Strictly Come Dancing 2021: week 10 – as it happened

Last modified: 08: 10 PM GMT+0

John and Johannes took on the Argentine Tango, while Tilly and Nikita did the Samba to Dua Lipa. But with the Glitterball in touching distance, who sailed through to the quarter final – and who went home?

And that’s it for another Strictly weekend! Thank you so much for joining in – next week is the QUARTER-FINAL, so please join me back here at 6.40pm for the official shortest show of the season. We get change from an hour, so we should probably go to the pub afterwards. See you then!


Tilly confirms she’s made a best friend for life (DRINK) and thanks Nikita for ‘the best couple of weeks’. What happened in the other eight?

Meanwhile Nikita thanks production, costume, make-up, cast, the other professionals, and also Tilly. They take to the floor for their final dance to ‘Daydream Believer’ by The Monkees.


Judging time!

All the judges save Rhys and Nancy, which means TILLY AND NIKITA are leaving Strictly. The curse of the Samba strikes again. Should have kept your shirt on, Nikita, you’d still be going home but at least you’d be warmer.


Time for Tilly and Nikita to dance off...

Now it’s Tilly and Nikita’s turn. This is a fiendishly difficult dance, and Tilly never looks entirely comfortable in the role of Latin party goddess. But I salute the effort – she’s come a really long way since Week One.

Nikita appears to have lost his shirt, which I’m assuming is a wardrobe malfunction rather than a desperate last-ditch attempt to win a dance off. Can somebody introduce him to buttons? They’re old technology but surprisingly effective.

Dance off time! Rhys and Nancy are up first.

Rhys and Nancy are up first, and I still think this is a gorgeous song and one of my favourite dances from Rhys this year. If he goes tonight, it will be on a high.

Also this Dave Arch singer is doing an incredible job of Whitney. Applause all round, very happy to watch that again.

Not sure if I’ve ever mentioned this before, but Giovanni and I have the same sun tattoo, just in different places. More breaking news as it happens.

Based on last night’s performance, it should be Tilly going home tonight – I thought Rhys did a pretty decent job of that Waltz, even though Craig didn’t like it much. But both have room for improvement, so who knows?


So who’s joining Rhys and Nancy in the bottom two? Tilly and Nikita, surely? AJ and Kai are safe, along with Rose and Giovanni, which means TILLY AND NIKITA in the dance-off.

Time for a musical interlude, courtesy of Years & Years, which used to be a band but is now Olly Alexander’s solo project. I’m a huge fan of Olly’s music and his acting – if you haven’t watched Channel 4’s It’s A Sin yet, I can’t recommend highly enough.

Olly’s singing his new single Sweet Talker, which I’ve been listening to on repeat for the past few days and can confirm is an absolute BOP.

Also very much enjoying Olly’s Argyle pattern golf suit and Luba and Karen living their best dancefloor life. 100% would go to this party.


Next week JoJo are dancing the Salsa to ‘We Are Family’ by Sister Sledge. LOVE IT.

I’m not sure why anyone’s surprised at Dan being saved, he’s the much-loved underdog. He’s this year’s Chris Ramsay; and just like Chris Ramsay, he’ll go home in the semi-final.

On the upside, we don’t have to watch that Rumba again. EVERY CLOUD.


So who’s safely through to next week’s quarter-final? Dan and Nadiya are safe, along with John and Johannes.

First couple in the dance-off: RHYS AND NANCY.

Last night on Strictly: a fun show marred by wildly inconsistent scoring (see above).

Highlights: Beethoven’s Filth Argentine, outstanding fringing, banging Dave Arch tunes.

Lowlights: The ongoing infantilisation of Rhys, the Curse of the Samba and invasive levels of audience booing.

Also Dan’s Rumba hip action, which was so subtle it couldn’t be observed by science. Dan’s hips have now been referred to CERN, where the Large Hadron Collider will be analysing them for weakly interacting particles #darkmatter.



Tess in a black boob tube topped with a spiky fringing, presumably to stop pigeons gathering. Claudia in a black tux.

