What a show! Some jaw-dropping dances, some disappointments, and a chance for Craig Revel Horwood to dust off both his 4 and his 10 paddles for Chris and Kelvin respectively.
Here’s what we’ll remember from the Strictly Come Dancing semi-final 2019:
An emotional Kelvin Fletcher gets his first 40
— BBC Strictly ✨ (@bbcstrictly) December 7, 2019
So Kelvin Fletcher finally got his 40 – and it was an unexpectedly emotional moment for the soap star, who was overwhelmed by receiving a perfect score for his Quickstep.
Kelvin and Oti’s performance to The Lady is a Tramp received top marks from all the judges, including Craig Revel Horwood who had only previously given him a nine. “Well it really upset me, actually, because I couldn’t find much wrong with it,” said Craig (deadpan), while Bruno Tonioli effused: “Champagne for Kelvin. That was truly a sparkling delight… what you did that was extraordinary, you hit the musical accent with such a musicality and with such perfection I have goosebumps.”
Up in the Clauditorium, Kelvin seemed to be holding back tears.
Thankfully he kept it together for his Paso Doble to Seven Nation Army, which scored 37 and secured him the spot at the top of the semi-final leaderboard. Surely he’s a sure favourite to win Strictly 2019?
Chris Ramsey gets a VERY low score
This gives us no pleasure to say, but comedian Chris Ramsey is now one of the lowest-scoring Strictly semifinalists in the show’s history – thanks, in part, to Craig’s score of four for his Rumba.
He managed to score a total of 54 points across his two dances (26 and 28 each), putting him exactly in line with Lauren Steadman and AJ Pritchard from last year – who also scored 54 in the semi-final. They then failed to make it through to the final.
The next lowest are Mollie King and Katie Derham, who each scored 56 in the semi-final. And way back in Strictly history, semi-finalists James Martin got 55 in series 3, Julian Clary got 45 in series 2 and Christopher Parker only got 37 in series 1. Buuuut those basically don’t count, stats-wise, seeing how few weeks they actually had back in the competition back then.
So what we’re saying is: this does not bode well for Chris Ramsey…
Still, it’s not all about the scores. The judges made it clear they admired Chris and his journey from total beginner to semi-finalist, with Craig even saying: “I’m extremely proud of you and I’ll tell you why. You literally came from nothing and now you’re presenting as a dancer and I think that is truly remarkable.”
Motsi and Craig clash over Karim Zeroual
— Radio Times (@RadioTimes) December 7, 2019
Karim and Amy came second on the leaderboard, with a combined score of 74. But that was no thanks to Craig – and Motsi Mabuse certainly made her feelings known about his critical feedback.
His Argentine Tango earned him a 36, with Motsi balancing out Craig’s 8 with her own 10. “110% intimacy, I loved it,” she said, while Craig complained: “There were balance issues… for me there was a lot wrong with it but there was also a lot right with it.” Thankfully for him, that second dance came in at 38, with a couple of points deducted for a dodgy lift.
But as Karim said, at least he didn’t drop her…
Emma Barton gets the hang of Latin
Third on the leaderboard is Emma Barton, who racked up at total of 67 points with Anton du Beke. While her Waltz was a particular success with 36 points, she did manage to get her highest-ever score in Latin in the competition so far. This has been her Achilles heel – so can she keep it up?
“Ooh, the pressure is on and Emma is going for gold,” declared Bruno after Emma’s Cha Cha Cha to Hold My Hand by Jess Glynne. “Very very strong performance. You sold it like the ultimate showgirl.”
Kelvin has NO idea about his woodpecker
One of the big comedy moments from the semi-final came when Shirley Ballas praised Kelvin’s woodpecker.
But before you fall off your seat à la Bruno, this is apparently a dance move from the Quickstep. Not that Kelvin had any idea what she was talking about… and Shirley made sure to rub it in after his Paso Doble, calling him “clever” but suggesting that he might not know the names of his moves, even though he can clearly make them.
Bring on the final…