Tom and Amy take to the floor for the final time, to ‘We Go Together’ from Grease.
And that’s IT for another Strictly week! Only four more to go – after a very draggy start it feels like the series is flying by now. I’ll be back next week at 6.55pm for the shortest show of the series (barely an hour!), so please join me then. Thank you for reading and getting busy in the comment box – you are all excellent. Have a lovely week!
Tom and Amy say lovely things about each other, including a sobbing Amy saying ‘I’m telling you now, the Fletchers are not getting rid of Amy,’ which sounds vaguely sinister.
But they’ve clearly had a great time and Tom has loved learning to dance – he never quite reached the dizzy heights of bandmate Harry Judd, but I guess there’s a reason Tom does the singing and Harry’s in charge of rhythm.
All the judges vote to save Rhys and Nancy, which means TOM AND AMY are leaving Strictly. Oh hang on, Shirley would have saved Tom and Amy, not that her vote matters.
When Shirley does this, I never know if she’s purposely throwing shade at the safe couple or trying to make the departing couple feel better. I suspect she thinks it’s the latter, but somehow it always comes across as the former. Or maybe I’m overthinking this.
DANCE OFF TIME!
Rhys is up first - it’s still frenetic and the timing is still off the beat for the second half, but I don’t think there was mistake this time. Good work, Rhys.
And now it’s Tom and Amy. I can feel Tom trying to emote, and I salute the effort. Probably should have done that yesterday, however.
In other news, John and Johannes doing an Argentine Tango next week. HELL YES.
So Dan’s local curry house in Sheffield has named a curry after him. ‘I think it’s called a Dan Sack,’ says Dan. That’s a Dhansak, Dan, and I regret to inform you it’s always been on the menu. They saw you coming, mate.
And yes, I know this was the joke, but by the time Dan got to the punchline I’d lost the will to live.
So, as predicted last night, it’s Rhys vs. Tom. If last night’s performance is anything to go by, it should be Tom leaving tonight. But they both have huge room for improvement – Rhys can get back on top of his timing and not make any mistakes, and Tom can start emoting. I don’t think this is a done deal by any means.
So who is joining Rhys and Nancy in the dance off? Rose and Giovanni are safe, along with Dan and Nadiya and John and Johannes.
Which means TOM AND AMY in the bottom two.
Is the string vest making a comeback? Aston was wearing a white one at the JLS gig I went to on Friday, and now this guy’s wearing one too. Are they sexy now?
Time for a musical (and, in fact, Musical) interlude, courtesy of Max Harwood and The Feeling, who are singing ‘Out Of The Darkness (A Place Where We Belong)’ from the musical Everybody’s Talking About Jamie. I’ve never seen this musical but I’ve heard very good things. This is, as the kids say, a BOP.
Kai’s doing impressions. Don’t give up the day job, my love.
So who’s safely through to the final six? Tilly and Nikita are safe, along with AJ and Kai.
First couple in the dance off - RHYS AND NANCY. Can’t say I’m shocked, but who will he be up against? Tom? Dan? Must be one of those two.
Last night on Strictly: Musicals Week!
Highlights: Cynthia Erivo being an excellent supply teacher/judge – get well soon CR-H. AJ and Captain Von Kai giving us swoon-worthy romance, Motsi’s magnificent hairdo, which has now been given listed status by Historic England, the whole Cabaret opening dance, all the couples giving it their all.
Lowlights: Confusing scoring, Couple’s Choice oddness, the usual movie week/musicals week nonsense, bingo crying.
TESS AND CLAUDIA DRESS WATCH!
Tess in vast hot pink trousers, like last night’s dress has headed south for winter. Also some kind of neck bandage. Claudia in a haunted nightie.
And we’re off! Tonight’s pro dance has a Wicked theme, with Luba as Elphaba the wicked witch and Katya as Glinda the good witch. I’ve somehow never seen this musical, but I’ve listened to Defying Gravity so many times it feels like I have.
Incidentally, Cynthia Erivo is going to play Elphaba in the upcoming movie of the show, with Ariana Grande as Glinda. Does this mean we can have Ariana as guest judge next week?
Just glanced up at Doctor Who and thought Bez from the Happy Mondays was in it, but turns out that’s John Bishop. Even with the sound off this looks terrifying.
