See you next week for Halloweeeeeeeen! WOOOOOOO
And Week 5 is DONE - let’s never speak of it again. Thank you SO much for keeping me company and being brilliantly funny down below.
Next week we’ll reconvene for the HALLOWEEN SPECIAL, so don’t forget your spooky snacks and ghoulish gladrags. Kick off is at 6.50pm, so I’ll see you then! Hx
It’s clear that Strictly has been a religious experience for Jayde, and she and Karen have brought so much joy to the dancefloor this year.
They say lovely things about each other and the Strictly team, then take to the floor to dance their final dance to ‘Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life’. Exiting Strictly to this song in that wig seems like a double blow, somehow.
‘Well, it’s terrible really,’ says Anton, in a fleeting moment of self-awareness.
All the judges save Molly and Carlos, including Shirley. Which means JAYDE AND KAREN are leaving Strictly this week.
And now Jayde and Karen are doing their Charleston again. I worried last night that this wouldn’t work as a two-minute track – the comedy of the song only comes through in its five-minute glory. So this dance needed to be either hilariously clever and funny or brilliantly danced, and sadly this was neither.
Molly and Carlos are up first, dancing their Couple’s Choice to the Grange Hill theme tune. There’s very little you can do with this music – like most theme tunes, it doesn’t really go anywhere. So an A to Carlos/the Strictly choreos for effort, even though it’s a C minus for execution. Definitely not going in the Strictly Hall of Fame, this one.
Next week is the Strictly Come Dancing Halloween Spooktacular. My beloved, who probably watches about four minutes of Strictly each week then mysteriously disappears to his workshop, has just said ‘ANOTHER theme week?’
Yes, my love, and you’re in charge of snacks.
So who’s joining Molly and Carlos in tonight’s dance-off? Hamza and Jowita are safe, along with Fleur and Vito, Ellie T and Johannes, Ellie S and Nikita and Tyler and Dianne!
Which means JAYDE AND KAREN in the bottom two! That should easily go Molly and Carlos’s way, and Jayde clearly knows it.
Also loving Shirley’s peach satin 70s housecoat, but it needs a pair of fluffy mules.
Time for a musical interlude, courtesy of British singer Becky Hill. To be honest, I had to go and look her up because I’m 104.
She’s singing a medley of her greatest hits whilst dressed as some fairground candyfloss. Would 100% wear that outfit to Lidl, I love it.
Dance-wise, Giovanni and Luba are being fabulous and sexy. More of them please.
Someone has asked in the comment box if I’m in a bad mood. NO! I’m rarely in a bad mood. Will endeavour to be more sparkly.
So who’s safely through to next week’s HALLOWEEN SPOOKTACULAR? (dear god help us). James and Amy are safe, along with Kym and Graziano, Helen and Gorka, Will and Nancy and Tony and Katya.
First couple in the bottom two: MOLLY AND CARLOS! Eek, wasn’t expecting that, but it seems only right that last night’s madness would be followed up by a bottom two hot mess. Having said that, I wouldn’t want to be up against M&C in the dance-off.
Last night on Strictly: somebody wiser than me once said that ‘madness lies somewhere between chaos and having a dream’. The dream was worthy, but the execution was very much on the chaos/madness border, heading south.
Highlights: Kym’s dress, Ellie and Nikita’s Paso Doble, Johannes being Johannes, the opening pro dance.
Lowlights: literally everything else.
And we’re off! TESS AND CLAUDIA DRESS WATCH: Tess in red bandages, Claudia in something else but I was too transfixed by the red bandages.
Cue some slightly ropey editing, explaining that the following pro dance is a tribute to the BBC’s natural history programming. If you have to explain it, it probably isn’t a very good dance.
Did anyone ask Attenborough if he minded narrating Dianne wafting her dress and Nadiya flying over the Borehamwood savannah like some kind of climate change angel? God, this is dreadful.
Well, that Antiques Roadshow was fabulous – enjoyed that very much. Well done BBC; you’re not forgiven for last night’s Strictly or anything, but nice work anyway.
Has anyone seen Kate Adie and Mary Berry in the same room? Just asking.
Obsessed with this man who has collected NINE HUNDRED Doctor Who autographs, and also his incredibly patient and long-suffering wife.
Can we please talk about what elixir of youth Baroness Floella Benjamin is taking, because I want some.
Play School was such a big part of my childhood, this Antiques Roadshow is a lovely nostalgia-fest. Take note, Strictly.
