So that’s IT for another Strictly Halloween! Thank you for joining in and keeping the comment box cobweb-free. The spooky props and plastic pumpkins can be put back in their boxes for another year - next week we’re back to normal Strictly business as we reach the halfway point of this year’s series.
Kick off is at 6.45pm, so please join me then! In the meantime you can find me on Twitter @heidistephens, so feel free to swing by and say hello. Have a great week!
Judi and Graz say lots of lovely things about each other (life changing experience, friends for lifeTM DRINK), then take to the floor for their final dance, to ‘Bat Out Of Hell’ by Meat Loaf.
JUDI AND GRAZIANO ARE LEAVING STRICTLY!
Time for the judging, and it’s no great surprise that the judges all save Adam and Katya. He shouldn’t have been in the dance-off really, but that’s the way Strictly goes. The Grand Final is usually the right people, we just have to go on a rollercoaster ride to get there.
And now it’s time for Judi and Graziano. I’ve really enjoyed watching these two, they’ve been great value and they’ve given good Instagram. If anything the timing here is worse than last night - I think mentally Judi has already left the building. But who amongst us felt like doing a Cha Cha in a leotard a week after Covid? I know I didn’t.
Dance-off time! Adam and Katya are up first to deliver their slightly ponderous, cobwebby Viennese. I think one thing we learned last night is that the Strictly audience prefers AC/DC to Beethoven, and also prefers Adam when he’s wearing fewer clothes. Quite a few mistakes in there, but I’m sure he’s done enough to stay.
So it’s Adam and Katya vs. Judi and Graziano. I think it’s reasonable to assume that Judi and Graziano are going home, unless Adam really stuffs this up or Katya gets trapped inside that piano.
But can we also acknowledge the public support for Sara (or possibly Aljaz’s outfit), Tom and Dan? I don’t think it will last, we’re getting to the sharp end now. But the people definitely have their favourites.
So who’s joining Adam and Katya in the dance off? Dan and Nadiya are safe, along with AJ and Kai, John and Johannes and Tom and Amy.
Which means JUDI AND GRAZIANO in the dance-off.
Time for a musical interlude, courtesy of jazz legend Gregory Porter singing his latest single ‘Dry Bones’. Bonus points for knocking up a theme-appropriate song, did Strictly put an order in?
He’s accompanied by Cameron and Jowita doing a sexy Jive. It’s quite fabulous, particularly if you’ve eaten a lot of sweets and are bouncing off the walls.
Well, that’s interesting. Adam and Katya were sixth out of ten on the leaderboard, which means at least two of Tom, Dan and Judi have been saved by the public vote despite scoring fewer points from the judges. Who’s going to be down there with him? One of those three, or someone else from the middle table?
So who’s safely through to dance again next week? Rhys and Nancy are through (so pleased for them, well deserved), along with Rose and Giovanni (obvs), Tilly and Nikita and Sara and Aljaz (WELL).
First couple in the bottom two: ADAM AND KATYA.
Last night on Strictly: plenny of tricks and a few special treats.
Highlights: Four tens for Rose and Giovanni, Tilly showing us how a Cha Cha should be done, JoJo’s giant quiffs, the Dave Arch Singers’ rendition of Highway To Hell, Aljaz’s leather harness, Motsi’s horns.
Lowlights: Scoring madness, some tepid lobsters, Couple’s Choice (generally, but particularly that one), Adam’s ropey powdered wig.
TESS AND CLAUDIA DRESS WATCH!
Black all round, Claudia going for Betty’s Tea Room chic again, Tess in a feathery-skirted tux. It’s the one night they can legitimately look horrific, and it’s all a bit pedestrian.
And we’re off! Tonight’s show opens with a haunting pro dance, featuring Kai dancing with a ghostly Nadiya, who steps out of a painting into some ankle fog. She’s followed by King Gorka and his evil henchmen, and there’s some kind of good vs. evil battle. Well, that was dark.
When did the BBC start putting such stressful TV on a Sunday night? It’s supposed to be stuff that gently eases us out of the weekend, like Countryfile and Antiques Roadshow and Harry Secombe’s Highway. Down with this sort of thing.
