The judges’ verdict: Darcey praised Joe’s “phenomenal lifts” and Shirley said he “recovered from the wobbles like a gymnast”. Bruno, however, found it a bit “delirious” and Craig said it “lacked fluidity and hip rotation” and “lost balance”. Mixed reviews there.
The judges’ verdict: “That was a smouldering Latin lover with a caring and tender touch,” enthused Bruno, who also praised Joe’s “great lines” but did notice that Joe would break his hands a few times during the routine. Craig said that for him it was “a little bit jolty” and that his footwork was a bit pigeon-toed.
“But you know what, we haven’t seen very many celeb men do this well and your hip action was really lovely,” he added. Darcey was full of praise and said she really did enjoy the performance, while Shirley still thought he was the dark horse of the competition and that he did an “exquisite job” of leading the Rumba.
Dance: Charleston to Alexander’s Ragtime Band by Ella Fitzgerald
The judges’ verdict: “It put a smile on more than my face, darling!” said Craig, rather cheekily, adding that he thought it was brilliant and praised their co-ordination. The only thing he criticised the pair on was a slight lack of swivel. “You gave us all the charm of the silent movies,” added Darcey. “That was a great Charleston”. Shirley had a new name for him – DJ, which could mean either “Detailed Joe” or “Darkhorse Joe” (it’s one word according to Shirley), as she said he was the one “coming from behind”. Ooh-er. Bruno, meanwhile, said that “the choreography was incredibly demanding…great job!”
The judges’ verdict: Shirley “loved the creative concept” and thought it had a good flow and frame but was nevertheless “a bit flat-footed”. Bruno concluded that it was “well-executed”. Craig “loved the energy and drive” while Darcey said it was a “difficult foxtrot, moments when you looked uncomfortable but managed it well”.
Shirley gave him that elusive 10 and said it was “the best male Paso Doble so far”, although sadly Craig wasn’t such a fan. He only awarded Joe a seven, while Darcey gave him a 9 and simply added: “Spanish style, loved it”.
Dance: Cha Cha to You Keep Me Hangin’ On by Human Nature
The judges’ verdict: A disappointing follow-up to last week’s impressive Viennese Waltz. Joe’s Cha Cha was too frantic, with Craig criticising him for his leg and hip action. Shirley asked him to focus on the fundamentals of technique, and Bruno called it “frantic, like someone chasing a wildcat, legs were so wide apart I could drive a train through them”. Only Darcey gave him upbeat feedback, saying: “challenging amount of content but you didn’t do too badly, nice attitude and connection.”
The judges’ verdict: Joe got a thumbs up from Craig, and Darcey enjoyed the traditional performance and routine that Katya Jones gave him. Shirley was equally impressed, and Bruno said he was “swept away by a romantic blizzard” and that the story through their dance was close to the book and close to the story. “Superb,” he said. We couldn’t have put it better ourselves!
Judges’ verdict: Joe is not living up to his potential. Shirley said it took too long to get started (bizarrely he spent quite a while in a wardrobe before launching into the tango) and pointed out issues with his hold and rise and fall. Craig was fed up with his splayed hand (“your thumb was up, which is my pet hate”) and Bruno said it was “all impetus and no control”.
The judges’ verdict: The Holby City actor got a standing ovation for his Jive, and Darcey thought Joe had “the energy, the style, the choreography” and that she loved the details and focus of the dance. Shirley thought it was entertaining and also congratulated Katya on her choreography, while Bruno said that it was a “lot to live up to” and that he did “extremely well”. Craig, on the other hand, just had three words. “I like you,” he said. Hanging out with Ed Balls has clearly paid off.
Radio Times spoke exclusively to Joe McFadden:
Why are you doing Strictly?
“I’ve been asked on other celebrity shows, but never been in the mix for Strictly, and while others never tempted me, this one I couldn’t resist. I was actually brought in to do a little test dance with Katya — who could say no after that?”
How many hours can you train?
“Holby City have assured me they’ll lighten my schedule a bit, so hopefully a few. Who needs to sleep anyway? And friends and family can go on the back burner until Christmas!”
Hear more from Joe and Katya in our exclusive interview below:
What is Joe McFadden famous for?
Best-known for Holby City and Heartbeat, Joe was born in Glasgow and had a small part in Taggart before he got his first big break acting in Scottish soap Take the High Road in which he played Gary McDonald.
From this, he went on to star in TV mini-series The Glass as well as three episodes of Cranford, but he became a familiar face to millions as PC Joe Mason in Heartbeat.
After a small role in Casualty, Joe then landed the part of Raffaello ‘Raf’ di Lucca in Holby City – a role he’s played for three years.
Away from the small screen, Joe has also performed in the West End, appearing in productions of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and Rent.
Of taking part in the show this year, Joe said: “Strictly is one of the biggest, most entertaining shows on TV and being asked to be part of it is a once in a lifetime opportunity that I’m thrilled and terrified about in equal measures!”