Talking of liking different things, I noticed someone in the comment box asking me (very politely, for which I thank you) to stop ‘pettifogging’ about the whole Movie Week/Musicals Week thing.
Firstly thank you for bringing the word ‘pettifogging’ into this liveblog; I’m a big fan. But secondly, pettifogging is what I DO. If I let you take away my pettifogging, you’ll come for my gentle fun-poking and rubbish puns. Then you’ll abolish my archive of alliteration and make me hand over the keys to the Box of Strictlified Metaphors. It’s the thin end of the glittery wedge.
SUNDAY NIGHT RESULTS SHOW UPDATE!
Evening all, and welcome to this week’s Results Show! Musicals Week is always one of the better feem weeks, and I actually really enjoyed last night’s show. There were a few dances that didn’t tickle my personal fancy, but judging by the comments we all like different things. Which is, of course, how it should be.
Tonight we’ll say farewell to another Strictly couple, and last night I predicted a Tom/Rhys dance-off. Dan and Tom were both joint bottom, but Dan has a big fanbase and actually danced pretty well last night. Rhys was joint second from the bottom with John, who I think the public will save over Rhys. So that’s my prediction, but we’ll see what happens – kick off is at 7.15pm!
Really enjoyed that show, it was fun. I’ll be back tomorrow from 7.15pm for the Results Show, so please join me here then. Thank you so much for joining in, is always a pleasure and never a chore. Enjoy the rest of your Saturday!
The voting is open!
That’s it for tonight’s dancing, goodness that went quickly. Tilly and Nikita are at the top of the leaderboard, with Tom and Amy and Dan and Nadiya down the bottom. I think the public will save Dan, and it wouldn’t surprise me if they also save John and Johannes (third from the bottom) too, which puts Rhys in danger.
Who are you voting for this week, and what’s your prediction for the bottom two? I’m going to say Tom vs. Rhys, but it’s really tough to call this week. We’re very much at the sharp end now.
Scores: 7,7,9,8 - a total of 31 for Dan and Nadiya.
Cynthia enjoyed it, but Dan needs to finish his lines. Motsi loved how Dan was pushing out of his comfort zone but his weight needed to be further forward. Shirley loved how Dan is progressing through the contest and it was Dan’s best dance. Anton thought it was joyous and Dan has had the best journey so far*.
*I’m available to go on BBC Breakfast to argue this point VIGOROUSLY.
Dan looks very dapper as Gene Kelly, and I’m loving Nadiya’s pink fringing. Some nice characterisation from Dan and his footwork really is pretty decent, albeit it needs a little more finish. I think this might be my favourite dance of theirs, I actually really enjoyed that.
And finally, it's Dan and Nadiya!
This week they’re dancing Charleston to ‘Good Morning’ from Singin’ In The Rain. This was absolutely a movie first, so DRINK. In fact it didn’t hit the stage until about 30 years after the movie, which suggests it was a perfect movie and never needed to be on the stage in the first place.
Scores: 10,10,10,10. Fine, whatever. There is crying. DRINK.
Anton loved it, Tilly is an inspiration. Cynthia thought it was awesome, and Motsi thought Tilly was a force to be reckoned with, one of her best dances. Shirley thought it was absolutely first class and she couldn’t tell who the professional was.
How can you say that was one of Tilly’s best dances? Based on what criteria? Strictly’s gone mad.
Is this dancing? I have no idea. There’s a lot of jumping about and some nice synchronicity at the start but it gets a bit shaky towards the end. Not really sure what that was, and I didn’t really like it. Sorry. Maybe it would help if I’d seen Matilda?
I think mostly this is reminding me of Daz Sampson on Eurovision in 2006. Never a good thing.
Next up it's Tilly and Nikita!
This week they’re dancing Couple’s Choice to ‘Revolting Children’ from Matilda. I’m already itchy about this music choice – it’s shouty and largely undanceable, and only really works if Dave Arch has wheeled in a choir of revolting children, which would be Covid madness. But at least Matilda was definitely a stage musical first, so I suppose that’s something.
Like Tom, Tilly has a family. Don’t know much about them, but they seem nice.
Scores: 8,8,8,8 - a total of 32 for John and Johannes.
