See you next week!
So that’s it for this year’s Strictly Halloween Spooktacular – normal non-feem service will resume next week, which I think we’re all probably quite relieved about.
Thank you all for joining in and being the something strange in my neighbourhood – I’ll be back next week at 7pm for another twirl around the Strictly dancefloor. In the meantime you can find me on Twitter or Insta @heidistephens if you fancy saying hello. Have an excellent week! Hx
Amy says he’s been an amazing role model to his boys, and James says he’s made a friend for life (DRINK). They take to the floor for their final dance, to Livin’ On A Prayer by Bon Jovi.
The judges all save Fleur and Vito, although Anton points out that they both danced better last night. I mean, he’s not wrong.
Which means JAMES AND AMY are leaving Strictly.
Talking of baffling concepts, it’s time for Fleur to dance her Salsa. Still no idea what this is all about.
I actually really enjoyed this last night, but on second viewing I can see what the judges meant about finish and getting her feet together. A bit of a fall coming out of that lift, and this is full of mistakes too. Has she done enough? EEK.
Dance off time!
James is up first – this bee-themed Charleston is no less baffling second time round. Also quite a few mistakes and the lifts are VERY clunky – Fleur is going to have to stage a Salsa sit-in to get voted off this evening.
‘Your concept was good,’ says Shirley to a man dressed as a haunted beekeeper. LOL.
Who is joining Fleur and Vito in the bottom two? Hamza and Jowita are safe, along with Kym and Graziano, Tony and Katya, Molly and Carlos and Helen and Gorka.
Which means JAMES AND AMY in the dance-off.
That’s BYE, James Bye, surely? I can’t see the judges choosing him over Fleur unless she really messes this up – they were five points apart on the leader board.
My Eurovision WhatsApp group is appalled that I’ve never heard of Rina Sawayama. Hoping they don’t eject me from the group for being deeply uncool.
Lovely to see Motsi in those Elizabethan sleeves off Antiques Roadshow, and Shirley in the legendary Flavia wig.
Also can now confirm that Tess and Claudia BOTH have flares going on. They seem to be very much the thing this season.
Time for a musical interlude, courtesy of Rina Sawayama singing her single, This Hell. Very theme-appropriate, although I confess to not being familiar with her work.
The internet tells me that she specialises in alt-pop, electro-pop and art-pop, which leaves me very much none the wiser, although it sounds like shouty Shania Twain to me.
So which couple is the first in tonight’s Dreadful Dance Off? Ellie S and Nikita are safe, along with Tyler and Dianne and Ellie T and Johannes and Will and Nancy.
First couple in the bottom two: FLEUR AND VITO.
Well, that’s a shame. But if it’s Tony or James, she’ll be staying anyway.
LAST NIGHT ON STRICTLY: spooky shenanigans. Not the most memorable evening of dance we’ve ever enjoyed, but Halloween rarely is. Good fun though.
Highlights: Motsi’s Halloween makeup, Morticia and Gomez, fabulous costumes all round, Stormzy.
Lowlights: Anton’s wig, mad scoring, unfathomable music choices, general theme ennui.
TESS AND CLAUDIA DRESS WATCH!
Tess as a Big Purple Quality Street, Claudia in traditional black. No idea what’s going on down below – I’ll inspect later.
And we’re off! Tonight’s spellbinding pro dance tells the Greek myth of Icarus, who flew too close to the sun because he was an idiot and his dad made him a rubbish set of wings. Nikita is playing Icarus, and has waxed his chest for the occasion.
I have many questions about this breathy emo version of ‘Come Fly With Me’ (including ‘why?’), but no idea what this has to do with Halloween. I guess the original mythological story ends in a watery death? *shrug emoji*
Hilary Kay is absolutely LOSING IT over some very rare Elizabethan textiles that belong to the Willoughby family who own Wollaton Hall. Honestly think she might need smelling salts.
They’re worth a hundred thousand pound, minimum. For some sleeves and pillowcases. Which reminds me, must pop to John Lewis.
Ooh, a ‘Bones The Butcher’ Clarice Cliff teapot. Drink! (but only tea). It’s worth £800, which is a lot of Yorkshire teabags.