Tonight’s Antiques Roadshow is a BBC Centenary Special from Alexandra Palace. Take a very small drink whenever anyone says the word ‘iconic’.
SUNDAY NIGHT RESULTS SHOW UPDATE!
Dear BBC Points of View,
Why oh why oh why oh why did anyone think that last night’s Strictly Centenary theme might be a good idea? Surely SOMEONE in the hallowed halls of Broadcasting House flagged that the whole thing MIGHT feel a bit like it had been cobbled together by a disenfranchised BBC intern after two bags of Haribo Tangfastics and a cup of special mushroom tea?
Please reassure the licence-payers that you won’t do that again for AT LEAST another 100 years. And while you’re at it, can you bin off Couple’s Choice?
Miffed of Wiltshire.
Evening all, and welcome back for this week’s Strictly Results! Tonight we’ll wave goodbye to another Strictly couple – kick off is at 6.45pm – join me then!
See you tomorrow for the results!
I’m off to have a lie down in a dark room. I’ll be back in Wilts tomorrow for the Results Show, so please join me back here then so we can relive this nightmare all over again. Also, I predict dance-off carnage.
Kick off is at the random earlier time of 6.45pm, so don’t be late!
The dancing is done and the voting is open!
I love this show with all my heart, but I’ll be very happy if they bury that theme in a rusty box in the Blue Peter garden and only dig it up again in another 100 years.
Helen and Hamza are joint top of the leaderboard, whilst Tony and James are lingering at the bottom, like sea cucumbers in the Strictly ocean*.
Voting is open, so it’s over to you. But first, let’s watch a recap of tonight’s highlights and remind ourselves how batshit insane that whole show was.
*Might have had a wine. Can you blame me?
Scores: 7,7,6,7 – a total of 27 for Kym and Graziano. That’s a lower score than Jayde and Karen, lol.
Motsi thought that felt like a ray of sunshine, although Kym’s posture was a bit loose in places. Shirley thought stamina lacked in places, and Kym’s frame collapsed in places – not Kym’s best dance. Anton thought there was good stuff down below, although he could feel some self-doubt. I’m sure this is really helping, Anton. Craig agrees on the frame, but the footwork and confidence were great.
Now THAT’s a ballgown. Fabulous bit of Quickstep from Kym here, with a bit of Charleston thrown in for good measure. Maybe making up for Tony? Great work Kym and Graz, enjoyed that.
And finally, it's Kim and Graziano!
Introduced by Angela Rippon, they’re dancing the Quickstep to ‘Ballroom Blitz’ by Sweet, which is a celebration of Come Dancing. So not the theme tune, just a song with the word ‘ballroom’ in the title.
I’m now wondering why somebody isn’t doing a dance to the Strictly theme tune and turning this entire circus into an M.C Escher staircase.
‘It’s like the Strictly Come Dancing of its day,’ says Kym, watching old footage of Come Dancing. Sigh.
Scores: 3,6,4,6 – a total of 19 for Tony and Katya.
Craig can’t describe what he just saw, apart from Tony putting everything into it. Shirley else loves him dearly, but this routine was a misstep. Anton loved the Cuban break, but he wasn’t sure what the rest of it was. Sorry I missed Motsi’s comments, I was filling my glass.
The best thing about this is the Des Lynam jumper, and Katya looking like a trophy wife at the golf club. They’ve included ALL the sports in lieu of any actual Cha Cha/Charleston/light jogging.
What dance is this? asked 10-year-old Burr daughter. Asking for the nation.
It's time for Tony and Katya!
This week they’re dancing the Cha Cha Cha to the Grandstand Theme Tune.
See, this I can kind of get behind because it’s an iconic banger, and Tony is just going to run about punching the air and not actually do any meaningful Cha Cha Cha, then score 7s. It feels in keeping with this week’s chaotic energy.
Scores: 8,8,8,8 – a total of 32 for Will and Nancy.
Anton agrees that Will is back on form – some good intensity that sometimes went over the edge a bit. Craig loved the aggression and the momentum – Will is back with a vengeance. Motsi thought there was so many good things Will brought to the dancefloor. Shirley appreciated the different take on a Viennese – it was powerful, but that knocked him off his feet so he needs to push less hard.