Shirley thought John did a great job of the spins and John is getting more comfortable in leading as well as receiving (please stop, Shirley), but a bit flat-footed. OK, so not just me. Anton thought it was a bit safe and John needs to let the handbrake off. Cynthia loved the partnership but the energy needs to go up. Motsi loves how constant JoJo are, but she wants them to take it to the next level.
This is such a great song for a Viennese, and John is pure musical theatre gold. The timing is great in hold, and John’s doing a nice job of gliding rather than rising and falling, which I think you’re supposed to for a Viennese. His feet look a bit flat though, although maybe that’s just me.
Who's next? It's John and Johannes!
This week they’re dancing the Viennese Waltz to ‘Chim Chim Cher-ee’ from Mary Poppins. Ricky Groves and Erin Boag did an American Smooth to an odd jazz version of this way back in the day, which I only know because I looked it up and then had to further investigate who Ricky Groves is. Eastenders, apparently.
This wasn’t a stage musical until 2004, but remains one of the finest Disney movies of all time. Honestly, Strictly, is it really that hard? DRINK.
Scores: 10,9,9,9 - a total of 37 for Rose and Giovanni.
Motsi felt the joy even though there was a tiny mistake. Shirley saw improvements on many levels, it was fab-u-LUSS (almost). Anton absolutely loved it, it had great storytelling and perfectly captured the mood of musical theatre. Cynthia thought it was so much fun to watch and gorgeous.
Rose and Gio make such an adorable Ana and Prince Hans, even though that skirt is a foul shade of neon mustard.
This takes a while to get going, but once they’re in hold and actually Quickstepping Rose has a nice frame and some cracking footwork. Timing is everything in a Quickstep, and it continues to astound me how brilliant Rose is at staying in sync with Gio. LOVE the BSL chat too, really enjoyed that.
Next up, it's Rose and Giovanni!
This week they’re dancing the Quickstep to ‘Love Is An Open Door’ from Frozen The Musical. Obviously this was a movie first (DRINK), but I’m guessing there are many happy children watching this right now. So we’ll Let It Go. Just this once, mind.
Incidentally, love is not an open door. You’re letting all the heat out, bloody close it.
Scores: 7,8,8,8 - a total of 31 for Tom and Amy.
Cynthia also wanted more heart from Tom, and Motsi agrees - Tom was too controlled. Shirley liked the timing and style, but Tom held back and he needs to let his emotions go. Anton enjoyed it but Tom needs to let it go (wrong musical).
Everyone wants more crying. DRINK.
This is very much barefoot contempo-waft, but with giant sleeves that make Tom look like Gaston from Beauty And The Beast. It’s dramatic with some nice lifts, but it feels a bit lacking in heart and passion for my liking. Didn’t love it, sorry.
It's time for Tom and Amy!
Tom and Amy Couple’s Choice to ultimate friend-zoning anthem ‘On My Own’ from Les Misérables. This is a beautiful song, but possibly a touch bleak for Saturday night family telly. It’s a song that means a lot to Tom, however, so let’s go with it. Everyone’s crying, DRINK.
Also sending thoughts and prayers to the Dave Arch singer who’s going to tackle the depth of Eponine’s misery.
Nancy is crying. DRINK.
Scores: 8,8,8,8 - a total of 32 for Rhys and Nancy. Tess’s dress is making my TV go funny.
Anton thought Rhys’s feet were a bit footloose, but it was a great performance and he can’t decide which way to vote (??). Cynthia loved how much joy there was and how much Rhys was enjoying himself. Motsi loved the explosion of energy but it was a bit busy and needed more attention to detail. Shirley spotted the small mistake and it was slightly ahead of the music, but Rhys can be relied on for a great performance.
I love the energy of this and you can’t fault Rhys’s commitment, but his footwork needs to be sharper and his timing goes a bit awry in places. A mistake too - it just all feels a bit...chaotic?
Next up it's Rhys and Nancy!
This week they’re dancing the Jive to ‘Footloose’ from the 80s movie Footloose, which wasn’t even a musical. Until 1998, when they put it on the stage for no reason.
ANYWAY, Rhys and Nancy earned a stellar four tens for their Charleston last week – can they do the double with the Jive? This is another dance that plays to Rhys’s natural strengths, so I have high hopes.