Tonight’s Antiques Roadshow basic/better/best features Batman movie memorabilia. The best is worth up to ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTY GRAND. Everyone thinks it’s the Joker suit because it’s been worn by Jack Nicholson, although I’m not discounting the Batman gimp mask. What a time to be alive.
So glad he clarified that it’s a Pennsylvania rifle rather than a Kentucky one, because I’m always getting endlessly confused between those two.
Also bonus drink for the red trouser/exuberant moustache combo.
If you close your eyes, the birdcage expert sounds just like Ringo Starr. Any minute now he’s going to start talking about what a terrible day Thomas is having on the Island of Sodor.
Dinosaur bones! Drink!
So apparently that T-Rex skeleton is only 20% real bones – the rest is recreated based on bones from other dinosaur skeletons. It’s the Countryfile harvest mouse scandal all over again.
Just got back from a walk at the National Arboretum at Westonbirt, which is very close to where I live and a regular dog walk. It was beautiful in the autumn sunshine and I am feeling restored and revived after a few hours strolling around in nature.
Nothing is going to spoil my mellow vibe this evening, unless of course there’s a dance-off shocker and/or a terrible judging decision.
Tonight’s Antiques Roadshow Bingo – not a Halloween edition, but we can work with it anyway. Take a delicate sip of Earl Grey for any occurrence of the following:
Anything that’s been kept in an attic
The word ‘bone’
IT'S THE SUNDAY NIGHTMARE RESULTS SHOW!
Evening spooky friends, and welcome back to tonight’s Halloween Special Results Show! Tonight we consign another Strictly couple to the haunted crypt of Strictly history, which after twenty years is getting quite cramped.
Kick off tonight is 7.20pm – join me then, or hang around for a gentle saunter around the Antiques Roadshow.
See you back here tomorrow!
Thank you as ever for being a chilling presence in the comment box – you are the hocus to my pocus and the candle in my pumpkin. Tomorrow’s Results Show kicks off at 7.20pm, so please come back in either human or ghost form, I’m easy either way. See you then!
The dancing is done – time to vote!
All our couples have danced, so now it’s over to you! Tyler and Ellie T are giving it ‘wooo’ at the top of the leaderboard, whilst this week’s dead weights at the bottom are Ellie S and James. Everybody else is in the much-feared mid table, so anything could happen.
Time for a recap of tonight’s dances – probably not the worst Halloween special we’ve ever seen – a sprinkle of sublime and plenty of ridiculous. Maybe last week’s BBC special set a new low and everything seems great by comparison?
Scores: 8,9,9,9 – a total of 35 for Ellie and Johannes, which puts them joint top of the leaderboard. Pure chaos.
Craig thought Ellie was ahead of the timing, but it was one of her best dances. It was Motsi’s favourite dance of the night, and Shirley thought it was spellbinding. Anton thought it was by FAR Ellie’s best dance of the series.
FINE, I’ll watch it again later.
I’ve never seen Hocus Pocus, but Ellie’s giving me full Bet Midler crossed with Helena Bonham Carter in Alice in Wonderland vibes. Here for it.
Like most Couple’s Choice dances, it doesn’t really have a clearly identifiable dance genre, although I’d probably call this one ‘Johannes Does Most Of The Dancing.’ Ellie is fabulous and I love her, but that was mostly walking in circles and waving arms.
And finally, it's Ellie T and Johannes!
This week they’re dancing Couple’s Choice to ‘I Put A Spell On You’ by Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker & Kathy Najimy. Bonus point for the season-appropriate music choice, but I’m afraid we must deduct a point because Couple’s Choice in a theme week is like putting extra cheese on a three cheese pizza. Eventually it’s just a mess of cheese.
Am SO glad I haven’t tried to keep up with the bingo this evening. Sorry to everyone else, drink lots of water before you go to bed.
Scores: 6,8,7,8 – a total of 29 for Ellie S and Nikita.
Anton thought it was a wonderful – Ellie’s footwork is immaculate, she just needs to work on the transitions. Craig was annoyed by how stop/start it was – it was slightly boring. Motsi loved the performance skills and ballroom skills in hold – a great improvement. Shirley agrees with Anton on Ellie’s footwork, but she wanted to see more of it to tie the routine together.
