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Ian Waite says Dan got "lucky" with Strictly score as he praises Rose for topping leaderboard

RadioTimes.com columnist and former Strictly pro Ian Waite gives his thoughts on Week Six - from the judges' critiques to the best performances of the night.

Ian Waite Strictly Column
Published: Monday, 1st November 2021 at 6:15 pm

Halloween Week on Strictly Come Dancing went down a right treat this weekend.

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On Saturday night, the remaining contestants in the Strictly Come Dancing 2021 line-up returned to the ballroom, and Strictly history was made by Rose Ayling-Ellis, who scored the series' first 40, which was the earliest this result had ever been achieved in the competition.

Here, RadioTimes.com columnist and former Strictly pro Ian Waite shares his thoughts on Rose's top score, Judi's departure, as the comedian became the fifth celebrity to be eliminated from Strictly, and why he thinks Dan Walker got "lucky" with a score of 27 for his jive.

Ian on Saturday's Halloween Week

"It was Strictly' Halloween spooktacular and I must say, it's one of my favourite themed weeks during Strictly season. Hair, makeup and wardrobe always manages to get better and better every year!"

How did the Strictly couples do this week?

  • Dan Walker and Nadiya Bychkova – Sadly, I felt this was difficult dance for Dan. He had flappy and flat turned in feet. He needed more bounce action in the legs. That being said, it was fun, if not a bit corny!
  • Adam Peaty and Katya Jones – Adam is such a great competitor and I really like to watch him every week. The left arm looked a little flat, but I thought the lowering into the leg on count one was really good, which helped him cover the floor with ease.
  • Sara Davies and Aljaz Skorjanec – Aljaz in full leather was a sight to behold, but unfortunately it wasn't enough to distract us from Sara's lack of speed and power when not in hold.
  • Tom Fletcher and Amy Dowden – A very rocky interpretation of the tango. I really liked it and it had lots of great content in the choreography. No doubts Amy will continue to develop and improve Tom's technique, posture and top line.
  • Tilly Ramsay and Nikita Kuzmin – Tilly is improving every week. Nice little touch of action and Tilly is looking very comfortable performing every week now. Love the choreography. It was creative and cheeky.
  • AJ Odudu and Kai Widdrinton – I am a massive fan of AJ and her dancing. I felt this was her best ballroom dance by far – amazing frame and flowed across the floor with fantastic dynamic presence. I agreed with Motsi that the chemistry between them is so beautiful to see. 10s all the way!
  • John Whaite and Johannes Radebe – As expected, as expected, very together and well matched, but it looked a little heavy for me, and I couldn't decide whether it was the dance or the costumes. I enjoyed the energy.
  • Rose Ayling-Ellis and Giovanni Pernice – The detail in this dance was off the scale! Sharp head action, keen, crisp heel leads, Rose moved across the floor like a ballroom champion. The most impressive thing was the musicality and this is all done through sight and feeling. Simply unbelievable!
  • Rhys Stephenson and Nancy Xu – I was pleasantly surprised because there was a more composed, clean masterful performance from Rhys. It could have breathed in the flamenco lines to create more shaping, but overall a fantastic dance.
  • Judi Love and Graziano Di Prima - This dance must have been difficult with no rehearsals this week. The timing was very good, but it lacked usage of foot and ankle action and Judi's hip action could have been emphasised greater.

Strictly High of The Week

"I have two highlights because I really loved AJ as well as Rose. The two Viennese Waltz were absolutely brilliant! They both flowed across the floor really and always the rotation is very difficult in Viennese Waltz, but in just one week, they both mastered it and produced unbelievable performances."

Rose Ayling-Ellis

Rose Ayling-Ellis and Giovanni Pernice

"Rose is another person who is improving every week and her dance was as near to perfection as you can get for me. That dance was absolutely sublime. It was wonderful. The head action and the following of Gio's lead was just brilliant. I'm not surprised she picked up four 10s!"

Strictly Low of The Week

Dan and Nadia

Dan and Nadia

"I don't really have a low this week. Everybody's improving and everybody and Halloween Week is just about having fun at the end of the day. And I was entertained by everybody. So, even if the technique wasn't up to scratch like Dan and Judi I still really enjoyed the performances!

"In terms of scores, I felt for me, Dan and Nadia were very lucky with their scores. Luckily the theme of the dance and the whole Halloween theme sort of covered up the lack of technical expertise. If anything, he was very lucky to get away with it. But you know that dance has gone now for Dan, so it's onwards and upwards and hopefully he'll move forward."

Ian's Top Tip

"All the celebrities should focus and remember it's always from the floor upwards, so they have to make sure that their foot and ankle technique is really good before anything else because that is your stability and grounds. If you can get your feet and ankles strong and looking articulated, then that will really help the rest of your performance."

Ian answers...

Ugo went out the week after he returned and so did Judi - could this be the new Strictly curse?

I don't know because we haven't had it before, and Tom and Amy had the same and they didn't leave, so I don't think it's a Strictly Curse. I think she [Judi] was the weakest dancer. For me, there was a lack of improvement, whereas I can see improvement in all the other couples. Unfortunately, the feet, legs and ankles needed to be much stronger, and I think that kind of let her down in the end. But I still think that you her personality was the best and she just came across so brilliantly. It was sad to see her leave the competition.

Judi Love

Judi Love was the fifth celebrity to be eliminated from Strictly 2021

Adam was in the bottom two, despite scoring higher than Sara who was at the bottom of the leaderboard. Should he be worried?

I really hope that people are voting for Adam, because for me, he's what Strictly is all about - giving 100 per cent. He's improving every week and he's one of our greatest Olympians! And I really hope people get behind him at home and keep him in because I'd really like to see him right up there in the semi-finals and final.

Waite's Week

"So we've been on the road for two weeks - all of of the cast of the Ballroom Boys tour in the car together. And I've got the wonderful Vincent Simone chauffeuring me around. He loves the driving, so that's good. We're in Loughborough tonight and then we're in St. Helens and Buxton over weekend. So a few days off, and then I'm going to do some content for my dance fitness programme, Fit Steps, so I am busy even during my days off. There's no rest for the wicked!"

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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Ian Waite is currently on tour. Visit theballroomboys.com for tickets. 

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