Scores: 9,10,10,9 - a total of 38 for AJ and Kai.
Shirley thought it was absolutely sensation - it was beautifully executed and stunning. Anton was taken away from it just being a Waltz into something more beautiful. Cynthia loved watching AJ float, and was really proud of her. Motsi felt the energy, it was stunning.
Can we all take a moment to celebrate Motsi’s incredible ability to wear absolutely anything. Tonight’s pink suit and hair is spectacular, I adore her.
AJ’s crying. DRINK.
Well, this is lovely. Some nice heel leads from AJ, and a gorgeous top line. No gapping, nice flow, all very elegant and romantic, von trapped in Kai’s arms. Really enjoyed that, goosebumpy stuff.
These two are properly smitten, aren’t they?
First up tonight - AJ and Kai!
This week they’re dancing the Waltz to ‘Edelweiss’ from The Sound Of Music. Rest easy with your bingo wine, this was definitely a Broadway musical first. AJ had a wobby Paso last week that left her at the bottom of the leaderboard, but I have every expectation that she’s going to come back fighting and give us a fabulous Waltz.
Out come the judges! More hot pink from Motsi, a Shirley in a gorgeous suit, Cynthia in a floaty frock. Loving this judging lineup.
Out come the stars! Loving John and Johannes as chimney sweeps and Captain Von Kai.
TESS AND CLAUDIA DRESS WATCH
Claudia in her usual black sequins, Tess in a hot pink hot mess, like an overcooked glitterprawn.
It’s a feem week, so there’s a bonus pro dance! It’s got a Cabaret theme, with Giovanni as the Emcee and Oti as Sally Bowles. Love it.
And we’re off! Time for a slo-mo VT. Everyone’s ready to put on a show, and they all get to pretend they’re in the West End (DRINK) whilst living their childhood dream. IT’S SHOWTIME!
All together now, let’s go fly a kite. If you haven’t seen ‘Saving Mr Banks’ with Emma Thompson as Mary Poppins author Pamela Travers and Tom Hanks as Walt Disney, I can’t recommend it enough. It’s a wonderful film.
It's a Strictly Come Dancing bingo Musicals Special!
Take a sip of warm interval wine for any occurrence of the following:
- The word ‘showstopping’
- Confusing/vertigo-inducing/mad CGI
- VTs featuring visits to the West End
- Musicals that were actually movies first and thus belong in Movie Week (been dying on this hill so long I’m actually now an ancient burial mound)
Heidi’s Hunches is having a hiatus
Not much point in Heidi’s Hunches this week, because right now it feels like there are only two groups. AJ, John and Rose just have to hold it together for a guaranteed place in the Grand Final on 18th December, and then there’s everyone else.
We’ve also got two Couple’s Choices this evening – one from Tom and one from Tilly. But neither is likely to come close to Rose and Giovanni last week, so for the first time Couple’s Choice might not be a free pass to the next round.
No Hit List tonight, but BBC1 is showing the original Disney version of Mary Poppins instead. As Movies go, it’s practically perfect in every way.
Although in Hitlist-adjacent news, I went to see JLS at the O2 in London last night. Marvin and his crew were outstanding, so many huge tunes.
Get read for your curtain call, it's Musicals Week on Strictly!
Evening all, and welcome to this week’s Strictly Come Dancing Jazz Hands Musicals Special! Last year we were spared all the giant props and superfluous backing dancers due to Covid – my guess is things will still be relatively low-key, unless you’re Head of Dancefloor CGI, in which case unleash the sparkly hounds.
Craig Revel-Horwood has tested positive for Covid (Glitter variant) and won’t be joining us this evening, so we’re sending lots of liveblog love his way for a swift recovery. He’s being replaced for one night only by musical theatre superstar Cynthia Erivo, which is very feem-appropriate. I’m fully expecting tens to be raining down like someone’s poked a hole in a Donny Osmond piñata.
But if last week taught us anything, it’s that the public ultimately gets to decide. Tonight our remaining seven couples will all be battling to steal the Strictly limelight, and I’ll be up here keeping a heavily-beaded eye on all the fleckerls and heel leads. All you need to do is add your wit and wisdom in the comment box below, so grab your opera glasses and your song sheets and join me at 6.35pm. See you then!