Jesus, Mary, Joseph and the wee donkey, the DRAMA! Our first lanyard on Strictly, and Nancy in a non-regulation police uniform that’s going to be a nightmare for chasing felons. This is an unexpectedly good piece of music for a Waltz, and Will is very much back on form. Might be pregnant.
It's time for Will and Nancy!
This week they’re dancing the Viennese Waltz to the end titles of Line of Duty, because nothing says investigating police corruption like a fleckerl and a reverse turn.
Call me boring, but right now all I want from Strictly is a lovely suit, a chiffon dress and a Waltz to Moon River. Still, at least everything will be back to normal for next week’s *checks notes* Halloween Special. Oh.
Scores: 6,7,7,8 – a total of 28 for Jayde and Karen.
Shirley wants better arms, and Anton loved the characterisation – but elements of the Charleston needed work. Craig thought it was thrown away – it wasn’t very clean and needed more energy, and for him it wasn’t great. Motsi though Jayde gave the best performance but the dancing needs to develop more.
Those wigs are SO awful, but you can’t fault Jayde for giving this both barrels. This is very much up her street, but all the swivel and Charleston basics have largely gone out the window in favour of larking about. Entertaining, yes. Charleston? Not so much.
It's time for Jayde and Karen!
This week they’re doing the Charleston to The Ballad of Barry and Freda (Let’s Do It) by Victoria Wood.
If you’re old enough to remember this, it’s a brilliant comedy song that builds over a full five minutes, getting funnier with every verse. I’m not entirely sure how it’s going to work in a two-minute format with a lot of other things going on. But if anyone can pull this off, it’s Jayde.
Scores: 7,7,7,8 – a total of 29 for Ellie and Johannes.
Motsi wanted more action on the standing leg, but she loved it. Shirley loved Ellie’s frame and the chemistry between them. Anton loved Ellie’s head – she’ll be fantastic by the time she gets to the final. Craig loved the funny opening and was hoping it would continue, but then they delivered a lobotomised Tango.
This dance begins with Johannes falling off a ladder. OK, only kidding – instead they’re doing some bad comedy. It’s pure Drag Race and this whole episode of Strictly is entirely unhinged.
A bit pedestrian, as Tangos in sexy scrubs go – needs defibrillation.
Anyone for Ellie T and Johannes?
Their tribute the BBC is a Tango to the Casualty Theme Tune, because it’s the kind of dance where you could definitely turn an ankle or sustain a gapping injury. I haven’t watched Casualty in decades – is it even still on? Is nurse Charlie still looking shifty?
Scores: 8,9,9,9 – a total of 35 for Hamza and Jowita.
Craig noticed the loss of balance and his toes turn in, but Hamza is a fantastic dancer. Motsi feels happy inside whenever Hamza dances – he brings his personality to the dance floor. Shirley thought Hamza made it look simple, but there was a little wobble. Anton loved the hold and immaculate frame – Hamza is the most charming dancer ever.
Hamza must be COOKING in that coat, but they’ve brought the CGI polar bears. This is a lovely jolly Quickstep and Hamza is JOYOUS to watch, but the music choice is annoying me too much to properly enjoy it.
Bit of a slip near the end there, and some turned in toes, but otherwise splendid.
Why does Shirley keep standing up? Does she have piles?
Next up it's Hamza and Jowita!
Their tribute to the BBC is a Quickstep to ‘On Top of the World’ by Imagine Dragons, which is a celebration of BBC Nature Programming because literally no theme tunes from BBC nature programmes were available.
Musically this feels like when you put a very specific dinner service on your wedding list, but Auntie Beeb goes rogue and gifts you some handmade plates that can’t go in the dishwasher. It was a lovely thought, but not what we actually wanted.
Scores: 6,8,8,8- a total of 30 for Molly and Carlos. They seem surprised. I mean, we’re all surprised.
Anton thought it was excellent performance, but it was a bit safe. Wasn’t Craig’s favourite either – they threw the moves away. Motsi didn’t think it was that bad, they did the best with what they had. Shirley thought it was clean and together, but she wanted to see changes of energy to make it more interesting.
I agree with all of the above.
Has Molly ever actually watched Grange Hill? Surely she’s too young? I’m not sure what style of dance you’d call this, and there are definitely some issues with sharpness and sychronicity. Not entirely my cup of tea I’m afraid. Detentions all round.
Who's next? It's Molly and Carlos
Their tribute to the BBC is a Couples’ Choice to the Grange Hill Theme Tune, but presumably not the episode where Zammo dies of a heroin overdose.
