And that’s it for Week Five! Thank you so much for joining in, it makes all this frantic tapping away so much more worthwhile. I’ll be back next Saturday at 7.10pm for the HALLOWEEN SPOOKTACULAR, so please join me then for Chilling Cha Chas and Terrifying Tangos. In the meantime you can find me on Twitter @heidistephens, or in all good bookshops. See you next week! Hx
Ugo and Oti share heartfelt thanks, then take to the floor for their final dance, to ‘Love Really Hurts Without You’ by Billy Ocean.
Claudia’s leggings are like a Magic Eye. If you stare at them long enough a dolphin appears.
I’m sad to say goodbye to Ugo and Oti – Oti is a goddess, obviously, but I feel like there’s genuine friendship in this partnership and Ugo has been on a proper Strictly journey. But at least we now know that Oti isn’t going to do a glitterball hat trick, which is probably a relief for everyone at the BBC.
UGO AND OTI are leaving Strictly!
Judging time! The judges all save Rhys and Nancy, including Shirley, which is progress.
Now it’s time for Rhys and Nancy. I enjoyed this American Smooth last night, and it definitely didn’t deserve to be in the bottom two. But I don’t think the pilot theming did it any favours, and Dan/Adam/Sara being low on the leaderboard was always going to put the forgettable middle table at risk.
Dance off time! Ugo is a great sport and is giving this Rumba his very best effort, but it’s not in the same league as much of the dancing last night. Lovely song though.
Adam in tight jeans and formal shoes has a huge suburban 80s nightclub vibe. Strictly no trainers, free pomagne for the ladies.
Couple’s Choice klaxon! Sara and Aljaz next week. Aljaz has never done one before, apparently. Will Sara give her CC backstory a spooky edge?
‘Don’t worry about the steps and the choreography,” says Anton to Ugo. “None of that matters now.’
Since when??? Last week Shirley was counting mistakes.
So Rhys was sixth out of ten on the leaderboard last night, above Sara, Adam and Dan, so we know where the popular vote is going. Unless Ugo has a miracle and Rhys has a disaster Rhys will be back to dance next week, but this will undoubtedly give his confidence a knock.
So who’s joining Rhys and Nancy in the dance off? Rose and Giovanni are safe, along with Dan and Nadiya, Adam and Katya and Sara and Aljaz.
Which means UGO AND OTI in the bottom two. Blimey, that was a bit tense.
Come on, this is an absolute tune. Honestly, go and see Craig David live, he’s amazing. Also loving this bit of commercial dance from Neil and Dianne. Doesn’t Neil teach Street Dance classes? He’s amazing too.
Time for a musical interlude, courtesy of Craig David and MNEK, who are performing their new single ‘Who You Are’.
I would like to take this opportunity to point out that I am a HUGE Craig David fan, and if you’re mean about him I WILL have you banished to one of those comment boxes where people start comments with ‘Methinks’ and then do angry shouting about Jeremy Corbyn.
TURN IT UP LOUD.
Wait, what? I think Nikita just said that he won’t eat small, round things like peas and beans and lentils. Was ‘small round things’ just the phrase he used because he couldn’t remember the word ‘pulses’, or is it specifically small, round food that he won’t eat? Like, will he eat Maltesers? I need more information.
So who’s safely through to next week’s Halloween Spooktacular? Tilly and Nikita are safe, along with John and Johannes, Tom and Amy and AJ and Kai.
First couple in the bottom two: RHYS AND NANCY. Well, there you go.
Previously on Strictly, a highly entertaining pre-Halloween warm-up.
Highlights: The DANCING. My goodness it’s great this year. Also John’s drunk mate Shirley, who I think may have killed off ‘live feed of friends in the pub’ for good. Please give me ‘I’m WET (with the sweat)’ on a t-shirt.
Lowlights: Anton’s Len impression, the Rumba generally, Adam’s thrusty jeggings. I’m normally a huge supporter of This Kind Of Thing but…maybe less is more?
Out come the judges! Motsi’s looking spectacular in scarlet, is there anything she can’t wear?
TESS AND CLAUDIA DRESS WATCH!
Tess in black strapless, Claudia in Rod Stewart’s old leggings.
And we’re off! Ba Ba Ba etc. Incidentally, I strongly recommend you do NOT drink for mentions of Halloween this evening. It’s a school night, and there will be many.
