Hello and welcome to Strictly Come Dancing week four. Pull on your glittery slippers and settle in, we’ve got two glorious hours of Strictly sparkle ahead of us. We’re expecting the standard to be high and the competition serious. Last week saw The Wanted’s Jay McGuiness bag the first 10 of the season, so we’re keeping our fingers crossed for high scores from here on out…
Join me, Ellie Walker-Arnott – RadioTimes.com’s official Strictly superfan – live from 6.30pm tonight and prepare to be seriously Strictly-fied. You can tweet me your comments, questions, queries and snap judgements on tonight’s dances @Ellie_Wa or post in the comments box below.
Of course that’s not it for this weekend. The results show is on at 7:15pm tomorrow night – and unfortunately we’ll have to say goodbye to yet another celebrity during it.
I’ll see you back here same time, same place next Saturday evening. Do tweet me your thoughts on tonight’s performances in the mean time. I’m @Ellie_Wa.
And, keeeeeeep dancing!
So, as week four’s live show draws to a close, Katie Derham is top, with Helen, Kellie, Peter and Jamelia coming in a close joint second. Jeremy Vine is at the bottom this week. Also in the danger zone are Kirsty and Carol. Remember you can vote three times online to save your fave.
So that’s all our dances for this evening. The vote is open. Here’s how to do it online!
Scores are in! Katie is officially top of the leaderboard with three 8s and a 9. Anton is besides himself. “So that’s what it feels like then. I’ve wondered for so long…” says Anton.
Katie’s dress is just about the best thing I’ve ever seen. Pom-pommed ruffles, pink sequins, trailing bits. I’d give that a 10 out of 10.
And I wouldn’t be surprised if the judges come close with their scores.
“I didn’t think you could pull that off… there was so much going on,” says Len. “So much better than last week, I salute you both.”
“This lady is definitely made for turning!” says Bruno. “You are absolutely made for ballroom.”
“Absolutely incredible… I don’t know how you learnt that in a week,” adds an open-mouthed Craig.
“You pushed her hard this week… absolutely beautiful,” concludes Darcey.
Katie Derham is dancing the Vienesse Waltz this week. Here’s hoping Anton’s devised a more challenging routine than last week’s…
Craig gives them an 8… and the rest of the panel follow suit. He’s matched the ladies at the top. Almost a third of our celebs are vying for the top spot this week.
Peter’s dancing the Tango tonight. It’s dramatic, theatrical and incredibly focussed. The audience – including Peter’s wife Emily – think it’s worthy of a standing ovation. And the judges are fans too.
Darcey compliments Janette’s choreography and Peter’s conviction.
“It was great… you’re back,” says Len.
“You really played your trump card,” adds Bruno. “You’re right on it and you know exactly what you’re doing… You’re an ace!”
Craig has a few pointers for the performer but his feedback is positive. “It was everything we want from this particular dance,” he concludes.
The scores are in. They get 8s across the board, making them joint top with Kellie and Jamelia.
It’s crowded in the top spot tonight. Can Peter Andre overtake?
“You are an incredible, incredible dancer,” says Craig calling it phenomenal. “That was risky, well done!” adds Darcey, praising her loose hips.
“By George Helen. That was great,” agrees Len.
“Carry on nursey, saucy nursey. Can I have an appointment by the way? Do you do house calls?” enquires Bruno calling it hot and sexy.
Helen George is up next. She’s dancing a doctors and nurses themed Salsa. Not exactly challenging Nurse Trixie Frankie though. The nuns would NOT be okay with this saucy set up.
Helen’s got the characterisation down to a t. Lots of sexy smiles and winking at the camera. And two successful lifts.
It’s 6, 7, 7, 6. 26, up 6 from last week. “That’s amazing!” says Natalie, while Ainsley looks chuffed.
Bruno is impressed by his efforts, as is Craig, who smiles and says he “really enjoyed it.” Darcey is in agreement. “You expressed a real charm,” she says.
“No mistakes. Oi! Footwork was pretty good,” concludes Len, saying: “Well done.”
He’ll surely be looking at better scores than last week’s Penguin-themed number.
The TV chef has clearly put a lot of work into his frame this week. (I think. Craig could easily prove me wrong, in which case I’ll immediately recant) He’s elegant, poised and graceful. He’s clearly still enjoying being centre stage, but it’s a more careful performance than we’ve seen from him so far.
Ainsley’s up next. He was saved by the judges last week after finding himself in the dreaded dance off. Can he impress this week?