Incidentally, one of the upsides of being chained to my laptop on Halloween night is that the job of answering the front door to local witches and ghouls has been delegated to my beloved. He’s dressed as the grim reaper and is doing a sterling job.
SUNDAY NIGHT RESULTS SHOW UPDATE!
Happy Halloween everyone, and welcome back for tonight’s Spooktacular Results Show! Last night’s show wasn’t everyone’s cup of terrifying tea, but I actually quite enjoyed it. The thrillers (AJ, Tilly, Rose) more than made up for the graveyard mulch.
Tonight we say a ghoulish goodnight to another one of our creepy couples (I’ll stop the alliteration soon, I promise), which will push us over the line into November and (finally!) shows that have fewer than ten couples and run for less than ninety minutes.
We’ll be lifting the creaky lid on the Strictly Results at 7.15pm, so join me then. Sadly they’ve shifted Countryfile for Doctor Who, but I did catch the Casual Weather earlier. I think the politest way to describe Louise Lear’s look would be ‘busy’.
See you in a bit!
See you tomorrow for the results!
And that’s it for this year’s Halloween dancing! I’ll be back here tomorrow at 7.15pm for the Sunday night Results show, so please join me then. Thank you to everyone who joined in; you are the hocus to my pocus and the candles in my pumpkin. See you tomorrow, and don’t forget to put your clocks back! Wooooooo, etc.
Who’s your favourite this week? Despite the Halloween chaos, I actually really enjoyed tonight’s show.
Great performances from AJ and Kai, Rose and Giovanni and Tilly and Nikita, and a solid improvement from Rhys and Nancy too. I don’t think John and Johannes had their best night, but I can’t see them being in the bottom two.
The dancing is done, and the voting is open!
Rose and Giovanni are at the top of the leaderboard, and Sara and Aljaz are at the bottom, putting them in line for the Dangerous Dance Off. It wasn’t a great night for Sara, but she and Aljaz are definitely some of the people’s favourites.
Scores: 7,8,7,7 - a total of 29 for Tom and Amy.
Anton thought it was a bit loose and not Tom’s best dance. Craig thought Tom was leaning and arching his back, which made his bottom stick out, but it had a lot of traditional Tango content which he loved. Motsi thought Tom and Amy took a risk and they gave it the right energy, but it needed more still elements. Shirley thought it was a good effort and Tom is a powerful dancer, but it was a bit loosey in places.
The Strictly motorbike is back, and Tom definitely slipped in the sign of the horn there. This is a confident Tango from Tom, but it lacks finesse in his footwork and doesn’t quite come together for me.
Not his best dance, I don’t think, but that was a banging version of Highway To Hell. 10/10 to Dave Arch.
And finally…it’s Tom and Amy!
Their Halloween choice is the Tango to ‘Highway to Hell’ by AC/DC. Bill Bailey broke the heavy rock mould last year with Metallica’s ‘Enter Sandman’, and what could be more metal than AC/DC and *checks notes* Tom Fletcher?
Bonus drink if Tom makes the Sign Of The Horns with his fingers.
Scores: 4,7,7,7 - a total of 25 for Judi and Graziano. Boo, Craig.
Shirley loved how Judi stayed absolutely in time, and she had a great hip twist. Anton though it was actually rather pleasing, and Judi’s leg action and footwork was pretty good. Craig thought it was flat-footed, stompy and didn’t work at all. Motsi thought Judi looked determined and comfortable on the dancefloor - well done.
I mean, it wasn’t perfect, but I enjoyed it considerably more than Dan’s Jive.
Can I just say that Judi looks INCREDIBLE in that pink number, and Graz in electric blue leggings is quite special. They’ve thrown in some CGI zombies for spook appeal, but actually this is really fun. Very evidently under-rehearsed from Judi, but that’s hardly her fault so hopefully the judges will take that into account.
It's time for Judi and Graziano!