Tonight’s pro dance has a sixties theme, to ‘Satisfaction’ by the Rolling Stones. Neil’s got a yellow helmet, and Graziano’s turned up in a suit. Not sure why; it’s all a bit sensory overload.
Tonight’s Countryfile Casual Weatherperson is the splendid Stav Danaos absolutely rocking a barn dance-tastic plaid shirt with rolled-up sleeves. It’s untucked so we can’t see his lower half, but let’s assume it’s a pair of Adam Peaty Jeggings. 9/10 well done Stav.
Meanwhile let’s take a ramble around the Countryfile Calendar Universe. It’s Children In Need Ramble week, and some of these amazing kids are stirring up the dust in my living room.
SUNDAY NIGHT RESULTS SHOW UPDATE!
Evening all, and welcome back to this week’s Strictly Results show! Last night was a good show all round, and it makes a huge difference for the wellbeing of the liveblogger when we dip below two hours.
Tonight’s dance-off feels like a done deal – I think Ugo and Oti’s time is up, but I’m interested to see who might be down there with them. According to last night’s leaderboard it should be Sara and Aljaz, but I’m not so sure. Kick-off is at 7.15pm, so let’s see how the evening pans out.
And that’s IT for another Strictly Saturday – thank you for joining in and being brilliant and funny as ever. I’ll be back tomorrow at 7.15pm for the Results Show, so please join me then for another nail-biting dance-off. AND Craig David and MNEK, which I’m very excited about because I love them both. Enjoy the rest of your evening! Hx
The voting is open!
John and Johannes are at the top of the leaderboard, but it’s Ugo and Oti and Sara and Aljaz at the bottom. See? The curse of the Rumba, hopefully we won’t have to watch them both again tomorrow. I can see the public saving Sara and Aljaz, but I think Ugo is definitely in trouble.
Time for a big old recap – which of tonight’s ten couples were your favourites? My highlights were Tilly and Nikita, AJ and Kai, John and Johannes and Rose and Giovanni, but it was great show all round, I thought.
Scores: 8,8,8,8 - a total of 32 for Rhys and Nancy.
Anton thought it was very good and Rhys is becoming a much more confident dancer, despite some arm issues. Craig noticed that Rhys lost his balance and he needs to maintain his frame, but he could watch him dance all night. Motsi thought it was a great performance and Rhys showed how diverse he is, but he needs to see himself up there and then he can get there*. Shirley loved the enthusiasm, but Rhys needs to learn how to contain it.
*I know it looks like I’m just typing nonsense, but this is verbatim.
So the premise of this is that Rhys and Nancy are pilots. Commercial, rather than fighter. It adds very little to this American Smooth, but Rhys is doing a good job of keeping his luggage in the overhead locker. Like his Salsa, Rhys has a tendency to be a bit big in his movements, but this is much more controlled dance despite some timing issues in the middle. A classy landing at the end, really enjoyed that.
And finally, it’s Rhys and Nancy!
This week they’re dancing the American Smooth to ‘I’ve Got The World On a String’ by Michael Bublé. Rhys had a challenging week last week, but now he’s got a chance to redeem himself with a classy American Smooth. I almost put him in the danger zone this week, but I think after a bad week last week Rhys is going to come out fighting.
Scores: 9,10,9,9 - a total of 37 for Rose and Giovanni.
Shirley thought it was like watching her life story with her past husbands, and she loved how Rose sold it. Anton thought it was terrific, even though Rose missed the fleckerl. Craig thought it was FAB-U-LUSS, and Motsi has to say that she don’t think she has to say anything, then goes on to say quite a lot.
Is there something in the Strictly water this evening? It all feels a bit unhinged.
I’m loving the dramatic storytelling of this, and Rose’s dress is DIVINE. Another stunning bit of ballroom from Rose, she makes this look effortless and she’s GLUED to Giovanni - not a gap in sight. LOVED that.
Next up it’s Rose and Giovanni!
This week they’re dancing the Viennese Waltz to ‘Fallin’’ by Alicia Keys. This is a gorgeous song, and I have every hope of this being a perfectly dreamy Viennese. I genuinely can’t remember the last time I enjoyed a Strictly partnership as much as these two – there’s a beautiful dancer inside Rose, and it’s lovely to watch Giovanni bring out the best in her.
