Strictly Come Dancing 2011: week four review

This year's competition is getting serious and some of the celebrities are struggling, but who has done enough so far to win over the public?

Jason Donovan opened this week’s show with a paso doble not quite up to his exacting standards, which set the tone for the majority of the performances that followed. We are a few weeks into the series and, when Jason said he was feeling fatigued, you could see that the rigorous routine the show demands is getting to him, as well as the rest of the celebrities.

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Although she looked spectacular in her sexy catsuit, it was clear Alex Jones was completely out of her comfort zone doing the sensual rumba. Rory faced his biggest cha-cha-challenge yet and, despite his enthusiasm, couldn’t shrug off his self-consciousness to pull off the Latin dance. Audley is improving and giving every performance everything he’s got, but his foxtrot was underwhelming. And although Lulu found a dance that suited her, and on the whole grasped the pared-down choreography Brendan cleverly put together for her, she floundered halfway through their routine. 

Holly’s Viennese waltz was elegant, but she looks much happier doing the sexier dances – and although Nancy is clearly in love with herself and her performances, she was clunky and jerky and is never going to be a natural on the dancefloor.

The show took a spectacular turn for the better with Chelsee’s quickstep. The staging was brilliant and really established Pasha as a great addition to the professional troupe of Strictly dancers. Harry’s waltz was mesmerisingly beautiful and, when Alesha finally spoke up for herself and defended him against Len’s criticisms of the choreography, I felt that for the first time she justified her position on the judge’s panel.

Anita has a lovely ability to capture the atmosphere of every dance she is given – and her emotional reaction to Tess’s question about having to say goodbye to Robbie was so touching that I hope she doesn’t have to for a few weeks yet.

When Robbie Savage started his Strictly journey he told me that he was only doing it for his mum. I don’t think even he would have believed that a few weeks in he would be announcing, on national television, that he loved dancing. This week, however, it was obvious for all to see. He was a joy to watch, as was Russell, whose comment that Strictly has enabled him “to get back in touch with the people again” only confirmed his new-found royal status.

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The disappointing performances put quite a few of the celebrities in jeopardy this week, but surely Nancy has come further than she ever should have. The only thing keeping her in the competition is the viewers’ love of Anton Du Beke, but it would be a shame if the celebrities who have the scope for improvement were to go home, while she lived to clunk her way through another dance. And I think Anton would secretly be quite relieved to see the back of her!