Strictly Come Dancing quarter-final – as it happened

Last modified: 08: 03 PM GMT+0

It’s musicals week – and Alexandra Burke danced the Charleston to Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious. But who sang in tune… and which dancer’s duff notes saw them leave the competition?

Next week it’s TWO DANCES, which means approximately half the rehearsal time/dance quality. So that’s something to look forward to, no?

Kick off is at 6.45pm, so join me here then – in the meantime you can find me @heidistephens on Twitter If you want to come and give me a wave. Thank you all for joining in and being entirely splendid – have a fab week, and I’ll see you next week! Hx

Davood and Nadiya dance their final dance to So Long, Farewell from The Sound Of Musical. Quite hard to bum lift to, but Davood gives it a go anyway, and promptly drops Nadiya to gasps from the audience. Well that’s one way to go.

Davood looks gutted – he’s been a superstar, and really should have been in the final. But hey, such is the way of Strictly.

Davood and Nadiya
Davood and Nadiya Photograph: Guy Levy/BBC/PA


All the judges vote to save Alexandra and Gorka, which means it’s time to say goodbye to DAVOOD AND NADIYA. That means Joe is the last Strictly man standing.

I still love this Charleston, and Alexandra really shouldn’t be in the dance off (even though that dress is something quite atrocious).

Right, let’s revisit this Argentine. I’m not sure there’s much Davood can do – the choreography is very much All About Nadiya. And Nadiya’s knickers.

That was, however, considerably better from Davood.


“Mollie is willing to spend 300 hours training with me” says AJ. “And only half that time is spent kissing”, says Claudia. What larks.

Mollie can’t believe she’s a semi finalist. None of us can, Mollie #justiceforaston

Ah, this is bad news for Davood and Nadiya – barring a miracle, their Strictly journey is about to come to an end. I’m really sad about this, really wanted to see Davood in the Grand Final – he’s made the biggest improvement this year, but has been let down on occasion by Nadiya’s choreography.

It also seems like the public is voting for Mollie and Gemma in droves, and not warming to Alexandra at all – it’s quite a feat to end up in the dance off when you’re top of the leaderboard.

Very difficult to call how this series might end right now – the safe bet has to be Joe, but Debbie could easily win the public vote on the night. I wouldn’t even discount Gemma right now, she appears to be bulletproof.

Mollie and AJ are safe (sigh), as is Gemm and Aljaz – which means ALEXANDRA AND GORKA are in the dance off. Bum and double bum.

So who is joining Davood and Nadiya in tonight’s dance off? Please not Alex, I can’t handle another forgone conclusion.

Shirley and Darcey are both wearing fabulous frocks, but they really shouldn’t sit next to each other - my EYES.

KEY CHANGE. Yes I’m singing. We’re all singing. If you’re not singing, you’re dead inside.

Time for a musical interlude, courtesy of the Leading Ladies. As if one musical megastar wasn’t enough, we get Beverley Knight, Amber Riley and Cassidy Janson all in one supergroup. AND they’re singing I’m Every Woman, which is a solid gold CHOON. What’s not to love?

Anyone for a dance round their handbag? SING ALONG LADIES.


So who is through to next week’s semi (TWO DANCES), and who is the first couple in tonight’s bottom two? Debbie and Giovanni are safe (obvs), along with Joe and Katya (also obvs) - all as predicted so far.

First couple in tonight’s dance off: DAVOOD AND NADIYA.

Ah, we suspected that might happen. But I’d like to think he could win through if he’s against Mollie or Gemma.

Last night on Strictly: Musical Mayhem.

Highlights: Joe and Katya’s surreal Samba (also Joe’s arms – why have we never spotted these before?), Debbie and Giovanni’s dreamy American Smooth, Alex and Gorka’s swivel-tastic Charleston.

Lowlights: Davood’s wobbly Argentine, Gemma’s so-so Quickstep, Mollie and AJ’s sexless Rumba (because apparently we give 9s for an illegal lift now), and Alexandra’s Mary Poopins dress.