One of John’s friends is in the pub screaming about how wet she is after watching that. OKAAAY.
Scores: 9,9,10,10 - a total of 38 for John and Johannes.
Motsi thought it was spectacular - they are definitely the couple to beat. Shirley thought it was flawless, and Anton agrees - it was just amazing, and he loved the baguette-ography. Craig loved the French vibe and it took him back to dancing in the Moulin Rouge with a fish on his head in 1988.
I have no idea what’s happening. Just keep drinking.
So John and Johannes are bakers in pastel cravats, and I would definitely watch this Netflix Christmas Movie even if it didn’t feature Vanessa Hudgens. Also FOOD, so drink!
Lovely baguette work, and incredible synchronisation and slapstick elements. Some nice lifts too, and plenty of Charleston basics. Really enjoyed that, FAB-U-LUSS.
It’s time for John and Johannes!
This week they’re dancing the Charleston to ‘Milord’ by Édith Plaf. As far as I can tell this is the first time anyone danced to Piaf on Strictly, and I’m very much looking forward to the Dave Arch Singers going full chanteuse. Almost as much as I’m looking forward to this Charleston – I have a sneaky feeling it’s going to be 100% amazing. JoJo do their best work side by side, and this is going to be very much up John’s street, I think.
Scores: 3,6,5,6 - a total of 20 for Ugo and Oti. I strongly suspect we’ll be seeing that again tomorrow.
Craig thought it lacked musicality - it was stiff and a bit heavy-footed. Motsi liked the atmosphere of hot chocolate sauce (?), but everything else needed to be clearer. Shirley loved watching them dance but Ugo’s frame and posture was off and he needed a better vertical line. Anton could feel the fear but he liked the way they sloshed about.
Anton, please stop trying to be Len. We liked you better when you were Anton, and that’s not something I ever imagined saying.
This is definitely more passionate than Sara and Aljaz’s Rumba, and the music is better too. But there’s quite a lot of wrestling and not enough hip action for my liking, and it’s definitely lacking Rumba basics. Oti is a goddess, but not a great night for Ugo.
Ugo and Oti are back!
After a week off with back problems, Ugo and Oti are dancing the Rumba to ‘Leave The Door Open’ by Bruno Mars, Anderson Paak and Silk Sonic. Can Ugo give us a sexy Rumba with proper shaping and foot pressure or whatever? I’m going to go with ‘no’, but I’m very open to being pleasantly surprised.
Scores: 8,8,10,9 - a total of 35 for AJ and Kai.
Anton loved the quality of AJ’s lines, and this dance was terrific. Craig wanted more follow and reaction but the amount of Argentine content was amazing. Motsi loved how much potential AJ showcased, it was a phenomenal performance. Shirley gives a standing ovation, and AJ’s feet were world championship level. Best dance so far.
AJ and Kai are iin a giant bird cage - that’s furniture, right? I’m actually really liking this - it’s got all the tension and attack an Argentine should have and AJ’s doing some nice legwork despite being dressed as the Why Bird off Playdays. Gosh, that all got a bit steamy at the end.
It's time for AJ and Kai!
This week they’re dancing the Argentine Tango to ‘Edge of Seventeen’ by Stevie Nicks, which begs the question of why they didn’t go the whole hog and dance it to ‘Bootylicious’ by Destiny’s Child. AJ got her long legs in a tangle over the Samba last week, but I feel like they may come into their own with an Argentine Tango.
Somebody asked in the comment box last week why Kai is sexy, and I still haven’t worked it out. I have children older than Kai, and yet. I’ve decided it’s because he looks like he could do Salsa hips round your kitchen, then pop his t-shirt back on to fix that wonky shelf in your airing cupboard. It’s a heady combination.
Scores: 9,9,9,9 - a total of 36 for Tilly and Nikita.
Shirley thought Tilly had taken it a step forward this week, and she loved how Tilly and Nikita were glued together - it was unbelievable. Anton thought it was joyous (his transformation into Len continues), and Craig agrees - it had flow, elegance and grace - absolutely GAWJUS. Motsi thought it was great quality, it was elegant and classy.
That’s definitely furniture - drink! This is lovely and romantic from Tilly, and her footwork looks really impressive. A classic Foxtrot with some nice storytelling - really enjoyed that.
