Strictly Come Dancing got serious this week. It was only week two but that didn’t mean the celebrities were safe. The stars upped their games in an attempt to keep themselves from the dreaded dance off. Not that everyone improved on their initial scores…
Jamelia was first on the floor this week. We had high hopes for the Loose Women presenter who was swapping the Waltz for the Cha Cha. She showcased some sexy moves and some serious volume when it came to her barnet, but she failed once again to completely wow the judges.
“Your performance level was high, but your technique level was low,” said Len, while Bruno praised her attitude and Craig called her foot placement “decidedly dodgy.” The mixed comments left the pair with 21 marks, the same as last weekend for a total of 42.
Daniel O’Donnell was next, performing a Charleston. It’s a tough dance, but he threw his all into it. There were lifts and Kristina left him all alone to tackle sections on his own.
“This dance is about going over the top and I felt you didn’t quite do that,” said Craig. “However, you do have fantastic rhythm… You do have a dancer lurking within.”
“It was a tad on the safe side, however if I was a bookie you’re odds on to be back next week,” added a grinning Len.
He bagged 23, one less point than last week. But still a solid score.
Kirsty Gallacher was next. Her Salsa was confident, with some impressive lifts. And she kept a serious expression all the way through. No smiles here.
“You threw yourself into that,” said Darcey. “You made that look very, very easy… You did a very good show.”
“You’ve got to get a little bit lower, get down and go to town,” said Len, adding that her Salsa sizzled.
The judges were impressed, but not impressed enough to up her scores. She got a 5 from Craig, a 5 from Darcey, a 5 from Len and a 5 from Bruno. Same as last week, leaving her with a running total of 40.
Next, Jay performed a confident Waltz to See The Day. The audience were on their feet and the judges were impressed too. “I’m blown away,” said Darcey. “You are going to be one special dancer.”
“Jay, you’re here to stay,” added Bruno. And Craig? “Your thumb was sticking up. But all the rest of it was very, very well danced.”
He was awarded a 7 from Craig, an 8 from Darcey, an 8 from Len and an 8 from Bruno. 31 – the highest score of the series so far. Aliona was beside herself. (She’s been out first for the last two years, remember…)
Up next? Iwan Thomas, dancing for survival after failing to impress last week. He pulled out all the stops for the public vote. Break dancing. Knee sliding. Thrusting. Bum wiggling. Sporting a completely unbuttoned shirt…
Len thought Iwan was so enthusiastic his dance lost its finesse. “You smashed it to the point of distinction,” said Bruno. “That was like murder.” And Craig wasn’t any nicer. “21 and a half hours wasted,” he said.
Iwan and Ola got a 2 from Craig, 4s from Darcey and Len and a 3 from Bruno. It was a lower score than last week and the Olympian looked crushed.
It was another romantic number for Georgia and Giovanni. They were dancing the Waltz, but the judges weren’t as enamoured as they were last week.
“I loved the chemistry,” said Bruno. “You’re very easy to watch, darrrling,” purred Craig. While Len reckoned she had some work to do on her technique. They were given three 6s and a 7. Two less than last week and a total score of 52.
Ainsley Harriott was doing latin this week and clearly having the time of his life. His food-themed, high energy number got the the crowd cheering and Harriott’s bottom wiggling. The TV chef could not stop grinning.
“I thought you did a brilliant job bringing that dance to life,” said Craig, who was impressed in spite of some errors: “You did some of it wrong but you did it wrong with style and panache.”
They got a 6 from Craig, a 7 from Len and Darcey and a 6 from Bruno. 6 points higher than last week for a total of 46.
Carol Kirkwood was dancing a Foxtrot this week in an attempt to escape the bottom of the leaderboard. Her graceful, stylish number was a much better fit for telly’s smiliest weather presenter than last week’s latin.
“It was such an improvement from last week,” said Darcey, praising her glide and flow. “The clouds parted and a ray of sunshine came onto the floor,” said Len. “I can see a bright spot on the horizon,” added Bruno.
Carol was awarded 20, up four from last week – taking her away from last place.
Kellie and Kevin performed a beach-inspired Cha Cha. It was fun, flirty and easy to watch.
“Just like fish ‘n’ chips… Tasty,” said Len. Darcey said she was oozing cheeky energy but Craig didn’t agree: “It was a little bit spiky and aggressive.”
She got a 6 from Craig and 7s from the rest of the panel. Same as last week, giving her a total of 54.
Anthony Ogogo was attempting to be romantic this week with a Waltz. Bruno thought there was a lot of work to be done with the footwork. Craig said there was no improvement on last week but it was interesting to see him try. “You did well with what you’ve got darrrrling,” he conceded.
The Olympic boxer bagged a 4 from Craig and 5s from Len, Darcey and Bruno. That’s two less than last week and he ends the night with a combined score of 40.
Anita Rani was up next with a really very good gangster-inspired Charleston.
“Ambitious, darling, but you pulled it off,” said Craig. “The crime will be if you’re not back next week,” added Len, while an excited Bruno said it was a “great performance.”
She got a 7 from Craig, an 8 from Darcey, and 6s from Len and Bruno. It’s the same as last week.
Radio DJ Jeremy Vine put his all into his library-themed American Smooth but the judges weren’t that impressed.
“It was a little bit lumpy and bumpy,” said Len. Bruno reckoned he’d invented a whole new dance category – and he didn’t mean it as a compliment. While Craig didn’t have anything nice to say at all. “It was like a paranormal phenomenon,” he said.
They got 17 points, slipping two marks on last Saturday and ending up with an overall score of 36 out of 80.
Anton du Beke and Katie Derham were tackling Tango this week. She was all frowns, high leg flicks and fast footwork. Their dance was engaging, entertaining and full of little surprises. Definitely one of the best choreographed dances of the night.
“It was sweet and delicious,” said Len. “The way you look, the phone is going to ring off the hook,” added Bruno.
Even Craig was impressed. “I really loved the drama… I just thought the whole thing was lovely.”
Derham bagged 7s across the board – an improvement on last week.
Up next? Peter Andre Quickstepping to Valerie by The Zutons. It was the first Quickstep of the season so he was really setting the standard. And it was high. He was light on his feet, in time and convincing.
The judges were impressed. It was crisp and clear with good technique and impressive storytelling, said Bruno. Craig thought his knees were too high and his feet were too limp, but added “I’m being picky because you’re very good.”
He got a a 7 from Craig, an 8 from Darcey, a 7 from Len and an 8 from Bruno, matching his impressive score from last week and taking him to the top of the leaderboard overall.
Helen George had the final dance of the night. She was dancing a Cha Cha to Uptown Girl and proved she can do latin and ballroom with equal ease.
Craig called it the best Cha Cha Cha of the evening. “It’s sleek fun,” said Darcey, adding that she did a “beautiful job.” While Bruno called her dance a “very accomplished performance.”
She got a 7 from Craig, a 7 from Darcey, a 7 from Len and an 8 from Bruno, taking her total score to 58.
So, after the first two weeks Peter stayed top of the leaderboard with Helen and Jay joint second. Iwan is at the bottom with Jeremy and Carol also in danger of the dance off.
Of course, it’s no longer all about the judges verdicts. The phone lines opened for the first time this evening, allowing the viewing public their say.
The votes will be added to the judge’s points tomorrow evening, when we find out who is set to face the dreaded dance off, and who will become the first celebrity to leave the competition.
Strictly Come Dancing: the Results is on tomorrow at 7:15pm on BBC1