Ellie looks incredible as Velma, and Nikita as Shaggy is HILARIOUS. This is delightfully bonkers music for a Foxtrot, and the tentative nature of the bits in hold doesn’t really work with the characterisation of the rest. But that said, Ellie’s timing and footwork is glorious, and I’m grinning again.
It's time for Ellie S and Nikita!
This week they’re dancing the Foxtrot to ‘Scooby Doo, Where Are You?’ by David Mook and Ben Raleigh. A valid spooky music choice, last seen in 2012 when Dani and Vincent did a Cha Cha to it and Vincent wore one of Victoria Wood wigs from last week. I believe they keep all the Strictly wigs in a cage when not in use and feed them carrot sticks.
Scores:8,8,8,8 – a total of 32 for Fleur and Vito.
Feels like everyone tonight has the same score – the leaderboard is going to be a hot mess.
I feel like I should love Tess’s boots, but I just can’t, sorry.
Shirley loved the power but wanted more finesse and grace. Anton thought it was incredible to watch, but it was on the cusp of being too much. Craig though it was a bit messy and needed to be smoother, but otherwise incredible. Motsi thought it brought a different kind of energy – maybe we’re not used to seeing a woman so strong and powerful on the dancefloor, and that needs to change.
Also HAPPY BIRTHDAY FLEUR.
Interesting to compare this to Fleur’s Week 1 Cha Cha – so much more control and polish now. Totally confused by Vito’s tank top nerd outfit, however – not entirely sold on that whole arrangement. Great moves from Fleur though.
Next up - Fleur and Vito!
This week they’re dancing the Salsa to ‘Break My Soul’ by Beyoncé. I mean obviously this is a TUNE, but what’s the Halloween connection? The word ‘soul?’ Because that’s like an ENTIRE MUSICAL GENRE that I’ve never thought of as having spooky qualities. Listening to Marvin Gaye will never be the same again. Please drink.
Scores: 8,9,8,8 – a total of 33 for Hamza and Jowita.
Motsi loved how Hamza uses his spine and shifts his weight. Shirley loved the choreo and Hamza had some first feet despite the odd wobble and misstep. Anton loved the power, but it wasn’t Hamza’s best week because he needs to keep his frame. Craig wanted more v-shaping but it was strong and confident – Hamza is a great dancer.
Loving Regal Hamza, and this Tango has loads of drive and intent. Bit of a wobbly start but once Hamza finds his feet it’s a really great effort. Not sure about this rock version of Chris Isaak, but enjoyed that Tango very much. Also please drink for Hamza’s guyliner.
Only four left, and it's time for Hamza and Jowita!
Their Halloween choice is the Tango to ‘Wicked Game’ by Chris Isaak. I’ve never been entirely clear whether Chris meant wicked in the amoral sense, or was just trying to be down with the kids. But either way we’ll allow it because this song is really quite sinister.
Scores: 7,8,8,9 – a total of 32 for Helen and Gorka.
Craig could seen the mechanics of the dance, which isn’t ideal. Motsi can see Helen getting stronger and stronger and she’s giving Motsi Final vibes. Shirley can see a little more of Helen’s soul every week, but she needs to focus on the finish. Anton really enjoyed it – it was a tremendous demonstration of a Foxtrot.
Surely Gorka should be dressed as a wolf dressed as a grandma? Otherwise why would Helen be dancing with him? Storytelling integrity aside, I’m loving this. Nice posture and footwork from Helen despite the gapping, and her confidence is growing every week. My favourite dance from these two, I think.
It's time for Helen and Gorka!
Their Halloween dance is the Foxtrot to ‘Lil’ Red Riding Hood’ by Sam The Sham & The Pharaohs. I agree this fairy story is DARK, but is it HALLOWEEN dark? I’ll let it pass, just because it’s Gorka.
Scores: 7,9,9,10 – a total of 35 for Tyler and Dianne. Who’s put 50p in Anton?
