Join me next Saturday for the GRAND FINAL!
I’ll be back next Saturday for one final spin around the Strictly dancefloor. The Grand Final is a VERY long show that kicks off at 7.15pm, so bring ample supplies.
But the big question is, who’s going to lift the Glitterball on Saturday? Feel free to join in with my annual Twitter poll, or just make your prediction in the comment box.
Thank you SO much for joining me on this wonky weekend – see you next week! Hx
Will and Nancy take to the floor for their final dance, to ‘Don’t You Forget About Me’ by Simple Minds. Already deleted from the Strictly WhatsApp group, I’m afraid. Hey, I don’t make the rules.
What happened to the Strictly pro dance this evening? Wasn’t Craig supposed to be doing a turn? I need more information.
Which means WILL AND NANCY are leaving Strictly!
They both say lovely things about the show and the crew, but notably do NOT thank each other for being amazing or declare themselves to be friends for life. I’m choosing to read plenty into this because we’ve been hearing the same speech for twelve weeks and god knows we need new material.
Eek, this is TENSE. Craig and Motsi both save Fleur and Vito but (GASP) Anton saves Will and Nancy because Fleur did a dodgy dismount. So it’s all down to Shirley…who saves (based on the MICRO DETAILS)…FLEUR AND VITO.
I’m not sure that decision should have been QUITE that hard, but fair play to the judges for milking that moment until mastitis set in.
Dance off time
Fleur and Vito are up first – I didn’t think this was that great last night, but the judges didn’t agree. So very happy to watch this again – my opinion hasn’t changed, but would argue that Fleur is the stronger dancer overall.
Will and Nancy are up next – I actually weirdly enjoyed this, but I think the whole PJ & Duncan Let’s Get Ready To Rhumble vibe of it just made me laugh. Might be an age thing? Also can we take a moment to acknowledge what a great street dancer Nancy is?
So who’s joining Fleur and Vito in the bottom two? It’s…WILL AND NANCY, which means Helen and Gorka are safely through.
So it’s Fleur vs. Will in the dance-off. Fleur scored 39 for her Charleston and Will scored 38 for his Couple’s Choice, so it’s incredibly close. If Shirley gets the deciding vote, she may well decide to even up the male/female balance next week and plump for Will. WHO KNOWS.
Let the montages begin! Get used to it, everyone – there will be SCORES of them next Saturday.
I might make Strictly Standing an ongoing game next year, just for fun.
Time for some Rylan filler. Apparently It Takes Two with the evicted couple is on straight after this. I won’t be sticking around for that – it’s a school night and I’ve got to be in Bristol by 0730 tomorrow.
Time for a musical interlude, courtesy of the lovely Lewis Capaldi singing his latest single Pointless. Dance-wise, it’s Gio and Katya doing some lovely contempo-wafting in their jimjams.
So which two couples are going through to next Saturday’s GRAND FINAL? Molly and Carlos are safe (and understandably DELIGHTED), along with Hamza and Jowita.
First couple in the bottom two: FLEUR AND VITO.
Well, that’s tough for them. If she’s up against Helen, they’re probably out. But if it’s Will, they might be OK. TENSION.
If you feel around under Tess’s armpits, you might find 50p and the TV remote.
Last night on Strictly: TWO DANCES, most of them quite good considering that’s quite a lot of dances in not very many days and everyone seems quite knackered.
Highlights: Cable knit Bez, Tess and Claud in asymmetric fabulousness, Hayley on vocals.
Lowlights: Paso overload, wild overscoring, Couple’s Choice twisting Will’s Mellor, man.
And we’re off! TESS AND CLAUDIA DRESS WATCH: Tess being throttled by a sofa, Claudia in who the hell knows I couldn’t stop looking AGHAST at Tess.
That was a very confusing beginning. Where’s the opening pro dance?
Much love to the Eastenders character (not sure who he is) who just threw a packet of fags onto Dot’s coffin. The perfect ending – enjoyed that very much.
Right, who’s for some Strictly?
There were Christmas decorations in Albert Square, but the trees at the funeral church are in full autumn colour. This is a whole new level of Eastenders time travel.
Lofty’s finally arrived (sans Michelle, sadly), and Kathy has a lovely hat.
Mary the punk! She looks amazing. Apparently Lofty is on his way, and Ian Beale is skulking in the bushes. Not sure why.
I love that they’re giving Dot the full horse and carriage East End funeral. Colin’s turned up, and Sharon is still there. I’ve just looked up whether Leonard Fenton, who played Dr. Legg, is still with us, but sadly he died earlier this year.
Of all the episodes of Eastenders that could have been shown in this pre-Strictly timeslot, this is the only one that could possibly make any sense to a lapsed viewer like me. I’m absolutely delighted.