Can we all agree that this is Tess’s worst dress of the season? It’s a tough field, I know, but this one looks like she got jacked up on Pimms and passed out on a tennis court while the lines were being painted.

TESS AND CLAUDIA DRESS WATCH: Tess in a semaphore cry for help, Claudia fabulous in red.

Well that was marvellous. Didn’t really need the dancing, to be honest.

Tonight’s pro dance is a Dreamgirls tribute, featuring sparkly contempo-waft from Janette and Gorka. And now we have Aljaz thrusting to “One Night Only”, which I’m very much here for. Ooh, it’s a medley. We LOVE a medley.

And we’re off! Enjoy these opening credits, we’ve only got a couple more weeks. On the upside, we don’t have to look at Brian’s thumb much longer.

Tonight’s Countryfile Casual Weatherperson is weathered dad Philip Avery, wearing a manky fleece like a man who’s just swept the patio but still needs to scrub the water butt before he can put everything in the garage for winter.

I feel like Philip has taken the ‘casual’ brief a bit far, if I’m honest.

Helen Skelton swigging tea out of a flask, staring wistfully at some hills in the distance, then dropping in a quick plug for the calendar is peak Countryfile.



Evening all, and welcome back for some Strictly Sunday Results. Thought last night’s show was an absolute corker, helped enormously by only being an hour long (my typing hands are thankful), and some decent efforts at capturing a bit of Broadway razzle-dazzle.

So who is in the firing line tonight? The only ones I reckon are totally safe from the dance-off are Joe and Debbie – any of the other four could be dancing for a space in next week’s semi final (TWO DANCES). I’m hoping for a dance-off tussle between Mollie and Gemma, but I have a sneaky feeling Davood might be in trouble.

Kick off is at 7.20pm, so see you then!

WAIT DON’T GO - stay for this two minute animation, it’s WONDERFUL. My favourite Christmas ad of the season.

Bit dusty in here.

And with that, another week of dancing is over bar the results show at 7.20 tomorrow, so please join me then. Thank you for joining in and being sparkle-tastic as usual – we’re only two weeks from the Final now, which leaves me sad and elated in equal measure. Enjoy the rest of your evening, and I’ll see you tomorrow! Hx

So Alexandra and Gorka and Debbie and Giovanni are joint top of the leaderboard, and the voting is open! Another good week on planet Strictly - my pseudo-votes this evening would go to Debbie and Giovanni, Joe and Katya and Alexandra and Gorka.

Who do we think is in this week’s bottom two? I reckon Gemma and Aljaz are pretty much guaranteed a spot, but can’t call which of Mollie and AJ/Davood and Nadiya will be joining them. Either way, the dance off could be a close-run thing for the first time since Aston-gate.


Scores: 9,10,10,10 - another 39 for Alexandra and Gorka. Craig is clearly saving his ten for a special occasion.

Bruno thought it was practically perfect in every way, and just the showstopper they needed to end the show. Craig thought Alexandra had better swivel than Gorka, and Darcey agrees that it was terrific - incredible detail and absolutely fabulous. Shirley thought it was amazing and Alexandra was incredible.

I *think* they liked it.

No idea why Alexandra isn’t recycling her Eliza Doolittle outfit from Movie Week, it was quite a lot more Mary Poppins than this skimpy affair. Clearly this is the adult version of Mary Poppins. But good lord, Gorka can sweep my chimney any day.

Unsurprisingly, Alexandra has brilliant swivel, impeccable timing and acting skills by the bagful. Great lifts, great fun, just what we needed on a wet and chilly Saturday. Marvellous.

Alexandra and Gorka
Alexandra and Gorka Photograph: Guy Levy/BBC/PA


And finally, it’s Alexandra and Gorka! This week they’re dancing the Charleston to ‘Supercalifragilistic’ from Mary Poppins. It was a bit of a shock seeing them in the bottom two last week, but at least they’ve got the Rumba out of the way. This Charleston should be an absolute showstopper, particularly with Alexandra’s West End experience – I have very high hopes.

Comedy VT. DRINK.

