So that’s it for another week! Thank you all for joining in – next week is MUSICALS WEEK, so remember that life is a cabaret (old chum), and you’re never fully dressed without a smile. Come and say hi on Twitter @heidistephens if you’re passing, and have a fabulous week! Hx
Graeme and Oti take to the floor to Macy Gray’s ‘I Try’. Well, Graeme definitely did that.
That said, Graeme’s tan has now reached David Dickinson levels. If he stayed in any longer, he’d be Dale Winton (RIP).
“It’s been the best of times, it’s been the worst of times”, says Graeme.
Elstree and Blackpool, an alternative tale of two cities.
So that means farewell to Graeme and Oti. They’ve both been superb contestants, and have delivered some of the most entertaining dances of this year’s show. I’m sad to see them go, but such is the way of Strictly. Their goodbye speeches are heartfelt, and it’s a bit dusty in here.
So who will the judges vote for? I CAN’T POSSIBLY PREDICT.
Obviously they all save Ashley and Pasha, but no need to be QUITE so rude about it, Bruno. At least play along, you’ll be in your taxi home soon enough.
And now Ashley and Pasha are giving this Samba another spin. It still lacks softness through the knees, but now is probably not the time to attempt to change it.
Time for the dance off! Unless Ashley clingfilms her legs together, this is about as foregone as conclusions get. But let’s go through the motions regardless.
First up it’s Graeme and Oti. Less mistakes from Graeme this time round, not that it matters. Big hug for Oti at the end, they know it’s the end of the road.
Next week it’s MUSICALS WEEK, which is a lot like Movie Week but with added jazz hands and occasional umbrellas. It’s also the quarter final! And based on the votes this weekend, we can’t count Lauren out. She must have been in the top three for the public vote to not be in the dance off.
Darcey is SHOOK, and I’m sure the tabloids will declare a feast day over this, but I’m not surprised at all. It’s Ashley’s top marks from the judges that have kept her out of the bottom two thus far; my guess would be her public voting marks have been very much lower/middle of the table.
The celebs with loads of dance experience in Strictly never win – the viewers want to see progression over the series. It’s those who undergo a weekly transformation from actor/newsreader/gymnast/cricketer to dancer that really thrive.
So whilst Ashley is kooky and charming and beautiful to watch, she’s been an uber-polished and brilliant dancer since week one, and that has never been a winning Strictly formula.
Thanks for coming to my TED talk.
Right, let’s find out who’s joining Graeme and Oti in the bottom two! Lauren and AJ are safe (BYE GRAEME), along with Stacey and Kevin and Charles and Karen! OOH. OOH.
That means ASHLEY AND PASHA are in the bottom two.
“Any good?” asks Rod at the end of his song. Well, no. Hey, you did ask.
Rather enjoying this bar-themed pro dance. It’s all quite jocular now, but eventually someone’s going to have a drink too many and it’s all going to kick off. Probably Luba, she looks the type.
Time for a musical interlude, courtesy of legendary rocker Sir Rod Stewart. He’s performing a single from his new album, which is entitled “I’m 73 and if I want to form a My Chemical Romance tribute band, you can’t stop me”.
So which couple is the first in tonight’s bottom two? Joe and Dianne are through, along with Faye and Giovanni.
First couple in the bottom two: GRAEME AND OTI. As expected - I think only a dance off against Lauren and AJ can save him now.
Last night on Strictly: my fave Paso and Waltz of the series, and a street dance from Joe that somehow gets a little bit worse with every viewing. And yet still it got two tens, because there is no logic and sanity on Planet Strictly. See also: The Lindycockupathon.
Oh good lord, they’re reading out the scores of the Lindybotchathon AGAIN. Can we just LET IT GO.
TESS AND CLAUDIA DRESS WATCH: Tess in a post box with shoulder ventilation, Claudia a polar bear costume. Hideous.
Apparently that was choreographed by Strictly Legend Arlene Phillips. I’ve only met her once, and she told me I had a big bum*. So, you know, mixed feelings.
*I do have quite a big bum, which I am extremely fond of. So nothing wrong with her eyesight, just her manners.
Tonight’s opening pro dance features dancers from Candoco Dance Company, according to my blurb.
Lovely version of Life On Mars, and a dance that is all kinds of spellbinding. More of this kind of thing please.
