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Strictly's Ian Waite says Rose performed her "weakest" dance while Rhys "fulfilled his potential"

The former Strictly pro returns with another edition of his weekly column – The Waite List.

Ian Waite
Published: Monday, 29th November 2021 at 2:30 pm

BBC One's Strictly Come Dancing continued at the weekend, with the remaining celebrities taking on their 10th dance of the series and the show saying goodbye to yet another contestant as we approach the 2021 quarter-finals.

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As the Strictly Come Dancing line-up go from strength to strength at this stage of the competition, RadioTimes.com columnist Ian Waite is back to deliver his verdict on the weekend's dances.

From John and Johannes's near-perfect score to Rose and Giovanni's dramatic Paso Doble, read on for former Strictly pro Ian's latest edition of The Waite List.

How did the Strictly couples do this week?

Rose Ayling-Ellis and Giovanni Pernice: I was really impressed by the amount of basic figures throughout the dance but my favourite bit was the flamenco musical break in the middle of the routine. This is when the music changes for about four bars of music and it's different to the rest of the song. I would have liked to see a little bit more resistance and shaping throughout the dance and the walks could have had more peeling action off the floor. That being said, it's lovely to see Rose adopt such a strong character.

Dan Walker and Nadiya Bychkova: Another routine with a lot of basic content. Starting with closed facing into a fan alemana, opening out to sliding doors, slip pivot. When Dan began the more advanced choreography – lunges, ronde swivels and drags – these were done with good posture, but we'd like to see Dan dance his body into step to complete the line.

AJ Odudu and Kai Widdrington: This number reminded me of a modern take on a Cyd Charisse and Gene Kelly classic. It gave me Fosse vibes with old-school jazz thrown in for good measure. AJ made full use of her lovely long legs, creating lines and leg kicks, with stunning use of the platform, where she did a flying jump into a lift. This was breathtaking.

AJ Odudu and Kai Widdrington

AJ Odudu and Kai Widdrington

Rhys Stephenson and Nancy Xu: Rhys took a long time to get going in this routine but when he did, boy did he show us the style. Beautiful timing and quality of movement throughout. I was particularly impressed by his hold and rotation into the standing spin.

Tilly Ramsay and Nikita Kuzmin: This week, Tilly and Nikita danced the samba – known as the dance of death because it's such a difficult dance to master. There was, however, a lot of samba content and a musical break in the music, which I really enjoyed. Although sometimes Tilly turns her feet in, especially in the cruzados walks.

John Whaite and Johannes Radebe: I particularly liked the partner work between these two and found it much more appealing than the lift work throughout the dance. A very strong, powerful performance, full of passion and intent.

Strictly high of the week

Rhys Stephenson and Nancy Xu

Rhys Stephenson and Nancy Xu

I'd say Rhys and Nancy for me. It was so nice to actually see Rhys fulfil his potential finally with that beautiful waltz. It really was dreamy and his technique has improved immensely.

Strictly low of the week

Rose Ayling Ellis and Giovanni Pernice

Rose Ayling Ellis and Giovanni Pernice

It's difficult to say a Strictly low because at this stage of the competition, everybody is so good. I will say that I thought this was probably Rose's weakest dance this week, but I'm sure she'll come back next week with a strong dance again.

Ian's Top Tip

As we're going into the quarter final next week, I would say that now the celebrities have to step up. This is where the competition gets really hot and you don't want to lose out at the last minute so I would say practice, practice, practice to give the best show they can on the Saturday night.

Ian answers

Do you think Tilly was the right person to leave this week? 

It's difficult because I think she's a great dancer but unfortunately, I think she had her worst dance this week and other people had their best dances. So yes, unfortunately, on this occasion, I do think that Tilly is the right person to leave.

Cynthia Erivo returned to the judging panel again this week – do you think she should join the panel as a more permanent fixture?

Well, I really like Cynthia. I think she's been a fantastic addition to the panel, but I also love Motsi. I don't know whether there's room for five judges, but she's certainly been fantastic the last two weeks and it's been really refreshing to see her on the panel.

Waite's Week

So this week, I'm having a nice rest because I've just finished the Ballroom Boys tour, 45 days in eight weeks. So it's been full-on and I've loved it so much but I'm going to spend a week walking my dog, getting lots of sleep in and I'm actually on BBC Breakfast on Saturday morning to talk about Strictly so look out for that.

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Strictly Come Dancing airs every weekend on BBC One. Want something else to watch? Check out our full TV Guide or visit our Entertainment hub for the latest news. 

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