Strictly Come Dancing 2018 has hit the halfway point, and some real contenders are emerging – but week seven was also packed full of surprises.
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Take a look at the most memorable moments from Saturday’s live show:
1. Kate Silverton danced through a bad rib injury
Kate Silverton suffered a serious rib injury in training, but decided to battle through – even recording some excellent videos of herself being given laughing gas while simultaneously receiving the Strictly fake tan. After she’d made it to the end of the first Argentine Tango of the series, pro partner Aljaz Skorjanec pronounced himself seriously impressed: “I actually can’t believe you got through it.”
Unfortunately the judged didn’t love the routine, with Craig Revel Horwood saying he felt “it was stuck in the mud.” Bruno Tonioli and Darcey Bussell were more complimentary, but Shirley Ballas told her: “I’m going to use the word laboured.” Kate has ended up second-last on the leaderboard with a score of 23.
Awww, she's injured. Well done getting through that Kate #Strictly
— Magso (@magso5) November 3, 2018
— Laura ???? (@angry_angel22) November 3, 2018
2. Stacey Dooley ALSO danced through the pain of a rib injury
It was a nasty week for rib injuries, with Stacey Dooley heading to hospital – in fact she was in so much pain from tearing her intercostal muscle that she threw up.
But she danced through the pain with pro partner Kevin Clifton, performing a Street/Commercial routine to Alicia Keys’ Empire State of Mind. The judges loved it, with Bruno even suggesting it had echoes of La La Land. Their performance landed them third on the leaderboard with a score of 36.
Liked that Stacey but it seemed a very short routine? No sign of your injury so kudos to you for hiding the pain #Strictly
— Dorina (@Dorina335) November 3, 2018
Stacey is a very big contender in this competition she truly gets into it and is fantastic. I love this. Soldiering through after an injury. Those moves off Kevin too my god that's swoonage. Stacey sure can dance and she's sweet too love her #strictly
— Mel (@Mel_MellyB) November 3, 2018
3. Danny John-Jules had a very bad week
Oh, Danny! It was a fall from grace for Danny John-Jules and Amy Dowden, who came bottom of the leaderboard with just 22 points – despite having previously scooped up the first ten of the series.
Ever the showman, the Red Dwarf actor got on the wrong foot for his Quickstep and then pretty much stayed there. Bruno pointed out a “multitude of sins,” but told him: “Danny I spotted it, but I’m telling you you covered it like you wouldn’t believe.”
“I think nerves and adrenaline took over on that performance because it just went completely out of whack,” Craig Revel Horwood told him.
“The show must go on,” proclaimed Danny. Hopefully he’ll make it through to next week.
4. Ashley and Pasha topped the leaderboard
Ashley Roberts must be getting pretty comfortable at the top of the leaderboard. For the second week in a row, she and Pasha Kovalev scored 39 points (with Craig stubbornly refusing to get his ten paddle out of storage just yet).
“That was a proper Foxtrot,” Craig told her. “No tricks, no gimmicks… pure and absolutely unadulterated. I loved it.”
“Oh my, Ashley, you have made it your own,” said Darcey, praising the ambitious choreography. Bruno could see echoes of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers in the performance, announcing: “It was like watching Ashley Rogers and Pasha Astaire… it really was delicious down to every detail. Flawless my darling.”
5. Craig didn’t like Faye Tozer dancing in The Cube
Faye Tozer and Giovanni Pernice could have come joint top of the leaderboard – but Craig deducted a mark simply because he didn’t like their prop.
The couple’s Tango to Call Me by Blondie attracted praise from all the judges, especially Bruno (“she was like a Tango machine, she did not miss a beat”) and Darcey (“my goodness, the intensity, the passion… I’m in love”).
But objecting to the use of the giant lit-up prop (which did admittedly bring to mind Philip Schofield’s old game show The Cube), Craig said: “I don’t think you needed a cube… you could get rid of that and I tell you what it would be worth a ten.”
And so he gave it a nine instead, putting Faye and Giovanni at 38 – second on the leaderboard.
Darcey strongly objected to his remarks, and before Tess Daly redirected our attention away from the bickering judges it looks like she told him directly: “The cube has nothing to do with the dancing.”
6. Charles Venn DIDN’T get 25 for once
Aside from his rogue impressive score of 36 in week five, Charles Venn has scored 25 every. single. week.
But now he’s broken out of his rut with a score of 28! Shirley Ballas praised his Viennese Waltz as genuine and sincere, and he certainly seemed pretty genuinely excited with the results. Just take a look at the above screenshot of Claudia Winkleman announcing the judges’ scores.
7. Joe Sugg earned a hug from Shirley Ballas
Last week Joe Sugg scored 35 and got a hug from Head Judge Shirley, and now it has become A Thing.
After giving him another nine for his Paso Doble, she summoned him over: “I’ll take the hug again, I’ll take the hug, I’ll take the hug.”
The Strictly Come Dancing results show is on Sunday 4th November at 7.50pm on BBC1