OMG that’s RICKAAAAY. No Bianca though, she’s in Germany and Robbie’s in India. No news on Wellard at this time.
Kathy Beale/Mitchell is still there! And I think that’s Brian Conley, which is confusing.
I don’t know who this character is, but I’m pretty sure he’s Strictly’s James Bye. Am reasonably confident I will only recognise the Eastenders people who have been on Strictly, unless they’re pre-1990.
Right, haven’t watched Eastenders in about twenty years, but apparently this is some kind of tribute to Dot Cotton so might give it a watch.
Is that Sonia? I really hope she’s going to play her trumpet at Dot’s funeral.
MONDAY NIGHT RESULTS SHOW UPDATE!
Evening all, and welcome back to this week’s Results Show! Bit odd doing this on a Monday, but we’re back to business as usual for the GRAND FINAL on Saturday. How quickly has that come round? Getting to Halloween felt like a very slow and laborious Waltz, but we’ve been Quickstepping ever since.
Tonight we lose one final couple – arguably the worst time to go out other than Week 2. Based on last night’s scores the dance-off SHOULD be Will and either Helen or Fleur, so I guess this is when we find out just how big Will’s fandom is.
My heart says all five couples should be in the Grand Final, but then my head points out to my very tired hands that the Grand Final is already nearly three hours long so actually can we get rid of two couples please. A Grand Final with over a quarter of the couples we started with twelve weeks ago is stupid anyway.
Tonight’s show kicks off at 8.15pm – see you then!
See you tomorrow for MONDAY results
Thank you SO much for joining in on this chilly Sunday – I’ll be back tomorrow night (forgoing my Monday DanceFit class, for the love of Strictly) for the Results. Kick off is at 8.15pm – see you then! Hx
The dancing is done…
…and the voting is open! Who do we reckon is going out tomorrow? Hamza and Jovita are at the top of the leaderboard, and Will and Nancy are at the bottom – with Helen and Fleur on the same score above him. Will and Fleur for the dance off? You have the power to decide.
Let’s have a recap! Some great dancing this evening considering it was TWO DANCES, but also some wild over-scoring. Whoever goes, it’s going to be a FABULOUS final next week.
Love that Bez from the Happy Mondays is in the Strictly audience, looking like John Craven in a cable knit sweater. I’ve never felt older, frankly.
Scores: 9,10,9,10 – a total of 38 for Will and Nancy.
Anton thought it was brilliant and Will smashed the place up. Craig was nervous it was going to be dad dancing but it went very well. Motsi thought it was a great comeback, and Shirley thought it was a ‘daddy cool’ dance. OK, NOT what I expected. It’s been a weird night.
I never went to the Hacienda in the early 90s because I was a) too square and b) living in Wiltshire.
This has Midlife Crisis Dad at a Festival energy but you can’t fault Will’s commitment to authentic Madchester moves. The synchronicity is fabulous, but I fear the judges are going to hate that with the force of a thousand suns.
And finally tonight, it's Will & Nancy!
Their second dance is Couple’s Choice to a medley of Stone Roses/Happy Mondays songs, so get ready to put your bucket hat on and swagger like it’s 1990. We’re either going to be mad for it, or wishing we were mashed off our faces. Could go either way.
Scores: 9,10,10,10 – a total of 39 for Molly and Carlos. Craig cracks me up, he gives even fewer hoots than Motsi.
Shirley thought Molly got the temperature exactly right – one of the best Paso Dobles she seen. Anton didn’t think Molly would be able to pull that off, but she did. Craig agrees – absolutely fantastic. Motsi just goes with ‘perfection – thank you’ – TENS ALL ROUND?
Well, this has ALL the drama, and Molly’s dress is spectacular. If you can earn a place in the Final with pure attitude, Molly is right there. LOVED that.
Shirley’s on her feet. As are all of you, right?
Next up it's Molly & Carlos!
Their second dance is the Paso Doble to ‘Survivor’ by 2WEI ft Edda Hayes, which is essentially a haunted cover version of the Destiny’s Child banger. From the Tomb Raider soundtrack, apparently – is this actually ‘All The Songs We Didn’t Use In Movie Week’ week?
Scores: 9,10,9,9 – a total of 37 for Hamza and Jowita. Motsi doesn’t give a HOOT anymore.
Motsi thought that was definitely enough – beautiful, soft, pure and authentic. Shirley loved how musical and highly tuned Hamza’s body is, but today he was a bit twisted and there were some footwork errors she has never seen him make. Anton thought it was a joy, but a bit lumpy in places. Craig thought Hamza dances the music rather than the steps – he loved it.
This is as lovely as expected, I’m mostly just watching Hamza’s feet to see if he’s sorted out his pigeon toes. Lovely connection between these two – a few lumps and bumps but this has to get Hamza through to the final, surely? Was that ever in doubt?
