This was the Strictly quarter finals. And in case that wasn’t exciting enough, it was also Musical Week. Our six remaining couples performed showstopping numbers from the theatre. We had tears from Darcey, rousing battle cries and even jeans on the Strictly dance floor…
Georgia is up first, dancing a foxtrot to a Beauty and the Beast classic. That, and the bright yellow dress she’s doing it in, is every little girl’s dream. Fact. It’s graceful, light, charming and brimming with Disney magic.
“It was charming. It had a lovely ease about it… it was a fairytale and it wasn’t grim!” says Len.
“You were a picture of loveliness out there,” says Bruno. “I think we were all transported by the magic of it all.”
“I thought it was absolutely delightful,” smiles Craig. “Enchanting… and I don’t often use those sort of words.”
“You really deserve to be here,” he adds.
“You excelled in this,” concludes Darcey, “Beautiful, beautiful.”
The scores are in… It’s a 9 from Craig, 9 from Darcey, 9 from Len and 9 from Bruno, giving them a total of 36. Georgia says she’s never taking her princess dress off and I absolutely don’t blame her.
Anita’s up next. She’s dancing a Chicago-inspired Argentine Tango. Anita’s channeling her sexy side again, while Gleb looks a tiny bit like a stripper. It’s sharp, theatrical and seriously raunchy. Anita is as good as the pros she’s dancing alongside and is throwing herself around Gleb’s six-pack. The audience are on their feet. It’s a hit. But surprisingly a mixed bag from the judges…
Bruno thinks her moves were slightly sloppy and throws his leg up on the desk to demonstrate. “It needed to be a little bit more sharp,” he says.
“This dance unfortunately has exposed all your week points,” says Craig, criticising her pigeon toes and flexed feet. It’s not all bad news though: “You have a great sense of drama, a dramatic integrity.”
“The energy, the attitude and the intent you have is extraordinary,” adds Darcey. “You have no fear. Gleb has asked a lot of you.”
“It was like a cow pat on Countryfile. Hot and steamy,” shouts Len. “I thought you did it spectacularly well.”
The scores are in… It’s a shocking 6 from Craig, 8 from Darcey, 9 from Len and 8 from Bruno. They get 31, which is the same as last week so they could find themselves at the bottom of the leaderboard.
Kellie Bright’s next, dancing a Viennese Waltz as a bold barmaid. It’s fun, jaunty and energetic. And the audience are back on their feet.
“That’s the first time I’ve seen a Viennese Waltz that’s not elegant… had absolutely no class. It was common as, and you know what darling, I loved it!” said Craig.
“It was brilliant, well done,” adds Darcey.
“In the words of Fagin, I was reviewing the situation and I loved it! It was like a knees up down the Old Vic,” says Len.
“Consider yourself, at home!” sings Bruno. “It was a Viennese Waltz by the people, for the people… Happy hour at Strictly Come Dancing.”
They get 9 from Craig, 9 from Darcey, 9 from Len, 9 from Bruno. That’s 36. They are “very happy!” But will it be enough to avoid another dreaded dance off?
Jay McGuiness is up next. He’s dancing a raunchy Rumba this week. He’s even roped Ronan Keating in to help. If that’s not dedication I really don’t know what is.
It’s a romantic and intense dance, full of fluid movements and meaningful eye contact. I feel Jay’s costume is lacking in Strictly sparkle though. Jeans and a checked shirt. Where are the sequins?
“You both bought tears to my eyes,” says Darcey, praising their emotional and compassionate storytelling. “It was fabulous.”
“It was a musical from Once and you won’t be dancing that twice,” says Len. “This is such a hard dance especially for men… you got it right. It was fantastic. Tonight you’ve convinced me you’re a terrific dancer.”
“That was a pitch perfect interpretation of a theme… it was irresistibly romantic,” adds Bruno. “You’ve done an amazing job with a difficult dance.”
“I thought you presented Aliona so well, it was absolutely wonderful,” says Craig. “The hip action I could not complain about at all.”
The scores: it’s a 9 from Craig, a 10 from Darcey, “from Len it’s a 10”, and a 10 from Bruno. 39. That’s the joint highest score of the competition so far and he springs right to the top of the leaderboard.
Katie’s up next, dancing a Cabaret-inspired foxtrot. It’s strong, sassy and sexy.
“Fabulous movement, beautiful lines. A very accomplished performance,” says Len.
“Stunning,” says Bruno. “It was a beautiful, beautiful dance.”
Craig loved the choreography. “I thought it was really, really lovely.”
“That’s exactly what we want,” says Darcey, praising her confidence. “Brilliant, well done.”
They get an 8, 9, 9, 9, for a total of 35. Anton Du Beke is besides himself again, shouting incoherently about nines.
Helen’s up next dancing a Paso Doble to a Les Miserables classic. It’s a rousing, passionate and determined dance. Helen’s wiped her usual smile off her face for a scowl. The audience loved it, will the judges agree?
Bruno’s off his seat shouting. He wants to go on the barricade. He’s ready for battle. “Victory, victory!” he cries.
“Clean, feisty, sharp, brilliant,” says Craig, but he had his criticism too.
“There was so much dance content,” says Darcey, who was concerned there was too much going on.
“I loved the sassy cape… your facial expression, you were living that. I thought it was terrific,” concludes Len.
Good feedback, but we’ve lost our last chance of a full 40 in the quarter final. They get an 8 from Craig, 8 from Darcey, 9 from Len and 9 from Bruno. A total of 34. They were expecting worse, but they topped the leaderboard last week, so it is slightly disappointing.
So how does the leaderboard look at the end of the show?
Jay’s on top with 39, followed by Georgia and Kellie. Anita’s down at the bottom and last-week’s leaderboard-topper Helen is in the danger zone.
That’s it for tonight, but it’s not it for Strictly this weekend. As always there’ll be an elimination tomorrow. One of our celebrities won’t be making it to the semi finals and I honestly couldn’t call it…
Strictly Come Dancing continues tomorrow at 7:20pm on BBC1