We’re halfway through the series now, which means one of two things. Firstly, the competition is really hotting up, and secondly, it was about time for me to take a visit to the Strictly set once again…
This time, I was in the audience instead of being on stage. And I have to say, it was a lot more relaxing! It was great to see everything up close, and getting to see everyone again was incredible.
I was really jealous of everyone who got to go upstairs to the balcony though – seeing everyone cheering and hugging each other after a dance brought back so many memories. I don’t even know if the TV can capture the sense of camaraderie backstage.
The evening began with Peter and Janette’s Charleston. It was comical, OTT, and a total joy to watch. The twist-and-drop at the end was so quick, professional and unexpected that I was genuinely taken aback by it. When Len stood up to applaud the both of them, despite his bad knee, you knew you’d just seen something special. Was it worth Len’s first ten of the series? Absolutely. What a way to start the show.
There were so many graceful dances on Saturday night. Jamelia – despite the slight hiccup with the guitar! – was wonderful to watch, even if the turns made me dizzy.
Kellie’s waltz was great too, and I love the fact that her dances continue to have such great storylines every week. Jay’s Argentine tango was the first of the season, and it didn’t disappoint. I think he held his breath until the scores, but seemed to relax once he got those two nines!
I loved Helen’s rumba, and done to Adele’s Hello made it even more perfect. The storyline was intense, and it was so tender and emotional to watch. Even though Craig and Len went head-to-head about the technical steps of the dance, you could feel the air change in the studio when those notes started. It was really something special to watch.
We should also probably talk about Jeremy Vine as a cowboy, shouldn’t we? I love watching Jeremy’s performances. They’re always larger than life and, given the size of his plastic horse this week, his cowboy-inspired tango was no exception. I’m really glad that Bruno’s harsh comments were silenced by boos from the audience, and I hope that Craig is now going to be in the habit of giving Jeremy a four or higher every week. He deserves it.
The themes and storylines were all excellent this week. Everyone’s really stepping up their game as we go further into the competition. Katie had a cane and acted like she was in a musical, which was so fun to watch. Anita’s jive at the cleaners was incredible – the more theatrical her dances are, the more it drives her on. Anita looked a bit like Superwoman, and when Gleb literally flew to jump on her I think the whole audience held their breath!
Georgia’s closing samba was full of intrigue at the beginning, then it was just like watching a firework go off. Did they sneak the Macarena into the middle of the dance? Who knows. Did the crowd care? They went absolutely mad for it – I should know, I was one of them! – and rightly so. It was an awesome end to a brilliant live show.
I was really sad to see Carol and Kellie in the dance off. All the contestants are putting in the best effort they can, and working ridiculous hours to get the dances right. Carol looked radiant and it went a lot smoother for her this week, so it was awful to see her go.
We’re getting closer to the end of the series now, and it will be great to see if the contestants can keep up the incredibly high standard they’ve set for themselves this week. I’ll be keeping a close eye out on Saturday!