And we’re off! Tonight’s opening pro dance has a futuristic twist, like this year’s Lidl Christmas ad, but to a soundtrack of ‘The Model’ by Kraftwerk and ‘Don’t Go’ by Yazoo. Which are both from the early 80s, so simultaneously futuristic AND retro.

Evidently there are no breathable fabrics in the future.

Dear judges...

Just reflecting on last night’s show, here’s what I reckon. IF you’re going to give Dan (a non-dancer) high scores for not being as bad as you’d expected in a basic routine, it really isn’t fair to punish AJ (also a non-dancer) for not delivering perfection in an incredibly complex one.

So here’s my suggestion - pick a judging criteria each week – prowess, progress, just showing up and putting one foot in front of the other, I don’t care – then apply it to everyone. Otherwise you just look like twats.

Thanks for coming to my TED Talk.


Evening all, and welcome back to this week’s Sunday Results Show! By the end of this evening six couples will become five, and we’ll have our line-up for next Saturday’s quarter-final. Who will it be? Common sense says Tilly and Dan in the dance-off, but we already know Dan’s got a lot of voting support out there, so I won’t be remotely surprised if he’s dodged it once again.

Is there a name for Dan Walker fans? Danfans? Danfastics? Walker Worshippers? Suggestions in the comment box please - I’ll see you at 7.20pm.

Thanks for coming!

And that’s me done for the Saturday show – thank you so much for swinging by and letting off your glitter cannons in the comment box, it’s much appreciated. I’ll be back tomorrow at 7.20pm for the results show, so please join me then. Enjoy the rest of your Saturday! Hx

The dancing is done, and the voting is open!

Well that was quick; how time flies when there are only six couples left and considerably less faffing about. The voting lines are now open – who are you voting for this week?

John and Johannes are at the top of the leaderboard, with Tilly and Nikita and Dan and Nadiya in the danger zone for the dance off. I can’t see the public vote changing that, but I suspect it may be Tilly on the way out rather Dan.


Loving the message from Mary Berry on Zoom. It’s like getting a letter from the queen.

Scores: 9,10,10,10 - a total of 39 for John and Johannes. Goodness, it’s warm in here.


Anton thought it was as good as their Week 3 Paso, and Craig thought it was great to see the Argentine Tango done in its original form with two men, he absolutely loved it. Cynthia loved the intensity, it was gorgeous. Shirley thought it was fab-u-lous, and the way John handled Johannes was perfect.

I’m LOVING the drama of this - it all gets quite intense when they get into close hold, foreheads pressed together, and I love the gancho sequence at the end.

An incredibly hard routine, but they did a great job. Beethoven’s Fifth? Beethoven’s Filth, more like. This is exactly what the doctor ordered on a pretty bleak day.

John and Johannes
John and Johannes Photograph: Guy Levy/BBC


And's John and Johannes

This week they’re dancing the Argentine Tango to ‘The 5th’ by David Garrett, which is a rock violin version of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony played by a man with very lustrous hair. Anyone else a tiny bit excited about this? I feel like it’s been a while since we saw a properly dramatic and sexy Argentine, so maybe this is the one.

Scores: 7,7,8,8 - a total of 30 for Tilly and Nikita.

Shirley thought it needed tidying up in the arms and there were a couple of bits that lost the timing at one point, but she loved the shimmy. Anton thought it wasn’t bad, but Tilly needed to turn her feet out. Craig though it was a bit awkward and disconnected, he knows Tilly can do better. Cynthia wants Tilly to let her sexiness come out, Tilly is overthinking it.


Loving Tilly’s rainbow fringing, and she’s giving this Samba plenty of party energy. Her footwork is a little heavy and I feel like her knees need to be softer, but you can’t fault the shimmy. Gets a bit untidy towards the end, but good fun.

Tilly and Nikita
Tilly and Nikita Photograph: Guy Levy/BBC


It's time for Tilly and Nikita!

This week they’re dancing the Samba to ‘Levitating’ by Dua Lipa. Tilly’s had mixed results with Latin – her Halloween Cha Cha was great, but she has a tendency to be a bit polite. If ever there was a time to knock back three Jagerbombs in the Student Union bar and let her hair down, now would be it.