7,8,7,7 - a total of 29 for Davood and Nadiya. So balance/control issues only apply to Davood and not Mollie, it seems. Good to know

Shirley liked the character and the lifts, but Davood had some balance issues and didn’t look entirely in control. Bruno liked the powerful, menacing character, but a bit unsteady and uneven. Craig didn’t feel that Davood was leading the dance, but he loved the concept. Darcey agrees - started well, but Davood had issues once it got faster.

Davood descends from a chandelier, and does a bit of solo shaping. It’s all quite dramatic, but I feel like Davood is mostly providing a pole for Nadiya to dance around/leap on, and Davood doesn’t look hugely comfortable with the technicalities of this. Some nice leg weaving, but not clipped enough to feel like a real Argentine. Hmm.

Davood and Nadiya
Davood and Nadiya Photograph: Guy Levy/BBC/PA


It’s time for Davood and Nadiya! This week they’re dancing the Argentine Tango to The Phantom Of The Opera from the eponymous musical. BONUS DRINK if Nadiya mentions that the Argentine is hard for a man.

Alright Debbie and Giovanni, get a room. I’d much prefer these two to be a couple, would quite make my year.

Scores: 9,10,10,10 - a total of 39 for Debbie and Giovanni. Come on Craig, get your ten out.

Darcey thought it was stunning, and she is purring with delight at Debbie’s fluidity and coordination. Shirley thought it was beautful - intimate, polished and hugely impressive. Bruno thought it was a smash hit - Debbie and Giovanni told the story beautifully, and it was mesmerising. Craig just growls - four tens, maybe?

Debbie looks like Bonnie Tyler in feathery cuffs, but this is wonderfully moody and romantic - fabulous footwork from Debbie and bags of swing and sway. And those LIFTS - really enjoyed that, one of my favourite performances from these two, I think.

Debbie and Giovanni
Debbie and Giovanni Photograph: Guy Levy/BBC/PA


Next up it’s Debbie and Giovanni! This week they’re dancing the American Smooth to ‘Memory’ from Cats. I’m expecting lots of lifts, and bags of style and class – this kind of dance is very much Debbie’s happy place.

Scores: 9,9,9,10 - a total of 37 for Joe and Katya. I’m glad, I thought that was amazing.

Craig was totally ready for this Samba to fail, but it was incredible. Darcey thought the characterisation was wonderful, and Shirley thought Joe’s acting was off the chart - fantastic. Bruno thought it was divinely decadent and slightly twisted - it could not have been better.

Joe in full makeup is all kinds of fabulous, and I loved the ‘head in the curtains’ opening. This is an bizarre song for a Samba, but Joe is giving it both barrels regardless, and his acting skills have entirely come into their own. Absolutely bonkers, but I completely loved that.

Joe and Katya
Joe and Katya Photograph: Guy Levy/BBC/PA


It’s time for Joe and Katya! This week they’re dancing the Samba to ‘Money Money’ from Cabaret. Joe came top of the leaderboard last week, and right now he’s looking very good for a spot in the final. However his Latin has been a bit shaky in previous weeks, so a decent Samba definitely won’t do him any harm.

Scores: 6,7,9,9 - a total of 31 for Mollie and AJ. I have no idea why.


Bruno could feel the fireworks (YES WE ALL KNOW THEY’RE DOING IT LET IT GO), and he loved the quality of movement. Craig didn’t like the illegal lift and it felt like dancing by numbers, but good hip action. Darcey loved how Mollie played the pure Sandy, but she wanted it to be more sensual, it felt too girly and not womanly enough (isn’t that kind of the point of Sandy?). Shirley loved how Mollie embraced the character, and her timing was impeccable.


OK, so acting really isn’t Mollie’s thing, but it’s not as bad as AJ’s baby poo jacket. Mostly this Rumba is about looking wistful, without a huge amount of hip action or actual Rumba - nice timing but a bit sickly sweet for me.

Don’t worry if you missed this one, you can watch it again tomorrow.

Mollie and AJ
Mollie and AJ Photograph: Guy Levy/BBC/PA


ALSO, my daughter played Sandy in her college production of Grease in May, so I associate this song with bursting with pride as I watched her sing it on stage. I fear it’s about to be ruined forever.

