again it was called out. They'll come back fighting next week.

Simon and Karen  
I don't care if it's re-used. I will always welcome a samba to Copacabana. Always. And I will always welcome fruit-related hair pieces. And yellow fringing. What I liked best about this however was the fact it was a samba. WITH SAMBA STEPS IN IT. Remember a few series ago when the sambas, salsas and cha chas were almost indistinguishable? No more! Not sure if this was enough to save him but I enjoyed this. 

Gemma and Aljaz  
Gemma is the definition of rough diamond. One week soon, she's going to waltz out like a Disney princess and make everyone go ooooh, she's a LADY (woah woah woah, she's a lady). She's improving week on week, and is exactly the sort of contestant we love.

Alexandra and Gorka  
If it's good enough for a ten, it's good enough for a ten. No matter how early it is. This was the FIERCEST dance I have seen on Strictly. I think ever. It wasn't only technically proficient, it seemed as though Alexandra threw her heart and soul into every single step. Alex - already a Strictly Come Dancing legend. 

Johnny and Oti  
First of all, I heart Oti's dress. I can't pull off a red dress, being pale and ginger. Jealous. Johnny was great in this and I loved the routine. Musicality, technique, all great. But he has the sportsman performance problem. Totally agree with Craig regarding the acting lessons. Look what it did for Matt Dawson. Got him to the final... just saying.

Susan and Kevin  
Susan for Strictly Champion! No! Susan for Prime Minister. No! Susan for QUEEN! She was so light on her feet and her musicality was impeccable. I ADORED this. Now I have been down on Kevin in the past. But honestly, he gets the best out of his celebs doesn't he? I take it all back. Think this might be my favourite partnership of the series this year. And Susan, this wasn't 'it-was-a-great-performance good', this was 'you're-a-great-dancer good.