Who’s next? It’s Tilly and Nikita!
This week they’re dancing the Foxtrot to ‘Little Things’ by One Direction. This 1D song entirely passed me by, hopefully Tilly’s Foxtrot won’t do the same.
Have been very much enjoying Tilly giving Steve thingy off LBC a piece of her mind this week – it’s not OK, and he should know better. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, I highly recommend you stay that way.
Scores: 8,9,9,8 - a total of 34 for Tom and Amy.
Motsi loved that Tom didn’t play it safe, and it was his best dance. Shirley agrees - it was exciting and had powerful energy. Anton liked the loose style that Tom adopted, and it had great speed and momentum even thought Tom got chinned by Amy in the first lift. Craig thought Tom led the dance well but he wanted more figure-eight rotation in the hips. It was a bit boppy for him, but Tom is going from strength to strength.
Well this is all quite fun, isn’t it? Not sure about this Watermelon Sugar party remix, but Tom is doing a very solid job of this Salsa. It’s a bit frantic in places and the transitions in and out of the lifts are a bit ‘deep breath’, but his Salsa basics are pretty great. Good job Tom.
Next up - Tom and Amy!
This week they’re dancing the Salsa to ‘Watermelon Sugar’ by Harry Styles, which Styles has recently confirmed is about the female orgasm. I don’t know if Tom and Amy plan to factor this theme into their Salsa, but it would certainly make a change from hip-hop and disco. Aside from being absolute filth, it’s quite a laid-back song for a party Salsa, but let’s go with it.
Scores: 4,7,7,7 - a total of 25 for Sara and Aljaz.
Craig thought it was all too polite and conversational, and he didn’t see the partnership come together. Motsi liked the Cuban motion, but she loved the connection between them. Shirley thought their Rumba was balletic and warm, but it needed more pendulum action - didn’t Adam use up the ration coupons for pendulum action?
Anton doesn’t liked the bump and grind style of Rumba, but he does like the love story kind. Sara’s leg action was lovely, but she needs to shift her weight forward a bit.
Sara and Aljaz are dancing in front of a giant Terry’s chocolate orange, and Sara is actually doing a very decent job of this. Aljaz does a very good job of showcasing her, and even though Sara’s frame looks a bit clunky in places and it’s entirely platonic and unsexy, this is not the worst Rumba we’ve ever seen.
It’s time for Sara and Aljaž!
This week they’re dancing the Rumba to ‘You’re Still The One’ by Shania Twain. Not sure about this song for a Rumba, but then I’m not sure about the Rumba generally. We’ve seen so few good ones, I still don’t really know what it’s supposed to look like. But we’ve got two of them this evening, so that’s nice.
Scores: 7,7,8,7 - a total of 29 for Adam and Katya.
Anton thought Adam’s Sarmba was amazing, but he doesn’t really know why. There was a lot of gyrating and lunges, but he liked it. Adam’s hips made Craig twitch (LOL), but it lacked fluidity in some of the transitions. Motsi loved Adam’s personality on the dancefloor and there was some earthy Samba stuff, but he got stuck in places. Shirley thought it was fantastic in comparison to his Rumba, and even though it lacked a bit of flow she was bowled over by it.
Aaand, once again in slow motion.
Adam is wearing the tightest jeans in history, and when I say this Samba is ‘a bit stiff’ I’m going to leave that fully open to interpretation. The Samba basics are a bit lacking in Latin flow, but you can fault Adam for hip isolations. I need a lie down.
Next up - Adam and Katya!
This week they’re dancing the Samba to ‘Faith’ by George Michael. In a conversation with a friend about when we’re both on Strictly (obviously only a matter of time) and get to dance the entire season to George Michael/Wham! songs (because why wouldn’t you), we agreed that Faith was a Quickstep song, and the Samba would definitely be danced to Club Tropicana. So this is all wrong right from the offset, and I’d like to lodge a complaint.
Scores: 7,7,7,7 - a total of 28 for Dan and Nadiya.
Shirley thought it was elegant from Dan, but she wants him to believe in himself. Anton thought it was almost perfect, but Dan missed a step. He recovered well, and his partnering was great. Craig wanted more feeling and flow, especially in Dan’s arms, but the steps were all there and he did really well. Motsi loved how dedicated and delicate Dan was with Nadiya, but he shouldn’t be afraid to use his long legs.