Following that we’ve got Carol Kirkwood. TV’s smiliest presenter is convincingly stormy for her Paso.
“You got into character and you went for it. Well done,” says Len.
Bruno wants more passion and aggression. He thinks she looked like she had a mild toothache. But Darcey enjoys the story and the dance she produced.
Even Craig was complimentary. “I think this is the first time we’ve seen your body engage in any dance, which is a great thing… there was tension in your body which is a great start,” he says. “Well done and an improvement.”
The scores? They get 5, 6, 6, 5. It’s 5 up on last week. Carol is back in her comfort zone, smiling serenely again.
It’s a 5 from Craig. 7 from Darcey. 6 from Len. 7 from Bruno. 25. A colossal drop of 12 from last week. No 10s. Not even close. I think it’s far to say the entire nation is disappointed.
No standing ovation this week. And the judges aren’t full of praise.
“It was such a shame you made a mistake,” says Darcey. “Don’t worry about this. Aliona gave you a very challenging Quickstep.”
“It’s a very fast dance… unfortuntaely your feet were doing more than your brain could handle,” says Len.
“The talent is there. It’s enormous, it’s huge. Come back and regroup,” says Bruno.
“Just too many mistakes, sadly,” concluded Craig. I’m crushed for him.
Everyone stop what you are doing. Jay McGuiness is about to dance. He’s dancing a Quickstep this week to The Who’s New Generation.
Talk about pressure but we are expecting BRILLIANT things from tonight’s dance.
The pair get 8 across the board. Jamelia is joint top with Kellie – and she’s crying again!
Fair to say the judges were impressed this week. Even Craig was complimentary! “I think you’ve actually come into your own darling. This is your dance,” he says.
“Your best dance with knobs on,” says Len.
“You were right on it. Your confidence has grown immensely… you were like the ultimate flapper of the jazz age,” concludes Bruno.
Jamelia is dancing a Charleston this week. Her performance is crisp, clever and confident. Definitely one of her best performances so far.
Kellie Bright impressed with her Star Wars-inspired Charleston. This evening she’s dancing a Foxtrot inspired by her grandparents’ real-life meet cute. I know we don’t go in for the sob stories over here on BBC1. But that’s a sweet touch.
Her performance is just as sweet. The EastEnder is careful, measured and accomplished.
“It was so period accurate. It was like wathcing a documentary on BBC4,” says Bruno.
“Lovely finger placement darling. Confident, clean, smooth. Loved it,” Craig.
Darcey praised her cool, calm confidence, while Len called it “lovely… from Albert Square to memory lane.”
The scores are 8s across the board, making her top of the leaderboard. Currently. Remember Jay hasn’t danced yet…
He gets a 3 from Craig, a 6 from Darcey, 6 from Len and 5 from Bruno. 20. Not his worst. But not his best either.
“You are consistently not the best dancer, but you are consistent the most fun to watch,” says Len.
“You’re like one of these off the wall artists… you’re up there with Tracey Emin,” adds Bruno. No word on whether that’s a good or a bad thing.
“It was like watching a stalk that had been struck by lightening,” said Craig, completely deadpan.
“I actually find you quite inspiring,” says Darcey. You make a dance your own. It might not be the dance we are wanting… but you never fail to entertain.”
Jeremy Vine’s Jiving to Splish Splash. A little air guitar, some rolling around on the floor. Sure there’s some Jive content in there too… The audience are on their feet. Not sure the judges are as impressed.
Tonight’s dances have been very pleasant so far, but nothing to challenge Jay’s Jive so far…
They get 7, 7, 9, 8. Fair to say Len has forgiven them for last week’s blunder. Giovanni should be one happy bunny.
Georgia is dancing a Quickstep to an S-Club classic in a fabulously frothy skirt. It’s another flirty, bouncy number.
“You are a dream to watch… sweet, crisp, light,” says Darcey, praising her top line. “An incredibly impressive performance.”
“From drab to fab,” says Len. “It was full of life, it was vibrant. I loved it.”
“My two heavenly creatures… it had a weightless quality which was absolutely beautiful,” added Bruno.
“You were flying around with great speed which was great to see… I liked it very, very much,” concluded Craig.
It’s a strong and punchy performance, with spins and flicks and lifts. But the judges weren’t entirely on board.
“It had as much shape as a broomstick,” said Craig, adding: “I can see you were really really trying and I appreciate that, darling.”
