Strictly Come Dancing: week nine results - as it happened

Last modified: 08: 05 PM GMT+0

The remaining couples headed to Blackpool as the annual ballroom shows begin. But who towered over the other competitors?

So that’s it for another week on Strictly! Only seven couples and four weeks left, so we should probably make them count.

We’re back in the studio next week for another twirl around the Elstree dancefloor, so I’ll see you on Saturday at 6.50pm - in the meantime you can find me on Twitter @heidistephens, so please come and say hello. Thank you all for joining in, and have a great week! Hx

Kate is on the edge of tears, and she and Aljaz say genuine and heartfelt things about each other. They take to the Tower Ballroom dance floor for their final dance to Bye Bye Baby by Bay City Rollers, which always makes me think of the funeral scene in Love Actually.


Judging time! All the judges vote to save Graeme and Oti, which means KATE AND ALJAZ are leaving the Strictly dancefloor. They’ve been great competitors, and Aljaz has a special place in my heart, but I think that’s the right decision.


Time for another viewing of Kate and Aljaz’s American Smooth - I’m still transfixed by Kate’s back boobs, and the lifts still look like Aljaz is lifting haybales. This feels a bit more laboured than last night if I’m honest, but who the hell knows.

First up it’s Graeme and Oti. I loved the insane joy of the number, but there is quite a lot of purposeful walking about, which is very much at the heart of Musical Theatre. Gotta love Graeme though, he’s a natural hoofer.


Ooh, last year’s Pasodoblathon is being replaced by the Lindyhopathon. Since the Lindy Hop isn’t even a Strictly dance, we’ll have even less idea than usual what on earth is going on, so that’s something to look forward to next week.


So this dance-off is quite a tough one to call – I preferred Graeme’s dance last night, but have no idea if it was ‘better’ than Kate’s, as there is no real benchmark for Couple’s Choice. However Graeme has been in the bottom two several times and we probably ought to put him out of his misery.

So who is joining Graeme and Oti in the bottom two? The only chance he has is Kate and Aljaz, and even that would be a close-run thing.

Joe and Dianne are safe, along with Stacey and Kevin and Faye and Giovanni.

Which means KATE AND ALJAZ in the bottom two.

Not only have they bought their own dancers to Blackpool (criminal), they’re also dressed as budget mime artists. I await the news that they’ve merged with the remaining four members of Westlife to form Take Life, which is what I will do if this song doesn’t end soon.


Time for a musical interlude, courtesy of Take That. Or more specifically, three fifths of Take That – Robbie is currently bailing out the rapidly-sinking HMS X Factor with a rusty bucket, and Jason is probably living it up in Ibiza, delighted that he no longer has to crunch his tired bones into a nightly backflip on their upcoming arena tour.

Charles is wheeling out the rollercoaster metaphors. Bingo was last night, bit late now.

Ooh, Karen got her first ever ten last night, after seven years on the show. That’s lovely for her.

So who is safely through to Week 10? Charles and Karen are safe, along with Ashley and Pasha and Lauren and AJ (see? She’s the people’s princess).

First couple in the dance off: GRAEME AND OTI!

Last night on Strictly: BLACKPOOL MADNESS. A wild Salsa, a fierce Paso, a bit of theatre, a sharp Quickstep, a not-so Smooth, a spiky Argentine, a maximum-score Jive and my favourite Samba of the year (so far). Pashley are at the top of the leaderboard as usual, with Lauren and AJ at the bottom. But I suspect Lauren might have a few bonus public votes in the bag.

TESS AND CLAUDIA DRESS WATCH: Tess oven ready, Claudia resplendent in leopard print. Shirley’s hip frill makes her look a bit fishy. OMG she’s Dory from Finding Nemo.


Tonight’s pro dance transports us from the Blackpool Tower Ballroom to a seedy nightclub on the Italian Riviera in the 1950s – it’s a stretch for the imagination, but let’s go with it.

Giovanni and Graziano are fighting over Luba in a homoerotic manner – is it just me who has to Google ‘new strictly dancers’ every time Graziano appears because I’ve forgotten his name?