Anton thought that was brilliant – one of the best Cha Cha Chas he’s seen on Strictly. Craig wanted more Cha Cha Cha (thank you), and he also wanted a straighter leg. Motsi loved the fusion of dance styles, but Tyler needs to watch his centre. Shirley thought it was a juicy Cha Cha Cha with great body rhythms.
This is the perfect song for Tyler to get his hips out, and he does a FABULOUS job. Great characterisation from start to finish, even though I’d have liked a tiny bit more actual Cha Cha. But so much fun, can’t stop smiling. THAT’S what I want from Strictly Halloween.
Next up it's Tyler and Dianne!
This week they’re dancing the Cha Cha Cha to ‘Day-O (The Banana Boat Song)’ by Tanz Orchester Klaus Hallen. I can’t believe nobody has done a Halloween dance to this Beetlejuice classic before, but I can find no evidence even though I’m SURE I’ve seen one. Help me, Strictly fandom.
Scores: 6,9,9,9 – a total of 33 for Molly and Carlos. I’m very confused by what Anton just said and how that relates to that score.
Shirley is hot underneath her collar – drama and passion and everything in between. Anton loved the timing and the performance, but it lacked a bit of intensity and he wants the next level. Craig felt like Molly and Carlos were dancing two different dances. Motsi loved it, it had great control and precision.
Well this is quite intense, no? Some nice Argentine footwork from Molly, which does a lovely job of erasing that dreadful Grange Hill mess last week. Great characterisation, enjoyed that very much.
Who's next? It's Molly and Carlos!
This week they’re dancing the Argentine Tango to ‘Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God)’ by Kate Bush. I’ve never watched Stranger Things, but I know it’s responsible for a Kate Bush revival and this song is now Halloween canon.
Is it an Argentine Tango song, however? I would argue not, but to be honest nothing makes sense this week so let’s go with it.
Scores: 6,7,7,7 – a total of 27 for James and Amy. I fear we may have to watch that again tomorrow.
Motsi loved how James’s personality shined through, but he needs to focus on what happens between the dance steps. Shirley thought it was an improvement but he needs to work on his changes of energy. Anton liked the lifts but it was a bit throwaway – it needed more finish. Craig wanted more swivel out of James’s right foot, but the Charleston moves were great.
So James is a beekeeper, as Amy descends from the ceiling dressed as a bee. It’s all quite trippy, frankly, and not nearly sharp enough to overcome the random theming. I’m TRANSFIXED by Amy’s yellow bee ruffles – who did she upset in wardrobe this week?
Next up it's James and Amy!
This week they’re dancing the Charleston to ‘Bumble Bee’ by LaVern Baker. It’s a great song for a Charleston, but I’m struggling to make any connection whatsoever to Halloween. Other than bees dying out in their millions due to pesticides, habitat destruction and climate change, which is quite bleak and terrifying. HAPPY HALLOWEEN EVERYONE.
Score: 8,8,9,9 – a total of 34 for Kym and Graziano.
Craig wanted a bit more reach but Kym did a fabulous job. Motsi thought there was beautiful movement and Kym has undergone a transformation. Shirley thought it was a ‘beautiful visual expression of horizontal desire’ and Kym was fantastic. I missed what Anton said because I dropped a stuffed olive down the side of the sofa and had to retrieve it before the dog ate it.
OH I SEE – Graz has literally been frozen, like Otzi the Ice Man. Kym has a lovely Rumba hip action and there’s some great shaping – I think my biggest issue is the lack of chemistry between these two. It’s technically fabulous but there’s no sizzle. Just my opinion.
It's time for Kym and Graziano!
This week they’re dancing the Rumba to ‘Frozen’ by Madonna. I’ve thought about this for DAYS and I can’t make the connection to Halloween, other than the lyric ‘Let all the hurt inside of you die,’ which is tenuous at best. But it’s something to think about that isn’t the Rumba, so every cloud.
Scores: 8,8,8,8 – a total of 32 for Will and Nancy.
Anton thought it was absolutely wonderful, Will had his energy under control. Craig loved the stylisation and the choreo was fantastic. Motsi agreed – she loved the concept and Will’s movement and isolation was great. Shirley loved it too – very very entertaining.
