Strictly Come Dancing Blog - the Semi-Finals

Strictly Come Dancing Blog - the Semi-Finals

As there were only five couples remaining, this was the first week when the pairs had to perform not one, but two dances each – one ballroom, one Latin – which really pushed them to their limits.

First up were Jake and Janette with a bubbly but imperfect chacha. Len admired the Eastenders’ star’s ‘funk in the trunk’, but Craig was unimpressed by the dance's ‘drunken, unruly’ nature. Admittedly we’ve come to expect spectacular things from Jake in the Latins, and it did fall a little flat for a semi-final dance.

Next Frankie was up, looking pretty as a picture in a Nutcracker-themed rumba. Kevin made a rather dashing, rosy-cheeked soldier, and it felt like a truly unique piece of choreography. It left Bruno feeling like a child on Christmas morning, and he loved that it reflected a different side to the rumba, but Scrooge – I mean, Craig - wasn’t convinced.

Was it just us, or did Mark’s Viennese waltz feel a bit samey? We’re sure we’ve seen him perform practically the same routine a couple of times now. It was sweet and jovial, but we were – dare we say it? A bit bored. Craig felt it lacked some grace in the transitions, but Darcey thought it was charming.

Simon’s samba went a bit off piste in the middle when he losthis rhythm. The judges couldn’t agree on whether he had recovered well or not – guess which of them thought not? That’s right, Craig.

Caroline’s foxtrot was full of emotion, and, as Len said: ‘had plenty of sparkle but wasn’t quite flawless’. As viewers rather than dance experts we weren’t bothered one bit, as it was such a passionate performance – could she take this year’s glitterball trophy home with her??

Then it was back to Jake, with a Viennese waltz. Craig felt his frame had largely improved, but was sometimes a little tense (is it any wonder in the semi-finals?!) and Darcey wanted him to feel more confident.

Frankie certainly looked the part for the Argentine tango, with her dark hair slicked back, and mean and moody make up a-go-go. Happily she also delivered on content, which some impressively sharp kicks and amazing musicality. Craig thought the transitions could have been smoother…but he loved it! As did we.

Mark and Karen went a bit new-age with a hippy-style rumba (bare feet and everything) which we thought was rather pretty. The judges felt it was lacking enough traditional rumba content – all apart from Craig, who was thrilled at its contemporary style (and ability to get up Len’s nose!)

Simon was up next with a spot-on foxtrot. We loved the vintage vibe, and how smooth and elegant he was. As Craig put it: ‘you’re back.’

Finally the series’ most spicy samba came courtesy of Caroline, who lit up the floor with her lively routine, earned a high five from Bruno…AND scored the first 40 of the series! Exciting stuff.

When it came to the dance off it was two of the male acts battling it out: Mark and Jake, and ultimately the judges were happier with Mark’s progress. We’re ever so sad to see Jake go though, we were hoping for a repeat of one of his high intensity, tongue-in-cheek Latin numbers in the final. Ah well, we’ll always have the memories of him swinging his hips in an Elvis costume.

So, now the million-dollar question… Who will win???