This is quite the ensemble performance, am rather enjoying it.


And we’re off! Ba Ba Ba Ba BA BA BA etc. So many old faces. Remember Seann Walsh? Nope, me neither.


Evening all, and welcome back for tonight’s Strictly Results Show! Hopefully we’ve all slept off the excesses of Blackpool and are feeling bright and breezy – I went for a six mile walk in the countryside this morning followed by an enormous pub lunch and a pint of cider, so I’m feeling replete and rested and ready for a small dance interlude. Who’s for the push this evening? Having watched some of the dances again, my money’s on Graeme; I fear his time has come.

Results kick off at 7.20pm this evening, so join me then!


Thank you all for joining me for this year’s Blackpool Bonanza – I’ll be back at the earlier time of 7.20pm tomorrow for the Results Show, so please join me then. Enjoy the rest of your Saturday! Hx

As usual it was a slightly chaotic and vaguely drunken trip to Blackpool but fun all the same. Faves this evening were Charles and Karen and Graeme and Oti – it’s a tough call for the bottom two but my amusement arcade pennies would be on Kate and Aljaz and Lauren and AJ.

It’s quite busy at the top of the leaderboard, but a bit more spread down below. Lines are open, and it’s time for a recap!

Scores: 10,10,10,10 - full marks for Ashley and Pasha.

Darcey thought it was fast and full of energy. Shirley thought it was on form and fantastic, and Bruno thought it was a Jive that will become part of Strictly history. Craig thought it was FAB-U-LOUS - I smell four tens.

Café tables! Fish and chips! Quite a lot of faffing about at the start, but once they get going Ashley demonstrates absolute mastery of the Jive. Precision kicks and flicks, incredible spins and a few tricks up her sleeve. At this point it’s entirely impossible to distinguish Ashley from the pro dancers. Outstanding.


You’ll notice I’ve ignored every ridiculous VT. I can’t be arsed, to be honest.

And finally, it’s ASHLEY AND PASHA! This week they’re dancing the Jive to ‘Shake Ya Tail Feather’ from The Blues Brothers. I predict this will be an excellent Jive, beautifully danced by Ashley and Pasha, scoring 39 points from the judges, and I will feel NOTHING. I’m sure Ashley is an absolute delight but I need Journey, and here there is none to be had.

Scores: 8,10,10,10 - a total of 38 for Joe and Dianne, straight to the top of the leader board.

Craig wanted broader lines out of hold, but in hold Joe was full of surprises. Darcey thought it was a grand performance - it had images of Fred Astaire all the way through. Shirley thought it was light and quick and Joe’s timing was outstanding. Bruno loved the Hollywood style, and Joe’s synchronicity was incredible.

I’ll tell you what, Joe Sugg is a pretty good dancer. His toes have a tendency to turn in, but his timing, performance levels and natural style are great and he’s giving this both barrels. Nanna Sugg must be bursting with pride, that was fabulous.


Attempting to follow that is JOE AND DIANNE! This week they’re dancing the Quickstep to ‘Dancin’ Fool’ from Copacabana. This is a great song for a Quickstep – plenty of big band swing, and we already know Joe is light on his toes.

Do it for your adorable nanna, Joe, who is in the audience and somewhat nonplussed by Tess. She’s proper west country and I love her.


Scores: 9,9,10,10 - a total of 38 for Charles and Karen, and SO much screaming and crying.


Bruno thought Charles was indistinguishable from the professionals, and he made it look easy. Craig was distracted by the plethora of abdominals, but he liked what he saw. Darcey loved the flow, and Shirley is all hot and bothered - she felt like she was in Brazil. She gets a hug from Charles, and everyone has lost the plot. Tens, anyone?


See, open shirt week is when superfluous backing dancers come into their own. Charles is holding his own with the pros, and is absolutely smashing this Samba - lovely hip action, nice soft knees and plenty of party spirit.

I think that might be up there with Danny and Oti’s jungle Samba as one of my faves - absolutely LOVED that.


