Strictly Come Dancing: Blackpool Week – as it happened

Danny Mac's Charleston scored the first perfect 40 of the series, and Ed let loose his great Balls of fire

123220

They said nothing could beat it. They said Strictly Come Dancing had peaked with Ed Balls’ week eight Gangnam style performance. They were wrong. Oh-so wrong.

Advertisement

Yes, the Blackpool special turned out to be very special indeed, with a piano-playing Ed Balls lowered in from the ceiling before wowing viewers up and down the land with his lively jive. But that wasn’t all: Danny Mac scored a perfect 40-points from the judges – the first this series!

Here’s how the action unfolded on the night…


20.18 Right, that’s it for me tonight. But I’ll see you 7.15pm tomorrow for the results (well, not actually you. You could be one of those weird people who watch TV in the wrong aspect ratio, for all I know).

20.10 And the final scores (the last numbers I’ll throw at you tonight, promise):

123219

20.07 The verdict is in for the Judge: Craig says it was “hip-tastic” and wants to rename Rinder “Judge Grinder” (yeah, somebody needs to talk to Craig about that), and Darcey and Bruno also give Rinder a good review.

And Rinder scores a 33 (8,9,8,8). That’s his joint best score of the series (his Quickstep Foxtrot also scored 33, as if you need reminding)

20.00 (Not actually a) Judge Rinder’s next to take to the ballroom and I’m expecting big things from him this week. Partly because he’ll be dancing Salsa to Spice Up Your Life. But mainly because his pal Benedict Cumberbatch (yes, the Cumberbatch) has been teaching Rinder to master his facial expressions this week. Hopefully like this:

92907

Can’t. Wait.

19.57 Calling it now: Greg is in trouble. His score last week: 31. And this week: 32 (8,8,8,8)

The judges’ reaction in short:

–       Bruno says it looked like Greg was having a good time (and that’s pretty much it).

–       Craig said Greg gave too much power into the ground – Greg looked too bouncy on the SPRUNG floor, apparently.

–       Darcey said it was fun to watch (yup, she was definitely trying to find any positive)

–       Len said Greg showed great movement, but that he mucked up the leap.

19.51 Up next: last week’s eliminating-escaping Greg Rutherford with a quickstep dance to ‘Hand Jive’ by Sha Na Na. Hand. JIVE.

Oh dear.

19.48 A summary of Craig’s Ed Balls reaction…

But all other judges say Balls is actually improving. Who’ve funk?!

The ED BALLS BLACKPOOL SCORE (still can’t believe he made it this far): 23 (4,6,7,6). That’s just above his series average of 22.5.

19.43 Apparently Balls is going to be dangling from 40 feet. Nope. Nothing funny about that.

19.43 Unplug your doorbell, switch your phone to airplane mode, tell your mum to shut her cake hole. IT’S ED BALLS O’CLOCK.

And goodness gracious, this week he’s dancing to ‘Great BALLS of Fire’ by Jerry Lee Lewis. Things just got serious.

19.40 Now THAT is dancing (I think. Seriously, I’ve no idea. I can do the YMCA and that’s about it. Oh, and the cha cha slide).

Anyway, Darcey says it was “unbelievable”, Len says it was “fantastic”, Bruno says it was “Broadway standard” and Craig says it was …WAIT FOR IT… “fab-u-lous”.

His score: FOURTY POINTS (10,10,10,10 – Obviously)

And, of course, that’s the highest scoring Charleston of the series, beating Claudia Fragapane’s 36 of week three.

19.34 Danny and Oti are on the floor next where they’ll attempting the Charleston to ‘Puttin’ On The Ritz’ by Gregory Porter.

Stats reminder: not only has this couple achieved the highest score of the series (39), but they’ve also got the best average score of the class of 2016 with 34.5 (Louise & Kevin are second with 33.9).

19.30 It’s a good review for Louise (EVEN FROM CRAIG). It’s “dynamic and strong” says Darcey, “I was blown away” says Len, “luscious” says Bruno.

Her apparently ‘Game of Thrones-themed’ Paso Doble  (seriously, she literally just had a throne and a big dress thrown in) scores a 38 (9, 9, 10, 10)

Louise now has the record for the best Paso Doble of the series, beating Danny Mac’s 36-pointer from week three.

But did she deserve more?

19.27 Louise Redknapp is imminent! This week she’ll be dancing the Paso Doble (a dance apparently ‘lively and march-like’) to ‘Explosive’ by Bond.

And in the likely event you haven’t heard the song before, it’s like a Bond theme played mostly a violin. Might be the only time we’ll get a shot of a member of the house band head-banging.

19.25 And the judges are VERY happy about Ore’s waltz (well, except Craig, who said Ore was a bit too “skippy” and highlighted a head “incline”)

He gets a score of 38  (8,10,10,10). Not his best score (39), but well above his series average of 33.1. He should be very very safe with that.

It’s also the best Viennese Waltz of the series (Claudia’s now second with her 36 pointer)

All very interesting, but it doesn’t answer the main question of Ore’s performance: WHY IS HE SO SWEATY? Someone give that man a towel.