And we’re off! I went looking for a trance remix of this theme tune earlier today (look I’m home alone for the weekend and the internet is a big place). Apart from one dubious drum ‘n’ bass mashup, I couldn’t find anything good. This is a hugely untapped seam of musical happiness. DJs, what are you waiting for?
Why is Alan Cumming on my telly dressed as one of Dogtanian’s Muskehounds?
Quite fun watching Doctor Who with the sound off. Mrs O’Brien from Downton Abbey appears to have spent a little too long in front of the Aga.
SUNDAY NIGHT RESULTS SHOW UPDATE!
Evening all, and welcome back for this week’s Sunday Results Show! After last night’s Ballsupathon, absolutely anything could happen this evening. A Faye/Ashley dance off. Joe getting a detention for not putting the apparatus away after PE. Graeme not turning up because he’s run off to join the navy. Bruno being made British Ambassador to the United Nations. I’m not discounting anything at this point.
I watched the Lindyhotmessathon again earlier, and it’s has so many brilliant moments. Firstly Shirley’s helpless “we’ve lost the board”, then the look on Ashley’s face when she thinks she’s got 7th place (rather than 7 points). Then Shirley calling Karen Dianne, and Craig distancing himself so far from the whole farrago that he’s got three extra stamps on his passport. The final unexpected twist is Bruno taking control of the situation and being more lucid than he’s been in fifteen years. For a minute there, you couldn’t distinguish him from the professionals. Hooray for live TV.
Talking of live TV (or not), tonight we wave goodbye to another Strictly couple, so join me at 7.20pm to find out who. See you then!
Thank you all for joining in and being excellent for another week – I’ll be back tomorrow at 7.20pm for the results, when we’ll send another Strictly couple home. Enjoy the rest of your Saturday, and I’ll see you then!
Time for a recap! My fave this evening was definitely Faye and Giovanni’s Waltz, and Stacey and Kevin’s Paso. Can’t see how Graeme is going to survive this week – suspect he may be up against Charles and Karen in the dance off tomorrow, as the public will once again make up for Lauren and AJ’s undermarking.
The Lindyhopathon made pretty much no difference to the scoreboard whatsoever, which makes that ten minutes of our lives we’re never getting back.
The voting lines are open! Thank goodness.
The judges’ scoring is a hot mess but I THINK Lauren is in 7th, Graeme in 6th, Charles in 5th, Stacey in 4th, Joe in 3rd, Faye in 2nd and Ashley in first.
As scoring goes, that was an absolute shambles. Someone in production is going to get a thorough telling-off from Shirley, and I do not envy them.
And we’re off! There are seven couples on the dancefloor, so pretty tough to know what the hell is going on. Charles is doing the waggly finger though, so that’s worth a point. Graeme is mostly skipping about and is probably in line for one point.
I can’t really tell for all the others, I’ve only got two eyes and one of them is already looking at a laptop.
So the Lindy Hop is basically a swing dance that takes inspiration from the Charleston, with a bit of jazz and tap thrown in. I’m always hugely envious of people who are very good at it, it looks incredibly cool.
So Faye and Stacey are at the top of the leaderboard, and Graeme is at the bottom. Pashley only in third this week, which is unexpected. But there are seven more points up for grabs now, so I’m fully expecting them to be back on top shortly.
Time to drink your way through the Lindyhopathon!
Scores: 9,10,10,10 - a total of 39 for Stacey and Kevin. Stacey falls to her knees and gives an oscar acceptance speech. To be fair, I would after three tens too.
Craig though Kevin made Stacey look absolutely amazing. Darcey thought it was fierce, Stacey was eating up the dancefloor - it was dramatic, powerful and brilliant. Shirley thought Stacey looked like a star, and Bruno thought she captured the purity of style, and it was fantastically choreographed.
Ooh, Stacey looks absolutely smoking. Love the attitude in this Paso, with bags of drive and power. Stacey looks right at home in this dance, and it’s an outstanding performance, if not the most traditional Paso. Really enjoyed that, I held my breath from start to finish.
And finally, it’s STACEY AND KEVIN! This week they’re dancing the Paso Doble to ‘Malaguena’ by Brian Setzer. This is another song that’s on its fifth outing, last seen in Blackpool with Anita and Gleb.
It is, however, proper Paso music, with an uber-masc stompy section in the middle that I’m sure Kevin will take full advantage of.