It’s time for CHARLES AND KAREN! Their Blackpool dance is the Samba to ‘La Bamba’ by Connie Francis. I’ve got a good feeling about this, I feel like Charles is starting to shine in this competition and has got secret Samba hips to spare. Now is the time to set them free, Charles Venn.

Scores: 7,7,8,8 - a total of 30 for Kate and Aljaz.

Shirley loved the impeccable timing, but Kate needs to open her legs more (alright Shirl, calm down). Bruno thought it was blissfully smooth, but Craig thought it lacked energy in the beginning, and in and out of the lifts was a bit graceless. Darcey thought it was classy and sustained, but Kate probably shouldn’t grab Aljaz in the lifts.


Balloons! Hearts! Kate dressed as Malibu Barbie! This is charming, but clunky in the lifts and a bit frigid in parts. Watching that felt like quite hard work, not least working out the weird back panel on Kate’s dress that gave her shoulder boobs.


It’s time for KATE AND ALJAZ! Their Blackpool dance is the American Smooth to ‘Everlasting Love’ by Love Affair. This is a 1960s classic, and I can’t quite reconcile it with an American Smooth at this point. But let’s assume the Strictly team have a better grasp of musicality than I do, and I’ll get back to tapping away at my keyboard under a Dunelm blanket.

Scores: 9,9,10,10 - a total of 38 for Faye and Giovanni.

Darcey thought it had beautiful, strong delivery, but Faye kept her femininity. Shirley thought it was powerful from beginning to end - it was brilliant. Bruno is still steaming like a pressure cooker, Faye was a paso-dominatrix. Craig loved the drama and theatre, and thumps the desk for emphasis.

Giovanni in a 40-denier poloneck is quite extra, but you can’t fault this for fire and drama. Incredible intent from Faye, who absolutely means business. Not fussed about the extra dancers, don’t think they were really required. But a fabulously theatrical Paso nonetheless.


Next up it’s FAYE AND GIOVANNI! Tonight they’re dancing the Paso Doble to ‘Unstoppable’ by E. S. Posthumus. Giovanni always gives good Paso, and I’m crossing my fingers this will be full of intent and drama. I love Faye, but for me there’s no fire in this partnership. There has never been a better time to set the dancefloor alight, prompting a mention of illuminations from the judges and a cross on our bingo card.

Scores: 7,8,8,9 - a total of 32 for Graeme and Oti.

Question: why does Graeme get a pass for being a non-dancer, but not Lauren? Asking for the nation.

Craig can’t see Graeme having a career in musical theatre - it lacked style and he didn’t lead the dance, but he did tell the story. Darcey though it was charming, although there were moments when Graeme could have been sharper. Shirley enjoyed every minute, and she was impressed with Graeme’s peripheral vision. Bruno loved the cheeky character and Graeme played it extremely well - he’s improved so much.

I’m not the biggest lover of musical theatre, but it’s quite hard not to smile at this. Graeme will never be the best dancer in this competition, but you can’t fault his commitment and enthusiasm, and he’s absolutely selling this with bonus jazz hands. That was brilliant, I loved it.


Apparently Couples’ Choice requires the telling of your life story - for Graeme, we get a rundown on his cricket career. I have no idea what this has to do with The Trolley Song, but let’s go with it.

It’s time for GRAEME AND OTI! This week they’re dancing their Couples’ Choice (Theatre and Jazz) to ‘The Trolley Song’ from Meet Me in St. Louis. This is a very savvy move from these two – they must know they’re in the firing line this week, so going down the Couples’ Choice route is a good way to deliver something memorable that might keep them out of the bottom two. Also Oti got hoofed out with Jonny at Blackpool last year, so she’s probably quite keen to avoid a repeat.


Scores: 5,6,7,7 - a total of 25 for Lauren and AJ.


Bruno loved the determination and intent, but it lacked a bit of fluidity and intimacy. Craig thought Lauren was getting a bit stuck and she needs to pay more attention to her feet - it was a bit stompy. Darcey agrees - it looked challenging for Lauren, and it was missing chemistry and passion in the narrative. Shirley thought the mood was a bit samey, but she loves Lauren’s determination.

