They take to the floor to Justin Timberlake’s ‘Can’t Stop the Feeling’. Bah, I will miss them both.
And on that blow, that’s it for another week on Strictly! Next week it’s MUSICALS WEEK, which is a bit like Movie Week but with less budget and more jazz hands. Kick off is at 7.25pm, so please join me then! Thanks for joining in, you are marvellous. Hx
Clara had massive potential, but I have to say that Jamie hugely raised his game this week, and Clara needed something special after last week’s issues. It pains me to say it but I can’t argue with that decision.
And poor Aljaz, having to leave Strictly wearing a poo-coloured velour t-shirt.
Judging time! It’s a tough decision, Craig saves Clara and Aljaz, but Motsi saves Jamie and Karen. Which means it’s down to Shirley, and she saves JAMIE AND KAREN. Clara looks devastated, I’m gutted for her.
Time for Jamie’s and Karen’s chess Tango again. Still gappy, but also still a very solid Tango and it’s very clear how badly Jamie wants this. No idea how this judging is going to go, although I suspect Jamie might edge it.
Time for the dance off! First up it’s Clara and Aljaz. This is a much better start, and there are far fewer mistakes, even though it’s quite stompy. By no means error-free, but considerably better than last night. Even if she goes out tonight, it’s lovely that she’s had the chance to do this routine again. Nice work, Clara.
Time for a musical interlude, courtesy of human marmite Gary Barlow, who is singing his new single ‘Elita’. Personally I’m very much in the ‘he’s a great singer and songwriter, wouldn’t want to go on holiday with him’ camp, but I’m sure he’ll bear this blow with fortitude.
Nadiya and Graziano and Johannes and Luba are busting some Latin moves, and apparently this song is Barlow’s attempt at Cuban rhythms. It’s no Despacito, but I don’t hate it.
Don’t dance, Gary. You look like you need the loo.
I’m sorry, did Bill and Oti just say they’re doing a Phantom of The Opera Argentine Tango? Good LORD. Bring on next week.
So who’s joining Jamie and Karen in the dance off? Ranvir and Giovanni are safe, along with Bill and Oti!
Which means CLARA AND ALJAZ are in the dance off!
OK so this is interesting, because Clara has the opportunity to MASSIVELY improve this routine, and that could save her. COME ON CLARA.
Time for a dance interlude from the winners of this year’s Greatest Dancer. Is that show still on? I had no idea. They’re very bendy, and at one point she gets spun round by her face, which looks quite painful.
So the kilt and the spinny Waltz got JJ through for another week, and next week they’re doing a Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Charleston. It’s going to be different, and I think that’s a very good thing.
So who is dancing again next week? Maisie and Gorka are safe (oh that’s good news), along with JJ and Amy and HRVY and JNTT.
First couple in the bottom two: JAMIE AND KAREN.
So that’s what we predicted last night, definitely feel like this week’s dance off is going to be very close.
Last night on Strictly:
Tier 1: The romance I’ve created in my head between Ranvir and Giovanni, everything Bill and Oti do, Maisie’s grit, Claudia’s blouse, Amy’s dress.
Tier 2: Queasy CGI, HRVY’s contempo-street (sorry watched it again and still not feeling it), JJ’s kilt (yes but can he Salsa in it?), Tudor Queen Motsi.
Tier 3: Clara’s Jive, Aljaz’s outfit (bleurgh), Couple’s Choice generally, rooftop CGI, all the screaming.
Ambivalent zone: Jamie’s Slytherin Tango, Craig/Anton doing panto beef. Meh.
TESS AND CLAUDIA DRESS WATCH: Tess in white trousers with a cream blouse featuring a vicar’s dog collar, and Claudia in something black and ill fitting.
What IS that around Tess’s neck? It looks like she’s got whiplash.
And we’re off! Tonight’s opening pro dance is to The Weeknd’s ‘Blinding Lights’ and features dreadful 80s outfits and a variety of neon plinths. Graziano has a Bjorn Borg headband and a great deal of double denim. Feel like this one was thrown together in a bit of a hurry, to be honest.