Who's next? It's Hamza & Jowita!
Their second dance is the Waltz to ‘What The World Needs Now’ by Burt Bacharach. I love how we’ve made it to Week 11 and they’re rolling out a Waltz. Love this song, and fully expecting this to be totally dreamy.
Scores: 9,10,8,10 – a total of 37 for Helen and Gorka.
Craig wanted more from a few of the details, but otherwise it was amazing. Motsi thought it was intense to watch – that’s the dance to take her into the Final. Shirley loved the timing and the footwork, but Helen’s frame kept collapsing. Anton felt a frisson – it had everything he wanted, and he loved the clarity of the dance.
Helen looks spectacular in that dress, and she is NOT here to play. This Argentine is wants to be pure filth and Helen’s legwork is gorgeous, but this couple is far too platonic for it to feel sexy, and now it all feels a bit Flowers In The Attic. Probably just me.
Next up it's Helen & Gorka!
Their second dance is the Argentine Tango to ‘Here Comes The Rain Again’ by Eurythmics. An Argentine is a big ask in a two dances week, but it’s a great dance for Helen off the back off her sexy/sassy Couple’s Choice last week. Now or never, right?
Scores: 9,10,10,10 – a total of 39 for Fleur and Vito. A VERY good night for them.
Anton was really impressed – Fleur is having exactly the night she wants for a semi final. Craig wanted less control, but otherwise it was A-MAY-ZING. Motsi loved how authentic it was, and Fleur gave it everything. Shirley loved how free the performance was – this kind of dance really suits Fleur.
I love Fleur, but that outfit is ghastly, not helped by a pair of 80s plimsolls (or daps, if you’re from the west country). Enjoying the energy of this, but it’s a bit frantic in places, which makes it feel a bit untidy. Fabulous characterisation though.
It's time for Fleur & Vito!
Their second dance is the Charleston to ‘Tu Vuo’ Fa L’Americano’ by Fiorello. This is a jazzy number, and could also have appeared in Movie Week as it’s on the soundtrack to The Talented Mr Ripley. I have high hopes for Fleur and Vito bringing a whole new level of energy to this dance – she’s already showed how great she is at characterisation and storytelling.
We’re half way through! This show feels VERY long this evening, possibly because it’s Sunday and I’m tired and grumpy. Ready for round two?
Scores: 7,9,7,9 – a total of 32 for Will and Nancy.
There were lots of things missing for Shirley – he had the arrogance, but he didn’t have the oval shape in the arms and he needed to extend the cape more. Anton loved the flamenco section and the way Will partnered Nancy, and his storytelling is very strong – although it needed to breadth, and he felt like Will was trying too hard. Craig agreed with Shirley – the capework needed air and the dance lacked flow, not Will’s dance. Motsi believes that Will was fighting for his place – she could feel the drive and intention, and he was committed.
Oh hello, this is right up my Paso street. Will’s caping like he’s trying to put out a chip pan fire, and his footwork is sublime. I’d like even more of a Spanish line, but the flamenco section was fab. Enjoyed that.
And finally for the first round - it's Will and Nancy!
Their first dance is a Paso Doble to ‘Uccen’ by Taalbi Brothers. This is proper Spanish Guitar Paso stompy Paso music, so I’m expecting plenty of Spanish line, cape-waving and Flamenco.
Scores: 8,9,9,10 – a total of 36 for Molly and Carlos.
Motsi thought it gave quality, class and technical skill – everything you would love to see, Molly gives. Shirley thought it had inner magic and it was beautiful to watch. Anton thought it was super performance, this style of dancing really suits Molly. Craig thought it was a bit in and out of character – there were too many stops and that cooled it down emotionally. He was a bit disappointed, even though her hand shaping was exquisite.
Molly really is a gorgeous dancer, but she’s been great since Week One and that’s no way to win Strictly, I’m afraid – the people need a journey. That said, this American Smooth is stunning – it’s got drama, style and class, and some lovely changes of pace. Loved that.
Next up it's Molly and Carlos!
Their first dance is the American Smooth to ‘Easy On Me’ by Adele. They are TESTING the Dave Arch singers this evening. This is going to be lovely, isn’t it?
Scores: 9,10,10,10 – a total of 39 for Hamza and Jowita.
Craig loved the detail and the lifts were crazy spectacular, but Hamza has a lazy left foot swivel. Motsi thought everything was on point – exceptional. Shirley wasn’t expecting it to have so much movement, and she loved the swivel turns and the timing of the lifts. Anton thought Hamza brought everything to the semi final – well done.
As ever, Hamza’s timing is impeccable and he has lovely energy – just a joy to watch. His footwork goes a bit wild on occasion but the lifts are great and these two are clearly having a BALL. One of my favourite Charlestons of the series.