This has a lovely mood about it, but Lauren’s leg action isn’t sharp enough, sadly, and it feels a bit untidy in places. Her confidence on the dancefloor has grown immeasurably, however, and this partnership is incredibly compelling to watch. Enjoyed that.


Next up it’s LAUREN AND AJ! This week they’re dancing the Argentine Tango to ‘River’ by Bishop Briggs. This song is properly badass, so hopefully Lauren will give us an Argentine to match. She’s got the strength, stability and stamina, she just needs to fill the Tower Ballroom with attitude.

This week’s Terms and Conditions are courtesy of Paddy McGuinness. Last year was Peter Kay. I sense a theme.

Scores: 7,8,9,9 - a total of 33 for Stacey and Kevin.

Shirley loved the lifts and the rhythm in Stacey’s body, but she needs to get her feet closed. Bruno thought it was wild and wonderful, like watching Kylie in concert. Craig thought her legs in and out of the lifts was haphazard, but Stacey’s hip action was fantastic. Darcey thought it was fun and exciting, but it got a bit wild.

This entire dance is a massive tribute to Blackpool, so keep drinking. The superfluous backing dancers are out in force, actually quite hard to pick Stacey out from this mess. Oh there she is, throwing shapes like your drunk cousin at a wedding. It has magnificent energy, but as a Salsa it’s an absolute mess – stompy, unruly and the lifts look quite laboured. WELCOME TO BLACKPOOL.


First up it’s STACEY AND KEVIN! This week they’re dancing the Salsa to ‘Ooh Ahh (Just A Little Bit)‘ by Gina G. This is where my liveblog worlds collide – this is only the fifth time a Eurovision song has featured in Strictly*, and I could not be happier that they have chosen this stone cold banger from Oslo 1996.

*If you’re interested in the other four are, here’s a handy Youtube playlist – thanks to the lovely Ellie who posted this in my Eurovision Whatsapp group.

Blackpool rock! Drink!

Out come the judges and the stars! Darcey is sticking with the lace cleavage, and Charles Venn has forgotten his shirt again. Why does wardrobe hate Kate so much?

TESS AND CLAUDIA DRESS WATCH: Tess as a Quality Street toffee finger, Claudia going early on the festive red sparkle.

I’d forgotten how many Miami Sound Machine bangers there were. Can we just listen to this and watch the spinny dancers for a bit longer?

Because it’s a Feem Week, we get a bonus pro dance! Time to tuck a flamingo in your knickers and welcome on stage the legend that is Gloria Estefan.

I do love an 80s megamix. The rhythm has definitely got me.

And we’re off! Strictly is in Blackpool, so lots of locals have taken a moment to shout “keep dancing” at the camera.

Meanwhile our remaining eight couples have taken a holy pilgrimage to the Blackpool Tower Ballroom, where they are required to stare at the ceiling like it’s the Sistine Chapel and talk in hushed tones about the magnitude of the occasion.


Disappointed that nobody on Pointless knows that Rednex had a number 1 hit with Cotton Eye Joe.

This week’s Strictly Come Bingo – BLACKPOOL METAPHOR SPECIAL

  • You illuminated the dance floor
  • You danced like a donkey
  • You rocked Blackpool
  • That was a bit end of the pier
  • That was full of amusements

Evening all, and welcome to this week’s Strictly Come Dancing liveblog! Our annual excursion to Blackpool is upon us, so gird your loins for superfluous backing dancers, tens being dished out like confetti by judges high on candyfloss, VTs featuring wet chips and donkeys, celebrities in awe over the size/springiness of the dancefloor, and pro dancers reminiscing about former triumphs in the Tower Ballroom. Think of it as a warm blanket of predictability and comfort while the country burns around us.

As usual I’ll be rocking the commentary up here, whilst you are encouraged to provide further amusements down below. Warm your cockles for a seaside special, and I’ll see you at 6.45pm!


Heidi Stephens

The GuardianTramp

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