Scores: 7,9,10,9 - a total of 35 for Rhys and Nancy. The scoring is MAD this evening. I mean it’s mad most weeks, but this week is properly bonkers.


Cynthia loved the connection between Rhys and Nancy, but she wants him to breathe more. Shirley was astounded by Rhys’s performance, it had grace and charm and she felt his emotion. Anton loved Rhys’s arms and the shaping was gorgeous. Craig thought Rhys was following and not leading this dance - it lacked drive and had no swing and sway, but it was still a beautiful dance.

‘Are you having a little cry?’ asks Tess. He’s still 28, Tess.

Loving the fairy light tree and this is gorgeously romantic from Rhys and Nancy. A really controlled and elegant performance from Rhys, with nice rise and fall and poise. Good changes of pace too, and some solid heel leads. Definitely my favourite dance of theirs, really enjoyed that.

Rhys and Nancy
Rhys and Nancy Photograph: Guy Levy/BBC


Next up it's Rhys and Nancy!

This week they’re dancing the Waltz to ‘You Light Up My Life’ by Whitney Houston. The 1977 Debbie Boone version of this song came out when I was four years old, and singing along to it is one of my earliest memories. So I’m a bit teary already, thanks for that Strictly.


Scores: 9,8,10,9 - a total of 36 for AJ and Kai.

Can we just take a moment to acknowledge that Cynthia just gave that dance from AJ fewer points than Dan’s Rumba. I love her and she’s a great addition to the judging panel, but absolutely NOT.


Craig thought AJ did brilliantly - the routine was SO difficult. There were some messy bits but he loved it. Cynthia was so proud of AJ and she did an amazing job. Shirley loved the fearlessness and commitment, it was an ultimate performance. Anton thought it was a really strong dance, well done.


OK this is right up my street - bit of jazz, bit of street, bags of attitude, amazing lifts, sexy as hell. LOVED that.

AJ and Kai
AJ and Kai Photograph: Guy Levy/BBC


It's time for AJ and Kai!

This week they’re dancing Couple’s Choice to ‘Make Me Feel’ by Janelle Monáe. In my head this is a celebration of their whirlwind romance through the medium of a massive pop banger, but actually it’s probably not that literal. Bit dusty in here.


Scores: 6,9,8,8 - a total of 31 for Dan and Nadiya. I can’t believe Cynthia gave that more than Rose and Giovanni. Brutal.


Anton loved it, because Anton is unhinged. Craig thought it was jolty, there was no hip action and Dan’s feet were velcroed to the floor. HOWEVER, it was better than he expected and he’s giving Dan an extra point for involvement. Cynthia loved how relaxed Dan was, it was gorgeous. Shirley completely disagrees with Craig, and Dan was as cool as a very tall cucumber. Dan’s hip action was subtle, but it was there. I mean, was it? WAS IT THOUGH?

Maybe it was viral hip action. Even though you can’t see it, it’s definitely there. Hands face space, Dan.


I mean Nadiya’s definitely doing a Rumba, so that’s nice. But Dan has no Rumba hips or shaping, so from his side it’s just a nice slow dance. Not unpleasant or offensive, but not technically a Rumba either. To shamelessly misquote this song, my prison is watching Dan walk through this non-Rumba all alone.

Dan and Nadiya
Dan and Nadiya Photograph: Guy Levy/BBC


Next up it's Dan and Nadiya!

This week they’re dancing the Rumba to ‘Desperado’ by Eagles, and honestly I don’t know what to think about this. It could go one of two ways – a) Dan mooching about a bit and providing a pole for Nadiya to dance around, or b) Dan discovering his inner Latin sex god and giving it full Rumba hips. Neither of these things are on my Christmas list, if I’m honest.

Scores: 8,8,8,9 - a total of 33 for Rose and Giovanni.

Shirley thought Rose was a class act and it had some great shaping, despite the stumble at the end. Anton thought it was marvellous and he loved the intensity at the beginning, but Rose’s line could be more finished. Craig though it was a bit upright and stiff and there was too much forward and back; he didn’t feel Rose powered around the floor but he loved Rose playing the femme fatale. Cynthia loved the power and the tension, well done Rose.