It's time for Hamza and Jowita!
Their first dance is the Charleston to ‘Pencil Full Of Lead’ by Paolo Nutini, following in the swivelly footsteps of at least four other Strictly couples, mostly recently Anita and Gleb in 2015. Ooh, remember Gleb? We liked him. I think he does Dancing With The Stars in the US now.
Scores: 8,9,9,9 – a total of 35 for Helen and Gorka.
Anton thought it was beautiful – soft and romantic. Craig thought there was quite a bit of gapping (SEE?), and it was a bit rigid in places, but Helen is a lovely dancer. Motsi thought it was magic, one of those moments that makes Strictly Come Dancing. Shirley thought it was a dreamy performance and their bond really came throught, but it lacked a bit of swing and sway.
Well, this is dreamy. Helen looks gorgeous, and I love this partnership – I feel like there’s a lovely connection between these two, and Gorka really gets Helen. Some gappy bits in this Waltz, but a nice bit of storytelling.
Next up it's Helen & Gorka!
Their first dance is the Waltz to ‘Only One Road’ by Céline Dion. How have these two not done a Waltz yet? This is arguably one of Celine’s most underrated ballads – I love it, and am very much hoping the Dave Arch singers are going to do it justice.
Scores: 8,9,8,10 – a total of 35 for Fleur and Vito.
Shirley liked the powerful message and she liked the flamenco arms, but she wanted more rounded shape and detail in the footwork. Anton thought it was an exceptional performance – Fleur’s best dance of the season. Craig thought she lost the footwork in places, but she did provide power and aggression. Motsi loved how Fleur channels her power into the storytelling, she loved it.
Does anyone else want to talk about Fleur’s power, and recommend what she should do with it? You do you, babe.
Excellent skirt caping to open, and Fleur is giving it ALL the drama. Some nice upper body shaping too, if you can drag your eyes away from Vito for a moment. He does a very good job of making this dance all about Fleur – enjoyed that very much.
First up tonight it's Fleur & Vito!
Their first dance is the Paso Doble to ‘The Time Is Now’ by Moloko. I love this song, and it definitely lends itself to a coolly dramatic Paso.
Out come the stars! Feels weird that there are only five couples left – for weeks it felt like one of those dinner parties where nobody wants to leave. Hamza’s one set of bagpipes short of a picnic blanket.
TESS AND CLAUDIA DRESS WATCH
Tess in neon pink, Claudia in sparkly black. Two shoulders between them, both fabulous.
Out come the judges! Motsi’s tiger pantsuit is a stripy nightmare.
And we’re off! We started to fifteen couples, but now we’re down to five. Tonight it’s TWO DANCES – cue wispy version of Europe’s ‘The Final Countdown’.
Enjoy these credits…in six days it’s all over!
If you watched the Masterchef Final, can you not spoil the result down below? Means Strictly people can follow along and watch Masterchef later. Ta!
Tonight’s Strictly Come Bingo – it’s a Stand Up Special!
I’m inventing a parlour game called ‘Strictly Standing’, which only has one rule – if any of the judges stand up at the end of the dance or while giving their verdict, you have to stand up too. If you’d like to play the grown-up version, you have to keep drinking (small sips, obvs) until they sit down again.
Heidi's Hunches - too close to call!
Looking down the list of dances tonight, we’ve got three Paso Dobles and two Waltzes. So now we know the answer to ‘what’s the dance equivalent of a Bounty and a Milky Way in a box of Celebrations?’
Tomorrow’s exit could be anyone, frankly. Dance-off history says tonight’s battle for a place in the final is between Molly and Fleur, but if both of them end up at the top of the leaderboard (which is infinitely possible) it could easily be two of the others. Everyone is so closely matched now, and I have no idea how tonight is going to pan out. EXCITING.
Evening all, and welcome to this week’s Strictly Come Dancing liveblog! It’s a Surprise Sunday Semi on a School Night– this time next week we’ll be gearing up for the Grand Final, which means it’s nearly Christmas. In the past two days I’ve done Bath Christmas Market with my mum, ice skating with my daughter, and a snowy Wiltshire dog walk this morning, so I feel like I’ve been mulled and wrapped in tinsel.
This week we’ll address the big questions – can Molly survive another dance-off? What WILL Will do in his Couple’s Choice? Will the extra two days of rehearsals this week make any difference to the quality of this week’s TWO DANCES? It doesn’t really matter, because traditionally this week is where wild over-scoring reaches a glittery climax. Although other than Craig, I’m not really sure where the judges can go from here.
I’ll be keeping a beady eye on proceedings up here from 7.15pm, and would be delighted if you could scatter a few sequins in the comment box below. See you in a bit!