Lindyhopathon mention! Drink!
Scores: 5,6,6,6 - a total of 23 for Lauren and AJ. Bit mean, judges.
Darcey thought it was not bad, but Lauren’s feet were a bit messy in places. Shirley agrees that her feet and legs didn’t have enough grounding, but she liked the intricate arm work. Bruno thought it was a difficult routine, but Lauren needs to give it more welly and sell it with every part of her body. Craig thought it was rather lacklustre, and Lauren’s foot placement was haphazard.
So Lauren is shaking it on a pool table with AJ, and is actually some nice performance elements to this Salsa. But her footwork and hips really aren’t delivering, and the transitions in and out of the lifts are quite hard work. Not enough shimmy and party abandon, and Lauren looks a bit out of her depth, sadly.
It’s time for LAUREN AND AJ! This week they’re dancing the Salsa to ‘Familiar’ by Liam Payne and J Balvin. This is currently troubling the charts, in case you’re wondering why you’ve never heard it. Lauren is less at home in Latin and has historically had a few issues with finding her party spirit. If ever there was a time to let your hair down and shake what your mamma gave you, now would be it.
Scores: 6,8,8,8 - a total of 30 for Charles and Karen.
Shirley thought it had elements that were very good, but Charles needs to listen the music more. Bruno thought Charles was determined and in charge, but it needed more light and shade in places. Craig thought it lacked drive across the floor, and Charles’ feet were turned in throughout. His frame was more Paso than Tango, too. Darcey loved the clipped transitions and technical difficult, and she liked it a lot.
OK this is all a bit odd, not sure the music works at all. Charles is really struggling with his frame, and seems to be dancing this Tango with a bit of a hunch. Great characterisation, but all a bit strange and laboured. Oh dear.
Next up it’s CHARLES AND KAREN! Tonight they’re dancing the Tango to the Big Country version of The Beatles’ ‘Eleanor Rigby’, which seems all kinds of wrong. Charles has danced his socks off and stayed out of the bottom two for the past couple of weeks, but he’s definitely in the danger zone if he doesn’t smash this Tango.
Scores: 7,8,10,10 - a total of 35 for Joe and Dianne. See, scoring madness reigns.
Darcey was loving the old skool hip hop, and Joe took some real risks. It was a demanding routine but he pulled it off effortlessly, although he could have done with using his thighs more. Shirley loved it, the choreography was fantastic, and he did a brilliant job with his small balls and his big balls. Bruno thought it was a ballsy performance, but Craig thought it looked too concentrated, and Joe was out of synch. It also needed more grunge and homeboy, which are two words we’ve definitely never heard on Strictly before.
Oh good lord, I’ve suddenly dredged up an ancient memory of dancing to this song with Mr Motivator at a charity ball in about 2004. Pretty sure he was wearing a kilt at the time, and I definitely wasn’t wearing a sports bra. Somehow we both survived.
So this has a basketball theme, and Joe appears to have borrowed some PE kit from the lost property box as it’s several sizes too large. It’s quite a clever routine, mixing some basketball tricks with street dance moves. Joe has great timing and somehow making this rather charming in a deeply nerdy way, despite some timing issues. Would have liked a bit more actual dance though, and a few less bits of gym equipment.
In Joe’s VT, his sister Zoe. DRINK. Life story: he’s made gazillions out of YouTube, but seems to have remained quite normal. Good work Joe.
Next up it’s JOE AND DIANNE. This week they’re dancing their Couples’ Choice – a Street/Commercial dance to ‘Jump Around’ by House of Pain. It was worth introducing this category JUST for the excuse to play this song. I have high hopes of this being one of my 2018 Strictly highlights.
Scores: 9,10,10,10 - a total of 39 for Faye and Giovanni. The battle of the blondes is truly on. But I really don’t think either of them are going to win.
Craig loved it - it was elegant and gorgeous. Darcey loved the natural rotation and Faye’s seamless grace. Shirley loved Faye’s footwork and thought it was exquisite. Bruno loved the refinement and polish (he’s fallen off his chair again, oh the irony) - it was an upper class Waltz.
Well this is delightful - Faye’s red dress is gorgeous and Giovanni in tails is a yes from me. Elegant, stylish and romantic, with exquisite footwork and frame from Faye. One of my fave Waltzes of the series. LOVED that.
