Whoever starts the show, according to Len, sets the bar for the other dancers, and he – and I – felt that Jake’s competent quickstep set it nice and high. Craig was a little more nit-picky (for a change) but even he admitted such fussiness was only because Jake is so good already. I just can’t get enough of his confidence - he’s full of surprises.
Next up, another surprise contender, Sunetra. I didn’t expect much from her before the series began, but she’s becoming a really competent dancer. This week’s Viennese waltz was elegant and lovely, with compliments to Brendan via Bruno for his clever choreography. Even Craig was happy with her double spin into hold – it’s just her raised shoulder issue to work on.
And then, poor old Scott was up again. Much maligned, his confidence was at an all-time low coming into the Charleston. He put a lot of work in, and the results were…well, not awful exactly. Craig told him a 3-year-old could do better, but despite that, everyone thought it was his best dance yet, thanks to his personality.
Rugby star Thom was next with the chacha – a hard dance, especially for men, as Darcey pointed out. Still, she felt he brought plenty of attack and energy to the routine. Len felt he didn’t know what to do with his arms (frankly, when they look that lovely, who cares?!) but everyone was more-or-less happy with the performance.
Next Frankie had us all feeling broody with a behind-the-scenes clip of her adorable baby Parker. He had just turned one, and came to see his mum in rehearsals. Aww. She could have performed the most hideous foxtrot after that and still got through on the strength of his blue eyes, but – of course – she was rather brilliant. Or, in Len’s words, like ‘butter on a hot crumpet’. Quite.
Alison was up next, trying something rather different to her usual feisty numbers – a sultry tango. She really tried to inhabit a moody character – although the judges disagreed on how successful she was. Either way, we thought it was great to see her pushing herself, as her fast numbers were becoming a bit ‘samey’.
Wow – we need to talk about Mark’s samba…now. Hello hips! What a fantastic job after a difficult week – and as Darcey pointed out, those hips know how to party. We loved it.
Simon and Kristina brought a classy Viennese waltz to the floor – amid rather too much dry ice – but while it was good, it wasn’t quite up to the standards of their show-stopping Charleston.
Speaking of which, it was Judy’s turn to take up the Charleston mantle, beginning with a spot of rowing with Anton. Len felt her standards had dropped a bit, but admired her smile, while Bruno thought it was a bit 'Titanic'…
Caroline went ‘for the kill like a tiger’, in her paso according to Bruno. And it seems the Italian judge has a bit of a crush on her feline moves. She was very, very good, although we don’t entirely warm to her. We’re not sure why… Do you agree?
Quite the opposite can be said for lovely, lovely Steve Backshall – who we unapologetically love. And even more so after seeing him sweep Ola across the floor like an old movie star. Sigh. Craig also enjoyed his soft, gentle side, and his reward was a classy 30 points.
Finally, getting the party started…urm, just in time for the end…was Pixie’s feisty samba. It was wonderfully crazy in Darcey’s view, and Len threatened to get his maracas out. Thankfully before this happened, she was off to see the scores – a magical 35. Great stuff.
Ok, now that’s out of the way, we can get down to brass tacks. JUST WHAT happened to the voting public this week? And HOW did Thom and Simon – both not only good dancers but, most importantly, dancers who were noticeably improving every week – end up in the dance off? Surely there are still weaker acts left at the bottom of the charts?
Anyway, whatever happened, that was the outcome. The judges were disappointed too, and were divided on who should go – but Len had the casting vote, so we had to kiss goodbye to lovely Thom. Saturday’s just got a bit less handsome.