This was Movie Week. We had razz and we had matazz as well as series firsts and dancing disappointments.
The celebrities and their pros kicked off tonight’s proceedings with an Oscars inspired number. Kellie Bright flew around the studio on a bike a la ET, Carol Kirkwood and Daniel O’Donnell embraced Titanic-style and Helen George made a terribly convincing Marilyn Monroe. If you thought Strictly couldn’t get any sparklier, you were wrong.
Soon, though, it was down to the serious stuff: the solo performances.
Carol Kirkwood was up first with a South Pacific-inspired Quickstep. She was confident – and smiling as ever – but the judges weren’t impressed by her soapy performance.
“You looked like you were shuffling on damp sand,” said Bruno, saying there were too many mistakes. “Lame and very lack-lustre,” added Craig.
Carol and Pasha got 3 from Craig, 5 from Darcey, 5 from Len and a 4 from Bruno giving them a total of 17. They were down three from last week, securing them a spot at the bottom of the leaderboard.
Anthony Ogogo was doing a boxing-themed Paso Doble. He was clearly at home in the theme and the punchy Paso suited him better than last week’s dance. He didn’t seem to be doing a huge amount of actual dancing, but the judges enjoyed seeing him confident on the floor. “It’s your best dance so far,” said Darcey, adding that it was a “great improvement.”
“That was a mish-mash of martial arts. You’ve got to have artistry when you dance… it was all over the place,” added Bruno.
Ogogo was awarded a 4 from Craig again, a 6 from Darcey, a 5 from Len and a 4 from Bruno. It was the same score as the week before, but Oti said they weren’t disappointed. He’s improving every day. Just not when it comes to the leaderboard…
Anton and Katie were performing a Pretty Woman-inspired Cha Cha Cha. She was all shopping bags and sunglasses, while Anton was clearly loving getting to pretend he was Richard Gere. The dance itself felt little like it never got started though and the judges didn’t hold back in their criticism.
“It was like a bad internet connection… it kept stopping and starting,” said Craig, criticising a surprisingly lack of dance content.
“I was expecting so much more,” added Darcey, while Len said: “This was a disappointment. There wasn’t enough going on.”
They were awarded 4, 6, 5, 5, giving them a total of 20, down 8 from last week.
Kellie and Kevin were next doing a Star Wars inspired Charleston. There were lifts, cheeky expressions and cool lightsaber tricks which ended in a standing ovation from the studio audience.
“You should not be that good in week three… the sync was fabulous. Fast. Brilliant” smiled Darcey. “Kellie Bright and a Jedi Knight. Just right. You put the moves in movies,” grinned Len.
“I could feel the force!” said Bruno. “Full of content, totally recognisable… absolutely well done.”
The judges gave Kellie 8s across the board and she shot up to the top end of the leaderboard.
Ainsley Harriott was dancing like the Happy Feet penguin during tonight’s Movie Week. The TV chef was clearly in his element, strutting his stuff in front of an adoring audience. But there were moments when he looked a little unsure of what he was meant to be doing…
It seems Ainsley was having too much fun and started forgetting his steps. It was first class entertainment, as Darcey pointed out, but there were too many mistakes. “A Cha Cha Cha disaaaaaster,” drawled Craig.
He got 3,6,6,5, which was the same as his score last week.
Georgia May Foote was being a Bond girl this week, dancing the first Rumba of the season in one seriously Strictly-fied frock. It was a dark and dramatic performance, with a trust game in the middle for good measure.
The judges were impressed. “It was a very nice Rumba,” said Bruno, getting off his seat to stroke Len. Craig agreed. He loved her clean spins, the drama and the strong lines, while Darcey called it a “very good performance.”
Len felt differently, though. The head judge was annoyed by Giovanni’s head shaking and chastised him, saying: “Too much posturing, posing and larking about.”
The pair were then awarded 7s, from everyone asides from Len…
Helen George was channelling Marilyn Monroe next, in layers of frothy lace. Her dance was fun and flirty. It got the audience on their feet – and the judges loved it too.
“I thought the whole thing was absolutely gorgeous,” said Craig. “This is exactly what you should do with every dance,” said Darcey, praising her characterisation. While Bruno calls her Foxtrot “classy beautiful.”