This week they’re dancing the Cha Cha Cha to ‘Physical’ by Olivia Newton-John. Now obviously this isn‘t remotely spooky, but Judi gets a free pass because this was the dance planned for last week, and she hasn’t had time to rehearse a new one since she was let out of Covid jail.
And in many ways this WAS one of the more terrifying songs of the 80s. Let me hear your body talk? That’s just weird. Also flashbacks to the world’s most overlit music video.
Incidentally, I’m loving Leotard Graziano in this VT.
Scores: 6,8,8,7 - a total of 29 for Adam and Katya. Eights? Really? Are Motsi and Shirley high?
Motsi loved the intensity of the drama, but Adam let his frame go at the end. Shirley loved the determination and Adam has really improved, but he needs to put his derriere away. Anton loved Adam’s left arm, but the right arm still needs work. Craig thought it was a bit laboured and lacked flow, but it’s a joy to watch Adam dance.
Goodness, the CGI gods are spoiling us. Nadiya climbs out of a piano, which I definitely saw on Eurovision once. There’s some nice footwork from Adam, albeit a bit too much rise and fall for a Viennese and it all gets a bit arm-wavy out of hold. Loving the haunting Beethoven drama, but not a patch on AJ and Kai’s Viennese earlier.
Next up…Adam and Katya!
Their Halloween choice is the Viennese Waltz to ‘Moonlight Sonata’ by Ludwig Van Beethoven
I guess moonlight is definitely spooky in a werewolf capacity. At other times it’s just the sun reflecting off the moon, which is just science. We have nothing to fear from science.
Scores: 8,9,9,9 - a total of 35 for Tilly and Nikita.
Gordon’s on Zoom being an embarrassing dad. Awks.
Craig loved the character work in that, and Tilly danced it really well. Motsi found it really entertaining, and there were some difficult steps. Shirley thought it had staccato and great flexibility, and her leg action was wonderful even in green tights. Anton thought it was the best dance that Tilly has done all series. Absolutely agree, she’s a great all-rounder and a definite contender.
Loving Nikita as Frankenstein’s monster, and there’s some really nice control in this Cha Cha from Tilly. She’s very good with changes of pace and maintaining her frame thoughout, and her hip motion is great. Definitely one of the better Cha Chas we’ve seen this year.
Up next, it’s Tilly and Nikita!
Their Halloween choice is the Cha Cha Cha to ‘Spooky Movies’ by Gary Paxton, which is the kind of obscure yet theme-appropriate song choice we fully support. Apparently this is on the soundtrack to Stranger Things, which I have never watched.
Scores: 10,10,10,10 - it’s a full house for Rose and Giovanni. DRINK EVERYTHING.
Ed Sheeran’s on the Zoom. I mean, it’s no Wet Shirley, is it?
Anton thought it was perfect, and takes his hat off. Craig learns the sign for ‘you smashed it’, and Motsi thought it was EPIC. Shirley has consulted her skull (don’t ask) and it was fabulous. Things have got weird, tens all round? Get your bottle ready.
Loving Rose as the Ice Queen, she gets all the best outfits. This is a fabulous Tango with some really sharp footwork from Rose and bags of Tango attitude. Her hair has a whiff of a curtain tie-back about it, but loving the dancing. FAB-U-LUSS.
Who’s next? It’s Rose and Giovanni!
Their Halloween dance is the Tango to ‘Shivers’ by Ed Sheeran. This is an excellent contemporary Halloween choice, and I am very here for it. Rose does her best work in hold, and if I was her I’d be glued to Giovanni like a bat on a roof truss. So I have very high hopes for this being one of the dances of the night.
Scores: 4,7,6,6 - a total of 23 for Sara and Aljaz.
Shirley loved the focus, but something wasn’t quite right in this number - not her cup of tea either. Anton thought Sara was uncertain out of hold, but in hold was flying across the floor; unfortunately it was more out of hold than in. Craig didn’t think it was musical and it was a bit snatchy and grabby, so not great. Motsi loved how Sara challenged herself.
I agree with all of this. Nice to see something different in Couple’s Choice, but it didn’t really work.