Knocking on doors to hand out jars of quince jam made from a neighbourhood tree is Peak Hackney.
Also this episode of The Crown is rubbish, it’s just Prince Charles banging on about trees.
Tonight’s Countryfile Casual Weatherperson is the charming Darren Bett, who’s gone for a purple check shirt tucked into grey jeans. It’s a valiant effort, but the lack of forearm action and the modesty neck button makes it a 7/10 at best. Less Darren Bett, more Darren Could Do Better.
Lovely Craven segue from ‘plant trees’ to ‘buy my calendar’ there. The man’s a master.
During all my visits to The National Arboretum, I’ve never abseiled up an oak tree while a woman from Forestry England yells at me from the ground about blue tits, bats and nut hatches. Feel like I’ve missed out.
Ooh, Westonbirt Arboretum is in Countryfile. That’s not far from me, we go there a lot. It’s lovely.
SUNDAY NIGHT RESULTS SHOW UPDATE!
Evening all, and welcome back to tonight’s Strictly results show! It’s the quarter finals next week, aka MUSICALS WEEK, so we’re getting to the business end of this year’s Strictly. Was thinking this morning about how the shorter run has changed the competition this year – fewer dances, so an opportunity to skip the ones that don’t play to their strengths (RIP Rumba), less time for contestants to go on a Journey, fewer themes and specials so judges are waving tens around to provide excitement. It’s definitely felt different, but I’m delighted we’ve had it all the same.
Tonight we need to say goodbye to another couple, and it’s hard to see how Clara is going to avoid the dance-off for a second week. We’ll find out at 7.25pm, so join me then!
And we’re done! Thanks all for joining in tonight, and don’t forget to come back tomorrow at 7.25pm for the results show (or half an hour earlier, if you fancy a short Countryfile ramble). Enjoy the rest of your Barlow-free Saturday, and I’ll see you then! Hx
So that’s it for tonight’s dancing! HRVY and Janette are at the top, with Clara and Aljaz at the bottom once again. The vote is open!
There was a lot of good stuff tonight - my votes would go to Ranvir, Bill and Clara, although I can’t help wondering if Clara has come to the end of her Strictly journey. I reckon she and Jamie might be in the bottom two tonight, and then it’s really going to come down to whether she can fix the mistakes in that Jive. What do you reckon?
Scores: 9,10,10 - a total of 29 for Maisie and Gorka. Were those deserved? Should you be drinking? You decide.
Shirley thought that was the success story of the evening, and Maisie showed her vulnerable feminine side (drink). Motsi loved the skips and Charleston and Maisie had amazing stamina - it had it all. Craig thought Maisie missed a left foot swivel on the bench but it was absolutely incredible.
CGI buses and taxis galore! Gorka looks oddly attractive in salmon flannel, and I adore Maisie’s pink flamingo frock. This is a fabulous Quickstep with bags of content and some great footwork from Maisie. Love the charm and playfulness of it, and the Strictly garden bench has had a paint job. A great finish, enjoyed that very much.
And finally tonight, it’s MAISIE AND GORKA! Tonight they’re dancing the Quickstep to ‘When You’re Smiling’ by Andy Williams. Maisie doesn’t have a huge amount to smile about after two weeks in the dance-off, but I have every expectation that she’s going to bounce back with a brilliant Quickstep.
Messages from Maisie’s old school! Deeply Tier 2. DRINK.
Scores: 8,9,8 - a total of 25 for JJ and Amy. Not one judge had a bad thing to say about that dance, why 8s? What was lacking?
Craig thought it was charming, elegant and full of class. Shirley loved how calm and understated it was, just beautiful. Motsi loved the stillness of it, and JJ has a lovely aura.
Does ANY man look bad in a kilt? It’s the Scottish equivalent of a dinner jacket. Also Amy’s dress is fabulous. Amy gets ALL the best dresses.
JJ is doing a nice job of this, although the romance fog is obscuring his footwork a bit. It’s got some lovely glide and is beautifully understated, enjoyed that very much. Beautiful, but sooner or later JJ IS going to have to do Latin. He can’t avoid it much longer.