Darcey praises her confidence and “physical physicality” (confused?! I am…) adding: “There were moments there that were working.”
“It was a bit like a paela,” said Len, “tasty in places but there are always a few funny fits floating around.”
“You’re beautiful and deadly. You went for the kill and I liked that but in the process you destroyed the shaping,” concluded Bruno.
She gets a 4 from Craig, 6 from Darcey, 6 from Len and 5 from Bruno. Slightly less than last week.
Next up we’ve got Kirsty Gallacher, not dressed as a dog. She’ll be dancing the Paso Doble this week.
He gets 5 from Craig and 6s from Darcey, Len and Bruno. It’s higher than last week. They are ascending! (Please keep your seats in the upright position.)
“It was premium economy,” says a catty Bruno, saying his dance was lacking in bells and whistles. “You’ve got to go to the next level now… just go for it.”
“It does need swing and it does need sway… so therefore it was lacking in an enormous amount of style,” says Craig. “You need to take more risks,” he added, agreeing with Bruno.
Darcey called the lifts “seamless” while Len said: “You were obviously on Easy Jet… it is always a little bit careful.”
All the judges have praised his musicality this evening. There’s certainly potential, but they want him to push himself and be more dynamic next time.
Daniel O’Donnell is piloting flight number “SEVEN!” But will his American Smooth bag a score that high? He’s light on his feet and elegant. And actually smiling this week. The startled ‘rabbit in the headlights’ look is long gone.
We have lift off! O’Donnell is proving he’s far from the novelty act with challenging choreography this week.
Claudia’s terms and conditions are over shadowed by cocktail sausages and naked torsos. Only on Strictly, eh?
It’s 6, 7, 7, 7 from the judges. “27 is solid,” says a smiling Anita.
It’s a mixed bag from the judges. “The Samba is a really difficult dance but I think you coped really well,” said Len. “Very well done!”
“It was a big on and off,” adds Bruno.
“It was a little stiff in places,” says Craig, adding a little compliment in there: “Your isolation I have to say was excellent.”
“Your determination, your focus… it’s very impressive,” concludes Darcey.
Anita’s Shakira inspired number is fun to watch. She really throws her all into every performance. And proves that you don’t need to be an actress to truly embrace a character. At this point she’s one of my faves.
Anita and Gleb are up first. They performed a dramatic and romantic American Smooth last week. This time? She’s performing a saucy Samba.
Here are our stars. Daniel O’Donnell is channelling some captain vibes this week, while Helen George is drawing on her Call the Midwife roots for a nurse-themed performance. Asides from that our stars are looking rather elegant. There isn’t a dog’s tail between anyone’s legs.
Worth noting the huge cheer Jay got from the crowd.
Tess and Claud are looking lovely as ever in black. Not a sequin in sight for these two.
Remember tonight is theme-free. Next week will be too. Presumably because the costume department need a few weeks to prepare for Halloween…
Da da da da da da da… And we’re off! Brace yourself for buckets of glitter and some cringe-worthy word play. Strictly week four is go!
Before our Saturday evening is thoroughly Strictly-fied… There’s been a lot of talk about Jay McGuiness’ previous dance experience this week. Here’s why I couldn’t care less if he’s been to dance school.
Pop the bubbly on ice, there are mere minutes to go until Strictly week four kicks off. There’s just time to cast our minds back to last week, when we said goodbye to our second celeb of the series. Boxer Anthony Ogogo followed in Iwan Thomas’ footsteps and said a final farewell after his Rocky-themed Paso failed to impress. While are the other end of the leaderboard we had Jay McGuiness, who scored the first 10 of the season and bagged an impressive score of 37.
Here’s a reminder of where everyone else stands:
Here’s a reminder of Jay’s amazing Jive. The bar was raised by this performance. Can he keep up the standard tonight?
Just under two hours until our 13 remaining celebrities take to the floor. Peter Andre, Carol Kirkwood and co are presumably fitting in a bit of last minute practise as I type, Foxtrotting in a fog of hairspray and fake tan.
While we wait, here’s what the celebs will be performing this evening. We’ve got Salsas, Sambas, Pasos and Quicksteps to Shakira, S-Club 7 and Sinatra.
Do let me know in the comments, or on Twitter, if there are any you are particularly looking forward to. I’ll see you back here just before 6:30pm, to add a little extra sparkle to tonight’s proceedings. And make sure you join in by having your say in the comments box below – and tweeting me @Ellie_Wa. Come on now, don’t be shy…