Now I think about it, the whole concept of this Strictly theme could have been avoided if someone had Just Said No.
Scores: 6,8,8,8 – a total of 30 for Ellie S and Nikita.
Shirley loved the laser vision, and there was some great moves in there – they took basic principles and made it their own, but she’s taking a mark off for the illegal lift. Anton loved how Ellie stayed in the narrative – it was a tremendous dance. Craig wanted more extreme Spanish line – it looked a little blocky and square for his liking. Motsi was seriously impressed – the choreography was exceptional.
There is briefcase choreography, and illegal lifts on the boardroom table. I mean, that will get you fired, for a start.
Ellie has great tension in her body and she’s giving this plenty of Paso drama. Would have liked to see more Paso moves, but Nikita does a brilliant job of making the dance all about her – actually really enjoyed that.
Next up it's Ellie S and Nikita!
This week they’re dancing the Paso Doble to ‘Montagues and Capulets’ from Prokofiev’s Rome and Juliet, which is the theme tune to The Apprentice. Possibly the only sensible, dance-appropriate music you’ll hear all evening, so soak it up.
Scores: 6,7,6,7 – a total of 26 for James and Amy.
Motsi wanted more in hold, but she loved the intimacy. Shirley could see how hard James is working, but James needs to sort his posture. Anton thought there was a lot to like, but James over-posturised (his term, not mine). Craig thought it looked stiff and lumpy and there was a lot of gapping, but he knows James can improve.
I mean this is lovely, but has anyone ever actually noticed this bit of music? Apparently they use it when someone dies. Oh hang on, now the main theme has kicked in. Amy is dressed as a hanging basket, and I’m dying of cringe. The Foxtrot bit was fine, and it clearly means a lot to James. But still no.
It's time for James and Amy!
This week they’re dancing the Foxtrot to Julia’s Theme from Eastenders. I’m just relieved it’s not the theme tune, was kind of of banking on the utterly bonkers Anita Dobson lyrical masterpiece from 1986.
Scores: 7,8,98 – a total of 32 for Fleur and Vito.
Craig thought it was a bit heavy footed and boisterous and the timing went at one point, but the energy was great. See? That’s what I said. Motsi wanted the steps to be a bit tighter, and she saw the difficulty of the routine. Shirley saw the power, but there was great control – a huge improvement. Anton loved the focus, but agrees it was heavy-footed at times.
Is anyone actually watching Fleur? Or are we all just enjoying Vito giving it full Benny? The timing of this is a bit wonky and it feels like Fleur is POWERING her way through this when it could be a bit lighter of foot, but you can’t fault the energy. Or the boots.
It's time for Fleur and Vito!
Tonight they’re dancing the Jive to ‘Waterloo’ by ABBA, because that won Eurovision in 1974 and it was hosted by the BBC in Brighton that year.
I’m obviously always here for a crossover of my two telly passions, but this still feels a bit tenuous.
Score: 8,8,8,8 – a total of 32 for Tyler and Dianne.
Anton thought it was a tremendous dance, it looked incredibly impressive. Craig thought Tyler’s bottom was sticking out too far, but he was really driving that dance. Motsi saw and felt the intention, he covered the floor really well. Shirley was thrilled with Tyler’s posture but it could have had a few softer moments.
Dianne is some kind of evil statue, which I’m assuming makes sense if you watch Doctor Who. A very decent tango from Tyler, and there is PLENTY of drama. ‘I didn’t really watch that dance,’ says my friend Sarah. ‘I was too busy looking at the tightness of Tyler’s trousers.’
Next up it's Tyler and Dianne!
Their tribute to BBC 100 is a Tango to the Doctor Who Theme Tune. My main gripe with this is that Stacey and Kevin did a Doctor Who tango for Halloween Week in 2018, so it feels a bit lazy when you had 100 years of the BBC archive to raid. Why not anything from radio? The theme to The Archers would make a lovely Tango. Pom-te-pom-te-pom-te-pom.
Scores: 8,9,9,9 – a total of 35 for Helen and Gorka.
Shirley remains standing because it was outstanding (see what she did there?). Anton thought it was an absolute delight – clean and beautifully timed, and Helen did it with a smile on her face. Craig loved the amount of content and it was a confident and energising performance. Motsi agrees – it was exceptional.