Will emerges from his coffin looking like he’s been papier-mâchéd by a toddler high on pink wafers. It’s a brilliant routine from Nancy, but it’s quite hard to do fluid Latin moves in when you’ve literally got rigor mortis. Loved it, but I’d argue not identifiably a Cha Cha Cha.
Next up it's Will and Nancy!
Their Halloween choice is the Cha Cha Cha to ‘Mama Told Me Not To Come’ by Tom Jones and Stereophonics. There is nothing spooky or Halloween-adjacent about this song, so presumably they’re going to sing ‘mummy told me not to come’ or just hope we make this very tenuous connection.
Scores: 7,8,8,8 – a total of 31 for Tony and Katya. Great way to open tonight’s show.
Shirley is in shock, and thought the footwork was lovely. Anton thought Tony was unrecognisable and he’s a proper dancer, not the weakest dancer in the competition. I mean I wouldn’t go THAT far. Welcome to the ballroom, says Craig – it had style and technique. Motsi thought it was a real surprise, and he totally deserves great scores.
Not Katya’s first fiddle on Strictly. This is really not a terrible Quickstep from Tony, although his timings goes off and it all feels a bit heavy of foot. You can definitely see the improvement, though. Great job, Tone.
First up tonight it's Tony and Katya!
Their Halloween choice is the Quickstep to ‘The Devil Went Down To Georgia’ by The Charlie Daniels Band.
Great Halloween choice, as Katya continues on her quest to turn Tony from a bumbling frog into a dancing prince. Not sure there’s a powerful enough spell in the world, but you can’t fault her dedication.
OUT COME THE STARS!
Costume highlights include Tony Adams as Evil Hugh Hefner, and Will and Nancy as human pasta.
Vicky Gill Punishment Outfit of the Week: Poor Nikita, dressed like he stacks shelves down your local Spar.
TESS AND CLAUDIA DRESS WATCH!
Black shrouds all round, a wonky shoulder for Tess with bonus sparkly wellies. First trick/treat mention of the evening. DRINK. I’m so sorry.
The judges look INCREDIBLE – loving Shirley as Gomez Addams.
And we’re off! Our celebs are already pretending to be scared. DRINK.
Did I put bad acting and Tyler’s Torch in the bingo? Drink anyway. This already feels like a VERY long night.
Why are all the questions on The Wheel about TikTok? Are they the sponsors? How is it possible that ANOTHER gameshow exists that is as bad as The Hit List? So many questions.
I’m watching The Wheel (with the sound muted, I’m not MAD), and I genuinely can’t tell if that’s Steve Redgrave or Steve the clock guy off The Repair Shop. They look like the same person.
Feel strongly that I would get quite travel sick on that wheel. I have a very low nausea threshold.
This week's Strictly Come BOOngo!
This week’s Halloween Special Strictly Come Spooky Bingo (I will tire of this soon, I promise) – drink the pumpkin-spiced blood of your enemies for any occurrence of the following:
Obscure off-theme music choices
Contestants pretending to be scared
References to tricks and/or treats, Len Goodman-style
Graveyard ankle fog
Heidi’s Haunted Hunches!
The competition is starting to warm up a bit, although it doesn’t officially get hot until we go to Blackpool. My haunted hunches are below, but please bear in mind that the Strictly Halloween Special has a tendency to railroad dance integrity in favour of shit wigs and green facepaint, so anything could happen.
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
Dodging the dance-off: Tony and Katya, James and Amy, Ellie T and Johannes
Wooooo, it's Strictly Halloweeeen!
Evening glitterghouls, and welcome to this week’s Strictly Come Dancing! It’s the HALLOWEEN SPOOKTACULAR, so brace yourselves for scary Salsas, terrifying Tangos and pumpkin Pasos. Or, you know, absolutely none of those things because it’s Strictly and any theme is very much for guidance purposes only.
Kick off is at 6.50pm - I’ll be getting my freak on up here, and I’d be very happy if you could sprinkle a little magic in the comment box below. Grab a bottle of your favourite poison and the trick or treat sweets that definitely have no chance of making it to Monday, and’ll see you in a bit! *evil cackle*