So I’ve never seen Game of Thrones, but if it involves Aljaz in that outfit I’m IN. Mostly this is Sara bossing Aljaz around and wrapping him in chains, with lots of Paso elements. Sara is totally fierce and this has bags of attack, but this feels scrappy to me. Not my cup of tea at all, sorry.
It's time for Sara and Aljaz!
This week they’re dancing Couple’s Choice to ‘Queen of the Night’ by Whitney Houston. It’s vaguely Halloween-y, I guess? Especially if Whitney sings it in person.
I’m so sorry.
Scores: 7,9,9,8 - a total of 33 for Rhys and Nancy.
Motsi though it was excellent - Rhys is about control, talent and ambition. Shirley wants to send Rhys a mummy hug (HE’S 28 SHIRLEY), but Anton thought Rhys tried a bit too hard - it got a bit stiff in the upper body. Craig wanted Rhys to dance through the Spanish line and there was way too much attack, but it was commanding and powerful.
Ooh, Rhys and Nancy have giant CGI robots! Rhys is making a good effort at some Spanish line. although his footwork goes awry in places. Some nice knee work, and actually a decent amount of traditional Paso content considering the mad music. More control than we’ve seen from Rhys in a while - really enjoyed that.
Next up…Rhys and Nancy!
This week they’re dancing the Paso Doble to ‘The Eve of the War’ by Jeff Wayne. This is an amazing piece of music for a Paso, have we had War Of The Worlds before? I’m expecting HIGH DRAMA.
Scores: 5,8,7,7 - a total of 27 for Dan and Nadiya. Oh Motsi, really?
Craig thought it was a bit like watching a horror film, and the kicks and flicks were flat-footed and loose and ankle. But it was entertaining. Motsi thought it was Dan’s best Latin dance, but she would have liked him to dance for the whole thing. Shirley thought Dan did very well considering how FREAKISHLY LONG HIS LEGS ARE (going in next week’s bingo), but it was confident performance. Anton thought it was an improvement on previous weeks, so well done.
What’s happening? Dan is doing something that is identifiably a Jive, but it’s incredibly surreal. His kicks and flicks need considerably more energy and it was quite stompy, but it was...kind of fun, I guess?
My son has just informed me about a theory that crustaceans are the evolutionary pinnacle and eventually we’re all going to turn into crabs. OK, well that’s kind of terrifying.
It’s time for Dan and Nadiya!
This week they’re dancing the Jive to Rock Lobster by the B-52’s, whilst dressed as lobsters. What’s scary about this song? It’s kind of trippy and there’s definitely a sinister keyboard thing going on, but it’s fundamentally a song about crustaceans. That said, there is plenty to fear from a Dan Walker Jive. I’m having Scott Mills flashbacks.
Scores: 9,10,9,9 - a total of 37 for AJ and Kai. DRINK for the Halloween ten.
Strictly REALLY wants AJ and Kai to happen, don’t they? I mean, we kind of all do, to be fair.
Anton thought AJ was exquisite to watch, but he wants her to work on the position of her head to be absolutely perfect. Craig loved the body contact, and it was creative and the storytelling was magnificent. Motsi thought it was her favourite dance from AJ and Kai - today AJ threw herself into it and they have amazing chemistry. Shirley loved the footwork and how well AJ holds her frame.
Shirley is enunciating today, has she had elocution lessons?
AJ looks incredible as Medusa, and this is fabulous Viennese with bags of drama. AJ has such a fabulous ballroom frame, and this has lovely flow. Goosebumpy stuff - I absolutely LOVED that.
Next up...it's AJ and Kai!
This week they’re dancing the Viennese Waltz to ‘Dangerous Woman’ by Ariana Grande. I mean, is this Halloween? Does being dangerous equate to being spooky and frightening? I suppose it does, so we’ll let it pass just this once. Also it’s a brilliant song.
Rumours are still circling about a real-life romance between these two, and if that’s true then I’m very happy for them. If not, I’m still happy for them because they’re clearly having a blast. And in the immortal words of Jermaine Stewart, you don’t have to take your clothes off to have a good time.