Nobody should look good in that dress, but Motsi is KILLING IT. Nadiya, meanwhile looks like someone ran over The Little Mermaid.
Fairy lights! Drink! Dan looks very dapper in a John Lewis wedding suit, and this has some nice Viennese spinning. Dan’s feet have a tendency to turn in and he loses his balance on occasion, but he’s improved massively since Week One and this is actually rather charming. Good opening to the show, nice work Dan.
First up tonight - Dan and Nadiya!
This week they’re dancing the Viennese Waltz to ‘She’s Always a Woman’ by Billy Joel. This is a John Lewis song, which is ideal because Dan is the essence of John Lewis. Dependable, reassuringly sensible, never knowingly undersold. Extra drink if Dan dedicates this dance to his wife/mum/nan.
Oh, there it is. One of Mrs Walker’s favourite songs, apparently.
Out come the stars! Rhys and Nancy are dressed as pilots, and Nadiya’s dress looks like roadkill. Otherwise nothing horribly offensive, but we’ll inspect in more detail later.
Tess and Claudia Dress Watch!
Sparkles all round - Tess in asymmetric pink, Claudia in drop-waisted black. They both look stunning.
Out come the judges! Motsi’s been gift wrapped. First mention of Halloween! Drink!
And we’re off! More soft focus slo-mo. Everyone’s working hard, and the pressure is ON. Oti is still booping Ugo’s nose in the credits, and it still makes me itchy. Only 412 weeks to go!
Tonight on the (S)hitlist - Marvin and Rochelle both channelling 50 Shades Of Beige.
This week’s Strictly Come Bingo!
It’s a prop special this week – have a slug of something delicious for any occurrence of the following:
- Outdoor furniture (includes benches, pergolas, lampposts and café tables)
- Fairy lights
- Any kind of aerial contraption
- Prop food
- Prop vehicles/Tess’s white horse
Also a bonus drink for any early mentions of Halloween, because why the hell not. It’s nearly payday.
Heidi’s Hunches...who’s up and who’s down?
Man, this is getting tough now. I’ve kept the top three the same, even though none of them had a particularly brilliant week last week. Sara is snapping at all their heels, and if she can deliver a top notch Rumba this evening she could be moving into the Grand Final Zone. I’ve obviously taken Judi and Graziano out of the ‘happy to see Halloween’ group, because they’ve got a reprieve from the bottom two and an instant bye into Halloween Week. I fully expect to see some Twitter eggs FROTHING about this tomorrow, like she got Covid on purpose or something.
All of which means Ugo and Oti are dancing in the danger zone this weekend, with the double whammy of a Rumba after a week off with back problems. Dan’s down there too, because he’s definitely one of the weaker dancers left in the competition now, and you can only ride the wave of novelty dad dancing for so long. And finally, Adam, because the Samba is the Dance of Death – here’s hoping he’ll be more Kelvin Fletcher than Greg Wise.
Group 1: gunning for the Grand Final – AJ and Kai, John and Johannes, Rose and Giovanni.
Group 2: driving for December – Sara and Aljaz. Tilly and Nikita, Tom and Amy, Rhys and Nancy, Judi and Graziano.
Group 3: happy to see Halloween, Ugo and Oti, Dan and Nadiya, Adam and Katya.
It's Week Five on Strictly!
Evening all, and welcome to this week’s Strictly Come Dancing liveblog! It’s the weekend commonly know as pre-Halloween, where everyone talks a lot about wanting to make it to the Halloween Spooktactular so they can legitimately dance a Salsa that looks like a sack of old bones.
But before that, our ten* remaining couples are locked and loaded for another evening of shaking their thang on the Strictly dancefloor. Ugo and Oti are back from injury, but Judi and Graziano are off because Judi has Covid. Aside from the launch, have we had a single week where we’ve managed a full house? Sending happy thoughts to Judi, hope she’s back on the Strictly dancefloor soon.
In other news, there’s no Couple’s Choice again this week; obviously this is joyous news, but it also bodes badly for a contempowaft/hip hop-heavy Halloween.
Kick off is at 7.15pm, so grab your nanna and some snacks, and I’ll see you then!
*at time of writing. Who the hell knows.