Time for FAYE AND GIOVANNI! This week they’re dancing the Waltz to ‘See The Day’ by Dee C. Lee. This song is on its fifth Strictly outing, last danced by Jay and Aliona. Not that I’m complaining, it’s a gorgeous song and I’m expecting a Waltz to match.
VT MUM AND DAD - DRINK!
Scores: 8,9,9,10 - a total of 36 for Ashley and Pasha. Oh Bruno, really?
Bruno’s fuses have been blown, and he loved Ashley’s hip action and isolation. Craig thought Ashley hit it a bit hard and it was a bit staccato in places, but the performance level was great. Darcey agrees - she wanted more bounce. Shirley loved the reverse rolls and the gyration of Ashley’s body, but she needed to soften her suspension.
Loving Ashley’s teeny gold dress, and am finding the feather tail quite hypnotic - it looks like she’s got an ostrich caught in her knickers. Nice Samba rolls and great hip action as usual from Pashley, and plenty of party spirit. Felt a bit spiky in places, but fun.
Next up it’s ASHLEY AND PASHA! This week they’re dancing the Samba to ‘Hot Hot Hot’ by Arrow. This song was the scene of that 2006 Strictly incident where Mark and Karen got tangled up in a microphone and had to start again, hopefully we won’t see a repeat this evening.
This is usually a Salsa song, feels quite fast for a Samba. Ooh, get a load of me pretending to know what I’m talking about.
This week’s Terms & Conditions are being read by Catherine Tyldesley - I’ve just had to look up the spelling because I’ve never heard of her. Corrie, apparently.
She said Lindyhopathon, however, so DRINK.
Scores: 6,6,6,6 - a total of 24 for Graeme and Oti.
Shirley loved Graeme’s entry, and he recovered well from the hiccups - a good try. Bruno thought it wasn’t always plain sailing, but he brought it safely into port. Craig thought it was like watching the scarecrow from the Wizard of Oz, and Darcey thought Graeme struggled with the consistency.
Graeme has gone full jolly sailor, an has some limp looking tulips for his true love Oti. Graeme is giving this plenty of welly, but his footwork is a bit shaky in places and he’s much happier in the sections out of hold. Oops, there was a stumble. A valiant effort, but not Graeme’s best dance.
First up tonight it’s GRAEME AND OTI. This week they’re dancing the Quickstep to ‘Sing Sing Sing’ by The Andrews Sisters. Graeme MUST be on his last life by now, he’s had more comebacks than Status Quo. Unless this Quickstep is an absolute showstopper, I fear he may be toast. Going first isn’t going to help.
Out come the stars! What in the name of High School Musical is Joe wearing?
TESS AND CLAUDIA DRESS WATCH! Tess in a black pantsuit and ponytail, Claudia in a black strapless number. Off to a glitter funeral afterwards?
Out come the judges! Loving Shirley’s octopus ballgown.
And we’re off! Last week on Strictly: BLACKPOOL! Spiritual home of ballroom, superfluous backing dancers and ridiculous comedy VTs. Kate and Aljaz danced their final Foxtrot in the fabulous Tower Ballroom, and Pashley got the first 40 of the series. Now we’re getting to the business end of proceedings, which means extra stress and pressure. Also tonight: LINDYHOPATHON. DRINK.
This week’s Strictly Come Bingo – VT human prop special!
- Work colleagues
- Ex-Strictly contestants
BONUS DRINK: the word ‘Lindyhopathon’
Evening all, and welcome to this week’s Strictly Come Dancing liveblog! After last week’s jolly to Blackpool, we’re back in gloomy Elstree for that post-holiday lull. Everyone is tired, the judges can smell freedom, and our celebrity/pro couples have had to master the Lindy Hop as well learning one of those dances they’ve been putting off since Week One. Expect bonus crankiness and even wilder scoring than usual.
We’re down to only seven couples now, so things are starting to get serious – I’m still predicting Ashley, Faye, Stacey and Joe in the final, and Joe remains my hot tip to lift the Glitterball in three weeks’ time. Usually my predictions are the kiss of death, so enjoy him while he lasts.
As per Strictly protocol, I’ll be up here sprinkling a little glitter over proceedings, while you are encouraged to add extra sequins and sparkle down below, like a ballroom vajazzle. Kick off is at 6.50pm, so I’ll see you then!