Next up it’s Mollie and AJ! This week they’re dancing the Rumba to ‘Hopelessly Devoted To You’ from Grease.

Originally the BBC website said they were dancing this to ‘I Dreamed A Dream’ from Les Mis, which filled me with absolute horror – the sexy Rumba does not belong with a song about how shitty your life is, sung by a French prostitute.

But luckily for us, instead they’re dancing the sexy Rumba to a song about how heartbroken and lovesick you are, sung by a wet blanket teenager with questionable taste in boyfriends. THANK GOODNESS.

Reading the terms and conditions this week - Russell Grant singing them to the tune of ‘A Whole New World’ from Aladdin. Nope.

Scores: 6,7,8,8 - a total of 29 for Gemma and Aljaz.

Shirley thought it needed about 20% more in the acting skills, but she liked the swan-like posture. Bruno loved the Broadway Diva entrance, but Craig thought it looked a bit laboured and heavy and Gemma’s frame was bouncing around. Darcey loved the character, but agreed Gemma’s frame needed to to be more taut.

Bonus drink for Shirley’s Newton’s Cradle earrings - can’t wait for them to start biffing each other.

Aljaz looks dashing as ever, and there are already too many dancers (DRINK). I’m a bit worried that the sheer volume of Gemma’s cottage loaf hair/feathers will create too much drag and slow her down.

This is a perfectly serviceable Quickstep, but way too much gapping and Gemma needs to point her toes. All good fun, but not sure that’s good enough at this stage in the competition.

Gemma and Aljaz
Gemma and Aljaz Photograph: Guy Levy/BBC/PA


First up tonight it’s Gemma and Aljaz! This week they’re dancing the Quickstep to ‘Hello Dolly!’ from the musical of the same name. I’d really like to see Gemma in this year’s final, but she really needs to sharpen up the details if she’s going to get through this week. Can she keep up with Aljaz’s fast-moving feet?

OUT COME THE STARS! Nadiya has forgotten to put a skirt on again.

TESS AND CLAUDIA DRESS WATCH: Tess in a blue satin coffin lining and bouffant 80s hair, Claudia in all the buttons. I love them both, my favourite outfits of the season.

OUT COME THE JUDGES! Shirley has gone fishing.

Ooh, we get a feem week opening pro dance, featuring AJ as Oliver!, dancing with the rest of the cast to a medley. The celebs appear along with some random children. Well that was lovely.

And we’re off! Time for an atmospheric VT. They’ve all made it to the quarter finals and it’s not time to go home, please give just £4 a week to save a Strictly Dancer.

YAAS - pointless answer for SJP.

Sara Jessica Parker and John Lithgow were both in Footloose. Jennifer Beals was in Flashdance. So they’d be my three.

I love a Pointless pop round.

  • Ed Sheeran
  • Tiffany
  • Nicola Roberts
  • Geri Halliwell
  • Cyndi Lauper

Nicola Roberts HAS to be Pointless, surely?

This week’s Strictly Come Bingo – a swig of tepid interval wine for any occurrence of the following:

  • Oversized props
  • More than four people on the dancefloor at any one time
  • The return of the comedy VT
  • Debbie’s crotch making contact with the dancefloor
  • Any mention of TWO DANCES

Loving Strictly Pointless. I’d go for Wildfire.

Evening all, and welcome to this week’s Strictly Come Dancing liveblog! We’ve made it to the quarter finals, which means it’s time for *drum roll* Musicals Week! This is basically the same as Movie Week, but with half the contestants and more hats. The good news is that there are only six couples left and tonight’s show is barely more than an hour; the bad news is that Susan and Kevin are gone and we have been denied whatever musical madness they had planned. Boo.

As usual I’ll be keeping a glittery eye on things from up here in the royal box, while you guys are actively encouraged to sprinkle wit and wisdom down in the stalls. Curtain up is at 7.05pm, so tune up your brass section, flex your jazz hands, and I’ll see you then!


Heidi Stephens

The GuardianTramp

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