There may have been no surprise stage-invaders, but Strictly Come Dancing continued to rule the Saturday night roost yesterday evening as the BBC1 contest danced to its halfway point.
Last week saw Frankie Bridge emerge triumphant at the top of the leaderboard, while a Cruella De Vil-ed Judy Murray escaped the dance off once again as Scott Mills – and his Uncle Fester bald cap – were sent packing.
As the celebs returned to the dancefloor for last night’s show, we saw tears and tennis amid the usual onslaught of sequins, sparkle and sambas. Here are our favourite bits…
Pixie Lott tops the leaderboard
The 23-year-old pop star was red hot as she and partner Trent Whiddon took to the dance floor yesterday evening. Performing their slick foxtrot to When I’m Sixty Four, the pair were branded “fabulous” and gorgeous” by the judges, with Darcey awarding her first ten (the second of the competition – we don’t count Donny’s, do we?) and sending the sprightly pair to the top of this week’s rankings.
Frankie gets teary
How fortunes can change in just one week. Last Saturday, a Saturday was sitting pretty at the top of the leaderboard. This week Frankie Bridge was on the receiving end of Craig Revel-Horwood’s sharp tongue as he labelled her Samba to ‘La Bamba’ “your worst dance yet”. His comments reduced poor Frankie to tears – she should try being Judy for a week – but Craig went and gave her a seven, anyway, putting her and partner Kevin Clifton in third place with 32 points. Not much to cry about.
Andy Murray finally visits Strictly
Thanks to his frantic race to qualify for this week’s ATP World Tour Finals in London, Andy Murray has had a handy excuse to avoid the Strictly Come Dancing studios – geographical distance. But after lifting trophies in Shenzhen, Vienna and Valencia, he’s back on UK shores so reluctantly joined in with his mother Judy’s training session. And it turns out, while the 27-year-old is quick-footed on court, his dance moves leave a lot to be desire. “I know where you get it from,” quipped Judy’s partner Anton du Bec who devised a Judge Judy-inspired routine to perform on last night’s show. As usual, the judges consigned the tennis coach to the bottom of the leaderboard where she’s languished since the start of the competition. It’ll be up to the voting public once again to see her through to next week’s Blackpool special.
Bruno tells Steve Backshall not to “break” Ola Jordan
Certain tabloid stories this week have suggested that Deadly 60 presenter Steve has complained to Strictly bosses about being bullied by his Strictly Come Dancing partner Ola Jordan – but there was none of that on display during last night’s fiery Paso Doble which left certain judges in shock. Dancing to Kings of Leon’s Use Somebody, a barrel-chested Steve was told he looked like “Conan the Destroyer” by Strictly judge Bruno Tonioli who added: “You’re supposed to dance with Ola, not break her. This poor girl, she’s made of flesh and blood.” “You frightened the life out of me,” joked head judge Len Goodman. Judge for yourself below…
Simon Webbe… a “serious contender”
Just two weeks ago the Blue singer found himself in a dance off with Thom Evans, scraping through by the skin of his teeth. How things can change in just two weeks as last night Simon and Kristina Rihanoff’s quickstep to I Got Rhythm saw a spectacular turnaround, pitching the duo into second place, just behind Pixie Lott. Resurgent Webbe was informed he was “fast becoming a serious contender”, by famously hard-to-please Craig Revel Horwood as he banked 33 points and a fighting chance of returning next week.