Two left! Next up it’s JJ AND AMY! This week they’re dancing the Viennese Waltz to ‘Rescue’ by Lauren Daigle. I’ve missed the Spinny Waltz, we haven’t seen very many this year, and this is a gorgeous song that gives me goosebumps. JJ needs to pull something special out of the bag for this one, but he’s wearing a kilt so that will secure some votes from north of the border. Will he pull it off? (the dance, not the kilt, he can’t be THAT desperate for votes).
Scores: 8,8,8 - a total of 24 for Bill and Oti.
Motsi loved the 100% energy from the beginning to the end, although there was a small mistake but Bill is a role model for many men watching this show. Craig thought it was a bit stompy but Bill has his own style and Craig adores it. Shirley can see how seriously Bill is taking the competition, but she has to dock points for mistakes ‘as with everyone else.’ If only that was actually the case, Shirl.
OK this is great - Bill is entirely committed to this and has brilliant energy and timing. His kicks and flicks are amazing, and the rock theming gives him license to be a little more stompy and aggressive than you might normally be in a Jive. He’s a brilliant dancer, and I absolutely LOVED that.
Next up it’s BILL AND OTI! This week they’re dancing the Jive to ‘One Way Or Another’ by Blondie. Kellie and Kevin did a brilliant Jive to this back in 2015, can’t wait to see if Bill can deliver similar precision and energy.
Scores: 8,8,8 - a total of 24 for Ranvir and Giovanni.
Shirley loved Ranvir’s confidence, and she has the best female frame that they’ve seen so far. Motsi loves the connection and partnering between Ranvir and Giovanni, and Ranvir is owning the dancefloor, but she’d like more surprises. Craig wanted more interesting lifts, it was a bit safe and Ranvir needs more finesse in her arms, but he loved Ranvir’s acting.
Well this is so sugary it’s making my teeth hurt, but I love it. Ranvir looks glorious and has the best top line in this competition. It’s charming and romantic and cuter than a basketful of puppies, despite the slightly lacklustre lift. Enjoyed that very much.
Right, moving on. It’s time for RANVIR AND GIOVANNI! This week they’re dancing the American Smooth to ‘I Say a Little Prayer’ by Aretha Franklin. After last week’s filthy Argentine, I’m hoping this is going to be a little more ‘morning after the night before.’ My blood pressure can’t cope with any more chemistry between these two, and also I’m wearing glasses instead of my usual contacts today and I won’t be able to type if they steam up.
Scores: 10,10,10 - honestly, drink everything. Whatever you can find. Cooking sherry. Meths. Limoncello.
GOAT, says Craig, which is usually greatest of all time, but he rains on HRVY’s parade by telling him that in this case it means ‘great on all timing.’ Shirley thought it was amazing, and HRVY is a great lifter. Motsi’s spirits were lifted, it was unbelievable and priceless.
Sorry, not my cup of tea at all. No doubt it will get tens all round.
The CGI on this is making me feel a bit queasy. I don’t know what dance style this is, but HRVY is doing a nice job of it - he can definitely dance, although the timing is by no means spot on. It’s good at being something, I’m just not sure what that something is.
I dunno, maybe I’m just old and grumpy? Also ugly outfit. DRINK.
Next up it’s HRVY and JNTT! This week they’re dancing their Couple’s Choice, which the Strictly website tells me is yet another Street/Commercial routine to ‘A Sky Full Of Stars’ by Coldplay. I’m assuming this is typo and they’re actually doing a Contemporary routine, because nobody in their right mind would dance Street/Commercial to Coldplay. Please can somebody fire this dance option into the sun.
Scores: 8, 8, 8 - a total of 24 for Jamie and Karen. So much screaming. Keep drinking.
The judges are going to love that, aren’t they? Motsi loved the energy and the contrast in Jamie’s persona, even though there were a few issues with Jamie’s weight on his feet. Craig wanted more drive and the lead was questionable at time, but he loved the concept. Shirley thought Jamie went from homeboy to sophisticated and suave, but Jamie needs to work on his musicality.
