When Danny Mac scored a 40 with his “pagan mating ritual” of a Samba in week ten, he made Strictly Come Dancing history: nobody had EVER gained a perfect score with the Samba before, in the show’s entire 14 series on TV.
This got us wondering. Is it harder to gain a perfect score with an Argentine Tango than an American Smooth? Is a Cha-Cha-Cha harder to mark highly than a Charleston, a Samba or a Salsa?
We went dancing through the data – and this is what we found.
Assigned the Rumba? Bad luck
Now Danny has conquered the Samba with his snake hips, there is only one dance style remaining which has never earned a 40.
That dance is the Rumba. According to our Strictly Come Dancing statistics, the Rumba is the hardest dance to score full marks with.
This is bad news for Claudia Fragapane, who will be taking on the Rumba to Bleeding Love by Leona Lewis in this weekend’s semi-final. On the upside, if she can pull it off, she would become a real contender for the Glitterball Trophy.
Celebrities should cross their fingers for the Charleston
If you get to dance the Charleston, you have the best chances of getting a 40 – at least, that’s what the figures suggest. Six celebrities have achieved perfect scores with this cheeky 20s number, including Chris Hollins, Georgia May Foote and Caroline Flack.
However, none of the four couples competing in this weekend’s semi-final will be performing a Charleston.
Danny is lucky to have the Salsa (four previous full marks), balanced out by the American Smooth (two previous 40s).
Despite the challenge of the Rumba, Claudia also has reason to smile: getting assigned the Quickstep is a stroke of luck, as it is one of the best-scoring dances, with four couples earning top marks.
She’ll be competing against Ore Oduba in the Quickstep, who is also lucky to have the Argentine Tango.
Poor Louise Redknapp has an uphill struggle: she will take on the Samba (until recently, no 40s) and the Tango, which has only earned top marks twice in Strictly history.
Revealed: the other record-holders
Danny is the only celebrity so far to have scored a 40 with the Samba, but two other celebrities also have similar spots in the Strictly history books. These are:
The only 40 for a Paso Doble – Chelsee Healey (2011)
The only 40 for a Jive – Jill Halfpenny (2004)
There have been 40 40s
This is kind of neat. Excluding the instances where the same dance gained two 40s because it was repeated in the final (see Pamela Stephenson’s Viennese Waltz and Rachel Stevens’ Foxtrot), at this point in the series there have been a grand total of 40 perfect scores in the entire history of the series.
Bring on the Showdances!
The Final usually includes some impressive Showdances, as the competitors show off everything they’ve learnt in one performance fusing different styles. This usually inspires the judges to reach for their 10 paddles, leading to seven “perfect” Showdances in Strictly history.
Can’t wait to see what the 2016 Strictly final brings…
Strictly Come Dancing continues on BBC1 on Saturday at 6.50pm