‘I really like Kai’ says AJ to her cute nephew. ‘Why don’t you just kiss him?’ says nephew. Kids, eh?
Scores: 8,8,9,8 - a total of 33 for John and Johannes.
Shirley thought it was fabulous way to open the show, and John was light on his feet with some fabulous footwork. Anton thought John did a brilliant job as a leader, but he wanted more poise as a follower. Craig thought it could have been a bit cleaner and less repetitive, but he loved the attack. Motsi thought they gave it their best and their ballroom is improving.
Very much enjoying JoJo has be-quiffed werewolves, complete with ankle fog (DRINK). As expected this is an extremely complex and John is doing a sterling job. Some gapping and it gets a bit skippy in places, but a great finish out of hold and a very solid effort. Great start to the show.
First up tonight…it’s John and Johannes!
This week they’re dancing the Quickstep to ‘Bad Moon Rising’ by Creedence Clearwater Revival. We’ll accept this as a rockabilly Halloween song. John’s superpower is his footwork, so I have high hopes for this.
Out come the judges!
Loving Craig as the Mad Hatter and Maleficient Motsi.
Out come the stars! Highlights include Aljaz in a mesh shirt and a leather harness and...sorry, are there other people there?
TESS AND CLAUDIA DRESS WATCH!
Tess in a sexy vicar’s outfit, Claudia in sparkles and power shoulders.
It’s a feem week, which means a bonus pro dance! The general gist seems to be Craig is interviewing movie villains, who want to be part of Strictly. So they’re doing a dance to show them how kind and brilliant they are. Still with me?
OK, so now Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz, Pinocchio and Hermione Grainger are being entertained by all the evil movie villains, like Jafar from Aladdin, Voldemort, the Queen of Hearts, The Joker, Maleficient and Captain Hook. There’s also a choir.
Mostly this quite surreal, and if you’ve ever wondered what Hannibal Lecter would look like doing Samba hips, now you know. At the end the goodies tie up all the baddies, then Neil (dressed as Pinocchio, in possibly his best role ever) gets chased by an evil clown. SLEEP WELL EVERYONE.
And we’re off! Our celebs are pretending that everything’s got a bit spooky and weird, but it’s only Anton in a Scream mask. The most terrifying thing is the acting.
This week's Strictly Come Halloween Bingoooo
Take swig of any evil concoction for any occurrence of the following:
- A song choice that has a tenuous (at best) link to Halloween.
- Spooky ankle fog
- Fright wigs
- Anton going full ‘plenny of tricks and plenny of treats’ Len Goodman
- Halloween tens
Heidi’s Halloween Hunches – a spooky update!
A few changes this week – Judi and Graziano are back in the bottom two, alongside Rhys and Nancy who need to smash tonight’s dance if they’re going to stay out of danger. I’ve also put Dan and Nadiya down there, because they’ve got a Jive and I’m worried about Dan’s legs getting in a tangle. Sara and Aljaz are playing their Couple’s Choice joker this week, so unless they do a Michelle Visage they’re safely into November.
Group 1: zombie walking to the Grand Final – AJ and Kai, John and Johannes, Rose and Giovanni.
Group 2: the macabre middle – Sara and Aljaz. Tilly and Nikita, Tom and Amy, Adam and Katya
Group 3: in grave danger - Judi and Graziano, Rhys and Nancy, Dan and Nadiya
It’s the Strictly Halloween Spooktacular!
Evening all! It’s creepy and It’s kooky, mysterious and spooky, it’s altogether ooky, it’s Strictly Halloween!
After a ghostly hiatus last year, the most batshit and bonkers Strictly week of all is BACK in all its pumpkin-festooned glory. Expect monstrous makeup, creepy costumes and frightening footwork, all in the name of an ancient druid festival that nobody really understands. But whatever, there’s not much else going on at this time of year.
The supernatural action kicks off at 7.10pm live from Hellstree studios and my front room, so grab the most creeptacular members of your family and a bucket of scary snacks, and I’ll see you then!