Jamie and Karen are playing chess, which is presumably a homage to The Queen’s Gambit. It’s a lot of faffing about until they finally start doing the tango, and Jamie manages to stay on top of the footwork despite rather a lot of gapping.
It’s all quite sedate for a Tango, if you’re going to wear outfits like those and dance to this music, it needs to be fierce. There is screaming. DRINK.
Next up it’s JAMIE AND KAREN! This week they’re dancing the Tango to ‘Tanguera’ by Sexteto Mayor. It feels a bit like Jamie has been coasting on his personality for the past few weeks, but a Tango doesn’t really give him anywhere to hide. Now is the time to show us that you can actually dance, Jamie.
I never again want to hear Jamie say ‘It’s Karen’s job to tame the lion’ *dry heave*
I’ve just looked him up. He’s a footballer. Who knew?
A handsome man called Jermaine is reading the Ts&Cs. I have no idea who he is. He could be a chef or a CBBC presenter or a weatherperson. Not a clue.
Scores: 6,6,7 - a total of 19 for Clara and Aljaz.
Shirley thought it was a bit hit and miss - the parts that Clara did were outstanding, but there were many mistakes. Motsi agrees that she saw the mistakes, but she had goosebumps from all the special moments. Craig thought the loss of balance at the beginning set Clara off on the wrong foot, but it was a lot better than last week.
I’ve just noticed what Aljaz is wearing. I didn’t think it was possible to make Aljaz look bad, but that’s nasty. We’ll count that as an ugly dress. DRINK.
This doesn’t start well for Clara, after she trips onto the dancefloor. But once it gets going it’s got plenty of pace and energy. However the Jive technique isn’t great and her footwork goes a bit awry in places. Those flat shoes definitely don’t help (drink), it’s coming across as very stompy.
Oh dear, I love Clara but that wasn’t great.
First up tonight it’s CLARA AND ALJAZ. Tonight they’re dancing the Jive to ‘River Deep Mountain High’ by Tina Turner. Last week’s Samba was a bit of a shambles, putting Clara at the bottom of the leader board. Hopefully a Tina Jive will be more her thing, but it’s going to be very hard not to compare this to Alexandra Burke’s Proud Mary Jive from 2017. That was one of the best Strictly dances ever, so absolutely no pressure on Clara here.
Grimmy’s on Zoom. He’s definitely Tier 2. DRINK.
Out come the judges! Motsi’s BACK, and she spent her quarantine being upholstered by the National Trust.
Out come the stars! JJ’s in a kilt, and Jamie’s discovered his inner Draco Malfoy. No idea what HRVY’s wearing, but it looks ill-fitting.
TESS AND CLAUDIA DRESS WATCH: Tess in asymmetric lilac sequins that makes her look like she’s been gift wrapped (drink), Claudia in black trousers and a pussy-bow blouson.
And we’re off! Last week we said goodbye to Caroline, Johannes and a stuffed cat, which means only seven couples remain, and only four Strictlys until Christmas. Must be time to put the tree up. Everyone wants to keep dancing.
Honestly was there ever a quiz more laboured and clunky than The Hit List? It should be great, but somehow it’s the TV equivalent of Magic FM. There are voles on Countryfile with more pace and sparkle than this.
Tonight’s Strictly Come Bingo – a swig of Tier 1 booze for any occurrence of the following:
- Ugly dresses
- Undeserved tens
- Tier 2 Zoomers – e.g cousins, old teachers, random mates
- Shirley’s Feminine Sensing Zones
Evening glitter crew, and welcome to this week’s Strictly Come Dancing liveblog! It’s Week 6, so we’re over the Tier 3 Lackpool hump and are now coasting downhill all the way to Christmas. Wipe away your tiers and forget your festive bubbles; in Strictly world it’s wall-to-wall hugs and sparkly joy.
Tonight’s show kicks off at 7.15pm; as usual I’ll be up here casting a deeply unprofessional eye over the dancing, the outfits and the alarming CGI effects. If you’re not too busy, please feel free to sprinkle some love and happiness in the comment box below. See you in a bit!