19.18 Right, Ore and Joanne are preparing to go on. And they’ve got a lot of pressure on their Viennese Waltz (to That’s Life’ by Frank Sinatra).

They’ve been slipping down the leaderboard in recent weeks and got to beat last week’s score of 35 to give them a good chance of safety.

19.17 Hey. It’s Peter Kay. In a high-vis. Struggling with the autocue. Great. I guess.

JUST BRING ON ED BALLS ALREADY!!

19.12 The judges’ verdict on Claudia…

Len points out an early mistake by Claudia (one wrong foot, apparently), but gives his thumbs up. As does Bruno. And Darcey.

Even Craig says it would have been a 10 without the error

Her score: 36 (9,9,9,9) – her top total ever from the judges. That’s three points clear of her previous best score.

19.08 First up… Claudia and AJ will be dancing the Jive to ‘Hey Mickey’ by Toni Basil. Bold (and terrible) song choice, but hey, they’ve got every chance of hitting high on the table once again.

Their score last week: 36 (well above their average point total of 32.4)

19.07 Can somebody turn down the brightness on Judge Rinder’s outfit? Think it’s genuinely damaged my TV. Just kidding, I’m watching this on my phone. While wearing a onesie. A penguin onesie.

123218

18.59 Best Strictly opener ever?

18.58 But seriously, who is the guy that does the ‘wheeeey’ that kicks off the epic Strictly theme song? Nails it. Every. Time.

18.56 COME ON, HURRY UP POINTLESS! (Although, just want to say, I gave a pointless ‘War of The Worlds’ answer in the last round)

18.52 Just in case you forgot, Ed Balls is in the show this year

18.44 And just think about the best Strictly performances of all time: most have been at Blackpool. Don’t believe me? Well, have a look at the article below. Just apologise when you get back…

The best Strictly Come Dancing Blackpool Week performances

18.42 Still don’t understand the hype about tonight’s show? Just try and think of Blackpool as the Ron Burgundy of dancing: it’s a big deal and smells of mahogany. Seriously, the 120ft by 102ft dance floor you can see tonight is made up of 30,602 blocks of mahogany, oak and walnut. #EveryDaysASchoolDay

18.40 Obligatory Ed Balls reminder: the ex-Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer will be performing the Jive to this tonight…

Fun fact: the 1957 classic was originally written with Ed Balls’ Strictly performance in mind.

18.37 Want to know why Blackpool’s so special to Strictly? There’s an article for that…

Why is Blackpool the home of ballroom?

18.35 Ever wondered how the celebs get up to Blackpool? Wonder no more…

123217

18.25 Before the action properly kicks off, I really should draw your attention to this BBC pic…

123212

Possibly the best thing to happen in Strictly history…

123215

????????

123216

17.39 And just in case you wanted to know a bit more about Blackpool, here’s some info courtesy of Anton du Beke and Brendan Cole (and a papier-mâché seagull)

17.31 Okay, best to nip this in the bud now: why on earth does everyone keep harking on about how important Blackpool week is? Well, here’s an article RT made earlier all about the history of the famous tower ballroom, if you’re in to that kind of thing. And if you’re not? Just know performing at Blackpool is the dancing version of playing a footie match at Wembley. Capisce?

17.00 Good evening good evening good evening. We’ve now got just less than TWO HOURS until Blackpool O’Clock – more than enough time to catch up with all the need-to-know Strictly details this week…

You could click through to the complete list above, but I’m feeling nice and will let you know what you really want here: Ed Balls is Jiving to Great Balls of Fire by Jerry Lee Lewis. 

Getit?! Great BALLS of fire?

The man’s a genius.

123213

Which would be a great idea – only if he does the teaching personally and swaps the naughty step with a full-Rinder verbal dressing-down.

123214

Here’s everything you need to know about tonight’s show which starts on BBC1 at 6:55pm…


Strictly Come Dancing 2016: meet the contestants

116697

Anastacia

116689

Ed
Balls

116684

Tameka
Empson

116688

Claudia
Fragapane

116694

Lesley
Joseph

116685

Daisy
Lowe

116696

Danny
Mac

116692

Naga
Munchetty

116693

Melvin
Odoom

116691

Ore
Oduba

116686

Louise
Redknapp

116690

Judge Robert
Rinder

116695

Greg
Rutherford

116687

Laura
Whitmore

116698

Will
Young

Strictly Come Dancing 2016: meet the pro dancers

118482

Oksana
Platero

118484

Karen
Clifton

118487

Pasha
Kovalev

118491

Joanne
Clifton

118521

AJ
Pritchard

118498

Oti
Mabuse

118500

Katya
Jones

118502

Janette
Manrara

118506

Gorka
Marquez

118509

Natalie
Lowe

118511

Kevin
Clifton

118513

Giovanni
Pernice

118515

Brendan
Cole

118517

Anton
Du Beke

118520

Advertisement

Aljaz
Skorjanec