“You’ve worked very hard on the footwork,” added Len. “Some like it hot, I like it elegant and that was just what I got.”
The Call the Midwife star got 8s across the board.
Daniel O’Donnell was Danny Zuko next for a Grease-themed dance. The audience loved his hip thrusting and quiffed hair, but the judges weren’t as enamoured.
“It did lack a bit of grease lightening,” said Len, saying it was a mix of Summer Lovin’ and Last of the Summer Wine.
“More Danny Zucchini than Danny Zuko,” added a mean Bruno.
Daniel and Kristina get 4, 6, 6, 5. It is their lowest score so far but the pair don’t seem that bothered.
Kirsty Gallacher was dressed as a dog for her Lady and the Tramp-themed number. Her tail got in the way of the lifts, but Len reckoned it was still an improvement on last week.
“Carry on like this,” Bruno said. “A great, great improvement,” concluded Darcey.
When it came to the scores, they were an improvement too. A 5 from Craig, 6 from Darcey, 6 from Len and 6 from Bruno got Kirsty and Brendan a 23 – their highest score so far.
Peter Andre was Johnny Depp for his Paso and the likeness was uncanny. His was a fun, if slightly stompy, performance with a brilliant ending. And the judges were on board.
“I enjoyed it but you cannot lose the stance on the Paso Doble… you still have to maintain those lines,” said Bruno.
“That was full of aggression which I absolutely loved… congratulations,” added Craig.
Their piratey Paso got them their lowest score so far: four 7s, which is still a solid score for week three.
Jamelia was doing a Charlie’s Angels inspired Salsa. It was fun but it felt like you could see the cogs turning.
“It’s a little bit rough around the edges,” said Craig, calling it laboured. He ended with a positive note though, saying: “This is your dance.”
“Not quite mission accomplished,” said Len. “What I loved is that you came out and you really went for it – and that’s the way to do it.”
The pop-star, who found herself in the first dance off last week, was given 6 from Craig, 7 from Darcey, 6 from Len and 6 from Bruno. She shouted, “Oh my gosh!” when Craig gave her a 6 and promptly burst into tears.
Jeremy Vine’s tackled the Charleston this evening, with a charming, people-pleasing performance.
Darcey called it “fabulously unusual” while Len branded it “genius.”
“You’ve become the king of funny walks,” said Bruno, calling his efforts Python-esque and an “unexpected delight.”
Revel Horwood, on the other hand, wasn’t quite so impressed… “It was bizarre, darling. I felt like you were being operated by strings,” concluded Craig, to loud boos from the audience.
Craig went for a 3, but the rest of the judges plump for 7s. A shocked Jeremy was besides himself while Karen almost choked on her popcorn.
Anita Rani performed a Ghost-inspired American Smooth that was dramatic, romantic and seriously sexy.
“I loved the fact you were totally committed to the character and the performance,” said Bruno, leaping up from his seat to wave his hands around with abandon. “I thought it was a very well judged combination.”
Craig pipped up to criticise some technical elements but ended on a positive note: “I thought it was absolutely wonderful.”
She bagged 6, 8, 8, 7. A solid score.
Jay McGuiness was up last. He was top of the leaderboard last week with 31 and faced some tough competition if he wanted to maintain the top spot.
His Jive was confident and the Wanted star kept up with pro Aliona with ease. There were moments when they looked like equals which isn’t an easy feat, especially in week three. And the judges were suitably impressed…
“Finally the blockbuster everybody was waiting for. You’ve outdone and outdanced Travolta and everyone else here tonight. Best dance EVER!” shouted Bruno.
“That is a level of technique we have never seen ever… a-ma-zing,” added Craig.
“That is the best dance so far this season,” concluded Len, while Darcey was left open-mouthed by Jay’s sex-appeal.
Craig, Darcey and Len awarded him 9s. And – wait for it – Bruno gave him the first 10 of the series, sending Jay to the top of the leaderboard with a hugely impressive 37 points.
That left Jay at the top, with Kellie and Helen coming in joint second, and Carol Kirkwood back at the bottom with 17 points.
Of course that’s not where it all ends this weekend. These scores are added to the public vote and another celebrity will find themselves hanging up their dancing shoes tomorrow night…
Strictly Come Dancing continues tomorrow at 7:15pm on BBC1