Very much enjoying the drama of this, and Rose is doing some nice fan work in the opening solo section. Great intent and nice timing from Rose, and love the Flamenco section in the middle, but would have liked a bit more power - it feels a bit soft in places. Great start to the show though, really enjoyed that.

Rose and Giovanni
Rose and Giovanni Photograph: Guy Levy/BBC


First up tonight - it's Rose and Giovanni!

Their Week Ten dance is the Paso Doble to ‘California Dreamin’ by Sia. This is essentially a shouty version of the Mamas & The Papas original, so it could work really well as a Paso. Rose does brilliant characterisation and storytelling, so I have high hopes for this.

Out come the judges! Cynthia got the Motsi dress code brief and has gone for scarlet sequins with a top half that looks a bit like a wetsuit. Great work at such short notice.

Out come the stars! Fringing ahoy this week, and am loving JoJo in Argentine mode. BRING IT.


Tess in spray-on scarlet with midriff staples, Claudia in a Sandy from Grease catsuit and a pearly queen jacket.

I think Tess’s dress might be my favourite of the season. It looks FABULOUS. Actually both of them look amazing, good work.

And we’re off! Only six couples left, and only three are going to make it to the Grand Final. They all love the training room.

I haven’t mentioned this so far this season, but I love the focus on training room footage over dubious comedy VTs. I like to think we moaned about it long enough to kill it off, even though it took years.

Celebrity Hit List is quite dramatic, isn’t it? Also they’re not very good at it, which is making me QUITE VOCAL. But not as vocal as Joanne Clifton; only dogs can hear her now.


This week’s Strictly Come Bingo – TIMELESS CLICHÉ EDITION

Take a sip of your first Mint Baileys of the year for any occurrence of the following:

  • “It’s been such a journey”
  • “I’m so proud”
  • “That’s your best dance so far”
  • “I’m feeling quite emotional”
  • “The Rumba is a difficult dance for a man”

Heidi’s Hunches – it’s a show of two halves

So we’ve got six couples left, and if general dancing prowess/consistency of performance is anything to go by (and that’s by no means a given in these strange judging times), it still looks like AJ, John and Rose for the Grand Final.

In some ways it’s a shame that Robert left the show and it isn’t a four-way final, because I think the battle for the fourth place would have been very hard fought between Dan, Rhys and Tilly. Also worth noting that AJ has her Couple’s Choice tonight, which just leaves John and Johannes who haven’t played that particularly joker. Next week, maybe?

So who’s going tonight? Dan’s got a Rumba, which in any other year would be an exit through a trapdoor in the Strictly dancefloor. But Rhys has a Waltz and he’s not at his best in hold, and Tilly has a Samba of Doom, so anything could happen. I’m not ruling out a HUGE upset - there’s definitely still time. EXCITING (and also quite stressful).

It’s a Strictly special on The Hit List tonight, which makes it 400% more watchable (although we’re starting from a very low base).

We’ve made it to Week Ten!

Evening all, and welcome to this week’s Strictly Come Dancing Liveblog! Today we’ve been battered by Storm Anwen from the north and the Omnicron variant from the south, but thankfully we call all opt out of the madness for an hour and immerse ourselves in a communal Strictly glitterbath. Who’s in?

It’s week ten, we’ve got six couples left and four shows to go, and the pressure is ON to pull something special out of the bag this weekend and grab a coveted place in next week’s quarter-final.

No themes this week, which means it would usually be the shortest show of the contest before we up the stakes to TWO DANCES next week. But looking at the schedule, two dances appears to is just the semi-final this year, so next week’s show is even shorter. PRAISE BE.

Craig is back on the judging panel this week, but now Motsi is off because she’s been in contact with someone with a positive Covid test and isn’t being exempt from isolation because she had her jabs in Germany. So Cynthia Erivo is back for another week as supply judge, and I hope someone’s made it clear that taking Motsi’s seat comes with its own special dress code.

Kick off tonight is 6.55pm, so gather family, pets and cheesy nibbles and I’ll see you then!


Heidi Stephens

The GuardianTramp

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