So Helen is clearly having a lovely time and the lifts are great, but the timing is a little off and the sugary twee-ness of this is making my teeth hurt. Also this Dave Arch arrangement has got a whole Mike Oldfield thing going on, which is a hard no from me.
First up tonight it's Helen and Gorka!
Their BBC tribute is the Charleston to the Blue Peter Theme Tune, which is lovely for Helen because she used to present Blue Peter, but less lovely for us because I was hoping for Gorka in a sailor outfit.
Can we just take a moment to send thoughts and prayers to Helen and Gorka, who have basically been listening to the Sailor’s Hornpipe non-stop for six days, which is proper aural torture. But on the upside, it means I can write ‘Gorka does the Sailor’s Hornpipe’ in The Guardian, which will never not make me happy.
OUT COME THE STARS!
I feared dreadful costumes this week, and I am not disappointed.
Vito has drawn the Vicky Gill punishment outfit this week, and Jayde and Karen are BOTH in Victoria Wood wigs.
TESS AND CLAUDIA DRESS WATCH!
Tess in chain mail, Claudia in monochrome. Both look rather fabulous.
And we’re off! Time for a slo-mo VT about he history of the BBC. Please start drinking.
The opening group number sees the Strictly professionals and judges gatecrash some of the biggest BBC flagship shows. Huw Edwards is playing the ukelele whilst Graziano and Katya dance about, and now our dancers are on Question of Sport, Antiques Roadshow and Top Gear. Off to Match of The Day, then Live at The Apollo, then University Challenge, then Casualty, then Eastenders. Mostly this is a test of how many BBC Shows I can recognise, which isn’t very many. Thankfully I have people on the sofa with me who know everything.
Owain on drums! Pudsey Bear on piano! HEY DUGGEE! God, I’m EXHAUSTED.
This week’s Strictly Come Bingo – a BBC special!
Take a sip of your tipple of choice every time anyone says ‘BBC’.
I’m sorry, but I don’t make the rules*. This is a once in a century bingo, so we need to make it count.
*I absolutely make the rules.
Heidi’s hunches update...
Another reshuffle of the Hunches this week – Hamza’s establishing himself as people’s favourite after last week’s dynamite Salsa, Fleur is definitely back in the running after that fabulous Argentine, and Tony Adams is hanging in there through the sheer power of Katya witchcraft. But theme weeks invariably unleash all kinds of mad/whimsical scoring so everyone else could go either way.
Driving for December: Will and Nancy, Tyler and Dianne, Molly and Carlos, Hamza and Jowita, Fleur and Vito
Battling for Blackpool: Ellie S and Nikita, Helen and Gorka, Kym and Graziano, Jayde and Karen
Dodging the dance-off: Tony and Katya, James and Amy, Ellie T and Johannes
The liveblog has gone coastal!
To add to this evening’s general air of chaos and mayhem, I’ve abandoned my Wiltshire sofa in favour of a weekend with friends in West Sussex. So rather than watching Strictly alone in a peaceful, semi-hypnotic state, I’m accompanied by three adults, three girls aged 13,10 and 6, and two dogs. Forgive me in advance if it all goes a bit awry.
On the upside, one of the friends is Richard the Builder from Bake Off 2014, so the snack selection is outstanding. Currently I’m on the fruit platter and the homemade burritos are coming later. I’ll post some pics on Twitter @heidistephens if you’d like to enjoy my buffet by proxy.
Get ready for a BBC Centenary Strictly!
Evening Guardian-reading, sequin-eating glitterati, and welcome to this week’s Strictly Come Dancing liveblog! It’s been QUITE the week, but we’re not done yet. Oh no.
Tonight is a bonus Strictly theme week, celebrating one hundred years of the BBC. According to the blurb, “for the first time ever, our couples will perform to either an iconic BBC theme tune or dance in tribute to one of the BBC’s most-loved services.”
I mean, could we not have one or the other? Were there not enough iconic BBC theme tunes that you could roll in glitter and mash into a Paso Doble?
Apparently not. Because instead we have a mishmash of theme tunes, a comedy song, a couple of normal tracks that don’t seem to bear any relation to the show other than the title, and a random ABBA interlude. Maybe it will all hang together on the live show, but on paper it looks like a plan that was put together in a pub last Wednesday by the cast of W1A.
Right, got that off my chest. Deep, calming breaths everyone. Perhaps it will all be OK in the end, but either way we’re going in at 6.40pm, so join me then!